Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Thio Li-Ann is coming to (down)town!

July 12, 2009

Thio Li-Ann’s appointment as a visiting professor in NYU for the upcoming fall semester has been met with dissent by some NYU law students.  An excerpt from an open letter by an NYU law student (unlikely to see the light of day in Singaporean mainstream media):

You are quite correct, however, that in the face of bullying, one must have courage. It also helps to have supportive gay friends. One of the nice things about gay folks is that we tend not to belong to either the “liberal camp” or “communitarian camp” which you described in your speech. We’re just into camp. Likewise, the gays at NYU don’t by any means have a problem with you, your right to your views, or academic freedom. We just don’t think that state power to imprison or discriminate against sexual, racial, or other minorities is a particularly “academic” question. Again, that’s American English for you.

Another generally appreciated feature of the gays is our sense of taste, which has been highlighted in television shows like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” You are a bit mistaken if you think that the gays at NYU want to censor you. It’s just that, like mixing polka dots with plaid or having George Wallace teach a course on civil rights in the American South, we tend to think NYU’s hiring you to teach a class called “Human Rights in Asia” demonstrates a lack of taste.

Get this – Thio is teaching a class entitled “Human Rights Law in Asia”.  I’m not sure if NYU meant it as a gag, until they finally made an official statement in response a few days ago.  The memo can be read here:

Whatever their areas of expertise or views, Global Professors’ appointments are decided on their record of distinguished scholarship and teaching and their ability to contribute to intellectual exchange within our community. So, while many in our community sharply disagree with, or are offended by, Professor Thio’s 2007 remarks to the Singaporean Parliament, it is important to bear in mind that she was appointed as a visiting professor based on her published scholarship, not on views she expressed as a legislator.

To be clear, the Law School categorically rejects the point of view expressed in Professor Thio’s speech, as evidenced by our early and longstanding commitment to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Yet we believe academic freedom requires that this disagreement express itself through vigorous, civil debate, rather than an attempt to suppress those views. We fully expect that Professor Thio will embrace the values of academic freedom as well, and be open to the kind of respectful conversation that marks a great institution of higher learning.

What could the reception to Thio Li-Ann be?  Something along the lines of the recent NYU occupation riot?

Maybe she can avoid tough questions about gay rights by giving the same answer as President Ahmedinejad’s when he spoke at Columbia University – “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.”

Some background about what Thio has said in Parliament about Section 377A of the Penal Code of Singapore, which, according to Wikipedia, is “the main remaining piece of legislation which criminalises sex between mutually consenting adult men”.  The transcript can be found here.

I like the part about 3:10 into the video where she says:

We cannot say a law is “regressive” unless we first identify our ultimate goal. If we seek to ape the sexual libertine ethos of the wild wild West, then repealing section 377A is progressive.

I highly recommend that she use this Will Smith classic as her theme music at the start of every lecture, a la Rocky Balboa and professional wrestlers:

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Nike sportswear ad

July 7, 2009

Optimus Prime Top 10 on Letterman

July 7, 2009

Funny ANA ad featuring Merlion

July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson, SARS and Swine Flu

July 2, 2009

I feel like I have to blog about Michael Jackson, since his death and ensuing tributes have become the biggest media whore over the past week, overshadowing more newsworthy stories like Iran, North Korea and the H1N1 flu.  While listening to Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You”, I discovered that the opening drum beat and melody in the song was borrowed (“sampled”) and used for one of the more unfortunate by-products of the SARS scare from 2003, next to the “Singapore is OK” campaign: the SAR-vivor rap by Phua Chu Kang.  Listen to the opening beat and melody in the video below, and compare to “Rock With You” below.  Coincidence?

And MJ’s “Rock With You”:

I wonder which Michael Jackson song is going to be sampled for the Swine Flu?

Merantau – the next Ong Bak

May 11, 2009

The trailer for a new Indonesian silat movie, Merantau – sure to achieve a cult following in the US and Europe.  It’s worth watching all the way to the end, for a pretty chase sequence amongst rooftops.

Thio Su Mien reminds me of my secondary school teacher

May 5, 2009

“Show some respect to your elders, ok?”

“Shut up and sit down!”

Of all the AWARE tshirts that came out post-EGM, I think the one below is the most appealing one.  It would be a pretty funny statement for a guy to wear this shirt, whether in Singapore or anywhere else around the world:

From printeet.com

From printeet.com

More Sing, City 2 videos

April 2, 2009

There seems to be a bunch of Sing, City 2 rehearsal videos on this channel.

Also some pictures and more videos of Sing, City 2 here.

The DiaS’pura 2/Sing, City! 2 AAR

March 30, 2009

I wish we’d done this during the last DiaS’pura – uploading video updates of the day’s activities.  mrbrown has quite a few good ones on his blog.  I’m sure there’ll be more to come, as I saw numerous posting of photos of the event on Facebook from various sources.  mrbrown also took the time to cover the technology in Huntsman Hall lecture theatres:

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the speaker series.  I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews so far.  I’ll post any comments/videos as they come up.

The Yaps’ musical was a two-pronged attack on the audience’s hearts and the funny bone – the incessant gushing and awwing of the audience through the sentimental bits was matched only by the gaffws though the uproarious comedy segments.  I struggled to catch my breath after the US customs scene – I had strained my diapragm while laughing slumped on the VIP couch (generously offered to seniors by Caleb Yap).  And watching the actors, some old and  some new, take to the stage singing Random School Facility (with an additional verse written for YX’s misanthropic character) felt like a raucous class reunion.  I thought I could hear Jennifer Setiawan belting “…but I got it fuuuuuuuuuurst…”

Oh speaking of the musical, Josh or Caleb has reinstated the old Sing City musical blog, which houses some of their rants and thoughts from the first musical.  Check it out here.

I had to leave without watching the last quarter of the musical, which I heard had all the best songs.  Of course, Sekali I was the highlight of the evening for most people.  mrbrown has kindly included the lyrics to the song in his video:

And of course, the old fav, Noodle Blues:

On that note, if you have any photos/videos of the event, please send them to the Club Singapore exco at exco@diaspura.org so that it’ll be included in their archives (which I assume will eventually be released to the world).

I had to leave the musical early as I had to set up for the Mambo afterparty at Level Lounge at 21st and Market st.  This was my first experience DJing for a big party, and that will be an entire rant/post in itself.  All I can say is that I’m glad everyone on the dancefloor had as much fun as I did behind the DJ booth – seeing Garett breaking out his “who says white people can’t dance” moves, hypnotizing a huge group of Singaporeans into standing in a circle and doing synchronized moves in time with the music, and feeling the relentless thump of the bass from the club’s speakers was a gratifying experience.  I have no pictures/photos though – I was so busy trying to be “professional” that I completely forgot my Asian roots and didn’t whip out the camera!!!  If you’re reading this AND you attended the Mambo afterparty AND you have ANY photos of the crowd at the event (I swear I saw some of those overhead-angled shooters at work), please let me know in the comments.

All in all, a great night spent in Philadelphia.  Hopefully more updates to come.

Microsoft video envisions the future in 2019

March 19, 2009

One thing I loved about Penn/Wharton was the the guest speakers and conferences organized by the institution.  Few other academic institutions have the brand name and clout to convince luminaries from the academic, business, entertainment and political world to come and speak to over-achieving fratboys and studious international nerds.  In my five years at Penn, I saw luminaries from the business/political/entertainment/academic world speak – Bono, Jamie Dimon, Jodie Foster, Kofi Annan, etc. among others.

President of the Microsoft Business Division, Stephen Elop, recently spoke at the Wharton Technology Conference.  However, I think the star of the conference wasn’t the speaker himself but the video he presented: Microsoft’s predictions for technology in 2019.  Watch the video here (don’t watch it on YouTube, gotta catch it in higher quality!)