Sunday, 30 August 2009

Founder's Day Speech

A very good afternoon to our Guest-of-Honour, Captain Leonard McCully, distinguished guests, members of the Board, Mrs Charles, teachers, parents, and fellow saints.

It is truly my honour and privilege to stand before you today to testify God's grace in my life and to represent the Graduating class of 2008.

As a foreign student who spent most of my school life away from my parents, I felt that St. Andrew's has become my 'substitute' family. It was in this family that I met encouraging teachers and friends who have helped me as I developed physically, mentally, and spiritually.

The Christian environment in our school has helped to keep me firm in my relationship with God. I remember the chapel lessons where students from the SFC - people like Abraham Chee and Theodore Koh - would stand on stage and try their best to get us to sing the songs of praise and worship. It was definitely challenging for them, having to stand up here, with their schoolmates staring at them. It's also not easy for the pastors to talk to a bunch of teenagers who'd rather spend their time thinking about their computer games. But they never gave up, and we should all be thankful for that.

We should also be thankful for a chaplain who was willing to befriend us. Reverend Michael Teh would meet with the Christian students and teachers every first Wednesday of each term for Chaplain's Hour, where he gives us a message to think about for the term. He would also host a lunch for each class and chat with the students to get to know us better. Reverend Teh is not just another chaplain – I believe most of us love the man for how open, friendly and approachable he is.

I was also fortunate to have friends who were fervent for God, as well as sandwiches. In my class, we used to have a group called the "Sandwich Club", which held meetings during our recesses to share testimonies and egg sandwiches. So even though our class was competitive when it comes to our studies, we also encouraged each other to live faithfully.

I believe that one of the unique features of our school is the camaraderie amongst the saints. You can see this in the way we support each other to do well. During Rugby or Hockey Finals, you would see the entire school cheering along with the AFGM, led by our school cheerleading duo Zul and Zamiq. In fact, Zul and Zamiq would always lose their voice by the end of every match, which goes to show their dedication towards the school. Of course, you would also find many students wishing the Band, Choir, or Drama boys all the best for their SYF Competitions. This is also true when it comes to our studies. I have to admit that I was not very strong in my Combined Humanities, but thankfully, my friends were willing to help me, and I would return the favour by helping with their Maths.

Of course, we would not be able to achieve the grades that we have if it weren't for our dedicated teachers. Even though we often give our teachers headaches with our behaviour in class and our test results, the time and effort that they sacrificed for us is definitely something we are thankful for. Who could ever forget spending their Saturday mornings in school for Chemistry lessons with Mrs Yeo Yuen Chin, or the countless afternoons in the Art room under the watchful eyes of the Art Teachers, or even the jogs along the Kallang River during choir practices with Ms Deborah Gan? These are only some of the many examples of how our teachers go the extra mile to make us better saints. We are also thankful for their light-hearted sense of humour, which never fails to make their lessons more engaging. In Physics class, Mr Gordon Goh would show us his battle-axe (which was actually an enlarged model of a vernier calliper), and his finger-squeezing torturing device (otherwise known as a screw gauge). He would also enlighten us on the difference between a 'yotta-', which means '1024', and a 'yoda', which is a little green character from Star Wars. Thank you, teachers, for the lectures and the laughs. You have certainly enriched our experience in this school.

Our school would also be nowhere if it weren't for our principal and vice-principals. My friends often told me of how they had to see Mrs Charles or Mr Goh because they did poorly in their exams. This certainly proves that our principals follow our progress very closely and want us to reach our potential. Also, before our exams, they would pray for us to calm us down and remind us to put our trust in God. We are grateful for their concern and prayers.

At this point, I would also like to thank the alumni who have contributed to making our experience as Saints a memorable one – from the free Häagen-Dazs ice cream that we get every Sports Meet, to the new swimming pool and synthetic turf field. These are only possible because of the love that our alumni have for the school, and I am thankful for that.

I want to end off with a challenge to you, fellow saints – Make a difference in this school, so that you may bring glory to yourself, to the school and to God. As Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men".

Thank you, Saints.

Up and On!

--Ronald Liong, 29 August 2009


Founder's Day and Choir Dinner photos here!

Go check it out!

Shot by a long list of people:

Lim Guo Hao, 
Raymond Liew, 
Benjamin See, 
Ernest Quek, 
Ms Deborah Gan, 
Joel Lee, 
Jeremy Tan, 
and myself.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Wow, comparisons? really?

Long intro condensed: I went on twitter, saw BenSee promote his blog's
been updated, went over to, read his
latest post, wanted to tag, figured out his convoluted navigation
links, read some tags dating back from July about me, went thru the
navi thing again to find his archive links, clicked on July 09 [if you
want to follow, just click this link:
, then the (horizontally speaking) second cross from the left],
scrolled down, and saw one of his posts where he rants about people
comparing him with me and stuff.

Can I just say: If you know me, and you know Ben, I think you know
what we're like. If not, then perhaps you should read on...

(you're still reading on, aren't you, Raymond?)

Ok, first thing I must say is: (I know this will sound like that Chris
Crocker guy, but heck) just leave Ben alone. Stop comparing him with
me - we may be doing quite similar stuff - we're doing video for our
art project, we're both in choir, we're both into photography, etc. -
but we're two different people who happen to have the same interests
and closely similar subject combinations; we have differences. I can
give you a long list where we both differ. Here's a couple of examples:-

1. He actually knows music theory and he can play the piano, while I
2. Though we're both 'geeks', I can keep in shape better than he can.
Yes, that's a joke. But most importantly,
3. I've seen his work, and even though our medium is the same, the
underlying idea is absolutely different (mine was about the repetition
that I felt I was going through as a chorister, Ben's work has nothing
to do with choir, and I'm sure he has a different theme to work with
from mine).

You can't just say "Oh, look! Both of them are using the same brand of
paint! I bet one of them must have been looking at the other guy's
work and thought he should try doing the same kind of work, using the
exact same brand of paint!". No. Art does not work that way. One thing
that we learn in SOVA is that everything in an artwork has a deep
message or reason to be as such - from the choice of medium, to the
colour tone, or even the layout, or how realistic/abstract the work
is, etc. There's a reason for everything an artist does.

Look at it this way, I chose to do video because I wanted to do
photography, but was afraid my prep work would not be 'thick' enough,
judging from the way I do photography. I definitely didn't want to
dabble with a paintbrush or pencil for my final work, because I know
from my own experience how bad I am in handling those mediums compared
to others from my cohort. After all, if you're in a war where you can
choose your battleground, you wouldn't go for the one where YOU KNOW
you're at a disadvantage. I know I'm a tech-savvy person, so I chose
to bet 60% of my Art grade (with recommendation from Ms Chua) on a
medium that mixes all the things that I know I'm good at (sound from
PA and choir, visual communication from Photography and SOVA, and how
to use iMovie + Adobe Photoshop).

If you look at Ben and what he's good at (Music Theory, Photography,
Digital Art, and to a small extent, SOVA), you'd also agree that video
is a suitable medium for him. In fact, I've seen what he's done so
far, and I must say, his work is definitely more ambitious than mine,
and what he's done so far is definitely more complex than my little
loop. He did his own music track from scratch; I just processed some
recorded audio from the video shoots. He even tried to shoot frame-by-
frame to create a time lapse (I told him of a short-cut way using
Quicktime Pro after he showed me his first work-in-progress clip). You
can tell he's trying hard.

So enough about Ben doing Art. If he want to do it, and if he is
capable, then I think there's nothing wrong with him taking Art. He
shouldn't be criticized for taking a subject combination that is
similar to a previous student who happened to do well.

Also, don't keep saying he wants to be like me. You can draw
similarities between Ben and me, but you can only come up with a
correlation - a relationship between our similarities and our outcome.
You cannot draw causality - a definite cause-and-effect relationship
between our similarities and our results. Don't expect Ben to get 9
'A1's if he cannot cope with the pressure - be it from his peers, or
from his studies.

I'm a bit crossed, to be honest, that people view BenSee as a poser
trying to be like me, without thinking of
a) how their remark would be received by Ben / how their remarks will
affect Ben psychologically and emotionally,
b) how Ben actually feels from having to juggle 9 subjects, and
c) what else they can be doing - rather than making snarky remarks,
why not encourage him? I can see ZonG (the guy on his tagboard) has
done that.

K, I think I spoke quite a lot, maybe too much. I'm saying all these
only because Ben's a good friend of mine, and to give my perspective
on this whole issue of comparisons.

And Ben, if you're reading, I know you're trying hard. Just do to the
best of your ability, and remember to take a breather once in a while.
Don't let the critiques get to you.


ok, this is the plan:

Thursday, 27 Aug
•Breakfast with Jeremy TPK (and Reuben Phua?) at Macs
•Lunch with Zachary Foo (and Raymond?) at undetermined location
•Go see choir
•Meet Mr SJJ
•Dinner w/ guardians (it's my 'uncle''s birthday)

Friday, 28 Aug
No plans in the morning
•Meet Mr SJJ
•Dinner w/ some choir ppl (tbc)

Saturday, 29 Aug
Founder's Day. Not free (probably) the whole day.

Sunday, 30 Aug
•might be free in the morning.
•BayBeats w/ Ryan (and others?) (tbc)

Monday, 31 Aug
•4SA 08 meet-up @ SASS
But it won't be the whole day...

Tuesday, 1 Sep
•Flight at 1.15pm. So, gotta be @Changi T1 by 11am. HINT HINT!

So, if you wanna meet up with me, the red spots are your opportunities!
Just give me a ring - 8 2 0 4 3 7 8 0. That's my temporary number whilst I'm in SG this month.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

new 'CD' releases galore!

The late-august-early-September-ish period seems like an exciting time for music releases. Or at least that's what I see, judging from the number of (digital) CDs I plan to buy.

First up, Múm just released their latest studio album, "Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know". And what can you expect from Múm? Well, the usual out-of-the-box combinations of musical instruments in each track. Was out on 21 Aug, £6.99 from Amazon UK.

Also releasing an album this August is Imogen Heap, with "Ellipse". Again, not much of a surprise here - it's Imogen Heap, which means electronica. Currently available for pre-order, it should be out on 24 Aug 09 in the UK. Price is unknown.

Next up, it's not a "new" album, but rather, a major remaster of 13+ albums. It's The Beatles, with their box set of stereo remasters. Now, nobody knows if it'll come out as a digital download on 09.09.09, the date of the remaster CD and Rock Band game's simultaneous release. But I'm confident those Beatles tracks will come to iTunes one day. For now, you can pre-order the physical box set from Amazon UK and part with £169.98 of your money. Ouch.

And finally, I've talked briefly about their album - it's Muse, with "The Resistance". It won't be out till 14 September on iTunes UK, but right now, you can preview 30s-clips of each track on the iTunes link that I hyperlinked. Aside from that, you can also listen to 2 full tracks on their website: Available for pre-order from £7.99 on iTunes.

K. That's my album watch for this period. Do let me know what you're looking forward to!

P.s.: personal post: I think I can't lift my right hand anymore. played badminton today, did a lot of the jump-and-hit nonsense. Haven't played in years, and now my muscles are aching.

P.s.s.: haven't packed for SG trip! Oh my, now what?!

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Guess what? I can blog, thanks to a muscle-flexing 1Mbps ADSL
broadband connection! w00t.

Btw, it's 1Mbps for the first 3GB of data going through the pipes,
after which it drops down to 128kbps.

AND, sometimes, when you access certain sites during some random
times, such as Google or, you might get blocked for some
unexplained reason.

but who cares? you get a connection to billions of other people!

Alright, I digressed from the main purpose of my blog post. So let's
get back the the point that I haven't even started to explain.

I'm going back to Singapore on the 25th. not the 27th. Might need to
pay a little bit, but Mr Sim wanted a third rehearsal day with me, so

Also, I'm trying to see if I can get a SIM card and a Wireless@SG
account when I'm in SG. Fingers crossed.

k. see ya! going off to bed to curb the jetlag. Badminton tomorrow!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

on the plane

August 16, 2009 7:50:15 AM GMT+07:00:

Yeah, that's right. I'm actually composing this blog post on my flight from LHR to SIN. kinda awkward, having a 15" screen on your lap, being squashed by the person in front everytime he tries to push his seat back even further. Perhaps that's why Apple used a 12" iBook for an ad of a guy using his laptop on the plane. Much smaller, so you can actually put it on the foldable table, even in economy class.

I just want to comment on the screen size of laptops. What, in your opinion, is the perfect screen size for a laptop / computer? Because we know that if the screen is too small, then there's no point in having a laptop - you'll be squinting half the time, and using an external monitor the rest of the time, which makes your laptop simply a Mac mini with a heads-up display. On the opposite extreme, having an overly large screen tend to equate to unnecessary extras - extra bulk, extra weight, all the things that you don't want in a laptop. For example: you can't use a 17" anywhere realistically speaking, other than in a graphics studio, then perhaps. Because if you look in the case of the Macs, you'll realise that the bigger your laptop, the better its performance capabilities (or sometimes, battery) tend to be. With a bigger screen, you increase the footprint, and hence, the volume available to pack in more lithium polymer or hotter graphics chips / CPUs.

I've always loved the 15" MacBook Pro. It's always been the model I prefer in all the revisions - I didn't like the Air because I felt it's underpowered; The MacBook 13" used to be made of plastic, and the screen was not up to standard as the rest of the product line; the 17" is not the right size. 

What is the ideal laptop size, then? Something you can still use (perhaps in Economy Class on a plane), but still have the processing power to boot. Maybe I'm being picky and anal here, but could it be the 13", only with the internals of a 15" MBP? The 13" is small in my opinion, but if Apple could bump the pixel density up to 1440x900 on the 13", and perhaps add a 9600M GT, that would be a very nice machine to use anywhere - in someone's apartment, or on seat 51E on a long-haul flight. After all, I don't really see the point in an 8-hour battery life. Power plugs are everywhere, why not lower that number to 6, and add a graphics chip that you can use for dual-monitoring? Really, I think this might work, as long as they can control the internal thermal environment.

One more thing I want to comment on is the MacBook Air. I tried to hold one just now whilst window shopping in Heathrow. It's a beautifully designed and shaped machine. I'm seriously considering getting the Air as my next laptop, for when I get to university. However, there's certain issues which I think still needs to be worked out first. The RAM - 2GB - should be upped to at least 4. The HDD/SSD capacity needs to be upped much higher - at least 250/256GB respectively. I can't accept the fact that the Air has as much space as an iPod classic - that means I can't have anything on the Air other than music if my collection does, indeed, fill the iPod. The third issue if ports - The Air needs more ports. Specifically, it needs a FW800, a 2nd USB, and audio in. I think it's possible to accommodate space for these extra ports. I really don't mind a little more bulk in that machine, as long as I can still use it as my main computer. I don't mind losing the Ethernet and DVD drives - those are so rarely used nowadays, anyway.

What do you think?

Saturday, 15 August 2009

of frenemies and ecology

I was doing my usual round of blog-reading (since I still have broadband speeds). That's when I come across Isaac Wong's blog, where he posted this:

Our class - 4SA'08 is gonna have a class outing real soon. YAY!

I'm quite happy to be honest, cos I haven't seen those dudes in like 7+, 8 months, except for a really minute some.

And, I'm really hoping everyone will come, and like seriously bury all hatchets. I mean, what for get angry for like so long? And, its not fun when like a few people don't want to come, just because they don't feel like it, or they don't want to see each other, or they figure they should just get on with life and forget old friends.

That gave me an idea - I should draw up a relationship web of 4SA'08 to show who are friends or enemies, and where the clique groups are.

I can see it already. It'll go along the lines of a mathematical psychological representation of social circles in 4SA...

Let + represent friends, - represent enemies, and +/- represent "no clue, but it's probably both ways".
Based on what I see, hear, or perceive, you can say that the 4SA web looks a little like this...

Yi Lei + Ryan + Zong Ren + Melvin Lim + Nigel + Reuben +/- Jing Kai +/- Kevin + Donavan +/- Vishnu - Jaga + Sahul + Sara - Joel +/- Justin + Ken + Clement + Wei Yong + Choon Zhe + Elohim + Zhao Long + Rakesh + Isaac Cheong + Bryan + FCK + Aaron + Melvin Tan + Scott + Jonathan + Matthew Tang + Andrew + Sheng Ren + Ben Toh + Nelson +/- Jasper - John - Isaac Wong+ Me + Matt Sia + Ian +/- Arvindh +/- Chee Yang + Nicholas

That's a reductionist representation of the relationship links in 4SA'08, from what I know. Of course, each person in 4SA doesn't form just 2 relationships. They come together to form clique groups - something I kept in mind when doing the above chain. You'll see the transitions:

Yi Lei to Reuben is what I like to call the "cult of personality 1" group - the only group who knows how to have any real fun. Well, sort of.

Moving on, I had to do a bit of scattering, including the Tamil Class group (I deduced that when the school lets the minority mother tongue students have class together in a more closer setting, they will inevitably have more extreme ties, since there is a smaller social circle, which means more concentrated interactions.) and the "Justin League", made up mostly of 2C students, then the famous FCK gang. 

Strangely enough, the FCK gang's priest leads very nicely into the Sandwich Gang - Aaron Chua is part of 2 societies. And another BB boy - Andrew - makes the segue from Sandwich gang to Game fans. Admittedly, I had a hard time transitioning Ben Toh to the remaining bit of the chain, but I stacked Nelson in between Ben and Jasper. And Yes, I broke Jasper and Isaac up using a common 'hate figure' which is not really an enemy but just someone both dislike to a small extent - John. 

Let me be clear - It's just something I came up with for fun. Please take this with a grain of salt. What I aimed to show here is that ties between students, even in a class, can be quite complex. What I did was to simplify the explanation using just one long relationship-chain. Imagine a web. That is pretty much how students interact with each other in their own class. You can complicate things even further with students from other classes or with elements such as  CCAs, past encounters with certain people, "teacher envy" amongst the teachers' pets (in reference to Freud's Oedipus Complex theory. It's sexist, and I don't agree with it fully, but I get his point, and I'm adapting it here. I will not explain his theories, you have to do your own reading.) etc.

One more thing I wanted to bring up is enemies. Sometimes, I wonder what makes us make enemies. I think if we lived in an ideal world, we would have no enemies, only friends helping each other. It's in our conscience as social beings that we want friends for social support. So why is it that we make enemies? Enemies can be uncomfortable and awkward - not just for the two parties, but also the people in the overlap of the two sides' social circles. One example is a certain 'frenemy' classmate I had. I got so fed up with him 'labelling' me as an enemy (he was ignoring me, and to me, that implied that I was his enemy) that I actually confronted some of his friends (with whom I was still friends) about why this guy doesn't want to talk to me. 

Well, I can go on with the new theories I learn in Psychology class, but I think I'll leave this post as it is for now. It's getting late (1:56am), I need to wee before I find more ideas to blog about, and I need to take a nap at 6am UK time (12 noon Jakarta Time) to curb jetlag effects.

Sorry about the long blog post.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


As promised, here's my long-haul flight playlist.

In case you're wondering how I got this table, right-click your playlist in iTunes, select "Export...", Choose "Unicode Text" as the format, and open the generated .txt file in Excel. Voila! A playlist generator!

Btw, the columns represent (from left to right) track name, artist, and album.

My Long-Haul Flight Playlist
Mad World Michael Andrews & Gary Jules Donnie Darko (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
How To Save A Life The Fray How To Save A Life
Over My Head (Cable Car) The Fray How To Save A Life
Goodnight And Go Imogen Heap Speak For Yourself
The Frog Prince Keane Under The Iron Sea
All Good Things (Come To An End) Nelly Furtado Feat. Juanes Loose
True Colors 蔡健雅 T.time [Disc 1]
Here We Go C3 (Christian City Church Oxford Falls) Here We Go
But God C3 (Christian City Church Oxford Falls) Here We Go
Show Me How to Live C3 (Christian City Church Oxford Falls) Here We Go
Greater Is He C3 (Christian City Church Oxford Falls) Here We Go
Bubbly Colbie Caillat Coco
Realize Colbie Caillat Coco
Oxygen Colbie Caillat Coco
Battle Colbie Caillat Coco
Tailor Made Colbie Caillat Coco
Tied Down Colbie Caillat Coco
Capri Colbie Caillat Coco
God of Ages Hillsong Saviour King (Live)
I'm Not Ashamed Hillsong Saviour King (Live)
Wrong Impression Natalie Imbruglia Glorious: The Singles 1997-2007
Jigsaw Falling Into Place Radiohead In Rainbows
Reckoner Radiohead In Rainbows
Videotape Radiohead In Rainbows
If I Were A Boy Beyoncé I Am...Sasha Fierce [Disc 1]
For Your Glory C3 (Christian City Church Oxford Falls) For Your Glory
Today C3 (Christian City Church Oxford Falls) For Your Glory
Saviour King Don Moen I Believe There Is More
Look To You Hillsong United The I Heart Revolution 1: With Hearts As One [Disc 1]
Mighty To Save Hillsong United The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts As One [Disc 2]
Saviour King Hillsong United The I Heart Revolution: With Hearts As One [Disc 2]
Paparazzi Lady GaGa The Fame
Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) Lady GaGa The Fame
Spell Marié Digby Unfold
Let's Dance to Joy Division The Wombats Let's Dance to Joy Division - Single
Goodbye (2006 Remix) The Corrs Dreams: The Ultimate Corrs Collection
You Could Be Happy Snow Patrol Eyes Open
Death And All His Friends Coldplay Viva La Vida
Strawberry Swing Coldplay Viva La Vida
Lovers In Japan / Reign Of Love Coldplay Viva La Vida
Lost! Coldplay Viva La Vida
Life In Technicolor Coldplay Viva La Vida
Remedy Little Boots Hands
Poppiholla (Original Radio Edit) Chicane Poppiholla
Supernova Mr Hudson Supernova
Confusion Girl (Shame Shame Shame) FrankMusik Confusion Girl (Shame Shame Shame)
Tigerlily La Roux La Roux
Colourless Colour La Roux La Roux
I'm Not Your Toy La Roux La Roux
Reflections Are Protection La Roux La Roux
Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up) Florence + The Machine Lungs
I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight U2 No Line On The Horizon
22 Lily Allen It's Not Me, It's You
White As Snow U2 No Line On The Horizon
Never Forget You Noisettes Wild Young Hearts
Fire Kasabian West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
Underdog Kasabian West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
New Shoes Paolo Nutini These Streets
Sex On Fire Kings Of Leon Only By The Night
When Love Takes Over (Feat.Kelly Rowland) David Guetta - Kelly Rowland When Love Takes Over
Sweet Dreams Beyoncé I Am...Sasha Fierce [Disc 2]
Life In Technicolor II Coldplay Prospekt's March [EP]
Run Snow Patrol Run
Clocks Coldplay LeftRightLeftRightLeft
Bulletproof La Roux Bulletproof
Release Me (UK Radio Edit) Agnes Release Me
One Tribe Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)
Candy Paolo Nutini Sunny Side Up
No Reason to Hide Hillsong United A_CROSS // The_EARTH: Tear Down the Walls (Live)
The Lightning Strike Snow Patrol A Hundred Million Suns
Absolute The Fray The Fray
We Are The People Empire Of The Sun Walking On A Dream
(Coffee's For Closers) Fall Out Boy Folie À Deux
Gobbledigook Sigur Ros Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Inní mér syngur vitleysingur Sigur Ros Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Við spilum endalaust Sigur Ros Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Hoppípolla Sigur Ros Takk...
Með Blóðnasir Sigur Ros Takk...
Gong Sigur Ros Takk...
Moon Pulls Múm Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy
Starlight Muse Black Holes & Revelations
Knights Of Cydonia Muse Black Holes & Revelations
Walking On A Dream Empire Of The Sun Walking On A Dream
Not Fair Lily Allen It's Not Me, It's You
Radio Beyoncé I Am...Sasha Fierce [Disc 2]
Syndicate The Fray The Fray
Where The Story Ends The Fray The Fray
Shake It Metro Station Metro Station
Let The Flames Begin Paramore Riot!
Misery Business Paramore Riot!
She's My Winona Fall Out Boy Folie À Deux
Walk Electrico Hip City
I Don't Care Fall Out Boy Folie À Deux
Love In New Wave Electrico Hip City
Halo Beyoncé I Am...Sasha Fierce [Disc 1]
Nine In The Afternoon Panic At The Disco Pretty, Odd
Shut Up and Let Me Go The Ting Tings We Started Nothing
We Walk The Ting Tings We Started Nothing
Across The Earth Hillsong Live This Is Our God
You Deserve Hillsong Live This Is Our God
You Are Here (The Same Power) Hillsong Live This Is Our God
Healer Hillsong Live This Is Our God
How Far We've Come Matchbox Twenty Exile On Mainstream
This Is Our God Hillsong Live This Is Our God
Desert Song Hillsong Live This Is Our God
Run Hillsong Live This Is Our God
Don't Stop The Music Rihanna Good Girl Gone Bad
Your Name High Hillsong Live This Is Our God
Waiting On The World To Change John Mayer Continuum
Vultures John Mayer Continuum
Stop This Train John Mayer Continuum
Slow Dancing In A Burning Room John Mayer Continuum
In Repair John Mayer Continuum
I'm Gonna Find Another You John Mayer Continuum
I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You) John Mayer Continuum
Gravity John Mayer Continuum
Dreaming With A Broken Heart John Mayer Continuum
Bold As Love John Mayer Continuum
Belief John Mayer Continuum
The Heart Of Life John Mayer Continuum
Broken Strings James Morrison & Nelly Furtado Songs for You, Truths for Me
Make It Mine Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
I'm Yours Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Lucky (Featuring Colbie Caillat) Jason Mraz F. Colbie Caillat We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Butterfly Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Live High Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Love for a Child Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Details in the Fabric (Featuring James Morrison) Jason Mraz F. James Morrison We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Coyotes Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
Only Human Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
The Dynamo of Volition Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
If It Kills Me Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
A Beautiful Mess Jason Mraz We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.
All At Once Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Sleep Through The Static Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Hope Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Angel Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Enemy Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
If I Had Eyes Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Same Girl Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
What You Thought You Need Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Adrift Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Go On Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
They Do, They Don't Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
While We Wait Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Monsoon Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Losing Keys Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static
Supermassive Black Hole Muse Black Holes & Revelations
Pony (It's OK) Erin McCarley

Pony (It's OK) - Single

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

pre-flight preparation for...

Let's see...

I've got, on my iPhone: 
115 tracks on my in-flight playlist10 episodes of Top Gear, 7 audio podcasts for my tech news and comedy requirements, and 4 game apps to keep me thinking of my lemonade stand empire.

(Font sizes are approximate representation of capacity taken up by the respective content type.)

Excluding the apps, that's 24.5 hours of in-flight entertainment.

Thanks goodness SIA has in-seat power plugs.

Looking forward to using my iPhone to entertain myself rather than the Krisflyer thingy. Not that I don't like to watch movies. It's just that I can't stand the cruddy headphones that SIA hands out. I prefer in-ears because they don't eat my hair. Yeah. So, if anyone in that company is reading this, take this as a suggestion: upgrade the earphones for Economy class passengers, especially for long-haul passengers.

new music chart!

betcha didn't expect one so soon, did ya?

Well, yes. It's time for one last music chart before I (possibly) go onto a 'dial-up-ish' internet connection when I go back to Indonesia this weekend.

Before I begin with the chart, one more announcement: I'm going back to Singapore on the 27th of August. It'll be an afternoon flight, so I should be free that weekend, assuming Mr Sim doesn't call me for rehearsals or anything. I'll be staying at my guardian's.

I'm also trying to arrange a get-together with different groups. Raymond was suggesting a choir alumni one, and I've announced a 4SA get-together on Teacher's Day eve. If you wanna meet up with me, just let me know by this Saturday, 9pm Singapore time. After that, I might still read it, assuming my bro subscribed to a more reliable internet connection in Jakarta. But please, do let me know. I'll be in Singapore from 27Aug to 1Sep. But yes, the Saturday of that week, I have Founder's Day, and I should have rehearsals before that.

Now, one last time before I go on a Boeing 777-300ER this weekend, let's rock the iTunes mixtape!

Music Chart For The Moment...
1. Remedy 
Little Boots
2. Poppiholla 
3. Tigerlily 
La Roux
4. Confusion Girl
5. We Are The People
Empire Of The Sun
6. When Love Takes Over
David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland
7. Sweet Dreams
8. I Gotta Feeling
Black Eyed Peas
9. 22 
Lily Allen
10. Uprising

Yes, if you see number 10, it's a new track by Muse. It's from their upcoming album "The Resistance". It'll be out in September, but for now, you can preview 2 tracks from the album on their website ( One is called Uprising, and the other is labelled as "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)". The former sounds like a mish-mash of several Muse songs from their last studio album "Black Holes & Revelations", while the latter is reminiscent of Queen (We Are The Champion), but there's a surprise towards the end - a sudden twist from punchy and sinister Queen to a piano tune. You'll have to register to listen to the full track, if you're impatient like me. Other than that, I'm looking forward to the album!

Also, can I just say, Little Boots sounds so J-Pop in their track "Remedy". Seriously. Go stream it and hear for yourself. It's like J-Pop turned into Western Pop music. Quite funky, but at the same time, audible and easy to understand, unlike Ayumi Hamasaki. Oh, snap! Bring on the hate tags, BenSee!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Minor tweaks| bigger, more, better?

Just felt that my blog skin is getting a bit too long in the tooth, so
I made some minor updates to the code.

Firstly, I hope you'll like the new font template. I matched the font
on Blogger with the font on my It's Trebuchet MS 12pt
regular - so it's Web-friendly. Please let me know if the new font
looks crap.

That's not all, though. I widened the main body by 50px, but I
narrowed the side column by 150px. Hopefully, it looks like you have
more space to read posts with the narrower side space, especially with
the larger font size.

I also upped the font size all around the blog. the links, the
profile, the twitter space, etc.

Also, in terms of external content, I increased my twitter update
section to show 5 posts rather than 3, since I update quite often.
Another thing I increased is the number of "sites I frequent" links -
there's some new links that I often visit. You can check it out and
see if you like them, too.

Oh, one completely insignificant tweak: the time stamp. I use "time:"
rather than "//" for the time stamp on my blog posts.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Isms to enjoy

Isms to enjoy, originally uploaded by ronaldLIONG|.

I was reading The Times when I came across this article about someone who's taking part in some Fringe Festival somewhere (it's been days. my memory has been blurred). It's a list of just some genres of art. Think of it as the possible tags you put on a work, the same way you might to a Flickr upload.

How many of them do you know?

Underground & iPhone

I have this theory that the mayor of London hates the iPhone.

Case in point?

The Underground. It's the capital city's version of the subway, the mass-rapid transit, the train that travels below the city. This form of public transport is as uncomfortable as a Tardis in Doctor Who, only less awesome and much more crowded.

Let me explain why. If you've been on the MRT in Singapore, imagine a train that's shorter in internal height (beneath the train, I think it's taller than the Singapore MRT), narrower sideways, and with sofas instead of plastic seats. Oh, and take out the air conditioning, leave behind some holes for ventilation. Welcome to the London Underground. We get nice seats. Oh yes, lovely seats. But in the first place, not many will get to sit. And most people will be squashed like sardines, standing around and smelling each other's sweat. Mind you, this is summer, and the underground isn't exactly well-ventilated - it's under the ground, and air can't move around as much underground as it does on a rooftop. 

To make things worse, there is no such thing as cellphone reception underground. You may be taking things for granted in Singapore, with your 100% coverage even on the MRT while going from Expo to Changi over that 6-minute stretch. But when you come to London (as far as I know, correct me if I'm wrong) there's no cellphone reception in the tube and on the platforms. So you can't check your emails, do some productive work, etc. And if you're like me - a newbie with an iPhone as a navigator, well, all the best. Hope you took that paper map, and hope you have a spare battery. Because:

a) you can't check the service status of the trains unless you have internet, which you don't, and
b) your phone drains more battery trying to find signal.

Now, maybe there's a reason for this no-cellphone-reception thing. It could be an anti-terror measure, just to be safe. fair enough. If that is the case, I will not complain, the same way I will not complain about the lack of rubbish bins in an MRT station in Singapore, or the lack of seats at the Esplanade Library, or the lack of good public transport in Jakarta. Fair enough. There are limitations, hopefully with rational reasons to back the moves.

So, with what I just said in mind, here are some tips from me when travelling on the London Underground...

1) switch your phone to airplane mode when you're on the escalator, especially if you know your phone isn't the type that lasts long on a single charge.

2) don't just know where you're going, but also, know the status of the lines which you plan to use. ESPECIALLY ON BANK HOLIDAYS AND WEEKENDS. You may always assume the shortest route will get you there the fastest, but sometimes, the shortest route has been cut short to become a dead end, so you'll have to re-route. Maintenance works and repairs never end - something is always going on.

3) don't take the train if you don't feel well. I'm not saying this because of the whole "social responsibility" thing. No. It's to take care of yourself. The Underground is not the most comfortable mode of public transport, and it can be a bit unbearable if you're not well. BoJo (short for Boris Johnson, the wacky-haired Tory London Mayor) agrees with me on this one, which is why he put up posters reminding people to have water with them and avoid the tube if unwell.

4) Just get a freaking Oyster card. At least you pay by zones, so you won't have a ticket that goes bad. It's just £3 for a card, plus whatever amount you put in.

5) if all else fails, try hop on a bus. They can be a bit more unpredictable and possibly slower due to the congestions, but they're more comfortable and much cheaper than the underground. And if you followed point 4, your oyster card can be used on the buses, too. Isn't that awesome?

So, that's my opinion on London's underground system.

Monday, 3 August 2009


If you haven't read the "about me" statement on my facebook profile, well, you've been missing out.

I like to post stuff that are relevant to what I learnt in Psychology class. So, hope you'll feel interested reading what I post there!

Here's what I just posted. It's an ode to one of the most famous (and to be honest, kinda sexist) person in psychology - Sigmund Freud.

"ego, meet id. id, meet superego. superego, meet ego. psyche, meet freud. freud, meet psyche. freud, meet angry psychology students. national express, meet tunnel."

Saturday, 1 August 2009


TED. It stands for Technology. Entertainment, and Design. It's a non-profit organisation that organises (no pun intended) annual conferences which have, in recent years, become the stage for prominent people to speak their mind. Whether it's about something they do or if it's their opinion, there may be some things that you do not agree with (so, again, take what you hear with a pinch of salt or an entire salt flat), but there are also many that will impress you.

The tickets to these conferences are expensive, and they're held in very specific places - Oxford, California, and India are some that I noticed on their website for 2010. but many of the talks are available online for anyone, for free.

You can check out the talks on iTunes (hopefully, the iTunes link works outside the UK as well), and also, on the TED website.