lovely diacritic?

Touring in Siem Reap?
12 September, 2013, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Travel | Tags: ,

Just this year I had an amazing time in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I met my Tuk Tuk driver and he brought us to the touristy places and even to the outskirts of Siem Reap. Here are some of the pictures from my trip:

Paddy Fields on the outskirts of Siem Reap

A beach where locals relax

Of course, an obligatory shot of Angkor Wat

Davin and my travel buddy, allowing us to try his Tuk Tuk!

My travel buddy and I with Davin and a fellow backpacker we met at a top of a temple

Other than the amazing places that he’s brought us, he’s really funny and nice too! I highly recommend him. Do consider him to be your Siem Reap guide. My trip has been made much more fun because of him.

Suon Davin
(855) 12859327
(855) 93226493


Places of Interest in Istanbul
6 March, 2013, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Travel | Tags: ,

After living in Istanbul for 3.5 months and being back in Singapore, I was certainly delighted to find a newly set up stall that sells kebaps and kofte in the Kopitiam just opposite my school. ūüôā


It was the exact same feeling I had when I found chinese food in Istanbul after not eating it for two months. I haven’t had authentic turkish food for two months now and was certainly glad to find that this is legit!

Anyway, I had this list of places of interest typed out to a friend some time back and I thought I should share it before it goes missing somewhere in the net. I hope it is useful for anyone who’s planning to go to Istanbul for a vacation. Pardon my sketchy write-up and it was written in the Singaporean context.

european side: (i shall go by ferry landmarks)
‚ÄĘ besiktas
– ortakoy: famous for kumpir (humongous baked potato), flea market (half an hour walk to besiktas)
– RumelihisarńĪ: a great wall of china looking fortress (take bus from besiktas/kabatas. the bus will indicate sariyer. depending on traffic half an hour to 1hour plus bus ride) it’s near the bridge after bosphorous bridge
‚ÄĘ kabatas
– dolmabache palace (40TL for adult, 5TL for student with international card)
– metro to taksim. taksim is the orchard road of european side (must go)
‚ÄĘ karakoy
– nice fish barbeque sandwiches sold on the streets
‚ÄĘ eminonu
– same fish sandwiches
– galata tower (12TL)
– spice bazaar
‚ÄĘ legoland of istanbul:
‚ÄĘ can take the tram from kabatas/karakoy/eminonu to sultanahmet station
– sultanahmet station has the famous blue mosque, hagia sofia, topkapi palace, basilica cistern
‚ÄĘ tram station after sultanahmet
– the grand bazaar (where skyfall was filmed)

asian side:
‚ÄĘ kadikoy: less touristy place. where i stay. i know all the awesome and cheap food.
‚ÄĘ baghdad avenue: all the branded stuff. generally shopping in istanbul is not cheap.¬†¬†(take dolmus that indicates kadikoy-bostanci)
– dolmus is like a shuttle/taxi/carpool hybrid that travels between two points and will move off only if it’s full capacity (about 10pax) price is fixed and indicated on a paper beside the driver

remember to check opening hours of attractions, they don’t really have the usual mon-fri.

Fascinating Rhythm
20 November, 2009, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

There is this music composition technique whereby 7 beats phrase are used in 8 beats pieces (4/4). Sounds weird to you? Yeah it’s pretty unusual but the result of it is simply… fascinating!

So how do you fit it inside? Let’s make a comparison between the 7 beats phrase and the usual 8 beats phrase.

8 beats: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8|

7 beats: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 | 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 | 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 | 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 |

So this 7 beats phrase only comes to a completion when beat 7 ends on the 8th beat of the bar. Using common factor in mathematics, that means after 56 beats!

I was quite amazed to find this technique in a song by Hillsong London titled, “Lord of All”.

Try listening from 6:32 to 7:20 and see if you can identify this 7 beats over 8 beats musical feature. If you can find it and count it, you will discover that they completed the cycle and repeated another time.

So this feature was invented by George Gershwin (based on my limited musical knowledge). He used it in this song “Fascinating Rhythm” for his musical “Lady Be Good”.

Listen from 0:36 to 0:47 and you will find the 7 beats over 8 beats feature too. However, Gershwin cut short the cycle and just ended it by adding extra 2 beats.

So it goes like this: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 | 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 | 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 |

Well it works too. Really applaud Gershwin for his musical talent in creating such whacky rhythm. Awesome.

I really love finding similarities between music of the past and music of the present. Though they are almost a hundred or a few hundred years apart, the elements in it still remains. Before this, I ever posted another comparison between a current piece and a baroque piece. Check it out over here: Imma Shine

More fascinating discoveries to come!

And I thought the basketball tricks on 17 Again were fake.
9 May, 2009, 12:44 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Film | Tags: , ,

I was watching The Ellen DeGeneres Show the other day and I could not help but to video Zac Efron doing all these stunts despite knowing how bad the quality will turn out. So pardon the poor quality, and be impressed as I am when you see Efron do a spin on his pinky finger.



This is the basketball trick from 17 Again that I could not believe intially. It is also my most favourite scene in the movie. Even though it seems like they are just tricks, each movement actually paints the picture of the word that he says. Pretty cool eh?

Wee Welcome You
19 April, 2009, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Autobiography, Education | Tags:

That was the wordplay I saw at the NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) pre-admission reception. I love wordplays.


This reception is¬†the school’s¬†first one.¬†It was held in replacement of conducting interviews to access our applications. I think there are several pros and cons to this change. It is definitely better for us applicants to have a better idea of the school but I am not sure if it is better for the school because they do not have equal contact with all applicants like how interview provides. So applicants¬†have to be like hungry ghosts fighting to win the attention of professors. Personally, I do not like the idea because it is like bootlicking, pleasing the school just to get a place. I like sincerity. Not doing certain things for the sake of doing but doing because you really mean it and it comes from the bottom of your heart. Imagine if you are the sort who did your research and really have nothing to say to the school body, will you still force a question out and ask for the sake of asking so that you are assured that the professors heard you? And whether¬†you impacted them or not, is another worry for some.


Nevertheless, things can be viewed from another perspective. That is, if you are hungry enough for the course, you will do whatever is required and I am pretty sure that is coming from the bottom of your heart. Also in mass communication, things are usually this competitive. You got to fight for the attention of the mass, if not why would they bother hearing what you have to say. But is this always the case in mass communication industry? I wonder.


Anyway, after the reception there was a school tour and it was rather impressive. Although the walls of the school building were dull, with just white walls and blue window and door frames, the facilities kind of offset it. They have state-of-the-art equpiments and the nicest thing I saw was the Spectrum Television Studio. It was pretty cool. Here is some pictures of it:





I love the idea that how such stuff are taught at the university level. It will be so fun! Anyway, before the reception I was disappointed with the standard of their films because the ones I watched on YouTube were way below my expecations. However, during the reception final year project (FYP) films were showcased and they were not as bad. I guess I got to lower my expectations too because afterall, not everyone one of them are majoring in Broadcasting and Cinema Studies (BCS) and even so, they only had the most, 4 years of training.



Anyway, I advice future applicants to fill up the optional write-up portion of the NTU application form. Although it is usually used for discretionary admission to the various faculties, I speculate that it is one way WKWSCI reads to know more about you. Just a speculation. Unfortunately, I did not fill that up because I assumed that there was the interview to access my application. Nevertheless, I am thankful to be shortlisted and was given the opportunity to have a little glimpse of what communication and information studies is really about and was glad to spend it with the one who is extremely (no exaggeration added) passionate about WKWSCI, Yanyu.


Imma Shine
21 March, 2009, 12:25 am
Filed under: Film, Music | Tags: ,

Remember “Imma Shine” from the movie “Step Up”?

Step Up – Imma Shine

I just found out it may have been derived from a baroque music – Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D minor! Was tuning in to 92.4FM in the car this afternoon and the violin motive sounded so similar! What a beautiful melody to reuse and translate into a hip-hop music.

Marcello – Oboe Concerto in D minor

What makes a movie great like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
17 February, 2009, 1:40 am
Filed under: Film | Tags:

It has been a long time since I caught such a good movie. I am so going to buy the DVD. Anyway, what makes a movie great like “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”?


Reoccurences of Themes

I totally love having this characteristic in a film. There were so many instances when previously introduced ideas were brought back, giving a sense of unity in the film. One being the most prominent was this old man from the home, who was slightly senile, told Benjamin Button “I got struck by lightning seven times”. This immediately followed with a re-enactment of the accident. Altogether I THINK this scene appeared a total of seven times? I am not too sure, I did not count.

Another idea was to have the camera zooming onto Benjamin’s pair of feet. I think it represents determination in him. It first appeared when Benjamin was trying to stand up to walk after the Priest prayed a healing over him and then appeared when Benjamin was determined to find Daisy while she was going to meet with an accident. I am sure there were other reoccurence that I have yet to discover after only a single watching.


Convincing Background

I think the most difficult background to shoot with would be sunrise or sunset. It is a background that is constantly changing and any delays will just affect the flow. I was very satistifed with this film’s sunrise scene when it looked so convincing. Like the sun did not move a single bit. This was unlike “The Wedding Game”, when the sun moved so significantly and the sky lit so much brighter. Either Brad Pitt and Jason Flemyng had little or no NGs or David Fincher is a perfectionist and wanted to film during the next sunrise assuming too many delays were made.


Use of Factual Content

The film inserted Pearl Harbour’s history into it, featuring Benjamin participating in the war and being one of the survivors. Having such an important history in the film allowed easier identification for audience with the film. This also adds depth in the storyline which convinces people that there might really be a man who aged backwards and survived the Pearl Harbour attack.

The portrayal of the changes in culture over time was also accurate. Such as moving from the 40s Broadway influence with huge gramophone used as props to Brad Pitt riding on a motorbike wearing 60s kind of shades and clothes. Surely made the film more realistic.


Reversed Unfolding of Plot

Usually when a trouble in a film happens, it is followed by regrets expressed by the character. However, in this film it was the opposite. Benjamin expressed regrets and the “if only”s before Daisy met with the accident. This keeps audience in suspense, totally clueless that a misfortune is about to happen on the talented and successful dancer. Audience will then be able to sense the same anguish as Daisy feels when the accident happens. Such tugging of audience’s heart is a useful way of getting audience to be involved in the film, thus causing us audience to think it is a good film.


A Tinge of Humour

Allowing audiences to laugh prevents the film from falling into monotony. In this film, there were a couple of scenes that triggered laughters. One was when Benjamin was growing up going through puberty, with his old, wrinkled face, he flex his new developed muscles in the mirror with full of confidence. Another scene was when Benjamin was left to play with himself. He would take his little army soldiers and play like just any other boys would, making shooting sounds. This was funny as his face was the old and wrinkled one,  and it is funny to see an old-faced Benjamin doing such a kiddy thing. There were many more other humourous scenes too that really add flavour to the film. There were certainly not lame ones that would just turn people off.


Background music

I believe having an appropriate background music is important. It assists the execution of the mood. If done inappropriately, no matter how the backdrop is nicely plotted, the precise mood that is supposed to be expressed will not deliver. In this case, I think Alexandra Desplat did a great job for the film. 


So far these are the few characteristics that went through my mind during the film that I can recall. Man, I can’t wait for another movie to be as fantastic as this. The 3 hours was surely worthwhile.