Last Exorcism

Just caught this at the movies. $@$#^$&^%$&% kana con. Though it was a good movie, cos yahoo movies got a 5 star rating for it. The beginning was ok, and it was developing to be a good movie. A bit long winded at the start, but the filming of a lost faith pastor was staple 'exorcist' material. Then the girl starts twisting, in what I thought was the beginning of a good show, but ended abruptly with a B movie type ending!!
Soooo disappointing. Ok, wont put in more, in case you guys still intend to catch the movie, but seriously, waste money le... wahaha... the malay movie Mantra should be much better.

Rainie Yang wins Golden Bell Award!!

Bao Chu Jie won Best Actress!! for Hai Pai Tian Xin. But so sad, Dalang didn't win. Thought Luo Zhi Xiang was more convincing in his role, but oh well, one award is better than none. :)

Grass...

Grass is greener.. milk is whiter... road is smoother... that's what people think whenever they compare their jobs with you. Just had lunch with a couple of guys from NTU Uni Town. And the first thing that friend said was, "MOM got vacancy a not ah?". Almost as instantaneous as I was about to ask, "Uni Town got vacancy a not ah?"

So it seems stagnantion in the government sector is a norm. And the only possibility of career advancement is to move out of the comfort zone and go somewhere else that you're not as comfortable in. "$6k? No problem! When can you start?", the other friend exclaimed when I asked him if the corporate side had vacancies. "My boss will definitely hire u de". Hmm.. sounds fishy. Haha.

On a lighter note, halloween is coming! Happy Halloween! And that's the reason for the skeleton pig pic u see far up right. :P
  

IT Guy Part Deux (Sorry Adrian)

Me: Hello. Tee Hui speaking. MOM.
IT guy: Hi! This is AAA for Helpdesk.
Me: Yes? How can I help?
IT guy: Your computer has been infected by a virus. We need you to run a scan and then send ur pc up for inspection.
Me: That was yesterday. I had a trojan attack, and sent it upstairs. They repaired it and I got it back a while ago.
IT guy: Isit? Ooh.. I'll call u back in 2 minutes. Pls hold. *tooooooooooo*

2 minutes later....

IT guy: Hello, Mr Tong, it's me again.
Me: Hi.
IT guy: I have checked with the engineer. Your computer is repaired but is still infected by a virus.
Me: Huh? U just cleared the virus and I just got the laptop back.
IT guy: Yes sir, but the main system shows that your computer is still infected 10 minutes ago.
Me: Huh? But I just got it back and plugged it in a few seconds ago. And it was just repaired.
IT guy: Ya but 10 minutes ago, there was another virus. And it shows that it was from your pc.
Me: What?
IT guy: And your computer might be the source of other infections yesterday.
Me: Huh? But yesterday, the laptop was at helpdesk, being quarantined for scanning and clearing the virus attack.
IT guy: Ya, but 10 minutes ago there was another virus. And it's company security we are looking at. We don't want you to be responsible. It's company policy.
Me: Wow. Ok you win. So what do you want me to do?
IT guy: Just send it upstairs to the guy you sent it to yesterday. He will know what to do.

2 minutes later, at the repair room...

Me: Here... my laptop... again. What are you going to do with it?
Another IT guy: Run the same scan lor.
Me: #$@&^%^^%$#@.

And there goes 2 working days... Dammit, I need a replacement laptop!!

Fiery God Mother...

When I joined the branch, there was this nice lady who had 3 private houses. Considering her good nature, nurturing character and 3 private houses, I started calling her "gan ma" or god mother. A while later, everyone in the department started following me to call her "gan ma". But "gan ma" was emo yesterday, as she sighed and said, "Everyone call me 'gan ma', but when i am old and leave this world, no one will come to see me... no one except Ah Tong!!!". It was a touching moment. I was not there, but everyone else was surprised at the comment. Until she added, "He will come and see if he has any share in the will for the private house". Wahahahahahaha!! I got so "sian si" meh? hmm... hahaha

So Random a Day...

Today was like a random day... perhaps it was Monday, but I guess it was just more random than it used to be...

1) Was supposed to attend an online course in the company, but found out that it was redundant to do the assessment..
2) New buddy came back from reservist 'YAAY!', new pseudo boss came back from study trip 'yaay'...
3) Questions kept popping up from everyone and anyone... from how to log in a system, to what to key in... to where to find stuff... to what should they write... to how they should respond... when I myself dunno what I am doing..
4) Was waiting for an important mail, but my computer caught a trojan-virus!!! from opening a file entitled "tower crane assessment.doc"!!
5) PC was repaired, but the IT guy had to quarantine it overnight... to make sure it was virus free... I wonder which song he is extracting from my song folder now..
6) Delivered rice to the elderly, with one less papaya, as there was a new applicant that just signed on. Felt bad hanging the rice on the door for one uncle.. cos he gave us the 'hang it there sign, followed by the go away faster sign'...
7) Had char kuey tiao for lunch, cos the pork rib hor fun store was on leave... cos there is kuey tiao in hor fun..
8) Had a fruitful discussion on something I am not doing and not going to bother to do during tea.. which I had kopi-c instead...
9) Bought macarons to eat... when I dun like macarons
10) Had one colleague say "I dun know anything"... another say "I know everything, but I dun know how to apply anything"... and me saying "I know everything, and I can apply everything, but dunno how to score point!!" wahahaha..

Dem random rite?

OK... attempt one...lost..

Tried making macarons...ya...that's what it was supposed to be.. but as u can see... fail!! wahahhaa...

Ok we learnt something though... whisk the egg whites longer... much much longer... and dun add too much icing sugar!!

It does taste like macarons though, just over sweetened... and esthetically not too pleasing..

:)

Holiday!!

Took a half day off just to have a break.. had to go to site in the morning, ended up being so beat and finishing at 1pm, I ended up on bed snoozing instead. But oh well, just knowing that everyone else was working and I was sleeping made me 'haha' that the half day was worth it. All's not lost though, we ended up singing k for 4 hrs!! at Clementi K-Box.. I left my pinyin book in the bag and the bag in the office!! But there's always those staple ones I could still remember..
Oh well, think I should keep it in my pocket instead of the bag... much safer, in case... :P

Fright Night...

We had dinner with my cousin and her bf, along with my sister and her family. Dinner was good, had a good chat, and then we were on our way. Half way driving back, we decided to go over to Bukit Batok to catch the latest Rainie Yang horror movie.
When we reached there, there was this fat Indian lady and her bf in the lift, and I jokingly said, "no way they are watching Rainie Yang". We got off and went to the ticket queue. The fat Indian lady (u aredy know I dun like her from this description) saw me going to the queue and wanted to stomp her way to the front faster than me. There was no way at all that her 5 steps could've beaten my one step, as I was already in the queue, but she somehow thought I would flinch and panic and make way for her gargantuan size, but I just stood my ground. I could sense her cursing away, but please, there is no one else there, wait 1 minute wont kill la, and I came first le.
We got the tickets and decided to smuggle some cookies into the cinema. We bought coke from the cinema stand though, but they dun sell cookies. So I had like these two packs of warm sensation in both my bermuda pockets.
How was the show? There were a couple of instances that were quite scary, like a) smuggling the cookies into the cinema b) noticing that there were more than 1 Indian couple in the cinema! c) seeing the fat Indian lady and her bf sitting in the same row as us! d) wondering if the fat Indian lady would take revenge when the lights were dimmed. Other than that, it was basically a mediocre excuse for a horror flick.
If I was Rainie Yang, I would've declined the script. Too bad I am not.
When the show started, I realised that the name had something to do with my surname! Ah Tong's eyes! Then, having high hopes of the film, I ended up seeing cheap copies of different shows. It starts of with the end of "The Eye" with scenes of riots and traffic jams, proceeded with a cross between "Psycho" (u know, Bates Motel?) and "Six Sense" with three kids that can see ghosts and a scary hotel, "Ju On" with the creature moving backwards, and the greenish ghost lady appearing, "Master Wong vs Master Wong" with the guy spitting out his tongue, "Anubis" with the dog faced human bodied creature, "Ren Rou Cha Shao Bao" with the guy cutting char siu, "Harry Potter" with the paper world, and many many more. Maybe the guy who wrote the script just happened to see many movies the night before he wrote it. The head and tail of the movie just doesn't gel! The guys in front of my seat were actually sleeping. And when the music became loud, they woke up. The end of the show was an anti climax. I was thinking Rainie will give birth to a dog headed creature, but that diden happen. I was hoping that the ghost would appear in the car in the end, but there was a crash sound and nothing else. I was so sure that the guy was cutting up the little girl with the dog, but he was really just cutting char siu.
If you like horror, this is simply not the show u would like to see. The queue at M1 was far far more scary than the movie. Next time, if they make such $#%$@# movies, dun use my surname la. "Detective Dee" and "Resident Evil" was soooo much better, not great but better.

  

Chocolate...

Sinful... haha.. who cares about cholesterol.. happy can le...die also die happy.. hahaha
Some Max Brunner thing in Vivo... which sells everything chocolate... had fondue and frappe.. yumm..


Keppel Bak Kut Teh...

My favourite pepper type bak kut teh!!... ya went there again..haha.. think if u go there often enough, u might bump into me!! haha.. Everytime you finish the soup, they top it up, even when you no longer have rice or bak kut. Think it's like their KPI. I had like 3 bowls of soup... last half bowl cannot enter le...



Sushi at Sunset Way

Went to Tenza Izakawa again..

Someone made a comment that this is becoming a food blog.. someone else even gave a suggestion that I should start rating the food... wat the... Dun care la... this is MY blog... I can post any thing I want here..haha






Unmotivated..

Feel so unmotivated and demoralised today. Think it's accumulation of bad feelings and terrible luck over the past few weeks. Didn't really do well for the exam, think it's as good as a fail. Finished the exam, got no rest and had to prepare to speak at a seminar. Finished the seminar, thinking my boss will give me a pat on the back, and all I got was a "U spoke too fast". Went back to work, and started clearing as many things as possible, and help resolve as many problems as I could. Skipped lunch a few times, just to get things done. Presented again at a department meeting, and instead of words of encouragement, I get a "U r wrong" at the end of the presentation. I just don't get it. While other people's bosses push their staff up and give them accolades for the smallest things they do, I do dem hell a lot and get things settled for them, and all I get is sarcasm. The seminar guys said to me, "good job" and the moderator said "u made things interesting". After the meeting, some colleagues told me "good presentation" and "well done", but the one guy I am working for tells me I suck. Reality really bites. It's getting tiring, and after being told that I don't stand a chance to be promoted 10 yrs down the line, I really don't understand how I can still stay in an organisation like this. At least the big boss comes over and tells me he knows I worked hard to get the report done for him and the committee running for him for 2 years in a row. It's not gonna make a difference in my career, they just think I can work and I am good at clearing shit. But when it comes to accolades, people who know how to lick boots always end up performing better. Wonder why people are like this. I want to leave to another branch and they refuse to let me. I want to stay and they make life suck for me. Think I really should consider leaving.  

Some ppl like me... Wear tie also look like farmer..

Almost fall asleep.. during seminar... tiu lian, guest speaker sleepy..wahaha


Bud among the roots... yep... in this situation, I am considered bud, cos everyone older than me by at least 10 yrs...at least..



Look like political speaker rite?? wahaha... can become PAP or MCA rep liao.. hee... but look fat la...dem must diet liao..

Theatre..




You wont believe it. I actually went to see the "Hossan Leong Show" at NLB!!! But have to admit, it wasn't half as bad as I expected. His beginning stand-up was admirable. I was thinking, there is no way I can make it as a comedian. To just spew out joke after joke for even 10 minutes is a chore, much less do it for half an hour???

And there was this part with two surgeons, a Surgeon and a TCM doctor, that was just hilarious. Really good comedy. Not to mention another segment on foreign workers, one China, one Bangladeshi, one Malaysian and one Phillipino. Truthfully, I thought that they should've been less politically correct, being too polite just made things a bit less funny than it should be.

But the remaining parts were kinda lame. If they had kept to the same pace as the first 30 mins, I would've applauded the performance 100%. But the script kinda dwindled from there, and the remaining bits on peranakan food preparation, civil service, mascots and over-emphasis on the flooding just killed the performance.

Not bad if u want to do something different. But I personally wont go for this show a second time.

Resident Evil: Afterlife...

Just caught this... It's like the show never ends... resurrection.. extinction... afterlife... then what? rebirth... born again... refreshment.. maintenance.. growth?? Haha...

The show is ok, if u dun mind looking at Milla Jovovich fighting monstrous stuff. But I have to say that this is not half as good as the previous one.. and I do have a few gripes:
No.1, the Astaroth wannabe guy below, holding the big axe.. gets killed by a couple of bullets made of coins??? and by a pseudo character? Instead of the main character?
No.2, the bad guy, doesn't fight Alice much, but fight the sister brother combo? Pls, they dun have the T virus, or any ability... and as I recall in the beginning, so doesn't Alice. And he doesn't grow into a telepathic entity with supernatural abilities?
No. 3, I was hoping for like millions of Alice's from the previous Extinction movie to come out and fight millions of undead.. but they all die in one facility??? crap..
No. 4, the bad guy killing himself with the self destruct mechanism was cool... but the ending, where tons of flying jets come in, and some ugly female announcing that it was war... and announcing the brother sister and Alice's threat... that's just yucky..

Think they should have left it at entinction, and not made this sequel until they are ready for it...


Ramen and Desert...





Letter from NTU President to Alumni - Interesting..

Dear alumni,

In the last week, my colleagues and I have received emails and letters of concern and outrage from students and our alumni about recent media stories saying NTU has dropped 101 places in university rankings.

The NTU community is understandably upset, confused and alarmed and is right in asking what the NTU leadership is doing about this. As NTU’s President, I can understand your feelings and realise how our hard work and efforts in recent years to build NTU’s reputation have been damaged by these media reports.

Let me state categorically that NTU did NOT drop 101 places in university ranking.

This misperception came about because in The Straits Times article (17 Sep 2010), the results of two ranking systems based on entirely different methodologies were erroneously compared and highlighted in the headlines and opening paragraph.

To set the record straight, I wrote a 900-word commentary in Monday’s issue of The Straits Times (attached here) so the public and the NTU community can have the right perspective with which to view the rankings of universities, We initially wanted to address the concerns in The Straits Times’ Forum page but as there is a strict enforcement of space on that page which would have limited our explanation of such a complex issue thoroughly, I chose to write an editorial piece in The Straits Times’ Review page instead.

At the same time, NTU also sent letters signed by me to Lianhe Zaobao and Berita Harian explaining why their media stories which had mentioned that NTU had dropped in university rankings were incorrect, Let me give you some background to the rankings here so you can make your own intelligent conclusions.

Since 2004, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education (Times), two commercial organisations, had been collaborating on the Times Higher Education-Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. From this year, they parted ways and now produce their own separate university rankings.

The QS World University Ranking was released on 8 Sep 2010, The results of that ranking, where NTU came in 74th and NUS, 31st (both down by one position from 2009) were published in Lianhe Zaobao and TODAY, but not in the Straits Times. QS 2010 continued with the same methodology it had used since 2004 when it had partnered Times.

Times, together with their new partner, Thomson Reuters, designed a completely different methodology. They lean towards classical research parameters that advantages older, more established universities. The five areas measured include Citations (32.5%), Research (30%), Teaching* (30%), International Mix (5%) and Industry Income (2.5%). This ranking was released a week after QS 2010.

All that is fine, except when results from the two rankings based on different methodologies are compared. Doing that is highly erroneous because as I had written in The Straits Times’ commentary, it is like comparing apples with durians.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you are the top student in your school. But you emerged in the 200th place in the school’s debating contest. Does that mean you have dropped 199 places? There’s really no comparison at all.

The importance of not making comparisons between the two was stressed by Times’ rankings editor Phil Baty and reported in The Straits Times story: “Any movement up or down the ranking table cannot be seen as a change in performance by an individual country or institution, and it’s not relevant to make comparisons.”

Despite that, The Straits Times made that comparison in the headline and opening paragraph and said that NTU had plunged 101 places in ranking.

Many world-renowned universities have responded to the Times rankings, highlighting some bizarre results and advising the public to take the rankings with “a truckload of salt”. I attach below some hyperlinks to these articles so you can have a better idea of what the international university community is debating about on this matter.

Internationally, the QS 2010 Ranking is the more established of the two. University rankings don’t tumble overnight like stock prices. It takes years to build a university; so its standing does not swing wildly in a year or two. In the QS ranking, both NTU and NUS were both down by one position from last year. The performance of both universities has been consistent over the last four years and this shows the stability of the QS ranking.

On the other hand, Times’ 2010 rankings is entirely new and its criteria have yet to be accepted. A detailed analysis shows it is 88 per cent computed from research-related indicators and being retrospective, it favours the more established universities with longer histories in research.

For example, as the citations are for 2004-2008 and given that it typically takes 10 years or more from the time one starts on a research, gets it published to the time citations build up for that research project, this parameter is in effect measuring the performance of NTU and that of the other universities from as far back as 1995.

Although the roots of this university go back to 55 years ago, NTU really started as a practice-oriented, teaching university only in 1991. We ramped up our research intensity more recently, accelerating from 2006. In the past five years, NTU has been awarded $887 million in external competitive research grants. It will, however, take many years for NTU’s research efforts to make an impact in rankings such as Times’ that have retrospective parameters.

Despite that, NTU today is widely seen internationally as one of the fastest rising universities in the world. In fact, considering that we started out only in 1991, NTU is the youngest university in the Top 100 universities ranked in the QS 2010.

We are currently starting on a branding exercise for NTU and our position in the established QS ranking will be one of the pillars of NTU’s branding.

The NTU leadership is confident that we will continue to make great strides and that we will realise our potential to be a great global university. This is not empty talk but stems from the confidence bestowed on us by our world-class faculty and partners, our students, our alumni and their employers.

You would probably have read about our plans to partner Imperial College London, ranked among the top five universities in the world to set up Singapore’s third medical school.

The results of our good work may not be immediately captured in rankings such as Times'. But our students know the immediate benefits of our world-class facilities and being taught by outstanding faculty.

For example, Nanyang Business School’s MBA programme has consistently been ranked in the world’s top 30 by Financial Times and achieved its best score of 69th place worldwide in the annual ranking by The Economist this year, up two places from last year. The two use different methodologies but NBS’ performance in both rankings has been consistent. The NBS’ programme has been the number one MBA programme in Singapore for several years already and is regularly placed among the top four in Asia-Pacific.

Today, NTU is the choice university for the majority of young international researchers awarded scholarships by the National Research Foundation. In the recent L’OrĂ©al Singapore for Women in Science National Fellowships 2010, NTU’s women scientists were awarded two of the three fellowships.

In last month’s Crowbar Awards, an international award for students to showcase their creative talents, NTU made a clean sweep of the Best of Categories and Best of Show awards despite stiff competition from 39 schools worldwide. In this year’s F1 Race held in Singapore, our engineering students, whose solar car took top spot in the inaugural Singapore Green One eco-car race, won the privilege of being the curtain raiser in this international race.

As I said in The Straits Times article, not many Singaporeans realise that in the more established QS World University Rankings, Singapore has two universities in the Top 100 universities worldwide. Aside from Switzerland, Singapore is the only other small country to have achieved this feat.

Besides cheering our sister university NUS on, all of us at NTU can hold our heads high. There are 14,000 universities worldwide and NTU is clearly within the world’s top 1% of universities.

PRESIDENT
NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

Exams are over!!!

Yaay!! Finish le!! Yaay!

But @#$#$@$^%$^%# today have to wear tie and do some %$#%$## presentation in front of 200+ ppl again... dammit.. shirt and tie la, not just tie..

Nasi Padang at Central

Some Rendezvous Hotel nasi padang got shifted from the hotel to Central. Ok la, can eat, but not to say fantastic. I think ppl only go there cos it has a good branding. But the price is a bit ex le. Heh.