Saturday, December 20, 2014

How could the rats problem only happened a month ago?

I normally do not take notice of such news but one comment made by the residents there made me sit up and take notice. The resident said that the rats only became a problem one month ago. That's ridiculous.

Rats normally take 20-25 days to give birth to a litter. More than 140 rodents have been caught as of Saturday night, and is still increasing. How could it be that the issue only happened last month?

What does this prove? This has happened for a long time and no one did anything about it. Meanwhile, the focus was only grass cutting and grass growing longer at one side of the road than the other. Isn't that weird?

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Life is what you make it

I quote from Marilyn Monroe:
“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them - actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soulmate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn't mean you're gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.”

Monday, December 15, 2014

Lightning is the next energy source?

Many many years ago, I have written in a forum about solar panels on HDB rooftops to help power some of the energy used in the daytime. Now that this has come to pass, I have recently thought about another energy source that is untapped... Lightning.

Lightning has the power to spark wildfires and kill, and climate change may lead to 50 per cent more of it by century's end. In Singapore, there are times where we have terrific lightning storms or lightning displays without thunder. Why can't we harness this energy to power our appliances?

Even for solar energy, many are trying to find a way to store the power during the day so that it could be used at night. Why can't the batteries be used to store the electrical charge from lightning so that it could be distributed out?

So now the next step forward is no longer about catching the energy from renewable resources. It's about what do you do with the energy after catching it. Once we crack this code, the energy that we consume can finally be self sustaining.

Don't you think so?

Friday, December 12, 2014

What is Stress?

I quote from Andrew Bernstein:
Stress is a byproduct of subconscious beliefs you have about the world. You can't choose not to believe something. You believe it because you think it's true. To eliminate stress, you must learn to challenge these beliefs so that you see them differently. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

A case of design over function?

Seems a bit too late for commenting on our National Stadium pitch, but all along when I read about the initial problems facing the pitch, only one thought is in my mind. It seems like it is a classic case of design over function.

In my line of work, I have corresponded with some interior designers and I've encountered similar situations. Do note that I'm not sterotyping but I have encountered more than once designers putting design aspects over functional or operational requirements, and giving the standard one liner that technology is so advanced now I'm sure you can resolve it. Seriously... If technology is so advanced right now, I do not need a car to get to work. I could "teleport" to my workplace immediately.

If those people that are in-charge of the operational and functional aspects of the solution did not say their piece, then in the end, they will realise that the designers have "sold" the idea of the "awesome looking" design to the senior management, leaving you to wonder how on earth the thing will work in that design.

The skill of the subject matter expert may be an issue here but seriously, anyone with common sense knows that if real grass is often trampled upon, it will not grow. Look at those soccer fields in schools. Look at those well trampled pathways along fields that are shortcuts to places where people always go. It's everywhere. I'm not sure how on earth they ever thought that grass that is being trampled almost every week will look great for those important events.

Not only that, looking at the design of the stadium, the stadium is not even fully open-air. How could plants grow in that kind of situation? Isn't that Science 101?

I don't need a degree for that. All I need is to apply simple common sense.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Live forward

I quote from Soren Kierkegaard:
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Don't always look backwards in life because your life can only move forward. Therefore, live forward.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Taxi issue is also due to the taxi company

Recently I have realised that the focus has always been on the taxi drivers when we talk about availability of taxis. This to me is weird is because there are always 2 sides of the coin. Why only target the taxi drivers?

Look from the taxi drivers' perspective.
  1. They have to pay rent to the taxi companies.
  2. They have to pay for diesel regardless if they have passengers or not, and 
  3. They are forced to travel at least 250km daily even though Singapore is only even though Singapore is only 50km x 26km. 

Why are the taxi companies not going something about the taxi utilisation? That's because their job is to buy taxis and rent out to taxi drivers. Does it matter to them that they are hogging up the roads with many un-utilised taxis, or the livelihood of the taxi drivers as long as they get their rentals? I do not know.

The drivers should not be the only one penalised for this rule. The taxi companies should be ultimately responsible because the simple fact is that the taxis belong to the company.

If you need more taxis during peak periods, why don't you reduce the rental during that period so that more drivers are willing to drive during those periods?

If you need more taxis to have 2 shift periods, you can also reduce the rental if a taxi is shared by 2 or more drivers so that the taxi becomes well utilised.

All this is possible, but is the taxi company willing to do it? Not likely because it will affect their revenue. Unless... ...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Defined by your response to situations

I quote from David Stern:
You will ultimately be defined by the sum total of your responses to circumstances, situations and events that you probably couldn't anticipate and indeed probably couldn't even imagine. So just keep your eyes on the course and be ready to move in different directions depending upon the crises and opportunities with which you are faced. 

You are defined by your responses to situations. That's the fact. If you choose not to act upon it even though you can, you're responsible for your own actions.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

inflation is up 0.1%

These are the Singapore inflation rates for 2014:
January: 1.4%
February: 0.4%
March: 1.2%
April: 2.5%
May: 2.7%
June: 1.8% 
July: 1.2%
August: 0.9%
September: 0.6%
October: 0.1%

Both Food and Education & Stationery inflation again rose by 2.8% and 2.7% respectively year on year. Transport inflation trend continued from last month, going down by 0.5% in comparison to last month. Housing inflation has also dropped 1.7%, more than expected.

Food inflation remained high, with all the food prices rising compared to last month. Due to the housing and transport inflation downtrend, the inflation has continued the downward trend. However, due to the high base last year, inflation looks mild.

As previously mentioned, I'm not surprised if the average inflation for 2014 drops below 1% year on year.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Reason for SGX low volumes

Personally, I think the reason for SGX low volumes is very simple. They seem to be cutting operational costs on things that matter!

Why I say this is very simple. Long long time ago, you're able to bookmark certain counters in SGX if you're interested in it. Then guess what? Instead of encouraging this, SGX banned this by changing their website technology to DHTML, so that you're not able to bookmark the counters.

At that time, I thought it was ridiculous that they did it. When they saw interest in certain behaviour, instead of encouraging the interest, they look at it from the money looking glass and choose to prohibit it, most probably due to the increase of operational cost to cater for the extra load.

So after changing it to DHTML so that we're unable to bookmark the counters, they made another ridiculous very recently. They are redirecting all non-ETF counters details to another page that shows a lot of information, but not the critical information I was looking for, the financial statements/announcements and the relevant links. Now it is very difficult to get financial announcements information and the related attachments. And guess what? ETFs still redirect to the previous link. Why the difference? I've no idea. I've also totally no interest in what they are showing because this doesn't show the full story. The news section also do not show all the announcements related to a counter. The financial results have the details I need. In fact, I rather they change the ETF counters because usually I don't read the ETF details. They went the other way around.

If you track the timing of the low volumes, it's tied to operational changes to their website. The less they invest in their website, the lower their volumes. The volumes are going to get lower because investors are going to be freaking irritated by the ridiculous changes made to SGX. They are removing the accessibility of information that we need.

Sometimes I wonder... Does SGX know exactly what visitors to their website need? They seem to be taking away information that most investors need. Very soon, no one will be investing in any counters in Singapore because it's so &*^@&*@ difficult to get information.


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