Sunday, October 31, 2010

Make a trip to the Singapore Philatelic Museum

Fans of Iron Man may like this. A week ago, I visited the Singapore Philatelic Museum. Honestly speaking, I have had not much clue who Iron Man was. The wonderful thing about visiting a museum is that one gets to learn about new things. At the exhibition, Iron Man CollARTible exhibition, which is held at the Singapore Philatelic Museum from 9 Oct 2010 - 21 Nov 2010, visitors not only see unique figurines of Iron Man but also learn about Iron Man.

I learnt from this exhibition that the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee were the two people who developed the idea for Iron Man. However, it was Don Heck who did most of the finished artwork for Iron Man. I have found out that the plot and dialogue for the first appearance of Iron Man was written by Stan's brother, Larry Lieber. It seemed that a number of people worked together to co-create Iron Man.

This exhibition also traced the development of Iron Man. I suppose Iron Man fans may enjoy viewing some rare Iron Man comics on loan from collectors.

The exhibition may be comparatively small. Yet I observed that many visitors were having a pretty good time taking photos of the exhibits, and reminiscing their passion for Iron Man.

If you are a fan of Iron Man, or have an interest in Marvel Comics, make time for this exhibition before it ends on 21 Nov 2010.

Iron Man CollARTible Exhibition
Singapore Philatelic Musuem
23-B Coleman Street
Singapore 179807

Admission: $5 per adult.

I ask

The daily toils
Brings pleasure and pain
Being mortal
Means one faces life and finally death

When vulnerability sets in
My heart yearns for hope
Yet the soul is still healing from the wounds
Needing to tolerate imperfections and trials

I ask
Be tender
Be loving
Be that vessel that contains
The broken me

So that
The wounds could heal
From the comfort of your care
And the respite from the storms

Footnote: I am in the mood for writing poetry of late, to explore the human conditions. Let me know if you like the poems.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

One new thing today

Trailer from

In the hope to live a slightly more interesting life and to experience new things in my life, I decided to consciously make time to do new things. Many thanks to dear JY for her suggestion, I watched a movie which was screened in conjunction with the Korean Festival 2010 earlier this afternoon.

It was a new thing since it was my first time watching a movie that was held in conjunction with the Korean Film Festival. The movie was in Korean language. Furthermore, I hardly watched movie. The last that I had watched was "Precious". That movie was pretty heavy given its storyline and themes.

Back to the movie that I had watched this afternoon, it was titled Jeon Woo Chi: The Taoist Wizard. The synopsis is as follow:

500 Years Ago in the Chosun Dynasty. The Pipe of the prophecy has fallen into the evil hands of the goblins, propelling the world into a whirlwind of disorder. The ancient Taoist wizards turn to the greatest ascetics of their time, the Master and Hwadam for help in vanquishing the goblins and trust each wizard with one half of the Pipe.

Meanwhile, the Master’s rascal student Woochi tricks the king with the art of transformation and creates a fiasco, which makes the three Taoist wizards and Hwadam visit the Master. But the Master has been murdered and his half of the Pipe is missing! By taking his master’s pipe out to the market streets, Woochi has been pushed into a corner, ultimately getting sealed into a painting along with his trusty dog, Chorangyi. (Click here to view source.)

I like the pretty imaginative twists in the movie. The movie gave me the chance to have a sense of the Korean's sense of humour and imagination. An action-based fantasy movie indeed. Many thanks to dear JY for her thoughtful company and for getting the tickets.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The deepest dreams

Look ahead!
Imagine what the future beholds
And yet
What ambitions do I have?

Lots of it
Perhaps too much
Becoming confusing
Uncertain which is the one to hold dear

Would the heart guide?
Then I ask
For silence and solitude
Please allow me to hear clearly
My heart's deepest dreams.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It starts with a single step

The steep cliffs
The tall mountains
Awes me
Inspires me
The beauty

Remember such a sight
Would not have been possible
If not for the courage to start the journey
And the determination to get to destined point

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The story that had started 1931 years ago

Time winds back to 1931 years ago,the volcano Mount Vesuvius erupted on 24 August 79 CE. This event destroyed and completely buried a number of the nearby Roman towns, including Pompeii.

Destroyed and completed buried, we would have thought that Pompeii would be forgotten forever. However, that was not the case. The effects of the volcanic eruptions that had destroyed Pompeii in 79 CE  had ironically preserved Pompeii for centuries. The buried towns were only rediscovered in the 18th century.

From this exhibition, I learnt that the people of Pompeii adore their gardens. What have stuck in my mind were: Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, Plinian eruptions, frescoes, gardens, volcanic ashes and carbonised food. If I put them together, these themes do tell a story.

My favourite sections of the exhibition were: Pliny's Eyewitness Account, the film titled "The Final Hours", garden, volcanology, the documentary titled "The Next Pompeii?", Archaelogy and Reference, and the Children's interactive space. I also like the multimedia station that allowed me to make a virtual tour of the specific sites in the unearthed city of Pompeii.

There is a very good coverage of this exhibition on Please read Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79 CE Media Preview.

This is a very affordable and educational exhibition for anyone in Singapore who would like to have a glimpse of the ancient Roman town of Pompeii and its neighbouring towns. Do make time to visit it and learn about the destructive nature of a plinian eruption and about the ancient Roman town of Pompeii.

A visit to a museum can often be inspiring. After my visit to the exhibition, I have an urge to visit the unearthed Roman town of Pompeii some day in my lifetime. May this wish be realised soon.


Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79CE
Presented by National Museum of Singapore and organised by Soprintendenza Speciale per i beni Archelologici di Napoli e Pompei and Melbourne Museum.

16 Oct 2010 - 23 Jan 2011
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (last entry 5.30pm)
National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road
Singapore 178897
Exhibition Galleries 1 & 2, Basement
$12 (incl. handling fee)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pressing on

The void
The darkness
The edge
The pang and vulnerability
And yet what force is it
That consumes
That beckons one forward
To stay alive
Against the odds?


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The message

Speak and hum to the river.
The waves, the vibrations,
Are poetic messengers
Of the life in one's voice.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Experience ancient Roman music in Singapore

This afternoon, I nudged myself to the National Museum of Singapore despite a weather and a health that would welcome improvement. It is the first official day that the exhibition, Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79 CE, was opened for public viewing.

Pompeii is a partly buried ancient Roman Town located near what we now know as Naples, Italy. Visitors cannot know Pompeii until they get introduced to Mount Vesuvius and its eruption in 79 CE. That very year, a plinian eruption, which was very explosive and destructive in nature, took place at Mount Vesuvius. Ironically, the effects of the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE that had destroyed the town of Pompeii, were the same elements that had preserved much of Pompeii for modern eyes to see. Enough about this exhibition, it will be held from 16 Oct - 23 Jan 2010 at the Exhibition Galleries, Basement of the National Museum of Singapore. Admission fee is $12 per adult.

In conjunction with the above-mentioned exhibition, a performance titled "E Tempore Emergo" by Ludi Scaenici (Italy) will be held on 16 and 17 Oct 2010, at 2 p.m. and at 4 p.m. at the exhibition galleries. Ludi Scaenici, meaning "scenic shows" is based in Rome. This group dedicates itself to the research and performance of music and dance of the Ancient Rome.

Thank goodness. I visited the exhibition at the right time and that meant I could catch a free performance of music and dance of Ancient Rome in addition to catching the exhibition. I was pretty intrigued by some of the instruments. Two of the instruments were the predecessors of modern trumpet and horn respectively. The soundscapes of music of Ancient Rome also felt refreshing to my ears. The dancer also danced beautifully and with her heart and soul. I love it when I could enjoy a music and dance performance live! Many thanks to the National Museum of Singapore for inviting Ludi Scaenici to Singapore.

If you would like to catch Ludi Scaenici perform music and dance of Ancient Rome right here in Singapore, visit the exhibition, Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town 79 CE, tomorrow (i.e. 17 Oct 2010). The group will perform in the exhibition galleries at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The performance is free for ticket holders to the exhibition.

For now, here's a link the website of the group:


Read: Edward De Bono's Thinking Course

Author: Edward de Bono
Title: Edward De Bono's Thinking Course
Publisher: BBC Active (1996)
ISBN-10: 1-4066-1202-2

In the hope to strengthen my thinking muscles, I decided to pick up a copy of Edward De Bono's Thinking Course when I was visiting the library.

I read the book with the intention of exposing myself to various skills of thinking. Some of the strategies and skills were admittedly more challenging to understand than others. Overall, the language was still fairly accessible for the lay-person.

The one that stayed well in my mind was "The PMI" which stands for Plus, Minus and Interesting. The lateral thinking section also stimulated quite a bit of thinking on my end.

The decision making section approached the subject in a pretty brilliant way by discussing how values and priorites come into play. It also introduced various methods of making decisions. Here I list them:

The dice method
The easy-way-out method
The spell-out method
Buriden's ass method
The ideal solution method
The best home method
The "What if...?" method
The simple matrix method
The full matrix method
The laziness method
Decision post-frame
Emphasis on fit
The future

If any of these interests you, do find a copy of this book to read. The decision making section caught my attention in some ways since much of my work is to facilitate people to make informed decisions. At the same time, I make quite a lot of decisions on a daily basis.

I still need more deliberate efforts to practise the thinking skills proposed in this book. I suppose I could make time to read more books by Edward De Bono in the near future.

While doing a quick search for related programmes, I chanced upon this website of Edward de Bono Training Pte Ltd that is based in Singapore: I could consider this and I hope it is very affordable.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Peep into the former Supreme Court and City Hall building

I had the pleasure to visit the former Supreme Court and City Hall building for a couple of times the last weekend. These two buildings are two national monuments with rich history.

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure to watch a premiere screening of Victric Thng's Elegy for a Matron as well as the charming Hong Kong classic film Moon Over Malaya that was filmed in the 1950s in Singapore and Malaya. I was most fascinated when I caught glimpses of Clifford Pier and many parts of good old Singapore in the 1950s.

My other fascination was the milo van that dispenses milo beverage. Somehow, milo beverage from the milo van just simply taste extra good compared to the milo beverage that I mix and brew on my own. I wonder what was the secret behind the extra-tasty milo beverage from the milo van? 

I was on duty volunteering on 9 and 10 Oct 2010 so I did not get much chance to have a detailed tour of the City Hall and former Supreme Court building. Thankfully, as part of the volunteer training, I had the privilege to get a guided tour of the former Supreme Court building and the City Hall Chamber way before last weekend's Open House event. I marvelled at the large spaces of the former Supreme Court building. Admittedly, I have a liking for most buildings that were built before World War II.

Many thanks to the National Art Gallery Singapore for making the Open House possible. Due to popular demand, one can still visit and tour the former Supreme Court and City Hall building this weekend (16 and 17 Oct 2010). Self-guided tours are available for those who have yet to register, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Be prepared to head for these two national monuments this weekend, before they undergo transformation into the National Art Gallery Singapore.

For more information, please see:

Sunday, October 03, 2010

China 2010

Concluding, my trip to Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Xitang Water Town and of course, the World Expo 2010 was a trip that gave me a glimpse of China's rich heritage and history. I realised I have more to learn about the Chinese heritage and history. The trip has also allowed me to get a glimpse of the advanced progress that China has made. In fact, compared to Singapore, China indeed has a wealth of resources and talents.

It seemed that I personally prefer free-and-easy tours. Yet, group tours have their benefits as it minimises a lot of planning on my end.

For the convenience of browsing, here are all the related links on my 8-days tour to parts of China, namely Wuxi, Suzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. Thank you for joining me on this visual recall of my trip.

Snapshots from my visit to World Expo 2010 
What makes Germany Pavilion draw the crowd
The Singapore Pavilion
Some reflections on visiting World Expo 2010
Reaching Shanghai 
A day in Wuxi
The beautiful gardens of Suzhou
More of Suzhou
Nanjing, full of history
A bit more of Nanjing
A delicious lunch at Waipojia, Hangzhou
The Beautiful West Lake of Hangzhou
Longjing Tea Plantation
Dongpo meat and more
Xitang Water Town
The mesmerising Bund of Shanghai
A Visit to Shanghai World Financial Centre
Hong Zi Ji and more food
The visit to Madame Tussauds Shanghai
The evening near Chenghuang Temple
Qibao Old Town

In the meantime, I shall prepare for my wish to travel to Port Stephens and to Europe to materialise soon enough.