US Election 2016

[Click on picture to go to BBC website and their live coverage on the election.]

Yesterday, the social media was flooded with posts about the US Election - posts reporting on the vote counting progress, posts reporting the final result and posts about the analysis of the result. Many expressed that they cannot believe the jaw-dropping outcome. Yap, me too. I hardly see any positive comments, except for those that try to make sense of all this by suggesting that the angry working class had voted in hope for a change.

For months, the media featured the outrageous things that he said during his campaigns and portrayed him as a lunatic. I still think he is crazy to be so extreme and demeaning in his speeches. And I don't like the way he said Singapore (and some other countries) are stealing their jobs. Come on, we are all trying to survive as a Nation and it is seriously not very nice to label others as "thieves"!

In the early part of the vote counting, he was already in the lead. Even before the winner was confirm, Canada’s immigration website crashed. It was later suggested that it could purely be coincidental, but well... we'll never know. And now, California wants to leave the US (#Calexit) and they could potentially become the world's sixth-largest economy.

Although his victory caught everyone by surprise, there are people who think that he would actually win this election. One of them is Hollywood director Michael Moore who listed 5 reasons for his prediction in July.

[Click on picture to go to article.]

Now that he is the US president, let's take a look at his to-do list by BBC and by Straits Times, compiled based on his campaign speeches. There seems to be a depression forecast of what is to come in the next 4 years. Looks like this super-power is not going to care about the well-being of the rest of the world. So really, what exactly is the change that the Americans are expecting?

[Click on picture to go to article.]

I must say that I am extremely glad that I am not doing my internship in US in this era. The situation now is just way too unpredictable.

Escher's World of Wonder

There was a period of time when his optical illusion artworks were shared by many on Facebook. Most of us would have been fascinated by his drawings but may not know the artist behind those images. Scroll down below and you would find some familiar art pieces. The man who drew them was Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 - 1972). To showcase his many amazing creations, ArtScience Museum has put together an exhibition: Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder.

Early Works: Art Nouveau and Nature

Significant moments in the life of Escher

Visitors gathering around to admire Escher's early works

A closer look at some of his drawings

Escher's landscape drawings

Lithograph (1931) of Atrani (Coast of Amalfi) - the place he met his wife

Escher made used of repeated geometrical shapes to create tessellation prints.

Regular Division of the Plane with Birds, No. 95 (Watercolour and ink, 1955)

Regular Division of the Plane I (Woodcut, 1957)

Tessellation Puzzle Activity located at the back of the exhibition hall

Gradual transformation of tessellation from one shape to another.

A section of Metamorphosis II (Woodcut, 1939 - 1940)

Day and Night (Woodcut, 1938)

Hand with Reflecting Sphere (Lithograph, 1935)
Is he holding the glass sphere with his left hand (foreground) or right hand (reflection)?

Commercial Works
Escher's commissioned artworks include postage stamps, concert programme cover and even a icosahedron tin box.

Exploring the Infinity

"Are you sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?"

Möbius Strip II (Woodcut, 1963)
The ants can never fall off the paper as they crawl along an infinite loop.

Ascending and Descending (Lithograph, 1960)
People walking in an endless looping stairs, not actually making progress up/down. Perhaps, this is the depressing reality that sometimes life is as such.

Tetrahedral Planetoid (Woodcut, 1954)

Print Gallery. Left: Lithograph (1956). Right: Digital Print (2003)
Escher left it blank in the center of his art piece (left picture).
It took a team of mathematicians to fill in the blank (right picture).

Escher's final piece of artwork - Snakes (Woodcut, 1969)
The art piece starts with small rings in the center, building up to big rings outward, then back to small rings along the circumference. " to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust..."

Escher Mania

LP record covers

Comics covers

The Pokémon Madness

On 06 August 2016, I woke up to WhatsApp messages from a few groups of friends about the release of Pokémon GO in Singapore. We can finally play the game here! Even though, the world is already familiar with reports about crazy things that people did while playing the game, the majority still looking forward to the availability of this game in the region they live in.

KB and I wasted no time and downloaded the game immediately, while having our breakfast. After catching our first Pokémon on our dining table, we waited eagerly for the next one to appear. It was only later in the day then we realise that there is a way to catch Pikachu as the first Pokémon!

We are lucky enough to be able to reach a PokéStop without leaving our house. Even our workplaces are planted with several PokéStop and Gyms.

Some of the first few Pokémon I catch at my desk

Over the second weekend since the launch of the game, we decided to drop-by at the famous 401 Hougang Avenue 10. Indeed, the playground in the center of HDB blocks has been conquered by Pokémon trainers, even on a hot (fortunately cloudy) afternoon. In just that few minutes there, KB and I caught quite a number of Magikarp, although still not enough to collect that 400 candies required for the evolution into the very-much-sought-after Gyarados.

At the playground of 401 Hougang Avenue 10

After Hougang, we went over to ION Orchard, where KB's friends were "hunting" at, because the mall management had announced that they are releasing lures. Well, I didn't manage to add any new Pokémon to my Pokédex.

After 7 days, I accumulated plenty of Pokémon and candies to do many evolves. As evolving Pokémon gives the most XP (500 XP per evolve), I opt to activate my Lucky Egg and use the 30 minutes to do as many evolves as I can. The result: I managed to evolve 54 Pokémon, out of which 13 new ones are registered to my Pokédex. Each new Pokémon gives another 500 XP. The math: (500 XP * 54 evolves + 500 XP * 13 new Pokémon) * 2 = 67,000 XP. Tip from me: I kept quite a number of Caterpie, Weedle, Pidgey and Rattata to evolve because they appear everywhere and only required small amount of candies.

The most exciting evolution at this point in my game is the evolving of cute Eevee. I reserved the highest CP Eevee for Vaporeon as it is deemed as the most powerful of the three. Although I've read about IV (individual values), it is way too complicated for me, so I'm sticking to just keeping the one with the highest CP. IV basically suggest that highest CP does not mean that it is the best Pokémon for battle (comparing between the same type of Pokémon).

Rename to "Rainer" to get Vaporeon

Rename to "Pyro" to get Flareon

Rename to "Sparky" to get Jolteon

KB and I also visited Chinese Garden to try to catch some rare Pokémon. We expected that there will be people there, but didn't think that it was be so crowded that even the road-side parking will be full.

Plenty of lures in Chinese Garden

Towards the end, I got quite bored of catching the same Pokémon, I started taking photos of them instead. Still no luck for me.

And for the record, I have yet to catch any Pikachu.

PaperMarket SG51 Paper Terrarium Workshop

This is how KB and I spent our Saturday afternoon to celebrate SG51 National Day - at PaperMarket's 'This is Home' workshop.

Items provided at the workshop

We started with a lot of cutting

This is the center-piece which is to be folded and glued into a 3D HDB block.

The final step is to assemble and glue all the pieces together.

My final product

Quilling Workshop

The first time I encountered paper quilling was through a post on Facebook that introduced Sabeena's paperart on Instagram. It seems like quilling art had been around for a very long time, and it's gaining popularity in recent years.

My first quilling workshop (beginner class) was taught by Priyanka. All these materials were provided and the tools (slotted tool and circle stencil) have to be returned at the end of the lesson.

These quilling papers were provided.

First, tear the long strip of paper into half. Then, use the slotted tool to roll the paper. Place the rolled paper into the circle stencil to achieve the correct diameter, so that all the flower petals will be of a consistent size. Finally, glue the end of the paper strip and pinch it to get a teardrop shape.

Assemble six petals and we get a flower.

My quilling photo frame (which took me almost 2 hours to make)