Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Worth It

In two days, the year ends and school begins again.

On the downside: strict teachers, homework mountains, surprise tests, Internal Assessments, Extended Essays, hour-long speeches, exams, counted exams, IB exams, projects, control, deadlines, oppression, inflexibility and the discouragement of creativity and individuality.

On the plus side: friends!

Yeah, I know. Totally worth it.
The Edna Man

Monday, December 29, 2008

You Are Not Designed For This World

You Are Not Designed For This World

"Thomas Leonardo Tan Chuang Xiang?"

The school counsellor eyed the tall boy over her horn-rimmed glasses. He was standing in front of her desk, arms behind his back, staring at the ground as though deep in thought. At the sound of his name his head jerked upwards.

"Sit down, please," said the school counsellor, indicating the chair in front of her desk.

As he took the seat, the years of counsellor experience kicked in. She noticed the grin on his face which made him look slightly aloof, as well as the relaxed seating posture, with a slight slouch off the back of the chair. He had clasped his hands together and spread his legs slightly apart, and instead of looking ashamedly at the floor or at the walls, he was looking at her with apprehension. Immediately, she knew that this one was going to give her some problems.

"You do know why you're here, don't you?" she asked. The first question was always the rhetorical guilt-checking one; standard protocol. Obviously, she expected him not to reply.

"I haven't submitted fourteen worksheets, five assignments, two projects and an essay over the past three weeks," he said, almost matter-of-factly.

"I... er... yes, well," she said as she struggled to regain her poise, "Your teachers are worried that you are falling behind in your studies, Thomas."

"Please," he smiled, leaning forwards in his chair and placing his clasped hands on the desk, "call me Tom."

This small movement disarmed her; he almost looked like a bank manager or corporate director, sitting like that. A small part of her brain chipped in and warned her that she might be dealing with someone who was far older than he appeared to be. Then her years of experience interrupted and she realized that this was just a little punk with a superiority complex and no respect for any authority.

"Well, Tom," she said, "I hope you realize that you need to do your work and hand it in on time. Don't you know how much trouble you're putting your teachers through, never having a full set of papers to mark and-"

"It's just a couple of assignments," he said, as his gaze shifted to the window. "It's not like I killed anyone."

She thought she caught the edge of sarcasm in his voice. "Of course it's not like killing someone, but it's a serious misbehaviour nonetheless. Now, if you don't start doing all your-"

"Funny how everything is relative, isn't it?" he said, never looking away from the window, "Imagine if I had murdered one of my classmates as well. We wouldn't be here discussing a few tardy worksheets, would we?"

Alarm bells were going off in the back of the school counsellor's mind, but she was the captain and she knew how to steer this misguided soul back into sane waters. "Well, if you had murdered one of your classmates, you'd be at a police interrogation centre, being interviewed by a couple of police officers."

His gaze shifted back to her face. "I know. Pales in comparison, doesn't it?"

"Look, Tom," she said, grabbing a sheaf of papers and squaring them on her desktop, a quick respite from looking at that face, "murder is not the reason you are here, and thank God it's not. You're here because you haven't been handing up your homework, and-"

"I have murdered someone," he said quietly.

"I'm sorry?"

"I've killed someone," he said, looking down at the desktop. The school counsellor could see that his face was flushed with remorse. Either he had really committed homicide, or he was a brilliant actor. She was utterly at a loss at what to do with this confessional manic; years of experience hadn't prepared her for this. Eventually, she decided to play along and see where it went.

"Who?" she asked, keeping her voice steely.

"Her name was Loretta. She was on a journey to find her father, along with this boy named Roland. They were just passing through but I made the Dark Lord's henchman to incite the butcher into an angry rage, and he killed her-"

"I'm sorry, what?" The tension was building up in her like a coiled spring, but it was dampened by a new layer of confusion. "You made the Duck Lord's henchman- what...?"

"The Dark Lord Naxxarim's evil henchman Gilgore," he corrected her, "in the story I've been writing."

"Story...?" then the spring melted back into wire, and she couldn't help making a small, relieved chuckle. "It's just a story?"

"It's not just a story," he said, a hard edge in his voice now. "It's a whole new world."

"Is this what you've been doing instead of your homework? Writing stories?"

"Yes." She was too intoxicated by her relief and returning confidence that she didn't notice that the boy had none of the earlier relaxed air about him. His mouth was now lined and unsmiling, and the grip in his hands had tightened.

"I'm sure you know that schoolwork is more important that these fantasies of yours," she said.

"Really," he said. "In this past week alone I've formulated a whole compendium on the rules of magic in my world. I've done dozens of drawings of the type of creatures which might survive in such an environ-"

"Thomas," she said loudly, cutting across his explanations, "I'm sure your world is amazing and all that, but you must realize that you are wasting too much of your time and energy on all these things which aren't real."

The was a pause. Then, "They're real to me," he said quietly.

She fell back into her chair with a sigh. Another idealistic dreamer without a realistic view of the world he lived in. Maybe she should try another tact.

"What do you want to be when you grow up, Thomas?" she asked, expecting the obvious answers: writer, artist, movie director, game designer.

"I'd like to personally go and help less-fortunate children in remote rural areas around the world."

Once again she was surprised at his reply, and frustrated that she couldn't read this kid at all. "I see. And how are you going to do that?"

"I'll travel to all these places with stuff they might need and-"

"Yes, but where will you get this 'stuff'? And the transportation?"

He was quiet for a while. "From friends," he said.

She barely heard his reply. "You'll need money for these things, Thomas," she said, "and how are you going to get money unless you get a good job? And how are you going to get a good job unless you get a good education? So you see, it all comes back to you not submitting your homework on time."

He was silent for a moment. "Thomas?" she asked. "Are you listening?"

"You think that all your problems can be solved with money, with a job, with an education," he said. "We spend so much of our lives chasing degrees and the perfect high-paying job so we have lots of money - and then what do we do with it? And all the while our creativity is restrained, imagination is discouraged, dreams are squashed into the harsh ground of reality."

"Think pragmatically, Thomas," said the school counsellor, slightly irritated now. "The world might not be what you want it to be, but you can't change it. People need money to survive in this world, Thomas. You need to work hard if you want to achieve anything."

"I have worked hard, ma'am. I spent so much time and effort in creating the world my story takes place in, and-"

"You need to work hard in the things that matter," she interrupted him, "like your mathematics and your sciences and your history and your economics. These things have a real use in life, not like your stories. You need to learn the skills of the world to survive in it."

"Skills? What skills? Knowing when and where and who to lie to? Fighting for yourself before considering the needs of others? Controlling people from your seat of power? Killing the stories one by one?"

She looked at him. There was a fire in his eyes, a passion which burnt with the fury of a thousand ideals. And the sad thing was, she thought, he actually believed them.

"You are impossible," she said. "Thomas, you will finish your assignments by the end of the week and you will hand them in to your teachers promptly." She grabbed the sheaf of papers again and opened her drawer. "The world needs realistic, practical people, Thomas, and it would benefit you, and the people around you, if you started to grow up and realize that. Good day to you."

She bent down to file the papers, and when she looked up again, he was standing there, behind the chair. His body was rigid; his fists were clenched in his jaw was set.

"You're wrong," he said. "You're completely wrong."

"You were not designed for this world, Thomas," she said, exasperated, "so it might do you good if you would redesign yourself to fit in."

For a moment, his eyes locked on hers, and in that fraction of a second she though he would storm out through the door, or burst into tears, or lunge toward her and hit her. Anything but what happened next.

His hands started to glow orange, and so did his eyes. A streak of energy arced across his stomach, from fist to fist, crackling like lightning. His feet lifted slowly off the floor, such that he was levitating in the middle of the room.

"Wha-what's going on?" she screamed.

"I'm rewriting reality," he said calmly. "I wasn't going to do this for a while yet, but you forced my hand."


"It's going to be a new world, ma'am!" he shouted excitedly. "A world with caring, compassionate people, without greed or deception. People would need stories to survive, so let's see where all your education and jobs and money gets you now!"

"Stop! Stop it right now! You're insane!" she cried, as he room exploded with orange light.


Wow finally. The original idea for this story was supposed to be an exploration if the people who were not designed for this world switched things around so that the would would be designed to fit them; over the course of writing it kinda got overshadowed and squeezed into the end there. Well, the story's kinda moot now, but it was a fun exercise in body language and expressions.

By the way, Leonardo is named after Da Vinci, the only creative dreamer whose name I could think of at such short notice.

Not created for this world,
The Edna Man

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Decay

Once, on a Christmas day a long time ago, our presents didn't come to us. They were delivered to, opened by, re-given to us by higher-ups in the genealogy tree. They were colourful and made of plastic, with flashing lights and wonderful sounds.

A little later, our presents were retrieved at the cost of a simple "thank you!" They were filled with toys, wonderful instruments of storytelling and intrigue. Imagination ran rampant, as we played with the same toys again and again, reinventing its use each time and spinning a new tale from the debris of past ideas. We eagerly looked forward to Christmases, filled with curiosity and anticipation of the potential new universe concealed within a layer of paper and cardboard.

As time passed, the stories slowed to a trickle. Toys were scarce, as though age stoppered the flow of imagination; the stories came pre-packaged, in tomes and books and volumes. Uncles and aunties were less eager to buy something which we might not like, and so resorted to ang paos and chocolates, the universal gifts which can be given to anyone.

Later on, chocolates, food, clothes are all normal presents. Who needs giving the gift of stories when you can get something practical, something realistic, something you can use. Anticipation turned to dread as people realized that, oh man, Christmas is coming again and I'm gonna get another pile of shirts; meanwhile I don't know what to get them.

At the end, Christmas becomes just another day in the calendar. As the young folk go around giving their gifts to even younger folk, the old people don't even remember that it's Christmas.

And the stories fade away.
Merry Christmas from The Edna Man

Monday, December 22, 2008

This Post is a Distraction

Hmm. I just realized something. When you're doing something so immensely monotonous and repetitive, you tend to get distracted a lot more, because everything else just seems so much more interesting by comparison.


Oh well, back to my data collection.

Hmm but first I think I'll have a bath.
The Edna Man

Friday, December 19, 2008

Look Up

At precisely 11pm the image on the screen flickered, and dissolved into static for a few seconds. Instead of returning to its regularly scheduled programming, a figure dressed in black was sitting in front of a red curtain, his gloved hands lightly clasped together. His hair was long and manicured, and a wide brimmed hat cast a shadow over his pale, masked face.

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen," said the figure. "I apologise for the mild inconvenience but I really do wish to say something."

Meanwhile, the National Security department was in an uproar. Harried agents rushed between the cramped desks, transferring documents and slamming down phones.

"Who the hell is that guy?!" shouted the chief in exasperation. "What the hell is he doing on national TV?"

"Looks like that guy from that movie," said his assistant, calmly. "What was it called again? Victory or Venison or something like that." They stared at the screen in their office, watching the figure make his announcement.

"Since the dawn of the twenty-first century, there have been so many major advancements in modern technology. Electricity has lit up even the darkest corners of the farthest ends of the Earth, bringing light to the uncertainty and darkness. Yet in all this time we must have forgotten the light that we always had, always there in the sky."

People were staring at their television sets across the island. The masked figure had hijacked every broadcasting system, every network station. And he was definitely being heard.

"So this is what I'm going to do. Tonight, at exactly midnight, I will be detonating a device I have planted in the city's central power grid. It would be wise to make preparations for the temporary island-wide blackout. And for the hundreds and thousands of citizens who will be plunged into darkness, I merely ask you to appreciate the rare spectacle that you will be treated to. Tonight, midnight."

The image flickered, and dissolved into the blue standby screen. "Dammit, sir," one agent called from his computer terminal, "he was too fast for us to get a trace on the signal."

Frowning, the Chief of National Security folded his arms. "Get a bomb defusal squad to the central power grid. Bring along as many S.W.A.T. as you can. I don't want that power supply to even flicker for a second, you got me?"

* * *

Three minutes to midnight. The bomb defusal squad had raked the entire building, but had found no trace of any explosive device. Everyone within a five kilometre radius had been evacuated, and hordes of people were standing around in the streets, shunted behind the lines formed by the riot police. No sign of the masked man on the television was seen anywhere.

"I don't know how he's doing it," muttered the Chief of National Security, "but he's not going to win his little game. There's no explosives anywhere in the building, but if he somehow cuts the power, I want the backup generators to kick in as soon as possible, you hear me?"

"Already on it, sir," replied his assistant, unclipping his phone and pressing a number on speed-dial. "Done half an hour ago. If the power really does cut, the reserves will come online in under five minutes."

"Five minutes is too long!"said the Chief, angrily. "Who knows what will happen in a five-minute island-wide blackout? Half the island is out on the roads now, and if there's looting and rioting, I'll personally have your head for-"

The Chief of National Security stopped in mid-sentence. The lights in the building that housed the central power core just extinguished.

"Damn," he swore.

Lights winked out across the island. Lampposts flickered off. Bulbs, both incandescent and florescent, closed their eyes and gave way to darkness. The blackout was total and instantaneous. The island was plunged into darkness.

The crowds began to get nervous. Murmurings broke out; they washed over the sea of heads like rustling waves. People started shifting restlessly, uneasy in the gloom.

And suddenly there he was, standing in the middle of the herd of police cars, masked face upturned at the night sky. He spoke, and his voice was clear, and filled with wonder. "Beautiful, isn't it?"

Instantly, a dozen guns were swivelling in his direction, laser sights dotting his black cloak and hat. But the figure didn't flinch; he continued staring upwards. An order was yelled, "Get him!" Policemen closed in on the figure, grabbing his hands and cuffing them behind his back. And still he continued to gaze towards the heavens.

The Chief of National Security stood in front of the figure, with his arms folded, a smug look on his face. "Your blackout failed, whoever you are," he said triumphantly. "If you were trying to throw this country into chaos and disorder, it didn't work. Our backup generators will be restarting power across the island. You've lost."

"On the contrary," he said in his clear, ringing voice. It carried across the shouted orders, the police sirens, the murmuring crowds. "It all went according to plan."

"How did you shut down the power?" the Chief of National Security asked roughly, while the figure's cloak was being frisked. "We found no bomb in the building, nor any structure within five kilometres."

"I used a virus to crash the power grid's computer systems," the figure said. "It's not permanent; once the power cut it should have unwritten its own programming."

"You said you would use a bomb?"

"I lied." The figure turned his masked face towards the Chief. "I am no comic-book villain, my good man. I don't reveal my plans to the authorities and purposely get caught for no good reason."

"And yet here you are," said the Chief of National Security, grinning again.

"That's because I had a good reason."

The Chief of National Security was getting slightly irritated. He grabbed the figure by his collar and lifted him bodily into the side of a police van. "And what, pray tell, might this reason be?" he asked coldly.

The figure's expression was unreadable; the mask just grinned its unreal grin. Then, he said, "Look up."

As the Chief of National Security looked skywards, so did the rest of the population, who had now realized that the night was not as dark as it should have been. And the night sky greeted them with a million pinpricks of light, twinkling for light years across the galaxies. The moon hung high in the sky, a brilliant silvery orb shining down upon them all. The constellations danced their eternal song across the sky, and the pale white band of the Milky Way could be seen, splashed across the starfield. The crowd gasped in collective amazement as a shooting star streaked across the sky, flaring brilliantly for a second before burning out into the darkness.

For a minute the wonders of the night blazed down upon them all. Then the backup generators kicked in and the lights began snapping, blinding out even the brightest starlight. As the Chief of National Security turned back to face his captive, he noticed that his masked face was cast half in shadow once again, and the painted smile seemed strangely real.

"Even if people stop noticing the stars," the masked figure said, breathless, as if assuring himself, "they won't fade away."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Graveyard

An idea I've had for quite some time now. This might infuriate a whole bunch of people, who've never thought of it that way, but oh well.


I shiver as I stand outside the Graveyard. Its very existence is contrary to my two greatest fundamentals: futurism and environmental protection. Yet before me stands one of the largest cemeteries for some of the Earth's most important life-forms.

As I walk through the gates, the gravekeeper shuffles up to me. "Can I help you with anything?" she asks, in that sweet voice that you know is never sincere.

"Uhh... no thanks," I reply, "I'm just... getting something for my mother."

"Alright then," she says, retreating back to her counter, eyeing me with a steely stare. I try not to look at her.

I walk slowly through the crypt, trying not to bump into the other people jostling around. The bright colours of the headstones hurts my eyes. I can't help feeling for the dead surrounding me on all sides, piled together and stacked up on hundreds of shelves, crammed into niches all over the place. With all the computers and digital information and everything, why all these useless deaths? All these murders?

A couple of the tombstones are accidentally knocked over, and they spill over the ground with loud thudding sounds. As the customer hurriedly picks them up, I notice that some of the bodies are all bent, the eulogies on the backs dented. We humans show so much respect to our dead, even out own dogs and cats; why not show that same respect to the trees?

I find the right section and lift a fragment of dead forest gently off the shelf. I shudder to think of what it would feel like, if someone sawed me off at my ankles, chopped me into little pieces, mixed the bits in with chemicals and then printed words all over the product. And my mom wanted me to get one of these things! Doesn't she understand at all?

I brought the mangled corpse over to the gravekeeper. A graveyard of trees, that was what it was. "$19.70," said the lady, roughly stuffing the body into a plastic bag and sealing it with tape. I handed over the money, feeling dirty and sacrilegious as she passed the bag over the counter. "Thank you, come again," she said brightly.

"Not on your life," I muttered, as I left the bookstore.


Well yeah, not the most epic of ideas, but I thought it would be vaguely interesting. A bookstore or library is still just a vast graveyard of trees, after all.

I still love reading though,
The Edna Man

Friday, December 12, 2008


Our minds are constantly being bombarded by information. Thousands of megabytes of audio, video, text, and smells, feelings, emotions that programmers haven't been able to digitally replicate yet. But like a computer, the information that we need or want, we store in the large hard drives of our minds. As memories.

As far as human memory goes, it isn't perfect. We haven't managed to develop an efficient search engine, for one. Also, there are some memories that can't be deleted, but like some buttons, can only be repressed. Finally, there are those memories that you need to keep around forever, but are lost because of corrupted disk space (or because the search engine can't find them - because they aren't there). The problem is that only the biggest, most impacting, or most frequently used memory tracts retain their youthful vigor and keeps the connection between the synapses fresh and on-the-go. Which brings us back to this.

I am a Memorycrafter. My job is to create memories from the raw material of the present. To surprise, delight, or amaze you such that your mind just has to keep that experience, to store it safely for retrieval at a later date. I have many skills which are suitable for my task. I am a performer, with the knowledge of the importance of grand effect and crucial timing. I am a comedian, who knows what you find hilarious, and is able to make you laugh. I am a master of stealth and subtlety, at least if other people didn't spoil the surprise. I am a dreamer, creating something out of nothing but the pure power of imagination. I am a perfectionist, which keeps me gunning for the grandest effect, the show-stopper, bringing the house down. Finally, I like making people happy. It's what I do.

On the rare occasion, I also help you recollect your memories. By dredging through the past, finding the links you had with other people, I can find the triggers to jumpstart your memory, for all the big events, the special occasions, the fun times. Each a fragment of time, locked forever in a glossy silver nitrate frame.

In the grand library of human existence, the memories I forge are probably just footnotes at the bottom of a page. But at least they are there. And when the universe ends and the shelves are full, and when whatever entity succeeds us enters our library and goes through the archives, they might find my name there. And hopefully, it won't just be in my book. It'll be in a chapter here, a paragraph there; works of art captured like a snapshot made of words. There'll be whole books about people who changed the world, or pushed the frontiers of science, or spent their entire life helping the poor and the homeless. But I think I'm content with having my name appearing occasionally, a faint murmur attached to each fragment of memory. Because we can't all be someone in the world.

But we can be the world to someone. Happy birthday, Jarrel and Charmaine.
The Edna Man

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Kingdom Come

Meanwhile… in an office in the Pentagon…

General Alexander looked up from his paperwork to see his secretary standing there, in front of his desk. She was clutching the strap of a duffel bag in one hand, and what appeared to be an official-looking envelope in the other.

“Miss Brant,” the General said, in that low voice of his that would be what a dog would sound like if it started to talk, like a cross between a bark and a growl, “can I help you with anything?”

She had barely registered the sound of her own name, staring at her feet the whole time as though deep in thought. But at the General’s question, she seemed to regain her senses, and stepped forward.

“Yes,” she replied, placing the envelope on the desk. “You can approve my resignation.”

General Alexander was surprised, but he didn’t show it, save for his left eyebrow ascending several millimetres. “Sit down, Miss Brant,” he said. An order, not a request. He picked up the envelope, slit it open, and began to read.

Hesitantly, Miss Brant sat down in the char facing his desk, letting her duffel drop to the floor with a thump. She didn’t cross her legs as she normally did, but kept them both on the ground, hands clasped in her lap. She started staring at her feet again, trying to look anywhere but the man in front of her and the office he sat in.

The General’s eyes reached the end of the page. “It doesn’t explain why you want to leave, Miss Brant.”

“Isn’t that better for you military types?” she replied scornfully, barely raising her head. “Commands and directives and orders and no explanations? Isn’t that how you were
trained, General?”

He smiled slightly, a smile devoid of any mirth, and leaned back in his leather office chair. “Let’s just say, this time, I’m curious.”

There was an uneasy silence in the office, with the only sound coming from the low hum of the ventilation units. “I’m leaving, Alexander,” Miss Brant said, “because I’m sick of being a murderer.”

A frown appeared on General Alexander’s face. “I’m afraid I don’t get you, Miss Brant.”

“You seem to think I’m not speaking English, General,” she said, looking up at the man’s weathered face and his thin white moustache. Her hands had unconsciously moved to the armrests of her chair and were now gripping them tightly. “I’m sick of being a murderer.”

Suddenly, her face is in her hands. “Oh, God, I’m… I’m a killer. I… I actually let so many people… I let so many people die.” Her shoulders shake uncontrollably.

“What are you babbling about, Miss Brant?” The General leaned forward in his chair again, but it was a gesture of curiosity, not compassion. “You’ve never killed anyone, not that I know of, and you’ve never picked up even a pistol your entire career here.”

“I may not have killed anyone directly,” she said, voice still quavering, “but I as good as did.” Her fingers ran through her hair, nails scratching her scalp. “I typed out those extermination orders… all those war clearance papers… and yesterday I handed you the slip of paper which gave you the ‘authority’,” here her fingers sketched quotation marks around the word, “to launch three massive ordinance, multi-megaton nuclear missiles right into the heart of the United States of America.” She laughed derisively. “It may not sound like murder to you, General, but it is.”

“I thought you had been properly briefed on this,” said the General, picking up his mug of coffee and taking a sip. It was cold and bitter. Just like him. “These metahumans - these so-called ‘superheroes’,” it was his turn to sketch the quotation marks, “masked vigilantes and whatnot, are the biggest threat to national security today, not just in America, but in the world.” His mug came back down. “You shudder at the thought of nuking Kansas? As I recall, that’s already been done. And they didn’t do it with three massive-ordinance missiles. Kansas was nuked by one single man. Captain Atom’s explosion killed over a million people and disintegrated thousands of acres of farmland.”

“And now you’re going to wipe it out again, incinerating thousands of superheroes,” her voice had risen, and she had stopped shaking. “Thousands of men and women whose sole purpose of existence is to protect humanity.”

“I told you already!” shouted the General, slamming his fist down onto his mahogany desktop, “Metahumans are dangerous! Look at their power! How do we fight that kind of power if it goes rogue? We have to eliminate the threat before it turns around and bites us in the rear!”

“General, your military has been keeping three massive nuclear bombs in a secret bunker well underground.” Miss Brant pointed an accusing finger at him. “‘Look at that power!’” she said. “‘How do we fight that kind of power if it goes rogue? We have to eliminate the threat before-’”

“The United States will never do that,” the General interrupted her quickly.

“From where I’m sitting, General,” said Miss Brant, “it looks like you’re the one who is the biggest threat to the world today.”

They were both staring into each other’s eyes for a moment.

“The way I see it,” said Miss Brant, breaking the silence, “is that you’re acting on a potential threat. Killing the cub before it grows into the tiger, just because it has the potential to come back and eat you.”

There was a pause, then: “And so what if we are? Prevention is better than cure, Miss Brant, and if these metahumans cause another global catastrophe, we might not be able to cure it anymore!”

“Which is another thing I cannot understand about this country. We have the right to bear arms, for God’s sake. We have legislation in place to put ballistic weaponry into the hands of hundreds and thousands of killers, rapists, drunks, and muggers. People are dying every day from gunshot wounds and-”

“It was never on the scale of a metahuman crisis! Millions of people dead-”

“And yet thousands more die each year, not by intercontinental missiles, but small firearms in our own backyard! If you think a million human lives have more worth than a thousand, you’re wrong, General.”

She leaned forward until she was inches away from his face. “Life is priceless, and one death is just as bad as a million deaths.”

There was another lengthy silence. The General had got up to stare out his window at the orange sunset, arms behind his back.

“You’re not a killer, Natasha,” he said, back still facing her. “You never pushed the button that dropped the bomb; you never pulled the trigger which killed all those people. You never killed anyone before.”

“I may not have killed anyone in cold blood, General,” Natasha Brant said, standing up and slinging her duffel bag over her shoulder once more. “And neither have you. But guns don’t kill people, General.”

She had reached the door. Her hand resting on the handle, she turned to look back. General Alexander was still by the window, half his face blossoming with orange sunset, the other half thrown into deep shadows. His face was a blank slate; no emotion could be gleaned from it, since it had reverted to his characteristic frown. Natasha Brant pushed down; the door swung open, and she stepped through it, and said:

“People kill people.”

This was kinda inspired by Kingdom Come, the limited comic series by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. It refers to events from that story, but this should be taken as Fan Fiction and not a breach of copyright agreements. Oh yes, no offence to the US of A too. But I really don't understand the legalized arms. Really.

Does the world need a Superman?
The Edna Man

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I'll be Bach

So I was playing around with a bunch of chords the other day and I came up with a song. Like, with actual music to actually go along with the lyrics. This is like, the very first song I composed! Just think: I'm like the Terminator pretending to be a musician!

Anyway here's the lyrics. It sounded like a love song so I wrote love song lyrics. And if you think writing lyrics is easy when you've done so many parodies, I can tell you, it sure isn't, 'cos you have no other inspiration to work from. I think I'll stick to parodies after this one.

Tonight, a not-parody-song by The Edna Man
[Verse 1]
Sunlight is fading
And the darkness invading
It's getting late; we have to go
And the sound of stars soaring
Right for tomorrow's morning
One more goodbye, one less hello

I wish I could reach out and hold you
And I wish I could just do this right
I wish I could tell you I love you
If only for

[Verse 2]
I can't figure these feelings
I don't know I'm concealing
Could be I just don't understand
And time just keeps on flying
And I just keep on trying
Why must good things come to an end?
(If they don't start again)

And I wish I could reach out and hold you
And I wish I could just do this right
I wish I could tell you I love you
Just one more time

When we're apart
You know it's breaking my heart, now
If I had the courage to say what I feel
And under the moonlight
Everything might seem alright
Yet I don't know whether it's real

I wish I could reach out and hold you
And I wish I could just do this right
I wish I could tell you I love you
Just one more time

[Second Chorus + Ending]
I wish that you were right here beside me
And I wish I could see you again
I wish that we could last forever
When you are here
Don't disappear
Just hold me near

Jarrel says it sounds like Disney; he obviously hasn't heard enough Disney.
The Edna Man

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Am Legend

Just finished watching the aforementioned movie on rented DVD. It was kinda awesome, but I think in a theatre it would be a lot more scary.

Wonder what it would be like to be the last man on Earth. I don't think I'd survive it. I mean, I don't know how it happened, but I'm a people person. Humanity intrigues me, somehow. For all the lies, the anger, the hate, the suffering, the turmoil, the savagery, the destruction, the imperfections; I still need people for their love, laughter, kindness, compassion, friendship, life.

It confounds me, how much effort is put into making a short two-hour movie. I guess for the impression it gives the audience, the two months of prep for the two seconds of shot is worth it. It's completely amazing, watching the behind-the-scenes and finding out that, wow, you had to do that much for a passing glance on screen? Which is why I think that some film critics have standards set too high. Sigh. But I guess, two years of producing something useless still gets you something useless.

Something that I noticed as I was watching the clips: my family doesn't have much patience for these sort of things. Once again I find myself isolated from the rest of the world, taking interest in things that the people around me don't. I guess I don't need a global pandemic to be the the last person in the world.

In my eyes, I'm already alone.
The Edna Man

Friday, November 21, 2008

All For Five Point Two

Hey hey, back from China, yippee, hooray, etc. Currently writing out the entire experience; in the meantime, enjoy this song.

Five Point Two, parody of All for One from High School Musical 2
One whole week in China
Nothing could be finer
Having fun with the kids there
Going mountain climbing,
Singing and a-rhyming,
And cow excretion everywhere

Let's take it to the bus
Which never stops rocking
We're gonna stop here
Though the toilet's really shocking
I can't move on
There's a goat in the way blocking
Gonna dance all night

Everybody Five point Two,
Back from China and missing it too!
Now WoW is done; we had such fun,
We're the perfect helping crew
On the plane we flew right through
Under skies that were oh so blue
Everybody, two point five, and five point two!
Five point two, two!

Cars that don't stop horning,
Same food every morning,
The most overused bathroom
LANning until midnight
Cockroaches such a fright
Firecrackers go kaboom

Dancing with the kids,
Drawing them doodles
Giving them our lunch,
Then eating instant noodles
Really friendly dogs,
All cuter than poodles
We only dared drink Sprite

Everybody 一二三!

Making fun of names,
And nobody stopping,
Following the girls
To going out and shopping

It's sad that all the future
Turned into the past
Should have made every single day
Last and last and last!

Low Jun Siong
And Lorraine: so sweet
And Wang Cong
Makes the family complete now!
(Everybody, e-everybody now!)
They really have parental expertise
Hugged them tight, never even let them freeze
Hard to believe they're not Chinese!

Wanna come see shooting stars, hey!
Wanna ride the three-wheeled cars, oh!

Here, and now
We're gonna finish WoW
Everybody jump in!

Everybody five point two,
Stuffed toy pandas and real bamboo
We ate the food that was quite good
And the pastor's liver stew
Did anybody learn Lisu?
Can you remember how to say "Thank you"?
Temperature was two point five;

Everybody five point two,
No mountain climb, no shopping time,
Guys in girls' rooms is taboo
There was a panoramic view
And if you only had, had a clue
It really was a blast
Can't believe it went so fast
Let's make this memory last!
Five point two!
Five! Point! Two!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Municipal Darwinism

What giants walk among us men...

I just finished reading the first book of Phillip Reeve's The Hungry City Chronicles, Mortal Engines. Once again, I was completely absorbed in the world that the author dreamed up out of his head. Basically, it's this post-apocalyptic future, millenia after the Sixty Minute War in which most of humanity wiped itself out with devastating weapons of mass destruction. Computers are things of history now, but cities are now built on giant traction wheels and trundle along the countryside. That introduces the astounding idea of Municipal Darwinism: bigger cities go along devouring smaller towns and villages, ingesting the smaller settlement and ripping it apart for raw materials. What a concept! To make the connection between the theory of evolution and urbanization, and transform it into this fantastic universe; truly the work of a genius.

I picked this book off the library shelf because the author's name caught my eye. Phillip Reeve, the illustrator of numerous Murderous Maths books, wrote a novel? But after reading the blurb on the jacket, I got hooked immediately. I never expected Reeve to be an author; I always thought he was an amazing cartoonist, the best one Murderous Maths ever had. (Why, Poskitt, why did you replace him with someone else?) I guess it just goes to show that there's no limit to what latent talents you might have.

And once again we are presented with the proposal that love conquers all. I have yet to read a book in which the main villain can love. Like Pullman, Reeve presents us another pair of protagonists who begin to love each other across the novel. Power of love. Never underestimate the power of love.

"Was this what falling in love was like? Not something big and amazing that you know about right away, like in a story, but a slow thing that crept over you in waves until you woke up one day and found that you were head over heels with somone quite unexpected...?"
The Edna Man

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Remember remember...

The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason
That the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot

Another day passes without any form of recognition at all. It's like Singaporeans (or at least, the people I know) don't understand the significance of certain days. Oh well: Barack me Obamadeus got a landslide victory and Parliament House hasn't blown up yet.

Viva la Revolution
The Edna Man

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Extreme Makeover!

Hey! Unless you're severely colour-blind, you'd have noticed the new look. It's made by Charmaine (blatant advertising =P) and I think it looks great! I'm gonna use it for a while, for a change, and there's still a number of bugs I can't figure out yet.

Calvin and Hobbes,
The Edna Man

Friday, October 31, 2008


Pumpkins screaming in the dead of night!

Everybody make a scream! Another passed Halloween, but this year, it didn't go uncelebrated! Not for me at least. In an attempt to make a reaper's costume, I fashioned an awesome scythe out of a long stick of wood, cardboard and aluminum foil. It's totally realistic, just that I couldn't get a long dark hooded robe. MEH.

Halloween party at Arun's house! Which is GIGANTIC; and that's just his room. The second time I've been in an attic! Watched a bit of White Chicks, which I think is scarier than any horror movie that they could have borrowed (Shutter could give it a run for it's money though). Arun's dog is really cute! And funny. And I think it could give Neil a Runny for his money.

Costumes... I had a vague spectral reaper outfit thing which was cobbled together with black garbage bags in absence of a real long dark hooded robe (SIGH AGAIN). It looked totally stupid and I couldn't see a thing through the material. Scythe saved me though. XD Charmaine was sporting a witch's costume complete with pointed witch's hat and broom, which was plastic and modern; along with a black shawl and heavy eyeliner. She actually looked like a pretty good witch. Ernest... the Elvis vampire! Cloak and pitchfork (pitchfork o_O) and a vampire mask with a really Elvis-looking hairstyle and big dark eyes that looked like sunglasses. Ally just had a vampire cape, but with her dark outfit and pale complexion, she really looked like a vampire queen. The rest didn't wear anything. (Costumes, I mean. Sheesh.)

Oh, and the cakes! I became apprentice baker for the day and helped Charmaine bake her lemon cake thing and brownies. I'm now bugging my mom to bake stuff, 'cos I found out it's so easy! Just chuck everything together, and then chuck it into the oven. Simple! Oh yeah, Charmaine has a dog too, Ginger, but she's more quiet and less hyperactive (as far as I could tell). Charmaine's grandmother is like mine, and I think it's awesome how she knows how to speak a bit of every language. She's still a bit scary though XD Oh, Charmaine's house is AWESOME as well; first time I've been in an attic! Apparently it used to be owned by some artistic genius, and on the walls of the attic is a montage of a whole bunch of stuff, really well painted. It's really very enthralling, just going up there and seeing it all round the walls. That is, if you can find it XD

Oh, I thought I'd be out the whole day, so I was carrying around my scythe all over Singapore, Ang Mo Kio Central and Paya Lebar. It's quite interesting; I kept a straight face, and just looked menacing and sullen. I kept getting second glances from passers-by as I strode around looking for a cloak. If only I had the robe, gaah. It would have been something out of Improv Everywhere, only better, 'cos I'd be doing it.

Oh, last but not least, how's this for a freaky way to start Halloween? At about 3.15 am this morning, I was dreaming about something, I can't exactly remember what. But then I had this instantaneous mental image of Ally walking through some kind of wooden-panelled kitchen, a large number of brown boxes crashing to the floor, and a knife, the silver tongue spiralling down, headed for her chest. At the same time, the boxes hit the floor, and I heard a number of thuds, and as the knife hit, a sharp, piercing scream that jolted me awake. And this is the really creepy part. As my eyes flew open, I could still hear the scream, fading away now, for about half a second, before silence fell. I was totally freaked out. I guess what must have happened is that someone outside screamed the scream (which in itself is really freaky, considering it's 3 am in the morning), and my brain impulsively hotwired this explanation from my imagination through to my dream-consciousness. Either that, or my latent psychic powers are developing and... uhh, I don't think I want to complete the sentence. Freaky freaky freaky.

Well, this was Halloween.

Everyone hail to the pumpkin king!
The Edna Man

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Game of Life

I've just been reading people's blogs again.

When you look around you: your family, your friends, your classmates, your teachers, colleagues, bosses, that lady who cleans up the table after you finish eating and don't return the tray; the salesgirl behind the counter of the jewelry shop you keep walking by on the way to your car; the middle-aged man sitting the air-conditioned comfort of the taxicab as you drive home from work. What do you see?

People. Faces, personas, characteristics, behaviours, psychologies, or maybe even thoughts.

I see stories.

Every single soul on this planet is a storybook. Each life is a tale, spun out of time and woven with actions, choices; sprinkled with drama and tension; bringing together a cast of loosely-related characters, each with a story of their own. Irony, imagery, comedy, tragedy; art imitates life, or the other way around?

If you could just reach out... reach out into the library of the world, and take down one of its stories, open the cover and flip through the pages. Each soul is a story, each life a book; unfinished, half-written; the final chapter written by the hooded figure with his scythe. But even without the ending, each story is unique, is exquisite; no two people's are identical. Similarities are abound, surely, yet with novels this length there can be no plagarism, no exact copies. Reach out... choose a book... and read.

As an avid reader, the idea enthralls me, enchants me... to read, to collect the stories of every single person on Earth, to see, to know... linking them all together, like a vast mystery being solved, with each passing word, sentence, chapter, slowly revealing itself. Behind every face is a new story, another facinating plot, another spellbinding tale...

And when you realise that, at the end of the day, all these stories are as fluid as water, and as irretrivable and unstoppable as the proverbial liquid in a cupped hand. Stories are ending, closing chapters being written, all over the globe, several thousand times a day, and there is no librarian, no storyteller, no loremaster; no bards, jesters, researchers, collectors... millions of stories are being lost, everyday, to Time and Death: Farenheit 451. Qin Shi Huang burned hundreds if thousands of bamboo scrolls; a paragraph compared to the collective library of the human race.

When the story ends, who will keep telling the tales?
The Edna Man

Friday, October 10, 2008

Live Life to the Max

I had an awesome time today (yesterday, post-midnight-post again). We had a "class" outing, which was really quite awesome because this time almost (almost) the whole class managed to turn up. Ernest is sick though (he said it might be dengue; I haven't called him yet in case he's like resting or something) and there's a bunch of other people who missed such an awesome event.

Met Justin at Bueona Vista first, quite fail because I was like, fifteen minutes late (I overshot the station 'cos I was reading and not familiar with the place, never having taken the bus that far before) and I find that I'm the second one there; Zeng Jie, who lives exactly opposite school, was there first. Well after hanging around for about an hour for more people to slowly stream into place, we made our way to Ghim Moh to grab snacks and drinks. Bryan cycled all the way from his house, and he was wearing shades that I assume were supposed to make him look cool or something.

After a delicious lunch of Ramly burgers (today was a Health Promotion Board's nightmare), a trek to Justin's house opened my eyes to like, the awesomeness of architecture. The place was built like some jungle fortress, with wooden walkways all over, and the swimming pool was - get this - double-decker. Oh, and it had this shallow area where there were half-submerged lounge chairs. Oh, that's not to mention the pond downstairs with the school of koi (Just keep swimming!). Oh, and Justin's house is like a maxi-masonette: it's got an upper floor AND a lower deck, which is Justin's room/floor/same difference.

Anyway we were all in the karaoke room, which was another awesome place for its sheer opulence, and Bryan had brought Meet the Spartans (don't ask me why he carries it around with him) and we watched it. Second comedy this week: quite funny, loved the blue screen, among other things. After that: karaoke! But without lyrics, 'cos no discs. Mikes, though! Awesome mikes! Singing is just so amazingly fun, and I managed to get more people to sing as well, but there's still a number of people (cough cough you know who you are) who still owe us songs.

I love performing; it's one of my favourite activites, and today I tried to perform every song I sang. Hip-hop, ballads, love songs, ROCK, everything, I acted it out. It was a great feeling, with all the cheers and applause and stuff, 'cos you know that you're making people happy, and that's always good, because when you help others, you can't help helping yourself. One of the Vertigo "impersonators" from Improv Everywhere said that there was always something that would separate rock stars from us normal people, the feeling of thousands of screaming fans watching your peformance. I experienced a small sample of that today, and it is awesome.

We got kicked out at 6pm one hour after our booking ended, so we all crashed Justin's place and ordered pizza. I never knew Canadian Pizza had a Singapura Special; what type of patriotic citizen am I? Good food, had more fun, mostly watching Neil play Bioshock (which is actually more freaky that it first appears) and scaring the pants off me (not literally). I was hiding behind Elvira the whole time; which reminds me, she plays more computer games than me, dammit. Why doesn't my mom understand what a deprived life I'm living? Oh yeah, Lorraine grabbed Bryan's bike and wandered off somewhere with it without her phone, so a seach party was sent out with supplies (surprize!) of pizza to find her. It was quite funny; she said she was knocking on the door for ten minutes, but nobody heard her.

Oh yeah, Justin's pure-white Maltese Falcon dog Minnie (Mini?) jumped me and licked half of my face. This is the first time I've been assaulted by a dog, and it didn't feel as wet as I thought it would be. I just hope, y'know, no rabies, 'cos if not I'll have to be like Phantom of the Opera (because she really licked HALF of my FACE.)

I dunno if I should mention this, but Neil took a shortcut to get out of Justin's condo complex. I'm not mentioning it here, lest he gets into trouble, but suffice to say that it was really quite... there's no other word to describe it but: Neil.

OM LATER TODAY! New batch of kids, and I think I've got a more proper lesson structure now, here's to hoping it works out over the next year or so.

In other news, my progress in !nk is moving up; I've done four graphics already, so yeah. Maybe I'll ask Henry if I can get a raise...

Sing your heart out,
The Edna Man

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Yes, please!

It's now 12.59am on an early Wednesday morning and I feel amazed and humbled at the same time.

There's this girl in my class. Her name is Charmaine. I've known her for about seven, eight months. In all that time, I figure she's the studious, hardworking type; very friendly, enthusiastic actress, best friends with Lorraine (another girl in my class). In the past hour, I've discovered a whole new dimension to her character. I've found out that she's awesomely creative, and that she likes making stuff (jewelry and graphic design, as far as I know for now). It's amazing, really; she has her own online shop (co-owned) and everything! Apparently she's been doing it for two, three years now. I can't believe that in the past half-year I never found out this amazing talent of hers (to be fair, she never mentioned it in class either).

I'm humbled because I thought I was good at this sort of thing, at knowing people, their motivations, characteristics, behaviour, talents, skills, likes, dislikes, etc. Or at least being able to make a good guess. Apparently I'm not skilled in this art, because I obviously deluded myself into thinking that I was good at it. I find out that I'm rather detached from most of my current classmates, because mainly a) I haven't been hanging out with them much (sorry!) and b) maybe I just haven't been around them enough to preempt their next move. Living with a GEP family for over seven years, you kind of figure out who everybody is and their most likely reaction to certain situations, their stereotypes and so on. I mean, that's how TNN was born! So now, little old me is trying to superhero-ize my class, because it's awesome fun, and also to see if I can do just that.

I guess this is part of the new philosophy (did I have an old one in the first place?) which I picked up after reading this article. It talks about the power of saying "Yes!" to get more out of life, and by voluntarily picking myself up and asking Charmaine about the blog address in her Personal Message, I found out more about one of my friends. I did it yesterday too (technically, two days ago, on Monday). I went out with practically all the girls in my class (and Justin, but he's not a girl) to have lunch, and then they dragged me to watch House Bunny. Normally I'd refuse to watch a chick-flick (groovy-movie? lacklustre blockbuster? film... film... cripes nothing rhymes with film), but I remembered the article and let myself be persuaded. Well, I did have a good time, and the show was really quite funny, and I have no regrets! I'm going to need to go to the library soon and check out a whole bunch of books on improvisational theatre, especially that one.

The Edna Man

Friday, October 03, 2008


In an ingenius stroke of brilliance, my mom brought back a couple large pieces of dry ice from the butcher's a couple hours ago. It's almost all gone, but when she came back she chucked then into a pot (with remnants of my instant noodles soaking in the sogginess) and left it for a while. When I came out to investigate the source of all the bubbling sounds, I found, to my delight, that my sink was full of the misty white stuff, which looks exactly how J.K. Rowling describes thoughts in the Penseive so prevalent in her Potter books. It was so awesome, I tried plunging in headfirst into my kitchen sink (I strongly advise anyone who would like to repeat this experiment to make sure there's nothing else in your sink first) to see if I would go strolling through other people's memories, but alas, no luck. Perhaps I'm just not magical enough.

Another interesting note: if you add a sparing drizzle of detergent into the water and mix it up (yeah!) you get enormous bubbles that don't burst until they're huge, enveloping your container in large mists of white fog. Also, it's awesome to see sublimation on this scale in a sunken (haha sink, sank, sunk, sunken) container without the mist simply rising up and diffusing away, like they do in those wine glasses at fancy weddings.

And now, for a brilliant idea, probably influenced by watching Improv Everywhere (the greatest geniuses this world has ever seen) all last night, but here goes: what we need now is a couple kilogrammes of dry ice, so much such that if you dump it all into a public swimming pool you get this awesome bubbling froth in the centre, with waves of ethereal mist wafting out over the water's surface. That would make anyone's family outing a whole new unreal experience. Wonder where to get all that dry ice though. Oh yeah, and then you'll be contributing to the global warming effect. That's if you don't get arrested for the unwitting murders of a couple dozen people by carbon dioxide axyphation. I wonder if that could happen.

The Edna Man


I had a vaguely interesting idea this morning while I was snoozing in my bed, trying not to get up. In a bid to practice my narrative ability, I'm going to do it this way:


John shivered with excitement as he looked out of the porthole. The sky was clear and cloudless. John was slightly disappointed; the propect of passing through a cloud was the second-most event he was looking forward to.

"We'll be going off soon, dear!" Rachel said, seating herself beside him. "The pilot just told me."

John nodded, holding her hand in his. "This is going to be awesome," he grinned. "Think anyone's done it before?"

"Well, it's rare, but I'm quite sure there are people crazier than us," Rachel replied with a laugh. "But I don't think it's as fun underwater," she added.

"Yeah, how will you hear anything?" John asked. "This way is much better."

Suddenly, one of the personnel came over. "Almost time," he said. "The priest's good to go, and we're almost there."

"Excellent," John said, zipping up his black suit. Beside him, Rachel did the same to her pure white one. She laughed as she said, "Well, at least we save a ton of money on the gown."

Chuckling, John and Rachel made their way over to the sliding door. The priest was waiting there, all suited up. "All ready to go then?" he asked them.

John and Rachel grabbed the heavy packs and strung them over their shoulders, tightening the straps and making sure everything was in place. Years of experience had taught them the importance of safety.

"Let's go," said John, his body numb with expectation. Smiling slightly, the priest grasped the handle and shoved the door open.

Instantly, a howling wind tore at them, rushing into the cabin and dragging their voices away. Rachel had squeezed John's hand more tightly as the wind rushed in, and John patted it with his other hand consolingly. He had a perfect view of the fields below, with a streak of blue winding through the flatlands, a river snaking through the plains.

"From one plane to another!" Rachel shouted, her voice dampened by the raging high-altitude winds. John smiled at her again; she always know how to make him laugh.

"We'll be simplifying a lot of things today," the priest yelled, "since there's not much time to do it traditionally." John and Rachel nodded in assent, keeping a firm grip on the railing above their heads.

"On the count of three, then!" bellowed the priest. Rachel's grip tightened. "One... two... THREE!"

The couple leapt off the aircraft, enjoying a fraction of a second's worth of the sensation of flying, before gravity grabbed at them and dragged them earthwards. Adrenaline pumped in John's veins as the wind rushed through his hair; he looked to his right and saw Rachel's hair sticking straight upwards behind her head. She was exhilerated: her mouth was open in screaming laughter which was carried away by the wind.

In seconds, the priest was beside them, a couple of feet away. "All ready?" he shouted again.

"Yes!" they replied.

"Alright!" Sticking out his hand as far as air resistance would allow, he shouted, "John, do you?"

"I do!"

"Rachel, do you?"

"YES, I DO!"

Smiling, the priest roared, "Then I pronounce you man and wife! You may now kiss the bride."

Pulling themselves closer to each other, Rachel and John managed to hold each other close enough, so that they were kind of hugging sideways, fifteen thousand feet in the air. Then his lips met hers, and John forgot where they were; the entwined newlyweds spiraled to the ground, lips locked for what seemed like eternity, still kissing as they popped their chutes and drifted slowly back to reality.


- How has the writer used concealment of information and suspense/mystery to achieve his effect?

- Comment on the writer's use of dialogue in the passage.

(25 marks)
The Edna Man

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part V Math

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part V: Mathematics

1. Hey baby. What's your sine?
2. Let's make like a composite function and plug in that x-factor.
3. Of all the combinations of people in this world, we're the perfect permutation. And that's a factorial.
4. Maybe we should integrate ourselves.
5. I'll take you to your limits and see if we converge.
6. Is that a parabola in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
7. You're so s times Euler's constant to the power of variables x and y.
8. Vector? I hardly know 'er!
9. You must have fallen from seven, because you're an angle.

The best one ever!
10. I must be f(x) = 1/2 u^2 because when I try to derive some meaning in myself all I get is u. (Credit: Jun Yi)


Math paper today was a killer. Well, as least it was more of a massacre than a homocide, so it's not so bad.

Quote from a conversation with The Jarrel Seah:
Me: "Did you finish your paper?"
The Seah: "Yeah I finished my paper."
Me: "Okay, wait. I need to judge how tough this paper was. How much time did you have left?"
The Seah: "Uhh, about fifteen to twenty minutes."
Me: "Oh cripes, this was a damn tough paper."
The Seah: "Oh, but that was only after I finished all my alternate solutions and triple-checkings and writing the apology on the front page about not reading the instructions."
Me: "...damn."

The Edna Man

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part IV Physics

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part IV: Physics

1. Ever since you came here, you've inverted the population, causing me to have a spontaneous emission. (Credit: Ernest)
2. You won't need a compound microscope to see my simple telescope.
3. If I were a light ray, I'd diffuse through your thin slit anyday.
4. Let's go back to my place and make some simple harmonic motion.
5. Are your legs tired? 'Cos you've been accelerating around my head at 9.8 m/s all day.
6. I wish you were the image distance, so I could be the object distance and v all over u.
7. I must be looking through a convex lens, 'cos the image I see is real, magnified and upright!
8. I'll increase my frequency if you can increase my amplitude.
9. You'd light up my life, if you were a monochromatic coherent light source on a disc with angular momentum of 3.14 rad/s shining on a diffraction grating which is then incident on a thin slit in front of a cathode ray oscilloscope measuring your intensity.
10. You're so hot, I don't think I can take you with my low specific heat capacity.


"Dreams are a testament to human creativity. If your subconscious minds can make up a story so vivid and captivating that it can give us a good show while we're asleep, there's no limit to what we can create. All that remains now is to bring that creativity forward from the subconscious." --Quoth the Raven (nevermore)

I had an awesome dream this morning. I had to get a number of tattoos (for medical reasons). They were all done by one of my uncles, and they all looked more like company logos than tattoos: square, and multicoloured. I remember that there also about five or six of them, about 10cm a side, which all would not have fit on my arm normally, but I seem to recall flipping through a book-like thing to see all of them. Problem is, after the tattoos were done I suddenly remembered that tattoos weren't allowed in school (fancy that). So I asked my uncle if these were permanent and he said, "Yes, those are permanent, 'cos I didn't put the Dettol." Well, so now I've got some reality-defying tattoos on my left arm and I've got to go to school. Or maybe I was already in school, 'cos I remember walking past the Auditorium on the 4th floor (with Ernest, who had appeared from I have no idea where) and a teacher (I can't remember his name, but I know who it is) called me over and said that I wasn't allowed to have tattoos in school. Well, I told him it was for medical reasons, and he said, okay, but next time he would have to see a letter from an independent doctor. So anyway I keep walking and I meet Lorraine and Juztin (Ernest has mysteriously disappeared at this point), presumably coming from BB 'cos they're wearing BB polo tops, and Lorraine says, "There you are! I've been looking all over for you!" Then she explains something about being late for her English class, and asks me if I would like to see the reason behind why she was late. I agree, and she leads me to this entrance of an underground carpark, and it's raining now for some reason, and she points at it and says, "There! That's why!" So I'm utterly bewildered and when I turn around I'm at the roundabout at my school and Hui Jun is there and he asks if I'm taking a bus home. I say yes, and soon enough a bus come round to the roundabout (haha) and we both hget on. Then after a short while I think I missed the stop we wer supposed to be getting out at, and I said, "Whoops! I forgot to press the button!" The bus wouldn't stop for two more stops because Hui Jun and I were supposed to be going somewhere we've never been before. We got off at some weird bus park to chheck if we were at the right place and then the bus leaves without us! So with all our bags and stuff on the bas, we try chasing after it, but we got confused because all the buses looked the same and we couldn't tell which one was ours. Then I remember seeing some tall African guy, really tall like twice normal height, dressed in pure white clerical robes and stuff, and I remember folding my arms to hide my tattoos (Remember? I had tattoos!) in case I attracted the attention of some rival biker gang. Then I woke up.

My dream beats yours, Jonny.
The Edna Man

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part III Economics

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part III: Economics

1. If you ever demand for more of me, I'll be there with an elastic supply. (Credit: Ernest)
2. I'd like to reallocate your ample resources, if you know what I mean.
3. Every time I see you, it causes inflation.
4. A Date (AD) = Consummation + Intimacy + Groping + (X-treme fantasies - Mums) (Credit: Ernest)
5. Wages aren't the only things which are sticky downwards around here.
6. Hey, you look like a recession. Need some government intervention?
7. Just wait until my economy goes boom.
8. Oooh, you're a merit good if I ever saw one: so good, yet underconsumed.
9. Nice externalities.
10. Woah, let's get fiscal.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part II English

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part II: English

1. If you come back to my place, I'll let you Huckle my Berries.
2. Jim's not the only one with big magic hair-balls, if you know what I mean.
3. I'll be your Siddhartha if you be my Kamala.
4. You've experienced enlightenment! Let me kiss your forehead! Or your lips; I'm not picky.
5. You must be an unseen text, 'cos I don't think we've met.
6. Say, when a cow's laying down, which end of her gets up first? Answer up prompt, now - don't stop to study over it. Which end gets up first?
7. I'm one-thirds a Brahmin: I don't think, I don't wait, but I can do it real fast!
8. I'll get my canoe, you get your raft, and let's go down south together.
9. I'll be your ferryman if you let me cross your river.


Once again, I fail to understand the logic behind English exams. Here I am, working through the texts, and wondering how on Earth am I supposed to memorize quotes for a host of topics which could be anything under the sun, and not having a clue or an ounce of confidence that I'll be able to do anything tomorrow. I hate quotes. Whoever first came up with the idea of quoting for examinations should be shot, even if he's already dead.


10. I forgot my pickup line because I couldn't memorize my quotes.
The Edna Man

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part I Chemistry

Pick-Up Lines for Muggers, Part I: Chemisty

1. Would you like a covalent bond? No? Then how about a dative?
2. Woah! You're so hot, you're exothermic! *sizzle*
3. Let's you and me go and hybridize our orbitals, if you know what I mean ;)
4. You must be a visible wavelength of light, 'cos I'm an electron and you excite me.
5. How'd you get through security, 'cos baby, you're the nitroglycerine!
6. You've got more curves than a charged particle in a mass spectrometer.
7. You're like silicon chloride and I'm like water; when we're together it's basic chemisry.
8. Excuse me, does this smell like ammonia to you?
9. Whew, you're so hot, the temperature's going up... and my volume is increasing.
10. You're so perfect, you make the entropy of the universe decrease.
11. Your face is real symmetrical, it's like cis-but-2-ene.
12. Call me a ligand, 'cos you're so complex.
13. Are you an atomic spectrum? 'Cos I think I just had an emission.
14. You must be reducing the vapour pressure, 'cos you're making my blood boil.
15. Sick of Biology practicals? How about a little more Chemistry... (Credit: Elvira)
16. With dipoles like that, you're the solution to all my problems. (Credit: Elvira)
17. Wanna have my test tube baby?
18. Are you sulphuric acid? I want to test out my contact process.
19. You must know the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion theory, to have such a perfect shape.
In other news, today was another case of Jarrel Seah's "for someone so smart, you're quite dumb". Note to self: never let Jarrel pick two from a list of four ever again.

And my number 1 top Chemistry-based pick-up line:

20. If I could rearrange the periodic table, I'd put Uranium and Iodine together.
The Edna Man

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What do you do when it's the end of the world?

The student's prayer: "I hope I've covered everything, and if I haven't, may it not come out."

Good luck for exams, see you at the end of the end of the world.

12 days. Survive.
The Edna Man

Friday, September 19, 2008


Arrr, another Talk Like a Pirate Day has sailed off inter tha sunset, and yet again I find meself all alone at sea. Thare were rare few pieces-of-eight in this here sea of shipmates, and I found meself manning tha sails while everyone else was weighing anchor, if yer get my drift. A whole day devoted ter callin' yer shipmates scallywags and scurvy curs, swashing yer buckles and wondering why the rum's gone. It does seem a shame to lose something so fine, ain't it, lads? But tha devils of examinations rob tha fun of days like this, since them landlubbers have their noses pressed so close to their parchments they fail ter observe tha finer points in life.

Also, it be tha only day in tha whole year where yer can say, "Nice booty!" and get away with it. What's not ter like?

This year, I'd be comin' to tha realization that thare arr countless ways ter speak like a swashbuckler, without referrin' ter tha normal "Ahoy!", "Avast!" and "Aye!". That thare be simple talk, naught but fer simple pirates. Thare be much more ter piratin' that cannons and keelhauls; thare be storms and shipwrecks and Kraken and tha like. But arrr, they're more like guidelines than actual rules.

Unfortunately, I completely overlooked tha bearing of this particular circadian until tha postmeridian temporal, atwhich tha bisected diurnal had erstwhile dissipated, and although my efforts in aggrandizing this festivity was ineffectual, and my acquaintences were disinclined to acquiesce to my request. Means "no".

Arrr, but if ye consider time zones, it still be midday in tha Caribbean!

I'll be damned to tha depths of Davy Jones' Locker if I'll be stopped by tha likes of yer.
*Captain* Edna Mann

Monday, September 08, 2008

Now that's a presentation!

Woohoo! I did my Theory of Knowledge mock presentation today - what a blast! It doesn't matter so much that my presentation didn't conform with the dictated standards; I had my presentation, I knew what I was going to do, and I had fun doing it!

I'm diagnosed with an oprical anomaly. I'm not colour-blind; the rest of the world is.
The Edna Man

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I'm Taking Taxi Back!

I'm Taking Taxi Back - Parody of Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake
I'm taking taxi back
The MRT's fallen off the track
The bus is full of people; really packed
Got to get home so I can hit the sack

Take me to the bridge

Uncle, please
Can you take me right down to Tampines?
Why your back seat don't have those small TVs?
How come government must raise all your fees?

Take me to the city

Please keep right
Twenty cents, per half minute
No traffic lights
Twenty cents, per half minute
Twenty cents, per half minute
No gantry
Twenty cents, per half minute
Let me see you've got peak surcharge
Twenty cents, per half minute
Pay me more tips
Twenty cents, per half minute
Out of range
Twenty cents, per half minute
Keep the change
Twenty cents, per half minute

And hail that taxicab
Twenty cents, per half minute

And hail that taxicab
And hail that taxicab
And hail that taxicab
And hail that taxicab
And hail that taxicab
And hail that taxicab

And hail that taxicab

I'm taking taxi back
It's really late now and the sky is black
I'm scared if I walk home I get attacked
Who knows what kind of weird people I attract

Take me to the bridge

Taxis are
The best alternative to driving car
Perfect for people who drunk half the bar
But if you see ghost you should drive far far


I'm taking taxi back
You see the driver's name carved on a plaque
When you pay fees it better be exact
I only wish it were a Cadillac

Take me down to Clarke Quay


I have to say I don't really like the original song. It's kinda... fail. But oh well; for the parody!

Monday, September 01, 2008


Couple of stuffs recently. Let's rewind and go back in order...

Teachers' Day celebrations on Friday. (Incidentally, Happy Teachers' Day today for all you educationals out there.) Kinda spent the week working on a massive Lyrics Project, which is a PowerPoint version of Don't Forget the Lyrics. Kinda epicly failed on Friday 'cos of unforseen circumstances with the timetable and harrassed teachers who (I just realized) weren't... um... I don't know how else to put this because each and every way I phrase it in my mind, it sounds like I'm insulting or complaining about them, which I'm not. I'll just say that they're not westernized enough to just cut loose and sing along with the music. This remark is in no way insulting or condescending at all, okay? I just had higher hopes that my teachers were more awesome than they appear to be (and most of them are quite awesome already, so.). As I said before, I'm not blaming them, I'm not complaining or anything. As it is, I kinda feel bad for trying to force them into doing something they're not comfortable with. High expectations and the excitement of making something so awesome must have clouded my judgement.

Kinda makes you wonder, what's so important about face. Must be an Asian thing. There's a lot of theories that I could come up with explaining why "face" is held in such high regard in our society, but I don't really want to talk about that now.

On a semi-related yet unrelated (quasi-related, I think the term is) note, it's quite disappointing that my parents don't appreciate the creativity and ingenuity that went into making the presentation. It's similar to the one I did last year, with The Millionaire Show, but it's much much bigger than that. It's the little things that make you jump out of your chair and shout, "YES! I DID IT!", but it's depressing when your mom comes back and roars at you to "Go do your homework and stop spending so much time on that thing!" It's like there's nothing left for my parents to be proud of me anymore; I'm doing stuff in areas which they think is a waste of time. Sigh, oh well, at least my friends liked it. Got positive comments from Ernest and Elvira and Herrick and Shaun; don't know about The Jarrel Seah, Programming Lord and Master though.

Fast forward to... Saturday. Went for MGS Eccentrics OM celebrations party-slash-get together. Quite fun, seeing all the girls again, and well, I tried to teach them new games but failed epicly (second time this week) 'cos there wasn't enough motivation. I mean, hyperactivity + girls just wanna' have fun =/= organized activity. Yeah. Well, but it was fun, talked to the parents a bit and had nice stuffs to eat =) Kinda sad that a lot of them aren't doing OM next year; I guess only time will tell if they're going to go the same way as my OM team from back in 2K5.

Still, I kinda felt vaguely out of place. The girls are all together in the same school and most in the same class and they've all got happenings that are centred around them; then there's the parents who are at the table talking about their parental stuff. And then there I am again, the middle man, doesn't really fit here or there, but is like a birdge between the two. I kept feeling that I should be doing something but I didn't know what to do, actually.

Yesterday... Nike+ Human Race! Got lots of freebies which I paid for (hahaha paradox), and was quite fun run/walking the 10K with Florence and Elvira. But then Florence disappeared into the distance. I tried to get Elvira to chase after all the vehicles going in our direction, but she didn't. -__- Well, at least now I've got bragging rights that I finished ten kilometres without stopping, and I finished with a time of 2 hours, 22 minutes, and 22 seconds! Well, almost; it was like half a minute after that, but close enough lah.

And then I kinda vaguely enjoyed my first live rock concert, Boys Like Girls. Quite weird, how people will scrabble for stuff the band throws into the crowd, like their water bottles and guitar picks and their sweaty shirts. I didn't really know many of their songs (they should put the lyrics up somewhere, like karaoke) but the energy and stuff was kinda infectious. Except the music was just deafening; I couldn't really hear what the guy was singing. But yeah, quite awesome all the same. Maybe next time I'll go for a concert at a band whose songs I know so I can sing along. Oh yeah, Josh got a free iPod, lucky bugger XD

Well, that's the latest news. Catch us back tomorrow, same time, same channel.

Next year, I'm doing my ten clicks on the Internet. That's like, five double-clicks!
The Edna Man

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You're all in denial

I forgot to blog about this: on the 9th of August, I purposely put a green flag in my Display Picture, representing my colour-blindness in society. After talking to a couple of people, I can safely conclude that the world is colour-blind without knowing it. Because after talking to those people, nobody said anything like, "Hey! Your flag's the wrong colour!" Which goes to show that even staring at them in the face, they can't instinctively distinguish between green and red. I.e. the world's colour blind. Go scientific method!

On a side note, I think a karaoke party is an awesome idea. No that we have to go to one of those karaoke booths with all the songs we don't know (or worse still, in Chinese), but you can just get people to go to someone else's house, bringing their favourite songs (plus lyrics, of course, if you need them) in a thumbdrive, and voila! Instant karaoke party. I have got to do that sometime.

Admit it, c'mon.
The Edna Man

Gender discrimination, anyone?

I've been thinking about this for some time now. It's about gender equality. Specifically, it's about gender equality in looking good.

When you think about it right, girls have so much more stuff to wear than guys. Think about it: all guys can wear are shirts. Maybe singlets. Girls can wear shirts, tank tops, halters, tube-tops, blouses, dresses, polo tees, camisoles, crop tops. Guys can wear pants, shorts, or bermudas. Girls can wear pants, bermudas, shorts, boyshorts, dresses, skirts, minskirts, gowns, robes, shawls, smocks, frocks, petticoats. Guys: socks. Girls: socks, stockings, thigh-highs, leggings, tights, garters. Guys: shoes, sandals, boots. Girls: shoes, sandals, boots and high heels.

It's not just clothes. Girls have lipstick, foundation, eyeshadow, lip gloss, powder, rouge, mascara, nail polish, concealers, eyebrow pencils. Guys? They don't wear make up. Usually. Girls: necklaces, chokers, hair pins, earrings, tiaras, bracelets, bangles, rings, brooches, anklets. Guys: bling. Guys have bow ties, neck ties, suspenders, and scarves. Girls can wear all these.

Hats: caps, helmets, bearskins, bowlers, cowboys, fedoras, fez, hard hats, porkpies, sombreros, top hats, turbans. Girls can wear all these plus bonnets, headdresses, circlets, tiaras, fillets. Women can wear gloves; men can but it's not normal for them to. Sashes, feather boas, handbags, purses, pouches. Guys only have belts. Underwear: boxers or briefs. Bras, corsets, thongs, G-strings, boyshorts, knickers. Pyjamas. Babydolls, camisoles, negligees, nightgowns, bustiers, torsolettes, girdles, tap pants, slips, teddies, corselets.

Maybe the only thing we guys have more of is facial hair. We've got moustaches: handlebar, toothbrush, Hungarian, Dali, Imperial, pencil, walrus, horseshoe, whiskers, Fu Manchu. We've got beards, goatees, chinstraps, sideburns, stubble, royale, five o'clock shadow. But guys only have crewcut, buzz cut, comb over, cornrows, dreadlocks, mohawks, flat top, afros, mullets, bald spots. Girls have all these plus beehive, ponytails, pigtails, buns, French braids, French twists, highlights, perms, pixie cut.

Wow, you really learnt a lot, didn't you?

Spot the head-fake,
The Edna Man


Ever had those nights when you're sitting at your computer all alone and you see all these friends around but nobody's talking to you and you don't really feel like starting a conversation with them either so all you end up doing is singing your heart out?


Kinda vaguely watched the NDP Parade tonight. China's Olympic Opening Ceremony totally pwns ours, like, a thousand-fold (interestingly, their population numbers do the same thing with our population numbers). It's kinda awesome and scary at the same time to realize how many people there are in China. But seriously, it was awesome. No other country was, is, and ever will be able to match up to its awesomeness. China: respect.

Calefare is hilarious. First Class less so. I think there could be better acting in First Class. Have I mentioned that Calefare is hilarious?

Viva la China,
The Edna Man

Monday, August 04, 2008


And so we come back to this. In an incident mirroring one that happened a couple years ago, we were once again treated to a less-than-interesting lecture/presentation, but this time the inappropriate behaviour of the cohort was met with swift, silent punishment by the assistant dean.

Here's where it's going to get tricky. I am putting forward the proposition that he was wrong. Gasp. I think the charge leveled at us was misdirected: it is not a matter of respect, it is a matter of self-control.

The basic premise of his 30-minute lesson was that at any given time, a student should "give respect" to whatever speaker is up on stage. This is where I disagree. My beliefs are impregnable in this aspect: respect is something that you have to earn. It is not intrinsic in whatever position you hold, whatever seniority or whatever delegation. You want respect, you have to earn it. Do something to get people to respect you. Your office holds no respect; it is what you do that defines you.

Said assistant dean doubles as our English teacher, and it is a subtle irony that he is grading us on presentations this term. Once again I fail to see how teachers put so much effort into teaching this generation when their generation makes all the mistakes and has all the shortcomings which they try to steer us away from. Can't they teach themselves? Can only younger ones be taught? Don't have walls of text; let your points appear one by one; know your audience. Are these rules only for students under curriculum? It seems that once you get into working life, they don't seem to matter. What role-models are teachers if they don't follow their own guidelines?

Another example, from just a couple minutes ago. My dad is always telling us that it's good PR not to say "No" outright in response to anything. It's always better to be humble, and rephrase it in a nicer way. Today at dinner he was talking about Microsoft Office, and how he has to keep buying new copies to use on other computers. Recalling that there's an office version that can be installed on up to 30 computers with the same liscence, I told him so. He immediately said, "No, cannot be." I tried to persuade him that I had encountered it before while browsing the Internet, but he was still adamant. Why is it that when you get old, you think you know everything? Like the youth is always wrong because we have less experience.

Back to respect. I would like to ensure that nobody misunderstands me in my stand. I am not condoning my actions today. I accept that what I have done is socially wrong. But it is not the social constant of giving respect which I have flunked, it is the social wrong of lacking self-control. I understand that I should have kept to minimum silence and at least made it look like I was listening to whatever was being presented. But to ask me to give respect to the presenter would be going to far. There is a fine line between looking respectful and actually giving respect. I hope you can make the distinction.

I can predict that because of today, a number of students will hold said English teacher in lesser eyes because of the apparent injustice he did to them by holding them back another half hour or so. However, I continue to respect said English teacher, not because of his position, but because I believe in him. (I realize that saying that is rather role-reversal.) He had the power to stand behind his own convictions, and he did what he thought was right. I cannot fault him for that. I've known him for a number of years, and he has done nothing to make me lose my respect for him.

There's a fine, fine line.

In other news, I've decided to give up on the happy note sad note thing. I realize that it cannot encompass whatever I can write about.

The Edna Man

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Just came back from visiting Mrs Hah and her one-month-old baby! So cute! XD I got to carry the little tyke and he kept making weird faces at me XD Caught up with Mr Poon again, and met Mr Chan, my primary school science teacher. Good memories, good times. Ahh.

It's quite depressing how important your image and reputation is. Because of a (quite disturbing) joke I made yesterday, I've got this sick rep following me around. Dneo is getting suspicious about my cleanliness and stuff (but ON A HILARIOUS NOTE, Got mah!)

I think my behaiour at Mrs Hah's place today wasn't very... good. I mean, I should have gone around, talking to Mrs Hah and her husband more, or at least do what I was supposed to do and occupy the girls I coached for OM. (Curse you Herrick.)

I'm starting this new thing with my blog which will hopefully inspire me to write more. It's an idea I had a long time ago with one of the posts, "Orchestrated". On a happy note; on a sad note; add the notes together and you get the melody of my life.

The Edna Man

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

True Colourless

Blame Ernest for this one. He was the catalyst that sparked this idea.

True Colours - Parody of True Colours by Cindi Lauper
You with the bad eyes
This isn't violet
Oh I realize
You can't be a pilot
Or an electrician
Traffic lights are such a big fuss
And all decorations
Look the same at Christmas

But I see your true colours
Shining through
I see your true colours
And that's why I love you
But you know that I'm lyin'
'Cos I'm colourblind
Your true colours
True colors
Are a mystery
Like a noir show

Don't talk colour wheels
Dreamcoats or dream homes
It's a great ordeal
To see in monochrome
I mix up blue and purple
And even aquamarine
That's not the end
'Cos I can't tell red from green

I can't see your true colors
How 'bout you?
Can't see your blue colors
If only you just knew
How painful it is when people all quiz
You on the True colours
True colors
Unknown to me
On a rainbow

Monday, July 28, 2008



I just did my IOP today and it was so boring. I mean, I had the interesting voice, but the presentation itself was boring to heck. Nothing interesting, few jokes, mostly content... gaah.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's not worth it if you can walk away from a presentation and say, "Yeah, it was okay." Marks are just numbers to be ignoreed. Everything that you do must come off with a "OMG THAT WAS TOTALLY AWESOME!!!" sense of achievement after it, or it wasn't worth doing at all.

My presentation had no kick. It had no driving force, no humour. Boring boring boring.

The Edna Man