Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

Another year, another round of awesomeness that is 2011.

1. MAHJONG PARTY! (Written 12th February, 2011)
Awesome fun with awesome friends with an awesome game and you get a completely awesome time. Throw in a couple of references to The Legend of Koizumi and it doesn't get any better than this.

2. Anime of the Year: Toradora!, Angel Beats!, Puella Magi Modoka Magica, Toaru Majutsu no Index and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (Written 30th December, 2011)
Toradora! was a nice show, with Taiga being adorable and all. Angel Beats! was clearly the heart-breaking anime of the year, and it came with great music to boot. Puella Magi Modoka Magica was the mind-blowing anime of the year, with a completely crazy ending that made it legendary. Index and Railgun sold me with the great character designs and enormous amounts of cute girls (Himegami!), hilarious side characters (Kuroko LOL) and a kickass universe which combined magic and science.

3. Anime Festival Asia 2011 (Written 30th December, 2011)
I am slowing seeping into the world of anime. My first AFA was a blast. From authentic cosplays to amazing artwork and awesome interviews with seiyuus and MIRAI SUENAGA AND HER ORANGENESS to THE NYAN-NYAN PERCENT OCCUPYING AFA and awesome concerts with LiSA. Best weekend ever.

4. Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention 2011 (Written 30th December, 2011)
Still not worthy of ComiCon; nevertheless I had a great time and an awesome discount on Civil War trade paperbacks. I also got an autograph from Steve Ditko, CEO of DC Comics, while wearing an Iron Man shirt. Most awkward moment EVER. And also photo with a Black Cat cosplayer, that was priceless.

5. World Building (Written 30th December, 2011)
So Hui Jun and Xi Min thought it would be a good idea to create a world together. Needless to say, it was. I loved using information and ideas across all my areas of knowledge, to contribute to everything from history to politics, magic particles to illusioned golems. The world-building is definitely going to continue, and we'll see where our imaginations take us.

6. Selling my Soul to 9Gag (Written 30th December, 2011)
9Gag is possibly one of the most unobtrusive websites that slowly gained popularity over the year, and I am proud to admit that I was suckered into it from (near) the beginning. I now proudly boast a wide range of knowledge about almost every Internet meme alive, which probably contributes to my Forever Alone status. (Look it up!)

7. The Extremely Dumb News Agency (Written 30th December, 2011)
I started writing spoof articles about current evens a la the Onion this year, and I even started a Facebook page on which to publish them from. It's mostly died down now, since I'm getting pretty lazy (and I haven't been having many good ideas), but there was a bunch of good satire there. Archives, archives; where'd I put the archives?

8. The Genius of Terry Pratchett (Written 30th December, 2011)
So I borrowed a bunch of Pratchett's books from Juzzie this year, and I tore through them (not literally) and I found that HE IS HILARIOUS. I read one of them long ago (The Fifth Elephant, if I remember correctly) when I was sixteen, and I didn't get it. But now I do! And it's hilarious! And witty! And an accurate satire of human nature and the world around us! Very, very well done, Mr. Pratchett, my hat's off to you.

9. The Team Fortress 2 Experience (Written 30th December, 2011)
This is definitely the Game of the Year. I was amazed when it was released Free to Play sometime in July, and I was amazed that it could run on my computer. Since then I've spent a few hundred hours firing oversized rocket launchers and dragon-tipped flamethrowers. It's a really fun game, with no steep learning curve and a bunch of fun game modes; just watch out for spies.

10. GEP Christmas/New Year Gathering (Written 30th December, 2011)
This was a nice time where most of us got together for what might have been the last time in our lives. It was nice to see people who have been friends for the past six years, some even more, come together for a large gathering, barbequeing food and having the most typical gift exchange ever. Hopefully there'll be more of these gatherings in the future!

The Year in Entertainment

Anime: Toradora!; Angel Beats!; Needless; Puella Magi Modoka Magica, Toaru Majutsu no Index and Toaru Kagaku no Railgun; Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below

For most of the anime, see #2 above. Needless was okay, mostly a fanservice show, but there was one HILARIOUSLY AWESOME part somewhere in ep. 18 or 19, where Adam Blade shouts that HE IS ALREADY IN PARADISE. That was seriously the best part of the whole show. Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below was made by the same guy who made 5 centimetres per second, and it's freaking sad too, and also really creepy, in a way.

Movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Inception; Captain America: The First Avenger; Thor; 3 Idiots (DVD), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Pirates was awesome, as always. A movie with Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow cannot go wrong. Inception was mind-blowing. Captain America was good, but it looked too much like a designed prequel for The Avengers (I STILL CANNOT WAIT). Thor was okay, but a bit awkward when I realised that Valhalla was actually multiracial. Loki was quite well-portrayed, though. 3 Idiots is a Bollywood movie, and it was great. I wouldn't mind watching it again, but I know all the plot twists already. This is a must-recommended. Sherlock Holmes was awesome; I didn't watch the first one but I really love how they portrayed his logical thought and deductive reasoning in the slow-motion shots; it really shows off the Sherlock Holmes' playing-a-few-steps-into-the-future characteristic.

Books: Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy; Terry Pratchett's Equal Rites, Reaper Man, Soul Music, Witches Abroad, Interesting Times, Men At Arms, Mort, Guards! Guards, Moving Pictures; Marvel's Civil War series; Philip Reeve's Fever Crumb trilogy: Fever Crumb, A Web of Air, Scrivener's Moon

I re-read His Dark Materials this year and it was as good as ever; maybe even better. I picked up a lot more from the second reading, more of the allusions and symbolism. The ending still broke my heart though. Terry Pratchett re-introduced me to his fantastic and satirical Discworld, which is brilliant in every way imaginable (and in some unimaginable ways as well). I got a few more Civil War books this year too, and the whole crossover event was very well executed around the whole Marvel universe. I picked up Scrivener's Moon only a few weeks ago and loved it. Reeve sure knows how to put a universe together. It also surprised me that he revealed his main character to have homosexual leanings, which was unthinkable for a book aimed at British teenagers, but it was very well-executed.

Music: Sam Tsui; Christina Grimmie; Owl City; Girls Dead Monster (and by extension LiSA); fripSide (specifically the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun openings, only my railgun and Level 5 -Judgement-)

No big shakes in the music department; Sam Tsui is a great singer who has the charisma to make it big in the American music industry. And because of his duet with Christine Grimmie (Just a Dream), I was introduced to her as well, and she's really cute and has a nice voice. I also discovered the awesomeness that is Owl City's Adam Young: the way he plays with words in his lyrics are amazing. Take a look at the bridge of Plant Life and you'll see what I mean. And the Railgun openings are stuck in my head. That is all.

Games: Team Fortess 2; War Metal: Tyrant; Dragon Nest; Borderlands; Poxnora; Portal; Portal 2

Tyrant is quite fun; I've been following it with Juzzie for a while. I like how they manage to make a simple concept of cards fighting cards so complicated on so many levels. Dragon Nest was my MMORPG for this year, and I found it great, a very well-done action MMO; but ultimately I found that I don't really like chasing quest chains and waiting for parties. Borderlands I got from Boey; it's quite fun with the mix of FPS and RPG elements. Poxnora is a turn-based strategy game that JX intro-ed me some time back but couldn't run properly on my computer then. It works now, and I find it very intriguing. Portal was released for free for a short period of time this year and I managed to get it, and Kyle gave me Portal 2 in December, which was great. We're almost done with the co-op mode; just the advanced levels left. Wheatley is HILARIOUS.

That's it for 2011. Apocalypse year 2012, here we come!

The end, one way or another,
The Edna Man

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Word

The disciples shuffled silently into the sacred place. Around them, the towering shelves rustled with the pages of a thousand hallowed tomes. The altar was bathed in a soft, yellow light from the small frosted lamps; for candles were not allowed, and no-one was heretical enough to bring in a naked flame.

It was cold. The disciples were glad of their thick hooded robes, which kept them warm. The more restless ones shifted around nervously, occasionally glancing towards the altar, which was bare save for the podium with one of the Holy Books.

As last, the Head Librarian arrived. Immediately, the congregation was silent. The Head Librarian did not like loud noises in the sanctum. He was an elderly man, and he slowly made his way up the small flight of stairs until he stood at the podium. He cast a knowing eye upon the crowd before him, seeing the hundreds of faces looking up at him anxiously, expectant.

Smiling slightly, he reached into an inner pocket and withdrew the ceremonial reading glasses, placing them upon his crooked nose. Then he opened the Holy Book, and in a thin, wavering voice, began to read.

"The Book of Merriam-Webster, section P, entry 243," he read. "Perspicacity, noun, one: keenness of mental perception and understanding; discernment; penetration. Two: archaic, keen vision. Origin: 1540-50, earlier perspicacite, Late Latin..."


Just an idea. Influenced a bit by Philip Reeve and his Mortal Engines universe, of which Scrivener's Moon I have just finished reading. He is an amazing writer with an amazing world, and he better finish writing the next book soon.

The definition is taken from The entry number is made up. No slights on religion were made in this short story. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental...

"The Future is something that sneaks up on us while we are busy doing other things."
The Edna Man

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Forever Alone

So as I was eating my solitary dinner in Takshimaya this evening, I had an idea for a for a short movie.

It's about this guy who has this shirt. It's a simple shirt with the words "DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT?" printed across the front. He wears it everywhere. (He's quite desperate.) He goes about doing his daily routine for most of the short (2-3 minute) clip, while people pass him by every day. Then right at the end, a girl with a shirt with the word "YES" printed on it says hi to him. The film ends.

My god I am lonely.
The Edna Man

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Certain Emotional Review

I've just finished watching To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, following both seasons of To Aru Majutsu no Index, which I have to say are both awesome.

Both shows, set in the same universe, have a huge number of characters. I think the creators did a really good job with the character designs, because they're all distinguishable and unique in their own way. I thought the frog-faced doctor, the Heaven Canceller, was hilarious, and even more so when Misaka mistook him for a real-life Gekota (which I'm guessing means frog, or something). I liked Index, Misaka 10032, and Himegami Aisa, and Last Order, who are all adorable, and Misaka Mokoto herself, of course. Kuroko Shirai is FREAKING HILARIOUS. Saten Ruiko has a really nice voice (actress).

What I liked about Index was the way they merged magic and science. It's a very interesting system, and like the universe itself, was quite well-balanced. The graphics for both were amazingly well done. Loved all the magic circles and battle nuns and crystal ships and everything. The world was complete and cohesive, with nary a plot hole anywhere. That's my kind of universe.

Railgun ended nicely, which gave me that heart-accelerant feeling that I now associate with brilliant stories. When I was done, I thought it was a bit demoralising to realise that I don't have that kind of really close friend, the kind that you can call up during guard duty to talk without feeling like you're bothering them. But my friends are awesome in their own other ways, so I don't think I should be complaining. Besides, they're all not girls, so.

And there still isn't any Index season 3 or Railgun season 2.

Such misfortune.
The Edna Man

Saturday, December 03, 2011


There's this problem with people. They seem to think that they're entitled to things, even when they're not. They think that all their supposed hard work is supposed to pay off in the end, that they get their dues, and what they're owed. They don't imagine for a moment, that perhaps they are not worth the rewards, that they came up short, that they are not worthy to hold the titles and accolades which they demand.

And that is how the world works. And that is why the world is never happy.
The Edna Man

Monday, November 14, 2011


My first Anime Festival Asia and I am high.

Three weeks ago I was at somewhere stupid wasting my morning, when Bryan came up to me and bugged me to go AFA. I went back and looked at the schedule (and pricing) and was debating it for a few days. I should go back in time and tell my past self to go for it, no regrets.

I wanted to check out the Miku concert, but tickets were sold out by the time I made my decision, so I forsook it. I heard it was not as awesome as a real Japanese one though, so I don't think I missed out that much.

Saturday at arrived early to redeem my tickets. It was quite exciting first stepping through the entrance to the hall. I wasn't very interested in the merchandise since they were mostly figurines, which I don't go for, so I wandered around with a few of my friends, watching them steam over the characters they love. There were a lot of good artists at the indie corridor, and I purchased a nice matte poster of Kyoko-chan. I was considering getting the full set of Magia posters, but they didn't have Madoka and the Homura one wasn't very to my taste.

There were many cosplayers at the festival. Some were good, and many were brilliant. I wouldn't mind cosplaying in the future; it's fun to pretend to be someone else, but I will go over the edge and remain completely in character. That would be awesome. I can't go through all the cosplayers I saw over the last few days, but there were a few good ones I remember (that I recognised): Madoka, Mami, this girl in the centre of the second floor with the huge red dress, the awesome hair girl from Index who just took off her hair, cute vocaloid girl, Black Rock Shooter, the random rage comic memes.

Boey dragged me to watch LiSA's artist appearance in the morning, where she sang the opening of Fate/Zero. I was also there to catch the live dubbing of Magia by Homura's seiyu, Chiwa Saitou. Danny Choo is awesome in that he went to live his dream in Japan. He's also quite funny. However, he doesn't know how to host properly. He keeps pointing out all the mistakes, which is very pointless and quite unprofessional. He doesn't even turn it into a joke, which is what should be done. But I have found out I arbitrarily LOVE Mirai Suenaga because she's so ORANGE! Gotta give credit to him for that, if nothing else.

Saturday's concert was awesome. I didn't know many of the artists, but I thought the music was quite nice. For all the criticism Sea-Star-A seems to get, I don't think they're horrible; their songs are quite happy and catchy, and one of their songs did get chosen to be this year's AFA theme song. Ichiro Mizuki/Aniki was from a generation before mine, so while good, not very emotionally attached. Also, his blowing-in-the-wind scarf was hilarious. I didn't really like Flow; they were too loud, and they came on after LiSA.

I shall now dedicate two paragraphs to LiSA and her performance.

LiSA was easily the best performance of the night. She was really energetic and looked like she really enjoyed the music and performing. She's adorable. It didn't hurt that I knew a few of her songs from Angel Beats!. I loved her whiplash-hand action thing. She stole my heart when she cried after Ichiban no Takaramono. She put her heart and soul into that song until it became too much to hold in and it exploded out of her. I'd admire any singer who can do that, and LiSA was it.

Boey Yang was (probably) the happiest person alive in the concert hall that night. He is a huge fan of LiSA, and wants me to tell the world (or whoever reads this blog) how much he loves her. You should have seen him explode when he recognised all her songs from Angel Beats! and the Fate/Zero opening. I have never seen another person quite so happy. I mentioned to Jonas that it's a nice feeling to see Boey happy, because he's never happy: he's always complaining or emoing about something or other.

I noticed that many of the artists thanked us for supporting Japan after the tsunami disaster earlier. It made me feel a bit bad that I didn't really do anything to help Japan back then. I shall do more in the future.

So I was exhaused after jumping around for LiSA and my arms were dead. Unfortunately the concert ended at 11:30pm and it was a mad rush to the MRT station to catch the last train. Split an ice milo with Jonas (sweet elixir of life, after three hours of dehydrating concert) and managed to catch the last train, AND a bus back home. So awesome.

Sunday was more of the same, but this time following Bryan Ong around, who refuses to take photos of everything and didn't even want to look around. So I ended up wandering around the same stalls of figurines I didn't want to buy. I found out that the booth which I bought my Kyoko poster from was now selling Madoka, so I was wondering if I should get the complete Magia set, but I found out they were out of Mami, so I just got Sayaka instead. Jonas got a signed Anisong poster from one of the artists in a lucky draw.

Managed to bump into Xi Min who found out his neighbour (who is a girl) was cosplaying there as well, and around our age. START OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP XI MIN. She looks like a loli though. Speaking of which, Xi Min used me as a human blocker to shoot a photo of a really small girl cosplaying as some loli character. Like a true pedobear. Sigh. And speaking of which, there was some guy in a pedobear costume going around in the afternoon, and many photos were being taken of him and little kids. And then, he met with another pedobear cosplayer, and they acted like they knew each other and embraced like old friends. Best cosplay meeting ever. I was hoping the Homura cosplayers would go around shooting all the Kyubeis, but I never it happening. I was also hoping the Ash and Misty cosplayers would bump into the Bug Catcher, and he would shout, "Hey! You looked at me funny! Let's battle!" But nothing happened.

Also went to check out the AKB48 artist appearance. One of the girls (there were only two) was quite pretty but didn't seem very honest; the other was not as pretty but more honest, I felt. I always thought they were a Korean group until yesterday, when I found out they were actually Japanese. Oh there was this really funny part when one of them said something-something-otaku-something-something, and the translator was like, "...and all the... uh... anime-fans...", which I found hilarious.

I also checked out the cosplay competition in the afternoon, and the Philippines one was clearly the best of the lot, with a light-up display that no one expected, and a dramatic twist ending. The Lightning was not bad, and the Singapore girls dressed up as guys (with really low-cut top and revealing abs which were not real), which I thought was a bit weird. I never really understand crossplay, especially guys dressing up as girls, which is not appealing at all. But oh well, whatever floats your boat.

We were approached in the middle of area next to the cafés by some showgirls working for Canon who wanted to give us free photos, to advertise the portable photo printer. As there were five of us, we had to stand around awkwardly while the photos were being printed. Boey and Jonas asked them some questions, and they said that they weren't into anime, and were just working for Canon, so they were probably quite lost as to the whole atmosphere of the convention. There were also a few girls advertising Kit-Kat and Milo and giving out free samples, and they were affectionately known as Kit-Kat-chan and Milo-chan by my more otaku compatriots.

Before the concert on Sunday we didn't bother to queue with hordes of people, so we walked around a bit more and discovered the graffiti wall, which had a lot of awesome art and a lot of hilarious stuff tacked to it, because it wasn't an officially-designated spot, just a large area where there weren't any posters or anything. There were some funny Kyubei recruitment posters, and a whole wall dedicated to Singapore's Bronies, but my personal favourite was the poster which read "OCCUPY AFA: WE ARE THE NYAN NYAN PERCENT (who were denied a drawing space) *pic of nyan-cat* WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE". I thought that was hilarious, and whoever did that, I totally salute you for your awesome pop culture references.

Sunday's concert was okay; I didn't know a single song except the Magia ending theme by Kalafina. I kinda liked Kalafina; they have this edgy refined goth-opera style which I didn't dislike, and one of them had the awesome half-cornrow hairstyle which is probably my favourite hairstyle for a girl. The Stein's Gate singer (whose name I cannot remember now) was not bad, but I didn't know the songs. I thought Milky Holmes was like Sea-Star-A, in that they were cute, with happy songs, but I cannot say I really liked them that much. Angela was nice, with a lot of stage presence and audience interaction, and there was a special Nico Nico Douga live stream in the middle of their performance too. May'n was good, I think I shall start listening to her songs. It's hard to believe she's only in her early twenties. I also realised that Day 2 performers had a lot more English than Day 1, which was quite surprising. I'm sure that all the screams from the audience is totally oblivious to every line of Japanese they say.

So that was my two days of anime festival, which totally rocked, and we ended with a group shot of all the GEPs into anime, which was a nice finishing touch to the whole weekend.

The Edna Man

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Angel Beats!

Angel Beats! is another really good anime.

I got through my weekend guard duty on this wonderful masterpiece by Key, which is (for me) on par with Love Hina for pure Crowning Moment of Heartwrenching. Albeit this time is heartbreaking instead of heartwarming. Still, I got that same emotional restless adrenaline-pumping mind-blasting feeling that I got when Love Hina ended. I'm afraid I might becoming addicted.

I loved the artwork. When you realise that most anime is just awesome artwork with a slow pan or slight zoom, you start appreciating more of the tiny details of the world. I loved the 3D 180-degree wrap-arounds of Yui at the baseball pitch. I loved the closeup of Yuri's eyes. I loved the artwork throughout the entire series.

The story also tantalizes with so many philosophical thoughts and literary themes. It talks about the meaning and purpose of life, fulfillment of your dreams, of friendship and leadership, of the amazing power of unconditional love in the face of an unjust world. (The world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world is chance. As an aside.) It's about acceptance, it's about life after death, and another life after that.

Then there were the other bits that just made my day. Yui was extremely adorable whenever she appeared. TJ was hilarious. I found that the creators mixed the perfect balance of humour and I-want-to-stab-myself-right-now melancholy that you're able to survive the first few episodes without falling into depression. I also loved the Matrix-esque computer room and its Architect. The plot twist which revealed Otonashi's real cause of death also had me mindblown. I also loved the graduation scene, even though it was tear-my-heart-out-now depressing. I thought it was brilliant that the "afterlife" was mostly the same as "life": you can't die, but you can be erased, so accepting your life is also like accepting your death.

The only thing I find disappointing with this anime is that it's part of a mixed media project, which means a lot of the story is found in the light novels and manga, and the plot is also quite rushed and not very cohesive. That said, whatever they managed to squeeze into the anime worked well enough for me.

I would like to grow up and write like these writers do, to take your emotions and throw them on a roller-coaster, and stretch them, pull them, smash them, until you're panting and sweating and you feel so alive.

My soul, your beats
The Edna Man

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Loathe as I am to contaminate this sacrosant journal with green, I feel I should write this down for all posterity, so that in the future I can look back and laugh at the stupid problems I had when I was younger.

I had my first duty as a guard commander (second-in-command) yesterday, and a bit of today. I can honestly tell you that it is a terrific1 job and I really salute those men who do it every day for two years.

I am honour-bound (and also bound by other prevalent and undesirable punishments) not to reveal precisely how terrific the job is, but the thing I want to rant about involves something that has nothing to do with any organisation whatsoever, but a flaw in the human design system.

Firstly, I get scheduled to sleep, however minimally, from about 10pm to 2am. I go to bed after turnout, which is so hygienic and spotless and not shared by multiple people at all, and lie there for an hour until I fall asleep. Typical problem; but it's duty, so oh well, no big deal.

Then I'm awake from 2am to 7am, fuelled by nothing by Terry Pratchett's Interesting Times (which explains the "highest form of flattery" style of this post) and the fear of seven extras gnawing at my soul. That's okay too; I managed to stay awake pretty fine with two hours of sleep.

So finally when I get on the bus and I'm on the way home, I'm reading again, since it kept me awake for the past six, seven hours. I'm halfway down the page, when I wake up and realise I've missed my stop by about three of them. I had completely no idea when I fell asleep, or how, but the funny thing is, I know at roughly what point I fell asleep, due to the rest of the page being unfamiliar.

Of course, it's funny now, future me, but at that point when it's nine-thirty in the morning and you have to cross hordes of traffic just to get to the bus stop opposite and take a bus three stops backwards which would have been completely unnecessary if not for your falling asleep, it was quite awful.

1 Horrible-horrific; terrible-?

Because [undecipherable pictogram] you.
The Edna Man

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Singaporean ComiCon and Natsu Matsuri

So once again I dropped by the Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Convention (STGCC) this year and it was a blast. As always, it cannot quite compare to what I've seen at the actual Comicon, but it's close enough I guess.

I went down crazily early this time, queueing up before the doors opened at 10am. And the most amazing thing you see when you step in is this huge booth decorated in pulp-fiction styled posters of almost every comic book-related movie imaginable: Captain America, the Watchmen, Superman, Batman, etc., belonging to the figurines booth. I can honestly say I didn't really take notice of the figurines, even though I know that they are quite awesome and had a few hundred photographers milling around.

I TOUCHED PAUL LEVITZ'S HAND AAHHHHHH! I am such a fanboy. Once President of DC Comics, he's now Contributing Editor of DC Entertainment. I TOUCHED HIS HAND AHHHHH and I, for some reason, COMPLETELY FORGOT that I was wearing my French Connection Iron Man T-shirt (the only genre-appropriate shirt I have) when I asked him to sign my preview of Justice League #1, and he asked me, "What's that on your shirt?" I was like, CRAAAAPPPPP (Iron Man's a Marvel character, in case you don't know). But he was cool, he said it was okay, he's had thirty years of Marvel experience behind him. I got a nice Legion of Superheroes badge from him as well. Should have been a ring, but I'm not complaining. AHHHHH I am SUCH a fanboy.

Most of my attention was caught up at the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 area, where I got to see live-action (in a manner of speaking) MvC3 action. It was kinda disappointing to see everyone using the same few characters, but I guess it was to be expected since it was a tournament and all. Sometimes you'd catch a glimpse of Viewtiful Joe, or Ameratsu, or Felicia, or Storm, or Haggar, but not very many other tier-two characters. Bumped into Cleon after lunch there; he was participating in the tournament. Stalled out a Dark Phoenix in his first game, and I had diahorrea and missed his others. Said he hadn't played for two months, and he was still quite good.

I invested $150 in comics that afternoon. It's roughly the same amount I would have spent on comics over the next three months, but at the insane discounts at the convention, got double the number of books I would have gotten if I'd spent $50 a month at Kinokuniya. Bargain! Plus there were so many Civil War trade paperbacks there that are never stocked on Kino's shelves. Double-victory!

I managed to work up the nerve to ask this Black Cat cosplayer to take a picture with me. She had the most authentic Black Cat costume I've seen ever. I was being so totally awkward and chasing her between booths and waiting for her to get her commissions and stuff and then I finally asked her. I figure I still have so much to learn about talking to girls. Such a nerd.

Anyway, I spent a considerable amount of time watching the guy demo Dragon's Nest, and I have to say, it has gotten me quite hooked. I might try it out soon, maybe once Team Fortress 2 becomes less interesting. Who knows.

Well after that it was a train ride to Tanah Merah for natsu matsuri, the Japanese summer festival. On the way I was standing a short distance away from this girl, really pretty, whom I noticed had a STGCC stamp on her arm as well. I was hoping for a chance to get closer to maybe (I don't know!) talk to her, or something; point out a price tag sticker was stuck to the front of her blouse, then remark about STGCC, and maybe start talking. The opportunity never arose, and a couple of stops from my destination, she moved away to the centre of the carriage. I figure I still have so much to learn about talking to girls. Such a nerd.

The festival itself was insanely crowded. I have never seen so many non-Japanese people attempting to do a Japanese thing outside Japanese restaurants or AFA. I had no idea that it was so popular, or that so many people know about it. It was packed, and the stalls were all overrun, especially the food ones. In the end I didn't try much Japanese cultural stuff, because all the queues were too long, and the festival music stopped just after I convinced Jonas to join me in the dance. SIGH.

After that was a nice dinner at Changi Airport, where Sheu Zhi completely confused the waitress by asking for "wen-leng shui" (warm ice water) and the entire night she was calling him that. Hilarious.

Best part of the day? No mob!
The Edna Man

Monday, June 13, 2011


No, I'm not. Not yet.

Though I did drop by the Cosplay Summit Asia thing at Orchard Central this weekend. It wasn't very spectacular, though the Sepiroth guy looked quite cool (with LED lights too, wow). I wasn't really looking at the costumes, but more of the people who were there. It was kind of a big, unintentional social experiment.

Obviously there were random normal people who happened to walk by and chance on this eccentric group of people who would spend money, time and energy to dress up as fictional characters, and most of their reactions were "Lol these people are so pathetic" or "WTF is that guy wearing" and etcetera. There were some who were definitely not into the whole anime thing but joined in anyway; to these people, I salute you for daring to try something out of the ordinary. And then of course there were the people who wanted to be there for the event, which weren't that many. The host was vainly trying to rouse the crowd; believe me, I know what it's like to have an uncooperative audience.

There was this performance by the waitresses from the maid café, and they were really not excited about their job. There was one girl though who was really enthusiastic with the dancing, which was nice to see. Oh and there was this creepy old man with grey hair and an overcomb and a huge DSLR taking pictures of EVERYTHING.

It's always so interesting to see people committed to something so willingly and unconditionally. There were one or two really good cosplayers there (especially the two Transformers, they were awesome), and when you see the kind of skill and dedication they put into their work, it's more of an art form than anything.

Speaking about anime, I realise I'm not the kind of person who falls in love with the characters (unlike a number of people I know). Even in novels, comic books, movies, TV shows; it has never been the character which has brought me through. (WITH ONE BIG EXCEPTION: CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW. WHO IS AWESOME. YEAH.) I haven't become a raving fan of a single anime character, even the girls who are always, y'know, really pretty and stuff. But it's more of the story that captures my attention, that leads me through the entire series of unfortuante events and makes me like the show as a whole. Pirates of the Caribbean has pretty good stories too, by the way.

Nothing much else, just wanted to write some stuff.

The Edna Man

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Death is the New Life

So I hear blogging is dead. Heh. Well, I still write stuff here, so I'll take this URL scratching and kicking to its cyber-404-grave.

I've started listening to more Sam Tsui recently, and I'm sure that this kid is gonna go far. I picked up Sara Bareille's King of Anything from him, and it's crazy good. Got that song stuck in my head a couple of days. And because of his collaboration on Just a Dream, I think I've got a crush on Christina Grimmie, who is also crazy awesome and really pretty.

Hmm just watched Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides this weekend. It's awesome in the Jack Sparrow sense of awesome, and I think I'm kinda watching the shows just to see his suave antics. I found the show quite historically accurate (for a dramatic movie adaptation) because Blackbeard really (historically) stuck firecrackers in his beard to make him look scarier, and the rumour that his decapitated body swum around his ship five times is also in historical records. Quite cool.

And so the piratical exploits have inspired me to continue my TCG roots, and I'm currently making a Pirates card game. I don't know how balanced it's going to be, since I'm mostly creating this game from scratch, cobbled together from mechanics of the various games I know. Only time will tell if it's a good game though.

Gaah I need to write more.
The Edna Man

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Election Fever Reaches Epidemic Proportions

SINGAPORE -- The outbreak of "election fever" has reached epidemic levels, experts warn.

As of 8am this morning, more than 2 million Singaporeans have been infected by this rare disease, forcing Ministry of Health (MOH) officials to raise the disease's Threat Level to five, the highest on the scale.

The outbreak has already claimed hundreds of man-hours worth of news coverage, from both digital and print media. Words like "reform" and "opposition" have reinfected the local vocabulary, and political rallies, which are usually contained within the Speaker's Corner at Hong Lim Park and usually never exist, ran rampant in open fields across the island until officials put a stop to them on Thursday night.

"It has never been this widespread before," said Mr Poh Ah Peng, a spokesperson from MOH. "Since it surfaced in Singapore in 1959, election fever has kept intensifying over the years every time it appears."

"It promises a very frightening future for this country," said Mr Poh.

Election fever, officially diagnosed as
democracitis, is a recurring disease caused by the virus votium ballotpox. It is transmitted through the air by political discussions, and, once it infects its host, makes its way to the brain, causing the victim to suffer increased political awareness and a uncontrollable urge to make a choice. It only affects adults, but strains of the virus are increasingly being detected in youths and teenagers, often as young as eighteen years of age.

Earlier this week, dozens of the Ministry's political doctors, or "politricians", took measurses to quarantine the population into various isolation zones, called "constituencies". They are hoping to contain the outbreak until Saturday, when the only known cure for election fever will be administered: an election.

Democracitis is not native to Singapore, where it resurfaces about once every five years. The first recorded outbreak of democracitis was in 507 BC in ancient Greece. Since then, cases of election fever have been recorded in republics across the world.


Why does everybody get so excited over this?

"Truth is not determined by majority vote." ~Doug Gwyn
The Edna Man

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Singapore to Hold First Online Election... On Facebook

SINGAPORE -- In an unprecedented turn of events, the Elections Department of Singapore (ELD) has announced that the upcoming 2011 General Election will be held online - on Facebook.

The decision was announced at a press conference this morning by Mr Hu Yu Pik, spokesperson for the ELD. He explained that the process simply requires voters to go to a newly-created Facebook page for their desired party and "Liking" it.

"The party with the most total number of "Likes" on their the page will, then, be elected as the ruling party of Singapore," said Mr Hu. He has also revealed that there will be a poll set up on each party page for voters to note which constituency they are voting from.

When asked about preventing electoral fraud, Mr Hu reassured the press that there will be systems in place to ensure that each person can cast only one vote.

"Voters will have to use their own personal Facebook account with a valid email address which has been registered with the Elections Department," said Mr Hu. "'Liking' a page with a fake Facebook account or an account with an invalid email address will void that vote."

In a press release, the Chairman of the ELD, Mr Am See Kew, explained that there were three main reasons for the change: the inefficiency of the original ballot system, its detrimental impact on the environment, and as a way of engaging the youth in politics. He then stated that only one of the three was correct, and invited journalists to choose the best possible answer.

"Singapore has always prided herself as an advanced, modern society," said Mr Am. "The decision to utilise the Internet in the voting process will catapult Singapore to the frontlines of progress, both technologically and politically."

The announcement, which came just days before polling day, surprised many Singaporeans. Many senior citizens are now worried that they would be unable to cast their vote because of their unfamiliarity with using computers and the Internet.

"I don't even know how to use a computer, how am I supposed to vote online?" asked retiree Mr Simi Tai-Chee, 62, in a mixture of Hokkien and English. "Why, pen and paper not good enough anymore ah? How come this gahmen always change liddat one?"

But many younger voters are exited by the prospect of the easier way to contribute to the country's political landscape.

"I can now vote from the comfort of my home," said Ms Cherilyn Lee, 22. "I think it's really cool that the government is doing this on Facebook."

Singapore has entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the first country to hold its parliamentary elections online.


And as election fever hypes up, we'll be bringing you even more live coverage than ever before. Stay with us.

Oh by the way, I know all about ballot secrecy and all that. I just thought this would be funny(ier).

We'll be right back after these messages,
The Edna Man

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dream Sequence #005

Once again, I just woke up, and I need to write down this dream. I haven't done this since like, 2009?

Anyway I had already "woken up", but drifted back to sleep so it's one of those non-REM sleep where you're half-conscious and exerting more control over the dream imagination that you should.

The dream starts out in this fantasy setting, which I'm pretty sure was based on the Anima RPG system that I am reading about. The most I can remember is that we all were going out on a mission or quest (don't ask me who "we" were). I had turned back to go get my weapons, and I distinctly remember deciding whether to bring all of them (guns, swords and all) or just the short sword, because of guns not being able to get through security or something. So I'm at the top of my hotel or inn or whatever, which is basically this huge circus-tent skeleton with no stairs, and you have to get to the top by climbing up the central pole. And I'm grabbing my stuff when all of a sudden you can hear this growling sound.

Naturally, I guess that it's a werewolf, and I'm obviously right. However, the growling is coming from across the street, so I'm scanning left and right, and then a voice (who it belonged to I can't remember) said to, and I quote, "look in the cupboard above the oven", which was describing an open-front shop directly across where there was a counter, and behind it an oven with a two-door cabinet sunk into the wall above it.

By that time there were a couple of guards there, all holding out their wooden sticks at the cupboard door. At this point, Lou Ee, whose character (RPG remember) looked like Rexxar from Warcraft, jumped out of nowhere and landed with the guards. I remember he gave the order to open said door. Immediately a number of guards with their blue uniforms tumbled out, revealing stairs leading upwards inside the cupboard, and the thin, lanky werewolf. Lou Ee immediately raised his hand and launched a fireball at it, which instantly took down the werewolf.

The next bit I can remember is that I was standing with the crowd milling around the shop, while the guards were passing around an identity disc. These were like our ICs, but they were blue and magnetic, and touching two together imprinted the other person's personal particulars on yours. In this case, they were collecting telephone numbers from the witnesses (technology gap, I know). And wouldn't you know it, Chris Chien was there, and when it was his turn to scan over his identity disc, he said he only had his pink IC. Grrr.

So there was this huge crowd milling around, when suddenly there's this tremors that you associate with someone big and heavy slowly pounding their way closer, and there's this deep, deep growling. Every head turns to look at the cupboard stairs, and the head of this giant, armoured monster appears in the entryway. It's got a huge lower jaw, like some of the dragons from How to Train your Dragon. It looked around for a while at the huge crowd all facing it, then, and this is the epic part: every single hand raised up towards the monster. There was a unified shout of "One! Two! THREE!", but only a single fireball was shot out. And at that precise moment, the monster withdrew its head into the hole, so no-one was sure if the fireball hit.

Time skipped a beat, and restarted in slow motion as the monster burst through the walls and leapt, in slow motion, over the crowd as a thousand fireballs raced towards him. I think I remember shouting "fire at will!" somewhere. And then it got so epic that I woke up.

Gotta remember to make a game based on this universe,
The Edna Man

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Singapore's Parliament Dissolves After Falling into Vat of Acid

SINGAPORE-- Singapore's 11th Parliament dissolved today after accidentally falling into a large vat of corrosive acid, according to a governmental gazette.

A chemical engineer at the site has identified the solvent as concentrated hydrochloric acid, a highly corrosive inorganic acid usually found in the stomach. Police authorities were unable to explain why the entire cabinet of ministers was near the vat of caustic liquid, let alone how they fell in.

Analysts are refusing to comment on how this unfortunate incident will affect Singapore's political climate, but are advising on a simple way to neutralise the problem.

Said political pundit Mr Alan Kalai, "All we need for this problem is a basic solution."


I'm sorry, I never knew the parliament dissolves before an election. This is the first time I heard it of it.

Pun, pun, pun, pun,
Looking forward to the weekend
Then Edna Man

500th Post!

I was going to write something but I realized this was going to be my 500th post! Whooo! That's eight years of weird stuff straight from the horse's mouth!

The Edna Man

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Girlfriend needs Boyfriend to Carry Handbag

SINGAPORE -- It's her handbag, but he's carrying it.

A video has been making its way around the Singaporean blogosphere, sparking heated debates about whether this generation's girlfriends are too "weak" and "over-dependent".

The video in question, taken with a iPhone, depicts a young man walking in a shopping mall, carrying a distinctly pink tote bag slung over his shoulder, while his girlfriend strolls a little way ahead, messaging on her handphone.

The video was uploaded onto YouTube, and not long after, a number of spoofs surfaced, most of them parodying popular romantic comedies such as Love, Actually and Music and Lyrics.

While some saw the funny side of the situation, the circulation of the short thirty-second clip has left a trail of disgust in its wake, with many netizens complaining about the over-reliance of Singaporean girlfriends on their male counterparts.

"They say Singapore girls are so independent," commented Alfred Tay, a student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). "So why do they always need their boyfriends to carry their things for them?"

"How can we expect women to hold executive positions if they cannot even hold their own belongings?" asked netizen ntrprnr401K, who would only reveal that he works as a manager at a multinational corporation based here.

Others have brought women's rights into the fray, deploring the social traditions which encourage men to carry the bags of their significant others.

In an online press statement issued by local women's rights organisation the Beautiful Liberation of Urban Rights (BLUR), spokesperson Ms Lee Chio Bu wrote: "It is a sad, sad day where women are not even expected to carry their own fashion acccessories."

However, there were some who believed that the girl should be given the benefit of the doubt, saying that she might have had an injury which did not allow her to carry her handbag. Others claim that the boy is a "true Singapore gentleman" for helping his girlfriend with her heavy load.

"Nowadays the boys are so selfish," commented Amita Saravawaj, a student at Catholic Junior College (CJC). "I wish my boyfriend offered to carry my schoolbag for me."

With the controversy surrounding the video, it is no wonder that a digitally-edited version appeared on the Internet about a week later.

Uploaded by the anonymous Grllvr69, the video also has a short description attached to it, claiming that this video is the authentic one, and that the one with the boy carrying the bag is "a doctored copy".

At first glance, the video seems to show the girl walking with the pink handbag squarely on her shoulder, and with the boy nowhere in sight. However, experts have identified the second video as the fake, pointing out that the area where the boy was standing in the original video was "merely pixellised", that the girl was not the same and was also carrying a different coloured bag.

A spokesman from the Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS) said last week that "MCYS takes a very serious view about its youth in public", and that it would investigate and take appropriate action against the girlfriend in question.

Following this announcement, it is reported that the girlfriend has come forward and identified herself to the authorities. However, she cannot be named to protect her identity.

MCYS has also reminded its youth to be aware of the image they project in public.


Honestly, I have no agenda here. I just wanted to transpose the incident (and related news stories) into a different, but similar, situation. I have no anti-feminist leanings, no gripe against any Ministries (mentioned or otherwise), and don't really have anything aganist guys carrying their girl's bags. (I really only don't understand why girls continue to carry stuff in their hands when they have pockets. Or bags.) Seriously, nothing here but some good old-fashioned non-ulterior satire.

I did find it hilarious that someone tried to doctor the original photo though, and it was so hilarious because they didn't even do it properly.

Care for soldiers!
The Edna Man

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Republic of Heaven

I have just finished reading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials for the second time. I blogged about it once. Here I am doing so again.

It is a powerful, powerful force that compels you to re-read a work of fiction. And it is a powerful, powerful story to let you enjoy it for so many times. And the ending still pulled my heartstrings, just like the first time.

Maybe that's what falling in love is?

When I first read the trilogy, I thought I understood everything about it. I saw the countless layers of meaning as clearly as Lyra saw the meanings of the symbols on the alethiometer. After four years, online essays/discussions, TVTropes, and a enjoyable re-reading, I find out so many things I never saw before.

And we are still enthralled by the power of love.

"But just keep up this coming here once a year, just for a hour, just to be together..." -- Lyra

Because we have to build it, wherever we are.
The Edna Man

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Final Countdown

So I invite you to stand with me, one year from tonight, outside the gates of Clementi Camp. And together, we shall give them a 11th of April that shall never, ever be forgot!

The Edna Man

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tirade (Parody)

Tirade, parody of Grenade by Bruno Mars

Ferry comes, ferry goes; every single week
Oh, paint, paint, paint it all; stripes across the cheek
Should've known you was trouble from the field camp
When you stunned my rifle; why stun my rifle?

Followed what you said and you still treat me like trash
You let me get heat rash, you did
To book us out on time is all we ever asked
But what I don't understand is

I threw the grenade for ya
Dug shellscrape with my spade for ya
I drank cordial lemonade for ya
I have to do everything for ya

I spent my whole BMT
Just high kneeling on my bad knee
And what did you do for me, sergeant?
You gave me extra: three

No, no, no, no

Knock, knock, knock it down, pump me 'til I'm dead
Told the OC; I said, "Hey, is this guy right inside the head?"
Mad sergeant, sad sergeant, why you have no life?
You make me RT and then you make me clean my wife

Right after route march then you made us SOC
You treat us like trainees, yes you did
To let us have some sleep is all we ever asked
But what I don't understand is

I water parade for ya
Never stood in the shade for ya
I made myself not downgrade for ya
Yes I'm doing everything for ya

When I go through all this pain
What the hell is going through your brain?
It's only for two years, sergeant
Why be so inhumane?

If I jumped out of the fire
Ooh, you'd catch me with the frying pan
Leaders supposed to inspire
But you never, ever, ever did

But sergeant, I still manned the blockade for ya
Area cleaned like a maid for ya
I do my work underpaid for ya
You make me do everything for ya

If war does come to our nation
This is my only consolation
If I must die for my country
I'll make sure you do the same

Yes, make you do the same
I'll make you do the same
Ooh, you better do the same
Yes, yes, yes, yes


Honestly, I wrote this simply because I was surprised how many rhymes for "grenade" there actually are. I don't know any screwed up sergeants.

Girl, you're amazing; you're a superstar
The Edna Man


Why do we love?

What is this emotion that powers us through the very essence of our being and propels us through life? Why is it so incomprehensible, so intangible, so incorrigible, so integral, so inexplicable? What is this primal phenomenon that courses through the very fibre of humanity, and is the root of our very existence? Why is it, that when you tunnel to the core of any human situation on Earth, there you will find a soul who is afraid to be alone?

Why does every story on this planet revolve around love? What makes it so compelling that whole industries can be founded on creating stories about love? Is it something that they put into their cast, their characters, that makes them come alive, that makes unreality become reality?

Then, why do we love others who fall in love?

How powerful is this force, that can cause one to love someone who isn't even real? How can you feel for people who don't even exist? Where are these people so I can meet them, talk to them, fall in love with them?

Is it a transferrence of emotion, or maybe a conversion? Or maybe it's the only way in this world to create something from nothing.

Needless to say, I enjoyed Toradora! a lot.

"There is something in this world that no one has ever seen before. It is gentle and sweet. Maybe if it could be seen, everyone would fight over it. That is why the world hid it, so that no one could get their hands on it so easily. However, someday, someone will find it. The person who deserves it the most will definitely find it.

"That is how it is created."
The Edna Man

EDIT: Oh, that's why.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Quantum Shuttle

Good evening, fans, and here we are at the George Cayley Stadium. It's a beautiful night for a match; there's not a cloud in the ceiling. We've got quite a crowd out here, don't we, Pete?

We sure do, Ed, it's quite a crowd. There are some big names here tonight: there's Michio Kaku sitting in the third row; he's got his bets on Schrödinger, I'm sure. And there's Democritus, who uh, seems to be cutting his programme into half, again and again. Any idea what he's doing there, Ed?

Not a clue, Pete, not a clue. Well, we've got a very important game tonight, and for all the fans out there who have just tuned in, tonight is the highly-anticipated badminton semi-final between Austria's Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg from Germany, here at the annual All-Star Scientific Olympiad. These are two very competitive players, and the match could go either way. It might be particularly taxing for Schrödinger, since this isn't the first German he's played against at these games, is it, Pete?

That's right, Ed, Schrödinger faced uh, Albert Einstein in the quarter-finals, who is a strong contender in his own right, mind you. It's almost miraculous, how he managed to counter all of Einstein's shots, travelling at the speed of light, as they were; you know, relatively speaking. Young Schrödinger is showing a lot of potential, and he is one of the hot favourites to bring home the Klein Cup this year.

Sure, Pete, but Heisenberg has been at his top game here at the Olympiad as well, having defeated ah, Julius Oppenheimer last week in his quarter-final. I've never seen anyone return one of Oppenheimer's final, "atomic smashes", haha, as his fans have been calling them, but Heisenberg is here today, and Oppenheimer isn't, which, uh, really goes to show what this Austrian is made of.

Right you are, Ed. And here comes the umpire for the match today: Alfred Nobel, who hails from Sweden, walking out across the court. He's actually uh, one of the strictest officials here at the games, well-known for making very explosive judgement calls.

Well, Pete, the strictest officials are usually the fairest, and Nobel is highly prized in this line of work. Aaaaand here come the players now! Making his entrance from the left end of the stadium, Erwin Schrödinger, giving a friendly wave to the crowd there. He looks like he just got off a plane, doesn't he, Pete? [chuckles]

[chuckles] That bow tie probably also isn't standard issue, but I don't think the officials are ah, going to say anything. Schrödinger looks like he's wielding a Catbox 900, one of the latest racquets in the market, although no-one is ever quite sure if it's good or not until they, uh, buy one.

And here comes Werner Heisenberg, getting roaring support from his fans over at the east wing of the stadium. He looks a bit confused, though, doesn't he, Pete?

Ah, yes, he does look a bit uncertain, but not to worry: there's his coach, Max Planck, coming to him now. That's a dedicated coach, that Planck, constantly pushing Heisenberg to his limits. A few words of encouragement there, from his coach... now both scientists are taking their sides of the court, and it looks like the match is about to begin. [Pause] Brilliant serve there by Schrödinger, getting in the first point of the match. It looks like Heisenberg is still getting his rhythm, doesn't it, Ed?

Yes it does, Pete, and there's another point for Schrödinger, putting him ahead 2-0. It's going to be a long, exciting match, Pete.


Welcome back, folks. For those of you who have just tuned in, we are now in the final rally of the heated semi-final between Erwin Schrödinger and Werner Heisenberg, and what an amazing match it's been, hasn't it, Pete?

Sure has, Ed. After two hours of hard rallying, the score is now tied; Schrödinger won the first rally 21-19 but Heisenberg came back in the second rally with an impressive 24-22 blowout. Both scientists have been playing their best game, I think, and now the score now is 29-28 in favour of Schrödinger. This is the closest game we've had since the 1958 final, isn't that right, Ed?

Sure is, Pete, but it looks like development time down there folks. Planck called a timeout a few moments ago, and the players both received advice from their coaches. There's a lot of commotion down there as the crowd is literally buzzing with excitement. Now the players are returning to their sides of the court, and it all comes down to this game point. Heisenberg on service... Good backhand there by Schrödinger... Amazing save there by Heisenberg... Wow! Did you see that, Pete?

Not sure I did, Ed! I don't think I saw the shuttle, but I think I knew how fast it was going, and there was definitely no way that Schrödinger could have returned that shot.

Well Pete, I think I managed to see the shuttle, but I had no idea how fast it was going. That was a very uncertain play by Heisenberg, and one of his speciality moves, if I'm not wrong. Quite right that he has been saving it for this crucial moment in the match; a move like that is usually a game-ender.

It's now 28-29, Heisenberg's service, and it looks like Schrödinger can kiss his trophy goodbye if Heisenberg continues to pull off more stunning shots like that last one. Nice serve there... that was a close one! ... Heisenberg launches the shuttle up high... it looks like... Schrödinger is going to smash... Oh my god! Can you see the shuttle anywhere, Ed?

No I can't, Pete, and neither can Heisenberg. This is unprecedented folks! The shuttlecock has seemingly disappeared into thin air! Heisenberg's looking around uncertainly, I don't he knows where he's supposed to swing his racquet! I've never seen anything like this in all my days of science-casting, have you, Pete?

Well it can certainly compare to the spectacular serve in the doubles match yesterday, where John Crocroft and Ernest Walton somehow managed to split their shuttle into two, winning two points as both halves hit the court simultaneously.

Right you are, Pete. And it looks like Heisenberg is going to take a chance here folks. I think he's going to wing it and swing it, doesn't it, Pete?

He's swinging it alright... and it's over! The shuttle is on the floor! Heisenberg missed that last shot, and Schrödinger has done it! He's won! I do believe that last one was a quantum forehand, Ed, and for a brief moment the shuttle existed in all positions of space until Heisenberg collapsed it into a singularity, forcing the outcome.

Right you are, Pete. And so Erwin Schrödinger is moving on to the finals, where he'll be up against Isaac Newton of England. Schrödinger will have to look out for Newton, a dangerous player in his own right, with drop shots so steep it looks like gravity deliberately pulled them down so quickly.

Well that's all for tonight folks. From the George Cayley stadium, I'm Peter Jensen--

--and I'm Edwin Pridham. Goodnight.


Inspired by a story by Levin. What happens when you cross The Legend of Koizumi and New Horizons to Music Appreciation by Peter Schickele. See if you're a big enough nerd to recognize all the references!

The Cast, in order of appearance:
  1. George Cayley is often hailed as the father of aviation and aerodynamics, important in a sport such as badminton.
  2. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist who is one of the more awesome modern popularizers of science.
  3. Democritus was an ancient Greek philosopher who was one of the first to describe the concept of atoms by cutting a piece of stone in half again and again until you got a piece that was indivisible.
  4. I'm both sure and not sure that you know who Erwin Schrödinger is, and I'll only know when you click on the link.
  5. Werner Heisenberg is most famous for his uncertainty principle. Obviously, you're not sure what it is.
  6. Albert Einstein is relatively famous for developing prism technology and the Chronosphere.
  7. The Klein bottle is something like a 3D Möbius strip. I just thought it would be appropriate.
  8. J. Robert Oppenheimer was the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, which created the first atomic bombs.
  9. Alfred Nobel's name is up there with Oscar's, Grammy's and Tony's.
  10. Max Planck was a German physicist who is regarded as the founder of quantum theory. He has a constant named after him.
  11. John Crocroft and Ernest Walton are the two scientists who first split an atom.
  12. Isaac Newton was responsible for developing most of the ideas of classical mechanics, and is most famous for being concussed by an apple and blaming it on gravity.
  13. And just in case you were wondering, Edwin Pridham and Peter L. Jensen are the first people to develop a magnetic coil loudspeaker.

It's a wonderful day for a concert, there's not a cloud in the ceiling.
The Edna Man

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ode to a Prata Man

Ode to a Prata Man, parody of Teardrops on My Guitar by Taylor Swift

I need to eat
I park my car in one way street
I step out into the heat
And use my phone to send a Tweet

I take a look around
There's people everywhere
And I can't find a seat
Without tissue choping the chair

The place is small
And there's a queue at every stall
I squeeze and I crawl
To the shop at the far wall

I find an Indian man
(I think he looks Tamil)
I wonder who he is
Until he gets behind the grill

'Cos he's the reason for the curry on my prata
The only thing that stops me going out to buy zhi char
I don't know who you are; But I'll buy it
'Cos you've got no queue

I'm still hungry
Looking down in my kopi
So many stalls, that I can see
But I don't feel like eating hokkien mee

I see him standing there
Softly kneading dough
I smell that wonderful smell
And all at once I know

He's the reason for the curry on my prata
I'll never need to go eat char kway teow or buy popiah
Don't want dhal, or achar; I keep saying
There's no one like you

I bring the da bao home
Try not to drop the stack
I think I'll wash my hands
And maybe have a midnight snack

'Cuz he's the reason for the curry on my prata
The only one who can play Taylor Swift on his sitar
Curry stains on my car; I keep eating
While I'm driving, too

Tried 'tissue', and 'paper', but it's never enough
And the 'egg' is not quite as good, it's true

I need to eat
Maybe next time I'll add some meat


Accepted a challenge from a friend.

Hi Miss Swift, if you're somehow reading this, I have to say I'm a great fan of your work. Don't sue me, please.

You Belong With Me,
The Edna Man

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Ang Pao Index to Track Market Cycle

SINGAPORE -- That little red packet (ang pao) you get at Chinese New Year might soon become the greatest indicator of the country's market situation.

The Ministry of Finance revealed today that it is considering using a new Ang Pao Index (API) to track the peaks and troughs of the economic cycle. The index measures the average amount of money given in red packets during Chinese New Year to determine the state of the economy.

"The system is actually very simple," said Ms Vivian Tay, a spokesperson for the Ministry, at a press conference yesterday. "Giving eight to ten dollars is around the average during a healthy economy. Six to eight means that there is currently an economic downturn. Receiving an ang pao with only four to six dollars means that we are currently in a recession."

When asked what receiving less than four dollars meant, Ms Tay said she had no comment, but was heard muttering the words "Lehman Brothers" and "bailouts".

Red packets, or "ang paos" as they are more commonly known, contain a small amount of money, and are traditionally given from married couples to unmarried family members during Chinese New Year. The red colour of the envelope represents good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits, while the small amount of money represents good fortune and wealth.

Many economists are praising the new index for its simplicity. "We used to have to take note if there suddenly was two months of negative economic growth," said Mr Tan Poh Cheng, an economic analyst. "Now we just wait for Chinese New Year to come around, and the results will already be there for us."

"It also grants us a perspective of the economic situation from the eyes of the people," said Ms Chan Ong Hui, who works in the Ministry of Finance. "If we know that the general population is feeling the economic crunch, we will better understand how to help them through the difficult time."

Critics, however, have quickly pointed out many flaws in the new index. "There is no proven economic link between red packet donations and the market cycle," said Mr Valkrishna Gunselagaam, a financial investor. He added, "Even Steven Levitt wouldn't be able to do it," referring to the unorthodox American economist who uses economic concepts to challenge conventional wisdom.

Dr. Tiffany Lim, economic professor at the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), also stated that the cultural tradition might not be elastic enough to be affected by recession.

"Singaporeans are too scared to 'lose face'," said Dr. Lim, "and are also profoundly superstitious. For these reasons, it is highly unlikely that they would give less during a recession, even if they are shorter on disposable income."

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Finance has already begun looking at using the sampul hijau, or green envelopes in Malay, the adaptation of the red packets given during Hari Raya Adilfitri, to provide extra evidence to support the API.


Inspired by a status I saw on Facebook.

Xing Nian Kuai Le!
The Edna Man

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Mahjong Party!

So yesterday we had an AWESOME Mahjong party at Ernest/Hui Jin's house(s). It was almost non-stop Mahjong action from about 12:30pm to 2:00am, and it was awesome. SIBERIAN EXPRESS!

And my first ever sleepover! Kinda. Somehow my mom let me stay over at a friend's house for the first time in my life! I know, I'm deprived.

The Edna Man

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Maslow is Dead

...and he has been for about forty years now. But at least his ideas live on. Right?

May I present to you the modern Hierarchy of Needs, v2.0:


It's Maslow's Hierarchy, updated for the new millenium! Made with my society in mind, but probably applies to any society in the First World.

Right at the bottom, humans of this day and age need an education. It's the very most basic thing you can have in this world. Without it, prepare for a life of busking and road-sweeping, begging for food at every street corner.

Most people can get an education, but not only that, they need to be good at it. This means passing all your exams. No need to worry about actual knowledge, critical thinking skills or lofty philosophy: all you need is a basic grasp of simple facts and the knowledge of how to play the modern educational system, and you sail through it with flying colours and an impressive cirriculum vitae.

What do you do with your resumé? Like any other piece of paper which is worth more than its value in weight, you cash it in, of course! Trading that shiny ten-page monster bursting with your spectacular teenage achievements for a lifetime of constant income seems to be a no-brainer.

This is the real objective here. This should be the base of the pyramid, if they hierarchy could fit into a pyramid. Getting the money is the stepping stone for everything higher up in the system. And you can never have enough. So you invest in various stock opportunities and real estate, hoping to breed your cash like rabbits.

Having the money is not enough. You need to make sure you will always have the money. So some security is needed: in your job, in your investments, in your interest rates.

Once you have all the money, and you are sure that you will always have the money, you can now fulfill some of your physical needs, because you won't be able to get them without money. You can start going back for lunch break, and getting some sleep, because heaven knows how much of that you sacrificed while climbing the corporate ladder.

Not that you have sated your most primal physical desires, you can move up a level and satisfy your materialistic lust. This means buying stuff, and lots of it. Fill your lavish abode with things, stuff, objects and random paraphernalia, because the more stuff you have, and the more expensive they are, the more people will respect you as the rich mogul you are.

Which brings us to the penultimate level of need: esteem. You need to be confident that you are the wealthiest and most successful among your peers, a convenient indicator that shows you have made it to the top of the heap. You need your superiority. You need people to mutter jealously behind your back as you strut around, king of the concrete jungle.

At the end of everything, what a person in this society needs is a family and a sense of belonging. After all, every king needs an heir to pass down his vast inheritance to once his time is up. And now is the time to start making friends out of your enemies, before they jealously stab you in the back, with the intention of taking your place.

Morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, and an understanding of humanity's place in the universe. Pffft, who needs those?


What a man can be, he'll give it up to make more money.
The Edna Man

Friday, January 21, 2011

Blind Date

Today for a cohesion activity, our entire office trooped down to Ngee Ann Poly for a Dialogue in the Dark.

Basically what happens is this: They give you a blind man's cane and stick you with a tour guide, who is also visually impaired, then throw you all into this pitch black room with no source of light at all. So you're basically blind for the hour as you maneuver your way across terrain that blind people usually have to go through in real life: a park, Clarke Quay, a food court and a city street.

Honestly, I've had this idea before. We almost come up with something similar with CMPS (Hey! Remember that?) a couple years ago. I've always thought that people don't design with handicap-friendly features more often because they don't have any idea how difficult it is being disabled. I had been toying with the idea of wearing a blindfold for a day to test myself, or maybe even doing it for a charitable cause. But I've never had a good friend (or understanding family) to manage the safety of this dangerous operation.

This experience was totally worth it. I have been completely in the dark once before, crawling through underground tunnels in Vietnam, but that was nothing compared to today's experience. I found it very interesting to attempt to move around like a blind person. I believe it's much easier, physically, to do so if you could see before but got blinded somewhere along the way, because you're familiar with shapes and stuff so you could probably visualise everything you're feeling or hearing. I can't begin to imagine what people who are blind from birth think when they feel or smell or hear. What visualisations come to their mind?

Being blind was one experience, but being in a group of other newly blind people was quite fascinating as well. One thing I noticed is that people tend to talk louder when they can't see. Perhaps it's because they feel the need to compensate for the loss of one sense, or the small narrow corridors which amplified the sounds, or maybe it was just my ears compensating for the lack of sight. The other thing I noticed is that we always need to know the person we bump into, whether from in front or behind. It might be a carry-over from normal society, where you need to apologise profusely for such rude behaviour. Or maybe it's just a security thing, that the fear of bumping into something or someone who isn't any of your friends gets exaggerated in the dark.

All in all, I think it was an awesome experience. I'd definitely go for it again, but by myself. It gets crowded in there.

Best case of "blind leading the blind". Ever.
The Edna Man

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cosmic Irony

So I woke up late this morning and would definitely not make it to camp on time. I raced across the overhead bridge, keeping my eyes peeled for a taxi, and obviously, due to the nature of cosmic fate, my bus comes EXACTLY as I reach the bus stop. When I'm on time, it takes fifteen mintues for it to appear. When I'm late, it poofs into existence just to spite me.

Damn you Murphy, and to hell with your laws.
The Edna Man

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Independent Inc. Perfection Output Up 115%

SINGAPORE -- Perfection hit a record high last year: its production increased by 115% from the previous year.

According to a report published by Independent Inc. today, its 2010 production batch of International Baccaulaurate (IB) perfect-scorers amounted to 28 units, compared to the 13 from 2009.

"We are, of course, very proud of our achievements," said an inside source, who wished to remain anonymous. "This kind of production history was something we hoped to achieve, but did not dare to expect."

The International Baccaulaurate is a Diploma Programme which utilises a strict grading system to determine the value of the finished product, and grades them with a "points" system. A perfect score requires 45 points, broken down into seven points each in six academic criteria and three bonus points which judge the products' non-academic qualities, among other things.

Independent Inc. also boasted an extremely high international-quality output, which refer to products which score 40 points or higher. Last year 71.4% made the cut, compared to 68.9% the previous year.

The organisation's only setback was the pass rate. According to the release, a product was disqualified from assessment due to malpractice, and as such, the pass rate dropped from 100% the previous year, to 99.8% last year.

"These kinds of figures are unprecedented," said Adelheid Schwartz, a spokesperson for the International Baccaulaurate Organisation, in a telephone interview from Geneva. "It completely changes what we know about mass-produced academic perfection."

"It has certainly redefined the concept of the 'bell curve'," she added.

Independent Inc. attributes its high quality output to a meticulous two-year assembly line and stringent quality control checks spread across that period. It has been known to discard products which don't make it through the first year of assessment checks, or reassemble them from scratch, to ensure the high yield of its output.

The organisation has also promised to deliver greater yields of production output this year. "When you supply the likes of Oxbridge and the Ivy League, you have to step it up a notch," said our anonymous source. "87.8% of our output already qualify to be shipped there for enhancements and specialisation."

Experts, however, warn about the inflationary effects of increasing numbers of such high-quality produce. Professor Ashwarnit Singh, a market analyst specialising in academic economics, says, "Perfection is like any other currency. If its supply keeps increasing, its value will eventually start decreasing."

"When everybody's super, no one will be," he added.

Critics have also criticised the assessment criteria as being too focused on the academic aspects of the product, and is not focusing on other like skills.

"We haven't invented a printing press which spits out Renaissance masterpieces at the push of a button," said one critic. "You can't mass-produce art like that. And life is an art."


Okay, first of all, this IS NOT a thinly-veiled jibe at a specific institution or organisation: all persons mentioned in this article are fictional, and I don't really have anything personal against the IB programme. It IS HOWEVER a thinly-veiled satire of our current educational system. We obsessed with mass-producing top-scorers sate our unhealthy desires for perfection and superiority.

Many people have been saying this over and over, from an awesome girl who spoke about it in her valedictorian speech, to this guy who is inspired by Apple's policy of thinking differently. But nobody says it better than Sir Ken Robinson. We are using an outdated education system which mass-produced "educated" people for the industrial revolution, and that is what we have been doing ever since. We have to stop chasing the numerical results, and look for the quality in people's lives, because at the final judgment, that is all that matters.

Because when everybody's super, no one will be.
The Edna Man

EDIT 080111: Even a Japanese romance manga from the 1990s knows it.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

What Would You Wager?

The scene seemed to play out in slow motion as the spent cartridges hit the table. The tinkling sound was followed by a hollow, metallic ring as the mess tin covered the shells. Somewhere in the distance, the sounds of a marching band drifted across the cookhouse.

"I wager... ten days," said one of the men, whose hand was clamped over a mess tin. He looked at the other two. "I'll match ten days," said a second man. The third man thought for a moment, then said, "Agreed." There was a pause as each man counted the handful of shells they had randomly thrown in their concealed hand.

"Wondering how it's played?"

Fresh recruit William Zhang turned around to see that his sergeant, Bill Tan, had come up from behind him. Relaxing, he replied, "I understand, sergeant," and turned his eyes back to the game. One of the men had shouted "Liar!" and all three men were now counting the revealed shells.

"It's a game of deception," William observed. "Your bet includes all shells, not just your own." His brow creased as the two men laughed at their third companion, who had obviously lost. "What are they wagering?" William asked.

"The only thing we have," said Sergeant Bill. "Years of service."

William scratched his chin as the men gathered up the spent shells. "So any serviceman can be challenged?"

"Yes," replied his sergeant. "Anyone."

William paused for only a second. He said out loud to nobody in particular: "I challenge Captain David."

The was a painful caterwauling as the trumpets of the marching band squealed off key, and a series of thumps and crashes akin to percussion section being thrown down a flight of stairs. All faces swiveled to William's, amazement written on each of them, then flicked towards the main doors of the cookhouse. In the silence, only the soft tread of boots could be heard, growing louder by the second. With each step, recruits shrank away into the darker shadows of the hall.

Captain David appeared in the doorway, framed by the shadow of the dark corridor behind him. His eyes quickly found those of Recruit William. "I accept," he said with his trademark lisp, spittle flying from his mouth as he spoke..

Captain David watched William warily as he sat down at the table. "The stakes?" he asked.

"My life," replied William. "An eternity of servitude."

"No!" Sergeant Bill cried out softly.

William didn't flinch as Captain David asked, "Against?" He slowly reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a photograph. It is a grainy picture of what appeared to be an official document, but clearly printed across its header were the words: "RELEASED FROM SERVICE".

Captain David let out a small gasp of surprise. He suddenly stood up to his full, considerable height. "How do you about the document?" he asked vehemently.

Recruit William was unfazed. "That's not part of the game, is it?" He slowly put the photograph back in his pocket and leveled his gaze. "You can still walk away," he told the Captain.

Captain David scowled as slowly sat back down. He reached into his beret and pulled out a folded sheet of paper. He carefully unfolded it until the words across the header could be read. Satisfied, William nodded. Captain David carefully refolded the sheet and slid it under his beret.

Without a word, the two men each grabbed a handful of shells and tossed them into the mess tin, then quickly slammed them face down onto the table. Out of nowhere, a third tin slammed onto the table as well.

Captain David looked from the hand to its owner. "What's this?" he asked Sergeant Bill.

"I'm in. Matching his wager." Sergeant Bill had a hard look in his eye.

"No," William said forcefully. "Don't do this."

Sergeant Bill looked at him dejectedly. He gave William a half shrug. "The die is cast," he said. "I bid three tracers," he said. He turned to look at his commanding officer. "It's your bid, Captain."

Captain david closed his eyes, like he was seeing what could not be seen. He gave a small chuckle before he said confidently, "Four blanks."

William looked down at his hand gripping the mess tin. "Four tracers," he said.

Captain David's eyes slid back to Sergeant Bill. "Six rounds," said the sergeant. William's eyes darted back to the captain.

Captain David peered under his mess tin, revealing four blank rounds and one tracer round. "Seven tracers."

William looked at his rounds: three tracers, one normal, and one practice. "Eight tracers," he said.

Captain David chuckled, a slow, horrific chuckle. "Welcome to the Force, liar." He continued chuckling, until Sergeant David suddenly interrupted, "Twelve tracers."

The captain's head snapped around. He stared at the sergeant. "Twelve tracers," said the sergeant. "Call me a liar, or up the bid."

"And be called a liar myself for the trouble?" asked Captain David. He grabbed Sergeant Bill's mess tin and looked at the collection of rounds he had hidden underneath. "Sergeant Bill, you're a liar and you will spend an eternity in this unit!" He stood up to leave and turned to William. "Recruit Zhang, feel free to leave camp," he snorted, "the next time we book out!" He roared with laughter as he stomped away.

William turned to his sergeant. "Fool. Why did you do that, sergeant?"

Sergeant Bill looked at him morosely. "I couldn't let you lose."

William shook his head. "It was never about winning, or losing," he said.

The sergeant looked perplexed for a moment. Then it hit him. "The form!" he exclaimed. "You just wanted to know where it was."


Inspired by a discussion about automatic MC machines and down-PES jackpots. But you can't guess where it's from.

The only thing we have: years of service.
The Edna Man