Saturday Home-Cooked Meals

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Garlic Prawn Pasta (What else?)


Di Huang Miao, Tiger Prawn and Samba Chilli Stingray


Insurance policy bonus set to fall

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POLICYHOLDERS of participating life insurance policies can expect non-guaranteed benefits to fall for 2008 and in the future, the Life Insurance Association (LIA) said yesterday.

These benefits, which come in the form of bonuses, will be revised downwards due to the poor investment climate, LIA said.

Also known as par policies, they offer both guaranteed benefits and non-guaranteed benefits, where bonuses are determined based on performance of par funds.

Despite the credit crunch which looks set to last for a few more years, guaranteed benefits should be maintained, and bonuses will still be given, LIA said.

'We remain able to continue to allocate bonuses to par policyholders, albeit at a lower level,' LIA president Darren Thomson said.

Most policyholders can expect to receive letters from their insurers advising of bonus revisions in the coming weeks, Mr Thomson added.

Although the solvency level of life insurers' par funds is still above the regulatory minimum, further deterioration in the economic environment will require companies to strengthen their capital position, LIA deputy president Tan Hak Leh said.

Currently, there are no regulations against cutting non-guaranteed benefits to zero. Only justification is needed.

The bulk of the investment is in debt securities, mostly corporate and government bonds, and equities.

However, asset composition has been changed in light of the risks now, Mr Tan said.

Currently, the economic crisis looks set to be worse than the Asian financial crisis of 1997, where bonus revisions were severe.

Mr Thomson said that the worsening crisis is an indication, and that in spite of previous gains in the better performing years, bonuses will be affected by a prolonged recession.

'Bonuses should be seen as an additional benefit, rather than the main benefit,' Mr Thomson said.

Mr Tan agreed: 'Provision for future bonuses are likely to be revised downwards to reflect the adverse investment performance'.

As of now, only HSBC Insurance and TM Asia Life Singapore have declared their bonus revisions.


One of the consolation was my switching of Living Policy to Term Insurance. phew


Wireless Charging

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How cool is that?


Jeff Dunham - Achmed the Dead Terrorist

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President Obama with Jay Leno

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The video might takes some time to load but its worth the wait. If you are bored just his replies (which I don't think you will), jump straight away to the last 5min of the video. :)


Hows this for a dinner?

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All prickly over pricey prawns

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IDENTIFY this scenario: An exorbitant amount of money is paid to several employees because it is a sum contractually owed to them, even if many people feel they do not deserve it. This is followed by a very public protest and a flustered attempt to get the money back, by legal means if necessary.

Answer: If you're thinking of AIG, think again. We're talking about the exorbitant amount of money paid by a group of American tourists to the workers of stall 43 at Newton Hawker Centre for eight debatably large prawns. And the subsequent calls for them to get their money back and restore Singapore's reputation as Asia's competitively priced grilled seafood hub.

Indeed, not many are privy to the secret hearing that was assembled and here's what transpired:

Panel leader: 'What makes you think that your eight tiger prawns are worth the $239 that you expected the American tourists to pay?'

Stallowner: 'Hello, my prawns are very big, do you think you can find such big ones in your local wet market? I put up the price very clearly at my stall. $8 per 100gm. You eat, you pay up. If you don't want to pay, then you talk to my cashier. Ya, that's the one with the very big muscles and the tattoo of a giant crayfish on each bicep.'

Panel leader: 'Yes, contractually speaking, they are obliged to pay. But it is morally irresponsible to overcharge them the way you did. Especially with the current economic situation.'

Stallowner: 'The prices were set before the recession. My workers' commissions were negotiated before the recession. We have been overcharging, I mean, selling at these prices way before the recession. How can I change just because some people say it's not fair?'

Panel leader: 'You're incorrigible! How can you jeopardise our reputation for fair pricing?'

Stallowner: 'You don't have to order prawns, you know. You can eat BBQ stingray, baby squid. Small chicken.'

Panel leader: 'Because of people like you, tourists will be afraid of coming to Singapore because they will think that all hawkers tout and have scary-looking tattoos. This will have a negative effect on our tourism industry and you do not show any remorse!'

Stallowner: 'But I never hear anyone complain that my prawns are not delicious.'

Panel leader: 'That's it. We are going to recommend that you are slapped with the heaviest penalty possible - your stall will be closed for three months, and your, uh, cashier, cannot work for you for one year until he learns to be more diplomatic about the way he collects money.'

Stallowner: 'What?! Then what am I going to do for money?'

Panel leader: 'Well, you could learn new skills like everybody else. Maybe you could try selling something else, like motor insurance?'



President Obama in the OC: Costa Mesa Town Hall

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Pay particular attention from 15:15 onwards :)


Stall closed for 3 months

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The NEA action yesterday caps an episode that has drawn much attention since it was first reported on Tuesday that six Americans were charged $491 for a meal which included eight tiger prawns, some crabs, half a steamed chicken and a few bottles of beer. --ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
THE verdict is in: Stall No. 43 at Newton Hawker Centre overcharged a group of American tourists who ate there last Saturday night.

Now, Tanglin Best BBQ Seafood will pay the price: It must shut down for three months from April 1, and the worker who served the Americans cannot work there for one year.

This is the stiffest punishment given by the National Environment Agency (NEA) in five years to a hawker who overcharged.

In 2004, a seafood hawker at Newton was suspended for a month, and his assistant barred from working for a year.

The NEA action yesterday caps an episode that has drawn much attention since it was first reported on Tuesday that six Americans were charged $491 for a meal which included eight tiger prawns, some crabs, half a steamed chicken and a few bottles of beer.

At the centre of the dispute was the bill for the prawns, which came to $239 - about $30 apiece.

The tourists complained to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the NEA took up the case.

It interviewed one of the Americans, Mr Michael Rigby, 30, and also spoke to the stall owner and his assistant before handing down its judgment.

Mr Rigby returned to the United States on Tuesday. If his group wants to seek compensation, they will have to go to the Small Claims Tribunal, and the STB will act on their behalf.

Contacted last night, he was gratified to learn that the matter had been resolved. 'It is heartening that the authorities took this matter very seriously,' he said. 'A few rotten apples won't stop me from going back to Singapore, but it's unlikely I'll go back to Newton.'


Well done, they deserved it!


Life would be much easier..

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PM Lee (left) is responding to a question from BBC's correspondent Johnathan Head, about the role that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Ms Ho Ching had in the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and in Temasek Holdings. -- PHOTO: BBC
DURING an interview with the BBC's Asia Business report aired on Thursday, its South-east Asia correspondent Jonathan Head asked PM Lee about the role that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Ms Ho Ching had in the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation and in Temasek Holdings.

Here's the Q&A:

JONATHAN HEAD: Your own family has been quite involved in two of these funds. Your wife until recently ran Temasek, your father's deeply involved in GIC. Is there a risk that when the news is bad, as it has been over the past year for these funds, that people will tend to blame your family rather than look at the institutions?

PM LEE: I think the way you put it is not the way things work in Singapore. The Minister Mentor is chairman of GIC not because he is my father. It's because he is the best man for the job and he has been chairman since he was Prime Minister.

And Ho Ching is CEO of Temasek not because she's my wife but because the chairman of Temasek, who's Mr Dhanabalan, and the board decided that they wanted to appoint her as CEO.

And they are there as long as they are effective, performing, and if they don't perform, well, they have to take the consequences.

JONATHAN HEAD: Perception is important in politics and in difficult times like this, do you think, in retrospect, it might have been better if your family had a lower profile?

PM LEE: (laughs) Life would be much easier for me if the Minister Mentor was not my father and Ho Ching was not my wife. But they are there. This is the way Singapore has worked. I think Singaporeans have understood that this is how the system works and they will render judgment when elections come.



"Biggest size" article in Wikipedia

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Ever wonder which article in Wikipedia is the longest? Did a quick search and my best friend, Google, showed me the next best possible answer within nanoseconds.

This might not be the longest but it is the largest article categoried by file size.

Timeline of United States inventions and discoveries

Rest of the top 49 is here.


How to copy a key with a coke can

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Try it and let me know! hahaha



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I am sure most of you came across this on many web sites, tons of them. I am also sure that you might not have heard of the name associated with them.

Again, from my favorite Wikipedia.

A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine that the response is not generated by a computer. The process involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. A common type of CAPTCHA requires that the user type the letters of a distorted image, sometimes with the addition of an obscured sequence of letters or digits that appears on the screen.

John M Willis shows us the top 10 worse Captchas he came across below.

10th Worst


9th Worst

8th Worst

7th Worst

6th Worst


5th Worst

4th Worst


3th Worst


2th Worst

The Worst


I.O.U.S.A Movie

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I.O.U.S.A. boldly examines the rapidly growing national debt and its consequences for the United States and its citizens. Burdened with an ever-expanding government and military, increased international competition, overextended entitlement programs, and debts to foreign countries that are becoming impossible to honor, America must mend its spendthrift ways or face an economic disaster of epic proportions.


The Truth Behind David Widjaja's Incident That Has Not Yet Been Revealed yet?

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I am for one quite shock at all the clues that are strongly against the "Truth" that was revealed by the Police and the Media. If the "truth" is indeed the truth, why are there so many points that show otherwise and why aren't the Police and Media stepping up to clarify things asap if they have nothing to hide? Surely this incident warrant much more attention than given thus far.

Below are some findings done by David's brother I suppose.

March 5th 2009 23:37

Today I and some of David’s friends in elementary – senior high school, visited David’s family at their home, to express our condolence towards the tragedy, and to seek for the real truth. All of us (David’s friends and teachers) believed that he did not do such a crime that the media had published. As we've just arrived, his parents and brother welcomed us, and we discussed what had happened there.

The more we try to figure out this case, the more we find various oddities which are not yet revealed. For the sake of clarifying this, David’s best friend from NTU called Edwin, who already pawned his bachelor degree, trying to reveal the truth. We would like to express our big gratitude toward him. Finally we would like to spread the truth story about David Hartanto, our best friend.

Several discordances:
1. Published by the Media, was that David had attacked Professor Chan Kap Luk, then initiated a suicide by slicing his wrist. Where did the news come from? What was their purpose publishing false news mentioning David had slashed his own wrist?

2. When David’s family arrived in Singapore on Monday 2th March 2009, the night after the incident, The Family demanded to directly identify David’s cadaver however there were certain parties who forbade them. They said that it’s the rule, so family tried to be cooperative even while struggling to face this utterly shocking incident.

When The Family had been allowed to recognize David’s cadaver after waiting for one day, nevertheless Family were allowed to view only David’s cadaver from neck until head, while the rest of his body part were covered in plastic. Even they had asked to lift open the plastic and wanted to see his entire cadaver. The Family had confirmed to the Singapore Police that there was no wound on his wrist. The Family also found there were many plaster on his front neck (neck under chin).

The question is, why were they made to wait for 1 day just to see their son’s dead body, despite being so near after having traveled so faraway?

Why was David’s cadaver concealed in plastic, and not allowed to be revealed? Is there any such rule? Or was it just a manipulation effort to cover the truth?

Where did the wound on his neck come from? Why were there so much blood around David’s buttock? And why no media was allowed to mention this?

3. Forbidden of identifying David’s cadaver, The Family decided to visit the spot on Monday night, however when they were there, there was no blood left, nor police line, it had already been cleaned. Only within 7 hours after incident the spot had been cleaned totally. Is there any reason why they had so vigorously cleaned up such an important incident spot? It should not be difficult to clean it later after the Family Visit, even after the blood had dried for days or even weeks, especially on such shiny surfaces. Any housewives could clean it in less than 20 minutes.

4. Then The Family visited David’s room and they found all the computer devices were still on. Does someone who intents to commit suicide still leave his computer on? Even David’s friend who was online witnessed David’s msn account still appeared online. Does it look like David wanted to end his life? He still played online games with his friend, the one who visited David’s family with us, until 2 am at Monday morning.

5. At the Professor’s room, the family found David’s bag. Inside his bag, the family found 1.5 L mineral bottle and towel.(for those who knew David, He always brings towel to school even sometimes he put his towel on his neck. He also always brings water because his mother always instructs him to consume much water). Does someone who wants to commit suicide bring this kind of stuff, it would be easier to bring merely a knife belonging to somebody else.

6 .David’s family had been denied a visit to Professor Chan Kap Luk, due to the reason that at that time he was still in ICU. However Professor’s condition had been stable since Tuesday and was allowed to return home on Wednesday, mentioned by Singapore media. However until today I've never heard of his statement towards this tragedy.

7. When The Family intended to meet with the witness who saw David’s suicide from 4th floor, NTU forbade, reasoning that this issue should be kept confidential. So how do we know that there is anyone who saw David’s suicide, to confirm that he did not accidentally fall or someone pushed him down?

8. Data about David and his final year project had been removed from NTU data base. Within 2 days NTU directly removed David’s data and his project. Is there any special reason behind this? Why should NTU quickly remove his data? Don’t they have any feelings, or memory to remember of their brilliant and intelligent student who won International Mathematic Olympic? It seemed like David never study in NTU.

9. The knife that had been used is from 4th hall, is that a result of investigation? Or just a mock-up excuse? One of our friends who study at NTU said usually Professor has small knife in his office to cut fruit. The question is, does that knife belong to David or Professor Chan Kap Luk?

10. The tragedy happened at 10.45 am on Monday Singapore time. Isn't it weird, that merely a few students witnessed the incident? Is there any demand from NTU to remain silent? Any threat over grades?

11. The tool that was found to stab the Professor was a fruit knife without handle. Where is the handle? Is it possible to stab someone with a knife without handle? Who stabbed whom, is still unknown, and the handle must be found. However there isn’t any formal & specific explanation about this case.

The fraud News about David which has been reported by the media is not based on anything, below is the clarification:

1. David intended to kill his professor then committed suicide by jumping from 4th floor and in that room there were only David and Professor. David now is gone and the only witness that we have is only this Professor. How we can be convinced that his statement is true without any sufficient prove? The statement from the Professor could not be used as an excuse to blame everything on the deceased David.

2. Some Media Mentioned that David was stressed because his scholarship was terminated last month, he attacked a wrong person because of misunstrangeanding. Doesn't it sound weird? David was clearly aware that his scholarship will be terminated because his performance was dropping and that that’s not the professor's fault. Moreover David’s father claimed that David had told them 3 weeks ago, soon after he received message from NTU. And The Family had accepted it without problem and agreed to bear the fee, especially since it would be the last semester in NTU for David.

3. It is also mentioned that David was in a depression, due to the incapability of finishing his final project. David’s friend in NTU said that David's project was almost accomplished. He didn’t go back home to Indonesia last semester because he wanted to concentrate on his project. For those who knew David, David loved games, however one thing that we also knew he always did his duties and homework adequately, without help needed from anyone, nor cheat thru anyone's homework.
Therefore if the Media mentioned that David attacked his Professor because he was stressed he couldn’t accomplish his project, it really does not make sense.

4. Media also said that David disappeared almost one week before the incident. Nevertheless his family knew that he was concentrating on his project. The statement that David had disappeared from society due to depression and intended to attack his professor has failed to convince us and is not valid. Within that week David chatted with his brother, and also played online games with his friends. He did not look like someone in deep depression who wanted to attack his professor.

All facts that had appeared recently, already removed the false news reported by the Media:
1. David died due to a fall from 4th floor, without any wound on his wrist but with wound on his neck and buttock.

2. Professor checked out from hospital within 2 days without any clarification and picture whether he experienced any dire injury or not.

Speculations and Other Possibilities:
Did David stab his professor when he was facing computer screen? If yes, it is impossible to recover so soon within 2 days.

Is there any possibility that the professor attacked David? We don’t know, if yes, What would be his motive?

Recently the news about the professor wanting to steal David’s project is vividly talked by many people. This issue is backed up by David’s friend who mentioned the Final year project that David had almost accomplished. Is there any possibility that a Professor from a famous university in an advanced country wants to steal his own student final project?
Is it the real motive? We don’t know.

Was there any 3rd party in this incident? We don't know either.

In conclusion, David's friends and teachers in Indonesia, even strangers who didn't know David, can not and will not accept the news without any appropriate evidence. Without these evidences we are not convinced that a brilliant, nice person like David would stab his own Professor.

From David’s Friends and teachers: David, now there is nothing we can do besides clearing your image and revealing to the world the truth about you. Please rest in peace, we all love you so much.

Author: Klemens Andrianto
Translator: Felicia Yan
Editor: Especially


Win 3 Xbox 360 and 15 Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition worth S$600 each!

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From January 15 - April 15 2009, buy any book from and stand a chance to win 3 Xbox 360 and 15 Microsoft Office 2007 Standard Edition worth S$600 each!

*Terms & Conditions apply.

Ads by BLOG2u



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This Congresswoman has got one of the easiest job in the US by giving the same reply to different questions.


Prelims are over!

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But the real revision starts now!

Sorry for the lack of updates over the past few months. Will try to update on my 3rd year's anniversary cum Bella birthday celebration's at Bintan! But if you can't wait, you can check out her blog as she has already done it.


Trains in Japan

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Singapore trains too crowded? Think again.


Grandpa in Japan

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