Sunday, February 28, 2010

Personality Test - What is Your Stereotype?

Who? Me? A Geek?! Indeed, I am more knowledgeable in IT than most people. However, I never know that equates to being Geeky.

Yet, I was suspecting that I might be one recently, given that some of my hobbies and interest are quite similar with someone… All that was lacking – thank god- was the nerdy look (don’t think I can afford that) and I think I am still quite sociable.

Nevertheless, I think people first noticed me as a fat girl and fitted me with the fat girl stereotypes than being a Geek.

In any case, I rather be called a Geek than being seen as Stupid…

You Are a Geek

You love to learn, especially when it's about technology. No subject is too obscure for you.

You enjoy tinkering with things to see how they work. You aren't a traditional learner either... you need to hack around to figure things out.
You may have the brains to be a super rich Silicon Valley geek, but you're truly content to have your own favorite projects, subjects, and toys.

For you, being a geek is not about the glory. It's about a love of digging deep and truly understanding the world. (Isn’t that what Photosophize is about- Start Observing and See More!)

Take Personality Test Here -

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Can You Spot The Missing Lucky Number?

Chinese New Year is also the period of feasting which is not a good news for someone like me who needs to go on a diet. My friend and her mum had kindly invited me to her place for a sumptuous steamboat dinner.
Come to think of it, we had known each other for more than 14 years since secondary school. It is not easy still be able to maintain contact with each other after so long and I am glad we make an effort to do so.
I discovered something strange when in the lift. It somewhat prompted a mini panic attack on me. Somehow, I could not locate her floor. It was missing on the lift panel. Can you spot the missing number?

Level 7 was missing.

At that moment, I really thought my mind was not working properly or that my eyes were tired thus could not find level 7. I calmed myself down slightly and find “7” through the primitive way. I counted the numbers one by one to finally “7”.

Some mischievous person had replace “7” with an inverted number 6 button. Strangely, I did not find it irritating, but thought that it was quite humorous. Good one… But how did they do it?

So, inverted 6 is the new 7. Hmm…There is always new things out there waiting to play with our senses…

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lunar New Year Celebrative Food Stuff – Chinese Preserved Meats

Another batch of photos taken at Chinatown. I wanted to write about this temporary stall selling Chinese sausage and preserved meats outside CK shopping centre.
They comes in various types and sizes. Unlike Italian sausages or German sausages, Chinese sausages undergo additional stage of preservation air-dying, thus it does not need to be refrigerated.
This stall not only sells Chinese sausages, but they also sells preserved meats. The above picture showed huge legs of hams and salt-cured ducks.
What is this leg of ham for? It is called Jin Hua Ham or 金华火腿. similar to western ham in the way that it is cured with salt, but the texture is very different. It is not exactly chewable, very hard. Chinese do not just eat it directly, but very much use it for making stock.
Mind you, they are very expensive.
As with many Chinese stuff, the process of making Jin Hua ham dated long ago back to 900 years ago.
The banner wrote “Jin Hua Ham is a Chinese traditional food. It is most often used for making stock and in dishes. Favoured for its strong and savory flavour, Jin Hua Ham is a necessity ingredients for many exquisite dishes. Accordingly to records, it was developed 900 years ago during the Song dynast by this general named “Zong Ze”. He developed this ham coincidentally when trying to thank his subordinates during a campaign. Notably, the Ham was awarded first grade commodity at the 1915 World Trade Fair at Panama.”
Another type of cured meats – belly cut. Similar to Jin Hua Ham, they are cured with Salt and additionally in their oil, much like the process of making duck confit. They are usually steam together with rice.
Red-coloured pork sausage which is also known as Lup Cheong. Quite fatty as they are usually make with fatty cuts of meats. They had quite a strong favour – salty with a hinge of sweetness which I think comes from the Chinese wine marinate. They have a very nice aroma. I like them best in Claypot rice!
Black-coloured ones are another type of “Lup Cheong”, but they are made with livers instead.
I think these are preserved Chicken legs. Not really sure how they prepared for eating. To clarify, not all Chinese buy these food stuffs. I mean westerners would perhaps see Chinese as Chinese, but we are actually further differentiated into different groups of Chinese according to our dialects.
They are Cantonese traditional foodstuff.

Cured Duck. I began to wonder whether Chinese had a part in making Duck Confit. They might have similar taste. Who knows, maybe long ago, some French accidentally fried cured duck and invented duck confit. What do you think?


Monday, February 15, 2010

Chinese New Year Celebration 2010 at Singapore’s Chinatown

First and foremost, Happy Lunar New Year to Everyone! Those who didn’t know it is Chinese Lunar New Year yesterday, which coincidentally coincide with Valentine’s Day this year.
Some background information before I go on elaborating on photos which I took at Chinatown earlier on. Lunar New Year celebrates the beginning of Spring, usually end of January or early February if compared against Western calendar. It was introduced by Emperor Huang Ti during 2600 BC and is now Lunar Year 4708 this year.
Every Lunar New Year is represented by a Zodiac animal and there are 12 of them. For 2010, it happened to be the year of Tiger, specifically “Golden” Tiger (Gold is one of the five elements).  

Photo taken at the Junction outside Chinatown point. The Chinese Characters read “Hua Kai Fu Gui” and “Ying Chun Jie Fu” which meant “Flowers bloomed in Prosperity” and “Come Forth Spring and Receive Good Fortune”.
Lunar New Year is a major festival for the Chinese. In Singapore, where majority of the population are Chinese, the celebrations are no less elaborate as compared to China, Hong Kong or even Taiwan. Of course, those countries might have longer holidays than Singapore, but Chinese here do place much importance in the celebration.
To soak in the Chinese New Year Celebration in Singapore, one should really hopped down to Chinatown for the atmosphere.There are lightings too, albeit like Christmas at Orchard Road. Of course, instead of coldness, Chinese New Year lightings emits more warms and uses more reds in the decor which is Chinese’s auspicious colour.  
Ok, some might think it is really that cliché, but since it is the year of the Golden Tiger, the decor had to reflect that. Look at the photo – how many tigers can you find? Again, for the benefit of those who do not read Chinese characters, it read “Wu Fu Lin Men” which meant “Good Fortune Arrived Upon Your Door”.
Other than the “tigers” decor lining up the streets, the organisers also uses plentiful of spring flowers to soften the look.
Specifically Peach Blossom.
Peach Blossom is considered as an auspicious Spring flowers. They have very good connotations to Chinese. You see, in order to bloom, they had to endure harsh winter and the colder the winter, the more flowers they will bloomed. Thus, it was generally looked upon as a sign of perseverance. Then it is also the flower which could enhanced one’s interpersonal relations luck, so to singles and those who are in need of some interpersonal luck – buy some and place them at home.
Because Singapore’s weather too hot, you never really get to see a living plant one here. Organisers therefore uses plastic one which romanticise the atmosphere. I wondered if it was that they had taken into consideration that the festival coincided with Valentine’s day.
Before Chinese New Year, this famed stall Lim Chee Guan will start to attract lines of crowd, queuing for their famous Pork Jerky . They do open during normal days, but it is only during this period that they will get more customers. You see, Pork Jerky is a Chinese New Year must-have food stuff and even though the prices inflated sky-high during then, people are still willingly queuing hours for it.
Look at their lighted signboard. Pork Jerky and Pork Floss.

Apparently, they have been around since 1938.
For those who are not sure what Pork Jerky is. It is basically meat slices marinated with Chinese spices and flavouring and BBQed to perfection. 
See close up of the Pork Jerky. It has a stronger taste with a hint of smokiness to it. Sweet and salty which makes it a very good snack for beer. It is one of my favourite Chinese New Year foodstuff.
This photo is taken at another famous Pork Jerky stall named “Mei Zhen Xiang”. Poor guy, closer to Chinese New Year period, they have to BBQ quite a number of tons of meat slices everyday. I don’t want to be in his shoes – getting greasy and smoked everyday for long hours.
At the temporary market in Chinatown, there are many stalls like the above which sells Chinese New Year decoration.
Like how the Christmas decorations are predominately Green and Red, Chinese New Year ones are usually Red!
Roar! Aren’t this tiger puppet cute? I didn’t ask how much it cost though, but I quite like it.
While the above is tiger, this is its cousin – the lion. One of the traditions of Chinese New Year is the lion dance. Performed by two people, it supposedly wards of evil and bad luck and bring in good fortune for people.
Well of course, how can we forget Chinese’s all time favourite mythical creature – the Dragon?! Unlike the lion dance, Dragon dance, which is also one of the traditional performance during Chinese New Year, requires a team of people to perform.
Mid-way of the Chinese New Year Street Market.
When we were there earlier on, there wasn’t as many people along the streets.
At about 8 to 9 something, crowds formed. It is so hard to walk along the streets. I find it stressful as I have to constantly look out for my wallet and bag.
In the temporary market, hawkers sells all sort of festive foodstuff. The above sells Sunflower seeds known to Chinese as “Kua Ji”. It comes in many favours – Tea flavoured ones, salted ones. They also sells branded peanuts which I quite like. It tasted fresher and sweeter than those you get from supermarket.
There are generally two types of Kua Ji. Red ones and Black ones. They like many representative Chinese New Year food stuff has auspicious connotation.
Just as we were in the taxi (after much long wait), we passed by an overhead bridge which was also beautifully decorated with more auspicious well-wishes.
With the above, I wish everyone a Peaceful and Prosperous Lunar New Year! 
To read more about Chinese New Year Celebrations in Singapore, click here - Chinese New Year.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Can A&W make a comeback in Singapore?

I read weeks ago that Wendy – the Fast Food Restaurant is making waves at Lau Pa Sat. Brought in by the Kopitiam group, it has managed to attract huge crowds every day since opening last December. According to the CNA’s news report, Wendy first came to Singapore in the 80s, locating at Far East Plaza and Parkway Parade. I supposed they retreated due to poor business then?
Demographics and Psychographic have since changes. Singaporeans are much more affluent than they are in the 80s. More people are eating out everyday. Youths have more pocket money and Fast Food has become a daily norm rather than a rare treat. Therefore despite existing fast food restaurants kept expanding at astonishing rate, I still think fast food market in Singapore has not yet reach saturation point, but in fact still expanding.
(Hmmm… why do I feel like I am doing some homework when writing the above para…)

Anyway, Wendy’s successful comeback reminds me of another fast food restaurant that has a special place among Singaporeans and perhaps should make a come-back too. I am referring to old-time favourite A&W!

I mean when Singaporeans visit Malaysia or Batam, immediately the first thing they need to do is to drop by to the nearest A&W restaurant to get their fixes of Coney Dog, Curly Fries and Root Beer float. 
Since it is a must-do for many, why didn’t anyone thought of bringing A&W into Singapore? I actually thought A&W might be able to make it this time around. 
Mascot for A&W – The Great Root Bear!
Similar to Wendy, A&W outlets began to dwindle during the 90s. I had thought they retreated from Singapore in the 90’s but according the the Facebook page “Bring A&W back to SG, the last A&W outlet at Hougang Mall closed in 2003. Hmm… At point of writing this entry, there are about 16 319 members.
Why do I think it will make it? I was at Batam few months ago. Of course, my friends insisted that they had to try A&W before coming back. At the queue, you can almost tell that 90% are Singaporeans from their accent.
An example of A&W set-meal.
Not sure why, but they no longer sell Coney Dogs in Batam outlet. How can that be? Coney Dogs, Root Beer Float are supposed to be the holy trinity of A&W. Why would they take it out of their menu? Is business also not good in Batam too? Would they close their operation down eventually in Batam?
If my memory serves me right, A&W rootbeer float used to be ice-cream instead of soft-serve ice-cream? I could have remembered it wrongly since I seldom eat A&W when they were in Singapore. When I was younger, we seldom fast food. Our family are not that affluent, you see. In any case, I am don’t need extra calories from it. 

Among all the A&W food, I love their curly fries best. I am a sucker for potatoes food stuff especially when they are fried. Of course, I know they are not too good for health. I am trying to avoid them as best as I can. Ironically, like they always say too much of a good thing is actually bad for you.

This is new. I never know A&W sell waffles. They sell waffles (non-sweet kind) with soft-serve ice-cream. I don’t really like it. I prefer waffles that are slightly crispy and temptingly aromatic.

So what are your views? Can A&W make a come-back in Singapore? Do you all miss A&W? Leave me a message under comments.

For those who like to be more vocal, then join the Facebook group - “Bring A&W back to Singapore”. Who knows when there are substantial support or members, some rich business man might just buy the franchise and get them back to Singapore.

*To clarify, Photosophize has no relations with the A&W Facebook group nor A&W. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

王菲- 传奇 (2010央视春节联欢晚会现场表演)

Not sure whether rumours of her return is true, but Faye is gradually doing more performances. She sang at CCTV Spring Gala show just now. My god~ She looked and sound superb!

The song which Faye chosen to sing at the Gala show titled “Legend” or 传奇 wasn’t her latest creation. It was an old song by Chinese artist Li Jian (李健), written in 2002.  According to rumours, she was supposed to be performing 人间, but later chose 传奇because she like the song and it has a heart-warming feeling.

Also apparently, she paid tribute to the recent passing British designer - Alexandra McQueen by wearing his cocktail dress from 2010 Spring/Summer collection.

I quite like her image. The coloured contact lens make her looked like a fairy! The black-colour permed bob hairstyle looked so stylish too. After such a long rest, she is still ahead of fashion trend.

Watching this performance, I really think China is in their Golden Period. I mean almost all of the Asia who’s who fight to perform at the Gala show. Then there is the magnificent huge stage – it is basically a huge LED screen with 3D effect. I have never seen anything like it before… Another break-through after the 2008 Olympic show, I think.

For those who wanted to sing-along with her, here are the lyrics.






With the above song, I wish all of you a Happy Lunar New Year! 虎年旺旺!!