Passes to 2nd ASEAN-ASIA Forum, 17 Apr 2009 in Singapore

The 2nd ASEAN-ASIA Forum: Risks & Opportunities (Friday, 17 Apr 2009) organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs addresses how individuals, institutions and multinational corporations in Asia should position themselves in the wake of the current economic crisis.

The forum includes distinguished speakers such as Prof Neo Boon Siong (Director, Asia Competitiveness Institute),  Ms Olivia Lum (Group CEO & President, Hyflux Group) and Ms Irene Ng (Member of Parliament, Singapore).

This is a full day forum event and concludes with a gala dinner with George Yeo (Minister, Foreign Affairs, Singapore) as Guest of Honour.

I have 2 complimentary passes (worth $600 each) to this event. Please contact me (bernardoh3rd/at/gmail/) if you are genuinely keen to attend and would like a pass to the event. This offer closes on 8 Apr (or earlier) and valid for Singapore residents only. The pass will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and my decision is final.

Click here for forum brochure or forum web site for more information.

2009 IEEE Medal for Excellence in Scalable Computing – Assoc Prof Raj Buyya, Melbourne University

When I lived in Australia, Assoc Prof Raj Buyya (Melbourne University) is one of the few academics I knew who is a true research leader and teacher in the field of grid computing. He was a humble and generous man, ready to share his passion, knowledge and time with anyone who is keen to learn.

I congratulate him on being the 2009 IEEE Medal of Excellence (Scalable Computing) recipient.

Related link: 2009 IEEE Medal for Excellence in Scalable Computing awarded to Professor Rajkumar Buyya (IEEE Technical Committee on Scalable Computing)

Will humanity be overtaken by its own medical, technological and scientific successes?

The recent advacements in the field of medicial and biotechnology offer humanity longer lives, but what are the social, physical and economic implications for a larger and aging population?

Dr Ian Goldin (Director, James Martin 21st Century School) addressed these issues during his introduction to the risks and opportunities in the 21st Century during the recent University of Cape Town Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture.

Download the mp3 here or subscribe to the podcast feed.

The US and the World: Beyond the Financial Crisis – A public lecture by Robert Kimmitt (former Treasury Deputy Secretary) in Singapore

Former US Treasury Deputy Secretary under George W. Bush’s administration, Robert Kimmitt is presenting a public lecture entitled “The US and the World: Beyond the Financial Crisis” in Singapore.

Date: Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Time: 5.15pm – 6.30pm

Location: Auditorium, Level 3
Block B, Faculty of Law, NUS Bukit Timah Campus

The world faces difficult months, and perhaps years, before the current economic and financial crisis fully subsides. But, even as the crisis is addressed, preparation must also be undertaken to ensure that the world that emerges is better able to spur market opportunities and avert future crises. Issues of particular note are the balance between prudential regulation and market discipline; global financial architecture; and commitment to free trade and open investment as guiding principles of a healthy global economy. Singapore, the United States, and other key participants in the G-20, Financial Stability Forum, APEC, and other processes need to ensure these important long-term topics are interwoven with on-going crisis management discussions and decisions.

See event flyer for details.

Update of my fav podcast feeds: Business, Humour, Social Commentary and News

Since the economic downturn I have almost stopped buying CDs and moved onto podcasts for my aural stimulation. An audio diet laced with humour, news, business and commentary. Here is a list of my absolute must-hear feeds:

1. Hamish & Andy – My fav commute-time comedy duo from Melbourne. Give these guys a try and I reckon you will become a fan too.

2. American Public Media’s Marketplace. Great way to get an summary of Wall Street overnight performance and news.

3. NPR’s Planet Money. How to make sense of all these news from the Wall Street to the White House.

4. Robert Reich’s Commentary. Prof Robert Reich teaches public policy in Berkeley and served as Labour Secretary during the Clinton administration

5. The Story is about “people whose lives are intersecting with significant issues in the news.” The programs has previous discussed about how older people coped when their unemployment benefits ran out (foreclosures), how our past can come back and haunt us via Facebook (Facebook), and how good people can be lured and trapped in money laundering (white collar crimes).

6. BBC’s World Business Daily. An audio documentary of the world of business.

7. ABC’s 7.30 report (video). A snapshot of current issues affecting Australia.

8. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) public lectures and events. Perfect if you enjoy a detailed discussion of the world around us.

9. Sky News Business Report. My 25mins update on the Australian economy and AUD performance.

10. The Gruen Transfer (free video vodcast) by Wil Anderson (now back for Season 2)! The Gruen Transfer is about the science of advertising served with a dead wit and humour.

Does anyone know of an informational podcast feed from Singapore? It’s really difficult to find a Singapore business or social commentary podcast. I would really listen to a Singapore Mandarin podcast after MM Lee is now reminding us the importance of speaking Mandarin.

No scientific evidence proves that hi-tech running shoes prevent injuries

Dr Craig Richards and research team from Australia’s University of Newcastle investigated the ability of running shoes with elevated cushioned heels and anti-pronation systems to prevent injury.

“We did not identify a single study that has attempted to measure the effect of this shoe type on either injury rates or performance.

“This means there is no scientific evidence that ‘Pronation Control, Elevated Cushioned Heel’ (PCECH) shoes provide any benefit to distance runners.”

Their findings have been published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.


Related link:

Tokyo, Osaka and Singapore Among the Top 10 most expensive cities in the world: EIU Report

The 2009 Economist Intelligence Unit’s cost of living survey reveals that Tokyo (1), Osaka (2) and Singapore (10) ranked among the Top 10 most expensive cities.

2009 EIU World’s Top 1o Most Expensive Cities Ranking

1. Tokyo, Japan
2. Osaka, Japan
3. Paris, France
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
5. Oslo, Norway
6. Zurich, Switzerland
7. Frankfurt, Germany
8. Helsinki, Finland
9. Geneva, Switzerland
10. Singapore, Singapore

35. Sydney, Australia

39. Melbourne, Australia

Little comfort for those who are out of a job or struggling with lower income.

Related links:

The Beginner’s Guide to Origins of the Credit Crisis

How did the credit crisis orginate? Check out the videos below and find out how defaulted mortages took Wall Street down and affected the rest of us.

In the beginning … responsible people wanted a home loan and it was prime…

Turning point … bankers and investors wanted more…

Reasons for organ harvesting, drug-enhanced sport performance, and genetically modified children

Support for organ harvesting, drug-enhanced sport performance, and genetically modified children are some of the serious topics discussed during a humorous interview with Julian Savulescu.

Dr Julian Savulescu is a Professor of Practical Ethics at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University and the interviewer was Andrew Denton. This interview was broadcasted on 28 Sep 2008, ABC’s “Enough Rope”

Re-Discovering the Podcast Joys in 2009

Happy new year to everyone reading my blog! I hope you had a ball over Christmas and the New Yeak and slowly getting back into the daily grind!


It’s a new year and I recently re-discovered the joys of podcast, thanks to my gorgeous 4 months old Nokia N78. Prior to my N78, my last podcast (G’day World) was back in 2006. Returning back to the Nokia platform is such a delight and dare I say a phone almost designed for human use. I love my phone but I will keep my praise for another day. Listening to podcast is fantastic and time efficient way for everyone to catch up with the news, commentary and hopefully get some laughs during your commute.

If you share my weird interests in the following: a) humour and satire b) technology c) business and economics, there were an incredible amount of great podcast content available. Here are a selection from my podcast feed. The links goes to their website so that you can check out the content before you subscribe to the feed.

  • Humour and satire

Hamish and Andy Radioshow – Podcast sized of my favourite Melbourne radio comedic duo syndicated across Australia and Kiwi-land. (Good stuff always comes from Melbourne)

Friday Night Comedy – BBC Radio 4 – If you are fan of British humour. Actually laughing at the Poms, ain’t too difficult.

The Unger Report- NPR- Humorist Brian Unger takes on the pressing issues of the moment.

  • Technology

Technology Podcast – NPR

Tech Weekly – Guardian

  • Business and Economics

Peter Day’s World of Business – BBC World Service

Business Daily – BBC World Service

Planet Money – NPR – Making sense of the American economy

Color of Money – NPR – Making sense of your personal finances especially during these trying times

Happy listening!