As a general advertised health alert, all fans and new viewers are strongly encouraged to wear those little blue facial masks and stay at home especially on Wed, 27 May for further updates.
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.
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.
Spring is a great time for jazz lovers in Australia. There are lots of outdoor rural and urban outdoor jazz festivals happening around the country.
One of my favourite is the annual Manly Jazz Festival, and this year it is happening on Oct 4-6. The program details and artists listing can be found here
Free outdoor jazz performances including Aussie and international acts, divided into different sub genres, located in one of Sydneysider’s favourite beaches – Manly Beach.
Wanna meet Singapore’s number (Legal insert: independent *) one funi-est contractor – Phua Chu Kang and family (think Singaporean Borat with a touch of class). Er, got Dick Lee too.
Wanna sample real Singaporean dishes such as – Hokkien Mee, Chilli Crab, Ice Kachang, Chendol, Roti Prata (not Roti Canai – that’s across the Causeway to Malaysia)?
Then hor, you need to head down to this year’s Singapore Day 2008 happening on 4 October 2008, where else but one of the most livable cities in the world – Melbourne, Australia. Register lah, can chope ^ free goody bag leh!
You know huh, if I’m back in AU, I will surely sign up and attend this event. Shelvia and I will have a field day enjoying our meals with all the sambal! Round up Shannon, Adam, Raf, Dhaminda, Andrea, Luke, Robert and see everyone go red with all the spicy food during a cool Melbourne spring day.
* bo pian lah, Ah Beng also need to tok law, mah. This event is organised by cheng hu (government).
Last week, The Pitch Challenge (The Gruen Transfer, ABC) is to develop an advertisement to sell the unsellable – Convince Aussie to invade it’s close neighbour – New Zealand. Why would anyone want to invade such a beautiful and peaceful country like NZ?
The two agencies tasked with this brief came up with two smart ads, one that would really appeal to the (some) Aussies and the other, a cheeky play with NZ runaway success tourism campaign. Brilliant!
Apparently after the show was broadcasted, a small group of Kiwis took offence with the plot. In response, the producer of the show will give the Kiwis a fair go (Aussie slang) to “take their revenge” on the final episode of the show.
- Kiwis get all defensive about TV invasion plot (SMH)
- The Gruen Transfer – Let’s Invade New Zealand (Youtube)
PS: This brief is not authorised by the Australian Government, Canberra (at least not publicly acknowledged)
Vietnam is a beautiful country with diverse richness in every sense – people, history, natural produce and amazing sights. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience all these first hand in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formerly known as Saigon and Hanoi (the capital of Vietnam).
The friendly, good natured nature and genuine warm Vietnamese people struck me when I stepped out of the airport, hotel and onto the streets. There are plenty of motorbikes taxis (xe om) and street hawkers but they are not rude nor overly pushy. Almost all the time, a “No, thank you” and a simple smile from me is returned with a bigger smile.
Vietnam’s history is chequered with many foreign powers influences. Chinese, French and American powers had left cultural, institutional, economics and psychological impressions on this rich and fertile land. The Chinese brought in the Chinese language, important institutions like University, monetary policy and Confucianism. The period of the French colonisation, interference and exploitation left a bitter aftertaste in the older Vietnamese’ psyche. The French contributed in the development of the Vietnamese romanised alphabet (Quoc Ngu), the introduction of Christianity (Catholicism) and many colonial cultural artifacts like the Opera Houses of Hanoi and Saigon. The America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, developed the Vietnamese sense of triumph over externals threats and a deep appreciation for their autonomy that came at such great human cost.
Vietnam’s rich and fertile land fed by the great Mekong and Red River Deltas and its coastline bordered by the South China Sea meant that the country has some amazing quality of fresh produces and cuisine. Every day while I was there, I had either bowls of Pho (rice noodles with rich clear beef broth), Bun Cha (grilled pork, herbs with rice vermicelli served in vinegar-ed fish sauce) or Com (rice). The food was GREAT! If you love tropical fruits, you would reckon Vietnam is the gateway to Eden. Dragon fruit, logan, lychee, mangosteen, bananas, jambu and even strawberries .
There are so many breath taking sights in Vietnam. Places like Ha Long Bay, the Cu Chi Tunnels, Cao Dai Temple, Ben Thanh Market and War Remnants Museum are my must-see places around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Below are a summary of pictures taken during my journey. Each picture is linked to even more pictures from the location. You can find my entire selection Vietnam trip pictures (even places not mentioned in the above) from my flickr Vietnam collection.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
|Tay Ninh Temple – Cao Dai Holy See
Cao Dai is a Vietnam indigenous religion, officially established
|Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are an immense network of connecting
The Vietnamese guerrillas used these tunnels as hiding spots
|Ben Thanh Market
During the day, it is an exciting places to have an authentic
In the evening, the market closes and cooked to order seafood
|Ho Chi Minh City Sights
The sights and colour of Vietnam’s economic engine which includes pictures of the Notre Dame Cathedral – Saigon.
|War Remanats Museum
See the pictures taken by military journalists and photographers. Read about the various accounts of the Vietnam War from the war correspondents and the Vietnamese side of the story. The chemical warfare section was very graphical as it narrated the unbelievable pain and suffering unleashed on the civilian and Vietcong during the Vietnam War. Pictures from this section had been omitted in my photo collections.
There is no JUST WAR in this world.
|Hanoi Water Puppets
Vietnamese water puppetry, literally means “puppets that dance on water.” The tradition dates back as far as the tenth century when it originated in the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam. When the rice fields would flood the villages, villagers would entertain each other using this puppet form.
The puppets are built out of wood and the shows are performed in a waist-deep pool. A large rod supports the puppet under the water and is used by the puppeteers to control them. The appearance is of the puppets moving over the water. When the rice fields would flood the villagers, would entertain each other using this puppet form.(wiki)
Video of the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater display (12 secs)
|Ha Long Bay
Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Quảng Ninh province, Vietnam. The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. (wiki)
|Harvesting Rice in Vietnam
Vietnam is the world’s second largest producers of rice.
|Hanoi City Sights
A selection of pictures taken in Hanoi which reflects the sights and colour of Vietnam’s capital – Hanoi
Every day we’re exposed to an average of 3000 commerical messages on TV, radio, cinemas, billboards, magazines, newspapers, T-shirts, cups, public transport and the INTERNET. Have you wonder how advertising works and how it works on us? Check out ABC’s Gruen Transfer.
The Gruen Transfer hosted by Wil Anderson where a number of advertising agencies experts provide insights to the industry in lighthearted and funny panel discussion setting. These panel guests take part in weekly challenges, exercise and games to create ads for the unselliable (For example, “Making celibacy sexy!”)
Don’t forget to try the Consumer’s Revenge, where you can mix and match your own beer/ bank/ beauty cream ad!
ABC’s Dig Jazz is my favourite 24/7 online jazz station. It offers ads-free, continuous top selection of jazz from Australia and round the world. The playlist has a good mixture of classic and new acts. Love it!
(BERNO: 03 Sep 2008: I have posted a new entry on Melbourne’s Singapore Day 2008 with the latest program listing and registration details.)
Following the 2007 Singapore Day in NYC success, the Overseas Singaporean Unit is organising this year’s Singapore Day in Melbourne (Sidney Myer Music Bowl) on 4 Oct 08.
Based on last year’s news article and this personal blog post narration (Part 1 and 2), it looks like a fun free day all of all Singaporean food, news, Gah-men people, fun and quirks. Check out http://www.singaporeday.sg/ for more information and to register for updates.
I wonder if the Melbourne event would have getai singing too? I bet the ang moh will love it