Nike Human Race 10k Singapore – 1:02:09


The Nike Human Race held in Singapore was a brilliant marketing campaign. 11000 runners in Singapore all wearing a Nike Red running t-shirt and thousands more across 25 other countries around the world. Overall a great brand strengthening exercise!

I ran the distance, and I can only give them kudos for marketing. Event management wise, they get a C+ from me. Race pack collection Day 1 – under staff of support staff resulted in 3 hours long queue! Good thing they got more staff in on Day 2.

The route itself was the usual downtown route from Esplanade – Shenton Way – Clarke Quay – Robertson Quay – Parliament -Cityhall. However the human flow design was poor which resulted in human bottleneck along the way. Singapore has one of the longest average completion time among all 26 countries. Certainly, not a race if you are serious about PB. I’m gonna file this under, been there, done it.

Nike Human Race 10k – 1:02:09. Event pictures.


Microsoft Research Asia’s Role in China’s High Tech Human Capital Development

Last week, Zhou Minliang, a Research Fellow from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences wrote an complimentary article about Microsoft Research Asia’s role in the development of China’s R&D capabilities. The article (微软亚洲研究院带给我们什么 – literally What has Microsoft Research Asia brought us) appeared in China’s Scientific Times (科学时报).

In the article, Mingliang applauded lab’s advancement computing and Bill Gate’s decision to open the lab in China. The lab’s creation has developed deep inroads to the Chinese’s psyche and brought upon great sense of pride and self-belief. He also described the lab’s dynamic and open environment as the key that foster creativity among its researchers in the midst of China’s transformation to a knowledge based economy.



How Offshore Outsourcing Affects Customer Satisfaction

(The Australian IT, 9 Jul 08 ) National Australia Bank has announced another wave of IT roles to be offshored that could see over 400 jobs sent to India by the end of the year.

From general (and ex-NAB) customer’s perspective, I’m not in favour of major outsourcing or massive usage contractual workforce. This structural workforce (and business process) change that rewards short term numbers gain for longer term decline in a company’s internal knowledge accumulation, customer knowledge, losing direct decision making ability and demonstrates a lack of commitment to the local customer base.

A recent article “How Offshore Outsourcing Affects Customer Satisfaction” published on WSJ reports on the very real cost of offshoring (up to 5% of a company’s market capitalisation). The authors understands the rational behind offshoring and recommends steps to minimise the downsides.

Addressing the New World Order, America’s Place in the Today’s World

“The international economic position of the United States has deteriorated substantially since the new millennium. The big trends in global finance and energy markets are working against the US. There isn’t any solving this problem in terms of making it go away. These are ongoing realities. The energy picture is not going to change: it is here to stay.”

– Flynt Leverett (former director of Middle East Affairs on the National Security Council, 16 Jun 2008 )

This weekend, Peter Kelly, the Editor-at-large of The Australian picked up the current energy, economical and politicial woes that affecting the US. In his article, he wrote about the passing of American prestige and power, last seen during the pre-Bush years. In the second part of the article, he discussed about the new power structure and dynamics under the current geopolitical climate. This sentiment is also shared in an article published in the Jul/Aug 08 edition of the Foreign Affairs by the Secretary of State, Dr Condoleeza Rice.

Related links

Nike reckons Singaporeans do not speak English

I came across this amusing message window (see screenshot below) when I tried to visit the Singapore Nike Plus website from it’s AU counterpart.

“Unless you speak the local language it might be difficult to register for Singapore’s race.”

Singapore English isn’t that hard and you only require some simple pattern matching to realise that “en-au” and “en-sg” belongs to the “en” language family.

In Singapore, we also apply a comma between two parts of a sentence. For example, “Unless you speak the local language, it might be difficult to register for Singapore’s race“. The comma helps to improve the sentence’s readability.


2008 Annual World Most Livable Cities Ranking by Monocole

1. Copenhagen, Denmark
2. Munich, Germany
3. Tokyo, Japan
4. Zurich, Switzerland
5. Helsinki, Finland
6. Vienna, Austria
7. Stockholm, Sweden
8. Vancouver, Canada
9. Melbourne, Australia
10. Paris, France
11. Sydney, Australia
12. Honolulu, Hawaii
13. Madrid, Spain
14. Berlin, Germany
15. Barcelona, Spain
16. Montreal, Canada
17. Fukuoka, Japan
18. Amsterdam, Netherlands
19. Minneapolis, United States
20. Kyoto, Japan

Key: Green – City I visited, Blue – City I wish to visit one day

I’m surprised to see no mention of any east coast cities like Boston. Also there is a heavy gearing towards European cities but not totally without merit. Good to see Australia retained two spots within the list through Melbourne (#9) and Sydney (#11). With such survey, the devil is in the details (ranking methodology). My top concerns for these two cities to retain it’s liveable status are the housing affordability and the state of public infrastructure.

Related link: A Singaporean reporter response to this listing (mypaper, SPH)

Monocle is my current fav mag read after I discovered it in Melbourne in Mar 08. The articles are original, well read and offers a diverse coverage within affairs, business, culture, design and excellent editoral (most important component to me). I also appreciate it’s compact size and excellent colour print.

A truly well made magazine. Check out the distribution link to see if it is distributed in your country.

What does the Future Hold for Asia Research Universities

During the recent years, Asian universities (especially from Singapore, Japan and Korea) received unprecedented level of government support to educate and develop the next generation of engineering and technology talent. But only few institutions can really make the grade to eminent research institutions. One of such institution is KAIST (formerly known as Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology).

During the recent Singapore Management University Distinguished Presidential Lecture (Apr 08), Dr Suh Nam Pyo (President, KAIST) outlined his university’s effort excel as a 21st century research university. Read about his vision for the future of Asias’ research universities.