September 3, 2015
After watching the various editions of Masterchef — UK, Australia, US, Canada — and enjoying them, I was really looking forward to Masterchef Asia.
Episode 1 was however underwhelming. Where were the amazing flavours of Asia? The cook who was eliminated made confit chicken! What a wasted opportunity to show off her skills with Asian techniques and flavours.
Ironic, really, when you think about how contestants in Masterchef editions elsewhere in the world have boldly showcased Asian food.
The only bright spot was that the best three dishes of the day did incorporate Asian flavours. Perhaps the other contestants will learn from that and go back to their roots.
November 6, 2014
The last few weeks I’ve been following Clay Aiken’s campaign to gain a House seat in North Carolina. And along the way, I was intrigued by several issues.
(1) Resistance to voter IDs. I get the concern that that’s a strategy to deny people access to their right to vote. But why can’t those who are so concerned just come up with ways to help those without an ID get one?
(2) Entertainment as a source of political information. That’s an issue we talked about in an online journalism I am taking – how entertainment is increasingly taking over serious political journalism.
This point was brought home when I saw twitter reactions to Bill Maher citing Clay as one of the Democrats distancing himself from Obama. But if you get your politics from a soundbite from a TV host, or tweets, surely you lose context and nuance.
In Clay’s case, he was running on a platform that Democrats and Republicans should work together to solve critical issues for the good of the people, and that they stop engaging in one-upmanship. So, it makes sense that he take a more impartial stance. All this is missing from the zingy one-liners written to entertain.
(3) I was surprised at how much candidates themselves have to raise in order to run a campaign. Doesn’t that subvert the democratic process? Wouldn’t candidates be beholden to their donors?
(4) I’ve also been intrigued by why and how Obama became so unpopular. What has he done that was so wrong? Guess I have to learn more about US politics.
October 24, 2011
Last weekend, I attended a free seminar series at Raffles City Convention Centre. It seemed like a great opportunity to find out about liver and colon health. And indeed all was fine – good speakers (specialists from local hospitals), comfortable venue – until … we broke for tea.
The guests at the event, many of them older folks, rushed at the food … crowding round each tray as it was replenished, each stabbing at multiple dumplings with their forks, some over the shoulders of others. It was ferocious!!! And the thing is … none of the people looked anywhere near Survivor-level starvation!
February 4, 2011
Now, I’ve heard of shopping trolleys being taken home by shoppers, leading to supermarkets having to send their staff to surrounding blocks to look for stray trolleys, and I’d seen these abandoned trolleys just left around the housing blocks. And I’ve always wondered: why haven’t I ever seen anyone wheeling their trolley home? Well, I finally spotted a family blithely pushing their trolley home today!!!