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Every month or so, Pokemon which can be found in the hit mobile game “Pokemon Go” around the world undergo a mass migration, where Pokemon previously found in their so-called “nests” get rotated with new Pokemon type appearing in new areas. Such areas are often isolated to gardens and parks and are consistent in spawning same type of Pokemon for an extended duration.
I had recce-ed a couple of places in Singapore to check out a couple of popular hotspots since the nest migration last weekend, here are the results of my findings as illustrated in the Pokemon maps below:
One such area includes central areas such as Bukit Timah park, Gardens by Bay and West Coast Par, which are current parks where you can grind or farm Upper tiered Pokemon. Bukit Tiamh nature park (and possibly Bishan Park) is now no longer a Omanyte pokemon nest, but rather an Eevee nest now. Though Eevees are still fairly common around Singapore, rather than buddy-walking this 5km Pokemon, staying at the park for 1-2 hours will get you up to speed quickly in gathering enough Eevees for candies or training up your next gym-bashing Vaporeon evolution.
AMK Town Garden East is now a Charmander nest, making it a hit place for central Pokemon go players. As well as the National sailing center at East coast park. Gardens by Bay is now also home to another S-Tier Slowpoke nest, though they can be rather spaced apart at times, so a bicycle/scooter might be useful in getting between spawns.
Woodlands park is now no longer an Arba nest, but rather a Meowth nest. And Macritchie reservoir joins Sentosa as another place in Singapore with a high Pikachu spawn rate. There are no Dratini and Growlithe nest at Chinese and Japanese gardens respectively now again, given Niantic’s decision to control the farming of top S-tiered Pokemon.
Sentosa Marine Cove Marina had been very consistent in spawning S-Tiered Pokemon, such as Lapras and Snorlaxes, though extremely remote, such rare spawns come out on average a couple of times daily.
Any interesting Pokemon nests you found in Singapore? Do let me know!
BB-8 is arguably one of my favorite adorable little astromech droids in the Starwars universe (Sorry R2D2). Ever wonder how BB-8 works? I had spent some good time drawing up an exploded view of BB-8 in all it’s engineering glory. Have a peek into what makes him tick, courtesy of yours truly! (click the image below for a full-sized version).
At the center of BB-8 core is an omnidirectional drive unit which always stays upright (or in any orientation BB-8 wants to lean in). This Omni drive unit sits in BB-8 core which rotates an encompassing hemisphere housing a variety of droid repair tools (i.e. called the tools Hemisphere). This hemisphere is part of the first layer hollow sphere contains a “swiss army style” array of interface arms, manipulators essential for droid functions. These hemispheres are bolted on with protective tough durasteel external paneling, giving BB-8 traction when rolling on steel surfaces and loose sand, courtesy of 4 internal omnidirectional threaded wheels. This serves as the droid’s main mode of locomotion by rotation of this entire spherical body assembly.
Inside the omnidirectional drive unit is BB-8 primary power source (Central power unit) and IMU unit housing secondary Gyros which stays upright and does not rotate with the spherical body assembly when BB-8 moves. BB-8 head is kept upright courtesy of this IMU unit mentioned earlier, this is “fastened” to the body through superconducting levitators (i.e a kind of superconducting magnet) which does not interfere or induces parasitic currents through the tool hemispheres. This makes it an ideal method to attach and keep BB-8 head up with a minimal clearances from his body, as well as serve as a wireless mode of power transmission to feed the power-hungry Intellex computer located in BB-8’s head.
There is alot going up in BB-8’s head, it too has it’s own IMU unit which knows it’s orientation with respect to it’s body. The head is also not tethered to the body using wires and is powered by induction, allowing full 360 rotation along the superconducting Levitator axis. The Intellex Computer is a battle-proven piece of hardware which compliments the combat starfighters. A variety of visual, audio and electromagnetic sensors also reside in BB-8’s cranium allowing him to detect and identify with his surroundings even without a line of sight.
Feel free to share this! And may the force awakens! 🙂
Tiny little gem finds on the internet are always worth sharing, this time; it’s a rather handy and unique IPPT scorer and calculator (accessible on myIPPT.com) based on the new IPPT scoring standards. This IPPT calculator not only just calculates your IPPT total point scores and determines your corresponding award/cash returns for you from your given number of push-ups, sit-ups and 2.4km running time, but also gives you personal recommendations on how to do better for your next best award.
After toying around the site, it appears the site has 4 other methods to score for your IPPT too- a thing I particularly like about the calculator is the inclusion of 3 other station calculators which allows you to calculate the minimum number of station repetitions/run timing for your chosen target station, when you specify any other 2 station combinations. Say for example, if I will like to determine how fast to do my 2.4km run for a Gold Award, given that I know I can do 60 Push-ups and 50 sit-ups in one minute, the calculator will recommend I run at least a 11:30 2.4km timing. Likewise, if I specify a number of sit-ups and my known 2.4km run time, it will correspondingly recommend me a minimum number of push-ups I need to do for my desired Individual Physical Proficiency Test award grade.
The calculator also allows calculation for all age groups, female participants and the heightened commando/NDU standards as well. I tried breaking the calculator by specifying a “Pass” grade for the similar number of push-ups and sit-ups and the site is smart enough to tell me that I am over qualified and recommends me to go for a higher award instead, the calculator is indeed smarter than it looks.
Usability-wise, the site has rather simple and intuitive clean layout and appears to be both desktop and mobile phone compatible, with large mobile-friendly interface and sliders making it very handy for quick one-handed checks of your score points out at the IPPT test centres, making this calculator is a very viable alternative of having a dedicated app. This tool goes into my toolbox collection as one of my favourite IPPT training aid tools. Go check it out!
This month saw the launch of the 14th series of the highly collectible Lego Mini Figures (minifig). With each series, you get 16 unique figures following a specific theme, with the last one being the second series of the Simpsons minifig line. The figures are sold through stand up boxes containing 60 mini figures each, where there will be at least 3 of each mini figure in each box. The remainder 12 are randomized with some common ones having up to 5 pieces per box. Each mini figure retails in blind packs at $4.90 on launch and usually cost alot more after the limited series had been sold-out/no longer in production.
Series 14 is identifiable by their black packaging, if you can have a go at feeling the blind packs before buying, here are tips and unique identifiers of how to bag the mini-figure you are looking for to complete your Series 14 collection. Do note that bump codes (i.e. unique identification dots at the base of the pack) does not work for the packs sold in the SEA region and Singapore at least. Bump codes used to be clearer for the earlier series but are much harder and unreliable to read now.
- Werewolf– The long bone (symmetrical on both ends, not to be confused with Frankenstein guitar).
- Pirate– Sword and the unique stick legpiece (quite abundant).
- Mad scientist– The conical flask and long cylinder head piece (quite abundant).
- Witch– The cat and long broom stick with mass at one end.
- Plant man– The largest and most bulky packet- Plant headpiece, verified with 2 soft/squishy tentacles.
- Flyman– Squishy wings with rounded edges, and head piece connected with two flexible antennas, verified with body with a larger left claw.
- Ghoul– Large mushroom-shaped headpiece and no leg piece (pretty hard to identify).
- Zombie girl– Round pom poms, verified by hair headpiece, and absence of legpiece.
- Cat girl– Long flexible whip, verified by her hairpiece.
- Gargoyle– Only mini-fig with short leg piece, large squishy wing piece with sharp edges (feels similar to the flyman and not to be confused with the Ghoul headpiece).
- Skeleton– The jack o-lantern with handle.
- Frankenstein– Unique hair piece and long stick guitar with stub at the end (not to be confused by the werewolf bone).
- Zombie man– Briefcase with handle and 2×2 newspaper flat piece.
- Siren– Unique leg piece and bumpy/raspy hair and no leg piece (pretty hard to identify).
- Yeti/Bigfoot– Large “nut shaped” headpiece and camera with a front cylinder.
- Spider girl– Her triangular skirt, verified by the spider.
Leading up to the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is a sports carnival held right at the OCBC square at the Singapore sports hub. The localised event comprises of various booths, merchandise stores and a live stage (with live performances almost daily), filled with events leading up to the actual opening ceremonies of the SEA Games. Here you can have a go and learn about the few various sport stations to be played at the games. Through the weekends towards the actual Opening ceremony, there will be a series of full-dressed rehearsals, with main fireworks going off at 10pm every Saturday.
The fireworks schedules comprises of a few sporadic bursts from 9pm and 9.30pm, leading up to the main display at 10pm to 10.10pm with the show lasting about 10 minute. You can catch very nice views of the fireworks from across the Kallang basin at Tanjong Rhu view road, where you will be able to catch photos of the fireworks flanked alongside with the both sports hub National stadium and indoor stadium in a shot. The vantage point can be reached from the Sports hub itself after a Short 10 minute walk across the Kallang basin through the Tanjong Rhu view archway bridge.
The basin-side can get rather packed on rehearsal days so do come early to reserve a spot. Happy shooting!
The Singapore Story is a public art showcase of the private art collection of Mr Vincent Chua on display at The Crescent, a gallery located on the second floor of Suntec City Mall (Galleria). The free public exhibition features over 300 oil paintings, charting much of Singapore’s past and development from the colonial times to the present, with highlights of portraits of influential people in Singapore, such as her founding fathers, local buildings/architecture and street scenes over the decades. 80 of these portraits feature the late Mr Lee (Singapore’s founding Prime Minister) dedicated as a tribute to the late Mr Lee and recognize his achievements
Greeting you at the front of the exhibition is a life-size bronze statue of Mr Lee shaking hands with Mr Deng Xiaoping, a scene made famous from a photo taken when he welcomed the Chinese President to Singapore in November 1978. The exhibition, which runs till June 30th this year was originally planned for August, in time for the SG50 celebrations but was brought forward in the light of the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who died on March 23rd this year.
Mr Vincent shared the inspiration of his art exhibition stems to create a showcase Singapore’s history, with a focus and tribute to Singapore’s founding Prime Minister leadership through 80 specially-commissioned portraits of Mr Lee, charting his life from boyhood to elder statesman, transforming Singapore from a third world to the first.
700 years of Singapore is a temporary exhibition at the Singapore National Museum, bringing you on a journey through six sections back in time into iconic events in Singapore’s transformation from a humble fishing village, the pride of an empire, to an independent nation-state it is today, 700 years back. The exhibition runs from 28th Oct 2014 to 10th Aug 2015 is open daily from 10am 6pm in the museum’s basement (Exhibition Galleries 1 and 2). Admission is free for citizens, permanent residents, and visitors aged six years and below, but admission charges do apply for international visitors priced at $6 for adults, and $3 for students and seniors aged 60 and above. Let’s begin on the tour!
Archaeology in Singapore
The exhibits bring you through series of key events in Singapore chronologically. The tour starts outside the halls with the Archaeology in Singapore, showcasing most of Singapore’s little-known archaeological excavations scene since it started in 1984. Artifacts on show are mostly dated from 1300 to 1818 with excavated artifacts unearthed found mostly from the Botanic Gardens and Mount Faber archaeological sites, some items are claimed to be even dated back to as early as the 10th century AD. The archaeological scene is still an ongoing work-in-progress in Singapore, which a current dig going on at a site in front of the Asian civilizations museum. The exhibits also feature an activity area, allowing you to learn how archaeological site surveys, evaluations and excavations taking place.
So it was a day like no other, why not try something different yet not so crazy at the same time, why not go skydiving? There is a parachute center not too far off north Cambridge (about 50km) which offer runway and skydiving services. Here people of all ages and experience come here for dives using the parachute center’s planes for “the lift”, so technically anyone here who is a certified sky diver can hop on the plane and jump off throughout the day. For me and my friends without any prior experience, we will be doing tandem dives.
It costs about £250 for a tandem dive, which involves you being strapped to an senior instructor who will be doing the jump. He or she will train you before boarding the plane on the proper techniques of jumping, like exiting the plane, what to do in a jump how to regulate airflow/speed and what to do in emergencies. Your instructor is very much your lifeline and the one who call the shots during the jump.
Apparently my tandom instructor had been jumping for decades and this is easily over his 10 thousandth jump to date. So as I learnt. Despite this being a tandem jump, the experience is the same as jumping out by yourself and not strapped to another 100 odd kg guy behind you. The best part of the dive is the acceleration you get for first 3 seconds after you leave the plane. You get this awesome feeling of the rapid acceleration no other roller-coaster can mimic on the drop phase, only this time you are exposed to the elements with the world spining all around you. And no, there are no bars to hold onto like on a roller coaster. 😛
You get this somewhat disorientating spin, seeing the horizon all around you as you leap off the plane, just like the rush of sea water all around you when you do a back-flip off a boat while scuba diving- you take a few seconds to get your orientation right and open up your arms to start the decent proper. Here is where you adopt the “trademark” arms and legs open stance so as to get the maximum drag of air around your body. Close your arms in to speed up the dive and vice-versa. upon reaching terminal velocity, all you can is this feel of constant wind rushing past you and the warm sun in your face at peace with the world.
It’s not long after (about 20-30 seconds) where you reach the below the 10,000 ft mark to start to pull the chute, the altitude is read from a wrist worn altimeter. Here you will start the long gliding decent down back to earth. The instructor and myself did some rather interesting mid air stunts, such as spins and barrel rolls with our more maneuverable rectangles chute. Generally 6 consecutive spins is somewhat manageable until you pull so much Gs (feeling extremely heavy) off your harness it feel really scary thinking your carabiners might just rip off your chute at any time! Here “walking on air” is really true, seldom can you see nothing between your feet and just the ground thousand off feet below you.
It’s not long where we did a circle for a proper approach and decent to the landing fields, we did a sliding landing we stick both our legs forward and slide on our buttocks on the forward. This is generally recommended for heavier tandem landings and lower risk of possibility breaking your legs on a too fast decent.
And excellent jump. Come to think about it, now the number of plane take-offs and landings for me now will never ever match for now. 😛
You can view more photos of the jump here.
Currently on display at the Singapore National museum are one of the most talked about pieces in modern art- Cai Guo-Qiang’s flying pack of wolves, Head on. Just like any modern art, it can either awe, shock or draw controversial flak. But you can’t deny this is a show stealer.
Located in the underground bowels of the National museum, the display was made out of 99 individual replica wolves and were produced in Quanzhou, China in 2006 (from January to June). The wolves are made to follow a continuous circle, running off in a pack before leaping off into an orderly floating frenzy before coming head first into a glass wall. The glass wall symbolizes the invisible roadblocks and challenges we face in life due to miscalculated risks or greed, which will inevitably stop you dead in your tracks.
No wolves were harmed in the making of this showcase- The workshop commissioned in manufacturing these remarkable, life-sized replicas of animals are local in Cai’s hometown. First, small clay models were created as movement studies, out of which Cai subsequently developed Head On’s artist editions of cast resin wolves. However, the realistic and lifelike 99 wolves that grew out of these models and drawings possess no literal remnants of wolves. No wolves were harmed in making the exhibit. they are fabricated from painted sheepskins and stuffed with hay and metal wires, with plastic lending contour to their faces and marbles for eyes.
There are two other works on display as well, Illusion and Vortex:
Illusion II (2006)
The destruction of a small exploding house packed with fireworks, exploring the contradiction between beauty and violence.
One of Cai Guo-Qiang’s gunpowder masterpieces, depicting thousands of wolves chasing one another in a ciruclar motion as if sucked into a vortex. The pack of wolves moves with grea tengery force and determination, simultaneously demostrating a perfect unity with organic power of the gunpowder.
Cai Guo Qiang: Head On
Exhibition Gallery 2, Basement
Friday 2 July 2010 – Tuesday 31 August 2010 10:00am – 6:00pm
About Cai Guo-Qiang
Cai Guo-Qiang was born in 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian, China. He was trained in stage design at the Shanghai Theater Academy from 1981 to 1985. Cai’s work is scholarly and often politically charged. Cai initially began working with gunpowder to foster spontaneity and confront the suppressive, controlled artistic tradition and social climate in China.
While living in Japan from 1986 to 1995, Cai explored the properties of gunpowder in his drawings, an inquiry that eventually led to his experimentation with explosives on a massive scale and the development of his signature “explosion events,” artistically choreographed shows incorporating fireworks and other pyrotechnics. In 1995, he moved to New York with a grant from the New York-based Asian Cultural Council, an international organization to promote artistic exchanges between Asian countries and the United States.
Be sure to check out the displays before August!
The Singapore national museum had changed quite a lot since I last visited the place a few years back. The front lobby area is still left largely intact, but though seemingly nothing much has changed on the exterior, the magic comes when you enter the building. The compound now spots an extended basement exhibition hall area, effectively increasing the exhibition floor area by a substantial amount.
Decked in modern-ish white and black it’s like the perfect showground for contemporary media- whether it’s the vast open spaces for large sculptures or the high walls to deck large paintings on. The two most interesting exhibits for the day are located in these two basement level exhibition halls, namely the Singapura 1960s exhibit and Cai Guo-Qiang’s controversial art.
The 1960s Singapore showcase
This exhibit “Singapore 1960” celebrates a year on after 50 years of self-government. The display takes the form of a vibrant and colourful ‘live’ show set interjected with both noteworthy and quirky news articles throughout that year, all lined along the curved walls of time, separating the main exhibit partitions. Interesting to note are the news, advertisements and even comics shown on the papers then, some do really stood the change of time. The show features over 300 artifacts will be presented in the manner of art installations.
Featured too in the exhibit is a 100-year old Strohmenger grand piano which used used in the composing of the national anthem, sexy sarong kebayas, the Aw Boon Haw jade collection, fully sequinned Chinese opera costumes, hundreds of popular vinyl records and publications, two pairs of sweat-stained boxing gloves and a kitschy diorama; these were some of the icons that dotted post-WWII Singapore’s socio-cultural landscape.
The display is free for viewing and rather professionally done in my opinion. There are some cultural spaces familiar to Singaporeans then such as the eclectic Haw Par Villa and the defunct neon-lit ‘Worlds’ amusement parks. The whole display is rather small in my opinion and I believe could be expanded to show more of Singapore’s part than just that particular year, but that is just mostly it, would love to see more.
Exhibition Gallery 1, Basement
Thursday 3 June 2010 – Sunday 22 August 2010 10:00am – 6:00pm
Commendably, in comparison to several museums I’ve been in London, particularly the Tate, British, Natural History and Science museums, which I can vouch for are world class museums, the Singapore national museum in my personal opinion not bad on that standard, with the exception of the smaller exhibition space.
I will touch on Cai Guo-Qiang’s gallery in a separate post.
Caught Avatar 3D yesterday afternoon at the Vue Cinema in Grafton shopping center. Yes I know it’s been a month since it was released and everyone had already watched it, let be some even 2 to 3 times, so this rant is not new. But I had not really been watching movies very often these days, let be even only major ones over the yesteryear. But when I saw the trailer to the show last year I told myself that it’s a show I will definitely have to watch.
And I did, and was blown away by the show. At the end of the show. I was lost for words, far beyond thinking ages since I’ve left a theater after a show feeling so captured, so memorized- I was torn beyond words to even describe how good the show was. Let be even forget about the high ticket price (despite it already heavily discounted at £6.95) I paid to watch the show in 3D. The experience the show provided was even worth more than the price. It was a show which I left the theater still overwhelmed, it’s just that fantastic.
One thing I like about adventure, sci-fi shows is that it immerses the viewer into a whole unique world given it’s rather bizarre ecosystem, told over a brilliant storyline and fantastic soundtrack (which I can’t stop listenng now) which amazes audiences at every corner of the planet Pandora. Well though as saying goes, sex sells, but I think the skimpy sexy Na’vis are just part of the main attraction in the show.
The show also blends in the world of nature, science and technology as an insight to a world as envisioned by James Cameron himself. All brought to life true a new frontier and setting a new benchmark for 3D and animated CG films (including human motion tracking film) since Final Fantasy, the spirits within wowed us almost a decade ago. And you need not to be an animator to enjoy the film by the polygon!
Avatar, though only 4 years in the making (since 2005) the story was actually written in 1995 over a period of 3 weeks, after James was done with the Titanic. It was set for a 1999 release, but CG and film technology was not mature enough to make the film as he envisioned it to be, until now. James is not done with Pandora just yet- A sequel is confirmed by himself and it’s rumored that the sequels could look at the interior of Pandora, possiblity introducing us more of the ecosystem as well as Pandora’s marine life. Apparently James Cameron has a whole underwater landscape mapped out. Sam Worthington (Jake Sully) and Zoe Saldana (Neytiri) have signed for a trilogy. With rumors of the return of RDA’s Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi) and Secops’s Quaritch (Stephen Lang).
“Avatar” earned it’s place in the record books as the most successful and highest grossing Sci-Fi movie in history, I won’t be surprised if this show gets an award this year for Best picture and I believe they will, deservingly. For me, this masterpiece will get definitely get a place in my video collection when it releases on Blu-ray or DVD.
Ah, good old San Francisco, one of my favorite cities in the world, only this showing how it looks like in the past, specifically set in 1905 before the big earthquake and fire of 1906. Well, besides the fact that this video is more than a century old and almost everyone you see in this video is not much among the living now, it’s still a blast into the past of how life was like back in the past which, in terms of organization with the exception of horse drawn carriages here and there, is not very much different from life we have today (and the exception of lack of vehicular control). Nevertheless still a fantastic city, through the eye of a camera on a cable car on this video.
And come to think about it, nothing much had changed in terms of how the city is still laid out today, specifically the trademark cable cars! This video really want to make me want to visit the place again. It also makes you wonder what things will be like 100 years from now and how people in the future will see us living today. Go figure!