mental indigestion

Stop being greasy about the oil spill May 29, 2010

Filed under: Mopey mops — mel @ 12:26 pm
Tags: , ,

©2010 The Straits Times

While Crisis Communications 101 may teach you that it’s important to reassure and keep a lid on the panic pot, in the case of environmental disasters – there is simply no point trying to pretend that things are not as bad as it seems.

Widespread oil patches? Check. Cancelled water activities? Check. Stench of oil that reached beyond the coastal areas? Check. Lots of dead animals? Check.

With such apparent empirical evidence, and coupled with the fact that whatever is left remaining of Singapore’s eco system had already been in such a fragile state before 2,500 tonnes of crude oil spilled into the waters, no one is going to believe the motherhood statement that “environmental impact is minimal“.

For all that spewed rhetoric about environmental sustainability, renewable resources, garden city and “greening”, this incident has just shown that nature-related issues are only in the agenda of the authorities if it helps to boost tourism and the economy. What’s really needed at this point: good ol’ honesty about just how dire things are. And the whole nuclear energy thing may need to be reconsidered too since toxic waste disposal is obviously not one of the country’s forte as yet.

Post-rant note: Fortunately, certain members of the public are taking the initiative to lend a helping hand. Check this Facebook page on “ground-level”  updates on the situation, as well as upcoming clean-up activities.

Another case study of denial: Is Singapore the worst environmental offender? Yes says NUS study, No says the Government


Chicken Soup for the Flu May 28, 2010

Filed under: In a blur — mel @ 5:52 pm
Chicken soup

Best when having a cold on a rainy day

Have been under the weather this week so I’m thankful for this public holiday which allows me the luxury to make a big pot of chicken soup and let it simmer for a few hours. Made sure I put in vegetables of assorted colours along with my kampong chicken:

– Celery (green)
– Corn (yellow)
– Tomato (red)
– Carrot (orange)
– Potato + onion (brown)

And to make things taste a little more exciting: add a splash of rice wine, fish sauce and a few slices of ginger (great for coughs). Sprinkle generously with Italian herbs and cumin.


Shimmering White Muscato Tea May 23, 2010

Filed under: Tea for Thoughts — mel @ 11:08 am
White Muscato Tea with Gold Flakes

Sparkly goodness

Boy did I have a lot of fun with this one! This novelty tea by Gryphon Tea Company served as the official World Gourmet Summit (WGS) Celebratory 2010 Tea Blend. To me, it’s like a guilt-free version of champagne – sugar/alcohol free, has that gorgeous aroma of muscat grape and is just as classy-looking with that sprinkle of (edible) gold dust. While tea puritans may scoff at the fancy embellishment, you can’t deny that it gets people all excited. My coffee-only, slightly attention-deficient husband spent a good 30 minutes just sipping the pretty liquor cooing “Soooooo coooooool”. He also took plenty of pictures of it, as you can tell.


Shining Eyes May 14, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration — mel @ 8:24 am
Tags: ,

I’ve always had a slight disdain for classical music because of its associations – failure ( I quit at Grade 6), bourgeois snootiness (forced to attend SSO concerts when I was younger because it was the “cultured” thing to do) and the whole idea that you needed some sort of effort to be patient when listening to this sort of music.

This TED talk by conductor Benjamin Zander actually brought me to tears while listening to a Chopin piece. It’s absolutely worth it to spare 20 minutes to watch this inspiring video clip – it’s not just about music, but about passion as well.

“I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people. And of course, I wanted to know whether I was doing that. And you know how you find out? You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it.” – Benjamin Zader


Beautiful Wedding May 8, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration — mel @ 3:40 pm

I don’t usually gush over wedding stuff, but when my friend S got married last year, everything about it was just gorgeous (photos taken by KC Wong of Tiny Dot Photography – love the retro tinge to it!)

Ngiam's Wedding


Howard the Pragmatic Duck May 4, 2010

Filed under: Whee! — mel @ 10:10 pm

Howard goes swimming with a rubber float - hey why take risks?

Oh how I’ve missed Dash‘s company and doodlies! So as to stall the time till we next meet (as she recovers from her nasty bronchitis – get well soon babe!) she proffered a portrait of Howard, one of her many pets of the stuff toy variety. I love how his original pastel blue “nappy” has suddenly morphed into a float and how delighted he is to see the water!

Her other adorably hilarious works can be found here, here and here.


Desiderata (Desired Things) May 2, 2010

Filed under: Inspiration — mel @ 8:46 pm
Going slow

Trying to learn slow

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann