Thursday, December 4, 2014

Top 10 Websites

After my recent birthday, I spent some time thinking: What have I learned after 30 years of life on Earth? I wrote a couple of 'Top 10' lists, and I'll share them progressively here. First up: TOP 10 WEBSITES!

1. Encyclopedia Dramatica (Provides better lulz than Wikipedia. http://encyclopediadramatica.se/)

2. Wikipedia (I once donated $5 to them, so I'd better get my money's worth! http://www.wikipedia.org/)

3. EngageMedia (Cause I wouldn't work for them if I didn't think they were cool. https://www.engagemedia.org/)

4. Ubuweb (Taught me more about art than art school, love the film section, all hail the avant garde! http://www.ubu.com/)

5. Singapore Democratic Party (The only people who will tell it like it is. http://yoursdp.org/)

6. Tumblr (Visual overdose is a hobby of mine, my blog there is http://allourtomorrows.tumblr.com/)

7. Reddit (For my daily dose of all the amazing (science) and terrible (politics) things in the world. http://www.reddit.com/)

8. Kissanime (Yeah but I'm very selective. http://kissanime.com/)

9. Jamendo (Creative Commons licensed music. http://jamendo.com/)

10. Facebook (Forced to include this cause none of you check or reply email anymore. I'm at https://www.facebook.com/seelanpalay)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Angelique Kidjo: Africa isn't just diseases


"A success story in Africa doesn't interest any media. They are so eager and hungry for horrible stories from Africa. Why? It looks like the West is the hyena, feeding on the misery of the African people. They should be ashamed doing this."

Watch the full interview here.

The beautiful Angelique Kidjo singing:

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What sort of an education system is this?

Singapore Democrats
 
As this article is published, thousands of pupils would have gone back to school to collect their PSLE results. Some students will celebrate; others will be in tears, crushed in spirit.

What sort of system inflicts such travesty on 12-year-olds? What sort of education do we have that treats academic performance like a trophy sport: Glory in victory and agony in defeat?

What values are we imparting to young minds? What happens to the self-esteem and the sense of self-worth when he or she discovers that she is only a 'Normal' or 'Technical' student?

And then they can streamed to 'elite' or 'neighbourhood' schools. The really 'smart' ones, who are usually also the richer ones, get extra help in independent schools and gifted programmes.

A radio DJ yesterday had to sound this caution to pupils: “Whatever score you get, your parents love you.” What kind of society have we built where our children have to be reminded that their score in one exam does not mean that their parents hate them?

If they don't do well, whom have they let down? Themselves? Their parents? The Government?

This subject is not just a theoretical one, good only for an academic discussion. It affects real lives:
  • 22% of Singaporean children between 6-12 yrs thought of killing themselves. (ST, Jan 2014) Sadly, many actually carry out the act. 
  • The no. of children warded for “aggressive, suicidal or hallucination tendencies” at IMH jumped by 35% between 2005-2010. Mental health professionals attribute these problems to academic stress. (CNA, 2 Feb 2013) 
  • One in three students say they sometimes think that life is not worth living because of the fear of exams. (FEER, August 2001) 
We must stop doing this to our children. It is not good for them, it is not good for parents, and it is not good for the future of our country. In its place, we must device a system when we educate our children to be creative, compassionate and intelligent members of society with self-confidence and a strong sense of self-worth.

There are a few ways that we can do this and they are spelt out under the SDP education policy titled Educating For Creativity and Equality:

1. Remove PSLE. As pointed out, the stress of exams inflict horrific psychological trauma on our children. What’s more, it is not an intelligent approach to assess the abilities of primary-school students on a single exam.

2. Cultivate creative minds. Build confidence in children by helping them adopt an attitude of independent thinking, willingness to make mistakes, and persevere in the face of failed attempts.

3. Reduce syllabus, broaden curriculum. The syllabi for existing subjects will be reduced while subjects such as music appreciation, speech and drama, literature, etc. as well as periods for students to collaborate and interact to develop creativity will be introduced to provide a well-rounded curriculum.

4. Reduce class size. The SDP will reduce class size in our schools to 20 pupils/class from the current 40 to provide students the individual attention they need to succeed.

5. Scrap school and class ranking. Comparing exam results and ranking students and classes will detract from the real purpose of education which is self-improvement and self-actualisation.

To read the full paper with other proposals, click here.














What is THE defining punk rock band of Southeast Asia? I say it's Carburetor Dung.



And when you get to the point in this song where they sing, "Poverty’s hilarity it’s just a show for me. Am I the only? Am I the only? Am I the only one?", you'll know why.


THE LINE

all truth forsaken
our rights denied
there’s nothing sacred
nobody reads between the lines

too tired
i’m running out of time
too tired
i’m living on the line

all senses blurring
i’m losing sight
my faith is burning
to keep on living is being blind

who suffers of course not all and our god above
am i the only? am i the only one?
the truth they say is an ugly bitch
abused as everyone pleases
so crumble the lowly,
for hunger of glory
tomorrow’s bleak, tomorrow’s black
no fuse will be left intact
no values redeeming
my whole life a dreaming
poverty’s hilarity it’s just a show for me am i the only? am i the only one?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014