How did people find their way to the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium III webpage?

Yesterday, the natural history community had a blast of a time, catching up with each other at the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium III (2011).

BoSS3 - closing
Photo by Fung Tze Kwan

As the dust settles, I file away mental notes in preparation for the next experience. One is – how did people click their way to the official webpage at

As expected, Facebook reigns supreme. For blogs, note that WildSingapore highlights ALL my relevant posts so the count includes secondary jumps.

487 – Facebook (various)
249 –
227 – (N. Sivasothi)
159 – and (likely Habitatnews mailing list)
066 – (N. Sivasothi)
040 –
039 – Twitter
035 – (Ria Tan)
034 – (Ria Tan)
023 – (NUS Student message board)
013 – (N. Sivasothi)
012 –
010 –
010 –
010 – (Brandon Seah/N. Sivasothi)
010 – (N. Sivasothi)
009 – …
009 –
007 –
007 – (Ria Tan)
007 – (Ria Tan)
006 –
006 – (N. Sivasothi)
005 –
005 –
003 – (Ria Tan)
003 –
002 –
002 –
002 – Google+
002 –
001 –
001 –

Having monitored registration closely from the first day in order to react to flow, signing peaks coincided with each push we made with a blog post, email release or appeal to volunteers to facebook the event.

Edit form - [ Registration for Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium 3 (Sat 24 Sep 2011: 8am-6pm) ] - Google Docs
Each avenue returned registrations – just keep notifying.

54% of the 362 who registered were not students. 154 (43%) registered early, within a week. Over a quarter registered just before the event – 44 (12%) registered in the last weekend, 57 (16%) registered after the first deadline. Two of the 362 thought to say thanks in the remarks field which was really great to see!

This means registration played out typically.

This time, though, there was facebook. So everyone could be a publicist, a big big difference with the well-attended, two-day Biodiversity Symposium of Singapore I in 2003.

Ria Tan of WildSingapore and several others in the natural history community like myself, have embraced facebook to share links since everyone is there. And then they share with their friends.

Our biggest regret always is an interested person not finding out in time. I think the community did enough to get the word out.

Meanwhile, for tweets of the symposium by Ivan Kwan and David Tan, see Twitter.

For media coverage of BG (Res) Tan Chuan-Jin launch of NParks’ “Community in Nature” programme, see WildSingapore News.

A simple act of kindness – Aussie lady restores Japanese war diary to serviceman’s orphan daughter

Lindy Glover is a lovely lady who is the daughter-in-law of an Aussie war vet and arm private Alexander Glover, 2/3rd Pioneer Battalion (RIP 1994) who was at Papua New Guinea during the war.

In 2008, the diary was unearthed and after a three year search, saw its way back to Yurie Nobuhiro, the orphan of Shigeaki Fukushina, then a petty officer in the Japanese Imperial Navy. Yurie lost her mother as well a few years later.

The diary, penned between December 1942 and March 1943, records her father’s time with his family before leaving Japan, his landing at New Guinea, being bombed at the frontlines and the memories of his family.

“One of the diary’s entries says, ‘Not a day goes by without thinking about my daughter,’ ” Nobuhiro said. “I’m impressed by the depth of my father’s feelings, yearning to return to his only daughter.”

Yurie travelled to Australia to thank Lindy last week.

The New Guinea campaign (1941-1945) was a major battlefield in the Pacific theatre of World War II and Japan’s southernmost reach. It saw the New Guinea offensives of 1943–44, which “were the single largest series of connected operations Australia has ever mounted.”


Thanks to Alvin Wong who highlighted the Japan Probe post.

Mok Ly Yng: City of Singapore: 60th anniversary

From: Mok Ly Yng <>
Date: September 23, 2011 0:17:22 GMT+08:00
City of Singapore: 60th anniversary

Hi everyone,

Today, 22nd September 2011, is the 60th anniversary of Singapore’s attainment of City status.  Singapore was presented with the Royal Charter making Singapore a City at 8:33 am on 22nd September 1951.  To me, the 60th anniversary is of some significance as the Chinese calendar repeats itself once every 60 years.

Below are some newspaper links from the National Library of Singapore, dating from 1951:

1. Singapore Free Press

Front page of the Singapore Free Press, 22 Sep 1951, Saturday: link

King George VI’s message to Singapore on City Day: May Singapore flourish [SFP, 22 Sep. Front page]: link

The KING has transmitted the following message through the Secretary of State for the Colonies on the occasion of the elevation of Singapore to the status of a City:

     ‘Please convey my best wishes to the City Council and to the citizens of Singapore on this notable occasion.’
     ‘It is my earnest wish that the City of Singapore may continue to flourish and bring to all its people of every community increasing happiness and prosperity in the years to come.’

A new orchid was named for the occasion: Aranda City of S’pore [SFP, 22 Sep 1951, p8]: ilnk >

2. The Straits Times

Front page of The Straits Times, 22 Sep 1951, Saturday: link >

Full text of the Royal Charter [ST, 22 Sep 1951, p1]: link

Front page of The Sunday Times, 23 Sep 1951: link


I have found all these links back in 2010, before the movie The King’s Speech was released here in Singapore.  I did not think much about the King’s message at that time.  Now when I look at his short message — after having watched the movie earlier in the year — I can’t help but imagine him working with Logue to deliver it properly.  But sadly he did not get to do so, for he was rather ill when Singapore was presented with the Royal Charter.  If you read the front pages of the Singapore Free Press and the Straits Times again, you’ll find that there is a smaller note ‘King to have operation’ and ‘Doctors visit King twice’ respectively in the two papers.

King George VI had his operation on 23 September 1951 (Sunday).  He died on 6 February 1952, almost exactly 4.5 months after Singapore’s City Charter Day (and his operation).  This might have accounted for the absence of Royal representatives on Singapore’s City Day here in Singapore.


Singapore Town/City Map series (10 inch to 1 mile series, 1:6336)

In 1932, a brand new series of Singapore Town maps was produced.  This was revised in 1938.  In 1943 during the Occupation, the Japanese military reprinted the entire series, and even added a couple more sheets to it.  After the war, the entire series was re-surveyed and redrawn.  A black and white edition was produced in 1953, after Singapore had become a City.  This was also the first large-scale ‘town’ map of Singapore to bear the title of ‘Singapore City’.  This series was produced in full colour in 1954.  As it turned out, the 1954 edition would become the final and last edition of this ‘Town Map’ series of Singapore.  Although there were plans to revise the series then, political changes in Malaya and Singapore presented new priorities in map production schedules.

Singapore Town and City maps:<>

Look at the mapsheet Title.  In 1938, the title was ‘Map of Singapore Town’.  In 1953, the title had changed to ‘Map of Singapore City’.  Although the map was based on a fresh post-war survey, the layout and style are almost identical to the pre-war edition.  In 1954, colours were added to the map.  The 1953 edition is very rare, surviving copies can only be found (at present) in the National Archives of Singapore and the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library (NLB).  Both collections do not seem to have the complete set of 6 mapsheets for the 1953 edition.

For the technically inclined, the major difference between the 1953 and 1954 edition was not merely the addition of colours.  It was the introduction and addition of the then new Malayan Rectified Skew Orthormorphic (RSO) grid coordinates corner ticks on all the mapsheets. 


Two-thirds of the 1932 map series and the complete 1954 map series was on display in 2009’s map exhibition at the National Library Building.  In 2011, a new movie reminded us of King George VI.  I hope this short and hastily written email would help to remind you of Singapore’s long forgotten City Day. 

Thank you for your time and attention.

Best regards,

Mok LY

PS: Incidentally, Cambridge, England (the university town) also became a City in 1951, on 24 March.

Ladybug discovers “Battle of Kruger”


“Oh no baby buffalo!”


“C’mon, c’mon, who win, who win, Lion you can do it!”

“Uh-oh, buffalo come!”

“Rawr, reawr!”

“OH SHOOTS! OOOHHH….Run, run, run, run!”

“It’s injured…”

“It’s so scary”

“Oh no, no. no. no. *high-pitched; knocks table”


Ladybug discovers “Battle at Kruger” (revealed on Youtube in 2007) via a blog post of my former student Pamela Soo whom she just met.

I used this in LSM3251 Ecology in the early days and then LSM1303 Animal Behaviour regularly and sometimes in LSM3261 Form and Function.

Sometimes when there are enough assembled in the lecture theatre early, I decide to entertain the early birds.

I usually throw in a preamble relevant to the module but always, I ask that they listen to the voice of the woman tourist and her South African guide. This is a classic.

What I forgot to wear last Saturday – my 1998 Dutch jersey!

I felt something was missing at the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore site at Lim Chu Kang East mangrove last Saturday, and I just realised, it was this – my Dutch jersey from 1998!

Dutch jersey

I’m not an avid international soccer fan so was initially puzzled when complete strangers hailed me victoriously when I wore this on some bicycle ride – an orange top is prominent during the day, and even in bright sunlight.

A Dutch medical student whom I met at Operasi Bertam in 1998 gave this to me. I used this during coastal cleanups since I’m usually also the safety officer. A promiennt colour made it easy for Site Captains and cleanup participants to spot me easily in an emergency.


Here I am wearing it during ICCS2003 at Buloh-Kranji mangroves. In that op, “350 volunteers counted, collected and weighed 3.75 tonnes of marine trash in about 90 minutes – 82% of this was plastic and 79% originated from shoreline and recreational activities”

And this below from the Kranji-Buloh mangrove cleanup in 1999. This was only the 8th ICCS. We’re in year 20 now!

ICCS 1999

I like the photos page of the ICCS webpage. I documented as much as I could, mainly using iView Media Pro before switching to Flickr in 2007. There is site information nestled away in there, besides photos of me in orange jerseys!

ICCS on the workable shores of Singapore, soon!

It’s September and soon time for the International Coastal Cleanup around the world. In Singapore, some 4,000 volunteers will be going and will write about it and post photos and data the same day. Even tweet a little.

It’s the 20th anniversary in Singapore this year and this may be the largest showing yet. To celebrate, we’ve done the best we could to ensure the volunteer on the beach knows why they are there, collecting data, and how to translate that knowledge onto action off the beach.

You do have to be an optimist in this business.