Grand Traverse, New Zealand (Dec 2012)

An idea that arose from the walk last year is to stay in the Rat’s Nest alone one day. A minimalistic hut in solitude.

Walking through the trails and on to a warm hut can’t adequately capture the feeling of this space. Conditions can change drastically but I’ve learnt the kit and safety routines. When can I go?


Commas can be useful, Her World! (Catboy feature)

Students in my department have been celebrating the appearance of our graduate student Marcus Chua in women’s lifestyle magazine Her World.

Her World ran a feature of snazzy bachelors (I think) and apparently devoted a full page to Marcus who has been studying mammal ecology for a few years now and is deep in the midst of his leopard cat project (hence “catboy”).

Well, office staff were so delighted at the news, they decided to share the good news – with faculty and grad students in my very large department at NUS Biological Sciences .

Since the email’s subject line mentioned my graduate student, I did the dutiful supervisor’s job of checking to ensure there were no fires to put out.

“What is he up to now?” ran through my mind as I saw hi nam and clicked. Then this screaming text greeted me.

Inbox 2022 NUS Staff

It was the magazine edge I was looking at. ANd just after that, Microsoft Outlook froze on me.

Well, Marcus is not stranger to exposure of this sort. He was a poster boy for “The Next Generation” during the Biodiversity of Singapore Symposium III.

Later during our Choa Chu Kang cemetery field trip to examine small mammal habitats, Marcus told the story. He had used the opportunity to take the magazine crew on a field trip and walked the entire Tree Tops Trail with them, nice! We’ll share that full story eventually in the NUS Biodiversity Crew.

Meanwhile, we agreed commas would have helped.

To read more about Marcus Chua, see his profile in RMBR’s DNA and the Leopard Cat webpage.

Through the Eyes of the Leopard Cat


Holy cow, it’s Google Cow!

Last December, Google Labs announced Google Body Browser and said it was the ‘Google Earth for the human body’. You would need Google Chrome Beta before heading to

Well my Chrome opens to the body browser and when I looked just now, I saw this:

Google Cow - Google Labs

The accompanying video explains more about Google Cow:

This year, on 1st April 2011, there was Google Motion Google Teleportation, Google Docs Motion, etc. – read more about all this.

Which was your favourite? Obviously mine was Google Cow. I would actually find this useful!

“The Digital Story of the Nativity” by Excentric

“The Digital Story of the Nativity” is a video by Portugese company Excentric. Their description for the video reads, “How social media, web and mobile tell the story of the Nativity. Christmas story told through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Wikipedia, Google Maps, GMail, Foursquare, Amazon… Times change, the feeling remains the same.”

Remember to dial up the resolution to HD (bottom bar) to see the text clearly and click full-screen view. The default seems to be set at 240p. Some of the scenes sped past too fast so I paused and scrolled back to see what else Joseph was twittering about before the birth. They didn’t miss out on those details.


It was originally in Portugese. Watch the clip below and even if you don’t know the language, be surprised at the many phrases and terms you will be able to recognise!


Hat Tip – Pamela Soo and Allen Shi on Facebook.

A 24-year old rivalry revisited tonight: Huh Jung-moo & Maradona (South Korea versus Argentina, 7.30pm)

I’m looking forward to the Argentina bs South Korea game and rounded up some kakis to watch it together. Scenes from the 1986 World Cup are vivid in my mind, as I watched every game with hungry eyes that year. It was South Korea’s first World Cup match and against the glorious team of Maradona & co. – exciting to see the Koreans give a robust account of themselves.

However, the South Korean defender tasked to mark Maradona took it too far – he was chopping and slicing the slippery eel. Admirably, Maradona shrugged it all off in disbelief, taking the blows pretty well which the first part of this video highlights:

Huh Jung-moo who ‘kicked, grabbed and tripped’ Maradona was apparently known back home as “Jindo-gae,” a Korean hunting dog [“An Old Rival of Maradona’s Earns a Shot at Redemption,” by Timothy Martin. Wall Street Journal, 16 Jun 2010]. He apparently admits, “”It was difficult for us to mark him; it was all a little bit too much!” [“Argentina v South Korea: Diego Maradona fears Korean assault squad,” by Ian Chadband. The Daily Telegraph, 16 Jun 2010]

South Korean was punished for these infractions with Maradona assisting in all three goals of their 3-1 victory. In fact, two of the ensuing free kicks from the fouls resulted in goals. The match highlights from the first-half below features the first two goals:

Fascinatingly, that same South Korean defender is now a coach like Maradona and his rival in the game tonight. Maradona said last year, “I remember Huh very well. In 1986 the Koreans played taekwondo, not football, against us.” The South Koreans have come a long way since and I am looking forward to some great soccer tonight!

Scrawling on a glass-topped table II

Last week I started taking meetings at the Raffles Museum while some students rummaged catalogued by library and discovered my stash of botany books.

This scrawl below is from another meeting, with the prospective new Raffles Museum Toddycats manpower officer. The diagram explained how things were supposed to work. She’ll soon realise I’m the weak link since I shudder at thought of running training workshops once again for all the programmes, like I used to do years ago.

Meanwhile, I will spend the bulk of Tuesday in that room, doing more scrawling with multiple meetings including a follow up on this one.