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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Minister Pay To Increase By 8.8%

Despite the raging debate among citizens about the government's performance regarding the foreign talent policy, HDB price spike, losses by Temasek Holdings and GIC etc., looks like the government has decided to raise the salaries of ministers yet again in this year's Budget.

Committed to going green (TODAYonline)
by Teo Xuanwei 05:55 AM Feb 23, 2010


"Salaries for political appointments - ministers, ministers of state and parliamentary secretaries - are estimated to be $58.28 million, or 8.8 per cent higher than last year."

Ministers in Singapore are already the highest paid politicians in the world, earning over a million dollars a year and beating their counterparts in other countries by a large margin.

Check out this graph that compares the salary of the Prime Minister with prominent leaders of first world countries:

It is shockingly inappropriate timing to raise their salaries while our country has barely recovered from the recession, and the sustained recovery of the global economy is still in doubt.

Some commenters on sociopolitical blogs say that this pay hike suggests that the government is not confident of winning the next general election and thus is increasing their salaries while they can.

Alternatively, it is also possible that the election will not be held this year after all, since it is inconceivable that the government would make such an insensitive move shortly before the election.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Le mariage est il la tombe de l'amour

Another piece of biting satire from the Onion News Network, this time parodying the same-sex marriage controversy in California, USA:

Ha ha ha... imagine the total chaos that would result when they try to enforce the law.

What is the legal definition of love (or lovelessness) anyway?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gravity Is Just A Theory

Evolution is just a theory. You know what else is just a theory?


There you have it, an object that rolls uphill - "Gravity" has been debunked.

Now buy my snake oil!

Would you like to know more?
- Defying gravity: The uphill roller

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Singapore Airshow 2010 Gallery

Just came back from Changi Beach with some photos of the flight display this year.

Unlike last time, this afternoon the weather was excellent with blue skies and puffy white clouds.

One of the star attractions, the F-111, flew during trade days, but it seems to be grounded due to technical problems so there were only four jet aircraft in the air today.

Also, there were no aerobatic teams participating this year, so the display was pretty short.


Pulling Gs while descending. Note the plume of condensation over the wings.

Barrel roll, trailing a cockscrew-shaped stream of smoke.

Making a near pass.


From a distance, the A-10 doesn't look menacing at all. It resembles a UAV...

Also, despite the fact that it is a fearsome tank-killer, its quiet engines and relatively slower speed compared to the other jets makes it appear rather sedate.

Pulling a tight turn and showing the business end of the machine - the 30mm Avenger cannon, visible as a dark bump on the aircraft's nose.


In contrast to the A-10, the nifty Korean built T-50 jet trainer is both loud and speedy.

I think the Singapore Air Force is deciding between the Korean T-50 and the Italian M-346 for its new generation of advanced trainers.

Here it comes again for one more pass, just as the portside smoke generator runs out of smoke.


Fast and agile, the M-346 is also a superb trainer. It's not as fast as the T-50, but it uses two engines, a redundancy which is a good safety feature in a trainer aircraft.

Trailing streams of condensation from its wingtips as it pulls a tight turn to complete the performance.

Would you like to know more?
- Singapore Airshow 2008 Gallery

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A Teen Who Looks Like An Old Woman

Zara Hartshorn is a 13-year-old who lives in a poor neighbourhood in northern England.

Life there is difficult enough, but Zara is experiencing an even tougher problem...

She has lipodystrophy, a rare genetic condition involving the loss of fatty tissue, resulting in the wrinkled skin that makes her look much older than she really is.