Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Livestock not welcome

This sign, from the 1910s, instructs all visitors that they should leave their horse or cow at home if they want to cross the Cavenagh Bridge, originally built in 1870. This was originally placed to direct traffic to the nearby Anderson Bridge, which was better suited for the heavy traffic. Today, it serves as a reminder of the vast change that has swept Singapore in the past 100 years, from a basic fishing village to an ultra-modern metropolis.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How the Fulbright works

If you've ever wondered what exactly the Fulbright Program is, who started, and why it has continued to thrive more than 60 years, wonder no more. This quick video takes you through the origin of the program and how it has continued to act as a platform for open international cooperation and collaboration. All thanks to a bold idea from a newly minted Arkansas senator in 1946.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Little kids with the little Merlion

Merlion Park is a favorite with tourists, with many getting photos with the iconic Merlion overlooking Marina Bay (including me). However, he has a little sibling just a few meters away who doesn't get nearly the attention that he does. Luckily, mini-Merlion found some young fans this day.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Biology by the Bay

The Helix Bridge is one of the most recognizable features in downtown Singapore, as the metal structure connects Marina Bay Sands with the Promenade area. Perhaps the best part, though, are these base pair markers that line the walk. The biologist in me was quite happy to see that they stayed true to the A-T and G-C base rules.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Vesak Day!

Pink lotus flower

Today is Vesak Day, the so-called "birthday" of Gautama Buddha. It is one of the most important holidays on the Buddhist calendar, as it celebrates the birth, nirvana, and death of the Buddha. It coincides with a full moon in the month of Vesākha, and is also a public holiday here in Singapore. People spend the day meditating, performing charitable work, and venerating the Buddha by "bathing" statues.

The lotus flower, shown above from a floating village in Bangkok, is a symbol of purity. The pink lotus is the "highest" flower and is specifically tied to the Buddha himself.

Here's another photo, this one from Wat Arun, one of the more prominent Buddhist temples in Bangkok (and let me tell you, there are a lot of temples there).

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Perfect day in Penang

Lounging around with an incredible view over Penang. Days like this one remind me how lucky I've been to spend the year abroad.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Singapore Kindness - Alive and Well

This video, produced by Coca-Cola and the Singapore Kindness Movement, was just published a few days ago. Take a look at the simple gestures of gratitude that Singaporeans showed towards the day laborers that continue to build up the city.

There is no question that there is a tension between the have's and have-not's in Singapore. How can the country balance its global aspirations with care for migrant workers that are often hidden in the shadows of the skyscrapers they help construct? It is an immensely complicated question, but people here are aware of the issue and are making active steps to address it, both in terms of policies and in every day acts of kindness, like these shown above.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cafe Hopping: Marmalade Toast

Last weekend was my busiest cafe time yet. With lots of projects due, I figured that I might as well do data analysis in a comfortable environment, with readily available caffeine sources at hand. Sunday's spot was Marmalade Toast, tucked away in the back of Ngee Ann City in Orchard.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: Not all prayer ribbons are equal

Spotted at the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang, Malaysia, this prayer ribbon seems to cover all the bases.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Street art of Penang, Malaysia

Roaming through the streets of Penang, Malaysia recently - full blog post coming soon - I came across a treasure trove of street art. Mostly located in the historical centre of George Town, they breathed life into the old streets. Telling stories of both people and places, these pieces greatly contributed to the vintage feel of this UNESCO heritage site.