Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Harold Camping - Doomsday Take 2!

And just when you thought all the noise about the supposed rapture had dwindled into obscurity (where lets face it it should never have even made an appearance if not for the mad deluded ravings of Harold Camping) it would seem that Camping has had yet another revelation. That's right people, Harold is going off the deep end once again.

Camping, who made a special appearance before the press at the Oakland headquarters of the media empire Monday evening, apologized for not having the dates "worked out as accurately as I could have." I guess that's as close to an admission that he hadn't a clue what he was talking about as we'll ever get.

Through chatting with a friend over what he acknowledged was a very difficult weekend, the light dawned on him that instead of the biblical Rapture in which the faithful would be swept up to the heavens, May 21 had instead been a "spiritual" Judgment Day, which places the entire world under Christ's judgment, he said.

In other words you have already been silently judged and didn't even know. Yes, that's right when the rapture does come .... eventually .... you're place in it has already been assigned and that happened on the 21st of May. I can totally understand how he could have mistaken what was going to happen on that day but I'm happy that he's corrected himself and set the record straight.

And what's next I hear you ask. Well it would now appear that the globe will be completely destroyed in five months, according to Camping's revised predication, when the apocalypse comes on the 21st of October.

So mark that date on your calendar people and start counting down those shopping days, after all one must look ones best for the apocalypse.

Of course in the background Tim LaHaye, co-author of the best-selling "Left Behind" novels about the end times, recently called Camping's prediction "not only bizarre but 100 percent wrong!" He cited the Bible verse Matthew 24:36, "but about that day or hour no one knows" except God.

Skipped that section in your reading did you eh Harold?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Planking in Singapore

And on to the new craze currently starting to sweep Singapore. It's called Planking and involves ... well ... lying down on your stomach with your arms by your sides and keeping your body stiff like a plank and capturing a photo of yourself doing so in unusual places. Obviously the name of this new craze involved a lot of imagination. It's already appeared on the news and in the papers here with the tagline of (if you can believe it) a form of photographic art.

Well I laughed my ass off looking at these idiots acting like planks as I'm sure many others have done as well. I mean seriously what are people thinking. And photographic art? I means seriously .... art? ... and yes I know that art is in the eye of the beholder but in this case I'll admit to be not some much blinded by art as art blind.

It's just plain stupid, but I guess that's part of the appeal. After all we've all done stupid things in our time (although in my case thankfully there's no surviving photos).

It even has its own facebook page here in Singapore with a stack of photo's on there for those that want to have a look. In fact there's quiet a few pages on the subject.

Of course it comes with a warning too after the fatal fall of a 20-year-old Aussie who fell seven stories while planking on a high-rise balcony.

The concept has been around for at least a decade, according to an English duo which takes credit for its invention and was profiled in a 2009 column in the Toronto Star. Then, it was called the Lying Down Game, obviously much thought has gone into the name since then.

As one person put it, its the most fun you can have lying still.

Obvious the term star fish is unknown to many.

Minsters Pay Review

Well well, after much publicity during the recent general election here in Singapore it would seem that the ministerial salaries are up for review. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has acknowledged Singaporeans' concern about Ministers' salaries (some of the highest in the world), and has formed a committee to review them.

The Prime Minister's current salary is estimated to be over S$3 million while ministerial-grade officers are paid more than S$1.5 million.

The PM is quoted as saying "salaries must reflect the values and ethos of public service. That means that whatever we work out, the final answer must include a substantial discount on comparable salaries in the private sector and people looking at it will say, these people are serving and making a sacrifice".

Of course that was tempered by "But ministers should also be paid properly in order that Singapore can have honest, competent leadership over the long term."

We will have to wait and see what the review brings although many believe its a step in the right direction, and hope that it is the first of many such steps.

PM Lee added in his speech that he promised to engage all segments of society - offline and online, "I pledge to work together with all Singaporeans to create a just and fair society, which gives all citizens the best start in life, and leaves no one behind. A Singapore which is open to the world yet puts Singaporeans first. A Singapore which excites our young and respects our old. A society that nurtures and inspires the human spirit, beyond material success", he said.

Of course it remains to be seen what that exactly means and if "ALL" means just that or if there's a silent "except" in there that no one heard.

On the plus side though the Government has taken stock of the mood of Singaporeans although only time will tell if they have managed to gauge it correctly.

But ..... its a start.

For the full Yahoo story, click here

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Harold Camping - Doomsday 21st May 2011

As I'm sure many noticed the 21st May came and with without so much as a ripple. It was a day of expectation for many who were dumb/naive enough to believe Harold Camping's much publicized end of the world message.

In my personal opinion the guy is already mad as a hatter. I mean seriously who of sane mind would ever believe such a predication, you would have to have a screw if not several lose to swallow that rubbish. Don't get me wrong I've nothing against God, in fact I'm a huge fan.

It would appear now however that Camping has called God a liar for the failure on his part to end the world on schedule. How can you argue with that logic. Anyway ....

.... Mr Camping, who makes programmes in 48 languages, boasts tens of thousands of followers across the globe, with radio stations in South Africa, Russia and Turkey. After 70 years of studying the Bible, he claims to have developed a system (feel free to laugh out loud at this point) that uses mathematics to interpret prophesies hidden in it.

He says the world would end on 21 May, because that will be 722,500 days from 1 April AD33, which he believes was the day of the Crucifixion. The figure of 722,500 is important because you get it by multiplying three holy numbers (five, 10 and 17) together twice. "When I found this out, I tell you, it blew my mind," he said.

The eighty-nine-year-old tele-evangelist's prophecy said the Rapture will begin with powerful earthquakes at 6:00 pm local time in each of the world's regions, after which the good will be beamed up to heaven. The not-so-good will suffer through hell on earth until October 21, when God will pull the plug on the planet once and for all. In the United States, where Camping's evangelizing organization is based, some people have been quitting their jobs and hitting the road to urge others to repent before it's too late. Bet they feel a tad stupid round about now.

He spread his prophecy around the world through broadcasts on his Family Radio network in 84 languages, on RV caravans and on 1,200 billboards around the country. Trumpeting the apocalypse doesn't come cheap. Family Radio spent as much as $1 million on the billboard campaign. It can afford to. Camping's radio network was worth about $22 million in 2002 -- by 2008 it was valued at more than $117 million.

Of course it's worth pointing out that this is Camping's second attempt at predicting the end of the world. No prizes for guessing that he also got his first attempt in 1994 wrong as well. Obviously he hadn't quiet perfected his mathematical formula by then.

Looks like it still needs some work eh Harold.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pink Dot 2011

On 18 June 2011, Singaporeans will, for the third year running, gather at Hong Lim Park to form a human pink dot in support of the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love and the belief that diversity is a cornerstone of a civil society. Like it or not, LGBT individuals exist. Many people harbour much hatred towards the LGBT community. That is why such events are important. It serves to foster understanding, and through that, there is hope for trust and social cohesion.

Organised by a pool of Singaporean volunteers, Pink Dot campaigns for diversity, inclusiveness, and works to foster understanding for the basic human need to love and be loved, regardless of one╩╝s sexual orientation.

This year, Pink Dot 2011 is fronted by the DIM SUM DOLLIES, the comedy trio comprising Emma Yong, Pam Oei and Selena Tan. Festivities begin at 4.30pm with a dynamic line-up including performances by Dave Tan of local indie band Electrico, Broadway Beng Sebastian Tan and dance group Voguelicious.

Just show up, mingle, have fun and smile for our cameras - an aerial photograph has been planned to commemorate this symbolic event. Bring water, food, family and friends.

And of course dress up in as much pink as your wardrobe will allow.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thaipusam Muted

For 45 years since Singapores independence Thaipusam has always been celebrated with loud music, gongs and drums. In all these years, did anyone complain?


But now, suddenly, for the first time ever since independence, someone complained - and complained so much - that the authorities decided to give in to them and chose to mute one of Singapores local traditional celebrations.

And who are the residents of new homes along the Thaipusam’s 4km procession route from Serangoon Road to Tank Road that have done all the moaning, are they native Singaporeans or others unfamiliar and/or unwilling to appreciate what is not only a part of the local culture, but part of Singapores cultural heritage. It’s the one thing that I love about Singapore, the diversity of the cultural identity here and that very same diversity is firmly embedded as a part of Singapores Cultural Heritage. To mute it is to mute that very heritage.

Lets hope that these guidelines are not enforced because this is a spectaular festival for the Hindu community

Here’s the article from the Straits Times.

The Straits Times
Friday, January 7, 2011
Thaipusam set to turn down volume
New guidelines ban traditional loud music and drumming from the annual procession
By Yen Feng

This year’s Thaipusam celebrations will be a quieter affair if guidelines made public for the first time on Thursday by the Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) are enforced.

Those participating in the procession on Jan 19 and 20 are barred from playing recorded music or sounding gongs or drums.

Traditionally, the music – often played at a deafening volume – is seen as encouragement for those who pierce their bodies as an act of faith. Now, only the singing of hymns will be permitted.

Other rules include no shouting, and no paint or makeup to be used on either the devotees’ faces or bodies. Those who flout the rules may be barred from future processions – or face a fine of up to $5,000 under the Public Order Act.

And for the first time, spike or chariot kavadi bearers are required to nominate a representative who will be responsible for their conduct.

The HEB said the rules mirrored guidelines set by the police for permits to hold Thaipusam celebrations. But they were put together for the first time this year for the public to address long-standing issues of crowd and noise control, officials from the two temples organising the procession said.

The temples are the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road, and the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road. Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple chairman K. Rajandeeran said the move would not compromise the procession’s religious nature, and would “ensure public safety and that it takes place in an orderly manner”.

Every year, tens of thousands of Hindus take to the streets to give their thanks to Lord Murugan, an important Hindu deity. Sometimes, expatriates unfamiliar with HEB guidelines have joined in.

Last year a 10-year-old visitor from India was seen carrying a spiked kavadi – wood or metal structures fied onto devotees’ bodies – when only those above 16 are allowed to pierce their bodies.

Mr K. Kannappan, trustee of the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple, said residents of new homes along the procession’s 4km route from Serangoon Road to Tank Road complained about the noise last year“So this year, we will be better neighbours,” he added.

The rules evoked mixed reactions among devotees, with Mr Raj Kumra, 34, who walked in last year’s procession, saying they are a dampener. “The music, the sounds, all that is part of celebrating Thaipusam. It’s our way of giving thanks for our blessings,” he said.

But they will not mean much to Mr Sankar Suppiah, 40, a devotee who has carried a kavadi for the last 20 years. He said: “This is a powerful religious experience for me. I do it for myself, for my family. Rules do not change that.”