Cartoon Caption Contest, 29 March 2009

The shortlisted ones:
"I don't think this fella can help you.
Have you tried Michael Jackson's doctor?"
- Rafeeda Bte Abdual Jaleel

"This cosmetic surgeon's great!
Years ago, I too looked like that oven!!"
- Aarti Gogna

And the winning entry:
"I have one of those in me
but it’s not digesting my food so well these days."
- Tang Junshi

Cartoon Caption Contest, 22 March 2009

The shortlisted ones:
"I heard India came up with a cheaper way to put
a man in space... but this is too much!"
- Aida Mekonnen

"No wonder experts say India is going to be
the next powerhouse!"
- Derick Tan Aik Teck

And the winning entry:
"The things you can get at Mustafa's these days...
simply out of this world!"
- Kelvin Song

Cartoon Caption Contest, 15 March 2009

The shortlisted ones:
"Now use your teeth to remove the bulb."
- Sazali B Husin

"I want a divorce! There's nothing else you can do
that will TURN ME ON anymore."
- Yeo Lye Huat

And the winning entry:
"Hurry up with that! We've got a call
from the Singapore Flyer. It's stuck again."
- Prithviraj Gogna

Time running out to adjust phone systems

[Published on 18 Feb, 2002]

On March 1, when users need to dial an extra digit '6' in front of all
fixed-line telephone and facsimile numbers here, many smaller companies
may find their communication lines cut off.

The reason - many of them have yet to reprogramme their internal switchboards
or Private Automatic Branch Exchanges (PABXs) and their systems may reject
eight-digit numbers or chop them off after seven digits.

This means that if someone dials 6123-4567 to reach them, their system may
read the number as 6123-456, cutting out the last digit and the call as well.

The change will not affect normal household phones but users have to remember
to add a '6' when they dial the numbers of other fixed line telephones.

Most large companies and multinational corporations have already reconfigured
their PABXs but the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) believes that many
small and medium enterprises (SMEs) here have not done so.

Pacifier = lower intelligence?

[Published on 18 March, 1997]

British researchers have found that babies who suck pacifiers grow up
to have lower intelligence than babies who do not.

The university team tested the IQ of 1,000 men and women born
in Hertfordshire, England.

Participants' intelligence was measured on a scale of 50. Those who
sucked pacifiers, on average, scored 3.5 points lower than those who
abstained as infants.

The researchers made the link between their use and intelligence while
examining whether breast feeding affected intelligence.

They hypothesised that one possible reason for the association between
pacifiers and intelligence was that infants might be so pacified they are
less receptive to outside stimuli. They also suggested that pacifiers
might be used by less intelligent parents, who more than likely would
have less intelligent children.

The good, the bad and the smelly

[Published on Apr 18, 1998]
In 1998, a newspaper did a ranking of all 160 cinema screens in Singapore. Over a period of three months, each cinema was tested in seven areas: screen size, seat comfort, leg-room, gradient of theatre, cleanliness, temperature and toilet hygiene. Even popcorn and service levels were not spared. Here are the findings:

It is tie! Orchard 3 and Picturehouse both clocked 20 points, each of them
falling short of perfection by only one point.
Orchard 3 garnered perfect scores in all categories except for toilets.
Although its lavatories are clean, there are only two of them. So that means
a long line forms outside them and when the doors are not really thick,
movie-goers, especially the males, have to take great care not to make too
loud a splashing sound when they do their business.

Toilets also proved to be Picturehouse's Archilles Heel. A little damp and
not entirely fragrant, the cinema's loos took home only two points.

CHINATOWN 2 has the dubious honour of being the cinema with the lowest
score -- eight out of 21. Except for a good gradient (three points), everything
else about this 183-seater are atrocious.
The screen is tiny, the seats creak, the leg-room is miserly, the floors are
sticky and the air-conditioning is non-existent.


All six screens at Century cineplex have seats that measure a
whooping 46cm by 50cm.

The six screens at Orchard Cineplex feature soft and comfortable
seats upholstered in a smooth material that resembles terry-cloth.

Tightest squeeze: Mandarin 1's seats are obviously designed to keep
movie-goers glued to them. They measure 43cm by 37cm.

Hardest: Republic 1's seats are merciless when it comes to discomfort.
Sagging and creaky, they have cushions that are so old they look like pancakes.
Plug these killer-seats into a power outlet and you get an electric chair.


Marina 2. With 50cm of space between the edge of your seat and the
back of the seat in front, you have room for a giant tub of popcorn.

Narrowest: Chinatown 2. Already ranked as the worst screen in Singapore, it
also features seats which are leg-crushers with a ghastly leg-room of 16cm.


You pay $3.60 for popcorn at Empress cineplex but it does not
taste that great.

Cheapest: Queensway's popcorn cost only $1.00 but it is quite inedible.
Best Tasting: Bugis Junction takes the top honour hands down. The popcorn
($2.50) is buttery and fragrant. So crunchy it is sure to annoy your
neighbour in the cinema.

Worst Tasting: Choa Chu Kang cineplex sure has a way of taking the taste
out of the cinema staple. Bland, soft and unfragrant, the popcorn there is
not worth $2.50.


Most Polite:
United Artists at Beach Road has wonderfully polite staff that
never break down no matter how long the box-office queues are. If you happen
to be lost on your way to a screen, ask any staff member and he will lead you
there gladly.

Rudest: Singapura cinema is manned by a very fierce woman who will hang up
on you should you call her and ask for the cinema's address.