Lot 26

On 22 April 2012, S$12,855.58 (excluding my donation) was transferred to
Thien Nhan. To the following contributors: Thank You...

Jessie Oh (S$50)
Leona Ang (S$400, extra donation)
Alyssa Chen (S$80)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Sally Lam (S$125, for Nov 2011 to March 2012)
Irene Lee (S$45)
Jenkins Chng Sun Ping (S$100)
Leona Ang (S$50, for March 2012)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for March 2012)
Lam Chooi Wun, Wong Zhi Ying & Wong Zhi Jing (S$200)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Feb 2012)
Lim Choon Wa (S$10)
Tan Siew Lay (S$50)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Alex Luo Yanghao (S$100)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Feb 2012)
Sadie-Jane Nunis (S$30, repeat donor)
Lee Sang Hong (S$374.14)
Sim P J (S$50)
Sadie-Jane Nunis (S$20, repeat donor)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Jan 2012)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Vadodaria Reetesh Hasmukh (S$100)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Jan 2012)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Dec 2011)
Justin Foo (S$130)
Victoria Pollock (S$150)
Vivien Voo (S$50)
Ariel Loh (S$100, repeat donor)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Dec 2011)
Anonymous (S$1,500)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Nov 2011)
Winston Ho (S$50, second donation)
Amelia (S$120)
Caren Tan (S$50)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Nov 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Oct 2011)
Ong Teng Hong (S$200, repeat donor)
Parag Desai (S$101, repeat donor)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Oct 2011)
Miel (S$50, for Oct 2011)
Miel (S$50, for Sept 2011)
Sean Lim (S$100)
Loy Mei Chan (S$500, second donation)
Sally Lam - (S$25, for Oct 2011)
Sally Lam (S$25, for Sept 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Sept 2011)
Ariel Loh (S$50, for Sept 2011)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Sept 2011)
Ariel Loh (S$50, for Aug 2011)
Leona Ang (S$250, bonus!)
Serene Teo Lay Hong (S$30)
Sally Lam (S$25, for Aug 2011)
Sally Lam (S$25, for July 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for July 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for June 2011)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Leona Ang (S$50, for July 2011)
Miel (S$50, for Aug 2011)
Miel (S$50, for July 2011)
Janice Lee (S$50, second donation)
Loy Mei Chan ($500)
Sadie-Jane Nunis (S$30, repeat donor)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Wendy Tong (S$100)
Sadie-Jane Nunis (S$20, repeat donor)
Leona Ang (S$50, for June 2011)
Miel (S$50, for June 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for June 2011)
Sally Lam (S$25, for June 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for May 2011)
Sally Lam (S$25, for May 2011)
Monique Chong, Joyce Ryme, Joanna Sim, Denise Chong (S$200)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor) 
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Leona Ang (S$50, for May 2011)
Miel (S$50, for May 2011)
Eric Teh (S$50)
Ang Lip Chor (S$50)
Anonymous (S$20)
Eugene Sim Junying (S$200)
Leona Ang (S$300, bonus!)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Apr 2011)
Sadie-Jane Nunis (S$30, repeat donor)
Nicholas Chin (S$100)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Apr 2011)
Sally Lam (S$25, for Apr 2011)
Miel (S$50, for Apr 2011)
Sally Lam (S$25, for March 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for March 2011)
Leona Ang (S$50, for March 2011)
Chew Lye Heng (S$50)
Sadie-Jane Nunis (S$30, repeat donor)
Rende Wong (S$50)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Feb 2011)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Feb 2011)
Miel (S$50, for Feb 2011)
Jessie Tan Lay Yong (S$100)
Sally Lam (S$25, for Feb 2011)
Tan Kim Huat (S$70)
Ng Geok Peng (S$100, repeat donor)
Tan Yoke Meng (S$50)
Serene Goh (S$100)
Colin Koh Teow Teng (S$200)
Lee Yoke Cheng (S$50)
Huang Wan En (S$200)
Sadie-Jane Nunis (S$30, repeat donor)
Linda Lum Seaw Wai (S$500.44, repeat donor)
Wang Boon Lian (S$100, repeat donor)
Leona Ang (S$50, for Jan 2011)
Anonymous (S$1,000)
Tan Kia Hui, Heng San San,
Elaine Loo, Audrey Seah, Lim Whee Nai, Grace Cheong, Fiona Kanagasingam & Seah Yang Hee (S$560)
Tay Chern Hui (S$25, for Jan 2011)
Low Pei Lin (S$50)
Maria Poon Mui Ying (S$500, repeat donor)
Miel (S$50, for Jan 2011)
Irene Lee (S$10, repeat donor)
VĂ©ronique Medard (S$70)
Ariel Loh (S$50, repeat donor)
Sally Lam (S$25, for Jan 2011)

Nasal assault

This strip was inspired by a real-life situation:

There's this girl who sits three desks away from me.

Whenever she walks past, I have to hold my breath for about 20 seconds
because her perfume would linger like a deadly mushroom cloud.

The scent is so potent that it even clings itself onto those sitting next to her.

And the issue is made worse by the fact that my desk is in her path to the loo...
so you can imagine how many times I have had to stop my oxygen-intake in a day!

Do you also have a colleague who uses perfume in wild abundance?

Banned! (Part 2)

Another of my Sunday strips was deemed,
ahem, not suitable for print in a national newspaper.
So I had to tweak it

This is what was published:

This is the original version (which I prefer):

Homing birds are just streetwise

[Published on 06 February, 2004]

The secret of carrier pigeons' uncanny ability to find their way home
has been discovered by British scientists: They follow the roads
just as people do.

Oxford University researchers spent 10 years studying homing pigeons
using global positioning satellite and were stunned to find the birds
do not often navigate using the sun.

Instead, they fly along motorways, turn at junctions and even go
around roundabouts, adding kilometres to their journeys.

One professor said pigeons use their own navigational system when
doing long-distance trips or when doing a journey for the first time.

But when they have flown a journey more than once, they home in on
a habitual route home. "It looks like it is mentally easier for
a bird to fly down a road... they are just making their journey
as simple as possible."

Authors admit to posting bogus reviews

[Published on 12 August, 2002]

Some bestselling authors in Britain are giving their own novels
glowing reviews on Amazon by pretending to be readers,
and the Internet bookseller is trying to put a stop to it.

According to a report in The Telegraph, authors Jane Green
and Isabel Wolff, two of the leading lights of the so-called
'chick lit' genre popularised by Helen Fielding's
Bridget Jones's Diary, are among those who have given themselves
'five star' reviews to boost sales.

Both have admitted to posting bogus reviews in the section of
Amazon's website where readers can submit their opinions
of a book anonymously and award it between one and five stars.

Amazon, which has 3.3 million customers in Britain alone,
said it was trying to find ways to curb the abuse.

"We will investigate any complaint we receive concerning a review,"
a spokesman said. Green, who has written five bestsellers,
admitted faking a number of favourable reviews for two of her books,
Jemima J and Mr Maybe, signing them 'A reader from West London'.

She said: "I did it because I could not bear the abuse,
the vitriol of the reviews from other people. As a novice author,
I took criticism more to heart and became deeply wounded
by these reviews."

In response to a hostile review which dismissed her novel as
"a must for self-obsessed, materialistic, shopaholic social climbers",
Green wrote an anonymous five-star review which called the book,
about a young woman looking for a rich husband,
"a wonderful escapist read - perfect for a holiday".

Wolff, who has also produced several bestsellers,
confessed to writing a few complimentary reviews for her book
The Trials of Tiffany Trott, The Telegraph reported.

But other authors said they could understand the need to
defend one's work. Robert Harris, the author of Fatherland and Enigma,
told The Telegraph: "Anyone who has written a book would love to
write their own reviews if they thought they could get away with it."

Michael Holroyd, the biographer and novelist, said:
"This sort of thing existed in the old days before word processors.
Anthony Burgess reviewed his own books under a different name.
All's fair in love and publishing."

Show me the real money

[Published on 15 August, 1998]

If someone hands you money and the note feels too smooth,
chances are that it is fake, printed with a colour printer or photocopier.

There were 14 cases of people who tried to print fake money
this way in the first six months of 1998, double the number
for the whole of 1997, said the Commercial Crime Division.

According to the police, the rise is not significant as the
same culprit was involved in a number of the cases.
So there is little cause for alarm, said the head of the
CCD's financial fraud branch.

The counterfeit notes look similar to the real ones,
but if you feel them carefully, you can tell the difference easily.
The fake notes feel smoother and are thicker than genuine ones
because the fakes are printed on plain paper.

Both photocopiers and laser printers use similar printing technology,
which coats paper with a mix of powder dye, while ink-jet printers
use ink.

It is easier to distinguish the fakes if they were printed with
an ink-jet printer. Just rub your fingers on the notes,
and the ink will smudge.

The police said that in most cases the fake money, all Singapore notes,
were detected by banks when victims tried to deposit them.

The victims, such as hawkers and taxi-drivers,
had accepted the fake notes in haste without checking them carefully
because they were busy tending to their business.

A 17-year-old teenager and a 14-year-old girl were prosecuted
for using and making counterfeit money with a laser printer.

They had made three $50 notes. The girl used one at a McDonald's outlet
at Hougang on May 7, 1998. Later, both tried to use the remaining notes
at a coffeeshop in Geylang on two different days.

But the stallholder noticed the fake note the second time
they tried to use it.

They fled in a taxi and used the last counterfeit note to pay the driver.

By coincidence, the taxi driver returned to the same coffeeshop later
the same day and used the fake note to pay for coffee.

The teenager will be sentenced on Aug 20. The girl has been sent to
Toa Payoh Girls' Home, pending a pre-sentence report.

Outwit, outplay, outlast -- in a cable car

[Published on 07 January, 2004]

It's Survivor, Singapore style.

The challenge: Eat, sleep and play in a moving cable car with
three others for seven consecutive days with only a
10-minute daily break.

Beginning on March 16, 36 two-member teams from six countries
will take part in 'Surviving the Sky', a week-long competition hosted
by Singapore Cable Car (SCC), in which participants will try to
outlast the others while confined to a moving cable car.

The grand prize? $50,000.

Two teams, each comprising a man and a woman, will be housed in
one cable car. While three meals a day will be provided, each participant
will be given only three litres of drinking water and toilet breaks will be
capped at 10 minutes per team.

Minimal personal comforts will be provided -- one blanket and pillow
for each team. Luxury items such as telecommunication devices and
extra pillows are not allowed. The teams will also have to do various tasks.

The points awarded will be taken into account in the event of a tie.
Teams will be disqualified if members are medically unfit to carry on
or if they exceed the time allocated for breaks.

British scientists follow whiff of foul play

[Published on 07 January, 2004]

Farewell to black gloves, swag bags and crowbars.

Deodorants will soon be the burglar's preferred tool.
British government scientists are evaluating new technology
that allows identification by body odour, making it possible
to trace criminals by their unique whiff.

A leaked memo from the government's top-secret GCHQ centre
lists a series of 'biometric technologies' -- which use the body
as a password -- that have been tested for possible use in Britain,
including one 'esoteric proposal' to identify individuals by their smell.

Biometrics are nothing new, with fingerprints being used for
more than 100 years as a form of identification. Smell is seen
by security experts as having great potential.

Every person produces an odour with a different chemical formula.
And we all smell all the time, even if the smell is not detectable
to the untrained nose.

Our odour is largely produced by the bacteria on our skin and
our pheromones, the chemical we produce to signal to others
of the same species. The great advantage for law enforcement
is that however hard we scrub or cover ourselves in deodorant,
we cannot entirely obscure our 'sniff signature'.

Buy a stamp, post a letter... pawn your watch?

[Published on 31 January, 2004]

Need to pawn that diamond ring?
You may not need to head for the pawnshop, the post office may do.

In a surprise announcement, Singapore Post (SingPost) said
it wants to offer pawnbroking services alongside stamp sales at
some of its post offices soon. Customers are also set to be offered
investment and insurance products as it remakes its post offices
to do more than handle mail.

SingPost, which runs Singapore's 62 post offices, has applied to
the Law Ministry for a pawnbroking licence and, if successful,
hopes to offer the service by June.

Following similar moves by post offices in France and Switzerland,
SingPost will station staff at some branches to sell investment and
insurance products to customers. It will also distribute personal
finance products such as housing and renovation loans, as well as
cashflow management products for small and medium-sized enterprises.