K’naan’s Wavin’ Flag – A truly international song

K'naan's Wavin' Flag
K'naan's Wavin' Flag

After hearing this World Cup theme song, Wavin’ Flag, at the Coca-Cola concert at the Shanghai Expo, I was hooked on the rhythm and the catchy lyrics.

Here’s the LIVE Chinese version, 旗开得胜 that I first heard, sung by an international ensemble of Jacky Cheung (张学友) from Hong Kong, Jane Zhang (张靓颖) from China and Somali-Canadian, K’naan:

The song has quite a bit of background. It has been sung in many different languages and released in many different versions around the world (via wikipedia):

“Wavin’ Flag” is a song by K’naan from his album Troubadour, reaching #2 on the Canadian Hot 100. A remake by a supergroup of Canadian artists, credited as Young Artists for Haiti, became a charity single, with this new version going straight to #1 on the Canadian charts. A version of the song featuring will.i.am and David Guetta is targeted for international release. The song also appears on the soundtrack for the video game NBA 2K10.

The song was chosen as Coca-Cola’s promotional anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, to be held in South Africa. The English version was released as “Wavin’ Flag (The Celebration Mix)” by K’naan and many other bilingual and country-specific versions have been released. “The Celebration Mix” version of the song topped the singles charts in Germany, Swiss Music Charts and Austria.

The original version by K’naan has more controversial lyrics. I actually like it better as it is more reflective of the struggles in Africa:

The World Cup version is more celebratory and the lyrics has be adjusted accordingly:

Below are some of the various international versions available which I managed to find and compile from youtube. Enjoy. I particularly like the Nigerian and Thai ones. Soccer and music can really bring the world together. 🙂

Arabic version (with subtitles) with K’naan featuring Nancy Ajram:

Brazilian version with K’naan featuring Skank:

Chinese version with K’naan featuring Jacky Cheung and Jane Zhang:

French version with K’naan featuring Féfé:

Greece version with K’naan Professional Sinnerz featuring Komis X:

Indonesian version (Semangat Berkibar) by K’naan and Ipank:

Nigerian version (Naija Remix) by K’naan and Banky W. & M.I.:

Spanish version by K’naan and David Bisbal:

Thai version by K’naan and Tattoo Colour:

Vietnamese version by K’naan and Phuong Vy:

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Funny Polytechnic Graduation Videos

Oops they did it again and again like the Teletubbies...
Oops they did it again and again like the Teletubbies...

Watch and laugh. First two feature graduate students from Singapore Polytechnic doing the “worm” on stage to collect their graduation certificate.

The third one is from Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Pay attention and listen to the emcee reading out the names… really don’t know what to say man. Really serious blooper….

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Finalists of Singapore Blog Awards 2010 revealed

Vote for your favourite bloggers
Vote for your favourite bloggers

A plug for omy.sg’s Singapore Blog Awards 2010 – a campaign I am running. The top 100 finalists in the ten main award categories are revealed. Vote for your favourite bloggers and stand to win attractive prizes like a Garmin ASUS M10 smart phone, luxurious resort stays from Asia Web Direct and many more.

The full press release in both English and Mandarin are as below:

Media Release

Finalists of Singapore Blog Awards 2010 revealed

Singapore, 25 May 2010 — The finalists of this year’s Singapore Blog Awards are revealed. Out of over 1000 blogs registered for the awards, a total of 100 blogs made the cut. There are 10 finalists in each of the 10 categories.

Organised by omy.sg, the bilingual news and interactive web portal of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the Awards honour “new-age wordsmiths” who devote their time and energy to create and maintain informative and innovative blogs.

The ten main categories are EASB (East Asia Institute of Management) Best Individual Blog, Most Insightful Blog, Best LOL (laugh-out-loud) Blog, Best e-Commerce Blog, Best Photography Blog, Best Lifestyle Blog, Best Modeling Blog, Best WTH (what-the-hell) Blog, Best Food Blog and The Y-Bloggist Award (for bloggers under 25), presented by tech brand iKnow. The winner of each category stands to win attractive prizes including a trip to Hong Kong with air tickets and accommodation paid for by the Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Out of the 1000 blogs registered for this year’s awards, a number of entries are by bloggers from Malaysia, Australia, The Philippines, China and other countries. This is a sign that the three-year-old Awards has gained popularity among overseas bloggers.

Some of the notable bloggers amongst the 100 finalists are:

– TechXav (http://TechXav.com): A 16-year-old boy who is Singapore’s top Twitter user. He also operates an international tech blog with content submitted by youths around the world.

– Aussie Pete (http://www.aussiepete.com): A self-professed “completely-localised and proud ang moh” from Australia who has been living and working in Singapore for many years.

– Violet Lim (http://www.violetlim.com): A successful businesswoman who is also a mother of two and founder of Asia’s first lunch dating agency, Lunch Actually.

– Gordonator (http://gordonator.com): A Star Wars fan boy who makes regular public appearances in his Storm Trooper costume. He is also a member of the 501st Legion, a worldwide Star Wars non-profit costuming organisation.

– Ten gorgeous models in the Best Modeling category. These ladies are not shy to post provocative photos of themselves on their blogs and some of them appeared on television and even made news headlines.

The winners will be determined via public voting as well as scores given by a panel of ten professional judges.

Voting for the Singapore Blog Awards starts today via the official website – http://sgblogawards.omy.sg. Voters stand to win attractive prizes like a Garmin ASUS M10 smart phone, luxurious overseas resort stays and more.

Judges for this year’s awards are Mr Kelvin Tong, movie director; Ms Kuo Jian Hong, Co-Artistic Director of The Theatre Practice; Ms Anna Lim, Radio 100.3 deejay; Mr Josh Lim, Managing Director of Advertlets; Mr U-Zyn Chua, CEO of Ping.sg; Mr Samuel Ng, CEO of Marine Parade Family Service Centre; Ms Xiao Han, Director and Lyricist of Funkie Monkies Productions, Mr Walter Lim, Director of Corporate Services and Marketing Communications, National Art Gallery and Mr Danny Yeo, theatre practitioner.

Singapore Blog Awards 2010 winners will be revealed at a prize-presentation ceremony with details to be announced at a later date. The winner of each category will walk away with a custom-designed trophy created by Singapore Cultural Medallion winner Mr Tan Swie Hian and a variety of sponsored prizes, including a trip to Hong Kong, ASUS netbooks and more.

The main sponsors for Singapore Blog Awards 2010 are the East Asia Institute of Management (EASB), National Heritage Board (NHB) and United International Pictures (UIP). Air tickets and accommodation for the 10 award winners are sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board. Other sponsors include Rednano, ASUS, Asia Web Direct (http://www.asiawebdirect.com) and Fabrix. The awards is supported by blog networks, Advertlets.com and Ping.sg, as well as Singapore’s top Online Classifieds portal, ST701.

Adding to the excitement is Rednano Best Mobile Blog Award organised by Rednano Mobile, the mobile platform of Singapore’s local directory search engine Rednano.sg. This is a new category introducing Mobile Tweet combined with Blogs for this year’s Singapore Blog Award 2010, which is predominantly online-focused. Participants who had submitted their tweets via mobile.rednano.sg had been evaluated by a Rednano panel of judges. The selected top 10 finalists are announced today. They can be found on http://sgblogawards.om.sg/category/. The public can now vote for their favourite bloggers by sending an SMS with the code of the blogger to 33833.

Please visit the official website for the full list of finalists and the categories.

新加坡部落格大奖2010

百大入围部落格出炉!

新加坡部落格大奖2010十个主要奖项的十大入围部落格已经出炉!

今年共有1000多个部落格报名”格斗”,与往年相比,有更多来自马来西亚、澳洲、菲律宾、中国等国家的海外部落格格主前来分一杯羹,说明迈入第三个年头的新加坡部落格大奖已更广为人知,也更被重视了。

百大入围部落格的格主们各有来头,其中年仅16岁的男生TechXav除了是本地人气第一的Twitter用户,他的科技部落格更是国际化,内容由 来自世界各地的年轻人编写;Aussie Pete则是一名在新加坡工作多年的澳洲男子,自称是”已完全被本土化却又自豪的’红毛'”;Violet Lim是育有两个孩子的成功女性,她也是红娘公司Lunch Actually的创办人,让会员通过午餐认识异性的概念在亚洲可谓史无前例;Gordonator经常穿着Storm Trooper服装出席活动的《星际大战》粉丝;入围最佳个人靓照部落格的十位靓丽模特,当中不乏上过电视或出现在报章新闻的美女帅哥。

新加坡部落格大奖的十个奖项是:EASB最具个人特色部落格、最佳生活资讯部落格、最靓摄影部落格、最佳个人靓照部落格、最佳饮食部落格、最不可思 议部落格、最具深度部落格、最具娱乐性部落格、最佳e-Shop部落格以及由科技品牌iKnow赞助的部落Y格斗(开放给25岁以下的博客参加)。每个奖 项的得主都有机会赢取总价值超过4万元的丰厚奖品,包括由香港旅游局赞助的香港来回机票与酒店住宿等,还可捧走由新加坡文化奖得主陈瑞献设计的部落格鼎。 颁奖礼详情将在稍后公布。

上网投选可赢取奖品

网上投选也即日展开,只要到活动官网http://sgblogawards.omy.sg投票支持心仪的部落格,还能赢取智能手机、豪华酒店住宿等丰富奖品!

奖项最终花落谁家,那就要视网上投选和专业评审的结果而定!

新加坡部落格大奖2010的主要赞助商是East Asia Institute of Management(EASB), National Heritage Board(NHB)以及United International Pictures(UIP)。其它赞助商包括香港旅游局、Rednano、华硕、Asia Web Direct以及Fabrix,并由部落格网络Advertlets.com和Ping.sg,以及本地顶尖分类广告网站ST701鼎力支持。

为新加坡部落格大奖增添趣味的,是与Rednano联办的最佳海外名人部落格和最佳本地名人部落格奖。这两个奖项纯粹由投票决定,投票的网友可赢取丰富的奖品。与此同时,Rednano也推出了最佳流动部落格奖项,这三个奖项即日起也将开放投选。

新加坡部落格大奖由新加坡报业控股旗下的双语资讯娱乐网omy.sg主办。

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Shrek Forever After in 3D

My Shrek Forever After preview ticket
My Shrek Forever After preview ticket

I was really looking forward to catching the final chapter to the very successful Shrek movie series.

Here’s a picture of Han Joo and I posing excitedly with the stunned looking Shrek mascot before the movie preview at The Grand Cathay.

Shrek looks really scared of us...
Shrek looks really scared of us...

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It is the right kind of movie to catch after a long day at work and you are looking for something light to round up the day.

My few complains are that the plot is too predictable and there’s no witty fairy tale satirical bits which were prevalent in the first two Shrek movies. The 3D effects were good to have, but did not add much value.

Here’s the movie synopsis via wikipedia (it literally summed up the entire plot in just three paragraphs):

After all of his adventures, Shrek (Mike Myers) has become a domesticated family ogre. Instead of scaring villagers away as he used to, Shrek agrees to autograph pitchforks. Longing for the days when he felt like a “real ogre”, Shrek is tricked into signing a pact with the smooth-talking deal maker, Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), who offers Shrek a day where everything will be as if his adventures had never happened. Shrek can’t resist the offer- all he wanted was a day off to relax, to be a real ogre again. However, to get a day off, Shrek needs to give up a day from his childhood. However, after signing the contract, Shrek soon discovers he has been tricked: the day that he unwittingly gave away was the one day that was actually important- the day he was born.

Having never existed, Shrek finds himself in a twisted, alternate version of Far Far Away, where Rumpelstiltskin is now king (because King Harold and Queen Lillian were originally going to give him the kingdom in exchange for him ending Fiona’s curse, but refused after getting news that Shrek had rescued Fiona); ogres are hunted to near-extinction; Donkey (Eddie Murphy) has never met Shrek, is forced into cart-pulling duty and fears him; Gingy (Conrad Vernon) is a gladiator fighting animal crackers; Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) doesn’t know Shrek and has become fat and lazy; and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) is an inexplicably hunted ogre who never met (and can’t stand) Shrek, and has become the leader of a band of other hunted ogres. Also Artie Pendragon (Justin Timberlake) has been forced to abdicate the throne for Rumpelstiltskin to become king.

But even though all seems lost, there’s still hope – if Shrek shares “True Love’s Kiss” with Fiona by the sunrise of the next day, the contract he signed will be rendered null and void and the original timeline will be restored. However, Rumplestiltskin will do anything to stop Shrek and solidify his power that he now has.

Here’s the movie trailer:

Shrek Forever After opens in both 3D and normal cinema format from 21 May in Singapore.

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Match Fixer by Neil Humphreys

Match Fixer book cover
Match Fixer book cover

I had always enjoyed Neil Humphreys‘ witty columns in the local newspaper and had a good time reading all his first four books about Singapore.

I came across his latest book, Match Fixer, while shopping for reading material to kill time during my reservist.

Unlike most Singaporean males, I am not a big soccer fan. I do not play soccer, neither do I watch soccer. In fact, I believe I have never even played a full game of soccer before in my entire life. The few times I played, I was forced to do so during primary school PE lessons and was always made to play the defender position which other kids shun.

Nonetheless, I bought the book because I have faith in Neil Humphreys and was looking forward to a light, humourous read.

Alas, I was left disappointed this time.

First off, the book is a fictional novel. Do not be mislead by the book cover and synopsis at the back into believing it’s non-fiction. There’s a fictional disclaimer if you bother to flip a few pages into the book.

The synopsis on Neil’s website is as follows:

Neil’s debut novel, Match Fixer, takes place inside the murky underbelly of Asian football. ‘Squeaky-clean’ Singapore plays host to betting syndicates, which have for decades fed off the insatiable illegal gambling habits of the local population and made a select few bookies very rich and far too powerful.

Corruption is destroying The Beautiful Game in Asia and has spread its tentacles into the UK via spread betting cartels. Floodlights have been knocked out. Players jailed. Questions asked.

It sounds pretty exciting isn’t it? Pity the plot fell kind of flat. There was a surprise ending to the story which saved the plot a bit, otherwise, the storyline was too predictable. As a result, the book appears a tad draggy as you flip each page, waiting to read what you already more or less know will happen.

The book is not completely bad though. The characters in the book were pretty believable and distinctively Singaporean. There’s the villain, Tiger, a typical Singapore bookie; a SPG Malay girl, Yati; a black rapper wannabe Indian artist and of course, the protagonist, Chris Osborne, the ang moh expat footballer.

Also, do take into account that I am NOT a soccer fan AT ALL. Given that the book was centered on soccer, it might have affected my reading pleasure too.

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Alvin & Rachel’s Wedding Invite Card – Physical Copies are now ready!

Physical copies of the invite cards
Physical copies of the invite cards

I blogged about my wedding invite card design a few days ago. The physical copies of the cards have been collected from our printer. They are ready for dissemination.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the outcome of the card and envelop design. We reduced the tone of the sky to a light shade of baby blue to give it a more pastel, cheery look. The artwork was printed on Japanese wood-free textured paper for a hand-drawn, manga feel.

Inner fold of the card
Inner fold of the card
Front of card
Front of card
Back of card
Back of card
Close-up of the card texture
Close-up of the card texture

For the envelop, we bought the light-weight air-mail variety for thematic unity with the “flying” theme. The Chinese “double happiness” character was manually punched, one by one, by Rachel and I with a paper cutter we specially bought.

Manually punched "double happiness" paper cut on the envelop
Manually punched "double happiness" paper cut on the envelop

How the assembled card and envelop will look
How the assembled card and envelop will look

When I passed my parents their portion of the wedding cards and envelops, my mom was amused by the effort and cost we put into these as she felt people will just “take and throw”. I

told her it reflects our sincerity and we hope to spread our joy to everyone, with a little personal touch. The invite card is the first thing our friends and relatives will receive regarding the wedding and it’s important to give the right first impression. 🙂

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Alvin & Rachel’s Wedding Invite Card

I am done with the illustration and design for our wedding invite card. We have just sent it for printing and will be getting them next week. The theme follows that of the UP design which we did for our e-invite.

This is the front view:

Front view
Front view

Back view:

Back view
Back view

The full view when you spread out the cover:

Full view
Full view

Long time never draw already. Hence took quite a while to complete this. I know I am not so slim any more, but that’s the beauty of illustration vs photography. 🙂

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