Blog To Express

A blogosphere learning experience to express with blog

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

A "recycled teenager" learning to blog.

Feb 6, 2016

Celestial Show @ East Coast Park, Singapore

The sighting of a spectacular, rare astronomical alignment of 5 planets of the solar system appear together in the skies, is to me a first-time experience.

On Saturday, February 6, 2016, I arrived at the East Coast Park at 6:15 am.

The 5 planets align diagonally in the cosmos and visible to the naked eyes.

As I gazed upwards to the sky, it was like watching at a hugh, wide movie screen ..... Awesome!

The sky was still dark when I reached the place, but there were already several stargazers at Area F at East Coast Park.

There were helpful information from the Science Centre Observatory (SCOB) here .  According to SCOB, the planets can be seen at any location with an unobstructed view of the eastern horizon on a day of good weather and clear skies.

It is a blessing that there was good weather with clear skies at this stargazing location this morning.

Luckily it did not rain at East Coast Park, else this celestial display in the skies would be a washout.

Local astronomers are not to miss this rare, special "astronomical event" to witness this phenomenon.

Although I am not an astrology fan, I wake up early to view the beautiful planets in the Milky Way at the best spot in Singapore to capture the moments personally to share on this blog.

Thanks to meeting Siang Hock, a friendly astronomy enthusiast and his friends and family.

This is the photo of the moon taken with the Orion Starmax 90mm tabletop Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope at the East Coast Park stargazing session.  Photo Credit:  Siang Hock.  Thank you for sharing on the blog.

Siang Hock offering tips on the use of the handy telescope to photograph with the smartphone camera.

As the sky brightens, the stars were not visible.  Its a new bright, day to enjoy the beautiful views of the East Coast Park and the sea.  The breezy, calmness and soothing fresh air at ECP for everyone.

Meanings of the Stars as Astrology

While it is not all that rare for the two planets to get so close to each other, the viewing angle at many latitudes and the time of day made the conjunction a particularly spectacular event, which some stargazers have likened to the Christian biblical "Star of Bethelhem " when Jesus Christ was born.

According to one astrology website, Jupiter lords over philosophy, while Mars is an action planet, Saturn on the other hand is a planet of karma, Venus is love, Mercury is the planet of communication, and the moon – she’s the ruler of emotions.

Perhaps this rare celestial alignment is a call for us to heed good philosophy and build good karma by communicating our emotions and putting action to love.

Or maybe, it’s just a rare phenomenon and nothing more.
(Source: The Independent)

In Chinese literature, these 5 planets are called Wu Xing (五星), literally translated as "5 Stars/Planets".

Planet = 行星 (Xing Xing)
Star = 恒星 (Heng Xing)

金星 (metal) = Venus
木星 (wood) = Jupiter
水星 (water) = Mercury
火星 (fire) = Mars
土星 (earth) = Saturn

More info about 五星连珠 ("5 planets connected like a string of pearls") here .





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Jan 8, 2016

Kindred Memories

"Kindred Memories: A Flash Fiction Collection" by Lynette Wan

This is the Foreword of the new book:

The oral tradition of storytelling predates the first historical recordings.  Pervasive across cultures, storytelling simply points to man's obsession with narrative and its ability to draw audiences together.  It is also my preoccupation.  When I first contemplated publishing a collection of stories as a project proposal for SG50 Celebration Fund, the idea of gathering true accounts from our nation's pioneer generation came almost naturally as I recounted the many occasions in which the older members in my family readily shared their strangely distant  but fascinating memories of their youth.

While I had very quickly come up with a concept for the project, I tussled with the form and presentation of the stories.  I was reluctant to portray them as they are - accounts written from a third  person's point of view - as such depictions often diminish and simplify the dramatic actions and emotions experienced by the characters in the stories.  I wanted my readers to be in the stories, not observers and well wishers on the side.  Then came this crazy idea to present the true accounts as fiction, as flash fiction - particularly suited for the highly energised and slightly restless younger readers.

A year on since that decision, I have come to learn that the resilience and can-do attitude of our nation's pioneer generation are no mere legends.  They truly are a community of people who do not allow adversity to change or define them.   Rather, their readiness to accept, adapt and persevere reflects their belief in something larger than themselves.  Their stories have also profoundly moved me.

It is my hope that readers of this publication will experience for themselves the same spark that ignited in me a warm fuzzy sense of familiarity and strength to go on - for out country, our families and more importantly, for themselves.

Happy 50th birthday, Singapore!

Lynette Wan, 2015


I would like to thank Lynette Wan for the invitation to share this story as a contribution of pioneer generation Singaporeans for her SG50 book.

"Time flows like memories on the shores of the past" -  Michael Joseph Murano


Dec 28, 2015

Wireless SD Memory Card Innovation

How did I celebrate Christmas Day on 25 December, 2015 in Singapore?

It was a blessed bright, sunny day to enjoy the festive holiday.

Although it was a public holiday in Singapore, many of the shops at Sim Lim Square were opened for business.

As my well-maintained 5-year-old Canon Exilim 27mm wide optical 4x was not working for many months, I decided to check with one of the camera shops at Sim Lim Square for my old faithful to be resurrected.  Fortunately, the condition of this outdated camera was revived with a change of the batteries.

At the shop, a helpful Mr Ho Leng of SQuare United 2013 and I had a friendly chat and he wanted to know how this pioneer generation guy use the camera.  He knows that I am an amateur photographer who cannot afford to own the latest and best camera to keep up my the latest photography trends.  "Oldies but goodies" stuff to look for the best bargains whenever possible.

Mr Ho, an expert in cameras and photography for many years of experiences.  Many things to learn from him about his photography hobby since he was young.

He then recommended me to use the wireless SD memory card to replace the conventional card for my camera.  This is a "new thingy" which I have not heard about.

Although this product was not available in his shop, he advised me to buy it elsewhere in Sim Lim.

For an experiment on the use of the Wi-Fi SD card later, I took the 2 photos with the Canon Exilim below:

Photo taken at Sim Lim Square on 25 December, 2015

Photo taken at Rochor Road outside Sim Lim Square on 25 December, 2015

The Learning Journey with friends, Facebook and the Internet

There are many things about photography and cameras which I do not know.

Knowledge is not confined to the resources from the text books in the old days.

Nowadays, a search on Googles for the required useful and helpful information discreetly from like-minded people to learn and share from them, not "spoon-fed" :)

Leading Innovation Products by Toshiba

Toshiba Announces Third Generation FlashAir III Wireless SD Card

Memory Card Provides Consumers with Quick and Seamless Ways to Share Captured Moments Wirelessly

LAS VEGAS - (BUSINESS WIRE) - CES 2015, LVCC Central Hall Booth #11028

Toshiba's Digital Products Division (DPD), a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today introduced the FlashAir III Wireless SD Card, a third generation memory card that serves as its own wireless LAN access point, allowing users to share images, videos and files wirelessly.  Now with enhanced photo sharing and management features, users can quickly designate which photos to instantly share and easily manage files from a web browser on a PC.

The FlashAir III delivers speedy data transfers so users can quickly upload their images and videos.  The FlashAir III Wireless SD Card's Internet pass - through feature allows users to access the card and Internet (via your separate wireless router) simultaneously - enabling the ability to upload images in real-time.  Using a wireless LAN chip, The FlashAir III Wireless SD Card is accessible to any wireless capable computers, smartphones or tablets, and can support simultaneous access from up to seven devices.  In addition, the built-in Wi-Fi access point also allows for transfers without an Internet connection.

"We understand how important it is for consumers to share their photo and video memories with family and friends," said Maciek Brzewski, Vice Presidenty, Branded Storage.  Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division.  "We have eliminated the cumbersome task of uploading pictures via a USB cord so users can effortlessly share and manage their files, leaving more time for what's important."

Toshiba also offers a free FlashAir mobile app that makes it easy to share via iOS and Android-based devices.  The FlashAir Wireless SD Card is backed by a five-year standard limited warranty.

Known as the "Inventor of Flash Memory," Toshiba has been providing storage solutions worldwide since 1967 and has more than 47 years of experience developing storage offerings that complement our comprehensive ecosystem of devices.  Leveraging an annual $3.1 billion investment in research and development, Toshiba continues to push the boundaries of storage technology to meet customers' needs.

Source: DPReview

Test-run with the "New Tech Toy"

This is my "new tech toy" for Christmas !

All of a sudden, I was turning back the clock and became a child (second childhood?) filled with curiosity and anxiety to play with a toy to see how it works.  Spending hours to play with the "toy" to learn from the experiences and where and why certain things went wrong.  There's a sense of satisfaction when it works and we can share the experiments with friends on Facebook and the blog.

Its kinda fun because useful knowledge is to share and not keep only to myself ... as if I am the only person to own some trade secret information to make money :)

Of course, for those who are not interested in such stuff, its OK and no harm to go elsewhere.

Photography of Most Popular Tourist Spots in Singapore  (Day & Night)

Memories of Merlion, Singapore's Mascot

The 43-year-old Merlion sculpture when it was built in 1972.  It was originally located near the mouth of the Singapore River as shown in the archived photo courtesy of the National Archives of Singapore.

In the 11th century, a Palembang Prince landed in Singapore.  From the shoreline, the Prince spotted a mythical beast.  Was it a lion? A fish? A mythical creature borne out of the Prince's imagination?  Whatever it is, the Merlion has definitely become Singapore's beloved unofficial mascot, and a symbol of Singapore's grander ambitions - its lion head gave birth to our name, and the fish tail represents Singapore's humble beginnings as a fishing village.  And just like the Merlion, Singapore has become bigger than life - a vibrant island city with a lion's heart.

Source: Singapore50 .

The present location of the Merlion at the Merlion Park.

As I grew older and my looks had changed, the Merlion had remained the same after 43 years :)

This is a "learn and share blog" which everyone are invited to comment on computers and digital technologies for educational benefits for our Internet community.

This blog is not meant to be a technical work and not connected to Toshiba in any way, and have neither worked for Toshiba nor received any payment of gratification.  Thank you.


Dec 4, 2015

Christmas Message of Peace on Earth

Message of Peace on Earth

When Jesus Christ was born two thousand years ago into abject poverty to homeless refugees on the outskirts of a brutal empire, the story goes that angels appeared in the sky to impoverished shepherds singing, "Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth!"

Message of peace on earth on Christmas Day on December 25 when Jesus Christ was born.

Jesus Christ is not a Christian.  He spreads the message of peace in the gospel to mankind.

Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni is not a Buddhist.  He spreads the message of peace in the teaching of Dharma to mankind.

Prophet Muhammad is not a Muslim.  The Islamic prophet spreads the message of peace in the Koran teachings to mankind.

The teachers of all mainstream religions on earth spread the message of peace to everyone in the world.  The world leaders of all peace-loving countries which belong to the United Nation also spread the message of peace to their citizens.

Why then not all countries in the world are peaceful in the 21st century?

Watching the TV daily on the news in the world, we are aware the security threat to live with the dangers of terrorist attacks in world cities?

News of World War Two

The related blog on the "Beginning and the End of World War II" is available here .


The memories and reflections of the hardships faced by those who lived through the darkest years of Singapore's modern history have been captured befittingly in a permanent exhibition, 'Syonan Years: Singapore Under Japanese Rule 1942-1945' at the Old Ford Factory, Bukit Timah Road, Singapore.

On 15 February 1942 after a week of intense fighting, the British Lieutenant General Arthur E. Percival surrendered Singapore to the Japanese forces under the command of Lieutenant General Tomoyuki Yamashita to sign the surrender instruments at the Japanese HQ in the Ford Factory in Bukit Timah, Singapore.

My heritage friend SC Chia sent me this audio recording from his 78 rpm vinyl record from his personal rare heritage collectibles.  I am pleased to post this to YouTube to share on the blog.  With thanks to my old-time friend, Chew Kee Boon for the conversion of the audio file to YouTube.

1.  The announcement of 5 or 6 languages by the Japanese propaganda team to broadcast in 5 or 6 languages on the day of the surrender of Singapore in 1942.  "Singapore has fallen, Singapore has fallen ..."  The "great victory" was announced to the whole world.

2.   The speech of General Yamashita, the "Tiger General" of Malaya from Japan.

The War Crime of Tomoyuki Yamashita


Meanwhile, please watch the YouTube videos to see the other side of the coin during World War II.

Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima - CBS Radio on 8 July, 1945

24 Hours After - Hiroshima

Memorials were held Thursday in Japan to mark 70 years since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reports.

This is a home recording of the bombing of Hiroshima in Japan that took place on August 6, 1945. The report describes some of the event and mentions the origin for the name of the modified B-29.

August 6 1945, during the final stages of World War II in 1945, the United States conducted two atomic bombings against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. These two events are the only use of nuclear weapons in war to date.

Hear first-hand accounts from the air and ground, re-telling every memory from the day the world first witnessed the horrors of atomic warfare. Watch more Hiroshima from BBC Worldwide…

The purpose of featuring the war stories of Singapore and juxtaposed with the war stories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which changed the world to realize the importance to live in peace with all the countries in the world, regardless of their religious or political ideologies or preachings to the peoples of the world.

Lets pray that there be peace in the world.  We only have one world, many countries.  Would the Gods and gods allow the world to be blown up to pieces, no more lives in a nuclear war which cannot play computer war games for excitement for thrill. 

A nuclear bomb in the world would be "Game Over" for all earthlings.  Are the Martians are coming?

Collective memories to share with heritage friends

In a time of ever-accelerating change, memory still provides important threads of identity and connection to the past.  While famous people and great events get written about in history books, whole areas of social history risk being obliterated from memory altogether.  In Southeast Asia, as elsewhere, millions of ordinary people lived extraordinary lives over the course of the twentieth century, being caught up in historical events that were beyond their control.  Often they witnessed great political changes, from the era of colonialism to World War II and the Japanese Occupation, to struggle for independence and the subsequent building of new nation-states.  In the process of all these transformations, so many aspects of everyday life have changed beyond recognition .....

It takes a lot of luck for memories to be successfully transmitted.  The amazing wealth of photographs preserved in this volume could so easily have been lost, throw away, or simply decayed beyond recovery in a story to tell must not only feel like telling it, but must also find a receptive audience at the right moment.

To enter into that story takes an effort of imagination on the part of a listener from a younger generation, whose own life is already so much changed that they might find it hard to relate to such tales from the past.
- Excerpts from the Foreword by Roxana Waterson in "Life Beyond the Big Top" by Adele Wong:  Stories of the Tai Thean Kew Circus.


Nov 5, 2015

White Feather. Black Skin.

Take a one look at the blog title, this is a shocking, offensive racist topic.

Please read on and let me express on the blog.

Have you ever seen a black chicken?  The black-feathered Silkie chicken is black-pigmented right down to its bones. 

Silkie chickens are a highly-prized breed of chicken that has beautiful silky white plumage, and startlingly black skin.

This is the traditional herbal black chicken soup I had for lunch at a coffee shop near my workplace.

My health-conscious pioneer generation friends would like to share this food diet tips on the blog.

I was wondering whether this type of "halal health food" could be prepared by my Muslim friends at home or sold at restaurants or food centers in Singapore.

The "halal" herbal black chicken soup stall-holders could be licensed by MUIS to Muslim customers.

The Singapore Religious Council better known as MUIS (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura) is the sole authority in Singapore which can certify restaurants, manufacturing facilities, food outlets etc as Halal. MUIS is a statutory board setup to advise the President of Singapore on all matters relating to Islam in Singapore.

MUIS has a long track record on halal certification and is well respected for developing processes and methodologies to ensure credibility of its certification. It has also introduced the Singapore Muis Halal Quality Management System (HalMQ), an initiative to boost the credibility of its Halal certification mark internationally.