Month: February 2014

Shinji Kagawa vs. Olympiakos

It’s so sad how he keeps demanding the ball and no one gives it to him. It just keeps going to the flanks for Young to dribble and cross aimlessly. He’s being so criminally underused, both by Ferguson and now Moyes. Klopp may not have been fully right to criticise them, given that Kagawa might really have some fitness/fit issues. But the way he gets shunted to the left is a joke.

Of course, some blame must land on Kagawa himself. Choosing to go to Manchester United when they are not tuned towards passing and possession football was a mistake. Even under Fergie, ManU had always relied on wing play, more so than any other top teams in any European league.

Maybe Klopp can rescue him like he did Sahin (whom I still wish was with Liverpool; playing him as a No. 10 made zero sense). And he can go and rip up the Bundesliga again, proving that Moyes is a dinosaur. And that ManU should have tried to lure Klopp instead.

I’m so glad they didn’t though. #MoyesIn.

Cambodia Is a Deadly Political Mess That the World Completely Ignores

Cambodia has never really drawn much attention, bar the publicised trials of leaders of the Pol Pot regime. But the trials went kaput after years and years of being unable to convict them, and it just faded off into obscurity.

Cambodia has always lingered in the shadows of her more prominent neighbours. That can also apply to Laos, whom no one really knows. Vietnam will forever be etched in everyone’s memory after the disastrous Vietnam War. Thailand has more publicity, likely due to the popularity of the country as a travel destination. Myanmar and the story of Aung San Suu Kyi is also well known.

What do I know about Cambodia? Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat, Pol Pot, the two million who died in the killing fields…and nothing else. I suppose that’s a whole lot better than many other people. Oh, and that the current leader was heavily affliated to the Pol Pot regime, and that his insistence that the trials be held in Cambodia was attributed to the slow and ineffective legal process that didn’t yield any results.

Will the world ever notice Cambodia? Unless there’s a collapse of the country, or Vietnam decides to invade like it has done before, I doubt it. I know I probably won’t.

Tesla’s Massive New Factory Is a Major Gamechanger

I’ve always liked the concept of Tesla Motors. Electric cars have a bad rep for being poor substitutes for regular cars, but Elon Musk and Tesla smashed that notion with the incredible Model S.

The Model S is both good looking, efficient, and spacious. It’s also the only car to ace every aspect of the U.S. car safety tests I believe. Now that they are building a factory for their car batteries (which can expand to production and sale of regular batteries), it could have huge implications for Tesla and the world.

If the new factory does defray costs by the touted 30%, it could make Teslas far more affordable. And with an affordable version in the works, that’s super great news for the future of automobiles.

We need to start doing more for the Earth. Just look at the air pollution in China. Electric cars will help ease the burden on our planet, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The sort of innovation that goes into building these state-of-the-art cars will also only be beneficial for the world.

Unfortunately, in a crammed country like Singapore, it’s difficult to use electric cars. There just isn’t the infrastructure for it. But if the electric car industry continues to grow, it might not be surprising to see charging stations in carparks all over the country.

Now that I can really buy into.

Project Ara: Inside Google’s Bold Gambit to Make Smartphones Modular

Ever since Phonebloks and Project Ara emerged, I’ve been eagerly awaiting news of any possible releases. Now that there’s going to be a conference and a tentative release date in 2015, I’m really hyped up.

As a minor gadget geek, I love the concept of being able to customise my own phone. Current flagship models are always spouting the same stuff about better cameras, better battery life, and in the case of Samsung, a ton of unnecessary cool features that end up forgotten in the space of five minutes.

I don’t need a camera; I barely use mine. I would love to have decent speakers, although that’s not necessary too, given the sort of earphones I have. I want a big, fat battery to last me for days. I want good storage. And a decent screen will do for me.

Samsung has ridiculous screen sizes. iPhone has ‘too small’ a screen size currently, and I dislike iOS for some unexplainable reason. HTC looks like it could go bust if the new One doesn’t take off. There aren’t many other options, and there are always drawbacks to every phone.

With Project Ara, I could configure my own phone. And apparently, design is customisable too. Carbon fibre, anyone?

And this also means no more anxious waits for new flagship models to appear, and no need to get frustrated when the phone seems outdated when the 2-year term of your contract is running down. Just get an upgraded module. In the long term, it could be cheaper, and it gives instant gratification that is so sought after with people these days.

I really hope Project Ara takes off and soars. If it’s US-only though, I think I’ll cry.

China’s Smog Is So Bad They’re Now Calling It a ‘Nuclear Winter’

Wow. And I thought the smog from Indonesia’s slash-and-burn farms was bad. I’m glad I managed to visit Beijing and the Great Wall years ago, before the country descended into a post-apocalyptic state.

At least it’ll be easy to find the next filming location for zombie flicks. China provided the spectacular scenery for Avatar. Now it can do the same for Silent Hill.

P.S. I think I read somewhere that China and India’s pollution problems aren’t any worse than what the Earth experienced back during the Industrial Revolution. While I can accept that it’s an unfortunate by-product of industrialisation and modernisation, surely more can be done? It’s getting pretty ridiculous.

No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine

So it seems Russia won’t intervene, because past history dictates that Ukraine will go back into their arms eventually. And I never knew Ukraine was in such a bad shape, and all that political infighting is news to me as well. Well, you learn something new everyday.

Again, I’m glad for Singapore’s stability. Funny how Europe is always seen as a continent filled with stable, rich, first world countries, when in fact, probably only a handful of them can boast that claim. The PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain) have faced much economic turmoil in recent years. Recent news of Bosnia-Herzegovina having civil unrest. Italy’s political mess. The list goes on.

I do wish I was a Scandinavian though. I like cold places, and the countries there are advanced and provide excellent education. From what I know, Finland doesn’t have exams until high school graduation, yet ranks high in global education ratings. There’s no competition, and schools are run by educators; teachers provide one-to-one help, and it’s all to help each and every student learn.

And Sweden, Norway and other northern European countries are running out of garbage to burn for fuel, and have to import it. What? That’s mad.

And the stereotypical Scandinavian woman is strikingly attractive, blonde AND intelligent. Thanks, Vikings, for taking back home only the most beautiful of women. Now, can I please be reincarnated as a citizen of Finland? If I can’t study, at least I can go race in F1…

Man, I’m rambling again.