Sunday, February 07, 2010

10 Safety tips to travel around crowded Chinese New Year in Singapore

Singapore is very densely populated, and to avoid danger and annoyance to self and others, I have some safety tips to share.

1) Do not bring out too much cash - Singapore is not as safe as it says it is. Although it may be tempting to being several hundred dollars in your wallet as the ATM queues are very long, DON'T!

2) Keep your valuables close and be aware of your surroundings. BEWARE of PICKPOCKETS.

3) Do not bring strollers and push carts. The floor is littered with trash, especially in Chinatown, and it will get caught in the wheels. If you leave your babies in the strollers, they may even suffocate. The weekends in Singapore is very crowded and stuffy! Getting stuck in human traffic is hard to get out, and if you are short or a baby in a stroller, it WILL BE VERY BAD!

4) Do not talk on the phone when you are in the crowd. I've seen many people blocking others in a conversation and deep in human traffic, you may get pushed and you will drop that fancy iPhone and it WILL be stepped on!

5) Be aware of others. Though you may want to take photos, stand to a side to allow people to pass by. When talking to friends and gathering, do not block the entrances and exits, escalators and other major paths.

6) Withdraw some cash when the queue is short at the ATMs. Many stores in Chinatown accept only cash.

7) Avoid wearing sandals. When there are a lot of people, there is a high chance you will be stepped on. Wear comfortable shoes.

8) Avoid driving if possible. Parking is almost impossible, use public transport.

9) Don't even try to cycle there. Many bicycles are stolen even in very crowded areas in town. Take public transportation.

10) Avoid leaving your valuables like cameras, handbags and cellphones lying around on the table when you get food. It WILL BE taken away.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

RE: Power of the Net to Polarize

(Straits Times Singapore - Feb 4, 2010)

The problem of "phantom haters" is uncommon in countries where Social Media is more matured and seemed to be an epidemic here in Singapore. The reason you give sounds credible and it may be a root cause of the problem, as the people do not have a voice otherwise.

I feel however, as an academic in Communications that many times, anonymous posts (a setting on your blog can be edited) are usually treated as spam, and spamming is very common on popular blogs. (And people simply block user)

No one should take spams and anonymous users seriously, and no one does. It is unwise to lose sleep as well. I believe as more people understand how the Internet can be used for Personal Branding, and in order to build influence, one must contribute value, and build name and reputation to be a credible source. Anyone can write "Obama is Gay" on their blog, but do people take these anonymous bloggers seriously? Is Obama's reputation affected by this anonymous blogger? Does it affect his life and your opinion on Obama after you come across this blog?

The answer is generally no, web users are more sophisticated now, and most of the time, to win an argument and influence crowds, you need to be transparent and show data to support your argument. Respond to people who have different opinions with respect and challenge them to give facts. Name calling and other "pranks" does not really hurt your reputation and these anonymous Netizens should grow up and brand themselves as thinkers and influences, otherwise they are simply an annoyance.


Iron Bowl

Monday, February 01, 2010

Everybody has their own hidden agendas, and with Scott Brown, the centerfold for Cosmopolitan 1982, all the democratic endeavors will probably grind to a halt.

Scott Brown is hot! In fact, in 1982, he was a centerfold for Cosmopolitan But the democrats who assumed that no republican could win in Massachusetts, and with the loads of money spent on advertisement buys on TV, media and even on Google, Youtube and Facebook, Scott Brown managed to pull through and win the Ted Kennedy senate seat.

It is quite sad that I felt that Joe Kennedy, a liberal, made more sense than Martha Coakley and Scott Brown during the debates, and yet he only got like 1 ~ 2% of the votes.

Well I do believe that this election goes to show that if you spend enough $$ on the elections, you will win it even in a democratic state!

-- Iron Bowl