Showing posts from March, 2009


22 March-Turtle Hatchlings and a branch of the Sea Almond J: [ points at a tree ] So what's this tree called? Y: Er, it's...I don't know. J: [ points at a tree ] And this? Y: Eh, I saw it in the book! I think it's...I don't know. J: [ points at a tree ] And this tree? Y: I don't know. J: [ points at a tree ] And this tree? Y: I don't know. J: [ points at a tree ] And this tree? Y: I don't know. Repeat ad nauseam. This little book has gotten me looking at trees every time I step out. But I don't seem to quite have a head for botany. A "conical crown" and "compound leaves" are echoes of the Primary School science text book, abstractions that I recognise but cannot translate into what I'm seeing. The lives of the trees when described - some of them indigenous, many are migrants from the Americas, Africas or the immediate region around us - read a little like magical fiction and sometimes, like memory. I like the Sea Al

island ecology

Over the weekend at the Natural Sciences shelves of Kinokuniya, I chanced upon over thirty titles of pocket-sized guides published by the Singapore Science Centre from the late 80s- 90s on various aspects of plant and animal life on this island. Unable to resist, I bought A Guide to the Threatened Animals of Singapore (1st published 1995, reprinted 1998) edited by Peter Ng and A Guide to the Wayside Trees of Singapore (1st published 1989, various reprints since) written by Wee Yeow Chin. They've both been hard to put down. Imagine these storied names...the Missing Marvelous Katydid, the Silver Forget-Me-Not, the Saint Andrew's Cross Toadlet. Or consider the sad gaze of this stuffed Banded Leaf Monkey at the NUS Raffles Biodiversity Museum, supposedly one of two subspecies of mammals found only here (image from WildSingapore . Novelty aside, that most of the pages were on threatened reef and mangrove creatures made real for me this city's identity as an island - a reali

meet the people

"Afternoon Tea my MP", made by J with his phone and imovie [to view, click the play button on the left of the bottom bar] And so, friends, this goes to show that laboriously going from apartment to apartment, knocking on your constituency's doors (and finding them out/ignoring you or obliging you with a 5-second smile from behind locked grills) is not as effective for getting a response on our island as simply offering free (*) fried curry puffs on a lazy Saturday afternoon. At the void deck, Grandmas and Granddads were cheerfully filling in their names and addresses on the forms, collecting party balloon animals and, of course, their goodie bag of fried food. Ah, we couldn't resist the call of the void deck. So while we didn't meet the lady herself, we dutifully followed the example of our elders by also writing our little "feedback" about this on our form before...of course, collecting that bag of cholesterol.

asking for answers

image by J And my unimaginative answer, similar with half of the folks interviewed, would be "home/my bed". See the film project "Fifty People. One Question" here. Friends, what would your answer be?