vinyarb

A race against Time

Nov
16

Time heals a lot of things; broken hearts, wounds, animosity. But time, together with humans, also destroy a lot of things. In fact, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the human race destroys the planet and makes it uninhabitable for us.

Climate change due to human activities and the rapid growth of the human population will doom the planet, and with it, our species.

Unless.

Today, a few groups of people are working actively to make that “Unless” come true. And it’s a race against time. The race against time notion becomes even more apparent if you’re aware of The Fermi Paradox.

The Fermi Paradox asks the question of why – given the huge estimated number of Earth-like planets there are in the Universe – we appear to be alone. And one of the theories is that there is a Great Filter, or an obstacle SO huge that other civilizations and lifeforms just could not overcome, to become an interplanetary species. Waitbutwhy has an incredible article on what some potential Great Filters may be.

If that Great Filter is still ahead of us, then it makes sense for us to diversify (terraform other planets) as soon as we are technologically capable of doing so. So back to the people working on “Unless”…

 

Elon Musk – Interplanetary Champion

elon-musk

You should really slap yourself if you have not heard about Elon by now. This man is almost single handedly pushing on the mission to ensure humanity’s survival.
How? Glad you asked.

First, he is trying to stall for time on Earth meeting an earlier demise with all the carbon emissions it’s inhaling, by working on Tesla, his electric car company. Tes;a is currently working on its 3rd iteration of electric cars, imaginatively called Model 3. This is the first that’s aimed at the masses, costing $35,000 before incentives. Tesla is working on an acquisition of SolarCity, of which he sits as the Chairman. SolarCity is the largest provider of solar energy services in America.

Second, he is also the CEO of SpaceX, where his ultimate mission is to send 1 million people to Mars by 2035, in order to enable a self-sustaining human colony. You can view his Mars project as an insurance policy for humanity in case something terrible happens on Earth.

 

Mark Zuckerberg | Priscilla Chan – Disease Curer Billionaire

zuckerbergchannov2014

Next, we have Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donating $3b via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, in an audacious bid to cure all diseases.

Leonardo DiCaprio – UN Representative on Climate Change

Lastly, we have Actor/Producer/Environmental Activist Leo DiCaprio. He narrates Before the Flood, a documentary distributed by National Geographic detailing the effects climate change is having in various parts of the world.

In order to bring about higher levels of awareness of climate change, the film was distributed free on various platforms, including YouTube, and you can watch the trailer here.

Until these folks succeed on the bigger picture, we as individuals can also do our (small but powerful when done together) part in reducing our carbon footprint.

It doesn’t help that the second biggest contributor of carbon emissions is now being presided by a President Elect who thinks climate change is a fraud.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Musings, Sustainability Comments Off on A race against Time

The Tans take Perth 2016

Nov
12

Before Trump took the Presidency (I know! I’m having trouble believing this, too), the Tans took Perth. All 3.5 of us packed our bags and headed down under for a leisurely week of not doing much. (That’s what happens when you have a pregnant mum on one hand and a bubbly toddler on the other.

Against all of our fears of a toddler approaching his terrible-two on a 5-hour flight, it was relatively uneventful, thank god. We arrived at Perth, grabbed our rental car, and off we went in search of adventure!

First things first, the hotel. Or rather, the view from the hotel.

After gawking at the view and having a quick rest, it was time for dinner. I can’t remember now what we had for dinner, because look at that view!

We also took the chance to visit the Caversham Wildlife Park, a privately owned and operated petting zoo, where Oli had fun getting up close and personal with the kangaroos, koalas and a bigger than expected wombat.

We then headed out to the Blue Boat House, an iconic boat shed to visit anytime you’re in Perth. And another major reason for this visit, was also to celebrate this little toddler’s 2nd birthday!

Of course, any trip down under should come with some…. wine. 🙂

I guess after this, our next family trip will be a trip for four. And we’re greatly looking fourward to that!

Being Daddy, Musings Comments Off on The Tans take Perth 2016

This is the end

Jul
25

Between Donald Trump and ISIS, I think the world has peaked. Enjoy the ride down.

this is how the world ends

Musings Comments Off on This is the end

Before It’s Gone! #1

Jul
20

Social media is now so heavily entrenched within individuals and corporations that a lot of our thoughts are conveyed on these platforms, rightfully or not.

But social media, as with any other tool, can be used for good, bad, or just used plain stupidly. And then these comments come in fast and furious, and seemingly unabating, a lot of times, admins have no choice but to exercise the delete button.

So, in a new segment I like to call “Before It’s Gone!”, I’m collecting and posting hard truths, before the social media police have the time to press the delete button.

Today’s submission:

disappoint to death

OK boys, go get em…. after the rain. We don’t want you catching colds.

 

Funny, Musings Comments Off on Before It’s Gone! #1

Twitter tests Twitter Live ahead of the NFL

Jul
08

So, I can’t believe this is my first post of 2016. Yeah, it’s been that busy a year! But more on that for a later post (promise!).

Today, I want to talk about Twitter. Twitter’s stock, for those financially aware, have been more or less in free-fall since early 2015. A lot of critics of Twitter pointed to the fact that Twitter as a platform is not easy to onboard for newcomers. There’s a sense of “what do I do with this?” (which is exactly how I feel about Snapchat btw).

Adding to that problem, Twitter also has issues keeping new users, and turning them into regular users. They are not small by any means. 2016 Q1 figures had them at 310m monthly active users. Wall Street has not traditionally been kind to tech players, with the exception of the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google), everyone else has been battered.

But Twitter’s been gearing up with a new upcoming feature called Live. Essentially, through it’s platform, you’ll be able to watch NFL games being live-streamed, directly on Twitter. Other live events are being discussed and apparently close to getting to a deal.

Why Live will be essential to Twitter’s success?

Twitter Live

 

A big use-case for Twitter is it’s ability to act as a second screen for people whilst watching their favourite show on tv. During the 2014 World Cup season, Germany’s 7-1 trashing of Brazil amassed 35.6million tweets! Just for that game!

People are already organically discussing about live events and tv shows on twitter. Twitter’s move to screen these events live on twitter would only make the platform more popular. Better yet, I believe Live is available even to people not signed in to Twitter. They too can follow the action both on screen and tweets as comments.

I believe Twitter will rise in value on the back of this and other event deals they’ll be announcing over time.

As a twitter user and a newbie stock observer, I’ll be watching this unfold closely over the next few quarters.

Musings Comments Off on Twitter tests Twitter Live ahead of the NFL

ST vs CNA reporting

Dec
18

The screengrabs below shows the reporting of the same piece of news from ST and CNA.

Note how barebones the ST article is.

ST_News

Now contrast this to the CNA article:

CNA_News

Where are the hard questions, ST??

Musings Comments Off on ST vs CNA reporting

Google ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far far away’

Nov
25

 

While Star Wars: The Force Awakens will not be in theatres for another 3 weeks, Google is happily getting us into the mood with this awesome easter egg.

Simply google “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away”, and sit back and watch the search results scroll by.

Digital, Movie News, Musings Comments Off on Google ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far far away’

Gaming GE2015

Aug
27

The Singapore General Elections on 11 September 2015 will be a very interesting one to watch, as we will see if the Worker’s Party, who last scored a GRC in 2011, can continue consolidating as they bid to successfully defend Aljunied, and perhaps take on 1 or 2 more GRCs.

I think we can all agree that after the shock of Aljunied 2011, the still majority PAP has indeed made a number of changes and has appeared to be more open to listening and acting on feedback from the ground.

The thing we need to understand about tweaking of national policies is that we don’t see an immediate change, but that change occurs over a number of years. Transport is an evergreen issue, but one that will take years to solve, given we almost need an overhaul on maintenance of the old lines.

So, even if WP doesn’t seem to do anything in Parliament sessions (they realistically cannot effect any changes right now anyway), (I believe) their very presence has impacted how the PAP led government makes decisions.

Let’s put aside the other opposition parties only because we all know their only contribution to the elections would be to provide the lulz.

I will put forth the following statements as assumptions of the nation at large (feel free to refute):

1) We acknowledge that there are issues facing us, that we would like to change, or at least have the government acknowledge and start thinking about

2) The Government has done more since 2011 (PG Card, Medishield Life, Housing and Transport), but there’s always more that can be done, or even communicated to the public

3)  These changes came about in part as a defensive maneuver to win back voters as a direct result of more WP presence in Parliament

4) We still believe in the PAP led government to be capable and innovative, but perhaps they just require a little bit of motivation to show a softer, more people-led policies as opposed to policies favouring economic growth at all costs

If we all believe the 4 statements above to be true, then in this election, as a nation, we should work to still keep the PAP in power, but maybe cut their numbers a little, to keep their arrogance in check. This also gives the elected opposition members of Parliament more training ground and time to learn and grow into their roles more effectively, since the PAP is so fond of saying only they are qualified to lead.

So, how should this work?

Nobody wants a complete overhaul and place the government in the hands of people who in truth have no real experience governing a nation. But we all want the PAP to know and feel our displeasure, and give them the motivation to start implementing more humane policies.

Worker’s Party will be contesting 28 seats in the upcoming elections, out of 89. If they win all of them, this will give them a 25% representation in Parliament. Not the majority, but certainly enough to be effectively heard and counted for.

Suppose we endeavor to let them all win the seats they are contesting, and spin “Opposition Unity” (a statement all other parties are so fond of bandying about) to signify that as a unit, they should all bow out for the greater good, and let the rest of us Singaporeans have the peace of mind that where the opposition gets elected, we wouldn’t be represented by a bunch of people who cannot articulate our issues better than ourselves.

So in summary:
Any other opposition contested wards, vote PAP. Any wards contested by WP, you can vote WP with the confidence of not toppling current regime.

Because let’s face it. In terms of quality, talent, experience and organisation within the Opposition parties, they are all lagging far behind.

I see nothing but a win for all:

1) PAP has more competition in Parliament and will have to come up with more innovative policies to win back the voters’ confidence

2) WP gets to consolidate more, and widen their experience of running GRCs, and have more voices to debate policies with

3) We still get the sideshow entertainment from other parties

Win-Win.

Also, since you’ve managed to read all the way to the end of the post, here’s a picture of an enterprising beggar.

gametheorybeggar

By turning it into a fun and competitive poll, he’s definitely raking it in, compared to your run of the mill beggars. Seems like a heads-up between the agnostics and the atheists.

Musings Comments Off on Gaming GE2015