Friday, March 14, 2014

Sunday Night Music

The lyrics alone could tell so much about us. If I were a foreigner, I would have studied this music so closely. Nothing captures our essence better than this.
(Please don't forget to check the last part of the rendition. Also Altayn Magtaal might be the only Mongolian music that found its way to a Palestinian film)

Gobbet of the Day

Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
T.S. Eliot - Four Quartets: East Coker

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Passage of the Day

Sometimes I go to sleep thinking of the next morning’s hot coffee in my customary white paper cup. The anticipation makes the sheets seem softer. In my life, I am between landmarks: after childhood, before a book, before marriage and children, all potential. I’ve heard the gambler’s rush isn’t in losing or winning, but the interval between playing and knowing. Coffee is my ritual, my interval, the luminous place between now and what’s next, more arc than landing. It is ubiquitous and legal, solitary and communal. In the morning, when I take a sip, space opens between the molecules; voices and clatter in the café separate into bright, tonal bands. My mind fans open. Fireflies blink in my torso. I take it to go, so I can drink and walk alone in the cool air under the trees on 12th street on my way to work. I savor each sip after the scorch has dissipated, before the cup is loose and lukewarm like a hand in mine.
Lisa Brennan-Jobs on her favorite moment of the day

Thursday, March 06, 2014

A Lesson to Learn from the Ukraine Crisis

The Ukraine crisis reminds us that small countries must defend themselves, and cannot rely solely on international treaties or the promises of others. That is why we must always maintain a strong [Singapore Armed Forces] and Home Team. We must also have a capable MFA to strengthen our ties with friends and allies. Only then can Singapore be safe and secure
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's statement on the crisis in Ukraine, which reminds me of my most favorite part in Thucydides' Peloponnesian War:
For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretenses—either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us—and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Spartans, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
Addendum: If you're too busy to read this passage (wink wink), I guess you could watch this video.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Line of the Day

But waste was of the essence of the scheme.

from Pod of the Milkweed by Robert Frost