One Day in September

I have a semi-obsession with the events surrounding the 1972 Olympics Munich massacre.

Maybe it's the terror-sounding names of the organizations involved, like Black September and The Mossad. Say it: "Black. September." How cool did that just sound?

Maybe it's all the readings of the hush-hush conspiracy theories that surround the events after the massacre.

Maybe I'm just plain morbid.

Anyway, my simmering obsession boiled over to the point of me downloading, yes downloading, the documentary examining the Munich massacre - "One Day in September". It's directed by Kevin MacDonald, and narrated (although in a somewhat detached manner) by Michael Douglas.

The great thing about this documentary is how it doesn't sit on any political fences. It blatantly alleges the poor rescue operations, the bad, bad, bad security control and post-events conspiracy theories.

The producers even managed to track down and locate the last-surviving terrorist who is hiding "somewhere in Africa" (of the 3 that survived, 2 were assassinated by The Mossad). This man gave his account of the incident, alongside others like the wife of an athlete who was murdered, Zvi Zamir (yet another cool name!) who was The Mossad chief at the time, and even one of the surviving athletes.

And then there is the superb editing. Gripping, tense scenes of snipers marking the building where the terrorists held the hostages, are juxtaposed with happy, cheering crowds and triumphant athletes.

The film also takes you through a tour of the building where the athletes were held hostage, at 31 Connollystraße, at the Munich Olympic Village. Vivid, mentals pictures I can add to my future readings/research.

The documentary felt like a movie. Which made it all the more chilling when you remember that this incident really happened. It's a part of history.

Brilliant. 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. With an Academy Award to boot.

Only snag was that the subtitles were in French. And some interviews were conducted in Hebrew, German and Arab. (Free mar, cannot complain.)

Yet, I remained transfixed till the end.

Ok, ok. Like I said, maybe I'm just plain morbid.


Busy? Or bad time management?

Ok here's how I spent my last 14 hours:
  • 10 minutes drive to gym
  • 1 hour in the gym
  • 10 minutes drive home from gym
  • 30 minutes breakfast and shower
  • 1 hour sleeping
  • 10 minutes drive to work
  • 1 hour surf net and "pretend busy"
  • 1 hour brainstorm
  • 2 hours working lunch
  • 2 hours research (real research, really)
  • 2 hours brainstorm
  • 20 minutes recuperating from brainstorm
  • 10 minutes rambling nonsense on blog
I don't even have the energy to add up all that time.

Where did my minutes and hours go?

How to be more efficient with my time?

I know!

I should drive faster to and fro gym and home, office and home.

Ok, issue settled.



Shark Fin: Tak Nak

This post in inspired by Geekchic, for choosing NOT to serve shark fin soup at her wedding dinner. In her words:

The way they farm for the fins is inhumane. Only brainless fucked-up egoistic folks still serve it. And, yes that is a generalization, that is a sweeping comment and I’m making no apologies for it.

Unfortunately, people like Geek are far and few. Shark fin soup is so deeply ingrained in our culture as a dish that gives you "face".

Is this due to ignorance on the way shark fins are harvested? At this day and age, my guess would be no.

Shark meat is often too low-value compared to the more lucrative species (like tuna) so 95-99% of the sharks are thrown back into the ocean, after their fins are cut off, to conserve hold space on the fishing vessels. Sometimes, they are killed "just for fun".

It is a widely known fact that t
he most efficient way of obtaining shark fins is to first catch a shark, then haul it on deck, then have a team of crewmen swiftly slice off the fins with razor-sharp machetes, then toss the rest of the fish, still alive, back in the sea. The shark sinks to the bottom of the ocean, and there slowly drowns to its death.

Some popular remarks regarding the debate about eating shark fin soup are:

"The restaurant already got the supply mah. Might as well order lor."
Ordering a bowl of shark fin soup means there is a demand for it. The restaurant will then further buy to supply for the demand. And the endless cycle continues.

"Think about the poor fishermen who will be out of a job if the shark fin industry were to collapse."
Indian fishermen only earn
$6 per pound of shark fin. A bowl of soup can cost $100 in a Hong Kong restaurant.

"Sharks are a danger in the ocean. Better off in my tummy than out in the open water mauling people."
10-15 people are killed by sharks each year. But in comparison, over 100 million sharks perish at the hands of humans annually. The chances of being attacked by a shark are less than being struck by lightning.

"It is already on the table. Shouldn't waste it lah."
Eating shark fin soup shows you agree with and support the industry.

"Yiyer, you don't give face."
I give face to the sharks, that are cruelly killed so you can get fatter.

Ok, last remark was bordering on bitchy. (Hee.)

My next question is on the taste and nutritional value of shark fin. Is it like a bear's paw that has medicinal value? (Note: the "medicinal value" of the bear's paw is actually the bear's saliva, as the bear is always licking its paws - so you are actually eating bear cooties.) Or monkey brains that are eaten as medicine?

Fact: Shark's fin provides gelatinous bulk in shark fin soup, but it has no taste – the soup has to be flavoured with chicken or other "superior" stock for it to be tasty.

Fact: The procession method for shark's fin include drying, bleaching and drying again. All nutritional value and taste are stripped.

Here's my conclusion:
Sharks are cruelly killed for their fins, for a bowl of soup that has no nutritional or independent taste value. To date, there is no scientific evidence of its medicinal efficacy.

So why are we still eating it?

Further reading:


A Letter

Dear Midnight,

How's heaven?
Are the angels feeding you on time?
Does God take you out for walks?
Does He know how to pull you away when you start sniffing at other doggies' poop?
(But maybe you won't get sick from eating dog poop in heaven?)
I guess we don't need to tell Him what a sweet, gentle giant you are.
How your heart only knows love and loyalty.
We all miss you here.
But we know you're at a happier, better place.
Be a good boy ok?

Love from,
Your human friend Yue-Li



£128 million in 5 years.

£1.96 million a month.

£490,000 a week.

£70,000 a day.

£50 a minute.

The crazy-insane figures David Beckham will be earning when he transfers to LA Galaxy. £50 every freaking minute! And there I was, while in London, standing in Monsoon for a good 20 minutes thinking five... no, six times... about whether I should splurge on a £28 top.

I want to be obscenely rich too!


As I Grow Older

I find myself:
  • Being kiamsiap and questioning the Tesco cashier why the price I had to pay for my Coke Light was 12 sen more than the price on the display shelf. (All this while holding up the line at the checkout counter.)
  • Using more moisturiser.
  • Flipping past articles like "How To Tell If Your Best Friend Is Lying" and stopping at articles like "Are You Organizing Your Time Properly?"
  • Saying things like "Be patient young boy" to the little kid who tried to push past me and run to grab seats while lining up to board an Air Asia flight.
  • Leaving my car keys in my car, with the car doors locked.
  • Searching longer through "Bargain Bins".
  • Tsk-tsking when I see young girls wearing skirts that skim their ass.
  • Taking my time to read fine print.
  • Sighing about the "Good Old Days".
  • Being philosophical about growing old.
Happy 2007!