Sunday, September 30, 2007

More wedding photos

The usual couple photo with the guests.
VS guys, Sec 4D 1995 in particular. With wives. VS still not co-ed.
The men from sec 4D.

Mark's camera is lousy!!! So noisy....

A song a day 7 - revisited

First up, CONGRATS to yf and sj!!!!

While rehearsing for Yf's wedding at the Oriental Mandarin Oriental - Singapore, I was listening and imagining how yf and sj will walk down the aisle with "Unforgettable" filling the ballroom.
the brothers.....

I thought about how my own march in would be like and remembered my Asad7.

I don't know how many years I have for a naval wedding with buddies in their no.1s, forming my sword-arches. It was at this point that I thought Asad7 can be quite a great song for a wedding march in.
the sisters.....

A wedding, as I interpreted, as more for the bride than the groom. Be it the bridal photo-shoots, gowns, gowns and more gowns, it's always geared towards the bride. And what other song would be more perfect than Tori Amos' Ribbons Undone. It's like the song to celebrate the blossoming of a lady, the shedding of her singlehood to becoming a part of another type of "whole".

First march in in Singapore seems to have the couple coming in together. I think the first march in should be for the bride only. Then the second march in, with them being introduced as Mr and Mrs XXX, can have both of them coming in hand-in-in.

So the wedding starts with the groom already at the end of the aisle, probably accompanied by the best man. As the guitar and piano intro begins, the door opens. At 0:14 (She's a girl.......), the sword-bearers starts their slow march in. Completes by 1:30 . At 1:35 (She runs like a fire does......), sword-bearers turn to form arches. Bride, accompanied by her father, aided by the bridesmaid appears at the entrance. Starts moving in with flower girl and page boy leading the way. Another 2:50 to end of song. Plenty of time.

Ribbons Undone

She's a girl
Rising from a shell
Running to Spring
It is her time it is her time
Watch her run
With ribbons undone

She's a Rose
In a Lily's cloak
She can hide her charms
It is her right
There will be time
To chase the Sun
With ribbons undone

She runs like a fire does
Just picking up daises
Comes in for a landing
A pure flash of lightning
Past Alice blue blossoms
You follow her laughter
And then she'll surprise you
Arms filled with lavender

Yes, my little pony is growing up fast
She corrects me and says
"You mean a thoroughbred."
A look in her eye
Says the battle's beginning
From school she comes home and cries
I don't want to grow up Mom
At least not tonight

You're a girl
Rising from a shell
Running through Spring
With Summer's hand in reach now
It is your time It is your time
So just run with ribbons undone
It is your time
Yes my angel
It is your time
So just run with Ribbons undone
Run run darlin'
Ribbons undone

Tori Amos

Friday, September 28, 2007

Reserving my comments

There was talk about how ASEAN will be the sole regional organisation which will be able to exert any form of pressure on Myanmar.

A Japanese journalist was shot dead.

A song a day 7

she runs like a fire does
just picking up daises
comes in for a landing
a pure flash of lightening
past alice blue blossoms
you follow her laughter
and then she'll surprise you
arms filled with lavender

a wedding! how splendid!

What to wear? 2

It's yf's wedding tomorrow and I am trying to decide what to wear for the day and the night.

It's shirt and tie during the day and suit and tie during the night.

I am thinking I should skip the black suit and go for the grey although it'll look alot less formal. I'm bored with the black suit. However staple it may be.

Happy to discover that black shoes do go with grey suits.

How to fold a pocket square?'s amazing, perhaps amusing, to know that a guy who looks well-dressed 50 years ago will still as well-dressed today. Despite the boring-ness of a 3-button single-breasted suit, it did not change significantly, or at all, over the last few decades.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My rack

Check out my rack!

Nice rack I've got, huh?

Wahahaha....silly! Do you play Scrabulous on FaceBook?


Nyeh nyeh nee boo boo!!!

A song a day 6

Something's beating on the wall
On the other side
Strange lovers moan
Each others names
On by-hour sheets
For the very first time
One of them's James
The other's some name
She changes
Every time she lies across his bed
But the light of the moon leads the way
Towards the morning and the sun
The sun's well on its way
Too soon to know and
Oh my god, whatever, etc.

Dolphins under a Blue Sky

Seeing dolphins while out at sea is really a "blink and you'll miss" opportunity. Although there were times when a particularly big pod of dolphins swim past and their dorsal fins cresting through the water. It's a fantastic view. Similar to watching National Geographic but without the borders of a tv screen.

Moreover, dolphins usually appear when the sea state is good and bodes well for the weather ahead as well. So they are really a welcomed sight for sea-faring folks.

I was fortunate enough to see a small pod while keeping watch on Monday. Their distinct fins exposing as they approach the ship from the port bow.

But out of nowhere, as if brought on by the pod, the lyrics to the duet by Beth Orton and Terry Callier started in my mind.

I've been searching
For the dolphins
In the sea
Sometimes I wonder
Do you ever
Think of me?

And the most damning thing is this: I think this will become a recurring impression. It will become the first thing that comes my mind whenever I see dolphins in the wild.

All of a sudden, I feel so sad for myself.

But these things tend to go spiraling downwards. I looked up to the bright blue sky. And Ryan Adams started singing in my head.....

Blue sky
When you gonna learn to rain?
Let yourself go blue for once.
Let go of that weight
You've been carrying.

Fuck! Now dolphins and blue skies make me sad. How pathetic is that?

Monday, September 24, 2007


Why must a week start?

In the grand scheme of things, where does the cockroach feature?

What is their purpose in life?

from here.

That can't be true - Non sequitur

I cannot verify the stuff I am about to write. But it was told to me during an online conversation.

Single girl in club. Eyes good-looking guy, alone.

Girl thinks he's cute (why is it always "cute"?).

Girl thinks, "He must be attached. If he is not, he must be a player. He has neat hair and wears decent clothes. Perhaps he is gay."

After 15 minutes and the guy is still alone, she thinks that he must be a weirdo and probably a loner with a serious character flaw. Anti-social perhaps.

After 30 minutes and guy is still alone, she confirms her intuition. He IS a weirdo AND anti-social.

However if the guy is seen talking to another girl, she will think, "That must be his girlfriend."

But if guy starts to approaches her after noticing that she had been throwing glances across, she confirms that he is a player.
Worse if he approaches her after he was seen talking to another girl (supposed girlfriend).

And to round things off, if male friends start to join him, she confirms that he is gay.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A song a day 5

I can't shake this feeling I've got
My dirty hands
Have I been in the wars?
The saddest thing that I'd ever seen
Were smokers outside the hospital doors

Someone turn me around
Can I start this again?
Now someone turn us around
Can we start this again?

We've all been changed from what we were
Our broken hearts left smashed on the floor
I can't believe you if I can't hear you

Forward Mess

In the unlikelihood that you're into naval lingo, mess refers to the living quarters of the crew. "Forward" is added in front to delineate it from the "Aft" where there is another mess.

Last Friday I was at the Changi Holiday Chalets cause I was invited by the Forward Mess to attend their chalet gathering. There was the usual BBQ and card games. The otak was particularly good. Being close to the Mid-Autumn Festival also meant having mooncakes.

Lots of fun, talking cock, with them. The imminent dispersal also meant that this will probably be the last outing for the Forward Mess.

I ended my night as the "Guest of Honour" for their lucky draw. Assorted prizes and there were a number of them. Mostly won by NSFs....I hope they don't think I rigged the draw...

I shall post a group photo taken outside the chalet...shall keep these people close to heart.

Squating: Cham, Kit, Heng (small), Junming, Denny.
Bending: Weiyan (Rough Rider), Ben, Yeoh, Chyork, Me.
Standing: Desmond, Jason (Tua Chui), Nicholas, Korbin, Sengtiong, Ben Teo (small),
Meng Soon (Lee Ming Sun aka Christopher Lee), Ah Khoo.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

First trial assessment

On Saturday morning, had my driving lesson and finally I mounted a kerb in the "S-course" and knocked down the poles at the "Parallel Parking" checkpoints. Hahahaha, it was lots of fun because I was asking my instructor a number of "what if" questions and he just allowed me to try them out. Some of the "what if" questions were: "What if I parallel park using only rear-view and side mirrors?" and "What if I enter the S-Course at gear 2 and just rely on my steering to clear the course?" The results were hilarious.

This was my 23rd lesson and it covers module 31. The requirements were to pass a mock test without exceeding 30 points. So after a morning of testing out various stations, which was when I mounted the kerb (immediate failure) and knocked down the poles, and going round a test route, the actual mock test begun.

During the mock test, I cleared the circuit with relative ease. On the test route, there was a tricky bit because I was going 60kmh by the time I was at the 2nd last arrow nearing a traffic junction. I was shifting down from gear 4 to 3 when the light went amber. There was a moment of doubt and I wanted to stop but I was still quite fast so I just went through the junction. Dicey but not yet illegal. He could probably fault me for not anticipating and proceeding when the traffic light was amber.

At the end of the mock test, he said overall it was ok but he had to write some comments. So he marked me down for rolling backwards on a slope (< 1m) = 2 points. Not enough side clearance given to other road users (what does this mean anyway??) = 8 points. Which was totally not true. But he said this one is common excuse by examiner to deduct point because nobody actually measure the 1 or 1.5 metre clearances. And I failed to check blind spot = 4 points. Again he said this one is a common area that examiner will penalise. So total 14 points deducted.

Still Pass! Yeah!

A song a day 4

And you choose, you chose
Poetry over prose

A map is more unreal
Than where you've been
Or how you feel

And it's impossible to tell
How important someone was
And what he might have missed out on
And how he might have changed it all
And how you might have changed it all for him
And how he might have changed it all
And how he might have changed it all for you

Did I, did I?
Did I, did I?
Did I, did I ?

And did I miss out on you?

I've started on another "label" which is called "A song a day" and this is the fourth in the series. Knowing me, and looking at the name of the label itself, it will reach double, triple digits pretty soon.

Simply, it features a snippet of a song I heard today. I wonder if this is common but sometimes when you are listening to a song, for the 1st or xth time, some parts of the song just reach out and touch you.

And in that moment, that particular line you just have to hang on to. Like a lifebuoy that is thrown out to you.

What made this particular part of the song so special is because although I often hear about "women's intuition" but here the song is about how a girl listened to her intuition and lost out.

This is my collection of such moments.

The song title and album artist is not made known. So it's illegal cause I didn't respect intellectual property.

A song a day 3

And like the leaves on the trees
Like the Carpenters song
Like the planes and the trains and the lives that were young
He's gone
And it feels like the words to a song

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A song a day 2

airplanes take you away, again
are you flying above where we live
then i look up, a glare in my eyes
are you having regrets about last night?

i'm not
but i like rivers that rush in
so then i dove in
is there trouble ahead for you, the acrobat?
i won't push you, unless you have a net

you say the word you know i will find you
or if you need some time i don't mind
i don't hold onto the tail of your kite
i'm not like the girls that you've known
but i believe i'm worth coming home to
kiss away night
this girl only sleeps with butterflies
with butterflies
so go on and fly then, boy

Playing Tag? Simi?

Kena tio tagged by beingwarm. So now I pasang? I go count to 100 and you go hide. It's called beebik in Singapore...what is tag?

Four jobs I have held in my life:

1. Army of COLONEL SANDERS - my first military job. the KFC at the defunct Big Splash.

2. Nephew of Accounts Executive - worked part-time as clerk/bill-chits-sorter/despatch/mess-about at the Singapore Cricket Club as my aunt was there.

3. Nephew of Accounts and Finance Manager - another holiday, another job. Aunt changed job to a clothing import/export firm. Still functioned as the clerk/data-entry/file-sorter/despatch/faxer/photocopier boy.....great!

4. Guinea Pig - I volunteered for Psychology and Experimental Economics experiments while in university. Great source of income. Beats having to work in a sweat-shop.

Four places I have lived:
1. Sennett Estate - yes! terrace-house. I was less than a year old. My dad used to drive a Triumph GT coupe. What happened? I don't know.

2. Whampoa - super memories there. Grandma and lots of relatives and friends still live in that area. Great food, good wet market....

3. Tuas/Changi/RSN ships - nature of work.

4. Derwent College, University of York - My happiest days. All the sordid details, I leave to your imagination.

Four countries cities I've had a vacation in: (amended so that I can include cities)
1. Phuket - I'm going again! Soon!.

2. Ibiza - Betchabygollywow!

3. Brisbane - I got to meet Clem Jones and stayed at his beach front condo along Surfers' Paradise. He was the family-friend of a friend whom I have lost.

4. Hue/Nha Trang - These two cities, and not Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, were the bestest when I was in Vietnam.

Four favourite food:
1. Pasta.

2. Mee pok dry.

3. Beef noodles. (Bendemeer Hawker Centre, Boon Keng Hawker Centre and Lavender Food Square)

4. A good steak now and then. Medium rare. And lots of marbling.

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. Back in York.

2. Somewhere in the Gulf of Thailand or north of the Malacca Straits, sea-state 0, mirror-like sea. The sunset and sunrise, the millions of stars you get to see...

3. A place where I don't get troubled by the complexities of life and relations.

4. Anywhere in the present. To be centred. To be in the moment (this one belongs to beingwarm.....) I don't think anywhere's comparatively better. I will eventually suss out the bad areas.

Four friends I am going to tag:
1. Kitty Star! - she's getting brilliant with the camera work and I think I am going to steal her music collection.

2. YS - Tango tango tango......brought together because of the distance apart.

3. Vong Yong How - one day he is going to be so famous.....the ONLY Singaporean ever to work with Otomo Katsuhiro.

4. Alisa - although I am not sure if she reads this blog anymore....

I wanted to add tankokseng and mykel but hmmm....the former blogs occasionally while the latter bankrupt liao.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A song a day

I feel like a dream that's not worth having
Like a nervous joke, ain't nobody laughing
Like somebody with nothing
'cause they don't know, what they're wanting
Tiny like the sand in the cracks of the drift wood
Washed up on the shore of an ocean of you
Boats out on the horizon
Made out of the maple tree where we used to lie down
On Meadowlake Street counting the stars
You and I

Do you GoogleEarth?

Something interesting to share.

Key in the following coordinates: 7°18'48"S 72°24'40"E

Hit "Search" ........................................

and you should see an air strip!

Welcome to Diego Garcia!

Lots of aeroplanes. Looks like bombers. B-2?

The map below was the map that CIA had.....

From the gods, it looks like this:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Where Do You Go?

Now when I need you, you're nowhere around. Just when I'm going down, you're taking a trip down town. How do you fly so far? With the world in disguise. Do the people around you put you to where they need you?

Where do you go when the wind doesn't blow? Are you still like the trees? Only bend with a breeze?

I long to smell you, to feel you within. I need you near to me. Just the touch of your skin. I want to hear you and tell you again. But so much can happen, makes it harder to explain.

Where do you go when the wind doesn't blow? Are you still like the trees? Only bend with a breeze?

You think I need no one, you're always around. Turning on a sixpence, locked in the crowd. Now when I need you, you're nowhere around. Just when I'm going down, you're takin' a trip down town.

Where do you go when the wind doesn't blow? Are you still like the trees? Only bend with a breeze?

Occupational Hazard

How many of you get to issue people warning letters or verbal warning records?

I've been in here for less than 6 years but I've issued 3 (soon to be another 2) verbal warning records and 3 warning letters. Along the way I have also charged a guy for being absent without leave. Taken away 10% off the gross salary of two others.

I'm not here to pretend that I'm righteous and above reproach. I'm saying that it's a burden to know that although the punishment is for them, their sons and daughters, wives and girlfriends, fathers and mothers are affected as well. How would you feel if you had your pay docked? Try explaining that to a person who, when needed, will be one you fight alongside with.

Careers are shortened. Relationships may potentially be irreversibly damaged. Bonuses are reduced. That's on top of bruised egos and hurt feelings. The hurt stretches from the heart right down to the gut and back out through a lighter pocket. And the cruelest part? To demand the same if not, even higher standard of work performance from them.

Who are we trying to kid here?

But I am not part of the social welfare function. That is not my job. My job is to follow directives that are meant to be a guide but deviate at your own risk, execute orders according to standard operating procedures and question only when expected to.

And that is what I'd like to do.

Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Heaven knows, it's got to be this time Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Watching her, Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown These things she said Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown The times she cried Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Too frail to wake this time Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Watching love grow, forever Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown Letting me know, forever.

Ceremony - Joy Division


This is why events unnerve me
They find it all, a different story
Notice whom for wheels are turning
Turn again and turn towards this time
All she ask is the strength to hold me
Then again the same old story
World will travel, oh so quickly
Travel first and lean towards this time

Oh, I'll break them down, no mercy shown
Heaven knows, it's got to be this time
Watching her, these things she said
The times she cried
Too frail to wake this time

Oh I'll break them down, no mercy shown
Heaven knows, it's got to be this time
Avenues all lined with trees
Picture me and then you start watching

Watching forever, forever
Watching love grow, forever
Letting me know, forever

Joy Division

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wait a minute.....

did I say I needed to be worried for?

El Sol

It's funny how you try to achieve the wants you crave by having to let them go.

El Sol

And half a soul to go

And all I wanted
Was you here next to me
A little sunshine and sympathy

Now everybody knows
That I’ve been hanging down so low
’cause now I’m feeling up
Soon I’ll be feeling out so cold
Wondering, will you call
And now I’m feeling high
Soon I’ll be feeling left for dead
Sometimes someone saying yes
Changes what you’ll bet

And all I wanted
Was just to hold you close
A little sunshine
Just to butter my toast
And your love next to mine

I had to let you know
That we were meant to be just right
Heaven sent, not sympathized
By everybody’s lie
And now I’m feeling high
Now I’m feeling left so dead
Kicking up the dust in bed
Wondering, I guess

And some tea

And your love
Your love
Your love next to mine

I had to let you know
I had to let you go so I
Could see my lie fade from your eyes
And to my surprise

That’s what I wanted
It’s all I wanted
It’s what I wanted
Me and you

And some tea

That’s all I wanted
It’s all I wanted
That’s all I wanted
It’s all I wanted


Sunday, September 16, 2007

I feel my mortality

I recently told someone that happy people don't blog much. They are too busy being happy.

I made more than a dozen entries over the weekend. So what does that make me?

I had my medical check up at NUH on Thursday. No good news when my systolic pressure is 158mmHg and my diastolic is 105mmHg.

I'm inefficient as a human. It takes a lot more effort for my heart compared to normal yous to pump blood through my arteries.

An average adult human heart beats 70 times in a minute. That's 4200 beats in an hour. 100800 beats in a day. I work harder than most of you sons a bitches in order to stay alive. Yes, that sunrise I see each day is precious. And I do, at times, feel that it is sliding out of my life.

What do I want to prove? That I can be normal life as the rest of yous? I can do the same job as you, laugh at the same jokes and sometimes crack a few of my own? I partake in the same tests that puts me within the normal range but I had to prepare twice as much? While you think it's a choice I made that I am in this state. Somehow this option is not available to you.

Your life expectancy is 78 or perhaps 81.8. I'll be happy if I can live past 60 while some of you repeatedly wish you can die at 30. There are a 3,479 things that I wish to do with the person I grow old with and I don't think I can complete all of them by 60, much less need be said at 30. I belong to the tragic pool of statistical elements who pull the average down. 3 of the top 10 causes of death in Singapore is related to hypertension.

Yes. So I whine. So I still lead a hedonistic lifestyle. I'm a contrarian. And a whiner.

But I will continue to laugh at your jokes while you laugh at mine. And I know you will laugh at mine. I still go to the parties that you hang out at. I attempt to know just that bit more of trivia so as to have the last word at the bar counter. I will replicate your achievements and try my best to outdo you. I will watch the movies and remember their lines while you merely pay for the ticket. The sunrise you see is more beautiful to me. I can hear the flutter of the butterfly wings. I still see animals in the clouds and walking in the rain still appeals to me. The ocean that laps on my feet along the shoreline touches me more than it touches you.

And the reason is because I feel my mortality more than you.


I watched Michael Moore's documentary today. About the American health system under its Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) which manages medical and health care through private health insurance coverage.

Of course the American health care system was shown in a bad light, less the situation in Guantanamo Bay. It was compared to the system in Canada, Britain, France and even's like a typical non-fiction, easy-to-read, filled with interesting snippets of information type of book (ala Undercover Economist, Freakonomics, Blink etc..)

Well, it's pretty one-side but it's enough to make you wonder if the situation in Singapore will ever get to that state. For example, a carpenter who sawed two of his fingers off, his middle and ring finger, was asked which would he want to re-attach back. The middle finger will cost USD60,000 and the ring finger will cost USD12,000. Ever the romantic the carpenter decided to re-attach his ring finger and at the same time save some money. Nope, he didn't have health insurance. But the documentary unfolds to show that even with health insurance, the situation isn't that fantastic for the insurees who, because of chronic or compounded health issues, become bankrupt or are refused coverage by insurance companies.

Must watch. It's a laugh and cry and be totally bewlidered within a span of 30 seconds documentary. But one-side. And here is why....

The countries that are depicted to have universal and socialised medical care do have their own set of problems and challenges but they are not mentioned at all. The British National health Service (NHS), Sécurité sociale of France and the Canadian Medicare all have their own criticisms but it is fortunate that nobody who is in need of medical care is turned away.

(click to enlarge)

Looking at the graph (from wikipedia) above, comparing USA with the rest of the countries, you can see the following facts clearly:

(1) The co-relation between per capita expenditure on health care and life expectancy is not strong (unless you take Australia and USA out)

(2) Likewise for the percentage of government revenue spent on health.

(3) Although the government pays only 44.6% of health cost, Americans aren't having their life expectancy cut by too much.

(4) The data show that although the American government pays the least percentage of health cost but they also have the highest per capita expenditure. Two possible reasons: Americans are a very unhealthy lot and/or health care in America is super expensive.

The latter reason seems to hold water because in the movie, a respirant which cost USD120 cost only 0.05cents in Cuba. Further evidence is found in the column on healthcare cost as a percentage of GDP. Americans pay 50% more than the next in line.

My personal experience with NHS during my 3 years of studies in Britain was fantastic. I did not fall sick during my three years there. But there was an untreated wound I got when I was in Singapore on my left hand which got really nasty during my first winter. It was a type of tropical marine infection (I got the injury in the vapid waters of Sembawang). My uncle, a fisherman, had his finger amputated two years ago from a similar infection. I received the medical care, they prescribed the anti-biotics and even the post-treatment follow ups totally free of charge. They had some problem with the diagnosis because not many people in the University of York health clinic had ever seen a tropical marine infection.

A friend of mine who had hyperthyroidism received her regular treatment while she was in UK totally free. The many times that I brought her to hospital for her check ups, she never had to pay a single cent. Medication was free although the doctor did recommend surgery to remove part of her thyroid which was not a common procedure because this could lead to permanent hypothyroidism.

A graduate student who was there with his family welcomed another member of his family while living in York. The baby was born in UK and when they left the hospital, not only did they not pay a cent, the hospital actually reimbursed the cab fare incurred when the wife was sent here when she went into labour.

I suppose there isn't a perfect healthcare system. Singapore's healthcare isn't too bad. I have not heard of anybody being turned away by hospitals because they do not have enough money to pay. At least no reports yet. There is going to be an introduction to means-testing in the health industry. Keeping my fingers crossed.

For this X'mas

There's a drinking game that I play every end of the year. At some x'mas gathering...

But if you're really into drinking, responsibly, I might wish to add, there is a movie-drinking game that is going to be a great laugh even as I imagine it.

Let me direct you to Lazydork.


In essence, the aim of the game is to drink when certain keywords or actions are featured in the movie. For example, let's say Lord of The Rings - Fellowship of the Ring. So everybody drinks when the

The name, "Frodo" is said.

Whenever the ring appears.

There are more than 2 hobbits together in a scene

Whenever anybody speaks Elvish

And if you really, really, really want to get wasted......

Watch the trilogy consecutively and follow the same rules!

Widening knowledge

I've been reading Time magazine since I was 19. Well, kinda. I took took over the subscription when I turned 21. I've recently added another magazine under subscription. Forbes Asia. Quite simply because each fortnight I could then open up the pages and if I don't find myself featured inside, (positively, of course!) I will resigned myself to the fate that I have. And continue to work.

Well, actually it's because I think I need that side of knowledge. The dirtier side perhaps. That which the world, rightly or wrongly so, hinges on. It's not about the Middle East, the global warming, the latest natural's "[T]he economy, stupid".

I wanted to subscribe to The Economist instead. Primarily because I didn't want to have information that was too US-skewed.

But no offer from the magazine was found in my letterbox so...I will review my options when my subscription ends.

I want to learn about investing because all the "knowledge" I gleam from friends don't always make economic sense. Then I can start letting my money earn income muahahaha....instead of the paltry interest rates from the bank.

I promise that I shall not be caught under the weight of my hubris. I promise to be disciplined. I promise that I will not succumb to "how I feel". I promise I will only stick to "what I know".

Well, watch me break my promises.

James Lavelle@Zouk

It was getting better but it was also getting late.

Hence before Tony played his set, I think he did, at about 3am, which was after I had left.

So how many people did I spot wearing the Surrender x Base Control USD 560 T-shirt emblazoned with black Swarovski crystals and in a very limited production number of 5?

I saw 3! Count them! Three! Tiga! Tres! 三!

Such luck!

James Lavelle wore one. So did Earn Chen. And another by Tony Tay.

Wonder what happened to the other two?


Previously I thought of stupid t-shirt designs (here and here) ......well..... here's more crazy t-shirts design after getting inspired by the Helvetica t-shirt.

This one features Arial on the top and Arial Black on the bottom. Arial is of course designed by Microsoft as a sans-serif font to replicate Helvetica.

I know the technicolour background looks super gay but it's fun lah. Was the typeface designed in Bauhaus in 1993? I seriously don't know.

This one is the one I dislike most. I agree that Times New Roman is very legible when printed as text. I think it is so recognisable that the immediate font that comes to mind for anybody when faced with a serif font is Times New Roman. So I left out "Times" and just replace it with "xxxxx". This is the standard font I use at my workplace. Font size 14 no less.

So everything that is official at my workplace; directives, circulars, training exercise orders, serial instructions are all suppose to be in Times New Roman, font size 14.

Another fun t-shirt. Wingdings! Absolutely meaningless except for the astrological signs... In WINGDINGS, you get the signs for Pisces, Capricorn and Libra.

Things get worse with this. It uses Symbol and I have further split it into SYM and BOL. All Greek to me now.

I like this one the most. Maybe because I associate the name Futura with the artist. It just looks so clean, modern and readable. Much like Verdana.

And lastly, Impact. Which like the name suggests, is suppose to provide that oomph! So I gave it a red background.

I am covered in skin
No one gets to come in


I saw a guy wearing a Helvetica T-shirt on Friday night.

Ok, unknown to some, Helvetica as a font is one of the most widely used in the business world.

Helvetica is a very utilitarian, sans serif typeface and can be found almost in all the known industries.

Born in 1957, Helvetica is now used by companies like Panasonic, Toyota, Microsoft, 3M, Muji, American Airlines, American Apparel, Comme des Garçons, Jeep, Lufthansa, Nestle, Fendi and many more.

Celebrating it's 50th year, you should be seeing more of the Helvetica t-shirts and caps. But now you can go ahead and amaze your friends with this new found trivia as to why it's so hot (or maybe not) to be seen with this font right now.

There is a "death to helvetica" t-shirt as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Aural Fornication

When you call your band Stars Of Track And Field, I immediately think of Belle And Sebastian.

And when your debut album is being lauded by A - Z, I really prefer not to touch you with a ten-foot pole.

Then you went on to say that the name of the band was from the song but in no way are you a super fan. You were getting stoned and heard the song. You thought the refrain "Stars of track and field you are..." was excellent and named your band as such - but without "you are" of course.

Your debut album is title "Centuries Before Love And War" and tipped to be the bridge between Radiohead, Pink Floyd and U2. Yet reviewers think you sound like the freshest thing out there.

The possibility of you failing my standards, and thus tarnishing the name of you band looms large over my head (hangs heavy on my shoulders - whatever).

Damn, I love the things that can only disappoint.

Women's World Cup has kicked off!

But nobody really cares.

So unfair.....but think about it, who would watch Men's Netball?

Link link link

Friday, September 14, 2007


Kevin Munroe, same director who made the recent TMNT movie is gonna make a Gatchaman movie.


to be release in 2009 by IMAGI. They are making Astro Boy too... also in 2009.

Don't ask me why but.....

Remember colour pencils?

There was the Luna colour pencils by Staedtler.

Old packaging

New packaging

Then there was the expensive Caran D'arche.

But the one that usually was the envy of most neighbourhood kids was the Colleen colour pencils. Because they had two ends with two colours. So a box of 30 colour pencils will yield 60 colours.

Before the days of 24 or 32-bit 16.8 million colours, there was the 1-bit monochrome and 8-bit 256 colours, 60 colours meant a lot to a primary school kid. There were colours that you seldom use but it's a comforting thought to know it's available, should you need it.

There was a period not too long ago when young girls, in an effort to crank up their cute factor by 10,823 times, they would wear a certain type of pink with a certain type of green. The pink was kinda baby-ish pink and the green a shade darker than mint. That colour combination reminded me so much of a certain colour pencil in the Colleen box.

Different colour combination gives rise to different feelings. Perhaps not as immediate or as strong as what a single colour can impress upon but certain colour combinations can really invoke strong images.

For example:

Cyan and fuchsia just reminds me of cheongsum.

Peppermint and chocolate chip ice cream

Standard Chartered

McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and most other greasy food.

Christmas, garden gnomes, presents

Singapore and Cuba join hands

There is more to Cuba than Buena Vista Social Club, Castro, Missile Crisis and cigars.

I admire this country because back in the day, they showed the Yanks their middle finger and never looked back. Few countries in South America have the guts.

I never knew they have got vast experience in combating and controlling spread of dengue.

The current standings.....

Ferrari has won the 2007 Formula 1 Constructors' title. Unless BMW scores 58 (Top 2 finish in 3 of the remaining 4 races and at least 4 points in another race) and Ferrari fails to finish with points for the rest of the season. I calculated the probability of that happening. It's a 1 in 2,922,939,938 chance of that happening.

Oh, and there is also the lesser-known childish bit of the ruling by FIA:

** No McLaren representative will be allowed on the podium should a McLaren driver win in any of the remaining races of the 2007 season.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Trent, Trent, Trent

Seriously, what demons haunt Mr Reznor?
Normal sadness shouldn't translate to songs like this.

Again, "you" in this case refers to heroin. Damn, every good song is about drugs.

Something I Can Never Have

I still recall the taste of your tears
Echoing your voice just like the ringing in my ears
My favorite dreams of you still wash ashore
Scraping through my head till I don't want to sleep anymore

You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I'm down to just one thing and I'm starting to scare myself
You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I just want something
I just want something I can never have

You always were the one to show me how
Back then I couldn't do the things that I can do now
This thing is slowly taking me apart
Grey would be the color if I had a heart

Come on tell me
You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I'm down to just one thing and I'm starting to scare myself
You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I just want something
I just want something I can never have

In this place it seems like such a shame
Though it all looks different now, I know it's still the same
Everywhere I look you're all I see
Just a fading fucking reminder of who I used to be

Come on tell me
You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I'm down to just one thing and I'm starting to scare myself
You make this all go away
You make this all go away
I just want something
I just want something I can never have
I just want something I can never have

Nine Inch Nails

Tipler's Omega Point

I was browsing in Page One at VivoCity today and decided to look for Omega Point related books having been introduced to this theory some time ago.

I discovered that the leading person in this theory is Professor Franklin J. Tipler. I had trouble looking for his books, searching high and low in the physics and mathematics section. Finally asked for help and found his book (only one available) under "Christianity".

It was really funny because I approached the staff for assistance. The nice man asked me what was his genre. I confidently said he should be under mathematics or physics. And when he finally found the ISBN number for Tipler's The Physics of Christianity, it was under Christianity.....

The book was heavy going.....and I am having second thoughts. But the theory is very interesting. It is a very good balance against the whole lot more fashionable stand against monotheist religions.

Essentially, his theory is that the Omega Point is God. The singularity from which all we know off springs forth.

Haves; have-nots

I am secretly pleased when I see the neighbourhood kids wasting their youth away. I hope they continue the way they are way into their twenties so that I will have one less competitor in the labour market. Or whichever excludable-goods market we may both be in.

You see, this is because the society I live in is not socialist. Coupled that with a government that frowns on welfare handouts, added to that, the present widening income gap. It all makes for a very cruel world.

There was a time when having an overseas holiday was a luxury reserved for the more well-to-do. But with budget airline abound these days, it's pretty much free for all. But even budget airlines are starting to segregate. For a few more dollars, you get priority seating or express boarding. So being richer helps you to get the seats you want or to jump the queue.

Actually, I think the idea of being in the same flight as common yous and mes is abhored by the rich. Hence they are really happy being cacooned within the confines of First Class furnishings, safe from the humdrum of us plebians. They don't even like to check in with us, hence the separate queues, waiting areas and even luggage compartments for their Louis Vuittons and Samsonite Black Labels.

So we know for a fact that you having extra money helps to 1) jump queue 2) get what you want 3) privacy for yourself and your stuff

Even the Singapore Flyer allows Express Boarding. Paying another 76.2% of your ticket price will allow you to jump queue and also get a souvenir. How nice.

There is something else altogether more sinister. If I have money, I can actually pay the neighbourhood kids to queue for me. How amazing is that? Witness the yearly rush for Lim Chee Guan's bak kwa come Chinese New Year. There was a big boss in the construction industry or something, he told his foreign workers to help him queue up for bak kwa. This was a win-win situation. Bak kwa seller happy, cause can sell his wares and he might think he got "international appeal". Even foreigners come and patron his stalls. Foreign worker happy cause can twang. Same pay, no work. Only queue up. Big Boss happy. He no need to queue up can get his bak kwa, moreover, Lim Chee Guan will limit each customer to 20kgs so with more foreign workers in queue, big boss can buy more bak kwa!

So these days, with money, you can not only jump queue but can also get people to queue for you and because of that, you can not only get what you want but the amount that you want. All that at the comfort of your own home!

A Dog By Any Other Name

A person's name does a lifetime worth of damage.

For those who read modern pulp masquerading as "economics 101 for the rest of us" - Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner, you might have been intrigued by a certain chapter titled, "A Roshanda By Any Other Name".

With that knowledge firmly gripped under my armpit (right, if you are wondering), my sister and I should be thinking up a suitable name for the new dog which my she has already decided wiill be the black coloured pup with brown on the paws and ears.

Amongst the sillier name she gave were Black Beauty, Black Diva....damn, why not just call her Oprah or Miss Jackson. She did have a rather unique one which was Orh Lu Lu which actually means "black" in hokkien. I think that can be a good name. Got surname somemore. Miss Orh. Miss Orh Lulu. Lulu Orh.

Call me Orh. Lulu Orh.

******EARTHQUAKE!!!!! ******

By the way, earthquake again. This time alot more violent. A little scary but the cool in me says, "No way am I going downstairs...."

My mum say Singapore digging too much underground. So we're just a floating rock with a hollow inside hence earthquakes affect us more. She never felt so much earthquakes years ago. I guess she's right. That's fantastic though. Singaporeans resemble the geographical make up of the island nation - bright and shiny on the outside, empty on the inside.

Oh, and don't you dare tell my mum otherwise. She's managed to convince herself.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tremors 2

Was asking my sis if she felt the tremors of the Sumatran earthquake. Apparently she didn't.

I was telling her weird things were happening at home when it occurred. Mum was talking non-stop to calm herself (talk about ironies), dad was preparing to leave home to go downstairs. I was continuing to watch Discovery Channel. Telling my mum if the block should collapse, I will run into the room and go onto my bed.

I frightened my dad by saying I wouldn't take the lift if I were him. Faced with a choice between the stairs (we live on the 12th floor, the highest on the block) and the possibility of being trapped in the lift, he hesitated and merely peered down to see the growing crowd gathering downstairs from the opposite block.

Yes, there were tremors

My dad was the first to notice. I was too engrossed watching Discovery Channel on cable. And perhaps still a little groggy from the lack of sleep.

The tremors started to get rather obvious. And that was when my mum starting talking and talking and talking and talking and if talking will pull her through the ordeal. She started pacing up and down the entire length of the house because she said staying still or being seated gives her headaches.

I thought it might have lasted for 5 minutes but probably it was a lot less. Just that mum's incessant movements and talking made the tremors scarier than they actually were.

I peered down to see that quite a number of folks living across the road had already gone down to the ground floor.

Was it safer? I doubt it. But a peace of mind that is provided by actions taken is very comforting.

SIbeh tired

I lost track of time. Is it Wednesday already?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Is it a necessary evil?

Dad was asking mum where sis was because the puppies were available for her to choose. Mum was asking if the puppies were weaned off the dog-mummy's milk but dad was not very certain. She went on to ask if the puppies had shed the "baby-fur". Dad doesn't know either.

But sis will choose the puppy that we will be buying.

Their is something rather sinister about it. A cruel relationship between the decider and that which will be decided upon. The chosen one will get to live with us and hopefully get the proper care that she needs and the others, well, I don't know what will happen to the others.

It is a necessary thing. To choose the right one. I remember there was a time when I was choosing to buy a soft-toy and having decided which was the one I would purchase, I convinced myself that this particular toy was screaming out to me saying, "Pick me!" And not because it was the most well made.

Is it just me? Another random fact?

But I suppose it is a necessary evil when it comes to living things. It's like choosing a girlfriend, wife, life-partner. You can't just make do now can you? It has to be perfect. How else can you justify the amount of time and effort that will be invested in time to come.

However, there is always a however, perfection does change with time. Like what Sumiko Tan wrote in her Lifestyle column. She did not retract her statement made in the same column many years ago about singlehood. But she did state now that a woman is incomplete with a man. That ought to generate a bazillion comments and rebuttals. But what is important here is what she is trying to say, I think. And that is as time passes, people change. And with that, the very definition of perfection, what is important and more importantly, what is no longer important and dropped changes. Call it a dilution of quality, a fall of standards but to not admit that a person's wants and needs, idealistic and realistic outcomes changes, is to be dishonest with oneself.

A Slow Dismembering of Life

I think I've pretty much lost control. While aspects of my life is blurring into focus, the important ones just spins out of control, out of reach.

I can't get what I want, each day at work saps the life out of me because I am so disinterested and I try so hard to remain professional. Incompetent superiors and amazingly narrow-minded peers.

I can't get to where I want to be, every weekend is an escape but each time it is rudely interrupted by professional needs that will not be compensated, even if so, inadequately.

That's not life actually. That's a job. I can't choose how I die, well, not unless I commit suicide - an impossible preposition, but I sure as hell can choose how I should live. Not like this. Not like this one bit.

What happened to my ability to deceive myself? I guess we do grow wiser with age. Which is not a good thing because you stop believing yourself even. Not so easy to delude but so easily jaded.

doing the unnecessary of the unintelligent for the ungrateful. cheesepie.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

What to wear?

James Lavelle is coming to town. Zouk 14 September 2007. That's the coming Friday. Surrender Session #12.

Was shooting shit with Mongster when she said we MUST go for this gig. Well, the last time he was here for his birthday at Velvet, it was such a random mishmash of stuff I wandered around to Zouk.

I said the main thing would be to go check the fashion crowd that will surely dress up for the night. No, unlikely to see Gucci or Prada, more likely to be the Bizzare Beyond Belief t-shirts, DITA x Surrender sunglasses and if we are all very lucky, the Surrender x Base Control Skull Swarovski T-shirt with Black Swarovski crystals and a very limited edition release of 5 t-shirts each costing USD560.

All sold out by the way.

Well, we can always get creative and make our own House Of Holland inspired t-shirts!!!

This is for UNKLE. Bearing the British influence. Features the Pound symbol - £.

And for the other half of Surrender, Earn Chen, I added the local equivalent, $ and ¢.

So fun. Who wants to make?

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts or MMA as an idea of fighting is to combine any martial arts form in order to defeat the opponent. Lots of videos available on YouTube. Just search for "MMA".

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu with its emphasis on joint-locks, ground wrestling and a variety of grapples forms the basis on which most MMA fighters can establish him/herself. Muay Thai with its ferocious precision kicks, usage of knees in a clinch and lightning-fast fist strikes serves as a foundation as well. Judo, with the throws, holds and grapples is also effective.

These martial arts are particularly effective in an MMA bout because fights often resemble brawls and in close contact, a foundation in the above forms of martial arts have proven to be vital to winning a match.

Will a Renaissance man be particularly attracted to the idea of MMA?

It's The Way It Shatters That Matters

Thank goodness for Candy Empire. How else can I get my Violet Crumble?

This was my one of three sweets that I constantly wanted when I was still young like in primary school. The honeycomb centre that cracks in a way that only a Violet Crumble can. It was imported from Australia and hence rather expensive. Not many places sold it. I remember my aunt buying a bar from Cold Storage and placing it in the fridge at my grandma's. The though of an unopened bar of Violet Crumble in the fridge almost drove me mad.

Another favourite was Arctic Roll from Walls.

My eldest uncle had an ice-cream-man friend. The ice-cream man sold his ice-creams from a motor-powered tricycle and had an oil lamp and a hand-held bell. Every kid in the neighbourhood will know when he is around because of the bell. So on certain evenings, he might buy ice cream for us. But it was always the few flavours. Coco Bobo - red bean, Paddle Pop - assorted, which I hated though the melody of the advertisement was really catchy, ~ Paddle Pop, Paddle Pop!~ Super Duper Yummy! ~ , Rosicle - bandung flavoured, super nice but cannot have too often and Lion's Cup - vanilla flavoured ice-cream in a cup. I don't really like vanilla because it seemed like ice-cream that is unflavoured. I did not have a Magnum or a Cornetto till I was in my late teens actually. Wait, I don't think I have ever had a Magnum. I can remember tasting the Arctic Roll once in my life. It was somebody's birthday and an impromptu birthday cake had to be sourced so a slice of Arctic Roll was used. I think my second taste of Arctic Roll will be special. Yet I dare not anticipate it too much else the magic will be lost when it doesn't live up to my imagined expectations.

There was one childhood dessert that I really like and had it more than a few times. Sara Lee Pound Cake.

I didn't really like the chocolate or Sultana Pound. The All Purpose was the best. I would pinch it when it is left in the fridge leaving behind obvious holes and later get a scolding. The advertisement song was memorable too. 谢谢你 Sara Lee.....

And that's why I like Economics

There is an excellent article written by Willie Cheng who is the director of The Lien Foundation. The Lien Foundation Centre for Social Innovation is under the foundation and the article was first published in the Jul/Aug 2007 issue of SALT, a publication of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. The founder, is Dr Lien Ying Chow, founder of OUB. Margaret Lien, widow of the late Dr Lien is head of the foundation. She is #23 on the Forbes Singapore 40 Richest 2007 with $330million.

You pay income tax?
If you pay taxes in Singapore, congratulations! You are one of three in the working population with enough chargeable income to pay taxes. I remember I was first told of this figure by fleet commander when I was his staff officer to a trip to sattahip. Kinda just popped into the conversation.

Anyway, a few excerpts from the article:

Charity is meant to help rebalance this uneven status between rich and poor. Yet even in the charity world, there are similar forces that favour the better-heeled over those less so. This applies to both the supply (donors) and demand (charities and their beneficiaries) side of the equation.

Why is this so?

Most tax systems favour the rich when it comes to charity. In Singapore, there is a generous double income tax deduction for charitable donations. The wealthier the individual, the bigger the benefit. Take the example of a taxpayer in the top income bracket of 20 per cent. For every $100 donation he makes, he actually pays only $60.

What about the poorest at the bottom 20 percent?

However, more than two- thirds of Singapore's working population are wage-earners who do not make enough to have any chargeable income, so they would have to fork out the full $100 donation. So a $100 donation actually sets the person back by $100.

So why is this so?

The same situation is repeated in most countries where income tax systems are progressive in nature and donations are tax-deductible. The difference in Singapore is that our income tax rates are generally lower, but then the tax deduction is doubled.

And this difference is not fully returned to the poorest 20 percent.

According to the NVPC study, the social service sector in Singapore gets about 25 per cent of tax-exempt donations, education gets 39 per cent and health care gets 20 per cent. For non-tax exempt giving from individuals, the bulk goes to religious causes.

So, the majority of charitable giving does not go towards benefiting the poor but to other community causes. Which kinda makes me want to ask why is education enjoying such huge slice of the pie. Primarily because education is "generic" in scope? Because education is seen to be a social-equaliser? Because people can name libraries after themselves?

Of course this is repeated in countries all over the world. Our Gini coefficient is getting worse with out widening income gap. We just increased our GST which, the government decided that it will be across the board and no provisions will be made for healthcare, public transport, education, essential foods (rice, oil, etc) and we all know a consumption tax like GST is regressive. Why? Because a person with a $100 weekly income is likely to use more of his disposable income for consumption but not a person with a $1000 weekly income. Sure, in absolute terms the latter consumes more but as a percentage, the skew is obvious and disadvantageous to the former.

P.S. Talking about regressive, I was highlighting to somebody that road accidents are regressive in nature. Because in a most countries, Singapore included (Singapore Police Force Annual Traffic Statistics), deaths that occur within road accidents are most likely to be 1) motorcyclists and pillion riders 2) pedestrians and 3) pedal cyclists.

I am sure many will be able to cite the rich friend who rides a Harley Davidson, the wealthy neighbour who refuses to buy a car and the rich angmohs that ride in their carbon fibre and magnesium alloy bikes around Thomson area. But your initial impression that the people who die in a road accident are more likely to be poor is not at all far from the truth.