I missed the announcement of Total Defence 2005, a celebration of Keeping Singapore Safe held at Suntec City. I wandered there at the end of a stage show. But they've got a web site, done in Flash so it's more annoying than real web sites, including a perfectly tuneless Total Defence theme song. The Total Defence of Singapore is based on five points: military, civil defence, economic, social, and psychological strength. The poster-board stand explaining economic defence showed cereal boxes on an assembly line passing through what looked like airport security, demonstrating, I guess, secure Cocoa Puffs.
On-stage contests included a balloon-blowing contest; to reassure the kids who weren't sure they should be there they gave prizes for the smallest as well as biggest balloons. There was also a contest to see who could hold their breath longest. I didn't see any contest for ducking behind school desks.
Computers were set up for web site fun and games. Kids crowded around all the iPod-style iMacs to play, while the Windows machines showed error messages and froze up. The big attraction was the Total Defence Neopets, five mascots whose names I wrote down carefully, earning me the watchful eye of a uniformed officer. They were:
- Rorie, a Yurble, a sort of squirrel with Princess Leia-hair-buns, the Psychological Defence Neopet, and don't think I didn't have fun writing this line.
- Kelin, a Kacheek, kind of a Powerpuff dragon kid in overalls, on Social.
- Horag, the Skeith, kind of a cross between a Swat Kat and a Disney's Gargoyle, is on Economic Defence. He wears a Mall Security Guard outfit and carries a book, ``Basic Computer Knowledge.''
- Enxor Tyndall, an Aisha, sort of what Stitch would be if he were a female Snork, handles Civil Defence and has an awesome name.
- Berryl, the Grarrl, is a lizardy creature on Military Defence. I haven't been able to take military reptiles seriously since The Terrible Thunderlizards on Eek! The Cat (``Come with me -- my skull needs exfoliating''), so I'm not as impressed as they might want.
After dinner, I wandered back past this, and found Neopets Scorchio and Chia, hot off their McDonald's tour.
Trivia: Sir Isaac Newton's reflective sextant was discovered among Edmund Halley's papers in 1742. Source: Mathematics in Civilization, H L Resnikoff and R O Wells Jr.
Currently Reading: The Great Science Fiction Stories 6: 1944, Edited by Isaac Asimov and Martin H Greenberg.