May 21st, 2004

krazy koati

It took a rumor to make me wonder

I believe it's the Singapore Tourism Board that's behind an odd new project. Someone has commissioned a set of several dozen lion statues, decorated in various ways from natural to surreal cartoon; they're being placed at Marina Bay, the Esplanade, and various other touristy spots to get people to wander over and take pictures of them. Later in the year they're to be sold at auction for charity. It's odd, but I imagine I'll end up going down to Marina Bay or the Esplanade and take pictures of them.

For charity I did buy a ticket from one of the other people in the department. The drawing -- grand prize is a condominium; second prize a car; third prize just some money -- is 26 September. I hope somebody reminds me to check my ticket then. One lottery ticket worth S$2,000,000 drawn in February went unclaimed, and I really hope it wasn't one I bought and forgot about.

There's a condominium complex -- not the one in the contest -- named ``Star Watch'' (I believe; I wasn't paying much attention to the commercial); its gimmick is that it's the first condominium in Singapore with its own observatory. Sounds great, although when you consider the stargazing prospects for an apartment complex that's in the middle of a big city where the humidity never drops below 115 percent it's fair to wonder if you could ever actually see anything. I know I've never spotted Alpha Centauri. But when there is a good night, it's a fantastic one, even if occasionally the Moon appears to be upside-down.

Meanwhile in advance of my participation in something or other at Commencement (which comes at the start of the next term) I was e-mailed an inexplicable document listing names of participants and non-sequential numbers. I hope my feedback wasn't desired; all I could offer if they tried was that they spelled my name correctly, warned them that they'll pronounce it incorrectly if they tried, and could confirm that there's a ``5'' next to my name. Maybe it's a Peanuts joke.

Trivia: French King Louis XIV maintained a standing army in peacetime of 120,000 to 150,000 men. Source: Early Modern Europe, 1500-1789, H. G. Koenigsberger.

Currently Reading: The Map That Changed The World, Simon Winchester.