November 10th, 2005

krazy koati

In the shadow of the moon

So they've finalized names for the last round of Circle Line MRT stations, except for those to be built after the line opens. I realize future public transportation plans interest nobody out there, except orv who just likes anything mechanical and complicated, especially if it ties into infrastructure, but I like the topic and this is my journal. The former Adam station has been renamed Botanic Gardens, after the adjacent, well, you know. In public surveys 46.5 percent voted for Cluny, after Cluny Road, believed to be named for Jacob Clunis, Singapore's first harbor pilot. But Botanic Gardens was a popular write-in option.

Farrer is renamed Farrer Road, not to be confused with Farrer Park, which is on the North-East Line. Holland becomes Holland Village, for its neighborhood; the name got 87.1 percent. Runner up, 7.1 percent, was the fun Chip Bee, for a local housing development itself named for the village, in Fujian Province, China, from which rubber tycoon and Nanyang University founder Tan Lark Sye came. Holland Village is the region; it's named for Holland Road, thus Hugh Holland, an early resident and architect. The Land Transit Authority explanation of the names says, ``Holland Village is a favourite with locals and expatriates alike because of its bohemian character.'' I thought it was just a lot of small restaurants and overstocked magazine sellers all together.

National University Hospital station is renamed Kent Ridge, after the ridge the National University Hospital is on. 46.5 percent voted for Kent Ridge, 42.6 for National University, and 10.9 other. It's ``Kent'' Ridge for the late Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, who visited decades ago. The only other name change was Alexandra, which becomes Labrador Park, choice of 73.3 percent.

Telok Blangah keeps the name, which means literally ``cooking pot bay'', which roughly describes the bay's shape. Pasir Panjang is keeping that name, a slightly corrupted version of the Malay for ``long sand,'' describing the beach the area had in the days before land reclamation. One North is staying that, because of its location tucked within the One North ``Biopolis'' center, though 57.2 percent preferred Portsdown, a nearby road, camp, and prison.

Trivia: NASA's Boeing 737-100 Transport Systems Research Vehicle was serial number 19437, or designated by Boeing as PA-099. Source: Airborne Trailblazer: Two Decades with NASA Langley's 737 Flying Laboratory, Lane E Wallace. NASA SP-4216.

Currently Reading: Quiz Craze: America's Infatuation with Game Shows, Thomas A DeLong.