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Sunday, August 6th, 2006

Time Event
12:07a
It's so easy just to drift away

The Harbourfront mall has a nice broad lobby, with a ``two-level'' open air enclosure that's maybe four storeys high. The sales special today was exercise equipment, and a group called Cherie Hearts had a bunch of purple, vaguely heart-shaped balloons fluttering around. Most of them were bouncing against the ceiling, but one I noticed came from the ceiling and was dropping precipitously, raising the question of how it got up there to start. It was too high, too far from the second storey, I'd think, to get up there, certainly not at the rate it was falling.

I wouldn't have thought about it much past that, except that the balloon somehow got up a few steps and then rode the escalator down to the tunnel connecting to the MRT station. And then the balloon kept skidding along the ground. Now this was a truly curious balloon, and I started to follow it, even as I remembered that this sort of curiosity lead the Pink Panther into all sorts of trouble.

Several people walking past would do that bit of pretending to be soccer players with it, bouncing the balloon on their feet or up to their heads, but most wandered along after one or two moves. Each time the balloon settled back down to the ground, but it was drawn closer to the MRT station proper. If it was being pulled by the draft of people walking past, why didn't the people walking the other way affect it any, particularly around the two corners it had to make before reaching the rim of the Harbourfront station?

I started to wonder if the balloon was going to make it past the turnstiles, when one kid picked up the string and started off with it. But then his mother (I assume) told him to leave the balloon alone, and he dropped it, to continue its slow path towards the North-East Line. Before it quite reached the turnstiles, though, a woman in an SBS Transit shirt picked up the balloon, wrapped its string around it several times, and took it off, presumably for questioning. It was this close to making it to Dhoby Ghaut.

Trivia: Electronics engineers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base lead by Ed Correl, aided by Dr Duane Graveline, detected the signal of Gherman Titov's heartbeat sensor during his Vostok flight. The Rocket Men, Rex Hall and David J Shayler.

Currently Reading: War for the Union, 1863-1864: The Organized War, Allan Nevins.

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