August 16th, 2006

krazy koati

Following the shadows of the skies

You probably think that what with Singapore's natural geographical advantages and extremely organized society that it doesn't get many tornadoes. This is true. However, the other day, Sentosa Island was able to work up a little waterspout for itself, just off the swimming beach. Most of the people in the water pretty quickly swam for shore, and -- showing that you can't have imminent peril, however cute and novel, without attracting people -- a fair number of the people on the beach approached it, taking pictures with their mobile phones and camcorders. No one was injured.

I've seen a waterspout once, when I was swimming at a small pool near the chemicals factory where my dad worked. (I still wonder what everyone involved was thinking with that one.) At least, it was a waterspout for a while; then it flitted past the sand, and then past another pool behind the fence that plant trucks kept slipping into. Where it went after that I don't know. So I understand the appeal of a small waterspout like that.

So, did you all catch the World Cyber Games Asia Championship? This is pretty much what it sounds like, a continental regional championship in playing video games. They held it -- at least, part of it -- in Suntec City, which is already being renovated to host thousands of World Bank-related people. But they had time to clear out plenty of floor space to set up dimly lit row after row after row of computers with huge monitors showing polygon-rendered entities being splattered while very pale Asians work the keyboards. I know this sounds like I'm stereotyping, but the representatives that World Cyber Games themselves chose to stand up and present the case that this is not just taking the triviality of sports and removing the ease with which people can watch and understand the competition, was the palest non-albino I've seen in Singapore, and was freckled.

The World Cyber Games, Asia, championship are sponsored by Animax, the all-anime channel. As part of the festivities they premiered several movies and TV shows, including Blood The Last Vampire and Samurai X: The Director's Cut.

Trivia: British Queen Victoria's message, received in North America on 16 August 1858, congratulating President James Buchanan on the completion of the transatlantic telegraph, was 99 words long, and took sixteen and a half hours to transmit. Source: A Thread Across The Ocean, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: The Spanish War, GJA O'Toole.