Sun sea sand

Sun sea sand

Monday, June 22, 2009

This Little Stiggy Went to Market

So the Internet and newspaper world is abuzz that Michael Schumacher was unveiled as the Stig on the opening episode of Top Gear's Season 13.
He's not the Stig. For various reasons, and as qualified by certain news reports -- especially if the writer actually watched the whole episode, not just heard about it from someone who had seen a snippet of the show.

This is part of my current disgust with the world of citizen journalism -- exactly this: quoting without context. This is a long diatribe, so in short: Where impressionable people read someone's self-aggrandizement "column" -- which has for starters been written without regard to basic rules of reporting (my rules are: get it right, get both sides of the story, be unbiased) -- believe what they read and then, to make things worse, perpetuate the repetition of certain bits over the Net. Bits that probably have no base.
A misquote.

Despite politicians' overuse of the word, misquoting people is one of the things completely detrimental to the faith of journalism, but is the easiest for a reporter to do, either deliberately or otherwise. And we make as if it's not a big deal anymore. It's just like using scripture only for your purposes, quote one line and leave the context out -- it validates your point but could be completely off base from your religion. Ah well, I guess I see where the nonchalance is coming from, else The Bard wouldn't have written "The devil can quote scripture for his purpose". I really despair at how people will believe the first thing they hear. How stupid can humanity get?

Okay, I'll save the diatribe for later. Anyway, here's cutie-pie Schumi Bear. Wish I had a Stiggy Bear! A note to Top Gear, then -- moneymaker!! Stiggy Bear, white racing suit and all.

Here are some good reports on the Stig/Schumi issue, from The Telegraph, The Times (coincidentally also the papers James May and Jeremy Clarkson write for, respectively). And just go and watch the show, especially that last bit. I have.

As for my own conclusions: It's a Top Gear stunt, maybe because Stig's identity was already revealed earlier and they didn't want to kill him off, like they did Black Stig. Hey, come on, white Stig is really smart-looking and is mayhaps even more telegenic than his predecessor. Besides, if they kill him off, they can't really bring back Black Stig, and then, what? Pink Stig? Red Stig? Chartreuse? He'll be harder to match with the cars they're testing.
Besides, Schumi's body language was nothing like the Stig's. And, even I was silly enough to earlier believe that it's all one man inside the suit. I mean, where is it easiest to hide? Behind a mask.
Evey: Who are you?
V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what, and what I am is a man in a mask.
Evey: Well, I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation, I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
V for Vendetta

So, live on Stiggy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Channelling French Chic

From black cat to a feline of a different nature, I'm trying to channel the classy dame that is Carla Bruni. Well, not the pose-naked-and-show-the-world side of her, but the one with what people say is a Parisian's natural flair for flinging on some "simple old thing" and still looking tres chic.

Aside from the megabucks brands the French First Lady wears, it also takes a good sense of style to pass as a successful first lady, something I'm not convinced Michelle Obama has much of. The US First Lady is more hit-or-miss, plus look at the way she's sitting, at an official function, at that! Even I know that ladies and princesses don't cross their legs while sitting in public. (This is something I'm trying to channel too, but urggh it's so hard not to fidget.)

I have to get a fashion consultant! Anyone up for the job? Shopping is easy, but creating a style that looks good while also being suitable for your figure is very hard.
Also, in Paulo Coelho's book of short stories, his discourse on elegance elevates it beyond a mere affectation to something that enriches the soul. I agree, but we don't happen to come across examples of elegance too easily. (Although, there are some women in my office who are extremely well-put-together on an everyday basis and whom I try to surreptitiously eye.)
When I was in London, I tried to keep a lookout for those fabled fashionable London girls, but it was so cold that everyone was wearing huge coats. However, I did fall in love with this one girl's bright red trench coat in Edinburgh. Can I get away with wearing a trench in Kuala Lumpur, I wonder?

Friday, June 12, 2009

What Kitty Did

When is a cat not just a cat? No, this is not a Sphinx-like riddle. The answer is pretty common nowadays, with the proliferation of Internet-based social networking sites. Cat websites? Pah, old news and litter box liner. Doggy blogs? Been there, sniffed that.
But a cat is not just a cat when it tweets on twitter with a stream of consciousness that is humorous. Not the boring "meow, meow, feed me" but comments that go to the root of a cat's character.

Having been described as a 21st century Garfield, Sockington's owner is a really funny dude, because he can take what we accept as normal cat behaviour and make it seem like the cat's consciously doing them.

Some stories about Sockington are here, a video here, and a radio interview here.

Cool. And I think those people who diss him are just jealous. It's humour, people! If it doesn't hurt anyone, people should let others be. It also lets people like me live vicariously through another cat owner without needing to have cat hair all over the place.

Of course, I haven't actually looked at tweets by other animals, but I might if they are as funny as Sockington's.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Goosebumps: Final Destination revisited?

Look at this news item and tell me that you're not a little bit spooked: "Woman who missed Flight 447 is killed in car crash", relating to the Air France flight that disappeared over the Atlantic. The woman, who was a tourist to Brazil, had missed the flight out of Rio de Janeiro on May 31 and got a later one. She was killed in a car crash in Austria. Read the story here.
Coincidence, for sure, but also spooky, as most coincidences are.

Oh yeah NOTE: Her husband was with her both times, and he survived the car crash, though injured. That was not played up by the report. I guess he's super duper lucky... or...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Life in Shades of Brown

The sky is more azure, the sea a deeper hue of blues. The pink bougainvillae shines a bright fuchsia. The sun sets in vibrant reds and oranges.
You don't need rose-tinted glasses; brown will do for a vibrant focus of God's colour palette.
The new shades I bought myself for my birthday were great, and the wraparound offered uninterrupted vistas of Tioman Island, where I went to celebrate. It was all good for five seconds, until I dropped them on the floor. And then twice more. I now have "slightly interrupted" vistas due to the scratches. Sigh.