Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 November 2009 - Singapore - A City in a Garden

From Singapore Post Miniature World Issue 79 http://www.singpost.com/downloads/mw79.pdf
Special Gift Ideas from Miniature World
Produced by Singapore Post Ltd.
Available for sale at the 11 Philatelic outlets from 02 Nov 2009.



Date of Issue: 2 November 2009
Designer: Lorette E. Roberts
ISBN no: 978-981-08-3933-8
Retail Local Price: S$35.00 (Prices inclusive of 7% GST for purchases within Singapore.)
Overseas Price : S$ 32.71
SODA members are entitled to 10% discount for the Special Gift


Picture is extracted from the Miniature World Issue 79, page 10.
http://www.singpost.com/downloads/mw79.pdf


Description:
Singapre - A City in a Garden consists of a coffee table book which artfully combines the delightful illustrations of Lorette's and a selection of Singapore's stamps.




Extracted from the Miniature World Issue 79, page 10.
http://www.singpost.com/downloads/mw79.pdf
Stamps are little miniatures of art and as they also reflect Singapore’s heritage, history, nature and lifestyle. They are ambassadors of Singapore and make unique gifts for friends and tourists alike.





SingPost specially put together the following series of products, featuring not only the beautiful stamps, but the garden city and the unique heritage of Singapore.






Singapore – A City In A Garden
Working with Lorette E Roberts, a renowned botanical artist, SingPost produces this coffee table book - titled "Singapore – A city in a Garden” - which artfully combines the delightful illustrations of Lorette’s and a selection of Singapore’s stamps. The illustrations were sketches done during Lorette’s visit to Singapore and they captures the colourful and lush landscape of Singapore. This made a great gift and a beautiful collectible for all nature lovers.




Lorette E Roberts
From: http://ridgeonline.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/singapore-sketches-of-the-lion-city/
Born in 1945, in Bath, England, Lorette had taken a keen interest in drawing since a young age. Over the many years, she has experimented with various themes and techniques, developing her own style of water colour sketching. Armed with just her pencils, water colours and sketch pad, she usually does her sketching on location if time permits.



An avid globetrotter, Lorette is a self confessed ‘Asiaphile’ who frequently visits China, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. No stranger to travel, she has also resided in the USA, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Hong Kong. It was in the Cantonese island that she first attempted sketching as a means to preserve her memories of her stay in her city.



One thing led to another and she soon published her first sketchbook, “Sights and Secrets of Hong Kong in 2003 which sold over 15 000 copies. Over the next four years, Lorette published four more sketchbooks on China and Hong Kong; receiving international acclaim for her illustrations.



She currently resides in Suffolk, United Kingdom and continues to host various joint exhibitions both at home and abroad.

For more information about Lorette and her work, her website is at www.loretteroberts.com


Reference

Monday, November 2, 2009

World's largest cruise ship

The Straits Times, Saturday October 31, 2009, Lifestyle
From:
http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Lifestyle/Story/STIStory_448884.html
http://www.straitstimes.com/gallery/Breaking%2BNews/Lifestyle/Story/STIStory_448884.html - Photos
http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Lifestyle/Story/BgSty_448884_1.html



PHOTO: http://elitechoice.org/2008/04/26/elite-find-of-the-day-worlds-largest-cruise-ship-worth-793-mn/ - worlds-largest-cruise-ship.jpg
http://elitechoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/worlds-largest-cruise-ship.jpg
The Oasis of the Seas will meet its first obstacle Saturday when it exits the Baltic Sea and must squeeze under the Great Belt Bridge, which is just 1 foot (30 centimetres) taller than the ship - even after its telescopic smokestacks are lowered.


video
VIDEO: http://www.stxeurope.com/upload/?id=3860dc6536abf2dc2da1a15a6ebbe5ee


HELSINKI - IT'S five times larger than the Titanic, has seven neighbourhoods, an ice rink, a golf course and a 750-seat outdoor amphitheater. The world's largest cruise ship is finally finished and beginning to glide toward its home port in Florida.


PHOTO:
http://www.funonthenet.in/content/view/363/31/


The Oasis of the Seas will meet its first obstacle Saturday when it exits the Baltic Sea and must squeeze under the Great Belt Bridge, which is just 1 foot (30 centimetres) taller than the ship - even after its telescopic smokestacks are lowered.


PHOTO: http://www.funonthenet.in/content/view/363/31/


PHOTO: http://www.funonthenet.in/content/view/363/31/


To be on the safe side, the ship - which rises about 20 stories high - will speed up so that it sinks deeper into the water when it passes below the span, said Lene Gebauer Thomsen, a spokeswoman for the operator of the Great Belt Bridge.


PHOTO: http://www.snegidhi.com/2009/5-3/World_Largest_Cruise_Ship_Genesis.html
http://www.snegidhi.com/2009/5-3/Genesis_oasis.jpg

Once home, the US$1.5 billion (S$2.1 billion) floating extravaganza will have more, if less visible, obstacles to duck: a sagging US economy, questions about the consumer appetite for luxury cruises and criticism that such sailing behemoths are damaging to the environment and diminish the experience of traveling.



PHOTO: http://themaritimeblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/3606830397_a180ab75b0_b.jpg

Travel guide writer Arthur Frommer has railed against Oasis and other mega-ships he calls 'floating resorts,' suggesting that voyages on such large vessels are 'a dumbing down of the cruise experience.'


PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html

Oasis of the Seas, which is nearly 40 per cent larger than the industry's next-biggest ship, was conceived years before the economic downturn caused desperate cruise lines to slash prices to fill vacant berths.


PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html






PHOTO: http://www.cruiseweb.nl/images/freedomoftheseas/SideView.jpg



What's in a ship?
From: http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Lifestyle/Story/BgSty_448884_1.html


Photo: http://www.desso.com/Desso/Other_Content/Images/Overige/Independence_of_the_Seas.jpg

THE Oasis of the Seas has 2,700 cabins and can accommodate 6,300 passengers and 2,100 crew members.


PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html


It has various 'neighbourhoods' - parks, squares and arenas with special themes. One of them will be a tropical environment, including palm trees and vines among the total 12,000 plants on board. They will be planted after the ship arrives in Fort Lauderdale.




PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html

In the stern, a 750-seat outdoor theater - modeled on an ancient Greek amphitheater - doubles as a swimming pool by day and an ocean front theater by night. The pool has a diving tower with spring boards and two 10-metre high-dive platforms. An indoor theater seats 1,300 guests.


PHOTO: http://www.funonthenet.in/content/view/363/31/

Accommodations include loft cabins, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and 487-metre luxury suites with balconies overlooking the sea or promenades.


PHOTO: http://www.funonthenet.in/content/view/363/31/


PHOTO: http://www.travel-friends.com.au/images/100_2346.JPG

One of the 'neighborhoods,' named Central Park, features a square with boutiques, restaurants and bars, including a bar that moves up and down three decks, allowing customers to get on and off at different levels.


PHOTO: http://www.travel-friends.com.au/images/100_2346.JPG

The liner also has four swimming pools, volleyball and basketball courts, and a youth zone with theme parks and nurseries for children.


PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html

Cost of rooms - US$1,299 to $4,829.


PHOTO: AFP (In-life-oasis4AFP.jpg) Workers were seen aboard the "Oasis of the Seas" cruise ship at a dockyard.



PHOTO: REUTERS (In-life-oasis5R.jpg) A miniature golf course is seen aboard the Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas cruise ship which was under construction at the STX Europe shipyard.


Photo: http://www.goodnewsfinland.com/Oasis%20of%20the%20seas_240609.jpg


PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html


PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html


PHOTO: http://www.wackyarchives.com/featured/oasis-of-the-sea-worlds-largest-cruise-ship.html



Reference

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Crossing 50, Worries of a working heartlander

The Straits Times, Saturday, October 24, 2009
http://www.asiaone.com/Business/Office/Ask/Story/A1Story20091021-174936.html
by Kumar Pillay Thangavalu


Photo: http://www.asiaone.com/Business/Office/Ask/Story/A1Story20091021-174936.html


I REACHED 50 years of age recently. Crossing the half-century hurdle creates fresh hurdles.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


At this age, heartlanders like me are neither in the younger worker age group nor in the senior worker group - neither here nor there.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


I worry about holding on to my job, raising and educating my children and keeping my home secure until all mortgages are paid off. Unremitting price hikes for virtually all basic necessities like food, transport and utilities, as well as the goods and services tax hike, also worry me.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


I appreciate the Government's effort in working with various organisations, like the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and Workforce Development Agency (WDA), to keep older workers like me employed. It comforts me that there are avenues to get help and enable older workers to stay employed.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


One frustrating concern is the cut in employers' Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rate that is triggered once one turns 50.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


The cut is steep - from 14.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent - and affects older Singaporeans like me drastically.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


Not only must I still pay off my debt to the Housing Board for my mortgaged flat on diminished income, but the price hikes are also eating into the rest of my salary.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


The Government should reconsider the cut in employers' CPF contribution rates for workers over 50. This, together with the labour movement's call to end the practice of pay cuts once a worker reaches 60 years of age, will help older workers like me and encourage the culture of working longer.

Kumar Pillay Thangavalu
This article was first published in The Straits Times.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com




After thoughts:
We have no future, so lets live one day at a time. There is no other choice. There is no opportunity to lighten the heavy load in the heart.

We have to accept to journey along the endless dark tunnel alone. No matter how difficult, we will be forgotten, just like our existence. This could be a relief to many.


Photo: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_zsmmdZKBelM/SKm7hq0L6FI/AAAAAAAAA50/HPmtN_81yFk/s1600-h/crossing.jpg


We may have a future but one with full of pains and sufferings. Unable to eat, sleep or move normally. Whatever little we have is taken by others.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


Problems belonging to others will also be counted as ours. We experience others adding more and more pressure. We see others having more and more pleasures.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


Others becomes very successful while we
deteriorate. We still have to listen to endless lectures and nagging on how to be competent. Everybody else is expert in getting the best out of life, except us. Many offers lip-services which they also know are not realistic but will say it, anyway. We are surrounded by so many sophisticated consultants who offer no other assistance other than loud consultation voices.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com

People sympathies with us, but their problems are always more urgent. Hence we need to attend to them first, and ensure their success. This is then considered correct co-operation and sharing.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


The God which we know is punishing us mercilessly. The leaders are preoccupied with their own power maintenance and expansion, using the bleak future as the reason. The people whom we are acquaintance with are continuously bombarding us with their own problems.

Who will not be exhausted?

At some stages, it may be better to drop dead for some real peace and quietness. Only then there is complete freedom from noise and trouble.


Photo: http://wallpaper4god.com


Reference