What happens if you bought a place, stayed there for a couple of months/years and decided that things are not really going your way? Well, if you happen to know of any good geomancer, you can now submit your proof of ‘bad fengshui’ to the courts that could save you lots of tax when you sell it to someone else!

Apparently someone has done it and this may set a precedent for future appeals, although the papers stated that it had turned down one appeal where they felt that there was ulterior motive.

In a world where scientific proving beyond doubt is required, it is rare to see or hear of a judge who will take fengshui as a reason for an appeal. Perhaps the judge must also believe in fengshui before such a decision can be made. I wonder what will the Chief Justice say when he hears of this. 🙂

IN WHAT is believed to be the first case in Singapore , the High Court on Thursday ruled that bad fengshui is a legitimate reason for the owners to sell their property, for which they should not be taxed on the profits.
It ruled in favour of a couple who argued that they had been compelled to sell their Waterside apartment they have owned for just over two years on this ground – and not because they had intended it as a trade.

The taxman had taxed the couple on the gains they had made from the sale of the Waterside flat, as well as three other properties, asserting that the couple were engaging in the trading of properties. The sales took place between 1993 and 1996.

However, Justice Judith Prakash ruled against the couple with regards to another property at Watten Close.

She did not accept their argument that they had sold the two-storey house to avoid a legal dispute with their renovation contractor.

News article from straitstimes.com

Execution of the kitties

Rants September 6th, 2007

The presence of my kittens have led to my eviction from my previous place of accommodation and has left me pretty much homeless. Currently putting up at my friend’s place, I am not sure when my presence will be frowned upon and if I have indeed outlived my welcome. Calls to home owners have also frowned at the idea of having cats in their house, let alone 3 cats; and a typical teleconversation goes this way:

Me: Hello? Is that Maria?

Maria: Yes this is…

Me: Hi, this is Jean, I read that you have a room for rent?

Maria: (excitedly) Yes yes! We have 1 common room for rent. 350, all inclusive! PUB, cable TV, aircon… but don’t use too often, har, newly furnished place… you’ll love it! When would you like to come down for a viewing?

Me: Wow! Sounds good! Erm, how about this evening?

Maria: This evening’s fine! Are you renting alone or with someone else?

Me: Erm.. alone… but I have 3 cats.. can I …

Maria: (interrupts) No cats! No cats!

Me: Oh, but they are only…

Maria: *hangs up phone*

Me: …. 11 weeks old….

Sigh… and this is repeated for the 1,584 people that I have called. Okay.. maybe it’s just about 160… but still, I am a little tired of calling and getting rejected. So, I am thinking of either:

  1. Bringing the kitties down to SPCA, which will probably ensure a painless and quick death
  2. Letting them roam the streets and let them get knocked down by cars
  3. Pass them to the next door neighbour with 2 german sheperds…

And because they are only 12 weeks old, they cannot be sterilized yet. Yup yup. I am feeling a little lost. 🙁

Was just reading about how he was going in and out of consciousness this morning because of suspected kidney problems and now, I just got news that he’s passed on. 🙁 I think he’s one of the most musically inspirational person that I have ever heard and known and it’s really a great loss that he moved on even before his farewell concert. 🙁

ROME – LUCIANO Pavarotti, whose vibrant high C’s and ebullient showmanship made him one the most beloved tenors, has died, his manager said. He was 71.

Pavarotti was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and underwent further treatment in August 2007. His manager, Terri Robson, said in an e-mail statement that Pavarotti died at his home in Modena, Italy, at 5am on Thursday.

‘The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life. In fitting with the approach that characterised his life and work, he remained positive until finally succumbing to the last stages of his illness,’ the statement said.

Pavarotti

‘The Maestro fought a long, tough battle against the pancreatic cancer which eventually took his life,’ the statement said. — PHOTO: AFP

Son of a baker
Born on Oct 12, 1935 in the quiet northern Italian town of Modena, Luciano Pavarotti was the only son of a baker whose love of opera and own modest singing gift were an important factor in determining the boy’s future career.

After six years’ studying while working as a teacher, he won first prize in a competition in 1961 and was rewarded with the role of Rodolphe in Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ in nearby Reggio Emilia.

From such modest beginnings, his reputation began to grow and by 1963 he was singing in Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich and London.

His American debut came in February 1965 in a production of Donizetti’s ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ in Miami, Florida, with Joan Sutherland as Lucia.

Come of age
It was with Sutherland in February 1972 that he truly came of age, taking Covent Garden and the New York Metropolitan Opera by storm with a sparkling production of another Donizetti favourite, ‘La Fille du Regiment’.

Pavarotti hit nine effortless top notes in the first aria, a feat which saw the audience erupt in a standing ovation and also earned him the epithet ‘King of the high C’s’.

Despite his success, he never fully learned to read music, preferring to memorise his roles. As a result he mastered only one at a time, leaving him with a surprisingly limited repertoire for a singer of his stature.

He also managed to shock purists with his appearances in live concerts, sometimes alongside pop musicians. In 1991 a crowd of 150,000, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, braved the rain and cold in London’s Hyde Park to hear him sing.

The previous year Pavarotti had hit an even wider audience, when his performance of the aria ‘Nessun Dorma”, from Puccini’s ‘Turandot,’ was chosen as the theme music for the 1990 Football World Cup, hosted by his native Italy.

‘Three Tenors’
Among his best-known initiatives in his later years were his appearances with two other leading singers, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo, as the ‘Three Tenors”, and the annual ‘Pavarotti and Friends’ concerts in his home town of Modena.

The events saw him performing with rock stars from Elton John and Eric Clapton to Zucchero and even the Spice Girls, to raise money for children in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Second marriage
Pavarotti’s success also attracted the attention of the society columns. In 1996 he left his wife Adua after 35 years of marriage and three grown-up daughters for his secretary Nicoletta Mantovani, whom he married in 2003, and with whom he had one child.

The singer’s weight caused him increasing health problems in his later years, and he also ran into trouble with the Italian tax authorities, with whom he reportedly reached a settlement for the payment of arrears amounting to millions of euros. — AP, AFP

Meeting (EP)

Events September 6th, 2007

Venue: Somerset MRT Station

Retreat (TDM)

Events September 6th, 2007

Venue: Still planning

Hi Tea (SCE)

Events September 6th, 2007

Venue: Discussion Room

Lunch (SY)

Events September 6th, 2007

Venue: Great World City

Supposed to be followed with Evan Almighty at 12 noon

Mobile: (65) 9635-6857

Home: (65) 6271-5593

Dinner (SiTF)

Events September 6th, 2007

Venue: Marina Mandarin Hotel

Attire: Formal (Shirt/Pants)

Dear Wayne/ Ming / Dionis /Zhen Hoe / Estee –

Hope you are well and good. You may be surprised to hear that SiTF is turning 25. Yes, SiTF is celebrating her ‘silver’ anniversary.

As a gesture of our appreciation for the support the TDMers had given to SiTF, we would like to extend an invitation to you and the other TDMers would had assisted us during iX 2007.

Date: 7th September, Friday

Time: 7pm to 10pm

Venue: Marina Mandarin Hotel

Do let us know the number of TDMers who will be keen to attend. My colleague Jenny will assist you with the registration.

With best regards,
saro muthusamy
industry development
singapore infocomm technology federation
did:(65) 6325-9702 fax:(65) 6325-4993

Apparently, a second person was involved in the Cpl Teo incident. Ong, 21, unemployed is said to be charged by the police for having met Cpl Teo and is assumed to know that the latter had a weapon with him. Was talking to Endoh over MSN and he thought that Ong’s probably as good as being an accomplice.

Here’s the rest of the article… but.. who’s Ong?

A full-time national serviceman, Dave Teo Ming, 20, was charged in court on Wednesday with carrying a firearm.
Another man, Ong Boon Jun, 21, was also charged. Ong, unemployed was accused of consorting with Teo at a hotel in Geylang.

No plea was taken from Teo, who was remanded together with Ong.

Teo, a corporal, is said to have unlawfully carried the SAR 21 assault rifle at a toilet on the third floor of Cathy Cineleisure Orchard at about 8pm on Sunday.

He went missing on Sunday night, sparking off a 20-hour manhunt which culminated in his arrest the following evening.

Ong is alleged to have associated with Teo at Champagne Hotel in Lorong 16 between 3.45am and 7.30am on Monday in circumstances which raised a reasonable presumption that he knew that Teo was carrying the firearm.

Both men will appear in court again next Wednesday.

Teo was represented by lawyer Abdul Aziz Yatim.

The recent finding from the sequencing of an individual has shown that there are more variants that we had first imagined in the human genome. While this shows that there is far more work that needs to be done, recognizing this would propel us forward, if we take it in the right manner. So, what are the possibilities if we are able to fully understand the genetic code one day?

Well, we might just be able to reconstruct a person from just a single DNA sample. After sequencing the DNA sample, we would be able to tell the colours of the eyes, the skin, the hair, the features… and possible the weight and height. If we are able to get a cell, we may be able to analyze the metabolomics and be able to use these metadata to aid in the reconstruction.

Given these advances, we will be able to reconstruct victims of crimes where they are disfigured beyond recognition. If we are able to get a sample of the assaulter, we will be able to reconstruct him as well. And oh, reconstructing a person here means doing it using imaging means and not really reconstructing a person. That might one day be possible but it will probably sound to far fetched to most people here.

And oh, just to add a last bit. When that day comes, the bio-ethics advisory better be functioning well, else if DNA data gets into the wrong hands, hell will, literally, break lose.