It’s been a long while since I last been overseas. Last Sunday, I had a chance to go overseas. Well, quite literally over the waters. I went to Sentosa.

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In the last year that I hadn’t been there, many things have indeed changed – starting from the monorail station, to the stations on the sunny island that’s set in the… sea, to the landscape at Sentosa. I remembered going there frequently with a friend, and his friends for games of beach volleyball. However, he has since married and I guess that’s when the ball stops to.

Oh well…

Thankfully, I am going over to Sentosa for more fun things last Sunday! As everyone knows… the latest attraction at Sentosa is…

Read the rest of this entry »

No, I don’t “chiong”. But I would really love to invite you to an exclusive World AIDS Day Singapore event that is happening on 5th December 2009 at the Supperclub Singapore. Actually I don’t really know where it is or how it is like, but I think it’s perhaps some cool place where people gather and chat and eat .

As with all other 1,236,309 contests there are, there’s always a “deadline” and a “quiz”. So, here’s the deal. I’d need you to tell me if you would use this (and why, if possible):

Go on and click on it 🙂 Of course, watch your back first… It’s not NSFW, but still…

You can either comment in this post, or click here if you do not wish to let others know what your answer is 😉 And how long more will this giveaway last? Well, it’s about this number of days more:

Which is actually the number of days left to World AIDS Day! So, do send in your answers quick so that I can give away all 5 pairs of tickets to an awesome event to commemorate World AIDS Day, to be aware of what HIV/AIDS is and to to support people living with HIV.


In the past, the topic of plastic surgery has always been spoken in secret because it had not been well received. One of the not too recent debacle of an instance of this topic was when people started speculating if Dawn Yang has had plastic surgery when some rather malicious guy posted pictures of her in her JC times, depicting her as an ugly duckling, or at least tried very hard to.

Some people are of the view that a person should just admit that they have undergone plastic surgery, while others thing that it’s sometime that should not be done at all (and I will leave the moral ethics of it for another post). However, what is unchangeable is that plastic surgery has been getting popular locally, especially those with minimal downtime.

Of course, the mere mention of plastic surgery and everyone will think of having bruises on their heads or worrying that their nose might drop off in a botched job. However, most people have it much easier nowadays.

I had the opportunity to speak to representatives from The Sloane Clinic, Q-MED and Navi Plastic Surgery Clinic in Seoul. The Sloane Clinic had just had its 4th branch opened at Novena Medical Centre and is working hand-in-hand with Q-MED, which was promoting Restylane – a non-animal-based filler that is assimilated with the body’s natural cells and collagen; while Dr. Moon Hyoung-Jin is in town to give his experience of using Restylane on his patients.

Restylane is this jelly-looking clear substance that acts as a filler – a collagen substitute, that could maintain its massaged form for up to 24 months after it has been administered. The good thing about it is that it is not animal-based and apparently helps to simulate growth of collagen, which declines after we get older. Also, there are different “grades” of Restylane that could be used, depending on the problem area.

The Sloane Clinic sounded rather familiar to me, even though I couldn’t recall how or when I came across the name. What was impressive though, was the layout and the skills of the doctor when a live demo was given during the visit.

The doctor used Restylane, the filler that could maintain its form up to 24 months after it is administered. Nonetheless, while the doctor was administering Restylane on the patient, most of the people in the room cringed while the doctor injected almost effortlessly and the patient looked as if she was never in pain. Me, being the doctor-to-be wannabe, just continued taking photos of the entire process. 😛

Following the demonstration, I had a chance to speak to Dr. Moon, who is based in Seoul, but travels to Shenzhen about twice a month to manage his clinic over there. Speaking of which, if you ever get to go to South Korea, you should take some time to observe the ladies (and perhaps gentlemen) around you. Most of them look terrific, and it’s of little wonder because there is probably a strong emphasis of looking good in a country that is so highly competitive. Anyway, Dr. Moon commented that most people like to go for aesthetic procedures that are less permanent nowadays because there is apparently a trend that is happening. So, while having a “high” nose may be the in-thing this year, it could be having a plumper lower lip the following year. Having said that, most people will not mind going for something that lasts for only 2 years and “renewing” it every other year following that. Most importantly, he mentioned, is the fact that the use of fillers, like Restylane, reduces downtime to as little as a few hours over lunch time, or up to 5 days should bruising occur. I guess that’s how “lunch-time procedure” gets its name from.

While I didn’t get the opportunity to take “before” and “after” photos, I have in my hands some photos provided by the clinic. Various aspects of the person’s face was given, but the results were so obvious that by just looking at the person upfront, you can probably tell the difference:

 

The photo on the left is the “before” photo, which shows the person having sunken cheeks and “eye bags”. The photo on the right, which is the “after” photo, shows a more oval face with a sharper chin and fuller cheeks. In fact, the jawline probably looks rounder and better after the procedure. From the other perspectives, the person probably had fillers on her cheeks and “eye bags”, which gives her a rejuvenated look.

Of course, the girl looks best when she’s smiling 😉 Don’t you think she looks like Cyndi Wang? Hmm…

Certainly, I am not advocating that everyone should start looking into the mirror to see what they can “patch up”. Just as Dr. Low Chai Ling of The Sloane Clinic had mentioned, not everyone has the same needs, just like how everyone is different. Some may be suitable for such a short and simple procedure, while others may need a different approach to achieve what they desire. Of course, there will be the occasional few who are born with it. Such lucky people!

Nonetheless, it’s important that everyone should be happy with how they look. Of course, if they are unhappy with their looks, then it is probably important that they should seek professional advice. Plastic surgeons and dermatologists, just like any other doctors, are guided by code of ethics and as long as they confide in their doctors their problems, these should and can be solved. The editors attended the event under the invitation of OMY.SG. No monetary compensation was received, though the editors were given a nice (but rather tough) sandwich dinner and door gifts of mirrors. And no, Simply Jean does not advocate going for plastic surgery and thinks that anyone thinking of doing so should seek at least a second opinion. If this doesn’t make sense to you, think of Michael Jackson, whose songs I really like, by the way.

Actually, there’s only one new stuff that has happened. If you had noticed, the blog is hosted on http://blog.simplyjean.com/. Well, actually the root (which is http://www.simplyjean.com/) has been in “alpha” state for quite a while. And there had been happenings on “other parts” of the website.

So today, it will move out of “alpha” state and probably be in “beta” state for a while. Don’t know what I mean? Jump on to http://www.simplyjean.com/ to find out! Heh heh… it’s nothing much, but I thought it will be good to bring things together. Namely:

1. Added the other social media bits
2. Added in the link to the almost defunct photo gallery that had been running for a while
3. Allow subscription by email

Well, yes, that’s about it for now; and I can only do this because I was “accidentally free”. Erm, long story, but you can check out my other social media bits and you’ll probably see why 😛

Ok, I might be late on this, but while going on a following frenzy on Twitter (while Plurk was down; sorry Twitter, I will respect you more from now onwards), I saw, guess what? “StarhubCares” on Twitter! They had been replying to questions from fellow Twits like myself on their issues and to a certain extend, doing some real-time troubleshooting of a smaller scale!

I am not sure if this is a Starhub initiative, but I say, “Well done, Starhub!” at least for one thing – making yourself available through one more channel. Well, at least the social media channel. We all hear about big companies jumping onto the bandwagon where their marketing is concern and where their bottom lines are the measure of the efficacy of the social media, but this, I tell you, is really what plugging themselves into the social media scene is all about – making yourself (or rather, the company) available through social media (networks) and engaging with the people in it not just for the sales and marketing, but for the support as well.

Heading this account is a particular Ian McKee (according to the bio) who is “(t)here to join the conversation and help with your StarHub questions”. An Internet search returns results that seemed to relate a certain Ian McKee, CEO and Chief Strategist for Volcanic, “a company that specialises in Identifying Influencers and crafting strategies to engage and activate them to launch word of mouth campaigns for clients such as Heineken, StarHub, Citibank, Discovery and Adobe”.

Of course, I’d think a CEO has more things to do than to sit in front of the Twitter page. In fact, the replies seem to be rather spontaneous to be him anway. Then again, it may just be a case of mis-identity.

If Starhub is going to sustain this in the long run, I think they will gather more supporters like myself who has been with Starhub for the longest time (since the days of Cyberway?). I will definitely be keeping an eye on this. 🙂

Yes, I am referring to DK – Darryl Kang of Blog2u.sg, i.e. @dk99 on plurk and blog.dk.sg (heh, free plug eh?)

Below is a conversation between DK and another friend. DK is apparently using our (his and mine) friendship to emotionally blackmail me. Well done, DK. Well done.

2/26/2009  1:34:46 AM  Friend: but then, she really feels like disappearing and cannot stand the cold shoulder… been bothering her a lot.
2/26/2009  1:36:28 AM  DK: good lah
2/26/2009  1:36:33 AM  DK: finally taking effect

“good la, finally taking effect”?

Thanks. I now know how you “treasure” our friendship. And to think that I used to like you. I must have been blind.

Asshole.

The moral of the story? When you decide to “teach your friends a lesson” (if you even consider them your friends anymore), you better pray that nothing leaks. DK, your integrity sucks and I look down on you!

Scum.

I gave you a chance to explain yourself, but you threw it away. Hope you are enjoying your dinner.

On the side, I guess this gives me a good closure. For those who knows me and/or knows what had been happening (and for those who really bothered to care), I guess this means that I will stop feeling bad about losing DK as a friend. Despite my various attempts to apologise, talk to him, create conversations and all, DK just treated me as a piece of glass – probably transparent and tempered. Replies to his plurk, asking him for supper also turned onto deaf ears.

And when I asked if we were still friends, he had the cheek to tell me that he doesn’t know how to reply that sms. Not to mention that I’d never forget what he told me when I apologised.

“It’s too late”

Turned out that he was trying to “teach me a lesson” (in pretty much his own words), “it’s time I learn” and whatever crap he can come up with (no offence to chillycraps). For a good 6 weeks or so I felt really bad. People on plurk could have probably seen that. Well, whatever his plan was, it nearly put me into total submission; until of course, I found out what he was doing. Thanks for the emotional roller coaster ride.

Like I said, some friends are worth keeping. Some friends… well, are probably just fiends worthy of exorcism.

And for posterity sake:

“It’s good that it’s taking effect”

“but it’s not time to see her yet”

“whenever she’s in depression, she needs to be taught a lesson”

“I don’t think it’s enough”

“she needs to be taught a lesson”

“good, it’s taking effect”

“I want her to be taught a lesson until she’s ready” (editor: huh?!)

DK, thanks for your words (or rather, sentences) of wisdom. But I think you just pwned yourself, asshole. And stop playing victim. You know what you have done.

A Date with Lenovo

Blogosphere February 14th, 2009

A few days ago, I was honored to be invited by Derrick to the Lenovo blogger night (Thanks Derrick). It is a small and cozy event, in which 5 models of Lenovo laptops were being showcased.

Being an age old Thinkpad user since the Thinkpad 560 days, one lone model immediately caught my attention. It is the gigantic 17″ W700, which closely resembles the classic Thinkpad product line.

However, W700 and W700ds is not customized for the usual office-based business clientele who goes for lighter weight laptops. It is specially customized for the niche group of users who requires portability, uses intensive amount of graphics, and requires high computational power. This group of users commonly work as graphics & animation designers and virtual reality & three dimensional researchers.

The W700 and W700ds are powerful machines, whose performance are comparable to server machines, but with the additional feature of portability. The W700 contains 2 cores (Intel Core 2 Extreme processor X9100, 3.06GHz 1GHz 6MB), while the W700ds contains 4 cores (Intel Core 2 Quad Core Extreme processor QX9300, 2.53GHz 1GHz 12MB).

It also boast a top of the line NVIDIA GPU graphics card (NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700 1GB), which allows programming using CUDA and is SLI frame rendering supported. For researchers in graphics, this GPU graphics card will feel like water to the fishes. It is their usual cutting-edge tools that they use day in and out.

Notable additional useful features include WACOM Digitizer, Pantone Color Sensor and 17″ wide inch which are useful to designers. Moreover, being a laptop, means that it is portable, and can be brought out for demonstration. Hmm, now I wonder if I will get my chance to lay my hands on a permanent one… Will my school be getting one? Hmm…

By Alice Cheong

Yeah, after a pretty long hiatus, I have returned. Well, not that I’ve really been away, but 2008 had been a really hectic year! 2009 will be an even more hectic year, but I’m trying to prioritize things so that there will be time for everything.

First of all, I’d like to wish all my blog readers a Happy New Year! This New Year’s eve had been a little different from previous years – where I usually find a good spot to capture the best of the countdown fire works. Instead, I had decided to RSVP to a corporate invitation to spend New Year’s Eve at Clarke Quay. This is probably the first New Year’s eve with almost nothing organized within my usual group of friends and bloggers – with some of them having found new halves to hang out with, while others suffered from PMS (both the male and female versions) which will result in very little turnout for any even – if organized at all.

I have also turned down an inaugural invitation to be part of a Bloggers’ Resident Program (BRP) cos’ Simply Jean is already currently writing for NHB’s yesterday.sg, which at most times, is easily quite demanding given the need to crack her brains for newer places to explore and more ancient things to write about. While there’s a risk that NHB’s programme will be canned anytime soon, moving on to another BRP might not always be the good solution, since it takes away attention from this blog.

2008 had been a good year as Simply Jean was nominated in 2 blog awards – Ping.sg’s and OMY.sg’s. Quite obviously, nothing was won but the campaigning period had been pretty interesting. However, with strong contenders like Sheylara.com, Rinaz.net and the likes, it’s a little difficult to come on par. Some might argue that blogging is not about winning awards, but well, some fun won’t kill, will it? 🙂

2008 is also the year that Simply Jean had been referenced several times in the Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. 2 blog entries – particularly the one on Pedra Branca and another on Li Hongyi brought more eyeballs to this blog, however, nothing beats this. Ever. Then again, probably different “market” 😛

So, what’s installed in 2009? Well, I guess that depends indirectly on how many of such events happen. Of course, this reminds of something that someone once asked me, “Isn’t Simply Jean an anti-establishment?”. Well, I am not sure what made people think this way,, but I’d think that Simply Jean is just a, quote-unquote, Kao Beh blog, according to someone who’s into the real political scene. In fact, this person was surprised that I even sang the national anthem!

So, what’s a good way to start the new year? Well, I’m not too sure, but for the first time, I tried the Starbucks Toffee Nut Frappacino but just short of getting their Espresso Passport. Fortunately, or unfortunately, today is the last day that the Toffee Nut Frappie will be served, but fret not! It will be back by this Christmas. Yes, the one in 2009. =S

Lastly, before I end this entry, I would be going for the Bloggers Calendar’s Launch which will be held latter at SMU’s Ice Cold B at 6:30pm. Yes, some of the bloggers joked about an autograph session, but… nay, it’s probably just another excuse to get together. And oh, if you have not/decided not to purchase the calendar, I think you can still download your copy here.

Meanwhile, have a good new year! 🙂

Simply Jean was invited to the bloggers’ event, but oh man, did I felt out of place or what? It was a glam event, with glam limousine rides… with an unglam me! Almost all the other female bloggers were dressed to the nines except me. In fact, Sabrina asked if I was going backpacking when she saw me at the Fairmont, where we were all waited to be picked up by the limo.

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And when I mentioned limo, I wasn’t referring to the Limocabs by Comfort or other taxi companies. It was a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG LIMO! So, we were all packed into the limousine and I didn’t want to take out my big fat camera at the lobby of the hotel because I thought it would be rather… uncool. Yes, I was already unglam – the last thing I want is to be uncool at the same time.

Well, the ride was great and we had gawking commuters at every junction. In fact, passerbys were flashing away with their compacts whenever the limo stopped for the traffic light. It was fun while the ride lasted but it was definitely unforgettable. =)

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We arrived at the Scarlet Hotel shortly after, which didn’t seem too long when you are enjoying yourself in the limo. I met some familiar faces, including Pris, I.Z. Reloaded, and Willy, amongst the many familiar faces. Food was great even though it’s just local fare. It’s strange how local fare automatically tastes better whenever it’s served in a posh place. Then again, it can either be psychological or they just had better cooks.

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The moment of indulging my senses finally came when Philips introduced their new LED TV (Ed: I think it’s called the Philips Flat TV with Perfect Pixel HD Engine and Ambilight Spectra 2… quite a mouthful). Yes, LED TV, not LCD TV. Well, it could jolly well be a technical term and be an LED LCD TV, but mine, did it blow my mind off. The colours were so vibrant, I felt I was inside the movie when they played Ironman on it. Black on the TV looked very dark and put the LCD TV next to it to shame. In addition, it came with ambient lights at the back of the TV that somehow seemed to enhance the TV experience. In fact, I am not even sure if “TV experience” is appropriate for it now because it does seem to have gone beyond that.

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I would have loved to stay a little longer to appreciate the fine details of the Philips LED TV, but we were quickly broken up into groups where we got to be introduced to the many products of Philips. First stop was the BTM630 Micro Hi-Fi System… which I don’t really have any words for it. It apparently connects to Bluetooth devices using A2DP and is able to play music streamed from such devices. What was amazing (even though I know that it is possible technically) was the demonstration on using it as a replacement for your mobile phone’s loud speaker. I wasn’t quite sure where the microphone is, but communication was definitely possible via the audio system.  Now, everyone home can have a teleconferencing kit.

And oh, apparently it rips your CD music into your thumbdrive as well.

During this session, we were also introduced the Philips Advanced Acoustics In-ear Headphone (Ed: Model SHE9850, yeah, women rulez). What is special about it is that it reminds me of my ear-plugs – those that I squeeze into a tiny ball and pop it into my ear for it to expand and fill up the cavities. Well, not that you should be doing that to your ears, but the earphones Philips showed us was just that – a soft squeezable material replacing the standard foam/silicon rubber to give you effective passive noise cancellation.

I didn’t want to do the squeeze on the earphone and try it because I think I will look double unglam then. Yes, one shot of unglamness is enough for one day.

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We were then ushered to the next room where the TV was on display again. This time, a Nintendo Wii was hooked to the television and we have Sabrina’s sister (sorry, what’s her name?) trying out Guitar Hero. Unfortunately, the mock guitar was almost non-responsive and there wasn’t so much spark from it. It would have been good if that worked, but well, at least we could still enjoy the TV while the rest tried it out.

Me? I am bad at fingering.

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Following which, everyone was ushered to the ground floor where we waited in anticipation for the limo ride again. 

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Tadah! The limo!

Ok, of course, this is not our limo… but the next one is. =)

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Now, when the limo stopped, we got a fair bit of horning from the other cars because they were unable to overtake it. It really isn’t the limo’s fault because if you look carefully, there is another car parked indiscriminately on the other side of the road. Mind you, this was a double yellow lined road, which basically means the car isn’t supposed to be there. I have the photos with the car plate number in my albums, but I think… I’ll just be nice.

In the car, we tried out the headphones that were quite obviously made by Creative, Apple and Philips. Well, it’s actually a guess, because we were subjected to a blind test. Well, if the tester doesn’t know the brands of the players and the earphones, then it would be a double blind test, but that’s not the point here. The point is that I wasn’t able to figure out the quality of 2 of the earphones because while the same song is played, one of it was played too loudly. Well… I was hoping for a replay, but it was too late as the limo had gone 1 round and returned to the hotel.

It was a little hard to take photos in the car… cos’ for some reason, I forgot to bring the fat flash along for the fat camera. Oh well…

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The last stop was for the hair products that Philips is carrying. I tried giving my hair some curls in the past, but it didn’t seem to work well. Philips now have a Curling Iron that has digital temperature control – which probably beats all my analogue ones hands down. The only pity was that… I did’n’t get to try it, but Sabrina did. Can you spot the curls in her hair? She looks sexier, doesn’t she? Heh heh…

All good things have to come to an end and while everyone else left for the Fairmont in the limo again, I stayed behind for another private event – the private listening of the new Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy! And oh, it was also I.Z. Reloaded’s birthday! Happy Belated Birthday again!

The Philips event was quite an eye-opener for me, especially on the earphones. I never thought that such a earphone could have been manufactured, but well, technology does advance pretty fast nowadays. Yeah, it might be a small thing, but if the sound is good, people will go heads over heels over it. Now… where is the sample set… =P

Xiaxue has made her stand – she is not going to apologise (although I thought she did retract her statements). In fact, she challenged Dawn, who is currently on holiday in Sydney, to sue her. Dawn’s lawyer commented that they will not be ruling out other options – including mediation and a meeting between both parties without using any points raised in such a meeting in court.

While I do not doubt that the spat is real, but I smell *ahem* publicity *cough* stunt… =P

Bloggers’ spat: Xiaxue refuses to say sorry

By Debbie Yong

BLOGGER Wendy Cheng – better known online as Xiaxue – is not going to apologise to fellow blogger Dawn Yang. She was supposed to do so by Tuesday, the deadline set in a letter sent to her last week by Ms Yang’s lawyer.

The letter referred to allegedly defamatory remarks made by Ms Cheng, in a blog entry dated June 30, about Ms Yang. Ms Cheng, 23, had written, among other things, about the other’s entertainment and endorsement deals.

She also baulked at being compared to Ms Yang, 23, in a June 25 report in Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao. The letter had asked for Ms Cheng to publicly apologise and propose a settlement for the damages caused to Ms Yang.

‘I am not going to apologise. If she wants to embarass herself she can go ahead and sue me’, Ms Cheng told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

She is presented by Keystone Law Corporation.

Ms Yang is in Sydney on a holiday and could not be reached for comments. Mr K Anparasan from KhattarWong, the firm representing her, confirmed that he has received Ms Cheng’s letter but said he has yet to discuss the next step with Ms Yang.

However, he added that they will not rule out other options besides going to court, such as mediation or a ‘without prejudice’ meeting between both parties to settle the dispute.

This means that points raised in the meeting will not be used adversely against them in court.

The bad blood between the two bloggers goes back to November 2006, when they were compared in an online ‘hottest bloggers’ ranking.

They have been making comments about each other on their blogs since.

Ms Cheng gets 50,000 hits daily on her blog while Ms Yang gets 30,000.

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest%2BNews/Singapore/STIStory_260309.html

Article extracted on 22nd July 2008