One series of psychological experiments offers insight into why the stars regularly underperform at the Academy Awards -- and what can be done about it. Contrary to the widely held belief that a supportive audience improves the performance of people under pressure, these experiments show exactly the opposite is true. All those fans, friends and family in the auditorium may make the stars feel good about what they are doing on stage, but it is probably making the show more boring for the rest of us.
Thought-provoking presentation on the need to prepare your kids for the future, done by educator Karl Fisch (remixed by Scott McLeod). You can get the Quicktime and Powerpoint slides from their sites if you want it.
Teachers, students and anyone interested in education should watch this 6-minute presentation. Cool stuff.
Expat realty ad seen by Axegal on some website when she was surfing for vets.
We find homes for expats who are rich enough not to care if the parking auntie books you? We find homes for expats in estates where the parking auntie is very on-the-ball so that you will always have a parking lot? What does it all mean, dammit!
Update: I received a very swift reply from Shaw Online when I sent them my feedback. Kudos for the proactive service. Oh, they also said that contrary to what was said here by a commenter, there is absolutely no secret group involved in writing reviews for them, and that they "are totally against that". They also said, "We let the movies speak for themselves and also do not influence the external reviewers in anyway."
Here is an excerpt from the rest of the email I received from Shaw Online:
Hi Mr. Brown,
Thank you for your feedback and encouraging words.
We are puzzled as we have done testings for the website for Firefox 1.x and 2.x, Opera 8.x and 9.x, Safari (Mac) and of course IE and had no problems with the booking engine.
I personally just did another booking using my own card and FireFox :
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:184.108.40.206) Gecko/20061204 Firefox/220.127.116.11
and the transaction went thru fine.
Can you describe the problem so that we can look into it with our developer?
...We value our customers feedback a lot and will do our best to improve our services to make the movie going experience a better one.
I told them where I had problems (just before payment) and I am going to try booking again, to see whether it is my browser or the site. Nice to know there are companies out there who respond to feedback so quickly.
The old Shaw website was slow and did not work on Mac's Safari. The new site seems to be better, but when I tried to use it with Firefox -- FOR PC (update: it was Firefox 2.0, to be exact) -- it could not complete the transaction and I had to fire up Internet Explorer to book my tickets.
If it wasn't for the fact that Golden Village did not have the time slot i wanted, I would have gladly bought my tickets via GV's online booking system.
Losing customers to a rival because of poor online experience, especially since you are asking your customer to self-service, is stupid. I am already booking my own tickets using your online service, AND paying $1 more for the privilege. Don't make me jump through hoops to give you money.
The site revamp was a step in the right direction for Shaw Online, a big leap from the old site's horrendous interface (you had to register to even freaking use the site back then). Now make the damn thing work with more browsers than Explorer please. Thanks.
Flat. Tire. On. Chinese. New. Year. Eve. Wah. Lau. Eh.
Good thing I found one open tire shop (maybe they were going to eat Reunion Dinner a little later). But the patch job came up to $20. Ouch. You either pay up or spend the next four days without your ride.
This morning at the hawker centre, every shop was either closed or charged more. I had "Happiness Fried Noodles" for $3. What the heck is that?
Update: We are home. Eat until cannot move, sial. Even had to "dabao" some food back but we tasted everything. My fave was the Baked Cod with Thyme and Olive Pesto, and the Seafood Pasta Cooked in a Wrap (the prawns inside were super fresh, crunchy and sweet!). Even though I am not a liver kind of guy, I appreciated the cauliflower and the raisins soaked overnight in champagne in the sixth course, the Deep-fried Cauliflower & Duck Liver pate with Raisin Rose Dressing.
The pork ribs braised in milk also very shiok, the meat fell off the bones one. Our baked apple dessert with blood-red-wine-soaked sultanas, and the home-made mint and custard ice cream were superb.
We've never taken such a long dinner before, and it was quite refreshing. Nothing like just chatting and catching up over a long dinner like this. You should try it one day. Singaporeans are always in a rush when it comes to eating, it seems. Good company and good food is a great way to spend The Date Night of the Year.
The wife and I are tucking in to an 18-course A'more set dinner (with wine) at Basil Alcove, in Fortune Centre, Middle Road.
The talented Chef Xander is responsible for this feast, and seen here is the first course, the Mozzarella Fritta.
We just had the third course of Avocado Gazpacho (served chilled with Servuga Caviar), and so far, everything is great. Dish 2 was Baked Mussels with Pesto and Herbed Gin (which was tested earlier by Popagandhi).
Special thanks to Popagandhi for the recommendation. We are thoroughly enjoying our alfresco meal along Middle Road, far from the Valentines' Day city crowds.