Our family is honoured to be part of the expanded edition of Bob Lee’s photography project, Memory Blocks.
Bob came to take our family portrait in our living room recently, and we love the way the photos turned out.
We were very happy that Faith was well-behaved during the session because it is not that easy to keep an autistic 19-year-old young lady still for very long. She looked like she enjoyed the photo session and even managed a smile. Though she did run away at least once during the shoot.
Side note: I love how he asked me to turn on my work lights for the photo. Yes, I have two huge lights in the living room for video work, on wheeled light stands.
Memory Blocks captures portraits of families staying in HDB flats. The portraits are made in the living room, a “potent site for familial interaction”.
This expanded edition of photographs captures how the pandemic has changed the way we live.
The project is part of the 7th Singapore International Photography Festival (7th SIPF 2020).
When you have updated to Apple's iOS 14, and you have an iPhone 8 or above, you may wish to do the following:
1. Go to the SingPass app to activate Siri Shortcuts for SafeEntry.
2. Go to Settings ➡️ Accessibility ➡️ Touch ➡️ Back Tap, and turn it on.
3. Assign Scan SafeEntry to Double Tap, and SafeEntry Check-out to Triple Tap.
4. You can now double-tap the back of your iPhone to activate SafeEntry and triple-tap to check out.
5. You’re welcome.
Note: Even though the iOS 14 update is available for first-generation iPhone SE, the iPhone 6S, the iPhone 7, and the iPhone 7 Plus, none of these models are compatible with the Back Tap feature. So, you'll need either:
-iPhone 8 Plus
-iPhone Xs Max
-iPhone 11 Pro
-iPhone 11 Pro Max
-iPhone SE 2020
or the new iPhone 12 (or whatever it will be called), and beyond.
Note 2: Make sure you open the Shortcuts app too. Sometimes you have to do that once, if you have never opened it before. And then restart your phone. Then the new shortcuts will show up.
Besides the lack of travel, this year has been marked by the lack of cinema-going too. Blockbuster movies have been delayed or pushed back. Cinemas were closed. We’ve been also locked down.
So it was with some excitement that the Wife and I went to watch the premiere of Disney’s Mulan. Tenet was the first movie we watched post-circuitbreaker but Mulan was the one we understood.
It was also very enjoyable and I’m glad we caught it on the big screen. I think the US is getting it on Disney+ (you buy it from the streaming service) but we get to see it on the big screen here.
It is quite the spectacle.
No, there is no Mushu. No, there is no cutesy humour. No, there isn’t even any singing. Just leave your animated Mulan expectations at the door and watch this as a different movie. A little more serious. A lot of pomp and grandeur.
You can tell Disney has put in a lot of effort to get the costumes and the sets right. The kungfu wire work is also spot on.
Where you might get a little thrown off is the Chinese-accented English and the English-accented pronunciation of Chinese names. Some of the over-emphasis on morals and love of country can also feel a little cringey and smell a little of propaganda.
But, get past some of the cringe and you will find a kickass movie about a kickass heroine who, well, kicks ass.
I like that the focus is on Mulan herself. The romance angle from the animated movie was played down too. This is all about a young woman’s journey to finding her place in a male-dominated society. And you will cheer her as she does it.
This is one of the best animated to live-action movie adaptions that Disney has ever done. This is no meh Cinderella or Lion King.
Think of it as a tribute to all the Chinese wuxia period movies you’ve watched before. Sure, we are familiar with the tropes and may find it hokey seen through the lens of Hollywood, like we did when Crouching Tiger came out. But I think it’s a credible effort and enjoyable for the family.
Go see it in the cinema. Oh and see if you can recognize Jet Li.
I’m done buying low-end USB-C cables. If I don’t see 10Gbps data rates on the box, I am not buying it.
It is so troublesome trying to distinguish between the low-data-rate USB-C cables designed mainly for low-power charging, and the ones I can use with my SSD drives and for 100W charging. I open my drawer and I see all these USB-C cables and they are not designed the same.
Those cheapo charging ones are usually USB 2.0 (480 Mbps) for data. Then there are those that can do 5Gbps, like Apple's 2-metre USB-C charging cable for their MacBooks. You won't use that one for data but it is still faster than USB 2.0 USB-C cables.
If you want the speed, the cable has to be 1m and below, and must say "SuperSpeed+" (10 Gbit/s maximum) or "USB 3.1 Gen 2" or "USB 3.2 Gen 2". Sometimes you see a Superspeed logo "SS" on it, and a "10".
I got this Flujo Elite X X34 USB C Cable recently. It does data transfer at 10Gbps, supports HDMI 2.0b 4K at 60Hz, and charging up to 100W (which is what your 16-inch MacBook Pro draws).
And no, this is not a sponsored post. I just happened to see that cable that met my requirements and bought it. I like Flujo products, by the way. Solid local brand. I am playing with their Signature Pro hub at the moment too. I have also used their CH55 USB-C 7 in 1 Multi-Function Adapter.
As you can see in the photo above and below, I have my share of SSD drives. I have a 1TB SSD NVME drive inside an OWC Envoy Pro EX USB-C enclosure. That is the silver one in the photo above. Wicked fast at 980MB/s transfer.
Then I have the 2TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD R-Series drive (photo above and below) that does 540MB/s over USB-C. Not bad.
And my latest one is the SanDisk Extreme PRO portable SSD (photo below, right) that also gives me 2TB over USB-C at a solid 1050MB/s. Fast enough to edit video directly from. They both come with their own short USB-C cables which support 10Gbps. But when you need something longer, you have to buy your own. So that is why I started buying better USB-C cables.
At least know which of your cables are for charging only and which ones are for high-speed data transfer, is what I am saying. This Verge piece explains the confusion better than I can.
How I wish Thunderbolt 3 SSD drives were cheaper. Then I get to play with 2,800MB/s speeds. Which is almost as fast as my 16-inch MBP's internal SSD. Woosh!
If you want to take the family for a learning journey, Kim Huat has an itinerary you can adapt from!
Take a trip around Singapore to learn the story of the many cultures that have contributed to the building of our country. Kim Huat marvels at our ability to bridge cultural differences and work together with people who may think differently from us.
More than ever, these are important skills for us to #LearnforLife.
[This video was filmed before Circuit Breaker measures were put in place. Please observe safe distancing, mask-wearing, and all the current measures necessary to beat COVID-19. Stay safe, everyone!]
Some of us start a little slower, and have different interests at different stages. What matters is taking these interests and aptitudes into account when deciding the next step in our education journeys. Kim Huat shares the story of his journey.
[This video was filmed before COVID-19. Please observe safe distancing, mask-wearing, and all the current measures necessary to beat this coronavirus, ok?]
mrbrown’s #WFH mini movie reviews: The Old Guard was not brilliant but it was a watchable action Netflix thing. Did not make me pui chow nua like 6 Underground.
Took a while to build up. Action was nice. Villain was cookie cutter. I’d like to see more Quynh. Sequel is very likely. Charlize Theron is an action flick goddess. Please show more of her past in the next movie. I also want to see more of her axe.
Middle part of the movie a little too much exposition. It’s so obviously a setup for a franchise and a sequel. It felt more like a tv series pilot than a full-on movie.
I bet the graphic novel was better. The last book of the sequel is out, I think.
Other stuff I’m watching now or soon: Warrior Nun and Apple TV+‘s Greyhound.
Also fun was The Great, on Hulu, about Catherine the Great.
In this time of COVID-19, it seems like the only movie options come from streaming services. I don't know when we will feel safe enough to go back to the cinema.
Something I wrote for Father's Day, for my church publication, the Trinitarian magazine:
“When your children see you 24/7 at home, they see their father in every situation. When he is working. When he relaxing. When he is praying (or not praying enough). When he is angry. When he is goofy. When he is loving with their mother. When he is arguing with her too.
Everything. Laid. Bare.
In these times, you start to ask yourself, how do you be the father you need to be to your children?”