Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Lipstick and Gloss

Zebra crab. Photo: NUS.
The splendour of the tropics is one of enduring memories for those of use who have lived in this zone.  The flora and fauna and both abundant and vibrant.  The same can be said for the inhabitants of the marine environment.

It is therefore no surprise that a "Lipstick" sea anemone has been discovered in Pulau Ubin's mudflats; and it could be a completely new species found nowhere else.  The same can be said for the orange-clawed mangrove crab.

Perhaps my favourite though is the one that the Straits Times chose to feature,  the zebra crab. Since 2010 the Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey has documented some 30,000 specimens found in the mudflats, sea beds and on reefs.

The survey is a joint scientific effort between the National University of Singapore's Tropical Marine Science Institute and the National Parks Board (who for some peculiar branding reason have adopted the acronym NParks).

From lipstick to gloss is but a small transition, but in terms of the arts in Singapore, one gigantic step.  In the past few hours the Singapore film 'Ilo Ilo' has won a prestigious Cannes prize for it's Singaporean director.

Anthony Chen is the first Singaporean to win the prestigious Camera d'Or prize and deservedly so according to the festival jury. It is tangible evidence of Singapore's cultural renaissance, whose origin can be traced back to former PM's Goh Chok Tong's time in office.

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Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Today's Print - St Heliers Bay

St Heliers Bay, Auckland, NZ
Roger Smith 2013

Copies of this print can be purchased online -  framed or unframed -  by clicking here.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Safer and Cheaper in Singapore

For those of us who have money in a bank it is always somewhat reassuring to find that the bank that you trust, is not likely to fall over any time soon.

Good news then for Singaporeans as OCBC has retained its title as the world’s strongest bank for the second year in Bloomberg's latest research.

United Overseas Bank Ltd. (UOB) comes in number seven and DBS at number eight thanks in a large part to the steady Singapore economy and an aversion to risk.  Mind you, the interest deposit rates for term investments in the Republic are fairly minuscule when compared to other countries, but you can't have it both ways.

Not only are the banks more secure but the cost of living, based on a global index of recognisable US consumables, shows that Singapore is much cheaper to live in than say Australia, the USA or the UK.

Hong Kong has greater purchasing power parity than Singapore.  Mouse over the charts to see the figures.

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