Unexpected

Blade of light

Blade of light – Background wall with door

It wasn’t supposed to be like that.

She was supposed to celebrate graduation in a few months. She was supposed to go to her dream college. She was supposed to get a successful career and make our parents proud. She was supposed to fulfil her dream of finally saving enough money to go to the place she had always yearned to go, France, and adopt the pet she always wanted.

My sister was supposed to have a beautiful, perfect life. A life that was all planned out for her, the moment she opened her eyes for the first time.

Not to be found on Tuesday, unmoving, silent, and dead.

When the police told us about her suicide, my parents immediately broke into a sobbing, weeping mess. But I couldn’t. I felt numb. My mind was blank. I couldn’t even remember where I was. All I could think of was how I came home crying on the first day of school because I didn’t know how to make friends and she comforted me for hours, telling me that it was okay. That I’ll definitely make  friends soon. That she’ll be always there for me, forever.

She lied, didn’t she?

Her suicide was all anyone could talk about then, but it changed drastically when I showed up dry-eyed and emotionless to her funeral, beside my parents, who were too wrapped up in their sorrow of losing their star child. The look of sympathy turned to doubt, tinged with disgust.

Did they think that I was happy over her death, because all my life, she had shone so brightly that a shadow was casted on me? That I didn’t even want to waste a tear on her?

I wanted to tell them that they were wrong. That, despite outshining me in everything and winning all our parents’ affection, she was still my best friend, my partner in crime, and the best sister anyone could ask for.

I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t.

Each day I struggled to stay afloat among the sea of gossips and snide remarks thrown my way, all hoping that I’d drown. Each day, I put on a mask of indifference the moment I stepped out of the door. But each day, I leaned against my sister’s room door, defeated and drained. It hasn’teen opened since her death. Itelt sacred, somehow. Like I wasn’t allowed to touch them anymore.

But on one particularly bad day, I couldn’t take it anymore. The door creaked open reluctantly, letting me into her little world, where her blue walls stared back at me, her overflowing bookshelf spilled onto the floor, her bad unmade, table messy, and bobby pins lay on the floor, forgotten. I froze. Everything about it screamed her, screamed normal, screamed comforting.

Like she went for a walk and was about to come back with her favourite food.

And sitting cross-legged on the carpet, hugging the blue cushion that I had once loved so much, I finally let the tears fall.

 

Chen Yu Yang

1T

Music Favourites: World is Mine

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“What is vocaloid?” I hear you ask. Well, it is a piece of software that is used to model a human singing voice. Before you stop reading this article because you dislike computer generated songs, please hear me out. Vocaloid songs are not that bad, some even sound pretty good! My favourite vocaloid song is ‘World Is Mine’. It is an original vocaloid song by  Supercell, sung by Hatsune Miku.

It is one of the most popular vocaloid songs, with over 20 million views on the popular video sharing site Youtube. This song is about a spoilt girl who considers herself as a princess and that the world revolves around her. However, she falls in love with a boy and resolves to change for the better for him.

Why is ‘World is Mine’ is popular? I find that its popularity is due to the interesting twist in Hatsune Miku’s character when she sings this song. After all, she is often portrayed as a meek and sweet-tempered girl, in contrast to the selfish and fickle girl we hear in this song. This song has a catchy tune, and had me hitting the ‘replay’ button for days upon hearing it. This is also the vocaloid song that got me into vocaloid music in the first place. This is also the vocaloid song that is said to have begun vocaloid music’s popularity!

Overall, this is a catchy and interesting song. Even if you have never heard of any vocaloid music before, why not give this song a go? After all, you will never know if you never try! For those of you who have already heard this song and like it, there is an official sequel to ‘World is Mine’ called ‘I’ll teach you’, which sounds equally nice or better. Here are the music video links in case you are interested:

‘World is Mine’ music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY__VTIUsiU

‘I’ll teach you’ music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Genk26khK_E

 

Rachel Goh

S1P

References:

http://vocaloid.wikia.com/wiki/%E3%83%AF%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB%E3%83%89%E3%82%A4%E3%82%BA%E3%83%9E%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3_(World_is_Mine)

http://www.zerochan.net/1034970

Sleep-talking

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My sister has a habit of talking in her sleep. Being a light sleeper, I got used to being woken up up from my sleep. Recently, she has been talking in her sleep more frequently, to the point that I would hear her mutter every single night. At first, I thought that maybe my brain was not processing the information properly as I was too tired, so I ignored her and went back to sleep. Then I gradually realised that the she would always be mumbling the same things.

One night, out of curiosity, I decided to record a video of her sleep talking. I stayed up late, waiting for the moment when she would start sleep talking. The second I heard her start to speak, I whipped out my mobile phone from under my blanket. It took only a few seconds for her to finish what she had to say, before going back to sleep.

The next morning, I showed the video to her. She shrugged and claimed that she did not even remember sleep talking, much less know the meaning of the words.

That night, I played around with the video, speeding it up, playing it in slow motion, and then finally played it backwards.

“I know what you did.”

My eyes widened. How could she possibly have known? I took a few deep breaths and calmed myself down, then looked at the bed across the room, which my sister was sleeping on peacefully.

I just have to make everything look like an accident again.

Jing Rung (2D)

Food Review: Pompompurin Café Singapore

Ever heard of Pompompurin, the golden retriever Sanrio character that wears a trademark brown beret? I bet it was part of your childhood – after all, Pompompurin was twice voted the Most Popular Sanrio Character in the Strawberry News, a magazine published by Sanrio, and it was also given first place during the Sanrio Character ranking in 2015.

Seeing the Pompompurin merchandise, furniture and wall art that are plastered everywhere in Pompompurin Café Singapore, fans will definitely be hyped up. The café covers a space of 1,900 square feet in Orchard Central, and the canine-themed decoration and adorably cute Pompompurin-shaped food and drinks served on the menu are bound to get you squealing incessantly. Furthermore, to add on to Pompompurin Café Singapore’s unique features, its “garden city” theme is in tandem to Singapore’s local culture, inspired by Singapore’s lush greenery and worldwide recognition as a garden city. In addition to the multitude of Pompompurin seats available for customers, there are also four 4-seater booths called “Tomodachi House” (Friends House), featuring one of Pompompurin’s friends each, namely Bagel the Squirrel, Coconut the Monkey, Mint the Frog and Macaroon the Golden Retriever.

Before you even ask about souvenirs, the answer to this question is an enthusiastic yes – collectibles that come along with meal sets are available! The Pompompurin collectible mug that is included in many of the dishes, including Mushroom and Bacon Carbonara ($26.99) and Bagel’s Special: Pancake Tower ($21.99), is simply adorable and is definitely the perfect keepsake to remember your dining experience at Pompompurin Cafe Singapore by.

If that isn’t enough to win you over, let me assure you that the meals are bound to have you eagerly snapping photographs to post on your social media account due to its delicately designed Pompompurin-shaped platters, even though it might be overpriced and merely average. After all, at the end of the day, it is the whole Pompompurin package you are paying for, not only the dish or drink itself, isn’t it? That being said, food options are also plentiful, with mouth-watering menu choices. Some of the more popular and photogenic dishes include Taco Rice in a Cup of Friendship ($19.99), Pompompurin’s Beef Stroganoff ($18.99) and Pompompurin’s Coconut Milk Chicken Curry ($17.99).

Chloe Kho (2P)

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Zhang Yi Xing 张艺兴 (EXO’s Lay)

Other than possessing extremely stunning looks and a beautiful dance, what makes Zhang Yi Xing, EXO’s Lay, so unique and loveable? A singer, dancer, composer, actor and comedian, is there anything this man is incapable of? Since his appearance on the viral Chinese game show, Go Fighting (极限挑战), he has been receiving much love from the people of China but what truly made his fans fall for him is definitely a mystery. Today, I shall offer the top three possible reasons why his fans (Xingfan) fall heads over heels for this man.

  1. He never missed a bow

Despite being one of Asia’s most influential figures in the entertainment industry, he is always grateful to his fans for their never ending love and can be seen bowing 5 times to express his gratitude. When EXO, the group he debuted with, was done bowing and had returned backstage, he would give a deep bow once again before flashing a killer smile.

“其实鞠躬它是对于大家的一种恭敬和感谢,你(想)像这么多粉丝我没办法一一跟每一个粉丝去共同说话,但我能知道他们每一位粉丝来到这里看我们EXO都是特别地不容易。希望以这个鞠躬代表我对大家的感谢而已。”- 张艺兴,2014年

Translation:

“Bowing represents my respect and gratefulness towards everyone. With so many fans I can’t interact and talk with every fan but I know it is not easy for the fans to come here and watch us so I hope that my bows will express my thanks to everyone.” Zhang Yi Xing, Lay, 2014.

https://youtu.be/9OGCWby-NOs

(Start at 12:21 to see video evidence)

  1. He gives his all to everything he does

During the four years he trained under the famous entertainment company, SM Entertainment, he diligently learnt Korean, singing and continued pursuing his passion in dancing. For a Chinese living in Korea without a single clue about their culture and language, he practised resilience and showed determination and quickly adapted to the Korean’s lifestyle. His strong will in pursuing his dreams definitely makes him a lot more attractive.

In the recent months, he revealed that he has been having a bad back as he used to tie sandbags to his body for two years while learning how to dance so that his dancing could improve more rapidly. In the third year, his waist was badly injured and after hiding the pain for weeks, he eventually collapsed and was sent to the hospital where the doctors advised him never to dance again. Putting his health on the line, he continued to dance, going for treatments even till today, all for his dreams of performing on stage.

https://youtu.be/e_t24thmlvQ

(start at 6:57 to see video evidence)

  1. He is an inspiration

His is a very inspiring person when you really know him. He may have lived for less than three decades but the challenges he overcame and the things he is still fighting for makes him one of the most inspirational idol. Other than encouraging youths to give their all to the things they like and believe in, his smile is contagious and his optimism his hard to fight.

At a young age of 20, he fell into severe depression but after winning the psychological war, his quotes about smiling and self-confidence became never-ending. One of the quotes the fans love is “I don’t date ugly girls because I don’t believe they exist”— talk about a sweet mouth.

“大家不是说我们是青春的代表吗?那我希望能告诉比我们更年轻的人努力努力再努力。你今天的努力决定你未来站立的高度…“- 张艺兴,2016年

“Didn’t everyone say we (EXO) are the representatives of youth? I wish to tell those younger than us to work harder, harder and harder. The hard work you put in today will determine the height of your achievements in the future.” Zhang Yi Xing, Lay, 2016.

Do you understand why his fans love him so much now? Who knows, with his great personality and great looks, you might just fall for him in seconds! With that, the mystery of Zhang Yi Xing’s booming popularity is uncovered!

 

Ang Yen Chi (1U)

Headlines – Brexit

Recently, the Brexit took place; it is when Britain left the European Union. A referendum took place on 23rd June and everyone of voting age took part in it.

The European Union – often known as the EU – is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries. It has since grown to become a “single market” allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. The single market is seen as the EU’s biggest achievement and one of the main reasons it was set up in the first place. Britain was a member of a free trade area in Europe before it joined what was then known as the common market. In a free trade area, countries can trade with each other without paying tariffs – but it is not a single market because the member states do not have to merge their economies together.

The European Union single market, which was completed in 1992, allows the free movement of goods, services, money and people within the European Union, as if it was a single country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas – including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges.

Those who voted to leave won by 52% to 48%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. It was the highest turnout in a UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election.

Cameron or his successor needs to decide when to invoke this – that will then set in motion the formal legal process of withdrawing from the EU, and give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal. Mr Cameron has said he will be stepping down as PM by October.

EU law still stands in the UK until it ceases being a member – and that process could take some time.

The UK will continue to abide by EU treaties and laws, but not take part in any decision-making. Is Britain moving too fast? Was Brexit a smart decision? We’ll have to wait and see.

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References: www.bbc.com/news  

Giselle Cho (2 Faith)

Wreck-it Ralph (2012)

wreck“I’m gonna wreck it!”

The movie follows the trials and tribulations of video game villain Wreck-it Ralph, who was tired of being overshadowed by Fix-it Felix, the “good guy” star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decided he’s tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He took matters into his own massive hands and set off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero. During his quest, he met the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty. But it’s the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world was threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashed a deadly enemy that threatened the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late?

The premise is similar to Toy Story. Once the lights go out, the characters are off-duty and have a life of their own. It turns out that acting out these video games is their day job, and there is a transportation terminal that takes them to and from their games at the arcade. Once again Disney has created an immersive world that’s rich with detail, populated by characters who have problems humans can identify with and characteristics that make even bad guys likeable.

Without a doubt, this is my favourite movie in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. I thoroughly enjoyed the intricate plot mechanics and found the concept of sentient game characters leaving their arcade games when the arcade closes and interacting with each other extremely fascinating. The movie featured many game characters that many would have heard of including Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog. I was originally skeptical but soon realised that one need not be a gamer to enjoy Wreck-it Ralph.

The beginning of the movie introduced the idea that a whole other universe could exist in games, plugs and cables drawing me in and keeping my eyes glued to the screen. Towards the end, an unexpected plot-twist was revealed, keeping me on the edge of my seat and along with everyone else in the theatre, I heaved a sigh of relief when the problem was resolved.

For me, the highlight of the film was the friendship development between the two main characters, Ralph and Vanellope, as it was extremely heart-warming and brought tears to my eyes multiple times. Vanellope started out vexing Ralph with her energy, enthusiasm and wide-eyed naivety but Ralph ends up protecting Vanellope, coming close to giving up his life for her. Wreck-it Ralph is definitely a must watch, and I’ll definitely be looking forward to the sequel, Wreck-it Ralph 2, which will be released in 2018.

Source:

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/wreck_it_ralph/

 

Jocelyn Lim (3 Justice)

 

 

MRT Puns: The Singapore Edition

Hi everyone! National Day has just passed, so let’s reaffirm our Singaporean identity once again by laughing over what we do best: creating memes, speaking Singlish and familiarising ourselves with the names of MRT stations!

  1. It’s so warm in my living room ‘cos Marsiling (my ceiling) fan is broken.
  2. My keropok lau hong. Not Kranji (crunchy) already.
  3. I failed my spelling, so my teacher said: Simei (see me) after school.
  4. Do you not understand? Okay I will Esplanade (explain it) to you slowly.
  5. Of course can lah. I knows, and Eunos (you know) it can be done.
  6. The Beatles said, “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done. Aljunied (All You Need) is love.” *
  7. This train goes in only One Direction. That’s what makes it b-Yew Tee-ful. (b-eauti-ful) **
  8. We all have good days, and bad ones. Some are happy, Somerset. (Some are sad)
  9. MRT also can pun meh? You’ve Khatib (got to) be kidding me.
  10. Don’t you just hate it when you help settle the bill then no one wants Toa Payoh (to pay you) back?
  11. That pun was so terrible. It took him a week to get Dover (over)
  12. Po-peh! Po-peh! Po-peh! Po-peh! Kallang (garung) guniiii
  13. My son needs help with his studies. Can Yew Tee-ch (you tea-ch) him?
  14. The teh o thief got caught in the act. He pleaded for Clementi. (lemon tea)
  15. The librarian told me: The Bugis (book is) over there you cannot see meh?
  16. Wah! Your pun level: 1000. Others may try but they Kent Ridge (can’t reach)
  17. Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Dhoby.

Dhoby Ghaut… (Dobby got)

…master’s sock.

Dhoby is a free elf.**

  1. Enough! We’ve hit Dakota (the quota) of puns for today.

Note:

(Names of MRT stations in pink, correct words to replace them in purple)

* Lyrics of the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love”

** Based on UK band One Direction’s song “What Makes You Beautiful”

*** For Harry Potter fans

Adapted from:

http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/this-urban-jungle/woman-creates-her-own-epic-version-of-spore-mrt-puns-that-will-do-all-locals-proud

(Memes are all created by Facebook user Pamela Tham – I edited some of the memes so that the sentence structure becomes grammatically correct.)

Germaine Lee

3T

Jurassic World

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Released on June 12 last year, Jurassic World is a brilliant film that is reminiscent of the previous series of the 1990s Steven Spielberg Jurassic Park films. Set a little over 20 years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World takes place on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, off the coast of Costa Rica, where a theme park of genetically modified dinosaurs plunges into chaos when the most dangerous and most intelligent hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, breaks loose. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), a Navy veteran and the ‘commander’ of a pack of Velociraptors; and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the operations manager, must race against time to save the lives of the terrified tourists, including Claire’s two young nephews, Gray (Ty Simpkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson).

One is brought on an exhilarating ride through a prehistoric dinosaur chase. Throughout the movie, I was on the edge of my seat, watching with bated breath as I feared for the lives of the poor tourists. The film cleverly combines the themes of adventure, action and family into one amazing masterpiece. Aside from the heart-stopping action, the theme of family and growing up is intelligently woven into the film. At the beginning, Zach is portrayed as a moody teenager who could not care less what happens to his younger brother. However, as the film progresses, Zach’s cold exterior slowly melts away and one can clearly see how much he loves Gray. The movie also brings up the importance of being resourceful in times of danger, through subtle links to the Jurassic Park movie.

Fans will be excited to know that plans for Jurassic World 2, set to release in 2018, have been made, with production set to begin any time soon. The movie will be filming under the alias Ancient Futures, which already gives a huge hint on what is to come in the following sequel. The plot thickens in Jurassic World 2, where rumour has it that geneticist Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) will work with former head of the park’s security operations Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) to create an army of military dinosaurs – and they will be successful. Furthermore, dinosaurs in the Jurassic World park will no longer be locked up in high-security enclosures, but instead be roaming freely. Also, some breeds of dinosaurs would be domesticated as pets to live with loving families. Therefore, I am sure that Jurassic World 2 would certainly be a much more intense film than Jurassic World, and that fans would be delighted to know that three of the original actors would be returning for the sequel.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_World

http://www.crossmap.com/news/jurassic-world-2-release-date-and-spoilers-theres-a-feud-between-dallas-and-pratt-upcoming-movie-will-have-dinosaurs-available-in-open-source-29571

Chua Wei Ting (2T)

Feminism

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What is feminism? According to Google, it is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. Today, there are many feminists out there who are determined to promote equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminist movements are campaigning for women’s right such as right to work, equal wage as men, right to vote and to have maternity leave. Feminists also worked to protect girls and women from rape and sexual harassment.

It is a clear biological fact that men are born with a stronger build than women however, women should not be deemed as ‘weak’ and ‘incapable’ because of that. Feminists do not strive to become men. Being equal does not mean being identical. Both men and women should be given equal rights despite inherent differences.

Many celebrities are not afraid to call themselves feminists. One such example would be Beyonce. She wrote an entire essay on gender equality after the Shriver Report found that 42 million women in the United States are either living in poverty or are on the brink of living in poverty. “Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.”

Personally, I find that feminism is relevant to today’s context because it limits a person’s life. If today, women in some parts of the world can wear what they want, can earn a living, can go out of their houses, have the right to vote, are not treated like properties of men, then it is thanks to the feminists out there who thought it was worthwhile to raise the voices of women and represent women and fight for a cause that they believe strongly in. Feminism has established and achieved many goals as of today and most of the things on the female agenda have been accepted as national legal requirements and some even as international human rights.

Women and men should be treated equally in every aspect. Women are in no way inferior to men.

Ming Ting

2L