Archive for July 2010

The day I drove on a F1 circuit

If you remember, I took part in the Shell FuelSave 1 Litre Singapore challenge in October last year and came in first. And because of that, Shell invited me to Malaysia to take part in the Shell FuelSave 1 Litre Asia Challenge. I’m supposed to represent Singapore together with Angela. That’s quite a big burden for me to shoulder. I hope I don’t lose too badly.

The challenge took place at Sepang International Circuit! Yes, that’s the F1 circuit in Malaysia! Can you imagine how excited I was when I found out that I’m going to drive on an actual F1 Circuit? We are not talking about Marina Bay Street Circuit here. But of course we didn’t use a F1 car. It is impossible to be fuel efficient on those machine. Instead, we use an ordinary car you see along the road. An automatic Honda Civic to be exact.

There were some changes to the rules this time round to make it more realistic. During the last challenge, we were allowed to turn off the aircon and wind up the window (yes, winding up the window is more fuel efficient than winding down). But that isn’t very realistic if you think about it. How many people drive without aircon in such climate? So this time round, the rules is that we must keep the aircon turned on. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to achieve my previous record of 17.792 km since aircon is one of the major “fuel drinker” in the car.

Before our challenge, we had a crash course on fuel efficiency by Helen and John Taylor from Fuel Academy. Helen and John are the World Record holder for fuel efficiency. They drove 29,717 kilometres, across 25 countries in 78 days using just 24 tanks of fuel. That’s an average of 22.2 kilometres per litre! With their crash course, we are better prepared for the challenge.

We use the south track (Turn 8 to 14) for the challenge as the north track was being used for the Shell Eco-Marathon. The biggest challenge on the track is at turn 9 where there is a sharp turn followed by a up slope. It’s alright if you are racing for speed, but if you aiming for fuel efficiency, then this turn is your greatest enemy. I think I lost the most fuel there. There were also some obstacles along the way but they didn’t create much trouble for me.

And also, to make it more challenging, we are supposed to stop at 2 check point, step out of the car and answer some questions. If you got the questions right, you move on. If you got it wrong, then you will be penalized by having some heavy luggage on your car or forced to wind down your window. And perhaps it is because of the safety helmet that we were wearing, I find myself having problems answering the questions. You know lah, it’s the typical army thing when you find it difficult to think when you wear your helmet. Don’t ask me why we wearing helmet since we most likely won’t be going anywhere above 70km/hr. It’s track regulations.

In the end, I got 1 question wrong. For the penalty, I need to wind down my windows and have a basket of durians at my back seat. And it’s not just normal durians. I suspect it’s STALE DURIANS! If you know me well, you will know that I hate durians. But I doubt that small basket of durians have any effect on the results. The killer is the windows. Winding down windows is bad for fuel efficiency because of wind drag. You won’t see any difference when you are traveling slowly. But I start to see the difference when I approach 50km/h. Find myself having to step on the accelerator harder to maintain 50 km/h. This is not good for fuel efficiency. So remember, if you want to save fuel, keep your window closed.

I knew I didn’t do well for the challenge the moment I step out of the car. Did a few mistakes here and there which causes me to waste more fuel than I’m supposed to. In the end, I came in 5th for the Shell FuelSave 1 Litre Asia Challenge. Drove 12.656km on 1L petrol. Compared to my previous attempt of 17.792 km back in Singapore, this is a lot worst. But bear in mind that this time round, the aircon is switched on and we are driving on more difficult course. In fact, I think this result here is more realistic and achievable on public road during normal days.

The winner of the Shell FuelSave 1 Litre Asia Challenge is Alicia Ann Laisuthruklai from Bangkok, Thailand with an impressive result of 15.648km on 1L petrol. Power.

Although I didn’t win, I did have lots of fun. Isn’t having fun more important than winning? How often do you get to drive on a F1 circuit? And I think end of the day, we all win some knowledge here and there. Hopefully we can get to apply these fuel efficiency knowledge when driving. And maybe help spread the message too.

Please contact SPCA if you know this lady

I can understand the need to discipline your pet when they misbehaves. But I guess this is a little too extreme.

I think there is a need for SPCA to find this dog owner. She needs to be educated on how to handle her pets. Or find a new owner for the poor dog if she is not suitable to take care of the dog. According to the YouTube video, the original video uploader’s user name is RedHillDVD. He/she has since removed that video but you can see that his profile is bombarded by other angry YouTube users.

If you have info on how to contact RedHillDVD or the lady in the video, please contact SPCA.

Update: @stooffi told me that the lady came forward already. The report is on TNP.

Update: Confirmed. SPCA and AVA is now in contact with the lady

Resorts World Sentosa Martial Combat

When I first got the invite to the Resorts World Sentosa Martial Combat, I didn’t expect it to be real fighting. I grow up watching that wrestling show on TV which used to have the same acronym as World Wildlife Fund. To me, most of these fighting are scripted. The punches are fake and the winners decided before hand. So I thought it’s going to be one of those fake punching fights “performance”.

It is only when I reach Resort World Sentosa that day did I realise that I’m in for real fighting that night. (I bet Victor and Clauds were laughing at me when I told them that I thought it’s a staged performance) Real punch, real kick, real bruises and real blood. Oh yeah, there are blood. It’s not like those staged wrestling where they can fight 10 to 20 minutes without any bruises and blood.

RWS Martial Combat is the only Mixed Martial Arts event officially recognized and sanctioned by two of the world’s leading governing bodies in the martial arts scene, the Asian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (AMMAF) and the World Martial Arts Federation of Singapore. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combination of the various martial art forms, including muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling. Which means you get to see different fighting style in the ring.

It was a great event. Lots of action. I must say that the fights had me on the edge of my seat for the whole evening. The only disappointing thing is that some of the fights ended pretty fast. But then, it is because of a well planned strategy which resulted in fast victory. The best match that night is the one between Isamu Himura and Brian Choi.

There is a total of 12 event series from May to October 2010 comprising of 60 fights. If you are interested in catching Resorts World Sentosa Martial Combat, there will be 2 matches happening soon on 14 & 15 July at Resorts World Sentosa. Check out the official website for the fight schedule and SISTIC or RWS website for ticketing info.

First Look: HTC Wildfire

I managed to grab a quick first look at the HTC Wildfire a few days before it’s official launch in Singapore. The HTC Wildfire is a low end Smartphone from HTC. From the look of it, I think it is here to replace the aging HTC Tattoo.

First look, you can’t help but notice that the screen resolution isn’t that fantastic. The HTC Wildfire has a 3.2 inch touch screen with 240 x 320 QVGA resolution. Running on Android 2.1 with 512 MB ROM, 384 MB RAM and MicroSD slot supporting up to 32GB. Weighs 118g at 10.675 x 6.04 x 1.29 cm. The usual WIFI, Bluetooth, GPS and Digital compass. 5 megapixel camera with autofocus. 3.5mm Audio Jack and MicroUSB port for data transfer and charging. Pretty standard for smartphones nowadays. Good to know that the low end phones are also following this standard.

One interesting feature is the function to show the caller’s Facebook status on caller ID. This should be useful. It warns you to be careful during the conversation if the person say he/she is in a bad mood on his facebook status. It might save your life someday.

The low resolution screen makes the phone looks pretty ugly. Perhaps the only thing that makes the HTC Wildfire bearable is the well liked HTC interface and tons of widgets developed by HTC. But then, this is after all a low end budget phone. Expectations shouldn’t be placed too high. If you are looking for something better, there is always the HTC Legend or Desire.

There is a need for HTC to cater for the budget phone sector. And the HTC Wildfire is doing what it is supposed to do.

The HTC Wildfire is now available with a suggested retail price of S$498 without contract.

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Here is an interesting video about what motivates us. Check it out if you have 10 minutes to spare.