River Nights 2014

River Nights 2014 is happening today and tomorrow at Asian Civilisations Museum Green and Empress Place. The Singapore River takes centre stage in River Nights, the opening event for Singapore Heritage Festival 2014, and the first collaborative programme of the Empress Place Precinct – the Asian Civilisations Museum, the Arts House, Singapore River One, and Timbre.

Come celebrate the Singapore River’s changing identity from a trading artery to a magnet for locals and tourists with two nights of festival programmes including music, dance, comedy and food for all.

River Nights
Date: 18 & 19 July 2014
Time: 7pm till late
Venue: Asian Civilisations Museum Green and Empress Place

Admission is free.

RiverNightProgram

Ingress now on iOS

The highly popular mobile augmented reality game Ingress is now available on iOS. Woohoo! For the longest time, Android users have been enjoying the game while iOS users look with envy. Not any more.

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In Ingress, players join one of the two factions, either Resistance or Enlightened, to collect “Exotic Matter” and gain control of “Portals” which are typically associated with public landmarks.

If you can’t find me for the next few weeks or months, I should be out playing Ingress.

Bare Your Sole 2014 raises close to S$300,000 for charity

Bare Your Sole 2014 saw 5,000 participants walk barefoot to help raise close to S$300,000 in the fight against homelessness and poverty.

BareYourFeet

Funds raised will benefit Habitat for Humanity Singapore’s local programme Project HomeWorks, an initiative designed to improve the living conditions of the elderly, the sick and the physically-challenged living in one-room flats across Singapore. This includes mobilising volunteers to do proper clean-ups, conduct repair and paint works, and replace bedbug-infested furniture.

The barefoot charity walk was held at the iconic Gardens by the Bay East, where participants from all walks of life, had the choice to trek along a 2.5km or 5km scenic route to show their support for the cause. Making up the 5,000 participants were over 50 migrant workers from Kim Seng Heng Engineering Construction Pte Ltd, some of which were inspired by personal events back home and wanted to do their part for the Singaporean community.

Families and friends enjoyed the day out at Bare Your Sole with a variety of live performances by local acts, and dug into a wide selection of food and beverage. Entertainment such as face painting and balloon sculpting kiosks, along with cotton candy and popcorn stands were also made available for the young and the young at heart.

Freedom of speech

Some people are saying that the opposition supporters does not respect the freedom of speech after a Pro-PAP speaker was being boo-ed off stage last weekend during the protest to ask PM Lee to step down.

Watch the video first.

Is it fair to say that those people attending has no respect for freedom of speech?

Let’s put this into context. The protest at Hong Lim Park last weekend is to ask PM Lee to step down. Personally I think PM Lee is doing an OK job. But I respect the protesters’ freedom of speech. That’s why I didn’t go Hong Lim Park last weekend. I do not agree with them but I respect their freedom of speech.

It is their event. Their chance to express their displeasure. Not all of us may agree with them. But they have their freedom of speech. Let them have it. By voicing your support for PM Lee at that event is to deny them of their freedom of speech. That is not a public forum or town hall meeting. It is a protest. People travel all the way to Hong Lim Park to show their displeasure. Do not deny them their rights to do so.

Some people said those who boo-ed the speaker off stage do not respect freedom of speech. I disagree. I say that the speaker himself does not respect freedom of speech.

If he want to talk about his support for PM Lee, he can apply for a permit to speak at Hong Lim Park on another day. It is his rights to do so and I’m sure nobody from the opposition will stop him from doing that. He should not be doing that at a protest against PM Lee. That is just disrespecting other’s freedom of speech.

There is a time and place for everything. I hope Mohammed Bashir will get it right next time.

Singapore YouthSpark Kids Camp @ Microsoft

Microsoft hosted 480 kids and parents at its Singapore office last weekend, giving them a fun introduction to the latest technology, smart photo taking and even making their own games at the first ever Singapore YouthSpark Kids Camp @ Microsoft.

YouthSpark (13 of 28)

Hands-on activities were led by Microsoft volunteers to guide participants, between the ages of five to thirteen, through a range of technological activities. They not only saw the latest technology, and also took their first steps towards building their own programs through code.org’s Hour of Code challenge and Microsoft Kodu Game Lab, which lets kids create games on the PC and Xbox via a simple visual programming language. The young participants programmed and played games that they have created on their own with the smart game coding track. In the smart photo taking activity, the kids first discovered how they can make photos pop with new tricks for capturing, editing and sharing photos from the phone and took it a step further by building interactive worlds with photos through the Photosynth app.

YouthSpark (19 of 28)

Computational thinking is a critical skill set. Experts suggest that at least two-thirds of future jobs do not exist today and may likely require this ability. Introducing coding to Singaporeans, who in a recent LinkedIn survey ranked technology as one of the top industries they are interested in, helps groom our future technology professionals.

YouthSpark (27 of 28)

Part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark global commitment to empower youth, the YouthSpark Kids Camp @ Microsoft builds on the coding momentum started with the #WeSpeakCode campaign earlier this year. #WeSpeakCode seeks to make “Code – the official Second Language of Asia Pacific” and has been supported by stars such as Stefanie Sun and Eunice Olsen. It provides a taste of what coding is, demonstrates how accessible learning coding can be, and celebrates all the professional coders across the region.