Monthly Archives: October 2015

Protected: The sound of reflected thought

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Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

So the Saturday morning was spent doing something I wish I’d been able to do as a kid – looking at hundreds of dead creatures beautifully preserved specimens. Sure, we had (and still have) the Science Centre, but its focus is somewhat broader and just lacks the quantity of specimens available at a proper natural history museum.

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Their centrepiece is probably the three sauropod skeletons that they’d brought in from overseas. Having seen the ones overseas, these were less impressive – but I could only imagine what my reaction would have been had I seen this as a kid!

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Even the gift shop featured dinosaurs pretty prominently.

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The bulk of the exhibits had nothing to do with dinosaurs, though (which makes sense considering we don’t really dig up dinosaur fossils in the region) – most of it dealt with biodiversity, especially around the Southeast Asian region.

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They also had plenty of what they referred to as ‘dry specimens’ – mostly stuffed animal skins (at least, for mammals). It was pretty amusing to see that a number of these specimens were somewhat overstuffed, resulting in many sausage-like ‘animals’.

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All in all, I found it an extremely enjoyable morning. The entrance fees are pretty hefty given the size of the place, though – would be some time before I consider going again. Hope it survives until then, though!

Treat yourself!

So Citibank sent me a bunch of vouchers to be used during my birthday month, one of which was this $100 voucher for kimrobinson.

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My first thought on seeing this voucher went something along the lines of “what on Earth is this kimrobinson thing?”, but after conferring with the wife, I foud out that this was a (rather pricey) hair salon. Having only previously had my hair cut at neighbourhood barbers and (later) Japanese-style quick cut places, this was a whole new unexplored realm to me. Armed with the voucher (which took about 70% off the price), I proceeded to end my third decade of life with a cleanse, cut and finish.

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Locating the place was a bit of an adventure of its own (actually, I lie – it was pretty much right by the escalator). Well, I had never noticed the place before, anyway. Guess I usually just never mentally register these places!

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So I guess it as an interesting enough experience, with a complimentary drink served after arrival (I’m told that’s quite usual in proper salon). I’ve never had my hair shampooed (and scalp massaged) as an adult before, and I thought the plastic visor they stuck on my forehead to prevent hair from getting into the eyes was pretty ingenious. I suppose the cut was of better quality, too. My greatest takeaway was a reminder that it was possible for scissors to be used almost throughout, rather than an electric razor.

(It occurs to me that these are probably rather trivial details to the seasoned visitor of the salon, but funnily enough, as a first-timer it was little things like these that struck me!)

All in all, a pleasant enough experience, but I find it hard to justify spending 400% of my usual haircut budget for a repeat visit, let alone 1400%!

Mortality

So with the recent news of the passing of a former colleague*, the idea of mortality comes to mind once more. It isn’t really new – with every relative’s passing the idea comes floating around once again. It doesn’t help that all my grandparents are gone, now – the next to go will be from my parents’ generation.

On a personal note, I guess I’ve started making bigger investments to maintain some sort of a healthier lifestyle, like purchasing an air filtration device, eating more moderately – I draw the line at vigorous exercise, though; it seems somewhat counter-productive to me to expose your body to additional risks in an ironic bid to keep yourself fit.

As a child, I used to be really afraid of death – now, I don’t particularly fear it; though the prospect of a slow and painful passing is rather sobering. Death is, after all, simply the bookend that everyone face at the end of their own lives.

On the plus side, I guess I’m currently leading a life with relatively few major regrets?

*Having practically never interacted with him, it doesn’t really affect me much more than generic sadness at the passing of a fellow human – he was already a teacher when I was a student at the school, but mine was apparently one of the batches he didn’t actually teach.