Saturday, January 26, 2008

Been wanting to talk about... Trains.

If you ran a Train company, how would you raise profits?

1. Raise Train fares
...because everyone else is raising prices
...passengers have little choice but continue riding the Train
...simply raise $0.05 per passenger x 1 million passengers per day
= $50,000/day = $1,500,000/month! (low estimate)

2. Schedule the Trains to the arrive at the "optimal frequency"
...saves on operating, maintenance and depreciation costs
...each train is packed 95% full for maximum revenue (peak hours)
...passengers are sardined because they have to get to work

3. Lower the air-conditioning to the "optimal coolness"
...significantly lower power consumption saves on electrical bills
...passengers feel warm and uncomfortable
...but not warm enough to complain
...or complaints are at acceptable levels

4. Influence/Instigate a Taxi/Bus fare hike
...less people in Taxis and Buses mean more people in your Trains
...add 0.9 Trains for every 1 passenger increase (see para 2)

I'm just thinking about this hypothetically, IF i ran a Train company.
No names mentioned, no hints dropped, and any relation to persons or organisations existing or defunct/dead are purely coincidental and unintended.

Check out Train passengers' thoughts around the world:
zm the studious bloke (link)
Mr Brown (link)

Imagine this Train ride on your way to work...

Cool eh?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Replacement

Finally bought the replacement camera with the payment of $500 from the insurance claim. Camera of choice? Canon IXUS 860 IS.

It is the bigger brother of my lost Canon IXUS 850 IS, with all the same wonderful features and a little more. I can re-use the battery charger and the spare batteries that i already had.

Ok, enough advertising... i'll just let the photographs speak for themselves after my dives. Stay tuned for the ("exceptionally inspiring") photographs!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend Dive Trip at Pulau Aur!

Take Open Water Course, Advanced Open Water Course, other dive upgrading courses, or go for Leisure Dives at Pulau Aur, Malayisa!

Open Water Course
Includes lessons, study material, certification, equipment, transport, food and lodging.
Lessons are on Mon-Wed before the chosen dive weekend.
Mon: 6-9pm Theory Lesson/Test,
Tue: 6-9pm Pool Practical Session,
Wed: 6-9pm Pool Practical Session,
Fry-Sun: Open Water Dives at Pulau Aur.
Total 5 day dives.

Advanced Open Water Course
Includes lesson material, certification, equipment, transport, food and lodging.
No lessons in Singapore but you are expected to study the Advanced OW material before the weekend dive trip.
Total 5 day dives and 1 night dive.

Leisure Dives
Includes transport, food and lodging.
Equipment approx $50 (BC, Reg, Wetsuit, Mask/Snorkel, Fin).
Total 5 day dives and 1 night dive (Advanced Divers and above only).

Standard Weekend Itinerary
7pm Bus ride (4hrs) to Mersing
Stay overnight (approx 6hrs of sleep) in a Mersing hostel
Boat ride (3-4hrs) to Pulau Aur then sleep
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided at Pulau Aur
3 day dives at Pulau Aur
1 night dive at Pulau Aur (Advanced Divers only)
2 day dives at Pulau Aur
Breakfast and Lunch provided at Pulau Aur
3pm Ferry ride (2hrs) to Mersing
5pm Bus ride (4hrs) to Singapore
9pm arrive Lavender MRT

Learn diving with your friends, go for a short weekend getaway with fellow diver friends, or make new friends through the 48 hours, away from the hustle-and-bustle of Singapore!

First weekend trip 7-9 March 2008.
I'm going... Want to join me? Call/SMS me!
Confirm attendance before 28 Jan (incl $100 deposit) for $50 off!

Still considering?
Check out my dive trips to Aur last year for a better idea of what you can expect!
June 2007
My Friends' Open Water Course, a Leisure Dive trip for me.
Photographs in my Flickr account, Jun 2007 (photos Jun 07)
Previous post on the Lessons (lessons) and the Trip (weekend trip)
October 2007
Rescue Diver Course for me.
Photographs in my Flickr account (photos Oct 07)
Previous post on the Trip (weekend trip)

For understanding and clarification:
i am not earning cash commission from organising this course/trip for you. I am in no way affiliated to the dive operator, but in the future (if) after i attain my Certification i may then decide to work as a freelance DiveMaster for them. Digression: If you think i did a good job, let me know so that i can consider organising/coordinating more such trips to boost my ego (and go on more dives); if i didn't do a good job, give me feedback so i know if i should stop torturing other divers-to-be. =)

Monday, January 07, 2008


1. Work on the first day of the new year.

2. Newest Ad from the Republic of Singapore Navy:

Your comments please.

3. Iran decides to be naughty:
In one radio transmission, the Iranians told the U.S. Navy: "I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes," the U.S. military officials told CNN. (CNN link)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Dive Bunaken

26-31 December 2007,
Flew Silkair Singapore to Manado,
Stayed at the Hotel Santika in Manado,
Dive Operator was Thalassa Dive Center,
13 dives through 10 sites at Bunaken.

The diving was good, the company was great, but i lost my dive camera on the very first dive! I lost my photos of the transit and a group of fun-loving kids jumping off the Thalassa jetty, then I borrowed a camera from my DiveMaster. However his camera was really old and the battery charge lasted at most 7 flash photos, or 10-plus non-flash photos. Frustrating to say the least, especially with all the nice things on display!

Anyways... here are some of the photos:
View from the BottomPygmy Seahorse, Hippocampus Pontohi
Reptilian Snake EelHawksbill Turtle

...since 14 April 2005