Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Case without CASE

The latest saga in the blogosphere ought to be about slapped by a legal letter from lawyers representing Grand Seasons International. (Full story: here) Within 5 days from the date of the letter (23/05/07), the “offending words” are to be removed. Or else.

The words they referred to are: “[The company name] - Timeshare Scam Company”.

Is the title indeed defamatory? Well, it’s a statement after all. Not a question. (Then again, even with a question mark or two, the implication may still sound defamatory).

I googled & came across Defamation Act & honestly, I didn’t know what to make of it. I swear they're in English. Oh well, I give up. A lawyer, I am definitely not.

Then I stumbled upon this article, “Bloggers Beware: The Five Commandments for Bloggers” by Asst Prof Warren B Chik, Singapore Management University.

Partially quoted:

Of course, if one cannot defame other people online, then certainly one cannot use a blog to spread unsubstantiated rumours carelessly, particularly if they are known to be false, and certainly if it is done out of malice.

Malice. So for the lawyers to successfully establish that it is indeed a defamation case, they must prove that there is an element of malice.

So is there such thing here? The lawyers might argue the malice thing is evident due to the following reasons:
1. The post in dated 23/11/06 was recommended by the blogger Gecko exactly one day after he/she published it in his/her blog.
2. The recommended reason quoted as to “Spread the word about this company to raise awareness of their ill-gotten gains.”

Point no.1 is admittedly rather lame. There’s always a possibility that Gecko can even prove that he/she had always done so in the past i.e. recommending his/her own blog to (Search the previous articles, anyone?)

Point no.2 is debatable. I especially dislike the use of “ill-gotten gains”. I understand the anger but to just state that way without any proof is simply misleading.

True, according to this CASE article, “Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act: Case Statistics”, timeshare is the top industry for filed cases in disputes covered by the CPFTA from 1st March 2004 to 28 February 2005 (Refer to the above screenshot), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Grand Seasons International is one of them companies reported.

The thing is in the end of the day, it will be better to report any grievance against any company for any reason to CASE. See, you never hear about a CASE member--and it costs you only $25/year to be one--lodging a complaint being sued for defamation, do you?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End

Highly enjoyable. You won't feel the 170-minute show dragging. Oh, and wait till the credits over. There's a little story about what would happen 10 years later.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Alchemist

This book is full of truisms & surprisingly, you won't feel sick of it. In contrary, the idealistic content how one should fight for one's dream--and never give up--is refreshing.

The alchemist is not the main character. Santiago, the young shepherd-naive conned victim-salesman for a crystal shop-traveller trapped in between two tribal wars-tresure owner is. (Yes, that may sound like a spoiler.)

The author, Paulo Coelho, has coined the term, "Personal Legend". Defined as one's mission in life, each person ought to have one. Many do not know what his/her Personal Legend is & live a drifting life feeling something is amiss. There are some who know what his/her Personal Legend is but dare not to pursue it for reasons of convenience or fear of failure.

Santiago in the story is portrayed as someone who knows what he wants. He likes to travel & do not mind to live a shepherd's life as long as he can travel. As he has always been true to his Personal Legend, he is rewarded with a recurrent dream of treasures waiting to be found at the Pyramids.

Realizing that it is too his Personal Legend, he pursues it. And he achieves it. Eventually. In a rather incredible manner.

It is a thought-provoking book that makes readers wonder whether we have lived life towards fulfilling our dreams. Or whether we don't even dare to dream. Can't argue with this particular quote from the book: "It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."

PS. Read the excerpt of the book: here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

No-Duh Experiment

From the Arts Central -- Click the image to enlarge.

Watched the movie, The Experiment yesterday. Learnt something new from the summary about the Stanford Prison Experiment. Hmm...role-playing at its worst. Now I wonder what if they tweak the rule. That is after certain days, the role is swapped. The then-prisoners now become the guards and vice versa.

Will we see the guards from the beginning treat the prisoners extremely well (realizing--and avoiding--the possibility of subsequent revenge if the prisoners earlier abused are now playing the role of the guards)?

For some reason, I miss the TV program, LOST. Sigh.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days)

Came across the graphic novel in the library. Didn't intend to borrow it at first as it's Vol. 7. (See, I only read Fables, Vol. 1 & 3: Legends in Exile & Storybook Love, respectively). Then I read its blurb. Mentioned something about WMD. Not "Weapons of Mass Destruction", but "Weapons of Magical Destruction". Cool.

Haven't read the book yet. As always, anticipation to read a good book feels equally good to actually reading it. Heh. Never mind.

Talking about 'cool', when I searched for the cover in the Net, I came across the sketch by the artist James Jean. Impressive stuff. Little surprise that he bagged Eisner Award Best Cover Artist for three consecutive years (2004 - 2006).

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Curtain Man?!

My phone ringing and
one lady asks if I am
[name], the Curtain Man?

While the name is right,
the cryptic title is not.
Just coincident?

It is after all
statistically likely.
Still feel bothered, right?

'Coz I don't know what
the hell the Curtain Man means.
Any idea?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

20th Singapore International Film Festival: German Animation (29/04/07) -- exhibition photos

Not in particular order, some photos from the exhibition:

1. The Rock (Can't get the left rock rightly, can I?)

2. Recently 2 (The above showing not four, but one character. The 3 dark ones slowly fade in sequence.)

3. Rubicon (The old man and...the cabbage)

4. Rubicon (No matter how I 'touch-up' the photo, my reflection is still shown here.)

5. Terminal: Paradise (How their hopes arise & crash.)

6. The Raven (Mostly about the man.)

7. The Raven (Do not ever try to converse to any animal whose vocabulary is limited to "Nevermore". Especially if eventually you lose your temper--heck, so will I--and kill the poor animal, which inexplicably transformed to your lost love.)

8. The Message (Ignore the title, enjoy the vibrant colours.)

9. The Message (Ditto.)

20th Singapore International Film Festival: German Animation (29/04/07)

As promised. In alphabetical order, the followings are part of the German Animation. Screenshots & summary--click to enlarge--are from the official 20th Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) homepage.

The blogger's comment (BC): eerie & mind-boggling. Not to mention that prior to the show, I had no idea at all about this Hugh Welch Diamond person.

BC: the colours are wonderful; the message totally, uhm, escapes me.

BC: ah, a bizzare story with a rather predictable outcome. Still enjoyable, though.

BC: visually not appealing, but the catchy background music fits the setting of suspense & horror.

BC: a 3-D animation about a bug named Hessi James which is feared because of his deadly quick inane ramblings. Not referring to Jesse James surely.

BC: another bizzare story that keeps me wondering about the fate of the hobo. He's dead or what?!

BC: this one is simply hilarious. The so-called Modern Cyclops are so arty & when they execute their 'modern' dance, I couldn't stop laughing. Woe is the tourist who insists his right to blind the Cyclop as 'promised by the brochure'. Lol.

BC: puzzling plot, but the experimental sequence movement of the main character is a daring experiment. Will post the photo as an example afterwards.

BC: not referring to a Machine-Building Puzzle Game, but it's still about a puzzle. The simplistic style of the animation may be the reason why this is chosen as the opening clip for the German Animation.

BC: like Harara, it's visually not appealing. Still, the thick irony of the story is a sweet reminder how Life can be cruel sometimes.

BC: too simplistic & perhaps the message is treated as too lateral.

BC: like Escape, the colours too are wonderful. And like Escape, my 'personal curiosity' struggled out of the drain of confusion.

BC: another eerie one, however the song accompanying it is beautifully sweet & sad.

BC: not doing justice to Edgar Allan Poe & his poem, "The Raven". Especially with how the end turns out: the raven killed & metamorphosed to Lenore, the man's (now literally) lost love.

BC: the other 3-D animation. Two rocks witness the rapid progress of civilization. It's about 'relativity'. Imagine 1 month (human time) is like a blink of a rock's eye. The difference of the time-line is presented one after another perfectly.

Next: photos on some of the German animation exhibits (there must be some ways to bypass the annoying effect of the reflective glass covers).

a haiku before that promised german animation write-up...*cross my fingers*

a silhouette stills--
green leaves freeze, cool wind breathless
--as the photo's shot.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

20th Singapore International Film Festival: German Animation (Coming soon photos & longer commentary...well, maybe)

Mostly bizarre but,
German animation rocks!
Hilarious too…