terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Odds & Ends

Can someone please tell Chen Shui-Bian that the microphones are there in front of him so he doesn't have to shout himself hoarse every time he makes a speech? Saw him on the news again today, and once again, his voice broke at several points in his speech.

Cringe-worthy much.


In today's ST Forum (login required - never thought I'd see the day):

Nov 16, 2004
This & that


ON THE morning of Nov 11, an escalator in Bugis Station that was moving upwards reversed its direction suddenly. Many commuters, caught off guard, fell and hurt themselves.

A few of the injured had to go to hospital by themselves, after which they were expected to call SMRT's corporate communications department to make a claim for the medical expenses incurred. No apology was extended. My mum was one of those injured. Thank goodness, she suffered only some abrasions.

According to SMRT staff, such an incident had happened before. What if the accident had occurred during peak hours, when the escalator was fully loaded with commuters?

Carlson Chong Kah Sen

Uh, right.

"What if it occurred during peak hours?"

Then perhaps morons will read the signs and hold onto the escalator rails instead of being gungho, standing in the middle, and posing.

I APPRECIATE that Geography and History do not feature too highly in Singapore's school curriculum, but if we really want to demonstrate to the world that we are serious about getting friendly and doing business, then the very least we can do is to display flags of other nations properly.

Many times, I see the British flag, the 'Union Jack', displayed upside down, back to front and, in a quarter-page ad in The Straits Times last week, in a totally new design.

The NTUC FairPrice supermarket in Bedok recently had a Japanese food section. What I did not understand was why it featured imperialistic Japan's 'rising sun' flag. I would have thought that if anybody should know the meaning of that outdated flag, it should be Singaporeans.

On the other hand, we also see very many instances of the Singapore flag flying upside down or back to front in the run-up to National Day, so I guess one should not be surprised at the displaying of other nations' flags incorrectly.

Robert Frederick Burch

Um, how is it possible for the Union Jack to be upside down? From this diagram, it would be impossible to have it upside down at all (believe me, I tried it on Photoshop):

Union Jack
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Top: the flag, right side up. Bottom: the same image, rotated 180°.

Union Jack - Upside Down?
Originally uploaded by Terz.

Spot the difference? This flag is as perfect a design as a flag can get. There's no way it can be upside down.

Help me out here... Neil? Anyone?


On a more frustrating note: contractor who promised me new shelves, is screening phone calls from me. I'm keeping a calling log.

After the tenth call, I'm calling CASE instead.


  • At 4:05 AM, November 17, 2004, Blogger biggles said…

    Try flipping the flag through 180 degrees not rotating it, then you will see whay they mean by upside down.

  • At 9:44 AM, November 17, 2004, Blogger Terz said…

    Flipping? Well, that's the "back to front" he mentioned. Sure. That makes the flag wrong. But he also mentions "upside down", which doesn't seem possible.

  • At 11:30 AM, November 17, 2004, Blogger biggles said…

    When flipped like that and then run up the flag pole it would appere to be upside down rather than back to front

  • At 11:34 AM, November 17, 2004, Blogger biggles said…

    There is only the one way to display the Union Jack incorrectly and its just a matter of symantics as to which you call it "upside down" or "back to front"

  • At 11:35 AM, November 17, 2004, Blogger Terz said…

    Uh, if run up a flagpole, it'd be back to front if you approached it from a different direction already.

  • At 11:43 AM, November 17, 2004, Blogger Terz said…

    But point is taken about the semantics of the whole thing. And I did ask for help. So thanks.

  • At 8:10 PM, November 18, 2004, Blogger Neil said…

    Ok - the correct answer is that the union jack is not symmetrical - any picture in which it is is WRONG!

    May In point you to http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/geography/unionjack7.html for more info....

    We were taught this in school, at cub scouts, at scouts and sea cadets.

  • At 10:54 PM, November 18, 2004, Blogger Terz said…

    Well, the pics I uploaded for this entry weren't symmetrical anyway... (and the link you offered was pretty much the same as the one I put up).

  • At 12:13 AM, December 25, 2007, Blogger java13690 said…

    Right - the Union Flag is not symmetrical and can be flown upside down.

    Look closely and you will see that the Saint Patrick's Saltire (the diagonal red cross) is pinwheeled slightly in an anti-clockwise direction (i.e. if you extended the opposite parts to meet, they wouldn't come together properly).

    Therefore the flag would be upside down if the flagpole was on the right of the images above.

    The red stripe at the upper left corner should "touch" the flagpole; in the arrangement described above, it would not.


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