Archive for March, 2012

214/365 – Marina Bay Sands

March 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Address:10 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 018956

Opening date

Grand opening – 15th Febuary 2011

Official opening – 23 June 2010

Preview opening – 27 April 2010

No. of rooms: 2,561

Permanent shows: Disney’s The Lion King

Signature attractions:

Sands SkyPark, The Shoppes atMarina Bay Sands, The Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Bay Floral, MarinaBay Club, MarinaBay Sands Art Path, ArtScienceMuseum and Wonder Full


Notable restaurants :

CUT, DB Bistro Moderne, SavoySingapore, Imperial Treasure Fine Chinese Cuisine, SANTI, Waku Ghin, Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza, Hide Yamamoto, Rasapura Masters, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Chinois by Susur Lee

Casino type: Land-Based

Owner: Las Vegas Sands Corp


Marina Bay Sands is an integrated resort frontingMarina Bay in Singapore. Developed by Las Vegas Sands, it is billed as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at S$8 billion, including cost of the prime land.

With the casino complete, the resort features a 2,561-room hotel, a 1,300,000-square-foot (120,000 m2) convention-exhibition centre, the 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2), The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, seven “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, an ice skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines.

The complex is topped by a 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people and a 150m infinity swimming pool, set on top of the world’s largest public cantilevered platform, which overhangs the north tower by 67m.

The 20-hectare resort was designed by Moshe Safdie Architects. The local architect of record was AedasSingapore, and engineering was provided by Arup and Parsons Brinkerhoff (MEP). The main contractor was Ssangyong Engineering and Construction.

Originally set to open in 2009, Las Vegas Sands faced delays caused by escalating costs of material and labour shortages from the onset. The severe global financial crisis also pressured the company to delay its projects elsewhere to complete the integrated resort.

Although Marina Bay Sands has been compared on scale and development costs to MGM’s CityCenter, the latter is a mixed-use development, with condominium properties (comprising three of the seven main structures) being sold off.

The resort was officially opened with a two-day celebration on 23 June 2010 at 3.18 pm, after a partial opening (which included the casino) on 27 April 2010.

The SkyPark opened a day later on 24 June 2010. The theatres were completed in time for the first performance by Riverdance on 30 November 2010.

The indoor skating rink, which uses artificial ice, opened to a performance by Michelle Kwan on 18 December 2010. TheArtScience Museum opened to the public and the debut of a 13-minute light, laser and water spectacle called Wonder Full on 19 February 2011 marked the full completion of the entire Integrated Resort.

The grand opening of Marina Bay Sands was held on 17 February 2011. It also marked the opening of the seven celebrity chef restaurants. The highly-anticipated Broadway musical The Lion King debuted on 3 March 2011.

The last portion of the Marina Bay Sands, the floating pavilions, were finally opened to the public when the two tenants (Louis Vuitton and Pangaea Club) opened on 18 September 2011 and 22 September 2011 respectively.



213/365 – Email

March 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Computer engineer, Ray Tomlinson invented internet based email in late 1971. Under ARPAnet several major innovations occurred: email (or electronic mail), the ability to send simple messages to another person across the network (1971).

Ray Tomlinson worked as a computer engineer for Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), the company hired by the United States Defense Department to build the first Internet in 1968.

Ray Tomlinson was experimenting with a popular program he wrote called SNDMSG that the ARPANET programmers and researchers were using on the network computers (Digital PDP-10s) to leave messages for each other.

SNDMSG was a “local” electronic message program. You could only leave messages on the computer that you were using for other persons using that computer to read.

Tomlinson used a file transfer protocol that he was working on called CYPNET to adapt the SNDMSG program so it could send electronic messages to any computer on the ARPANET network.

The @ Symbol

Ray Tomlinson chose the @ symbol to tell which user was “at” what computer. The @ goes in between the user’s login name and the name of his/her host computer.

First Email

The first email was sent between two computers that were actually sitting besides each other. However, the ARPANET network was used as the connection between the two. The first email message was “QWERTYUIOP”.

Ray Tomlinson is quoted as saying he invented email,”Mostly because it seemed like a neat idea.” No one was asking for email.


212/365 – Tale of Two Cities

March 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Author: Charles Dickens

Illustrator: Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz)

Cover artist: Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz)

Country:United Kingdom

Language: English

Series Weekly: 30 April 1859 – 26 November 1859

Genre: Novel, Historical, Social criticism

Publisher London: Chapman & Hall

Publication date: 1859

Media type: Print (Serial, Hardback, and Paperback)

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set inLondon and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With well over 200 million copies sold, it ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional literature.

The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period.

It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events. The most notable are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Darnay is a French once-aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Carton is a dissipated British barrister who endeavours to redeem his ill-spent life out of his unrequited love for Darnay’s wife.

The 45-chapter novel was published in 31 weekly installments in Dickens’ new literary periodical titled All the Year Round. From April 1859 to November 1859, Dickens also republished the chapters as eight monthly sections in green covers. Dickens’ previous novels had appeared only as monthly installments.

The first weekly installment of A Tale of Two Cities ran in the first issue of All the Year Round on 30 April 1859. The last ran thirty weeks later, on 26 November.


Categories: Book, General Knowledge

211/365 – Thailand

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Capital: Bangkok, population 8 million

Major Cities:  Nonthaburi, population 265,000  Pak Kret, population 175,000  Hat Yai, population 158,000  Chiang Mai, population 146,000

Government: Thailand is a constitutional monarchy under the beloved king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has reigned since 1946. King Bhumibol is the world’s longest-serving head of state. Thailand’s current Prime Minister is Yingluck Shinawatra, who assumed office as the first ever female in that role on August 5, 2011.

Language: Thailand’s official language is Thai, a tonal language from the Tai-Kadai family of East Asia. Thai has a unique alphabet derived from the Khmer script, which is itself descended from the Brahmic Indian writing system. Written Thai first appeared around 1292 A.D.

Population: Thailand’s estimated population as of 2007 was 63,038,247. The population density is 317 people per square mile.   The vast majority are ethnic Thais, who make up about 80% of the population. There is also a large ethnic Chinese minority, comprising about 14% of the population. Unlike the Chinese in many neighboring Southeast Asian countries, the Sino-Thai are well-integrated into their communities. Other ethnic minorities include the Malay, Khmer, Mon, and Vietnamese. Northern Thailand also is home to small mountain tribes such as the Hmong, Karen, and Mein, with a total population of less than 800,000.

Religion: Thailand is a deeply spiritual country, with 95% of the population belonging to the Theravada branch of Buddhism. Visitors will see gold-spired Buddhist stupas scattered all across the country.   Muslims, mostly of Malay origin, make up 4.5% of the population. They are located primarily in the far south of the country, in the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and Songkhla Chumphon.   Thailand also hosts tiny populations of Sikhs, Hindus, Christians (mostly Catholics), and Jews.

Geography: Thailand covers 514,000 square kilometers (198,000 square miles) at the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

The Thai coastline stretches for 3,219 km along both the Gulf of Thailand on the Pacific side, and the Andaman Sea on the Indian Ocean side. The west coast was devastated by the Southeast Asian tsunami in December of 2004, which swept across the Indian Ocean from its epicenter off Indonesia.   The highest point in Thailand is Doi Inthanon, at 2,565 meters (8,415 feet). The lowest point is the Gulf of Thailand, at sea level.

Climate: Thailand’s weather is ruled by the tropical monsoons, with a rainy season from June through October, and a dry season beginning in November. Average annual temperatures are a high of 38° C (100° F), with a low of 19° C (66° F). The mountains of northern Thailand tend to be much cooler and somewhat drier than the central plain and coastal regions.

Economy: Thailand’s “Tiger Economy” was humbled by the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, when the GDP growth rate plummeted from +9% in 1996 to -10% in 1998. Since then, Thailand has recovered well, with growth at a manageable 4-7%.

The Thai economy depends mainly on automotive and electronics manufacturing exports (19%), financial services (9%), and tourism (6%). About half of the workforce is employed in the agriculture sector, and Thailand is the world’s top exporter of rice. The country also exports processed foods like frozen shrimp, canned pineapple, and canned tuna.

Thailand’s currency is the baht.


Categories: General Knowledge, Place

210/365 – Rice

March 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Rice is an excellent source of energy, especially energy-giving carbohydrates, which are used in the body for brain performance, physical activity, bodily functions and everyday growth and repair.

After carbohydrate, protein is the second most abundant constituent of rice. When compared to that of other grains, rice protein is considered one of the highest quality proteins.

Rice is low in fat and cholesterol free.

Rice contains negligible amounts of sodium, with less than 5mg sodium per 100g serve. It is therefore a super food for those who need to watch their salt intake.

Both white and brown varieties of rice contain essential vitamins and minerals, including B-group vitamins (e.g. thiamin, niacin) zinc and phosphorus. Brown rice contains more nutrients and fibre than white rice since it retains the bran and germ, where many of the vitamins and minerals are found.

The bran layer of brown rice provides valuable dietary fibre. One cup (160g) of cooked brown rice contains around 2.4g of dietary fibre, which equates to 8% of an average man’s daily fibre needs and 9.6% of an average woman’s daily fibre needs.

Rice is gluten free and the most non-allergenic of all grains.

To retain nutrients, do not rinse rice under water before or after cooking.

Brown rice contains natural oils in the bran, so it has a shorter shelf life than white rice.  It’s best to refrigerate or freeze brown rice to extend its shelf life.


Categories: Food, General Knowledge

209/365 – Japan

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Raw horse meat is a popular entree in Japan.

Sliced thinly and eaten raw it is called basashi – it is pictured above.

Over 70% of Japan consists of mountains. The country also has over 200 volcanoes.

A musk melon (similar to a cantaloupe) can sell for over 31,473 yen ($300.00).

The literacy rate in Japan is almost 100%.

There are vending machines in Japan that dispense beer!

Japanese people have an average life-expectancy that is 4 years longer than Americans. Maybe American’s should eat more basashi!

 Some men in Japan shave their heads as a form of apology.

Japan has the second lowest homicide rate in the world, but is also home to the extremely spooky suicide forest, aokigahara. One occupant of the forest is pictured above.

Japan has produced 15 Nobel laureates (in chemistry, medicine and physics), 3 Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize laureate.

Younger sumo-wrestlers are traditionally required to clean and bathe the veteran sumo-wrestlers at their wrestling “stables”…including all the hard-to-reach places.

Japan’s unemployment rate is less than 4%.

 Japan consists of over 6,800 islands.

A Paleolithic culture from about 30,000 BC is the first known inhabitants of Japan.

Prolific Japanese film-maker Takahi Miike made up to 50 films in a decade during the peak of his career.

Animated Japanese films and television shows (.i.e.: Anime) account for 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment. So successful is animation in Japan, that there are almost 130 voice-acting schools in the country.

21% of the Japanese population is elderly, the highest proportion in the world.

In the past, the Japanese court system has had a conviction rate as high as 99%!

Japanese prisons (as of 2003) operated at an average of 117% capacity.


Categories: General Knowledge, Place

208/365 – Sparrows

March 25, 2012 Leave a comment

•Sparrows are loosely monogamous. Both the female and the male take care of the young ones, though the female does most of the brooding.

•These birds are aggressive and social, which increases their ability to compete with most native birds.

•They can swim to escape from predators, although they are not considered to be water birds.

•The difference between a male and a female sparrow is that the former has a reddish back and a black bib, whereas the female has brown back with eye stripe.

•Sparrow nests are bulky, roofed affairs. They are haphazardly built and without good workmanship, unlike what is displayed by other weaver finches.

•The nest building is initiated by an unmated male, who begins the construction while displaying it to the females. The females do assist in nest building, but are less active than the male.

•In cool season, sparrows build specially created roost nests or roost in streetlights, to avoid losing heat during the winter.

•Sparrows are generally not territorial, but they are quite aggressive when it comes to protecting their nest from intruders of the same sex.

•They prefer to live near human dwellings, especially if there are bird feeders. They are generally found in farming areas, cities and suburbs.

•Sparrows are around 14-16 cm long. They are chirpy, with grey and brown color. They have the ability to fly at the speed of 38.5 km/hour and can even reach a speed of 50 km/hour.

•These birds usually nest in cavities, but some may nest in bushes and trees as well. They build untidy nests of grass and assorted rubbish, including wool, feathers and fine vegetative material.

•Manmade environments have always been a source of food and shelter for sparrows. They usually nest under the eaves of homes and in holes in the walls of buildings or in climbing plants that grow on walls.

•Sparrows raise three nests of 3-5 eggs. Both male and female helps to incubate the eggs for 12-15 days. The fledglings usually fly out after 15 days.

•The population of sparrows has been declining, as there is less food for them, because of fewer gardens. They are now on the threatened birds’ list in many parts of the world.


Categories: Animal, General Knowledge