Saturday, November 02, 2013

A researcher made a scientific breakthrough about the chemistry of water. Everyone thought she was a man.

So I first found out about this a few days ago: a researcher named Xi Zhang, at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, led a team that suggested a reason why hot water freezes faster than cold water. (It's called the Mpemba Effect, because it was first noted by the Tanzanian student Ernesto Mpemba.)



Awesome, right? I used to work at NTU, and while they're not a model for academic freedom in any way, it's great when any institution invests in science.

It's been reported in both Gizmodo and I fucking love science, which talk about "Xi Zhang and his team", "Xi Zhang and his colleagues".



The weird thing is, when I went to search for the face of this researcher, I found this:


She's a lady. Check the page. She's not just another scientist with the same name: her field of research and the university are the same.

Now, I'm not saying this was a deliberate attempt to whitewash women out of scientific history (although this has happened in the past). And of course, Xi was just one of several researchers, male and female, working on the discovery, which is the way science has often worked.

But journalists of the world: when you're dealing with foreign names, you really can't make assumptions about gender. Elise Andrew, the blogger behind I Fucking Love Science should know this - she's experienced that kind of sexism herself.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Eastern Heathens Launch on Sat 23 August, 6:30-7:30pm!

Hey guys! Eastern Heathens is FINALLY going into print!


What is it? Well, it's an anthology of stories inspired by Asian folklore - there's realism, fantasy, historical fiction, oriental steampunk, horror, comedy, sex... and I'm one of the editors! Mind you, it's mostly drawn from the inspiration and the sweat of my co-editor Amanda Lee Koe - and from the contributors. (I tried submitting a story, but we agreed it wasn't good enough.)

We sent stuff to the print shop yesterday and we're holding the launch next Saturday, at the Arts House, aka The Old Parliament House. It's part of the Literally 9 festival to celebrate the arts centre's ninth anniversary. Alfian Sa'at, Cyril Wong and newcomer Bryan Cheong should be reading! I'm hosting, methinks.

Venue: Arts House, Living Room
Date: 23 Mar 2013
Event Timing: 6.30-7:30pm
Free admission
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/442375729179327/?fref=ts

The authors, btw, are:

Bryan Cheong (Singapore)
Hoa Pham (Australia)
Cyril Wong (Singapore)
Jeannine Hall Gailey (USA/Japan)
Alfian Sa'at (Singapore/Malaysia)
Amanda Lee Koe (Singapore)
Jon Gresham (Australia/Singapore)
Anila Angin (Singapore)
Chan Ziqian (Singapore/Poland)
Jennani Durai (Singapore)
Li Huijia (Singapore)
Abha Iyengar (India)
Zeny May Recidoro (Philippines)
Jason Erik Lundberg (USA/Singapore)

Seeya there!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Several announcements for January!

1. Flying Circus Project!

I'm going to Myanmar from 3 to 15 January, to be part of the Flying Circus Project! Here's the blog I'm maintaining at Weebly.



2. OH! Marina Bay

This means I'm gonna miss Evil Empire's OH!: Open House at Marina Bay, a series of interactive art tours that are happening this weekend and next weekend - that's 5, 6, 12, 13 Jan - at Marina Bay. I contributed a short story to their program, titled Block Quotes. If you wanna go, better go early - lines are kuh-ray-zee.

3. Campaign City

I actually designed a poster for Evil Empire as part of their Campaign City: Life in Posters exhibition. It's showing at the National Library, Level 11, from 9 January onwards - huge light boxes on the walls, each featuring an artist's reinterpretation of one of the PAP's propaganda campaigns! I worked with the Speak Good English campaign in a way that celebrates local experimental writing.


4. Choice Cuts

And there's actually already an exhibition I'm involved in on show, at Jurong Regional Library, called Choice Cuts - a little installation by my friends at Studio Kaleido that gives you personal recommendations for Singapore literature, by Singaporean writers. As you can see, I'm featured as a recommender (not as a recommendee), as are Boey Kim Cheng, Wena Poon, Enoch Ng, etc, etc. (Gwee Li Sui is both a recommender and a -dee, ugh.)


The show will move from library to library until it opens in Central Lending around March. I should be able to make it for that launch.

That's all for now. I think!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Microcosmos/Archiving Cane: Opening this Thursday!

I´ve written material for two art exhibitions opening this Thursday. Sadly, I can´t attend either of them because I´m in Scandinavia - I´m a blogger for the ILGA Conference in Stockholm next week!

This means you´ll have to attend in my stead. Pop over to the Substation for Loo Zihan´s Archiving Cane, which I´ve written an essay for:



Archiving Cane
Date: Fri 7 Dec to Sun 16 Dec
Venue: The Substation
Reception: Thu 6 Dec, 7:30pmPlease note that this exhibition contains material that is rated R21


Then get a cab to Goodman Arts Centre for Amanda Lee´s Microcosmos, a photography exhibition for which writers like myself have written poetry and stories inspired by the art:



Microcosmos
Date: Fri 7 Dec to Wed 12 Dec
Venue: Goodman Arts Centre, Block B, 90 Goodman Road
Reception: Thu 6 Dec, 8pm to 10:30pm

Click the links if you want to find out more!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

But Is the Book Better?: Eating Air, Thu 28 Nov, Sat 1 Dec

I'm off to the Georgetown Literary Festival in a bit, but before I do that, I'd like to advertise a little something I've got coming up. It's a screening of the fabulous 1999 motorcycle gangster movie at the Arts House, after which there'll be a talk about my novelisation thereof!



But Is the Book Better?: Eating Air
Venue: Screening Room, the Arts House
Date/Time: 28 Nov, 7.30pm; 1 Dec, 3pm.
Free admission
(on a first-come-first-served basis)

My talkback is on 1 December, with director Jasmine Ng! More info here.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

'Tis the Festive Season!

And no, I don't mean Hari Raya Haji and Deepavali. I'm talking about the Singapore Writers Festival and the Georgetown Literary Festival!


Just bussed back from the SWF opening, in fact, where Math Paper Press did a twin launch of Alfian Sa'at's The Invisible Manuscript and Cyril Wong's Straw, Sticks, Brick

My book, Diary of a Stone Monkey, was supposed to come out too, but alas, there were printing problems. Seems like this is my year of stymied book launches. One of my stories is featured in the Sunday launch of Fish Eats Lion, though. Come, come!

Launch of Fish Eats Lion: New Singaporean Speculative Fiction
Sunday 4 November
4pm-5pm
ilovebooks.com Pavilion, Campus Green, SMU (Singapore Management University)
FREE ADMISSION

Quite a few prominent names are featured in the fest, including Michael Cunningham, Monique Truong, and the author of my Korea book, Shin Kyun-Sook. Will see if I can get interviews and autographs. :)

But, more importantly, I've been invited to Penang!



See that upper left hand corner portrait? That's me! I'm actually being featured in the opening ceremony, where I'll be performing my poetry right next to A. Samad Said and Omar Musa. Can you believe it?

These are the events I'm involved in:

Poetry Workshop with PELLTA and Arts
Friday 23 November
8-9pm
Sekeping Victoria
Writers: Ng Yi-Sheng, Omar Musa and Nii Ayikwey Parkes
FREE ADMISSION

Official Opening Ceremony by Chief Minister of Penang, Y.A.B. Lim Guan Eng
8-9pm
Friday 23 November  and Nii Ayikwey Parkes
Sekeping Victoria
Readings and performances by A. Samad Said, Ng Yi-Sheng and Omar Musa
BY INVITATION ONLY

Poetry Rant: Mad As Hell!
Sunday 25 November
12:30-1:30pm
Sekeping Victoria
Five poets get angry. Watch them get mad - and bad!
Writers: Ng Yi-Sheng, Omar Musa, Alfian Sa'at, Shivani Sivagurunathan and Nii Ayikwey Parkes
Host: Jasmine Low
FREE ADMISSION - seating on first come, first served basis

Reading and Panel DiscussionTaboos or Travesties
Sunday 25 November
2-3pm
Sekeping Victoria
How do writers go about saying the unsayable? How do they deal with issues and themes that may cause scandal and uproar? See how these writers deal with challenging issues that simply need to be said.
Writers: Ng Yi-Sheng, Reggie Baay, Dina Zaman, Linda Christanty and David Van Reybrouck
Moderator: Bernice Chauly
FREE ADMISSION - seating on first come, first served basis

... and then from 3 to 20 December I'll be in Stockholm for the ILGA Conference. More about that later. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Book launch in Kuala Lumpur tonight!


Will be speaking at Silverfish Books in Kuala Lumpur this evening, 5:30pm, to promote my translation of "The New Village"! Three books to be promoted, in fact:
  1. Robert Yeo’s ROUTESRobert Yeo, a.k.a Yeo Cheng Chuan, (b.1940, Singapore -), is a poet and playwright, novelist and newspaper columnist on the arts, literary and theatre essayist advocating the establishment of a distinctly Singaporean tradition in writing. He was for many years a lecturer in the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University and was a proponent for the greater inclusion of the study of Singaporean texts in the school curriculum. Poet and critic Aaron Lee has described Yeo as being “the most Singaporean of Singaporean writers”.
  2. Dr Wong Yoon Wah’s THE NEW VILLAGE. Wong Yoon Wah (b. 13 August 1941, Perak, Malaysia - ) is one of the few Singaporeans who excel as an international poet, critic and scholar. Prolific in both creative and academic writing, he has published over twenty collections of prose, poetry, and academic writings on Chinese and comparative literature in Chinese or English. For his commitment to promoting literature regionally, he has been awarded the Southeast Asia Write Award (1984), the Cultural Medallion (1986), and the ASEAN Cultural Award (1993).
  3. Wong Phui Nam’s THE HIDDEN PAPYRUS OF HEN_TAUI. Wong Phui Nam's poems are regarded as among the best Malaysian ones in English, unsurpassed in their eloquence and linguistic richness. Most of them are contemplative and draw their images from the local landscape. Wong Phui Nam's poetry explores the experience of living in multi-cultural Malaysia. "Before the British set up this country, Malaysia was a totally agrarian society," he says. "Suddenly we get this commercialism and development of plantations to supply a metropolitan power. Even for a writer in Malay, whether he is a Malay or a non-Malay, he has to reinvent the language. All the more so for Indians and Chinese. For a Chinese, when we write in Chinese, we cannot pretend that nothing has happened and try to write Tang poetry. So for us to write in English, we are exiled three times, culturally and spiritually from China, culturally from the indigenous Malay culture, and then writing in English. We cannot claim that it is a tradition. I would say we have appropriated the language. So, in a way, it is a much more interesting medium to work with, to work with the language against the tradition."
Professor Mohammad Quayum, of the International Islamic University of Malaysia, will moderate the event, which will include discussions with regards to the development of Malaysia/Singapore writings in English. 

Venue: Silverfish Books, 
28-1 Jalan Telawi, Bangsar Baru, 
59100 Kuala Lumpur. 
Date: Saturday, 22 September 2012 
Time: 5.30 pm

Admission is free. All welcome, but seats are limited.

(And then on Sunday I'm going for Art For Grabs at the Annexe Gallery. Awesome.)