Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Well I had to write about it eventually.
I've been keeping my experience of the Singapore F1 locked up for a while now and I've had numerous friends calling me and writing me for my thoughts. The truth is, I don't quite know how I feel about the race weekend.
Did I enjoy it or not? I can't quite say. It's weird, I know, but that's exactly how I feel. I can't put my finger on it. I got to do just about the same things I did last year. Actually a bit more even. But yet I feel a sense of emptiness.
One thing I have to apologies for is the failure to take more photos. I use a very normal camera and it has been letting me down a bit lately. I ought to have had it fixed proper before the race but I thought it will make do. Still I don't regret it cos there were many moments I could have taken some photos but I didn't cos I just never thought of it.
The whole excitement of F1 Singapore somehow wasn't there for me. I know I was looking forward to it and writing about it and all but when it was here, I didn't quite enjoy it. It all felt somewhat mooted.
To be honest I enjoyed that one Friday at last years race more than the three days this year. I got to see the drivers again this year, and at the Paddock club as well, I got to the pit garage again, I sneaked in to the Paddock party and I also got to see Chaka Khan at the VIP Village club. Yet I still have to say it just wasn't there for me. I would be arrogant if I were to say "been there, done that" but that is how I feel.
One thing that really bothered me a lot was the fact that most of the people who were there were not even really there for what it was meant to be, F1! The whole thing felt too much of a carnival and a circus all wrapped up into one huge comical situation. Yes, Yes I know what some of you might be thinking now. That it was suppose to be a big party as well and that all the extra distractions and entertainment was there to to give the whole thing a livelier atmosphere, right?
But that is the very problem. That's all it was. One big party. The cars racing around the track was just another part of the party! Not the reason for it!
I would never ever recommend getting the Marina Bay seats to anyone ever again. Unless you are very short. And I mean very short cos I'm not at all tall and yet they hurt like hell. You can forget about getting comfortable, or occasionally leaning back or anything like that. They are the worst seats, period!
And from what I got from some new friends I made during the race days, theirs wasn't any better. They invited me to their seats in different grandstands around the circuit (we just exchanged tickets for a while). In fact, some of them, who paid top prices for the tickets, actually told me that they decided to join the walkabout crowd instead.
As for the race itself, I have to say it was boring. A couple of accidents brought the 'Oooos' and the 'Ahhhhs' out from the crowd but that was about it. The circuit itself is to blame. Yes I know it is a street circuit but still it is no Monaco. No chance whatsoever for overtaking. Look at what happened to Adrian Sutil and Nick Heifeld and you'll understand.
It is pointless if the only way the starting order of the race could be rearranged during the race itself is if there is a team member who cheats and the safety car comes out to give you a new gamble. Otherwise, you have no chance to see a proper race where the faster driver is actually able to overtake the driver in front simply because he can.
We might as well cancel the race and call it decided after Saturday's qualification. Only accidents and pit stop gambles can otherwise change the outcome. And we all know that next year's new rules mean no more refuelling, only tyre change during the pit stops.
OK, enough blabbering for me now. I have so much more to say about the Singapore F1 experience and I have some photos too. That'll have to wait till my next postings.
And bythehoo, will some of you please write in and share what you think of your seats and maybe we can all figure out the best place to be next year and the best seats that we can all recommend to everyone.
That is, if I ever go to Singapore F1 again. Really, the novelty has actually worn out for me and unless something very different is done for next years race, I would probably give it a miss.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Anyhoo, what gain is there for Alonso or Renault as far as the championship is concerned? They were already out of the run for the year and that one win wouldn't really have done them a whole worth of good. Watch the video and tell me if at all it is indeed possible to choreograph such a perfect 'accident'?
I wonder if Nelson realises that he is in effect kissing his carreer as a race car driver goodbye. No racing team, F1 or not, will ever hire a cry baby like this. One who spills the beans on his ex team. He has just opened a can of bullshit for himself. Hope he enjoys it. Read his confession in full here .
Video : Times online
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Actually I chase satellites more often and I'll explain in a while. As most of my friends (everyone of them in fact) will attest to the fact that I'm an avid nature lover. Everything that has anything to do with the great outdoors. Even the neighbourhood teenagers that I occasionally get to meet. I try my best to introduce them to the marvels of nature and astronomy.
Now, satellite chasing or tracking is precisely just that, chasing, tracking and watching the satellites as they zoom past above us in the night sky. O.K I can almost hear some of you going "hey, that's not nature, it's man made!' That's what Ling says to me all the time. But you see, to me that IS the wonder of it all. If we didn't have satellites, it be impossible for us to see, know and admire the universe beyond. Think about the Hubble Space Telescope and you'd understand. If we don't send these satellites out there, we're practically saying goodbye to mankind. More on that another time.
Satellite tracking is a marvelous way to admire how far we as the human race have come. Every time I see one, I go 'Whao, that is so cool'. Allow me to share with you how you too can observe these satellites. Frankly it is really easy. If you have a basic understanding of the night sky, you'd have no problems. For those who are really new to this, here's a general rule of thumb. If it twinkles, it's a star. If it stays constant, it's a planet.
Chances are you've probably seen most of our neighbours in the Solar System already. You just didn't realise what you were looking at. If you are in this part of Asia as I am writing this now, step outside (at night of course) and look straight up. You'd see this really bright 'star' It's the brightest thing around except for the moon which will rise much later. What you are looking at is in fact planet Jupiter
Jupiter and its 4 moons image : utahskies.org
Now, if you have a pair of binoculars, use them and have a look at Jupiter. If you can stabilise your hands and observe very carefully you'd be able to see 4 of it's largest moons. The other planets that are easily visible to the naked eye are the brightest of them all, Venus. The red planet Mars. The ringed giant Saturn and the little one Mercury. Here's a good free website to download. You only need to key in your approximate location and it'll point out to you what is exactly above you in real time. It is at http://www.stellarium.org/ .
You can also use this site to observe stars, galaxies and constellations. Ever wondered what your Zodiac sign actually looks like in the sky? Well go ahead and find out. Satellite are a little different. Mainly because they zoom past so fast. In about 6 minutes or less, it's all over. You need to study the sky chart a little better to really know where to look. The placements of each bright star is vital as you need to use them as markers.
Get yourself a compass though quite frankly you wouldn't need it if you observe the sky charts and stars. A good watch is a must. O.k, any watch will do, just that you have to set your time accurately. Down to the second. Satellites, just like all celestial objects in the sky are measured in Magnitudes. That basically means brightness. It's rather easy if you understand golf, where a negative number is a good thing. For example, the brightest object in our sky is obviously the Sun. It's magnitude is minus 26.7 (-26.7). Then we have the moon at minus 12.7 (-12.7). The brightest planet, Venus , is at minus 4.4 ( -4.4). So you see, the more positive a number, the more difficult it will be to see it
. The International Space Station. Image: flashladybug.com
Last week, I got to see the International Space Station twice. On most days it's magnitude is around minus 2.0 (-2.0). Here's the best part. The Space Shuttle Discovery was docked to it! So I saw it at mag. -3.1. The excitement of watching it was amazing. To think that there were 13 people up there at that time and the possibility that 2 of them may have been doing maintenance outside as they space walked! Of course I couldn't see the astronauts but the thought that I was watching them from down here was great
! image: galaxywire.net
Yes, sure, there are people out there who see a satellite once and say "So, is that it?" I've had some people say it looks no different from a plane as it approaches the runway for a landing at night with it's main lights on. May be true. May look the same. But to know it's not is the point. I do feel sad when they say that to me. Not for myself but for them. For they don't seem to appreciate what they are seeing. Well to each, his own.
Here's where you can get those sky charts and information on when the next satellite will be zooming over your night sky. Once again, it is a free website and once again you'd only need to key in your location. You'd also be able to track a whole list of other celestial objects from here. Do try to track the ISS if you can. Or better yet Iridium Flares. I'll write about them later. Go to http://www.heavens-above.com/ .
I just saw 2 satellites yesterday and 3 today. How many will you see?
Sunday, September 6, 2009
O.K. Let's try. Luca Badoer is obviously out and Giancarlo Fisichella has replaced him. Fisi, being an Italian, driving for an Italian team, proclaimed, 'He is in seventh heaven'. Here starts the dilemma; 'How now, brown cow?'.
We have Fisi. Will he remain in Ferrari? Remember, that's who the Italians want. Ferrari as well. Yet we have heard that it is quite likely that Fernando Alonso may be joining the Scuderia next season. Presumably to replace Kimi Raikonen.
How about Massa? Well he is still recovering.
'See you later, Alligator'. Kimi, with his usual pride, has claimed that he is not worried to be dropped by Ferrari because as he said "I'm still young and I'm sure that other teams will still hire me". The problem with that, my friend, is that the other teams are not quite in the calibre of Ferrari. And I doubt any other team among the top few will hire him. It will probably be the beginning of his downward spiral, as far as his career in F1 is concerned.
'In a while, crocodile'. That's what Ferrari are obliged to say to Fellipe Massa. He took a bullet for them and I don't think they would be that cruel to sack him next season. They'd lose a lot of fans, not only from Brazil. And I don't think they'd dare do that. Not someone from Aryton Senna's home country. And especially not when he's obviously a better driver than Kimi. They'd have to give him a chance to return.
That brings us back to; 'How now, Brown Cow?'. So will it be Kimi, Alonso, Fisi or Massa next season for Ferrari?
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So there you have it. The best concert and experience I've had in a long time. It was all so surreal that I still can't get a grasp of the night. Sitting there, away from the crowd, under the stars, with no one else around. And smelling the beautiful aromas from the herb garden around us, listening to Nine Inch Nails and then meeting Trent and Gene. And the best part? Having Ling next to me. I think I converted her again.
And here's the thing I'll never ever forget. He waved goodbye to us. And we waved back.
Goodbye NiN. And thank you for the memories.