Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nigel Barley's "Rogue Raider"

Rogue Raider
The tale of Captain Lauterbach and the Singapore Mutiny
by Nigel Barley
It is the First World War and Julius Lauterbach is a German prisoner of war in the old Tanglin barracks of Singapore. He is also a braggart, a womaniser and a heavy drinker and through his bored fantasies he unwittingly triggers a mutiny by Muslim troops of the British garrison and so throws the whole course of the war in doubt. The British lose control of the city, its European inhabitants flee to the ships in the harbour and it is only with the help of Japanese marines that the Empire is saved.
Rogue Raider is the adventure story of how one ship, the Emden, tied up the navies of four nations and how one man eluded their agents in a desperate yet hilarious attempt to regain his native land. It is fictionalised history but a true history that was deliberately suppressed by the authorities of the time as too embarrassing and dangerous to be known. Revealed here, it brings vividly to life the Southeast Asia of the period, its sights, its sounds and its rich mix of peoples. And through it an unwilling participant in the war becomes an accidental hero.

Boy, am I glad I won a free copy of the title from Monsoon Books in Singapore.
Now to find the time to read and review it.
To win a book, do check out:

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Go Eco in 2008

Well, it's that time of year again - time to start putting those New Year's resolutions into practice.
Top of the list — shed 5 kg, the unsightly 'butterfly' arms, the 'thunder' thighs, and hit the gym for that six-pack abs and jlo butt;
Second - get on a regular detox program and go organic;
Third - fill in the application form for the phd program and put my nose to the grind for the doctoral research and dissertation;
Fourth - link research and teaching with neighborhood conservation and cooperation projects.
Have a happy and bountiful new year.
Below are tips from
Be Naturally Beautiful. I hate to break it to you but that gook you put on your face and in your hair might be doing a lot more than making you feel pretty. It could make you feel sick. Take this quiz and check your products for dangerous chemicals such as phthalates or sodium laurel sulfate. Many everyday products such as shampoos, soaps, lotions and lipsticks contain them. Opt for organic products made of natural ingredients and thank Mother Nature for that radiant glow.
Wake Up and Smell the Perfume. Don't let the pretty smell fool you: Most fragrances are just chock full of hazardous chemicals. But there are alternatives that will leave you smelling sweet as a rose. Get the scoop here.
Eat Organic. No two ways about it, buying organic dairy and meat saves tons of resources and is just plain better for you. Organic produce is tastier and also healthier, but it is more expensive because it's a lot cheaper to dump chemicals on a crop. If you can't afford to buy all organic, here's a list of the top 10 fruits and vegetables to eat organic.
Buy Local. Common sense says that the farther away your food is grown, the more fossil fuels are required to get it to you. So look for local produce at your grocery store and make it a point to visit your community farmers market whenever possible. Defining local.
Be a Bag Lady. Even if you're just bringing back all the paper and plastic bags stuffed in that bottom drawer of your kitchen, always BYOB. If you don't want to spend money on reusable grocery bags—although there are lots of really cute options out there—look around the house for old totes, beach bags, twine-handled fancy shopping bags or even large baskets. Keep lots in your trunk (and don't forget to put them back in the trunk after unloading your groceries!), plus one compact bag folded up in your purse so you're never without it.
Clean Green. You don't even want to know all the gross chemicals that are in commercially made products. Not only are you breathing those chemicals, but then you end up pouring them down the drain. Not good for you, or the Earth. So what's the answer? Make your own non-toxic cleaning kit.
Change a Light Bulb. If just one light bulb in every home in America were switched out for a compact fluorescent—aka CFLs—it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year. CFLs are everywhere now, there are tons of different kinds to choose from and it's such an easy fix. Learn more.
Sip, Don't Guzzle. Even if you don't plan to buy a hybrid, there are ways to make the car you have get the best possible gas mileage. A properly tuned engine will get between 6 and 20 percent higher mpg, for example. Here's a list of 12 things you can do to stretch a tank of gas.
Be a Peddle Pusher. Sometimes a car is necessary, but just running errands around town? Ride your bike to the post office, the grocery store, the dentist, etc., and experience the true joy of being car-free for a while. Bonus: Hello, exercise! More benefits of biking here.
Be an Online Activist. Did you know you can help stop global warming, save the rainforest and keep pollutants out of our oceans with a single click? You can. You can also sign petitions to let the people in power know you care and want to make a difference.