Friday, April 1, 2011

April 1, 2011

A SIGNIFICANT LEAP FOR ARTS AND SCIENCES IN SINGAPORE: Big news here is the announcement that Yale and the National University of Singapore will be working together in a big way. It's being billed as this nation's FIRST liberal arts college. NUS, of course, promotes it at its Web site (above).
Many at NUS applaud Yale's confidence in academic freedom at NUS and think it is totally justified. A political science professor at NUS, sent me a link to a story about a freedom-chilling development at Beijing University as reported by the China Daily.
He said he said he hopes this development will lessen some of the "stereotypical criticism of Singapore that still circulates among American academics."
This is a great time to be here, given Sandy's keen involvement with Yale. She's on the ballot to be on the Yale Corporation, a 19-person group that basically oversees the university.

IT'S THAT LANGUAGE THING AGAIN--WHAT DOES TO BREAK A DUCK MEAN? Here's the opening paragraph about a hapless S-League football team, which lost on Thursday March 31:
"S-League football club Woodlands Wellington finally broke their duck this season, but still fell 1-2 to defending champions Etoile FC at the Woodlands Stadium yesterday."
Yup. They "broke their duck," which must make the Woodlands' mascot--the ram (right)--delighted.
This has nothing to do with a certain Chinese menu item. Puzzled, I looked it up. To "break a duck" means a player or team has scored the first run or goal or basically "broken the duck's egg." In the U.S., we are likely to hear "goose egg" more often than "duck's egg." They may not weigh the same or cook the same or taste the same, but they both mean zero.
I happened to see the Woodlands team in their first game on Feb. 14. They lost 1-0. And they had been held without a goal for more than a month. As you can see from the standings, they have played only six games. But you certainly want to break the duck quicker than that. Big question: When will the Red Sox break their duck for wins? They just lost their opener!

FLYING THE COOP ON THE CRANES: This will be the last installment for the Singapore Crane Index Limited Economic Indicator for a while because Sandy and I are heading to HANOI and BEIJING. We won't be back until April 13. Not sure what blogging opportunities will be available. Anyway, here's the reading:
Date: April 2
Time: 7 a.m. (Singapore time)
Cranes Up (bad): 9
Cranes Down (good): 17
CRANES MISSING (neutral): 1

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