Finale: Congratulations ING Renault F1 Team!

September 28, 2008

Unbelievably and miraculously, Renault won the Singapore Grand Prix!

Alonso takes victory (credits to the F1 team blog)

Alonso takes victory (credits to the F1 team blog)

A short video short from my lousy position (:[)!

It was spectacular! And I wasn’t surprised that right from the beginning of today’s race, all news and attention were focused on the Ferrari team and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. So here’s my summary of what happened tonight. Alonso caught up during the safety car interlude and Massa’s pitstop blunder to move up the field. Good skills aside, lucky was also on his side (:D).

Despite a poor pole position ranked 15th, Alonso got to an excellent start and moved up to 12th on the opening lap. He passed Toyota of Trulli and advanced to the 11th position, before heading for the pits where he changed his soft tyres for the harder compound that will be more suitable. Then there were a series of mess ups and penalties committed by the Ferrari team. There was a technical glitch apparently that caused Massa to leave his pit before the fuel hose had been removed, driving with it down the pit lane just before the exit. The fault delayed Massa for about a minute until his mechanics arrived to remove the damaged hose.

Meanwhile Alonso has climbed to 4th in position, behind Robert Kubica, Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli. On lap 24, Kubica then received notice of his penalty for having stopped in the pits when they were closed. Alonso managed to gain lead position when Trulli and Fisichella headed for the pits.

The end of the race held no more surprises as Fernando leading by more than 10 seconds took victory followed by Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

So, congratulations to the ING Renault F1 Team!!

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Day 2: Cheer up Alonso!

September 27, 2008

Man what a waste!

In the end Ferrari’s Felipe Massa clinched pole position.

Fernando leads the way (credits to the F1 team blog)

Fernando leads the way (credits to the F1 team blog)

Alonso was doing excellent for the final two practice rounds earlier today, finishing first. Gearing up with absolute confidence for the pole, he was anguished when his engine died due to a the fuel feed problem, and cruised to a halt halfway, taking away his change to set a time in the second qualifying session. Alonso got out, hands on his head in frustration because him being left on the sidelines took away his shot to get a decent grid position.

According to him, he reckoned a front row start was highly possible before his Renault failed. The problem left the viscerally frustrated Renault star now 15th on the grid.

Which totally sucks! I seriously hope nothing goes wrong for the team tomorrow (:[)!.

Left on the sidelines in qualifying (credits to itv-f1.com)

Left on the sidelines in qualifying (credits to itv-f1)

Alonso frustrated with the outcome (credits to itv-f1)

Alonso frustrated with the outcome (credits to itv-f1)

Day 1: Renault Scores in F1 Trail!

September 26, 2008

Seriously, I need a set of heavy duty mufflers.

Renault F1 (credits to the F1 team blog)

Good thing it didn’t rain this evening, or racing conditions would have been almost impossible. Turns out that the roads here are way too tight and narrow, and the racers are having a really hard time staying on the track as they speed down the Marina Circuit. What makes it interesting is that this time, the racers are unfamiliar with the circuit, making it extremely challenging and no player has additional advantage over the other player.

Not surprisingly, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was able to maneuver the winey roads of Singapore without much hiccups. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton clocked 1m 45.805s, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa came in at 1m 45.793s. However, right at the last minute, Fernando Alonso took his Renault round in 1m 45.654s to beat Massa by 0.098s. Great job Renault (:D)!

So here are some pictures taken from my miserable spot. Managed to sneak a few peeks at the situation behind the barriers.

F1 track sneak shot 3

F1 track back shot

F1 track middle shot

F1 track middle shot

F1 track front shot

F1 track front shot

Outside Esplanade

Gate 7 entry for ticket holders

Amélie: Film français à SMU (24 Sept 2008)

September 22, 2008

My french professor has arranged for a french movie screening in school Wednesday evening at 7pm this week. Titled Amélie, the film starring Audrey Tautou is a whimsical and rather idealised depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in the northern Paris Montmartre. The story introduces a shy waitress, Amélie, who seeks to improve the lives of those around her while struggling with her own isolation.

Which got me to think about french movies in general. In US, a movie is considered another form of entertainment and it’s success is measured by ticket sales. In France, a movie is often thought as a message sent by a director for the audience’s reflection, and the success of each film is measured by the number of viewers, and not so much of whether if it stays in the box office.

They have the Oscars too, its called les Césars, held in February.

Anyway here’s the movie trailer for Amélie.

Renault in F1.

September 21, 2008

In case you don’t already know, Renault is a french automobile company.

So F1 is coming to Singapore on the 28th this month. I was breezing through the city area last night when I saw road works in preparation for the highly anticipated event. The road shoulders were lined with a row of high powered white lights and tall fencing, and the mood immediately sets in. Imagine, in just about a week more, the F1 racers will be zooming down the same road I’m parked on right now. It was nice.. and I couldn’t resist taking a picture with my crappy phone camera just before the green light.

Of course, here are the Renault racers replicas just outside the Marriot Hotel. Oh, and I have also included their blog page on the right.

Go Renault (:D) !!

F1 race course outside Suntec City

F1 race course outside Suntec City.

Renault side shot

Renault side shot

Renault front shot

Renault front shot

Renault hind shot

Renault hind shot

Spanish Influence

September 17, 2008

I was looking at my French notes earlier, using Spanish to help make sense.

Yes, I know. It’s weird.

After all, English is my first language and it would make sense to use it as a base to learn a foreign language. But no, I depended heavily on Spanish to understand why certain words or phrases are written that way in French.

And no, I’m not exactly excelling in Spanish either.

I got to know my group mate in PR Strategy class yesterday. Her name’s Maria and she’s on exchange from Portugal. She speaks Portuguese, which is exciting because of its similarities with the Spanish language.

Time-Out: Do you know that Ronaldo the Brazillian footballer actually speaks Portugese and not Spanish?

Bet you don’t. HAHAHA.

So I wanted to know how much difference is there in the two languages, so I asked her how she would say the word, “Nationality”.

and she said, “Na-shion-na-li-dah”.

which I would say, “Na-thio-na-li-dah”.

Despite the difference, Maria said that both parties can communicate in their own language and still understand each other.. and I thought, hey, that’s actually quite fascinating.

It’s probably something like Teochew and the Hokkien locally speaking.

But way cooler.

And she also found Portuguese to be easier and simpler than English.

Yup. Right. Can’t blame her, I would have said the exact opposite.

So yes, I made a new friend (:D), and my team came up with a team name, “Vivir”, which means “to live”. Surprisingly, Prof. Halff picked that up immediately, so I guessed he probably knows a little Spanish too.

Can’t wait to see Maria again, love to find out more about Portugal.

Près De Moi

September 15, 2008

stands for Close to Me.

a french pop song that was introduced to class last friday

DVD on the left projection screen, and lyrics on the right, we sang happily

besides reading frantically and trying to not to lose it.

And he explained each word in every sentence, french is not tough

I mean after all, we already understood 8 words and a few short phrases even before he explained them

it sounded so beautiful, so sad

and even if you need a translator

still, how can anyone not like this song?

J’aime beaucoup la musique, vous :)?

YouTube Link: Près De Moi (Embedding disabled by request)

Are French People Rude?

September 11, 2008

Related Article: The Rude French Myth @ About.com

I chatted with M something about the french people yesterday. According to M’s friend X, X regarded the french people as snobbish and rude. X proved his point with his little trip to France, and said that the french do not seemed to like talking to him, as if they were looking down on him as a foreigner. What repulses me is the way X (who by the way I see has absolutely zero knowledge on the french culture) talked negatively to potential visitors about the “rude french people”.

Which reminded me of my class last week on the common misconception on the french personality. French people won’t smile unless they mean it, as they consider smiling unnecessary to be hypocritical. When you smile at a French whose face remains impassive, it does not mean that they are disapproving you or that you are rejected socially. It is just the way they operate. As such, it is unfair to dismiss a french person as unfriendly or rude solely by his facial expression.

Generally, most cultures smile upon meeting new people. By smiling, we believe that we are reducing the tension and therefore create a less hostile environment as a result. This we know, is particularly true with the Americans. So imagine if an American were to meet a French and how the American would be put off immediately because of the lack of cultural understanding. It’s not that the French won’t make the effort or that they don’t understand, its simply not part of their ecosystem.

So yes, I don’t think that the french people are rude. The only rude people are the people who come to conclusion too soon without any effort to understand the situation. Of course if you want to argue for the rest of us, you can, start your own blog too.

Lovin’ French: Foreword

September 11, 2008

Why French?

because it’s widely spoken on five continents

and one of the two global languages, check out the Olympics

because of my trip to Canada last year

because of possible trips to Europe next year

because it existed before the english language

because I’m already learning spanish

because of the yummy french cuisine

and the elegantly rich culture

because it sounds beautiful

even when you curse

because that’s where style is born

because it has that certain je ne sais quoi

x x x