Saturday, March 17, 2012

Celestial Beauties

If you have been looking up at the skies these past week you can't miss the 2 bright stars at night.
It's not uncommon to sight planets with the naked eye but conjunction of planets rarely happen so close to each other.

Venus and Jupiter are visible in the night skies now and will be around till the end of the month.

Click on the picture for a detailed view.

Not being astrologically inclined, I read about it some time ago in National Geographic but had all but forgotten till last Thursday night when I was down at Marina Bay to shoot the iLight exhibits. It had rained each evening all week but there was a break last Thursday. I was lucky to shoot the stars.

The planets can be clearly seen looking towards the North. The brighter of the 2 stars is Venus on the right and Jupiter is the dimmer one on the left. (Photo top right corner)

If you live on top of a high rise, you may also see Mercury towards the bottom right of the pair if you have a clear view of the horizon.
If you are really keen, note that besides Venus and Jupiter, the crescent moon will also appear beside the 2 bright stars on 25th & 26th March.
If you miss this opportunity, you may have to wait till 2015 for it to happen again.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shopping Streets (IV) - Orchard Road, Singapore

I was flabbergasted when I read the headlines "Poll: Orchard is world's top shopping strip" (Straits Times, 10 Jan 2012).  It came out top in cleanliness, top in quality retail staff and friendliness.

My first thoughts were No Way!  Better than Ginza, better than The Stroget, better than London?
Then I thought, yes why not? After all the survey was done by the french Presence group. I work in market research for a local media company and we know Presence. They are renowned for their mystery shopping as, for example, AC Nielson is for TV ratings. So there's no reason for me to doubt the results.
It was just a typical case of not accepting the prophet in your own country.

The ION at Orchard Road, Singapore.

I must admit it was a surprise but Orchard Road has, especially the past few years, seen some spectacular malls coming online. I must admit too that perhaps I was a bit jaded initially.
I have always sung praises about the Japanese stores and the way they attend to your needs. Singapore's store staff have a long way to go before coming near the Japanese levels. But according to this survey they are better? At least according to their international group of mystery shoppers.

I'll do a more detail write up on the shopping along Orchard Road at a later date. Promise.
Now that Orchard Road is at the top, it deserves more from me at least, being my home base.