Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanks for your Patience!

Pardon the 'silence' on the blog. As much as I profess to be an avid blogger, I lack the mastery of time to be able to put in an entry every other day the past week. Things will get better in the coming week or two, so thanks for bearing with us.

I'm deliberately thanking you for your patience for the no-show the past week, in part motivated by yesterday's chat with Celebrity ambassador for the Singapore Kindness Movement Irene Ang and General Manager of the Singapore Kindness Movement, Teh Thien Yew who were on our show yesterday encouraging the display of kindness ahead of World Kindness Day this Friday, 13th November.

You see...(yes, the word is 'see')...Pam's been on medical leave, recovering from a surgical procedure to the eye. She only returned to work today after two weeks away and it was to many listeners' delight (and to my joy and relief) to hear her chattering alongside me. Her absence reminded me that The Living Room is no place for just one man. It's made for two to produce and host. And when you have two people pulling the cart, you then have the luxury of taking some time out to blog, upload photos and document the day. If we were still on the punch-card system, I'd have easily chalked up 10-hour workdays the last two weeks. You know something's not right when your intern asks you why you're not heading home yet. (Thanks Nick for your concern!) The show just has to go on and I couldn't bring myself to change gear. There are standards to maintain in our interviews and quality conversations listeners deserve, nothing less.

Here's are snapshots of who I hosted last week...

(above second from left: Executive Director of the Singapore International Foundation Jean Tan popped by to share the SIF's re-invented vision and purpose.)

Last week, I also hosted International Values Director of The Body Shop, Jan Buckingham who's from the UK. Jan is a believer in the importance of businesses having values that govern what they do. She is also of the belief that one's personal values must match the company you work in or you'd always been struggling within you when they're not congruent.

I teased her about having to be a very principled lady to be holding on to the job title she held. But she truly is, disclosing her wishes for family values to rub off on her two teenage children Katie and James.

(above from left: Co-Founder of the Fellowship of Inventors Dave Lim, Associate Professor Kirpal Singh, Director of the Wee Kim Wee Centre at the Singapore Management University and Professor Desai Narasimhalu, Director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SMU, freely sharing there observations about the level of creativity in Singapore and what's holding us back from being a creative people after Invent Singapore 2009.)

Now this is perhaps the most awkward photo I've taken with a guest. Just look at the distance between the gentleman and myself! That's no way to pose for a photo! But that was the personal space I gave him. Maybe I was just a tad intimidated by his title of 'Count'. But by all accounts, Count Andreas Graf von Faber-Castell (a member of the eighth generation of the famous Faber-Castell family) was the most endearing man with wit, sound reasoning and foresight to keep the brandname going for another 250 years! (It was established in 1761.) It's a name famed for its wooden-cased pencils, colour pencils and other writing instruments. It's a brand that goes back to my days in kindergarten!

Just two years shy of turning 250 years old, the company recently opened their first boutique in Singapore at ION Orchard. There's much to leave you in awe at the store - the world smallest pencil (17.5mm), the oldest pencil (from the 17th century) and the world's most expensive pencil ever manufactured featuring three diamonds set in a white gold extender cap (worth $20,800!).

PENCIL these FACTS in!
* There is actually no lead in pencils and there never has been. The black stuff is made of graphite and clay.
* An average pencil can write up to 80km in length (about twice the width of Singapore!) while an average ink pen is likely to last half that distance.
* Writings from a light fast pencil, like what Faber-Castell makes, will last forever (provided you don't erase it) while markings from a pen will disappear after forty to fifty years.

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