Borshch Steakhouse

December 27, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Borshch Steakhouse
58 Serangoon Gardens Way




Hainanese Russian Food
(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 5
Ambience & Setting: 5
Food & Beverage: 6
Service: 4
Value for Money: 6
Spent about $15 per person.

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Eating at Borshch Steakhouse is a bit hit-and-miss. Go in with the wrong expectations, and you will be sorely disappointed. 


Firstly, while they advertise "Russian" food, it's more accurate to say they were inspired by Russian cuisine. Their food is done in typical Hainanese Western style, which makes sense as the original chefs used to cook for the British. 


Thus, while the signature Russian Borshch soup is typically beetroot, here they've substituted cabbage in the soup instead.  Not totally wrong, as Borshch does contain cabbage in some Russian versions. 


However, when you actually taste the soup, it tastes more like a Minestrone with a Tomato base. It's not bad as a soup, but it would be more accurate to call it Minestrone, rather than Borshch. 


Borshch Steakhouse mains are done really well. Typical of the kind of steaks you'd get at your coffeeshop western food stall, juicy and cooked to your specifications. Their shashliks are pretty good as well. Order their mains as part of a set, as it's more value-for-money.


Their Beef Stroganoff is excellent. The sauce is addictively tasty, the meat is tender, and the rice is great for polishing off all the sauce. Again, don't expect it to look anything like a traditional Beef Stroganoff. 


The Oxtail Stew is only available on Thursdays, and well worth the effort to visit on that day. The meat is tender enough to fall off the bone. 


Unfortunately, Borshch Steakhouse is let down by average sides, average decor, and average service. 


Some of the service staff are from China, and can't pronounce simple English, so you might be better off placing orders in Chinese, or just pointing at the menu. 


Decor is a throwback to the past, with hand-sewn pictures adorning the walls. The dim restaurant interior of Borshch Steakhouse also makes taking photos difficult. Oddly enough, from outside, it's difficult to see into the restaurant, but from the inside, you can clearly see out. 




Borshch Soup




Caviar With Egg




Peach Melba




Shrimp Cocktail




Sirloin Steak




Shashlik Of Lamb




Beef Stroganoff




Oxtail Stew










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Oriental House (Myanmar Chinese Cusine Restaurant)

December 27, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Oriental House (Myanmar Chinese Cusine Restaurant)
159 Rochor Road


111 North Bridge Road  
#B1-07 Peninsula Plaza
(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 6
Value for Money: 8
Spent about $8 per person.

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I've had the fortunate pleasure of working just a few doors away from Oriental House (Myanmar Chinese Cusine Restaurant). Ever since my colleagues and I discovered this place, we've been eating here at least thrice a week, and have tried practically everything on the menu! 


The restaurant's menu reads like a list of Zi Char dishes from across Asia, with some American / European influence. Most dishes seem to be an amalgamation of Thai, Chinese, Myanmar and Korean influence. Despite this fusion, most of Oriental House (Myanmar Chinese Cusine Restaurant) food is pretty good. 


Top of the list for me is their Soft Shell Crab Thai Style. The crab is fried till perfectly crispy, and covered in tasty, buttery, eggy sauce. Be warned, it's not for the health-conscious. 


Do try their Braised Pork Knuckle as well. The braising sauce is just savoury enough, and the meat is cooked till tender and soft. The portion is quite large and filling as well. 


Their Deep Fried Sea Bass Black Pepper is presented beautifully. The fish is carved up into cubes, then the meat is deep fried. The cooked flesh is then arranged back into its original fish shape on the dish. The black pepper provides that extra kick of spiciness to the crispy fish. 


For something a little different, try the Kimchi Pork With Cheese. Pork slices are served with tangy Kimchi, and covered in melted cheese. Each mouthful releases the sour-bitterness of the crunchy Kimchi, which goes well with the Pork slices and hot, gooey, sticky cheese.


On warm days, the Watermelon Juice is a great thirst quencher. 


Ambience is simple, don't expect too much atmosphere, especially around meal times, as Oriental House (Myanmar Chinese Cusine Restaurant) can get pretty crowded. 


Prices are quite value-for-money, about the same prices as your average Zi Char stalls... Individual dishes for one can range from $5 - $10, and they have set meals as well, which include a soup or drink. Dishes for sharing, like the Salted Egg Prawns or Steamed Fish In Plum Seed Soup can range from $8 - $20. 


Service is average, though peak periods can overwhelm the staff a little. They only have 1 - 2 chefs in the kitchen at any time, so you might have to wait for up to 15 minutes during the peak lunch hour. Non-peak periods will see your food served within 10 minutes. And ordering from the set menu will probably get your food to the table within 5 minutes.




Braised Pork Knuckle




Fried Basil Chicken




Fried Vermicelli Thai Style




Kimchi Pork With Cheese




Light Soy Sauce Pork




Lime Juice




Papaya Juice




Pepper Chicken




Pineapple Juice




Pork Ribs House Special Sauce




Prawns Thai Style




Salted Egg Prawns




Soft Shell Crab House Special Sauce




Soft Shell Crab Thai Style




Sour And Spicy Fish Fillet




Steamed Fish In Plum Seed Soup 01




Steamed Fish In Plum Seed Soup 02




Strawberry Juice




Watermelon Juice




Deep Fried Sea Bass Black Pepper










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Not So Innocent Yet Innocent

December 19, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

A first-grade teacher, was having trouble with one of her students.


The teacher asked the boy, "What is your problem?"


The boy answered, "I'm too smart for the first-grade. My sister is in the third-grade and I'm smarter than she is! I think I should be in the third-grade too!"


The teacher had enough. She took the boy to the principal's office. While the boy waited at the reception of the office, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was.


The principal told her he would give the boy a test and if he failed to answer any of his questions, he was to go back to the first-grade and behave.


The boy was brought in and the conditions were explained to him. He agreed to take the test.


Principal: "What is 3 x 3?" Boy: "9."


Principal: "What is 6 x 6?" Boy: "36."


So it went with every question the principal thought a third-grader should know. The principal looks at the teacher and tells her, "I think this boy can go to the third-grade."


The teacher says to the principal, "I have some of my own questions, can I ask him?" The principal and the boy both agree.


The teacher asks, "What does a cow have four of, that I have only two of?"


The principal's eyes opened really wide and before he could stop the teacher, the boy answered...


Boy: "Legs."


Teacher: "What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?"


Boy: "Pockets."


Teacher: "What starts with a C and ends with a T, is hairy, oval, delicious, and contains thin whitish liquid?"


Boy: "Coconut"


Teacher: "What goes in hard and pink then comes out soft and sticky?"


Boy: "Bubblegum."


Teacher: "What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down and a dog does on three legs?"


Boy: "Shake hands."


Teacher: "Now, I will ask some 'Who Am I' type of questions, OK?"


Boy: "Yep."


Teacher: "You stick your poles inside me. You tie me down to get me up. I get wet before you do."


The principal's eyes opened really wide again, but before he could stop the boy from answering...


Boy: "A tent."


Teacher: "A finger goes in me. You fiddle with me when you're bored. The best man always has me first."



Boy: "Wedding Ring."


Teacher: "I come in many sizes. When I'm not well, I drip. When you blow me, you feel good."


Boy: "Nose."


Teacher: "I have a stiff shaft. My tip penetrates. I come with a quiver."


Boy: "Arrow."


Teacher: "What word starts with a 'F' and ends in 'K' that means lot of heat and excitement?"


Boy: "Firetruck."


Teacher: "What word starts with a 'F' and ends in 'K' & if you don't get it, you have to use your hand?"


Boy: "Fork."


The Principal was looking restless and a bit tense at this point. He took a sip of water, as the test continued...


Teacher: "What is it that all men have one of. It's longer on some men than on others, the pope does not use his, and a man gives it to his wife after they are married?"


Boy: "Surname."


Teacher: "What part of the man has no bones but has muscles, lots of veins, and loves pumping?"


Boy: "Heart."


The principal breathed a sigh of relief and said to the teacher: "Send this boy to the University, I myself got all the answers wrong."


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Cracked.com

December 09, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Cracked.com

Source Image Credit: Cracked T-Shirt Winning Designs 2013



Recently been reading the articles on Cracked.com. Here are some of my favourite Stand-Alone articles:


5 Actors Who Do the Exact Same Thing in Every Movie:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-actors-who-do-exact-same-thing-in-every-movie/


5 Creepy Ways Video Games Are Trying to Get You Addicted:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html


5 Idiotic Misconceptions About Calling Customer Service:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-idiotic-misconceptions-about-calling-customer-service/


5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5-logical-fallacies-that-make-you-wrong-more-than-you-think.html


5 Mind Blowing Ways Your Memory Plays Tricks On You:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18704_5-mind-blowing-ways-your-memory-plays-tricks-you.html


5 Real Judges Who Put the Most Evil Supervillain to Shame:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19648_5-real-judges-who-put-most-evil-supervillain-to-shame.html


5 Real Robberies With Better Twists Than Any Heist Movie:
http://www.cracked.com/article_21598_5-real-world-heists-with-bigger-plot-twists-than-any-movie.html


5 Reasons Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters to Be Real:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-humanity-desperately-wants-monsters-to-be-real/


5 Soldiers Who Kicked Ass In the Face of Death (and Logic):
http://www.cracked.com/article_19534_5-soldiers-who-kicked-ass-in-face-death-and-logic.html


5 Surprising Ways Your Language Affects How You Think:
http://www.cracked.com/article_20744_5-surprising-ways-your-language-affects-how-you-think.html


5 Things from History You Won't Believe You Can Experience:
http://www.cracked.com/article_21716_5-mind-blowing-artifacts-that-let-you-look-back-in-time.html


5 Things Nobody Tells You About Having a Career:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-having-career/


5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (But Won't):
http://www.cracked.com/article_17061_reminder-5-things-you-think-will-make-you-happy-but-wont.html


5 Ways Stores Use Science to Trick You Into Buying Crap:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18805_5-ways-stores-use-science-to-trick-you-into-buying-crap.html


5 Ways You Don't Realize Movies Are Controlling Your Brain:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-you-dont-realize-movies-are-controlling-your-brain/


5 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Into Sticking With Bad Habits:
http://www.cracked.com/article_20028_5-ways-your-brain-tricks-you-into-sticking-with-bad-habits.html


5 Weird Psychological Dangers Of Giving People Gifts:
http://www.cracked.com/article_20817_5-weird-psychological-dangers-giving-people-gifts.html


6 Brainwashing Techniques They're Using On You Right Now:
http://www.cracked.com/article_16656_6-brainwashing-techniques-theyre-using-you-right-now.html


6 Fictional Places You Didn't Know Actually Existed:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19621_6-fictional-places-you-didnt-know-actually-existed.html


6 Insane Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18421_6-insane-coincidences-you-wont-believe-actually-happened.html


6 Insane Prison Escapes That Actually Happened:
http://www.cracked.com/article_16945_6-insane-prison-escapes-that-actually-happened.html


6 Insane True Stories Too Awesome for a Chuck Norris Movie:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18751_6-insane-true-stories-too-awesome-chuck-norris-movie.html


6 Logical Fallacies That Cost You Money Every Day:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18388_6-logical-fallacies-that-cost-you-money-every-day.html


6 Modern Playgrounds That Will Make Your Inner Child Jealous:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19675_6-modern-playgrounds-that-will-make-your-inner-child-jealous.html


6 People Who Turned a Life of Crime Into Legitimate Careers:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18618_6-people-who-turned-life-crime-into-legitimate-careers.html


6 Real Acts of Self Defense Too Awesome for an Action Movie:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19585_6-real-acts-self-defense-too-awesome-action-movie.html


6 Real World Jedi Mind Tricks Salesmen Are Using On You:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19071_6-real-world-jedi-mind-tricks-salesmen-are-using-you.html


6 Secret Beliefs That Are Making Us All Unhappy:
http://www.cracked.com/article_21744_6-ways-your-brain-programmed-to-keep-you-unhappy.html


6 Sworn Enemies Who Teamed Up and Kicked Ass:
http://www.cracked.com/article_21608_6-sworn-enemies-who-teamed-up-kicked-ass.html


6 Things Rich People Need to Stop Saying:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-things-rich-people-need-to-stop-saying/


6 True Stories That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity:
http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-true-stories-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity/


7 People From Around the World With Real Mutant Superpowers:
http://www.cracked.com/article_16449_7-people-from-around-world-with-real-mutant-superpowers.html


7 People Who Cheated Death (Then Kicked It In The Balls):
http://www.cracked.com/article_16497_7-people-who-cheated-death-then-kicked-it-in-balls.html


7 Theories on Time That Would Make Doc Brown's Head Explode:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19659_7-theories-time-that-would-make-doc-browns-head-explode.html


9 Houses You Won't Believe People Actually Live In:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19286_9-houses-you-wont-believe-people-actually-live-in.html


The 5 Ballsiest Con Artists of All Time:
http://www.cracked.com/article_15892_the-5-ballsiest-con-artists-all-time.html


The 5 Craziest Human Languages Spoken Around the World:
http://www.cracked.com/article_21556_the-5-craziest-human-languages-spoken-around-world.html


The 5 Most Badass Prison Escapes in the History of War:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18558_the-5-most-badass-prison-escapes-in-history-war.html


The 5 Most Embarrassing Failures in the History of Terrorism:
http://www.cracked.com/article/79_the-5-most-embarrassing-failures-in-history-terrorism/


The 5 Most Half-Assed Scams That Were Shockingly Successful:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18451_the-5-most-half-assed-scams-that-were-shockingly-successful.html


The 5 Most Impossible Sniper Shots Ever Made:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19750_the-5-most-impossible-sniper-shots-ever-made.html


The 5 Most Satisfying Tales of Payback:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19633_5-most-satisfying-tales-payback.html


The 5 Most Spectacular Landscapes on Earth (That Murder You):
http://www.cracked.com/article_19705_the-5-most-spectacular-landscapes-earth-that-murder-you.html


The 6 Best Towns To Live in (If You Have a Death Wish):
http://www.cracked.com/article/184_the-6-best-towns-to-live-in-if-you-have-death-wish/


The 6 Most Creative Abuses of Loopholes:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18753_the-6-most-creative-abuses-loopholes.html


The 6 Most Strangely Convincing Real-Life Curses:
http://www.cracked.com/article_18809_the-6-most-strangely-convincing-real-life-curses.html


The 6 Weirdest Cities People Actually Live In:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19590_the-6-weirdest-cities-people-actually-live-in.html


The 7 Most Heroic Con Artists of All Time:
http://www.cracked.com/article_19089_the-7-most-heroic-con-artists-all-time.html


.....


Here are some of my favourite Series articles:


Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Gritty Reboot, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13


Real Life Soldiers More Badass Than Rambo:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


The Creepiest Places on Earth:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5





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13th Month Bonus In Singapore

December 02, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

13th Month Bonus In Singapore


We've long since known that the 13th Month Bonus isn't a good idea. This author's post explains why the 13th Month Bonus in Singapore doesn't work.


http://asingaporeanson.blogspot.com/2011/10/coveted-13th-month-bonus-in-singapore.html


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The Founding Of Honda

November 24, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

The Founding Of Honda








In the late 1930s, Soichiro Honda built a small workshop while still in school. His dream was to create a fuel efficient and affordable engine for the masses. 


Working day and night, he often slept in his workshop, and even neglected his wife. Because he didn’t have much money, he had to pawn his wedding jewelry to get funds for spare parts.


When he finally presented the working sample of the engine to engineers at Toyota, they all laughed at him, saying his design would never work and that it was too amateurish. 


Nevertheless, Soichiro Honda didn’t give up, and spent a further 2 years improving on his design. Finally, he won a working contract.


Now he needed a factory. Unfortunately, the Japanese government was preparing for World War II, and supplies were hard to find. Rather than focus on failure, Honda invented a new concrete making process that enabled him to build his factory.


Then the war broke out and his factory was bombed. Twice.


Did that stop Honda? No. Instead, he went around collecting raw materials dropped by American planes and built his factory again.


Then, in 1945, an earthquake destroyed his factory. 


Having survived poverty, rejection, ridicule, shortages, war and natural disasters, Soichiro Honda was not ready to give up. He sent an inspiring letter to 18,000 businessmen, requesting donations.


Money came in from only 5,000, but it was enough to help Honda to start his own company. Finally, the engine he developed in his youth became one of the most popular in Japan, and he started to expand to Europe and America.


Today, the Honda company is one of the largest automobile makers in the world, though most people that own a Honda don’t know what it took to put that car into their hands.


All because one determined inventor committed himself to an idea, acted on it, adjusted when he needed to, and never gave up. Failure was simply not considered a possibility. 






Moral:

Those things that most everyone does don’t take a lot of perseverance, and therefore, most everyone does them. The more value something has, the more perseverance it takes to get it. Perseverance is a big component to accomplishing the things of real value. 


When Mr Soichiro Honda was interviewed on the reason for his success, he said: “To me success can be achieved only through repeated failure and introspection, in fact, my success represents the one percent of the work that resulted from the ninety-nine percent that was called failure.”


Today, you don’t have to survive poverty, shortages, war and natural disasters. What are you waiting for?






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The Six Levels Of Customer Service

November 23, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

The Six Levels Of Customer Service
How to beat your competitors to the next rung of great service.
Source: http://www.businessweek.com/management/the-six-levels-of-customer-service-10282011.html

 

Last month I met a client in Indonesia. We went to lunch at a nearby mall where music poured into the public area from every shop. Just as we passed one storefront, the music stopped and the shopkeeper let out a growl. I looked inside and saw something most of us have not gazed upon for years. The shopkeeper had been changing the music in his boom box and as he pulled out the old cassette, all that thin metallic tape came spilling out in a dusty mess on the floor.


Remember that? But when was the last time you saw it? Do you remember phonograph records that scratched and screeched? Or cracked CDs? Today’s music is skip-free, scratch-free, instant, mobile—and never gathers dust.


Of course, it’s easy to see how advancements in technology are constantly changing our lives. Companies that manufacture products understand they must always be introducing something new, faster, easier, or better to keep their customers engaged. If they don’t, they will be left in the dust when their customers upgrade to the next new product.


Very few companies, however, understand that service is exactly the same—it’s always changing, and your job is to stay ahead of the competition and ahead of the curve.


Here’s what I mean. To start, let’s figure out the level of your current service. Basically it fits into one of these six categories.


Criminal service is really bad. It’s service that violates even minimum expectations, the kind of service that your customers remember never to use again, and are angry enough to call you and complain about.


Basic service is disappointing. It’s the point of frustration that can turn into anger—but when it’s over the customer is not disappointed enough to complain. However, he will tell his friends, and will remember not to call you for that kind of service again.


Expected service is nothing special. It’s the average, the usual, the norm. The customer might come back to you, but only if no better options exist.


Desired service is what your customers hope for and prefer. They’ll do business with your organization again because you do things for them just the way they like it.


Surprising service is something special, like an unexpected gift. It gives your customers more than they expected. This makes you an organization that customers enjoy and will come back to again and again.


Unbelievable service is astonishingly fantastic. This is the level of service your customers can’t forget, the legendary treatment they will tell all their friends about.


Can you see where your service stands today? Great. Now consider this: Each level of service is just like a step in a staircase. Companies that truly understand the power of great service are continuously looking for ways to climb to the next level.


But here’s the rub: Moving up is not another step on a solid staircase; it’s like trying to climb up a down escalator. Each level is consistently sliding downward because your competitors are also working to raise their service. One day you offer surprising service, but the next day everyone in your industry is doing the same thing—oops, you just slipped down to Desired. Wait another day, and oops, you just fell to Expected. The next thing you know, you’re the cassette player of service trying to compete with the iPod (AAPL). Keep your service stepping up, or find yourself lying in the dust.


How can you step up your service? Three ways. First, keep service improvement as a key focus of your business. Don’t just hit the service target; aim for one or two steps higher. Next, ask your customers what else they would like, appreciate, or value. What are you not yet doing that they would love you for if you did?


Finally, benchmark your competition and those outside your industry. What’s new in one arena soon finds its way to others.






Ron Kaufman is a global consultant who specializes in building service cultures. He is the author of UP! Your Service and 14 other books. His firm, UP! Your Service, has offices in Singapore and the U.S.






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Insane True Crime Stories

November 22, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Insane True Crime Stories


In case anyone doubted we live in a truly strange world, here are 3 real-life, true crime stories, so strange, they could be filmed and made into movies. 


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Grandmother Soothes Burglar To Sleep
15-Jul-2004

Source: http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-07-15/news/17432891_1_home-invasion-elderly-woman-vasquez-first


Through prayer, milk and a banana, a 73-year-old Lafayette grandmother soothed a robber to sleep, according to Lafayette police.

The elderly woman did not recognize Juan Garcia Vasquez on the night he allegedly broke into her home intending to steal money or jewelry, although investigators later learned that he had done some landscaping once at her home and admitted to "returning to the house on a couple of other occasions," Lafayette Police Detective Paul Zill said today.

Vasquez first tried to enter the woman's home through a window around 1 a.m. Saturday but the glass broke, which woke up the woman, according to Zill.

"She then did something she probably shouldn't have, and that is when something bizarre is going on in the middle of the night, don't open the front door," Zill said.

As soon as she did, Vasquez grabbed her and put a cloth over her mouth to muffle her screams, according to authorities.

The two eventually calmed each other down and sat on the couch. But as soon as they did, Vasquez's stomach growled and as most grandmothers would, she promptly stood up, went to the kitchen and got her guest something to eat, Zill said.

She offered him eggs, but according to Zill, the burglar wanted a banana and a glass of milk instead.

"He didn't speak English that well and she didn't speak Spanish so they used the international language of pointing and nodding," Zill said.

The woman then pulled out some pictures of Saint Theresa and a church nametag and prayed next to him, hoping he was religious. She also showed him pictures of her grandchildren and shared stories about them, according to police.

Eventually, Vasquez needed to use the restroom. Demonstrating that manners must never be forgotten, even during a home invasion, when he returned from the facilities, Vasquez thoughtfully communicated to the woman that he had used the last of the toilet paper, Zill said.

He then sat back down, and promptly fell asleep.

When she was sure her assailant was completely out, she fled to the bathroom and barricaded the door. She had a cordless phone with her that she had grabbed and hidden when her assailant was in the restroom, according to Zill.

Since Vasquez had asked her earlier not to talk the police, she complied with his wishes and called her daughter instead of police, Zill said.

Her daughter called the police around 2:45 a.m. and they arrived a short time later to find Vasquez walking down the hallway near the bathroom, authorities said.

Vasquez was taken into custody without incident. Prosecutors charged him Wednesday with burglary, false imprisonment of an elder, with an enhancement for battery committed against a person known to be an elder, according to court documents.

The woman was relatively unscathed, suffering only minor injuries when the man first grabbed her to muffle her screams, according to police.

"She did do what she needed to do to survive," Zill said.







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Thieves Flee Upon Seeing Owner's Picture
27-Apr-2009


Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/5224797/Thieves-flee-after-breaking-into-Dolph-Lundgrens-Spanish-home.html



Masked burglars abandoned a robbery after discovering the home they had targeted in southern Spain belonged to Dolph Lundgren, the action hero who played opposite Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV.

A team of armed robbers broke into the star's villa on the Costa del Sol, tied up his wife, who was home alone, and terrorised her into handing over cash and jewellery.

But they cut short their raid on the luxury property in the hills above Marbella after recognising the actor in a family photograph in one of the bedrooms.

A source told Spanish media: "Things might have turned out very differently if Dolph had been at home.

"The criminals fled as soon as they realised the owner of the house they had raided was someone they wouldn't want to come up against in a fight."

The Swedish actor, who is 6ft 5in tall and has a black belt in Karate, rose to fame with his role as Russian boxer Ivan Drago in the fourth of the Rocky films.

He has since starred in more than 40 films and still trains up to six days a week at his local gym. The 51-year-old recently took part in a six-round exhibition fight against a Russian wrestler in Moscow.

Mr Ludgren, who has been married to jewellery designer Anette Qviberg for 15 years, and has two children, has stepped up security at his home following the raid last week.







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Muggers Outnumbered Two to Six
10-Sep-2004


Source: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,131938,00.html

Six muggers picked the wrong targets - two karate experts.

New Zealander Craig Nordstrand, a fourth-level black belt, and colleague Peter Roche were in Suva, capital city of the Pacific island of Fiji (search), last week for regional championships, reports the New Zealand Herald.

The two of them had just finished dinner and were walking back to their hotel when two men came toward them, asking for money. Four more men stepped out of the shadows.

Nordstrand took on four of the men. Roche handled the other two. The attackers backed off, but then surrounded the two New Zealanders for a second try.

"Do you want karate?" Nordstrand asked.

One man failed to heed the warning and moved in.

"I kicked him straight under the chin and into the throat," Nordstrand told the newspaper.

The struck man and the rest of the gang ran off into the dark streets. Nordstrand and Roche became local heroes for a few days.







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Advertising

November 16, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Advertising



Ad - Any paid form of non-personal communication to the public about a brand, an organization, product, service or idea 


An advertising campaign consists of coordinated (series) messages in a variety of media that center on a single theme across a time frame. Integrated communications = multi-platform campaign


Advertising helps position the product, by creating brand image and symbolic appeal for the brand which is important for companies selling product/services that are difficult to differentiate on functional attributes. (e.g. Sunkist orange is diff from others)


Besides branding purposes, why do companies advertise:

      Brings in the sales

      Remind consumers

      To inform (communicate)

      Brand awareness

      Establish presence 


Tactical ads are sales-driven, provide direct solution and give details of the product being advertised.

Branding ads do not merely sell a product in itself, but instead, try to convey a certain image or lifestyle that appeals to people. 


‘Paid’ - space or time for an advertising message must be bought 


Non-personal nature - no opportunity for immediate feedback from the message recipient.


Therefore before the message is sent, the advertiser must consider how the audience will interpret and respond to the message  


What advertising usually does best is create awareness, one ad alone rarely drives the consumer to buy immediately.






Using Celebrities in Ads

Heider’s Balance Theory explains how people tend to maintain consistency in patterns of their liking and disliking of one another and of inanimate objects.



Balance Theory is useful in examining how endorsement using celebrities and other opinion leaders affects consumers. If a person likes a celebrity and perceives (due to the endorsement) that the celebrity likes a product, said person will tend to like the product too, in order to achieve psychological balance.







Heider’s Symbols

P: the consumer to be analysed
O: another person (celebrity)
X: the product
+ : Likes
-  : Dislikes 






Balanced Relationships:
      P+O, O+X, P+X

Girl likes George Clooney; George Clooney likes Nespresso; Girl likes Nespresso.


      P+O, O-X, P-X

Girl likes George Clooney; George Clooney dislikes Nespresso; Girl dislikes Nespresso.


      P-O, O+X, P-X
Girl dislikes George Clooney; George Clooney likes Nespresso; Girl dislikes Nespresso.


      P-O, O-X, P+X,
Girl dislikes George Clooney; George Clooney dislikes Nespresso; Girl likes Nespresso






Balanced:
My friend’s friend is my friend

My friend’s enemy is my enemy

My enemy’s friend is my enemy

My enemy’s enemy is my friend







If the balance is thrown off, there will be discomfort and an urge to restore the position of balance.







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Branding

November 14, 2011 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Branding

Definition of Brand:
- A name, term, sign, symbol, design, or a combination of them
- Identifies the goods of a seller
- Differentiates the seller from others
- Represents everything that a product or service means to customers, and how they perceive it – Philip Kotler

Brand Equity: The preference of a customer towards the brand; How likely they are to choose one brand over another
Brand Value: The estimated financial value of a brand; a number
Branding: The process of building positive brand equity



3 ways of Brand Valuation:
1. Cost Approach: Assume it equals the entire amount spent on building the brand since the beginning. Disadvantage: Money spent years ago is subject to inflation, and amount may not be relevant.

2. Market-Based Approach: Take the actual profits, minus the profits if the product was unbranded, and minus the cost of building the brand. EG: Assume Sunkist Oranges profit is $100, and an Unbranded Orange profit is $40, and the Marketing Campaign to build Sunkist Oranges brand is $15. Therefore, the Sunkist Oranges Brand is worth $45.

3. Financial Approach: Take projected profits, and discount to the present value. This is a complex process that only gives a rough estimate, but is used for accounting purposes.

Brand Audit: A systematic study for evaluating how a brand is perceived through all its touch points, SWOT, and developing strategies.
Touch Points: The interfaces between a brand and consumers.
EG: Starbucks Touch Points:
- Books 

- Music 
- Loyalty Card 
- Road Shows
- Barista 

- Movies 
- Cashier 
- Sponsorships
- Drinks 

- Advertising 
- Uniforms 
- Logo
- Web Site 

- Apps

Singapore’s Favorite Brands 2010:
  1. Google
  2. Colgate
  3. NTUC Fairprice
  4. SingTel
  5. Straits Times
  6. StarHub
  7. Sony
  8. Yahoo
  9. 7-Eleven
  10. Nippon Paint




Positioning: Creating a distinct image of a brand in the target consumer’s mind about what makes the brand desirable and different from competitors. 
3 Levels of Positioning:
  1. Attributes / Features: Pampers absorbs fluid well and is convenient.
  2. Benefits: Babes sleep better because Pampers keeps them dry.
  3. Beliefs and Values: Pampers care about your baby’s comfort and good parents prefer Pampers.

  1. Attributes / Features: Volvo makes safe cars.
  2. Benefits: Volvo can save your life in an accident, and you will live longer.
  3. Beliefs and Values: Owning a Volvo gives you peace of mind, security and allows you to spend more time with your loved ones.

3 ways of Brand Development:
  1. Line Extension: Add more variety within the same product category. EG: Pringles
  2. Brand Extension: Add a new product category. EG: National Geographic – Magazine to cable channel to café.
  3. New Brand: Create a new brand, or acquire an existing brand. EG: Toyoto created Lexus.






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