Tag Archives: What’s Up?

Moventum Pictures

Long time no post! The last year of my undergraduate degree is well underway, and with that comes the stress of writing dissertations, running lab experiments, applying for jobs, maintaining a social life, yadda yadda yadda. In short, it’s been hectic.

Nevertheless, I want to take sometime to introduce you to Moventum Pictures, a photography and videography collective I initiated last November! I’ve been wanting to jump into photography for ages now, but have always settled for phone photography. Recently, however, I managed to purchase a secondhand Canon 600D, and I wanted a platform to share some of my more serious photographs. This is where Moventum Pictures comes along.

Click to go to the Instagram account.

At the moment, Moventum Pictures is simply an Instagram account where I post my DSLR photos. Nonetheless, as I get better at taking photographs and as the account following grows, I’m hoping to feature or recruit other photo/videographers into the collective. Additionally, I plan on posting the photos I published on the Instagram account (@moventumpics) on the Bits & Pieces: Photographs section of this blog too, but it will take some time to get it up to speed. Until then, should you be interested in viewing my photos more regularly, then please feel free to follow the account.

That’s all I have for today, but more stuff coming soon. And oh, happy new year!


Krispy Kreme UK’s Giant Slot Machine

Just under two months ago on June 21st 2017, I got the chance to play with a giant slot machine courtesy of Kripsy Kreme UK! The slot machine was stationed at London Victoria, supposedly the second busiest station in the UK, and was only there for one day. This was done to promote the collaboration between Krispy Kreme and US confectionary giant Hershey’s, through which they’re launching the Cookies ‘N’ Creme Collection.

From Hershey’s mugs to actual doughnuts in the new collection, players were eagerly lining up to try winning the range of prizes up for grabs. I personally tried my luck on the machine once, and lo and behold, won a Cookies ‘N’ Creme filled doughnut – yay!

The doughnut is my first sneak peek into the collection, and it was definitely a pleasant experience. Krispy Kreme’s classic dough is topped with white-chocolate-flavoured coating, crumbs of Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme chocolate, and three diagonal lines of milk chocolate. When you bite into the doughnut, a soft, velvety cookies and cream filling comes oozing out, making each bite nothing short of delicious. The best thing about it is that neither Hershey’s chocolate signature taste nor Krispy Kreme’s sugar-glazed doughnut taste is overpowering; they both complement each other to create a dynamic, satisfying flavour.

In short, my visit to Krispy Kreme UK’s giant slot machine at London Victoria was definitely well worth it. Let’s do this again, pretty please?

>> Previous Post On This Category: Taste of London June ’17

Taste of London June ’17

On June 14th to 18th, the restaurant festival Taste of London transformed Regent’s Park into a foodie wonderland by exhibiting 40 of London’s most exciting restaurants, the world’s greatest chefs, brand new exclusive features, interactive masterclasses, delectable drinks, and live entertainment for five days of gastronomical greatness. Taste of London is one of the seventeen global food festivals run by the company Taste Festivals, a part of the sports, fashion, and media mega-company IMG Worldwide.

I was absolutely thrilled when I received a press pass for this event, my first-ever restaurant festival! I went on the Saturday and spent the entire afternoon exploring every stand, feasting on testers, and just soaking in the vibrant atmosphere under the Sun. It was truly a day to remember, and only being able to attend one day made me realise that a day is far from enough to experience everything the festival has to offer.

That being said, I’m still very grateful to have been able to cover such an exciting event and I’m certainly looking forward to future Taste festivals. Here’s a quick recap video of my day at Taste of London:

If you’re interested in feasting on London’s finest food, this is definitely the festival for you. Last June, 40 of London’s most exciting restaurants were offering more than 160 taster-sized portions of their signature dishes throughout the festival. Whether you’re in the mood for some Peruvian barbecue by Señor Ceviche, fine Indian dining by Jamavar, or Nordic-French cuisine by Aster, Taste of London has it all. In addition to restaurants, over 200 artisan exhibitors with the UK’s best wine, cheese, and charcuterie (amongst other goods) were also featured.

Furthermore, you can also hone your skills and make new discoveries by participating in eclectic masterclasses. From creating your own gourmet food with the ever-popular AEG’s Take Taste Further cookery school to sampling a range of handcrafted single malts at The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner Masterclass, your growth as a foodie is guaranteed.

If all this sounds invigorating to you, then you’re in luck because the next Taste of London is just four months away! From 16 to 19 November, Tobacco Dock will host 20 of London’s most exciting restaurants, re-imagined masterclasses, and live entertainment. Read more about this upcoming festival and get your tickets here.

>> Previous Post On This Category: Paul Donovan’s Keys To Success

Paul Donovan’s Keys To Success

Donovan during his "Keys To Success" talk at UCL.

Donovan during his “Keys To Success” talk at UCL. || Apologies for the poor camera quality; click to enlarge.

Months ago, a friend who I haven’t met in well over four years invited me to attend a guest talk titled “Keys To Success” by the CEO of Odeon UCI Cinemas Group, Paul Donovan. The talk was organised by one of the entrepreneurship societies here at University College London (UCL), and honestly, I was expecting a talk focusing on specific tips and tricks for achieving business success, and ultimately decided to go because I wanted to reunite with my friend.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised when, 10 minutes into the talk, it became evident that Donovan’s tips would not only be useful for aspiring businessmen/women, but also for anyone who will become or is already part of the world’s workforce. Granted, many of the tips are suggestions many people have echoed throughout the years (which arguably doesn’t undermine their value anyway), but a couple, especially those with a modern day twist,  I found rather eye-opening. Overall, the eight tips he elaborated across the hour reflect the wealth of experience Donovan has under his belt, and I found them so handy as well as agreeable to that I wanted to share them here for anyone to discover.

>> About Paul Donovan

In case you are unfamiliar with Paul Donovan and might therefore be questioning his legitimacy as a speaker – much like I was before the talk -, here is a quick bullet-point summary of his career progression thus far as told by Donovan himself during the talk (and as I later corroborated online after the talk [1] ):

  • Pre-1999: Held various commercial positions at BT, Cable & Wireless, Optus, Apple, Coca Cola, Schweppes, and Mars
  • 1999 – 2000: Member of the Executive Committee, Vodafone
  • 2001 – 2004: CEO, Vodafone Ireland
  • 2014 – present: CEO, Odeon UCI Cinemas Group (Europe’s largest cinema operator)
  • Other current roles: Non-executive directors, Millicom Cellular International and Upstream SA
  • Fun fact: Donovan is a UCL (my uni!) alumnus.

>> Keys To Success

  • The world is unfair, who you know counts
  • Numerical reasoning is more important than you think
  • Delving into the business world as a hired hand in a start-up is risky business
  • A blue chip start gives your more options in the future

    A bit on the technical/stock market jargon side here, but simply put, “blue chip” refers to corporations that are reputable, oftentimes globally-recognised, and can consequently reap profit despite market fluctuations – for the most part. Examples of blue chip companies include Citigroup Incorporated, Walt Disney Company, and McDonald’s Corporation.

  • Find companies that align with your values
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and/or advice
  • Pitch your opening salary at the upper quartile, not the median 
  • Re-skill and up-skill on an ongoing basis

    Quick note on “re-skill” and “up-skill”, “re-skill” refers to learning new skills, whereas “up-skill” is elevating or sharpening the skills you already learnt previously.

Donovan then concluded his talk by listing the three most important personality traits that he believes make satisfying those keys to success all the more second nature: adaptability, communication, and curiosity.

>> What Do You Think?

  • Can you think of anything that’s missing from Donovan’s list?
  • Have you ever tried implementing any of the tips to advance your career? How did it go?
  • What do you think are the three most important personality traits for achieving any type of success?

>> Latest Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In June

London Livin’: Free Events In June

Another month, another list of free public events in London! This is the third events list under my London Livin’ series; feel free to check out this post to read about why I decided to start the series in the first place.

That being said, I, unfortunately, will be taking a three-month hiatus from making these lists as I spend summer break in Jakarta and Hong Kong. Not to worry, though, more eclectic entries under the “What’s Up?” category will hopefully be coming your way throughout summer. In the meantime, please enjoy this list for June and I’ll catch you with another free London public events listing in September (for October)!

* Wed, 1 Jun

* Thu, 2 Jun

* Fri, 3 Jun

* Sat, 4 Jun

* Tue, 7 Jun

* Wed, 8 Jun

* Thu, 9 Jun

* Sat, 11 Jun

* Mon, 13 Jun

* Tue, 14 Jun

* Wed, 15 Jun

* Thu, 16 Jun

* Fri, 17 Jun

* Sat, 18 Jun

* Mon, 20 Jun

* Tue, 21 Jun

* Wed, 22 Jun

* Thu, 23 Jun

* Fri, 24 Jun

Ongoing Throughout June

>> Previous Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In May

London Livin’: Free Events In April

Ever since I moved to London, I’ve found that making and refining a list of upcoming events that are happening across the city is one of the more effective ways to procrastinate. From public lectures and debates to exhibitions and pop-up markets, a great Londoner perk is that there’s always something going on – the next thing that blows your mind might just be around the corner, literally!

I love going to free public events, and every time I do, friends of mine would always ask where or how I discovered the event. Truth be told, I just spend time researching on the web and eventually got used to where I should look. Hence, for anyone out there who would like to make use of an up-to-date list of many (albeit not all) free public events happening in London, I’ll strive to compile a list monthly (that’ll hopefully increase in quality overtime) and post them on this blog under the “What’s Up?” category.

Realistically, I won’t be attending all the events I myself listed, but fingers-crossed, the lists will be useful to people other than myself. Words in green and underlined are hyperlinks; feel free to click on those to find out more about each event. Leave a comment if you’re going to any of these events or have suggestions of events that could be added into this list (or ones in the coming months), and who knows, we might be able to run into each other!

* Fri, 1 Apr

* Sat, 2 Apr

* Sun, 3 Apr

* Tue, 5 Apr

* Wed, 6 Apr

* Thu, 7 Apr

* Fri, 8 Apr

* Sat, 9 Apr

* Mon, 11 Apr

* Tue, 12 Apr

* Wed, 13 Apr

* Thu, 14 Apr

* Fri, 15 Apr

* Sat, 16 Apr

* Wed, 20 Apr

* Sat, 23 Apr

* Sun, 24 Apr

* Tue, 26 Apr

* Wed, 27 Apr

* Thu, 28 Apr

Ongoing Throughout April

>> Previous Post On This Category: Trying Out Flexitarianism

Trying Out Flexitarianism

From the early 711 AD origin of bullfighting [1] to present day mass caging of farm animals, the issue of animal cruelty, unfortunately, spans long across human history. Sure, less people now blatantly skin animals for religious sacrifice and increasingly more condone cockfighting, but what about the unjust, unapologetic treatment of animals driven by the force of consumerism for dairy, meat, and seafood? The global meat production alone is shown to have approximately quadrupled over 50 years from 78 million tonnes in 1963 to 308 million tonnes in 2013 [2], and the number is still rising! The methods of animal cruelty may have evolved, but at its core, the concept of humans as the alpha species exploiting animals persists even in our modern lives today.

Years ago, a couple of my friends and I came across an animal cruelty documentary titled Food, Inc., and whilst the documentary was eye-opening, it didn’t necessarily encourage me to change my diet. Maybe I was too young or maybe I just didn’t care, but as I grow up, the problems of animal cruelty and unsustainable farming became more prevalent. I kept hearing about the increasing practice of blast fishing, the increasing force at which cows’ milk are taken away from their own calves, the increasing amount of chemical and environmental investment (in the form of land, water, and electricity just to name a few) needed to prepare animal meat for human consumption, and these are just a few out of the many more examples out there. On top of that, I have also coincidentally crossed paths with more and more people who had consciously decided to become pescatarians or vegetarians or even vegans altogether.

Hearing news of excessive animal/environmental abuse and being exposed to varying arguments for pescatarianism/vegetarianism/veganism ultimately allowed the snowball effect to win over me, and I’m proud to announce that I have made up my mind to commit to reducing my own meat consumption from here on out!

Whilst some people find it easy to spontaneously stop eating meat, I noticed that meat consumption is a rather integral part of my life and therefore not as easy to let go. This is because, not only have I been raised as an omnivore, but I’ve also realised that eating meat has become somewhat of a social convention nowadays. I mean, we don’t hear “hey, wanna grab a salad?” enough, but it sure is a different story with “hey, let’s grab a burger!”

To quote another mainstream saying then, “start with baby steps”, and this is exactly what I plan on doing. A few months ago, I came across this 2013 The Guardian article (see screenshot) on flexitarianism and have been giving the concept ago ever since the start of 2016 – no, it’s not a New Year’s resolution per say, but it’s convenient that I discovered it around a time arguably synonymous to setting goals and bettering oneself.

Click on the photo to visit the article.

Click on the screenshot to visit the article.

Initially, I started simply by doing Meatless Mondays. Nevertheless, less than two months have gone by and I’m happy to announce that I now only consume meat at social gatherings during weekends and am otherwise a vegetarian! I’ve enjoyed being a flexitarian, but the journey is still long. I still want to read the news, attend talks, and exchange ideas about reducing meat consumption, and I have yet to decide whether to aspire to become a full-time vegetarian or vegan. That being said, guess I’ll just have to continue taking baby steps 😉

>> What Do You Think?

  • Is it necessary for everyone to reduce meat and/or dairy consumption? Why?
  • Are you a fellow flexitarian/pescatarian/vegetarian/vegan? What were/are some of the challenges you faced/are facing in adopting such diet? What are the solutions?
  • What are your reasons for trying or not trying to reduce your meat and/or dairy intake? Does anyone you know strongly agree or disagree? If yes, then what are their reasons?
  • Is veganism the future’s version of today’s cockfight ban? What are your predictions on the future of flexitarianism/pescatarianism/vegetarianism/veganism?

>> Previous Post On This Category: Going On The Airwaves