Schooling is top qualifier for semis, Zheng Wen sets personal best
He may not have rewritten his national record, but Singapore swim star Joseph Schooling made a huge statement of intent by topping the Rio Olympics men’s 100m butterfly heats on Friday morning (Singapore time).
The 21-year-old lined up in Lane 5 in the last of the six heats, with American legend Michael Phelps just beside him in Lane 4.
Schooling, the reigning Asian champion, was fastest off the blocks, with only Russia’s Aleksandr Sadovnikov ahead of him at the turn.
But Schooling touched home first with a time of 51.41 seconds, off his personal best and national record of 50.96, while his childhood idol and defending champion Phelps finished second in the heat with 51.60.
Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh, who owns a season-best time of 50.86, was second overall with 51.52, while American Tom Shields was third with 51.58.
Phelps qualified fourth fastest for the semi-finals, while South African Chad le Clos, who won the event at the Fina World Championships last year, was seventh with 51.75.
Schooling’s teammate, Quah Zheng Wen, was the final qualifier for this morning’s semi-finals, after clocking a new personal best of 52.08 to finish second to Briton James Guy (51.78) in Heat 3.
The men’s 100m butterfly is considered to be Schooling’s best chance to win a historic swimming medal for Singapore.
He will swim in the semi-finals at either 10.34am or 10.42am this morning.
How your PokeStops and Gyms are chosen
PokeStops and Gyms in the massively-popular game Pokemon Go have attracted huge crowds of people to certain areas.
However, how are these real-world locations chosen?
They originated from developer Niantic's previous geolocation game, Ingress, released in late 2012. Most of the locations were then converted to Pokemon Go.
The first locations for Ingress were chosen by the developer's team based on places with historical and cultural landmarks.
The second set of locations came from geo-tagged photos on Google. Basically, as more people upload photos of a location on Google, the higher the chances of that location being a PokeStop or a Gym.
Lastly, many other locations were suggestions submitted by Ingress players. The more popular suggested locations would then become a Gym.
Founder and chief executive officer of Niantic Labs, Mr John Hanke, told Mashable in July: "The PokeStops are submitted by users, so obviously they're based on places people go."
Players are still able to create PokeStops and Gyms by submitting addresses to the developer.
While fans all over the globe are out hunting for Pokemon, many have found that there are several inappropriate locations as PokeStops such as graveyards and memorial tombs.
Fortunately, you can also write in to the developer to take down these PokeStops.
After receiving requests, PokeStops at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Hiroshima atomic bomb memorial in Japan have been removed.
"We consider the park a sacred place where we pray for the victims of the atomic bombings," Hiroshima city official Tatsuya Sumida told Associated Press.
Movie Review: Line Walkers
If you love whodunits, Hong Kong action flick Line Walker, adapted from the 2014 TVB series of the same name, is exciting and captivating enough to keep you riveted to the end.
Undercover cop Ding (Charmaine Sheh) is tasked to find a mysterious undercover agent who goes by the code name Blackjack. Working with Q-Sir (Francis Ng), Ding infiltrates the triads. Soon, she realises that the elusive man she's looking for is either of two notorious gang members, Siu Ye (Louis Koo) or Ah Lam (Nick Cheung).
I love the film's swift pacing, slick visuals and precise attention to detail. My only gripe is that it contains a number of irritating bickering scenes between Sheh and Ng, in the unfortunate traditional vein of old-school TVB dramas. Seriously, audiences can do without those.
Movie Review: Nine Lives (PG)
Kevin Spacey must really need a quick payday, as Nine Lives is about a man who gets turned into a cat.
The thespian stars as business magnate Tom Brand, who neglects his wife (Jennifer Garner) and daughter (Malina Weissman).
When he buys a cat for his kid's birthday, his soul gets sucked into the feline's body while his own body lies unconscious.
To return to his own body, Brand needs to understand that "love means sacrifice" and reconcile with his family.
The script is cliched, simplistic and does not have sufficient depth to deliver a poignant emotional punch despite its touching message.
Nonetheless, it's a benign family comedy for anyone who is exhausted by the special effects and superhero-themed plots that plague our big screens these days.
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Charlie Puth's Singapore connection
US singer and YouTube star Charlie Puth collaborated with local singer Daphne Khoo when they were students
His performance last night at Hard Rock Hotel's The Coliseum at Resorts World Sentosaas part of his Nine Track Mind tour may have been his first-ever concert here.
But 24-year-old US singer Charlie Puth's Singapore connection actually began three years ago.
He collaborated with Singapore Idol alumnus Daphne Khoo on a YouTube cover of Pink's Just Give Me A Reason (featuring Nate Ruess) when they were both students at the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston.
Puth told The New Paper in a group interview yesterday: "I love Daphne, I went to college with her.
"It was really nice working with her. I remember we recorded the vocals separately and got a friend who didn't even know how to operate a camera to film it.
"I used to do things 'very bare bones' back in the day, in my apartment.
"What's eerie about the video is that it was recorded right before the Boston (Marathon) bombing, which took place near my apartment. So the video will always be a memory of that."
Although the pair haven't kept in touch since and didn't reach out to each other when Puth was in town, Khoo has fond memories of him.
The 29-year-old told TNP over the phone: "He lived down the street from me and we had just completed a master class in songwriting together. We were trying to write something but we did a cover instead.
"I think we had planned to work together for a little bit but he kind of blew up (in popularity) and I was back in Singapore.
"It's difficult to keep in contact when you move countries. Charlie and I haven't talked that much. We were just never really in the same place."
Khoo couldn't attend Puth's concert, but her parents did. Puth had met them when they visited Boston for Khoo's graduation in 2013.
She isn't surprised that her former schoolmate has become a music star and is "really proud" of him.
He became an overnight success after being a featured artist on US rapper Wiz Khalifa's See You Again from last year's Fast & Furious 7 soundtrack.
Khoo said of Puth: "He was already quite popular, a bit of a YouTube sensation.
"I've always known that he's an incredible human being and producer, and he's a hard worker."
Puth recalled how in high school and college he would upload song covers on YouTube and make money from creating theme songs and jingles for other YouTube channels.
He said: "In college, I felt like the man. I was taking everyone out for dinners. I was like, 'I just made three theme songs! McDonald's is on me!'"
Puth, who released his debut album Nine Track Mind in January, added: "I try and make the world stage feel like an online platform.
"It's really cool to run into fans who have followed me from the earlier days. I always make music in my bedroom and I will probably continue to do that."
He has also learnt to adapt to the life-changing downside of fame, admitting that he used to cry when the paparazzi hounded him.
"Like when I was in France one time, I was so stressed out because these two vans were following me for an hour.
"But now when that happens, I would just laugh and tell the driver, 'Hey, pull over, do you guys want your picture? Because I'd love it if you'd stop following me.'
"I'm not even going to lie and say, 'Ugh, I hate this new life.'
"There are so many perks that come along with being famous, it's so much fun.
"You run into people who admire your work and take pictures with fans. I love stuff like that and I've always wanted that. As long as it doesn't get out of control, I think it's fine."