Where to Buy UV Light?

Following the article on UV Fluorescent security features on banknotes, people have asked on where to purchase a cheap ultraviolet light source. Shops which sell aquarium products and magic supplies often carry ultraviolet lamps, but be warned that they do not come cheap. A small one can set you back by at least $20, and the cost of a professional-grade aquarium lamp can lie somewhere in the mid-hundreds.

As a high level of brightness is not required for banknote analysis (unless you intend to use it for your fish tank or card trick), we are introducing you two places where you can purchase a cheap UV torch in Singapore. These sources of ultraviolet light, or black light, are often sold in the form of a battery-operated invisible ink pen, with some as cheap as a dollar each.

From back: Magic Light Pen ($2), Invisible Magic Pen ($1)

You can purchase a relatively bright Magic Light Pen from Daiso at $2. It is available in yellow, blue and pink, as far as I am aware. The ultraviolet pen is found in the stationery department and its product code is D-37, No. 299. As this product may not be in stock at times, you are encouraged to visit the larger outlets at IMM or Plaza Singapura or give them a ring to check its availability.

Alternatively, toy capsule vending machines across the island carry the Invisible Magic Pen. One of them is located next to the provision shop at Outram Park MRT, Exit B. The one-dollar product comes in the form of a keychain. While it is smaller in size, the light source appears to be a tad dimmer. As the products in these vending machines are rotated frequently, call the customer service hotline if you need to locate one.

When you feel somewhat bored at times, use the pen to write an invisible message!


The Additional Cent

It appears that a well-known securities and investment company in Singapore has decided to add one additional cent of postage to the mail it sent out. A rare sight – the numerals ‘0033’ has been imprinted onto an envelope dated 28 February 2011 in red ink.

Currently, standard mail up to the weight of 40 grams costs 32 cents when posted to a local address. Therefore, the 33 cent impression was probably an error made during the franking process, unless Singapore Post recently (or secretly) introduced a new premium of one additional cent for franked mail. However, I would say that the latter is an unlikely scenario. There was no justification for SingPost to do so, especially since the use of franked mail reduced the need to print stamps and subsequently process stamped mail.

Major establishments often opt for the more convenient franked mail over postage stamps, especially when they regularly send out large quantities of mail in assorted sizes and weights. The franking machine prints the value of the postage on the envelope and records each impression in its log.

According to SingPost’s website, the franking machine ‘allows (the user) to maintain accurate and up-to-date postage records and it prints any value of postage required’. It certainly does – 33 cents is indeed an odd value. As far as I know, certain franking machines have built-in weighing features, while others require a manual adjustment of the postage required. The older franking machines involved adjustments similar to a new day on your typical rubber date stamp.

While it seems that one cent is a small amount and that the error is insignificant, it could have cost the company much more. If this happened to be part of a bulk-mailing spree extended to the entire clientele, a huge amount – thousands of dollars – would have been incurred by this securities and investment company. As this may just be an isolated case, investors should carefully attune their confidence level in the company at their own discretion.


One Day to Singapore 2010

Tomorrow marks the opening of the inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. Of course, this would be incomplete without an opening ceremony.

Just like how a hundredth of a second determines whether an athlete is first an Olympic event, it is important to whip out one’s camera within a split-second to photograph that split-second moment. A sudden burst of fireworks inserted at the end of each segment. The appearance of performers at every corner of The Float@Marina Bay. To prepare for the unpredictable sequence of events, I was at the Combined Rehearsal last Saturday to find out where the surprises are inserted.

In order to keep the suspense for the two billion viewers worldwide, this post shall summarise the sequence of events. The opening ceremony starts at 1930 hours with a preshow segment to liven up the crowd. At 2000 hours, the live telecast will be shown to the world. Ten minutes later marks the countdown to the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

Bright beams emerge from skyscrapers in the background, including the Central Business District. Of course, there are some special effects over at Marina Bay Sands which will attract the attention of everyone passing by. This is followed by several performances divided into various chapters. We’ll leave that to tomorrow for you to find out.

Next is the traditional Parade of Nations, during which the athletes would march into the stadium according to their country. As with all other Olympic Games, Greece marches into the stadium first, while the host country Singapore enters last. Following which, speeches are made to declare the Games open. The Olympic flag is subsequently brought into the stadium and raised as the Olympic Anthem is played.

The athletes will then gather around a rostrum, where a representative from the athletes, judges and coaches each, will take the Olympic Oath. The finale segment, entitled Blazing the Trail, is where the Torch is brought into the stadium. The details of this segment are kept secret and were undisclosed during the combined rehearsal.

At the end of the event, spectators continued snapping photographs before leaving the grandstand. A final note to those who are attending the Opening Ceremony tomorrow – arrive early to get a good view, especially since is a free-seating event.


International Museum Day 2010

International Museum Day (IMD) falls around 18 May each year and is celebrated worldwide since 1977. This year’s theme is ‘museums for social harmony’. Today, a number of museums in Singapore are having an open house, i.e. free museum admission. In addition, family-friendly activities and interactive programmes are organised. Since 2006, the National Heritage Board has celebrated IMD in Singapore to foster a museum-going culture among members of the public.

Participating museums include Asian Civilisations Museum, Hua Song Museum, Land Transport Gallery, Malay Heritage Centre, Marina Barrage, Memories at Old Ford Factory, National Library Singapore, National Museum of Singapore, NEWater Visitor Centre, NUS Museum, Peranakan Museum, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Reflections at Bukit Chandu, Singapore Air Force Museum, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore Coins and Notes Museum, Singapore Philatelic Museum, red dot design museum, SGH Museum and the Youth Olympic Games Learning Centre.

I would be heading down to the Singapore Coins and Notes Museum (SCNM) for the first time. This museum was recently opened on Wednesday, 1 July 2009. Located in a restored shophouse in Chinatown, this museum is conveniently located near the train station. For those who are interested in going down, its address is 2 Trengganu Street.

The Singapore Coins and Notes Museum is the first and only museum in Singapore dedicated to showcasing currency. Visitors to the museum are brought on a journey through a world of coins and banknotes, ranging from the earliest objects used for barter trade to the modern polymer banknotes. In addition, one of the collections allows visitors to learn how local currency made its way into Singapore during her early nation building days.

This museum aims to create an awareness of Singapore’s history by taking visitors through the evolution of the Singapore currency over the years. In addition, through interactive activities and themed galleries, SCNM aims to develop interest in coin and banknote collection amongst the younger generation.

Interactive displays are found throughout the museum, where visitors can learn about the commonly used metals in the production of coins. Rare objects from pre-independence Singapore can be found within the galleries. Visitors can also make coin rubbings to take home as souvenirs.


Exhibition at YOG Learning Centre

Earlier this year, the Youth Olympic Games Learning Centre invited collectors to display their Olympic collection at a temporary exhibition. Located at 1 Kay Siang Road (off Tanglin Road), the two-storey Youth Olympic Games Learning Centre attracts students from primary and secondary schools around Singapore.

Part of my Olympic stamp collection was on display, including a specially picked selection of international stamps from the first few Olympic Games, limited edition Olympic souvenirs, as well as out-of-print philatelic catalogues.

Being one of the participating exhibitors, I was invited to the 99-Day Countdown event at Scape last Friday. Beijing Olympic collector Dr Yeo Seem Huat also displayed his poster collection and limited edition Olympic souvenirs at the event.


99 Day Countdown to Singapore 2010

Today, I was invited to the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games 99-day countdown celebration. The event started at 7 pm this evening, attracting thousands of visitors. A queue for security clearance to enter the celebration ground did not deter visitors to the once-in-a-lifetime event.

There were performances by celebrities such as Hady Mirza and Electrico, as well as dance performances by groups of students. At 7.56 pm, the Runway Singapore 2010 presented, for the very first time, the official apparel for staff, volunteers and participants of the Youth Olympic Games.

At 2010 hours today, the VIPs crossed out the giant numeral 99, signifying the number of days left to the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.  This is followed by three minutes of fireworks.


A 99-Day commemorative collar pin was given to invited guests. Limited edition wristbands of different colours were issued to the various groups of guests.

At the end of the event, guests were invited into the Warehouse for reception. Being the sponsors for the Youth Olympic Games, Mcdonald’s and Old Chang Kee served food to the guests while they interacted with one another.


Yet Another Integrated MRT and LRT System Map

On 17 April 2010, eleven new MRT stations along the Circle Line (CCL) will be open for revenue service. They include Dhoby Ghaut, Bras Basah, Esplanade, Promenade, Nicoll Highway, Stadium, Mountbatten, Dakota, Paya Lebar, MacPherson and Tai Seng. The Circle Line is a fully automated underground train system passing through Bishan, Serangoon, Paya Lebar and Holland Village. When it is completely opened in 2011, the 33.3-kilometre line will be the world’s longest fully automated line.

This change will be reflected on the updated pocket-sized system maps, available at all MRT stations from 17 April onwards. However, these maps have made their way to the hands of collectors since early April. Just like the map released last April, this map will soon be replaced with another updated version once the Circle Line is fully operational.

If you would like a copy of the new pocket-sized system map, just leave a comment below. Remember to include your name and email address as I would be asking for your mailing address via email. Postage is free. In the event of an overwhelming response, a ballot will be conducted. As the map can be picked up at any MRT station from 17 April, we would only send to foreign addresses. Thank you for your understanding.


Things Box

‘The next time you look into your letterbox… something totally out-of-the-box is about to drop into your hands. Once you open it up, you will be looking forward to receiving more in the future.’

A new advertising service provided by SingPost, Things Box allows advertisers to promote their products and services in a three-dimensional box. Similar to requesting for product samples on websites, those who subscribe to Things Box will receive a package directly delivered to their home, from time to time. Each issue of Things Box contain different products which are specially crafted to match the personal preferences of each individual.

‘Things Box is a box full of interesting things that you can read, play with, try at your leisure or display as a decorative piece. Things Box is something you will be looking forward to because you will never know what you are going to get.’

For those who are interested to receive Things Box, simply visit to subscribe. SingPost will send an email notification to those who are selected to receive Things Box. However, subscribers would need to complete an online survey after trying out the items contained therein.

The first issue of Things Box will be released on 15 May 2010.


Festive Postage Rates

From 25 January to 14 February 2010, Singapore Post is offering festive rates for greeting cards of any size, shape or colour. This discounted rate is especially useful when sending greeting cards to other countries.

For postage to a local address, the postage fees is 26 cents (up to 20 grams) and 32 cents (up to 40 grams) respectively. Wait, isn’t this the usual rates? True, but not exactly. Now, cards with creative designs can also be sent. For example, posting a red square envelope would require a postage of 50 cents due to its non-standard nature. Now, it only costs 26 cents, provided that the weight does not exceed 20 grams.

For Malaysia and Brunei, the festive rate for a greeting card is 45 cents (up to 20 grams) and 55 cents (up to 50 grams) respectively. For all other countries in the world, the festive rate is 55 cents for a weight of up to 40 grams. The usual rates for sending a card of weight up to 20 grams range from 65 cents to $1.10, depending on the destination. Every additional 10 grams ranges from an extra charge of 25 cents to 35 cents respectively.

If you would like to send or exchange a greeting card, simply drop me an email or send a card to Tan Wei Jie, VBox 887977, Singapore.




It’s a bit late, but there is still one day left. Yahoo! Singapore is having some treasure hunt around their website. By uncovering the clues provided in the boxes at, you can find the coloured Tickets which are hidden on Yahoo! Singapore, Yahoo! Singapore News, Yahoo! Singapore Messenger and Yahoo! Singapore Mail. All you need is a Yahoo! ID in order to claim a special reward, which I shall not reveal. Here’s the hint which I used: Check out the latest news and find the Red Ticket!


When you uncover this clue, just click on the yellow ‘Take Me There’ button. You will see the button straight away. However, redemption has to be made either today or tomorrow from 1300 hours to 2100 hours at the adidas Flagship Store at The Cathay, Level 2. However, do take note that it is the one at Dhoby Ghaut MRT, not Cathay Cineleisure at Somerset MRT!