UOBAM Muses for May

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The seminal novel by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities opens with "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity." These words certainly resonate with how the coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted and transformed our lives in multi-faceted ways.

For our Digest Literature this month, we take a look at the transformative sparks of engineering ingenuity, as well as a global Cambrian explosion in how artistic creativity has been grafted upon Internet technology and the various ways that businesses, individuals and social groups have rallied in these trying times to aid their communities.

Like for instance, how luxury perfume brands (CBS New) are repurposing their factories to make hand sanitisers while car companies (CNBC) including Formula 1 racing teams have re-directed their resources during their downtime to produce respiratory parts for ventilators and personal protection equipment. Even youngsters are getting into the act with this 12-year old boy in Canada (The Globe and Mail) putting his 3D printer to use to make ear-guards for health workers.

On the arts and entertainment scene, artistes across the globe have adapted to stay in touch with their audiences by migrating to the digital arena (World Economic Forum). Like for instance, this YouTube video of violinist, Lena Yokohama on a rooftop in Cremona, aptly playing a tune from the movie The Mission which you can find a fuller version here on the clarinet. She was playing tribute to hospital staff in Italy which brings us to this South China Morning Post article that reminds us to reach out to the most vulnerable among us if we are to build a better tomorrow after the bad times pass.

You may want to play your part by donating to a fundraiser (www.projectpostcardsg.com) by visual arts graduates from the School of the Arts, Singapore (SOTA) for the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME). The funds will go directly to projects assisting migrant workers in Singapore (The Straits Times).

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