Sunday, 31 December 2017

Home bakers milk lactation cookie craze

Image: channelnewsasia

A growing number of home bakers who have taken to offering cookies, muffins and brownies that purportedly help lactating mothers produce more milk.

Galactogogues (substances containing nutrients that support and promote breast milk production) are used in making these cookies, like almonds, flaxseed, brewer's yeast, oats and fenugreek.

“I realised these ingredients were milk boosters after friends who ate my cookies reported producing more milk,” said a home baker.

Do they really work? Yes, going by testimonials left behind by customers on the bakers' social media pages.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/home-bakers-milk-lactation-cookie-craze-9497908

You may want to read Galactagogue Foods That Have Helped Me Breastfeed Better

Hospitals switching to cheaper infant formula from July 2018


Those who feed their babies with infant formula could find their costs halved when the hospitals offer cheaper ready-to-feed (RTF) brands to infants in hospital from July 1.

As most parents prefer to stick with the formula their infants had been fed while in hospital, this makes it easier for them to continue with the cheaper brands after their babies leave the hospital.

The two brands to be offered by the hospitals are Nestle's Lactogen and Danone's Dulac.

The retail prices for Lactogen and Dulac are $2.20 and $2.50 per 100g respectively, much cheaper than the six brands now used at SGH, which cost between $5 and $7.50 per 100g.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/hospitals-switching-cheaper-infant-formula-july

The 30-day plan that will help you shed pounds and develop good habits for life



This 30-day plan devised by a medical expert which involves adopting a new, easy habit each day to help make those good intentions a reality.

Changing your habit slowly to permanent lifestyle is better than dieting, which may not be permanent.

Some of the recommendations include:
  • Start to walk, jog, cycle or swim just a kilometre a day,
  • eat from smaller plates
  • get active every hour
  • check your weight regularly
  • beat your distance on other day or walk or jog faster
  • eat more veggies
  • etc....

Read the full 30-day plan @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5217899/30-day-plan-make-new-habit-day-trim.html

What is the difference between flu and a cold?


The symptoms are rather similar for flu and common cold, but flu tends to be more severe.

Flu can lead to more serious complications like pneumonia.

Flu is spread by germs, hence do not ask for antibiotics from your doctor as the antibiotics will not help in recovery of your illness nor relieve symptoms. Antibiotics are effective against bacteria.

Flu and cold usually clear by themselves after a week or so. To help relieve symptoms,
  • rest, 
  • sleep, 
  • keep warm (spices like ginger, pepper may help as they keep your body warm)
  • drink a lot of water
  • take painkiller like paracetamol or aspirin if you have aches or body pain,
  • eat more food with vitamin C as vitamin C keeps your body healthy and strong.
Ref: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/deadly-aussie-flu-killed-hundreds-11770257

Friday, 29 December 2017

NTU scientists develop patch that helps burn fats

Prof Chen Peng (left) and Asst Prof Xu Chenjie with the new microneedle fat burning patch. (Photo: Nanyang Technological University and channelnewsasia)

In a press release, NTU said the scientists have developed a patch which delivers drugs that are known to turn energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat, via micro-needles.

NTU said the patch reduced weight gain in mice on a high fat diet and their fat mass by more than 30% over four weeks.

The treated mice also had significantly lower blood cholesterol and fatty acids levels compared to the untreated mice.

NTU said the new type of skin patch contains hundreds of micro-needles, each thinner than a human hair, which are loaded with the drug Beta-3 adrenergic receptor agonist or another drug called thyroid hormone T3.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/ntu-scientists-develop-patch-that-helps-burn-fats-9816090

Environment: Bali declares 'garbage emergency' amid sea of waste

Source: channelnewsasia

The palm-fringed Kuta beach in Bali has long been a favourite with tourists seeking sun and surf, but nowadays its golden shoreline is disappearing under a mountain of garbage.

Plastic straws and food packaging are strewn between sunbathers, while surfers bobbing behind the waves dodge waste flushed out from rivers or brought in by swirling currents.

Indonesia is the world's second biggest contributor to marine debris after China.

Ref: 
1) http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/bali-declares--garbage-emergency--amid-sea-of-waste-9815990
2) https://www.yahoo.com/news/bali-declares-garbage-emergency-amid-sea-waste-043839290.html

Forum: Cut down on announcements at MRT stations and in trains too


Airport's move to make the airport a more quiet and pleasant place (Changi Airport to end final boarding announcements; Dec 27) is a good one that SMRT and SBS Transit should follow.

There are far too many announcements at MRT stations and in trains.

Almost all passengers do not pay heed to these announcements, as they are far too busy with their mobile phones.

Like Changi Airport, the train operators should make announcements only when there is an urgent need to do so.

Without the frequent announcements at MRT stations and in trains, passengers can enjoy a quieter ride and even talk to their friends without interruption.

Moiz Tyebally

Ref: http://str.sg/oonu

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Just ONE egg a day for six months can boost a baby's brain development and function


Feeding babies eggs boosts their brain development and function, new research suggests.

Just one egg a day for six months significantly increases youngsters' levels of the nutrients choline and DHA, both of which are involved in brain health, a study found.

Previous research reveals feeding babies eggs improves their growth and prevents stunting.

Lead author Lora Iannotti from the Brown School at Washington University, said: 'Like milk or seeds, eggs are designed to support the early growth and development of an organism and are, therefore, dense in nutrient content.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5205765/Feeding-babies-eggs-boosts-brain-development.html

10 healing plants which were used by the native Americans to treat anything


  1. Mint
  2. Cattail
  3. Blackberry
  4. Wild Rose (Jisdu Unigisdi)
  5. Greenbrier
  6. Buck Brush (Hummingbird Blossom)
  7. Yarrow (Squirrel Tail)
  8. Yellow Dock (Kawi Iyusdi)
  9. Wild Ginger (Big Stretch)
  10. Sumac (Qua lo ga)

Ref: http://www.simplicityathome.com/10-healing-plants-which-were-used-by-the-native-americans-to-treat-anything-from-joint-pain-to-cancer-for-centuries/

Major Cause of Dementia Discovered


Professor Garth Cooper from The University of Manchester, who leads the Manchester team of scientists, says the build-up of urea in the brain to toxic levels can cause brain damage – and eventually dementia.

The latest paper by the scientists, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that Huntington’s Disease – one of seven major types of age-related dementia – is directly linked to brain urea levels and metabolic processes.

The Huntington’s study also showed that the high urea levels occurred before dementia sets in, which could help doctors to one day diagnose and even treat dementia, well in advance of its onset.

What is urea?
Urea is a waste product that is made in the intestines and liver when protein breaks down. The kidneys then eliminate urea from the body in urine.

Ref:
1) http://neurosciencenews.com/dementia-cause-8165/
2) https://www.webmd.com/hw-popup/urea

Video: Time-lapse footage of Elon Musk's Space X rocket blasting off

911 calls were made and a Twitter frenzy because it was thought to be an UFO by the residents in Southern California and Arizona in USA.

But it was not.

It was the launch of a space rocket, Elon Mush.


Ref: https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/12/timelapse-ofelon-musks-nuclear-alien-ufo-shows-that-the-truth-is-out-there/

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Why sitting may be bad for your heart


Recently, a group of cardiologists from around the world began to wonder about troponins. Troponins are proteins produced by cardiac-muscle cells when they are hurt or dying. A heart attack releases a sudden tsunami of troponins into the bloodstream.

But even slightly elevated troponin levels, lower than those involved in heart attacks, are worrisome if they persist, most cardiologists believe. Chronically high troponin levels indicate that something is going wrong inside the heart muscle and that damage is occurring and accruing there. If the damage is not halted or slowed, it could eventually result in heart failure.

The researchers pulled information about more than 1,700 of these participants, excluding any who had heart disease or symptoms of heart failure, such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

They found, overall, sitting was more strongly associated with unhealthy troponin levels than exercise was with desirable amounts.

This is just an observational study and merely shows that sitting is linked to high troponins. It cannot explain why the rise in troponins nor injured cardiac cells when sitting.

We just have to sit less for now for health's sake.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/why-sitting-may-be-bad-for-your-heart-9518562

Exceptional people: Meet the Santa Claus of Marsiling

Source: channelnewsasia

Found at Blk 179, Woodlands Street 13 carpark, the Christmas decorations were done by Mr Tan Koon Tat.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/meet-the-santa-claus-of-marsiling-who-has-something-extra-for-9521388

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Why a walk in the park beats a stroll on the street

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Older adults who take a daily constitutional may want to avoid traffic-jammed city streets and head to a park instead because polluted air diminishes the benefits of exercise, a UK study suggests.

Researchers in London randomly assigned 119 men and women age 60 or older to take two-hour walks along one of two distinct routes: Through a tranquil traffic-free expanse of Hyde Park, or along Oxford Street, the city’s bustling shopping district that’s clogged with diesel-powered buses and cabs.

After walking in Hyde Park, healthy participants had better lung capacity and decreased arterial stiffness, the study found. But when these people walked along Oxford Street, they experienced only a slight improvement in lung capacity and their arteries got stiffer.

“Just walking at a normal pace for a couple of hours benefits the respiratory and cardiovascular system for up to 24 hours after the walk,” said senior study author Kian Fan Chung of Imperial College London.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/why-a-walk-in-the-park-beats-a-stroll-on-the-street-9518508

Eating apples or tomatoes each day can repair damaged lungs caused by SMOKING and natural aging


Eating three apples a day slows down the natural aging of the lungs and repairs damage caused by smoking, a study concludes.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found the same life-extending benefits are achieved from consuming two tomatoes each day.

However, the protective effects stems only from fresh varieties - meaning canned or processed tomatoes and apples don't work.

Natural decline in lung function over 10 years was slower among former smokers with a diet high in tomatoes and fruits, especially apples.

Ref: 
1) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5201469/Why-eat-three-apples-two-tomatoes-day.html
2) https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/two-tomatoes-a-day-may-keep-lung-disease-at-bay-study-9516522

Exceptional people: From a PSLE score of 181 to NUS Medicine


Mr Tan Jun Xiang, 22, is not your typical medical student who aced all his school examinations.

In fact, he scored only 181 points in the PSLE and had to go into the five-year Normal stream in secondary school.

So the polytechnic graduate, who made it to the prestigious medicine faculty at the National University of Singapore (NUS), is among the rare few who do not fit the mould.

I tell others: "Don't give up, just aim high and don't compare yourself to others. You will never know what may happen."

Read his story @ http://str.sg/o4tx

Scientists reveal why this ONE salad dressing could help fight dementia

Image for illustration only

Drinking blueberry vinegar – or using it in salad dressings – could stave off dementia, new research suggests.

The condiment, which is produced by allowing the fruit to sour, is rich in a brain boosting chemical, according to scientists.

Experiments found the memory of mice with amnesia returned after they were fed the fermented product.

After consuming it, they had more of a protein that fuels nerve cells, as well as increased levels of a compound that is destroyed in dementia patients.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5205287/This-ONE-salad-dressing-help-fight-dementia.html

Friday, 22 December 2017

How to tell if someone has depression


The suicide death of SHINee lead singer Kim Jonghyun on Monday (Dec 18) has cast the spotlight on the pressure K-pop artistes face. But it has also brought depression, clinically known as major depressive disorder, to the fore.

In Singapore, depression is one of the top three mental health disorders, indicated the National Mental Health Survey conducted in 2010 by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

Besides persistently feeling sad or gloomy, there are other common symptoms of depression to look out for, said Dr Wang. These include a loss in the following areas: Interest in activities previously enjoyed, appetite, weight, sleep (or on the contrary, sleeping more).

Other signs include a sense of restlessness, ease of agitation, tiredness, an inability to concentrate, indecisiveness, feelings of worthlessness and guilt as well as recurrent thoughts of death. If a person experiences five or more of those symptoms for two weeks or longer, he is likely to be depressed, according to IMH.

"However, for some people, the symptoms may be hidden," said Dr Adrian Wang, consultant psychiatrist from Gleneagles Medical Centre. Like Jonghyun, these individuals may appear fine but may feel despondent or even suicidal.

"They may be putting up a brave front because they do not want others to worry about them, or may feel ashamed of their sad feelings which they (wrongly) think of as a sign of weakness," said Dr Wang.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/how-to-tell-if-someone-has-depression-9516266

You may want to read K-pop star Jonghyun says depression ‘engulfed me’ in suicide note

Video: A Special Breed Of Teachers


You may want to read about
1) ITE alumni-turned-lecturer inspires students
2) American businessman-turned-lecturer wins ITE award

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Food for your hair - in Chinese


How your daily cuppa could beat glaucoma


A daily cup of tea slashes the risk of developing a serious eye condition, research suggests.

People who drink a cup of hot tea at least once a day are 74% less likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma - a severe eye problem which affects 600,000 people in Britain.

But coffee, iced tea and soft drinks do not seem to make any difference, the researchers found.

The researchers, whose work is published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, asked 10,000 people in the US about their diet and health, and 1,678 of them also had full eye tests.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5181347/How-daily-cuppa-beat-glaucoma.html

My 2 cents:
Whenever I have an upset stomach, I will normally drive a cup of hot black tea. It will make my stomach ok again.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Grandmother with dementia 'gets her spark back' by volunteering at a nursery school


A grandmother-of-seven who struggles with vascular dementia has 'got her spark back' by volunteering once a week at a nursery school.

Joyce Stackhouse has problems remembering what she has done or people she sees on a day-to-day basis, and can easily become confused or anxious.

But now the 85-year-old lights up during her weekly two-hour visits to Highdale Day Nursery in Clevedon, Somerset. Not only does Joyce love playing with the children, but it has lead to great improvements with her mobility and her mental capacity as well as having reduced her anxieties.

Medical studies have shown that keeping elderly sociable by encouraging them to take part in community based group activity can keep prevent cognitive decline.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5182529/Dementia-gran-gets-spark-volunteering-nursery.html

Monday, 18 December 2017

How loneliness affects our health

The potentially harmful effects of loneliness and social isolation on health and longevity, especially among older adults, are well established.

For example, in 2013, I reported on research finding that loneliness can impair health by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which in turn, can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and even suicide attempts.

But people can be socially isolated and not feel lonely; they simply prefer a more hermetic existence. Likewise, people can feel lonely even when surrounded by lots of people, especially if the relationships are not emotionally rewarding.

Perhaps equally surprising is the finding that older adults are not necessarily the loneliest among us. Although most studies of the effects of loneliness have looked only at older people, Dr Holt-Lunstad, who with colleagues, has analysed 70 studies encompassing 3.4 million people, said that the prevalence of loneliness peaks in adolescents and young adults, then again in the oldest old.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/how-loneliness-affects-our-health-9492106

You may want to read Loneliness is as bad for health as smoking 15 a day

Food to help you sleep better - in Chinese


Video: This is how dirty your money is


Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/how-dirty-money-bacteria-banknotes-singapore-9503352

Stop sleeping with your mobile phone


Anything closer than arm's length could cause cancer and infertility, health officials warn.

California Department of Health released guidance for reducing exposure to cell phone radiation on Thursday, amid mounting evidence that cell phone use may be linked to cancer, attention, mental health and reproductive health issues.

Cell phones transmit information using low frequency radio signals, which may expose us to unhealthy radiation, especially when streaming or downloading large files.

Research has not been able to prove definitively that cell phone radiation is dangerous, but there have been enough studies linking the two to warrant caution, especially for children, according to the health department press release.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5184029/Stop-sleeping-cell-phone-California-warns.html

Friday, 15 December 2017

Network and network security ebooks on sale

If you want to learn  more about computer networking and security, you may be interested to checkout these books on offer. Pay US$15 for books worth a few hundred dollars. 

Image, music and game software are also available in other bundles at HumbleBundle. Offers end in a few days' time.


Boy in China loses sight in eye after playing with desiccant dry pack

Desiccant packs, which are usually made up of silica gel grains, absorb water and are used to help food remain dry.

The accident happened when after finishing his snack, the boy, Keke, saw a small bag (desiccant dry pack) inside the snack box and took it out. He put the small bag (desiccant dry pack) into a drink bottle that contained  his beverage, after which the bottle exploded.

According to a doctor, Keke's right eye had been dissolved by alkaline liquid erosion, resulting in permanent blindness in that eye.

Lesson to be learnt:
Parents must remember to remove any desiccant packs found in any snack boxes just in case they cause problems to your kids. They may be harmless, but can be dangerous if mixed with wrong liquid.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/boy-in-china-loses-sight-in-eye-after-playing-with-desiccant-dry-9498122#cxrecs_s

Secondary 1 posting results will be released on Dec 21


The Secondary 1 posting results will be released next Thursday (Dec 21) at 9am, the Ministry of Education announced.

Students are to report to the secondary schools that they have been posted to on Friday (Dec 22) at 8.30am, the ministry said in a press release.

Scam warning: 120% jump in cases of fraudulent purchases charged to phone bills


The police have seen a sharp increase in the number of fraudulent purchases being charged to mobile phones, with 130 cases reported in the first 11 months of this year, up 120% from the same period last year.

The total amount cheated so far this year is at least S$16,000, the police added in a news release.

These scammers operated by initiating contact with the victims over Facebook and sometimes even created accounts closely resembling that of the victims' friends, the police said.

They would then ask for the victims' mobile phone number and mobile service provider and even phone PIN to buy online gaming credits or online gift cards using the victims' mobile phone numbers.

Precautions
The police has advised members of the public to take the following precautions to avoid falling prey to such scams:
  • Do not share personal information like OTP and verification codes with anyone
  • Be wary when accepting friend requests from people on social networking sites
  • If in doubt, verify with a friend if they have sent the request before accepting it
  • Report fraudulent charges on mobile phone bills immediately

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/120-jump-in-cases-of-fraudulent-purchases-charged-to-phone-bills-9496432

Bill Gates: Bitcoin Is Better Than Currency

Source: ST
In 2014, Bill Gates commented that Bitcoin is better than currency. "In the future, financial transactions will eventually “be digital, universal and almost free.”

You may want to read
1) Slow browsing? Hackers could be mining bitcoin with your computer
2) What is Bitcoin cryptocurrency?

Steps to Mine and buy Bitcoins for investment


Mining Bitcoin can be fun if you are tech savvy. But it also depends on your computer rig and electricity cost as your machine(s) have to be on for 24/7.

Software and hardware
1) Bitcoin mining hardware here and here (build your own USB miners).
https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/mining/hardware/
https://www.bitcoinmining.com/bitcoin-mining-hardware/

2) Bitcoin software
https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/mining/software/

It is easier to buy Bitcoins for investment as more people are mining it.
You may want to read Bitcoin ATMs in Singapore crash as price of cryptocurrency soars

3) How to buy and safekeep Bitcoins.
https://www.buybitcoinworldwide.com/


Videos:
1) DIY Bitcoin Mining: Hardware (part1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=418&v=fJSITD0sPVY

2) DIY Bitcoin Mining: Software (part 2)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH2i9pudQgk

3) How To Build Wealth By Mining Crypto Currency on your OLD mobile phones or tablets
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0V13aqOAgGs

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Exceptional people: Bulgarian clears streets of damaged shared bikes


Ref:
1) http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/bulgarian-clears-streets-damaged-shared-bikes
2) Video: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/bulgarian-spends-time-money-rescuing-181139121.html

Exceptional people: In a first, Singapore-based researcher made fellow of US National Academy of Inventors


Professor Jackie Ying, the executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), has become the first Singapore-based researcher to be named a fellow of the prestigious US National Academy of Inventors (NAI), A*STAR announced in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 13).

The recognition from NAI is considered the highest accolade given to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/in-a-first-singapore-based-researcher-made-fellow-of-us-national-9494382

Bedok Reservoir Road dengue cluster largest seen this year


Authorities have stepped up checks for mosquito breeding grounds around several blocks at Bedok Reservoir Road, after a rising number of dengue cases in the area.

In a two-and-a-half-month period since the end of September, there have been 57 reported dengue cases in the cluster, which encompasses blocks 713, 715, 716, 717, 718, 719 and 721.

This makes it the largest dengue cluster this year, said the National Environment Agency.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/bedok-reservoir-road-dengue-cluster-largest-seen-this-year-9489966

SCDF asks public to 'have a heart' after 16 abuse cases against officers so far this year


Since January this year, there have been 16 abuse cases in the form of harassment against Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) frontline officers, SCDF said in a Facebook post in which it urged the public to "have a heart".

There were 20 such abuse cases last year.

When emergency medical service crew members respond to a medical emergency, they are there "to help with the best interest of the patients at heart", said SCDF.

"Hence do not abuse them," SCDF added. "SCDF does not tolerate verbal or physical abuse of our frontline officers, and will not hesitate to report such matter to the police."

"Have a heart. Help us in serving you to the best of our abilities."

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/scdf-asks-public-to-have-a-heart-after-16-abuse-cases-against-9495272

Video: Mystery of the thousands of perfectly formed ice balls washed up on Russian coast

Is it because of the extreme cold weather for these ice balls to be formed, or are they EGGS?

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Reminder: Fairprice will reduce fresh fruits and vegetables prices by 2% every Wednesday till end of year


Source: thenewpaper

Major recall of Lactalis baby milk over salmonella fears

Image for illustration only

French baby-milk maker Lactalis and health authorities have ordered a major international product recall because of fears of salmonella contamination, following 26 cases of children falling sick in France.

Lactalis is one of the world's biggest producers of dairy products. It sells its baby milk under a host of brand names, including Milumel, Picot and Celi.

Salmonella symptoms include severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting. The illness -- caused by intestinal bacteria from farm animals -- is dangerous for the very young and elderly because of the risk of dehydration.

The victims in France have since recovered and the company believes the salmonella outbreak can be traced to an evaporation tower -- used to dry out the milk -- at a factory in the town of Craon in northwest France. All products from that factory have been recalled.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/major-recall-lactalis-baby-milk-over-salmonella-fears-161914288.html

Exceptional people: First Singaporean Nobel Peace Prize photographer Sim Chi Yin


Ms Sim Chi Yin, who was commissioned to showcase this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner - the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons - is the first Singaporean Peace Prize photographer in the exhibition's 13-year history.

The result of her work is titled Fallout, comprising a series of 36 photographs and a short video installation. They are to reflect on mankind's experience with nuclear weapons.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/sporean-asias-first-nobel-prize-photographer

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Fake infant formula in Johor

Image for illustration only

Shopping for food overseas or online may be convenient, but consumers should be cautious, Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Monday (Dec 11).

The authority was replying to a Channel NewsAsia query on its response to Malaysian authorities confiscating 210 boxes of fake infant formula milk powder in Johor Baru. The raid on five shops in the city followed a case of a toddler in Malaysia suffering severe vomiting after drinking fake infant formula.

In Singapore, regulations and a surveillance system are in place to ensure infant formula is safe, AVA said. These products are also subject to food safety inspections and sampling.

“So far, all formula milk samples tested by AVA have met our food safety standards and requirements,” the authority said, adding that it will continue to monitor the import of the products to Singapore.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/fake-infant-formula-johor-baru-singapore-ava-response-9488214

Singapore records 200% increase in skin donations over the last 3 years

Over the last three years,  Singapore has seen an increase in skin donations for those who need grafts after serious burns.

This is an encouraging sign given that Singapore had to turn to tissue banks abroad such as Australia, United States and Canada in the past.

The number of donors last year more than tripled compared to 2014. In 2014, the number of recipients was 17 while the number of donors was 6. In 2016, the number of recipients was 8 while the number of donors was 20.

Another reason for this increase is due to greater public awareness of the Medical (Therapy, Education and Research) Act which helped to reduce the stigma of organ or body parts donation.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-records-increase-in-skin-donations-over-the-last-3-9485752

Consider language, IT and service courses with SkillsFuture training credits


Those who do not know what SkillsFuture courses to enrol in can consider learning languages, info-comm technology and service excellence, said Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung.

Singaporeans "cannot go wrong" if they focus their learning on these three areas, he said yesterday.

"Even for myself, I am learning a new language," he said at the launch of a new SkillsFuture public outreach drive at Woodlands Community Club.

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above receive $500 in training credits from the Government which they can use to pay for courses under the SkillsFuture programme.

Ref: http://str.sg/oZCX

N-level results to be released next Monday


The results of the 2017 Singapore-Cambridge N-Level examination results will be released on Monday (Dec 18), the Ministry of Education (MOE) announced.

School candidates can collect their result slips from their schools from 2.00pm on that day, the ministry added in its press release.

Private candidates will be notified of their individual results by post. Those with SingPass accounts can also obtain their results online via the internet Examination Results Release System (iERRS) on the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board’s website from 2.00pm, MOE said.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/n-level-results-to-be-released-next-monday-9487870

Forum: Don't blame the elderly for rising costs

Of late, we have been bombarded with news that costs, especially that of healthcare, will go up because of an ageing population (Spending on healthcare expected to rise sharply; Dec 7).

It seems that the elderly are being blamed for the state of affairs. Have they not been contributing to the reserves all these years?

Instead of being free from taxes in their retirement years, they are still contributing, via the goods and services tax.

The Government has said that we need to leave the reserves for future generations.

If the elderly did not spend the reserves on themselves, but kept them for the future, this means they have already contributed to their healthcare and other social costs.

Let us not give the young generation the impression that the elderly are eating into their contributions.

Each generation has done its part.

Ang Chiew Leng (Ms)

Ref: http://str.sg/oZCM

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Heart-Wrenching Video Shows Starving Polar Bear on Iceless Land


Ref: https://www.instagram.com/p/BcU-6PsAoIp/

All kids at childcare centre tested after staff member contracts TB


All children at the Agape Little Uni, a child care centre and kindergarten in Sengkang East, have been tested for tuberculosis after a member of the staff was diagnosed with the disease.

The children, aged between two and six years old, were tested from Monday.

The parents of the younger children have been informed of the test results.

The older children had to undergo a second test on Thursday as part of the screening process.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/all-kids-childcare-centre-tested-after-staff-member-contracts-tb

How walking can benefit you


Walking is a great form of physical activity that is free, low risk and accessible to most people.

Walking is not just good for you, it is one of the easiest forms of exercise to incorporate into your day-to-day life.

This article explores how walking more often can help you lose weight and belly fat.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

These plastic bags are biodegradable, and can even be eaten - advertisement


They look like plastic bags but are made of materials like natural starch and vegetable oil derivatives.

If placed in a glass of water at normal temperature, an EnviGreen bag dissolves in a day. And when placed in a glass of boiling water, it dissolved in just 15 seconds!

These bags take less than 180 days to biodegrade naturally once discarded. So users can throw them away without worrying about harming the environment. The bags are even edible and will cause no harm to animals if ingested.

Produced by EnviGreen, a company started by Ashwath Hegde, uses 12 ingredients, including potato, tapioca, corn, natural starch, vegetable oil, banana and flower oil. Even the paint used for printing on the bags is natural and organic.

Ref: https://www.thebetterindia.com/77202/envigreen-bags-organic-biodegradable-plastic/

You may want to read Uni students push for use of green starch bags

Exceptional people: Stroke at 19, laid off at 22, but pushing on

Lee Yong Jie suffered a life-threatening stroke at the age of 19. He had to relearn many things, such as how to sit up, swallow, control his bladder and walking - all the things he had taken granted before.

One year on, he recovered and found a job as a programmer but was retrenched early this year. The multiple blows did not daunt him and he has won an award to study to be a social worker at NUS.

"Before my stroke, I wanted different things. But now, I cherish my health, my friends and family more than I ever did before.

"I met someone my age in hospital, who had brain cancer. He didn't get the second chance I did. So, I felt that I couldn't give up.

"I want to make a difference to others."

Read the full article @ http://str.sg/oZnK

Quote by Nora Roberts - if you do not do


Why are fried foods bad for you?

Image for illustration only

Many people like the taste of fried foods. Yet these foods tend to be high in calories and trans fat, so eating a lot of them can have negative effects on your health.

This article explains why commercially fried foods are bad for you and provides some healthier alternatives to consider.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Children and babies' brains at risk from toxic pollution


Satellite imagery used to assess pollution levels around the world found that South Asian countries accounted for 12.2 million of the total number of 17 million of children affected but that there is also a growing problem in African cities.

Air pollution has already been linked to asthma, bronchitis, and other long-term respiratory diseases.

"But a growing body of scientific research points to a potential new risk that air pollution poses to children's lives and futures: its impact on their developing brains," UNICEF said.

The report highlighted links found between pollution and brain functions "including verbal and nonverbal IQ and memory, reduced test scores, grade point averages among school children, as well as other neurological behavioural problems."

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/children-and-babies-brains-at-risk-from-toxic-pollution-un-9473064

Easy ways to reduce your food waste


It had been reported that half of food waste generated by Singapore households could have been better managed if they (households) cooked or bought less food.

Wasting food is not just about money. Rotten food produces methane gas, the second most common greehouse gas, contributes to climate change.

Here are 20 ways to reduce your food waste.


You may want to read The 'Rat Eaters' of Bihar: India's poorest people eating rat stew.

Singapore issues advisory on Dengvaxia dengue vaccine


Healthcare professionals in Singapore have been advised not to administer a dengue vaccine to patients who have not been previously infected by the virus.

Sanofi said in late November that a new analysis based on six years' worth of clinical trial data showed Dengvaxia could worsen symptoms for those not previously infected with dengue.

The analysis confirmed that Dengvaxia is only effective for those who was previously infected with dengue.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/dengvaxia-dengue-vaccine-singapore-advisory-9472910