Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Dogs may help babies and children develop protection against eczema and asthma


Babies and children with dogs at home may be protected from allergic eczema and asthma.

That is according to two studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting.

The first study found that women who had dogs at home since pregnancy had babies who were protected from allergic eczema.

The study examined mothers and their babies who were exposed to at least one dog indoors for a minimum of an hour each day. "We found a mother's exposure to dogs before the birth of a child is significantly associated with a lower risk of eczema by age two, but this protective effect goes down at age 10," said Dr Edward Zoratti, the study's co-author.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/dogs-may-help-babies-and-children-develop-protection-against-9355160

Healthier alternatives to isotonic drinks



1. Coconut water
Filled with potassium and electrolytes, coconut water effectively helps to replenish and hydrate your body after sweating it out.

2. Chocolate milk
Drinking chocolate milk post-workout is great for muscle recovery.

3. Caffeine
Taking a small dose of coffee about an hour before can help to boost your workout.

4. Watermelon juice
Watermelon helps to speed up your recovery process and reduce muscle soreness.

5. Water

6. Make your own

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/six-healthier-alternatives-isotonic-drinks

What you need to know about Manuka honey

Ever wondered what makes Manuka honey unique? Creamy in texture, with a slight herbaceous taste that has a hint of caramel and a floral aroma, Manuka honey carries a darker hue and has a greater viscosity than other types of honey.

Research has shown that Manuka honey contains antibacterial properties that are believed to be beneficial to health.

The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating, which indicates the level of purity and quality of Manuka honey, is used to certify good-quality Manuka honey. It is an internationally recognised trademark governed by a third-party body based in New Zealand - the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA).

All licensees of this trademark are audited regularly and have to adhere to strict labelling guidelines. The association is the most recognised indicator of quality Manuka honey.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Manuka honey.

1 WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UMF 5+, 10+, 15+ AND ABOVE?
The UMF rating indicates the percentage of antibacterial activity levels in Manuka honey.

Most types of Manuka honey are graded with UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+ and UMF 20+. The higher the UMF number, the more potent the antibacterial properties in the Manuka honey.

Each batch of Manuka honey is tested at an independently certified laboratory to receive a UMF rating. A UMF 5+ rating indicates that the honey purity and concentration of anitibacterial properties is between 5% to 10%. If the result is between 10% and 15%, the Manuka honey will be labelled as UMF 10+.

2 WHY DOES MANUKA HONEY USUALLY COST MORE THAN NORMAL HONEY?
UMF-rated Manuka honey is usually pricier than normal honey, or non-UMF rated Manuka honey, due to its limited supply and increasing demand for it as the properties of UMF Manuka honey become more well known.

Not all Manuka flowers produce nectar with UMF properties.

3 HOW DO I CHOOSE ONE THAT IS SUITABLE FOR ME?
Mariuka honey with a UMF 5+ or UMF 10+ rating would generally contain sufficient nutrients and antibacterial properties for the average healthy person looking to maintain his or her overall wellbeing.

UMF 15+ and UMF 20+ ratings indicate a more potent Manuka honey, which may be helpful in easing the symptoms of certain health conditions.

4 HOW DO I EAT IT?
Mamika honey can be consumed in many ways. You can eat it on its own or mix it with water that is below 45 deg C.

The full-bodied nature of Manuka honey also makes it an ideal sweetener in teas, smoothies and marinades, or condiment that provides a nutritious bite to any snack.

Manuka honey with UMF 5+ and 10+ ratings are best paired with foods or added as an  ingredient in recipes, while those with a UMF 15+ and above rating taste best when enjoyed as it is.

5 HOW DO I KEEP IT?
Store Manuka honey in a cool, dark place that is below 20 deg C.

Source: Sunday Times
Note: This article is for your info only. Please consult medical or healthcare professionals for advice on health-related matters.

Quote by William A Ward on How to be a Humanity


Monday, 30 October 2017

More stroke patients arriving within crucial time period for treatment


More patients are arriving at the hospital "early enough" for time-sensitive stroke treatments, according to Ministry of Health's Stroke Services Improvement team.

The finding emerged from a study by the National Neuroscience Institute, whose results were revealed at the launch of the second annual Spot Stroke nationwide awareness campaign in conjunction with World Stroke Day.

The Spot Stroke campaign is focused on helping more Singaporeans recognise the symptoms of stroke using the acronym FAST - which stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness and Speech difficulty, as well as Time to call 995 - as a checklist.

According to the study, the proportion of patients arriving within the crucial three-and-a-half hours increased from 28% before the first campaign in 2016 to 41%. This has increased the chances of survival for patients undergoing clot-busting treatment.

The study also found that the percentage of patients coming within seven hours increased from 42% to 58%, improving chances of eligibility for those who require endovascular therapy.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/more-stroke-patients-arriving-within-crucial-time-period-for-9354664

World Stroke Day: New programme launched to help stroke survivors improve memory, cognitive functions

Stroke patients may end up with physical impairment such as not being able to move a part of their body, but about half of them also develop memory and thinking problems which hinder recovery.


To help these patients, Singapore’s first community-based brain health and memory training programme was launched by non-profit organisation Stroke Support Station (S3).

The programme will be conducted in small groups with the stroke patients and their caregivers. Stroke survivors will first be given a neuropsychological assessment before they are recommended specific programmes to help their brain health.

The long-term aim is to enable stroke patients to live independently. Those who wish to return to work will go through sessions on memory strategies and coping skills to adapt to work life after stroke.


Video: Your trash, his food


Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/dumpster-diving-freegan-singapore-treasure-trash-food-waste-9351668

My Skills Future portal


MySkillsFuture.sg portal has been launched.

A one-stop portal that enables Singaporeans of all ages to make informed learning and career choices, so that they can pursue their skills and career development throughout their lives.

Foods to avoid if you want a seriously taut tummy

No matter how many crunches you do, you will never achieve the flat stomach of your dreams if you are eating the wrong food.

That is because certain food and beverages can bring on the dreaded post dinner bloat, making you feel all uncomfortable and fumbling to undo the button of your jeans.

So if you want to give Beyonce a run for her money in the flat tummy stakes, here are the food you really need to swerve or limit their quantity intake.

1. Cruciferous vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage can cause bloating and excess wind

2. Refined foods and starches - highly refined white flour products like bread, pasta and rice

3. High in digestive resistant starches - lentils, beans and pulses

4. Food high in fibre - whole grain cereals and grains like beans, brown rice, nuts

5. Plums and other stone fruits like peach or cherry - can ferment causing bloating and gas

6. Fizzy drinks

7. Sugar substitutes

8. Salt - too much salt causes water retention and leads to bloating

9. Dairy - lactose intolerance resulting in fermentation and causing pain in gut and gas

10. Spices - some spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which can cause irritation and bloating.

Ref: 
1) https://sg.yahoo.com/news/10-foods-avoid-want-seriously-slideshow-wp-135432241.html
2) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-foods-high-in-resistant-starch#section1

Ways to soothe your gut and bloating

Dr Dale Pinnock explains why up to 70 million people are affected by digestive diseases in his latest book, Eat your Way to a Healthy Gut.

He explains the causes and how to soothe your gut from digestive complaints like bloating, constipation, IBS, inflammatory bower disease, etc.

1. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are bad as they do not have nutrients, fibre, healthy fats for your gut.

2. Stress can influence the digestive rhythm.

3. Chew your food properly and eat slowly.

4. Take digestive enzyme supplements or tea (like peppermint) to ease and reduce digestive problems.

5. Take probiotics.

6. Eat good quality, fibre-rich food. Do not take too much in the beginning or it will cause more harm than good to your gut.

7. Complex carbs are food source for the bacteria that live in the gut.

8. Drink more water.

Ref: http://www.mydomaine.com/healthy-gut-recipes

Friday, 27 October 2017

Pigs are the latest genetically modified organisms (GMO)

The genetically modified low-fat piglets. Image: channelnewsasia

Chinese scientists have used genetic engineering to breed pigs with 24% less fat than normal swines, potentially saving farmers significant resources used in heating and feeding the animals.

In a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists said that modern pigs lack a gene, called UCP1 - which is present in most other mammals - making them susceptible to the cold and prone to fat deposition.

To counter that, the scientist edited a mouse version of the gene into pig cells and then used those cells to create 2,553 cloned pig embryos, which they implanted into 13 sows. Three of the pigs became pregnant, producing 12 piglets, the report showed.

The hogs showed “an improved ability to maintain body temperature, decreased fat deposition, and increased carcass lean percentage”, the scientists said in their report.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/chinese-scientists-create-low-fat-pigs-with-mouse-gene-9346122

Exceptional people: Alert hotel workers honoured for preventing guest's suicide

He noticed the bloody hands when the guest collected the bottle of liquor at the door of his hotel room, and Mr Jason Ong immediately sensed something amiss.


The 39-year-old restaurant supervisor at Furama Riverfront Singapore checked with the guest, who claimed he had spilled make-up on his hands and closed the door.

Mr Ong did not buy it and told his colleagues, who quickly devised a plan to investigate. In the end, they saved the guest's life.

The police were called and the guest later revealed he had planned to take his own life.

Mr Ong and Mr Sanmugam received the Special Mention Award for vigilance.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/alert-hotel-workers-honoured-preventing-guests-suicide

Calcium absorption can stop

Did you know that your body's calcium absorption can stop one day? Or that your bones need more than just calcium?

When we reach 30 years of age, we hit our peak bone mass and our bone's calcium "bank" cannot store any more calcium "savings".

This means, we need to focus even more on ensuring that we have enough calcium to meet our body's daily needs.

Our body loses calcium daily through our skin, perspiration, nails and even when we go to the toilet. When there is not enough calcium for the body to use, it will go to the "bank" that we built up for 30 years.

What are the signs?
When we don't have enough calcium, it can lead to signs and symptoms other than brittle bones. These include dry skin, coarse hair, muscle cramps usually in the back or legs, chronic itching, fatigue, irritability, tooth decay, muscle weakness, brittle nails and more.

A baby only needs 400mg of calcium daily, but a growing child needs 500mg to 700mg.

An adolescent and a breastfeeding or pregnant woman and seniors will need l,000mg to keep their bones healthy and strong.

In general, adults (aged 19 to 51) should ensure they get a minimum of 800mg of calcium a day.

However, to reach this amount, an adult needs to drink four 200ml packets of milk, which may be difficult for most of us. Other sources of calcium include dark, leafy greens, cheese and calcium-fortified products.

Bones need more than just calcium
But calcium alone does not support strong, healthy bones. We need other nutrients, complemented by good lifestyle habits.

Vitamin D is an important building block for children to develop strong bones, and for adults to keep theirs healthy. A deficit could lead to the bones becoming brittle as the body ages. Get your fix from sunlight, oily fish like salmon, as well as fortified milk and foods.

Collagen forms 90 per cent of organic bone mass. About 10g of collagen peptldes intake daily can support a healthy bone mass density. Nutrients that enhance collagen production are found in bird's nest, pig trotters and fish collagen peptides.

Do also take vitamin C, as we need it to produce collagen.

Magnesium is another essential mineral as it enables the body to absorb enough calcium for its needs plus, it may also suppress a hormone that is said to break down bone.

One's ideal intake of calcium and magnesium should be in the ratio of 2:1. Magnesium can be found in buckwheat kelp and almonds.

Ref: http://epaper.tnp.sg/jrsrc/261017E1/images/bg031_00.jpg?v=1

Household items that work just as well as weights or exercise equipment

You can save some gym membership fees if you just use some of your household items as exercising equipment. Better still, do some housework and build your health.

1. Chair as support for arm and leg exercises


2. Boxes for stepping exercises


3. Water bottles, heavy books, bag of fruits, etc as weights


4. Running up and down the stairs in the house


5. Towels are good for doing stretching. Treat them like exercise bands


6. Aerobic exercises like dancing, kickboxing.


Ref:
1) https://www.wikihow.com/Exercise-Using-Everyday-Items
2) https://blog.gumtree.com.au/22-diy-household-gym-items/
3) https://www.discountsbargain.com/fitness/g4617/12-household-items-to-use-as-exercise-equipment

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Exceptional people: 25-year-old lost 156 lbs (70 kg) in a year with simple strategy

Image: Yahoo Lifestyle

Gunner Cargile is 25, 6’1” tall, and currently weighs 194 pounds. In 2016, after being overweight and lethargic for most of his life, he realized he needed to change his lifestyle to accomplish his goals.

This is what he did:
  • Convert to full vegan after initial results plateau
  • Fasting intermittent
  • Walk 3 to 4 miles (5 - 6 km) a day for 6 days a week
  • Weight training with high repetitions of low weights to burn fat and build lean muscle.

Ref: https://sg.style.yahoo.com/25-year-old-lost-156-pounds-year-walking-not-eating-meat-154548496.html

You may want to read 
1) Forum: Lifting heavier weights don't mean bigger muscles
2) If You Want to Build Muscle and Gain Strength, Lift Lighter Weights for More Reps

Singapore passport is the 'most powerful' in the world - updated


For the first time, Singapore is the single most powerful passport in the world, thanks to a little help from Paraguay.

By removing visa requirements for Singaporeans, Paraguay helped Singapore edge out Germany for the top spot in a passport index developed by global financial advisory firm Arton Capital.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-passport-becomes-most-powerful-in-the-world-9341920

You may want to read Singapore passport gets new security features

Are you drinking too much water? It can be dangerous


Drinking too much water may be not a smart thing to do, some of which can be lethal. It can cause hyponatremia (low level of sodium), also called water intoxication or water poisoning.

But how much is too much? As it depends on each individual, always consult your doctor before drastically lowering or increasing your water intake. Normal intake is about 2 litres, more when you exercise.

Some signs you are drinking too much water:

1. You fill up your water bottle several times a day. If your bottle holds 500ml of water, you may be overhydrated.

2. Your urine is clear. Normal urine is usually slightly yellowish.

3. You often feel nauseous because your kidneys are overworked to clear excess water. You will also feel lethargic and tired as too much energy has been used by the kidneys.

4. You wake up in the middle of the night to pee a few times.

5. You always have headaches because your sodium level is low. Short of sodium causes your brain cells to swell, expanding your brain, causing pain.

6. You always have muscle cramps. Too much water will cause your electrolyte levels in your blood to drop, resulting in cramps. Instead of water, have sports drink or coconut water to replenish your electrolyte levels after an exercise or sports.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/are-you-drinking-too-much-water-it-can-be-dangerous

Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on motivation


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Batches of ACUVUE contact lenses recalled in Singapore


Johnson & Johnson has voluntarily recalled three batches of ACUVUE contact lenses, some of which were "off-power", meaning the degree of sight correction was not accurate.

It said in a media statement that the affected contact lenses are:
  • ACUVUE OASYS (Lot number: L002QH9)
  • ACUVUE OASYS for Astigmatism (Lot number: B00GW4Z)
  • ACUVUE OASYS for Astigmatism (Lot number: B00HRMG)

Those with affected products can contact the optical shop where they bought the products, said Johnson & Johnson.

Those who bought the affected products outside Singapore can contact ACUVUE at 800-101-3130 or email support@acuvue.com.sg.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/batches-of-acuvue-contact-lenses-recalled-in-singapore-9335618

Warning: HSA, dentists warn against popular DIY teeth whitening kit


The Beautiful-Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit, contains 4% hydrogen peroxide, well above the 0.1% limit allowed for home use without a prescription.

Regulations on hydrogen peroxide are strict because high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical agent that is commonly used in teeth whitening products, is potentially corrosive, and an assessment of the cause of teeth discolouration has to be made before the whitening can be done.

High concentration of hydrogen peroxide may worsen pre-existing teeth and gum problems such as gingivitis, periodontal disease and gingival lesions.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/teeth-whitening-kit-beautiful-hsa-dentists-warning-9336302

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies

Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said.

The findings suggest stronger measures are needed to prevent people from consuming chemicals called aristolochic acids (AA), which are derived from the woody vines of the Aristolochia plant family, [like birthwort, also known as pipevine or Dutchman's pipe,] said the report in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Due to its resemblance to the uterus, the doctrine of signatures held that "birthwort" was useful in childbirth

The acids can be found in some traditional Chinese medicines that are given during childbirth, to prevent parasites and promote healing.

Taiwan banned in 2003 some herbal preparations using the plants after it was discovered that aristolochic acids could cause kidney failure and urinary tract cancers.

However, there is no outright ban in China or Taiwan, and "only specific plants, rather than any plant and product containing AA or its derivatives, are regulated", making it hard for consumers to avoid them, said the report.

Ref: http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/across-asia-liver-cancer-linked-herbal-remedies-study

Forum: Don't count on kids outgrowing bad behaviour

The finding that an adult's life may, to a certain extent, be predicted in one's childhood is interesting (How well will a kid fare in life? Study offers clues; Oct 8).

The study pointed to self-control, which is the ability to regulate one's emotions in response to experiences, as one key factor.

This holds some lessons for young parents. Occasionally, I hear remarks such as "they are children, let them be", or "they will outgrow their behaviour", from parents when justifying their children's difficult behaviour.

Young parents need to recognise that their children are growing up in a different era. They expect instant gratification. Being impatient or making a loud enough noise are often rewarded.

Instead of believing that the children will outgrow their unwanted behaviour without intervention, I suggest that parents assume these types of behaviour will stick with them unless corrected.

Certainly, there will be times when parents have split opinions about their children's behaviour.

At such times, we can rely on the adage, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

With this, we can teach several important values, such as patience, respect and empathy for others, at the same time.

Tan Chin Hock

Ref: http://str.sg/4yRx

Lower-calorie meals for SAF non-combat servicemen

Image: Lianhe Zaobao

Two cookhouses have been trialling lower-calorie meals for national servicemen in non-combat roles since June, as part of efforts by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to serve healthier food.

The meal will be about ¼ lower in calories - between 750 and 800 kcal - compared to about 1,000 kcal for a typical lunch, to help reduce the risk of obesity and chronic diseases.

Selected servicemen might receive less rice and one less serving of meat.

Since last month, a mix of 20 per cent brown rice with 80 per cent white rice has been served at all SAF cookhouses. This follows a trial that started in August last year.

There is also no added MSG in any of the food served at cookhouses.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/lower-calorie-meals-saf-non-combat-servicemen

Exceptional people: Singaporean indoor skydiver Kyra Poh retains world championship title

Singapore's Kyra Poh at the 2017 World Championships. (Photo: SkyVenture Montreal)

There was joy once more for defending world champion Kyra Poh, as she retained her junior freestyle title at this year’s Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) World Indoor Skydiving Championship 2017 in Laval, Canada on Sunday (Oct 22).

The School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) student also won silver in the dynamic 2-way artistic category in the 2017 World Championships, after linking up with her training partner Choo Yi Xuan in the open category and competing against men.

Watch her winning performance video here.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singaporean-indoor-skydiver-kyra-poh-retains-world-championship-9334578

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Warning: Fake birdnest from China - in Chinese



These people need our help


The United Nations said that more than 500,000 Rohingyas have fled to Cox's Bazar since August.

Temporary camps have been set up to accommodate them.

Conditions are harsh and food is scarce, with the refugees relying wholly on organisations like the SRC, Mercy Relief and Global Ehsan Relief.


Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/these-people-need-our-help

Exceptonal people: Eye doctor swims 1,500 laps over three days for charity


For three days, eye doctor Quah Boon Long swam till his arms and legs burned.

Yesterday, under the scorching sun, the 54-year-old finally hit his mark, swimming 1,500 laps at Safra's Swim for Hope charity drive.

The three-day event ended yesterday and involved more than 2,000 swimmers doing laps at five Safra clubhouses - Yishun, Mount Faber, Jurong, Toa Payoh and Tampines.

This year, 210,901 laps were swum, raising $155,372 - the most since the event was started in 2011.

The funds raised will be distributed equally to four beneficiaries: Aquatics Heart and Hope, Singapore Disability Sports Council, Rainbow Centre Singapore and Singapore Armed Forces Care Fund.

Ref: http://str.sg/4yrh

Exceptional people: Malaysian doctor wins Nobel Peace Prize for anti-nuke movement


The horrifying accounts of the aftermath of atomic bomb on Hiroshima deeply affected Dr Ronald McCoy when he was a young medical student in post-war Malaya. He felt helpless over how to prevent such utter devastation from occurring again.

"I didn't think there was anything I could do about it," Dr McCoy told The Straits Times.

Dr McCoy joined IPPNW, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War many years later. Years of campaigning to eradicate nuclear weapons led the retired obstetrician to found the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (Ican) 10 years ago.

On Oct 6, 2017, Ican won the Nobel Peace Prize, after the United Nations announced in July that 122 countries had signed on to adopt a total ban on nuclear weapons.

Ref: http://str.sg/4yrw

Exceptional people: Muhamad Ridhwan wins IBO International title


Local professional boxer Muhamad Ridhwan was pushed to the distance in his fight with Namibia's Nataneal Sebastian at the Roar of Singapore III event at the Suntec Convention Centre last night.

The two fighters went the full 12 rounds in their battle for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) International super featherweight title, before the 29-year-old Singaporean got his arm raised in victory after recieving a unanimous decision from the three judges (115-113, 115-113, 115-114).

The win stretched Ridhwan's unbeaten record as a professional to nine and currently ranked 70th in the world, while Sebastian was undefeated in nine fights before the fight with Ridhwan.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/sports/others/ridhwan-wins-ibo-international-title

Resources for end-of-life planning




Ref: ST 22 Oct 2017

Monday, 23 October 2017

MOH introduces immunisation schedule for adults - handy guide


Ref: http://str.sg/4yRp

Warning: 3 bodybuilding products sold online contain harmful substances


The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is warning members of the public not to consume or buy three bodybuilding products sold online by Enhanced Athlete Singapore.

The three products - Enhanced Athlete Cardarine, Enhanced Athlete Ligandrol and Enhanced Athlete Mutant YK-11 - contain chemicals that are still under research and have not been approved for medical use in Singapore, said HSA in a news release.

The three products, which are sold on social media platforms, promise to increase muscle mass and strength as well as enhance athletic performance.

However each product is labelled "Not for human use/consumption" and carries warning of side effects including serious bodily injury and death, warned HSA. There are also no dosage instructions on the product labels.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/3-bodybuilding-products-sold-online-contain-harmful-substances-9328224

Forum: Lend an ear to lessen 'loneliness epidemic'

The article (The loneliness epidemic; Oct 15) was insightful.

While an illness that is seen can be easily detected and treated, loneliness is not clearly seen.

It is even more invisible when a lonely individual projects a cheerful disposition and is not willing to share what ails him.

Sometimes, loneliness leads to angst and bitterness, and this may progress to sudden outbursts of anger or antisocial behaviour. Close friends and loved ones may be shocked when they see such behaviour in someone whom they thought was happy and well-adjusted. Alienation can happen without others realising it.

I have had conversations with older patients who complain that the younger people in their workplace are not interested in interacting with them. They are left out of lunches and outings. When they ask for help with their work or the computer, they are made to feel they are a nuisance.

This happens even in religious institutions. Various people have shared that they could have been in meetings for years without anyone really taking an interest in them.

Break-ups in marriages and family relationships, everyone being busy with their own careers and pursuits, not giving much thought to the emotional needs of others - all these compound the problem of loneliness.

Dogmatic opinions, the unwillingness to listen to others or learn from those who are older, as well as the preoccupation with mobile phones and computers, further alienate people and do not promote healthy interactions.

Of course, there may be occasions when we need some quiet time for ourselves. But we must be willing to be others-centred, interested in people around us and be prepared to listen, if we want to nurture an environment which may help lessen this "loneliness epidemic".

Quek Koh Choon (Dr)

Ref: http://str.sg/4yR2

Exceptional people: Young role models lauded for contributions

Award winners Shayna Ng (left), 27, a record-breaking bowler, and Cai Yinzhou, 26, a social entrepreneur.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Five young people received the Singapore Youth Award yesterday for their contributions to society in the fields of art, culture, sport and medicine.

The award is the highest accolade for young people here.
  1. Dr Isaac Liu, 34, a National University Hospital paediatric nephrologist consultant and clinician-scientist, who cares for children with kidney disease;
  2. Mr Cai Yinzhou, 26, a social entrepreneur who helps marginalised groups such as migrant workers and the elderly;
  3. Ms Shayna Ng, 27, a record-breaking bowler and two-time Sportswoman of the Year;
  4. Mr Muhammad Noramin Mohamed Farid, 30, a choreographer, dance educator and researcher, "whose work aims to challenge normative notions of class, ethnicity, identity and gender";
  5. Mr Shabir Tabare Alam, 31, an award-winning music producer and singer-songwriter, who hopes to promote Tamil language and culture through music.

Ref: http://str.sg/4yaf

Exceptional people: 2 economics teachers honoured for outstanding contributions


Mr Haniss B. Ali (left), senior teacher for economics at Nanyang Junior College; and Mr Khoo Gee Hwee(right), lead teacher of economics at Pioneer Junior College. The two were given Outstanding Economics Teacher awards by the Economic Society of Singapore at a ceremony yesterday.

The awards, which were started by the society last year, were presented at the annual Singapore Economic Policy Forum at the Regent Hotel.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Singapore's first long-span wind turbine installed at Semakau Landfill


Singapore's first long-span wind turbine was installed at Semakau Landfill.

At 14 storeys high and with three 10.5-metre long-span rotor blades, the turbine can produce enough energy to power 45 four-room HDB units a year, the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) said in a press release.

“The deployment of Singapore’s first wind turbine is a big milestone in the nation’s commitment in developing clean energy technologies for the region," said Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s acting provost, chief of staff and vice president for research.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-s-first-long-span-wind-turbine-installed-at-semakau-9327094

Ask the experts: How often can disposable plastic food containers be reused?


Handful of nuts a day prevents heart disease


Pollution killed nine million people in 2015


Pollution claimed the lives of nine million people in 2015, one in every six deaths that year.

Almost all the deaths, 92%, happened in low- and middle-income countries, it said, with air pollution the main culprit, felling 6.5 million people.

Almost half of the total toll came from just two countries - India and China - researchers reported in The Lancet medical journal.

In rapidly-industrialising countries such as India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Madagascar and Kenya, pollution can account for as many as one in four deaths, they added.

"Pollution and related diseases most often affect the world's poor and powerless, and victims are often the vulnerable and the voiceless," said co-author Karti Sandilya of Pure Earth, an anti-pollution NGO.

Read more @ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/pollution-killed-nine-million-people-in-2015-report-9326818

Video: How Long a Fidget Spinner Lasts in Space



Thursday, 19 October 2017

Scientists may have found a cause of dyslexia


A duo of French scientists said on Wednesday (Oct 17) they may have found a physiological, and seemingly treatable, cause for dyslexia hidden in tiny light-receptor cells in the human eye.

In people with the reading disability, the cells were arranged in matching patterns in both eyes, which may be to blame for confusing the brain by producing "mirror" images, like "b" and "d", the co-authors wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Like being left- or right-handed, human beings also have a dominant eye.

In dyslexic people, both eyes have the same, round spot, which translates into neither eye being dominant, they found.

The team used an LED lamp, flashing so fast that it is invisible to the naked eye, to "cancel" one of the images in the brains of dyslexic trial participants while reading. This enables the participants to read correctly.

About 700 million people in the world are known to suffer from dyslexia - about one in 10 of the global population.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/scientists-may-have-found-a-cause-of-dyslexia-9320228

Tips to talk to people with aphasia

Aphasia is a communication disorder that results from damage or injury to language parts of the brain. It is more common in older adults, particularly those who have had a stroke, resulting in difficulty in speaking or finding the "right" words to say.

Tips for communicating with a person with aphasia.


Tai Chi helps heart attack patients to recover

Tai Chi should be recommended to heart attack patients to help them recover, new research suggests.

The ancient Chinese martial art may provide a more enjoyable option to traditional rehab, which three fifths refuse to take part in because they deem it unpleasant.

But deciding against taking part in rehabilitation can be fatal, increasing the risk of dying from a subsequent heart attack by 18%.

Researchers found the slow and gentle movements involved in Tai Chi are safe and encourage patients to continue exercising.

Used for more than 1,000 years, it could help to form part of the essential care that all heart attack patients require, Brown University experts believe.

Read more @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4969468/Tai-Chi-helps-heart-attack-patients-recover.html

Unbelievable video: William Tell - the guy who shot swinging bottles with one arrow

Could this be true or was it photoshopped?


Ask the experts: Is the layer of wax on some fruits harmful?



Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Festival of Lights 2017


Wishing all Hindus a Happy Deepavali.

Over $200m worth of food thrown away annually by households


The average Singapore household throws away about $170 worth of food and beverage a year, amounting to more than $200 million annually, according to a latest survey commissioned by appliance maker Electrolux Singapore.

The survey results, released yesterday in conjunction with World Food Day, also showed 85% of households do not consume food before the indicated date on the packages, contributing to a growing food waste problem here.

Food waste accounts for about 10% of total waste generated here and has spiked by more than 40% in the past 10 years.

It rose from 542,700 tonnes in 2006 to more than 790,000 tonnes last year, which is equivalent to two bowls of rice per person, per day.


Ref: http://str.sg/4y5v

Video: Prediabetic Asians not producing enough insulin


Researchers from the National University Hospital (NUH) have found that the main problem Asians on the brink of diabetes face is that they are not producing enough insulin.

Another reason for Type 2 diabetes is that the body does not respond to insulin effectively, also known as insulin resistance.

Watch the video here.

Ref: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/prediabetic-asians-not-producing-enough-insulin-nuh-study-9315358