Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Cockroaches - in cars and coffee machines

1) Woman crashes car into overhead bridge after being startled by cockroach
Pest experts say best way to avoid it is not to eat in car.



2) Cockroaches common in some types of coffee machines



Cockroach infestations are common in coffee machines at F&B outlets in Singapore, pest control companies told Channel NewsAsia, with one saying that 40% of commercial coffee machines it checks are infested.

It is moist and comfortable in coffee machines if they are kept in the kitchen, like a resort for them (cockroaches).

Cockroach infestations are limited to establishments that use fully automatic machines like hotels, office pantries and F&B outlets, rather than the professional espresso machines seen at many cafes. This is because fully automatic ones operate using thermoblock technology instead of having boilers.

Professional espresso machine boilers are very hot. No cockroaches can survive there as they will be fried quickly.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/cockroaches-coffee-machines-cafes-infested-9907552

Video: More schools to help students get fit for National Service


Watch the video

Is your desk job causing you to gain weight?

3 simple seated exercises to flatten your stomach and stretching your backsides (glutes). No need to leave your seat. Do it every 2 hours or less.

1) Seated hand raising
Raise both your stretched arms to the top of your head and lower them to touch your knees. Do 50 times.



2) Seated lifting legs
Lift both your legs up from the floor. No need to be very high. Do 50 times.



3) Sitting stretch
Sit up straight and pull one leg up, resting your ankle on your opposite knee. Slowly bring your chin down to touch your knee and hold for 30 secs. Repeat with the other leg.

You may want to read Is your desk job causing you to gain weight?

Seven surprising benefits of eating durian


Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/seven-surprising-benefits-eating-durian

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Fruits to eat when one is coughing - in Chinese


Up to 25 hawker centres to charge deposit for food trays


Customers will soon have to pay a tray deposit at up to 25 existing hawker centres, in a bid to boost productivity and encourage customers to return their trays, according to media reports.

Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre and Bukit Merah Hawker Centre are the first two hawker centres to introduce the automated tray return system (ATRS). The two hawker centres have also launched centralised dishwashing (CDW) services.

Customers currently pay a tray deposit of $0.50 and $1, respectively, at these hawker centres when they buy their food, which is refunded when they return their trays at the ATRS. This allows cleaners to focus on cleaning the tables, allowing for a faster turnaround.

Used trays, crockery and cutlery are transported to a centralised dishwashing area, where they are cleaned in an industrial-scale automated dishwashing machine.

Ref: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/25-hawker-centres-charge-deposit-food-trays-reports-092536270.html

Forum: Loophole in foodcourt's tray return system

The foodcourt at the new Marsiling Mall has adopted the automated tray system, where customers pay a deposit of $1 when they purchase their meals and are refunded when they return their trays to a central collection point.

However, the system is not as successful as it should be.

I have noticed that hawkers allow customers to refuse a tray when buying food and exclude the $1 deposit from their bill.

These customers have their meal then leave their used utensils behind, and do not return them to the central collection point.

As a result, cleaners have to collect the utensils, leaving them with less time to focus on other tasks, such as keeping the tables clean.

It is clear that such customers chose not to receive a tray to avoid returning them after their meals.

For the tray-returning habit to develop, the management should make it mandatory for customers to be issued a tray. Hawkers should play their part and cooperate.

Otherwise, the automated tray return system would become a white elephant.

Sean Lim

Ref: http://str.sg/oU3a

Monday, 29 January 2018

Exceptional people: Singapore-born filmmaker Sandi Tan wins Best Director award at Sundance Film Festival

Sandi Tan (middle). Source: ST

Singapore-born filmmaker Sandi Tan won the Best Director award for World Cinema Documentary at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival held in Park City, Utah.

Tan won for the documentary Shirkers, her feature length directorial debut about previously stolen and eventually returned footage of her own 25-year-old film that would have been her first produced screenplay.

Sundance winning Shirkers (titled after the stolen film), which combines that original footage with new interviews to offer a dry yet reflective exposition on what could have been.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/singapore-filmmaker-sandi-tan-wins-sundance-best-director-9904272

Prostate inflammation, why some men are prone to it? - in Chinese


Saturday, 27 January 2018

2018 Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) posting results to be released on 1st Feb 2018


The posting results for the 2018 Joint Admissions Exercise will be released on Feb 1 at 9am, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said.

JAE applicants can obtain their posting results through the JAE Internet System or via SMS, added MOE.

Students posted to a junior college or the Millennia Institute should report to the institutions at 7.30am on Feb 2, MOE said.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/2018-joint-admissions-exercise-posting-results-to-be-released-9894358

China scientists clone first monkeys made by same process that created Dolly the sheep

Source: ST

Scientists in China have created the first monkeys cloned by the same process that produced Dolly the sheep more than 20 years ago, a breakthrough that could boost medical research into human diseases.

The two long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) named Hua Hua and Zhong Zhong were born at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai, and are the fruits of years of research into a cloning technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer.

Inefficient process

The process that produced Hua Hua and Zhong Zhong remains "very inefficient and hazardous", according to British scientist Robin Lovell-Badge, group leader of The Francis Crick Institute.

"While they succeeded in obtaining cloned macaques, the numbers are too low to make many conclusions," said Lovell-Badge, who was not involved in the study.

Note: Only two babies were born from a group of 79 cloned embryos.

Ref: http://str.sg/oUge

E-cigarettes, shisha to be illegal from Feb 1 under amended Tobacco Act


Starting Feb 1, buying, using and possessing tobacco products like e-cigarettes, shisha and chewing tobacco will be illegal, the Ministry of Health said.

The new prohibitions on such "emerging and imitation" tobacco products are part of the first phase of amendments to the Tobacco (Control of Advertisements and Sale) Act, which were passed in Parliament in November last year.

Under the changes, anyone found in possession of, purchasing or using the prohibited products will face a fine of up to S$2,000. Currently, only those caught importing, selling or distributing prohibited products are punished.

"(Members of) the public are encouraged to discard any prohibited tobacco products that they currently have in possession," the ministry said.​​​​​​​

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/e-cigarettes-shisha-illegal-banned-tobacco-feb-1-9898420

SingDollar vs Ringgit and USD



As at 9 pm on 26 Jan, 2018

You may want to read Singapore dollar hits over 3-year high to US dollar, resulting many buying US$ to keep (investment), for payment (like school fees) or buying online with US$.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Adding prebiotics to baby formulas significantly boosts infants' memories


Adding prebiotics to baby formulas may significantly boost infants' memories, new research reveals.

Although unclear why, researchers found piglets fed prebiotic-rich formulas are significantly better at recognizing objects they have come across before, a US study found.

This is thought to be due to prebiotics' effect on 'good bacteria' in the gut.

Breast milk naturally contains prebiotics, however, this research may aid the development of better infant formulas for women who cannot, or chose not to, breastfeed.

Difference between prebiotics and probiotics:
Prebiotics are food for the good bacteria in the gut, hence promote growth. Fruits like apples, bananas and kiwifruits are good sources of prebiotics for kids.

Probiotics contain good bacteria. By eating probiotic food like cultured milk and fermented food, good bacteria are introduced into the gut.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5308063/Adding-prebiotics-baby-formulas-boosts-memories.html

You may want to read Healthy (prebiotic and probiotic) snacks for kids

Exceptional people: Six lauded for helping nine-year-old accident victim


Six good Samaritans were recognised yesterday for helping a nine-year-old boy who was trapped under a car in an accident on Jan 17.

The six people were presented with the Community First Responder award at a ceremony held at the headquarters of the 2nd SCDF Division in Tampines. Receiving their awards from division commander Alan Toh (centre) were (from left) Maris Stella High School student Branson Ong, 12; Geylang Methodist School (Secondary) student Jose Antonio Alexander, 12; technicians Govindan Meyyappan, 49, and Huang Han Xiang, 29; and Lin Yu Jie and Megan Seow, both 12 and from Geylang Methodist School (Secondary).

Ref: http://str.sg/oUce

Code of Practice to regulate online giving


Ref: 
1) http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/code-practice-regulate-online-giving
2) http://str.sg/oUqL

Why quitting smartphones is the new quitting smoking

Image for illustration only

Long before iPhones, the cigarette was the companion of choice for fidgety hands. And, long before Facebook, it was tobacco that promised to enhance your social life.

Now, quitting smartphones has become the new quitting smoking.

Of course, technology does not yellow your teeth, cause emphysema or lead to cancer. But some individuals are so concerned that device addiction is damaging their mental health that they are trying to reduce their dependence.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/commentary-quitting-smartphones-smoking-big-tech-screen-time-9893624

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Crocodile found sun-tanning at Sungei Buloh


Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/barricades-in-sungei-buloh-to-be-extended-to-prevent-crocs-from-9884952

'Inflammatory' diet linked to higher risk of colon cancer

Image for illustration only

People who consume lots of foods linked to chronic inflammation, such as red meat and refined grains, may be more likely to develop colorectal cancer than individuals who tend to avoid these foods, a US study suggests.

Researchers examined more than two decades of US survey data on eating habits and cancer diagnoses for 74,246 female nurses and 46,804 male health professionals.

Compared to people with diets that had the least potential to cause inflammation, individuals with diets that were most likely to cause inflammation were 32% more likely to develop colorectal cancer during the study, researchers report in JAMA Oncology.

"A pro-inflammatory dietary pattern has a high intake of red meat, processed meat, organ meat, refined grains, and sugary beverages and a low intake of tea, coffee, dark yellow vegetables and green leafy vegetables," Tabung said by email.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/-inflammatory--diet-linked-to-higher-risk-of-colon-cancer-9886056

Singapore primary school pupils rank No. 2 in global reading test


Primary 4 pupils in Singapore have emerged second out of 58 territories in an international test that measured how well they can read.

The results of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), released last month, also found that pupils here outperformed their peers in other countries in navigating online texts.

Singapore pupils came up tops - surpassing 13 other territories and countries, including the US - in the online task, where they answered questions related to information on the Web.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/singapore-primary-school-pupils-rank-no-2-global-reading-test

Singapore ranks third in innovation rankings


Singapore ranked ahead of European countries like Germany and Switzerland in the Bloomberg 2018 Innovation Index according to a report.

The annual index ranks countries based on seven criteria, including their research and development expenditure, productivity and concentration of high-tech public companies.

Singapore came in third this year, with South Korea maintaining its top spot on the index for the fifth consecutive year. Sweden also maintained its position on the index from last year, ranking second.

Singapore's position rose by three notches as compared to 2017, where it was ranked sixth globally.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-ranks-third-in-innovation-rankings-south-korea-tops-9886414

Is that yogurt really healthy?


Source: ST, 23 Jan, 2018

Oil jumps as Brent tops $70, with inventory data on tap


Oil rose more than 1% on Tuesday, with benchmark Brent crude hitting US$70 a barrel for the first time in a week, boosted by healthy world economic growth prospects and expectations for continued production curbs by OPEC, Russia and their allies.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures closed up 90 cents to $64.47 a barrel, for a gain of 1.4 percent. WTI reached its highest since December 2014 on Jan. 16 at $64.89.

Source: Money CNN

What this means?

For Singaporeans, expect to pay more for your electricity or anything that uses oil or petrol.

For oil-related companies, this means their businesses are picking up.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/finance/news/oil-rises-economic-growth-opec-russian-supply-curbs-020516721--finance.html

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Warning: Health Sciences Authority issues alert over two health products


The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has issued an alert over two so-called health products after one consumer was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the other suffered chemical burns.

Tests found that the two products, URE Tonic Herbal Traditional and RDL Hydroquinone Tretinoin Babyface Solution 3, contained potent steroid which are prohibited here, said the HSA in a news release.

Consumers who have used URE Tonic Herbal Traditional are advised to see a doctor as soon as possible as the discontinuation of steroids – such as those found in URE Tonic Herbal Traditional – without proper medical supervision can cause serious withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure.

Consumers have also been warned against using any unlabelled facial solutions supplied by the Anita iBrow, a beauty parlour in Orchard Rd, and to see a doctor if they are experiencing adverse side-effects.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/health-sciences-authority-issues-alert-two-health-products-053644663.html

A heart risk factor even doctors know little about


While doctors routinely test for other lipoproteins like HDL and LDL cholesterol, few test for lipoprotein(a), also known as lp(a) - high levels of which triple the risk of having a heart attack or stroke at an early age.

For most people, lp(a) is nothing to worry about. Levels are strongly determined by genetics and the majority of people produce very little of it.

But up to one in five Americans have perilously high levels of it in their blood. Studies show that diet and exercise have almost no impact on lp(a), and cholesterol-lowering drugs only modestly lower it.

“People don’t know about it, physicians don’t know about it, and we have to get an education programme out there, but that’s expensive,” said Dr Henry N. Ginsberg, the Irving Professor of Medicine at Columbia University and a leading expert on lp(a).

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/a-heart-risk-factor-even-doctors-know-little-about-9863778

Drop in kidney failure cases in Singapore


The number of kidney failure cases in Singapore fell in 2015 but officials are cautious about a turnaround in the fight against what is also known as end-stage renal disease.

The 1,619 people diagnosed in 2015 was 8.6% lower than the 1,772 in 2014, according to the latest Renal Registry report which was released this week.

The main cause of the disease is diabetes which accounts for about two in three cases. Other causes include infection and high blood pressure.

The report said that, taking the age of patients into account, the incidence of kidney failure "among Malays was approximately three times as much as (among) the Chinese", wherelse the rate among Indians was 1.2 times that of Chinese.

Ref: http://str.sg/o3rj

Exceptional people: Singapore team of all-women gamers first to enter world finals


Against all odds, five local gamers have become the first women's team from Singapore to qualify for the grand finals of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) in March.

Known collectively as Asterisk, the women achieved the feat by finishing second in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) in the Asia Pacific (APAC) finals in Qingdao, China last week, winning $4,000 .

They were also Singapore's first women gamers to make the APAC finals, and will compete for a prize pot of $170,000 at the world finals at Haikou on China's Hainan island from March 12 to 18.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/singapores-first-all-women-gamers-enter-world-finals

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Flu can be spread just by breathing, says expert


Breathing is enough to pass the flu virus along, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The finding shed new light on how the virus is passed, that is, not just through exposure to droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneezes, or touching contaminated surfaces.

The research by San Jose State University and UC Berkeley was done at the University of Maryland during the flu season of December 2012 to March 2013.

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/flu-can-be-spread-just-by-breathing-says-expert-9876854

Gluten free foods contain more fat, lower protein and fibre than regular equivalents


Gluten free foods contain more fat, salt and sugar than their gluten-containing equivalents, and are generally more than twice as expensive, a study has found.

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire said it was clear that gluten free (GF) products offer no nutritional advantage to regular foods and are not a healthier alternative, which may surprise many consumers.

They also found that gluten free foods were 159% more expensive than their regular counterparts. With the exception of crackers, gluten free foods contained more fat, salt and sugar and also had lower fibre and protein content than their equivalents.

A GF diet is the only treatment option for those who suffer from coeliac disease but many more people in the UK and around the world avoid gluten foods as it is perceived to contribute towards a healthy lifestyle, pushing the sales of GF food over the chart.

Read the full article @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5284459/Gluten-free-foods-contain-fat-lower-protein.html

Difference between multigrain, wholegrain and wholemeal bread


White bread is made from wheat that has had the germ and bran removed, thereby reducing the fibre, B group vitamins, vitamin E and minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus.

Wholemeal bread is made from wholegrains that have been milled to a fine texture, giving a plain brown appearance.

Wholemeal flour contains more fibre than white flour. Wholemeal bread also contains more vitamins and minerals than many white breads, but has a higher GI than wholegrain breads.

Wholegrain bread contains the entire grain: the bran (outer layer), endosperm (starchy middle layer) and germ (nutrient rich inner part), has low GI.

It is a rich source of carbohydrates, protein, unsaturated (good) fats, vitamins and minerals and healthy fats as well as three types of fibre: soluble, insoluble and resistant starch.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5289307/Multigrain-wholegrain-wholemeal-best.html

Difference between raw and processed honey


Raw honey is made by extracting honey from the honeycombs of the hive and strained to separate the honey from impurities like beeswax and dead bees and the honey is good to be eaten.

Commercial processed honey involves:

1) pasteruisation where yeast in honey is destroyed through high heat to extend its shelf life and making the honey smoother.

2) filtration to remove more impurities and bubbles so that honey is clear.

Notes:
1) Natural honey is anti-bacteria, hence it has no shelf life as it will not spoil forever.
2) Clear honey may have sugar added as processed honey is more dilute and less sweet.

Ref: 
1) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-honey-vs-regular
2) https://www.organics.org/differences-between-honey-and-raw-organic-honey/

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Learning a second language boosts the cognitive flexibility of autistic children

Autistic children who learn to speak another language may find it easier to switch tasks, a study has found.

Youngsters on the spectrum often have a hard time 'switching gears' and chopping their attention between tasks.

But new Canadian research, dubbed 'surprising' and 'exciting', shows being bilingual could increase their cognitive flexibility.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5275395/Learning-second-language-help-autistic-children.html

Gardening may help cancer survivors eat better, feel greater ‘worth’


For cancer survivors, three seasons of home vegetable gardening may increase physical activity, fruits and vegetables in the diet and also enhance feelings of self-worth, researchers say.

Possibly as a result of these healthy behaviours, gardeners in the small study also tended to gain less weight around their waists compared to their counterparts on a waiting list for the gardening intervention, the study team reports.

“We can send people to the gym but that isn’t meaningful, and we can counsel them to eat better, but we want it to be more rewarding, and we want it to be long-term,” Demark-Wahnefried told Reuters Health in a telephone interview. “With gardening, we’ve hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Ref: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/gardening-may-help-cancer-survivors-eat-better--feel-greater--worth--9874954

Breastfeeding mothers who eat spicy food have less fussy eaters


Breastfeeding mothers’ diets play a role in determining what kind of eaters their babies may grow up to be, said experts.

When nursing mothers eat a variety of flavours, including spicy food, they help to enhance their babies’ taste buds, said Dr Jennifer Wider, medical advisor for the Society for Women’s Health Research.

“It's important to remember that breast milk is not formulated directly from the digestive tract; it is formulated from the mother's blood,” said Dr Wider. “So, if [a nursing mother] eats cruciferous vegetables, for example, the nutrients will be pulled into the breast milk, but the gassy component may not affect the baby.”

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the mother’s body takes an average of four to six hours to make breast milk from the food she eats. However, body chemistry and metabolism can speed up the process to as fast as one hour, or delay it for as long as 24 hours.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/breastfeeding-mothers-who-eat-spicy-food-have-less-fussy-eaters-9872874

Tips to cope with the cold and damp weather



Wednesday, 17 January 2018

340 GP clinics join primary care scheme, providing better care of chronic conditions

Patients who visit their general practitioners for treatment of chronic ailments can expect better care with the expansion of the Ministry of Health's (MOH) Primary Care Network (PCN) scheme.

A total of 340 GP clinics are now part of the scheme, announced the ministry, with eight new networks joining the existing two.

The PCN scheme involves clinics organising themselves into networks that support holistic and team-based care. This means patients can visit these GP clinics for follow-up check-ups on their chronic conditions such as diabetes, and speak to nurses about how to care for their conditions.

These services, previously available only at polyclinics and hospitals, are important for good management of chronic conditions, said MOH.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/340-gp-clinics-join-primary-care-scheme-providing-better-care-of-9862626

More pursuing a career in nursing

An estimated 2,000 students took up nursing last year. This is a third more than the 1,500 who took up nursing courses in 2012.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) says the number of students taking up nursing has been rising gradually.

It has been trying to raise interest in nursing as a career, given the large number of nurses Singapore will need as more healthcare facilities open, such as Sengkang General Hospital later this year.

Today, 10,000 nurses - roughly a third of the total here - are foreigners. The largest group of foreign nurses is from the Philippines, followed by Malaysia and China.

Ref: http://str.sg/o3N5

Registration for communal gardening plots in 5 more parks to open on Feb 10

Those with green fingers will have more opportunities to flex them with communal gardening plots in five more parks - Bedok Town Park, Choa Chu Kang Park, Pasir Ris Park, Sengkang Riverside Park and Yishun Park.

The National Parks Board (NParks) said in a news release that members of the public will be able to apply from 9am to 3pm on Feb 10 to rent one of 220 gardening plots in these parks.

Each plot comprises a raised planter bed measuring 2.5m by 1m and can be leased for three years at S$57 annually. Interested members of the public are required to bring their NRIC when applying for these plots, and those successful can begin growing edible and ornamental plants in May.

Community gardens in Bishan-AMK park

Registration for gardening plots in Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West and Jurong Lake Gardens West will be available by end-2018 as well, the statutory board said.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/registration-for-communal-gardening-plots-in-5-more-parks-to-9865628

Two heads really ARE better than one

When it comes to making a decision, or solving a puzzle, two heads really may be better than one.

A study has found the wisdom of crowds does exist, with a group of five people better able to answer questions than an individual.


Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5272037/Two-heads-really-better-one-say-scientists.html

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Robot swans to help monitor water quality in Singapore’s reservoirs


Suppressing a sneeze can be dangerous, doctors warn


Stifling a sneeze can rupture your throat, burst an ear drum, or pop a blood vessel in your brain, researchers warned.

Many people - when they feel a sneeze coming on - block all the exits, essentially swallowing the sneeze's explosive force.

Just how dangerous this can be was illustrated when a 34-year-old man showed up at the emergency service of a hospital in Leicester, England, recently with a swollen neck and in extreme pain.

A CAT scan confirmed what they suspected: The force of the suppressed sneeze had ruptured and torn open the back of the throat.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/suppressing-a-sneeze-can-be-dangerous-doctors-warn-9864388

Monday, 15 January 2018

Benefits of beetroots - in Chinese


Video: How pencils are made by Staedtler


The supplements SCIENTISTS use to protect their health

Want to learn from the experts what supplement they take each day?

1. Simon Bishop, lecturer in public health and primary care: Turmeric
2. Graeme Close, professor of human physiology: Vitamin D
3. Justin Roberts, senior lecturer in sport and exercise nutrition: Probiotic
4. Neil Williams, lecturer in exercise physiology and nutrition: Probiotic
5. Haleh Moravej, senior lecturer in nutritional sciences: Omega-3
6. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology: Nothing but real food

Read the full article @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5259805/The-supplements-SCIENTISTS-use-protect-health.html

What is the difference between fresh and instant coffee?


There are two main methods of turning fresh coffee into soluable coffee: spray-dried and freeze-dried.

Instant coffee has the roasted/grounded coffee dried either by hot and dry air OR roasted/grounded coffee frozen and the water vaporised. Either method will cause fresh coffee to lose some of its sweetness and aromatic smell.

Of course there are methods to make better instant coffee but it all boils down to cost.

If you want fresh coffee, it is still best to buy coffee seeds and have them grounded to make your own coffee. Processed food will always have something missing from the fresh food.

Ref: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/apos-difference-between-fresh-instant-121001315.html

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Technology: Two huge bugs that affect practically every computer and smart device discovered - UPDATED

Meltdown and Spectre logos
Security researchers released official documentation of 2 major flaws found in nearly all central processing units, CPUs. These are the brains found in every computer or smart device like mobile phone, tablet, smart home device, etc.

They are codenamed MELTDOWN and SPECTRE.

Meltdown
This affects Intel processors. All Apple Macs and iOS devices are affected by both flaws. Intel CPUs found in Windows OS computers are also affected.

Spectre
This affects Intel, AMD and ARM processors. But AMD has issued a statement that its CPUs are near zero risk, but still vulnerable to variant 1, which is a Spectre exploit.


Fixes have already started to patch these flaws. You can find some of the patches as follows:

1) Microsoft and surface devices
Microsoft has rolled out an emergency patch for the widely reported CPU vulnerability.

2) Windows 10 software patch
KB4056892 (OS Build 16299.192) will be downloaded and installed automatically by Windows Update on Windows 10 machines (standalone package here).

3) Intel-SA-00086 detection tool - this program will check your hardware system if it is vulnerable to Meltdown.

4) Hardware patch for SA-00086 Meltdown (for system builders)

5) Nvidia Patches Drivers Against Meltdown And Spectre
Please download Nvidia graphics patches for
1) Consumers
2) Enterprise customers
3) DGX-1 or DGX Station

6) After initially claiming a “near-zero risk of exploitation” for the second variant of Spectre, AMD admitted that its CPUs are vulnerable to both Spectre variants. However, its CPUs remain unaffected by Meltdown, which only impacts Intel’s CPUs. AMD also started issuing patches for Spectre.

AMD will make microcode updates optional for Ryzen and EPYC customers starting this week. Previous generation CPUs will receive the updates over the coming weeks. The updates will not come directly from AMD, but from system and OS providers, so users will need to check if they’ve received the updates from them.

7) Intel's Spectre BIOS Fix Causes Crashes On Broadwell, Haswell Systems

Intel has issued a statement confirming that BIOS patches for the Spectre vulnerability are causing crashes on Broadwell (Core i3/5/7 5000 series on for mobile) and Haswell (Core i3/5/7 4000 series for desktop and mobile) systems.

Intel does not recommend you ignore the BIOS updates from your system OEM, but you might want to wait for this to unfold if you are using one of the affected CPUs. The BIOS fixes are used in conjunction with software fixes to mitigate Spectre Variant 2. If you have auto-updating turned on in your OS, then most likely you have already received the software side of the fix.

Ref:
1) Understanding The Meltdown And Spectre Exploits: Intel, AMD, ARM, And Nvidia
2) Google details Meltdown and Spectre flaws that could affect Intel, AMD, and ARM chips
3) Update your software today. Seriously.
4) Meltdown, Spectre Can Be Exploited Through Your Browser

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Gestational diabetes screening recommended for all pregnant women


Screening for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) will be recommended to all pregnant women in Singapore, not just those with high-risk factors.

The announcement was made at the first Singapore Diabetes in Pregnancy Conference by the College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Singapore.

Mothers with GDM could potentially develop high blood pressure, enter pre-term labour or have an increased risk of stillbirth. The baby could be affected as well and risk having breathing difficulties, low blood sugar and jaundice. One in seven births are affected by GDM worldwide, according to International Diabetes Federation.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/gestational-diabetes-screening-recommended-for-all-pregnant-9855796

The common flu killed a healthy 21-year-old man


Most people view influenza as a routine, if unpleasant, possibility each winter. But the case of a 21-year-old man in Pennsylvania is a poignant reminder that sometimes, the worst-case scenario is more serious than sick days and bed rest. Flu CAN kill!

“Influenza can be a very serious illness,” Peter Shearer, director of the emergency department at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City says. “Even though the vast majority of the public that comes down with actual influenza will get through it with Tylenol, fluids, Motrin, whatever, there are people who do get very sick.”

How can you tell if the flu is serious?

In most cases, flu symptoms will subside within three to seven days and are mild enough to be treated with over-the-counter painkillers, fluids and rest, Shearer says. If you experience prolonged symptoms, or shortness of breath on par with what you’d feel during strenuous exercise, you should see your doctor to rule out complications, he says.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/flu-killed-healthy-21-old-185404372.html

12 things from your kitchen that can be used as face masks


Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/12-things-your-kitchen-can-be-used-face-masks