Thursday, 29 March 2018

FairPrice online shopping has option to donate to the less fortunate


Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice on Wednesday (Mar 28) officially launched its revamped e-commerce platforms, which have been renamed FairPrice On.

FairPrice said AutoStore is able to handle up to 3,000 orders per day and is four times faster than its old method of retrieving products manually.

FairPrice On also offers subscribers the option of donating to the less fortunate. Through a partnership with the National Council of Social Service, FairPrice On subscribers are able to choose from a list of 55 Social Service Organisations, such as Thye Hua Kwan Family Centres and Food from the Heart.

Subscribers can then donate the required groceries directly to the beneficiaries. Delivery fees are waived for donated groceries, said FairPrice.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/ntuc-fairprice-on-groceries-overhauls-online-shopping-platforms-10083152

900,000 HDB households to receive S$126m in S&CC rebates

Around 900,000 Singaporean Housing and Development (HDB) households will receive S$126 million worth of Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebate from April to January next year.


Health tip: Decrease the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI) with fruits


Doctors would advise patients to drink citrus fruit juice high in vitamin C to acidify urine. Doing this inhibits the growth of bacterial that may cause a UTI.

Fruits that are highly acidic include apples, oranges, pineapples, lemon, grapefruits, etc. Eat these fruits after food to prevent gastritis or bloating. Drinking apple cider is a better choice than fruit juice as fruit juice is sweeter. Remember to rinse your teeth after drinking apple cider to prevent corrosion of teeth.

Ref: https://www.authoritydiet.com/health-benefits-vitamin-c-why-good-you/

Exceptional people: Passers-by, including foreign workers, spring to action after crash

Foreign workers pitched in to direct traffic following an accident involving a car and a motorcycle in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 last Saturday night. PHOTO: JUSTINA TAN/FACEBOOK

An accident occured at Ang Mo Kio with two people lying on the road.

When Ms Justina Tan rushed out of her unit after a deafening crash, what really captured her attention was the sight of foreign workers from a nearby construction site coming over to help direct traffic.

She told The Straits Times yesterday that the workers had taken it upon themselves to set up traffic cones along a stretch of the road, including the use of light sticks and a stop/go sign to alert motorists and ease the flow of traffic.

The motorcyclist, a 30-year-old man, and his 25-year-old pillion rider were conscious when taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, police said.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Eat fats (in moderation) to lose weight

Healthy fats - image for illustration only

For a long time, we were all told to shun fats, and supermarkets responded with shelves upon shelves of products with the "fat-free" label emblazoned on it.

However, you will be making a big fat mistake by avoiding this nutrient if you are trying to maintain your weight.

For starters, fats play an important role in our body, acting as an energy reserve, protecting our organs and helping the body absorb and process nutrients. That is why we require some fats in our diet.

According to the Health Promotion Board, fats should make up 25 per cent to 30 per cent of our total energy intake.

If you are trying to shed the pounds, the fat that you consume should come from unsaturated sources (such as monounsaturated fat). Examples of such foods include fish, seeds, nuts and olive oil.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/eat-fats-moderation-lose-weight

Sembawang adult disability home to start operations in April

The Sembawang home for adults with intellectual disabilities has a capacity of 180 and will be operated by Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities (THKMC)

A new home in Sembawang for adults with intellectual disabilities will start operations in April, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said.

Meanwhile, Singapore’s first-ever autism residence will be up by October and another home in Pasir Ris for those with physical disabilities is planned for completion in 2020, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

New study identifies dangers of long-term antibiotic use for women


New US research has suggested that women who take antibiotics over a longer period of time may have an increased risk of death from heart disease and other causes.

After following 37,510 women aged 60 years and older for eight years between 2004 and 2012, the team found that those who took antibiotics for two months or longer in late adulthood were 27% more likely to die from all causes during the study than women who did not take antibiotics. All women were free from heart disease and cancer at the start of the investigation.

In addition, taking antibiotics for two or more months was also associated with a 58% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease when compared to no antibiotic use.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/new-study-identifies-dangers-of-long-term-antibiotic-use-for-10074786

In my shoes programme


Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/sports/others/run-paves-way-others

Forum: Singapore must take a stand on gay couples having kids

District Judge Shobha G. Nair's comments on adoption of children by gay couples ignites the question of whether gay couples should be allowed to have children at all (Law silent on adoption of boys by gay singles; March 17).

Recently, the topic of protecting the interests of children whose parents are going through a divorce was raised. Are we to spend more time, energy and resources into protecting the interests of children with gay parents as well?

Are we not able to foresee the distress and ridicule that children with gay parents will have to endure in school and society?

People from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are free to make their own lifestyle choices. But what choice do their children have?

The gay movement is being accepted and legalised in many Western countries, and is slowly but surely catching up in many Asian societies as well.

But are we, in Singapore, ready to accept that this lifestyle be legalised?

Similar cases will appear in our courts in future.

But it will be challenging for our judiciary system if it is not written in our law books.

It is therefore up to our Parliament to decide, and to decide now, the direction Singapore should proceed.

Tan Pin Ho

Ref: http://str.sg/oqGY

Monday, 26 March 2018

Exceptional people: Barber's breakthrough in cutting autistic boy's hair

Image for illustration only

The first time 10-year-old Jordie Rowland, who has autism, came into the barber shop, it was a "disaster", barber Lisa Ann McKenzie said.

But two years later, she gave him a full haircut for the first time. Everyone cried.

By the time Jordie's haircut was a success, he was far from her only autistic customer.

Word had gotten around town that she was pretty good with special-needs children and she had started cutting the hair of many other "special kids", as she calls them.

Ms McKenzie, who is a cancer survivor, said she believes that she beat cancer for a reason. "Maybe the reason is to do something like this," she said. "To increase understanding for these kids."

Ref: http://str.sg/oqNq

Obesity is killing off people’s taste buds


Scientists are puzzled as to why people lose their taste, until now.

Researchers at Cornell University report the discovery that, in mice, a tiny amount of inflammation driven by obesity actually reduced the number of taste buds on their tongues. Their work was published in the journal PLOS Biology, and it may wind up aiding the development of new therapies to alleviate what’s called “taste dysfunction” among people who suffer from obesity.

Read the full article @ https://qz.com/1236574/obesity-is-killing-off-peoples-taste-buds-and-now-scientists-can-explain-why/?utm_source=YPL&yptr=yahoo

Humorous pictures from the net
















Source: boardgamegeek.com


21 Classic Books That You Can Read For Free Online

These books are in the public domain, meaning they have no more copyrights, so you can read or download them legally for free.

Some of the books include:

1. Pride and prejudice by Jane Austen
2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
3. Dracula by Bram Stoker
4. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
5. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by William Shakespeare

Ref: https://www.bustle.com/p/21-classic-books-that-you-can-read-for-free-online-8483838

Forum: Volunteering offers invaluable lessons


Volunteering is a major part in everyone's life, whether one is young or old (No time to volunteer? You can do something as simple as picking up groceries for an elderly neighbour, says Grace Fu; ST Online, March 9).

As a teenager, I strongly believe that volunteering is something everyone should do, as it can shape a person and bring one joy and pleasure.

The meaningful experiences one can get are priceless, and can never be gained from textbooks and social media.

With more volunteering opportunities available now, it has never been easier to volunteer. Many schools have started their own volunteering projects as a way for students to give back to society.

In my school, we have an activity called "Community Education", where each class is assigned to a social welfare organisation that they are interested in working with.

For example, as my class is mostly made up of art elective students, we were assigned to Metta School, a school for children with special needs. It has a wide variety of art classes for its students, which we help to facilitate. This helps us to put our knowledge and talents to effective use.

Our voluntary sessions at Metta School may not be the "coolest" thing to do in the eyes of many teenagers. But, if they would only put down their gadgets and interact with the real world, they would find more meaning in their lives.

Shyna Gunalan, 14
Secondary 2 student

Ref: http://str.sg/oTCf

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Michael Owen launching cryptocurrency in his own name


Former Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Michael Owen is launching a cryptocurrency in his own name in a new venture to connect with fans.

The retired England star announced yesterday his investment in the Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX) as he unveiled the "Owen Coin".

The celebrity tokens will allow fans to buy merchandise such as personal training videos, make donations to charities and even interact with the ex-sportsman via live-streaming.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/business/michael-owen-launching-cryptocurrency-his-own-name


My 2 cents - Why governments all over the world condemned digital money?

1. Banks earn commission by being an agent for most money transactions. Digital money goes straight to the recipients, bypassing the agents and saves time and commission. All banks will not be needed for digital money as people will keep digital money with them, instead of in the banks. Banks are the golden geese of governments.

2. Anyone can launch their digital money (as above article). Governments will have no control on the amount of money in circulation. They also cannot tax their people or companies as there will be no transactions recorded.

3. People are moving into the digital world, whether you like it or not. Digital money will soon be a reality but governments are in denial. They should start preparing for it (digital money) instead of discouraging people from using it. When digital money starts to gather speed, the governments will be caught with their pants down!

Forum: Better if pharmacists dispense medicines instead of doctors


It is a relief that the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) is calling for doctors to rein in over-servicing and to bring down healthcare costs (Doctors warned against overcharging, overtreating; March 20).

I believe that most doctors want to do their best to serve the community. However, scandals, such as a psychiatrist prescribing medication to a patient despite knowing that he was at risk of abusing it, are alarming (Doc fined, suspended over lax prescription; Feb 22).

Is it time we shift the responsibility of dispensing medicines to pharmacists, so as to lower drug costs and improve medication safety, as other developed countries like South Korea have done?

Even though the SMC has issued guidelines on drug pricing for doctors to adhere to, healthcare costs in the free market system are ballooning. It is important to note that these costs are not solely due to doctors' fees and medicines, but also due to external factors like the pharmaceutical industry and laboratory diagnostics.

We should continue to put our trust in physicians, but erect safeguards and measures to ensure that patients are not exploited when they pay for medicines dispensed at clinics.

Jeremy Chan Lin En

Ref: http://str.sg/oqkR

What the women and men say and mean

WOMEN'S ENGLISH:

  • Yes = No
  • No = Yes
  • Maybe = No
  • We need = I want
  • I am sorry = you'll be sorry
  • We need to talk = You're in trouble
  • Sure, go ahead = You better not
  • Do what you want = You will pay for this later
  • I am not upset = Of course I am pissed, you moron!
  • You're certainly attentive tonight = Is sex all you ever think about?


MEN'S ENGLISH:

  • I am hungry = I am hungry
  • I am sleepy = I am sleepy
  • I am tired = I am tired
  • Nice dress = Nice boobs!
  • I love you = Let's have sex now
  • I am bored = Do you want to have sex?
  • May I have this dance? = I'd like to have sex with you
  • Can I call you sometime? = I'd like to have sex with you
  • Do you want to go to a movie?= I'd like to have sex with you
  • Can I take you out to dinner? = I'd like to have sex with you

Friday, 23 March 2018

Dow Jones down 724 points

Trade war fears rocked Wall Street on Thursday after President Trump launched a crackdown on China.

Source: CNN Money as at 0900hr

Ref: http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/22/investing/dow-jones-trade-war-china/index.html

Exceptional company: Changi voted World's Best Airport for 6th consecutive year


Singapore's Changi Airport has been voted by air travellers as the world's best at the 2018 Skytrax World Airport Awards for the sixth consecutive year.

This makes Changi the first airport to win the accolade six years in a row since it was first introduced in 2000. Hong Kong International Airport had clinched the title five years in a row from 2001 to 2005.

Ref:  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/changi-voted-world-s-best-airport-for-6th-consecutive-year-10065554

Forum: Turtle museum deserves to stay open


It was sad to hear that Singapore's one and only Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum was set for eviction from the Chinese Garden at the end of this month (Lease for Chinese Garden turtle museum to be extended, owner says; ST Online, March 17).

The museum owner, Ms Connie Tan, is a positive woman who keeps moving forward despite challenges.

It is difficult for anyone to have to leave their home, especially after having been there for 16 years.

It is good to see passionate and strong individuals such as Ms Tan, who is committed to saving and giving a home to the voiceless, receiving support.

Turtles symbolise longevity and good health. With Singapore's growing ageing population, the significance of turtles could not be more apt.

I sincerely hope that the Live Turtle & Tortoise Museum will stay in operation for generations to come.

Ethel Lee (Ms)

Ref: http://str.sg/oTCC

Mom’s Brilliant Comics About Raising First- And Second-Born Kids Are Spot On


Read the full article @ https://sg.yahoo.com/news/mom-brilliant-comics-raising-first-224142383.html

Read The Adventures of Messy Cow, by Weng Chen @ https://wengchen.wordpress.com/

Seoul turns computers off to reduce overtime - updated


Ref: 
1) http://str.sg/oqZ3
2) https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/south-korea-government-to-turn-off-computers-to-tackle-overwork-10074730

Vulnerable Adults Bill to be introduced in the first half of this year - updated


In a public consultation on the proposed bill in 2016, MSF said that Vulnerable Adults Bill will allow the authorities the power to step in when intervention is necessary to protect and ensure the safety of those who at risk.

MSF said that by 2030, there will be more than 900,000 residents aged 65 and above, a fair number of whom would be single or have no children. Elderly who develop dementia may be unable to care for themselves.

“This is especially worrying for those who are living alone – this number is projected to increase from 35,000 in 2012 to 83,000 in 2030. Persons with disabilities are also living longer, and more are expected to outlive their parents. Frail elderly and aging persons with disabilities are especially vulnerable to abuse, neglect and self-neglect,” MSF said.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/vulnerable-adults-bill-to-be-introduced-in-the-first-half-of-9829618

You may want to read Bill allowing state to intervene and protect vulnerable adults passed in Parliament

New clinic for people with intellectual disabilities


The Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds) Developmental Disabilities Medical Clinic was opened officially yesterday.

The first clinic of its kind here, it offers specialised medical attention and has helped 100 people with intellectual disabilities since its soft launch last July.

The clinic promotes preventive healthcare using standard health screenings and examinations but it does not prescribe medication. Instead, patients will get referrals to polyclinics on an appointment basis.

The clinic's services are free for the 2,400 intellectually disabled clients under Minds. There are plans to open it to intellectually disabled members of the public in the future.

OCBC Bank donated $50,000 towards setting up the clinic.

Ref: http://str.sg/oqZp

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Government schemes for the elderly made simpler


Find all the government schemes for the seniors (from age 50) at http://www.silverschemes.sg/ in 3 easy steps.

Young victims, witnesses of domestic abuse to have new Safe Space


Safe Space, a child protection specialist centre run by Pave, will allow more children to get help. It officially opened yesterday in Yishun.

Pave's executive director Sudha Nair said: "Children need to feel that they are in a safe and non-judgmental space to be able to share their experiences."

The new centre is one dedicated to working with children who have suffered or witnessed domestic abuse. It is the third of its kind in Singapore.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/young-victims-witnesses-domestic-abuse-have-new-safe-space

People with strong handshakes are less likely to develop heart disease


People with strong handshakes may be less at risk of heart disease, new research suggests.

A study released today found people with weak handshakes are more likely to have enlarged, damaged hearts.

In contrast, a stronger grip is associated with more blood being pumped per heart beat, regardless of the organ's size, a study found today.

This suggests such an individual is not suffering from heart muscle reshaping, which can occur due to high blood pressure, and is associated with cardiovascular events, the research adds.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5500857/Strong-handshakes-reduce-peoples-heart-disease-risks.html

Essential Oils May Lead Men to Grow Large Breasts

Image for illustration only
Young men who are regularly exposed to lavender or tea tree oil may be at risk of developing large breasts, according to a new study.

Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) found that eight chemicals in the oils disrupt hormones. 

Although the findings are alarming, more research needs to be conducted to gain a better understanding whether or not the chemicals pose health risks.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/essential-oils-may-lead-men-184348925.html

You may want to read this: Is This the Most Dangerous Food For Men?


My 2 cents:
Many years ago, 'they' claimed soy was bad for men as soy increased the estrogen levels in men. Now, it is the turn of essential oils. In the above article [Is this the most dangerous food for men?], they found lavender or tea tree oil was not the cause of the man's problem.

In my opinion, natural food or herb is good for the body, just do not take too much. But sometimes, one may also be allergic to natural food, so be alert.

Once, there was this guy who started to use green tea powder for weight loss. But he took too much that it destroyed his kidneys  because he wanted quick results. Your body got unhealthy slowly, therefore, it will also take time to be healthy again. Some things cannot be rushed.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Probiotics during pregnancy linked to lower eczema risk for kids

Yogurt is a good probiotic food

Women who take probiotics while they are pregnant and breastfeeding could be less likely to have children with eczema than mothers who don't, a research review suggests.

Probiotic use during pregnancy and lactation is associated with a 22 per cent lower risk of young children developing eczema, an inflammatory skin disorder, the study found.

This study makes it clearer that maternal probiotics during pregnancy and while breastfeeding seem to protect infants from eczema, whereas probiotics added to an infant's diet directly do not seem to protect infants from developing eczema.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/health-bites-1

Health benefits of chia seeds

Source: the new paper, 19 Mar, 2018

Revolutionary technique restores the vision of two patients

Blur vision

A revolutionary medical technique that harnesses the power of stem cell therapy has restored the vision of two patients.

A man in his 80s and women in her 60s suffered from age-related macular degeneration - the most common form of blindness - and were unable to read even with glasses.

However, they regained their vision and could read normally after a team of British doctors inserted a patch of stem cells into their retinas.

The groundbreaking trial, conducted at Moorfields Eye Hospital, offers hope of a cure for the condition, which strikes 600,000 adults in the UK and less than two million in the US.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5519093/Could-cure-blindness.html

Study challenges ‘healthy but obese’ theory


Being overweight or obese does pose a risk of heart disease, despite claims to the contrary, a study of nearly 300,000 British adults suggested.

The World Health Organisation considers someone with a BMI of 25 as overweight, and 30 or higher as obese.

The research team found that the risk for cardiovascular disease increased beyond a BMI of 22.

"Furthermore, the risk also increases steadily the more fat a person carries around their waist," said a press statement summarising the findings.

Ref: http://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/health-bites-1

Monday, 19 March 2018

Forum: Use plain English in legal documents

Recently, I visited a notary public to get some documents notarised.

When I received the notarial certificate, my attention was immediately drawn to the writing style. The first line after the title says "to all to whom these presents shall come" and the last line before the signature and stamp says "in testimony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal of office this… day of... two thousand…"

The text also includes words such as "hereby", "herein", "thereof" and "hereof". Many people may not be able to understand what these words and phrases mean.

Why are we still using such odd phrasing and archaic words?

Surely the certificate should be written in plain English so that everyone can understand the document easily.

The use of plain English should apply not only to notarial certificates but also to other legal documents.

I hope the Singapore Academy of Law can look into this matter.

Kim-Gau Ng

Ref: http://str.sg/oTYV

Experts say plastic straw usage in Singapore 'excessive'


Internationally, anti-plastic straw sentiment has been picking up, with Scotland planning to ban them by end-2019, and lawmakers in some American states passing orders that limit or prohibit restaurants from using them.

Nearer to Singapore, Taiwan, which can be considered the world's bubble tea capital, will be banning single-use plastics, including straws, by 2030.

Environmental experts said that straws are a good starting point in encouraging the reduction of plastic use, but some businesses who spoke to Channel NewsAsia felt otherwise.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/plastic-straw-usage-in-singapore-excessive-experts-10046966

Larvae that eat rubbish - updated


Source: ST

You may also want to read How flies and maggots are being bred to eat your food waste and keep Singapore clean

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Video: Flying rooster captured by my bike cam

The rooster was startled by my bike and it flew suddenly to a very far distance.

Video: Flying rooster

Forum: Minors who seek abortion encouraged to inform parents

We refer to Ms Ho Lay Ping's letter (Impose parental consent requirement for minors undergoing abortions; March 10).

Under the Termination of Pregnancy Regulations, all pregnant women seeking an abortion in Singapore are required to undergo pre-abortion counselling with a trained counsellor.

Unmarried minors below 16 are required to undergo compulsory pre-abortion counselling at the Health Promotion Board Counselling Centre.

The session will provide these women with information on the abortion procedure, educate them on issues such as responsible love, sexual behaviour and contraceptive methods and advise them on social support to prevent repeated unwanted pregnancies.

The pregnant woman can only give her written consent to the abortion at least 48 hours after the counselling session. This is to allow her time to carefully consider her decision for abortion. Those who require further support and follow-up are also directed to the Family Service Centres or helplines.

Currently, parental consent is not required due to concerns that mandating parental consent for such abortions may compel these minors to risk their lives by seeking unsafe abortions.

Minors seeking abortions are encouraged to inform and discuss with their parents and families on their decision to undergo an abortion. From 2013 to last year, approximately two in three minors under 16 were accompanied by at least one parent when attending pre-abortion counselling. About nine in 10 had self-reported that they had informed at least one of their parents about the decision to undergo an abortion.

Lim Siok Peng (Ms)
Director, Corporate Communications
Ministry of Health


Ref: http://str.sg/oTh8

Plastic found in most bottled water


The World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching a plastic health review after nearly every branded bottle of water tested in the largest investigation of its kind contained tiny particles of the material.

Scientists who carried out the examination of more that 250 bottles from nine countries said their analysis found plastic “in bottle after bottle and brand after brand”.

There is no evidence that consuming such small particles of plastic has any ill health effects, but it comes at a time of heightened international concern of plastic pollution and the effect it is having on the environment.

Ref:
1) https://sg.yahoo.com/news/plastic-now-apos-pervasive-apos-235342699.html
2) http://str.sg/oTP7

You may want to read Bottled water in Singapore meets safety standards: AVA

AVA releases 100 tonnes of Australian rockmelons for sale


The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on Friday (Mar 16) announced it has released about 100 tonnes of rockmelons from Australia to importers for sale, after verifying that they were not from the affected grower linked to an outbreak of human listeria in Australia.

This follows a recall earlier this month of all rockmelons from Australia as a "precautionary measure", pending clarification on the sources of the rockmelons.

"AVA has worked closely with importers and retailers to verify the source of imported rockmelon consignments from Australia, and all consignments of rockmelons from the affected grower have been recalled and destroyed."

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/ava-releases-100-tonnes-of-australian-rockmelons-for-sale-10050848