Monday, 30 April 2018

Pigeon population will keep growing unless people stop feeding them: AVA

If you are concerned about pigeon droppings dirtying your laundry or other hygiene issues, it may come as a surprise to hear that it's not the birds which are causing the problem. In fact, their feeders are.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said that actively feeding pigeons and food litter are the main factors contributing to the growth of the pigeon population.

A spokesperson cautioned that the pigeon population will continue to grow if food is readily available, which will make pigeon-related issues worse, such as droppings on window ledges.

“Enforcement alone will not solve the pigeon-feeding problem,” she said.

Read more @

HDB to offer wheelchair ramps for flats with multi-step entrances

Source: channelnewsasia
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will soon offer wheelchair ramps for seniors who live in flats that have steps at their entrances under its Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) programme.

Owners of flats with a multi-step entrance or entrance with two to four steps can opt to install the ramps for wheelchair-bound seniors, HDB said on Saturday (Apr 28). There will be two types of ramps – a portable ramp or a customised fixed ramp, depending on the suitability of the flat.

For flats where neither ramps are suitable, mechanical wheelchair lifts can be installed under a separate pilot scheme. However, these lifters will be costlier and require regular maintenance, said HDB.

Read more and watch video @:

Zero-waste shopping? Packaging-free grocery store opening in Singapore and NO disposable cups in UK coffee chain

In Singapore:
Consumers planning to visit this new grocery store at Jalan Kuras in Sembawang Hills estate, will have to bring their own jars and bags, or pick up one of the store’s recycled containers to fill them with items they want.

Called UnPackt, the store is currently preparing for its soft launch on May 5 and its concept of having no food packaging may likely make it the first of its kind in Singapore.


In Britain:
Independently-owned cafe chain Boston Tea Party is to become Britain’s first to implement a complete ban on disposable cups, which will come into effect on 1 June, 2018.

The company, which has 21 branches across the South West and the Midlands, has said customers can bring their own reusable cups, take advantage of a new cup loan scheme or buy a cup in the cafe once the ban comes into effect.


In Africa: 
African countries are banning the use of plastic bags.

Kenyans producing, selling or even using plastic bags will risk imprisonment of up to four years or fines of $40,000 (£31,000) from August, 2017, as the world’s toughest law aimed at reducing plastic pollution came into effect.

Africa takes the plastic bag problem very seriously; more than 15 countries on the continent have either banned them completely or charge a tax on them.


Rotting durian causes hundreds to evacuate from Melbourne library

Melbourne’s city centre on Saturday (Apr 28) after a rotting durian sparked fears of a gas leak.

Firefighters were called to the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) university campus on Latrobe Street just after 3pm after a gas smell was reported in a library, the city’s fire department said in a statement.

About 500 students and teachers were evacuated by the police while dozens of firefighters donned breathing apparatus and investigated the source of the smell. The building is known to store potentially dangerous chemicals, the fire department added.

You may laugh at this when the firefighters eventually tracked down the stench to a durian that had been left in a cupboard to rot.

This is no laughing matter as not everyone is used to the pungent smell of the durians. That is why DURIANS are banned on Singapore MRT.

Read more @

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Does strenuous exercise really leave your fatigued body vulnerable to catching a cold?

If you have ever run a marathon, you know that the effort can cause elation, exhaustion, achy legs, blackened toenails and an overwhelming urge to eat.

But it is unlikely to have made you vulnerable to colds or other illnesses afterwards, according to a myth-busting new review of the latest science about immunity and endurance exercise.

The review concludes that, contrary to widespread belief, a long, tiring workout or race can amplify immune responses, not suppress them.

Statistically, the review says that the odds of becoming sick were about the same as for anyone else in a race.

Read the full article @

Forum: Singapore must not give in to profit-driven developers

I agree with Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi that 70 sq m should be the minimum size of apartments (Apartments must not be smaller than 70 sq m; April 25).

I lived in Hong Kong for 20 years before moving to Singapore.

In Hong Kong, I lived with my parents and two older siblings in a 42 sq m flat before my siblings got married and moved out to their own similar-sized flats.

I did not like my flat in Hong Kong because it was very small. The bedrooms, living room, toilets and kitchen were all tiny. We hardly had any free space to move around, and the cramped space made one feel stressed.

I was very happy when my husband and I bought our resale HDB flat in Singapore in 2016. To me, the flat is very big, at 103 sq m, and very affordable, at less than $350,000.

I count housing as the biggest advantage Singapore has over Hong Kong.

Hence, I am terrified at the idea of having shoebox units in Singapore.

I do not want my children to live in shoebox units or units less than 70 sq m.

Such units benefit no one except property developers, who stand to make more money.

I hope the Government will safeguard the interest of Singaporeans by allowing them to have affordable and decent housing.

Hong Kong has failed to provide its people the basic need of housing and has, instead, given in to the profit-driven property developers.

Its young people are not able to afford housing nowadays and it is difficult for the government to remedy the situation now.

I hope Singapore will not go the way of Hong Kong in this respect.

Kwok So Ha (Madam)


Saturday, 28 April 2018

Scientists can now keep brains alive without a body

A team of scientists recently revealed they had successfully conducted experiments on hundreds of pigs that involved keeping their brains alive for up to 36 hours after the animals had been decapitated.

Through a delicate, complex process they were able to keep the brains alive by connecting them to a closed-loop system called “BrainEX” that pumps oxygen-rich artificial blood through the necessary areas of the brain to sustain life.

The researchers intent, reportedly, is to create a complete atlas of the connections between human brain cells, a monumental undertaking that has never been done. By keeping the pig brains alive, they are able to study them in ways that will contribute to further breakthroughs. This could lead to a radical enhancement of our understanding of the human brain.

Read more @

Exceptional people: Army medics praised for stopping to help children, school van driver in Mandai accident

A group of army medics has drawn praise after stopping to help four children and a school van driver in a traffic accident along Mandai Avenue on Wednesday morning (Apr 25).

Servicemen from the combat medic specialist course of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Medical Training Institute were on their way to an outfield exercise when they came across the incident at around 6.40am, according to a Facebook post by the Singapore Army.

The Singapore Army said it "would like to wish the children a speedy recovery and commend our servicemen for being ready to step forward".

Read more @

Science cannot explain why kinesiology tape works

It is the kind of thing that some people swear by for muscle and joint pain, like they would their grandmother’s chicken soup for a cold.
  • “It’s absolutely bloody brilliant,” Paul Hobrough, a physical therapist based in the UK, told the Guardian. 
  • Olympic track cyclist Dotsie Bausch says she wears kinesiology tape for days at a time instead of taking ibuprofen for her back pain. 
  • Basketball player James Harden of the Houston Rockets tapes himself up even when he’s not hurt. “Whenever I’m sore, whether it’s my knee or my shoulder, putting the KT tape on gets the blood flowing and circulating around my body,” Harden told NBC. “I’m able to go out there and play free, not really thinking about injuries.”
But even almost 40 years after kinesiology tape’s invention, no one really knows how it works.

Read more @

Why older adults exercising should drink more water

Older people, who drink more water post workout, reap more cognitive health-related benefits of exercise, suggests a study.

Dehydration has been shown to impair exercise performance and brain function in young people, but less is known about its impact on older populations.

"Middle-age and older adults often display a blunted thirst perception, which places them at risk for dehydration and subsequently may reduce the cognitive health-related benefits of exercise," a team of New England-based researchers wrote.

Read more @

Warning: Car crime in Britain rises by 56% due to easy keyless technology hacking

A dramatic surge in car crime has been fuelled by high-tech thefts that do not require criminals to break into the vehicle.

The number of vehicle thefts jumped by more than half last year amid claims that keyless technology has made hacking into modern cars ‘child’s play’.

In a damning indictment of how easy it has become for criminals to steal cars, the ONS said in almost half of thefts, they are ‘entering the vehicle through an unlocked door’. Motoring campaigners and police said this showed hacking into keyless cars had become the new modus operandi of ‘digitally savvy thieves’.

The figures appear to undermine claims from manufacturers that modern cars are more secure than ever.

Read more @

Friday, 27 April 2018

300 free Ivy League university courses you can take online right now

The eight Ivy League schools are among the most prestigious colleges in the world. They include Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities, and the University of Pennsylvania.

These Ivy League schools are also highly selective and extremely hard to get into. But the good news is that all these universities now offer free online courses across multiple online course platforms.

Go here for the free courses.

Benefits of blueberries - in Chinese

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Pioneering prostate treatment

The new technique, called prostate artery embolization, can be done as a day case, uses tiny plastic beads to block the blood supply and shrink the enlarged gland.

Traditional surgery cuts away part of the prostate gland, in order to reduce pressure on the bladder. But this requires a general anaesthetic, several days in hospital and can damage sexual function and fertility.

The new procedure involves injecting hundreds of small plastic beads into a blood vessel in the groin.

Using a thin tube, medics direct the beads towards the prostate and block its blood supply so that it shrinks, alleviating pressure on the bladder.


Inuka the polar bear put to sleep on 'humane grounds'

Image: SPH Foundation
Singapore's last polar bear, Inuka, has been put down on “humane grounds” after a second health examination in three weeks found that its health had not improved despite intensive treatments.

The 27-year-old polar bear was put into “deep sleep” under anaesthesia at around 7am on Wednesday (Apr 25) and was not revived, said Dr Cheng Wen-Haur, deputy CEO and Chief Life Sciences Officer of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).

Any form of treatment would have caused him more stress and prolonged his suffering, Dr Cheng added.

Singapore Zoo will not bring in any more polar bears, says Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Read more @

My 2 cents:
Hopefully, one day, Singapore will also have such a rule for humans to die if living is such a painful suffering for them.

Should you be wearing underwear with your workout leggings?

Dr. Mary Rosser, a board-certified OB-GYN with Columbia Doctors in New York, added that it is all about personal preference.

“I really tell people, ‘Do what you feel is right for you,’” Rosser said. “Some people just have to wear underwear. They just can’t think of doing it without.”

The fine points

Whether you wear or do not wear underwear, they all point to one thing - the type of material next to your skin is very important.

1) Choose a material that is better for wicking away moisture like cotton, spandex/lycra, bamboo pulp as these materials help in reducing bacteria buildup.

2) Lace, satin and other synthetic product like polyester should be avoided as they are not breathable and might even cause irritation.

3) After a workout, you should change out of your damp, sweaty clothes and shower as soon as possible, whether or not you are wearing underwear.

Read the full article @

Marina Bay Sands toilets first in Singapore to be awarded 6-star rating

Six toilets at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands have received the six-star rating from the Restroom Association of Singapore - the first toilets in Singapore to be awarded its top rating.

Under the grading system, six-star or "magnificent restrooms" are expected to use smart technology and employ cleaners who have completed a Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) module in washroom cleaning.

In one of the six-star toilets at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, for instance, there is a detector which measures the level of ammonia in the air and relays this information to cleaners via SMS.

Image: channelnewsasia

Once odour levels exceed a certain threshold, a text message will be sent to the cleaners with information about which toilet is affected.

Read more @

Investment: Warren Buffett explains how you could have turned $114 into $400,000 with a simple long-term investment

“Let me give you a figure that’ll blow your mind I think. I bought my first stock when I was 11 years old. It was the first quarter of 1942, shortly after Pearl Harbor,” Buffett recalls. “I spent $114.75, [for] shares [of a stock.] $114.75. If I put that $114 into the S&P 500 at that time and reinvested the dividends, think of a figure as to what it…would be worth today,” he asked me?

Let’s pick it up with Buffett again: “The answer is about $400,000. So if I as a little kid had taken that 114 bucks I’d saved— shoveling snow (LAUGH) or whatever I’d done, [I’d have] $400,000 today. [In] one person’s lifetime. That’s America. I mean, that isn’t me. You know, it’s the huge tailwind the American economy gives to any equity investor.”

This is his advice:
“Now, you don’t wanna buy to hold for a year, you don’t wanna buy with the idea that you could sell it in two years or three years necessarily, to make money. You may— you could lose money that way,” he says. “But if you buy it for $10, $20, just keep buying the S&P 500 index and forget about all the other nonsense that’s being sold to you because I’ll guarantee you one thing about (LAUGH) the stuff being sold to you, it will carry bigger fees than what (LAUGH) I’m talking about.”

By that last point Buffett means those big management or brokerage fees would eat up your returns in a huge way and you would end up with far less that $400K.

Read the full article @

My 2 cents:
Investment is not meant to be a quick way of earning money. Firstly, you must know what you are doing. If not, attend courses, either free or paid ones. Secondly, use your brain. Do not just listen to other people, including your remisier. You have to do your own homework. Do not follow blindly.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Egrets and herons @ Pasir Ris park

Saw many egrets and herons at the beach of Pasir Ris park during low tide. Followed them and saw that they had built nests somewhere near the back of NTUC Downtown East.

A heron tending to its nest

Differences between egret and heron are:
  • Egret is smaller in size and has darker legs.
  • Both egret and heron have S neck when flying.

Taiwan and Japan on alert following measles outbreak

Singaporeans going for holidays in Taiwan and Japan are urged to take added precautions following an outbreak of measles.

The outbreak has been traced to a 30-year-old male flight attendant with Tigerair Taiwan, according to local reports.

Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in a press release on Mar 29 that he visited Thailand in early March before flying to the island of Okinawa in Japan where he was diagnosed and hospitalised.

The CDC said
  • at least 22 Taiwanese have been tested positive for the highly infectious virus,
  • seven people contracted the disease abroad and 15 contracted it domestically, and 
  • more than 3,500 people in Kaohsiung city of southern Taiwan have been quarantined and another 980 people in Taipei are being monitored, following an outbreak at a major Hospital in New Taipei City.

In Japan, authorities have urged the public to be “fully vaccinated” against measles, following the outbreak in Okinawa and several cases in Nagoya.


DIY infused detox water recipes

Detox water (also called spa water or infused water) is simply water and a combination of sliced fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices.

Whether the ingredients provide any health benefit is unknown, but what detox water can do is help people drink more fluids by making the plain water tastes other than plain, especially for children.

Some of the things that can be added to plain water include lime, lemon, cucumber, orange, grapefruit, ginger, mint, chrysanthemum flowers, etc.

One thing not to add is garlic. It gives a very bad smell after a while in the water, hence it is a good pesticide.

Get the full recipes from

Couples who do chores together are happier

Couples who do chores together are happier, fight less and have better sex lives, according to new research.

Americans spend an average of 664 hours doing household work each year, and women spend about an hour more each day tidying up than men do.

Equal sharing of the burden of chores is becoming more common, however, and research suggests that as it does, women are feeling less put upon and more in the mood.

What's more, sex therapist Dr Ian Kerner advises that doing housework together can make the chores go quicker, build communications with your partner and even turn make the dish-washing steamy.


Video: From ATMs to Printers, Hackers Prove You Can Play 'Doom' on Anything

Monday, 23 April 2018

Video: Chloe Chua winning Menuhin Competition 2018, Junior finals

Menuhin Competition is the world’s most prestigious violin competition, held once every 2 years. The winners for this year's competition are Chloe Chua from Singapore and Christian Li from Australia.

Christian Li is the world's youngest winner at 10-year-old. Chloe is the second youngest winner, being 11-year-old.

Chloe's performance

Christian's performance

Mexican Walking Fish may hold key to helping paralysed people walk again

The axolotl, or Mexican salamander has the astonishing ability to regenerate limbs and even spinal cord if it has been injured.

But now a new study by the University of Minnesota in the US has discovered how the animals achieve the feat.

When an axolotl suffers a spinal cord injury, nearby cells called glial cells begin proliferating rapidly, repositioning themselves to rebuild the connections between nerves and reconnect the injured spinal cord.

By contrast, when a human suffers a spinal cord injury, the glial cells form scar tissue, which blocks nerves from ever reconnecting with each other.


Diabetes: New hope for better wound healing

A recent study has offered new hope for the diabetic patient with slow-healing wounds.

A healed wound - image for illustration only

The Yale University research uncovered the role of a particular protein in maintaining the wounds and suggested that reversing its effects could help aid wound healing in patients with diabetes.

"We discovered that a specific protein, thrombospondin-2 (TSP2), is elevated in wounds of patients with diabetes as well as in animal models of diabetes," said Britta Kunkemoeller. "To determine whether TSP2 contributes to delayed wound healing, we genetically removed TSP2 from a mouse model of diabetes and observed improved wound healing. Our study shows that TSP2 could be a target for a specific therapy for diabetic wounds."


Forum: An insult to compare busking with begging

To conflate begging and busking is to paint a condescending view of busking (Do not allow busking as a day job, by Miss Susan Tan; April 17).

Miss Tan seems to have confused the idea of an income that comes with the time and effort spent in performing and the subsequent appreciation of such efforts with the idea of busking as a sole money-making activity.

I refer to the article, "Popular street performers with a regular following" (ST Online; March 8, 2015), where we see instances of people giving money to buskers out of appreciation, as well as the passion of performing on the buskers' part.

I do agree with Miss Tan that busking should be used to cultivate a vibrant art culture in Singapore.

However, if she really is pushing for this notion of "vibrancy" in art culture, her idea of allowing only locals to perform while excluding others, like foreigners, seems to be a contradiction.

Her assertion that foreigners would be encouraged to "come to our shores to earn an income via busking" makes one wonder whether Singaporeans are such big tippers that foreigners will come all the way to this little red dot to busk.

Warren Choo Shao Jie


Saturday, 21 April 2018

HSA recalls 18 cosmetic products, some with high levels of mercury

Image: channelnewsasia
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has named 18 cosmetic products that it says contain “potent undeclared ingredients” – including some with over 27,000 times the permissible level of mercury.

List of recalled products: 

  1. Balleza Skincare Night Cream
  2. Balleza Skincare Treatment
  3. Brilliant Skin Essentials Rejuvenating Cream Exfoliant Cream
  4. Brilliant Skin Essentials Rejuvenating Facial Toner Exfoliant Toner
  5. Brilliant Skin Essentials Whitening Cream 10g
  6. Brilliant Skin Essentials Whitening facial toner 60ml
  7. droplets of Nature Rejuvenating Cream Lift & Correct 10g
  8. droplets of Nature Rejuvenating Toner Lift & Correct
  9. Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene with SPF 30 Avocado & & Aloe Vera
  10. Karisma Cosmetic Skincare Day Cream
  11. Karisma Cosmetic Skincare Night Cream
  12. Karisma Cosmetic Skincare Treatment Cream
  13. Professional Skin Care Formula by Dr. Alvin Rejuvenating Cream
  14. Professional Skin Care Formula by Dr. Alvin Rejuvenating Toner
  15. Skin Magical Rejuvenating Cream No. 1
  16. Skin Magical Rejuvenating Facial Toner No. 1
  17. Speaks G Skin Essential Brightening Rejuvenating Cream 10g
  18. Speaks G Skin Essential Brightening Rejuvenating Toner 60ml


Warning: Malaysia and Indonesia recalled China tinned sardines found to contain worms

Malaysia's health ministry on Thursday (Apr 19) recalled two products of canned sardines from China after they were found to contain dead worms.

In a statement, director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said analysis by the Health Ministry found that the TL Tan Lung Canned Sardines in Tomato Sauce produced by Fujian Yongfa, as well as the TLC Sardines in Tomato Sauce produced by Dongshan Dongyi Foods, were contaminated with nematode, a type of worm.

Reports said that the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency also ordered the recall of products from three Chinese canned sardine importers after they were found to have dead worms.

Read more @

Exceptional people: Migrant cleaner wins hearts and recognition for kind act

Mr Kalam. Source: thenewpaper

On Sunday, the Bangladeshi cleaner was working in Commonwealth Crescent when a woman in a sixth-storey flat asked him for food as she could not cook nor able to buy food as she just had an operation.

Without hesitation, the 31-year-old said she could have the curry and rice that he had prepared at his dormitory the night before.

Mr Kalam's supervisor, who declined to be named, said that this is not the first time Mr Kalam has given food to an elderly resident in the area.

"He has already been giving extra food to the elderly. That's why when the woman asked for food, his instincts kicked in. They're also comfortable eating the food because they already know him."


Exceptional people: ITE students chased AMK hit-and-run e-scooterist

ITE students that helped injured lady. Source: thenewpaper
Six students from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central in Ang Mo Kio told The New Paper that they saw an e-scooter zooming past near a lift lobby in the void deck.

When the rider suddenly fell off his machine, they realised he had hit a woman from behind just as she stepped out of a lift.

After they failed to catch him, they helped the victim, who was bleeding badly from a cut on her nose.

Miss Nur'Ain went to a nearby convenience store to buy a box of plasters while her friends - Miss Nurul Hazirah Osman, 20, Mr Muhammad Aqil Azmi, Mr Raden Afiq Raden Amran, Mr Muhammad Zulfiqar Rosli and Mr Muhammad Nur'Fauzan Mohamed, all 19 - attended to the victim by cleaning the elderly woman's wound with wet wipes, they dressed it with a plaster to prevent infection.
The e-scooterist is now wanted by the police to help in investigations into the incident at Block 538 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 at around 5.30pm on Tuesday.


Friday, 20 April 2018

Oil prices at their highest since late 2014

Source: Screenshot of Money CNN as @ 3pm

Parental diet before conception affects child's health

A child's health can be compromised not only by a mother who smokes or drinks during pregnancy, but by the obesity and poor diet of both parents well before the act of procreation, researchers said Tuesday (Apr 17).

What a mother and father eat, and whether they are seriously overweight, in other words, can have "profound implications for the growth, development and long-term health of their children before conception", they warned in a trio of studies.

The findings, reported in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, should heighten awareness of "preconception risk factors", the researchers said.

Read more @

EU warns about green tea supplements

Image for illustration only
Taking high doses of supplements containing green tea extracts may be associated with liver damage, according to new research from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Tea infusions, as used for brewed tea, are still considered safe. Instant tea drinks are also fine as they contain lower levels of the antioxidants naturally present in green tea, Parma-based EFSA said.

Consuming too many of these antioxidants can be harmful, which is why the amount contained in supplements can have a harmful effect on the liver.

Read more @

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Scam warning: Singapore police warn of scam involving hacked WhatsApp accounts

The police have received reports of WhatsApp accounts being taken over by scammers, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said in a news release on Wednesday (Apr 18).

Victims would first receive a WhatsApp message from one of their contacts, whose WhatsApp account might have been compromised. The message asks for WhatsApp account verification codes that the victims would have received through SMS.

"The victims would subsequently lose access to their WhatsApp account once the WhatsApp verification codes are sent to the scammers," the police said.

SPF added that a variant of the scam has been reported overseas where the scammers were known to have used the compromised accounts to deceive the account holders' contacts into purchasing gift cards and sending over the password for the cards, afterwhich the scammers sold the gift cards online.


A migrant library at Farrer Park for migrant workers

Image from Migrant Library's facebook
Migrant Library Singapore:
1C Rowell Road, Singapore 207958

Opening Hours:
8am – 9pm (Daily),
5pm – 9pm (Public Holidays)


Forum: Take hard look at outdated death rites

The editorial on the evolution of attitudes towards death rites is timely (Death rites keep pace with change; April 17).

In the age of modern science and in a digital smart city environment, it is time to take a look at death and death rites.

We are brought up to be afraid to talk about death and we perform death rituals which have no relevance to our modern lifestyle.

I would like to point out some "illogical" rituals that can perhaps be changed.

Now that we are cremating instead of burying our dead, we need to rethink our selection of coffins.

In the past when burials were more prevalent, coffins were made to resist rotting in the ground. Expensive materials were used to make coffins as solid as possible.

Now, for cremation, coffins should be made as light and inflammable as possible to be easily consumed by fire and quickly reduced to ashes. For example, coffins should be made of cardboard instead of hard wood and metal.

To remember the good features of the deceased, we now have beautiful lifelike portraits of them.

There should be no need to eviscerate, dissect or pump the body with formaldehyde and toxic chemicals which will pollute the environment.

A beautiful portrait is also a better way to remember our loved ones than ashes stashed in a corner in a columbarium.

It is more sensible to sprinkle the ashes, where it will be recycled naturally, and the deceased will really be able to "rest in peace".

There are so many more logical and sensible ways to replace old death rituals, if we take the trouble to think about them.

We need to dispel the taboo surrounding death, and be more realistic in facing death instead of being afraid of it.

Death and birth are natural events in life. They should be dealt with sensibly and logically, instead of being concealed under a cloud of superstition and rituals.

Let us get rid of some irrelevant rituals and move on to live the lifestyle relevant to a modern smart city.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)


You may want to read 'Hiding' sea burial facility will only deepen taboo surrounding death

Exceptional people: The teacher who turned Jay-Z's life around

A great teacher inspires. This is the real story of Rap mogul Jay-Z being inspired by his teacher to keep reading. He listened and does great with his life, from a poor kid with no father to a superstar and philanthropist.

Read the full story @


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Researchers accidentally engineer plastic-eating enzyme

Researchers in the US and Britain have accidentally engineered an enzyme which eats plastic and may eventually help solve the growing problem of plastic pollution, a study said.

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth and the US Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory decided to focus on a naturally occurring bacterium discovered in Japan a few years ago.

The researchers' goal was to understand how one of its enzymes - called PETase - worked, by figuring out its structure.

"But they ended up going a step further and accidentally engineered an enzyme which was even better at breaking down PET plastics," said the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.

Read more @

Acacia welfare home opens new facility in Admiralty for destitute elderly men

Image: channelnewsasia

A new welfare home to help elderly destitute men was officially opened on Tuesday (Apr 17) by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

Located in Admiralty, Acacia Home aims to reintegrate its residents back into the community by facilitating job placements and housing arrangements.

Many of the men at the home have little to no savings, are unable to afford their own homes or are estranged from their families, said the superintendent of Acacia Home Regine Chan.

Read more @

Video: You can eat the whole durian

Cordyceps (冬蟲夏草) and its benefits

Cordyceps are found in mountainous regions of Nepal and Tibet. It parasitizes larvae of ghost moths. The fungus germinates in the living larva, kills and mummifies it, and then a dark brown stalk-like fruiting body which is a few centimeters long emerges from the corpse and stands upright.

Read more about cordyceps @ 
3) The New Paper: Cordyceps not recommended for sexual issues
4) Eu Yan Sang pure cordyceps

Monday, 16 April 2018

Pregnant women who take painkillers could be harming fertility of their unborn sons

Pregnant women who take painkillers may be harming the fertility of their unborn sons as well as daughters, researchers have warned.

Scientists have previously said ibuprofen and paracetamol reduce the number of cells that would eventually become ovaries.

But now a British team has discovered they have the same effect on cells that would later produce sperm in boys.

Painkillers may also affect the fertility of future generations by triggering changes in DNA structure which can be inherited, the research found.

The findings add to the growing body of evidence that pregnant women should be wary of taking painkillers.


Nuts to eat for weight loss

Ref: thenewpaper

Why you should always wash new clothes before you wear them

Image for illustration only

Philip Tierno, professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University, has conducted a number of studies in which he’s tested clothing from both popular clothes shops and high-end fashion businesses.

And in those clothes he’s found everything from strep and staph to norovirus and fecal germs.

He told Huffington Post: “It’s not four or five or six people [trying on an item of clothing]; it’s dozens and dozens … if that garment sits there for weeks or a month.”

He also pointed out that lots of clothing is also treated with chemical-finishing agents and dyes, which can irritate your skin.


Saturday, 14 April 2018

People who stay up late risk dying younger

Image for illustration only

People who stay up late and have to drag themselves out of bed are likelier to die younger than those who rise and set with the sun, researchers said Thursday.

A survey of more than 430,000 people in Britain found that night owls had a 10 per cent higher risk of dying in the 6.5-year study period than "larks".

"This is a public health issue that can no longer be ignored," said study co-author Malcolm van Schantz of the University of Surrey - and argued that "night types" should be allowed to start and finish work later in the day.

"Night owls trying to live in a morning-lark world may (suffer) health consequences," said fellow author Kristen Knutson of the Northwestern University in Chicago.

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