Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Forum: Don't blame teachers for child's poor performance

I refer to Mr Eric J. Brooks' letter (Stopping abusive behaviour at parent-teacher meetings; May 26).

The recent parent-teacher meeting I attended was after my child had not done well in her mid-year examinations. In fact, she had actually fared worse than we expected.

Yet, with her form teacher, we were able to look at positive ways to help her in her final sprint towards her O levels in less than five months.

As parents, we know our child very well. She is fun-loving, with little motivation to study.

We have been meeting her teachers biannually over the past four years. But at no point have we blamed the teachers for our child's poor academic performance.

In fact, the teachers have been most willing to extend their help through consultation sessions.

After the parent-teacher meeting, I received a call from the teacher of my daughter's weakest subject. I could tell he knows my daughter well and the progress she has made.

We agreed on encouraging my daughter to do well in this subject.

I hope teachers will be encouraged to continue their good work in their students' lives.

This is also to remind demanding parents to look at themselves before pointing fingers at teachers.

Cathie Chew (Madam)


You may want to read Strict discipline in schools led to better-behaved adults

Reasons you still feel crazy tired after sleeping

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Here are five reasons why you might still feel tired after sleeping for seven or eight hours each night.
  1. You have sleep apnea - an illness
  2. You had a drink before sleeping
  3. You exercised too close to bedtime
  4. You had a cuppa during teatime
  5. You engaged in screen time just before bed

Read the full article @

You may want to read How to sleep better and live longer - just by re-setting your body clock!

My 2 cents:
How I sleep well in the night? Make sure my legs are warm, either using a blanket or you may wear pajamas or wear socks.

Video: Acupressure Points to stay awake

The truth about asthma and your kids

Asthma is a chronic disease, and a common one in children.

“Asthma is quite a variable disease; there’s not a one-size-fits-all,” said Dr Stanley Szefler, the director of paediatric asthma research at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and the author of a recent review of asthma across the life span.

The goal is to prevent the kinds of serious exacerbation that can land children in the emergency room or hospital. In addition to the dangers of respiratory distress, repeated exacerbations can lead to damaged lungs and worsened lung function over time, said Dr Heather Hoch, a paediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Read more @

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Vesak Day 2018

CareShield Life to replace Eldershield

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The severely disabled who join an enhanced ElderShield scheme from 2020 will receive lifetime payouts as long as their condition continues, following recommendations by the scheme’s review committee.

This is an improvement over the six-year limit to payouts under the ElderShield scheme, which will continue in its present form for existing policyholders.

Under the enhanced scheme, to be called CareShield Life, the severely disabled will also receive higher cash payouts of at least S$600 per month. The monthly payouts that people will be eligible for when they become disabled will increase over time.

The higher monthly payouts that people are eligible for are expected to increase by 2% per year for the period that premiums are being paid, subject to regular review by an independent council. It will be supported by regular premium adjustments to account for inflation.

Read more @

You may want to read Six things you should know about CareShield Life

Kurosu - the latest brilliant puzzle from Japan

Samples on how to play Kurosu

All you have to do is fill in the 6x6 grid with noughts and crosses, just like the old game of tic-tac-toe.

The challenge is never to have more than two of each symbol next to each other in any row or column — and you must have three of each symbol in every row and column.

Read more @

Blood test may predict who is most at risk for diabetes

Adding a test normally used for diabetes monitoring to employee wellness exams could identify people who do not have the disease but are at high risk of developing it, a recent study suggests.

Researchers looked at results of blood tests showing so-called hemoglobin A1c levels, which reflect average blood sugar levels over about three months. Readings above 6.5% A1c signal diabetes, and none of the participants had readings this high.

But people who started the study with readings closest to a diabetes diagnosis – above 5.9% A1c but less than 6.5% - were more than eight times more likely to develop diabetes over about four years of follow-up than participants who had readings under 5.7% to begin with.

Read more @

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Video: Acupressure points to control diabetes

This video shows where to massage acupressure points to control diabetes. Diabetes is a very complex disease, so there is no easy way of curing it. The best is to control it, and this is what the video hopes to do.

Oily fish still a good habit for heart health

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People who eat at least two servings a week of oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna should keep it up because U.S. doctors still say it is a good way to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

But this is not a prescription for fish and chips. The new scientific advisory reaffirms the American Heart Association's recommendations against fried fish and stresses the benefits of eating two 3.5-ounce servings a week of fish, especially oily varieties rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

And for many people who tend to follow a typical Western diet - heavy on meat and potatoes and light on fruit, vegetables and whole grains - these recommendations should serve as a reminder that it is time to start eating fish, said the advisory's lead author Eric Rimm of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Read more @

Commutes on foot or bike tied to lowered risk of heart attack or stroke

Commuters who abandon their cars in favor of walking or biking to work are less likely to develop heart disease or to die from it than people who drive to the office, a recent study suggests.

Researchers in the UK examined data on 187,281 regular commuters and 171,498 adults who did not routinely travel to work. About two-thirds of the commuters relied exclusively on a car to get to work.

After an average follow-up period of seven years, commuters who walked, rode a bike or took public transit at least part of the way to work were 11% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 30% less likely to die from it than people who exclusively commuted by car.

"The study suggests that replacing car journeys with more active patterns of travel may help people reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke," said lead author Dr. Oliver Mytton of the University of Cambridge.

Read more @

Friday, 25 May 2018

Former S.League player dies of heart attack while raising funds to save sick son - updated

The late Nur Alam Shah with his son, Muhammad Royyan. Source: thenewpaper
When former S-League footballer Nur Alam Shah's unborn son was diagnosed with a rare heart defect in 2013, he vowed not to let him fall prey to the same condition that claimed his five-month-old daughter in 2008.

But the 38-year-old died of a heart attack on Friday while he was raising money so that his boy, Muhammad Royyan, now four, could undergo surgery.

The former Woodlands Wellington player, who played in the S-League (now renamed Singapore Premier League) in the early 2000s, had set a target of raising at least $120,000 at fundraising site As of now, public donations have totalled close to $58,000.

It is understood more donations were received after the passing of Nur Alam Shah but the target has been raised to $170,000.


You may want to read FAS to help raise funds for family of late former footballer Nur Alam Shah

High-risk dengue clusters found in Jurong West, Bedok

High-risk dengue clusters have been found in Jurong West and Bedok, according to a notice posted on the National Environment Agency (NEA) website on Wednesday (May 23).

A total of 90 cases were reported in Jurong West, with 23 cases in Block 950 Jurong West Street 91 alone, and 55 cases in the Bedok North area.

NEA has warned that the mosquito population is expected to increase along with the number of dengue cases in the warmer months ahead.

Read more @

Punggol Polyclinic pilots follow-up care for new mothers, opens eye clinic

Starting from July this year, Punggol Polyclinic will pilot a programme with KK Women's and Children's Hospital to improve follow-up care for new mothers, and open the first polyclinic-based eye clinic.

Punggol Polyclinic is also the first SingHealth polyclinic to make use of pharmacy technology Outpatient Pharmacy Automation System, which makes use of robotics to improve efficiency, and also improve accuracy in packing medicine to 99.95%, and double the capacity of packing by hand.

Read more @

You may want to read New polyclinic in Punggol to offer physiotherapy, podiatry services

Circles.Life launches a new $0 no contract mobile plan

Circles.Life on Tuesday (May 22) launched a new salvo in Singapore’s data wars: A zero-dollar mobile plan offering 1GB of data with practically no strings attached, with 30-min talk time, 10 sms and free caller-ID.

There is one small catch.

Consumers will need to buy a service add-on once every three months to keep their line. Alternatively, consumers can keep their line by using it as a primary number. You can prove the line is a primary number by porting over an existing mobile number or using it to receive one-time passwords for online banking and shopping via the line.

This plan is suitable for seniors who do not talk or surf the net too much.


Singtel refund letters mistaken for scam

Singtel is trying to return money to some of its subscribers - but some of them think it is a scam.

"We are currently in the process of moving all customer accounts to a new billing system and these bills are determined to be the final bills of terminated accounts," the post added.

The New Paper understands that some of the amounts listed refer to money owed to the user, and that refunds can be issued.

Just go to any Singtel shop with your letter and claim your refund. Singtel is returning you your money, they are not asking money FROM you, so it is not a scam.


Thursday, 24 May 2018

People who live in small, rural towns are EIGHT TIMES happier than city-dwellers

people bonding is key to happiness

People who live in rural areas are happier than city dwellers, new research has found.

Cities have higher salaries, higher education levels and lower unemployment rates.

However, that meant nothing in terms of joy: people who lived in the countryside were, on average, eight times happier than people in urban areas, the study found.

The researchers said the findings lay bare the undeniable importance of strong communities over social isolation. 


Exercising regularly can keep heart and arteries young

People should exercise, any form of exercise, four or five times per week to keep their heart, arteries and even their looks youthful, scientists say. Exercising fewer than four times a week only ensures the health of smaller arteries.

As people get older their arteries – which transport blood in and out of the heart – tend to stiffen up, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Note: In many cases when the seniors are required to give blood for testing, the nurses would find it hard to draw blood because most of the seniors' blood vessels had already closed (hardened) or too thin (fragile).

Regular exercise can keep arteries supple and improve blood flow, which is good for the heart and can keep people's skin looking young for longer, as well as improving wellbeing and boosting energy.


An egg a day tied to lower risk of heart disease

People who eat an egg just about every day may have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke than individuals who don't eat eggs at all, a large Chinese study suggests.

Researchers examined survey data on egg consumption among 461,213 adults who were 51 years old on average. When they joined the study, none had a history of heart disease. Overall, they ate an average of half an egg daily; about 9% of them avoided eggs altogether while 13% ate roughly one egg every day.

Compared to people who never ate eggs, individuals who ate an average of 0.76 eggs per day were 11% less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases and 18% less likely to die from these conditions, the study found.

The take-home message from this is that when consumed in moderation, there does not appear to be an elevated risk of developing heart disease or stroke.

Read more @

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

More mosquitoes, more dengue cases expected in warmer months ahead

The mosquito population is expected to increase along with the number of dengue cases in the warmer months ahead, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a media release on Sunday (May 20).

Through its Gravitrap surveillance system, NEA said it found that the mosquito population remained high with 22% more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, thus posing a risk of an increase in dengue cases.

The warmer months of June to October usually see higher transmission of dengue in Singapore, due to accelerated breeding and maturation cycles of the Aedes mosquitoes and shorter incubation periods for the dengue virus.

The agency urged members of the public to continue to work together as a community to stem dengue transmission.

Read more @

Community Chest Charity TV show raised over $9.6m

The act of giving was demonstrated at the Community Chest Charity TV Show 2018, where children with special needs, student volunteers, local and international artistes, local partners and the community came together to raise over $9.6 million for ComChest supported social service organisations!


What happens when you go vegan

Source: tnp, 7 May 2018

You may want to read Things that can happen when you go vegan

The importance of lunch naps for busy workers

Lunch nap is a very important ritual for blue collar workers

According to the Ministry of Manpower, Singaporeans worked 45.9 hours a week. That is an average of slightly over nine hours a day. It is one of the highest averages in the world – no wonder you are pretty much drained and looking like a zombie by 3pm.

But while coffee is everyone’s perk-me-up, there might be a better way to recharge and get over that afternoon slump: A power nap.

“Compared to coffee or energy drinks, power naps can give the body much-needed rest rather than trying to sustain energy or concentration, which can be counter-productive,” said Dr Tripat Deep Singh, a Philips International Sleep Specialist at the Philips’ Sleep and Respiratory Education Centre.

Read more @

You may also want to read
1) Why Chinese People Always Take a Noon Time Nap
2) Naps in the Huawei office – perhaps the secret of China’s digital success?

Asbestos-containing debris’ found at Big Sister’s Island, monthly guided walks suspended

Monthly guided walks at the Sisters’ Islands will be suspended for May and June, after asbestos-containing debris was found at several areas on Big Sister’s Island.

In a notice on its website on Saturday (May 19), the National Parks Board (NParks) said “asbestos-containing debris” was found at “four isolated areas along the beaches at the lagoons on Big Sister’s Island".

As a safety precaution, the affected beaches have been cordoned off for asbestos removal works.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Planet or plastic?

Nat Geo June cover
For its June 2018 cover and part of its "Planet or Plastic?" initiative, the magazine published a cover that is been widely shared on the internet and described as "dire" and "brilliant."

Created by Mexican artist Jorge Gamboa, the photo-illustration features a plastic bag partially submerged in the ocean, suggesting that the world's plastic pollution problem is "just the tip of the iceberg."


Jack's Gift Of Life: Music That Brings Forgotten Joy Back to the Old

After facing death, a busker's mission to fill a void in old folks' lives with joy.

A mix of Viagra and the flu vaccine could treat cancer

A combination of Viagra and a flu vaccine could treat cancer, surprising new research suggests.

The unconventional strategy invigorates the immune system to attack tumor cells left lingering after surgery, when the body is vulnerable.

Testing the method in mice with lung cancer, Canadian researchers saw a 90% reduction in the spread of the disease.

The study was such a success that 24 human stomach cancer patients will now test the combination in a clinical trial that could pave the way to it being approved.

Read more @

Chiropractors really do relieve back pain

Chiropractors really do relieve back pain, new research suggests.

When given alongside pain medication and physical therapy, spinal manipulation benefits 62.6% of lower-back pain sufferers after six weeks, a study found today.

This is compared to just 46.6% who find their discomfort is eased by medication alone, the research adds.

'In contrast to most clinicians, chiropractors are specialists in back problems and enjoy seeing patients with lower back pain.

Read more @

My 2 cents:
Chiros are not only specialists for back problems, they are the specialists for all the bone and tendon pain in our body. Even after a fracture, the chiros can treat the dislocation and make your fracture heal faster.

Checkout these videos on how a chiro heals patients with his hands.
1) Acute disc bulge 
2) Hunchback after pulling a tree
3) Boy injured his neck after falling
4) Singapore TCM chiro

One point to remember is DO NOT BUY those package deal. A good chiro will only treat you as and when required.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Royal wedding ceremony - pictures

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding ceremony

Arrival of the groom and best man

The bride is on the way

Mother Queen and Prince

Waiting for the bride

Arrival of the bride
Page boy with missing teeth and the bald head photo bombed the shot

Bride entering Windsor Castle

The bridesmaids and page boys

The ceremony

The couple leaving the castle after the ceremony

The kiss

The Royal Parade

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo Ebola outbreak spreads to city from countryside

Health personnel in protective suits when checking patients
The Ebola outbreak in DR Congo has spread from the countryside into a city, prompting fears that the disease will be increasingly hard to control.

Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga confirmed a case in Mbandaka, a city of a million about 130km (80 miles) from where the first cases were confirmed.

The city is a major transportation hub with routes to the capital Kinshasa.

At least 44 people are thought to have been infected with ebola and 23 deaths are being investigated.

Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90% caused by Ebola virus. People become infected with Ebola either through contact with infected animals or through contact with the bodily fluids of infected humans.


Exploding e-cigarette killed Florida man, coroner says

An exploding e-cigarette killed a Florida man and set fire to his apartment, an autopsy has found.

In what is believed to be the first death from a vaping pen explosion in the United States, 38-year-old Tallmadge D'Elia died when two pieces of the e-cigarette lodged themselves in his cranium, the Pinellas County medical examiner said.

The lethal vaping device was identified as a Smok-E Mountain brand, which is manufactured in the Philippines, according to the local Tampa Bay Times newspaper.

It said the device was known as a "mechanical mod" e-cigarette, which lacks some of the safety features that other makes have, including computer chips to prevent them from overheating.

Read more @

Doctors on high alert as Netflix's 13 Reasons Why returns for season 2

The 1st season of the show triggered a spike in kids googling "how to commit suicide".

The controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why returns for a second season this week, putting parents and educators on high alert for the mental well-being of teenagers.

After its first successful - but, for many, unsettling - season, mental health care professionals and organizations documented worrying spikes in teenage suicides and signs of suicide ideation.

School districts, psychologists and school counselors are warning that support systems need to be in place to help students process the show's new season even though Netflix claims to be providing more mental health support to young viewers.

Read more @

Learning a new language or playing a musical instrument could be the key to avoiding dementia

Playing a musical instrument or learning another language could protect against dementia, according to research.

Brain scans showed that musicians and bilinguals are able to activate different regions of the brain, which uses less energy.

These areas of the brain make use of different networks which means less brain activity is required to complete certain functions, hence more efficient and they are less likely to develop dementia.

Read more @

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Chimpanzees have much cleaner beds than humans do

Chimpanzees have much cleaner beds - with fewer bodily bacteria - than humans do, scientists have found.

A study comparing swabs taken from chimp nests with those from human beds found that people's sheets and mattresses harboured far more bacteria from their bodies than the animals' beds did from theirs.

The researchers say their findings suggest that our attempts to create clean environments for ourselves may actually make our surroundings “less ideal”.

More than a third – 35% - of the bacteria in human beds comes from our own saliva, skin and faecal particles.


Naps during pregnancy may be linked with healthier birth weight

Pregnant women who nap regularly may reduce their baby's risk of low birth weight, a study from China suggests.

"Low birth weight is one of the feared outcomes of pregnancy, and novel insight into risk factors is welcome," said Dr Ghada Bourjeily, a sleep researcher at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, who wasn't involved in the study.

"Sleep, its quality and its duration are emerging as risk factors for various perinatal complications," Bourjeily said in an email.

Low birth weight is defined as less than 2.5kg.

Read more @

Eat yogurt as an appetizer before every meal to fight inflammation

Eating yogurt as an appetizer before meals could ease inflammation, hypertension and boost gut health, a new study has found.

They found that, even in those who ate plenty of meat and carbs, the yogurt appetizer helped to off-set the inflammation caused by saturated fat.

The study is the latest to show fermented dairy products like yogurt and cheese can have transformative effects on gut health and inflammation, running against the popular health fad of shunning dairy products.

Read more @

Acne sufferers go wild for 'miracle' charcoal soap they claim clears the skin in as little as seven days

Acne sufferers have hailed a new £6 soap as a 'miracle' product, claiming it can clear skin in as little as seven days.

Carbon Theory, made by a London-based start-up, launched exclusively in Boots earlier this year and has sold out in many stores across the country as word of its powers spread on social media.

Made with organic tea tree oil and charcoal to reduce inflammation, fans have been praising the product on Instagram and sharing images of how it's improved their skin.

Read more @

My 2 cents:
If you cannot get hold the above said soap, maybe you want to use other soap or body wash that has tea tree oil as an ingredient.

Making of: Oolong tea - from plant to the cup

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The bizarre tell-tale signs that show your loved ones could have Parkinson's

Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, nicknamed Mr Loophole for his record at winning acquittals in motoring cases for high-profile clients, recalled the changes in his younger brother's behaviour.

1st sign: On one country walk together, his usually energetic younger brother, John, failed to keep up.

2nd sign: John used his fork really slowly. He also had this musky smell — not unpleasant, just unusual.

3rd sign: ‘John has always handled the finances for our mum, Pat, who is 87. But when he talked to me about the figures, he was hesitant, as if his brain was taking longer to process them — even though he has always had a sharp mind,’ explains Nick.

Although most people are aware of visible symptoms such as tremor, there might be as many as 40 lesser-known symptoms that range from muscle stiffness to depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping at night and memory problems.

Read more @

Scientists reveal eating ONLY within a 12-hour window helps keep the weight off

Avoiding a midnight snack and early breakfast may be the key to staying slim, new research suggests.

Mice on a high-fat diet gain less weight when they are only able to eat for half the day, an Australian study found.

Previous research suggests late-night snacking is fueling the obesity crisis, with humans only supposed to eat between 8am and 8pm, or even earlier.

Yet, the researchers argue eating within any 12-hour window, whether during the day or at night, helps regulate signals that control people's appetites.

Read more @

Do fathers who exercise have smarter babies?

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Exercise changes the brains and sperm of male animals in ways that later affect the brains and thinking skills of their offspring, according to a fascinating new study involving mice.

The findings indicate that some of the brain benefits of physical activity may be passed along to children, even if a father does not begin to exercise until adulthood.

We already have plenty of scientific evidence showing that exercise is good for our brains, whether we are mice or people. Among other effects, physical activity can strengthen the connections between neurons in the hippocampus, a crucial part of the brain involved in memory and learning. Stronger neuronal connections there generally mean sharper thinking.

Studies also indicate that exercise, like other aspects of lifestyle, can alter how genes work — whether and when they get turned on or off, for instance — and those changes can get passed on to children. This process is known as epigenetics.

Read more @

UN agency calls for all countries to rid foods of trans fat

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on all nations to rid foods of artificial trans fats in the next five years.

Officials think it can be done in five years because the work is well underway in many countries. Denmark did it 15 years ago, and since then the United States and more than 40 other higher-income countries have been working on getting the heart-clogging additives out of their food supplies.

The WHO is pushing middle- and lower-income countries to pick up the fight, said Dr. Francesco Branca, director of the WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.

Artificial trans fats are unhealthy substances that are created when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make it solid, like in the creation of margarine or shortening. Health experts say they can be replaced with canola oil or other products.