Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Number of elderly suicides at all-time high

The number of elderly aged 60 and above who took their own lives peaked at 129 last year, the highest since suicide tracking started in 1991, the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) said in a release on Monday (Jul 30).

This is six cases more than 2016, when 123 elderly suicides were reported. The proportion of elderly suicides has also gone up: Seniors made up 36 per cent of 361 suicides reported in 2017, compared to 29 per cent of 429 suicides the year before.

“It is very worrying that many elderly are turning to suicide as the only choice to end their pain and struggles, when they should be enjoying the lustre of their golden years,” SOS executive director Christine Wong said.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/suicides-elderly-singapore-all-time-high-sos-10565002

7 ways to prevent heatstroke

Source: thenewpaper, 30 July,2018

Monday, 30 July 2018

Feeling anxious and irritable? Your daily coffee fix could be to blame

It is most people’s favourite way to start the morning: with a hot coffee in hand. Coffee has become a handy sidekick that gives an extra boost to tackle the day.

A recent rise in temperature (not related to the current heatwave), frequent bathroom breaks, dehydration, dizziness and headaches are signs you could be taking your daily java intake too far. A racing heart, restlessness, anxiety, irritability and trembles are also symptoms of the 6% of Brits who over-caffeinate daily.

So how is it possible to build a dependency? Coffee is a common stimulant that increases adrenalin in the body, making you feel awake and energetic. When enjoyed in moderate amounts, coffee helps you focus and feel mentally alert.

Unsure whether you are part of the population that relies too heavily on a caffeinated routine? It is perfectly safe – and may even be healthy for you – to enjoy between 300 – 400mg of coffee a day. This translates to two medium sized coffees.

Note: Tea has more caffeine than coffee when unmade. But, when tea is made, caffeine is left in the tea leaves than in the liquid. So, do not steep the tea leaves for ages if you do not want to have more caffeine.

1) https://sg.style.yahoo.com/feeling-anxious-irritable-daily-coffee-fix-blame-100554664.html
2) https://www.theguardian.com/notesandqueries/query/0,5753,-25502,00.html

Lesson from Wild Boars' rescue

How to minimise pancreatic cancer risk

The pancreas is a small two-part glandular organ - about 18cm long and 4cm wide - lying in the upper abdomen behind the stomach. It performs two vital functions. One part of the gland is a source of digestive enzymes and the other part produces the hormones insulin and glucagon that control blood levels of glucose and fatty acids.

Pancreatic cancer is still rare but it is one of the deadliest because symptoms almost never develop until the disease is advanced and incurable.

Some known risk factors for pancreatic cancer are beyond an individual’s control: Older age, being an African-American or Ashkenazi Jew, and having two or more first-degree relatives (parents or siblings) who have had the cancer.

But it is the modifiable risk factors that are currently of greatest concern. Aside from tobacco smoking, which accounts for 20% to 25% of pancreatic cancers even as this risk factor continues to decline, the main risks for pancreatic cancer cases and deaths are obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, all of which have risen to epidemic levels in recent years.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/lifestyle/how-to-minimise-pancreatic-cancer-risk-10556722

A few beers a week could help men start a family

Men hoping to become fathers are often advised to avoid alcohol for fear of harming their fertility.

But a study suggests a few small beers a week or bottle of wine may actually help men start a family.

Italian researchers who asked 323 men about their alcohol consumption found moderate drinkers had a better sperm count.

Dr Elena Ricci, who led the research, said: 'We found that men who consumed four to seven units per week had higher semen volume and total sperm count than those who drank less or more than that. We concluded that moderate alcohol intake appears positively associated to semen quality, in this group of men.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5964777/A-beers-week-help-men-start-family.html

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The dog that can lion dance

Blood Moon eclipse on 28 July 2018 - pictures

Screenshot of blood moon from live stream by NASA on 28 July 2018

full moon before eclipse
Full moon before eclipse on 28 July 2018

clouds turning red too, before eclipse
Clouds turning red before the eclipse

Friday, 27 July 2018

Exceptional people: Four members of the public honoured for catching upskirt video suspects

Mr Justin Law (L) and Mr Song Wei Zong with Commander Koh Wei Keong. Source: channelnewsasia

“You’ll never know if the next victim is from your own family."

For Mr Song Wei Zong, 35, that was the reason he decided to help two others (Mr Leow Fa Dong and Ms Tan Yi Jing) detained a man who was believed to have taken an upskirt video of a woman.

All three received the Public Spiritedness Award along with Mr Justin Law, 25, who was commended for his actions in a separate upskirt video taking incident at Marymount MRT station.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/public-spiritedness-award-catching-upskirt-video-suspects-10561754

UNICEF warns of HIV crisis in teen girls, with 20 cases every hour

Teenagers, and particularly girls, are bearing the brunt of the global AIDS epidemic with around 30 adolescents becoming infected with HIV every hour, according to a report by the United Nations children's fund UNICEF.

Of those 30 new infections each hour among 15 to 19 year-olds in 2017, around 20 - or two-thirds - were in girls, UNICEF said, representing a "crisis of health as well as a crisis of agency".

It said the epidemic's spread among adolescent girls is being fueled by early sex, including with older men, forced sex, powerlessness in negotiating around sex, poverty and lack of access to confidential counseling and testing services.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/unicef-warns-of-hiv-crisis-in-teen-girls--with-20-cases-every-hour-10562026

Pregnant women who wear perfume and use plastic containers are more likely to have children with damaged brain

Pregnant women who heat up food in plastic containers and wear perfume may be inflicting long-term damage on their unborn child's brain development, a new study on rats suggests.

A team at the University of Illinois baked cookies laced with phthalates, chemicals used in plastic and fragrances which are known to affect the way our hormones work.

They fed the cookies to pregnant and nursing mice - and found that, when their offspring reached adulthood, they were not as cognitively sharp as their peers who weren't exposed to the chemicals.

Lead author Dr Janice Juraska, a professor of psychology in the neuroscience department, told Daily Mail Online she was shocked by how clear the impact was, and said she would now urge pregnant women to avoid plastics and fragrances of any kind.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5960151/Pregnant-women-wear-perfume-kids-struggle-grasp-ideas.html

Eating just ONE orange a day reduces people's risk of blindness by 60%

Snacking on the popular citrus fruit reduces people's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which affects central vision, by 60%, a study found.

Lead author Professor Bamini Gopinath, from the University of Sydney, said: 'The data shows that flavonoids found in oranges appear to help protect against the disease.

'Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants found in almost all fruits and vegetables, and they have important anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system.'

Despite flavonoids also being found in other produce such as apples, for unclear reasons, only antioxidants in oranges protect against sight loss.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5950293/Eating-just-one-orange-day-prevent-common-cause-blindness.html

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Recalled: Pinguin's frozen mixed vegetables, sweet corn kernels over listeria fears

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore announced it has recalled Pinguin's frozen mixed vegetables and sweet corn kernels, amid a listeria outbreak in Europe.

An alert on a multi-country foodborne outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in Europe has been issued by the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, said AVA in the press release.

The outbreak was possibly due to microbial contamination from a production plant, Greenyard Frozen, in Hungary, said the authority.

The implicated products are Pinguin's 1kg frozen mixed vegetables, with any expiry date up to March 2020 as well as the 2.5kg packet of sweet corn kernels, with any expiry date up to February 2019.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/pinguin-frozen-vegetables-sweet-corn-kernels-recall-listeria-10556030

HFMD virus found on supermarket trolley handlebars, child rides in Penang

The main cause of the outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Penang has been identified as contact with supermarket trolley handlebars and child rides at shopping malls.

According to The Sun Daily, investigations by officials found that toys and chairs in malls were also among the main causes.

In a letter issued by the southwest district health office, authorities also advised shopping malls to disinfect such items, the report added.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/hfmd-virus-penang-malaysia-malls-10557142

Blood moon eclipse can be seen in Singapore on 28 July

Make a date to view the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon line up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the moon. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.

In Singapore, this lunar event is expected to start from 1.14 am and end at 5.13am, with the total eclipse at 3.30 am.

Unlike a solar eclipse, you can view a lunar eclipse with your naked eyes.

Read more @ https://sg.theasianparent.com/longest-lunar-eclipse-of-the-century-in-singapore/

Forum: Leave it to consumers to opt for added services

I refer to the letter by Ms Karen Low of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) (PRS barring service provided to protect consumers; July 24).

A large number of customers of mobile companies are not consumers of premium rate services (PRS).

Further, a large percentage of mobile users are not necessarily IT-savvy consumers.

Given the role of IMDA in protecting consumers, it is not enough to offer a PRS barring service.

This requires consumers to not forget to enable PRS barring and to be tech-savvy enough to know how to do it.

We need to follow the European approach.

Mobile phone SIM card contracts must be always sold with PRS disabled by default.

Switching on the access to PRS by a consumer will thus be a deliberate act that has a clear audit trail.

No consumer can then say he did it by mistake, or complain about wrong billing as there will be clear evidence that he enabled PRS and that he selected a specific service.

This will also ensure that no consumer can be cheated by a rogue PRS provider.

Also, no telco operator can then be accused of trying to generate additional revenue by leaving on features that can separate unsuspecting consumers from some of their money.

This approach need not be limited to mobile services.

In general, it is good practice for all service packages for the public to be sold with only basic features enabled, leaving it to the consumer to optfor additional services, even if they are free.

In fact, this is what European Union legislation supports.

This is the correct approach that needs to be regulated by all ministries.

Rahul Patwardhan

Ref: http://str.sg/oAEm

Malaysia has highest rate of diabetes in Asia

Malaysia has the highest rate of diabetes in Asia and one of the highest in the world, probably next to Saudi Arabia, said the National Diabetes Institute (NADI) executive chairman, Dr Mustaffa Embong.

About 2.5 million adults aged 18 and above in Malaysia have diabetes, he said.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/malaysia-has-highest-rate-of-diabetes-in-asia-10559114

Monday, 23 July 2018

Humorous pictures: Not easy being a parent

'Invisible' stool blood tied to increased risk of premature death

A screening test for colon cancer that looks for "invisible" blood in stool may also predict a heightened risk of premature death from other causes, a recent study suggests.

Researchers examined data on 133,921 adults in Scotland who got screened for colon cancer using what's known as a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). When these tests are positive for blood in the stool, it can signal cancer, but it doesn't always mean people have tumors.

In the study, 2,714 people, or 2%, had positive FOBT results. Not only were these individuals almost eight times more likely to die of colon cancer than people with negative results, they were also 58% more likely to die of other causes during the study.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/-invisible--stool-blood-tied-to-increased-risk-of-premature-death-10550544

Apple investigating reported fraudulent iTunes transactions in Singapore

Apple is investigating reported fraudulent iTunes purchases that have led to deductions in Singapore bank accounts.

Channel NewsAsia reported on Sunday that dozens of Apple customers have had hundreds of dollars deducted from their bank accounts after being billed for iTunes purchases they did not make or having iTunes accounts.

OCBC Bank detected 58 cases of fraudulent transactions charged to cardholders’ accounts in July, the media outlet quoted a bank official as saying.

Says a victim, architectural designer Hariz Lim: "The shocking thing is, I don't even have any credit or debit card details saved on my own iTunes account," said Mr Lim. "Apple/iTunes was not even aware of the fraudulent transactions (in my account) until I informed them."

Meanwhile, Apple said users who want to report a problem with any iTunes purchases may do so on its support page

1) https://sg.news.yahoo.com/apple-investigating-reported-fraudulent-itunes-transactions-singapore-041548270.html
2) https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/apple-itunes-fraudulent-charges-banks-continue-to-assist-victims-10554658

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Warning: Banned substance sibutramine found in two slimming products sold online

Slimming products Li Da Weight Loss Capsule and Chapter Plus By Backslim have been found to contain the banned substance sibutramine, the Health Sciences Authority said in a news release on Friday (Jul 20), after conducting tests.

Sibutramine has been banned in Singapore since 2010 as users can have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, HSA said. Consuming it could also lead to breathing difficulties, palpitations, mood swings, hallucinations and hearing of voices.

The authority flagged two other products similar to Li Da Weight Loss Capsule that were also found to be adulterated with sibutramine - Li Da DAIDAIHUA Weight Loss Capsule and Lida (Plus).

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/li-da-chapter-plus-sibutramine-two-slimming-products-10546772

Exceptional people: Singapore-based Canadian Scott Woodward wins 1st place in Apple's 2018 iPhone photography awards Portrait category

Woodward is originally from Canada, but has lived in Singapore for the past 21 years.

Flickr for his very old photos 
Website for his latest works 
Instagram: @scottawoodward

Chocolate milk boosts exercise recovery MORE THAN sports drinks

Chocolate milk boosts exercise recovery more than sports drinks, new research suggests.

The popular milkshake allows athletes to intensely exercise for around six minutes longer than sports drink without tiring. It also improves exercisers' heart rates and lactic-acid levels, which causes cramp, just as well as beverages marketed for post-activity recovery, the research adds.

Study author Dr Amin Salehi-Abargouei from Shahid Sadoughi University in Yazd, Iran, said: 'Chocolate milk contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, flavonoids, electrolytes, and some vitamins which make this drink a good choice for recovery in athletes.

'The take-home message is that chocolate milk is a low-cost, delicious and palatable option for recovery and provides either similar or superior effects compared with commercial drinks.'

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5949903/Chocolate-milk-boosts-exercise-recovery-sports-drinks-study-finds.html

Saturated fats in yoghurt, cheese and butter do NOT increase the risk of heart disease

Image for illustration only

Saturated fats found in yoghurt, cheese, butter and milk do not increase the risk of heart disease, new research suggests.

Eating full-fat dairy actually reduces the risk of dying from stroke by 42%, a study found.

Lead author Dr Marcia Otto, from the University of Texas, Houston, said: 'Our findings not only support, but also significantly strengthen, the growing body of evidence which suggests that dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase risk of heart disease or overall mortality in older adults.

'In addition to not contributing to death, the results suggest that one fatty acid present in dairy may lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, particularly from stroke.'

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5946487/Saturated-fats-yoghurt-cheese-butter-NOT-increase-risk-heart-disease.html

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Scam warning: SingHealth warns of fake SMS claiming access to phone numbers, financial details

Fake SMSes have emerged, claiming that phone numbers, financial details and medical records had been accessed, following news of the data breach on Friday (Jul 20).

In a Facebook post late on Friday night, SingHealth said: "We have been made aware that some people have received the fake text (SMS) message below. Please note that this is NOT from SingHealth."

"Please be assured that NO phone number, financial information or other patient medical records have been illegally accessed," it added.

SingHealth had also said that it would be notifying affected patients over the next five days via text message.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singhealth-warns-of-fake-sms-phone-numbers-financial-cyberattack-10549762

Friday, 20 July 2018

Super-fit father forgot his entire family after OVERTRAINING caused a cardiac arrest

A super fit trainer forgot his entire family after suffering a cardiac arrest from overtraining.

Father-of-one Garth Suthurst's heart stopped beating for more than 20 minutes on June 1 before doctors were able to restart it.

Although his family were elated when the father-of-one opened his eyes, their joy quickly turned to heartbreak when he was unable to recognise any of them, including his eight-year-old daughter Lily.

After a 35 day stint in hospital, Mr Suthurst now recognises his loved ones and has been allowed to return to home, with doctors saying he only survived due to him being so fit.

Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5945869/PT-39-forgot-entire-family-cardiac-arrest-overtraining-stopped-heart.html

Lessons to be learnt here:
  • Do not overtrain. Know your physical limits.
  • Physical exercise is good for you. Helps you to recover fast when you are faced with illness or disease or surgery.

Humorous KIDS pictures