Sunday, 30 June 2019

Walk around Singapore: Funan IT Mall (Jun 2019)

Singapore's IT Mall Funan opens again after 3 years of renovation that costs S$560 million. It is crazy with so many people there look-see-look-see, just like when Jewel Changi just opened.

The Mall

the big screen

the main staircase that is also a place to relax and the place is just like an amphitheater 

place for showcasing new products

Urban Farm

Plants in the city will help to cool the environment and add a dash of green

Hydroponic plants

Food and more food

preparing food on the spot

something different

..and more food at the basement


Sporting events are incorporated into the design of the mall. You may cycle here, rock climbing, gym or play basketball to burn all those calories after eating all those good food.

cycling is only allowed between 7-10am. Showering and locker facilities are outside the mall

Warning: SFA bans import of bottled water from Malaysia's Malee Mineral Water after bacteria found in samples

The import of all bottled drinking and mineral water from Malee Mineral Water has been banned with immediate effect after bacteria was detected in recent consignments.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) announced this in a circular addressed to all bottled water importers on its website on Friday (Jun 28).

"We wish to inform you that through our recent surveillance, consignments of bottled drinking water from the manufacturer, Malee Mineral Water Sdn Bhd, were detected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa," said the circular.

"In view of the detection, the import of all bottled drinking and mineral water from Malee Mineral Water Sdn Bhd is not permitted, with immediate effect."


Electricity tariffs, City Gas prices to rise from July to September

Electricity tariffs will increase from July 1 to Sept 30, SP Group said on Saturday (June 29).

The increase of 6.4%, or 1.43 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), from the previous quarter is mainly due to the higher cost of natural gas for electricity generation.

For households, the electricity tariff will rise from 22.79 to 24.22 cents per kWh from Jul 1 to Sep 30. This means that the average monthly electricity bill for families living in four-room Housing Board flats will increase by S$5.20.

Gas provider City Gas also announced on Saturday that it will raise prices for households by 1.6%, or 0.30 cent per kWh, for the July to September period, from 18.80 cents per kWh, excluding Goods and Services Tax, to 19.10 cents per kWh.


Spend 2 hours a week in nature to improve health, say doctors

appreciating nature, but be careful

It is a medical fact: Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces, is good for you.

A wealth of research indicates that escaping to a neighbourhood park, hiking through the woods, or spending a weekend by the lake can lower a person’s stress levels, decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk asthma, allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, while boosting mental health and increasing life expectancy.

One question has remained: How long, or how frequently, should you experience the great outdoors in order to reap its great benefits? Is there a recommended dose? Just how much nature is enough?

According to a paper published last Thursday (June 20) in the journal Scientific Reports, the answer is about 120 minutes each week.


DIY-meals in pricey Sweden made me appreciate Singapore hawkers all the more

Singapore hawker centre

Imagine the nostalgia when I arrived in Sweden early this year for a semester-long exchange at Uppsala University and saw students bringing their own Tupperware to school.

Very soon, I found myself following suit, and not by choice really. There is a high price to pay — literally — if I choose to eat out.

A typical meal here starts from 100 Swedish kronor, which is about S$14.60. Even at the cheaper IKEA or Burger King, it will cost me close to S$10 per meal.

While I still find meal preparation satisfying, I do miss the convenience, variety and affordability of food back home. There is no need to fuss over grocery runs or pore over recipes. All I had to do is to drop by the hawker centre and a meal is settled. For years, they have been under-appreciated. We can only blame ourselves if nobody wants to be a hawker in the future.


Saturday, 29 June 2019

Morning larks are less at risk of breast cancer

Being a morning person may reduce your risk of breast cancer, research suggests.

A study found those who prefer to get up bright and early are less likely to develop the disease than 'night owls'.

This is believed to be due to light exposure in the early hours cutting off the supply of the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep.

Several studies have shown melatonin has the power to protect against cancers, particularly breast.


Student praises £6 charcoal soap for improving her acne skin in just TWO WEEKS

Source: Carbon theory website

A student who suffered with severe acne has praised a £6 cleansing bar containing charcoal and tea tree oil for dramatically improving her skin in just two weeks.

'My mum saw the Carbon Theory Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil Break-Out Control Facial Cleansing Bar on Facebook,' said Lucy.

'It was only £6 and so many people were claiming it had helped clear their acne. I went on the Carbon Theory website and ordered some straight away.'

Lucy started using the Carbon Theory bar as soon as she received it and saw an improvement within just two to three weeks.


Foods That Will Give You Clear, Ageless Skin

  • Oats
  • Raw cacao
  • Sesame oil
  • Pomegranate
  • Matcha
  • Avocado
  • Green tea


My photo - Cycling

A public domain photo by me

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Police warn of scams involving SMS threats to burn down home

If you receive an SMS message threatening to burn down your premises unless you pay a ransom, do not panic.

It is most likely a scam, the police said in a public alert yesterday.

No monetary loss from such scams has been reported, the police said in a statement.

They advise people who receive such messages to remain calm and to ignore the instruction to transfer money.


Say what? Singaporeans may be losing their hearing as early as their 40s

While the average outdoor noise level alone is not likely to cost you your hearing, there is growing evidence that listening to music on your mobile phone or music player at a high volume for prolonged periods can permanently damage it, said Lee.

And get this: Singaporeans may lose their hearing early – as young as in their mid-40s – because of such factors, he said.

“Some of these music players can produce sounds of up to 120 decibels, which is equal to sound levels caused by a commercial airliner taking off from a runway,” he said. “Exposure to sounds of that level for even 30 minutes can result in permanent hearing damage for the listener.”

If you were guilty of blasting your ears with heavy metal in your teenage years, you may also be paying the price for it now, said Lee. “The excessive usage of these devices can stack up and bring forward permanent hearing loss earlier in life.”

Read more @

New research shows coffee improves overall health and longevity whilst fighting obesity

Image for illustration only
Your body has two kinds of fat:
1) white adipose tissue (WAT) and
2) brown adipose tissue (BAT)

BAT improves your body's ability to handle blood sugar, increases bone health and density, helps build lead muscle mass, increases longevity, and helps you burn WAT (the normal fat stores in your body that makes you look fat) more efficiently.

The problems with BAT are:
1) adult humans do not have much of it but babies have a lot, and
2) BAT only works when it is activated

Now, according to groundbreaking research conducted at the University of Nottingham, drinking coffee (but not water) stimulates BAT.In other words,coffee literally helps to burn fat.


My photo - Skater with a big smile

A public domain photo by me

Keep Spiders and Mice Out of Your House, All You Need Is One Tea Bag

Mother Nature has several remedies to counter these pests, the most effective being peppermint! Peppermint is an incredible force for good in your body, especially freshening your breath. But the same natural oils that make it smell so good to humans also make it effective in keeping mice and spiders away.

Once you are done drinking your tea, all you need to do is place the used tea bag where you have seen mice or spiders, or where you are worried that they might be.

If you are not a tea drinker, you can also use peppermint essential oil. Simply mix it with a little water and spray it along the baseboards to ward off pests.


Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Singapore youths afraid to be kind

Image for illustration only

Youths in Singapore are aware of their roles in creating a more gracious society, but a fear of being embarrassed is holding them back from being kind.

According to the latest Graciousness Survey by the Singapore Kindness Movement released on Monday (Jun 24), about one in four respondents (23%) aged 15 to 24 said that they "fear looking stupid or silly".

Those in the 55 and above age group were the least afraid of looking stupid or silly at 6%, followed by those in the 35 to 44 age group (11%), those aged between 25 and 34 years old (12%) and those in the 45 to 54 age group (14%).

This fear could be linked to social media, along with its reach and visibility, said the Singapore Kindness Movement.


Practices That are a Complete Waste of Money

These expensive Singaporean practices are either not worth the price people pay for them, or don’t bring the benefits people think they will.  In fact, very often, Singaporeans spend on them simply because everyone else is doing it.

  • Pre-wedding photoshoot
  • Five-star hotel buffets
  • 5-year car loans
  • Middle income earners carrying high end designer bags
  • Changing mobile phones every year
  • Failing to compare prices
  • Buying things I'll never use
  • Gym memberships/personal training
  • Trying to keep up with others


Be in bed before 10.30pm if you want to have kids, men told

Men should get to bed before 10.30pm to improve their chances of fathering children, scientists have said following a groundbreaking new study.

The data showed that those tucked up early had nearly four times greater sperm quality compared to those who went to sleep at 11.30 or later.

Fertility experts said they believe a lack of sleep provokes the immune system into overreacting and attacking healthy sperm.

It also puts men under physical and psychological stress, which is thought to further damage their chances of conceiving.


Want to Finally Wake Up Fully Rested? Eat One of These 6 Foods Before Bed

Eat One of These 6 Foods Before Bed

1. Cherries with greek yogurt or oats
2. Nuts
3. Potatoes
4. Dark chocolate
5. Avocado on whole grain toast
6. Warm milk

Read more @

Words and phrases you probably did not realise Shakespeare invented

  • Knock knock! Who's there? 
  • For goodness' sake
  • Catch a cold
  • Break the ice
  • Cruel to be kind
  • Love is blind
  • A heart of gold
  • All of a sudden
  • Neither here nor there


Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Seeking help for burnout is ‘not weak’

Image for illustration only

As work stress can exact a toll on workers and employers, sufferers should not be ashamed to ask for help, says IMH psychologist.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) classifies burnout as an "occupational phenomenon", not a medical condition. Burnout occurs due to chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.

It is characterised by feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job, and reduced professional efficacy - all of which Mr Wong experienced.

Burnout among workers can exact an economic toll on employers in terms of medical expenses, lost productivity and employee morale.


Forum: Time to develop Singaporeans' soft skills

I was pleased to read that both Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore occupy the top spot in Asia in an annual global ranking of universities (NUS and NTU tie as Asia's top university, June 19).

As a nation, we can derive great satisfaction from the way our tiny red dot has made its mark and punched well above its weight, be it in our university rankings or the fact that we have some of the best minds in the academic circles and medical fields operating in Singapore.

Now we need to move beyond this.

We need to see how Singaporeans at the top of the pile can infuse elements of compassion, care, inter-personal relations and heart into all that we do.

University lecturers should work to improve on creating rapport and instilling passion into all that they teach.

Let us also review how we select our academics beyond their academic prowess.

There are too many great academics lacking in motivational skills - reservoirs of knowledge, but not mentors that students want to emulate.

Similar observations apply to our hospitals. Last month, my mother died at a government hospital.

Did she get good medical care? Mostly, yes. I am grateful that the Singapore doctors I encountered were medically at the top of their game, explaining the essence of what my mother was experiencing.

Foreign doctors were equally competent, but the difference was that they sat down with us for a significantly longer time, went beyond the medical conditions, and spoke passionately about the medical, ethical and moral issues that we were experiencing as we made tough medical decisions.

In other words, they treated my mother as more than just a medical entity. I was extremely touched by their humanising approach.

Perhaps I generalise.

Yet my observations of "business-as-usual versus compassion" cut across other sectors as well.

I think that while Singaporeans have done extremely well professionally, now is the time to put some empathy and passion behind all that we do. With our trained competence and diligence, we can take Singapore to an even more exalted level.

Let's begin softening the rough edges now, and have more heart in all that we do.

Satish Kumar Khattar


You may want to read NUH staff lacked compassion

My photo: Lower Peirce Reservoir

A public domain photo by me

Washington is 1st state to allow composting of human bodies

The body can be turned into organic soil for your garden

Ashes to ashes, guts to dirt.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Tuesday making Washington the first state to approve composting as an alternative to burying or cremating human remains.

It allows licensed facilities to offer "natural organic reduction," which turns a body, mixed with substances such as wood chips and straw, into about two wheelbarrows' worth of soil in a span of several weeks.

Loved ones are allowed to keep the soil to spread, just as they might spread the ashes of someone who has been cremated — or even use it to plant vegetables or a tree.


Sore eyes? It may be more than fatigue


Sunday, 23 June 2019

Almost an accident a day on Singapore’s escalators - updated with parents' comments

On average, one escalator accident takes place in Singapore almost every day. And of the more than 350 incidents reported last year, over 90% were caused by user behaviour, such as using prams on escalators, running on them and not holding the handrails, while the rest were down to technical faults.

Dr Sharon Goh from the Department of Emergency Medicine in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital has seen patients as young as one month old suffer from serious escalator-related injuries, such as to the head or spine.

And more than half of those who arrive at the hospital with injuries involving prams on escalators tend to be admitted, said Dr Goh.

Read more @

You may want to read 
1) Parents address flak over 'irresponsible' use of baby strollers on escalators
2) Commentary: Prams and escalator incidents – how about lift priority queues for new parents?

Singaporeans living longer but spending more time in ill health

Singaporeans may be the world’s longest-living people, but they are also living a slightly greater proportion of their lives in poor health compared with about 30 years ago.

  • Life expectancy: 84.8 years in 2017 compared with 76.1 years in 1990, an increase of 8.7 years
  • Healthy life expectancy (which assesses quality of health): 74.2 years in 2017 compared with 67.1 years in 1990, an increase of 7.2 years
  • Singaporeans spent 10.6 years in ill health in 2017, about 1.5 years longer than they did in 1990
  • A person born in 2017 would live an estimated 12.5% of his life in ill health, compared with 11.8% for a person born in 1990


Parkinson’s disease spotted in brain before symptoms shown

Brain imaging showing loss in serotonin function as Parkinson's disease progresses
Source: Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, King's College London
An early warning signal for Parkinson's which appears years before any symptoms occur has been uncovered by scientists.

Researchers from King's College London found damage to the brain's serotonin system was an 'excellent marker' for the cruel disease.

Experts have hailed the findings, branding them 'fascinating' and saying they help to fit a 'crucial gap' in the knowledge of the condition.

Parkinson's takes hold in the brain years before patients notice symptoms, which include tremors and slow movement.


Forum: Inequality will correct itself over time

Inequality is a natural state of mankind for the simple reason that people are born with different talents and under different circumstances.

Few doubt that more intelligent people will do better economically than less intelligent people, as will children with wealthier parents compared with poorer ones.

In a cosmic sense, this is unjust, but how does one seek cosmic justice in a real world?

One way is to level the playing field. Take from the haves and give it to the have-nots via government taxation and spending.

Another way is to let the system correct itself over time, which is what a free society with strong rule of law and private property will accomplish.

In a complex and dynamic world, the notion that anybody can engineer solutions to complex social or economic problems is sheer hubris.

But I will admit that Singapore and Hong Kong have done remarkably well in managing them.

However, both are city states with small populations, strong cultures and a deep understanding of the power of free markets.

The problem with trying to do it in a large and culturally diverse country like the United States is that it could and often does lead to devastating unintended consequences.

Some problems, inequality among them, are not amenable to solutions, only to trade-offs.

So please, don't try to solve them, let the market do its magic.

Mark Castelino (Professor)


You may want to read Growing pie does not mean bigger slices for all

Eating yogurt twice a week could lower the risk of pre-cancerous bowel growths in men by 20%

Image is for illustration only
Eating at least two servings of yogurt a week may help protect men from developing growths that lead to bowel cancer, a new study finds.

Researchers say that men who ate at least two pots of yogurt had a nearly 20% lowered risk of developing the growths, known as adenomas, than men who didn't eat yogurt.

And men who ate yogurt had a 26% decreased risk of developing adenomas that were highly likely to become malignant.

The findings support previous research that suggests consuming yogurt may lower bowel cancer risk by altering both the type and volume of bacteria in the gut.

For those who cannot eat yogurt, you may want to consider cultured dairy blends. The differences between cultured dairy blends and yogurt are low-sugar, high-protein alternatives to conventional yogurt, and they are suitable for diabetics, people who are lactose intolerant, and anyone watching their calories and carbs. 

One BIG difference is yogurt may or may not contain good bacteria where else cultured milk contains good bacteria.


Saunas have effects to exercising but not weight-loss

Saunas can be just as exhausting as a workout, research suggests.

A study found spending 25 minutes in a sauna raises a person's heart rate and blood pressure as much as a stint on a rowing machine.

These then fall once the sauna session is over, resulting in 'similar long-term positive effects to exercise'.

However, the researchers added saunas would not help people lose weight because there is no muscle activity involved.


Friday, 21 June 2019

Forum: Wrong to assume part-timers are less committed

The importance of part-time workers cannot be underestimated in our tight labour market (Part-timers should not get same benefits as full-time staff, by Mr Syed Alwi Altahir, June 17).

Over the years, I have observed an increase in the number of part-time workers being employed in retail outlets and fast-food restaurants.

There are many reasons why companies turn to hiring part-time workers, who comprise mainly students, retirees and housewives.

Some companies do so as a way to ease their economic woes, while others need them because of the rapid staff turnover that adversely impacts their business operations and services.

When such problems persist, the only solution may be to have a pool of regular part-time employees who can be deployed to meet the company's manpower needs.

It is wrong to assume that part-timers would not be as committed or efficient in their jobs as full-time employees.

There are part-time employees who have contributed to the success of their organisation, and are concerned about its well-being.

Many are loyal and dedicated to their jobs because they are made to feel they have a stake in the company's business despite working fewer hours than the full-time employees.

Also some part-time employees in established companies enjoy statutory public holiday pay and leave benefits, as well as other perks including pro-rated bonuses, meaning they are treated like permanent full-time staff.

If we look at the issue in the proper perspective, the part-time employment trend is likely to be an enduring one.

What is more important is that the employer and full-time employees have much to gain by leveraging the part-timers' experience and availability for specific job assignments as and when needed.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng


Beat the heat: How to dress up for work without worrying about sweat stains

It is sweltering hot outside but freezing inside your office – deciding what to wear can be frustrating. Don’t sweat it – you can still feel cool without sacrificing your dress smarts with these tips.

Things to consider:
  • Fabric matters
  • Black or white
  • Sweat stain alert
  • Less coverage
  • Go loose and wide
  • All in the feet


The £4.50 cream that 'cured' my baby's eczema in just three days

Source: Child's Farm
A mother has revealed how her baby girl is 'spot free' after a miracle cream 'cured' her eczema in just days.

Tara Herd claims her then six-week-old daughter Olivia would 'scream the house down' during a flare-up, which often left her too distressed to feed.

After ruling out anything serious, medics recommended Mrs Herd try a barrier cream, which provides an extra protective layer to the skin.

Mrs Herd, of Newbury, Berkshire, tried a £4.50 moisturiser from Childs Farm and was amazed when Olivia's rash immediately started to die down.

Just three days later, Olivia's skin was 'spot free', with her not having a 'proper flare-up' since.


My photo - flowers

A public domain photo by me