Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Exceptional company: Grab raised $320,00 for Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF)

Technology company Grab's participants at this year's Hair for Hope campaign include (clockwise from top left) Mr Anthony Tan, co-founder and chief executive officer; Ms Ong Chin Yin, head of people; Mr Artem Alabastro, senior marketing executive; and Ms Cherlene Lim, project manager. Source: Grab/todayonline
This is the first year Grab Singapore is taking part in the Hair for Hope campaign. As a whole, the ride-sharing firm's 107 participants, including 40 driver-partners, have raised S$324,514 so far - a record for a “satellite” partner, CCF said.

Grab’s co-founder Anthony Tan has also gone bald for children with cancer, raising a record sum for the annual Hair for Hope campaign.

By Monday (July 29), Mr Tan’s effort has drawn S$197,010 in donations, more than double his S$80,000 target, the Hair for Hope website showed.

This is the highest amount raised by an individual since the yearly drive began in 2003, a spokesperson for the Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) said. The foundation organises Hair for Hope - a campaign in which participants shave their heads to show solidarity with cancer-stricken children.

Read more @

My photo - small leaves

A public domain photo by me

Four more dengue deaths, bringing total to nine this year

Four more people, including a 46-year-old man, have died of dengue, bringing the total deaths this year to nine as of July 20.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint reply to media queries yesterday that there were 8,020 dengue cases reported to MOH as of July 20, five times more than the total number of dengue cases reported in the same period last year.

Three men died on July 16. Two of them, aged 77 and 65, lived in areas that are within active dengue clusters, in Eunos Crescent and Bedok Reservoir Road. The other man, 46, had Woodlands Drive 50 as his last documented address.

Another man, who was 70, died on June 30. He lived in Hougang Ave 5, which was within a previously active dengue cluster that closed on July 12.


Woman who battled severe cystic acne cures it in THREE weeks after finding 'miracle' herbal tablets

A young woman has revealed her blemish-free skin after a four year battle with acne, thanks to a 'miracle' product she found on Instagram.

Kara Eden, 22, a production coordinator from Trafford, Manchester, started suffering with acne in 2015, aged 18, and found it seriously affected her self confidence.

The acne started to develop on Kara's back which soon spread to her face as well.

But after discovering an Australian brand called Zilch, back in April, she couldn't be happier with her results, with the £78 [$139 AUD] tablets clearing her skin 'from the inside' within weeks.

Zilch tablets are natural herbal tablets made from 17 Chinese herbs:
Prunus persica, kernal. Carthamus tinctorius, flower. Salvia miltiorrhiza, root. Hedyotis diffusa, herb. Angelica dahurica, root. Gleditsia sinensis, spine. Viola yedoensis, herb Taraxacum mongolicum, herb. Lonicera japonica, flower. Phellodendron amurense, bark. Paeonia suffruticosa, root bark. Gardenia florida, fruit. Gentiana scabra, root. Potato starch. 


Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Subsidised vaccinations, smart watches and e-health booklets among recommendations for a healthier Singapore

In a bid to transform how Singapore promotes healthy living, a taskforce has set out wide-ranging recommendations such as subsidised vaccinations, smoking cessation programmes and workplace workouts.

These recommended programmes will target more groups of Singaporeans holistically and will be progressively rolled out.

  • Vaccination subsidies for adults
  • Smoking cessation support
  • Health promotion through wearables - smart watches or fitness device
  • Lifelong Virtual Health Booklet



Read more @

Male teen suicides last year hit 27-year high: SOS

Suicides among males here aged 10 to 19 rose sharply last year, with a total of 19 deaths recorded - the highest since 1991, and nearly three times the seven cases seen in 2017. Only 3 females in the 10-19 age range committed suicide in 2018.

The figures provided on Monday (July 29) by the Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), a non-profit suicide prevention centre, show a prevalence of suicides here among youths and males, which is of “significant societal concern”, it said.

It added that for every 10 suicides last year, at least seven were committed by men.

Overall, suicides across the Republic rose by 10%, with a total of 397 reported cases in 2018 compared to 361 the year before, said SOS.


Kick these bad kitchen habits to prevent food poisoning


Sunday, 28 July 2019

Forum: No need to keep kids with HFMD-infected siblings from school

We thank Mr Nicholas Tee for his letter (Keep children with HFMD-infected siblings away from school, July 18).

The Early Childhood Development Agency and the Ministry of Health work closely to monitor cases of infectious diseases in pre-schools, including hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD).

Preventive measures are in place in pre-schools to minimise the transmission of HFMD and other infectious diseases, and pre-schools are required to follow guidelines for the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

These include daily health and temperature checks of children upon arrival at pre-schools, ensuring appropriate hand washing by staff and children, and designated sick bays for unwell children to rest while waiting to be taken home.

HFMD is a common childhood infection that is generally mild and most children can recover on their own without treatment.

Unlike highly severe infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), requiring contacts of HFMD who are well with no symptoms to stay away from school or work and self-quarantine at home is not required.

Siblings of children diagnosed with HFMD but who remain well with no symptoms may continue to attend pre-school as they are less likely to transmit HFMD to others.

This approach is similar to how other infectious diseases, such as influenza or viral gastroenteritis, are managed.

The key to minimising the spread of such diseases is for individuals who are unwell to stay away from work, school or crowded places.

We appeal to parents whose children are unwell to keep them at home, so that they do not spread their illness.

It is also important for all of us to maintain good personal and environmental hygiene. This includes practices such as washing hands with soap before eating and after going to the toilet; covering one's mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and throwing the tissue away into a bin immediately; not sharing food, toothbrushes or towels; and disinfecting articles such as toys or appliances contaminated by oral or nasal secretions.

Vernon Lee
Director, Communicable Diseases Division
Ministry of Health

Bernadette Alexander
Director, Regulation and Standards
Early Childhood Development Agency


Singaporeans 6th most vacation-deprived globally

Singaporeans need more time away from the daily grind, according to a new survey out yesterday.

It found that around 60% of full-time workers felt "vacation-deprived" last year, with 40% saying they could not get enough time off work to use up their annual leave.

A striking 77% said they would take a pay cut just to get an extra day off, noted the survey by travel agency Expedia, which polled around 11,000 full-time working adults across 19 markets, including 300 here.

The finding that 63% of workers here felt they did not get enough vacation time last year moved Singapore up one spot to the sixth most vacation-deprived market in the world.


My photo - pouch string

A public domain photo by me

Saturday, 27 July 2019

54 fires involving PMDs and power-assisted bicycles reported in first half of 2019

Sources: cna, SCDF

The number of reported fires involving power-assisted bicycles (PAB) and personal mobility devices (PMDs) has more than doubled in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said in a Facebook post on Friday (Jul 26) that there were a total of 54 reported fires involving such mobility devices from January to June this year, which is already more than double compared to the same period last year of 24.

“The number of such fires in residential premises in the first half of 2019 increased to 36, with 31 people injured, from 23 fires in the same period in 2018 where 11 people were injured,” SCDF added.


Recalled of Tesco bottled fruit drinks which may have spoiled

A recall has been issued for four flavours of Tesco Finest Fruit Presse after some of the bottled drinks were found to have spoiled due to fermentation.

In addition to being a potential health risk, fermentation could also lead to a build-up of pressure in the bottles, which may cause them to explode, said the Singapore Food Authority (SFA).

The items, produced in the United Kingdom, are all marked best before March 2020 and sold at NTUC FairPrice.

Read more @

Giant dinosaur bone found in southwestern France



Scam warning: SP Group advises public to be aware of fake employees selling fire extinguishers

Energy provider SP Group has advised the public that there are suspected scammers who are posing as its employees to sell fire extinguishers.

In a Facebook post put up on Wednesday (24 July), SP Group said: “SP Group does not sell any products and our employees do not conduct door-to-door sales.”

It has advised all customers to always ask for the identification of any person claiming to be from SP Group, and not to provide personal particulars to strangers.


Friday, 26 July 2019

Recalled: Breast implants linked to rare cancer are recalled worldwide

Textured breast implants made by Allergan that have been linked to an unusual cancer are being recalled in the United States at the request of the Food and Drug Administration, and will also be recalled globally, the agency announced on Wednesday (July 24).

The FDA decision, based on an increasing number of cases and deaths from the implant-associated cancer, lags far behind action in Europe, where the Allergan devices were effectively banned late last year.

The disease is anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of the immune system. It is not breast cancer, but develops in tissue around the implant. In most cases, removing the implant and the scar tissue around it cures the cancer, but if it is not detected early it can spread and kill the patient.


Pregnant women are warned against drinking too much coffee

Drinking two or more cups of coffee per day while pregnant may damage the baby's liver, research suggests.

Too much caffeine may slow down the development of the organ and boost a child's risk of developing fatty liver disease or diabetes in adulthood.

A study on rats found 120mg of caffeine per day was enough to reduce levels of a hormone vital to the liver's growth.

And the same effect may apply to humans, the scientists suggest, when women have drinks with caffeine in them while they are pregnant.


So THAT is why an apple a day is good for you!

A single apple may contain as many as 100million bacteria, scientists say.

The crunchy fruits are a popular staple and have health benefits which can keep you out of the doctor's office – or so the saying goes.

And the reason for their healthiness may lie in the diversity of bacteria they bring into the gut.

Bacteria in the stomach and intestines, known as the microbiome, vary between people and have been closely linked to overall health and various illnesses.


Millions of people should STOP taking aspirin for heart health because it does more them harm than good

Millions of older adults are taking aspirin every day despite warnings the pills may do more harm than good, research suggests.

A daily low-dose aspirin is recommended for US adults who have already had a heart attack or stroke and for those with heart disease.

But for the otherwise healthy, the advice to take the blood-thinner every day was overturned by health officials earlier this year because of an increased risk of bleeding. Bleeding is a common side effect of aspirin.


Thursday, 25 July 2019

Forum: No such thing as 'useful' or 'not useful' academic pursuit

I was surprised to read the letters by Mr Cheng Choon Fei and Mr Stanley Ong (PSC scholars should take courses relevant to S'pore; and PSC should sponsor courses aligned with public service, both July 22).

They questioned the rationale of the Public Service Commission (PSC) in allowing one of its postgraduate scholars to pursue a master's in Buddhist studies.

This attitude of compartmentalising academic pursuits into seemingly "relevant" and "useful" is something that needs to change.

A university education at all levels should be a window into which to pursue one's scholarly dreams, regardless of how "relevant" the subject may seem.

Education in the social sciences and the humanities allows one to develop creative and critical thinking skills, and to question established paradigms.

The close study of religion allows one to build up one's repertoire of knowledge and inter-cultural empathy and understanding.

In a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society like Singapore's, such skill sets are of utmost importance. This ability to think outside one's cultural paradigm and to reflect on how different people and societies understand what it means to be human form the fundamentals of good leadership.

Unfortunately, many Singaporeans continue to associate higher education with simplistic material gains. "National interests" seem to be the antithesis of "self-enrichment" as spelt out in Mr Cheng's quotation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's speech.

Yet, can self-enrichment not work in tandem with national interests? To pursue a postgraduate degree in whatever field is always an exercise in self-enrichment.

Graduate students spend many years researching subjects that are meaningful to them. For a society to systematically categorise academic pursuits into useful and not useful produces a national consciousness that lacks creativity and cultural awareness, and with that, the serious potentialities of disharmony.

Would we want our leaders to be mere automatons ruled merely by the rigid laws of science, who are unable to think outside the box?

In short, I feel that both letter writers have done an injustice to the scholarship holder.

The fact that he is pursuing a degree in Buddhist studies at one of the top universities in the world should not be critiqued but celebrated, as it showcases not only the student's excellent academic skills and determination but also the PSC's ability to move away from outdated modes of thought.

Irving Chan Johnson


17 cases of measles at workers’ dorm and home for intellectually disabled

Image for illustration only

A total of 17 people were infected with measles in recent weeks, including foreign workers at a dormitory in Punggol as well as employees and residents at a home for persons with intellectual disability in Hougang.

In a statement released on Tuesday (July 23), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said that 14 cases were detected at Mindsville@Napiri in Hougang, while the other three cases were found at S11 Dormitory located at Seletar North Link.

MOH said: “There is currently no evidence of community spread from these cases. Nonetheless, the ministry took precautionary measures to prevent further spread of the disease.”

These measures include vaccination of close contacts who lack proof of past vaccinations or immunity, and monitoring the health of these contacts. “All suspected measles cases will be isolated,” it added.


You may want to read Measles cases on rise in recent weeks with 116 cases so far this year: MOH

My photo - building

A public domain photo by me

Food that could kill

  1. Cinnamon - inhaling cinnamon powder by accident can cause horrible symptoms such as inflammation, scarring in lungs, vomiting and even death.
  2. Lima beans - raw lima beans contain linamarin which turns into hydrogen cyanide once it is consumed and decomposed.
  3. Brazil nut - Brazil nuts contain selenium, a poison that can be toxic to our bodies if consumed in large quantities. Limit to 3 Brazil nuts a day to be safe.
  4. Pufferfish (Fugu) -  one pufferfish holds a poisonous toxin called tetrodotoxin in their skin and some organs enough to kill 30 adults.
  5. Tomatoes -  the stem and leaves on tomatoes contain a poison called glycoalkaloid that can be toxic if eaten in large amounts.
  6. Castor oil - castor oil comes from castor beans that contain the toxic poison ricin. Eating as little as five to ten beans can be fatal for an adult.
  7. Cherries and apples - cherry and apple seeds are dangerously high in hydrogen cyanide, which can make you extremely sick or even kill you if you eat 2 broken seeds. To be safe, do not eat any broken seeds that are hard.
  8. Ginkgo nut - ginkgo fruits has the same poison as poison ivy. Do not eat unriped or uncooked ginkgo nuts or fruits. To be safe, children should not eat more than 5 ginkgo nuts a day, 8 for adults.
  9. Hot dogs - hot dogs are the number one cause of choking-related injuries in children under three.
  10. Nutmeg - 2 to 3 teaspoons of nutmeg powder will cause hallucinations, palpitations, nausea, visual distortions and paranoia.
  11. Peanuts - allergic to peanuts is deadly.
  12. Green potatoes - anything that is green (leaves, stems,, etc) from the potato plant contains a poison called solanine, which can cause serious illness when eaten in large quantities.
  13. Almond and cashew nuts - contain the same poison as poison ivy, so do not touch or eat them raw. They are heat-treated to remove traces of poison before going on sale.


This test is considered impossible for LEFT-BRAIN people - can you decode the secret message?

If you can decipher this jumble of coded characters, it does not necessarily mean you are a genius. But it might attest to the way your brain is wired.

Answer below.


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Exceptional people: 8-year-old fulfils dream of reaching Everest base camp with dad after six months in gym

While most children his age spend school holidays having fun at home — going to the movies, shopping at the mall — eight-year-old Darrshan Raj Thurairajasingam set his mind on far loftier ambitions.

The Primary 3 student from Yio Chu Kang Primary School spent the June holidays scaling Mount Everest – the world’s tallest mountain. He did not get all the way up the 8,848-metre mountain, but did make it to the 5,364-metre base camp in Nepal. By comparison, the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, stands only slightly taller at 5,895 metres.

Darrshan's preparation for the climb included training at the gym three times a week for up to one and a half hours each time. This included running on the treadmill, skipping and jumping. Father and son also began cycling twice a week for 50 kilometres.

These exercises were on top of Darrshan’s usual sporting activities such as his twice-weekly football sessions at ActiveSG Football Academy at Serangoon Stadium, and his weekly swimming lessons at Hougang Swimming Complex.


My photo - Forbidden Spring @ Fort Canning park

A public domain photo by me

Smart phones, weight lifting and mala are causing problems in the loo for Singaporeans

Sitting on the toilet bowl for extended periods can put you in a position that makes you prone to developing piles.

The next time you need the bathroom, do not bring your handphone along with you. You will be tempted to stay longer in there.

Other causes of piles include:
  • Increased constipation rate owing to a diet that is lacking in fibre and adequate fluid intake, making one sits a longer period of time on the toilet bowl,
  • Take lifting heavy weights, for instance. The strain can take its toll on extremities you never thought could be affected,
  • Spicy food may lead to more frequent bowel movements, which in turn, increases swelling of the haemorrhoids (causing piles).


My 2 cents:
This is why squatting is still the better choice when it comes to clear your bowel. Not only is squatting more hygienic, it is a form of stretching for your feet and ankles (la-jing in Chinese). More ever, you are using your body muscles to push the wastes out of your body instead of brute force, like having constipation.

Will cutting 300 calories from your daily diet increase your lifespan?

Scientists have long known a fairly reliable way to extend life span in rodents and other lab animals: Reduce the amount of calories they eat by 10% to 40%. This strategy, known as caloric restriction, has been shown to increase the life span of various organisms and reduce their rate of cancer and other age-related ailments.

In the new study, researchers looked at a group of 143 healthy men and women who ranged in age from 21 to 50. They were instructed to practice caloric restriction for two years. They could eat the foods they wanted so long as they cut back on the total amount of food they ate, with the aim of cutting the calories they consumed by 25%.

Many did not achieve that goal. On average, the dieters managed to slash about 12% of their total calories, or roughly 300 calories a day, the amount in a large bagel, a few chocolate chip cookies or a small Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino.

The results: They lost weight and body fat. Their cholesterol levels improved, their blood pressure fell slightly, and they had better blood sugar control and less inflammation. At the same time, a control group of 75 healthy people who did not practice caloric restriction saw no improvements in any of these markers.


Monday, 22 July 2019

My photo - VIP plaque @ Fort Canning park

The plaque of current (2019) Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's great-great-great-great-grandmother Esther Bernard at Fort Canning Park. Mrs Bernard was the daughter of Major-General William Farquhar, the first British Resident and Commandant of Singapore from 1819 to 1823.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

This 30-year Harvard study reveals 5 daily habits can add 12 to 14 years to your life

Here are the 5 habits for living a longer life:
  • Don't smoke. Or vape. Or chew. Or dip.
  • Drink in moderation. No more than one glass of wine for women, two for men.
  • Exercise regularly. On average, 30 minutes per day.
  • Eat healthy. Think a "Mediterranean" diet: Plenty of vegetables, poultry and fish for protein, grains and nuts... with a limited amount of red meat and fried food.
  • Maintain a healthy bodyweight. Generally speaking, a BMI that falls between 18.5 and 25.

The list for avoiding Alzheimer's and dementia is similar:
  • Don't smoke.
  • Drink in moderation.
  • Exercise for at least 150 minutes a week.
  • Consume a "brain supporting diet" (pretty much a "Mediterranean" diet). Our brain is made up of about 60% fats, hence eating more healthy fats is good for the brain.
  • Engage in late-life cognitive activities.


Plants are being killed by plastic from the 4.5 TRILLION cigarette butts discarded each year

Cigarettes not only harm humans, but they are killing our plants and grasses too.

Cigarette butts, dropped in their trillions every year around the globe, stop plants from growing, a team of experts found.

'Fag ends' are the most littered item, with people dropping around 4.5 trillion of them globally and they can take more than a decade to break down.

The study found 10% less grass appeared - a result usually only seen in lawns and parks suffering from drought.

Experts believe chemicals used to make plastic cigarette filters cause plants stress in much the same way as a lack of water. Plants exposed to butts also had shorter stems and fewer roots.


Some women don't heed warnings of acne drug danger during pregnancy conception

It has long been known that the highly effective acne medication isotretinoin - marketed as Accutane and Roaccutane - is tied to the risk of severe birth defects. But even with a special program in place to prevent conception in women taking the drug, each year two to three hundred women in the U.S. become pregnant while taking it, a new study shows.

The program, dubbed iPLEDGE, which was started in 2006 by the Food and Drug Administration, requires women who want a prescription for isotretinoin to use birth control or promise to abstain from intercourse and to take a pregnancy test before starting the drug and every month thereafter.

While the program may have reduced the number of pregnancies in women who take the drug, the number hasn't been reduced to zero, according to the study published in JAMA Dermatology.

Read more @

Faster and easier application process for Lasting Power of Attorney from August, 2019

From Aug 1, 2019, those who wish to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will be able to do so more quickly, under new changes announced on Saturday (Jul 20).

An LPA allows an appointed person to make medical and financial decisions on another person's behalf should they lose mental capacity.

As part of the new changes, the mandatory waiting period before an LPA can be registered will be halved from the current six weeks to three. An online portal will also be set up from Aug 1, to allow people to access their registered LPA electronically.

"This reduces the overall time required to make an LPA, but it is also sufficiently long for relevant parties to be informed that an LPA has been filed, and to withdraw it if necessary," said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee.


Saturday, 20 July 2019

Singapore Red Cross concerned over lack of young blood donors

Every year, there are 600 fewer blood donors in Singapore due to age or illness.

The problem is compounded when young people, aged 16 to 25, are not donating enough.

The statistics worry the Singapore Red Cross, which believes that if things do not improve, Singapore may not have enough safe blood for transfusion needs in the future.

With a resident population of nearly four million people, Singapore has only around 73,600 blood donors. This is not ideal, said Mr Benjamin William, secretary-general and chief executive officer of the Singapore Red Cross (SRC).


Teens who spend hours on social media are more likely to suffer depression

Image for illustration only

The more time teenagers spend looking at screens, the more depressed they become, a new study suggests.

A University of Montreal study followed teenagers throughout their high school careers, and found that certain forms of social media and TV shows fueled spirals of depression and self-consciousness.

An estimated 20% of people have experienced at least one period of depression by the time they reach adulthood.

Depression and other mental health struggles seem only to be becoming more unbearable for teenagers. Now, a teenager dies by suicide about every 100 minutes.


Chinese scientists find cancer hope in old pest remedy

Image for illustration only

A type of pesticide used to treat lice and worms in humans could help treat cancer, according to a new study by Chinese scientists.

A research team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Zoology in Beijing injected Ivermectin, a widely available insecticide, into the bodies of mice with solid tumours and leukaemia. The cancer cells, which previously had been highly drug-resistant, immediately succumbed to chemotherapeutic drugs.

Professor Wu Yijun and his colleagues next tried Ivermectin on human cells in which colorectal and breast cancers had been cultured in a dish, with the same results.

“We have no idea how many cancers could be treated by this method, but we have tested it on two major cancer types, solid tumour and blood cancer, and it works very well in both cases,” he said.


Friday, 19 July 2019

Forum: Youngsters shouldn't rely too much on volunteers

Volunteering promotes empathy and understanding, building a more inclusive and non-discriminatory society.

The overarching goal remains ambitious: to strive for a society where everyone has access to the necessary and basic resources, and that, with hard work, success is within reach.

But sometimes, giving too much materially can send the wrong message.

I volunteer as a youth mentor at one of the drop-in centres for underprivileged young people between six and 19. The full-time staff plan weekly activities, consisting of a range of sports and music programmes. As youth mentors, we help facilitate these programmes in the hope that mastery of new skills will translate to higher self-confidence and esteem in the young people, and a stronger mindset to overcome obstacles.

It may seem harmless to buy the children treats now and then, as a form of encouragement for good conduct. But it has become apparent over time that some young people have become accustomed to asking for gifts and even money, and expecting to get what they want.

The consistent generosity of volunteers could have sent a wrong message that there is an easy and assured channel for meeting their needs and wants.

Certainly, it is undesirable to cultivate a culture of dependence on volunteers among these underprivileged young people, for instilling in them independence and resourcefulness is the priority and meaning behind our work.

Perhaps, all volunteers ought to be mindful and should not readily give in to these youngsters' every plea. Things done out of seeming goodwill could potentially cultivate a wrong mindset of reliance on and expectations of volunteers in general. Any form of reward could still be given via an official channel, in moderation, rather than on a personal level.

Lee Yao Zheng


Novak Djokovic: Meditation, Yoga and Veganism Helped Shape My Success

Check your diet

Going vegan due to his discovery of gluten intolerance in 2010, removed dairy products and refined sugar from his diet. This is NOT the way to go for everyone, but it is something that has been a very important, integral part of his career, of his life.


He does [meditation and yoga] out of a need to have an optimal state of mind and peace and calm, and at the same time happiness and joy.

Read more @

Inventions we use every day that were actually created for space exploration

These are just some of the cutting-edge technology used for space exploration that are now adapted for everyday use.

Apollo 12 on lunar surface

  • Scratch-resistant lenses
  • Insulin pump
  • Lasik
  • Shock absorbers for buildings
  • Solar cells
  • Water filtration
  • Wireless headsets
  • Camera phones
  • Workout machines
  • Portable computer
  • LEDs - lighting
  • Computer mouse

Read more @

Public domain photos by US Pacific Fleet



Super Cobra

More photos @

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Alexandra Hospital to focus on non-emergency procedures

The newly-renovated Alexandra Hospital (AH) has become the first public hospital in Singapore to stop taking emergency cases, so it can focus on non-emergency procedures needed for a growing elderly population. However, patients who feel medically unwell can still visit AH's Urgent Care clinic at any time of the day or night.

This will also free up space at the National University Hospital (NUH), which is in the same health cluster, to take on more complex cases.

A total of 4,820 patients with non-complex problems, such as cataracts, were directed to AH last year, and this is projected to increase to 6,627 in 2030 with new facilities opening. Waiting time for patients is less than five working days after a polyclinic referral instead of one to two months in other hospitals.


Dare to drink water from a public toilet in Singapore?

In an old building, for example, people assume that the water pipes “are also old and rusty” and therefore “contaminate the water”, which is untrue, cited Erny Kartolo, one of the founders of the Drink Wise, Drink Tap campaign.

To find out how credible such fears are, Talking Point collected water samples from 15 taps: Five in eateries and shopping centres, five in public toilets such as at hawker centres and five in HDB flats across the island.

The samples were sent to a laboratory to investigate for bacteria and harmful metal contaminants such as lead and arsenic. And the results showed that there was no presence of bacteria in any of the samples.

As for trace metals, they ranged from 0.02 to 0.3 parts per billion (ppb), compared to the World Health Organisation’s guideline of 10 ppb.

Read more @

Most Singaporeans behind on retirement plans, many unsure how to grow wealth

A new financial wellness index launched by OCBC Bank on Monday (July 15) found that Singaporeans are generally unsure how to grow their wealth through investing and building up enough funds. Close to one-third think of investing as a form of gambling.

While Singaporeans fared well on basics like saving from monthly salary, arranging medical insurance coverage as well as sticking to a set budget, the study found that close to half were unable to stretch their savings to last for six months, with more than half not on track to accumulate enough funds for an emergency.

And planning for retirement? Nearly two-thirds (65%) were found to be behind in terms of accumulating enough money to maintain their lifestyle after retirement. Of these, many intended to rely on regular savings as the mainstay of their retirement plans.


My photo: Pomegranate flowers

A public domain photo by me

Calorie guide and amount of sugar in your guilty pleasure; bubble tea


Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Huge jellyfish as big as an adult human

Video: Manta ray asks divers for helping hand

Monday, 15 July 2019

Why experts say it is not the best idea to cut out *all* sugar from your life

In reality, eliminating all sugar from your diet is pretty damn hard. “Sugar is contained in so many of the foods we eat on a daily basis—especially when we go out to restaurants that serve food which contains hidden amounts of sugars,” says Dr. Glatter. That does not mean it is not worth it to be mindful of one’s sugar intake, but to completely cut sugar out of one’s diet would involve a significant amount of research, likely require preparing all the food one eats themselves, and in some cases, could make a person’s experience with food super restrictive and limiting. In other words, it is not a sustainable way to eat for most.

It is not a good idea to go completely cold turkey on all forms of sugar from a health standpoint, either. “Cutting out all sugar would mean cutting out fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which not only sounds like torture but is also super unhealthy for you,” says Zeitlin. “These are the only three foods that can offer you fiber, so if you cut them out you will likely suffer from constipation, bloat and GI discomfort,” she says. And fiber is a crucial nutrient that is finally getting the recognition it deserves, thanks to its proven ability to lower cholesterol, keep blood sugar levels in check, and maintain digestive health—so skipping foods that have it to avoid sugar is not a good health compromise.

Read more @

2 my cents:
I have a friend who was so scare of getting the 3 highs that he restricted himself from all sugary foods. The result being he fainted a few times because the sugar in his body was too low. Too much sugar is bad for health, but not enough sugar is more dangerous.

Exceptional people: Singapore men's floorball team thrash Thailand 17-1 to claim AOFC Cup

The Singapore national men’s floorball team clinched the Asia Oceania Floorball Confederation (AOFC) Cup, after thrashing Thailand 17-1 in the final at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Philippines on Friday (12 July).

The big win exacted a measure of revenge for Singapore, who lost 3-4 to the Thais in last year’s Men’s World Floorball Championships play-offs. They also lost 4-8 to the same rivals in the inaugural 2017 AOFC Cup final.

This time around, Singapore were imperious in the tournament, winning all their five matches by huge scorelines – against Japan (10-1), Philippines (17-2), India (16-2), South Korea in the semi-finals (13-1) and Thailand.


Children born to obese mothers are 57% more likely to develop cancer, study finds

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Children born to obese mothers are up to 57% more likely to develop cancer, according to new research.

The researchers, who analyzed more than 2 million births and 3,000 cancer cases in Pennsylvania, believe disruptions to insulin levels at crucial points in the fetus's development could set in motion dangerous cell changes that lead to disease years down the line.

The connection is so strong, they said, that it should deter any expectant mothers from fast food and excess sugar, which could derail her insulin control. 


Sunday, 14 July 2019

Benefits of dancing: Happy feet, healthy brains and better balance

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A 2017 German report in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience analysed brain scans from subjects who were on average 68 years old and engaged in either interval training or social dance. The study found that while both activities increased the size of the hippocampus, a region of the brain critical for learning, memory and equilibrium, only dance improved balance.

These results echo those of a 2008 Journal of Aging and Physical Activity study by Patricia McKinley of McGill University in which seniors participated in a tango dance programme. The report showed that long-term tango dancing was associated with better balance and gait in older adults. Since falls are the top cause of injury and death among elderly people, dancing can be a potent tool in extending one’s life.


Freebies Singapore: The Ultimate List of Places to Get Free Food, Concerts, Parking & More

Singaporeans love to complain about the high cost of living, yet we rarely bother to take advantage of the free stuff that is actually available in the country.

Hey, we may not have free healthcare, but at least we have the following. Make life on the island a tad less expensive by grabbing as many of these freebies as you can.

Link for the freebies:

In addition to the places provided above, the following links of free and subsidisded medical care and free food are from my own compilations.

1. Free food in Singapore

2. Free medical clinics - updated Sept 2018

3. Subsidised medical clinics - updated Sept 2018
This may not be free medical clinics, but you just need to pay a few dollars for the medicine as the service is free.

Exceptional people: Two brothers whose organ donations change lives and Singapore's medical history

Lin Hanwei (L), Dilun (R)

The Lin brothers not only share a love for football, they also recently made Singapore's medical history as the first pair of siblings to have donated their organs to complete strangers while alive.

In May, Lin Hanwei, 36, a financial services director with AXA Insurance, had donated part of his liver to a fellow Singaporean after chancing upon a plea on Facebook.

Seven years earlier, Hanwei’s younger brother, Dilun, now 34, had also donated his kidney to a complete stranger - a seven-year-old boy - at the same hospital.

It was the first instance of a kidney donation from a living donor unrelated to the recipient by family links in Singapore.


Friday, 12 July 2019

NTU scientists develop luminescent probe to detect acute kidney failure early

Source: cna

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a type of luminescent imaging probes that could allow for acute kidney failure to be detected 1.5 days earlier than current molecular imaging procedures.

The new probes, which have been tested on mice, could potentially be used in test strips for urine samples, allowing for a non-invasive method of detecting kidney failure, NTU said.

Acute kidney failure - a condition when the kidneys stop working suddenly - usually occurs in a few hours or a few days and can be fatal.

“For patients who are critically ill, like those in the intensive care unit, every minute is precious in reversing a condition like acute kidney failure, which can cause a patient’s health to deteriorate rapidly,” said NTU Associate Professor Pu Kanyi.

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Experts call for athletes to be banned from taking a chemical found in SPINACH because it has a 'steroid effect'

It was the secret to Popeye’s super-human strength – but leading athletes look likely to be banned from following his lead.

Nearly a century after the creation of the cartoon sailor, and his love of spinach, scientists have realised he might have been on to something.

Researchers at the Free University of Berlin have found that ecdysterone – a hormone found in spinach – is so powerful that they want it considered a performance-enhancing drug.

The research team found a significant spike in performance among those who took the supplement in large quantities.


Ditching saturated fats may 'do more harm than good' as people miss out on nutrients

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Telling people not to eat saturated fat may be bad advice and do more harm than good, experts have warned.

Avoiding saturated fats entirely instead of considering the more general health impact of foods may mean important nutrients are missed.

Eggs, dark chocolate, meat and cheese, for example, are high in fat but also contain a lot of vital nutrients and vitamins.

Researchers criticised the World Health Organization for recommending that people cut down on saturated fats instead of being more specific.