Saturday, 30 November 2019

Alert on 3 products containing banned substance, hallucination-causing stimulant

Source: cna

Three products have been found to contain undeclared potent ingredients, including a banned substance, prompting the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) to alert the public against consuming them.

Milan Latte and Choco Lose For Fitness have been found to contain sibutramine which was banned in 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, said HSA in a release on Friday (Nov 29).

Another brand, Valentus Slimroast Optimum Dark Roast Coffee, was found to contain phenethylamine which has a stimulatory effect on the brain and can be addictive.
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The substance can cause rapid heartbeat, psychiatric conditions such as hallucinations and agitation, liver and kidney failure, or even death.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/slimming-products-banned-substance-potent-stimulant-hsa-12137684

Voices: Pedestrians also have a duty to keep shared paths safe


The recent ban on electric scooters along footpaths reveals a heavily skewed emphasis on the rights of pedestrians.

It is high time to also stress the responsibility of pedestrians to keep shared public paths safe for all.

This is crucial because, as pedestrians, we share paths with users of mobility vehicles. On numerous occasions, I have seen pedestrians with their heads down, engrossed in their mobile devices and oblivious to other shared-path users, such as cyclists and users of personal mobility aids. Worse, some were walking on bicycle tracks instead of footpaths.

In tandem with infrastructural upgrades, we must build a culture of safety by educating pedestrians.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/voices/pedestrians-also-have-duty-keep-shared-paths-safe

Why Singapore needs to be more ‘one-eyed’ and not ‘four-eyed’

Take risks


What is one-eyed?

The world is full of unknowns and uncertainties — like walking blind. If we wait till we have all the answers, we will be left behind. We each hold many questions and some, not all, of the answers. This is why we are one- rather than two -eyed.

One-eye is to take risks and modify the plan if something goes wrong.

What is four-eyed?

Not willing to leave the comfort zone, not wanting love ones to suffer pain and insecurity, not wanting love ones to take risks.

Four-eyed makes your love ones becoming dependent, do not live a full life.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/commentary/why-singapore-needs-be-more-one-eyed-and-not-four-eyed

Thailand's 'floating' crosswalk makes drivers stop and look

3D zebra crossing

Ref: https://www.todayonline.com/world/thailands-floating-crosswalk-makes-drivers-stop-and-look

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Anti-cholesterol jab twice a year could herald the end of statins


Taking statins every day to control cholesterol could soon become a thing of the past and be replaced instead by twice-yearly jabs.

Spectacular results from trials of an injectable drug called inclisiran show that it can slash 'bad' LDL cholesterol levels by more than 50% after just two weeks, and that after the jab, levels stay stable for six months.

Experts hope that the breakthrough treatment will get NHS approval within 18 months, and they are working on a longer-lasting version that could be given just once a year. 

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7719131/Anti-cholesterol-jab-twice-year-herald-end-statins-win-NHS-approval.html

Moderate coffee consumption daily reduces metabolic syndrome


Coffee comes with the potential of reducing the risk of developing a major cardiovascular issue which is known for affecting more than one billion people across the globe, says a recent study.

A report from the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) highlights the potential role of coffee consumption in reducing the risk of developing MetS (metabolic syndrome), that increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, including coronary heart disease and stroke.

During the symposium, Assistant Professor Giuseppe Grosso reviewed his own scientific research on the association between coffee consumption and MetS in Polish and Italian cohorts and explored the potential mechanistic perspectives behind the inverse association.

His research suggests that polyphenols contained in coffee may be involved in the inverse association, specifically phenolic acids and flavonoids. He also reviewed research that suggests that moderate coffee consumption is associated with a reduction of CVD, cancer, all-cause mortality and type 2 diabetes.

Ref: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/drinking-1-4-cups-coffee-daily-reduces-metabolic-044142986.html

Nail clubbing, curved nails or deformed fingers means trouble - updated

People with curved nails (or nail clubbing) or deformed fingers or toes, may have lung disease, heart disorders or other problems if they are not born with them (nail clubbing).

Schamroth's window test

Normal people will have a diamond shape gap between 2 fingers or toes as in A. If there is no gap as in B, it means the finger nails are curved, or nail clubbing.

If you have clubbed fingers, it is best to see a doctor. While it may be easy to panic, clubbed fingers often run in families.



Ref: https://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Documents/nail_abnormalities_a_visual_guide.html

You may want to read
1) U.K. woman’s curved nail post prompts lung cancer diagnosis
2)  The simple 'finger trick' that could 'diagnose' lung cancer

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Book tracing 50 years of cancer trends launched


The cancer rate for women has gone up by almost 50% over the past 50 years, but has remained fairly constant for men, when age is taken into account.

The main reason is a significant drop in lung cancer cases for men, as fewer men now smoke. Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer.

This has offset increases that men face with other cancers. One example is prostate cancer, which has gone up sevenfold in the past half century as men here now live longer lives, and age is a major risk factor for this cancer. Breast cancer in women has more than tripled in that period, said Professor Chia Kee Seng, a senior epidemiologist.

Compared with 50 years ago, the 10-year survival rate for all cancer patients has improved from 26% to 54% for women, and from 13% to 46% for men.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/book-tracing-50-years-cancer-trends-launched

Exceptional people: Bank staff among those hailed for preventing online love scam

(From left) OCBC Bank employees Andrea Ng and Sheila Chow with their Public Spiritedness Award. Source: tnp

Ms Sheila Chow and Ms Andrea Ng were two of the nine people who received the Public Spiritedness Award at the Ang Mo Kio Police Division.

They helped to stop a love scam from transferring money overseas.

Another award recipient, Ms Laureta Maricris Casicas, 39, a 7-Eleven field manager stopped an Indian natioanal victim from buying $2,500 worth of iTunes card in order to secure a job here.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/bank-staff-among-those-hailed-preventing-online-love-scam

Scam warning: At least S$1.2m lost in Facebook impersonation scams in first 9 months of 2019: Police


In the first nine months of this year, at least S$1.2 million has been lost to scammers pretending to be their victims’ family or friends on Facebook, the police said.

This is from at least 45 reports of Facebook impersonation scams the police recieved in the same period.

Victims of these scams tended to be aged 60 years and above, the police said in an advisory on Monday (Nov 25). The victims were likely unaware that Facebook accounts could get hacked or spoofed, and tended to be more trusting, they added.

The culprits would usually contact the victims using compromised Facebook accounts belonging to the victims’ family and friends and entice them with various types of grants. To receive these grants, victims would be told to provide their personal details, transfer money to bank accounts or remit money overseas.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/least-s12m-lost-facebook-impersonation-scams-9-months-2019-police

Air pollution 'can trigger glaucoma'


Living in highly polluted areas may increase your risk of going blind, a study suggests.

Researchers found people breathing in high amounts of air pollution were at least 6% more likely to develop glaucoma than those in clean regions.

The disease, caused by the death of retina cells at the back of the eye, affects 60 million people around the world, a 10th of whom have gone completely blind.

Scientists believe air pollution may cause glaucoma due to the constriction of blood vessels killing off the retina cells or by chemicals being directly toxic to nerves.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7723149/Air-pollution-trigger-glaucoma-warns-study.html

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Exceptional people: Teen chef shares love of cooking by preparing meals for workers

Rohan Nair Sureash (standing, in blue) serves migrant workers the food he prepared. Source: tnp

While most kids his age are busy on social media, 16-year-old Rohan Nair Sureash often thinks about food, like wondering if the grilled asparagus he is making will complement the broccoli sauce.

At 13, he started as a weekend chef cooking lunch for his parents at home and occasionally dinner for his friends.

In August this year, Rohan decided to take his love for cooking a step further. He launched his own website (rohanschefology.com) and an Instagram page of the same name offering a home-based fine dining experience, and decided that part of his earnings would go towards cooking nutritious meals for migrant workers.

The student from United World College of South East Asia cooked a meal for 40 migrant workers on Nov 16, featuring a menu of chicken curry, dhal, stir-fried potatoes and peas, rice, papadum, and garlic pickles.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/teen-chef-shares-love-cooking-preparing-meals-workers

Reduce stress by forest bathing


Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/stressed-try-forest-bathing

My photo - Silhouette of a pine tree

pine


A public domain photo by me

Men who take statins 'are 24% less likely to develop a lethal form of prostate cancer'


Men who are on statins have a 24% lower risk of a deadly form of prostate cancer, a study suggests.

Scientists followed more than 44,000 British men over more than two decades, some of which took the cholesterol-lowering pills. The overall prevalence of prostate cancer was the same regardless of whether or not men took statins.

However, statins appeared to protect against a more aggressive and incurable type of prostate cancer – known as PTEN-null cancer – which spreads to other organs. 

The researchers, from Queen’s University Belfast, suggested this is because statins reduce inflammation and increase immunity levels in the prostates.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7711793/Men-statins-reduced-risk-developing-lethal-prostate-cancer.html

Monday, 25 November 2019

Exceptional people: Jonathan Wong Hong Jia, a Singapore rugby player

Jonathan Wong Hong Jia. Source: cna

Born to a Singapore father and mother from Papua New Guinea, this is an exceptional life of Jonathan Wong from Papua New Guinea to Singapore.

When Jonathan Wong Hong Jia introduces himself, most are left bewildered.

"They will be like: 'Wong? How?" he explained with a laugh. "They think I'm African, American or from the Caribbean."

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/singaporean-papuan-sea-games-rugby-jonathan-wong-12110020

Running may help you live longer but more is not necessarily better


One study, published November 2019 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests running can significantly improve your health and reduce the risk of death at a given point in time.

And you do not have to run fast or far to reap the benefits. We found running just once a week, or for 50 minutes a week, reduces the risk of death at a given point in time. The benefits do not seem to increase or decrease with higher amounts of running.

When we pooled the data from the studies, we found runners had a 27% lower risk of dying during the study period from any cause compared with non-runners.

Specifically, running was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from heart disease and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/how-long-should-i-run-best-benefits-beginner-tips-distance-speed-12110866

Community blueprint launched in bid to end HIV transmission, AIDS in Singapore by 2030


A community blueprint to end the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) by 2030 was revealed on Saturday (Nov 23), by non-governmental organisation Action for AIDS Singapore (Afa Singapore).

The blueprint hopes to “end the HIV epidemic by 2030” and was drafted by 60 individuals from various organisations, including activists, medical professionals and academics.

"Singapore is at an important crossroad in the response to the HIV epidemic," Professor Roy Chan, president of Afa Singapore said.

"Many of us working in HIV/AIDS programmes believe that with collective and coordinated actions, we can make a significant and lasting impact on the HIV epidemic in Singapore."

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/hiv-aids-singapore-blueprint-to-end-transmission-afa-12120270

2 new polyclinics in Kaki Bukit, Tengah by 2025


A new polyclinic in Kaki Bukit was announced by Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Lam Pin Min at a community event in Bukit Batok, said the release.

The polyclinic, set to be located along Jalan Damai and near to Kaki Bukit MRT station, will be co-located with a nursing home and a kidney dialysis centre offering subsidised dialysis services to patients. It will be operated by SingHealth Polyclinics.

At the same event, Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor shared details about a new polyclinic in Tengah, which will also be ready by 2025.

This new polyclinic will be located along Bukit Batok Road, opposite the West Edge @ Bukit Batok housing estate. It will be part of an integrated development with public housing and a neighbourhood centre, MOH said.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/polyclinic-tengah-bedok-kaki-bukit-healthcare-medical-12119944

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Three-quarters of Singapore adolescents are not active enough


The majority of Singapore adolescents do not get enough physical activity, with a widening gap between boys and girls from 2001 to 2016, according to the results of a new World Health Organisation (WHO) study released on Friday (Nov 22).

About 76% of Singapore adolescents aged between 11 and 17 years old do not get at least one hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity every day, said the study, which examined the issue among adolescents globally.

The prevalence of Singapore boys who did not get enough physical activity dropped to 69.7% in 2016, down 8 percentage points from the 77.7% in 2001.

This was in contrast to the findings for Singaporean girls, with 83.1% not getting enough physical activity in 2016, only a slight improvement from the 84.9% in 2001.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/three-quarters-singapore-adolescents-are-not-active-enough-who-study

You may want to read Sedentary teens risk health, hearts and minds: WHO study

My photo - Cosmos


A public domain photo by me

Advisory: Police warn about online ticket scams for Universal Studios Singapore, other attractions


The police on Friday (Nov 22) urged people to be wary when making hotel room reservations and buying attraction tickets online.

"With the upcoming December school holidays, the police would like to remind the public to be wary when making online purchases, especially those involving hotel room reservations and attraction tickets," said the Singapore Police Force in an advisory.

Between January and September, the police received more than 197 reports of such e-commerce scams.

The authorities advised members of the public not to be impulsive and to be wary of online advertisements promising cheap prices for attraction tickets or hotel reservations. People should read the seller's reviews before making a purchase, they added.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/police-warn-about-online-ticket-scams-universal-studios-singapore-other-attractions

Why we pass gas

Ref: https://flic.kr/p/3nkJAp

It’s time to own up to passing wind, because we all do it. Whether loud, silent or smelly (or silent and deadly-smelly), flatulence is a natural part of daily life.

But why do we do it? Why are some emissions smellier and louder than others? And why have they become such a source of shame in today’s society? Let’s get to the bottom of some of these secrets and suss out the facts on flatulence.

According to the UK’s National Health Service, the average person passes wind five to 15 times a day. Hong Kong-based Dr Paul Ng, a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology, says it’s perfectly normal, adding: “It would be highly abnormal not to.”

Dr Ng elaborates on the process: bacteria in our colon ferments undigested food and in doing so produces gas. People also constantly swallow air through actions such as breathing fast, chewing, and talking for a long time.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/world/why-we-pass-gas-what-causes-dreaded-sound-and-reason-women-have-smellier-flatulence-men

Friday, 22 November 2019

Children who rarely eat breakfast on school days are more likely to achieve bad grades


Children who rarely eat breakfast on school days are more likely to achieve worse GCSE grades than those who eat breakfast frequently, a study finds.

Researchers have found that secondary school pupils who eat breakfast regularly score nearly two GCSE grades above their peers who often miss the meal.

The findings, from the University of Leeds, come as heads have warned of a growing number of children arriving at school hungry.

Ref: https://sg.news.yahoo.com/children-rarely-eat-breakfast-secure-071928943.html

My photo - fortune teller


A public domain photo by me

Exceptional people: Four people received the Public Spiritedness Award

(From left) Mr Roy Cheong, Ms Cheo Yi Love and Mr Faliq Shazwin Alwi with their awards at the Woodlands Police Division. Source tnp

Four people received the Public Spiritedness Award held at the Woodlands Police Division for helping the police in catching criminals.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/delivery-man-lauded-helping-nab-suspect

These are the eight signs of a heart attack you get a month before having one


Below are eight warning signs to look out for that may appear a month before a heart attack from Brightside.
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hair loss
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Chest pain

If you think you, or someone you are with, is suffering from a heart attack, after dialling 999 it may help to chew and then swallow a tablet of aspirin - as long as the person having the suspected heart attack is not allergic to the tablet.

Ref: https://www.lancs.live/news/lancashire-news/eight-signs-heart-attack-you-17274834

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Chan Chun Sing identifies four lessons Singapore can draw from HK situation


The situation in Hong Kong has reached a breaking point, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said, adding there would be grave doubts about the Chinese territory's future and the sustainability of its political system if calm is not restored through dialogue.

Mr Chan said Singaporeans have wondered if the recent clashes in Hong Kong and other parts of the world could happen here. It can, he added, "if we are complacent or not careful".

Mr Chan added that his intention was not to pass judgment, but he identified four lessons Singapore can draw.

Read the lessons @ https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/chan-identifies-four-lessons-singapore-can-draw-hk-situation

Scam warning: Victims cheated of at least S$40,000 in fake Changi Airport lucky draw scams: Police

Image for illustration only

Scammers misusing the popular “Changi Millionaire” lucky draw’s name have fleeced dozens of victims here of at least S$40,000, police have warned.

In a statement on Tuesday (Nov 19), the Singapore Police Force said it has received at least 30 reports of such scams here.

Victims would receive unsolicited calls via phone applications such as Viber, informing them that they had won a prize in a lucky draw organised by CAG.

If the victims responded to the calls, they would be asked to provide their credit or debit card details and bank account information to claim their prizes.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/victims-cheated-least-s40000-fake-changi-airport-lucky-draw-scams-police

Exceptional people: TNP columnist Neil Humphreys lands three-book deal with UK publisher

Neil on one of his books' cover

Best-selling author and The New Paper sports columnist Neil Humphreys has landed a three-book deal with UK crime fiction publisher Muswell Press for a gritty crime series.

His new book Bloody Foreigners, the third instalment of his popular Inspector Low series, following Marina Bay Sins (2015) and Rich Kill Poor Kill (2016), will be released in the UK next June, making it his first internationally published book.

Humphreys, 44, grew up in Dagenham in England and lives in Singapore.

In addition, 108 Media, an international production company based in Toronto, is developing Bloody Foreigners into an international television series. Humphreys initially snagged a deal with 108 Media for an animated television series for his children's book Abbie Rose & The Magic Suitcase, which he has already written 13 episodes for.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/neil-humphreys-lands-three-book-deal-muswell-press

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Skin cancer hits younger patients

Image for illustration only

Dr Angeline Yong, consultant dermatologist at Angeline Yong Dermatology, said there has been a rising trend in the incidence of skin cancer in both men and women over the last 40 years.

On how there seems to be more anecdotal evidence of more people under 65 being diagnosed with skin cancer, she said: "It is unclear whether the increase in reported cases is due to an actual increase in incidence rate or a result of increased awareness regarding the disease and more health-seeking behaviour among the younger population."

But patients who are in their 20s and 30s tend to present more aggressive forms of cancer that develop and grow much quicker, she added.

While skin cancer - its number one risk factor is long-term sun damage caused by ultraviolet radiation - can be fatal, most forms are easily treatable if diagnosed early.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/skin-cancer-hits-younger-patients

Forum: Stop treating green spaces as land banks

In Singapore, the fate of green spaces has always been decided by their economic value rather than their environmental benefits.

Economic development has triumphed over conservation here ever since the early years of Singapore's history.

Even with the apparent diminishing of natural green spaces, deforestation is still happening to make way for economic progress.

With the recent launch of Tengah Forest Town, 700ha of secondary forest is to be cleared for urban infrastructure like housing and transport, despite the potentially huge negative environmental impact.

The Government's approach to establishing a compromise between environmental conservation and economic development is to plant more trees in urbanised areas and to "rebrand" deforested areas to make them look "green".

Some of these examples include the aforementioned Tengah Forest Town and Eco-Link @ BKE.

These approaches may look good on paper, however, it is not sufficient to replace natural vegetation with man-made ones.

These natural green areas are important habitats for Singapore's natural flora and fauna.

Even though there have been efforts to strike a balance between conservation and economic growth, most of the time, the latter is given more weight.

The Government should see the value in keeping natural green spaces.

We have to find ways to coexist with the remaining precious greenery that we have.

I am not suggesting that we take economic growth out of the picture, but rather place more emphasis on conservation.

Our approach towards environmental conservation needs to change. We need to protect the precious natural green spaces we have and not just view them as land banks to be tapped for development whenever we like in the name of economic growth.

Jay Lew Jie Sheng

Ref: http://str.sg/JieA

My photo - Heron landing


A public domain photo by me

Fasting for 24 hours once per month helped patients with cardiovascular problems live longer


Periodic fasting could lengthen the lifespan of patients with heart problems, a new study suggests.

The concept, known as intermittent fasting, involves people going without food or drink for the majority of the day, if not the whole day.

Researchers found that patients who had a catheter threaded to their heart to treat a cardiovascular condition - and practiced intermittent fasting - lived longer than patients who didn't fast.

The team, from the Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, also found that intermittent fasting patients were less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7691017/Intermittent-fasting-helped-patients-heart-issues-live-longer-study-suggests.html

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Scam warning: S$6 million lost to phone scammers impersonating technical support staff and police


Victims have lost at least S$6 million so far this year to phone scammers claiming to be technical support staff, said the Singapore Police Force in a news release on Friday (Nov 15).

From January to October 2019, police received at least 156 reports of such scams, which involved the culprits pretending that the victim's computers needed repairing.

October saw at least 50 victims falling prey to a variant of this scam, with culprits impersonating staff from telecommunication service providers like Singtel and StarHub or police officers in order to gain remote access to the victims' computers.

Police said there were also cases of scammers claiming to be from the "Cyber Crime Department of Singapore" or "Cyber Police of Singapore" who would make victims think they had committed a crime.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/s6-million-lost-phone-scammers-impersonating-technical-support-staff-and-police

Why you should listen to Adele while you drive in rush hour!


Listening to Adele in the car could reduce stress and help to keep people's hearts healthy, according to scientists.

Researchers carried out a small study on young women on the roads in Brazil and found listening to Enya and instrumental versions of Adele songs calmed them.

Piano versions of chart-toppers Someone Like You and Hello were included on a playlist designed to chill out drivers stuck in traffic.

The music reduced fluctuations in their heart rates which, over time, could help them avoid serious health problems. Music has been found to subconsciously influence brain wave rhythms and regulate activity in the nervous system, lowering blood pressure and heart rate.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7680927/Why-listen-Adele-drive-rush-hour.html

To avoid dementia, exercise better

Image for illustration only

Being physically fit may sharpen the memory and lower our risk of dementia, even if we do not start exercising until we are middle-aged or older, according to two stirring new studies of the interplay among exercise, ageing, aerobic fitness and forgetting.

But both studies, while underscoring the importance of activity for brain health, also suggest that some types of exercise may be better than others at safeguarding and even enhancing our memory.

The scientific evidence linking exercise, fitness and brain health is already hefty and growing. Multiple studies have found that people with relatively high levels of endurance, whatever their age, tend to perform better on tests of thinking and memory than people who are out of shape. Other studies associate better fitness with less risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more @ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/well/move/exercise-dementia-memory-alzheimers-brain-seniors-middle-age.html

My photo - Heron caught a fish


A public domain photo  by me

Friday, 15 November 2019

PSLE results to be released on Nov 21, school posting on Dec 20


The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) results for 2019 will be released on Nov 21, the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) said on Thursday.

Students may obtain their results from their respective primary schools from 11am, MOE and SEAB said in a press release.

Eligible students will receive option forms to select secondary schools when they collect their result slips or use the unique S1 Personal Identification Number (S1 PIN) on the form to submit their school options online from 11am next Thursday to 3pm on Nov 27 through MOE's website.

SCHOOL POSTING RESULTS
Students will get the secondary school posting results on Dec 20 via three channels:
  • Short Message Service (SMS) via a local mobile number;
  • From MOE's website; or
  • At the student's primary school.

Students are to report to the secondary schools they have been posted to on Dec 23 at 8.30am.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/psle-results-released-nov-21-secondary-school-posting-moe-12092866

Vitamin D is Key to Muscle Strength in Older Adults

Sunlight is one good source of vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is linked with poor muscle health in older adults, a new study finds.

Maintaining muscle health helps seniors maintain their independence, mobility and quality of life. It also lowers their risk of falls and frailty.

Researchers looked at more than 4,100 people, aged 60 and older, in England. About 4 in 10 with vitamin D deficiency had muscle weakness -- twice the level found among those who had adequate vitamin D levels.

The study also confirmed the benefits of exercise. Participants who got regular moderate physical activity were much less likely to have poor muscle strength and physical performance, according to the researchers at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

Ref: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-11-05/vitamin-d-is-key-to-muscle-strength-in-older-adults

One-stop mental health hub opens in Punggol

Teenagers and senior citizens facing mental health issues can now find help at a one-stop centre. Located on the first storey of a Housing Board block, the new Integrated Service Centre @ Punggol (ISC @ Punggol) by AMKFSC Community Services combines its support arms for the young, the elderly and those with mental health issues.

"With the increasing complexity of social challenges such as mental health issues and the ageing population, the integrated centre serves as a focal point to cater to and address these challenges," a spokesman for the group said.

President Halimah with staff and representatives from AMKFSC

President Halimah Yacob attended the official opening of ISC @ Punggol on Tuesday, during which an inter-generational art exhibition and performances co-created by youth and seniors were put up.

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/news/singapore/one-stop-mental-health-hub-opens-punggol

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Singaporeans reminded to be careful and safe during their overseas travel

Holiday overseas

Singaporeans travelling to Malaysia over the school holidays should check that their passports are stamped correctly, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday (Nov 13) in a travel reminder ahead of the upcoming school holidays.

Singaporeans should also be prepared to deal with accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks, and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves safe during their overseas travel, it said.

The end-of-year holidays for primary and secondary schools in Singapore begin on Saturday, with students scheduled to return to class on Jan 2 next year.

Junior College students go on their break from Nov 23 or when their A-Level examinations end.

Those who require consular assistance may contact the nearest Singapore Overseas Mission or call the MFA duty office at +65 6379 8800/8855.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/malaysia-check-passports-stamped-travel-reminder-mfa-12088750

CPF’s Retirement Sum Scheme payout period to be capped at age 90 from 2020


The payout rules for the Retirement Sum Scheme under the Central Provident Fund (CPF) will change in 2020, with payouts lasting up to age 90 at most, instead of up to age 95 today.

The change comes after feedback from CPF members who felt that a payout duration up to age 95 was too long, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said.
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With the change, members whose payouts were originally projected to end beyond the age of 90 will now have their payouts end when they turn 90 instead, and they will thus effectively see an increase in their monthly payout amounts, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said in Parliament on Monday (Nov 4).

Mrs Teo said that the new rules will apply to all CPF members who turn 65 from July 1 next year. For older members who have already chosen to start their Retirement Sum Scheme payouts under the current rules, the new rules will apply to them from Jan 1 onwards with conditions.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/cpfs-retirement-sum-scheme-payout-period-be-capped-age-90-2020-josephine-teo

Pneumonia kills a child every 39 seconds, health agencies say


Pneumonia killed more than 800,000 babies and young children last year — or one child every 39 seconds — despite being curable and mostly preventable, global health agencies said on Tuesday (Nov 12).

In a report on what they described as a "forgotten epidemic", the United Nations children's fund Unicef, the international charity Save The Children and four other health agencies urged governments to step up investment in vaccines to prevent the disease and in health services and medicines to treat it.

"The fact that this preventable, treatable and easily diagnosed disease is still the world's biggest killer of young children is frankly shocking," said Dr Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI vaccines alliance.

Pneumonia is a lung disease that can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. Its victims have to fight for breath as their lungs fill with pus and fluid.

Read more @ https://www.todayonline.com/world/pneumonia-kills-child-every-39-seconds-health-agencies-say

Staying muscly 'could ward off heart disease in middle-aged men

Image for illustration only

Staying muscly could ward off heart disease in older men and protect them from heart attacks and strokes, researchers say.

Australian National University scientists followed 1,000 middle-aged adults for ten years.

The most muscular men and women were up to 81% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those with the lowest muscle mass.

Rates of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity - risk factors for heart disease - were lower among the most muscular men.

Ref: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7672407/Staying-muscly-ward-heart-disease-middle-aged-men.html

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Relay Majulah raises S$1.6 million for President’s Challenge

At the end of the the Relay Majulah race, Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin hands the baton to President Halimah Yacob during the live President's Star Charity Show on Nov 10, 2019.  (Photo: Relay Majulah)

Relay Majulah, Singapore’s first-ever 2,000km relay, was completed on Sunday evening (Nov 10) with Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin running the final 10km of the relay.

A ground-up initiative to challenge 200 runners to complete the nation-wide relay in 200 hours, Relay Majulah raised more than S$1.6 million in support of the 67 charities under the President’s Challenge, exceeding its target of S$1 million.

Mr Tan finished off the relay by running into MES Theatre at Mediacorp Campus during the live televised President’s Star Charity Show. At the show, Mr Tan handed over the baton to President Halimah Yacob on air.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/relay-majulah-raises-s-1-6-million-for-president-s-challenge-12080892

 

You may want to read Record-breaking S$10.47m raised at this year’s President’s Star Charity

Wholemeal or multigrain? The truth about ‘healthier’ breads

Bread. Image for illustration only

Wholemeal and multigrain recipes may contain only 30% wholemeal flour, says chef Lim Meng Poh, a senior trainer at BreadTalk. White flour is needed “to improve the final product - the texture”. With 100% wholemeal flour, the final product would come out a little bit hard, dry and the shelf life would be shorter.

As long as wholemeal flour is on the ingredient list, says HPB nutritionist Melissa Koh, “it’s still better than 100% white flour”.

What consumers can do is look out for the Healthy Choice Symbol on the packaging, she advises. Bread with that logo contains at least 25% more wholegrains, which have nutrients that are good for the body.

There are multigrain breads, however, that are made of 100% white flour, “with just some multigrain blends on top”, she warns.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/wholemeal-or-multigrain-the-truth-about-healthier-breads-artisan-12065964

Animal products to avoid in Traditional Chinese medicine


While Chinese medicine has been around for centuries and has its benefits, remedies that involve animal products that foster the illegal trafficking industry have to come to an end.

Not just because they are directly harming animals, but also because they are endangering them to the point of extinction, often with no proven medicinal benefits as well.

Here are five animal products used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remedies that you are better off avoiding.
  • Pangolin scales
  • Tiger penis and bone
  • Rhinoceros horn
  • Bear bile
  • Seahourse

Ref: https://www.tnp.sg/lifestyle/health/animal-products-avoid-traditional-chinese-medicine

My photo - Photographing is fun


A public domain photo by me

Monday, 11 November 2019

Exceptional people: He went hungry as a teen. Now Stuff’d boss is feeding kids who cannot afford a meal

Image for illustration. Salad

It was 1997, he was 16, and the Asian financial crisis was ravaging his parents’ business. “There was money and there was food,” Adrian Ang said. “And then suddenly, there wasn’t any.”

His only meal for the day: Two slices of bread which he got at breakfast, but always saved until midday for fear of running out of fuel too soon. On a lucky day, there would be kaya to go with it.

This bout of privation lasted for a year – but it had a lifelong impact on him.

In April 2019, he and a team of four staff members at Stuff’d – which serves Mexican-Turkish food – launched the Free Food For Kids campaign at their Northpoint City Yishun outlet. The initiative provides one free meal a day to children in need. It has since expanded to Jurong Point, Bugis and White Sands, feeding more than 140 children under the age of 14.

Read more @ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/stuffd-free-food-for-kids-hunger-food-insecurity-singapore-12073570

Vaping deaths: Health officials find possible cause of mystery illness linked to e-cigarettes


Researchers have made a breakthrough in determining exactly what could be behind the mystery vaping-related lung illness which has killed 39 people in the US.

Vitamin E acetate, an oil, was found in every lung fluid sample from afflicted patients tested by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries,” the CDC said.

As of last week, there had been over 2,000 recorded cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product-use associated injury (ECVPI) by the CDC.

Ref: https://sg.yahoo.com/news/vaping-deaths-health-officials-possible-223654361.html