Saturday, 25 May 2019

Exceptional people: Mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow becomes first South-east Asian to climb world’s three highest peaks

Image from his facebook account

Singaporean mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow, 55, has become the first South-east Asian to successfully scale the world’s three highest peaks  — Everest, K2 (1st Singaporean to reach peak of K2 on 31 July 2012) and Kangchenjuga.

Khoo, in a press release on May 22, said he conquered Nepal’s 8,586m Mount Kangchenjuga on May 15, 2019.

About 7,000 people have reached the top of Everest, but only 420 have successfully climbed Kangchenjunga, Khoo said.


Forum: 'Single parenthood by choice' not always about choice

While similarities may exist across divorce cases, we should not be so quick to dismiss those caring for their children alone as cases of "single parenthood by choice" (Policies should not inadvertently encourage single parenthood; Oh Ee Hoe, May 20).

This is because a choice that presents a poor chance of survival or leaves one in hazardous circumstances is no more than a cloaked unviable option. Consider the following scenarios:

In the case of family violence, had a parent faced with relentless family violence not elected to leave for safety with his or her children, they would have been subjected to an environment that would not only be injurious to their mental and emotional well-being, but also highly perilous to their physical state.

In the case of adultery, do we really expect a parent to put up with the promiscuous ways of his or her spouse just so "single parenthood by choice" would not be ticked as an option? What values would we be imparting to the children watching?

In the case of irresponsible behaviours, such as compulsive gambling, excessive drinking or imprudent neglect of maintaining the children financially, "single parenthood by choice" might be the only sober option to get away from a spouse who is dissipating family savings, remaining unfailingly intoxicated, indulging in dereliction of parental responsibilities, and causing immense distress to all at home.

Each divorce carries with it a unique set of circumstances. Only the Family Justice Courts which is privy to the details can make a judgment based on merit, and hopefully one that courageously defies political correctness to place the best interests of the children above looking fair to both parents.

While there are parents who may have elected to divorce due to reasons other than those examples cited here, we must remain aware of and sensitive to those for whom "single parenthood by choice" was less about having any feasible choice at hand, but more about survival, safety and well-being.

Lily Ong


Lens replacement because of cataracts may improve sleep

Seniors who get new lenses implanted during cataract surgery may not only see better but also experience better sleep, suggests a new study of how light entering the eye regulates the body’s internal clock.

In the small laboratory study, researchers determined that people with new lenses spent more time in deep sleep and performed better on tests of cognition than healthy age-matched individuals, according to the results published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

“The main take home message is that cataract lens replacement may be associated with improved circadian rhythms, better cognitive performance and improved sleep,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Sarah Chellappa, of Harvard Medical School in Boston.

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Kissing is a risk factor for throat gonorrhea

Deep kissing with tongue may be a way that gonorrhea is passed on, even if romantic partners have not been otherwise sexually active, according to research from Australia.

Although the study involved only gay and bisexual men, the risk of transmitting gonorrhea orally is likely also present for heterosexuals and particularly sex workers, the study authors write in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Public health messaging has focused on condom use because most gonorrhea is thought to be transmitted during penile-anal sex among men who have sex with men. However, recent studies have suggested that sex accounts for only part of the documented cases, especially when gonorrhea occurs in the throat.

"Kissing may be riskier than previously thought," Chow told Reuters Health by email. "This may help people understand how the infection was introduced, particularly if they haven't been sexually active."

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