Red Dot Museum ( Wei Yang )

It was a unique experience visiting the Red Dot Museum. The museum showcased many items that are part of our daily lives. Those items are more convenient to use, some more flashy and attracts attention of others.

There are 3 concepts that i found interesting, first being the Click Series. It features 3 type of peeler, each with its own purpose. It follows that up by a’portable’ handle, which can be taken out to fit different peelers’ head. i found this interesting because i have had this thought that something like that would be invented when i was younger, and to actually see it really made me interested in this concept of portable things. This concept make people’s lives more convenient, and in this case make cooking easier. People who cook everyday at home or what to learn cooking will benefit from this invention. The invention saves space in kitchen and if a box/holder is also provided, it makes changing of these peeler easier.

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The second concept i found interesting was a portable stove stand. It looked like a tripod that has a hole in the middle for gas to be released for burning. The reason why i like this design concept is because it is so simple yet has the potential to greatly impact the people who like to go out for outings.The product was probably  created for families and people who like to go outing together. Hikers and mountain trackers can also consider bringing this along. The element that was used can withstand temperature up to 1500 degree and the legs of the stand is anti-slip, and just need to be ”stabbed” into the ground be it snow or soil. Thus, the design would fit people who like to go outing often.stand

The last concept i found interesting was a hanging lamp that could be ‘closed’ by pulling on a string and it resembles a ball. Only little light produced by the bulb would escape the ‘ball’. The reason why i found this interesting was because the light can actually be adjusted from dim to bright by pulling on the strings. It was also extremely appealing to the eyes as it looked like the lamp could transform. I think that this lamp was designed to serve as a decoration and to light up room. People who have many relatives that come to their house would consider buying this lamp. Restaurants and hotels may also consider buying this kind of design. If it manages to ‘Wow’ people , i think that this design has met the need for decoration.

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Heritage Trail ( Bukit Timah )

The Bukit Timah Heritage Trail was the second trail that i went for this project . The first one being : The spirit of saving lives . My first trail went horribly wrong . There were only three places to go to . First being a museum(which was close) , the second one was a college of medicine building ( which i cannot enter ) , and the finally Tan Teck Guan building ( which i cannot take a photo of ) .

I was initially going to still write about my first trail , but when i was asked by my 2 friends , Xun Rui and Zhong Yi whether i want to follow them to the Bukit Timah trail . Afraid of getting the same results as i did when i went to Outram Park for the trail , I initially do not have high hopes that this would go as plan , but i soon found myself enjoying the trail too.

Our trail starts near the Rail Mall , Upper Bukit Timah Road. We had to change 2 buses from Bukit Batok bus interchange to reach there .

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As we were chatting and making our way to the first destination , we already spotted our first rail way track . The track run in loops , stopping at Bukit Timah , Woodlands and Tanjong Pagar. To us , it’s like the track welcomed us to explore the rich history within itself .

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Our first destination was the Old Ford Factory . The Old Ford Factory is well-known for it is the place where the British surrendered to the Japanese on 15 February 1942 . While the Factory was built in 1941 by Ford Motor Works , it became the Japanese’s military headquarters but was soon relocated to Raffles College . It resumed operations in 1947 after the Japanese Occupation and was finally shut down in 1980 . (Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Ford_Motor_Factory)IMG_1115.JPGIMG_1111

We actually wanted to take a walk inside the Factory but it was closed down due to renovation and would only open up again in 2017 .

Our next destination was suppose to be the Former Bukit Timah Fire Station . However , we crossed the road and have totally forgotten about the fire station . But on the other hand , crossing the road lead us to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve , our third location for visiting .IMG_1128.JPG

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was the location that we were looking forward to the most . We wanted to go for the Summit trail , which in we will be able to see the hills from a distance . But to our disappointment , the Summit trail was only available on weekends and on public holidays . Nonetheless , we still went for a walk in the Nature reserve .

The first thing we immediately notice when we enter the reserve was that there was a Rail way track . The second thing was that there was monkeys at the entrance of the reserve. We immediately went on guard , as it was probably the first time we ever saw that many monkeys that were out in the open . Not knowing what to do , we just stood there taking pictures , and in the mean time , monkeys started coming closer to us . But i soon learnt that the monkeys were totally not afraid of humans . I saw many people just casually walked right passed the monkeys , and the monkeys just kept minding their own business . I think this is because there is trust in between the monkeys and humans . As the reserve had been open for almost some 100 years , it is no wonder that the monkeys and humans can eventually co-exist in harmony . Signs that were put up tells us that we should not feed them monkey as they already have plenty of food in the park . This happened before we found out that the Summit trail was not open for the day .

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After finding out that we could not go for the summit trail , we headed off to our next location which was the Beauty World plaza . There wasn’t really anything there . But there were signs that says for renting . Beside the Beauty World plaza was the Bukit Timah Plaza. More people were seen going to Bukit Timah plaza instead of Beauty World plaza as there were more shops there .

 

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The last location that we went was the Bukit Timah Railway Station . The tracks run from Bukit Timah to Kranji and finally to Woodlands , where it will then proceed to Malaysia. The Bukit Timah Railway Station was first opened in 1915 . And had closed and dismantled in 1939 due to the decreasing amount of passengers . Another factor is that more road have been built and the reliance on vehicles like buses has resulted in people not using the train .

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After the trail , we were all tired and just wanted to go home . But the knowledge and memories that we bought home with us is what matters . From this trail ,  i have learnt about the history of Bukit Timah . Just seeing the transportation systems used by people in the last century made me appreciate the quality of today’s transport . Knowing the history of Singapore is important . We can learn from our past mistakes and further improve ourselves . From this trail ,  i have also learnt that it is important to give anything a try . Imagine people were all afraid to try out new things , we would not be able to advance vastly and effectively from the past to the present  . Same thing , if i had not went to the trail with Xun Rui and Zhong Yi , i wouldn’t have learnt anything. By learning the history of Bukit Timah , we  know how far we have come over the past century , therefore , it is also important to preserve the history of Singapore .

$5 Challenge

Poverty , the state of one who lacks necessary amount of material possession and money   , can be seen all around the world . Well-developed countries such as Singapore do have their  share of people who cannot afford the high-cost living of developed countries . Poverty usually occurs when one lack of proper education or overpopulation in a country , not necessary because one is not hardworking . No one would choose to be poor .images (1).jpg

 

From the year 1998 to 2010 , the top 20% of households who earn the most amount of money in Singapore sees an increase of 27% in wages, while the bottom 20% saw a decrease of 8% in wages . This means that with the increase of price in food and material , the poorer households becomes poorer while the rich becomes richer . In the last 3 years , the overall cost of goods and services had increase by 13.1% . ( Source : http://sgagainstpoverty.org/facts/ )

Therefore , i had wanted to take up the $5 challenge to see how it is like to go through a day with just $5 and to put myself in the shoes of others who are not as fortunate as i am . While i am just doing it for one day , i can already see that it is quite a challenge . Not to mention that there are people who is struggling to meet ends meet everyday .

I started off the $5 challenge at a Saturday . As i had wanted to attend a Fiesta(festival) in my Secondary School which is held on a Saturday , this was almost the perfect chance to do the $5 challenge . I had to wake up early in the morning at 630 am to get ready . My breakfast consist of a single egg prata at a nearby coffee shop . However , before that , i had made and drank some instant coffee at home. Therefore , the cost of my breakfast was $1.40 + $0.30(coffee). While i was not that full , i was neither hungry .

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After the fiesta , i went home to cook myself some egg and bread with cheese and flush them down with plain water . After just eating that , i have to drink more water as i was still feeling hungry . Since i have used the breads and eggs at my home , i could not calculate the exact cost of the meal but the estimate was just $1 , seriously  . This lunch made me realize that cooking at home is much much cheaper than eating out . An egg cost just 20 cents .  And it is easy to say that anyone can learn and cook bread and egg . After that i just went back to doing my homework .

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Dinner was the meal that i was looking forward to . I had wanted to end the day with a nice and delicious meal . Imagine going to sleep not feeling hungry . To end my day on a high note , i cooked myself some Instant udon noodles which cost $1 . Udon is a better choice than instant noodles . Despite being an INSTANT UDON , it is healthier than instant noodles . I have used the left over soup from yesterday to cook my Udon .0a73a07e-2a87-4a17-afb6-9055dea31746 LEFT OVER SOUP + UDON    c7529b87-309b-4d14-889d-9102c1e2c1ce.jpg

As i Do not know the exact rules to follow ,  i suppose i can use my left over soup , however i will still estimate the cost of the soup , which is like $1.50 .( its some carrots and vegetables and 2 meat ball . one i added while i was cooking . ). Add one more egg and the bowl is noodles cost $ 2.70 .6ee19c5e-9ae8-42d0-8bf0-1b9f7ba09e29

Results

So , i actually did not meet the criteria of just spending $5 . I ended up spending $ 5.40 ( $1.70 ( breakfast ) , $ 1 ( lunch ) and $ 2.70 ( dinner ) . The reason for overspending is because i have chose udon over instant noodles -,- . I think that we should not just eat plain instant noodles everyday as it would not be healthy for us , although it okay to eat instant noodles on some days .

The $5 challenge have beaten me  . However , it was a splendid experience . I had to deal a little bit with hunger during the afternoon hours . I had to think of a plan to spend my money . Despite not being able to beat the challenge , i have also learnt that you can eat healthy with just little money . Although i can just eat instant noodles on every meal and would spent $4 or less , i think that we should figure out ways to maximize our use of money to get the best possible results ( healthy ) . From this challenge , i have also learnt that there are people who are in a situation where they have to deal with poverty . And i think that everyone that are more fortunate can lend a helping hand to the people in need .

In conclusion , i find the challenge fun to take part in and have learnt things such as Singapore’s problem of poverty , and i can help the people who are in need of help , being the more fortunate one .

 

 

 

 

Game Time

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Just 2 days ago ( 12/7/16 ) , i was on the first floor of the library playing a board game called Risk with 4 of my friends.When i think of strategy , terms like chess and card game comes to my mind . At home , i only have my computer and phone to work with to overcome boredom. Therefore , my experience with board games is close to zero , but i do know how to play Chinese chess , just a little bit .

To be honest , i was not expecting myself to blog about this topic as i usually just go home straight after school . But while i was waiting on my friend to go to the Bukit Timah Heritage trail together , me and my four other friends decided to play Risk .

The first Risk board game originally came out in 1959.Risk is a turn-based game(each player have to take turns) . The object of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and in doing so, eliminate the other players.Players control armies with which they attempt to capture territories from other players, with results determined by dice rolls. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_(game)) .Risk_game_map_fixed

Rules

While there is a standard way to play it , we chose an alternative way to play it which was much faster .Each person , which in this case is 5 , were given a almost equal amount of territories spread across the map . Just by starting the game , u are already surrounded by enemies . There will be a deck of card . Only one card can be drawn if you have conquered a territory in your turn , or not u are not allowed to draw one card . At the start of your turn , u are given 3 army to place on any territory that you control . Then u can either attack someone directly near you , or play defensively and pass a turn . When you attack , depending on how many army u use to attack someone , u gain a higher chance to take over his territory as you have to row dices to determine who wins . There is a cease fire card in the deck , so who ever draws it will end the game . The player with the highest number of territories win .

For more info go to this link :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-r0HknkghE .

Experience 

The game was awesome . Many times i just catch myself smiling and laughing at the outcome of a battle. The battles has unpredictable results . The dices will either go in your favor or utterly destroy you . Your plan will shatter to piece in front of you or it will go in your favor beyond what you expect, all just by rolling the dice . For example , your opponent rolls a dice that calls 2 , and you thought you had him , until you rolled a one . However , moves like attacking or defending generally affects the overall outcome of the game . Breaking the rules and making alliance with one person really helps brings the mood up as you can discuss with your partners the next move you both would like to make . But , a betraying or an official word to your partner ends the alliance . Having an alliance is not necessarily a good thing . Ur partner may be a burden ( just like me lol ) rather than an asset to helping your team win .

But to me , it is not about winning that matters . The memories and bonding i made with my friends is what matters to me . And i think that though games , we can build an even deeper bond within the people in our society . Every one can play their part in making our society a more happy bunch of people. Through this game , i have learnt that bonding with people and friends is a good thing , besides just going home and play computer games . In conclusion , i think that you should also try out Risk . It will definitely not disappoint you.

Unusual Occupations

Scrolling through google and finding online posts of usual occupations , i have seen some REALLY unusual occupations such as being a mermaid . Yes , a mermaid . Others such as professional Lego builder really had me thinking what is a unusual and unconventional job.lttr_green_jobs

One’s view of ‘unusual’ may vary from others depending on the environment that you grow up in.For example , we have always been told by our parents that cockroaches are ‘dirty little pests’ , therefore it is unusual to find someone who love cockroaches c: . However , in the insect world , cockroaches are actually considered as the compulsive fastidious(vEry attentive) cleaners. And if we grew up in an environment knowing that cockroaches are clean , maybe we would have caught some and play with it ( just kidding ) . (Source : http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/are-cockroaches-dirty-as-we-all-believe)

The unusual occupation that i want to talk about is professional Ethical Hacker.The reason why i chose this profession was because from young , i have always thought of hackers as criminals . Occasionally hearing my relatives talk about hackers made me think that all hackers are up to no good . Thus , coming across this profession has really piqued my interest as an ethical hacker is the complete opposite from what i thought . website-hackers

An ethical hacker is a computer and networking expert who systematically attempts to penetrate a computer system or network on behalf of its owners for the purpose of finding security vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could potentially exploit.They then document them and provide actionable advice on how to fix them so the organization can improve its overall security.An ethical hacker is sometimes considered as a legal hacker. ATMs , point-of-sales devices and surveillance systems may have weakness and are the target of both good and bad hackers .

Despite now knowing more about ethical hacker , i am not interested in becoming one . The reason why i chose this occupation to share about was  because i was curious to know more about it as my course in polytechnic is Information Technology .This from , i think that it is okay for people to have unusual occupation as long as they like it themselves .

 

 

Global voices

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While i was scrolling though articles from globalvoices.org , i came across many interesting stories and incidents . However , only one caught my attention. The article was regarding Drought in Cambodia (https://globalvoices.org/2016/05/09/animals-cant-escape-cambodias-worst-drought-in-50-years-either/ ).

”According to the government, 2.5 million Cambodians in 100 districts have been affected by the drought, and water shortages have been declared in 18 of the country’s 25 provinces.” as seen from the article.

The reason why i chose this article was because i realized how fortunate and blessed i am , just to have water to drink . Not to mention it’s clean. After scrolling though the article , i felt guilty . Just the other day i was spending extra time showering , wasting water that could have helped so many people and animals . Just because i don’t see it , doesn’t mean it’s not happening out there.
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This year , drought in Cambodia is considered one of the worst in decades .Schools face water shortages and government says entire nation is affected as rainy season is forecast to be delayed by months. Countless acres of land prevents farmers from growing rice this year . If it was even possible , it would be considered as a poor harvest . While only some parts of Cambodia is hit with drought each year , this year , the whole of Cambodia is affected by drought. The typical rainy season is said to come at May , however this year , it is expected to be in July . Thus , combined with last year’s poor wet season , farmer are in a terrible situation. ( Source: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/may/05/animals-die-cambodia-worst-drought-decades)

Not just humans who are affected . Fishes and animals are also victims to drought. ”Low water supplies have exacerbated poverty in many rural areas, where farmers depend on rivers and ponds for irrigation.About 65 tons of fish in Tonle Chhmar lake died last month because of decreasing water levels:”  ChESYeAVEAAvRiR.jpg

Animals like cattle , bats and monkey died to shortage of water . A tourist elephant in particular , died of heat stroke during a performance for a tourist attraction.”Because of this incident, some Internet users launched a petition urging the authorities to end elephant rides, which are still popular among tourists.”

(source : https://globalvoices.org/2016/05/09/animals-cant-escape-cambodias-worst-drought-in-50-years-either/)

The government is helping by distributing water to rural villages and such. Prime Minister Hun Sen last month instructed the country to band together. “Do not leave any people at risk of their lives because of this shortage of water,” he said. “This is my absolute order.” (source : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/desperation-grows-as/2792150.html )

I think that we can also play our part in helping those who are in need by method such as donating and not wasting any resources that we take for granted . From this article , i have learnt that i should be concerned and know that there are people who are in need of help , and i can start by helping people around me.

What ? We kinda’ caused the haze ?

Singapore is well-known for being a green country . Approximately 15 million tourist visit Singapore annually . However in recent years , the haze conditions in Singapore has gotten worse . Straits Time reported that Malaysia and Singapore are expected to see a decline in Tourist visits due to travel warnings for haze . (http://www.straitstimes.com/business/economy/singapore-gdp-will-take-hit-from-haze-as-countries-issue-travel-warnings).

With PSI ( pollutant standards index ) reaching up to 401 , no wonder Singaporeans are complaining on how the air smells , affecting us in our daily lives . Therefore , i am interested in this question and would like to help see what i can do to help my families and other people who is affected by the haze and who is to be blamed for the haze.  But since we did not burn anything in Singapore , how did we kinda caused the haze ?

Haze

Haze is an atmospheric phenomenon where smoke or dust affects the clarity of the sky. Haze is an air pollution that can cause respiratory problems like difficulty breathing .           Facts : In October 2015 , haze have taken 10 lives and leaves 500,000 people with respiratory aliments in Indonesia. ( Source :http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/haze-kills-10-people-indonesia-leaves-over-500000-respiratory-ailments-agency )

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So who is to be blamed ?

Haze in Singapore is usually caused by neighboring countries such as Indonesia . The practice of ‘slash-and-burn’, a farming method that involves cutting and burning of plants , is usually used to remove palm oil trees in Indonesia .When the plot becomes infertile after being used , farmers move on to a new patch of land and does the burning stuffs again , thus forming an endless cycle of burning .(Source:http://www.rainforestsaver.org/what-slash-and-burn-farming )13892886.jpg

As it is convenient and cheap to remove large hectare of forest , this method is widely used in agriculture . When the wind brings the dirty and dusty air from the burning of palm oil trees to Singapore , the people living in Singapore would get affected . As a result , many Singaporeans would say that the farmers in Indonesia are to be blamed for the haze or the government is at fault for not putting up any limits to burning of forest , etc.

However , we are also at fault . Whereas we do not burning the forest , we unknowingly use or consume products that are made up of palm-oil such as chocolate and cookies or packaged bread. Palm oil is the most used vegetable oil in the world. Half of the products in the supermarket uses palm oil including soap and detergent. When we use these products , we increase the demand of palm oil , thus resulting in more burning of forest  . (Source:  http://blog.wwf.sg/climate-change/2016/06/pm-haze-guest-blog/). Despite just being a consumer , we actually play a huge role in causing haze .

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Solutions

-LO0k out for the RSPO label logo in products. It ensure you purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. This label gives you the confidence that the palm oil was produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.                                                           (Source :http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/which-everyday-products-contain-palm-oil)

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– Informing the people around you that we can also help combat the problem of haze by simply paying attention to the things we buy and use . Help spreading the word would also be like saving yourself from the haze

– Volunteers have helped distribute mask across Singapore to help counter the haze.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion ,  I have learnt that when there is a problem , we should not be quick to blame it on others , but reflect and see how we can play our part to help solve the problem.From this , i can apply it in the future .