The Dark Shadow Shrine

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Exam Wishes...

Hi folks...
Thank you for visiting my site...I hope it has been of some help to you in ur preparation for GP, no matter how little.
Whether you are my student or not, here's wishing you ALL THE BEST and GOOD LUCK in ur GP papers on Mon, as well as in ur other 'A' level subjects. And if you r indeed my student, I'm glad to have the opportunity to run alongside you in this journey, no matter if it's been close to two years, or only a few months, or even just weeks..... Do remember to text/email me ur grade when u get it next year.
Try not to sleep late on Sunday night. Realize that the most powerful weapon a warrior can bring to the battlefield is not his sword -- but an alert, recharged, and well-rested mind!

They will pray for kidding!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Malaysians get fired up over 'nasi lemak' dress

Click HERE

This has been making the rounds in social media recently, and it appeared in today's papers....Makes for a good example if you're writing on fashion-related qns...For those who attempted the NYJC and TPJC prelim compre on fashion, try to make the link...

Clothes are no longer just for utilitarian purpose like covering our modesty (i.e. nakedness) and keeping us warm. It is also about who we are and what we stand up....

Reference has been made to Lady Gaga's meat dress in the article. you can read more about it HERE in a previous blog post. Even though this was in 2013, it is still an impactful example. Imagine wearing a dress made of REAL MEAT; and she has a powerful statement to make about it too....

Now what if S'pore's Miss Universe representative decides to wear our 'durians' to the pageant? or one with the merlion's tail unfurling behind her? Makes you wonder whether it's a beauty contest or a Halloween Costume contest....

Qn: Fashion is as much a good thing as a bad thing. To what extent do you agree? (Cam. 2009)

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Human life, livelihoods harmed by climate change: Lancet study

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The article brings up the point that envmt conservation is impt cos it affects our very physical survivial, our health, our jobs, our business, our economy, etc. Of interest to me is how the rising temperatures can lead to the spread of dengue and affect our health.

It is the AWARENESS of the direct impact on our lives due to the envmtal problems that will motivate and incentivize us to effect change to save Mother Nature. For the masses, esp the uneducated in the third world, it is difficult to see this link between our problems in life and the woes of Mother Nature. This cause-and-effect relation needs to be pointed out to us if there is going to be any hope for Mother Nature. At present, one obstacle to envmtal conservation is our IGNORANCE of how it can wreak havoc in our lives. When we eat shark's fin, we do not know that they are endangered, and that this may upset the marine ecosystem (sharks are at the apex of the marine food chain) which will then threaten our food security from the sea as the fishes at the bottom die out due to the upset in the balance. Only when this kind of complex causal chain reactions is pointed out to us can there be any hope of people alterating their daily habits to be more envmtally friendly, esp when their lives are going to be affected by it...

Suggested Approach for Comparison Qns:
In comparison qns like the one below, other than comparing, it is also good to adopt a stand where u say that while X may be more impt than Y, we cannot discount Y totally as BOTH X and Y are needed in order for the problem to be effectively resolved. One without the other result in an incomplete solution, like a person with only one hand, albeit the stronger hand. You need two hands to clap, which is impossible if u only have one very strong hand. The other hand, even if weaker and smaller, is still needed for the clapping to take place. [note the use of analogy to explain here]

To show this inter-relatedness or symbiotic relationship btw X and Y, consider the possibility of whether X is needed for Y to take place or vice versa. In the qn below, we can argue that education is needed to support the regulations. Only when people are educated, will they be aware of the consequences of their action, and only then will they be convinced of the logic of supporting the regulation and support it wholeheartedly. Without education to provide the awareness as a foundation for the regulation, at best pple will follow it grudgingly because they are afraid of the penalty of breaking it, but they will also try to find loopholes around it so that they can still follow their envmtally-unfriendly ways. And if they can't find loopholes around the regulation, they will resent the govt who impose it and vote that govt out in the next election. This is why govts sometimes lack the political will to go green even when they see the need for it. Hence, the long and short of it is that for regulation to work, it must have the support of the pple, and pple will only support it if they are convinced by the logic underpinning it, and this reuqires the awareness brought about by education. Therefore, we need BOTH education and regulation, as education is needed for regulation to work to save Mother Nature.....

Qn: ‘The solution to all environmental problems is more regulation, not education.’ Do you agree? (DHS Prelim 2017)

Germany marks 500 years since the Reformation

Click HERE
A famous example in history of how religion can be corrupt and misguided, as well as lead to bloodshed and violence -- useful for ur BANGs!
Martin Luther (not to be confused with the US black activist, Martin Luther KING Jr) felt that the religious teachings of the Catholic Pope were flawed as it was tellig people they can buy 'indulgences', i.e. make amends for their sins by contributing $$$ to the Church and earn admission to the gates of heaven. This disagreement sparked off the Reformation and the forming of the Protestants. As the article goes to show, it also led to war and violence in Europe due to the clash in doctrines.

Controversial teachings of religion is not uncommon. Other than the terrorists' teachings of their version of Islam, our City Harvest Chursch was also in the limelight for their preaching of the prosperity gospel, which preaches that “one would be rewarded materially and spiritually if they gave financially to God”. See HERE

For Qns on religion....

When solar power comes at a cost to nature areas

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We all know that S'pore is making a great foray into solar power in recent years due to the increased efficiency of the technology as well as the falling costs...our tropical climate also makes it suitable and our towering hdb flats are convenient spots to mount the solar panels.....
Plans have also been made to spread the solar panels on floating platforms on the expansive surface of our huge reservoirs. Besides this being a maximization of limited land space in Singapore, the floating solar panels also have the added advantage of preventing water loss from the reservoirs through evaporation.
But this article makes a valid point on how our enjoyment of our already-limited natural surroundings may be compromised if solar panels are allowed to invade them. Currently, reservoirs have doubled up as recreational spots for Singaporeans... Think kayaking, fishing(?), dragon-boating, boat-paddling, etc. But these activities may be affected once soalr panels are placed on the water surface.
The panels will also be a blight on the surroundings, as they will transform the look and feel of Mother Nature. Can u imagine the numerous panels giving off glaring light from the sun? This is quite unlike the natural and beautiful scene of the glittering water surface as sunlight bounces off the water....

So is solar power the way to go for Singapore?

For qns on the viability of green technology.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Brunei aims to bring in more tourist dollars

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Some of the issues touched on include how religion/tradition of the country can hamper the growth potential of tourism can escalate the build up of infrastructure and attract investments that can benefit the locals, to the environment.....

Rohingya crisis takes a toll on tourism in Myanmar

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A good recent example to show how tourism is vulnerable to political turmoil in the country, whether it is terrorist attacks (think London, Paris ,etc) or in this case, ethnic cleansing....Along with the impact on tourism is the consequent effect on employment created by tourism...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Death penalty part of anti-drug framework that works for Singapore: K. Shanmugam

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The latest comments by the govt on our controversial death penatly....

-Colorado State in the US legalised the recreational use of marijuana, and it's atttraccting tourists there (think how some tourism thrives in certain countries becoz they legalize or are lax on certain activity that are probihited or frowned upon in their own sex, child prostitution, gambling, alcohol, etc) Relate to last year 2016 Canbridge compre AQ on tourism

Colorado, which approved the commercialisation of medical marijuana in 2010 and legalised recreational marijuana use in 2014, has also become the No. 1 state for youth cannabis use

-how the death penalty paradoxically PREVENTS death!!!!
  "We do it reluctantly, on the basis that it is for the greater good of society... and it saves more lives." This includes the lives of families "ruined" by drug addiction.

A good example for the qn below on unpopular views....opening to discussion can allow the relevant stakeholders to hear our each others rationale that can possibly correct certain biases that we have which may go uncorrected if such an open debate is denied.....

Qn: How far, in your society, should unpopular views be open to discussion? (Cam. 2013)

Construction site of the future

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Latest high profile example of S'pore embracing technology...
You can read a related link HERE.

1. Should humans be hired when robots can do the job better? (PJC Prelim 2017)
2. ‘People in the workplace should embrace, rather than fear, technological advancements.’ Discuss. (AJC Prelim 2017)

Productivity loss due to sick leave to hit $3b by 2030

Click HERE
Useful stats to note if u want to argue why robots are preferable than human workers, esp given our ageing population when S'poreans are expected to work till 65 or till they can't....Retirement age in the civil service may soon be pushed back to 67.

Qn: Should humans be hired when robots can do the job better? (PJC Prelim 2017)

Over 800 fall victim to scams on Carousell

Click HERE

A good article to read for those doing the HCI Prelim compre on untruths where businesses engage in deceit...
note the reasons why this is rampant on the internet...

#MeToo, say EU's women lawmakers

Click HERE

a case of how social media can be used to raise awareness and champion a worthy cause?

Indonesia's volcanoes serve as powerful tourist magnets

Click HERE

I think there is another name for this kind of tourism... Instead of 'disaster tourism', it is also n=known as 'dark tourism' (I think)...where tourists visits places of tragedy like Chernobly, Fukushima, the Killing Fields -- locations which are the sites of great tragedies in history....the only difference for this article here is that tourists go to witness the unfolding of the tragedy -- NOT AFTER it has unfolded....
Recall the 2016 Cambridge A level GP AQ last year where a point in the compre passage says that tourism is vulnerable to natural disasters....The current impending volcanic eruption in Bali is driving loads of tourists away, but in a masochistic slant, we see how in this article that it is also attracting droves of tourists there!!!
It could perhaps be seen as a perverse twist on eco-tourism where the 'spelndour' or 'grandeur' of Mother Nature is used to attract tourists to a country....

Facebook put on the spot as Rohingya crisis goes on

Click HERE

For qns on the downsides of technology, how tech can used to spread hatred, etc...and of course, how religion (or misguided religion) can cause pple to sow the seeds of hatred and commit atrocities....

Need medical help? Boot up a robot

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This helps to overcome the inconvenience of those patients who have mobility problems.. Distane is not so much a factor here unlike other coutnries which are very BIG.....but one key idea here is how the employment of technology allows the patients to stay -- and probably die --at home instead of in the hospital....

For those who did the RI prelim 2017 AQ on elderly care, try to factor this in....robots for be a good replacement for maids, esp if we want to reduce our reliance on foreign workers.... Japan is a leader in this field of using robots to care for its ageing population...

Qn: Should humans be hired when robots can do the job better? (PJC Prelim 2017)

Human or robot? Future of financial advisory

Click HERE

Qn: Should humans be hired when robots can do the job better? (PJC Prelim 2017)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Why Singapore needs to make nuclear power work

Click HERE

Many interesting arguments here, and all pertaining to the constraints of interesting idea that surfaced is how energy security can lead to water security, but not the other way can be used to produce fresh water either through desalination of seawater (with which we have access to plenty since we are an island, hence surrounded by the sea) or recycle via NEWater.

State govt says human error a likely cause

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Qn: Assess the view that most natural disasters are the result of human activity. (Cam. 2016)

Singapore tourism doubled in 10 years, supports 164,000 jobs

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Useful stats: Singapore's tourism has doubled in the past decade to US$12.4 billion (S$17 billion) in 2016 and supports 164,000 jobs

The sector contributes US$7.6 trillion, or 10.2 per cent of global gross domestic product, and accounts for 292 million jobs. That is one in 10 of all jobs on the planet.

For qns on promoting tourism, esp with regard to job creation....

Qn: Should poorer countries develop their tourist industry when the basic needs of their own people are not being met? (Cam. 2007)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Pollution kills nine million people every year: Study

Click HERE

Useful stats....

How tech is used to distance and dehumanise others

Click HERE

Note the point about how technology removes the need for human contact, which can affect social cohesion. We are already glued to our screens when interacting with humans in our daily lives. Can you imagine how it would be like if service-providers are all replaced by robots in future? In fact, it's not even in the future, it's already here: when you withdraw money from the ATM, do transactions at AXS machines, internet banking, buying food from the vending machines....etc...

A society where daily transactions are conducted with machines and robtos is one where there is minimal human contact. This will lead to a society where people do not interact much with each other, one which is devoid of warmth and compassion and graciousness, and may even be a breeding ground for hatred towards certains groups as our bias against them has no chance to be cleared up since we have little opportunity to come into contact with them to really get to know them....
Qn: Should humans be hired when robots can do the job better? (PJC Prelim 2017)