The Dark Shadow Shrine

Saturday, October 31, 2015

EXAM WISHES....

Finally, the finishing line is within sight.... Monday's the BIG day! It's been a good run, and I hope you've found me running alongside u to be of some help in your preparation for the subject. Here's wishing you ALL THE BEST on Monday.
If you can still remember next year when u collect your results, do drop me an email on how u did for GP.

BEST of LUCK for ur 'A' level! and for those doing ur OP, good luck too! :-)


Friday, October 09, 2015

ISIS media drive 'huge threat' to US

Click HERE

The usual stuff about terrorists using social media to recruit pple and spread ideology (I hope u remember how to rebut this using the 'filter bubble phenomenon' or the idea that we won't be susceptible to their influence because we won't go to their websites in the first place)....but note also the lone wolf phenomenon that is slowly affecting the nature of how terrorists operate.....The most dangerous terrorists now are not so much those from organised groups like Al Qaeda or the ISIS, as these can be tracked when members communicate with one another....
The most dangerous and insidious types are those lone wolf types who operate alone.....went online to become radicalized and then plan and carry out their own missions alone by themselves...this means they will not be on the radar of the authorities until they strike ('cos they are not communicating with anyone), by which time it's already too late....
Such terrorists are virtually impossible to stop as you won't know that they even exist.....which is why the govt is appealing to the families or friends to turn anyone in if they suspect someone of being radicalised...in other words, the communities is roped in to be the 'eyes and ears' of the authorities, but there's an obvious limitation to this since your loved ones are unlikely to turn u in if they found u r a terrorist -- unless of course if they have a strong sense of belonging to the country.......

Excerpt:
"concerned about radicalised US youth "in receive mode", but not communicating back.
The US authorities could potentially track recruits who communicate with ISIS recruiters, but it was tougher to identify potential recruits, such as the shooter who killed five servicemen in Tennessee in July."

Qns:
1) Can terrorism ever be eradicated?
2) How important is it for people in your society to have a sense of belonging? (CJC Prelim 2015)
3) 'A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.' Comment on the validity of this proposition. (DHS Prelim 2015)

Half of Supermarket products here contain palm oil...

Click HERE
In an earlier post, we saw how consumers can protect the envmt by boycotting products by unethical firms....The use of labelling helps consumers to achieve this if businesses are reluctant to cut ties with supplies who are unethical....
However, as the link above shows, it is more tricky when it comes to palm oil products, as palm oil is used in many different products, and often only in relatively small parts compared to other ingredients.....hence, labelling can be a problem, as the palm oil is often not reflected....its pervasive use also means that even if u know the product contains palm oil, u can't really avoid it totally if ur normal life is not to be inconvenienced.
Hence, there are imitations to the use of consumer boycott to influence envmtal protection...

Underprivileged kids need early educational support

Click HERE
This article illustrates very convincingly how students from different family backgrounds may end up with different destiny...A dysfunctional or complicated family background can result in a student of the same intelligence to do poorly in school -- a case of nurture overwhelming nature....
We need to recognize that there are certain factors that inhibit a student from performing well in schools...those from poor families are more susceptible to this as the rich have the resources to overcome or avoid such problems....

Language: colourful vocal expression.....govt should ensure there is a big enough social safety net to catch those who fall through the cracks....

Qn: Discuss the claim that education guarantees progress. (ACJC Prelim 2015)

S'pore takes environmental challenges seriously

Click HERE
For an overview of what S'pore is doing to save Mother Nature....
Note:
1) the role of labelling (2010 'A' level compre on Babette's Feast)
2) interesting stats for BANGing:
Although Singapore exports more than 60 per cent of our manufacturing output and contributes to 2.2 per cent of global trade, it accounts for only 0.2 per cent of global carbon emissions.

Ethical businesses and ethical consumerism

McDonald's serving up greener breakfasts
Supermarts checking if firm is tied to forest fires
many-will-boycott-products-from-haze-causing-firms-poll
supermarkets-pull-plug-on-haze-linked-firms-products

The above are links to articles concerning ethical consumerism and ethical businesses....Think of the Triple 'P' bottomline I mentioned before : Profit-People-Planet.

When it comes to saving Mother Nature, there are four parties involved, each with its role to play; and we see how they have come into the picture during the recent haze crisis.... : The Govt, the consumers, the businesses, the NGOs

Qns:
1) Should profit be the sole objective when it comes to doing business?
2) 'Consumers are at the mercy of corporations.' Discuss. (DHS Prelim 2015)
3) Discuss the view that it is increasingly difficult to engage in ethical business practices. (CJC Prelim 2015)

Afghan rapper escaped teen marriage by singing about it

Click HERE
A interesting eg of a 16-yo girl who used music to get out of the 'prison' imposed by her tradition....

An interview aired on BBC World Service recently also mentioned an interesting anecdote about how some girls in Afghanistan marry carrying a doll clutched in their hands (makes for an interesting BANG!).....While funny, it is highly disturbing as it highlights how young these girls are, and how the traditional practice of child brides is a problem in such developing countries...
This issue on child brides is useful for qns on rights, gender, harms of traditions and culture,...For those who have done the 2012 'A' level compre on music, the role of music in this case of the Afghan rapper also makes for an interesting discussion -- how music creates awareness and is a reflection of our reality as artists mine the real world for inspiration in their art works.....

Qns:
1) 'A little rebellion every now and then is a good thing.' Comment on the validity of this proposition. (DHS Prelim 2015)
2) Discuss the claim that in the modern world people should care more about international than national issues. (Cam. 2014)
3) 'For the majority of people, the Arts are irrelevant to their daily lives.' How true is this of your society? (Cam. 2014) 

Ban on entry into Singapore eased for foreigners with HIV

Click HERE
I mentioned this recently also regarding Singapore's policy against aids-carriers who are non-Singaporeans, including tourists and foreign workers....
Note that for the qn below, 'people' can refer to those already in the country as well as those outside who want to come in.....possibly also the rights of those outside the country who don't want to come in, though I'm not sure if it gives you anything meaningful to write about...

Qn: To what extent should the state limit the rights of people when security is at stake?

Aylan -- the Kurdish migrant boy

Click HERE
I mentioned this to some of you recently....the picture of Aylan, a Kurdish Boy, whose body was washed onto the shore, gave a human face to the thousands of migrants trying to flee to Europe.
In the process, it awakens the conscience of the Europeans and makes them more supportive of opening the gates of their country to the migrants....
With that one photo, the migrants are no longer just statistics and numbers, but are given a human face......

For Qn 1 below,  point raised was that it's not important as pple can be indifferent....use the example of Aylan's pic to rebut and say that the pic jolted the pple from their indifference.....

Qns:
1) How far is it important for people to be aware of current events in countries other than their own? (Cam. 2014)
2) 'A picture is always more powerful than mere words.' What is your view? (Cam. 2006)
3) Does tragedy always unite a nation? (DHS Prelim 2015)

Hindus don't bury the dead

Law Minister Shanmugam said, in a newspaper report recently about his views after watching '7 letters', that Hindus differ from Chinese in the sense that they do not bury dead bodies...bodies of loved ones are cremated instead. In contrast, the Chinese tradition is to bury our ancestors, until the land scarcity problem in Singapore causes us to cremate them instead.

This makes for an important eg we can use to illustrate how different races and cultures can give rise to different views and opinions that can polarise society....Given the difference in cultural practices, this makes for an interesting example for how differences in views can arise....imagine views about Bukit Brown....Hindus would probably have less empathy for keeping the tombstones where the Chinese ancestors are buried...
PM Lee made a similar remark concerning inter-racial marriages in Singapore.....families on both sides of the couple may face problems reconciling different traditional practices such as marriage rituals, death rituals, baby baptizing etc...
Different ways of doing things due to cultural differences can lead to potential conflicts that can divide our society....