The Dark Shadow Shrine

Thursday, October 27, 2016

One in nine has no access to clean water

Click HERE

note that for all its importance in maintaining life, less than 1% of the world's water is actually available for us to use (and this fast becoming polluted)....about 2% is locked up in the polar ice caps, and about 97% is undrinkable sea water!!!! exact figure from article here if u want proof:

Only 2.5 per cent of the water on earth is fresh. And of that, just 1 per cent is easily accessible, with much of the rest trapped in ice caps and glaciers. That means only 0.007 per cent of the planet's water is available to its more than seven billion people.

What caught my eye also is the mention of rice being a 'thirsty' crop....indeed, eating rice is bad for mother nature; eating meat is worst!!!  So you see, our life-style habits (use of aircon, driving cars), including our diet, can impact mother nature....Going Green entails a change on our daily habits, which may require us to forgo some of the comforts that we've been used to, and even our tradition of eating rice? These are sacrifices we have to make, we will not be willing to do so unless there is an awareness of the impacts of our actions, as well as a strong love for mother nature.....But these two ingredient for change there in us? In a place like Singapore, the media and internet can instil that awareness, but the lack of contact with mother nature may mean that there is no opportunity to cultivate that much needed love.....so what if we know she is bleeding, if we dont care or feel for her? coz we hardly see her in Singapore...how to care for or love someone if you donrt see her often? How often do you come into contact with Mother Nature in Singapore? Can she even be found in her resplendent and beautiful form that can make us love her? Food for thought....

Singapore watching events in Europe, US with concern: PM Lee

Click HERE

some interesting comments on how events in other countries can have a bearing on Singapore....esp the rist of people like Trump (and Duterte....they are like twins in their behaviour!!) There's one Duterte creating mini-tsunamis here in SE Asia and the larger Asia Pacific already....we dont need another Duterte (i.e. Trump) on the other wise of the globe being the Head of State...

Why Hillary Clinton Needs to Be Two-Faced

Click HERE
-note the interesting and effective closing BANG at the end of the article...
-if u have done the recent TJC prelim AQ on lying, make the connection...

Excerpts:
-Is it hypocritical to take one line in private, then adjust or deny it in public? Of course. But maintaining separate public and private faces is something we all do every day. We tell annoying relatives we enjoyed their visits, thank inept waiters for rotten service, and agree with bosses who we know are wrong.

-Unnecessary and excessive directness hurts feelings, foments conflict and complicates coexistence.

Floating solar-cell test bed is world's largest

Click HERE

note the latest development in Singapore's efforts to cut carbon emissions and go green...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Get inside scoop on Panama Papers

Click HERE

Here's some background on the Panama Papers leakage for those who are in the dark....it works in the same way as the Edward Snowden whistle-blower on the NSA, as well as Assange's Wikileaks....

What caught my eye was the mysterious 'John Doe', the anonymous whistle-blower who contributed the confidential info on tax evasions of the rich, which has now come to be known as the Panama Papers....

Edward Snowden's revelations may have made it difficult for the govt to spy on its pple for securirty reasons; but the revelations in the Panama Papers actually help the govt to go after those of the rich trying to evade taxes by parking their wealth elsewhere illegally....

Relate to qns on the media, govt's intereference...

Qn: 'The internet makes it more difficult for governments to govern today.' How far do you agree with this statement? (TJC Prelim 2016)

Millions will go hungry without urgent action: UN

Click HERE

What caught my eyes are actually these nuggests of info in the blue panel of the article...I've replicated them here....
One point we can draw from here is that to combat global warming, we need to change our diet to a non-meat one, and preferably non-rice also, as the growing of rice is one crop that releases a lot of carbon emissions....such lifestyle changes are not unlike those calling for us to stop driving cars, use less plastic bags and use less air-conditioning in our daily lives...will we forsake such convenience and comfort in our lives for mother nature? That depends on whether we are aware of the impact of our daily seemingly innocuous actions on Mother nature, and knowing this, whether we love her enough to make the sacrifices that will contribute to her survival....

HOW THE FOOD WE EAT MAKES CLIMATE CHANGE WORSE

  • Livestock alone produces nearly two-thirds of agricultural emissions - mainly from animal burping, manure and feed production. Synthetic fertilisers are the next major contributor, producing 12 per cent, and rice cultivation, 10 per cent.

  • Carbon dioxide emissions from agriculture are mainly caused by changes in land use, such as converting forests to pasture or cropland, and land degradation from overgrazing.

  • Most direct emissions of methane and nitrous oxide are caused by livestock flatulence, rice production in flooded fields, and the use of nitrogen fertilisers and manure.

  • More than a third of food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. Rotting food produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

  • Deforestation and forest degradation account for about 11 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, more than the world's entire transport sector.

  • Reducing agriculture emissions depends partly on cutting food waste and loss, modifying people's diets - including consuming less animal products - and changing farming practices


  • Qn: How effective are international efforts to ease the problem of global hunger? (Cam. 2010)

    UN choice of Wonder Woman makes women wonder

    Click HERE

    Qn: Can cartoons ever be serious?

    Thursday, October 13, 2016

    You don't need much space to have sex: Josephine Teo on ‘no flat, no child’ belief

    Click HERE

    You don't need much space to have sex: Josephine Teo
    -- the quote that's getting quite a bit of attention and making its rounds on social media lately....

    Qn: "Government have no rights to interefere with family matters." Discuss with reference to your society.

    Data is the new oil

    juz came across this interesting quote in the papers:

    'Data is the new oil'  -- emphasises the importance of data in our world today....

    Here's an interesting read on that : click HERE

    Friday, October 07, 2016

    Australian men who stripped to underwear at Malaysia F1 racetrack let off with warning

    Click HERE

    "nine Australians who stripped down to swimming trunks emblazoned with the Malaysian flag

    The men, including a staff member of Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, also had quaffed beer from their shoes to emulate Ricciardo, who celebrated his win by chugging champagne from his shoe on the podium.

    After pictures and video of the boisterous scenes went viral, the nine men were arrested Sunday at the Sepang racing circuit and ordered held in remand for four days pending possible charges.  


    they were unaware of local sensitivities and that stripping down to Malaysian swimming trunks would be construed as offensive."


    Recall a similar incident some time back in Sarawak where some Canadian ascended the summit of Mt Kinabalu and stripped down to their 'birthday suit' (i.e. naked) to take selfies....This caused unhappiness among the locals as Mt Kinabalu is considered a sacred mountain inhabited by their gods....It is akin to stripping naked in a cathedral or church....

    Relate to the tourism compre/AQ we did not too long ago about the unruly behaviour of tourists...but note that sometimes, we can't blame the tourists as they are unaware of the local culture.....and it is inevitable that we bring some of our country's norms into the country we are visiting without realising that it is inappropriate and can even be insulting to the locals....regarding having the national flag emblazoned on underwear, this is considered ok and common in Australia and the US, but not so in more 'serious' countries like those in the East, where respect must be accorded to the national flag....


    For qns on tourism (problems brought about by tourists)

    Thursday, October 06, 2016

    National Gallery wins big at tourism awards

    Click HERE

    Now that it's mentioned in the media, I think it's quite 'safe' to use it as an example in ur essay regarding the National Gallery Singapore's ability to attract tourists.....
    -- The breakthrough award was for the National Gallery's role in "helping to cement Singapore's position as one of Asia's leading art hubs, adding to the vibrancy of Singapore's tourism landscape",

    Note correction to the figure I gave in class....annual tourist arrivals have hit about 15million, about three times the population of Singapore (5.61million in the latest report)
    Last year, visitor arrivals grew a modest 0.9 per cent to 15.2 million, while tourism receipts fell below expectations, dipping 6.8 per cent to an estimated $22 billion

    Recall the tourism compre/AQ we did where there's a point on how local culture became commercialised and inauthentic as a result of tourism....here is a local rebuttal example:
    Attractions also have to showcase Singapore's heritage in an authentic way, said Mr Rajakumar. "In Little India, you don't see modernised buildings, and everything happens on the streets. You can see the trades, such as garland-makers and goldsmiths," he said. This helped the precinct attract a record 3.4 million visitors during last year's Deepavali celebrations, he said.

    Note how the IR and F1 have redefined the tourism game for us, positioning us to attract the high spenders rather than competing on price to attract tourists....
    Mr Kiong said STB's strategy of pursuing high-yield tourists pits Singapore against the likes of Paris, Tokyo and London. "We're not competing on price, or against Bangkok or Bali, any more," he said.
    "The integrated resorts were game-changers. So were the Formula One races. But what's next?"


    Qn: Is it worth spending large sums of money on the arts in your society? (ACJC Prelim 2016)

    Wednesday, October 05, 2016

    Controversy over the Global Times Report about Singapore

    It started with this article published in the Global Times in China: Click HERE (Global Times: Singapore raises South China Sea arbitration at NAM summit of heads of state despite opposition) Note the language used in the writing......

    This was then followed by a reply from the Singapore's Ambassador to China: Click HERE (Singapore 'did not raise tribunal ruling' )

    Then these two articles came out in today's Straits Times that help shed a bit of light on what's going on behind the scene:
    Click HERE (Global Times report: A bid for eyeballs or a move to pressure Singapore?)
    Click HERE (Bitten by a dog? Don't bother biting back)

    Note that as a major national newspaper, The Straits Times will obviously tend to publish stuff that put our nation in a positive light.
    No matter which side you are on, the skill to walk away with is that you should not believe everything u read in the media. If you feel the need to take a position, verify it with other credible sources before you make a decision on it....
    Putting aside who's spouting the truth, what's useful for us here is the example.....Two points clearly emerged on why the media sometimes may not report the full truth: profit motive and political leaning.
    From a businessman's point of view, there could perhaps be a point to be made about how patriotism can be exploited for profits, esp during economic recessions when protectionistic measures are required to protect local industry, or just to generate more revenue during peace times....


    Qns:
    1. Can the media ever be relied upon to convey the truth? (Cam. 2004)
    2. Consider the claim that the media today misinforms more than it informs. (TJC PRelim 2016)
    3. Is patritoism still relevant in today's world?

    Tuesday, October 04, 2016

    A floating nuclear power plant - off Singapore?

    Click HERE

    Potentially useful info from article:

    -Nuclear fission emits no pollutants or gases. A gas-, oil- or coal-fired power plant insidiously emits toxins and carbon dioxide, threatening life and destabilising the environment.

    -According to the Nuclear Energy Institute: "As of May 2016, 30 countries worldwide are operating 444 nuclear reactors for electricity generation, and 63 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries."

    -Is the nuclear option important for Singapore? Certainly. Ninety- five per cent of Singapore's energy needs are piped from Indonesia and Malaysia in the form of natural gas. The economy's heavy dependence on a single fuel type, and its mode of delivery, makes it vulnerable.

    -Solar energy is very costly because it is land-intensive. And renewable energy from hydro, wind and tidal current sources are not that available in Singapore.

    -The nuclear option is the only viable one. However, with an area of 713 sq km, Singapore does not have the space for a nuclear power plant. (For Fukushima, an area within a 20km radius from the plant was declared unsafe, an area 75 per cent larger than Singapore).

    Monday, October 03, 2016

    Speaking up for women and children

    Click HERE

    Interesting imagery:
    'There are glass ceilings for everyone according to their abilities...But for women, there are also sticky floors that make them hesitate to be ambitious.'

    Note also the stats that women take up 9% of the board seats here in Singapore, considered low when compared to the global figure of 12%. Board seats refer to seats in the corporate boardroom, the highest decision-making body in the various MNCs, etc...