The Dark Shadow Shrine

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Here's how much giving up beef helps - or doesn't help - the planet

Click HERE

Those doing the "Manners Maketh Man" compre currently.....got one point about vegetarians and vegans refusing meat dishes during meals and writer sees this as a lack of manners that is lamentable...but note that this need not be impolite as it can be justified in the name of saving Mother Nature, and in accordance with one's values...One should not be pressured into putting something into one's mouth/body just because one does not want to offend the hospitality of the hosts....

Note the useful point that changing our lifestyle habits (in this case, our meat diet) is one way all of us can contribute towards reducing carbon emissions....

Those classes who just did the Oral assessment, recall the qn in the Spoken Interaction segment, "We don't care enough about environmental issues". You can respond by saying that many of us, esp Asians, like to eat meat and are reluctant to swtich to vegetarian diet......

Music therapy becoming more common in hospitals

Click HERE

The NJ J1 class who's doing the music AQ (Cam. 2012 paper), pls read this....


Friday, July 21, 2017

World is drowning in plastic, study says

Click HERE

Note the useful stats:
"We buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute."

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Further setback for Facebook as Beijing blocks WhatsApp

Click HERE

Other than Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Twitter, Whatsapp is now added on to the list, attetsing to the formidable Great Firewall of China. By excluding these major Western internet platforms from operating in China, it becomes easier for the Chinese govt to control the flow of information among the Chinese within the country. It helps that the Chinese have their own equivalents of Facebook, Google etc, so they can still share info among themselves; the only drawback is that they do the same with people outside the country, and this may hamper the creativity of the country....

Qn: It is pointless to control the information in the media. To what extent is this true?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Has China now raised the Great Firewall too high?

Click HERE

note the downsides of censorship and regulations online....
-"But those alternatives can't satisfy the needs of all Chinese. For example, scientists, engineers and programmers need access to forbidden sites such as Google Scholar and GitHub, journalists hoping to follow the flow of global events will want Twitter, and Chinese students who studied abroad are looking to keep up with their overseas friends via Facebook. In general, all of these groups are educated, relatively affluent and important to the Chinese government's legitimacy and hold on power."

Note how it also undermines creativity and  the inflow of talent....

and of coz, the colourful quote in the Closing BANG:
- the words of Mr Fang Binxing, the widely acknowledged "father" of China's Great Firewall, who last year cautioned the government to treat the Internet with care and not to "give up eating for fear of choking".

Qn: "The media needs to be more regulated." To what extent is this true? (NJC J2 Mid Yr 2017)

Many benefits to S'pore, Malaysia as co-hosts for World Cup

Click HERE

Excellent examples of how hosting Sports events can bring countries together: South Koreas and Japan; Malaysia and Singapore

Qns:
1. Considering the money involved, should developing countries be allowed to host
major sporting events? (Cam. 2016)
2. Hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits. Do you
agree? (Cam. 2005)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Is healthy mee the key to a healthy me?

Click HERE

Qn: How effectively is public health promoted and managed in your society?
(Cam. 2015)

How the privileged prevent other people's children from doing well

Click HERE

An interesting read on the existence of invisible social barriers...

Qn: In your society, how far is equality for all a reality? (Cam. 2012)

Gene therapy for cancer nears FDA approval

Click HERE
Other than the 3-parent IVF, here's a new example....
Its benefits notwithstanding, note the downsides of side-effects and the cost factor....

For additional stuff on the problems, click:
http://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/scientists-call-for-caution-in-gene-editing

Qn: Should research on genetic modification be allowed to continue even though there are many ethical concerns? (SRJC Mid Yr 2017)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Singapore has responsibility to speak up on key issues to secure its space in the world: PM Lee Hsien Loong

Click HERE

Useful excerpts:
-"If we don't stand up and be counted, you cannot lie low and hope that nobody will notice you,"

-Singapore can contribute by having "something to bring to the table", and working with other countries towards a common cause

Qns:
1. 'Small countries should not have a say in international affairs.' Comment. (SRJC Mid Yr 2017)
2. Consider the view that small countries cannot exert any real influence in world affairs.
(NJC Prelim 2016)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Should small states act like small states?

Click HERE

The Little Red Dot may be little in size but big in voice....
Note two ways in which Singapore punches above its weight and earns a seat for itself among the giants:

1) The Global Governance Group (3G)
The informal group of 30 small and medium-sized countries from all continents was convened by Singapore in 2009. The G-20 had then been revived to tackle the global financial crisis, having been created as a forum for financial stability issues in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

2) Forum Of Small States (FOSS)
Singapore also founded the Forum of Small States at the UN in 1992 as a platform to band together on common interests like environmental concerns. Representatives of its 107 members meet a few times a year to discuss issues of concern to small states


Click on this link HERE for further examples of small countries that matter: Norway, Switzerland, New Zealand, Qatar

Qns:
1. 'Small countries should not have a say in international affairs.' Comment. (SRJC Mid Yr 2017)
2. Consider the view that small countries cannot exert any real influence in world affairs.
(NJC Prelim 2016)

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Predictive policing tool helps LA cops curb crime

Click HERE
One possible line of argument:
OV: Instead of using punishment to deter crime, deterrence can be achieved through other methods such as greater police presence, community look-out (via neighbourliness or 'kampung spirit') or the use of CCTV......
SV: You can then counter the above by saying that these still depend on punishing anyone who is caught committing a criminal act; in other words, it is still the threat of punishment that underlies the efficacy of the above argument, and hence, notwithstanding the validity of the above argument, punishment is still the best way to reduce crime.


-Note the opening BANG using the movie "Minority Report", where suspected criminals are caught way before they even have the intention of committing the crime -- a highly controversial idea....

-one argument brought up in the article is that certain crimes are 'decriminalized from felonies to misdemenaours', meaning that the punishment is lighter or there is no punishment at all:
Unfortunately, property-crime figures have gone up too.
Comdr Rodriguez attributed the rise to the decriminalisation of some offences.
He added: "A lot of crime (penalties) have been lowered from felonies to misdemeanours. For property crimes, these individuals know the time they're going to get is minimal when it comes to sentencing.
Hence, the point can be on the severity of the punishment. There is little or no deterrence if the punishment is light, as in the case above.


-note also the drug problem mentioned in the article. Useful to know that in the US, marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado. As discussed in the article, this opens the door to a slippery slope for people who have tried marijuana to 'upgrade' to more serious drugs that are banned, hence increasing the crime-rate for drug-related offences. Relate this example to the decriminalization idea above....


Qns:
1. "Punishment is the best way to reduce crime rates." Do you agree?
2. Does modern technology always improve the quality of people’s lives? (Cam. 2006)

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Oxley Road: Best antidote to suspicion is to open windows and let facts in

Click HERE

an interesting read....and note the coliurful closing BANG using imagery....
"As the old cliche says, sunlight is the best disinfectant. The best antidote to the odour of suspicion is to open the windows wide and let the fresh air of facts in."

For qns relating to truth and lies....

Qn: Should we always tell the truth? (CJC Prelim 2016)

How should small countries behave in order to survive?

Further to an earlier post HERE, you may want to read the following responses on the same issue:

1) http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/striking-a-balance-between-principle-and-pragmatism

2) http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/increasing-support-for-cohesive-asean-is-key

3) http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/singapore-cannot-be-cowed-by-size

4) http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/nothing-flawed-or-dangerous-in-kishores-article

Qns:
1. How far should countries address problems they did not contribute to. (SRJC Mid Yr 2017)
2. 'Small countries should not have a say in international affairs.' Comment. (SRJC Mid Yr 2017)
3. Consider the view that small countries cannot exert any real influence in world affairs.
(NJC Prelim 2016)

Monday, July 03, 2017

List of Useful GP Examples....

Click HERE

I've compiled a list of useful recent examples and some useful info...
It's still very much a 'work in progress', as I'll be constantly adding on to the list based on what catches my eye in the papers over the next few months. So do come back here to refresh the list....
Try to use some of these in ur essays and AQs.....

Qatar: Big lessons from a small country

Click HERE

The writer uses the recent example of Qatar to make the point that Singapore should not be too kaypoh and try too much to punch above its weight.....but he does make an exception in the case of LKY....Note the reasons he gave....

For qns related to the behaviour of small states and how they can survive....

USeful uote:
"Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."

What do you think about the above quote, give Singapore's position that we do not want a situation in the Asia Pacific region where 'might is right' and the 'rule of law' must prevail instead?

Qns:
1. How far should countries address problems they did not contribute to. (SRJC Mid Yr 2017)
2. 'Small countries should not have a say in international affairs.' Comment. (SRJC Mid Yr 2017)
3. Consider the view that small countries cannot exert any real influence in world affairs.
(NJC Prelim 2016)

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Take time to 'waste' time on weekends

Click HERE

Singapore's not quite the right shade of green

Click HERENote these useful bits from the article:

-a sanitised, manicured - and in the case of the zoo, costly - view of the natural world.

-Singapore having more species of trees than the entire North American continent.

-We have also reduced mangrove coverage from 13 per cent of our total land area in the 1820s to 0.5 per cent today.
Singapore's rainforests are now 5 per cent of what they once were. Development has also reduced our coral reefs by 60 per cent.

-Mangrove forests, for instance, prevent storms and waves from eroding our shores. In tsunami- prone countries, they save lives.


Qn:  "We have given up too much for economic progress." Is this true? (SRJC J2 Midyr 2017)