$5 Challenge

I did the $5 challenge during a school day. I knew that if I were to do it during a holiday or weekend, I will feel tempting to buy more food, out of the budget. Hence I did it in poly. But i was worried that the food in the food courts will be too expensive.

I didn’t had my breakfast as I was rushing to school and my first lecture starts at 8 am. Hence I skipped breakfast and save money there for my lunch. For lunch I bought 2 chocolate waffles from Food court 3. It cost me about $3. ($1.50 each).¬†Luckily I brought my water bottle to school, so I didn’t had to buy any drink. Surprisingly I was feeling full with just 2 waffles. Probably I was used to the poly schedule. Hence I didn’t felt hungry for the time being.

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My last lecture ended at 6 pm. I left SP and went to the 7-Eleven at the Dover MRT station. I was only left with $2 for my dinner. I was looking through the shop for any food within $2. Then I decided to buy a cup noodle and a regular sized cup drink for $2 under the combo offer. I bought it and enjoyed it. The noodles with the drink was just enough to beat my hunger and keep me full.

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End of the day, I was left with $0 and survived the day with $5. Personally it was pretty hard for me to survive with just $5 a day. But i successfully completed the challenge. Maybe if did the $5 dollar challenge during a holiday or weekend, it would have been much easier for me. Because i would be able to get much cheaper food near my house, but as i mentioned it would be a struggle to stay at home with all the food at kitchen. This activity also provoked me to think about the poor people in the world and how would they feel without a meal in their day. Furthermore, it also helped to reinforce what my told to me, in my life. Never to waste food. I’m sure I would be like that in the future.

Heritage Trail

During the term break, I went on a heritage trail with Aini. I rarely go on a heritage trail as i used to think that it was of no use. But not after this one.

We went to Singapore River for the trail. Here is a list of the places we visited along the Singapore River:

  • The Merlion
  • Bayfront
  • Sir Stamford Raffles Landing Site

What I have learnt from this trail:

Singapore River holds significant heritage value to Singapore. As a fishing village Singapore started off from here.¬†Singapore River used to be a centre of trade. It passes through Clarke Quay, Boat Quay & Robertson Quay (3 main Quays). It was a place which made a living for people like traders, fishermen and coolies. It’s also the place where Sir Stamford Raffles first step foot on Singapore.

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Sir Stamford Raffles Landing Site
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The Fullerton Hotel

The trail started here, from Fullerton Hotel. I walked to the Merlion from there.

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Sculptures along the river
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Sculptures along the river

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As I walked I saw the sculptures along the river. They depict how life used to be back then in Singapore.

The Merlion is the icon of Singapore. It symbolizes Singapore’s historical roots as a fishing village.

Despite the beautiful scenery, skyscrapers and good looking foreigners, it was the experience which meant a lot to me. Through this heritage trail, I learnt to appreciate Singapore better. Realizing how Singapore has grown so much made me feel proud about being a Singaporean. The feeling is totally different from what we learn about the history through reading and those history lessons during Secondary School. Through the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s efforts, we get to enjoy the Singapore River. He brought up¬†the “River Clean Up Campaign”, clearing the pollution in the river. Because of that, now we can enjoy water activities on the river. Not only that, after the river clean up, Singapore River became a place for tourism and entertainment. Many commercial buildings, skyscrapers, hotels and restaurants are located along the river. Hence its a tourist attraction. Furthermore Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s vision to build the Marina Barrage Dam, forming a reservoir (Marina Reservoir) also allowed many to use it for recreational activities. Eg: (SEA Games 2015, Youth Olympic games 2010, etc)

Because of the hard work of our¬†forefathers and leaders, Singapore is a successful country now.¬†It’s now our responsibility to make this island an even better place for us all. As a citizen, I hope I can contribute to the nation positively.

 

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What? We Kinda’ Caused the Haze?

wwfThe South East Asian Haze is caused by the annual deforestation and forest fire in Indonesia. Due to the Southwest monsoon winds, Singapore is also affected. Though the haze in Singapore is largely caused by the forest fires, we citizens have also contributed to it.

Firstly its due to our year long carbon emission. Motor vehicles and industries contribute to Singapore’s air pollution largely. Especially with our traffic congestion. Carbon emission from the vehicles and industries have contributed to the haze.

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From NCSS, Governement webpage of Singapore

Secondly its due to products we actually buy. As consumers, we might go for cheaper products (within our budget) . Without much awareness about how the products are produced, we have been indirectly contributing to the haze. Some of us purchase products, without considering it is sustainable or not. Products that are manufactured in sustainable ways have logos printed on them. These logos represents the sustainability of products. Meaning, the products are made in environmentally friendly way. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a non-profit¬†organisation which runs a global forest certification system. Products are labelled with a “tick tree” logo, which means it is certified. This logo only applies to wood, paper or any forest products. ¬†Which also means that the trees harvested are allowed to grow ¬†back again naturally. The company also ensures that part of forests is protected, to protect rare animals and plants. Such methods are much more environmentally healthier than deforestation.

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Other than FSC logos, there is the certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) logo. This is a logo which certifies that the palm oil is produced in a sustainable method. Consumers might should also consider turning towards palm oil, as it generally has the highest yield per hectare comparing to other oil. Such as coconut, sunflower and soya oil.

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On the whole we should be more aware about the products we purchase and look out for the logos which certifies that the product is sustainably produced. If we continue to buy unsustainable products, we would support such companies to continue manufacturing such products through environmentally harmful ways.

 

References:

http://www.wwf.sg/get_involved/the_haze/#ctahaze

http://www.fsc-uk.org/10-good-reasons-to-choose-fsc.90.htm

https://www.nccs.gov.sg/climate-change-and-singapore/national-circumstances/singapores-emissions-profile

 

Global Voices

Raising out the critical problems in our modern society is pretty tough. Especially when only a few people are daring to voice them out. Moreover the media and government also play a crucial role in bringing up the awareness and finding solutions to problems. One article which caught my attention was the ‘West Papua’s Coral Reefs’, from ‘globalvoices.org’. The article is about saving marine animals and habitat. The Bird’s Head Peninsula in Raja Ampat, west of New Guinea, is the richest reef in the world. This marine reserve was a success through the efforts of the West Papuans and the support of Conservation International. Ronald Mambrasar is a Papuan fisherman. When he was younger, illegal fisherman arrived in Raja Ampat and started to destroy the aquatic life and coral reef. The West Papuans stood as a community to raise out the problem with the help of partners in their country.They all had a similar goal. They wanted to create a change. They wanted to protect the nature, so that the next generations could enjoy the nature as how it is now. Hence, Ronald Mambrasar and other fisherman were hired and trained by Conservation International to be marine conservationists. With the skills and knowledge gained, they are able to conserve Raja Ampat by themselves with resources provided. ¬†Finally, they were able to revive the health of the coral reef as a community.

This story clearly shows how natural habitats are being endangered by harmful human activities. It’s also an example of how as a community, an issue could be voiced out. Personally I feel glad about this. Just a usual fisherman, from a small island was able to make such a big change. He has not only saved thousands of marine lives but also brought awareness to the world about ‘nature deprivation’. Its disappointing to see that educated people like us sometimes fail to understand the Mother Nature. If uneducated people are able to appreciate nature, so can we. It’s never too late to change. Lets play our part in saving the earth! I have always intended to work with such an organisation which gives me opportunities to solve problems. I am happy that i came across this article.

 

Citations:

https://globalvoices.org/2016/06/24/take-a-virtual-reality-tour-of-west-papuas-coral-reefs/

Unusual Occupations

Singapore’s economy has many sectors. The main sectors are industries and business. (Manufacturing and Services fall under them). The trending job field now is ‘Aerospace and Aviation’ industry. It’s a booming industry which has become competitive and international. Many youths are attracted to this field. Despite being a growing industry with many common jobs in Singapore, it has unusual occupations too. Specifically “astronaut”. It is unusual because it sounds “alien” in Singapore, if we were to talk about it. However, if we were to talk about an astronaut from USA for instance, it wouldn’t sound weird as compared to an astronaut from Singapore. This is probably because we are stereotypical. The prevalence of astronauts from NASA in USA, leads us to such a distinction.

Being an astronaut seems ‘usual’ in USA, because the country is being actively involved in space and astronomy. Astronauts are always in demand for NASA. It’s very popular which makes the occupation ‘usual’ in USA. In Singapore, it’s a whole new ball of game. Our nation has never been actively involved in this field due to the low demand and high cost in setting up. It is also not a popular job in Singapore.

Another reason why i view astronaut as an unusual job is because it’s unique. Astronauts explore vast reaches of space. They go to places human kind might not have been to. One interesting thing about being an astronaut is the fact that its a risky job yet a cool one. What we have accomplished in our life on earth is insignificant when compared to what astronauts do in space. They have a different view of what human life form is.¬†Hence being an astronaut seems an unusual occupation in Singapore, in my perspective of view.

Made in Singapore

Singapore has always been a booming business hub, despite being a small island.  But Singapore has also been a nation producing brilliant inventors. Many Singaporeans have directly or indirectly involved in revolutionary inventions. One of such invention is the thumb drive. A storage device invented by a Singaporean from Singapore based-Trek Technologies. It was a revolution because previously the only portable data storage system was a floppy disk or a writable disc(CD-R). They also had small amount of data storage space. However the thumb drive( aka flash drive) was a lot more portable in terms of size and had a bigger storage system. They come in various storage capacity, allowing more users to use it according to their preferred storage capacity. (eg: 4GB, 8GB, 16G & 32GB) This invention also lead to innovation in bigger data storage systems (adopting the same idea as thumb drive) with added features such as security, cloud services and etc. For example portable hard disk was introduced with much bigger storage capacity. (eg: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB & 2TB). Hence in my perspective of view, the Thumb Drive was not only a great invention but also a stepping stone to greater innovations.

If i were an inventor I will make a watch which has the ability to travel time into the past and the future. Making a milestone in watch design & manufacturing industry and probably could save lives and make things better for the present through time travelling. Sounds impossible but impossible things are the challenges to human kind, leading to the root of our existence, “why are we here?”.