• Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    The Electoral Boundary Review Committee’s report dropped last Friday, followed swiftly by the tide of accusations of gerrymandering.

    Without any explanation or justification from the committee – indeed, without any transparency in the process at all – the boundaries certainly look a little suspect. What, after all, was the justification for removing Joo Chiat SMC? Why does Holland-Bukit Timah GRC go all the way from Ghim Moh to Mandai Zoo? How is it that someone living by East Coast Park shares a constituency with someone by Lorong Chuan MRT?

    This is not a geography that the average Singaporean can understand in his or her daily life travelling around the island.

    There are many reasons why an average Singapore might come to the conclusion

    Read More »from The electoral system will never be an election issue
  • Giosis raises $112M in funding

    Singapore-based Giosis Pte Ltd (Giosis), the parent company of Pan-Asian e-commerce platform Qoo10, has raised $112 million (US$82.1 million) in a Series A funding round. It was led by SGX-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH), along with eBay, Saban Capital Group, UVM 2 Venture Investments LP, Brookside Capital and Oak Investment Partners.

    Qoo10 operates six online e-commerce marketplaces across Asia - Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China - and has17.6 million registered users. In 2014 it saw a combined total of $558 million (US$408 million) in GMV. 

    “Qoo10 is the number one ranked e-commerce website in Singapore and its parent company Giosis has established itself as a market leader in the region’s e-commerce space. The investment in Qoo10 will enhance our portfolio of digital assets and open up opportunities for future marketing collaborations. With the region’s e-commerce market poised to grow, this investment puts us in a good position to tap on the

    Read More »from Giosis raises $112M in funding
  • (Manifesta)(Manifesta)

    Madeline Stuart is proving to the world that she will not let being born with Down Syndrome hold her back from achieving her dreams.

    The 18-year-old from Brisbane, Australia, always dreamed of being a model and was determined to change the stigma around disability.

    She has just landed her first modelling contract with Manifesta, a U.S. based women’s athletic-wear brand. 

    Manifesta targets women of all shapes and sizes, and has brought Stuart on as one of their brand representatives.

    On the company’s tumblr, they released photos of Stuart modelling a variety of looks. 

    “With all that Madeline is doing, we’re so excited to have her represent Manifesta,” they wrote in the post. “Just as Madeline is committed to expanding people’s ideas of what a model can be, Manifesta is determined to show that the clothing and fashion industry doesn’t have to be exclusionary, that one brand can work for women of various sizes.”

    Stuart has spent her life dealing with the many challenges that comes with

    Read More »from Teen with Down Syndrome lands modelling contract
  • Photos of flowers on Twitter and Instagram may be as commonplace as sunsets and selfies, but one Japanese amateur photographer has captured something a bit more unique than a beautiful bloom.

    Twitter user @san_kaido posted a photo of mutated yellow daisies last month, found in Nasushiobara City, around 70 miles from Fukushima, the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster.  The photos show daisies with fused yellow centres and with the petals growing out the side of the flower.

    The daisies are not the first deformed plants found after the disaster. In 2013, the Daily Mail posted photos of mutated vegetables and fruit, attributing the apparent abnormalities to high levels of radiation found in the groundwater.

    The daisy photos come four years after the Fukushima Daichii Nuclear Power Plant meltdown which was caused after a devastating earthquake and tsunami knocked out three of the plant’s nuclear reactors. 

    Earlier this month, The Telegraph reported that on Sept. 5, residents of Naraha, close

    Read More »from Deformed daisies from Fukushima disaster site gain Internet fame
  • Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are her own.

    How much do we know about the cardboard collectors we see on the street, pushing along loaded trolleys, backs hunched? Recently Minister of Social and Family Development (MSF) Tan Chuan-jin accompanied a group of students to meet box collectors at Jalan Besar. Yet his findings has raised eyebrows among other volunteers.

    Reading his post reminded me of a cardboard collector I’d met last year. It was raining when we met her, and she wasn’t going to get very far walking alone pushing her trolley in that downpour, so she agreed to sit down with us at a coffeeshop for a chat.

    She’d earned just a couple of dollars that day. She said she wasn’t one of the regular ones because she couldn’t go around collecting cardboard all the time; her husband was

    Read More »from Why we shouldn’t take cardboard collectors’ comments at face value
  • America’s favourite wholesome, redheaded teenager, Archie Andrews has taken on a modern new look.

    Archie and the gang will no longer be sporing letterman sweaters, polyester pants, or seen splitting milkshakes at Pop’s Diner, or cruising in Archie’s beat up Jalopy.  Instead, we see Archie wearing skinny jeans and leather jackets while America’s sweetheart, Betty Cooper, shows off some low rise, ripped jeans.  But thankfully one thing that hasn’t changed is sidekick Jughead Jones’ burger habit and  iconic grey crown.

    The unveiling of the new image and look came just in time for this year’s 2015 Comic Con event in San Diego, Bloomberg Business reports. Apparently the comic has spent the last six years trying to connect with a today’s youth, and this might just be the way to do it.

    The most obvious changes come from bringing in Mark Waid, writer of iconic comic Daredevil, and Fiona Staples, artist for the hit series Saga. With these two paired at the core of the creative team, supported

    Read More »from Archie and the gang receive modern ‘hipster’ makeover
  • Do you wish you had a better relationship with your children?

    Maybe your children don’t communicate much with you. They spend most of their time in their room, glued to their smartphone or computer.

    Maybe they also lack motivation – except when it comes to social media and gaming.

    If this describes your children, don’t despair. In this article, I’ll share with you specific ways to improve the situation.

    I’ve worked with 20,000 tweens and teens, and they’ve confessed to me why they behave this way.

    Want to know the reason?

    It’s because of the way their parents talk to them.

    Of course, the parent-child relationship is a two-way street. But if parents stopped saying certain things, children would become more communicative, respectful, and responsible.

    So here’s a list of 15 things that parents should stop saying to their children:

    1. “You always …” or “You never …”

    Have you ever said any of the following to your children?

    - “You always wake up late.”

    - “You always take the easy way out.”

    Read More »from 15 things parents should stop saying to their children
  • A man who thought he was anonymously sharing regrets about his moderate success in life got a pleasant surprise via social media - from his wife.

    Patrick Petrides was profiled by the popular photoblog Humans of New York on July 6, where he shared his feelings on his job and the pressure he thinks he places on his wife. Humans of New York doesn’t include the names of the people it profiles; there’s just a picture and a quote. So Petrides may have thoguht he was sharing a secret, albeit publicly.


    Humans of New York often receives thousands of comments on irts posts on Facebook, so words of encouragement aren’t surprising. But in Petrides’ case, the surprise wasn’t what was said, but who said it. 

    Only an hour after the Humans of New York post went up, Petrides’ wife Aly replied with words that set many a heart aflutter.

     

     

     

    Aly's reply generated over 115,000 likes and 2800 comments of its own, making the duo a true social media power couple - if only for a day.

    Heartwarming show of

    Read More »from Anonymous tale of regret gets a surprising show of support
  • “You want people to stand up, not scrape and bow. But if you don’t have a certain natural aristocracy in the system, people who are respected because they have earned that and we level everything down to the lowest common denominator, then I think society will lose out.”
    -
    Lee Hsien Loong at the Singapore At 50: What Lies Ahead? conference at the Institute of Policy Studies conference

    The word “aristocracy” has triggered shock and indignation, but the sentiment Lee Hsien Loong expressed on Thursday evening was not at all new.   

    It’d be inaccurate to believe that Lee was trying to describe Singapore as a place with a hereditary nobility/monarchy - what he was talking about is simply Singapore’s system of “meritocracy”. 

    Singapore, as we are often told, is a meritocratic society where people are rewarded for the amount of work they put in. What Lee is saying is that these industrious, ambitious, brilliant people should be accorded respect because they’ve earned and therefore deserve

    Read More »from COMMENT: Of "natural aristocracy" and earning your place
  • Fading McDonald's sign illustration (Getty Images/Thinkstock)Fading McDonald's sign illustration (Getty Images/Thinkstock)

    McDonald’s might be celebrating its 60th anniversary in the United States this year, but it’s hard to imagine that many people are openly celebrating with them. In our health-obsessed society, it’s no longer cool to admit that you enjoy a Big Mac once in a while.

    It’s obvious that people are still eating at McDonald’s, especially since the company currently operates over 36,000 restaurants worldwide, but there is a social stigma associated with the food.

    Customers are not only concerned about the lack of nutritional density in the burger and fries. Over the past few years, rumours have surfaced about the quality of the ingredients being used in the food products at McDonald’s. The situation was so bad that last year the company launched a campaign that encouraged customers to raise their concerns in a public forum.

    As part of the “Our Food. Your Questions.” campaign, users were able to ask McDonald’s questions like “Do you use real apples in your apple pie?” and “How is it that a

    Read More »from What would the world be like -- without McDonald's?

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