• Getting your children to do their homework – it’s a struggle, isn’t it?

    It seems like everything is more important to them than homework. Online gaming, social media, hanging out with friends, watching TV, playing sports… the list goes on.

    But it doesn’t have to be a daily struggle.

    In this article, I’ll explain seven ways to get your children to do their homework – no complaining from them, and no nagging from you.

    1. Make it clear that it’s their homework, not yours.

    Many parents seem to care more about their children’s homework than their children do. As such, the responsibility shifts from the children to the parents.

    But this shouldn’t be the case. After all, it’s your children’s homework, not yours.

    Help them to understand that their homework is their responsibility. Feel free to provide help or guidance, but you should never do the work for them.

    2. Don’t force them to do their homework.

    I can almost hear you saying, “But Daniel, if I don’t force my children to do their homework, they

    Read More »from 7 ways to get your children to do their homework (no nagging required!)
  • Sometimes less is more, but that may not be the case when it comes to the SG50 branding that’s been popping up everywhere one goes.

    Some people may see SG50 promotions and branding as a patriotic expression of Singaporean culture but others may find it just a tad too much and perhaps, gimmicky.

    A Wordpress blog titled "Simi Sai Also SG50" has recently been created to show incidences of over-usage of the branding, and questioning the worthiness of some of the SG50 initiatives.

    The title of the blog, loosely translated from the Hokkien dialect, means “everything also SG50”.

    With the tagline “Can don’t SG50 for the sake of SG50?”, the purpose of the website is pretty self-explanatory.

    The blog states that though it supports the idea of celebrating our nation’s 50 years, it feels that some of the SG50 campaigns are just too much.

    “But recently, there’s too much, really too much, events/brands/initiatives jumping onto the SG50 wagon. Some are interesting, some only make me scratch my head,”

    Read More »from Singapore blog questions 'over-usage' of SG50 branding
  • Getting stuck at the MRT station or on the train for over an hour and receiving scarce updates on the situation can be very frustrating for many commuters.

    That was likely the case for those affected by the over one-hour disruption that occurred along the East-West line Tuesday evening – the fifth subway disruption in over a week and the second in the day.

    According to train operator SMRT, the disruption was caused by a “track fault”. 

    The Land Transport Authority reacted by saying that the disruptions were “unacceptable” and directing SMRT to investigate the incidents and give an accounting.

    While some commuters would easily kick up a fuss and complain about it on social media, others have decided to have fun by tweaking movie titles to reflect their plight and posting it on Twitter.

    It all started with @mrbrown, who tweeted, “The Fault in Our Tracks. #SMRTmovies (props to @sarahcoldheart),” after corresponding with the latter on Twitter.

    @sarahcoldheart later tweeted “Frozen.

    Read More »from Singaporeans get witty with #smrtmovies tweets inspired by SMRT train disruptions
  • Commuters commute at lunch hour at Raffles Place in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)Commuters commute at lunch hour at Raffles Place in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

    Shah Salimat is the editor-in-chief of culture news website Popspoken. He tweets at @firdianshah1. The views herein are not representative of his personal and professional affiliations.

    The recently-announced Budget introduced a slew of measures targeted at strengthening safety nets for the lower- and middle-income groups, empowering businesses to continue restructuring efforts and gain independence from manpower issues. It also sought to encourage lifelong learning through financing continuous training.

    Yet, nonchalance among some Singaporeans was worrying. Have we stopped keeping track of our government's finances? Why was there a lack of curiosity to analyse the Budget -- was it caused by the lack of additional cash "hongbaos"?

    Had Singaporeans become apathetic to how its government spends? Marred by the chase to stay afloat in the world's most expensive city, some Singaporeans -- going by the comments online -- balked at the lack of support given to ease current-day concerns
    Read More »from COMMENT: Is the “Singapore Dream” an elusive one?
  • A 'Marvel'ous snowman: Illinois man builds The Hulk in his front yardA 'Marvel'ous snowman: Illinois man builds The Hulk in his front yard

    When life gives you snow, build The Hulk.

    Luke Harris built the giant green Marvel character out of snow on his front lawn in Alton, Illinois, simply to make local kids smile.

    “What I did it for originally was the kids on the school bus would come by. There’s a lot of school buses that come by and they just wave. And that`s what it’s about,” Harris, a wood carver, told KTVI.

    Harris has been making snow sculptures for a few years now. 

    Last year, he built a gorilla out of snow:

    A 'Marvel'ous snowman: Illinois man builds The Hulk in his front yardA 'Marvel'ous snowman: Illinois man builds The Hulk in his front yard

    Each sculpture takes about a day to make.

    “’I have a way to get in the neighbours’ driveways and I gather the snow and bring it over and put it in a big pile and pack it,” said Harris. “Then I take a shovel and block it in real good and remove the waste. Then I use a cement trowel and you can do all the detail work with that.”

    When a photo of Harris’ Hulk was posted on Facebook, adults and children alike flocked to his yard for a glimpse of the impressive sculpture.

    Apparently Harris isn’t the only one

    Read More »from A 'Marvel'ous snowman: Illinois man builds The Hulk in his front yard
  • 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.

    It’s good for a country to look back on its history once in awhile. Good to stop and take stock of how far we’ve come, how much more we’ve got to go. It makes sense that we’re doing this on a massive scale during Singapore’s Jubilee year, but there’s one myth that really, really needs to be busted: the narrative of “fishing village to sparkling metropolis”.

    A recent BBC article framed Singapore’s growth as “swamp to skyscrapers” – a narrative most Singaporeans are familiar with by now. It’s a story we were told in schools, reinforced by numerous National Day Parades and referred to so regularly that it’s often left unquestioned.

    Yet it doesn’t take very long to find the flaws in the story. Colonised by the British in the early 1800s,

    Read More »from COMMENT: Singapore needs to look beyond the 'swamp to skyscrapers' narrative
  • Mr Lee Kuan Yew is in stable condition and doctors at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) are monitoring him closely, said Minister for Communication and Information Yaacob Ibrahim in a Facebook post on Friday night.

    “I understand that many people are concerned and anxious about Mr Lee Kuan Yew's condition. I have been informed that he is stable and that the doctors are monitoring him closely,” he wrote.

    “In the meantime, let us continue to give him our well wishes and keep him in our prayers,” he added.

    Mr Lee, 91 has been warded at SGH since 5 Feb for severe pneumonia. A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office on 26 February said Mr Lee is in the Intensive Care Unit on mechanical ventilation. Doctors also restarted him on antibiotics.

    Read More »from Lee Kuan Yew in stable condition: Yaacob
  • Doctors look at a radiography of lungs. AFP file photo.

    Pneumonia is a lung inflammation that can occur in chronically ill elderly people and young children below the age of five.

    Here are ten things that you need to know about pneumonia and how to treat it.

    1. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the air spaces in the lungs.

    2. Pneumonia may be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi.  Streptococcus pneumoniae, a type of bacteria, is the most common cause of pneumonia. And the most common cause of viral pneumonia is the influenza virus.

    3. Pneumonia can be fatal in severe cases.

    4. Signs and symptoms of the infection are similar to a cold - sneezing, coughing, a sort throat and shortness of breath. A high fever, chest pains and chills follow.  

    5. The following factors increase the risk of developing pneumonia:

    - a weakened immune system due to disease
    - chronic disease such as sickle cell anemia, heart disease or diabetes
    - being in the intensive-care unit of a hospital, especially if on ventilator support

    6. A chest x-ray can detect pneumonia but not

    Read More »from 10 facts about pneumonia
  • 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.

    Before the Budget speech was delivered there was some speculation about a Jubilee Budget of angpows to sweeten the population before the inevitable election. I suppose one could say that Singaporeans are still getting “angpows” in various forms, but it’s thankfully a little more holistic than that.

    2015’s Budget has shown a willingness – albeit not a whole-hearted plunge – to move towards more redistributive policies. High income earners will have to pay more income tax, but low- and middle-income families will be receiving more support in the form of concessionary levies for foreign domestic workers, childcare subsidies, and the Silver Support Scheme that will help provide for low income earners who may not have substantial amounts of CPF

    Read More »from COMMENT: Budget 2015 provides safety net for those who need it most
  • The more than two-hour long speech delivered by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Monday attracted a wide array of social media reactions, ranging from the witty to the wacky.

    The minister tabled the country’s budget for 2015 in Parliament during which he spoke about various revisions made to several areas such as petrol duties, personal income tax rates for top earners as well as CPF contribution rates.

    Tharman also announced the introduction of various schemes, such as the Skills Future scheme, which aims to support Singaporeans in their lifelong learning, and the Silver Support Scheme, which aims to support the bottom 20 per cent of Singaporeans aged 65 and above. You may also visit our live blog for more information on the speech.

    So what do some Singaporeans think of this year’s budget? Well, it really depends on what parts stood out for them.

    Here are some that we’ve handpicked for you:

    1. Silver Surfer Scheme you say?

    While DPM

    Read More »from ‘Silver Surfer', you say? Singaporeans react to Budget 2015 on social media

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