Working till Death

Working till Death

With an increasing percentage of Singapore’s population aging, there is one rising issue that has plagued our media often in the past few years: elderly poverty. Growing ever more visible we often see the elderly cleaning tables at hawker centers and pushing heavy carts of cardboard along the roads. Going out to eat how often have you turned to say “Thank you auntie/uncle” and the one clearing your table for you is a person of your grandparent’s age?

Much noise has been made in the media about the elderly having to do such back breaking jobs, that often earn them just the bare minimum to survive, but those are just the ones we see. There are elderly that don’t even have a stable income to take home and every dollar they get is only able to survive them on a day to day basis.

The government has created various schemes aimed to help these elderly such as Silver Support and many others. There is no lack of new schemes for them but too many are highly targeted with very specific criteria to fulfill. An example of this is the requirement of not having children to support them, but what about those are estranged with their children and not in touch with them. They still lack any support from family and yet may face issues applying for these schemes due to the system showing records of their children. An old woman that works only part-time be it due to ill-health or having to take care of a bedridden relative, would still not qualify for the workfare supplement scheme because of her shorter work hours. It is often the ones most at risk that fall through the cracks.

It is not just those that are not on good ties with their family but the many others who don’t have a family. With a growing number of youths indicating a lack of interest in getting married in a recent survey by National Youth Council, it’s not a far jump to imagine we will have a higher percentage of elderly without family support in the future.  It is estimated that by 2030, just slightly over a decade from now, there will be only 2.1 working-age citizens for each one aged 65 and above, compared to around 5.4 currently. What are we to do when many grow old and have no family left to support them in their old age?

Even those that have a family and a comfortable nest egg stowed away have to be weary. Should a serious illness like cancer strike, not only might you lose your family, but your savings and Medisave could be wiped out too. So this leaves everyone with at least some risk of elderly poverty in the possible future, and with many gaps in our system, how safe does that make you feel?

These people are making buying decisions for you

These people are making buying decisions for you

Your birthday is coming soon and you’re trying to buy something as a gift for yourself, you want the best option possible, you want to make sure it’s worth every penny. You’ll Google it, and you’ll get pictures and reviews of it, for some, there will even be video product review on Youtube. Be it a bag, shoes, a laptop, or even a gadget.

You’ll end up getting something that is “most raved about on the internet”, “popular among Youtubers”, or something that has “a lot of good reviews”. That is how powerful social media is, as most of us rely on social media to help us make purchase decision, the influencers on social media definitely hold a place in affecting those decisions.

While trust in brands is declining, the power of influencers is certainly making its way up. When you engage social media influencers, you can almost always expect an increase in traffic and social media interaction. This is because when an influencer promotes your brand, it amplifies the message and your brand, and your audience will feel that there’s more credibility to your message.

And when you are working with influencers, establishing a contract will help in ensuring the partnership is fair, especially when you’ve recruited them to create original content on your behalf. Your brand will feel secure knowing that the influencer will deliver what is on promised.

Before the content is published, you should request to review the content, this allows you to have greater control over the influencer’s portrayal of your brand, and also makes sure that you and your influencer are on the same page in positioning the brand.

There’s no doubt that partnering with an influencers also means acquiring customer through word of mouth, which indicates higher customer retention. However, take note that you will have to do some research before you decide to partner with any influencers, take a look at what brand partnerships they’ve done in the past, if they’ve partnered with many brands, your brand might get lost in the mix. While working with influencers, the compensation can come in many forms, sure it can be cash, but it could also be a gift of a product, promotions of their platforms by your brand, or even exclusive access to an event.

When influencers wants to know what’s in for them, come up with a compensation that everyone is happy with, help them gain insights and content for their audience, and build their brand while you build yours, and you’ll have a strong influencer partnership that can let both parties get desired results.

If you like tattoos, love animals and feel aimless on your career path, you might be able to draw lessons from Jen.

If you like tattoos, love animals and feel aimless on your career path

I had a great opportunity to speak with a  talented tattoo artist whose studio located on Haji Lane. Jen, shares with me her struggling journey  to achieving a fulfilled career.

When Jen was young, her family  adopted PopStar from SPCA, this little kitten ignited Jen’s love for animals, and was a part in shaping many decisions in Jen’s life, including the choice to take up Veterinary course during her tertiary studies.

She describe the course was tough, if one can relate to the study of human as complicated, what’s more on the study of animals, since there are more breed and species of animal compared to humans.

Like many, the day she graduated, she was immensely excited about the days ahead of her, fulfilling her life to work with animals everyday. Little did she know, that this dream wasn’t about to come through.

Jen resigned, within a year of practising as a veterinarian technician. She was clear, clearer than ever that she still love animals, still wants to play with them, every day, but she couldn’t take seeing everything at the vet. No doubts, she has helped many animals recover from their symptoms and regain liveliness. She also enjoyed exchanging views with pet lovers, sharing cute photos of each others pets, some customers even became friends whom she would meet during off days.

But on the flip side, day to day, she meets with animals who are sick, she sees pet owners negligences and ill treating their pets. Such accumulated pain at work led her to reconsider her choice of career. Her decision became concrete when this Kiki step into her centre for the second time.

Kiki, is a 6 years old Shih Tzu, the moment the owner stepped in,, she robbed all positive vibe off the clinic, with over powering pungent smell from Kiki’s badly infected ear. All attention was immediately diverted to Kiki, which appears tired, thin, haggard, and her brown untidy fur only says that she haven’t been groomed since a thousand year ago.

Such patient was uncommon, Kiki, has to be put on general anesthesia to remove an eye, and clearing maggots of it’s rotting ear. Jen says such infection is is a results of prolong neglected ear infection.

She composed herself together and professionally advised the nonchalant owner, to regularly monitor  Kiki’s condition as the fresh wound from the eye removal will put Kiki vulnerable to new infections. True enough, within the month, Jen’s night mare happened, Kiki came back, and the infection had spread to the other eye, Jen was devastated, there were two solutions offered, to remove the remaining eye, or put Kiki down for good. Owner chose the easy way out.

That very day, when Jen got home, an emotion thunderstorm rain on her, she skipped meals and close herself up in her room, leaving Popstar wining profusely at the door. Her experience with Kiki was the last straw of her daily accumulated pain, she broke down and started to resent animals. What seems to be her entire life took a turn, her many years of effort preparing and working to be a good vet daunted on her. She felt bitter about going to  work, suffering from night mares of Kiki, and sleep deprivation. Finally she decided to end her misery, resigning as a veterinarian technician, from her love towards animals, from her goals which once drove her life.

I cannot imagine the reality that Jen was goingg through, nothing like this ever happened to me, but when i sit down quietly to put myself in her shoes, relating to my love for animals, and think about the effort she put in to complete her studies, I felt it, i felt her pain. It reminded me of my broken relationship, when someone whom i was deeply in love with had to migrate to a Australia. Though we were young, but the heart break felt so real when her family interveened and forcefully ended our relationship., we didn’t had much options but to conformed. It was a disaster for me for me, I was lost then, as lost as Jen.

Jen was lost, totally lost, emotionally strucked and physically heavy. She lays around at home and reluctantly drag her heavy heart where ever she went.

She recalls, she was very grateful for her entire family, supporting and giving her the encouragement to stand up again. They cheered her up and reminded her of her second passion, Arts. During her school days, Jen loves to draw, when ever she gets a chance, she will draw, like those that can be seen on her textbooks in primary school, graph papers during maths class and was also pointed out by her form teacher that there were drawings of cats on her mid year exam papers in secondary school.

Unlike many local parents who can be heard telling their children to get a job and work hard, Jen’s parents placed more emphasis on happiness and well-being. Understanding her love for arts, they encouraged her to start all over and begin her journey with Lasalle College of the Arts.

Jen was very thankful that her family picked her up, and was excited to begin her new life as a student in Lasalle. She arranged her unhappy emotions at the back of her head and started a fresh.

She made new friends in the fields of arts and quickly became a promising student in class, Jen picked up the techniques of drawing rapidly, she especially enjoyed drawing with pencils, colouring them and bringing her ideas to live. Jen found her footing in arts, she knew this was where she wanted to excel in, Drawing became bread and butter for her, seeing her imagination  coming to life gave her the drive to pursuit further.

Nine months through, she dropped out, she decided to stop as a student with Lasalle. In school she was led to belief that she can’t draw what she wanted, she has to draw things that are socially acceptable. This stood in her way to transform her imagination to live, and it turned her off. Defying her family’s encouragement to carry on for a few more months, she decided to drop out, she wanted to follow where her heart will lead her, she learnt that in the past, she had chose a path which was socially acceptable, a path that could secure her a good income, but proven to be emotionally draining for her, even facing a catastrophe in her life. She decided to challenge societal norms and to follow her heart closely, believing that in the end it would all make sense, even when it seems cloudy and uncertain right now.

She left school, and took a break from thinking about career, indulging in arcade console games like Street Fighter. As her other school mates excel with career progression, forming families, and travelling to different parts of the world. She felt even stressed and lost. She was broken once, and being lost again just demoralised her totally. She felt that she let her family down and didn’t have the cheek to face them, her words at home became lesser and lesser and found herself deliberately staying away from deep conversation with family members.

Jen spent more than 8 hours a day there, she explained that she  found life back in the game’s characters. Being able to control the characters and easily giving them their life back when they meet a stronger opponent appealed a lot to her. In this months of bumming around, Street Fighter gaming was her full time role. She made new friends and learnt to have an open heart to wards life. She still fails to see what was in front of her, and was uncertain who she will become. The only comfort she found in herself was that she firmly belief that she will be doing something she love, and only that as a career. She hanged out more with new friend she met at the arcade, one of whom was Joey.

Joey is a tattoo artist, he brought her to Joseph who is a veteran in the tattoo line, this was when she sees a world of possibility in front of her. She knew for sure as a tattoo artist she can draw anything she like, with no boundaries, and freedom to express her imagination. Seeing her passion in drawing and her techniques, Joseph took her in as an apprentice, giving her space in Visual Orgasm Studio to learn from an expert. Jen jumpped on the space wagon. She once heard this saying, if the objective is getting to space, no matter which seat on the space wagon is secondary. Jen knows this is an opportunity to a career of her passion, she made the decision to be a passionate tattoo artist, one who is honoured by her clients.

“My life as a tattoo apprentice is a roller coaster ride, typically i spend 6 to 8 hours a day tracing and drawing, tracing and drawing and more of it. I do anything from serving tea, sweeping mopping the studio to toilet washing. It was my job, i own them. I took it so personal, i realise I was excited when the super market had a sale on anti bacteria toilet wipes. I was also responsible to setup work station and cleaning up for every tattoo session. Soon enough i was confident to tattoo on skin, my own of course. I ever heard National Service friends complaining about how they have to inject themselves during training as a medic. I joked that I am not an NS man but i experience 100 times more. The learning process of going from paper to skin was a steep one for me, the nervousness and anxiety of laying the needle down for the very first time under the white table lamp was deep imprinted in me. I told myself, no matter how hard this will be, I will do whatever it takes.

After 13 months of practise and getting used to burnt weekends, I was finally deemed fit by Joseph to start tattooing for customers. A piece which marks a break through, a full back Chinese calligraphy shading of a mountainous river bank with a floating boat. It started at a small piece at the waist of this client, after completion, he continued to come back with request to extend that piece, until it fills up his entire back. It wasn’t merely a piece of full back Chinese Calligraphy, it was a piece of encouragement, a confident booster, It was an achievement.

One of my client turned friend is artist Julie Tan, she likes the style of art which i developed over the years. Hand drawn illustrations, a combination of feminine lines, dots shades and colour. I allowed my love for animals to flow back through me and falling in love with drawing of animals, happy, healthy and playful ones.”

I found out that Jen has an interesting way of running her tattoo business, she regularly schedule time for drawing, allowing her imagination to be born. This completed designs will be coloured and uploaded to Instagram for adoption. This is good news for people who intend to get a tattoo, but had no clue on what design they should get. Also it does ensure that this design is for sure to be unique. Jen feels that taking design from the internet is meaningless, because that design is a personal story, something which represents a meaning to someone, and if it can be found online, chances are, it will be duplicated, and that is not what client wants.

I was honoured to be invited by Jen to sit in with her on one of her tattoo sessions. A design which was adopted by Cayen, a trainer of medical equipments, who fell in love with a Terrarium Kity design which Jen uploaded. Jen says that this design represents a playful kitten playing in a terrarium. Such playful and active drawings helps her to divert her energy from the dark side of her love for animals during her days at the veterinary clinic.

Cayen adopted this design because she knew, in reality, a terrarium is hard to maintain, and only in her imagination can cats play in terrarium as they desire. She can’t make that happen in reality, but in tattoo it was possible.

In closing, I am grateful that Jen gave me an opportunity to be in a tattoo session without going through the pain of the needles, on top of that having a chance to share her life journey. I felt that in a society like Singapore, there are very few who are this  fortunate to be able to combine both loves. Jen achieved it, she defy against societal norms, to follow her heart to pursuit what she likes to do.

Analysing deeper, it wasn’t an easy task to say simply follow my heart, it takes courage, believing strongly in a idea and having strong faith that one will not settle for less. On top of that a firm decision to go through hardship of being an apprentice, doing things like washing the toilet or serving tea.

I especially like that Jen sets aside time for drawing, she continues to hound her skills in drawing techniques, and expressing her imagination and combining her love for both animals and arts. I am glad that someone like Jen pulled through to stay inline with what she love, her story is an inspiration to me. If you like to see Jen’s work or if her story inspired you in anyway feel free to give a shout out to her through her Instagram(add link).

Studio details
Visual Orgasm Tattoo n Piercing
2 Haji Lane
Singapore 189195

Human Memory

WHAT IS MEMORY?

Whereas short-term memory lasts seconds, long-term memory endures for minutes, months or decades.  Aspects of long-term memory are then further categorized as ‘semantic memory’ (for facts) and ‘episodic memory’ (for events).  Forming an episodic memory involves three different stages encoding (the initial laying-down of its physical trace in the brain), storage (preserving the associations between connected brain cells) and retrieval (reconstruction of a remembered episode from its constituent parts).  Episodic memory typically occurs in conjunction with ‘autonoetic consciousness’: the sense people get of travelling back in time to re-live the moment.  Autobiographical memory-our personal experiences – is a specific form of long-term memory that involves both episodic memory for life events, plus semantic memory about how our lives have unfolded.

HOW ARE MEMORIES STORED ?

In neuroscience, the basic mechanism is called long-term potentiation (LTP).  This involves neurons ‘learning’ to fire electrical signals in sync, so that when one brain cell is firing, it also triggers the activation of a second, connected neurons.  Connections between neurons occur at the gap between the cells-the synapse-and require the synthesis of special enzymes, including the ‘memory molecule’.  Neurons in the hippocampus are particularly important in the laying-down and subsequent reactivation of connections needed for memory.  However, the pieces from which an individual memory is assembled are probably stored in separate areas of the cortex the occipital cortex (at the back of the brain) for visual information, and the auditory cortex (in the temporal lobes) for sound.

WHY DO WE FORGET ?

There are many reasons why an autobiographical memory might not come back into consciousness.  The basic reason for losing a memory is a failure of long-term potentiation.  In such cases, consolidation- stabilizing the memory by strengthening the neural connections-never occurs, so it never makes the transition from short to long-term memory.  Another important factor is whether the cues that were present at the moment of encoding, such as perceptual stimuli, match up with the cues present at the time of retrieval.  When a memory is laid down, perceptual stimuli are incorporated into the network of neural associations that end up being stored.  That’s why returning to a familiar place can trigger old memories associated with that location.  But if the right cues aren’t around at the moment of recall, the memory is effectively forgotten.

Coffee Affairs Comfort Life

Coffee Affairs Comfort Life

43% of Malaysians reflected that they would lose their core forces in carry out daily life with the absence of coffee. Are you a coffee lover? As a dedicated coffee lover, I am excited in pouring forth my affairs on coffee. Mocha is always my first choice, the mixed taste of bitter with slightly sweetness of the chocolate and creamy milk within the coffee shot, reflects the little gratefulness in overcoming every obstacles in life. To a coffee amateur, the advantages of coffee intake are surpassing its drawbacks by far.

A cup of coffee lightens a day

A cup of morning coffee is a need to kick start the day. A cup of steaming black coffee on the dining table early morning is the inevitable scene ongoing in daily ritual for every coffee lovers to kick-start their day. The exotic aroma of coffee will make you feel fresh and intoxicated to carry out daily activities. According to Dr Gary L. Wenk, increasing level of dopamine due to intake of caffeine can make us feel good and motivated. In addition, you can also enjoy visiting cafe to fix caffeine-driven need in an immaculate environment with your sprawling companies. The simple pleasure obtained from gulping a cup of decent coffee and having healthy conversation with friends made your day.

Coffee as an alertness aide

Coffee drives away the feelings of tired or sleepy in a nippy weather, thus increases awareness level in a person. Have a tin coffee before entering lecture or starting work to keep you focus. You will feel energetic and can stay awake for whole day after sipping a cup of coffee. Based on the study by Lovallo, Whitsett, Mustafa al’Absi, Sung, Vincent and Wilson, caffeine raises adrenaline level and cortisol release from adrenal glands, thus increases blood flow to muscles and builds alertness in the person. Coffee can give us the strength to face all the challenges in life, no matter in bad mood or under stressed. After taking a cup of coffee, you will feel rejuvenated and motivated to accomplish all the tasks of the day.

Coffee enhances cognitive performances

Coffee puts coffee drinkers on to a fine train of thought. My thoughts are clear and ideas are coming in a steady stream when I am completing my tasks with the lovely companion, coffee. Here’s a fun fact you might not know: a short nap followed by intake of coffee can reboot brain. I noticed that I can recall better after a short nap as I used to take a cup of coffee during my revisions in university life. In addition, coffee intake enables you to react faster than others who didn’t take any coffee in many circumstances. Coffee enhances reaction time of a person is proven in the research on sprint ability in athletes in 2006.

“In the right amount, coffee is actually a health food,” mentioned by Dawn Jackson Blatner R.D., author of The Flexitarian Diet.

In a nutshell, coffee enhances mood, improves alertness and enhances cognitive performances. However, moderate coffee consumption is just right for human health. Let’s your coffee affection helps you instead of hurting you.

Adventures in Wonderland— In the midst of a city

Located in the midst of the city, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee pride itself with building that has been there through Johor Bahru’s decades of growth. It’s not an ordinary street that you could see anywhere– identical buildings, signage, trees, and few people walking, maybe with their dogs. It used to be a bustling street in the 1870s as it is near Sungei Segget, which used to be a very important river to the economy of Johor back in the agricultural society days, but as we don’t really need rivers for economy growth nowadays, it’s quite normal even if someone told you that it’s currently one of the many historic monument or even being abandoned by the society’s pace.

The street was named after the most prominent businessman in the 1870s’- Major Tan Hiok Nee who forged glistening moments of Johor. Using the ownership of his first river, he began the cultivation of pepper and gambier, bringing tremendous wealth to Johor, and this is only a beginning of him becoming the largest holder of kangchu concession, having a vast holding of 9 more rivers. He is instead the wealthiest and most influential Chinese in Johor back then, as he transformed the rural settlements of Johor into an organisation of kapitans. kangchus, and revenue farmers.

Under Major Tan Hiok Nee’s influence, this area was once a thriving metropolis where banks, lawyers, and traders like restaurants, coffee shops, fabric merchants, barbers and other service operated. As time passed, many shops either moved to suburbs or closed down, leaving only a few of the traditional traders. Things started to be better in year 2009, after the Johor Menteri Besar officially declared Jalan Tan Hiok Nee as a heritage walk at the opening of Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum, the street has since gradually transformed into a destination popular among local and foreign visitors.

The old heritage buildings with tiny cracks on walls and paints scrapping off do not only represent history. Young and creative minds have been contributing to the advancement of the area, as they settle with their unconventional business ideas, opening up stores with creative expressions. The streets have seen so many transition, from its rural days, to when it was so vibrant the area is bustling with traders and farmers, to the time when a lot of the shops closed down, leaving the lonely streets left with a few shops. Till now, it is a street with the perfect mixture of nostalgic historical buildings and vibrant graffiti on the walls along the pathways, the heritage and creative minds have somehow found a way to survive together, and better yet, this makes the street a very unique mix of nostalgia and modern creativity.

EHHE art cafe, now renamed as Culture Street cafe, is located at the entrance of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee. It might not catch attention at first, but with its old wooden windows on the second floor and eye catching paintings on the ground floor, people could not help but to go inside and take a look for themselves.

Exhibition on the second floor of Café
Art pieces made out of newspapers

As a modern cafe that doubles up as an art gallery and frequently holding events such as workshop, local musicians’ performance, and photo contest, the owner of Culture Street Café is very supportive towards local artist. Occupying the upstairs of the art café is a space that homegrown artist can showcase their art piece.

Festive drum performance in a café could have scared people while they try to eat. Don’t expect performance here.

The presence of young entrepreneurs can be seen everywhere, from a doll maker shop to café with the 24 festive drum theme- a national cultural heritage originated from Johor Bahru, to an art gallery which second floor of it is a cafe that claims to be the smallest coffee shop in JB, to unique clothing shops and a café at the same time. These have actually been great additions to the heritage walk, as they contributed to revitalising the area. With all kinds of shops around, the street catered to young and old, and people have been visiting despite the presence of modern shopping centre that is not far away.

Even there was once a time that the street was left with only a few vendors and barely any customers, the old Jalan Tan Hiok Nee that was almost dead found its way to prosper once again. When younger minds bring all these new ideas into Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, they also has been bringing life and shaping the heritage walk to become a spectacular location.

However, there are shops that have been here since the very beginning and have endured the good and the bad times, proving that they are able to sustain through their adherence and devotedness. Hiap Joo bakery, a proof of living history, is one of the oldest in the area. They have been baking using fire wood in their kiln like oven since they started business. Through generations, their commitment in making bread has been resulting in a taste that attract queue of regular customers at their doorsteps daily. Involving three generations of the family in their business, every customer that came in for their bread will not be unfamiliar with the heartwarming scene of members in the family chipping in for the business. As you walk past the shop, it is hard to not notice that they are very famous in the area as the queue is always the longest out of all other shops. One would have to agree that the smell of their baked goods fresh from the oven could make someone that never heard of their shop to stop by and try. Once you get your hands on their spongy fluffy cakes, you’ll understand the queue at their doors, as how could these people even bear the heat and the mugginess at the street as they stand there waiting for the batch of oven fresh breads. Every local and foreigner that visits the heritage walk could never just pass by the shop and not be tempted to buy anything from Hiap Joo.

Kin Hua Restaurant is always crowded, especially during breakfast and tea time.

Kin Hua restaurant that is famous for their breakfast should ring a bell as we speak of old restaurants loved by locals. Being well known among locals, anyone looking for a decent cup of coffee must visit Kin Hua. It has been operating for decades, and their fresh brewed coffee, kaya toast, half boiled egg are must try for every first time visitors. Their menu might seem to be not fancy enough amongst the street that is filled with lavishly decorated cafes that offers extensive choice of coffee and food, however, they did beat the competition and their shop is always crowded. With the perfect balance of sugar and milk in their coffee, people has been loyal customers of Kin Hua restaurant through generations. Aromatic coffee accompanied with their crispy toasted bread with generous spread of kaya, enveloping a slice of cold butter, melting as you hold the warm toast, and the moment that your teeth sinks into the bread, the kaya spread and butter come oozing out of the bread- what’s the better way to kick start your day other than such pleasure?

Pampered with choice of food at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, a lot of the visitor will hope that they have a bigger stomach to fit in all the good stuff at the street, as there’s too much good food and no one can eat everything at once! People coming over for lunch would probably appreciate IT roo that has been famous for its chicken chop, they are even proud enough to claim that they have the best chicken chop in town. During lunch hours, people would crowd the cosy shop adorned with old photographs and newspaper clipping on their walls. Regardless of their extensive menu, people would always opt for their best seller, which is of course their chicken chop. The nostalgic and simple taste of their chicken chops are memories of many locals as well as new discoveries for a lot of the visitors, while their ingredient remain simple, their chicken chops are either grilled or fried to perfection, tender and flavorful, topped with their savoury mushroom sauce as the best accompaniment to bring out the “craftsmanship” of the chicken chop.

It’s not very unusual to see hole-in-the-wall shops hidden amongst lavishly contemporary cafes in the area, at here, you could still find traditional grocery stores that sells biscuit from big tins, old Indian barber shop that has been there for 17 years, rubber stamp shop, and even an Indian bakery selling crispy curry puffs since 1937! The striking red house that used to be only a cultural heritage only attracting tourist is now a café that serves local dishes with nostalgic ambience while showing people a glimpse of Johor Bahru’s former glory, attracting eyes of every people that passes by.

The heritage red house which is now also a café that serves Malaysia local dishes.

 

They still make rubber stamps, and it could be done in 90 minutes

At Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, we were able to see how people could immerse themselves in inheritance of the old times as well as adventurous creativity, families are seen everywhere as elderly and youngster could all appreciate the mixture of their favourite places. Walking into Jalan Tan Hiok Nee could probably the closest experience with Alice who went to Wonderland through falling into a rabbit hole in the midst of the busy city.

The Wireless Era

The Wireless Era

The Wireless Era is a name frequently given to the scientific period upon which we are now entering, by people who realise only vaguely themselves what they actually mean by it. In reality there is a surprising relation between wire and wireless transmission. That they are not distinctly different phenomena may put new meaning in the phrase, “Wireless Era.”

The question has often been asked “Will all wires be done away with in the future?” Now the theory most generally accepted at present is that the energy of an electric current in ordinary wire transmission does not reside in the wire, but in the ether surrounding the wire, and that the wire is, as its name implies, merely a conductor to conduct or lead the current here or there.  Reference

From landline phone to smartphone, desktop to laptop, and now wireless charging, wireless headphone, keyboard, mouse, etc. We can clearly see the evolution in this technology. Wireless connections are indispensable to your smartphone since they allow you to communicate, stream videos, listen to music, surf the internet, etc. Of course, the wireless concept still developments to make towards new uses and new devices.

In terms of sound, Apple and some other manufacturers are among the forerunners since they have decide to dispose of the iPhone’s jack outlet. Apple wants to ensure the success of the Lightning cable and to further the popularity of wireless headsets/headphones. The Lighting cable is clearly a key element to the Apple ecosystem, but the desire for comfort allows wireless headphones to become more popular.

Recharging technology is also developing. While the “for or against the Type-C USB” debate occurs among Android fans, others still dream of a universal charging system being introduced. Simply putting your smartphone on a platform to charge it. No cable or wondering what type of cable you need. The downside of this technology is that it’s not really in the manufacturers interest, because they need to establish their micro system.

Over and above that, I would say that certain devices and accessories that still require a cable connection will soon be wireless as we are using more and more wireless technology in everyday life. It is possible that in the future, what we need is just insert microchips in our arm, we can make a phone call, send email, etc, without any devices.

A New Era of Wireless Communication: LI-FI Over WI-FI

23 Pictures That Prove We’re Living In The Future

How Millennials are shaping the hiring process

How Millennials are shaping the hiring process.

With millennials making up an estimated 75% of the work force by 2025, its no surprise that the new generation of workers are changing the landscape of the hiring process.

The article tackles the idea that millennials come with their own views and leverage that are forcing companies to reshape the traditional process.

While it depends on the company and type of business, the two most common complaints are the extensive length and lack of feedback returned during the process. People simply do not wish to be shackled with the wait for an acknowledgement that may never come. This concept reflects in the local context as well, with most millennials being impatient and pickier with their future job environment.

This desire to find the best offer there is thus fuels the culture for applicants to apply for multiple sources and pick from the pool of positive returns. As smaller firms usually have quicker response times, they have a higher chance to scoop up the better applicants. It now becomes imperative for larger organisations to understand the change in attitude and adapt lest they lose the race.

As the article states: one can be choosy, but still must be decisive to seize the opportunity that sits at your door, over waiting for one that may never come.

New innovations are constantly arising that give way to better fields of work. It no longer becomes just a matter of picking the best paying jobs. Millennials value their freedom and work-life balance now even more so over previous generations.

The article argues that in the past, companies held all the cards during the hiring process. This fact still stands true even till today, but the nature in how the hand is dealt has changed. In order to attract the shorter attention spans of the new generation, organisations must be more creative in ‘selling and tailoring’ themselves to attract new blood. Millennials scrutinize presented benefits and pay more attention towards finding a place that grants them certain levels of freedom which they desire.

New innovations have also granted more opportunities for like-minded parties to find each other. Companies now have a large variety of online avenues to indicate their availability, while potential applicants are now able to better advertise themselves to recruiters.

These new channels have created a need to seek out talent as opposed to previously just waiting to be sought. Furthermore, it has allowed people to advertise their unique skillsets better, improving the exchange between talent and recruiter.

Recruiters are thus forced to be more ‘tech-savvy’ and must become more accommodating to a highly mobile generation when casting their net.

The accounting firm, Goldman Sachs, aims to rid first round face-to-face interviews in favor of video interviews. While the idea would greatly speed up the process, one needs to be weary as there is a certain loss of connection between interviewer and interviewee once its done digitally.

Millennials have indeed become a contributor towards the changing job hiring landscape. With advances in society, the younger generation have become accustomed to a world where efficiency is demanded and quick responses are expected. Call it impatience, or simply a better focus on what they seek, the younger generation have asserted and pushed their way into the new era of the workforce.

 

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahlandrum/2017/07/07/how-millennials-are-shaping-the-hiring-process/#2dca77c3d8ed

One baby, order up!

If you could grow your own baby without becoming pregnant, would you?

That’s the future the Product Design students from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, Arnhem envisioned as they gave birth to the Par-tu-ri-ent project. The project is focused on the future of childbearing, with, as they put it, the possibility “to grow and design your child in an external pod”. Scared of labor? No problem. Afraid of those unseemly stretch marks? No problem. Not a fan of the morning sickness? No problems there, the Partu-ri-ent project renders these problems and more mere worries of the past.

Not to make light of the project, which in itself is a fascinating idea. The Partu-ri-ent Pod is an artificial womb, where the baby will be fed and nurtured. After 9 months, the baby will be ready to be delivered. The project also discusses a Portable care bag, to be used remotely. By switching it on, you can feel the baby moving and kicking from its pod, and in return the baby would be able to feel the movement of its parents as they carry and rock the care bag. The baby will get its food and nutrition through a feeding device on the Pod, which keeps track of what the baby has eaten and what it needs to stay healthy.There is even a device installed in the Pod that allows the parents to record and communicate with the baby.

For someone unable to carry her own children, this would be an alternative to current available childbearing methods such as surrogacy, which comes with the worries of legalities, or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), which involves a complex series of procedures and treatments that may be too costly for some families. It also solves the problems mothers may face with high-risk pregnancies, thus giving them a chance to choose both their child and their own well-being. The parents are able to personally monitor the growth of their baby, and even connect with it to some extent, all the while not being limited to their own body limitations.

However, the angle that the ArtEZ students appear to be selling in their video is that couples can have the Pod sitting in their home and growing their child, while the parents will be able to “live their lives normally”, and watch the foetus grow in the Pod. While it is true that the parents would  have access to their developing child and even be able to see clearly how their child grows, in giving the childbearing role to a pod, the bonds forged during childbearing would change significantly. Not just the bond between the child and the woman who has commited to the carrying him or her for the past 9 months, but also the bonds that grow between the expecting couple, or even the family and friends with the couple. Like the old saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”, it is not only the parents who are involved in childbearing, but their entire community. Having the pod at home changes the role of the parent significantly, and in turn, the bonds that could have been forged will cease to exist. The use of the Pod invites a sense of detachment between the child being raised in a pod and the parents watching, quite literally, outside a glass cocooon.

Has science gone too far that we’re actually trying to find more efficient ways to create life while we “go on with our normal lives”? The main gripe most audiences have while watching this video is not with the idea, which could potentially be a glimmer of hope for families who are unable to have children. The problem is the motivation behind this idea. If a perfectly healthy couple were to decide that they want children, yet are not keen on making the commitment to carry the child and decide to use the pod, who’s to say they will not simply pull the plug if they decide to abort? Having the Pod “in the comforts of your home” also invites a lot of ethical problems as compared to having the baby grow under professional medical supervision.

Of course, the Par-tu-ri-ent Pod is simply a brainchild of a couple of students, not a concrete product on the market. If it actually does come to fruitation, the Pod would be a amazing invention for families who want children but are unable to bear them. However, the selling angle of the video leads one to wonder about the direction science is developing, and what it says about the priorities of our society.

Project Homepage: http://www.parturient.artez.nl/index.html

A non-profit Monkey Business

At an organization called Helping Hands, Capuchin monkeys are trained to help disabled patients with everyday physical tasks, such as opening doorknobs, getting the remote, even turn the page of a book they’re reading. Much like how a guide dog guides the blind,  these primates become an extension of the patient, thus giving them the confidence to live a more normal life.

Why the capuchin monkey? Due to the primate’s advanced motor skills and dexterous hands, the species was a prime choice for Helping Hands to train. Originally an experiment, the organization has now changed the lives of 8 recipients and counting. These monkeys are born into the programme and undergo training for 3 to 5 years at monkey college, before they are matched with patients who suffer from mobility impairment. The monkeys become both their helper and their friend. Being an extremely intelligent species, the capuchin monkey is able to feed off the emotions of their patients and by being paired up, the couple undergoes a bonding experience through companionship over the years.

A prime case study is Ned Sullivan and his monkey, Casey, who have been together for over 10 years. After a car accident in 2005, Ned, then a college student, was left with a spinal cord injury that changed his life. He couldn’t move or talk. Casey helped Ned with various physical tasks and provided the emotional support Ned needed to slowly regain his mobility. Celebrating their 10-year anniversary, the two are now inseperable.

As amazing as it is that these monkeys are giving their recipients another chance at life, with all animal experiments there is the question if this is fair to the animal. Capuchin monkeys are a social species by nature and usually live in groups. Unlike dogs or cats, which have been domesticated over thousands of years, monkeys are wild animals and considered illegal exotic pets in many countries. Major animal organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, do not support monkey ownership as these monkeys have needs that cannot necessarily be met if kept in captivity. Among many other reasons, these primates can also transmit infectious diseases. These monkeys are born into the programme and do not know life outside their captivity, but they are still a species meant to be living in the wild with their own kind. Some pet monkeys also have their teeth removed for safety to their owners, much like how many cat owners declaw their feline friends. Is being trained to aid patients rediscover their lives a fair trade-off for the natural wild life they could have led, especially if they would never know the difference?

Organization link: https://monkeyhelpers.org/