Keep It Cool: Reduce Your Carbon Emissions in 3 Simple Steps

Keep It Cool: How To Reduce Your Carbon Emissions in Simple Steps

So what if the rest of the world is going to make another new record for global carbon emissions? The sky is still blue and we have air-conditioning when it gets too hot… but did you know that air-conditioning is actually causing our own island to heat up exponentially? With the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere trapping more heat, the only way forward seems to be getting hotter and not cooler.

So now we think: carbon tax, solar panels, electric cars… with so many formal measures already in place, what else can we do to keep the heat down and reduce carbon-emissions in the long run?

Go light on the accelerator

Needless to say the best way to reduce carbon emissions is to commute via public transport or even cycle for shorter distances. For those of us who own cars, ensure your vehicle does not contribute negatively to the environment more than it already does by making smarter driving choices – it can be something as simple as holding off the accelerator when driving on a road with traffic lights.

Shower cold

Ok, we get it. Not all of us are going to like showering in cold water no matter how healthy it is. But have you thought about how much energy and excess heat goes wasted in order for you to enjoy a hot shower? For those of you who don’t already mind cold showers to tackle the Singapore heat, good for you! Otherwise, consider striking a balance of lukewarm on average days.

Give your appliances a break

Other than turning off your appliances when they’re not in use, you might want to do some basic research on recommended usage too. For example, a standard air-conditioner should be set to between 25-27 degrees for efficient cooling. At the same time, making sure your windows and doors are well-insulated will play a huge role in ensuring that your rooms cool down faster. Always remember to not make your appliance work harder than it should.

We should all be doing our part in reducing carbon emissions – not for the environment but for ourselves, so that we can not only lower our energy bills but also preserve a healthy environment and community for the people who come after us.

Not all chairs are created equal

Not all chairs are created equal 

A model designated for teachers is made of molded blue plastic, set on casters, with fabric pads. The price: USD82.

Administrators get an executive chair with a high back and armrests. The height and tilt are adjustable. The price: USD185.


Secret Lab’s chairs are inspired by car racing seats 

Seats designed to conform to the human body shape in order to provide advanced lateral support and weight distribution.

Each chair spawns from quality core materials, unparalleled craftsmanship, and state of the art manufacturing processes.

The Price: USD490


The Evolution of Chairs

The average desk chair is made for offices and study rooms. In most cases, gaming isn’t something that brands consider when designing chairs. That’s why it can be frustrating to look for a chair that has everything you need for gaming.

These chair models may cost a little extra, but they are designed specifically for gamers, including the unique kinds of support and adjustment that gamers often need.

In addition, the design is made from the bottom up for casual lounging, including a pedestal base that allows you to tilt and swivel as much as you want – or not at all, depending on your preference. The only catch is that you need to make sure you have enough room for it in your gaming area.


Their Digital Marketing Strategy

One of the gaming chair company “Secret Lab” well-known in digital marketing, They sponsored few famous YouTubers to introduce their product on their social media channel, such as Shawn Lee (212,587 Subscribers), JinnyBoyTV (759,136 Subscribers) , NightOwlCinematic (589,446 Subscribers) , DanKhooProductions (402,266 Subscribers), JianHao Tan (860,163 Subscribers) . It is a huge numbers in total, over million of peoples.

I find that companies without a digital strategy (and many that do) don’t have clear strategic goals for what they want to achieve online in terms of gaining new customers or building deeper relationships with existing ones. And if you don’t have goals you likely don’t put enough resources to reach the goals and you don’t evaluate through analytics whether you’re achieving those goals.

Customer demand for online services may be underestimated if you haven”t researched this.  Perhaps, more importantly, you won’t understand your online marketplace: the dynamics will be different to traditional channels with different types of customer profile and behaviour, competitors, propositions and options for marketing communications.

Insufficient resource will be devoted to both planning and executing e-marketing and there is likely to be a lack of specific specialist e-marketing skills which will make it difficult to respond to competitive threats effectively.

Even if you do have sufficient resource it may be wasted. This is particularly the case in larger companies where you see different parts of the marketing organisation purchasing different tools or using different agencies for performing similar online marketing tasks.

Every company with a website will have analytics, but many senior managers don’t ensure that their teams make or have the time to review and act on them. Once a strategy enables you to get the basics right, then you can progress to continuous improvement of the key aspects like search marketing, site user experience, email and social media marketing.

Masculinity Contributes to the High Suicide Rate of Men Today

Masculinity Contributes to the High Suicide Rate of Men Today

According to the figures from the Office for National Statistics, 76% of the 6,109 suicides in the UK are male in 2014 and the ratio of male to female suicide has risen steadily over the past 30 years. This phenomenon is a global case not unique to the UK. In the US, approximately 80% of the people committing suicide each year are men.

This disproportioned figure triggered the interest from many scholars and institutions. Some researches show that the major key motivators driving people to suicide include “a sense of not belonging, of being alone” and “a sense of not contributing, of being a burden.”

Generations of education to men taught them not to cry from a very tender age and are forced to be away from their moms’ warm hugs every time they are desperately in need of love and care. All these dominant notions of masculinity, internalized by men after they grow up let them keep silent and lick their own wounds alone without disclosing or discussing to others when facing adversity. In contrast, the research also shows that “Women are, in general, more prepared to seek help and show their distress. A female attempt is often closer to a cry for help, hoping for a response.” When women express their sadness and stress, they are actually seeking condolence and usually get relief after crying with friends. Close social ties and emotional support are important contributors to healthy mentality.

“Most men today don’t have a life.” That is the first line the psychologist Steve Biddulph wrote Manhood. Men, as husband and father of a group of children, are always deemed as the financial supporter of the whole family. A British dad told the newspaper Telegraph in this way, “As years went by, and more children arrived, I found it harder to switch into home mode in evenings and weekends. Home mode took a while to get used to and by the time I was getting adjusted it was time to go back to work.” Disconnection with family and friends also worsen the situation by making men have nobody to turn to when they face stress.

The society also contributes to the high stress of men by calculating their value of being a human being on the basis of their financial worth. These social norms lead men to think that “being successful is not everything, it’s the only thing” and result in their huge amount of stress. This then can explain why the suicide rate is much higher in men at a lower socioeconomic status than in rich men. Study found that “men in lower socioeconomic groups have less access to jobs that allow for the expression of working-class masculinity, and have thus lost a source of masculine identity and ‘pride.’”

Vibrating Alarm Clocks Help Wake Deaf People Up

Vibrating Alarm Clocks Help Wake Deaf People Up

There is a whole array of different products out there to help deaf people surface in the morning. We want deaf people to feel confident about going to sleep at night, knowing deaf will be woken up on time. With such choice, finding the right alarm clock for deaf people could be a little overwhelming, so we thought we’d offer deaf people a bit of an insight into what options are available from our Hearing Direct product range.


Important factors will include:

  • An alarm clock with a louder alarmwill wake up a person with minimal hearing loss. When the alarm clock goes off, it is much louder than your average alarm clock, and most people with a small amount of hearing loss are able to hear it.
  • An alarm clock with a strobe lightwill wake up a person with more severe hearing loss. The strobe light is connected to the alarm clock. When the alarm goes off, the strobe light will flash brightly and wake the deaf person up.
  • An alarm clock with a bed vibratorwill also wake up a person with a more severe hearing loss. The vibrator is connected to the alarm clock and is also attached to the bed. When the alarm goes off, the bed will shake and wake up the deaf person.
  • An alarm clock with a pillow vibratorwakes up a severely deaf person as well. The vibrator is connected to the alarm clock and is placed under the deaf person’s pillow. When the alarm goes off, the pillow will shake and wake the deaf person up.


  • Higher vibration level than the mobiles and the o’clocks. It helps to make deaf people wake up while feel vibrations.
  • Good health brain because the vibrating alarm clocks have not radiation.
Vibrating Alarm Clock’s Design


Suggested that we can do design for the vibrating alarm clocks like Hello Kitty, Minion, etc. It makes fun and cute for people ages.

Vibrating Alarm Watches for Assist Deaf People


A vibrating watch for anyone with normal hearing or someone who is deaf or has a hearing loss is a convenient method of being alerted while being unobtrusive. It can be useful when deaf need to be reminded about something.


Vibrating Alarm Wearables for Assist Deaf People


Smart watches can link to your mobile phone, allowing you to set up vibrating alerts for everything including phone calls, text or WhatsApp messaging and alarms.

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


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.


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.


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.