Why can’t we have nice things?

Why can’t we have nice things?

Because once we have these things, we simply do our best to destroy them.

 

Two oBikes, found in Whampoa river on May 27th. An ofo bike, thrown down a HDB block at Jalan Tenteram by a 14 year old, all filmed nicely and even posted online on June 15th. Bicycles from all three bike-sharing companies that have just started gaining momentum have suffered from reports of being found stuck between staircase bannisters in HDBs, canals, even in the middle of Shenton Way. You name it, you’ve got it.

 

These bike-sharing companies started with a respectable aim: to allow people to rent bicycles easily. The bicyles could be parked at any designated location, ready for the next person to pick up and start their journey. All you had to do to rent one was to download the app and set up your account, scan your desired bike, and you’re ready to go. It encouraged people to consider cycling as an alternative to taking the bus or taxi home, thereby allowing them to exercise at the same time. The easy accessibility to the bicycles also meant an increase in cycling as a leisure activity and facilitated bonding between family and friends. It was a step towards a car-lite, more eco-friendly community. A well-respected cycling culture where everyone shared.

 

But instead of the desired clean and green outcome, a popular sight these days depict oBikes strewn all over bus stops, along the road, anywhere that has an empty space. oBike, Ofo and Mobike have all deployed tactics to incentivise good behaviour and discredit ungracious parking, but clearly, it isn’t working very well. The bikes are everywhere.

 

That’s not to say the problem only exists in Singapore. In China, Wukong Bike became the first to cease operations just after 5 months after losing almost 90% of their bicycles. Even in Taiwan, where YouBike thrived, oBike bicycles faced similar irresponsible parking and vandalism problems.

 

Is it a natural thing to abuse any advantages we have? Must we place ourselves between stringent rules and regulations in order to appreciate nice things?

 

I guess time will tell. The closure of these bike sharing companies would probably paint a pretty clear picture too.

 

It’s a pretty depressing notion.

The Factors Besides Salary of Choosing a Job

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The Factors Besides Salary of Choosing a Job

 

Not many people can say that they love their work. It is such a miserable thing to me if I don’t like what I do usually for over 8 hours everyday. Just as when I was still a student, I can not tolerate the boring lecture although I clearly know that I would have a exam on it, then how can I tolerate a job bores me everyday with much longer hours?

 

A modern company is not just a machine where you earn your money. It can be a lifestyle, a place to study, both from the work at hand and the people working with. Working consumes the biggest percentage of our life. Choosing a job you like is really important, as marrying someone you love, since they will accompany you for the most part of your life. Your happiness largely relies on the satisfaction from your job. When a person is doing something they enjoy, the 9 to 5 working hours every day can pass very quickly and it doesn’t feel like a job anymore.

 

Salaries and promotions are not the most important factors when you consider whether to choose a job or not. The office morale and whether the work is interesting contribute more to a satisfying job. According to one survey conducted by The New York Times, “people care a lot about present benefits, such as doing something interesting with people they like.” Doing something you like and being surrounded with people you like would be a wake-up call in the morning. However, I have listened to too many friends’ complaints that every morning they wake up, the only thing they are thinking about is to resign today. The only motivation for them to continue with their job is that they have to survive so they need the money.

 

Bosses are also one very important element. Professional bosses are good mentors who can teach employers accurate knowledge and skills. The bosses also determine and foster the culture and value of this company, thus they are more likely to recruit the staff who share the similar values with them. A worker, who is even if very skillful, can not perform well in a company whose value contradicts with his or hers.

 

Research shows “People feel energized when the means and the ends collide; that is, when the process of doing something becomes the goal of doing it. We can apply this principle to increase satisfaction at work by selecting work that is inherently gratifying.” Even working with some non-profit organizations can be moneyless, if the workers’ goal is to address the social problems and improve the society better, they can still feel satisfied with their work.

Unmarried Women Outnumber Married Ones for the First Time Ever

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Unmarried Women Outnumber Married Ones for the First Time Ever

 

“Unmarried women outnumber married ones for the first time ever.” This is the the caption of the Economist’s article today. The figure of women have never been married reached the highest point ever in American history.

 

Many women have found the secret benefits of marrying later. On the first page of the book “Sex and the Single Girl”, the author Helen Gurley Brown writes, “I married for the first time at 37. I got the man I wanted.” Single ladies enjoyed much of their wonderful years with their wits and finally figure out what kind of men they want. Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO, wrote in her book that her early marriage led to the divorce just one year later. “It’s really important to be a fully formed adult when you get married,” Sandberg tells Cosmo. “I got married too young.” This idea of being a fully formed adult first before entering a marriage makes sense to many young ladies. Being a half formed person to marry means that you may become a different person afterwards, with minds and values changed, and these newly formed ones are very likely to contradict with you husbands’ present ones. Then the quarrels come. When women become fully formed, they are more clearly know who is the right man and manage their marriage more wisely. The increase of the right matches drops the divorce rate in the U.S. which was sustainable high in the past few decades when couple married in early 20s.

 

After receiving college or higher degree education and getting a well-paid job, more women today no longer need marriage for security and money. Women is able to offer themselves satisfaction both financially and emotionally. “A half century ago, if you went to college and weren’t engaged by the time you graduated, you got nervous,” says Johns Hopkins University professor Andrew J. Cherlin. “Today, if my Hopkins undergraduates do get married while they’re in college, their parents get nervous.” Those parents are proven to be right according to the statistics from the National Marriage Project: Women who marry later than 30 would earn more money. The report shows “For college-educated women in their mid-30s, this premium amounts to $18,152 per year.”

Shoes of the future- 3D Printed Shoes

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Shoes of the future- 3D Printed Shoes

When we shop for shoes, most people would consider the style, size, as well as the colour, among other things. And more often than not, we need to go the physical shops to try on the shoes. With online shopping, we face this same dilemma when it comes to choosing the size and the design.

In a lot of cases, consumers feel shoes sold in the market don’t fit with their feet structure or the shoes are not as comfortable as marketed. The solution for these problems may be just round the corner, with the introduction of the latest 3D printing technology for shoes!

In April 2017, Adidas revealed their new sneaker called the Futurecraft 4D. The shoe sole is made using 3D printing— but there’s a twist. Instead of using the conventional additive printing methods, the company uses a process known as Continuous Liquid Interface Production.

Hang on. Continuous what? It is a real mouthful, but simply put, Continuous Liquid Interface Production or CLIP in short, completely revolutionists the traditional method of Additive 3D printing. CLIP relies on a balance of oxygen and UV light to liquefy and solidify materials at precise points in the printing process. UV light rapidly solidifies resin, and oxygen counteracts the effect, ensuring that a thin liquid layer remains in the tray. To make the object, a small overhead platform dips into this permanently liquid source: as it pulls the resin out of the pool, the UV light solidifies it.3d printed shoes clip

The traditional additive 3D printing manufacturing processes in comparison, is extremely time-consuming, using step wise layer-by-layer approaches to object fabrication. With the critical control parameters used in CLIP process, complex solid parts can be drawn out of the resin at rates of hundreds of millimeters per hour. These print speeds allow parts to be produced in minutes instead of hours.

HOW CLIP WORKS

  1. The Carbon3D’s build platform lifts continuously as an object is printed.
  2. UV-curable resin sits in a reservoir.
  3. UV light is beamed through an oxygen-permeable window.
  4. A “dead zone” of uncured resin means you can print an item without stopping.
  5. The UV light projects the object in cross sections, slice by slice, from below.

Pretty awesome, huh?

Pros & Cons of 3D Printed Shoes vs Conventional Shoes

Pro – Much shorter manufacturing time

In the past, the process of design, research and development, trial and test in Adidas for a new pair of shoes usually takes up to 120 days, but with the new CLIP 3D printing technology used for the soles, the process of manufacturing is shortened to just 20 days. This not only shortened the supply chain for sneakers, but also saved cost on doing research and production.

This greatly shortened manufacturing process is a huge advantage for manufacturers, which probably explains why it’s not just big companies like Adidas who are using 3D printing technology for shoes. The recently launched BioRunners by the startup company, Prevolve, are 3D printed in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) which is a flexible material with good durability properties able to withstand the associated impacts of running.

Pros: Complete customisation!

Each shoe takes only about 20 to 30 hours to print after 3D scanning the customer’s foot and every pair is priced at $195. Not only is the fit customized for each customer, Prevolve offers three different treads for different uses: on road, trail or as a hybrid between the two. The company is also currently working on prototypes for soccer cleats to bring its technology onto the pitch, said Oliver Brossmann, founder of Prevolve.

PEAK, one of the leading branded sportswear companies in China, also uses TPU powder for the printing material, and the Future sneakers offer athletes a strong yet soft mid sole, with elasticity to benefit runners, making the shoes as comfortable as possible. The 3D printed mid sole is also notable for its lattice-like structure, which offers cushioned support to the wearer.

Con: PRICE!

Compared to traditional sneakers that uses Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), TPU has more elasticity and solidity, but this also means a difference in the price, it can be quite shocking for some of us, because the price of a TPU sole and a normal EVA sole has a price difference almost 50 times higher.

In fact, TPU sometimes is used in normal sneaker manufacture, placed at the arch of the soles for more support, but a small piece like this can actually affect the pricing of the shoes tremendously, not to mention how much it would cost for the company to fully use TPU to make a shoe sole.

“That is because of the material being used in the printing process”, said a representative from PEAK.

But the new manufacturing method can aggressively shorten the cycle of producing a pair of sneakers, which means being able to react to the market even faster, at the same time ensuring mass production quality.

Perhaps the price is fair for shoes that are completely customized to one’s own feet, that are yours and yours alone, just like Cinderella and her glass slippers that fit her alone in the entire kingdom.

What do you think?

Here are some links if you feel that’s a fair price to pay for shoes that are literally made just for you.

Where you can buy 3D Printed Shoes

Feetzhttps://feetz.com/

Prevolvehttps://www.pre-volve.com/shoes/

Price From $195

Pink Dot

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For the first time in its 9 years history of running, barricades were erected barring foreigners from entering Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park. In a statement issued late last year by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to respond to the media queries, MHA stated that, “The Government’s general position has always been that foreign entities should not interfere in our domestic issues, especially political issues or controversial social issues with political overtones. These are political, social or moral choices for Singaporeans to decide for ourselves. LGBT issues are one such example.”

Considering what was mentioned in the statement made by MHA, the position has ALWAYS remained the same. So what changed? There are multitudes of articles listed online that are laced with speculations and conspiracy theories as to why the statement was issued so suddenly but personally, I find them a little dubious. For the benefit of the doubt, we’ll explore the commonly listed myths as to why the statement was made… THEN brutally dissect them to show you how unlikely it is; and finally, we visit what I felt to be the actual reason.

 

Myth #1: Increased Popularity = Increased in Negative Influences

When it was first introduced in 2009, event saw an attendance of 2,500 people. Since then, the attendance rose to over 28,000 people in 2015. In addition to the increase in participants, the number of sponsorships rose to 18 in 2016; these sponsors include multinationals such as Google, Apple and Facebook.

With the rapid increase in participation, it is obvious that Pink Dot SG was no longer something that can be ignored, already it has sparked interest from around the globe and it was only a matter of time that the event calls for a larger venue.

But a change in venue isn’t the main concern here, with the rise in foreign sponsors, the event would have an increase in spending power, attracting more and more foreigners, and with which brings an influx of various cultures and norms regarding this issue which in turn, might influence us negatively. Remember, what is acceptable overseas may not be so back home. Barring foreigners helps to curb this issue.

Now, let’s put this reason on the firing range and gun it down. We boast that we are a multiracial society; heck countries around the world even look up to us regarding this aspect. We are viewed as a progressive, forward-looking nation, one that sets an example of inclusiveness. There is no doubt that the Government has done its best to exemplify that we are a country that makes everyone feel welcome.

So the idea of the Government fearing the influx of negative influences and thus barred them from entering seems pretty contradictory to me. Why spend years and millions of dollars to building up an image of inclusiveness only to tear it down in one night? The concept seems pretty backwards to me.

 

Myth #2: Increase in terror attacks

2016 was a year filled with terror attacks. With a grand total of 1,441 terror attacks, terrorism rates in 2016 were double of what it was the year before (641 terror attacks in 2015). To make matters worse, a few days after Pink Dot SG 2016, there was a shooting in Orlando. 29 year old security guard killed 49 people       and wounded 58 others in a hate crime inside a gay nightclub. The incident was said to be the deadliest among the history of violence against LGBT people.

With these statistics at hand, it would come as no surprise that the Government would take extra precaution when it comes to controversial subjects such as LGBT. With the added bag checks, it was a step in the right direction and perhaps if we were to work along similar lines, with a lot of leeway, barring foreigners may reduce the chance of a riot starting.

There were many articles stating that if the reason for barring foreigners’ participation is due the fear of acts of terror, shouldn’t the Government be clear about it to prevent any misunderstandings? Objectively speaking, IF the Government were to state that they barred foreigners to minimize the risk of terrorism, there would be an outrage in the community as the Government had just made a blatant accusation that ALL foreigners are terrorists. Thank goodness they didn’t!

Although this reason seems feasible, what seemed amiss to me however was why there is a need to completely bar them from entering? The spruced up security measures would have suffice! There wasn’t a need to forbid any of our foreign friends from entering the grounds and neither was there a need to extend the amendment to their sponsors. So ultimately, this reason still falls short.

 

Protecting the Social Fabric

Although we’re already in the 21st century, a topic such as LGBT is still deemed controversial. Many are unwilling to open up and support the Freedom to love cause that Pink Dot promotes, declaring that it is unnatural. All of these arguments stem from either homophobic or religious backgrounds.

While homophobic tendencies apply to individuals, religious bodies appeal to the masses. In response to Pink Dot, counter-campaigns were set up by religious groups in 2014. The Wear White campaign was first started by Islamic religious teacher, Ustaz Noor Deros. The campaign urged members to wear white to defend the traditional Islamic values and soon caught the eye of Faith Community Baptist Church and LoveSingapore network of churches, both of which soon joined in on the campaign.

While these counter-campaigns did not devolve into any violent unrest, the topic still serves as a touchy one for most and such conflicts may just be around the corner. With both sides of the coin falling primarily on the free will of man, the Government can do little to influence these choices. It can however, omit external influences to the already tense situation; minimizing the risk of any riots occurring.

But why now? Why only implement it in 2016?

When Pink Dot first started out, there weren’t much multinational firms backing it. In fact, the first big firm that supported the campaign only came in at 2011, three years after it was first started. Eventually, throughout the years it has slowly garnered support from more multinational firms. In 2016, the list of these giant sponsors are as follows: Google, Barclays, CooperVision, J.P. Morgan, BP, Goldman Sachs, Twitter, Bloomberg, and for the first time, Apple, Facebook, General Electric, NBCUniversal, Visa, Microsoft and Clifford Chance.

Needless to say, the list of sponsors they’ve gotten is staggering! Imagine what other multinational companies will be willing to back the Pink Dot campaign and how much influence they could potentially cause on?

There you have it, my take on the real reason why the amendment was made! A little disclaimer, despite the research that was done into this article, I am but one tiny voice. Take it with a pinch (or dollop) of salt if you must!

Why should you engage social media influencers

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Why should you engage social media influencers

Making a buying decision

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. In some circumstances, there will even be video product review on Youtube. Be it a bag, shoes, a laptop, or even a gadget.

Guess what? 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” on the internet. This is where social media influencers come in, affecting your buying decision.

While 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.

Build trust within consumer

While trust in brands and advertisement 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. This results in your audience feeling that there’s more credibility to your message.

Higher customer retention

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, your brand might get lost in the mix if they’ve partnered with many brands. The compensation of partnership 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.

And when 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. This is also to make sure that you and your influencer are on the same page in positioning the brand.

When working with influencers, come up with a compensation that everyone is happy with, help them gain insights and content for their audience. And for desired results, build brands for influencers while you build yours and you’ll have a strong influencer partnership,