New Year's Eve 2019

In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. In many countries, New Year's Eve is often celebrated at evening social gatherings, when people dance, eat, drink, and watch or light fireworks to mark the new year. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into January 1.

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Year in Review 2019

Most read court and crime stories in Singapore
From left to right, man who kicked autistic child at Yishun indoor playground, accused Natalie Siow in the Orchard Towers case, and Tampines woman who suffered daily insults from neighbour (PHOTOS: Video screenshot/Facebook/Yahoo News Singapore

From a long-running spat between neighbours to a cold-blooded murder that left almost no traces behind, these 10 court/crime cases gripped the attention of Yahoo News Singapore readers over the year:

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Top 10 Local stories of 2019: Editors’ Pick

With 2019 being the polarizing year that it was, Singapore saw many new big changes.

Without further ado, here are the stories we felt were the biggest of the year, in terms of reaction, backlash and effect on the nation:

  • Monica Baey
  • Tan Cheng Bock
  • Hougang Town Council (AHTC) Trial
  • Preetipls and the Brownface issue
  • Pofma and its first use
  • CECA and the growing anti-foreigner sentiment
  • Orchard Towers Murder
  • PMD ban
  • TOC’s case against LHL
  • Aloysius Pang death

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Top 10 news stories in Singapore

From the never-ending AHTC saga to sexual offences on campus to the death of Aloysius Pang, these were the news developments that got Yahoo News Singapore readers talking in 2019.

Other year-end stories: 
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Five best places to work in Singapore 2019
Royal Plaza on Scotts Tops the list as Singapore’s Best Workplace by Great Place to Work® 2019. CEO Patrick Fiat with hotel talents receiving the award from Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister. (PHOTO: Royal Plaza on Scotts)

While fat bonuses and benefits certainly sweeten a work package, it is the ability to create day-to-day joy, a sense of purpose and ownership, respect for diversity, and having a heart that make some employers stand out among the rest. They also help create high-performing cultures. Here are some of the companies that topped the charts of Singapore’s best workplaces lists this year:
  • Royal Plaza on Scotts
  • Grab
  • Signify
  • HubSpot
  • Singapore Airlines
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Yahoo readers’ most-searched food and drinks in Singapore
Dim sum was the most-searched food on Yahoo Search in Singapore in 2019. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

There are many ways to define a nation's soul. As a food writer, I always defer to what its citizens eat. It might not be the most accurate measure by any means, but the correlation is undeniable. Here, we take a look at the food and drinks that preoccupied the minds of people in Singapore in 2019, as indicated by the top 10 food searches on Yahoo. Some are surprising but most are completely expected, underlining not just our love for food, but our undying passion for food that is familiar, comforting, and uniquely Singapore.

More 2019 Year In Review stories:

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What fired the Internet in 2019

A lot can happen in a year. So, just how well do you remember 2019?

With just days to go before welcoming 2020 - and a new decade, gasp! - The Straits Times looks back on the stories and videos that got readers talking online. Some were downright bizarre, while others were funny, inspiring and heart-warming. There were also the ones that were hotly discussed for days, and even inspired their own memes.

Here are 10 stories, videos and posts that fired the Internet in 2019:

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Full Coverage:
2019: The Year in Quotes
2019: The year in review

2019 year in review: It really wasn't ALL bad

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2019 - Year in Review - AP News
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World's Most Visited Tourist Attractions

How to Beat the Crowds

The world’s most visited tourist attractions stretch from San Francisco to Paris to Beijing, but they might not be what you expect. For example, Alcatraz doesn’t even make the top 50. The Eiffel Tower only sees about 7 million visitors each year, meaning it doesn't land in the top 20. The Great Wall and the Louvre see a mere 9 million visitors per year, less than a quarter of the crowds the top attraction in the world pulls in. And there's a lot of theme parks.

Still, the list is full of favorites, including several you've probably been to — or else have on your bucket list. But as anyone who's been shoved up against a throng of sweaty bystanders knows, the most popular attractions in the world aren't always the most pleasant to visit, thanks to everyone else wanting to see them at the same time as you.

Luckily, there are ways to avoid at least some of the crowds when checking out the world's most popular sites.

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Is the Glass or Half-full or Half-empty?

What is the difference between glass half full and glass half empty?

Psychologists use simple tests like this to determine whether a person tends to be an optimist or a pessimist. Optimists will usually say the glass is half-full, whereas pessimists will usually point out that it's half-empty.

What is a glass half empty kind of person?
A 'glass-half-full person' is an optimist, someone who always thinks that good things will happen. Meanwhile, as you might imagine, a 'glass-half-empty person' is a pessimist, someone who always thinks that bad things will happen.

Why are they not the same?
Objectively, half-empty and half-full are equivalent. However, conceptually, the proverbial phrase relies on a difference in attitude and way of relating to reality which results in different perspectives, i.e. subjective.

Here are the two ways of relating to the same scenario (assuming that what is in the glass is something you desire):
  • The glass is half full — This describes the glass in terms of extent to which it is filled, which is a distinctly positive way of relating to the concept, as the emphasis is on (half) full. Half full is seen as positive, something you can savor. In terms of the proverbial phrase this view is deemed optimistic.
  • The glass is half empty — This describes the glass in terms of extent to which it is emptied, which is a distinctly negative way of relating to the concept, as the emphasis is on (half) empty. Half empty is seen as negative; something threatening for not lasting long anymore. In terms of the proverbial phrase this view is deemed pessimistic.

Learning Optimism: Your Glass Is Always Full

Some people are perpetual pessimists. Others fall into the category of hopefuls.

There are also people who are somewhere in the middle.

“I understand the concept of optimism,” said Tom Hanks, the actor who has portrayed characters like the wide-eyed optimist, Forrest Gump, and the scientific cynic of Dan Brown’s novels. “I think with me, what you get is a lack of cynicism.”

My take on optimism is more like author and artist Mary Engelbreit: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”

I’ve had occasions in my life when my knee-jerk reaction was to see the pessimistic side of a situation, but I learned optimism.

Yes, you can learn it - if you want to.

Why would you want to gain hope that hopeless situations will turn around? Why would you choose to wear the rose-colored glasses when they color your view?

Positive thought breeds positive outcomes, and the reverse is true. Which would you rather cultivate?

Henry Ford said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

Belief is powerful. Believe you can achieve success, and you’ve overcome a major hurdle. However, when you believe it’s too far beyond your reach, you create those obstacles. I’d rather invest my time in seeing past the hurdles, believing that I can soar over them. When I can’t, I accept it’s only a momentary delay—a challenge to become more agile or stronger, or to learn some other valuable lesson.

Maybe you’re mired in a pessimistic mindset right now. This is the perfect time for learning optimism.

Here are some lessons for you:
  • For every obstacle, find a positive purpose. Thomas Edison needed 10,000 tries to invent the light bulb. He considered each one as a lesson in what didn’t When you find yourself in a difficult, frustrating, or potentially back-pedaling situation, find a positive message. No matter how hard it is, the lesson is there if you choose to look for it.
  • Be grateful. Don’t focus on what you’re lacking in your life. Be thankful for the rewards. It could be family, health, friendships, or having a secure job or even a roof over your head. There are millions of people in the world who have it tougher than you. Acknowledge your personal “wealth”.
  • Don’t compete. Your happiness or sadness should not be dictated by the actions or possessions of others. Don’t measure yourself by other people’s successes. That leads to envy and resentment, which are toxic emotions. Be happy for their achievements, and channel your energy into your self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Applaud small successes. The big win happens once in awhile. Don’t wait to celebrate your major achievements. Think about what you did today that was positive. Maybe you had a conversation with the cashier at your grocery store and made that person smile. Perhaps you completed something on your “To Do” list that has been nagging you for a long time. Whatever it is, find something every day to feel good about.
  • I had a friend who worked in radio and she told me that the trick to pumping energy into her voice was to smile when she spoke. A smile is a powerful thing. Smile at a stranger—even if they don’t smile back, you’ll feel good.
  • Believe in the power of optimism. Call yourself an optimist. Fill your glass halfway and look at it. Remember, you can only see the liquid, but air fills the rest of the glass. The things you can’t see will often be the fillers in your life. Look for them. And raise your glass to the possibility of positivity.

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Solar Eclipse on Boxing Day 2019


Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26! Why is it called Boxing Day? And what, if anything, does boxing have to do with it? Boxing Day, like a box, has many points of interest. Here is the short history of Boxing Day, some recipes, and more.

Boxing Day occurs on December 26 (the day after Christmas). However, if Christmas falls on a Saturday, Boxing Day takes place on the following Monday.

In 2019, Boxing Day falls on Thursday, December 26.

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Taken @ Jalan Joran from 13:22 hr to 13:28 hr on 26 Dec 2019 with reflections of the Moon

Rare Solar Eclipse Unites Thousands On Streets

“Ring Of Fire” Solar Eclipse Graces Our Skies Again After 20 Years & It’s Beautiful AF

For those who don’t know, the annular Solar Eclipse happens when the moon partially covers the sun. Or more commonly known as when the Moon, Sun, and Earth aligns.

And in case didn’t already know, the Solar Eclipse just happened today (26 Dec) at about 11.30am after 20 long years.

This rare sight has got Singaporeans rushing out of offices and shopping malls to capture the historical moment. And trust when we say, the pictures are beautiful AF.

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An ultra-rare solar eclipse is happening in Singapore on Boxing Day – here’s where to see the 1-min ‘ring of fire’

A ring of fire will appear in Singapore’s sky on Dec 26 – and excited astronomy fans here are already making plans to catch the “once in a lifetime” phenomenon next week.

The term refers to a phenomenon during a eclipse when the Moon’s orbit is at its furthest from Earth and crosses directly in front of the Sun, resulting in a halo of light created by the Sun’s outer edges peeking around the Moon.

Here are the places to go eclipse watching (most offer eclipse glasses and telescopes):

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S’pore to turn dark on afternoon of Dec. 26, 2019 as annular solar eclipse takes place

An annular solar eclipse will be visible in Singapore on Dec. 26, 2019, peaking at 1:23pm in the afternoon.

A public event will be held at Kebun Baru Spring Residents Committee in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 on the day. Members of the public will get complimentary solar glasses, while stocks last.

If Ang Mo Kio is not convenient for you, Stargazing Singapore has compiled a list of other observation sites:
  • Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park (outside of McDonald’s, 10:30am – 3:20pm)
  • Hong Lim Park (11:00am – 3:00pm)
  • Marina Barrage, Green Roof B (10:30am – 3:00pm)
  • PAssion WaVe @ Jurong Lake Gardens (11:00am – 3:20pm)
  • Science Centre Singapore, Ecogarden (11:00am – 3:00pm)
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26 December 2019 — Annular Solar Eclipse — Singapore

This annular solar eclipse is fully visible in Singapore. It will begin at 11:27:09 local time when the Moon will begin moving in front of the Sun. The eclipse will be over at 15:18:26.

Observers there can experience the “ring of fire” that is characteristic for this kind of solar eclipse. This is a rare and spectacular event that can only be experienced along a relatively narrow strip on the Earth's surface.

The eclipse is also visible in other areas, but the Moon does not move centrally in front of the Sun there and the “ring of fire” is not visible. Check the weather for Singapore.

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Merry Christmas 2019

Peranakan Winter Wonderland
Many people celebrate Christmas Day with a festive meal

Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the son of God. His birth date is unknown because there is little information about his early life. There is disagreement among scholars on when Jesus was born. Christians celebrate Jesus’ birthday on December 25. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on or near January 7.

The word “Christmas” comes from the old English “Cristes maesse”, or the mass of Christ. It is likely that the Christmas date of December 25 was chosen to offset the Pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. It it also possible that the celebration of the birth of the “true light of the world” was set at the time of the December solstice because this is when the days in the northern hemisphere begin to grow longer. Christmas holiday customs derive from various cultures, including Teutonic, Celtic, Roman, West Asian and Christian.

The mistletoe is a commonly used Christmas decoration. By tradition, people who meet under a hanging mistletoe are obliged to kiss. Mistletoe has pagan associations. For example, the druids of Gaul regarded mistletoe growing on oak trees as sent from heaven.

Other common decorations associated with Christmas are holly and ivy – both are associated with Pagan festivals as it was customary to decorate with greenery for these festivals.

Images of Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas, snowmen, reindeer, and candy canes are seen in cards, posters, signs and other printed or marketing material associated with the Christmas celebrations. Images of baby Jesus, the Christmas star, and other symbols associated with the religious meaning of Christmas are also seen during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.