The Science of Happiness

How to be happy?

Scientists have been making immense developments in our understanding of the concept of happiness in recent years.

Yet a lot of people still have trouble identifying and applying what can make them truly happy, and many more remain anxious, stressed, unsatisfied, or even depressed! How come? Why aren’t there more happy people?

Here are a few ways science allows you to better understand yourself so that you and your loved ones can feel happy:
  • Happiness Is About Facing Reality
  • Happiness Produces Success, Not the Other Way Round
  • Happiness Is Measured by What Matters to Us Most

read more


I regret not spending more time with my Dad

I won’t make the same mistake with my kids
Mr Louis Ng holding daughter Ella at a birthday celebration with his parents and wife in this 2014 photo. It turned out to be the last birthday celebration he had with his father

I learnt about how precious time spent with loved ones is, in the worst possible way. I was at a meeting when my mum called to tell me that Daddy was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer. He didn’t have much time left, even though he was still relatively young in his mid-60s.

As a family, we did not have much time left together. This came as a complete shock to all of us. Daddy never had health issues before the diagnosis. One day he looked healthy and the next day, he was dying. We tried our best to treasure whatever time we had left together. We had our first holiday. We went on a cruise and had precious family time.

I regret that was our first family holiday. Daddy was always very busy at work. But he didn’t work for himself or purely for money. He never wore branded clothes nor liked expensive things. He worked hard for his family, his colleagues and his company where he was a manager for 42 years.

read more


My parents talk to me about their deaths

Gen Y Speaks: Yours should too
The author (centre) with her brother-in-law Alvin Tan, sister Yeo Tai Yi, mother Low Siew Luan and father Yeo Gun Tong

Earlier this year, my parents had a “death talk” with me. They said they had already written their wills, explained their funeral preferences and added that they did not want to be put on life support in the final stages of a terminal illness.

I must admit I found the conversation unsettling. It felt like a reminder to myself of their impermanence, even though at 70 and 64, they are still relatively healthy. To think of a life without those who brought me into this world made me emotional and uncomfortable. I guess that’s because death has long been a taboo topic, leading to a “culture of silence” surrounding it. In most Asian families, any mention of death in a conversation brings about exclamations of “choy, choy, touch wood!” from the older generation.

Talking to our loved ones about their death smacks of being disrespectful and unfilial. However, I am glad my parents are not like this.

related: Gen Y Speaks: I am dying and I want to talk about death

read more


Snacking on comfort foods like chips and cookies

How they can affect your health
Comfort foods like chips and cookies, which contain 'fast carbs' such as refined grains, starches, corn and sugar, can short-circuit our biology and accelerate the onset of diabetes and heart disease

In recent weeks, foods of all kinds have flown off the shelves at grocery stores as people stocked up to weather the coronavirus pandemic. But sales of “comfort foods” like potato chips, pretzels, pancake mix and cookies have seen a particularly dramatic surge. That may not be surprising: They are cheap, satisfying and shelf stable.

Unfortunately, for the many millions of people now sheltered at home, avoiding the urge to make frequent trips to the kitchen throughout the day to snack on these foods can be tricky.

But Dr David A. Kessler, a former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has a simple message for people who want to keep their metabolic health and weight in check when temptation is just a few steps from their work space: Try to avoid eating foods that contain what he calls “fast carbs,” such as refined grains, starches, corn and sugar.

read more


Tips for Arranging a Healthy Work Space

These strategies will help you reduce strain on muscles and painful joints

Adjust your workspace to fit your individual needs and arthritis-related limitations. These corrections will help prevent fatigue and joint pain linked to spending too much time in unhealthy postures.

The biggest problem isn’t necessarily sitting down, says Jen Horonjeff, PhD, an ergonomics and human factors consultant in New York City. Instead, it’s holding a single position for long periods – often in a posture, like leaning forward, that promotes strain. “People think the opposite of sitting is standing. Unless you’re moving around when you stand up, that’s not the case,” she says. “The real opposite of both sitting or standing still is moving. And moving frequently is what we need to be doing to avoid causing work-related pain, muscle strain, and fatigue.”

Being still for long periods and doing repetitive work tasks that fatigue the same muscles over and over can strain the neck, shoulders, back, hands and wrists, and even the legs. Here’s how to adjust your workspace and your habits to avoid strain and maximize comfort and efficiency.

read more


Repair Car Dent With Hot Water & Toilet Plunger

It’s very easy to repair a dent by yourself! All you need is a kettle with hot water and a toilet plunger. So, how do you do it? We’ll explain:
  • Fill a kettle with water and boil it.
  • As soon as the water is boiling, you take the kettle out to your car and pour the water onto the dent and the surrounding area. Do be careful because the water is very hot, of course!
  • Now it’s time to use the toilet plunger. Put the plunger around the dent and carefully pull it towards you. Slowly and carefully repeat this step a couple of times, making your way towards the dent.
  • After a few minutes of careful work, the dent will be completely gone! It’s just as if there never was any dent in the first place.

read more


COVID-19: Lockdown Laughs


Singapore urges calm after panic buying hits supermarkets
Singapore reports its first cases of local COVID-19 transmission
Singapore confirms cases of COVID-19 Virus


Hari Raya Aidilfitri Puasa 2020

No Hari Raya visits this year; haj pilgrimage for Singaporeans to be deferred amid Covid-19 pandemic
On Hari Raya morning, Muslims will celebrate in their homes with family members from the same household as all places of worship remain closed.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

There should not be Hari Raya visits or gatherings during the circuit breaker period this year, and Singaporean pilgrims will have to defer the annual haj pilgrimage to Mecca to 2021, in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) announced on Friday (May 15).

Muslims will celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, on May 24.

On the eve of Hari Raya, members of the community can recite the takbir - or communal prayer calls - in their own homes together with family members, led by the Mufti and various asatizah via YouTube Live on SalamSG TV, and Facebook Live on the pages of Muis and mosques.

read more

Eid al-Fitr (Idulfitri)
عيد الفطرEid al-Fitr (ʻĪd al-Fiṭr)Feast of Breaking the Fast
Eid al-Fitr عيد الفطر (Feast of Breaking the Fast)

Arabic: عيد الفطر‎ ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr], "festival of breaking of the fast", also called Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, Bayram (Bajram), the Sweet festival and the Lesser Eid, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day and Muslims are not permitted to fast that day. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This is a day when Muslims around the world show a common goal of unity. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

However in most countries, it is generally celebrated on the same day as Saudi Arabia.

read more


Ship capsized at Tuas due to strong wind

Update 16 Jun 2020Did this ship with crew on board really capsize at Tuas?

In the 1:55 minute-long video, individuals were seen jumping off the ship as it capsized. The caption accompanying the video was: “Hear say happened at Tuas today.. Titanic”. It is not stated where the individual who uploaded the video got his information from.

The video has been shared over 800 times, and has racked up over 24k views. When we did a Google Image search using a screenshot taken from the video, we were led to another Facebook post which was posted around the same time (23 May) as the first link we shared:

The caption in this instance stated that a ship had capsized “within seconds at Singapore OPL”.  ‘OPL’, or ‘Outside/Outer Port Limits’, refers to the area beyond the boundaries within which a country can conduct its sea port activities.

read more


Uses For Baking Soda Around The House

23 Benefits and Uses for Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is widely used in baking. This is because it has leavening properties, meaning it causes dough to rise by producing carbon dioxide.

Aside from cooking, baking soda has a variety of additional household uses and health benefits.

Here are 23 benefits and uses of baking soda:
  • Treat Heartburn
  • Mouthwash
  • Soothe Canker Sores
  • Whiten Your Teeth
  • Deodorant
  • May Improve Exercise Performance
  • Relieve Itchy Skin and Sunburns
  • May Treat Calluses
  • May Slow the Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease
  • May Improve Certain Cancer Treatments
  • Neutralize Fridge Odors
  • Air Freshener
  • May Whiten Your Laundry
  • Kitchen Cleaner
  • Eliminate Garbage Odor
  • Remove Stubborn Carpet Stains
  • Multipurpose Bathroom Cleaner
  • Clean Fruits and Veggies
  • Polish Silverware
  • Save a Scorched Pot
  • Extinguish Oil and Grease Fires
  • Homemade Weed Killer
  • Shoe Deodorizer

Around The House Uses For Baking Soda

Unless baking is your trade, nobody bakes all the time. And even if you do, baking soda is not just for the purpose of baking alone. It may be beneficial to you in so many ways around the house that you never thought possible. So don’t leave it just hanging around in your shelf until you need to bake. Fish it out and let me show you how to use it to improve your life at home:
  • Hair treatment
  • Refrigerator deodorizer
  • Teeth Whitener
  • Body deodorizer
  • Food stains remover
  • Kitchen and bathroom cleaner
  • Clean stuffed toys
  • Rid your shoes of smells
  • Clean crayon and other wall stains
  • Carpet freshener
  • Facial scrub
  • Grill cleaner
  • Cloth stains remover
  • Rids diaper rash
  • Clean burnt food stains
  • Mug stain remover
  • Anti-grease solution

read more

What’s the Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?

Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents, which are substances used to help baked goods rise. Experienced and amateur bakers alike often confuse them due to their similar names and appearances. This article explains the differences between baking soda and baking powder and how interchanging one for the other may affect your baked goods.

What is baking soda:
  • Baking soda is a leavening agent used in baked goods like cakes, muffins, and cookies.
  • Formally known as sodium bicarbonate, it’s a white crystalline powder that is naturally alkaline, or basic.
  • Baking soda becomes activated when it’s combined with both an acidic ingredient and a liquid. Upon activation, carbon dioxide is produced, which allows baked goods to rise and become light and fluffy.
  • This is why recipes that include baking soda will also list an acidic ingredient, such as lemon juice or buttermilk.

What is baking powder:
  • Unlike baking soda, baking powder is a complete leavening agent, meaning it contains both the base (sodium bicarbonate) and acid needed for the product to rise.
  • Cornstarch is also typically found in baking powder. It’s added as a buffer to prevent the acid and base from activating during storage.
  • Similarly to how baking soda reacts with water and an acidic ingredient, the acid in baking powder reacts with sodium bicarbonate and releases carbon dioxide once it’s combined with a liquid.
  • Single and double-acting baking powders are available, though single-acting varieties are typically only used by food manufacturers and not usually available for household use.
  • When a recipe calls for baking powder, it’s most likely referring to the double-acting kind.
  • This means the powder creates two separate reactions: initially, when combined with liquid at room temperature, and secondly, once the mixture is heated.
  • For many recipes, an extended reaction is favorable, so the leavening, or rising, doesn’t happen all at once.


Be Positive and Stay Positive

Positive thinking can bring about positive emotions and positive experiences. Having a positive attitude is rejuvenating to both the mind and the body. Learn how to be positive and stay positive.

All of us wish to have inner-peace, enjoy pleasant moments and be happy. Yet circumstances are not always within our control as we experience negative thoughts and negative emotions in many situations. While it is not always easy to stay positive in life, it is useful to remember that we can control the thoughts in our minds. It is within our capability to cultivate a positive mindset, in spite of negative situations.

Being a positive person is more than just thinking positive thoughts or wishing for bad things to go away, leaving only positive experiences. It is about taking simple steps to make small changes in all areas of your life and to translate positive thoughts into behaviour. By taking the extra step to act on your positive thoughts, you can further enhance your mental wellbeing. Here are some other ways to develop a positive mindset, pick ourselves up, perk-up and move on:
  • Be contented
  • Be optimistic
  • Interpret objectively
  • Take a break

read more


Makan Matters: What‘s a Balanced Diet?

What Makes a Healthy Diet?

When we hear the words “healthy eating”, our first thought might be us nibbling hungrily on carrot sticks—or so-called “rabbit food”. We might also imagine waving goodbye to old loves like char kway teow.

Don't worry! A healthy, balanced diet shouldn't (and wouldn't) make us hungry and deprived. Instead, we want to aim for balance, moderation, and variety. Let's find out what makes a diet healthy, whether we’re trying to change our eating habits to reduce the risks of diabetes, or simply want to eat better.

What's a balanced diet? It's making sure that we eat a good balance of food from the important food groups:
  • Carbohydrates
  • Meat and other proteins
  • Fruit and veggies

read more


The fastest way to sleep

How to Fall Asleep in 10, 60, or 120 Seconds
Spending more time trying to fall asleep rather than actually sleeping? You’re not alone.

Just the act of trying too hard can cause (or continue) a cycle of anxious, nerve-wracking energy that keeps our minds awake.

And if your mind can’t sleep, it’s really difficult for your body to follow. But there are scientific tricks you can try to flip the switch and guide your body into a safe shutdown mode.

We cover some science-based tricks to help you fall asleep faster:

  • How to sleep in 10 seconds
  • How to sleep in 60 seconds
  • How to fall asleep in 120 seconds

read more


4 Foods You Never Knew Could Relieve Stress

Had a hectic day at work? Eat your way to calm with these stress-busting foods.

When it comes to combating stress levels, what you eat can help to restore your calm. Here are some anxiety-reducing foods to reach for when hunger strikes.

Destress with Food:
  • Easy Green
  • Gobble Gobble
  • Smart Snacks
  • Sweet Delight

read more


Planning your finances for future generations

Ensure that your estate and wealth are passed over smoothly to your loved ones
Allay fears over your family’s future finances with an investment-linked policy.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Many parents envision a fulfilling life for their children. In order to provide the best they can, they seek to transfer their wealth down to their children, so that they will have sufficient funds to live comfortably.

Breadwinners also need to plan for their families in the event that something unfortunate happens to them. If they do not have any financial plans in place to ensure that their loved ones are protected against unforeseen circumstances, the sudden loss of the breadwinner may impact the family’s financial well-being, resulting in them having little funds to pay for items such as their children’s education, or to maintain the lifestyle that they are used to.

There are many options available for those who want to secure the future of their loved ones. While whole life insurance policies are a common option, let’s also take a look at a product with more flexible options and the opportunity to reap positive returns in a well-performing market:

read more


International Day of Families 2020

The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 with resolution A/RES/47/237 and reflects the importance the international community attaches to families. The International Day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.

The International Day of Families has inspired a series of awareness-raising events, including national family days. In many countries, that day provides an opportunity to highlight different areas of interest and importance to families. Activities include workshops and conferences, radio and television programmes, newspaper articles and cultural programmes highlighting relevant themes.

The central goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development focus on ending poverty, promoting shared economic prosperity, social development and people’s well-being while protecting the environment. Families remain at the centre of social life ensuring the well-being of their members, educating and socializing children and youth and caring for young and old often untapped potential to further contribute to the achievement of many national development goals.

read more


COVID-19: Lockout during Lockdown

Went out without Mum's permission during Lockdown, now she got lockout

COVID-19 Lockdown Laughs

Singapore urges calm after panic buying hits supermarkets
Singapore reports its first cases of local COVID-19 transmission
Singapore confirms cases of COVID-19 Virus


World's Best Airport 2020

Update 1 Oct 2020: 'World's best airport' warns of prolonged crisis

Singapore's Changi Airport has warned of a "daunting period" ahead as the impact from the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating. The Asian transit hub has been voted world's best airport for the eighth consecutive year.

Changi has suspended operations in two terminals as flights have dropped to the lowest levels in its history. It has also suspended the construction of a fifth terminal for at least two years.

"The battle with Covid-19 has only just begun," Changi Airport Group said in its annual report. "The future does appear daunting with the situation showing no signs of abatement."

Changi drops from 7th to 58th on busiest airport list, now serving 1.5% of usual passenger volume
Changi Airport dropped to 58th place from seventh busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Covid-19 has decimated Changi Airport's business. Compared to pre-pandemic times, the airport is now serving just 1.5 per cent of its usual passenger volume and 17 per cent of the total number of flights.

It has also plummeted to be the 58th busiest airport for passenger traffic, down from the seventh, and now has direct flights to just 49 cities in the world.

In revealing these numbers on Tuesday (Oct 6), Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said in Parliament that global travel restrictions have caused a "deep crisis" for Changi Airport Group (CAG) and national carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA).

What's happening at Singapore's Changi Airport during Covid
The airline is unveiling several activities, including a meal served inside of a parked Airbus A380

What happens at the world's best airport when the aviation industry comes to a halt?

At Singapore's Changi Airport, that's a question that's prompted some innovative answers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Changi -- which has a hawker center, butterfly garden, movie theater and more among its offerings -- is so beloved by travelers that it has won the "best airport" award from Skytrax, an airline industry group, every year since 2013.

In photos: Changi airport during Covid-19
Singapore’s award-winning ‘great theme park of global travel’ looks forward to semblance of normality

When Jewel opened its doors in April 2019, the 10-storey entertainment and shopping complex adjoining Singapore’s Changi airport was expected to receive 40m-50m visitors in its first year.

Accessible by local visitors and airport transit passengers alike, the S$1.7bn (US$1.2bn) complex — which features the world’s largest indoor waterfall, a rainforest-themed garden and a giant trampoline-like “bouncing net” — exceeded the 50m figure within six months, and hopes were high for a buoyant 2020. Then Covid-19 struck.

Changi, like most commercial airports, has become eerily quiet due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Its passenger traffic dropped almost three-quarters in the first eight months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, and two of the airport’s four main terminals have been shuttered.

Changi Airport Terminal 4 to close from May 16, following Terminal 2's 18-month closure
Boarding gates at Changi Airport's Terminal 4 Changi Airport Group

With global travel coming to a near standstill around the world, Changi Airport has announced that it will be temporarily suspending all operations at Terminal 4 (T4) from May 16.

This includes all flights, which will operate out of Terminals 1 (T1) or 3 (T3) instead, as well as stores and restaurants. Affected airlines include Cathay Pacific and Korean Air, which will be operating from T1 in the meantime.

The shuttle bus service to T4 will also be suspended.

read more

The World’s Best Airports in 2020 are announced

Singapore Changi Airport is voted the World's Best Airport 2020 by international air travellers for the eighth consecutive year.

Changi Airport also won the award for the World’s Best Airport Leisure Amenities.

The World’s Top 10 Airports of 2020 are:
  • Singapore Changi Airport
  • Tokyo Haneda Airport
  • Hamad International Airport Doha
  • Incheon International Airport
  • Munich Airport
  • Hong Kong International Airport
  • Narita International Airport
  • Central Japan International Airport
  • Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • Kansai International Airport

read more

Airlines have it bad with COVID-19 but airports have it worse
The Changi Airport control tower in front of Jewel Changi Airport (Photo: Jeremy Long)

The spread of the coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on the travel industry.

With a vast majority of flights grounded to stop the international spread of the virus, major airports like Singapore and Dubai have seen passenger volumes plummet.

Airports continue to incur fixed costs for maintaining the infrastructure. Their burden is even greater because partners such as retail outlets and airlines have been given breaks in terms of rentals and reduced parking and other fees, respectively. Though governments might share the costs burden of airports in the short term, it remains to be seen how long they will stomach such a responsibility.

read more

Changi Airport’s T4 to be closed from May 16, second terminal shut in a month
Changi Airport will suspend its Terminal 4 operations from Saturday (May 16)

Changi Airport will be suspending its Terminal 4 operations from Saturday (May 16) due to the sharp fall in air travel caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the second terminal at Changi Airport to be shut in a month, after Terminal 2 was closed on May 1 to bring down running costs and speed up upgrading works there.

In a media release on Tuesday, Changi Airport Group (CAG) said the move will enable it to continue to save on running costs such as utilities and cleaning.

read more

Changi Airport T4 to suspend operations from May 16, following T2 suspension earlier; move will save running costs
The operation of Changi Airport Terminal 4 will be suspended to further consolidate airport operations.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Changi Airport will suspend operations at Terminal 4 from May 16, following a suspension of services at Terminal 2 earlier this month.

In a statement on Tuesday (May 12), Changi Airport Group said: "Changi Airport's terminal operations will be consolidated further to optimise resources in tandem with the sharp decline in flight movements because of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

"This move will enable CAG and its airport partners to continue to save on running costs such as utilities and cleaning."

read more

Singapore to shut Changi’s Terminal 2 for 18 months due to COVID-19
The departure hall of Changi Airport’s Terminal 2. Photo: Muhammad Hasbi

Singapore will shut Terminal 2 of the Changi Airport as part of a cost-cutting move due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seriously affected the country’s tourism industry.

All operations at the terminal, including retail, will be suspended for 18 months starting May, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan reportedly announced in Parliament today. He also hinted at more closures, noting that only one terminal has so far been enough to handle the traffic at the airport.

Airlines operating at the terminal will be transferred to Changi’s remaining three terminals next month. Singapore Airlines will operate from Terminal 3. “We will save on running costs – for the airport operator, retail tenants, airlines and ground handlers,” The Straits Times quoted him as saying.

read more

Singapore Changi Airport to close Terminal 2 due to drop in travellers
One of the world's busiest passenger hubs, Singapore Changi Airport, will reduce services and close Terminal 2 for 18 months due to a drop in demand. Courtesy Changi Airport Group

Operations at one of the world’s busiest airports are being consolidated due to a drop in demand because of travel restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Terminal 2 at Singapore Changi Airport will close from Friday, May 1, and will remain closed for at least 18 months.

“In view of the steep decline in passenger traffic and the likelihood that air travel demand will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels in the near term, terminal operations at Changi Airport will be consolidated,” Changi Airport Group said. All flight operations will be consolidated across Changi’s other terminals. Details of which terminal airlines have been relocated to will be announced closer to Friday, May 1.

The decision is a way of cut running costs and to “optimise resources across the airport's terminals to better match the low travel demand”, CAG said. Operations at Terminal 4 have also been reduced and could be temporarily suspended if more airlines adjust their schedules.

read more

Winner History

Full Coverage:
Full Coverage: