Wild durians of Borneo

THE common edible durian, Durio zibithinus, or 'durian puteh', which we talked about last week, is not the only durian to be found in Borneo.

It may come as a surprise to learn that there are about 20 wild species, with about 12 being found in Sabah. Several of these also have edible fruits, some being cultivated on a small scale.

Though they are not often seen in the main markets, rural 'tamus' and roadside stalls can be rewarding, so look out for these over the next couple of months!

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Durio Graveolens (Durian Merah or Durian Dalit)
Durio graveolens is one of the most popular durian species, sold widely in markets throughout Borneo

Durio graveolens, sometimes called the red-fleshed durian, orange-fleshed durian, or yellow durian, is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae. It is one of six species of durian named by Italian naturalist Odoardo Beccari. The specific epithet graveolens ('strong smelling' or 'rank') is due to the odor. Although most species of Durio (most notably Durio dulcis) have a strong scent, the red-fleshed type of D. graveolens has a mild scent. It is native to Southeast Asia.

Durio graveolens is an edible durian, perhaps the most popular 'wild' species of durian, and it is sold commercially regionally. However, its congener Durio zibethinus is the typical species eaten and dominates sales worldwide. This species should not be confused with the popular durian clones from Malaysia known as 'Red Flesh' (D164) and 'Red Prawn' (D175), as both of those belong to Durio zibethinus.

However, Durio graveolens does have one registered variety, 'DQ2 nyekak (DK8)'. The color of the fruit's flesh denotes other varieties–an orange-fleshed, a red-fleshed one, and yellow-fleshed. These varieties may be different species, but currently there is no consensus. The yellow-fleshed kind is sometimes called durian simpor.

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Durio Oxleyanus (Durian Sukang)

Durio oxleyanus is a petite, pretty durian with long green spines. It’s powdered sugar sweetness is encased in a creamy, mildly fruity flesh that is totally lacking in durian aroma.  It’s a wonder this little-known durian is not the belle of durian markets across Southeast Asia. Rob and I didn’t start looking for Durio oxleyanus until we got to Borneo. Like most people, we thought mainland Malaysia held only treasures of the zibethinus kind. If we’d known better, we could have been enjoying this little sugar-bomb all along. In fact, Durio oxleyanus was first collected and described in Penang, an island off the east coast of Malaysia.

Durio oxleyanus is a beautiful, spring-green durian with long, sometimes curly spikes. The spikes are broader and blunter than most durians, curving away from the fruit body like stocky tentacles. Rarely growing larger than a one pound (500 grams), and never more than two (1 kilogram), it’s a durian you can easily hold in the palm of one hand.  It’s small size and appearance invites comparisons to a green sea urchin.

Inside, the flesh is a creamy white or grey tinged with yellow. Each section cradles only one or two seeds. Even when very ripe, it is nearly odorless with a saccharine sweetness that makes it extremely popular among even those who normally dislike durian. The most distinguishing characteristic is that, unlike every other durian, it has only four seeded-sections. All other durians have five.

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Durio Kutejensis (Durian Lai)

Durio Kutejensis, commonly known as durian pulu, durian merah, nyekak, Pakan, Kuluk, or lai, is a primary rainforest substorey fruit tree from Borneo. It is a very attractive small-to medium-sized tree up to 30 m tall. It has large, glossy leaves, numerous large, red flowers that emit a strong carrion smell at anthesis.

This species is reportedly pollinated by giant honey bees and birds, as well as bats. The large durian fruit it bears has thick, yellow flesh with a mild, sweet taste and creamy texture similar to that of Durio zibethinus. It bears fruit late in the season. It is cultivated in East Kalimantan and has been introduced to Queensland.

In Brunei, the fruit of Durio Kutejensis is preferred by local consumers over that of Durio Zibethinus, though the latter is the only durian species available in the international market. The fruit is also said to have fewer of the unpleasant flavors that Durio Zibethinus has.

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Durio Kinabaluensis (Durian Tapuloh or Durian Kinabalu)

On the steep hillsides of the Crocker Mountain Range grows a unique durian species that thrives at high elevations. Although uncultivated and generally neglected by botanists and agronomists, it’s a local favorite for its simple sweet flavor. It’s still one of the least well known of the edible jungle durians, although it is easy to find if you know where to look.

Durio Kinabaluensis grows throughout the Crocker Mountain range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Rob and I found trees growing near the Kipandi Butterfly Park, but the fruits were immature. We were told they had been selling mature fruits at the Donggongon Market earlier that day, but they were sold out by the time we arrived in the afternoon. I have also heard that this durian is frequently for sale in Nobutan Village and around Ranau.

Durio Kinabaluensis comes into season about a month later than other durian species. Last year (2012) it’s peak was at the end of December and beginning of January.

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Durio Testudinarium (Durian Kura-Kura or Tortoise Durian)

Rob and I were lucky to find Durio Testudinarum twice in Borneo, as it is one of the rarest edible durian species. Many people don’t consider it edible because of the strong, musky odor it has when ripe. Yet the flavor is sweet and juicy, a contrast to the usually heavy durian. That’s reason enough to appreciate this jungle durian. Where it get its fame is that instead of growing on the branches, these durians sprout from the trunk and roots of the tree.

Durio Testudinarum grows throughout the jungles of Borneo. It is never cultivated, although in a few areas people keep them in backyards as a curiosity.  According to sources, it is most commonly found in Ulu Dusun, near Sandakan, and Kampung Lingkungan in Brunei.  Very occasionally it is found in markets, such as the Thursday morning fruit market in Tutong, Brunei.

It’s relative obscurity means that the season for Durio Testudinarum is unknown and varies from region to region. When Rob and I found a tree in the Upper Kapuas of West Kalimantan, the fruits were tiny and immature. Only two weeks later we managed to taste the very last fruit from a tree at the Tenom Agricultural Park.

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Durio Dulcis (Durian Tahis)

Everything about Durio Dulcis is just a little bit magical. The tree is one of the more rare durians, residing deep in the jungles of Borneo. When in season, the red orbs dot the leafy forest floor like fallen Christmas ornaments, that sensational red leaping out of the green foliage like a natural stop light. It’s the strongest smelling durian, and its odor is said to waft as much as a kilometer through the jungle.

Durio Dulcis has a bright red exterior with long, extremely sharp thorns that are sometimes yellow or black on the tips. It is extremely difficult to open because it lacks the weakened seams running stem to tip that every other durian opens along. Getting into a Durio Dulcis requires a machete. Generally, the fruit is simply whacked in half and the gooey flesh is scraped out with the fingers.

It grows wild throughout Borneo, but is not generally cultivated. Rob and I found it twice; at the Agricultural Park in Tenom, Sabah, and near a longhouse in the Upper Kapuas region of West Kalimantan.

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Durio Grandiflorus (Durian Hantu or Ghost Durian)

Of all the durian species on Borneo, I was the most excited about Durio Grandiflorus, known locally as the ghost durian. I didn’t believe that finding it would be hard, as it apparently grows all over Borneo. I was much more concerned about finding the admittedly rare Durio Testudinarum and Durio Dulcis. But this is the most elusive of durians. Although we searched Sabah, Sarawak, and Kalimantan, Durio Grandiflorus evaded us. Not even my botany contacts have a picture. Ghost durian indeed.

Durio Grandiflorus  is a medium durian with long, stiff spines. Supposedly it’s greyish-blue exterior adds to the myth of ghostliness. The flesh is yellow and purportedly edible, although one botanist I interviewed barely remembered it. He said the flavor was not strong, and the flesh was pretty thin. He kept comparing it infavorably to Durio Graveolens, which apparently he likes very much. Although it’s not very relevant to the gustatory pleasure of the fruit, one interesting thing about Durio Grandiflorus is its relationship with Spiderhunters. Unlike most durians, which are pollinated at night by bats, this durian depends on these spunky little birds to reproduce.

Although we didn’t manage to find it, Durio Grandiflorus occurs throughout the island of Borneo, especially near Sandakan and Miri. It can occasionally be found at markets in Brunei.

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Durio Zibethinus (Durian puteh)

Durio zibethinus is the most common tree species in the genus Durio that are known as durian and have edible fruit also known as durian.

As with most other durian species, the edible flesh emits a distinctive odour that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.

There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. There are hundreds of cultivars of Durio zibethinus; many consumers express preferences for specific cultivars, which fetch higher prices in the market.

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Removing tissues from freshly-washed clothes

The lifehack we all need

A pack of tissues is always necessary in hot and humid Singapore, especially with flu season in full swing here. Plus, you'll need one to chope your seat at a crowded hawker centre.

But how many times have you dumped your laundry in the washing machine only to remember belatedly that you forgot to empty your pockets of tissues? If having the pesky white fluff stuck to your freshly-spun clothes is a recurring issue, then this hack from Japanese Twitter user Yukino (@54l23) is probably a godsend.

And before you ask, no, running your clothes through another cycle isn’t going to help make the mess go away.
“If you’ve suffered the tragedy of leaving a tissue in your wash, [leave the clothes in the machine] and add only fabric softener. Run the rinse cycle once, and then the spin/dry cycle, and everything will get clean."
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Tackling food and electronic waste

NTU scientists use fruit peel to turn old batteries into new ones
An estimated 50 million tonnes of electronic waste is generated globally each year

Scientists led by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a novel method of using fruit peel to turn old batteries into new ones, the university said in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 26).

Through the method, fruit peel waste is used to extract and reuse precious metals from spent lithium-ion batteries in order to create new batteries.

The team has, for example, used orange peel to recover precious metals from battery waste efficiently, and then made functional batteries from these recovered metals, creating minimal waste in the process.

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Qīxī Jié 七夕节 Double Seventh Festival 2020

7th day of 7th month on the Chinese lunar calendar

The Qi Xi Festival (七夕節, qī xī jié) is an important traditional festival in China. Literal to the name, it always falls on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar, so Chinese people also call it the Double Seventh Festival. This year, the festival falls on August 2.

The Origin of the Festival - The Qi Xi Festival sprang from a legend that has been told in many ways from one generation to the next since the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – A.D. 220). It is the beautiful love story of cow herder, Niulang (牛郎), and the fairy weaving maid, Zhinu (织女).

Niulang, the cow herder, was a kind, honest, and hardworking young man. He was orphaned as a child a nd later was driven out of his home by his sister-in-law. So, he lived by himself tending a cow and farming on the hillside. His only companion was the old cow.

He was stunned by their beauty so he hid behind some bushes, watching their play. His eyes eventually fixed on the youngest one.

Suddenly, the cow spoke to Niulang. “She is the youngest of the seven daughters of the Heavenly King,” it said. “Her name is Zhinu. If you take away her robes, she will not be able to return and she will stay with you.”

Niulang followed the cow’s advice and stealthily took the young maiden’s heavenly robes.

When the playful maidens were ready to leave, Zhinu could not find her robes that would allow her to return to Heaven. In order not to miss the timing of their own return to Heaven, her sisters had to sadly leave her behind.

Poor Zhinu was left all alone. She felt so hopeless that she started to cry.


Tributes to Singapore's 'economic czar' Ngiam Tong Dow

10 sayings by ex-top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow that lays the smack down on everyone

Calling the former top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow "outspoken" is like saying a nuclear holocaust is "regrettable". Because that would be an understatement. You might have to hear it to believe it. But the quotes this man gives makes him a living legend.

Ngiam has served as Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office under Lee Kuan Yew, as well as in various other ministries. He has earned his reputation as a no-nonsense kind of guy. Someone with clout. Someone who can speak his mind without fear or favour. At 73, he could be trimming bonsai, shooting the breeze and smoking a pipe. But no, he is still out laying the smack down on everyone.

So, here are 10 Ngiam Tong Dow sayings from his recent wide-ranging interview in the September edition of the Singapore Medical Association newsletter that will make him go down in history for giving it like a manly man:
  • "I think a lot of these pseudo-economists and pseudo-politicians say Singaporeans should be employed first, but are Singaporeans fit or willing to do some of these job?"
  •  "My favourite topic — I’m on public record — is Formula 1 (F1). We’re paying the Englishmen to stage the F1 night race here. Why should we use taxpayers’ money to pay for these races? I have asked this question publicly, but the MOF has never addressed it."
  • "I was born in a generation where every cent counts, so I believe we should spend our money wisely, and not on frivolities. Sometimes, I think our present Cabinet spends money on frivolities, and staging the F1 is my “favourite” example."
  • "A Hong Kong delegation asked me what I consider frivolities. In Hong Kong, they have fireworks displays every year. One of the delegates asked me whether I thought it was a waste of public money. If everyone in Hong Kong can see the fireworks, then there is no waste; if only a restricted number of people can see it, then the money spent is wasted."
  • "For example, one of my favourite topics to show the stark difference in priorities during my younger days and today is work-life balance. During my younger days, we never thought of work-life balance. For me, my first plane ride was for a work conference in Bangkok!"
  • "In the early days, Lim Kim San and Goh Keng Swee worked night and day, and they were truly dedicated. I don’t know whether Lee Kuan Yew will agree but it started going downhill when we started to raise ministers’ salaries, not even pegging them to the national salary but aligning them with the top 10."
  • "When you raise ministers’ salaries to the point that they’re earning millions of dollar, every minister — no matter how much he wants to turn up and tell Hsien Loong off or whatever — will hesitate when he thinks of his million-dollar salary. Even if he wants to do it, his wife will stop him."
  • "The Civil Service has definitely become tamer, which is not good because we need a contest of ideas. The difference is that no one wants to make a sacrifice any more. The first generation of PAP was purely grassroots, but the problem today is that PAP is a bit too elitist."
  • "We shouldn't buy trophies. The best thing is to train our own people and give them the experience. I wrote an article some time ago on how we were spending over $6 billion trying to raise productivity. I found out that we have 30,000 trained workers each year, if we took into account the graduates from all our universities, polytechnics and Institutes of Technical Education! Yet, our employers refuse to take them on because they say that while the graduates may have the theories, they may not be able to do the job!"
  • "For example, the delivery of medical care falls squarely on the shoulders of our nurses, so I was very upset to read that our Population White Paper classified nursing as a “low-skilled” job. Whoever passed that document should have his pay revoked. (laughs)"

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PM Lee says Ngiam Tong Dow's 'legacy will live on' as tributes pour in for late civil servant
Former top civil servant Mr Ngiam Tong Dow had spent 40 years in the apex Singapore Administrative Service.PHOTO: ST FILE

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, friends and colleagues paid tribute to former top civil servant Mr Ngiam Tong Dow, 83, who died on Thursday (Aug 20).

In a condolence letter addressed to Mr Ngiam’s wife, Jeanette, on Friday, Mr Lee called Mr Ngiam a “versatile and outstanding civil servant” from the founding generation.

“Tong Dow stood out among his peers for his intellect and empathy, and his willingness to speak his mind,” said Mr Lee.

related: PM Lee, friends pay tribute to Ngiam Tong Dow

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‘Straight as an arrow’: Friends, family share memories of Ngiam Tong Dow at wake of former top civil servant
The wake of Ngiam Tong Dow at his home along Chestnut Avenue in Bukit Panjang on Aug 21, 2020

As a friend, the late Ngiam Tong Dow was "straight as an arrow" and could be counted on to be reliable and willing to speak the truth, friends, family and former colleagues recalled at the wake of the former top civil servant on Friday (Aug 21),

At home, he was a supportive, family-oriented father, they added of Ngiam, who died on Thursday aged 83 after a four-and-a-half-year battle with ill health. Those attending the wake included Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, former PM Goh Chok Tong and former president Tony Tan.

Speaking to members of the media at the wake, which was held at his home in Chestnut Avenue, Bukit Panjang, former politician George Yeo described his friend as a “warm and good human being”.

related: Ngiam Tong Dow helped S'pore become a business hub, contributions have enduring impact today: PM Lee, President Halimah

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Singapore's 'economic czar': Tributes paid to former top civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow after his death
Former veteran civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow died on Aug 20, 2020. (Photo: TODAY)

Singapore leaders including President Halimah Yacob and former prime minister Goh Chok Tong have paid tribute to former veteran civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow, who died on Thursday (Aug 20) at the age of 83.

Mr Ngiam spent more than 40 years in public service, working with some of Singapore's founding political leaders including then-deputy prime minister Goh Keng Swee, as well as all the prime ministers.

He was permanent secretary for several key ministries including the finance, trade and communications ministries.

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As we honour the passing of Ngiam Tong Dow, will the current crop of PAP leaders pay heed to his sage words of wisdom?

A civil servant who spent 40 years at the helm of Singapore’s administration has died at the age of 83. In his illustrious career, Ngiam Tong Dow became the youngest permanent secretary at age 33 and was awarded accolades such as the Distinguished Service Order in 1999 when he retired.

Having worked closely with the late Lee Kuan Yew, his successor Goh Chok Tong, Goh Keng Swee and Hon Sui Sen, it would be fair to say that Ngiam was an influential member of the old guard.

With his alignment to the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) not in doubt, it is notable that Ngiam had observed in 2003 that Singapore was “larger than the PAP“. Yet, fast forward 17 years, has the newer generation of PAP leaders followed his advice?

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Ngiam Tong Dow, pioneering Singapore bureaucrat who bemoaned ‘little Lee Kuan Yews’ in civil service, dies aged 83
Ngiam Tong Dow, the pioneering Singaporean civil servant, has died at age 83. Photo: Handout

Ngiam Tong Dow, the pioneering Singaporean civil servant who served four decades in the highest levels of the city state’s bureaucracy and on retirement bemoaned creeping “elite arrogance” among its latter-day mandarinate, has died at age 83. Ngiam’s family told The Straits Times he had been ill for the last 4.5 years.

The public service stalwart’s career began in 1959, the same year Singapore gained self-rule from Britain under the leadership of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and the People’s Action Party (PAP).

A first-generation Singaporean born to a court interpreter father and a Hainanese mother who worked as a washerwoman, Ngiam won a bursary to study economics at the University of Malaya. Later in his career he obtained a Masters in Public Administration at Harvard University.

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Ngiam Tong Dow: Stop Dancing to the Tune of the Gorilla

At 66, the HDB Corp chairman Mr Ngiam Tong Dow insists he is “no radical”, just a concerned Singaporean with three grandchildren, who wonders “whether there will be a Singapore for them in 50 years' time”.

In this interview, he gives candid appraisal of the civil service, and his prognosis of what the lack of an alternative political leadership means for Singapore.

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Dynamics of the Singapore Success Story: Insights by Ngiam Tong Dow

Singapore's success story has been widely read. How and why this transformation came about, however, has seldom been publicly analyzed and articulated. Very few insiders with firsthand experience have chosen to illuminate the fundamental public policies guiding Singapore's social and economic growth. Yet it is this aspect of the Singapore story that most intrigues outside observers.

Based on his rich, forty-year experience as a senior Singapore civil servant, Ngiam Tong Dow manages to present a clear picture in this book of Singapore's path toward success. It is a collection of his speeches, interviews, and articles delivered and written between 2004 and 2010.

According to Ngiam, what lies behind Singapore's spectacular achievements from 1959 onward is the island nation s relentless pursuit of knowledge as the critical lever for development. Singapore is the forerunner of knowledge-based economies emerging in this new millennium.

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Your Guide to Avoiding Food Poisoning

While food poisoning is a relatively common ailment, there are easy ways to go about avoiding it. Here’s the lowdown on common symptoms, scenarios and tips that will keep you safe from a bad case of the runs.

Symptoms and sources - There’s a whole bunch of different, sinister-sounding strains of bacteria, viruses and parasites that can cause food poisoning. Common strains include salmonella, found in undercooked eggs and meat, and e.coli, found in food that has had contact with faeces or sewage.

Regardless of the source, your symptoms are likely to include:
  • nausea
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • fever
  • abdominal cramps

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Side Effects of Too Much Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree. It’s widely popular and has been linked with health benefits like improved blood sugar control and lowering of some risk factors for heart disease. There are two main types of cinnamon:

  • Cassia - Also called “regular” cinnamon, this is the most commonly used type.
  • Ceylon - Known as “true” cinnamon, Ceylon has a lighter and less bitter taste.

Cassia cinnamon is more commonly found in supermarkets, given that it’s much cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon. While Cassia cinnamon is safe to eat in small to moderate amounts, eating too much may cause health problems because it contains high amounts of a compound called coumarin. Research has found that eating too much coumarin may harm your liver and increase the risk of cancer. Furthermore, eating too much Cassia cinnamon has been linked to many other side effects.

Here are 6 possible side effects of eating too much Cassia cinnamon:

  • May Cause Liver Damage
  • May Increase the Risk of Cancer
  • May Cause Mouth Sores
  • May Cause Low Blood Sugar
  • May Cause Breathing Problems
  • May Interact with Certain Medications

Ceylon vs. Cassia — Not All Cinnamon Is Created Equal
How Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar and Fights Diabetes
Honey and Cinnamon: A Powerful Remedy or a Big Myth?

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Home DIY Hacks For Everyone

Making your apartment more homely doesn’t have to be rocket science. DIY is the new cool and there are plenty of new approaches to maintain your home.

From what you can do with bottles to knowing your appliances better, making your home a perfect livable space doesn’t take “maxing out all your credit cards”.

Household tools around you can quickly become your go-to buddies if you learn little home tweaks to maximize your space and furniture.

  • The ceiling fan directional switch
  • Empty wine bottle for home decor
  • Use a magnet to keep your hammer and nails together
  • Garage bumpers for car doors
  • Use old desk organizers as storage racks
  • Rubber bands for tight screws
  • Using a squeegee for carpet cleaning
  • An old beverage dispenser for dispensing detergent
  • DIY non-slip hangers
  • Tissue tubes for holding cables
  • Faux book stack router box
  • Shower curtain hooks as cloth hangers
  • DIY hack to conserve toilet water
  • Soda can cork for conserving hanger space
  • More uses for shoe organizers
  • Using the dishwasher as an effective vent cleaner
  • Attach a car freshener to a fan
  • More uses for magazine holders
  • Pool noodles for straightening out boots
  • Use a rubber band to keep your door open

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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.


Psychological Benefits Of Having Things To Look Forward To

At the beginning of March, many of us had vacations, weddings, family visits, concerts, sporting events, graduations, birthday parties, baby showers and other celebrations glimmering on the horizon. Just a couple of weeks later, all of those big plans — and even the smaller ones dotting our calendars, like dinners with friends, workout classes or haircuts — were shelved indefinitely.

If you’ve been experiencing disappointment or a sense of grief around the loss of future plans, know that it’s a totally normal reaction to the present circumstances. You may feel silly being sad about your graduation ceremony getting canceled or your wedding being postponed when others are dealing with unemployment, severe health issues or the death of a loved one — but you shouldn’t.

“Given the truly devastating situations so many people are finding themselves in, we can feel guilty for mourning these smaller losses, which just piles on even more negative feelings,”Jaime Kurtz — associate professor of psychology at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia — told HuffPost:
  • It makes you feel optimistic about the future
  • It’s a pleasant distraction
  • It motivates you to keep going when you want to give up

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Temasek calls out racist FB posts targeting its Indian employees

Observers say posts show real tensions that need to be fixed
Temasek says it has referred the posts to Facebook.PHOTO: REUTERS

Temasek on Friday (Aug 14) described as "racist", "false" and "divisive" Facebook posts targeting its Indian employees, standing by its hiring policies while calling for more civility on social media.

Posts have been circulating over the past week highlighting the LinkedIn accounts of Temasek's Indian employees, questioning why the investment firm is hiring foreigners instead of locals.

DBS and Standard Chartered banks have also come under similar criticism on social media, in what observers said are "real inter-group tensions" that need to be resolved.

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Temasek defends employees from India against 'divisive, racist campaign' on social media

Temasek, the investment company owned by the government of Singapore, has issued a response to what it called a "divisive, racist campaign" which also involved "false claims". Temasek said that some of its employees from India had been "targeted" on social media, in a statement posted on its website on Aug. 14.

Temasek said that it had referred the offending posts to Facebook, citing "clear breach of their own community guidelines on hate speech". It said that it would "continue to press them to be more active in stamping out such hate speech, wherever it occurs on their platforms."

It did not mention the allegations made in the posts, although The Straits Times reported that Facebook posts circulating in recent days had called attention to the LinkedIn profiles of Temasek employees, questioning why top positions in the firm were not filled by locals.

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Temasek – Our People, Philosophy and Policy

Some of our colleagues from India have been targeted recently on social media by a divisive, racist campaign. This makes us very angry at the false claims perpetuated. The Singaporeans among us are also ashamed at such hateful behaviour on the Singapore social media.

We stand by our colleagues who have been dragged into this through no fault of their own.

We know that the social media can be a force for good or bad. We believe there is a role for constructive debate and fact-based opinions in our society, even on contentious or sensitive topics, and even on social media. That should be balanced with civility and respect for others. There is no place whatsoever for racism to feature in these debates. Insidious posts designed to stir hatred and intolerance have no place in our society, and we denounce them.

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Ho Ching says people should report unfair hiring practices based on facts and not “hearsay”; Netizens call for transparency from MOM to stop speculations

The issue of discriminatory hiring practices in Singapore has once again come under the spotlight as the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Ho Ching, hits back at netizens who complained about unfair hiring practices and doxxed some of her employees.

Earlier on 5 August, it was reported that the Manpower Ministry (MOM) had placed 47 more companies on its Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) watchlist for suspected discriminatory hiring practices. Consequently, posts highlighting the LinkedIn accounts of Temasek’s employees from India have been circulating on social media, questioning why the government-owned firm is filled with foreigners instead of locals.

Temasek then issued a statement on 14 August, indicating the posts as “divisive, racist campaign” and said that it contained “false claims”.

related: Almost 50% of Temasek’s top management are foreigners

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Ho Ching hits back at those who dox her staff & complain about unfair hiring practices without proof

Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek Holdings, has taken to Facebook on Aug. 16 to hit back at people who doxxed her staff in the name of exposing unfair hiring practices, but without providing the necessary evidence to back up their claims.

Her feisty post started with calling out the ones she disagreed with. Ho, who is chief of the investment company headquartered in Singapore with a multinational staff of 800 people, wrote: "Is it acceptable to tarnish individuals, and dox them with photos and false claims?"

"Nope, that is a cowardly act of hate." Her post comes two days after the investment company owned by the government of Singapore issued a response to what it called a "divisive, racist campaign" that also involved "false claims" targeting its employees from India.

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HO Ching 11 hrs

Is it acceptable to compalin about unfair hiring practices?

Sure it is, provided it is based on facts, and not hearsay and speculations.

Is it acceptable to tarnish individuals, and dox them with photos and false claims?

Nope, that is a cowardly act of hate.

And let’s not yell unfair hiring, just bcos we weren’t hired.

And let’s not put up photos of innocent folks to dox them just bcos we don’t like their race or nationality, as a way to stir hate and hateed.

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