The Dark Shadow Shrine

If u think u need extra coaching in General Paper/English/Literature at the 'O'/'A'/International Baccalaureate level, the gates of my shrine are always open.....Drop me a note at or wadsapp me at 91384570 for more Singapore only hor.... :-)

Monday, April 30, 2012

We eat animals; but do we care for their welfare?

This article came out today, which I thought was a perfect fit for the 2010 compre on food ( Babette's feast). The article can be seen in the light of these quotes from the compre passage:
- 'in feasting, the participants celebrate an event or life'
-'food is offered to the deity as a token of gratitude'
-evoke memories of other times and places crucial to the participants' creeds and cultures'
- 'has the [food] come from an animal cruelly raised'
For a comparison, you may want to compare with the following article which appeared a few years ago. Both articles involved Australia.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Fri Afternoon Class Diagnostic Test P2 Answer Key

Use of Technology for education of children?

For my Sat morning class, here's another article that came out today on the same theme that we may not want to use technological gadgets to educate children if they are below 2-3 years old. Give it a read to reinforce the ideas in the earlier articles shown in class.....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Symbiosis btw Environment and Economic Growth

Yet another article here on the symbiotic relationship btw environment and economic growth. What you can get out of this article:
1) note the imagery of dieting and losing weight; like the one on the parable of the boiled frog and burning the house down whilst we're living in it, this dieting imagery is good for BANGING when it comes to intro or conclusion of qns on envmt...

2) there's the repeated point about how going green can cut energy costs...note the example of how 'smart' buildings in the US can save btw US$20-25 billion annually in energy costs.

3) envmt disaster can wreak similar havoc on the economy, e.g. floods in Thailand last year destroy crops and factories...US$46billion in economic damage!

4) economic opportunities in tackling envmt issues, i.e. lucrative green industry/eco-products such as water recycling (think S'pore's Hyflux), investment in clean or renewable technology in China

-Environmental concerns and economic growth cannot co-exist. Do you agree? (Cambridge 2011)

-To what extent should businesses be socially responsible? (SAJC Prelim 2011)

-Should profit be the only thrust driving businesses? (VJC JC2 Common Test 1 2012)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Health Risks from Tech Gadgets

This is a point I mentioned before about the health risks of using technology, whether it's the use of computer in learning or for socializing using social networking HERE for the risks.....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Gender issues....

There's been some discussion on gender questions recently for some classes. I mentioned about how the family duties are unfairly skewed towards women. This article that appears today says it very well about the kind of challenges that women face in the workplace today. A MUST-READ!

Some time back, the same point was made by local female politician Grace Fu. See what she has got to say:

Possible Qns:

'Women have it easier than men in today's society.' Do you agree?

'Men rather than women face greater challenges.' Is this true today? (SAJC Prelim 2011)

'Women are edging men out from their comfortable niches.' Comment.

'Foreign talent is a necessary evil in the globalized world.' How far is this true in your society?

(for this last qn, look at how Grace Fu pointed out that women represents 30-40% of untapped talent pool ['womenpower'] in Singapore. So luring them back into the workforce is one solution the govt is trying out in a bid to depend less on foreign talent)

Essay Answer Key for Intro-crafting

Click HERE to access the SAJC Prelim 2011 Essay answer key that you did in practising the crafting of introduction.

Monday, April 16, 2012

AQ Answer Key for Compre on Heroes

For those who have done this paper, attached is the official answer key by the setter of the paper. Very comprehensive, so make sure u make time to go through it. Click HERE to access....

Sports for Community Bonding in Singapore

Title of Article on left: 1,500 take part in Commuinity Games (Straits Times 16 Apr 2012)

For those who did the Sports Compre and where we had some discussion on sports essay questions, recall that sports is not only for medals and awards (i.e. not just about winning), but also used by the govt for community bonding (i.e. promote social cohesion). Here is a classic example via the Community Games, where the criteria spelt out for the formation of participating groups reveal its true intention.

Qns: Does sport merit the vast sums of money that are spent on it? (2010)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Businesses Going GREEN (but not with envy)

Went shopping today and see what I discovered at Marks&Spencer:

and Bossini (usually 'bo-si-mi' but today....:

For those who have done the 2010 compre on Babette's Feast, you should be able to see how all those major concerns of food are being acknowledged and addressed by Marks&Spencer -- fair wages to farmers? endangered species? chemically modified? This testifies to the trend of social/environmental responsibility of firms (also known as CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility) nowadays in a bid to enhance their appeal to the educated and hence more enlightened consumers of today.

Note concept of Fairtrade. Buying products labelled with the Fairtrade seal will ensure that the farmers who produced them are paid fair wages and not exploited by the big companies who sell the products to us. But the downside is that Fairtrade products typically cost more than the regular ones. See my previous article on Fairtrade which is in Chinese.

-Environmental concerns and economic growth cannot co-exist. Do you agree? (Cambridge 2011)
-To what extent should businesses be socially responsible? (SAJC Prelim 2011)
-Should profit be the only thrust driving businesses? (VJC JC2 Common Test 1 2012)

Saturday, April 14, 2012


On the persuasive power of repetition, if you recalled your compre question type on repetition, recognise that successul, inspiring public speeches often include repetition. Here are two of the most celebrated public speakers of the last century, and some sampling of their speeches:

Winston Churchill, under the background of Germany planes bombing London during WWII, The Battle for Britain:
"We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and the oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. "

“Never, never, never, never give up.” -- also by Churchill

Martin Luther King Jr, the Black Activist giving his "I have a dream" Speech:
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sports and $$$

For those classes where we did sports a few weeks ago, here is an article that came out yesterday about the wastage associated with sport. Pertaining to the proponents' view that hosting sport can improve/upgrade the infrastructure of the hosting country, this may be true only for transport system, but not so for those over-the-top facilities like stadiums, etc, which usually give only momentary bragging rights, after which they languish as 'white elephants', expensive to upkeep, wasting resources.....

Qns: Hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits. Do you agree? (Cambridge 2006).

Does sport merit the vast sums of money that are spent on it? (Cambridge 2010)

Death Penalty and the use of REPETITION to persuade

A powerful clip on the death penalty. For those classes whom we have done the Paper 2 Question TYPE approach, try to recall the repetition type of questions. Note how the female lawyer in the clip keeps repeating 'I plan to ......though the state says otherwise' and 'the murder....' from 7.08 onwards.


Wed evening class, one of u asked me about this qn juz now: 'Social netwoking sites should be regulated. Discuss.' You can consult this table for some ideas, as well as the English Channel Notes first three chapters, esp chapter 3 which is specifically on censorship.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Medical tourism

For those who did the question on tourism recently, it may be a good idea for u to recognise that there are different types of tourism: eco-tourism, voluntourism, and medical tourism. This last one is mentioned in this article.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Why the need for an inclusive society....

For all those talk on building an inclusive society, this article shows pointedly why we should be concerned....esp given how our oft-hailed meritocratic system is widening the income and social gap in our society. Note the colourful quote, 'Inclusive growth should not just mean that everyone should be included, but that no one group should be consistently excluded.' GASP!

Qn to ponder: To what extent should an inclusive society be the aim of any government?

Marx's Opium theory on religion

For my Sun J2 classes, here's the article on Marx's opium theory.....if u have the penchant for the original by Marx himself, read the second article, but be forewarned that it's quite dense.....