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.... :-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Beauty of Numbers

Came upon this recently....If u love math, and are wondering what is meant by 'beauty' of mathematics, read and watch the following to have an idea of what this qn entails:

Qn: Consider the view that mathematics possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty. (Cambridge 2012)


1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111=123456789 87654321

From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:
What Equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?
Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?
We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100%.
How about ACHIEVING 101%?
What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions:

Is represented as:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K
8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%

K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E
11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%

A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E
1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:
L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D
12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:
While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Celebrity and Autism

Sat morning class, here's the article I mentioned about vaccination in relation to the compre AQ u did...
Relate this article to:
-celebrity influence (connect also to the 2013 'A' level compre on celebrity and fame)
-media's role in spreading rumours
-reliability of scientific research in the example of vaccination

Regarding Qn 4 below, the controversy around whether there is a link between vaccination of children and autism has been proven to be unfounded. Apparently, it is due to a doctor (Andrew Wakefield) who did a study using fraudulent data. This triggered fear-mongering, which was exacerbated by the media's involvement -- and of course celebrities like Jenny McCarthy in the article below. The doctor has since been discredited and there was allegedly a money motive involved to sue the vaccine makers. Hence, vaccination is seemingly contradicting as it is supposed to protect children by inoculating them, yet accused of endangering their health by causing them to develop autism. Now we can argue that this is unfair because there is fabrication and foul play involved.

1. Does the mass media misguide the public?
2. Should we treat our celebrities any differently from any other person? (NJC Prelim 2010)
3. Style matters, not substance. Is this an accurate assessment of society today?
4. 'Scientific research into health and diet is unreliable as it so often contradicts itself.' Is this a fair comment? (Cambridge 2013)

OK to vilify other races???

The Aussies are trying to do something controversial by toning down on their Racial Discrimination Act (our local equivalent is the Sedition Act) to give people more 'freedom' to say potentially nasty comments against other races without infringing the law. And they have a plausible reason for it which you may want to commit to memory....see the last para of the article below. It echoes similar views against censorship which I have posted before....see HERE.
For those who have done the TJC Prelim 2007 compre on Freedom of Speech recently, try to make the necessary connection....

1. How far, in your society, should unpopular views be open to discussion? (Cambridge 2013)
2. 'With the rise of the new media, censorship is needed now more than ever.' Do you agree?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why YOU love General Paper......

Appeared in today's papers.....

Tourism spreads viruses

Note the spread of pandemic virus as one real threat of tourism....e.g. Mers, SARS, H1N1, etc.....

Qn: Tourism brings about more harm than benefits. How far do you agree?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Women: Saudi Arabia vs India

-the change in attitude against women in two very traditional and conservative countries.... (Ridyah mentioned in article 1 is capital city of Saudi Arabia)
-closing with a BANG using an imagery/quotation/thought-provoking qn in the India article

article 1

article 2a
article 2b

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tue Evening Class take note.....

1) Click HERE for the 'Piss Christ' photo I mentioned just now....

2) Click HERE for Obama's defence of free speech over the saga on the film "The Innocence of Muslims" (showed u a clip on this last week)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Education sure ticket to good jobs?

For those whom we discuss education recently, one main objective of education is to secure future employment.
Possible rebuttals to this, i.e. education is no guarantee of securing a job in the future:
- discrimination (caste system, women, old, handicapped, LGBT, ex-convict, etc)
- guanxi, connections,
- skills learned do not match requirements of industry (economy undergone restructuring)
- not everyone excel in academic performance
- luck?
- govt must grow economy to create jobs (see HERE); this may not happen if govt is incompetent or if there's a recession

Sample Qn:
The main objective of education should be to enable people to gain employment. Do you agree?

Tue and Thur Afternoon Classes alert! -- Technology's impact on children

Check out the following links and articles and relate them to the essay qn below which u have done...

Sample Qn:
Assess the impact of technology on children. (CJC Prelim 2013)

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Link 5

article 1

article 2

article 3

article 4
article 5

article 6a
article 6b

Sun evening class....Genital Mutilation

check out the article at this post on genital mutilation/ female circumcision....HERE

Fri evening class check this out on the Thai King video....

Those who have done the 2013 compre on celebrity fame, there is one point about how celebrities in the past were always presented in 'idealized' form, unlike today, when they are depicted in their warts and all.....
Think examples of caricatures of politicians and Queen Elizabeth II, and see the example of the Thai King in the link HERE , somewhere near the bottom....

Consider the rebuttal that today, they are still depicted in idealized form due to deterrent laws, the greatly feared les majeste law in Thailand, which makes it a crime for anyone to insult the royal family.....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Captain America -- the movie!

I'm sure most of you have watched this blockbuster....but where's the GP link, pray tell? Here it the movie, technology has become so advanced that it is possible to predict who will become a threat to world security in the future, e.g. become a criminal or terrorist, etc.....Such prediction is possible by studying people's credit card details to analyse their behaviour, wire taping their phone conversations, monitor their online surfing habits, etc.....Doesn't this remind you of what the US NSA is doing,  as revealed by Snowden?
Worse than this is the idea about whether it is ok to kill these 'potential threats' in the name of safeguarding the world to ensure the future world is safe! The Hydra believes it is ok, but Captain America says no! Again, it is about whether it is ok to infringe upon the rights of some people (their right to live, for those predicted to be threats of the future) in order to protect the rights of the larger majority. This is not unlike capital punishment (i.e. death penalty) where the criminal is killed to protect the society; only difference being that in the movie, those whom the Hydra wanted to kill have yet to commit the crime, and are only 'predicted' to commit it only in the future......

Forgive my rambling, but note the potential for opening and closing BANG, using a blockbuster movie.... With Spiderman coming up, look out for more soundbites to use in ur essay. The plotline usually takes inspiration from what's happening in the world lately.....

More on terrorism....

-opening BANG using Chinese proverb....but my advice is don't use hanyu pinyin....just translate directly....
-closing BANG that echoes the opening BANG
-the Singapore context: how Singapore deals with terrorism

Sunday 11am Class alert! IVF Botched Case in Singapore!

Regarding the botched IVF case at Thomson Fertility Clinic I shared with u this morning, HERE is the link I put up some time back....

And here's the one on gene therapy to ensure children are born without defective HERE

Sample Qn:
Should people be allowed to have children by artificial means?

Sun 5pm class alert! (Graduate Mother Scheme)

Click HERE for the post on Graduate Mothers Scheme which we talked about just now....the article is in the second link of the post....

Sample Qn:
To what extent should the government interfere in the life of its people?

Monday, April 07, 2014

Why the syariah law is adopted in Brunei

If u did the tradition compre not long ago, recall the point that tradition is sometimes used to legitimise the power and rule of the monarch. The article below shows precisely that in one of the points mentioned to account for the motivations behind the Sultan's decision to adopt Syariah law in Brunei.
Note the other points on the advantages or functions of religion/tradition.

Media and Politics mixing

-how media is biased due to its affiliation with certain political parties it supports...
-how the workings of democracy is flawed as the platform for election contest may be unfair -- media intervention and manipulation as per below can prevent the best candidate from winning the election

The Fires of Tradition

Note also the Hungry Ghost Festival, where copious amounts of joss sticks and incense papers were burnt....and of course, the tradition way of clearing forest via the slash and burnt method which contributes to the haze plaguing the region.

Sample Qn:
How important is it for the people in your society to have a strong sense of tradition?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Gender representation in politics

After reading the below article, do you think having more women in parliament will lead to a better world, esp when the women candidates are picked based on their celebrity appeal and to make up for the gender quota mandated by law? Of course, this is but one perspective, but it makes for a handy rebuttal.....

Sample Qn:
The world would be a better place if more political leaders were women. What is your view? (Cam. 2013)

article 1a

article 1b

Preservation of traditional buildings a worthy cause?

For those who did the tradition essay and compre recently, consider the articles below on how tradition has become commercialised and inauthentic, and that preservation of them may not serve as reminders of our past heritage because we only retain the exterior form/facade and neglect or compromise the interior......Note tradition is not just about traditional/heritage buildings, but also food, practices, celebration of festivals, attire, etc....Think mooncakes with ice-cream within instead of traditional fillings; think also eating of dumplings during Dumping Festival without knowing the meaning behind it.....

Sample Qn:
How important is it for people in your society to retain a sense of tradition? (Cam 2010)

article 1
article 2

article 3