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.... :-)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The origins of Godzilla

An excerpt from an interview with Ken Watanabe, the Japanese actor featured in the movie 'Godzilla'. Notice the interesting origins behind the conception of the Godzilla, and how we can use it for Banging in the intro and conclusion, as seen in the sample paras of an essay below....The recent spate of blockbuster movies all deal with issues that resonate with what we study in GP, so make sure you know what these are. Ironman, Spiderman, Captain America, X-men, even Harry Potter.....
I did one on Capt America some time back...see HERE

Qn: Nuclear energy is the most promising alternative to fossil fuels. Do you agree?

With the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki  still fresh in the Japanese consciousness, Godzilla was conceived as a monster created due to exposure to nuclear radiation.   An icon in popular culture ever since, it serves as a cautionary tale for the monstrous consequences that may result if mankind dabbles in nuclear technology. Therefore, to assert that nuclear energy is the ‘most’ promising alternative to fossil fuels is myopic as it ignores the risks of nuclear energy and overlooks the existence of other alternative energy sources. Nevertheless, these risks can arguably be contained and other energy sources are fraught with their own limitations. Besides, nuclear does have some undeniable benefits, such as being a relatively cheap form of energy without any carbon emissions. Hence, I am of the view that nuclear is still a ‘largely’ promising alternative to fossil fuels, even if it is not exactly the ‘most’ promising one


In the final analysis, given that there are grounds for arguing that nuclear energy can pose problems, it is thus not entirely convincing to conclude that it is the ‘most’ promising alternative to fossil fuels. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that nuclear energy is still ‘largely’ promising. A clean and cheap fuel notwithstanding, nuclear energy still emerges as the more viable option in the light of the limitations of the other alternatives. As long as the risks are well-managed and contained, we can continue to harness nuclear energy for the benefit of mankind – without the menacing shadow of Godzilla looming in the background.

Funny Video Clips to Improve Your English

For those who have fundamental language difficulties in your writing, you may want to pick up basic grammatical rules through a light and humourous way through these video clips released by the Speak Good English Movement (SGEM). This year, they have roped in the outrageously hilarious Kumar to be the 'Queen of Grammar'. See episode 1 HERE. Apparently, six episodes have been commissioned,  each to be released weekly on Wed. Thus, episode 2 should be available for viewing next Wed.
There is also a SGEM website that contains some interesting quizzes and explanations of confusing word pairs that u may want to browse through. Click HERE and then hit the tab that says 'Improve Your English'.
Some links I found useful even for myself from the SGEM site:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Buying 'likes' and 'friends'

An interesting article about how u can now literally BUY friends online...and these friends actually are 'real'; each comes with his own history....
If u have done the online narcissism compre, relate to the point about how the number of friends u have online is a reflection of ur status and can thus now 'buy' popularity by paying this website which will run a programme that will create friends that will 'like' u.....
Relate also to the qn about whether majority or numbers is always right....we tend to find websites with high viewership more credible. But now that these high viewership can be manufactured by buying 'likes' and 'friends', are they still reliable?

Note that on social media, because we can't really see who are there, there is always this illusion of numbers. It is a space where the minority can be perceived as the majority. Everything is magnified tenfolds.....not just the news itself, but the people saying it.....Pertaining to the latter, it could be just one person making the comment, but through the social media, viewers may get the impression that the whole nation is making that comment or subscribing to that view.

Qn: 'The majority is always right.' To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Law and Women

- currently under Singapore's law, only women can seek spousal maintenance from the husband in a divorce, but the men cannot
- does law protect rights of the weak, or over-protect such that it causes unfairness?
-women shoulder the greater burden when it comes to family duties....due perhaps to tradition/culture?

Qn. Women will never enjoy the same rights as men.  Do you agree? (Cambridge 2006)

No strings attached aid?

Refer to earlier post on this HERE.

1. Does the presence of a foreign power help a country with problems?
2. Is there still a place for charity in today's world? (Cambridge 2006)

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Dozens in Philippines busted for 'sextortion'

-the new coinage 'sextortion' -- sex extortion (getting someone to strip online, capture on video or webcam, then extort money by threatening to leak the pics or videos online)
-idea of transnational crime (crime committed by someone who is not even in the country but far away)
- role of technology (social media) in this -- makes it so convenient to commit crime; don't even have to step out of your room to be at the scene of the crime; don't even have to leave your country; and most importantly, don't even have to show ur face!


1. To what extent should old buildings be conserved in your society?
2. Tourism brings more harm than benefits. What is your view?

Celebrities and syariah law

For those who have done the 2013 compre on celebrity fame recently, here's an example of celebrity embraced in activism, using their celebrity status to bring media focus on worthy issues. So do you still think celebrities are selfish and do not better the lives of others? Or could there still be a selfish agenda behind all these 'heroic' acts?
This is also a follow up on the implementation of the Syariah law in Brunei that I posted about some weeks back.

Qn: 'Celebrity and politics do not mix.' Do you agree?

Coca Cola to remove food additive

For the Tue evening class that just did the food compre, note how this article from today's papers is related to one of the writer's views about how the food we eat is at odds with major concerns like whether the food is 'chemically modified' to enhance its flavour.
Note also the role played by social media in all this (watchdog role), and how mighty corporations are forced to bow to the demands of consumers via the social media.....

China's presence in Africa

Good example for Qn below...note how this example can swing both ways, giving u both evaluation and balance....

Qn: Does the presence of a foreign power help a country with problems?