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.... :-)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Some Random Stuff here for last year 2015's Paper 1 Qns

'There is no such thing as bad publicity.’ To what extent is this true?
- the recent controversy over EUNOIA was even brought up in parliament recently!!!

How effectively is public health promoted and managed in your society?
- Click HERE for the youtube video on how the govt promoted Medishield Life to the elderly using getai celebrities, characters from a well-known Chinese classic (Journey to the West), humour, and Chinese dialect, Hokkien!
- Hepatitis C outbreak in Tan Tock Seng Hospital last year
- NUH last year where nurse with tuberculosis cared for patients in the children's ward 

 Should there be any controls over the production of energy when the need for it is so great?
1) nuclear
some useful posts on the merits and limitations of nuclear....
under the post titled 'Nuclear Stuff' is an article titled 'Nuclear Option' which contains some useful stats on nuclear's efficiency vis-a-vis oil and coal....

2) Dams for hydro-electric power
some useful pros and cons....the bilateral ties thingy is mentioned in the very last article at the very bottom of the link....

Friday, January 22, 2016

Saving Gaia (Mother Nature) starts with us.....

Should we watch what we eat?
Can we just rely on science and technology to save mother nature while we continue to harm mother nature in our daily life?
Should we change our lifestyle habits & diet instead?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Richest 1% 'own more than rest of the world'

Click HERE
Useful and important stats:
Richest 1% 'own more than rest of the world'
62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world's population

Smart machines 'will displace millions of jobs in next five years'

Click HERE

Sunday, January 17, 2016

In a driverless future, what happens to today's drivers?

Click HERE
A good read that brings home our lesson from a few weeks earlier on the impact of technology (driverless cars) on employment.....
Through comparisons with the past, the writer makes a good point about how this need for re-training of existing workers was not really needed in the past but only required now due to the quicker rate of change brought about by technology. Impact on existing jobs tended to affect succeeding generations in the past; but today, the impact is on the existing generation of workers. Failure to re-train them in new job skills would mean their joblessness.
Note also:
-intro BANG using an upcoming trend or interesting example of driverless cars
-conclusion BANG using thought-provoking questions
-use of comparison (PEEL) of horses to make a point on how vehicle-drivers will become redundant in future

Forced starvation in Syria 'a war crime'

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This article shows how UN intervention can make a difference to the people suffering in a country. But it also shows the limitation to UN's power. As mentioned in the article, the UN took about three months before they managed to secure access to the besieged towns and villages where the people are suffering from hunger. Domestic politics (in this case domestic warfare or civil war involving the pro-govt forces and the rebels) is the reason why foreign aid cannot reach the needy. Certain villages have been besieged/surrounded by warring factions who intend to cut off their supplies to force them to surrender.

Qn: Does the presence of a foreign power ever help a country with problems? (Cam. 2008)

Yasukuni Shrine

Sat Class, we discussed this today with reference to the qn below...
The argument goes thus: possible to forgive if the other party at fault apologises. But can rebut saying by that if the apology is half-hearted, insincere, an merely paying lip service, then forgiveness is ultimately unlikely to occur.
Best example of this is Japan's attitude towards China and South Korea. There were times when the PM of Japan will apologise, only to visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine, which houses the Class A war criminals from World War II. The Japanese regard these dead soldiers as martyrs, heroes who died protecting their motherland. For the Jap govt to apologise and then visit the shrine is something which South Korea and China cannot tolerate. It's like a smack in the face, akin to a man apologising to another for sleeping with the latter's wife, and then in the next moment, continue to see -- and sleep with -- the wife!
You can read a short write-up of the shrine HERE which I wrote during my visit to the shrine a few years back...Btw, the anecdote about Ai Weiwei and his middle finger concerns the Forbidden City, not the Yasukuni shrine. You can see the pic by Ai Weiwei in the link above.....

Qn:   How far is it possible for one country to forgive another for its past actions? (Cam. 2015)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

South Korea goes full blast on rhetoric

Click HERE
An instance of 'soft power' at work, where culture is used to appeal to and charm one's adversary instead of military weapons; testament to the view that bombs are not always the answer and not necessarily more effective and more powerful....Pop culture represents a kind of lifestyle that can appeal to certain groups of people and invites comparison, causing the hearts and minds of the listeners to be won over....
Role of music can come into place here....not just for identity and relaxing, but as a kind f political weapon.....Interestingly, South Korea is blasting Big Bang's song "Bang Bang Bang" at North Korea! Now, beat that!

Thai ad for skin lightening pills draws dark looks

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relate to qns concerning advertisements pros and cons, need for regulation of materials in the media, and qns on prejudice and discrimination (media contributes to this!)  and how the media shaped our thinking and views....

1. Can prejudice ever be eliminated? (Cam. 2011)
2. ‘There is no such thing as bad publicity.’ To what extent is this true? (Cam. 2015)

Seoul, Tokyo mend frayed ties in face of nuke threat

Click HERE

Qn: How far is it possible for one country to forgive another for its past actions? (Cam. 2015)

Poverty 'not key in driving Indonesians to terrorism'

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Cologne attacks: Merkel proposes tougher migrant laws

Article 1: Cologne attacks: Merkel proposes tougher migrant laws
Article 2: Pressure mounts on Merkel to close the door to migrants
Article 3: Cologne attacks deepen anxieties over migrants in EU

An example here for the point on how migrants can create social problems or crimes for the country.
And let's not forget Donald Trump's recent proclamation that migrants from Mexico are thieves, drug-traffickers and rapists! (See HERE)

Note also how media reports can fuel existing prejudice by validating views already held by people, i.e. media can be a cause of prejudice and discrimination. This can be seen as unfair (a case of perpetuating unfair stereotypes) because:
"the assaults in Cologne were carried out by hundreds of men, a narrow sliver of the more than one million asylum seekers who entered Europe last year."

1. Should immigration be embraced?
2. Can prejudice ever be eliminated? (Cam. 2011)
3. There is no such thing as bad publicity.’ To what extent is this true? (Cam. 2015)

Mein Kampf hits stores in tense Germany

Click HERE
A good example to look at regarding censorship issues. Hitler's "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle)  -- containing his anti-Semitic views) is making a new appearance in Germany, with some calling for it to be banned.....Look at the arguments for and against banning it.
One argument that comes out strongly for not banning it, no matter how evil the book is, is that by banning it, you perpetuate the 'halo effect' around it, causing more people to be curious about it -- think 'the forbidden fruit tastes sweeter'. Allowing it to be published helps to demystify it and denies it the attention it does not deserve.
Another good argument for allowing controversial materials to be made accessible to the public is that it creates open debate, which can pave the way for the 'truth' to emerge as misconceptions are corrected and prejudices dispelled. See HERE.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

My Robot, My Friend.

Click HERE
Caught the above clip on Channel News Asia the other showcases the new generation of robots from Japan which focuses not so much on chores and doing tasks, but on companionship!

Relate to discussions on machines replacing humans in the workforce...but this time round, it is not just jobs requiring repetitive tasks in a factory, but also those such as nursing.....

Giving those without cars a fair share of time on the road

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After all those reports on a car-less (or car-lite) society, here are some views on the Singapore context. Read if you're doing the AQ on 'Reclaiming Our Cities'.

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