News Links 2020

News 14/12


Rich countries get first dibs in the vaccine race.  While many poor nations may be able to vaccinate at most 20 percent of their populations in 2021, some of the world’s richest countries have reserved enough doses to immunise their own multiple times over.

Why we a re facing an unprecedented hunger crisis

SG: New flats for the elderly to be launched in February BTO exercise, with subscription to care services


For your next vacation, consider  slow travel

Our students need to learn more critical thinking skills

Japanese libraries make borrowing safe

The appeal of Uncle Roger is strongest amongst Asians

5 Most powerful women in the world

BTS is entertainer of the year

Instead of a staycation, visit the Orient Express exhibition

Unravelling the sea dragon fossil

News 7/12


MOE unveils four main strategies to prepare students for post Covid-19 environment

No-kill protein, the Food of the Future? Alternative proteins, such as cultured meat, could pave the way for more sustainable food production and better food security.

Don't poo-poo poo! The transplanted faecal matter may hold the secret to tackling aging; restores the patient's gut microbiome by introducing healthy bacteria.

An interesting read: passive aggressive language is acceptable in Japanese culture

Turning passion into art: paper kinetic sculptor

Be a passionate environmentalist: meet HK's (possibly) youngest advocate

News 30/11


The Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, was renamed the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment. What does this mean? Grace Fu: "All the streams that we are working on, whether it's food, whether it's waste, water or energy...we're looking at how to make more sustainable use of the resource." [with Video]

The World Bank: how many people COVID could push into poverty


7 Steps to Reducing Food Waste

Farms in the rural area of Lim Chu Kang are welcoming more visitors as Singapore residents - unable to holiday overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic - explore the country for new experiences.

The smoking rate in SG has shrunk from 18.3 per cent in 1992 to 10.6 per cent in 2019, through a combination of legislative and public education efforts: regulations on tobacco advertising and multiple anti-smoking campaigns, raised minimum legal age, higher taxes on tobacco products etc. But authorities want to reduce smoking even more

Now you see it, now you don't: where did the stone slab go?

Music Neuroscience: which is your happy song?

News 23/11


The effect of COVID-19 on business travel, according to Bill Gates. "My prediction would be that over 50% of business travel and over 30% of days in the office will go away," Gates said...The one downside of virtual meetings versus in-person events? The inability to meet new people.

Creativity key to competing with AI--here's how

The rise of e-commerce and the end of retail?


Local brain bank receives first donations

Activist stealing from museums:

The (Hong Kong Travel) Bubble has Burst

The elixir of youth is... oxygen?

News 9/11


SG Pilot run to reopen certain nightlife establishments

PSLE 2021 New-Scoring System and what it means

Opinion: The perils of online learning

Presidential concession speeches: 1960-2016. Each gracious, and very unlike anything we will see in 2020

GP/Secondary/ Primary

First ever vegan butchers is opening in the UK, located in London. What do meat-lovers think?

Asia is experiencing a much milder second wave of the coronavirus than Europe due to to civility, the public spirit of the people

Agatha Christie goes to Bollywood


Hermit crabs need more shells

News 2/11


Type of thinking you’ll need to succeed in the future

America Votes

The Love—black eyed peas USA/Biden tribute.

CNN Live: all things elections related

GP/Secondary/ Primary

Breathonix Ptd Ltd. developed a breath test that can detect COVID-19 within a minute:

Inspirational Leader: Fion heads a 9000-strong SG volunteer group (long, so 3 min is a good intro)

Sean Connery in memoriam

Turkey quake miracle: a 2 year old survives

News 26/10


A Divided US Agrees on One Thing: Many People Want a Gun—many anticipate a civil war depending on election outcome

How the US Elects its President--An interactive guide


Cell-based milk:

SG Gov investing in low-carbon energy research

Follow up last week--Singapore students familiar with global issues, but know less about world conflicts and economy: 2018 Pisa study

Doraemon exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore:

Slashing Shipping emissions--Swedish shipping company Wallenius Marine developing Oceanbird, propelled only by the wind.

Meet the new burger king 2021 edition

Passion vs Status/Wealth: which one would you choose?

Opinion: The pervasiveness of IT (read: Google)

News 19/10


SG: Proposed $1,300 min wage--statistics vs reality 


Singapore’s 15-year-olds came out tops (AGAIN) in the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) global competence study, beating those from 26 other countries.

Follow Up to PISA ranking: Students in Singapore know more about issues like climate change and global warming but lack knowledge in other areas like international conflicts.

Banksy's Show Me the Monet sells for 10 million

The future of face masks--from monitoring vitals to translation technology

Trace Together App or Token mandatory from Dec 2020

Laptops for every SG student--many things can go wrong

New 12/10


How media marketing represents women perpetuates gender bias


13 year old raises funds in aid of e-scooter accident victim

New preferred norm in SG: 8 in 10 prefer working from home and flexibility

The Environmental costs of 'Rush Shipping" [Video] and Amazon's new packaging ...for Halloween

The world's best desserts

What your favourite ice cream tells about you

Go on a Jurassic Park hunt

Kayne West on the Presidential campaign

New 21/9


Review of gender equality issues--The review will be broadly categorised to address the mindset change needed and how to develop this from a young age. It will also tackle issues at home and examine the way women are thought about in the school and workplace, and tackle the need for equal opportunities and protection from sexual harassment, assault and workplace discrimination. The review will also examine issues in the community, like gender stereotyping and how women are addressed in the manner of speech or way of thinking, he said.

We've misunderstood what Darwin meant by "survival of the fittest"


More households need food aid-- Elders and people living in rental flats remain vulnerable, but a new group is emerging that would not normally seek help

Trumps Net Worth Drops by $600m


Would you live in an abandoned primary school? This man does 🙂

Cute news of the week: Why bird nests aren't covered in poop

New 14/9


How the pandemic has worsened gender gaps in the job economy, and what can be done


SG: Ramping up efforts in sustainability [Video]

SG: Battling COVID burnout and fatigue--where there's not end in sight

Brain wave x exoskeleton; wearable cyborg to help people walk

Something fun--the history of fake blood [some can literally kill!]

FREE forest sound from all around the world--to help you unwind :))

New 7/9


Interesting look into why US police shoot multiple rounds at suspect

SG: 9 high-tech farms awarded $40M to ramp up food production


HBL highlights inequality and the great tech divide: Indonesian students climb trees and travel miles for wifi connection

I Am Greta--documentary at the Venice film festival [with video trailer]

Media Analysis: Why the new iPhone ad is ingenious

Handheld Mask--Trust the Japanese to invent this!

A timely reminder for revision from Nobel Prize Winners


The woman with 1000 cats

New 31/8 


SG: The Future of Retail in a COVID Era

Large Dips in Population Expected in China and India; but growth still expected in Africa

Chadwick Boseman will go down in history as a superhero, but not everyone who braves the same illness gets the same notice


Of Machine Learning, Algorithms and New Planets

NEX cinema accident: observe the eyewitness accounts. Tip to Primary level story writers: telling the story from a different POV can make your plot more interesting

The September holidays are coming! Here are some ideas to keep you busy

Decorative manholes are also found in Orchard Road 🙂

A Lego weaving machine that actually works!


A timely revision. Essay-writing: which point of view should you use?

New 24/8 


Speaker of Parliament, Tan Chuan Jin, sets the tone as Parliament opens

On the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, Kenosha Wisconsin #blacklivesmatter

Jeff Bezos first man worth USD200 billion; and the massive income inequality brought on by centibillionaires

NZ judge sentenced white supremacist Brenton Tarrant to life in prison without parole for killing 51 Muslim worshipper


Exams to go on with SDM: PSLE, N, O, A levels

The latest COVID rules—from travel to F&B

There is hope for humanity: how a communal kitchen offers physical and emotional support for caregivers of cancer patients

While Singapore eases restrictions for travellers from New Zealand, New Zealand's advisory to residents remain unchanged.


Philip Island is livestreaming its penguin parade every night:

New 17/8  


The Docility Myth: Asian women's careers stunted by stereotypes around race, culture and gender

Culture and Identity -- what makes us Singaporean

SG Survey: COVID fatigue sets in

Benevolent sexism (presented as a comic):


More complain to CASE during COVID--lost deposits, cancelled travel and wedding plans etc.

New Law to protect consumers. It will cover events that were scheduled to be held on or after Feb 1 such as wedding banquets, business meetings or conferences. It also includes contracts for accommodation or entertainment related to tourism.

(1) New poll shows that Singaporeans are adjusting to WFH [with nice tables and graphs]

(2) Yet, more are stressed working from home--NUHS survey

Tokyo's transparent public restrooms:


Travelling between the 2 countries is a mere skip-and-hop away!

Social distancing to now apply in haunted houses

New 10/8  


On the SG Economy:

(1) Singapore recession deepens: Weak economy, high uncertainty mean hard adjustments [quite a comprehensive but digestible look into the factors and projections involved]

(2) What economists have to say


Power Tower of Renewable Energy

Travel to all 47 Prefectures in Japan...virtually

Domestic travel is touted the next best thing to boost a country's economy: would this work for Singapore?

Plastic bags: can we do better in Singapore to encourage less waste?


Breakfast across continents: which is your favourite? Interesting ones include eel soup, clotted cream 🙂

New 3/8  


Pritham Singh's salary donation fiasco--a summary:

On generational labelling and envy--a revision for Secondary students


WHO—no silver bullet amid vaccine for COVID-19

SG: suicide numbers among those aged 10 to 29 remain a concern, with 94 cases in 2019 - the same as in 2018 

Botanic boom in SG as more turn to plants and gardening to relief COVID-related stress

The challenges of raising Singapore's recycling rate: what happens to that plastic bottle after you toss it in the recycling bin?

Is the world's easiest language Korean?

Nike's marvellous ad 🙂

Take a peek at an undewater museum

New 27/7  


Thailand might be the 1st SEA country to legalise same-sex marriage


SG Politics--The duties and privileges of leader of the opposition

Bill and Melinda Gates speak up for the WHO

5 things you need to know about a COVID vaccine

Working from home and why it’s good and bad for one’s health

North Korea reports its first COVID-19 case and declares emergency state

The Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 hangs in the balance


(p5/6 hiroshima revision) This week, Hiroshima's anniversary reminds us that even as war is long over, the effects it has on the people will always remain

We have a whopper of a list this week! Just in time for the school holidays 🙂 

New 20/7  


Minimum Wage vs Progressive Wage--which is better for SG?

How safe distancing changed businesses...But  might not work for all businesses (long read)

Tharman: GE2020 outcome good for SG; a new balance in politics


COVID impacts--10 million kids may never return to school

How safe distancing changed businesses:

1. upgrade the technology, so you still sound awesome at the karaoke

2. changed seating format

Why I stay home despite Phase 2 [this resonates]

(1) NUS suspends dentistry student (whom courts let off)

(2) MHA to review penalty framework:

117 new emoji later this year

Jaw-dropping dip in fertility rates globally

NLB removes Chinese-language children book for review after library user complains it is racist

Just for fun: test your vocab skills!

Everyone should practice mindfulness; it's a first step to a better society

Driverless taxis: will they be coming to Singapore soon? What repercussions does it have?

New 13/7


GE2020 That Feeling called Hope—a first-time voter’s perspective

GE2020 results a repudiation of bullying tactics in politics

Gentler, kinder politics emerging in SG

Dangers of obsessing over the politicians:

Hong Kong protests and security laws explained [8 min video]


17 ways technology could change the world by 2025

Uber ride sharing might shake up Japan's economy

Sony's wearable air con is finally here!

Retail therapy is now all inclusive

Robots to replace manpower in Tokyo's convenience stores

New 6/7


Move over Zoom. Virtual Reality might be the next step at work and in school

As GE2020 looms this week, here are some of the issues that surfaced for all parties to address:

GE2020: one opinion on why opposition voice matters

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

Top Futurist shares 3 scenarios facing countries in relation to how the coronavirus pandemic will play out

Update on sustainability and the fashion industry. How to make your wardrobe sustainable, according to a fashion expert.

Minister Ong Ye Kung on schools, Covid-19 and more | 20 Questions By 20 People In Their 20s:

New 29/6


SG, have we forgot about Dorscon Orange?

Post COVID, GE2020 sets technological precedents in many areas

Commentary: China’s ‘charm offensive’ has become rather charmless

Actress Jameela Jamil spoke to BBC HARDtalk on having no filter, dealing with racism and taking on the fashion industry. (Oct 2019)

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

Design and architecture: What post-pandemic homes will look like

Explainer Comic for GE2020--key facts you need to know

British School tests kids for racial bias


Get a degree in Ninja studies

On the heels of #blacklivesmatter comes Pixar's new animation, Soul

New 22/6

GP/ Secondary

A blueprint for China’s proposed security law for Hong Kong, revealed that Beijing plans to set up an agency in the territory to “collect and analyze” intelligence and to handle certain cases.

The Danger with Quick Fixes--The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) issued an alert about three weight loss products that were found to have potent medicinal ingredients.

Shanmugam--everyone must bear 'individual responsibility' as economic activity continues despite COVID

The competition heats up for online chats: Google Meet features noise cancelling feature

Media bias: A tale of two cities: how news can be construed either way

"What a waste to throw away 250,000 eggs" vs "oversupply of eggs causes a problem... the eggs had gone bad"

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

Japanese supercomputer is top in the world

New 8/6

GP/ Secondary

Misunderstanding Singapore: What the world gets wrong about the small, economic powerhouse—and its response to the pandemic.

Post-COVID Cities Reimagined. CNA asked leading urban planning and design experts around the region - in Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta - for their ideas and aspirations for greener, more equitable and resilient cities, once the coronavirus challenge is overcome.

Perspective: Why George Floyd shouldn't be martyred [Video]:

From some time back: Trevor Noah interviews Bill Gates on USA's readiness to deal with pandemics

Are there measures we can adopt or have adopted from Japan?

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

Grammar nerds: "who" versus "whom"


As the world restarts, an adrenaline-packed vacation awaits

New 1/6

GP/ Secondary

Updates on George Floyd's murder--officials charged, with heightened charge to chief aggressor; autopsy revealed that Floyd had COVID-19 weeks before death...

In tandem with George Floyd, blackfacing/racism exists subconsciously in SG (even in elite schools). So, while racism is hard to completely eradicate, being sensitive to those around us is a good start.

All that went wrong: how the CDC choked in response to COVID--old technology, poor data, slow bureaucracy, confused guidance and an administration in disagreement:

How the pandemic is putting more girls at risk of child marriage

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

SG: Laws in force during Circuit Breaker and beyond:

SG: MOE to review merging online learning and physical classrooms
'We totally understand home-based learning and digital online learning cannot substitute classroom learning. But having forced ourselves to do this for a whole month, we also learned how to do it better, and that there are certain strengths in online learning that actually, classroom learning does not have"~Minister Ong Ye Kung

When George Floyd became the latest victim to die under the hands (or kness) of a white policeman in Minneapolis, #blacklivesmatter again. In a rare show of solidarity, Adidas tweeted Nike's ad to raise awareness on racism.

White supremacist channel on Telegram incites racism and violence at George Floyd's protests

The first SpaceX rocket carrying astronauts launched into space. The last time NASA sent an astronaut was in 2011. 

Video for Primary:

Commentary for GP/Secondary:

New 25/5

GP/ Secondary

What is the right way to leave a lockdown? The Economist; video

Have we reached the peak of Globalisation? Where do we go from here?

The psychology of reopening social borders: what schools and parents can do:

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

SG: the case for universal digital access. “But the longer-term issue we must now address is what will happen after the pandemic is over? Will students have to return the loaned devices, or can we now conceive of a world where digital access becomes a universal necessity provided as a public good?”


Meet the Janus cat

The floating hotel that was doomed from the start:

For manga fans: how to draw Totoro:

New 18/5

GP/ Secondary

Why responsibility must come before freedom in Singapore’s fight against Covid-19:

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

Looking towards lifting circuit breaker suspensions. Activities and the risks involved; risk is not binary

German cafe makes patrons wear pool noodle hats for social distancing... a new trend?

6 Simple Fixes to Work More Comfortably From Home

The 2 Sides of SG--from the perspective of a food delivery rider

Masks for the hearing-impaired:

Faster testing and cure for COVID in SG

1. test kits in an hour

2. drug trials that might work?

New 11/5

GP/ Secondary

[Long Read] Australia pushes for COVID-19 investigation--Middle-power countries in Europe and Asia have forged new bonds based on what they have learned from the pandemic: that the risks of China’s authoritarian government can no longer be denied, and that the U.S. cannot be relied on to lead.

[Long Read] All across the US is seeing a rush to reopen, but scientists flag risks of COVID comeback--a good overview of the US situation as at 11 May 2020

How Costa Rica flattened the curve--good video comparing CR and NYC. So many parallels between CR and SG--but for the dormitory situations 🤕

WEF video:

With the World distracted, The Amazon rainforest continues to burn:

A novel that reflects the trends in S Korea: that looking good (and the ability to look good) is synonymous with social mobility:

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

For a laugh: Which Zoom caller are you?

Adopt a good sitting position for online lessons and work at all times:

Maintain a healthy lifestyle: we don't need as much protein as we consume (or think we do):

Indian hospital uses robots to screen coronavirus patients:


P3/4 Media Studies revision: Remember the robot dog? We have one here in Singapore!

News 4/5

GP/ Secondary

Leaked US doc reveals Republican campaign to blame COVID on China:

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

SG: Distribution of new and improved masks

China media releases Lego animation mocking the US

What's in a name? Pronouncing Elon Musk's baby's name

The Environment: (a) The ozone can be reversed and healed -- this was only over a span of two months! Though it is thought to be unrelated to less pollution under COVID measures, do you think it also contributed to this phenomenon? Is there anything else humans can do to help?

(b) Upcycling coffee beans into car parts? Ingenious!

Sneak a peek in a COVID-19 testing lab.


Now that the holidays are upon us, here are some cut-out paper building templates for kids to print out, color, and fold to create paper cities. Time to get creative 🙂

News 27/4

GP/ Secondary

Media/ Policy: Changing the COVID-19 testing criteria means a more accurate reflection of confirmed cases, but it also means the actual numbers may not be coming down after all

SG Education: The sad truth about HBL and the digital divide

SG Law/ Doxing: Terence Siow gets 2 weeks jail for molesting woman on train (recap for previous lesson on Character and Grades):

Politics: Female leaders seem to do better at controlling COVID-19 than their male counterparts

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

Economics: Lean times ahead...SG faces a recession in 2020

Education: Chinese kids return to school with 1-metre hats to practise social distancing

Food: Impossible Burgers are coming to a supermarket near you [real] soon

COVID/ US: (a) Protest in the US:

(b) Trump suggests disinfectant as cure for COVID-19:

(c) Trump argues that his remark on using disinfectant as a cure is sarcastic:

News 18/4

GP/ Secondary

Education: A long but interesting read about online learning, how parents are coping, and the considerations different governments make when it comes to reopening schools

WHO and Funding: As the largest contributor to WHO at 20%, US President Trump came under fire for suspending funding during this critical period. Where does WHO usually get its funding from? Read on.

Food wastage: perhaps it is time to change the modus operandi, but is there anything we can do to help as consumers?

Food waste as restaurants closed during COVID

Homelessness: How can you return home when there is no straightforward answer to the question of where home is? Evacuations from college campuses, shelter-in-place orders, and travel restrictions have forced people to decide where they will hunker down for the long haul. But a significant minority of students do not have a place to go. Foster youth, LGBTQ+ individuals living in hostile home environments, and international students are particularly vulnerable.

Science/ Tech: SMU and SIT use AI to deter cheating in online exams (privacy concerns?):

GP/ Secondary/ Primary

One World: Together At Home Special is a tribute to healthcare workers worldwide. The article is a summary of what happens.

Watch it here in full

COVID in SG: What's involved in converting the SG Expo into a community hospital