Thursday, December 30, 2010

Party-hop this New Year’s Eve

Source Website:
Christina Ng,, Thu, Dec 30, 2010

PHOTO: FIERY START: Fireworks lighting up the sky at the Marina Bay New Year’s Eve countdown last year. (PHOTO: THE ESPLANADE)

MARINA Bay will be the stage for one of the biggest countdown parties this year, with some 300,000 party revelers (masculine or feminine) expected to turn up to usher in the New Year.

The Marina Bay Singapore Countdown is organised by The Esplanade and the Urban Redevelopment Authority and comprises a ticketed event as well as festive-fringe events held at locations such as the Esplanade.

The countdown will also include a special light display to mark the final 10 seconds of 2010. Rays of bright lights will converge from opposite ends of Marina Bay to form a distinct canopy of light shining over the entire area.

Details of the party were revealed yesterday at a media briefing held at Marina Bay City Gallery in Marina Boulevard.

PHOTO: Spending tonight planning New Year's Eve Image by Paul Keleher from NYE 2007 in Needham

At the stroke of midnight on Jan 1, an eight-minute-long fireworks display will take centre stage, choreographed to music specially composed by Cultural Medallion winner Iskandar Ismail.

With more vantage points such as the Marina Bay waterfront promenade and the Helix Bridge opened this year, more will be able to take in the fireworks display.

Motorists take heed: Several roads and lanes will closed at different times during the festivities.

The footway along Benjamin Sheares Bridge will also be closed to pedestrians from 6pm that day until 1am on New Year's Day.

PHOTO: For everyone out there in the Windy City who’s ready to ring in the new year

Public-transport operating hours will be extended to handle the human traffic. The frequency of MRT trains will be increased and their operating hours extended until 2am on Jan 1.

Buses will run until 4am that day.

The ticketed event which will be held at The Float @ Marina Bay will boast a host of performers such as Taiwanese singer David Tao. Tickets are on sale for $38 at Sistic (

Apart from the event, more than 15,000 Serangoon residents are expected to turn up at the Serangoon Swing 2011 countdown to be held at Serangoon Garden Circus. The party, starting at 7pm, is one of more than 50 heartland parties organised by the People's Association this year.

At a press conference held on Tuesday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Transport Lim Hwee Hua said that the Serangoon Citizens' Consultative Committee took more than a year to put together the party at a cost of some $500,000.


She said: "This is a family oriented street party for residents to celebrate in their own backyard. We expect some people to even come in their pyjamas, with their grandparents and children."

The Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Transport, Mr Teo Ser Luck, told my paper: "We may need so many parties to get the community into an active mood.

Most of them are in the heartland, so the parties there will be more accessible to the residents who can wear slippers and shorts and have a good time right at their doorstep."

He added: "I would party- hop if I could. With public transport, it would be so much more convenient."

PHOTO: New Years Eve Fireworks

Heartland countdown parties

Countdown @ Boon Lay 2011 'We Are The World'
Where: Boon Lay Place
When: 7pm to 1am
Highlights: A vibrant street carnival which will showcase four continents - Asia, America, Europe and Africa - will be staged. Mardi Gras dancers and Japanese cosplayers will also dazzle the crowds. There will also be performances by veteran singer Rahimah Rahim and Taiwan TV star Chen Zhao-rong.

Welcome 2011: Party By The Park
Where: Tiong Bahru Park
When: 6pm to 1am
Highlights: Singaporeans, permanent residents and new immigrants can participate in interactive games such as the Frog Hunt where pairs comprising a Singaporean and a new immigrant, for instance, hunt for various "frog" signs around the park.

Hypesteria! 2011
Where: Open field beside Woodlands Civic Centre
When: 7pm to 12.40am
Highlights: Performances by Singapore magician Alan Extreme. There will also be a five-minute fireworks display.

The Punggol East 2011 Countdown
Where: Rivervale Harmony Square
When: 9.30pm to 1am

Highlights: Performers include the first Singapore Idol, Taufik Batisah, and host-comedians Mark Lee and Henry Thia.

By Christina Ng,, Thu, Dec 30, 2010

PHOTO: Ring in 2011 with two fireworks shows on the Delaware River as SugarHouse Casino Presents Twice the Fireworks! Twice the Fun!
(Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

我的字典: Wǒ de zì diǎn

Countdown: 倒数 - dào shù
Centre stage: 焦点 - jiāo diǎn
Backyard: 后院 - hòu yuàn
Pyjamas: 睡衣 - shuì yī


Journey of discovery

Source Website:
ESTHER AU YONG,, Thu, Dec 30, 2010, myp

Publish Post

PHOTO: POISED: Ms Gloria Suen (centre), who attends yoga classes almost daily, strikes a toe-standpose with Bikram Yoga City Hall teachers Teri Wing (left) and Christina Mead.


MOST busy professionals work first and play later, after the sun sets.

But for Ms Gloria Suen, a banking executive, her day starts with play, then work. A Bikram Yoga practitioner, Ms Suen wakes up at 5.30am almost daily to attend classes at Bikram Yoga City Hall, Singapore's first authorised Bikram Yoga studio.

Ms Suen is also a respected competitor in the yoga championship circuit, being a top three-placed competitor.

The type of yoga that the 34-year-old practises is a system of yoga created by Indian yoga guru Bikram Choudhury from traditional yoga techniques and popularised in the early 1970s.


The classes run for 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and two pranayamas, or breathing exercises. It is practised in a heated room of about 40°C.

"If I can't make it in the morning, I attend class after work at 7pm or 8pm, if I can get out of the office on time," said Ms Suen.

"Someone once asked me if yoga keeps me sane from work, or work keeps me sane from yoga. I think it goes both ways!" she added with a laugh.

Ms Suen works in the consumer- banking strategy department of Standard Chartered Bank. The Hawaiian native, who has been living in Singapore for close to three years, said that her career is "very important to me from an intellectual standpoint".

As for her yoga journey, which is an ever-evolving one, Ms Suen explained that what started as a way to keep fit and to get in touch with her quieter side has now become something more meaningful.

She has represented Singapore in the annual Bishnu Charan Ghosh International Yoga Asana Championship, held in Los Angeles in the United States, for the past two years. She looks forward to representing Singapore again next year.

She said: "Being able to share my practice with people around the world in such a venue is an honour, although juggling training and work is quite challenging, especially right before the championships.

"I think my role in yoga, especially since placing third in the international championship this year, is to promote yoga and inspire people. Now, when I visit studios around the world where my friends are teaching, I'm often asked to demonstrate postures on the spot."

She added: "I don't look for the spotlight, but I suppose it is something that comes with being a champion (of the sport). "Oftentimes after class, if one person is inspired, it makes me feel like I've done my duty."

However, Ms Suen feels that one does not need to be a champion to make a difference. "I don't think one needs to be a yoga champion to inspire others. I've met so many people who have rehabilitated themselves, and improved themselves in one way or another through yoga. They inspire me," she said.

"This year, I helped to train some of the competitors in this year's Singapore championship. It was very fulfilling to see the women work so hard, improve their postures tremendously, and complete their journey on stage," she recalled.

While yoga has helped her spiritually, emotionally and mentally, Ms Suen feels that she still needs to slow down in life, whenever and wherever she can. "I think it's important to listen to your heart. I don't do it nearly enough. It's one of the reasons why I would like to start doing more meditation in the new year,"she shared.

"It will take discipline. Usually, when I find a free moment, my 'me' time is (spent) unwinding by listening to music or catching an episode of Grey's Anatomy."

Besides practising more meditation, Ms Suen is also looking forward to continuing her yoga journey.

"I want to continue to deepen my yoga practice. It amazes me every year how my practice changes in ways I don't even expect or can't comprehend yet," she said.

"Also, I would like to travel, especially to one or two countries I've never been to."

And her one constant companion on this journey will be chocolate, Ms Suen confessed. Like yoga, the delicacy has been a "constant companion in my life", said the choc-lover. "Chocolate bars and nuggets can get me going through a tough day. Chocolate souffles (A light, airy mixture that usually begins with a thick egg yolk-based sauce or puree that is lightened by stiffly beaten egg whites.) are decadent, for celebration." She added:

"When I'm travelling for longer periods, particularly in developing countries where I don't have access to Western food, it becomes a lifeline to the familiar."

One of her favourite types of chocolate is dark chocolate with no nuts - its smooth and intense flavour "represents a kind of sophistication", she said.

"Champagne truffles make me feel like there's a party in my mouth. And milk chocolate with crispy puffed rice is a traditional option, but with a pop," she said.

Well, just like her yoga journey, Ms Suen's chocolate choices are ever-evolving and the luxury of variety definitely adds spice to life.
By ESTHER AU YONG,, Thu, Dec 30, 2010, myp

This page is brought to the reader by: Dove

我的字典: Wǒ de zì diǎn

Yoga: 瑜珈 - yú jiā
Juggling: 同时应付 - tóng shí yìng fu
Meditation: 坐禅 - zuò chán
Chocolate souffles: 巧克力蛋白乃酥 - qiăo kè lì dàn bái năi sū


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Have you grown up or just older?

Source Website:
GEOFF TAN, Tue, Dec 28, 2010

PHOTO: Very happy to wish you all Happy New Year 2011

PHOTO: Geoff Tan
The writer is a senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings’ marketing division.


IN A few days' time, we're going to leave 2010 behind and welcome a brand-new year.

At this juncture, I would like to pose a question to everyone: "Have we grown a year older or have we grown up by a year?"

Readers who have been following my column would know that I love to embellish (Make a statement or story more interesting or entertaining) my "viewpoints" with stories which I have read. This piece is no different! Take the story of an 87-year-old woman, Rose, who was determined to pursue a university education.

She enrolled in a university and - because of her bubbly personality and affable (being pleasant and at ease in talking to others) demeanour - quickly became the campus icon, making friends easily wherever she went.

Rose's sense of humour, coupled with her love for dressing up, went down very well with her much-younger peers.

When invited to speak at the annual football banquet, she gave a memorable and inspiring address.

She said: "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success.

"You have to laugh and find humour every day.

"You must also have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

"We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

"There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are 19 years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will still turn 20.

"If I am 87 years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will still turn 88.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability.

The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.

"Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

Rose died one week after her graduation, and over 2,000 students turned up at her funeral to pay tribute to the wonderful woman who taught them by example that it is never too late to be all you can possibly be.

Although I never knew Rose personally, reading this inspirational story has certainly stirred up the somewhat-complacent giant in me.

And, being a music man, I can appreciate what Rose meant when she challenged the people around her to live out the lyrics of The Rose, a heartrending ballad made famous by Bette Midler.

PHOTO: Once you have discovered it, then follow that passion and live a life of eternal bliss.

The second verse of the song goes:

"It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.

"It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance.

"It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give.

"And the soul afraid of dyin' that never learns to live."

This reminds me always to take the bull by its horns and live life with passion - passion fueled by a determination to find opportunity in change.

May next year signal the start of a new journey for you and me, a journey during which we "grow up" more than we "grow old".

Happy New Year everyone!

By GEOFF TAN, Tue, Dec 28, 2010
The writer is a senior vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings’ marketing division.

PHOTO: Happy New Year everyone!

我的字典: Wǒ de zì diǎn

Juncture: 关头 guān tóu
Affable: 和蔼可亲的 hé ǎi kě qīn de
Banquet: 宴会 yàn huì
Heartrending: 令人心碎的 lìng rén xīn suì de

PHOTO: Very happy to wish you all Happy New Year 2011


The secret to a smooth hangover - honey on toast

Today, Tuesday, December 28, 2010, Health, Page T14
Source Website:
The Daily telegraph, 05:55 AM Dec 28, 2010

PHOTO: The Royal Society of Chemistry claim that the fructose in the honey is essential to help the body break down alcohol into harmless by-products.

Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd
Today, Tuesday, December 28, 2010, Health, Page T14

If you are planning to overindulge this festive season, then it would be a good idea to stock up on bread and honey as well as booze.

Scientists claim that the natural sweetener is a great way to help the body deal with the toxic effects of a hangover.

The Royal Society of Chemistry claim that the fructose in the honey is essential to help the body break down alcohol into harmless by-products.

PHOTO: Hangover helper!
Having a piece of toast covered in honey the day after a rough party night can help get rid of the side-effects of a night of drinking. Honey is largely made up of fructose, which speeds up the metabolism of alcohol.

The reason why hangovers are so painful is that alcohol is first broken down into acetaldehyde, a substance which is toxic to the body, claimed Dr John Emsley of the Royal Society.

This is then converted - using fructose - into acetic acid which is then burned during the body's normal metabolic process and broken down into carbon dioxide, which is breathed out of the body.

PHOTO: Serving the honey on toast adds potassium and sodium to the meal which is also helps the body cope with the alcohol. - showimageCC.aspx - 1.jpg
Today, Tuesday, December 28, 2010, Health, Page T14

Serving the honey on toast adds potassium and sodium to the meal which is also helps the body cope with the alcohol.

Dr Emsley said: "The happiness comes from alcohol. The hangover comes from acetaldehyde. This is the toxic chemical into which alcohol is converted by the body and it causes a throbbing headache, nausea, and maybe even vomiting.

"The hangover disappears as the acetaldehyde is slowly converted to less toxic chemicals."

Dr Emsley, author of the Consumer's Good Chemical Guide, said that the time was the greatest healer of a hangover but there were also ways to minimise it.

PHOTO: Another THANK GOD this wasn't me picture.

He said that drinking a glass of milk first, sticking to clear alcohols such as gin and mixing in the occasional soft drink were helpful as was sinking a pint of water before you go to bed.

He said: "The milk slows down the absorption of alcohol, which means there is less acetaldehyde for the body to deal with at any one time.

"Gin is alcohol twice purified by distillation and the botanical flavours it contains are mere traces. Avoid dark coloured drinks which contain natural chemicals that can adversely affect you.

"Alcohol increases water loss, hence the frequent trips to the loo. This dehydration makes a hangover worse, so moderate your drinking with a soft drink now and again, and drink a large glass of water before you go to sleep."

He said that the traditional "hair of the dog" only worked if you have drank so much alcohol you suffer withdrawal symptoms, which suggests you are becoming addicted.
By The Daily telegraph, 05:55 AM Dec 28, 2010

PHOTO: Honey is known for its taste. It is also a great natural source of carbohydrates that energizes your body. It can be eaten directly or used in food and drinks in place of sugar, or just as an ingredient for added taste. Honey is also popularly known for its medicinal benefits. The health benefits of honey many and here are some of the popular ones.
  • Source of energy
  • Weight loss
  • Beauty and skin care
  • Medical benefits
  • Immunity


Monday, December 27, 2010

传统节日壁纸 (chuán tǒng jié rì bì zhǐ) Festival Wallpapers - 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) Moon Festival

Source Website:

PHOTO: 1(中秋节).jpg - 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) Moon Festival

PHOTO: 2(中秋节).jpg - 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) Moon Festival

PHOTO: 3(端午节).jpg - 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) Moon Festival

PHOTO: 4(中秋节).jpg - 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) Moon Festival

PHOTO: 7(正月).jpg - 正月(zhēng yuè) New Year

PHOTO: 8(中秋节).jpg - 中秋节 (zhōng qiū jié) Moon Festival

Translated by:
Using nciku (, an online dictionary with English and Chinese language (with Pinyin), and Google Translate.