Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not-so-sweet smell of success

Today on sunday, Sunday July 31, 2011, COLUMN, Page 11, Speakeasy Source Website:
By Georgina Chang,, 04:45 AM Jul 31, 2011

PHOTO: Jennifer Lopez and ex-husband Marc Anthony in happier times.
Photo AP; art by Yen Yok, Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd, AP

PHOTO: Georgina Chang
The writer is the senior creative director of 987FM and Lush 99.5.

When a woman receives overwhelming recognition or fame, it's often harder for the man to accept it joyfully

I've always striven to be successful in whatever I do. Sadly, it doesn't happen every time but when it finally does, the applause and acknowledgement is satisfying and the monetary rewards can be rather pleasant as well.

However, I've observed how public approval affects friendships and relationships. Siblings, relatives and friends can get jealously envious of well-off peers, and expect favours and handouts. If none is forthcoming, snide remarks and bitter aspersions will be cast on your character to anyone who would listen.

Often there are altercations when a woman becomes more accomplished than her man. Tension builds, arguments increase and, often, cheating starts.

PHOTO: Sexy Jennifer Lopez Fantasy Art wallpaper

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony seemed to be happily married for the last seven years, working together and spawning a pair of adorable twins. Then she became an American Idol judge, was crowned the most beautiful woman in the world, scored a No 1 hit song and considered the hottest revival in entertainment.

Suddenly, they announced that they were getting divorced. A variety of rumours have sprung up about their marital problems but it's so coincidental that they broke up during the throes of her immense popularity.

PHOTO: Sexy Jennifer Lopez Fantasy Art wallpaper

Hilary Swank's marriage to Chad Lowe lasted through her first Oscar win (even though she forgot to thank him in her acceptance speech). But when she won an Oscar a few years later, he left her within months (despite the fact she thanked him profusely this time). She wanted to reconcile, he didn't.

Of course I don't know why they all split up but when a woman receives overwhelming recognition or fame, it's often harder for the man to accept it joyfully, especially when they are in the same industry.

PHOTO: Sexy Jennifer Lopez Fantasy Art wallpaper

Blame the genetically-programmed competitive streak in every guy, or maybe it's the traditional gender values that dictate that men must be the breadwinner while women gain prestige from the success of her man. It's seldom the other way round.

I've seen women brag about their husband's triumphs and peer smugly down at their hapless girlfriend whose husbands are less qualified.

PHOTO: Sexy Jennifer Lopez Fantasy Art wallpaper

There are only a few areas where a woman can shine more than men. One is in the physical endowment department. No guy would complain if his girlfriend was attractive (unless he was crazy possessive and didn't want other men to look at her).

He would never feel threatened if she was an amazing cook (unless he was a chef) or really, really good at washing dishes or was extraordinary at ironing clothes. But if she's a better driver, earns more and gets more job promotions, it usually doesn't augur well for the relationship.

PHOTO: Sexy Jennifer Lopez Fantasy Art wallpaper

Women don't have ceilings and obstacles like before. There are many chances to express our talents and aim for ultimate validation in the workplace. And most of us want to. Despite also having to juggle motherhood, we sometimes face the dilemma of striving to achieve our best, and yet curb our ambition to maintain harmony at home.

I know so many creative, capable and brilliant girlfriends who are admired in their professions. However, guys are scared of them and don't even want to get to know the amazingly caring woman they are as well.

PHOTO: Sexy Jennifer Lopez Fantasy Art wallpaper

It doesn't matter what stage we are at in life, whether we are rich, famous, intelligent, broke, unemployed or powerless. We're just asking to be loved and accepted without having to downplay or compromise ourselves.

PHOTO: Jennifer Lopez wallpapers

Georgina Chang is senior creative director of 987FM and Lush 99.5.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Next stop, Nanjing

Today, Thursday, July 28, 2011, Travel, Page T8, T10

Source Website:,-Nanjing
Priscilla Siew,, 04:45 AM Jul 28, 2011

Nanjing shrugs off its history to become a dynamic bustling city in its own right

PHOTO: Nanjing Qin Huai River
Nanjing shrugs off its history to become a dynamic bustling city in its own right

Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd

Today, Thursday, July 28, 2011, Travel, Page T8

As a travel destination, Nanjing is often overlooked in favour of cultural Beijing and commercial Shanghai. But Nanjing - literally "southern capital" - has always held an important place in Chinese history.

It was a pivotal city during the Three Kingdoms period and remained an important place throughout the different dynasties as a textile hub before the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Hongwu, made it the capital.

It was also during this time that the city gained its structure as Hongwu ordered the construction of city walls. The 600-year-old and counting walls still stand, making it the most ancient city walls in the world, according to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

The city also entered the annals of history as the site of the horrific Nanking Massacre. But from the ashes of history and destruction, Nanjing has rebuilt itself into a cosmopolitan, fast-developing metropolis while retaining its pretty, historical landscape.

A sense of history

As one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China (the other three are Beijing, Luoyang and Xian), Nanjing served as the capital for six dynasties. It is perhaps no surprise that one of China's biggest museums holding great treasures of the past is located here.

Taking up a space of 70,000 sq m, Nanjing Museum has a collection of more than 400,000 artefacts, ranging from ancient bronze and jade items, to calligraphy and paintings from various dynasties, to Ming and Qing porcelain. Other exhibits include collections of folk art, silk from the Jiangnan region, as well as contemporary art.

Nanjing's warring history can be seen at the Nanjing City Wall and its southern Zhong Hua Gate. Built in the 14th century, they were a key part of the city's defence during ancient times.

The Tai Ping Kingdom History Museum, which commemorates the short-lived rebellion against the Qing dynasty and feudalistic system in 1851 to 1864, and the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, which documents the World War II massacre, are records of the city's tumultuous past.

PHOTO: Nanjing Qin Huai River
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd

Today, Thursday, July 28, 2011, Travel, Page T8

To get a taste of how life might have been in the grand dynastic era, head to the Qin Huai River, which branches off from the famous Yangtze River. This was the birthplace of old Nanjing culture and it was a centre for the leisurely pursuits of aristocrats, artists and scholars who gathered along the river banks.

PHOTO: Nanjing Qin Huai River
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

Although the river fell into disrepute following the wars which destroyed many buildings and left the river polluted, a massive restoration project which began in 1985 has turned things around.

PHOTO: Nanjing Qin Huai River
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

Today, buildings along the sides of the now-clean river have been re-constructed in the traditional Ming and Qing architectural style, evoking memories of ancient Nanjing. Take it all in on a river cruise in a traditional boat, which is especially pretty when the river lights come on at night.

PHOTO: Confucius Temple Area
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

One of the highlights along the Qin Huai River is the Confucius Temple (Fu Zi Miao). The temple is a tribute to the ancient Chinese philosopher whose thoughts formed the underlying basis of Chinese society, and whose impact stretched beyond Chinese shores to influence the development of Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures as well.

PHOTO: Youth culture outside Confucius Temple
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

Signs of modern times

But what would Confucius say if he found out that the area around his temple is now filled with blatant consumerism? Tea houses and small stalls selling local food and knick-knacks are set within the buildings, and fast-food chains and small fashion outlets have also appeared nearby.

It seems that Nanjing can't wait to embrace its vibrant, dynamic and modern side. If the Confucius Temple area is a great shopping spot for small local items, then Xin Jie Kou, Nanjing's dazzling commercial and shopping district, is the place to go for modern retail finds.

In department stores and mega complexes such as Deji Plaza and Golden Eagle Shopping Centre, you can find anything from major global chains like Walmart and Watsons, to high-end brands Gucci and Fendi.

Fu Zi Miao Market at 28 Dashiba Jie is a wholesale centre where you can get anything ranging from socks to electronic toys. Don't worry, you don't have to buy in bulk; Hunan Lu is another good district to browse through stores selling clothes and souvenirs.

PHOTO: Nanjing 1912 district
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

For a night out in style, head over to the 1912 nightlife district, a cluster of upscale restaurants, cafes, tea houses and bars. The development was named after the year Dr Sun Yat-Sen overthrew the last dynasty of China and established Nanjing as capital of the newly formed Republic Of China.

PHOTO: 1912 District
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

Today, it is more about the consumer revolution than anything remotely political. For the trendy seeking to wine and dine, this is the place to see and be seen.

While air pollution is still a problem in Chinese cities, the good thing is that you don't have to travel very far for some fresh air and greenery in scenic Nanjing.

PHOTO: Ling Gu Temple at Purple Mountain
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

Seek respite in The Purple Mountain (Zi Jin Shan), just a 15-minute cab ride from the city centre. Its peaks are often found shrouded in purplish and golden mists in the early morning and evening. Attractions include the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, the Ming Xiao Ling Tomb, Ling Gu Temple and the Purple Mountain Observatory. It will probably take a full day to see them all, and it's best to avoid coming here during weekends and public holidays if you want to avoid crowds.

PHOTO: Qi Xia Mountain
Copyright © MediaCorp Press Ltd,-Nanjing

About 30 to 40 minutes away from the city is the Qi Xia Mountain. Its beautiful scenery is the perfect backdrop for trekking - a paved trek up the mountain is built around a network of Chinese pavilions, lotus ponds and natural stone formations. In autumn, the maple trees shed their leaves and give the mountain a magical copper hue.

PHOTO: Qixia Mountain, Jiangsu
Situated 22 kilometers northeast of Nanjing City, Qixia Mountain (Sheshan Mountain) is dubbed "the most beautiful mountain in Nanjing". The mountain is 286 meters high and has three peaks - Dragon Peak, Tiger Peak and Fengxiang Peak.
The mountain is popular for its maple trees. Each year, when the autumn arrives, thousands of local residents and visitors rush to the mountain to camp to see the red and golden maple leaves, which covers the whole mountain. Standing in the maple woods, visitors will feel surrounded with rosy clouds. Therefore, "the red maples on Qixia Mountain (Qixia Danfeng)" are regarded as one of the ten scenic sights in Nanjing.

Source: Global Times
Top 9 Chinese places to appreciate maple leaves this autumn

PHOTO: Pavilion along the trek of Qi Xia Mountain
Today, Thursday, July 28, 2011, Travel, Page T10

PHOTO: Qixia Mountain(栖霞山) is not far from the Nanjing City of China.
Lying 22 km northeast of Nanjing City, Qixia Mountain(栖霞山)is dubbed “the most beautiful mountain in Nanjing”. The mountain is 286 meters high and has three peaks - Dragon Peak, Tiger Peak and Fengxiang Peak.
Posted on Apr 28 ,2011 by admin123

And as you take in the view, that's when you realise that it's just as well Nanjing isn't like Beijing or Shanghai. Its wonderful mix of old and new, city and nature, is just perfect the way it is.

PHOTO: The Qixia Temple Restaurant offers vegetarian foods for travelers.
The well-known Buddhist temple, Qixia Temple, is located on the mountain. This temple was erected in 489 BC and was enlarged in the Tang Dynasty. It was once recognized as one of the Four Largest Temples in history. The temple was destroyed by fire during Qing Dynasty and reconstructed years later. The temple has a number of critical historic relics such as the Thousand Buddha Cliff, the Royal Stele and the Sheli Pagoda.
Posted on Apr 28 ,2011 by admin123

Getting there
China Eastern Airlines flies three times a week to Nanjing.

Where to stay
The Nanjing Holiday Inn, or Holiday Inn Aqua City, is affordable and has good service and location. Rates start from just under S$110. The Intercontinental Hotel offers views of Xuan Wu Lake from certain rooms; rates start around S$170.

Where to eat
Chow on local snacks (or xiao chi) such as fried spring onion pancakes, shredded bean curd sheets and dumplings at Gong Yuan Street in the Confucius Temple area. Hu Nan Street is lined with stalls and small restaurants specialising in local delicacies. There's a range of international restaurants in Nanjing. Try Skyways Bakery for sandwiches and freshly made bread, Meeting Point for cosy osteria-style Italian food, and Himalaya for a hearty blend of Nepalese and Indian food.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stamp - Spices of Singapore

Source Website:

Date Of Issue : 15 Jul, 2011
Local Price : S$ 3.13
Overseas Price : S$ 3.13

PHOTO: Spices of Singapore - Stamp Set^CSH11AST

Date Of Issue : 15 Jul, 2011
Local Price : S$ 4.95

Overseas Price : S$ 4.63

PHOTO: Spices of Singapore - Presentation Pack^CSH11PR

Do you know spices were as valuable as gold in the 19th century?

At that time, there was a fight for control over the sources and routes to the Spice Islands of Southeast Asia and India. In response to this fervour, a garden at Fort Canning Park was planted mainly with nutmeg, clove and other plants with economic value.

This pandan-scented garden has now become a showcase of local herbs and spices. More importantly, this garden, as with the rest of the lush greenery at Fort Canning, is a main source of food for local fauna. Squirrels, butterflies, birds and dragonflies are part of the large living habitat thriving on this hill.

PHOTO: Coriander and Star Anise
Spices of Singapore stamps - 2nd local & 65¢ pre-cancelled

In this special stamp issue, we introduce you to three spices found in the Spice Garden: Tamarind, Cinnamon and Turmeric, as well as two other spices commonly used in local cuisines - Coriander and Star Anise.

PHOTO: Tamarind and Turmeric
Spices of Singapore stamps - 80¢ & $1.10 pre-cancelled

Tamarind comes from the elongated velvety pod of the Tamarind tree (Tamarindus indicus). The pod contains shiny black seeds enclosed in a sticky pulp. The sweet and sour juice extracted from the pulp is widely used to prepare local delights, such as the Tamarind Prawns or in a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish commonly known as "rojak".

PHOTO: Cinnamon
Spices of Singapore stamps - 1st Local, Cinnamon, pre-cancelled

PHOTO: Cinnamon
Spices of Singapore stamps - 1st Local, Cinnamon, mint.jpg

The aromatic Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of the Cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum verum), a small evergreen tree that can grow to about 10m tall. After the bark is harvested, it must be processed immediately while it is still wet. Principally used as a condiment (something used to enhance the flavor of food) in beverages, as well as in desserts, it also has medicinal value as it contains high antioxidant properties.

PHOTO: Tamarind
Spices of Singapore stamps - 80¢, Tamarind, mint

PHOTO: Tumeric
Spices of Singapore stamps - $1.10, Tumeric, mint

Most often used in powder form, Turmeric is derived from the rhizome (horizontal root-stem) of the Turmeric (Curcuma longa) plant. The rhizome is harvested and ground to a fine deep orange-yellow powder, which is a key ingredient in curries and many other cuisines. It is also used, as a fabric dye, in cosmetics, and to impart color to mustard condiments. There could be medical benefits from turmeric as well. There is preliminary medical research for it to be used as part of treatment for a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

PHOTO: Coriander
Spices of Singapore stamps - 2nd local, Coriander, mint

All parts of the Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) plant are edible, but the fresh leaves, roots and the dried seeds are the parts most commonly used in cooking, often used in marinating meat for Satay. A soft, hairless plant, it has leaves that are broadly lobed at the base, and becomes slender and feathery higher on the-flowering stems. Like many spices, coriander contains antioxidants, which can slow down the delay or prevent food from becoming bad.

PHOTO: Star Anise
Spices of Singapore stamps - 65¢, Star Anise, mint

Star Anise is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavour. It is obtained from the star-shaped dried fruit of the tree (Illicium verum), which is native to southwest China. Like anise, star anise gets its distinctive, intense flavour from a chemical compound called anethol. However, the two plants are not related, botanically - star anise is a member of the Magnolia family. Star Anise is widely used in Chinese cuisine such as the braised duck, as well as in foods from Southeast Asian nations.

Acknowledgement: SpeciaL thanks to National Parks Board (NParks) for making this stamp issue possible


Singapore, 5 July 2011 - Unravel the fascinating history of spices of Singapore and their uses in local cuisine through this beautiful set of Spices of Singapore stamp issue to be released on 15 July 2011 in conjunction with the launch of Singapore Food Festival 2011.

Spices of Singapore” Stamps
Date of Issue: 15 July 2011

Spices have been valued for their aromatic qualities and medicinal benefits. Once worth their weight in gold, some of the popular spices like nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, tamarind and tumeric are grown in Fort Canning. Today, this pandan-scented Spices Garden is a showcase for local herbs and spices. More importantly, this garden, as with the rest of the lush greenery at Fort Canning, is a main source of food for local fauna.

PHOTO: Complete set of Spices of Singapore stamps (S$3.13)

Featured in this special stamp issue are five well-loved spices commonly used in local cuisine that is cinnamon, tumeric, coriander, tamarind and star anise.

Depicted on the 1st local stamp is the cinnamon which is generally used as a condiment in beverages like Masala Teh and desserts; and on the 2nd local stamp, coriander. The aromatic coriander plant is often used in marinating meat for satay, a popular local dish and in curries and stews. Both cinnamon and coriander are good sources of antioxidants.

PHOTO: Pre-Cancelled First Day Cover affixed with stamps (S$3.95)

The 65-cents stamp portrayed star anise which is widely used in Chinese cuisine like the braised duck, Vietnam's signature dishes such as Pho Bo soup and in many Indian stews and curries. Featured on the 80-cents and S$1.10 stamps are the tamarind which is commonly used to prepare local delights like the assam prawn, or rojak, a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish; and the tumeric, a key ingredient in curries respectively.

Products on Sale
Besides the complete set of five stamps (S$3.13), SingPost is also releasing the Presentation Pack (S$4.95) and Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with the complete set of stamps (S$3.95). First day cover will be cancelled with a special Spices of Singapore postmark.

PHOTO: Complete set of Spices of Singapore stamps - Brochure

All stamp products of this issue will be on sale from 15 July 2011 at all post offices and the Singapore Philatelic Museum. Orders can also be made at SingPost’s online shopping portal, vPOST,

Information and enquiries
For more information on this new stamp issue, please visit

PHOTO: Pre-Cancelled First Day Cover affixed with stamps

Items on Sale Price
First Day Cover (without stamps) S$0.25*
Pre-cancelled First-Day Cover affixed with stamps S$3.95*
Complete set of stamps S$3.13
Presentation Pack S$4.95*

PHOTO: Complete set of Spices of Singapore stamps - mint (Presentation Pack)

Technical Details
Date of Issue : 15th July 2011
Denominations : 1st Local, 2nd Local, S$0.65, S$0.80, S$1.10
Stamp Size : 30mm x 40mm
Perforation : 14
Paper : Unwatermarked
Printing Process : Offset Lithography
Printer : Southern Colour Print
Sheet Content : 10 Stamps per sheet
Graphics Designer : Janny Jin

* Prices inclusive of prevailing GST for purchases within Singapore