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Thread: Singapore Also Can
10-01-2009, 12:28 AM #341
YOG bonding activities
The Straits Times
Sep 30, 2009
By Terrence Voon
ROCK climbing, raft building and rope obstacle courses will feature at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (YOG) next year - but not as official sports.
These activities are part of a comprehensive Culture and Education Programme (CEP) that organisers are putting together for the 3,500 teenage athletes who are expected here for the inaugural Games from Aug 14 to 26.
In a bid to encourage learning and interaction among them, budding sports stars from around the world will be given the opportunity to spend a day at the Outward Bound Singapore school on Pulau Ubin.
The CEP, which includes cultural performances, talks by former Olympic champions, exhibitions and music festivals, is aimed at inculcating the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.
Pictograms for each of the seven CEP activities - the first of its kind for an Olympic meet - were unveiled on Wednesday by Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan.
Athletes will be competing in 26 sports for 184 gold medals at the YOG, and organisers are hoping that the youths will use their free time to check out the educational nuggets on display in and outside the Games Village.
Said Dr Balakrishnan: 'The CEP is what will make the YOG unique. For all the athletes who come to Singapore, not only will they be competing at the highest level, we also want to make sure they have an unforgettable time of their lives.
'A time to appreciate other cultures, to learn about the world, to learn about issues confronting the young generation. Therefore, our CEP will be a crucial component and will give them a sense of appreciation for the world and for the future.'
The YOG CEP
The YOG is an event balancing sport, culture and education. The Culture and Education Programme (CEP) is hence an integral part of the YOG. In line with the YOG’s mission to educate and engage young athletes, inspiring them to play an active role in their communities, the CEP aims for the athletes to embrace, embody and express the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.
To understand the Olympic Values and how these Values apply to their lives, the athletes would:
* Learn about Olympism, the Olympic Movement, and global and sport issues;
* Contribute by looking beyond themselves so as to make a positive impact on the people and environment around them;
* Interact with other participants and facilitate the learning of new ideas and exploration of new cultures;
* Celebrate the Olympic values and the diversity of world cultures, while experiencing the power of the Olympic spirit to unite diverse cultures and peoples.
5 Educational Themes
The following 5 Educational Themes would set the context relevant for the athletes to learn, contribute, interact and celebrate:
* Olympism - This theme traces the origins, philosophy, structure and evolution of the modern Olympics.
* Skills Development - This theme considers various facets of a professional athlete’s career such as personal development and managing transitional phases in life.
* Well-being and Healthy Lifestyle - This theme promotes healthy eating and also deals with stress management and the issue of doping in sport.
* Social Responsibility - This theme considers the environment, sustainable development and community relations in the context of being a responsible global citizen.
* Expression - Activities under this theme include learning and, interaction opportunities via the digital media and evening festivals at the YOV.
10-01-2009, 03:16 AM #342
SEA GAMES - S'pore may not play host
The Straits Times
By Terrence Voon
SINGAPORE'S troubled Sports Hub project is unlikely to be completed in time for the 2013 South-east Asia Games, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan confirmed on Wednesday.
He said the Government will not be rushed into completing the $1.87 billion project at Kallang, which has been plagued by repeated delays since a private consortium won the bid to build the 35ha facility in January last year.
'Quite frankly, I think it is unlikely that it will be ready for the 2013 SEA Games,' Dr Balakrishnan told reporters at a Youth Olympic Games event on Wednesday.
'We're still discussing with the Singapore National Olympic Council and we'll take a decision later as to whether we'll put our hands up to host the 2013 SEA Games or to consider offering ourselves as a venue in the subsequent series of Games.'
His comments came after The Straits Times reported last month that the construction hiccups had jeopardised the Republic's hosting of the SEA Games.
Dr Balakrishnan sought to explain why the delays were inevitable because the Government did not want to over-spend on the facility, which includes a 55,000-seater dome-shaped National Stadium with a retractable roof.
'I'd rather be cautious and deliberate moving forward, but not be rushed into making hasty decisions or making decisions which will cost the tax payers more in the long run,' he added.
'I still want to work within the budget that we have set out for ourselves, but in due time there will be a Sports Hub which all of us can be very proud of.'
10-01-2009, 03:28 AM #343
Spinning tales to teach values
The Straits Times
Sep 30, 2009
By Eisen Teo
THE Straits Times' Children's Day treat for its young readers is a first - a story book about great innovators who made history.
Eureka! contains eight heart-warming tales of figures such as aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright, explorer Ferdinand Magellan and chemist-physicist Marie Curie, and reveals how they overcame poverty, prejudice and repeated failures to achieve success.
The book, a spin-off from features in the newspaper's primary school weekly magazine Little Red Dot (LRD), will be sold at all major bookshops and Buzz kiosks from Thursday at $10 a copy.
Each story in the 52-page volume for readers aged seven and above comes with activities that encourage positive values.
The book is also richly illustrated with characters from the Dot Family, who embody qualities such as resilience, determination and optimism, to guide readers along.
The illustrations are the work of Mr Paul Eric Roca, an artist with The Straits Times and illustrator of more than 10 children's books.
Discussions with primary school pupils and their teachers shaped the book's content, the first Straits Times spin-off published by Straits Times Press, the book publishing arm of Singapore Press Holdings.
Eureka!'s creators, LRD editor Serene Goh and journalist Malini Nathan, came up with the idea in response to teachers who said they wanted entertaining resources for values education.
Using characters first featured in LRD, Ms Goh and Ms Nathan researched the lives of inventors Alexander Graham Bell, Samuel Morse, Michelangelo, Louis Braille and Yoshiro Nakamatsu, among others.
Ms Goh said: 'You don't always think about how difficult these people had it, so we hope that their stories will inspire young readers to keep trying even when things go wrong.'
10-01-2009, 11:42 PM #344
Singapore aims to be a 'living lab'
The Straits Times
Oct 1, 2009
By Diana Othman
SINGAPORE is striving to be a 'living lab' where new ideas and technologies development can be tested.
This is part of its bid to become a more sustainable city state in an increasingly energy conscious global environment, said Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan at the Global Innovators' Forum in Fusionpolis on Thursday.
'To build sustainable cities requires us to tap on the collective innovative energies that reside in the private, public and people sectors,' said Mr Mah.
'This is because we are dealing with a complex problem that can only be addressed holistically through innovative, multi-disciplinary responses.'
He added that opportunities abound for cross sector collaboration in sustainable development, and cited promoting energy efficiency as an example of a 'win-win-win' outcome.
This is because it reduces the carbon footprint of Singapore city and also saves costs for businesses and consumers.
Singapore hopes to cut its energy consumption per dollar of GDP, or energy intensity, by 35 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, said the minister.
'There is tremendous potential for cross sector collaboration in innovating new technologies to achieve this goal - be it in more energy efficient industrial processes, cleaner and greener vehicles or green buildings,' said Mr Mah.
He added that the government will catalyze such collaborative innovation.
For example, the Building and Construction Authority has set aside a $5 million fund to encourage local developers to partner experts worldwide to develop prototype building designs that can achieve at least 50 per cent improvement in energy efficiency.
Besides new buildings, the Government has also set up a $100 million fund to help building owners upgrade and improve the energy performance of their existing buildings.
At the same time, the Housing Board Board has embarked on the largest solar test-bed in Singapore to understand and adapt solar technology to local conditions.
10-02-2009, 11:27 PM #345
Marina South: 2 new berths at new Cruise Terminal
The Straits Times
Oct 2, 2009
By Lim Wei Chean
THE good news: The second cruise terminal at Marina South broke ground on Friday afternoon, and will have two berths with no height restrictions for cruise ships.
The bad news: It will be ready in 2011, a year later than originally planned.
The two berths will double Singapore's cruise handling capacity at the Singapore Cruise Centre at HarbourFront.
These berths, with a pier length of 60m and width of 120m, will have no height restrictions and can take in the world's biggest cruise ships being built. They will be able to berth ships of up to 220,000 GRT, measuring 360m in length with a draft of 11.5m.
The new cruise terminal will help ease the congestion that the current cruise terminal at HarbourFront faces during peak periods.
With no height restrictions, ships that cannot call at the current terminal due to the overhanging cable car line, will be able to call at a proper cruise port instead of a container port.
Big cruise ships like Queen Mary II, despite being a luxury liner, have had to call at the container wharves when they come to Singapore because of the height limit at the current cruise terminal, which some operators said will give premium travellers a low impression of the Republic.
Major cruise operators here have called for a second terminal to be built in Singapore for some years now.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony at Marina South Pier, some 400m from the actual site of the new terminal, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said: 'The outlook of the global cruise industry is positive. It is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world's leisure industries.'
He said that Ocean shipping consultants have forecast that global cruise demand will reach 27 million by 2020, translating to an annual growth of 6 per cent. The Asia Pacific region is poised for growth as it currently accounts for about 7 per cent of the world cruise market. The region, with its exotic destinations, is set to become the 'new cruise playground', added Mr Lim.
Singapore, with its excellent air and sea connections, makes it an ideal cruising gateway to Asia, said the minister.
To be a hub for major international cruise liners, he stressed that it was vital for Singapore to have the correct infrastructure to host vessels so visitors can go away with a pleasant experience.
The two berths will double Singapore's cruise handling capacity at the Singapore Cruise Centre at HarbourFront. -- PHOTO: SINGAPORE TOURISM BOARD
10-03-2009, 10:22 PM #346
River in Bishan Park
The Straits Times
Oct 4, 2009
$76 million project is part of masterplan to turn waterways into venues for recreation
By Cai Haoxiang
COME 2011, children celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival will be able to carry lanterns along a 3km river running through Bishan Park.
In launching Singapore's first river relocation project at the park on Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong asked residents to care for the waterway.
The river is the first of its kind in Singapore, he said.
It is created by diverting the Kallang drainage canal through the park, and reforming it from concrete waterway to winding river.
PM Lee urged residents: 'When it rains in the estates, that bit of litter, plastic bag or cigarette butt which you just dropped will be washed into the drains, the streams, the canals, into the river and the reservoir and finally PUB will have to spend money to pick it up and clean up the water before you can drink it.'
The $76 million Bishan Park project is part of a masterplan launched in 2006 to transform Singapore's 15 reservoirs, 32 major rivers and 7,000km of waterways into beautiful spaces for recreation.
By 2011, 28 projects islandwide will be completed.
Four are ready. They are popular venues for recreational activities and community events, he told some 200 residents.
For instance, the Marina Barrage, opened in October last year, has been enjoyed by more than half a million visitors.
Soon, people will also enjoy the revamped Bishan Park which will feature a river promenade and spaces for quiet relaxation or exercise.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong looking at a billboard showing what Bishan Park will look like when Singapore's first river relocation project is completed in 2011. He urged residents to care for the waterway. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBA
Last edited by Loh; 10-03-2009 at 10:28 PM.
10-05-2009, 05:07 AM #347
Our NUSS Badminton Courts shaping up nicely!
From afar, the skeleton of our brand new Multipurpose Hall stands out like a strong acute triangle in the evening sun. It seems to sit on top of the flat roof of the swimming pool changing rooms that are still under construction.
For more than three years now, our badminton section had waited patiently after lobbying hard successfully for a new MPH that would stand tall among the various recreational facilities in our graduate club. Being denied for decades without proper badminton courts while our tennis counterparts have been enjoying theirs all along and now that they have been playing on three brand new roof top courts for about a year, we are looking forward to our four courts by early next year.
We have taken pains to ensure that our hall is up to official specifications for playing an enjoyable game of robust badminton.
The lowest ceiling height is about 30 feet high, since our MPH roof has a sloping shape. The cement floors will be covered with a synthetic material called "Sportex" which is made of a thin layer of vinyl top supported with a thicker rubber base. It is supposed to help in shock absorption and we were assured by the supplier that this vinyl sport flooring has been in used in many other sports halls both in Singapore and in other countries. There will be no hanging lights but spot lights that are deflected against the ceiling and walls so as not to hurt or momentarily blind the eyes. Of course the wall colours will be of a darker shade - all for the sake of seeing the bird clearly.
Well and good that it sounds on paper, but we hope the final product is up to expectation! And for this we have to wait till early next year, most probably!
The sad part is that we may have to compete with other sports like basketball for the use of the hall. We will have to fight again for the sole right to use the hall for badminton only.
Last edited by Loh; 10-05-2009 at 05:11 AM.
10-05-2009, 11:24 PM #348
Marina South International Cruise Terminal
The Straits Times
Oct 3, 2009
Bigger capacity, faster clearance
By Lim Wei Chean
SINGAPORE'S new $500 million cruise terminal at Marina South will have two berths that can accommodate the world's biggest cruise ships.
To be ready by 2011, the International Cruise Terminal (ICT) will also have state-of-the-art facilities that will enable passengers to clear immigration, security and luggage claims within half an hour.
Passengers at the existing HarbourFront cruise centre, by contrast, are sent on their way in about 45 minutes.
The ICT's bigger capacity will also mean it can handle up to 3,000 passengers in an hour, compared to HarbourFront's 2,500 passengers an hour.
At the ground-breaking ceremony for the new terminal yesterday, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang, who was the guest of honour, said the ICT will help Singapore realise its ambition of becoming the region's cruise hub.
Key to this is the ability to allow bigger cruise ships to dock. The HarbourFront terminal is limited by height restrictions - it cannot accommodate liners that are more than 52m in height.
This rules out some of the bigger luxury ships such as Rhapsody Of The Seas and Queen Mary 2, which sail in as part of their round-the-world trips or for regional trips to Hong Kong, China or Vietnam.
Currently, such vessels are forced to dock at the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal, located about 5km away from the HarbourFront terminal.
10-06-2009, 02:01 AM #349
A gURLs wURLd co-produced by Singapore, Australia and Germany
The Straits Times
Oct 6, 2009
Singapore in live action series
SINGAPORE is partnering Australia and Germany to co-produce a US$9 million (S$12.8 million) live action series for young teens.
Animation company Southern Star Singapore, together with Southern Star Entertainment (Australia) and Germany's Nord Deutscher Rundfunk, on Monday launched an international co-production of A gURLs wURLd, a 26-episode series, which targets tweens.
The series will focus on the lives of three young teenage girls from Australia, Germany and Singapore who become friends while studying together at an international school in Singapore. They discover that their phones and computers can somehow combine to transport them into each other's homes and the three spend their days moving freely between Australia, Germany and Singapore.
Starring Singapore actors Julie Wee and Chervil Tan, a third of A gURLs wURLd was shot in Singapore at various places including the Esplanade, ethnic neighbourhoods like Little India and Chinatown and other locations like sites along Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Sentosa and the East Coast.
The series, which is supported by the Media Development Authority of Singapore and Australia's film and television agency Screen Australia, will premiere on Germany's ARD Network and Australia's Channel Nine, reaching out to more than five million viewers across these countries. Producers will be creating specially designed web material for the series, which will be jointly developed and built by Southern Star Singapore and Southern Star Entertainment.
The series 'is a good example of how content can go beyond the traditional television screen', said Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer at MDA, adding: 'By making it available on several platforms, a gURL's wURLd has the opportunity to travel well beyond geographical boundaries and across cyberspace and be enjoyed by more viewers.'
10-06-2009, 09:52 PM #350
It's not IKEA, it's ART
The Straits Times
Oct 7, 2009
Lasalle grad bags $50k prize with art depicting regimented office life
By Tara Tan
ONE corner of the Singapore Art Museum has been transformed into an office.
A desk and chair are placed in the middle of the space. A laptop computer lies open on the table. Files are neatly arranged on shelves and a paper tray sits on top of a cupboard.
Everything seems to be in order. It looks like the office of a very neat worker. But as your eyes glide over the mainly grey and white furniture lit by the harsh fluorescent lights, little things look slightly out of place. A grey knife juts out of a penholder, hinting at violence. A tiny flag lies in the waste paper basket. Could it be a symbol of surrender?
This installation, hinting at the regimented office life, yesterday bagged the richest art award in town: the Singapore Art Exhibition prize, which comes with a $50,000 grant.
Relative newcomer Chun Kaifeng, 26, beat 28 other artists with his installation, He's Satisfied From Monday To Friday And On Sunday He Loves To Cry.
Chun, who is studying for his master's in fine art at The Glasgow School of Art on a National Arts Council (NAC) overseas bursary, told The Straits Times in a phone interview from Glasgow: 'My work always draws from my experiences of living in Singapore. The room is a reflection of life in Singapore, which is very controlled. There is a sense of stillness, of waiting.'
This installation, hinting at the regimented office life, yesterday bagged the richest art award in town. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
10-08-2009, 02:50 AM #351
A very comprehensive introduction to Singapore.
Are you a politician?
10-08-2009, 03:33 AM #352
10-09-2009, 02:50 AM #353
Singapore team deciphers gene associated with Cancer
The Straits Times
Oct 9, 2009
By Grace Chua
EXACTLY 30 years ago, scientists discovered the gene P53, which plays a role in suppressing the development of many cancers.
But they did not understand P53's networks - how to tell which genes its chemical product p53 activated or dampened, and how those other genes' activity or inactivity led to cancer growth.
Now, Singapore scientists have discovered an important aspect of how genes respond to p53.
Led by Associate Professor Ren Ee Chee from the Agency of Science, Technology and Research's (A*Star) Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) and the National University of Singapore, the researchers identified a set of specific DNA 'signatures' which indicate that a gene will respond to p53, and whether it is activated or suppressed.
Their work was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in August.
'For a very long time, most people in the field thought p53 activated genes,' said Prof Ren. But, it turns out, p53 suppresses genes as well.
"STUMBLE LEADS TO DISCOVERY
ONE of these genes was called LASP1, which Prof Ren Ee Chee and his team happened to be studying and which helps cancer cells invade and metastasize.
'We stumbled upon this by accident,' Prof Ren said.
The team noticed a pattern in LASP1's DNA sequence, and upon further experimenting with the base pairs in that pattern, realised the pattern could predict whether a gene would be turned on or off in response to p53. Prior to this, scientists could only predict approximately how a gene would react.
Professor David Lane, who was among those who discovered p53 in 1979 and who is chief scientist at A*Star, said: 'The SIgN group's identification of a bona fide 'repressive' response element has provided the missing piece which has eluded p53 researchers for a long time, as well as a definitive key with which to perform future studies.'
The finding could lead to the discovery of new cancer genes and pathways that drugs can target, said Prof Ren, whose team hopes to study other functions of p53, which is also involved in stem cell development and cellular ageing."
Last edited by Loh; 10-09-2009 at 02:57 AM.
10-09-2009, 03:00 AM #354
Missing pic connected with above report
A microscopic imaging of cancer cells. Research by Singapore scientists have shown that P53 suppresses genes. -- PHOTO: INSTITUTE OF MOLECULAR AND CELL BIOLOGY, A*STAR
10-09-2009, 03:28 AM #355
Fake skin with 'human touch'
The Straits Times
Oct 9, 2009
Researchers develop synthetic skin that is warm and soft for use in prosthetic limbs
By Serene Luo
A RESEARCHER in Singapore dreams of the day a robot will offer him a soft, warm handshake instead of a cold, hard grip.
Assistant Professor J.J. Cabibihan of the Social Robotics Laboratory in the National University of Singapore (NUS) is close to realising this, now that he and his team have found a way to mould synthetic fingers that are soft, like a human's.
But Prof Cabibihan, 33, who made a presentation at the Institute for Infocomm Research's seminar on robotics for health care on Thursday, has a more immediate use for the creation - prosthetic limbs.
He was speaking to an audience of 50 or so health-care workers, public service officers, academics, researchers and industry players at Fusionopolis near Buona Vista.
Prof Cabibihan said people who have lost their arms to accidents or disease already use rather life-like prostheses. These come flesh-coloured and even have hairs on the surface.
The problem though, he said, is that such prostheses still feel cold and stiff to the touch, so if they can be covered in the fake skin his team has developed, it 'will improve the emotional healing process and shield an amputee from social stigma'.
Picture shows a soft robot hand of Japan's robot venture Squse piles up blocks at the company's headquarters in Toko 03, October 2006. -- PHOTO: AFP
10-09-2009, 03:48 AM #356
First paperless polyclinic
The Straits Times
Oct 9, 2009
Electronic medical records at Bt Batok clinic slash waiting time for patients
By April Chong
THERE is no paper trail at the revamped Bukit Batok Polyclinic, the first to have electronic medical records for patients from registration to check-out.
This means that there are no more paper files to be retrieved from storage, slashing waiting time for patients.
After reopening in August following a three-month overhaul, the polyclinic now boasts a swanky interior, expanded treatment areas, more space at the pharmacy and Internet kiosks for public use.
But charges have also gone up, with patients now paying $9.30 for a consultation, compared to $9 previously.
Fees range between $8.80 and $9.60 at different polyclinics.
A spokesman for National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, which runs the Bukit Batok Polyclinic, said that fees did not go up because of the revamp.
The registration area at Bukit Batok polyclinic. Consultation charges have gone up, with patients now paying $9.30 for a consultation, compared to $9 previously. -- PHOTO: BUKIT BATOK POLYCLINIC
10-09-2009, 10:20 AM #357
Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang elected IOC vice-president
Copenhagen, Friday, October 9, 2009
Ng Ser Miang, the chairman of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee, was elected to the post of vice-president in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board elections.
He was elevated to the post along with Mario Pescante of Italy. They are four vice-presidents on the board.
IOC president Dr Jacques Rogge got confirmed as well as president for a second and final four-year term in an 88-1 vote.
“We have much more to do. We will take this initiative from infancy to maturity and leave a lasting legacy for the world’s youth,” said Rogge. “We will safeguard and strengthen our assets, and improve our framework for sharing revenues.
“We will continue to support National Olympic Committees and the International Federations, and we will defend the autonomy of sport wherever it is threatened.
“We will be staunch allies for athletes. We will continue to lead the fight against doping, and we will establish a new independent monitoring body to combat irregular betting and match fixing.
“We will narrow the gap in sport between the developed and the developing worlds; and between men and women.
“We will redouble our efforts to place sport at the service of mankind — to inspire young and old alike; to give athletes the opportunity to lead by example; and promote the Olympic values of fair play, respect, solidarity and the pursuit of excellence.”
IOC executive board
President: Jacque Rogge
Vice-Presidents: Thomas Bach, Zaiqing Yu, Mario Pescante and Ng Ser Miang
Board members: Sam Ramsamy, Gerhard Heiberg, Denis Oswald, René Fasel, Mario Vázquez Raña, Frank Fredericks, Nawal El Moutawakel, Richard L. Carrión, Craig Reedie and John Coates.
The Straits Times
Oct 9, 2009
Ng to be IOC VP?
S'porean is one of three candidates vying for two slots in today's election
By Lin Xinyi
SINGAPORE'S Ng Ser Miang is in the running to become a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
An IOC Executive Board member since 2005, he will be hoping to secure the position after two vice-presidents - Japan's Chiharu Igaya and Lambis Nikolaou of Greece - step down following the end of the 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen on Friday.
Apart from Ng, Mario Pescante of Italy and Taiwan's Wu Ching-kuo have also reportedly thrown their names into the hat for the two posts.
The outcome will be decided by a secret ballot. The term lasts four years.
Ng, 60, joined the IOC in 1998, and was instrumental in bringing the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) to Singapore.
He was the Singapore bid's international face and helped sell the Republic in the race to host the inaugural Games.
Singapore's Ng Ser Miang was instrumental in helping the Republic secure the bid to host the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. -- ST FILE PHOTO
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