Laptop for data science and machine learning

We recommend and review some laptops/notebooks suitable for data science and machine learning.

Firstly, we state the 4 core important specs (specifications) for laptops for data science and machine learning.

1) RAM: Should be 8GB or higher.

2) CPU: Should be Intel Core i5, or even better Intel Core i7.

3) Storage: Should be at least 256 GB SSD.

4) GPU: Optional, but good to have for deep learning. (Note that Mac GPUs are not usable for deep learning.)

RAM and CPU are necessary in order to conduct computations successfully and within a reasonable time. Storage is necessary to process big data which can potentially be several gigabytes. GPU is useful to speed up deep learning, but is optional since there are many cloud or server options available.

For concrete recommendations, we recommend the following 5 laptops. Certainly, there could be other laptops that are equally suitable for data science and machine learning, do comment below if you have a good suggestion!

1)

ASUS ROG Strix Scar 17 Gaming Laptop, 17.3” 300Hz FHD IPS Type, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super, Intel Core i7-10875H, 16GB DDR4, 1TB PCIe SSD, Per-Key RGB Keyboard, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 10, G732LWS-DS76

2)

Dell XPS 15 7590 Laptop 15.6 inch, 4K UHD OLED InfinityEdge, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM, Windows 10 Home, XPS7590-7572SLV-PUS, 15-15.99 inches

3)
New Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7) – Space Gray

4)

2020 Lenovo ThinkPad T590 15.6″ FHD Full HD (1920×1080) Business Laptop (Intel Quad-Core i7-8565U, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) Backlit, Type-C Thunderbolt 3, RJ-45, Webcam, Windows 10 Pro IST Computers

5)
HP Pavilion 15-inch Laptop, Intel Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD Storage, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, Windows 10 Pro, Amazon Alexa Voice Compatible (15-cs3019nr, Mineral Silver)

Salvinia leaves with water droplet (Artistic Photography)

Some photos of spherical water droplets on Salvinia floating plant.

I think Salvinia is one of the easiest floating plant to keep in an aquarium. It has 3 forms Primary form, Secondary form, and Tertiary form and will adopt the most suitable form for whatever conditions is in your aquarium. (The photos shown below are Primary form. Initially, when I bought it, it was in Tertiary form.)

Rasbora pregnant? (Pregnant chili rasbora)

Recently, one of our phoenix rasboras (cousin of chili rasbora) is getting a little round in the belly. Is it pregnant (or the more technical term is gravid)?

We are not very sure, will ask in a forum soon afterwards. Possible alternative reasons is that it is bloated, overfed or even dropsy!

From our experience, it is better that the phoenix rasbora is fat rather than thin. A thin rasbora signals a possible internal parasite problem, which proves to be fatal for this small rasbora species in our experience.

Pregnant Phoenix Rasbora?

For more footage of the pregnant rasbora, do check out the YouTube video below.

Updating Spyder takes forever

Spyder is a Python IDE that is bundled together with the Anaconda distribution.

There are some problems that are commonly faced when it comes to updating Spyder. One way to update Spyder is to open Anaconda Navigator and click the settings button which has an option to update Spyder. But the problem is that the process can take a very long time. The process shows that it is “loading packages of /User/…/opt/anaconda3”.

Updating Spyder is constricted by …

Another way to update Spyder is to type “conda update spyder” in the terminal. A problem that can crop up is the error message: “updating spyder is constricted by …

Anaconda stuck updating Spyder [Solved]

For my case, it turns out that the version of Anaconda Navigator is outdated. Hence, I first updated Anaconda Navigator to the latest version.

Then, instead of clicking “Update application” which still didn’t quite work, we click on “Install specific version” and choose the latest version of Spyder (Spyder 4.1.5 in this case).

Then, the updating of Spyder in Anaconda Navigator worked perfectly!

How to update Spyder using Anaconda-Navigator: Click “Install specific version” instead of “Update application”.

Fun Ways to Help Your Kid Love Primary 1 Maths

Fun Ways to Help Your Kid Love Primary 1 Maths

Is your child gearing up for the upcoming academic year to set her first step in academics? You might be then in need of a prior guide about making maths fun for your child.

You’re never sure whether your child is going to love maths or stay far away from it. Although, maths is an important part of learning and helps in building a child’s analytical skills from the core. It helps them to develop their knowledge about dates, time, measurements, costs and numbers – calculating the life around them.

This makes the subject confusing and dreadful for a lot of children but the current P1 curriculum has been developed keeping in mind the psychological aspects of a child.

What will Your Child Learn in P1 Maths?

The key mathematics elements that constitute their P1 curriculum are:

  • Number Patterns: Helps them to develop their skills in identifying the even and odd numbers, the order of the numbers by filling out blanks that gradually enhances their knowledge towards addition and subtraction.
  • Identifying single and double digits: Students would get acquainted with –
  1. Number Bonds: Children would be taught to create addition bonds such as 1+2=3 or 2+2+2=6 and so on.
  2. Multiplication and Division Problems: Children would learn the numerical tables and learn how to perform basic multiplication or division problems.
  3. Identify Basic Shapes: They’d learn about 2-D shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, circles and solve worksheets based on these shapes performing additions or subtractions.
  4. Comparisons between Sizes, Weights and Lengths: P1 Maths also aims to cover measurements which would deal with comparing sizes, weights and lengths or given objects. It helps them to relate these concepts with their surroundings.

How to Make Maths Fun for Your Child at Home

These lessons may seem to be complicated but could be made fun for your child while practicing these at home in the following ways:

  • Take Your Kids to Grocery Shopping: Let your child count the number of items that you’re buying and check the price of each item. You can ask them to add the costs on the bill for you or add the similar kinds of items to give you a total of those.
  • Read Fun Math Books: Contrary to the beliefs of many, there are actually fun and creative Math Books available at various stores for your child. Some of these even consist of visuals that help you to catch the attention of your child. Read these books to your child so that they feel that you’re with them in their learning process.
  • Solve Number Patterns and Puzzles: Go through the internet and copy various maths puzzle and pattern problems. Solve these together with your child while making it look like a game.
  • Free Exam Papers: Get access to past year top school exam papers for your child to practise as more practice will make it perfect.
  • Comics and Songs are a Fun Way to Learn: There are various nursery songs that play with maths and children comics that are based on maths. These are really very helpful when you’re introducing maths to your child.
  • Use Props to teach Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division: Your rooms are surrounded with different kinds of objects. Use these objects as props to help your kid learn about basic mathematical equations in a simple way.
  • Weighing Scales as a tool to learn: Use weighing scales that are readily available at home to teach your kid about mass and weight of objects.
  • Find a Professional Maths Tutor: Tuition Agency in Singapore provide reliable and quality tutors to your doorsteps to make learning Maths more fun

Learning maths at home can be fun when you’re using these methods to help your child become enthusiastic towards the subject and not shy away from it.

 

Dash EasyEarn Referral and Review

Dash EasyEarn promo code: DASH-2I2KM

Singtel Dash EasyEarn Referral

In order to use Dash EasyEarn, you first need to have Singtel Dash. The referral code is below!

Hi, we’re giving you up to $2 cashback for your first Singtel Dash transaction! Sign up with the referral code DASH-2I2KM or tap on this link https://appserver.dash.com.sg:443/mgm?DASH-2I2KM now. T&Cs apply.

Singtel Dash EasyEarn Review

We will give a short review of Singtel Dash EasyEarn. Technically, Dash Easy Savings Account is a insurance policy, but it works like a bank savings account. Basically the pros and cons of Singtel Dash EasyEarn are as follows.

Pros:

  • 2% per annum interest (much better than bank savings account or even fixed deposit).
  • This 2% holds for deposits up to $20,000.
  • Capital-guaranteed.
  • Protected by SDIC.
  • No lock-in period.
  • Comes bundled with life insurance (Be automatically covered with a death benefit of 105% of your Account Value).
  • Singtel is a big company (one of the biggest in Singapore), with good reputation and long history.

Cons:

  • There is a $0.70 fee for withdrawing to bank account (quite a low fee though).
  • Minimum balance of $2000 in order to earn the max 2% interest (quite a low requirement).
  • The 2% interest rate is only guaranteed for the first policy year.
  • The insurance policy is actually administered by Etiqa, not Singtel. Etiqa is a big insurance company though, it is part of Maybank which is the biggest bank in Malaysia.

I tried the transfer of funds into Dash EasyEarn (it is by eNETS only). The speed is very fast, almost instantaneously I could see the funds in Dash EasyEarn after transferring. I have not tried withdrawal of funds yet, due to the $0.70 withdrawal fee.

Update September 2020: I tried withdrawing, the process was very smooth and instantaneous. Basically, the withdrawal is via PayNow to the bank account linked to your mobile number. Your bank account will receive the amount withdrawn within seconds, while the $0.7o withdrawal fee is deducted from your Dash EasyEarn balance.

Dash EasyEarn Lite

What is this Dash EasyEarn Lite? Apparently, it is the “small” version of Dash EasyEarn when you deposit $2,000 or less. The interest rate is also correspondingly lower, at 1%.

Dash EasyEarn Lite information taken from the official website: https://www.tiq.com.sg/product/dash-easyearn/.

According to HardwareZone Forum, the Dash EasyEarn Lite option is applied automatically when your savings amount is less than $2,000.

Dash easy earn lite max premium is 2k.i think when you input the premium amount less than 2k its easy earn lite alrm

Source: HardwareZone

Update: The above information is incorrect. An official Singtel representative has contacted us to tell us the correct information.

The Dash EasyEarn Lite option is not automatically applied when the savings amount is less than $2,000 as it is only open to eligible Dash users such as work permit holders.

Is Dash EasyEarn Safe?

A popular question asked is definitely whether Dash EasyEarn is safe? The answer is it is safe.

Firstly, it is protected up to specified limits by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC), under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme. As of the current date, it means that your money in Singtel Dash EasyEarn is insured up to S$100,000 per account. Or in other words, in the unlikely event that Dash EasyEarn (Etiqa) collapses, your money up to S$100,000 is safe. You can see that Etiqa is under SDIC list of Policy Owners’ Protection (PPF) Scheme Members on the SDIC official website.

Secondly, Dash EasyEarn is a capital-guaranteed savings insurance policy. That means, it is impossible to lose the principal amount you put in. For example, if one puts in a capital of $20k (the max amount allowed), one will get back at least $20k no matter what the circumstances.

Lastly, Etiqa (the insurance company behind Dash EasyEarn) is regulated by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Their MAS license can be found on the MAS official website.

Dash EasyEarn vs Singlife

We have written about the excellent insurance savings plan Singlife in our popular blog post.

Basically, Singlife offers a higher interest rate of 2.5%, however this only applies to your first $10k deposit. Even though Dash EasyEarn offers a lower interest rate of 2%, it applies to a higher amount of $20k.

A logical conclusion is to max out Singlife first (by putting $10k in Singlife). Then, put in your excess in Dash EasyEarn.

Singlife Referral Code Link: https://app.singlife.com/enWxrIzdt9

(The Singlife referral code/ promo code is the above URL link. Just click it on your mobile device to apply the referral code.)

Dash EasyEarn Forum

If you still have any doubts about Dash EasyEarn, a good way to dispel your doubts is to read forums on Dash EasyEarn. The best forum on Dash EasyEarn is the one in HardwareZone Money Mind. The experts there will teach you more on how to maximize your earnings using Dash EasyEarn.

If you are interested in earning 2% interest with Dash EasyEarn, sign up with the referral code DASH-2I2KM or tap on this link https://appserver.dash.com.sg:443/mgm?DASH-2I2KM now!


Disclaimer: The opinions on Dash EasyEarn Account expressed in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product. It is only intended to provide information on Dash EasyEarn Referral and Dash EasyEarn Review. In particular, this blog post is not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified investment advisor.

 

Singlife Referral and Review

Singlife Referral and Promotion Code (Worth $10)

Singlife Referral Code Link: https://app.singlife.com/enWxrIzdt9

(The Singlife referral code/ promo code is the above URL link. Just click it on your mobile device to apply the referral code.)

If you install and apply for Singlife using the above Singlife Referral Code, you will get S$10 credited to your Singlife account, as soon as you set up your Singlife account and activate your free Singlife Visa debit card.

Singlife Review

Singlife is a insurance savings plan that works similarly to a bank account, providing you a 2.5% per annum interest. You may withdraw your savings at any time, there is no lock in period.

What is most attractive about Singlife is definitely the 2.5% interest, it currently much better than many banks’ savings account or even fixed deposit account.

I find the setting up process very easy, it should take less than 15 minutes and can be done entirely online. The app is quite intuitive to use, and has a clean user-friendly interface.

Note that other than the attractive 2.5% interest rate, Singlife also gives a life insurance coverage of up to 105% of your account value and retrenchment benefits.

Illustration: You may check out how much interest you can earn with Singlife 2.5% interest compounded over many years, with this compound interest calculator: http://www.helpfulcalculators.com/compound-interest-calculator.

Singlife Withdrawal

I have personally tested the Singlife withdrawal (withdraw from the Singlife bank to a DBS bank account). While it is not instantaneous, the withdrawal is very fast (around 5 minutes to appear in my bank account). On paper, it can take up to 3 hours for the Singlife withdrawal process, which is still quite acceptable.

Singlife Protected by SDIC and Capital Guaranteed

One question that is bound to be asked by Singaporeans is “Is Singlife safe?”. Or “Is it safe to put my money in Singlife?”.

Do note that all Singlife policies, including the Singlife Account are protected up to specified limits by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC), under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme. As of the current date, it means that your money in Singlife is insured up to S$100,000 per account. Or in other words, in the unlikely event that Singlife goes bankrupt, your money up to S$100,000 is safe. You can see that Singlife is under SDIC list of Policy Owners’ Protection (PPF) Scheme Members on the SDIC official website.

In addition, the Singlife Account is capital guaranteed, which means that the principal amount you put in is shielded from any losses (unlike stocks where you can lose your capital).

Lastly, Singlife is regulated by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Their MAS license can be found on the MAS official website.


Singlife Referral URL Link: https://app.singlife.com/enWxrIzdt9


Singlife Account: Pro and Cons

So let us summarize the pros and cons of Singlife account.

Pros:

  • High interest of 2.5% p.a. (No other bank has such a high interest at the time of writing this post, even fixed deposits cannot compare with Singlife.)
  • Capital-guaranteed.
  • Protected by SDIC.
  • Comes bundled with life insurance and retrenchment insurance.
  • Comes with free Visa card (no fees).

Cons:

  • The 2.5% interest rate is not guaranteed (it can go up or down in the future). According to the Singlife Facebook, it will uphold the interest rate for at least a year.
  • The 2.5% interest rate is only for the first $10k in your Singlife Account. Subsequently amounts above your first S$10,000 up to S$100,000 will earn 1% p.a. returns (which is still quite good). Amounts above S$100,000 will not earn any returns.
  • No ATM machines, it is totally virtual.
  • Singlife is still relatively not well-known at the moment.

Singlife Hardwarezone and Singlife Reddit

You can check out the discussion about Singlife on the popular forum Hardwarezone or Reddit.

Basically, the comments about Singlife are quite positive (especially regarding the high 2.5% interest). The sentiment is that there is no harm trying out Singlife (while the high 2.5% interest is active, and then reconsider or transfer out when the interest rates drop).


If you decide to sign up with Singlife, do so with the referral code link below, and get $10 credited to your account!

Singlife Referral Code Link: https://app.singlife.com/enWxrIzdt9


Singlife Debit Card Review

The Singlife Account comes with a free Visa Debit Card. It has no annual fees and no FX (foreign exchange) fees. You can use the Singlife Debit Card overseas, there will be zero FX fees imposed on your overseas purchases.

Even if you just intend to use it rarely, there is no harm just activating your Singlife Debit Card. You can get instant notifications on your spending in the Singlife App. For greater security, you can lock and unlock your Singlife Card all through the Singlife App.

The most important thing to note regarding Singlife Debit Card is that you must activate it in order to get the S$10 Referral or Promotion bonus.


Disclaimer: The opinions on Singlife Account expressed in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product. It is only intended to provide information on Singlife Referral and Singlife Review. In particular, this blog post is not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified investment advisor.

Free E-Book: 200 Armoured Catfish: Corydoras, Scleromystax, Aspidoras and Brochis

Just came across this free E-book on Corydoras Catfish in a FaceBook Group called “Corydoras Vault Singapore“.

It is very comprehensive, and shows rare Corydoras that many people do not know even exist. It is fascinating how many species of corydoras “armored catfish” there are.

Something I learnt from the book is that Corydoras is named from Greek “kory” which means helmet, and “doras” which means skin.

Do download this free E-book (while it is still free):


200 Armoured Catfish: Corydoras, Scleromystax, Aspidoras and Brochis


Some YouTube footage of peaceful corydoras fish:

Toy poodle smile

Charlie the toy poodle smiling, as he happily goes for a walk. The poodle’s facial expressions are quite expressive, we can tell the mood of Charlie quite accurately from his face alone.

Toy poodle smile.

Photos taken by iPhone 11. The iPhone 11’s camera is really a notch up compared to iPhone XR. The quality of the photographs is noticeably better.


Apple iPhone 11, 128GB, Black – Fully Unlocked (Renewed)

More photos of Charlie the toy poodle:

Charlie the toy poodle smiling with mouth open.
Full photo of toy poodle smile.
Cute innocent toy poodle expression.
Blue skies and a toy poodle.
Toy poodle hanging out near a playground.

Fish that won’t eat shrimp

We showcase 3 fish that won’t eat shrimp, tried and tested in our very own 5 gallon nano planted tank.

1) Phoenix Rasbora

2) Neon Tetra

3) Lambchop Rasbora

These 3 fish are shrimp safe, in our experience.

There are many baby shrimp, juvenile shrimp, as well as adult blue shrimp (blue version of cherry shrimp) living happily alongside those fish. As well as 1 Amano shrimp.

From what we observe, the fish don’t disturb or bother the shrimp as well. Music is “Foo the Flowerhorn” style peaceful music, aka the Gymnopedie No. 3.

Usually, aggressive or predatory fish like the betta tend to eat or hunt shrimp.

It is relatively easy to breed shrimp, especially cherry shrimp and its color variants. There need to be enough calcium source in the tank, what we did is put some coral chips (crushed corals) which has calcium carbonate. The most common way for shrimp to die is due to unsuccessful molting.

It’s foolish to wear yourself out with work. (Ecclesiastes 10:15, explained by Pastor Rick Warren)

Pastor Rick Warren is a Christian writer that I respect a lot. I read his groundbreaking and life changing book “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?” when I was a teenager. It is one of my favorite Christian books, along with Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis.


In this week’s sermon “You’re Not God—Stop Acting Like It!“, Pastor Rick comes up with another gem. It seems God Himself is a proponent of work-life balance. The problem of overworking is especially prevalent in East Asia, where it even flows down to the student level.

It is quite common that the average student in Singapore has less than 8 hours of sleep. In fact, it can be argued that it is almost “impossible” to have 8 hours of sleep, one will have to sleep at 10pm and wake up at 6am, and virtually no teenager sleeps so early at 10pm.

The human body is designed to mix work with rest, overworking is not only unhealthy, it is counterproductive as well. It may be quite possible to obtain temporary success by overworking, but the health effects may catch up sooner or later.

Related post: Good night’s sleep adds up to better exam results – especially in maths


The sermon by Pastor Rick Warren:

“Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work.”

Ecclesiastes 10:15 (GNT)

You’re not God. You don’t have all the answers. You can’t do everything. If you’re struggling to find balance in your life, those admissions can transform everything. 

The Bible says, “Only someone too stupid to find his way home would wear himself out with work” (Ecclesiastes 10:15 GNT).

It’s foolish to wear yourself out with work. Do you realize that when you overwork, you’re playing God? It’s a way of saying that it all depends on you, that everything will crash down if you don’t keep the world spinning.

That’s just not true! You’re not the general manager of the universe. The universe will not fall apart if you take time to rest, if you take time to balance your life. God has it under control.

Often we do this to ourselves because we’re trying to please everyone. Learn this lesson today: You can’t please everyone. Even God can’t please everyone! One person wants it to rain. Another one wants it to be sunny. It’s absurd to try doing what even God can’t do.

When you live for the expectations of others, you pile a ton of “shoulds” on your shoulders. You may think, “I should work more hours,” “I should be as active as all the other parents,” or “I should volunteer for this project.” But realize this: No one is forcing you to do those things. Overworking is your choice. You choose to take on the extra work or not to take it on. And you choose the consequences that come with your choice.

When you deny your humanity and try to do it all, you’re robbing God of his glory. The Bible declares this in 2 Corinthians 4:7: “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (NIV).

Paul reminds us that we’re human beings. We’re feeble and fragile. Jars of clay break easily. If you drop them, they shatter. Clay pots have to be handled appropriately and with care. If not, they’ll be destroyed.

But the good news is that through our feebleness, the power and glory of God shine through. Your humanity isn’t something to hide. Instead, you can celebrate the power of God working through your limitations.

So admit it: You’re human. Thank God for that!

Best Udemy Data Science / Machine Learning / AI Courses

During this current lockdown period it is a good idea to pick up a data science skill. Most occupations can benefit from such a skill, including engineers, accountants, teachers, even students. Who knows, one day you may find deep learning useful!

In this page we introduce various Udemy courses (which come with certificates that you can put on your LinkedIn profile) that are the best in their class, be it for data science, machine learning (including deep learning), and AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Best Udemy Python Course

Currently, Python is the most popular language for data science and machine learning.  R is the second most popular language, and is especially good for statistics.

Hence, this Machine Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Python & R In Data Science Course is perfect as it introduces two of the most popular programming languages in one course! You will learn Machine Learning (ML) in the process as well, which is a great bonus.

If you only want to focus on Python, then check out 2020 Complete Python Bootcamp: From Zero to Hero in Python. It is designed to bring you from zero knowledge to a respectable expert in Python if you complete the course and exercises.

Best Udemy courses for data science

In the Python for Data Science and Machine Learning Bootcamp  course, students can learn how to use NumPy, Pandas, Seaborn, Matplotlib, Plotly, Scikit-Learn, Machine Learning, Tensorflow, and more! The aforementioned packages are all classic and popular in data science, data analysis and data visualization.

The Data Science Course 2020: Complete Data Science Bootcamp is another bootcamp style course that gives you complete Data Science training in: Mathematics, Statistics, Python, Advanced Statistics in Python, Machine & Deep Learning. It is especially suitable for beginners, as well as intermediate students who need to brush up on their skills.

Best Udemy course for Deep Learning

Deep learning (DL) is a subbranch of machine learning that is recently very hot and popular due to its superior accuracy in tasks such as image classification and NLP (natural language processing).

The Deep Learning A-Z™: Hands-On Artificial Neural Networks allows students to learn how to create Deep Learning Algorithms in Python from two Machine Learning & Data Science experts. Templates included, which is very important. Essentially, you can use and modify the templates to suit your individual task at hand.

Complete Guide to TensorFlow for Deep Learning with Python is a course for learn how to use Google’s Deep Learning Framework – TensorFlow with Python! Solve problems with cutting edge techniques! TensorFlow is one of the more popular deep learning framework, and is slightly ahead in popularity compared to its closest rival, PyTorch.

Udemy course benefits

The first benefit of Udemy courses, is that you get to learn content from the top trainers. Often, these courses are superior to free YouTube content, and may be even better than the courses in your school.

The second benefit is that Udemy provides a certificate upon completion that you can list in your CV, as well as put in your LinkedIn profile. This is especially important if you are trying to transition into a data scientist job from another field, like engineering or physical sciences.

What is your favorite Udemy course for AI/ML/DL? Feel free to comment below!

How to Do Homework More Efficiently

Being fast with homework might not be good, but being efficient is definitely good. This guide shows how to do homework more efficiently.

Does homework take up too much of your time? Are you wondering how to do homework in a shorter timeframe? Perhaps you want to enhance the quality of your work.

Regardless, you can work efficiently by working in an isolated space, taking breaks, implementing time management, and eating nutritious snacks.

These tips help you concentrate better, resulting in quality work. This article will show you to get homework done fast. Let’s explore.

Making a List

Many students start on the first assignment that comes to mind. Perhaps you normally start on the hardest assignment first. Here is a better approach: make a list of everything you must complete before starting.

After listing the tasks, determine how much time you need for each assignment. Make a guess if you’re uncertain.

Time management helps you plan ahead if you need more time to complete your work. Therefore, be realistic about the homework time.

A list eliminates contemplation on your next course of action. As a result, you’ll finish much faster. Best of all, scratching items off your list gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Working without Distractions

Before learning how to do homework faster, you must work in a quiet space. First, keep the television off when working. Watching television slows down your performance.

The time it takes to look at a screen is time you could have devoted to finishing your work. Also, you risk overlooking errors and making mistakes.

Besides television, other small things can distract you, such as:

  • Smartphones
  • Electronic devices (i.e. tablets)
  • Pets
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Roommates
  • Household obligations

These distractions can also lead to procrastination. Working in a quiet room will eliminate most distractions. Turn off your phone and all electronic devices.

  • Note: You can listen to music (i.e. classical music) to enhance your concentration. Studies show that classical music improves mental sharpness.

Smartphone notifications interfere with studies more than many students think. The notifications disrupt your focus as you read the messages.

Further, you must utilize more brainpower to refocus your attention. To make matters worse, you could produce low-quality work in the process.

Healthy Nourishment

Before finding a quiet space, eat a light snack to give your body more energy. Avoid starting your homework when you’re fresh out of school. You’ll overexert yourself when working without sustenance. Hunger is also a distraction, and it could force you to rush unnecessarily.

Many students drink coffee when studying. Coffee is a good choice, but you must be careful. It gives you an energy boost, but it causes your body to crash later in the day.

You should also never consume coffee on an empty stomach, as it can cause heartburn and indigestion. It can also degrade your stomach lining.

Drinking coffee when hungry can also reduce your concentration and heighten your anxiety. The best time to drink coffee is in the morning or in the early afternoon.

When it comes to food, choose something that has plenty of nutrients. Avoid sugary snacks and soda, as these items can cause your body to crash. Heavy meals can also make you tired.

Consider brain foods, which are foods that repair brain cells and improve your concentration. Take note of the following foods:

  • Fish: Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 enhances blood flow to the brain and improves brain-cell neurons.
  • Berries: The antioxidants in berries (i.e. strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries) can improve memory and foster better communication between brain cells. They also have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Whole Grains: Whole grains include oatmeal, brown rice, bread, and pasta. These foods provide your body with vitamin E, which protects your brain from oxidative stress.
  • Nuts: Nuts (i.e. almonds and sunflower seeds) contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

Brain food can also alleviate stress within the body. A mind that’s well-nourished will find creative ways to look for information. If you work online and must find information, you can learn how to search within a pdf to work smarter.

Rewarding Yourself

Eating sugary foods before working isn’t a good idea, but you can do so when finished. Reward yourself with something special after completing your assignments. The reward can be desserts, games, movies, shows, or outdoor activities.

Regardless, create a reward system for yourself as a motivator. A reward system makes you eager to start your work sooner. Best of all, finishing early gives you more personal time.

Taking Breaks

You should take frequent breaks even when you ‘re not hungry. Breaks will relax your mind and recharge your body. Many students work long hours to finish early.

Working long has the opposite effect, as it can slow you down. You’ll become tired sooner, placing more stress on your body.

Instead, consider working in small increments. Work hard for a brief period, and take a short break.

  • Example: Work for 25 minutes straight, and follow with a break of five minutes. During the break, consider doing some stretches or eating a snack. You can continue the same pattern until you finish the coursework.

You’ll also notice a vast improvement in your work performance.

How to Do Homework the Right Way

Knowing how to do homework efficiently requires time management. Time your homework sessions accordingly to finish within desired timeframes.

Also, work in a quiet place to concentrate on your assignments. Your undivided attention produces speedier homework sessions and quality work.

With that, you must balance hard work with frequent breaks and nutritious snacks. Regular breaks and good food will energize your body, allowing you to work efficiently.

Interested in learning more? Read more on our blog to get vital homework tips that will improve your study life.

Praziquantel snail safe? (Prazi gold review)

Recently, we had to dose Praziquantel (EIHO Prazi Gold) in the 5 gallon aquarium due to suspected internal parasites.

Basically, we discovered that one or two of our Phoenix Rasboras were pale, skinny and looking sick.

Is Praziquantel Snail Safe?

We do have a variety of snails in the tank:

  • 2 Horned Nerite Snails (Bumblebee snails)
  • Mini Ramshorn Snails (Pest snails)
  • Freshwater Limpets (not exactly snails, but similar)

We were most worried about the 2 nerite snails, since the other snails were considered pest snails that we wanted to remove anyway.

The online research results were mixed. We did web searches on API General Cure, and Hikari PraziPro, both of which contained praziquantel as the active ingredient. Most reviews said that they were safe for snails, but there were a few that mentioned that their nerite snails were affected by the treatment (either climbing out of the water, or even dying).


API GENERAL CURE Freshwater and Saltwater Fish Powder Medication 10-Count Box

Since the negative reviews were in the minority, we decided to dose praziquantel in our 5 gallon tank, and monitor closely. If any signs of distress were observed, we have a separate tank to place the nerite snails.

Result after one day: No signs of distress, for nerite snails, ramshorn snails, and limpets. The horned nerite snails are still crawling about rather actively doing their thing. They did not attempt to climb out of the water.

Conclusion: Praziquantel seems to be safe for snails (including nerite snails).


Hikari Usa AHK73254 Prazipro for Aquarium, 4-Ounce

EIHO Prazi Gold Review

The brand of praziquantel I used is called “EIHO Prazi Gold“. It is in liquid form, but there is quite a lot of suspended undissolved white powder in the liquid. The white powder will eventually dissolve when you put it into the aquarium. Praziquantel is notorious for being difficult to dissolve.

Overall, I think it is effective, as I can sometimes even see the dead worms that are expelled by the praziquantel. Also, the affected fish always seem to behave in a weird way, for example becoming more inactive and gasping a little (possibly the parasites are dying inside their body and causing a reaction). Other non-affected fish behave normally as usual.

Zee Bed Singapore (5% Discount Code)

Discount Code (PerroMart): Click here to get 5% PerroMart Discount Voucher.

Zee Bed (or Zee.Dog Bed) is said to be the best bed for dogs. Dogs spend up to 80% of their time sleeping, so a good bed is important for their well-being. Sleeping on the cold hard floor may cause problems like arthritis or sores.

Zee Bed Singapore (Simpsons Edition)

 

Zee Dog The Simpsons Zee Bed (2 Sizes)

This dog bed is:

  • Ultra soft microfiber material
  • Super soft,
  • Hypoallergenic
  • 100% viscoelastic uni-body foam adapts to any dog’s shape
  • The orthopedic dog bed’s removable cover has two zippers for easy removal
  • Anti-slip rubber bottom – ensures the bed remains in one spot
  • Cushioned head support for maximum comfort
  • Packed using nano-compression technology
  • No assembly required. unbox and sleep.

*Remember to get the 5% Discount Code before buying!

Zee Bed Singapore (Najima Edition)

Zee Dog Zee Bed Najima (2 Sizes)

This is another design of Zee Bed, red in color. Very elegant design.

*Remember to get the 5% Discount Code before buying!

Zee Bed Classic Design (Amazon)

The classic Zee Bed design is also available on Amazon. The grey color will match most interior designs.

ZEE.DOG | Zee.Bed 2.0 for Dogs | Large | Memory Foam Orthopedic Dog Bed | Removable Microfiber Cover

Xiaomi camera cannot connect to mobile network [Solved]

Xiaomi camera cannot connect to 4G outside

A very common problem for Xiaomi home surveillance cameras is that it can connect to the home WiFi, but once outside, the user cannot connect.

Basically, a typical scenario is that a user cannot view his camera through mobile data ( It gets stuck at connecting 5%, 10% or even 25%).

Why am I not able to connect to the Xiaomi camera when I’m outside? (Solved!)

Recently I faced the same problem, which was quite annoying. The main purpose of a home surveillance camera is to view the camera when outside, there is no point in connecting only when I am at home!

The solution can be summarized in the following steps:

  1. Unpair the camera from the Mi Home App
  2. Uninstall the Mi Home App
  3. Reinstall the Mi Home App
  4. Select server location to be Mainland China.
  5. Pair the camera (manually or through Bluetooth) in the Mi Home App.

And it works! Note that there may still be a 5 to 10 second time lag in connecting the camera through 3G, or 4G cellular data networks outside.

And this solves the problem of “Xiaomi camera cannot connect outside local WiFi network”.

[S$46.90](▼21%)[OFFICIAL ChuangMI SG]XiaoMi(iMiLab) NEW 2020 1080P 360 Home Camera|Mijia App|Night Vision|Baby Cry

WWW.QOO10.SG


Note that readers may want to read about Fake Micro SD Card! Do purchase your Micro SD Card for Xiaomi camera from a reputable seller, as a very high percentage of SD cards online are fake.

How to Promote Architecture Firms Online

How to Promote Architecture Firms Online

According to Architecture Quote that 44.5% of architectural and engineering firms find it difficult to capture clients and forge a meaningful relationship with them. A survey by Archmark showed that 75% of the surveyed architecture companies had little to no clue how to build an online presence.

The truth is, the world has moved online. There are more brick-and-click companies today, than brick-and-mortar ones. If you want your architecture company to become visible to clients, you need to move your business online. More importantly, you need to start actively promoting online.

Here, we tell you the 8 best ways to promote your architecture business on the internet:

  1. Use social media to engage with your prospects

Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have become the best places to show prospective clients what they can expect from your services. You can publish pictures of your new and old builds. You can upload a video of a property walk through.

You can also post messages about your design practices or about what makes you different from other architecture firms. Use the right hashtags to increase the visibility of your posts as well. In 2020, these are some of the trending hashtags in the architect and design space –  #architectural, #archilove, #architecturephotography, #interiordesign, #instaarchitecture, #modernarchitecture and #homedecor.

  1. Leverage the power of keywords on Google

Google keywords are very important in promoting your architecture firm online. They are the words that prospective clients use to find businesses like yours. If you want your website to come up in the first or second page of the search results, you need to use the right keywords.

The architecture-related keywords that have the high usage online include “cheap architect near me”, “recommended architects near me”, “remodel architects near me”, “licensed architect near me” and “architects [location]” (ex: architects NYC).

Apart from keywords, it helps if you are on-point with the rest of your site SEO as well:

  • Update all of your website content regularly – it will help you rank higher in the search.
  • Link your content to information-rich statistics, case studies and blog posts that the prospect can learn from. Internally link your website pages as well.
  • Write meta titles, meta descriptions and image alt tags for each page.
  1. Create a brand identity that is emotionally-engaging to your target clients

Studies show that 65% of customers feel emotionally connected to brands they purchase from. 43% of customers spend more money on the brands that they are patrons of. These numbers are proof of why you need to create a brand identity that emotionally engages your prospective clients.

There are numerous architecture firms in the USA. But the only reason why a first-time client will choose you, over a competitor, is when he likes the communication you direct towards him/her.

From branding your architecture firm as a trusted family friend to showcasing yourself as the leader in corporate architectural design, you can choose a variety of imagery for your brand.

  1. Send personalized communication to your site visitors

One of the best ways to promote your architecture business online, is to send personalized communication to each website visitor. By capturing leads through your contact page or gated content, you’ll have access to the visitor’s email IDs. You can send them insightful newsletters and emails with discount coupons & seasonal offers.

The more frequently you send such personalized communication, the more often will people visit your site and the higher the likelihood of their seeking your design services.

  1. Speak at online architecture conferences & events

A great way to market your architecture firm to both commercial and residential clients, is to participate in online architecture conferences, panel discussions and webinars. You can showcase your immense knowledge here, display the designs you’ve previously made and answer people’s questions.

A few reputed architects even teach an online course in architecture design. They add plug-ins to their business and promote their company to students. This is a great way to attract top-quality talent to your firm.

  1. Hold online open houses

One of the best ways to promote your business and showcase your talent, is to organize an online open house. You can schedule webinars and share the link with your social media audience. By taking your viewers through the new build that your firm has designed, you can show them how creative, sustainable and resourceful you are.

  1. Invest in media

Press releases, public relations and newspaper/magazine articles are a great way to increase your company visibility online. These days, you have many media firms that provide end-to-end media representation to architecture companies and even provide coverage for any events you organize.

  1. Publish blogs on topics your prospects want to learn about

Finally, a great way to promote your architecture firm is to write articles about topics that will interest your prospective clients. You can approach leading architecture publications (such as Architectural Digest, The Architectural Review, Dwell, Contract etc.) and contribute to them. You will gain thousands of readers, many of whom may contact you for your services.

Wrapping it up

Now that you know how to promote your firm online go ahead and implement these strategies.

Architecture firms face a lot of financial risks, and you may have clients or third-party contractors who may sue you for different kinds of reasons. Typically, such claims arise out of a mismatch in expectations. But this can ruin your credibility and cause massive financial losses.

The architect’s professional liability insurance could protect you and your firm from such claims and legal costs related to it. Check this website for more information about insurance for Architects.

You have under a week to grab some free e-Books from Springer

Free Math e-books from Springer!
Do download them now while they are available!
Thanks to Joseph Nebus for the information! (https://nebusresearch.wordpress.com/)

nebusresearch

Springer released a bunch of its e-Books for free, as one of those gestures of corporate-brand goodwill for the pandemic. The free-download period is slated to end the 31st of July. So if you have any interest in academic books, take a little while and read over the options.

Harish Narayanan kindly improved on Springer’s organization scheme by grouping them by subject and ordering them by title. Also adding their Goodread ratings, where available. You can find that grouping here, in a table easy to search. The categories are not perfect — Roman Kossak’s Mathematical Logic is grouped under “Religion and Philosophy”, for example — but it’s a good starting point. And all it’ll cost is download time.

I do not know whether this is region-limited, but if it is, it is limited in the most annoying and foolish way possible.

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Seeking The Overarching Purpose Of Your Life – Homily by Archbishop William Goh (26 July 2020)

A quote from the video that I find meaningful:

Those of you who are doing a job or a career, whatever it is, and you find yourself so drained instead of being energised by what you are doing, it has become a drudgery, this is not your life. This is not your vocation. In fact, you are destroying yourself. You will be making a living, but you will never live.

— Archbishop William Goh (At around 3:46 of the video.)

Monte Carlo Low Tech (No CO2 Carpet Plant)

Monte Carlo plant from Argentina is often said to be the easiest carpeting plant and does not require CO2.

We try it in our low tech tank beside our Ludwigia Sp. Red (2 months old and still alive).

We also cover Monte Carlo plant care tips, guide, and how to plant Monte Carlo.

Basic care tips:

– Moderate or high light recommended
– Nutritious substrate needed
– Fertilization recommended (For example Tropica Fertilizer)
– Trimming required (ideal thickness of Monte Carlo carpet is 1 to 1.5 inches)


Micranthemum Monte Carlo New Large Pearl Grass Live Aquatic Plant in Tissue Culture Cup for Aquarium Freshwater Fish Tank by Greenpro


The above video is Day 1 (21 July 2020) of planting Monte Carlo. Hopefully it will survive and carpet in the low tech tank, without CO2!

Monte Carlo (Day 2) in low tech tank. I pushed some of the Monte Carlo plants deeper into the soil using tweezers. The bright green color of MC (Monte Carlo) is really striking.

Monte Carlo Carpet Without CO2 (Day 7 Update)

Day 7: Noticeable improvement in the Monte Carlo carpet in my low tech, no CO2 tank! I do have a mini “time lapse” photo of the Monte Carlo before and after, the difference is quite noticeable. The Monte Carlo has “rooted” itself deeper into the substrate. Hopefully it continues to improve and spread out even more.

Monte Carlo Low Tech No CO2 (Day 7 Update). Compared with Day 1 or 2, it has rooted itself deeper into the substrate!

Day 13: Monte carlo time lapse (Day 13 Photo Time Lapse), Turning a little brown!

Monte Carlo low tech time lapse (photo montage), up till day 13. Growth is noticeable, but yet there is some yellowing and browning. I think the Monte Carlo is still adapting, and possibly transitioning from emersed to submersed. I just heard that another plant, Marsilea hirsuta, may be even easier than Monte Carlo to grow. Tropica rates the Marsilea hirsuta as easy, while Monte Carlo is rated medium. Maybe will try it if the Monte Carlo melts and dies.

Monte Carlo low tech no CO2 Day 13 update. Some browning and yellowing is observed!

Monte Carlo Low Tech Day 25: Growing Upwards!

This is Day 25 of growing Monte Carlo in low tech, no CO2 tank. The Monte Carlo is growing and surviving, however the growth is vertically upwards instead of carpeting horizontally. In other words, the Monte Carlo plant is not carpeting.

How do we ensure that the Monte Carlo carpets and grow horizontally? Please comment below if you have any suggestions!

Monte Carlo growing upwards instead of carpeting.

Why Asians Are Good At Math – Jimmy O. Yang Math Joke

Jimmy O. Yang is a famous US comedian of Chinese origin. This joke on “Why Asians Are Good at Math” is quite hilarious.

Warning on the YouTube video: Strong Language for Singapore/Asian standards (Recommended at least Age 16 or up to watch it.)

For US standards, apparently it is normal language, YouTube doesn’t even censor it.


To fully understand Jimmy’s joke, you need to understand what is a TI-83 Plus, which is covered in our recommended calculators page.

Jimmy is a talented Asian immigrant who excels in the standard repertoire of: playing ping-pong, violin and Math!

YANG: Absolutely. I grew up playing ping pong.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter).

YANG: I grew up playing the violin. And I was extremely good at math.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2020/05/10/853415067/comedian-jimmy-o-yang-on-his-new-comedy-special-good-deal

Tips On How To Set Up Your Baby Nursery After Moving

Tips On How To Set Up Your Baby Nursery After Moving

Moving to another state, such as from California to New York, can be an exciting adventure. You can probably think of a fresh start for you and your family, and you feel excited about your new place. For instance, if you have a baby, the relocation can be your opportunity to redesign your baby nursery and make it more beautiful and comfortable

If you’re moving with your little one, below are a few tips for setting up your baby nursery after your move:

  • Check Your Baby Inventory

While you can always buy new stuff for your baby nursery after the move, you may have existing items that should be brought to your new home. Hence, it’s crucial to hire the best interstate moving and storage service to transport your baby’s things safely. After all, you may not be able to properly set up your nursery room if some of the items are missing or damaged.

Once you arrive at your new home, find time to check the inventory of your baby’s belongings to make sure everything you need for the setup is there and intact. These can include sleeping items, bathing supplies, clothing, diapering toiletries, and even nursery storage. Also, be sure all of these things are placed in their respective boxes so it’ll be easier and faster to arrange your baby’s room right after moving.

  • Paint The Walls And Add Some Décor

Now that you have your baby’s things ready to be arranged, it’s time to work on decorating the space and make it beautiful. First, you can start by painting the walls with something colorful or childish. For example, if your baby is a boy, you can coat the surfaces with blue, and if it’s a girl, you can paint it with something pink.

Then, the next step in the decoration process is the setting of the curtains. Since your baby will more likely have to sleep almost the whole day, you should use some curtains such as roman shades or short tailored panels to darken the room during naptime.  

Lastly, you should decorate your nursery room with items that have been there throughout your family history, such as family portraits and many more. Also, you can fill your space with baby decorations to make the new space feel like your old home.

  • Set The Crib

Another essential item to arrange in the nursery room is the crib. This is where your child will sleep and spend most of their time. For that reason, decorate your crib in a way that their sleep should be comfortable. You can do this by putting soft blankets and pillows and even a net so they can feel they’re protected at all times.

  • Have A Changing Table

With your baby’s dirty diaper, it’s best to have a changing table in the nursery room. This is an area where you can change your child’s diapers and clothes quickly and easily. If you have an existing changing table, you can opt to bring it to your new home with the help of professionals like movers near Manhattan. Just make sure the size of the table fits well in your available space to avoid having an oversized table in the room.

On the other hand, if you have no enough space, you can use the top portion of a dresser as your changing table. This can undoubtedly save a lot of space and money than buying a new one after moving.

  • Put Much Storage

Of course, your nursery room should have lots of storage spaces to accommodate several things such as gear, diapers, toys, books, clothes, and many more. These things need to go somewhere and not just below your baby’s crib or in an empty corner. For example, you can use a basket for their toys, wall shelves for the children’s books, and open bin storage for blankets. By having a great storage solution, your new baby nursery will look and feel clean and fresh after moving.

  • Designate A Play Zone

Moving can also cause much stress to your baby, especially if they’re introduced to an unfamiliar environment. Hence, if you want your child to feel attached to the room quickly, set up a play zone where they can play anytime they want. Place the toys in a way that they feel happy and excited while they’re playing in the room. Remember, your baby nursery will not be complete with a play area for your baby.

Conclusion

Indeed, moving can be a daunting task. But, it somehow becomes more challenging if you have a baby to relocate to your new home. Aside from keeping them safe during the process, you also need to arrange the baby nursery right after your move as they should be settled in their comfort zone as soon as you arrive.

Luckily, by keeping these tips in mind, you can set up the nursery room without hassle.

How to develop students’ interest in mathematics

For interest in Math, it is totally understandable that many students may find math boring. One way to overcome it is to try to think of each Math question like a puzzle or game (like a Sudoku or Crossword Puzzle). Solving a Math question correctly should bring joy and a sense of achievement just like completing a stage of a game or a puzzle. And the more questions one solves, the better one gets at it.
“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.”
― Bertrand Russell
In the Singapore context, basically, Math is quite compulsory in SG education system (up till JC, even arts subject combinations requires math), but once JC is over one can skip Math entirely in university. So a secondary student just have to work hard for math for the upcoming few years, and “get it over with”, if he/she really does not like math. Similarly for Chinese, students need to work hard up till Secondary 4, score well and be exempted in JC. Math can be considered the “easiest” subject to get A, as long as one gets the answer correct he/she will get the full marks, many students complain that getting A for English or other humanities subjects like Literature is much harder due to strict or subjective marking.
The important thing is not to give up. Currently, in the Singapore education system it is quite common for students to “fail” exams (fail as in score below 50), especially in secondary school and JC internal exams. It is very possible to improve upon working hard after the failure.
“Trust me, its normal, I never passed a single A math test/exam during my sec 3/4 school years, got A2 for O levels in the end. (Mugged really hard after prelims) What matters is understanding the content I feel.”
– This student never passed a single A math test/exam up till prelims but eventually got A2 for O levels after “mugging” really hard after prelims.
Source: Reddit
trust me youre not alone. from mid sec 3 to prelims in sec 4 i got F9 all the way. but then in the end i got an A2 in olevels. one thing u need to know is to NEVER stop believing in yourself. keep on pushing urself all the way till the finishing point. aft seeing my score for prelims, i alm gave up but i told myself to atleast PASS amaths and i’d be satisfied with it. i started spamming my TYS, practice as much as i could. never give up and whenever in doubt just ask ur cher. it rly helps! atb and ik u can do it:))
Source: Reddit
dude chill. i got 8% for mye in sec 3 for A Math. form teacher told me drop the subject, but i didnt. ended up o level got A2. just do work given and practice more.
– This guy even more “power”, he got just 8/100 for Mid-year exams, but improved to A2 in O Levels.
Source: Reddit

Bible and Chinese history (Su Dongpo & Ecclesiastes)

Quite rare to read an excellent article in the Daily Bread (daily biblical stories) with links to Chinese history. I really enjoyed reading this article by Poh Fang Chia. This clearly shows that Christianity is compatible with Chinese culture.

The poem by Su Dongpo referenced is 《水调歌头·明月几时有》, namely the most famous lines:

人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺,此事古难全。但愿人长久,千里共婵娟。

The entire poem is much longer, but most people just refer to these 5 lines. The classic song that encapsulates this poem is the one sung by Teresa Teng:

Source: Our Daily Bread (July 15 2020)

Su Dongpo (also known as Su Shi) was one of China’s greatest poets and essayists. While in exile and gazing upon a full moon, he wrote a poem to describe how much he missed his brother. “We rejoice and grieve, gather and leave, while the moon waxes and wanes. Since times of old, nothing remains perfect,” he writes. “May our loved ones live long, beholding this beautiful scene together though thousands of miles apart.”

His poem carries themes found in the book of Ecclesiastes. The author, known as the Teacher (1:1), observed that there’s “a time to weep and a time to laugh . . . a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing” (3:4-5). By pairing two contrasting activities, the Teacher, like Su Dongpo, seems to suggest that all good things must inevitably come to an end.

As Su Dongpo saw the waxing and waning of the moon as another sign that nothing remains perfect, the Teacher also saw in creation God’s providential ordering of the world He’d made. God oversees the course of events, and “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (v. 11).

Life may be unpredictable and sometimes filled with painful separations, but we can take heart that everything takes place under God’s gaze. We can enjoy life and treasure the moments—the good and the bad—for our loving God is with us.

By Poh Fang Chia

REFLECT & PRAY
Thank You, loving Father, for watching over all seasons of my life. Help me to trust in You and enjoy the life You’ve given me.

What are some things you’re afraid to try because of life’s unpredictability? How can you lean on Jesus as you step forward in courage to forge new friendships and deepen relationships?

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT
The book of Ecclesiastes is a book for a postmodern world. The “Preacher,” whom many believe was Solomon, speaks of the frustrations and disappointments of life. Two key phrases in the book are “everything is meaningless” (1:1) and “under the sun” (v. 3). The phrase “everything is meaningless” speaks of life lived on human terms and according to the values of this world, which is described by the phrase “under the sun.” In the end, the Preacher says that the answer to this meaninglessness is to look beyond this world and “remember your Creator” (12:1), who is the only source of true meaning in this life.

To learn more about the book of Ecclesiastes, visit The Bible Project, Old Testament Series. Bill Crowder

Original source: https://odb.org/2020/07/15/treasure-the-moments

Time needed for each O Level E Maths / A Maths Question

Just to reblog an old post on how much time to take per mark per question for ‘O’ level or IP Math. The above guideline applies for both E Math and A Math, Paper 1 and Paper 2.

The basic guideline is 1.5 min per mark.

So for a 2 mark question, the time taken should be 1.5×2=3 min.

For a 5 mark question, the time taken should be 1.5×5=7.5min.

This is the slowest speed allowed in order to finish the entire paper (there is no time to check). Hence, if one wishes to have some time for checking, it is recommended to do questions at a faster speed of around 1.2 or 1.3 min per mark.

Singapore Maths Tuition

E Maths / A Maths: Maximum time per question

Paper 1: 2 hours (120 min) — 80 marks

Max. Time taken per mark: 1.5 min per mark

Paper 2: 2 hours 30 minutes (150 min) — 100 marks

Max. Time taken per mark: 1.5 min per mark

In O Levels Maths, speed and accuracy is very important indeed!

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Best Calculator for Linear Algebra and Calculus

Many universities and colleges allow students to use advanced graphical calculators for exams in math courses, including linear algebra, calculus and engineering. Having the appropriate calculator can prove to be a huge advantage in terms of getting the correct answer and saving time. Even if the handwritten manual working is required, a good calculator can help to check the correctness of the answer.

Best Calculator for Linear Algebra

The key calculations in linear algebra include calculating the inverse and determinant of matrices. Additional features that are useful in calculators include the ability to calculate eigenvalues, eigenvectors, and RREF (reduced row echelon form). These features can be great time savers (or at the minimum, useful tools for checking your answer), as matrix operations are often tedious and prone to human error.


Our first choice would be Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Color Graphing Calculator, Black. This is one of the flagship calculators by Texas Instruments. This type of calculator is something like a smart phone, you would need to download free apps that will greatly magnify its power in solving Linear Algebra equations. Some of the linear algebra capabilities of the TI-84 Plus are:

  • Calculate adjoint of a matrix
  • Solve Simultaneous Equations
  • Calculate dot product, cross product of vectors
  • Calculate inverse of matrix (when matrix is invertible)
  • Calculate LDU decomposition, Cholesky factorization
  • Calculate Eigenvalues and plot the characteristic polynomial
  • Compute the Frobenius norm of a matrix
  • Perform Gram Schmidt orthonormalization
  • Calculate null space (kernel) if a matrix
  • and more!

This calculator is good enough up till senior undergraduate level or even graduate level, for computational intensive modules, such as computational physics or any module that requires linear algebra calculations.

For a more budget-friendly version, you may check out the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus Graphing Calculator, Black which is essentially the black and white version of the TI-84 Plus CE Color.

Or for an even cheaper option, you could opt for the older version Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator which still supports the linear algebra apps.

Often, linear algebra courses include applications to differential equations as well, which overlaps with the next topic on Calculus.

Update: For the latest TI-85/86 models, there is a new “Matrix Mode” inbuilt into the calculator that can perform basic matrix operations (including inverse) and other advanced operations such as LU Decompositions, and finding eigenvalues/eigenvectors.

Note that paradoxically, the newer TI calculator models may be cheaper than the older ones.


Texas Instruments TI-86 ViewScreen Calculator

Best Calculator for Calculus

For Calculus, the important features that a calculator should have are the ability to perform numerical differentiation and integration. There are also some amazing apps for TI83/84 that can perform symbolic differentiation, that is, find the derivative of a function in symbols (not just the numerical value at certain values of x).

So once again, the TI-84 Plus CE Color Graphing Calculator, White is a good suggested calculator for Calculus modules.

If your budget (and course requirements) permit, you should definitely check out the Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX II CAS Color Graphing Calculator with Student Software (PC/Mac). CAS stands for “computer algebra system”, which means that the calculator is capable of producing symbolic results rather than just numerical results.

The TI-Nspire™ CX II features a deSolve wizard function for reducing syntax errors in solving differential equations. The TI-Nspire CX can even do vector calculus. It is a very powerful smart calculator that is essentially a mini-computer.

TI Calculator Alternatives

In my experience as a student and educator, TI (Texas Instruments) calculators dominate the market and are generally considered a good choice. But there are other viable alternatives that can also be considered good for linear algebra, calculus or engineering math.

A popular alternative is Casio calculators, for instance Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator with icon based menu. Color white. An immediate advantage of Casio calculators is their low price.

The Casio fx-9750 (and related series) calculator is able to calculate determinant of matrix as well as basic matrix operations such as multiplying matrices, finding the inverse of matrix, etc.

As mentioned above, the main advantage of Casio graphical calculators is their low price. For advanced features, the TI calculators definitely trump over the Casio calculators.

Another alternative to TI calculators are the HP graphical calculators. Let us check out the most powerful HP calculator, the HP 50g Graphing Calculator.

The HP 50g Graphing Calculator has a “MatrixWriter form” to facilitate the entry of matrices. It is essentially like an Excel spreadsheet. Once the matrix is entered, there is a myriad of functions that can be applied, such as finding the determinant, trace, transpose, and rank of a matrix.

In terms of Calculus, the HP 50g can perform a wide range of calculus functions such as:

  • Limits and derivatives
  • Anti-derivatives and Integrals
  • Calculate the Taylor/Maclaurin series of a function symbolically (up to 4-th order relative power, i.e., the difference between the highest and lowest power in the expansion is 4)
  • Partial Derivatives (Multivariate Calculus)
  • Multiple Integrals such as double integral
  • Vector Calculus such as del, gradient, divergence, curl
  • Differential Equations
  • Fourier series

The list above is quite impressive! Overall, the HP 50g Graphical Calculator is a very strong competitor to the TI series graphical calculators.

Best Calculator for Engineering

Engineers often need to use Linear Algebra, as well as Calculus. Hence, the best calculator for engineering often overlaps with the best calculator for linear algebra or calculus. Do check out our above reviews and pick the calculator that best suits your needs.

In general, we have the below summary.

Best Budget Calculator: Casio graphical calculators, such as Casio fx-9750GII Graphing Calculator with icon based menu. Color white.

Safe choice, all-round best calculator: TI Texas Instruments Calculator, for instance the iconic Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus CE Color Graphing Calculator, Black

Super Powerful Calculator (very advanced and comprehensive features): HP 50g Graphing Calculator

Baby Nursery Storage Ideas and Hacks to Save Space

Taking your little bundle of joy home comes with a lot of responsibilities and a long shopping list of items to take care of the baby. Therefore it becomes quintessential to organize all these items so that they can be used effectively. 

While arranging and organizing the nursery for your newborn you may stumble upon space constraints. This calls for utilizing the available space in the most efficient way possible. Worry no more, because we are here to help you with some storage ideas and hacks to organize your nursery better. 

  1. Use convertible furniture

Convertible furniture as the name suggests can be converted and used for more than one purpose. Also, you should invest in convertible furniture because it grows with the baby and can help you avoid future investment. For example, you can invest in a crib that can be converted into a toddler bed and can be used later when your baby outgrows the crib. 

  1. Use space under the crib

When faced with the scarcity of space, it becomes important to utilize every square inch of space available. You can store less frequently used items under the crib. For a more organized look, you can use a crib skirt to cover the area under the crib. You can also use decorative baskets to store items and to enhance the overall look of the nursery.

  1. Use dividers for hanging clothes

Dividers can be used to segregate baby clothes based on size and season. This helps you to manage the outfits for your little ones better. It also saves you time as you know exactly where each item is kept and you don’t have to waste your time searching for them.

  1. Use dividers for drawers

Dividers in a drawer will help you utilize the entire space effectively. Necessities for your baby can be tiny and thus it becomes imperative to organize them based on categories and using dividers ensures that the entire space is utilized.

  1. Maximize floor space.

While managing the space in a small nursery you should use tall and thin furniture. This will take up less floor area but will still help you store a lot of space because of its height. We recommend choosing furniture with adjustable racks and dividers.

  1. Using baskets

Using baskets for necessities like toys, towels and diapers helps you organize stuff and also ensures a faster clean up.

You can also use tiered baskets to save up more space.

  1. Use wall storage

While saving floor space, using wall space becomes inevitable. Use wall hangers with pouches to store necessary items. They not only help you keep essentials handy but may also enhance the entire look of your nursery. Wall hangers can be placed near the crib or bed for easy access.

  1. Use racks

It is always advisable to go for vertical storage in case of limited floor space. You can use the unused corners of your nursery for racks. These racks can be used to store baby shoes, toys, and other essentials.

  1. Keep extra items out of the nursery

Being a parent you must have stocked extra items that may come handy in case you run out of them. This saves you an unexpected visit to the store.

You should keep your emergency supply out of the nursery to save up space in the nursery.

These are some of the storage ideas and hacks to keep your nursery more organized while managing space.And in case you need help with your long shopping list you can use valid My 1st Years Voucher Codes for exciting discounts.

Singtel Recontract Promotion

Singtel Recontract Phone Promotion

Not many people know this, but you can actually save $100 or more when recontracting your Singtel Combo Plan and changing a new phone.

The old method of doing so is calling 1688 and trying to reach a human Singtel customer service officer, or to wait for them to send you a letter with the voucher. It doesn’t work anymore! It is almost impossible to get a recontract promo via the old method. (Read more at: No More Recontract Voucher from Singtel? Best Phone to Recontract and Sell)

Read more below for the new method of getting a Singtel Recontract Promotion or Promo Code.

Singtel Recontract Online Promotion

The new method is done 100% online via the Singtel Official Referral Recontract Promotion. Basically, you need to click on a referral link such as the one below:

Hi, heard you were looking for a new mobile phone? Here’s a Singtel mobile offer just for you. Sign up using my exclusive link below to enjoy an extra $100 OFF on all phones when you switch to a new Singtel Combo plan. When you’ve switched, I’ll be rewarded too! Singtel terms and conditions apply.
Exclusive link: https://www.singtel.com/personal/promotions/refer-and-earn/referee?payload=MRFFjhv59gu7unLeeQY4xyvER%2Bno%2Bt8U6MqrTZ8vabEdcqsC%2FpKQXe3Ys6OAsLb4&campaignID=cK5v4D&promoCode=FRIENDOFST

Basically, once you click on the above link on the Official Singtel Website, the Singtel Recontract Promotion will be applied and you will get $100 off the phone you pick for recontracting your plan (Combo 2 and above).

Singtel Recontract Eligibility

As usual, the Singtel Recontract Eligibility rules apply. If you recontract before your contract expires, you may need to pay an early termination fee which is usually a couple of hundred dollars. To check your Singtel Recontract Eligibility date, either download the Singtel App or login to the official Singtel Website.

Singtel Recontract Voucher

As summarized above, the old methods of getting the Singtel Recontract Voucher do not work anymore. No matter what you do, just do not call 1688 and waste your time (we are trying to help you save time). 

In order to get the Singtel Recontract Voucher, Promotion, or Promo Code, you need to follow the new method which is the online referral voucher, using the link below.

Link: Singtel Official Website for $100 Recontract Promotion and Voucher

Singtel Recontract Hotline

We need to repeat this important fact: the Singtel Recontract Hotline is 1688, but it is very hard to reach a human Singtel customer service officer using 1688. We have wasted many hours navigating the automated robotic Singtel phone system in an attempt to reach a human customer service officer, and we wish to help our readers avoid this.

Hence, rather than trying to contact the Singtel Recontract Hotline, we strongly recommend readers to use the online Singtel Recontract System:

Link: Singtel Official Website for $100 Recontract Promotion and Voucher

Can dog eat strawberry?

Charlie the poodle eating strawberry. He likes licking the strawberry but actually only eats a little. Maybe Charlie finds it sour.

Back to the question of “Can dog eat strawberry”? The answer is: Yes! Dog can eat strawberry.

Source 1: AKC (American Kennel Club) Strawberries are a healthy, low-calorie, sweet treat for your dog, full of antioxidants, high in fiber and vitamin C. Here’s a bonus. By giving your dog strawberries, you are also helping him stay healthy in more ways than one. For example, over time, fresh fruit may help slow down the aging process, strengthen the immune system, and help with weight management. Strawberries can also help whiten your pup’s teeth. URL: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/feed-dog-strawberries/

Source 2: Purina Strawberries are good for dogs. But feed strawberries to your dog like you would any other snack. Keep the portion size small. “Treats you feed your dog should make up no more than 10% of his total calories for the day,” Purina Senior Nutritionist, Jan Dempsey says. Use this as a guide so the strawberries you feed your dog won’t cause him to gain extra pounds. URL: https://www.purina.com/articles/dog/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-strawberries

Warning: Dog absolutely cannot eat GRAPES!

Source: AKC No. Grapes and raisins are known to be highly toxic to dogs, though research has yet to pinpoint exactly which substance in the fruit causes this reaction. Because of that, peeled or seedless grapes should also be avoided. URL: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/can-dogs-eat-grapes/

Chinese Oral O Level 华文口试

Chinese Oral O Level Mark Weightage (O水准华文口试题目分数比重)

The weightage for Chinese Oral for O Level (classified under Paper 3) is quite high, at 25%. The duration of the Chinese Oral exam is only 15-25 minutes in total, hence this short period of time determines quite a lot of marks!

Chinese Oral O Level Topics 华文口试题目

There is a wide variety of topics that can be tested for the Chinese O Level Oral in the “Daily Conversation” section. The old format used to be based on a picture or photograph, but nowadays students view a video clip and answer or discuss questions based on the video clip.

For an extensive discussion of Topics for Chinese Oral (口试话题), check out this page on Chinesetuition88.com. Popular topics are those that are important to Singapore, such as saving water, fake news, inclusive society, and 个人代步工具 PMD (personal mobility device).

Chinese/ Higher Chinese Oral O Level Tips (O水准高级华文口试提示)

Firstly, one common problem for some students is talking too little. Clearly, the content marks is proportional to the amount of relevant content the student says. Hence, ideally, the student should keep talking until the time is up or the teacher says stop. If only a few words are spoken, the content marks cannot be high. This is the same concept as in Chinese composition, basically if the student only writes one page, his/her composition marks will be low.

Secondly, another problem is peppering of the speech with English words like “then”, “but”, or acronyms like MOE. Even names like “Joseph Schooling” should ideally be translated into Chinese (约瑟林). A few of these English words are not fatal, but too many English words would indicate a lack of mastery of Chinese vocabulary. Hence, students are advised to memorize a key list of Chinese terms that have high chance of appearing in Chinese O level exams.

List of Ministries in Singapore (Chinese)

  • 新加坡国防部(Ministry of Defence (MINDEF))
  • 新加坡环境及水源部(Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR))
  • 新加坡教育部(Ministry of Education (MOE))
  • 新加坡律政部(Ministry of Law (MINLAW))
  • 新加坡贸易和工业部(Ministry of Trade and Industry ( MTI))
  • 新加坡人力部(Ministry of Manpower (MOM))
  • 新加坡社会及家庭发展部(Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSFD))
  • 新加坡通讯及新闻部(Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI))
  • 新加坡卫生部(Ministry of Health (MOH))
  • 新加坡总理公署(Prime Minister’s Office)
  • 建屋发展局(Housing and Development Board、简称:HDB)
  • 国家传染病中心(National Centre for Infectious Diseases,简称NCID)
  • 新加坡文化、社区及青年部(Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY))

Lastly, one tip would be to memorize a list of “powerful Chinese idioms and proverbs” (口试好词好句), for instance sayings of Confucius or Tang poetry. If any one of them are used appropriately, it is an instant boost to your vocabulary score and place you in the top 5% of the student cohort. Imagine if a student uses the phrase below correctly, the examiner will be impressed beyond words:

天将降大任于斯人也,必先苦其心志,劳其筋骨,饿其体肤,空乏其身,行拂乱其所为,所以动心忍性,增益其所不能.  In English, Mencius is saying that, “whenever heaven invests a person with great responsibilities, it first exercises his mind with suffering, and his muscles and bones with toil. It exposes his body to hunger, and subjects him to extreme poverty. In this way his patience and endurance are developed and his weakness is overcome.”

A list of 500 proverbs (including many by Confucius) can be found in the book below, in Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin and English translation. The author, Qin Xue Herzberg, is a native speaker of Chinese and a graduate of Beijing Normal University in Chinese Language and Literature.


Chinese Proverbs and Popular Sayings: With Observations on Culture and Language

O level Chinese Oral Marking Scheme, Grading and Format (口试评分标准)

The official information on the O Level Chinese Oral Marking Scheme and Format is found on the SEAB website:

试卷三:口试 10 -15 分钟 50 分/25%

这份试卷包括朗读短文和会话。在考试前,考生有 10 分钟的时间默 读短文和观看录像短片。考生在限定的时间内,可以多次默读短文和 观看录像短片。

第一部分 (Reading):朗读短文 考生必须朗读一个短文。

第二部分 (Conversation):会话 考生针对所提供的录像短片,以及主考员的提问,跟主考员进行一段 对话。

Basically, the Reading portion is 10 marks (5%), while the Conversation portion is 40 marks (20%).

Within the Conversation portion, the official marking scheme does not mention how the marks is broken down, but traditionally it is common that 20 marks (10%) is for Content while another 20 marks (10%) is for Vocabulary/Proper usage of Chinese Language. Alternatively, the 20% could be allocated evenly among the 3 or 4 questions asked (but note the Vocabulary is still important as it contributes to Impression Marks 印象分 that is subconsciously applied by the examiner).

How to Improve Chinese Oral O Level

As mentioned above, the key aspects to improve Chinese Oral (O Level) are in the aspects of Content and Vocabulary.

For Content, students are advised to watch more Chinese television, especially news broadcasts on current affairs. Also, students can read more Chinese newspapers to improve their general knowledge. For example, Dengue Fever is a common O Level Chinese Oral topic, at minimum students should know that Dengue is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes (some students thought that it is transmitted by houseflies).

口试好词好句

For Vocabulary, students should aim and target for speaking in Chinese 100% without usage of English words. To achieve that, a list of common Chinese terminologies should be memorized, especially words that are unique to Singapore (see the list of Singapore ministries listed above). To achieve the highest distinction, students should in addition memorize a list of “powerful” Chinese idioms and proverbs to further improve their vocabulary score.

This book below has over 500 powerful Chinese proverbs in Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin, as well as English translation, including proverbs by Confucius. Proper usage of such proverbs have a high chance of impressing the examiner in Chinese Oral and even Chinese composition.


Chinese Proverbs and Popular Sayings: With Observations on Culture and Language


Do read more on O Level Chinese Oral Tips at:

H2 Math Tuition 2020

H2 Math can prove to be quite challenging for many students. Historically, the distinction rate is 50%, meaning that half of the student population will get an ‘A’ grade.

However, note that those 50% can be heavily represented by the top schools RI, HCI, NJC where almost all students get ‘A’. At the end of the day, the ‘A’ level students are facing heavy competition from the IP cohort (who were absent from the O levels).

Tough topics in ‘A’ level H2 Math:

Case study: I tutored a student (from China) studying in NJC for H2 Math. Although she was quite a strong student with good Math foundation (definitely above average), nevertheless the NJC H2 Math paper was set so tough that she only scored 50+ out of 100 in the prelims. Many students in her NJC class outright failed for the prelims (below 50 marks). There were some weaknesses in her H2 Math skills, for example certain topics like Integration and P&C, and also carelessness issues. After several months of tutoring, noticeable improvements were observed. In the end for the actual ‘A’ levels, she managed to score A grade for H2 Math.

Read more on student testimonials here: Testimonials


For H2 Math tuition, contact our experienced tutor Mr Wu at:

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com

Phone:

Rasbora88 Pet Supplies Store

Do check out this online pet supplies store Rasbora88, currently with fish aquarium supplies in stock!

URL: https://rasbora88.com/

Currently there is a Free Shipping promotion to all international locations.

Recommended product: Sponge filter with suction cup

The benefit of this kind of sponge filter:

  • Creates horizontal water movement for better water circulation (avoid dead spots).
  • Attaches to glass via suction cup, so it takes up less valuable ground space which can be used to grow plants.
  • Shrimp and fry safe, it is impossible for shrimp or fry to get sucked into the filter.

An example of this type of sponge filter:

IP Math Tuition (Integrated Programme)

IP, or Integrated Programme, is well known to test more advanced mathematics than ‘O’ level.

For example:

  • For partial fractions, IP schools like to test improper fractions. Most of the time, ‘O’ level schools test the easier version of proper fractions.
  • IP schools like to test half-angle formula in trigonometry. This will absolutely stun students who have not encountered or learnt it before, since teachers rarely teach it in school.
  • IP schools like to test “area to the left of the curve“, or the dy version of the usual “area under the curve”. Again, this is something that is quite tricky and not usually tested in ‘O’ levels.

Even though IP students do not have ‘O’ levels, they still have to maintain a grade of around 60% (depending on school) in order to promote successfully and avoid the scenario of being transferred to the ‘O’ level track.

One problem in IP schools is that the teachers like to teach a very strange and impractical version of the syllabus. For example, they often teach stuff that are not tested, whilst things that are tested are often not taught. This leads to weaker students being totally lost in class. Also, there are many fancy extracurricular programs in IP schools that further distract the student from the actual important tests.

Hence, many students (even those who score above 250 in PSLE) cannot cope well with the IP syllabus, due to the above factors.


For IP Math Tuition (Upper secondary), contact our tutor Mr Wu at:

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com

Phone:

Online Math Tuition Singapore

We provide online Math Tuition using Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts for the following subjects:

  • E Maths (Sec 3 & Sec 4)
  • A Maths (Sec 3 & Sec 4)
  • H2 Maths
  • H3 Maths
  • University Maths (selected modules)
  • Olympiad Math

Do contact our tutor Mr Wu at:

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com

Phone (WhatsApp/SMS preferred):

Face-to-face home tuition is also available at West region of Singapore (near Jurong East/ Clementi/ Bukit Batok).

How much to feed betta?

“How much to feed betta” or “how much to feed a betta fish” is a question that has puzzled me for a long time. I did not find any definitive answer online. I believe the rule “feed the size of the fish’s eyeball” leads to underfeeding, based on my experience. Also, it does not quite make sense to me that “a fish’s stomach is the size of its eyeball”, which is another commonly quoted guideline.

Hence, I create my own modified rule:

#1) Feed twice the size of the fish’s eyeball (eyeball includes the entire “sphere”, not just the exposed part).

#2) Adjust accordingly based on the size of the fish’s stomach. A healthy betta should have a round belly (especially after feeding) and a streamlined look at the same time. This is a bit subjective and requires experience of looking at hundreds of betta photos online to get a sense of what is a normal betta shape.

Following the above rule, I am currently feeding 3 to 4 pellets of Hikari Betta Bio-gold daily. That is a Hikari fish food specially formulated for bettas. Betta are carnivorous and require more protein.

How much do you feed your betta? Do you think I am underfeeding or overfeeding? Please comment below!

Betta Tank 2 Gallon (female betta)

New fish! A female betta from the store.

I put it in my 2 gallon planted tank, with Java Ferns and Anubias. I chose female betta as I wanted a short fin betta, and there were no “Plakat” male bettas available. The colors of a female betta are more pale and muted compared to male bettas.

The name of the female betta: Charlotte.

In the store, there was a pair of wild bettas (Betta Mahachai) which were very beautiful. However, they were quite expensive so I did not buy them in the end.

Female wild betta (Betta Mahachai) at the store.
Male wild betta (Betta Mahachai) at the store.

Free Seed Pack (Edible Vegetables)

Do check out this website https://www.nparks.gov.sg/gardening/gardening-with-edibles to sign up for a free seed pack (for Singapore addresses only).

Quite interesting to see what vegetables are included in the seed pack. Hopefully it is a small plant that can be grown in a small pot.

Seed Pack Registration (Source from NParks)

You can sign up to receive 2 species of vegetables and begin your gardening journey with us. We hope that the seeds will spark your interest in gardening.

As the seeds grow and you see the fruits of your labour, we also hope that you will share the harvest and your interest in gardening with neighbours and friends. Do share your stories with us on social media with the hashtag #GrowingwithEdiblesSG!

Join us in this journey of Growing our City in Nature! Click here to register for your seed pack today, while stocks last. Registration will open 18 June, 12.00pm (Thursday) and will close on 30 June, 11.59pm (Tuesday).

4-day work week among ideas to improve work-life balance (Singapore)

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/4-day-work-week-among-ideas-to-improve-work-life-balance-here

Sounds like a good idea, to improve work-life balance and potentially solve several other problems like low birth rate (which will alleviate the problem of aging society).

Many people have the illusion that industrialization and technology have improved the work-life balance of ordinary workers, however the reality is quite the opposite.

Before industrialization, workers worked less hours and had more leisure time.

Before capitalism, most people did not work very long hours at all. The tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the pace of work relaxed. Our ancestors may not have been rich, but they had an abundance of leisure. When capitalism raised their incomes, it also took away their time.

Source: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/worktime/hours_workweek.html

The worst period seems to be right in the middle of the industrial revolution, the mid 1800s. Workers worked up to 70 hour work weeks (with low pay). Most of the profit went to the rich capitalists.

One of capitalism’s most durable myths is that it has reduced human toil.

http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/worktime/hours_workweek.html

Jack Ma once said:

People could work as little as three days a week, four hours a day with the help of technology.

Jack Ma (Economic Times)

Will this age ever come? Note that Jack Ma in another speech endorsed China’s 996 culture, which is to work from 9am to 9pm six days a week (CNN).

Philosophically, it seems that no technology will be able to eliminate work? It is the so called “Adam’s curse”:

He told the man, “Because you have listened to what your wife said, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you. You’ll eat from it through pain-filled labor for the rest of your life.

International Standard Version

Ghibli Ojisan Wikipedia

Ghib Ojisan Wikipedia

Ghibli Ojisan, also known as Ghib Ojisan is a Japanese YouTuber currently living in Singapore. His name, Ghibli, is a reference to Studio Ghibli which is a Japanese animated film studio producing excellent animated movies. “Ojisan” means uncle or a older male in his 40s or 50s in the Japanese language. Hence, Ghib Ojisan means “Uncle Ghibli”.

Some of the most popular videos of Ghib Ojisan include his “finger style” guitar busking in various cities around the world. Many of his guitar music feature music from Studio Ghibli films, for example Totoro or Spirited Away.

Ghib Ojisan is born in Osaka Japan, raised in the United States (which explains his excellent English), and now based in Singapore. Ghib Ojisan also goes by the name of Mr Ken.

Ghib Ojisan Occupation

As far as we know, Ghib Ojisan is a full time YouTuber, though he did mention in his videos that he has worked before in corporate firms in Japan as well as in Singapore. According to his Social Blade profile, he has 157k subscribers and can make an estimated $577 – $9.2K per month.

Ghib Ojisan is also known for making a video on the Japanese Occupation in Singapore. His coverage was unbiased and was generally well received by both Singaporeans and Japanese, according to this article on Mothership. He has covered the facts mostly correctly regarding the event, and he feels “terrible” that so many innocent lives were lost.

Ghib Ojisan Singlish

Ghib Ojisan’s signature Singlish opening phrase is “Huat ah! Jippun Lang Lai Liao!”. He has immersed himself very well into Singaporean society, for example he appreciates and likes the taste of durian (most Japanese don’t). He also knows many other Singlish phrases like “paiseh”.


Personally, I find his videos quite entertaining and educational. Do check out his YouTube videos! For example, he interviews his landlord who lived in a kampong to learn more about the kampong life in Singapore during the 1960s.

Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

This is one of my favorite Christian books. The Imitation of Christ is a Christian devotional book by Thomas à Kempis, first composed in Latin (as De Imitatione Christi) ca. 1418–1427. (Wikipedia)

Despite being written centuries ago, many of the words still apply perfectly. Human nature hasn’t changed over thousands of years. I find the book particularly suitable for those facing troubles, depression, or problems in life.

Some Quotes:

  • “When a man desires a thing too much, he at once becomes ill at ease. A proud and avaricious man never rests, whereas he who is poor and humble of heart lives in a world of peace.”
  • “Go where you may, you will find no rest except in humble obedience to the rule of authority. Dreams of happiness expected from change and different places have deceived many.”
  • “So long as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation.”
  • “If man had but a spark of true charity he would surely sense that all the things of earth are full of vanity!”
  • “Be not troubled about those who are with you or against you, but take care that God be with you in everything you do. Keep your conscience clear and God will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm one whom God wishes to help.”

Summary

For five hundred years, this gentle book, filled with the spirit of the love of God, has brought understanding and comfort to millions of readers in over fifty languages, and provided them with a source of heart-felt personal prayer. These meditations on the life and teachings of Jesus, written in times even more troubled and dangerous than our own, have become second only to the Bible as a guide and inspiration. It is now available in a modern translation that retains the flavor of the original English translation.

Free Download of Imitation of Christ Book

There is a free download of the book here: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/kempis/imitation.html

There is also a Chinese translation available for free, in HTML format. I did check briefly that the translation seems fine.


For a printed leather bound version, check out the book on Amazon below.

The Imitation of Christ

Musang King (King of Kings) Durian 王中王榴莲

Premium Musang King (King of Kings) Durian unboxing video, as well as feeding some to Charlie the toy poodle dog!

The durian is “King of Kings” durian (王中王榴莲, Wang Zhong Wang), which is actually more expensive than the usual Musang King (猫山王榴莲 Mao Shan Wang). I read somewhere that it is the original Old Tree version of Musang King, other sources simply say it is a higher grade (AAA grade) of Mao Shan Wang. The major durian season is between June and September. There is a minor durian season during December to February.

Just feeding Charlie a little bit of durian, too much durian seems to be not good for dogs (due to it being too sweet). A little bit of durian is not harmful or poisonous to dogs though, dogs can eat it. Just be careful not to let the dog swallow the seed. Charlie once accidentally swallowed a small durian seed, fortunately he vomited it out.

Review: The taste is very creamy, thick, rich, and bittersweet. It is more sweet than bitter. I would rate it 4.5/5. The worst durians in my opinion are those that are either too watery or too dry and rubbery. This King of Kings durian is neither!

Bought at: The Durian Tree (https://www.facebook.com/theduriantree/)


I compile some sources on the Wang Zhong Wang (King of Kings) Durian:

  • DrChansKitchen (The stallholder recommended me 王中王 which he claimed to be the best of 猫山王.)
  • TimeOut (Looking for something even better than MSW? Then you have to try Wang Zhong Wang, which literally translates to the king of kings. The triple-A grade MSW durians are set apart from the pack for its well-balanced bitterness and velvety smooth)
  • AvenueOne (While Mao Shan Wang is arguably the most well-loved in Singapore, there is actually a type that is arguably even better – Wang Zhong Wang (translates literally to ‘King of Kings’). The smooth texture and fine balance of bitter flavours are definitely worth the higher price tag.)

Relaxing Rasbora Schooling Fish Video

Just some relaxing video of Rasbora fish (Phoenix rasbora) schooling together in a group of 8.

Some rare footage of my Boraras Merah (close relative of Chili Rasbora) schooling in a tight formation. They don’t do this very often. Most of the time they school loosely, or even do their separate stuff. In the middle of my filming, Charlie the poodle is curious and watches as well!

Some Trivia: 7 of the Rasbora were bought in the same store, but 1 of them was from another batch. It took a few months for the 1 sole rasbora to familiarize and join the 7 other rasbora as a team. Quite interesting!

Homeschool Math Challenging Puzzles

The questions listed are also very suitable as PSLE Challenging Math Problem Sums.

Basically, for Grade 2-4, they are very challenging.

For Grade 6 (Primary 6, 12 year old students), they are challenging math questions.

Do give it a try and see if your child can solve it!

Singapore Maths Tuition

Homeschool Math Challenging Questions

Mathtuition88 will be starting a series of Homeschool Math Challenging Problems, aimed at age 8 to 10 (Grade 2 to 4).

This series is targeted at kids age 8 to 10 who are strong / gifted at mathematics and wish to further stretch their potential. It is also useful for children who may not be strong in math at the moment, but have a keen interest in math nonetheless.

In particular, it is very suitable for the following purposes:

  • Homeschooling for gifted kids
  • Preparation for GEP (Gifted Education Programme) screening and selection tests
  • Preparation for Math Olympiad
  • Puzzles for kids interested in math but find school work too easy.
  • PSLE challenging Math problem sums. The questions are also well within the PSLE Math Syllabus, and will be challenging to Primary 6 students as well.

This series of questions will follow the Singapore Math syllabus for Grade…

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Miu Miu Guitar Girl Wikipedia

Miu Miu Guitar Girl Wiki

Miu Miu Guitar Girl is a young six year old girl who is expert at playing the guitar. Her YouTube channel has amassed a huge following (174k subscribers) within a very short time.

Currently, there is no Wikipedia page on Miu Miu Guitar Girl. However, there is quite a lot of information on her (in Chinese) online. We summarize as much on Miu Miu Guitar Girl in this short Wiki page as possible.

Real name:
Zhou Zhaoyan 周昭妍

Stage name:
Miu Miu Guitar Girl

Nationality:
China, Nanjing

Age:
6 years old (2020)
6 and a half years old in April 2020 to be more precise.

Most famous video:
Fly me to the moon (This is also my personal favorite)!
5.2 million views

Special traits:
She has an elf ear (pointy right ear).

Instruments she plays:
Guitar (Acoustic, Classical and Electric), Ukulele, Piano, Drums, Bass, Vocals
Miu miu has passed the highest grade certification for acoustic guitar in China (Grade 10 Guitar). She has learnt guitar since the age of 3, and since then has racked up over 2000 hours in practice time! She can practice 5 or 6 hours (maximum up to 7 hours) in a single day, especially during the lockdown period where she stays at home.

Even for her secondary instrument, the piano, Miu Miu has obtained a grade 4 certification.

Ambition:
Miu miu aims to be a doctor in the future.

Miu Miu Guitar Girl Parents:
Her father, Mr Zhou, is a guitar teacher.

Miu Miu’s father is a guitar teacher.

“Practicing guitar is hard, but it’s easier than doing homework.”
– Miumiu

Trivia:
Miu miu calls her fans “icy candy”, “icy cookie”, “frozen lollipop” or “frozen strawberry”. She likes the movie “Frozen”, as well as eat the above types of food!

Sources:

Grab food vs Foodpanda Singapore

Do vote above whether you prefer GrabFood, Foodpanda, or Deliveroo (or others)!

Personally, I prefer Foodpanda for this one single reason:

  • You can order ahead of time (e.g. when the store is not opened yet, or order the lunch menu when it is still breakfast hours).

GrabFood seems to have this limitation that you can only order when the store is open. For example, if a restaurant opens at 11am, you can only start ordering at 11am. Also, during breakfast hours, you can only order the breakfast menu.

I have not tried Deliveroo yet. Do comment below if you find it better, or worse, than GrabFood and Foodpanda.

Grab food vs Foodpanda Price

Pricing wise, the price seems similar between GrabFood and Foodpanda. By the way, it is certainly not the case that GrabFood, Foodpanda only earns the delivery fee! It is well known that the prices are often “marked up” and the delivery companies will earn the difference in price as well. For example, if a plate of chicken rice costs $3 in the hawker center, in the app it can be listed as $5. Read more in this Mothership article.

Nevertheless, the amount of “mark up” seems similar or even exactly the same between GrabFood and Foodpanda, according to my experience.

Grab charges a 30% service fee to the merchants (the food sellers). This is charged on every order received through Grab, for both Delivery and Self Pick-Up orders. (Please note that this service fee is subject to prevailing GST rates.)

Hence, it is logical that most merchants (hawkers, restaurants) will pass on the cost to the customer, marking up the price by 30%.

 

Expenses incurred from working at home qualify for tax deductions (Singapore)

Source: Business Times

Firstly, note that Business Times is part of SPH (Singapore Press Holdings) and hence is a rather reliable source.

This is quite a good news for large families or large households. For small households, the total expenses saved may be quite negligible (maybe just $10 per month). Another thing is that the calculation seems quite difficult and hard to justify (for example whether increased air con usage due to work from home is justified as electricity expenses).

Another scenario where it is useful is maybe those telemarketers who use their own phone to call at home.

Currently, this source from Business Times seems to be the sole source of information. Probably when more official sources appear, there will be more information on how to calculate and provide justifications for the tax expenses savings. Some worked examples would also help, for people to gauge what is the typical amount they can claim.

WORKERS working from home can claim deduction against employment income for charges such as electricity and telecommunication expenses not reimbursed by employers.

An Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) spokesperson told The Business Times: “Tax deduction against employment income is allowable for expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of employment income. ”

To qualify for deduction, the expenses must be incurred while carrying out official duties, not reimbursed by the employer, and not capital or private in nature.

These expenses include the additional power and telecommunication bills incurred when employees are required to work from home. This is not limited to the “circuit breaker” period, the taxman said.

The Business Times

Homeschool Maths Puzzles with Answers: The “Average” Question

The average of 5 numbers is 73. When 2 numbers were removed, the average decreased by 3. What is the average of the 2 numbers that were removed?


This is part of a series on Homeschool Math Challenging Puzzles, suitable for Grades 2-4. (Of course, students of other grades are also welcome to try them out.) The questions are suitable for:

  • Homeschooling for gifted kids
  • Preparation for GEP (Gifted Education Programme) screening and selection tests
  • Preparation for Math Olympiad
  • Puzzles for kids interested in math but find school work too easy.

Answer:

This is literally an “average” question. 😛 The word “average” appears 3 times.

The trick is to focus on the total instead.

The total of the 5 numbers is: 73×5=365.

After removing 2 numbers, the average is 73-3=70.

Hence, the total of the 3 remaining numbers is: 70×3=210.

We can then conclude that, the total of the 2 removed numbers is:

365-210=155.

Hence, the average of the 2 removed numbers is: 155/2=77.5 or 75 1/2.

Adaptil Collar Reviews

There is this relatively new product called “Adaptil” Calm Collar for dogs. Apparently, it is supposed to contain pheromones mimicking those from a mother dog to calm the puppy. The scientific name for the active ingredient is DAP or Dog Appeasing Pheromone.

Reviews on Amazon are quite mixed, there are as many 5 star reviews as 1 star reviews. I think this shows that dogs are complex creatures, it is unlikely that one product works universally for all dogs. Similarly, for humans, there is no single medicine that can “calm” a person down.

If you have any experience with Adaptil with your pet dog, for example how long it takes to show results, please comment below!

You may check out the Amazon reviews below:



ADAPTIL Calming Collar for Dogs | A Constant Calm Anywhere You Go

Hardest Questions in Additional Mathematics (A Math)

Additional Mathematics questions can range from standard all the way to super challenging among the secondary schools in Singapore.

Certain schools (such as IP schools), and also some schools such as Anderson, Chung Cheng High School, are well known for setting hard A Math papers.

Note that even though top schools set hard A Math papers, it is not often the case that top schools teach or prepare well their students for the tests! Often, the teachers in school teach at a basic level (due to time constraints or other factors), but still test at an advanced level. Hence, many students in top IP schools are not well prepared for their school’s tests (unless they have excellent self study skills or have a parent or tutor to guide them). It is not uncommon for a student in a top IP school to be failing his/her math tests due to the above phenomena (difficult tests which do not match what is taught in school).

Some of the more difficult types of questions in the A Math syllabus are listed below.

Algebra

  1. Conditions for ax^2 + bx + c to be always positive (or always negative).
    This type of question has potential to be very tricky. Somehow, many students will assume wrongly that b^2-4ac is always positive as well (where it should be the opposite).
  2. Partial Fractions with Improper Fractions.
    Only top schools tend to test improper partial fractions. Many students will miss out long division or make mistakes along the way.
  3. Binomial Theorem.
    Many students have serious problems with this topic. Also, not many seem to know that {n\choose 2}=\frac{n(n-1)}{2}.

Logarithm

Trigonometry

  • Sketching of Tangent graphs.
    90% of all sketching questions are on Sine or Cosine. Only top schools will set tangent sketching questions, and many students will be caught unaware.
  • Half-angle formula sin(x/2) or Quadruple angle formula sin(4x)
    Top schools like to test half-angle formula, many students who have not seen such questions will be stuck.

Integration

  • Finding area to the left of the curve, i.e. \int x\,dy.
    Most schools kind of brush off this type of questions during teaching. But it is a hot topic for testing among top schools. Hence, students will have a hard time solving it if they lack practice for this type of questions.

sin(180-x)

I realize that many students from top IP schools don’t know these formula. In fact many students have not even seen or heard of these formula in school! (Not entirely their fault since the teachers don’t teach/emphasize it.)

Nevertheless, they are often tested in the harder A Math Trigonometry questions, it is a must to know if you are aiming for A1.

  • Negative Angles Formula
  • Supplementary Angles Formula
  • Complementary Angles Formula

Click on the link “View Original Post” below to see the original post with the formulae.

Singapore Maths Tuition

Trigonometry Identities

all science teachers crazy maths tuition

Negative angles:

  • $latex sin (-x)=-sin x$
  • $latex boxed{cos (-x)=cos x}$        (Still Positive!)
  • $latex tan (-x)=-tan x$

Reason: $latex -x$ is in the “C” quadrant so Cosine is still positive.

Supplementary angles:

  • $latex boxed{sin (180^circ -x)=sin x}$        (Still positive!)
  • $latex cos (180^circ -x)=-cos x$
  • $latex tan (180^circ -x)=-tan x$

Reason: $latex 180^circ -x$ is in the “S” quadrant so Sine is still positive.

Complementary angles:

  • $latex sin (90^circ -x)=cos x$
  • $latex cos (90^circ -x)=sin x$
  • $latex tan (90^circ -x)=cot x$

Reason: right angled triangle 90-x

  • $latex sin (90^circ -x)=cos x=a/c$
  • $latex cos (90^circ -x)=sin x=b/c$
  • $latex tan (90^circ -x)=cot x=a/b$

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