Byrne’s Euclid

Math Online Tom Circle

My Modern Met: Geometry Lovers Will Enjoy This Interactive Version of Byrne’s Euclid.

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Modern Mathematics and the Langlands Program | Institute for Advanced Study

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The Error Function & The Integral of e^(-x^2)

Math Online Tom Circle

$latex boxed{ displaystyle erf(x) =
frac{2}{sqrt{pi}} int_{0}^{x} {e^{-{t}^2}dt}}&fg=aa0000&s=3

The Bell Curve:

$latex boxed{displaystyle y = e^{-x^2}}&fg=0000aa&s=3$

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Delete Jetbrains toolbox Mac (Solved)

Jetbrains toolbox is a software that manages programs from the Jetbrains company, including the popular PyCharm interpreter.

However, it did not work for me on Mac, and I was trying to remove it. The system did not let me remove it as it claimed that Jetbrains toolbox was open and running.

The way to remove it completely is to first force quit it from Activity Monitor on Mac. Then, you can simply delete Jetbrains toolbox from the Applications folder.

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Which JC is the best in Singapore?

Do vote for your favorite JC! Currently our poll seems to be quite “accurate”, the top 3 JCs are:

Hwa Chong Institution 15.48% (13 votes)
Raffles Institution 15.48% (13 votes)
Nanyang Junior College 13.1% (11 votes)

Singapore Maths Tuition

Which JC is the best in Singapore?

Feel free to leave any comments as to why you think your JC is the best in Singapore 🙂

Also, check out: Which Secondary school is the best in Singapore

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Unable to view DBS/POSB Consolidated Statement

Recently, when I click the “View PDF” button, either I am led to a page “about:blank” or the DBS Welcome page itself.

Hence, I am unable to view the DBS / POSB Consolidated E-statement.

Upon waiting for a while on the DBS Welcome page, an error message pops up:

“Our site is currently unavailable. We expect to be back soon. Thanks for your patience.”

The only solution seems to wait for a day or two for them to repair the site.

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O Level Results 2019

Congratulations to all who did well in the ‘O’ Levels!

Do check out our post on Latest JC Cut-off points COP, to see the trend of JC cut-off points to help you choose your desired school. (Remark: I am curious to see how Nanyang JC Cut-off point is like, it seems that NYJC is now one of the bona fide top JCs in Singapore.)

For those who did not do well, check out our post on What to do if fail O level Singapore, there are still available routes, do not give up!

For this year, again there is a loss of 32 A-Math scripts in the UK. See also:

Sincere condolences to those affected.

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Benefits of hiring Private Math Tutors

Being city-state of just 5.5 million people, Singapore is constantly ranked as one of the top countries that harbors great mathematic talents and has one of the most admired education systems in the world. Based on test scores from 76 countries published by the OECD, Singapore came first, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The ranking reiterated that Asian children are ahead of the curve indeed, all thanks to the kind of education systems that they have.


Though the education system produces many great young talents, it is undeniable that the system is highly demanding and it’s all about producing a generation of “21st century competencies”. Unfortunately, many students find this to be a chokehold and they feel deprived of a much-needed breathing space internalise and understand everything that happens around them.

It is a known fact that in order to survive and conquer math, what is being taught in schools is insufficient. There is a need for the extra help and hence many are turning towards the option of tuition. There are many types, but the most famous one of all is private tuition. By hiring a private math tutor, students will notice a huge change, a huge transformation in the way they learn and it will be reflected in their grades.

So, let’s take a look at the benefits of hiring a private math tutor!


Teaching a group of 10 children, as compared to tutoring one child is at either ends of the spectrum. Tutoring one child requires the tutor to study, analyse and comprehend the student’s learning pace, learning methods, memory retention process and the areas of the student’s strengths and weaknesses. All this analysation then translates into a more customised teaching which will help the student to excel at a faster rate.

This is crucial when teaching math, especially because it is a challenging subject which not everyone is innately good. Some students grasp concepts quickly while others lag behind and require extra coaching and visual representations for them to comprehend those same concepts.

It is also important to note that private tutors are not there to be their student’s confidante, to molly-coddle them and console them all the time. Instead, they will be a source of motivation, a pillar of strength and they will guide them (but never reveal the answers).


Schools have an almost ritualistic way of teaching this subject, that is, to flash answer keys of practice papers on the visualiser and hand out more practice papers for students to complete. This ineffective and boring teaching method is of stark contrast to how private tutors handle this rather complex subject.

The reason why such a lesson is interesting is because there is a form of given-and-take; an interaction, making the lesson engaging and spontaneous. It does not lull the students to sleep. Private tutors also have a way of simplifying abstract concepts and turning them into something less intimidating for students.

ALL IN ALL, children may not comprehend how useful math private tuition could possibly be for them. As parents, you need to make them understand the benefits of tuition. Do not wait for problems to snowball and take action quickly!


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RIP Sir Michael Atiyah

Rest in peace, Sir Michael Atiyah. Many scientists have called Atiyah the best mathematician in Britain since Isaac Newton.

Read also our previous posts:

Source: New York Times

Michael Atiyah, a British mathematician who united mathematics and physics during the 1960s in a way not seen since the days of Isaac Newton, died on Friday. He was 89.

The Royal Society in London, of which he was president in the 1990s, confirmed the death but gave no details. Dr. Atiyah, who was retired, had been an honorary professor in the School of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh.

Dr. Atiyah, who spent many years at Oxford and Cambridge universities, revealed an unforeseen connection between mathematics and physics through a theorem he proved in collaboration with Isadore Singer, one of the most important mathematicians of the last half of the 20th century.

His work with Dr. Singer, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, led to the flowering of string theory and gauge theory as ways to understand the structure and dynamics of the universe, and has provided powerful tools for both mathematicians and theoretical physicists.

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Betta Community Tank

My betta in a 5 Gallon tank, together with 2 Amano shrimp (I think that’s the breed though I am not 100% sure) and 1 Zebra Snail. Anyone knows the names of the aquatic plants? I know one of them is “guppy grass”, the other two I have no idea. Please comment below if you know!

A more detailed view of the Zebra snail:

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The most beautiful and important mathematical equations

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From Polynomial to Modern Algebra

Math Online Tom Circle

Examples Polynomial with degree > 5

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13 classic mathematics books for lifelong learners

Math Online Tom Circle

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Out of 13 must-read Popular Math books, our Singapore National Library NLB has 6 which I borrowed and read: eg. “Prime Obsession” , “What is Mathematics” , etc.

Popular math books are better than the boring textbooks (Axiom – Theorem – Proof – Exercise). They are motivational, more concrete instead of abstract, philosophical analogy with the Nature (afterall, the math ideas derived from the universe, eg. Pi, e, golden ratio, infinity, limit, …), plus the historical background in which these math ideas were first discovered, and the beauty of these inter-connected ideas such as the Euler’s Identity:

$latex boxed{e^{i. pi} + 1 = 0}&fg=aa0000&s=3 $

Proof from the Book” – the name “Book” (God’s Theorem Proof Book) is coined by Paul Erdos the Hungarian ‘vagabond’ (homeless, single, no nationality) mathematician, who had proven 1000+ theorems (some co-operated with his students). He…

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Logic & Math (Set Theory)

Math Online Tom Circle

Cambridge Prof Peter Smith:

You can download the book at the bottom link from the below web site.

Philosophy using Math – that is cool!

Set Theory is Philosophy, see this “Set Proofing Technique” taught in French Baccalaureate high school but Cambridge GCE A level ignores :

Prove : A = B
You need to prove 2 ways:
A ⊂ B
B ⊂ A
=> A = B

In the Bible 《John 14:11》
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me”.

Proof: Father (God) = Jesus

“Father in Me” :
Father ⊂ Jesus
“I am in the Father” :
Jesus ⊂ Father
Jesus = Father (God)
[QED. ]

Merry Xmas! 圣诞快乐!

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How Singapore Data Scientists caught the subway MRT “Circle line” rogue train

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Quara: Strategy to teach yourself math from basic algebra to high level mathematics

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Betta Fish Tank

Betta, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are ideal pets for Singaporeans since they require relatively less equipment. Firstly, they are labyrinth fish and can gulp oxygen from the air. Hence, theoretically they can survive without a filter. Filter is still good to purify the water from excessive nitrates.

However, to put them in a small fishbowl is too extreme (though they may still live) and will lead to shortened lifespan and an unhappy Betta fish.

Online, many sources say that a 5 gallon tank will be a good fit for Betta. 5 gallon is roughly 18.9 litres.

Where to buy Betta Fish Tank

Hence, this “Ripples Premium Aquarium Glass Fish Tank (with Filter and LED Lights) 18.9L” is a perfect fit for a Betta fish. Buying from Qoo10 is also convenient for those without a car, as taking a fish tank around in public transport is highly inconvenient.

This Qoo10 aquarium shop Fins and Paws is very good; I experienced the fastest ever delivery time with them (ordered and delivered the next day).

[S$54.90](▼22%)[Resun Aquarium]Ripples Premium Aquarium Glass Fish Tank (with FilterLED Lights) 18.9L/56.7L


For those who want an even bigger tank, you can try out the Classica ECO 60 Aquarium Fish Tank. Your Betta fish will definitely feel like a king in this fish tank, and you can add more fish to keep the Betta fish company. (Note that there can only be a maximum of 1 Male Betta fish in the tank, as they will fight each other to the death if put in the same tank.) For suitable Betta tank mates, check out this website: ModestFish.

[S$95.00][Classica]ECO 60 Aquarium Glass Tank – 60 x 30 x 35cm Fish Tank with LEDFilter


It is good to have some substrate on the floor of the tank (e.g. sand, gravel, soil). This is especially so if you want to grow some real aquatic plants. For a 18.9 litre tank, 3L of Aqua Gro Aquarium Soil will cover the base nicely to a suitable depth.

[S$17.00](▼6%)[Ocean Free]Aqua Gro Aquarium Soil (PlantsShrimp)


A nice Betta 5 Gallon tank can look like this:

Where to buy Betta Fish

To buy the Betta Fish itself, you can check out Iven Betta. They have won many awards for Betta Fish breeding, currently they are located at KAP Mall, 9 King Albert Park #02-15. (Note: do call/message them before going if you live very far. The last time I went on Saturday 7pm, they were closed though their official hours states that they should be open from 1pm-8pm.)

For a cheaper option, check out Polyart Clementi (open 24 hours!). While not exactly show-quality, the Male Bettas there are decent quality and cost only $4 (correct as of Jan 2019). They even have Nemo Betta and Crowntails selling for $4!

My Betta Community Tank

My personal 5 Gallon Betta Community Tank consists of: 1 Male Betta (Delta/Super Delta), 2 Amano Shrimp, and 1 Zebra Snail. Currently, the Betta is quite friendly/indifferent to the shrimp, they are coexisting peacefully for the time being. I do have a few aquatic plants for the shrimp to hide if necessary. The Betta is bought from Polyart Clementi at just $4.

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Indian Scientist: Albert Einstein was wrong and that gravitational waves should be renamed “Narendra Modi Waves”

Source: BBC

According to BBC World News,

Some academics at the annual Indian Science Congress dismissed the findings of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

Hindu mythology and religion-based theories have increasingly become part of the Indian Science Congress agenda.

But experts said remarks at this year’s summit were especially ludicrous.

The 106th Indian Science Congress, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, runs from 3-7 January.

The head of a southern Indian university cited an old Hindu text as proof that stem cell research was discovered in India thousands of years ago.

G Nageshwar Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University, also said a demon king from the Hindu religious epic, Ramayana, had 24 types of aircraft and a network of landing strips in modern day Sri Lanka.

Another scientist from a university in the southern state of Tamil Nadu told conference attendees that Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were both wrong and that gravitational waves should be renamed “Narendra Modi Waves”.

Read more at:

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American Health Concerns that many are unaware of

America (and prosperous European countries like UK and France), being 1st world countries, are sometimes concerned about “First World Problems” that most other countries do not have time/energy/money to care about.

Two health concerns that are very popular in America, but virtually unknown in most Southeast Asian countries are:

Vaccines Health Concerns

Although the main research linking MMR Vaccines to Autism has been retracted, many Americans, including President Donald Trump, have expressed their concern about vaccines. There are many anecdotal stories from parents whose children are doing well developmentally, until the day they took the vaccine where strange effects happened, including autistic regression.

Read here about a Nature article on “The real issues in vaccine safety”. By the way, Nature is the top science journal in the world, it is considered a tremendous achievement for any professor to publish in Nature.

The main author behind the MMR-Autism link, Andrew Wakefield, has published his version of the story in his book called “Callous Disregard”. He has been called a fraud, but yet many people do believe in his theory. Notably, in his retracted paper Wakefield did not claim that vaccines cause autism, he just investigated the link and basically said that more research needs to be done. His punishment was very severe (lost his UK doctor’s licence; he spent a decade earning his Gastroenterologist specialist degree), and some people believe it to be a conspiracy theory backed by the billion-dollar vaccine pharmaceutical giants.

“We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immunisation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.” (Andrew Wakefield’s paper’s final conclusion.)

Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines–The Truth Behind a Tragedy

Basically, vaccinations rely on a phenomenon called “herd immunity”, it requires at least 90-95% of the population to be vaccinated in order for it to be successful. Hence, many people dropping out of the vaccinations can cause the “herd immunity” to be lost, which may be dangerous. On the other hand, vaccines contain dangerous ingredients like preservatives and viruses, and even used to contain a mercury compound called thimerosal, which no doubt is something unnatural that you wouldn’t want to put in your body. Due to the vaccine controversy, thimerosal has now been discontinued in most vaccines.


The Gluten Connection: How Gluten Sensitivity May Be Sabotaging Your Health–And What You Can Do to Take Control Now

In Southeast Asia, I would say that more than 90% of people do not know what gluten is (though they eat it everyday). In Laymen’s terms, it is a type of protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, etc. In America, many people have been tested to have gluten sensitivity, causing digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease. Again, similar to vaccines, most people have no problem at all eating gluten, but in a selected minority of the population, it can cause severe problems.

The digestive system is said to be a “second brain”, (see The Strange Location of Your Second Brain). It contains a lot of neurotransmitters. Hence, many scientists have started to notice the gut-brain connection. Read this Harvard article that links anxiety and depression to digestive (gut) problems. Hence, for people with gluten sensitivity or allergy, gluten can be the starting trigger for their other problems like depression/anxiety. It has also been linked to ADHD and even schizophrenia.

Check out this book (1,001 positive reviews) on the connection between the gut (digestive system) and the brain:

Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life

Watch what Donald Trump has to say about vaccines:

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Egg Stuffed Mushroom

Cooking For Fun

Since last time I cooked portobello mushroom last time, my husband had deeply fallen in love with this giant brown mushroom. He required to buy some portobello mushroom when we went out for shopping.

One of my hobbies is to explore the different cooking method for different ingredient. So I decided to try this dish with this mushroom. It’s quite easy.

  1. preheat oven to 180 Degree c.
  2. wash portobello mushroom gently in water. Then wipe them dry with kitchen towels.
  3. remove the stem. Also use a spoon to scratch off the black gills to save more room for egg.
  4. brush mushroom with butter.
  5. sprinkle a little salt over the mushroom. Only a very little is enough.
  6. place mushroom in baking try, better with a parchment paper underneath. crack an egg onto the gill of each mushroom.
  7. sprinkle cheese, black gills scratched off  and chopped spring onion on egg. Avoid egg…

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For those who enjoy Chinese Dramas, do check out “Yanxi Palace”.

Chinese Tuition Singapore

前一段时间,一部中国古装剧播得十分火——《延禧攻略》(Story of Yanxi Palace)。我经常在巴士上看到有人在手机或者平板电脑上观看,而在我家附近的购物商场卖家用电器的地方也在播这部电视剧。包括之前也十分火爆的《甄嬛传》都是在讲述清朝时期,皇帝后宫嫔妃之间的勾心斗角,恩恩怨怨。














生日的时候也有按等级发放的 “例钱”。比如每年皇后的生日,皇帝要恩赐:黄金90两、白银900两、缎纱45匹、蟒缎9匹、缎9匹、宁绸9匹、宫绸9匹、纱9匹、春绸9匹、绫9匹。其他等级的后宫嫔妃,按地位高低逐级加减。




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Beef Wellington

Cooking For Fun

It just came to me that there was still a piece of beef fillet in my fridge last night, so I decided to cook beef wellington today.

Main Ingredients:

beef, chopped shiitake mushroom & carrot (of course you can use the help of a blender), puff crust, salt, and pepper.

1, Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fillet. Rub a bit with hands.

2, Heat a pan, add in some oil. Fry beef fillet till each side turns brownish.

3, Beef fillet in a plate and rest for a while. Use the same pan to fry mushroom and carrot. When the juice comes out, drizzle in a little red wine. (I just want to add a little flavor, if you don’t have red wine, you can just skip this step.) Add in a little dried thyme. Turn to low heat and simmer for a little while. Season with salt.


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Maths Tuition Blog

We have revamped our Maths Tuition Blog at:

It now features a “sticky” Home Page that showcases some useful JavaScript Apps. We have also increased the font size for easier reading.

For instance, our most popular App is the App to calculate JC Ranking Points:

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Nalgene Bottle Singapore

Since Singapore is such a hot country, it is important for students and adults to keep hydrated to avoid heatstroke. One of the most popular and best brands of water bottles is Nalgene, which is made in the USA.

It is BPA free, which is very important to avoid drinking toxic plastic particles that may leach into your water. (I think by now Singaporeans know it is not good to reuse Coca Cola bottles as your water bottle; 10 years ago it was very common to do that.)

It is quite hard to find Nalgene bottles in supermarkets. NTUC Fairprice, Giant does not seem to carry them in their stock.

Interested buyers may purchase Nalgene bottles from Qoo10 (see image link below). Do choose this store as it has many positive reviews, it has an actual store in Pasir Ris, but buying online would be much more convenient.

[S$12.00](▼74%)[GHSGIFTS]Nalgene Water Bottle / WIDENARROW mouth/BPA Free / Small water Bottle – 500ml / 1000ml / 1500ml


For our international readers, Nalgene is also available on Amazon:

Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottle – 32 oz., Clear w/ White Cap

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Students about to major in Biology / Lifescience, read this first

Many countries (including Singapore) promote Biology/Lifescience as a very good major with plenty of jobs after graduation. However, students may want to read some opinions from multiple sources to get a balanced viewpoint.

According to most of the answers, it is recommended that students truly love biology to pursue it in university. Also, many answers comment that a Bachelor Degree is usually insufficient for a good job in Biology/Life Science, and even people with advanced degrees can face problems finding relevant jobs.


You asked so I will give you an honest answer. I am a 64y old career biologist. I can speak freely. I could not with a clear conscience recommend biology as a career. It might sober you up that I got tenure one month after I turned 60y old. I am not being a snob. I am a first generation graduate. I do admit I have had a long and interesting career but at the cost of no wife, no children, no family and no job security before becoming too old for such domestic things.

  • One of the answers at Quora
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Corn Soup

Cooking For Fun

1. Cut all the kernels from a fresh corn.

2. Put corn in a pot. Add in 1/2 cup milk. Bring to boil then turn to low heat and simmer till corn is cooked.

3. Pour all the corn with milk into a blender. Blend till smooth.

4. Pour back to pot. Turn to low heat. Keep stirring while heating. Bring soup to boil again.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

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What is 20+C+M+B+19? (Epiphany)

This looks like a Math question, actually it is an Epiphany tradition called Chalking the door.

20 and 19 stands for the year 2019. C, M, B stands for the names of the three magi, CasparMelchior and Balthasar. The plus sign is actually a symbol for the cross †.

Some variations also put “20*C+M+B+19”, where the star stands for the star of Bethlehem.

CMB can also be the abbreviated form of the Latin blessing “Christus mansionem benedicat“, which means, “May Christ bless this house”.

The LaTeX code for it can be:

20\dagger C\dagger M \dagger B\dagger 19

\displaystyle\Huge\boxed{20\dagger C\dagger M \dagger B\dagger 19}

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Korea’s Education System

Check out this interesting video highlighting Korea’s academic system. Seems at least thrice as stressful as Singapore, no? Recently, I do see quite a few Koreans studying in Singapore, possibly to them it is less stressful in Singapore compared to Korea.

One comment in the video summarized it: “How sad, all that for a spot in university that isn’t ranked high internationally, an average job with average pay and a crappy personal life that barely exists.”

Video features:

  • Hagwons (Korea tuition centres)
  • Superstar Tutors
  • Plastic Surgery
  • University Admissions
  • Alternative New Schools in Korea

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Official Website: Migrating to New Zealand from Singapore


New Zealand Government has set up an official website targeting Singaporeans to migrate to New Zealand. Check out the website here.

Natural environment wise, New Zealand is fantastic, with great landscapes and low population density. Due to its faraway proximity and buffer in the form of Australia, it is the least likely country to be affected in World Wars.

Only potential downsides are natural disasters (earthquakes), and possible employment difficulties. I have heard anecdotal stories about people migrating to Canada (another low population density country) and then having a hard time finding jobs.


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Centrum Vitamin Review

I used to think that with a balanced diet, there is no need to take vitamins. However, recently I read several articles that due to soil depletion, there is lack of minerals in the soil that is used to plant the crops. According to the Bible, the soil is supposed to rest every 7 years for the Sabbath, but I doubt many countries practice this as it will lead to total loss of income for that year.

By the way, Northern China has a type of rice called Dong Bei Rice that is considered one of the best type of rice, certainly superior to Thai rice. I have tasted Dong Bei Rice in Liaoning Province, it is absolutely delicious. The reason it is so good is because due to the harsh winter, the soil there is forced to rest once a year during the winter. Hence, the soil is rich in minerals.

As a result of soil depletion, the plants that you eat may lack certain trace minerals like Magnesium, Molybdenum, Zinc, etc. The animals (cow/pig/lamb) eat plants that lack the minerals, hence the animals themselves lack the mineral too. Basically, the entire food chain, including humans, lack the mineral. Magnesium deficiency is especially serious, even in 1st world countries like America, 57% of the US population lack Magnesium.

Centrum Men’s and Women’s Vitamin Review

Centrum is the number one selling vitamin in the US. And it is very affordable. For its price range, it is probably the best multivitamin. There are two types for Men and Women. (Women need more iron due to the monthly loss of blood; Men need less iron. There are some other differences too, like Men need more Zinc.)

After just one day, I can feel the difference, more energetic and alert. My wife feels it too, and also experienced less hair dropping. Possibly people in Singapore and 1st world countries do not need to eat it everyday, since our diet is relatively nutritious (but still lacking certain minerals due to soil depletion). One can eat it every other day, or up to your own schedule.

Amazon sells it quite cheaply (different packaging from the Singapore version):

Centrum Men (250 Count) Multivitamin / Multimineral Supplement Tablet, Vitamin D3

Centrum Women (250 Count) Multivitamin / Multimineral Supplement Tablet, Vitamin D3

For faster delivery in Singapore, one can purchase in Qoo10:

[S$23.90](▼53%)[Centrum]★Centrum★ 40% OFF SALE! Silver / MultiVitamin / MultiMineral Supplement For Adults / Women / Men


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How to Study in Extreme Noisy Environment (+ Math of Decibel System)

Singapore Maths Tuition

[S$54.90][3M][STOCK IN SG] 3M Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff Ear Muff Ear Protection Head Set. Noise Reduction Rating of 30dB


The exams are coming, but your neighbor decides to do a major renovation? Neighbor has loud music blasting/ very noisy children? An urgent and drastic measure must be taken, as scientific research has shown that loud background noises reduce children’s test scores!  Recent research in London (UK) has shown that high levels of environmental noise outside schools reduce children’s scores in standardised nationwide academic tests.

This is hardly surprising, as it is very hard to do any studying in the presence of very loud noises. The source of noises, in Singapore context, may come from the following:

  • Neighbor’s heavy renovation (Drilling, Hammering, etc.) Singaporeans are big fans of renovation and like to renovate their houses every couple of years! Unfortunately, as long as the neighbors stay within the…

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Probably the Best Yong Tau Foo I’ve Ever Had

Cooking For Fun

Yong Tau Foo is a Hakka Chinese cuisine. Yet, I have never tried it in China before. Yong Tau Foo stall is quite similar to Chinese spicy hot pot (malatang). All the meat, vegetables and seafood are displayed on shelves. Customers can choose whatever they want to add in their Yong Tau Foo. The main difference I guess lies in cooking method. Malatang (麻辣烫) includes 3 Chinese words. 麻 (ma)means numb, it refers to the feeling caused by pungent spices like Sichuan pepper corn. 辣(la)means spicy, it refers to chili, chili powder and chili oil. 烫(tang)means hot. Because malatang is always served very hot. I still remember when I had social linguistic class, my teacher taught us malatang could be translated as “3 hots”: hot, hot, hot. 🙂

I have tried Yong Tau Foo several times after I came here. Since I really missed malatang and I couldn’t find it…

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import matplotlib on PyCharm: Quick 3 min solution

Students trying to import the package “matplotlib” on PyCharm will soon face the cryptic error message: “Python is not installed as a framework. The Mac OS X backend will not be able to function correctly if Python is not installed as a framework.”

It is extremely puzzling what to do. I have researched the steps that you can follow to solve it in 3 minutes:

First you need to install the “matplotlib” on PyCharm following the instructions here:

Then, to import matplotlib, you need the following lines:

import matplotlib as mpl
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

Done! You are ready to use matplotlib on PyCharm interpreter, by using:

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Steak & Portobello Mushroom

Cooking For Fun

This is the first time for me to cook Portobello mushroom. They are really big and look like a giant brown umbrella.

For steak:

1. Season both sides with salt and black pepper.

2. Heat a pan. A little oil in. Sear the steak for about 3 mins.

3. Flip the steak over. Cut in a cube of butter. And add in 2 cloves of garlic and dried thyme (fresh thyme will be better, but I didn’t have any at that time).

4. Fry for about 3 mins. Use a spoon, to scoop better and spread over steak. Sear the edge side too.

Steak in the plate and rest.

To cook Portobello mushroom:

Remove the Portobello mushroom’s stem first and wash clean.

1. Heat a pan. Cut in a small cube of butter.

2. When butter melts, add the mushroom in with cap side down. Sear for 3 mins. If…

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Cod Fish Fillet

Cooking For Fun

My husband loves fish, especially fish from the deep sea. We often buy salmon. We don’t buy cod fish that often. Last time when we went out shopping for groceries, he saw the frozen cod fish fillet. He asked if he could buy some. I was a bit hesitant because I didn’t cook cod that much. He told me just to cook it in the same way of cooking salmon. OK, then. My husband always tells me to cook seafood in a simple way with less condiments, even though he almost never cooks.

As he said, I just pretend I am cooking a salmon fillet.

1. Season cod fillet with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a pan, drizzle in a little oil. When pan is hot, place cod fillet in.

3. Sear the cod fillet for 3-4 mins. Then flip over. Sear for another 3-4 mins. I also added in…

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National Geographic Kids Singapore

National Geographic Kids Review

National Geographic Kids is a nice magazine that kids will love. Kids have a natural interest in animals/birds/dinosaurs, and this will inspire them to start reading, and learn about animals at the same time. Animals are a key topic in Science and will be tested in PSLE eventually. PSLE requires students to know the difference between mammals, birds and reptiles, and also certain insects.

National Geographic Kids

Note that the National Geographic Kids is for around age six. Many Singapore students are more advanced in reading, and in fact they can move on to the adults’ National Geographic magazine if they are interested.

Especially if your child is gifted or in the GEP, at age 9 they should be poised to read the adult version of National Geographic to learn more advanced vocabulary and scientific concepts. (For gifted students, the kids version of the magazine may be too simple.)

National Geographic

For students interested in Geography, the National Geographic Atlas of the World, Tenth Edition is an excellent book to learn all about the Earth. A piece of trivia is that the chess world champion Magnus Carlsen could memorize the entire atlas when he was just a little kid. “Magnus was able to recall the areas, population numbers, flags and capitals of all the countries in the world by the age of five. Later, Carlsen had memorised the areas, population numbers, coat-of-arms and administrative centres of “virtually all” Norwegian municipalities.”

See also our post on: Recommended Educational Toys.

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Chinese High School Student “Proves” Goldbach Conjecture


According to popular Chinese Social Media, a Chinese teenager from high school has purportedly proven the difficult Goldbach Conjecture, which is that every even integer greater than two is the sum of two prime numbers.

Update: He has recently realized his mistake and deleted the post. Do check out his proof if you are interested!

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Oven-roasted Tomatoes

Cooking For Fun

Recently, I’m crazy about tomatoes. I always want to try sun dried tomato, yet weather here in Singapore is very humid. So I guess sun dried tomato is impossible here. Then this oven-Roasted tomatoes came to my head.

And it’s very easy.

1. Chop tomatoes into slices (around 0.5cm thick). You can use cherry tomatoes or any ones of small size.

2. Place all tomato slices in a big bowl. Drizzle in olive oil, spread a little salt and add in dried herbs you like. I used dried oregano. Toss a bit.

3. Put tomato slices in baking tray and arrange them in one layer. You can put them very close to each other. Because they will shrink after dehydrated.

4. Preheat oven to 200 degree C. Roast tomato for 15-20 mins or till they get wrinkled and a bit burnt on the edge.

They can be used in Spaghetti…

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Seahorse Pillow Review

SeaHorse pillow is my favorite brand of pillow. I have tried many types ranging from “top-end” brands like Tempur, to standard popular brands like King Koil. Basically it is worth buying a quality pillow to have a good night’s sleep.

SeaHorse is a Hong Kong brand, and it has several advantages:

  • Designed for Asian body in terms of firmness and thickness. Westerners have broad shoulders so they need a very thick pillow. If you buy Western pillow brands like King Koil, often they are too thick, your neck will be at an awkward angle.
  • Also, westerners like to sleep on very soft beds, while Chinese like to sleep on firmer beds due to an ancient belief in Chinese medicine (the best is allegedly to sleep on a hard wooden bed). Hence, western brand pillows are designed to sink into the soft bed. If your bed is Asian bed (i.e. more firm), it won’t sink in and you will be left with a very tall pillow.
  • Quite affordable in terms of price. If you want the best pillow, it is probably Tempur as they have “space-like astronaut material”. However it is very expensive, and also it may become hot under the Singapore weather due to the “space material”.

This is the standard Sea Horse pillow that is good enough for everyday usage (from Official SeaHorse Qoo10 site):

[S$18.00](▼64%)[Sea Horse]SeaHorse SIL Comfortable Foam Pillow(100-100) Free Delivery!


They also have a memory foam version, which is better contoured to your head.

[S$54.00](▼59%)[Sea Horse]Sea Horse Memory Foam Pillow(100-100) Free Delivery!


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‘I refused to meet my son’s JC teacher after the 1st meeting with her’

A mother’s heartfelt comment on Facebook (received 184 likes).

Excerpt: “I refused to meet my son’s JC teacher after the 1st meeting with her after 1st half of JC1. She focused the whole conversation on my son’s grades and that he will fail eventually. She was very superficial all the way and kept reminding me that it’s a prestigious school. I told her it’s just the 1st 6 months, too early to judge anything. My message to all parents, trust your kids and give them moral support and space. They have enough from these so called teachers who just worry about the school reputation and not the kid’s potential.”

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Ohm $20 Referral Code: OHMREF25CC5A

*Ohm Referral Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Ohm has just improved their discount off tariff rate to 25%! Their fixed rate is also improved! Previously Ohm was good, now it is fantastic!

Read my previous review of Ohm at: Ohm $20 Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Dear Customer,

Thank you for trying us out. We are glad that you have chosen Ohm as your preferred electricity retailer.

Our mantra is to keep prices competitive and not disadvantage customers who have signed up earlier. We still maintain the same view. Since the start of the Open Electricity Market (OEM) on 19 March 2018, we have kept our prices consistent in spite of the increase in Brent prices. After consideration, we realised that we are able to introduce additional savings to our customers and so, from 1st January 2019, we will be updating various Price Plans. The intention of this email is to inform you that although we are updating our prices, if you are still on our 3-month trial, you would be eligible to switch to any of our other price plans, you can choose to do so on our customer portal. at

Our Fixed Ohm Price Plans will be lowered to the following prices (inclusive of GST):

6-Months Fixed Ohm: From 20.01 cents/kWh to 18.35 cents/kWh
12-Months Fixed Ohm: From 19.58 cents/kWh to 18.03 cents/kWh
24-Months Fixed Ohm: From 18.14 cents/kWh to 17.98 cents/kWh

Our Ohm Discount Price Plans will be updated to the following prices:

6-Months Ohm Discount: From 20% discount off Regulated Tariff to 25% discount off Regulated Tariff
12-Months Ohm Discount: From 22% discount off Regulated Tariff to 25% discount off Regulated Tariff

Below is a Quick Guide on the price plan change process:

1. Go to our website at and click on Login at the top right-hand corner. If you have forgotten your password, you can reset your password through the “Can’t remember your password” link.

2. When you have logged into Customer Portal, Go to the “Electricity Price Plan” tab.

3. Select “Change my Price Plan”.

4. You will be redirected to our webpage by clicking on the “leave” button.

5. Select the Price Plan of your choice on the left top corner on the price plan page (e.g. 24-months Fixed Ohm). Click on “Change Ohm Now”, your current information will be auto-populated.

6. You will then reach the confirmation page, click “confirm & verify” to accept.

7. If you face any issues or you are required to re-enter the information, you can refresh the screen by clicking on your account name on the top right-hand corner.

Should you have any questions during the change process or have other general questions about the electricity market, please do let us know and we will be happy to assist you.

#TeamOhm would like to thank you for a great 2018 and an even better one in 2019. Happy New Year!

Team Ohm

Price Plan Change Summary for Fixed Ohm and Ohm Discount

Fixed Ohm Price Plan (Inclusive of GST)

Current Price (cents/kWh) NEW Price (cents/kWh)
6 Months Contract 20.01 18.35
12 Months Contract 19.58 18.03
24 Months Contract 18.14 17.98

Ohm Discount Price Plan

Discount off Regulated Tariff Discount off Regulated Tariff)
6 Months Contract 20% 25%
12 Months Contract 22% 25%
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Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all readers of!

May the New Year bring good health and happiness to you and your whole family.

Check out our past motivational posts:

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Half-day Trip in Bird Park

Cooking For Fun

On the last day of 2018, my husband and I decided to visit Jurong bird park in Singapore.

It’s amazing. All the beautiful, lovely, and talented birds: parrots, penguins, flamingoes, emu, owls, vultures, lories, etc.

Here are some pics of birds:

And here is my favorite pic:

A white bird just stood in among a group of flamingoes. Well disguised! 🙂

Happy new year, everybody! 🙂

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Where can I buy Staub cast iron cookware in Singapore

One of the search terms for my website is “Where can I buy Staub cast iron cookware in Singapore”. I did some research and it sounds incredible, but one of the cheapest option is actually to buy from Amazon and ship it to Singapore.

This is a good idea for several reasons.

  1. Firstly, Amazon has certain offers from time to time that make Staub cookware extremely cheap. For instance, currently the Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte, 4-Quart (3.8 liters) is selling for USD $99.95, whereas its original price is USD $407. Hence, even after factoring in the shipping fees of around USD $30, it is likely to be cheaper than anywhere in Singapore. (See the below Staub cookware, which is selling at $99.95 and ships to Singapore.)

Staub Cast Iron Round Cocotte, 4-Quart, Cherry

2. Local e-commerce websites may not necessarily be cheaper than Amazon. Be aware of a process called “drop shipping“. That means that the local website may not keep physical stock of Staub. When you order from them, they in turn order from USA and ship it to you! Hence, if you order directly from Amazon, you skip the middleman and it should logically be cheaper.

3. Amazon has extremely good customer service (that is how they became one of the richest companies in the world). If for any reason, your cookware is damaged (highly unlikely given the durability of cast iron), you can just lodge a complaint to Amazon and they will compensate you accordingly.

See also: Cast Iron Pan Singapore Review

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Hwa Chong IP dropout shares his story: Student hacked and sabotaged Project Work of rival group

This is the dark side of the Integrated Programme, parents and students should read this (and definitely watch the video).

Something in the video is quite shocking: According to the interviewee Edwin, someone in his HCI batch “hacked into the files of another Project Work (PW) group to sabotage them so that they wouldn’t do well”. This is certainly “absurd”, as Edwin put it. (Note that PW is widely considered the least important of all subjects.) Such is the level of competitiveness in the top tier IP schools? Such unethical students are really the black sheep of IP program and society in general, it reflects the “black heart” of the student.

Good luck to Edwin, he seems like a nice guy. Perhaps this may be a blessing in disguise for him, his path less travelled may lead him to a better life in the Land Down Under (Australia).

Source (Text and Video):

“With his top honours in finance and economics, Singaporean Edwin Chaw, who recently graduated from the University of Melbourne, should enjoy good job prospects when he returns home.

But the 26-year-old is applying for jobs in Melbourne, Australia, instead, as he believes that his past as a “dropout” from the elite Integrated Programme at Hwa Chong Institution still haunts him.”

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Come Lord,Maranatha! By Ricky Manalo

A very nice song. “Maranatha” means “Come, Lord Jesus”.

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Promotion Criteria for IP Schools

Entering IP is not all smooth sailing, there is still much work to be done. Most IP schools will set a minimum criteria to proceed in the Integrated Program (i.e. skip ‘O’ levels). Those students who don’t make the criteria may be streamed into the ‘O’ level track.

A recent post from Kiasuparents summarized nicely the situation for the top 4 IP schools:

At the end of the day, it’s each sch’s perogative to set the IP promotion bar at a level it deems fit. For HCI/NYGH case, that bar was set at 65%, while RI set it at 60% and RGS at 50%. The R sch students also have the flexibility to choose the best subjects for GPA calculation (and not have to include all subjects).

Source: Kiasuparents

Hence, basically for HCI/NYGH an average grade of B3 and above is needed to proceed in the IP track, while for RI it is B4, and RGS is just pass (50%). Note that IP exam papers tend to be tougher than usual, hence it is not as easy as it sounds to get B3 in an IP school, or even to pass.

While the ‘O’ level track is not bad in the sense that it provides an ‘O’ level certificate as a backup, the problem is that IP schools are so entrenched in the IP system, and so used to teaching IP syllabus, their teachers may or may not be proficient in teaching ‘O’ level material. See this news: RI’s O Level Scores: Only 1 student out of 10 made it to JC. Hence, there is always an inherent risk in being streamed to the ‘O’ level track.

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$98 Smartphone (Xiaomi Redmi 6A)

Ideal for primary school kids who need a smartphone to keep in contact with parents. (iPhone XS is too expensive and unnecessary for a Primary 1 kid.)

It can do all the basic stuff like internet, camera, apps (WhatsApp, Wechat, Facebook), etc. At just $98, it is essentially affordable to all Singaporeans.

[S$98.00](▼68%)[Xiaomi]Xiaomi Redmi 6 PRO Redmi 6 Redmi 6A 3GB 32GB 4GB 64GB Play Store Local Seller Warranty


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$259 Laptop with 8GB RAM and 240 GB SSD

This is probably the cheapest laptop around with such stats. 8GB RAM and 240 GB SSD is definitely enough for any kind of school project, and in fact should be enough for casual computer games too.

An excellent choice for students/adults looking for a budget computer that is not too slow. (Do not get those with 2GB RAM, no matter how cheap they are. You will regret when you discover that they take 20 min just to start up and 10 min just to open internet explorer.)

Refurbished means it is not brand new, but on the good side it means it has been repaired and checked for any errors.

[S$259.00](▼57%)[Lenovo]Lenovo Thinkpad X240 / X250 UPGRADED 8GB RAM 240GB SSD ( Refurbished )


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Star Wars Fan Film: Vader (Superb Storyline)

This is just posted 6 days ago. It is much much better than Disney’s The Last Jedi. Do watch it if you are a true Star Wars Fan.

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