Searching for clues to an heir in Bukit Brown >

The search for Madam Wan’s descendants has included tombstone inspections at the Bukit Brown cemetery, a listing on the Government Gazette and a newspaper advertisement last month.

Mr Lee and Mr Goh will do a further search of court records and then approach the High Court for an order to distribute the money among those who come forward by Jan 1.

​This is a bit of a personal anedcote as my great grandfather’s tomb is one of the featured tombstones in the article. 

My relatives did file a claim but it got rejected because they weren’t considered to be related closely enough. 

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Why Tokyo Is Home to So Many Cyclists But So Few Bike Lanes >

The Japanese have a strong communal culture, generally speaking. But when it comes to bikes in cities, there’s a self-fulfilling cycle of tolerance that occurs: as more people ride bikes, more people become sensitive to the needs of bike riders. So it’s not uncommon to find bikes left unlocked on the streets in Tokyo. And whereas riding on the sidewalk is seen as taboo in Western cities, Baur points out that it’s a regular habit in the city.

​I recently spoke to a 75 year old colleague who’d just returned from a holiday in Japan where he went cycling. He said that, even while cycling on the road, never once did he feel threatened by cars.

This is one of the fascinating things about Japanese culture that’s hard to export. And since human nature is hard to change unfortunately that means having to pay for segregated cycling paths.

Maybe one day Singapore will get there.

Ebola Survivors May Be the Key to Treatment—For Almost Any Disease >

When the virus enters the body, it induces a total overreaction in first-responder immune cells. They send a torrent of panic signals that trigger a physiological disaster: fever, pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and—if left unchecked—death. The infection moves so fast that the body’s second phase of the immune response—making antibodies that attack the virus—never has a chance to kick in. So Doctors Without Borders clinics figured out that they could reduce Ebola’s lethality with intense supportive care: Keep patients alive long enough—with antibiotics, acetaminophen and other pain medications, vitamins, and oral or intravenous fluids—and their bodies would have time to start fighting the disease. The protocol treats dehydration and weakness and, combined with soft drinks, food, and water, helps the majority of patients survive. “There’s nothing more joyous than when someone says, ‘I’m hungry, give me rice.’ Then you know you’re going to be OK,” says physician Kirrily de Polnay, who worked with Doctors Without Borders.

​Gripping account of what was a really terrifying epidemic. There is evidently hope for patients who receive proper care but unfortunately in desperately poor countries the patients don’t always receive the best medical attention.

How to Write Email with Military Precision >

In the military, a poorly formatted email may be the difference between mission accomplished and mission failure. During my active duty service, I learned how to structure emails to maximize a mission’s chances for success. Since returning from duty, I have applied these lessons to emails that I write for my corporate job, and my missives have consequently become crisper and cleaner, eliciting quicker and higher-quality responses from colleagues and clients. Here are three of the main tips I learned on how to format your emails with military precision:

​if you, like me, spend most of your time at work reading and answering email, you might find the contents of this article helpful. The principle of using a BLUF is certainly of interest to me.

These sec students are at Crest of education >

When Crest Secondary School was set up in 2013, principal Frederick Yeo had trouble convincing parents it was right for their children.

“We didn’t have a track record,” he said. “Some parents looked down on us, they were upset when their kids chose us.”

Crest is the first specialised school to cater for Normal (Technical) students. As such it attracted negative stereotypes among some parents which it has been striving hard to fight off. The Jurong East school now has 760 students across four cohorts and its first batch of 200 will graduate next month. Forty of its graduating students have already received conditional offers from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) via a scheme that considers their abilities related to courses and skills in leadership, sports or the arts.

Mr Yeo told The Straits Times: “We have, to a large extent, helped to restore confidence, a joy of learning, in the kids.”

​Ignoring the cheesy headline this is great news for a lot of kids who ‘fall out’ of Singapore’s punishing education system. 

More of this please! 

A List of 10 Unique HDB Blocks >

There’s a common perception that plain ol’ boring HDBs can’t hold a candle to the glitzy skyscrapers that dot our skyline. Well, I’m guilty of that thinking too, until I took a good at my surroundings while traversing our urban concrete jungle. From then on, I began to unsee HDBs as a sea of homogenous, compartmentalised apartments, and instead see them as individual works of art.

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So why don’t you do the same – slow down, smell the roses, and take a mini road trip around Singapore to discover the beauty of these unique HDBs.

​I’ve seen some of the clocks listed, and while some of the older ones do have more character than newer HDB, it’s still a bit of a stretch to call them ‘works of art’. 

Don’t Believe in Yourself | Desiring God >

We must fight pride with the same fierceness we fight every other sin. Perhaps even more so because pride is “the great sin” that fuels the others. It will blind you and deceive you. It will cripple you and even kill you. Unless, in humility and faith, you have been freed from the tyranny of pride and the weight of its rebellion against God.

Don’t believe in yourself; believe in God. You are utterly incapable of achieving or earning what you need most. The beauty of the gospel is that you no longer need to. That burden and responsibility sits on Christ’s shoulders, and his freedom, humility, and joy now rest on yours.

Syrian refugees are now paying smugglers to take them back >

On a humid August afternoon in northern Greece, a group of Syrian families hauling duffel bags and day packs stumbled down a forested hillside. Exhausted and nervous, they gathered in a gravel parking lot across from a small train station.

They could see the border just a few miles away, marked by the curving line of tall riparian trees rising out of the grassy landscape. It had taken them six months to reach this point. Their final destination was close.

The smuggler, a tall man wearing a headset, waved his hand. The families gathered up their belongings once again, took their children by the hand, and walked toward the station. They stepped one by one from the cement platform onto the train tracks, passing the crumpled clothes and blankets abandoned by those who made the journey before them.

A group of Syrian refugees in July, beginning their journey home. (Jeanne Carstensen/GlobalPost Investigations)
On this day there were no other people in sight. They hiked along the tracks, stretching out in a single file line in the direction of the trees. The sound of crickets, screaming in the summer heat, drowned out their footsteps.

They had already crossed several borders to get this far. But this time felt significant — like the beginning of the end of their journey.

For this group of refugee families, however, the end would not be permanent safety in Germany, as they had hoped. They had arrived in Greece six months earlier, by which time Europe had closed its borders to new migrants.

After being stuck half a year in this unfamiliar country beset by its own economic misery, these Syrian families weren’t pushing north toward their dreams in Germany or beyond.

They were going back. To Syria.

Gosh this article is really heartbreaking. The horrors that these people have to endure all because of the evil that exists in this world.

Still ticking: The improbable survival of the luxury watch business | The Guardian >

This article in The Guardian about Swiss timepieces had no right to be as interesting as it was:

A dial that once etched out our lives in hours and minutes, its accuracy dependent on our capacity to set it in motion and wind it, may now keep us connected with the rest of the earth, via GPS and overnight wireless charging. Yet the remarkable thing is not the emergence of texts and emails on the wrists – that was always going to come at some point – but how robust the traditional and mechanical wristwatch has proven itself alongside the new technologies. Alongside the absurd complications of the fattest new timepiece comes something we are evidently keen to hang on to – a belief that beauty and refinement are ends in themselves, and that the workbench of the skilled engineer is still revered more than the production line. A beautiful ticking timepiece gives us something back – transporting us, perhaps, to an imagined time when time was still our friend.