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Four Questions to ask your Doctor

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During the year, I encountered many situations where family/friends had to face tough medical choices such as opting for surgeries, MRIs, biopsies or complicated treatments; sometimes it is not straightforward especially when there are high risks and prohibitive costs... Contrary to common belief, doctors do not always know what's best for us and so, we need to always ask the doctor the following 4 questions before making a major decision: Is this really necessary? What are the risks? Are there other options? What happens if I don't do anything?  More details in the original TED talk which recommended the above:  

Because of You - My First Poem

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This is my very first poem, inspired by a Sing China 2020 song and a Bible sharing session that I am conducting this Saturday - it is really amazing how two totally disparate events caused me to write this heartfelt poem: Because of you My life has changed Because of you My life has meaning Because of you I've learnt how to love Because of you I've learnt how to live Thank you, Death.

Madam Multiculturism

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Six years ago, my racial harmony article attracted much attention and till today, I am still receiving requests for the use of the photo (brilliantly captured by my friend Andrew Teoh) in the article because it epitomises multiculturism. This time, I encountered Multiculturism herself incarnated in Aunty Rose of Singapore - her almost-native Cantonese proficiency put me, a real Cantonese, to utter shame because I could only manage basic words due to the influence of my Mom who is a Teochew . In the following video, Aunty Rose spoke 6 languages eloquently effortlessly but more importantly, she spoke the universal language of compassion, honour, respect, generosity, determination, tenacity and love with a huge dose of wittiness (we simply call this the Kampung Spirit lah!) which greatly inspired and touched me as I prepare to celebrate Singapore's independence day tomorrow: Happy National Day my dear fellow Singaporeans!

Midway - Overcoming the Invincible, Invisible & Inexplicable

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On 4 June 1942, the Americans encountered an enemy that bore striking similarities with COVID-19 : - Invincible : At that time, the Japanese navy was thought to be unbeatable since it had not been defeated over the past 50 years. - Invisible : Radar technology was in its infancy and couldn't detect anything beyond 240 km, so this made it virtually impossible to detect the Japanese fleet in the Pacific Ocean which covers 165 million sq km! - Inexplicable : The attack on Pearl Harbour was such an unexpected move by the Japanese that the Americans actually had clear warnings but chose to ignore them! So they had no idea how to fight an irrational enemy! But through sheer determination, fearless heroism, intricate planning based on what little intel they had plus a little luck, the Americans dealt a crippling below to the Japanese navy at the battle of Midway where the Japanese lost 4 carriers, 1 heavy cruiser, 3,500 men and 270 aircraft whereas the Americans lost only 1 car

Hope over Covid-19

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In the midst of a pandemic and impending recession, it is vital for us to stay positive and hopeful else we can easily spiral into depression. But where can we find glimmers of hope in such dark times? Dr Hoe-Nam Leong is one shining beacon of hope as he recounts his arduous experience of contracting SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) while treating Singapore's first SARS victim in 2003 in a recent interview on 12 April 2020. And now, he is back at the frontline battling the highly contagious Covid-19 virus! Be inspired by his powerful sharing and how he thinks the Covid-19 pandemic would eventually pan out!

Passengers - A Journey Beyond Space

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It has been more than 8 years since I last felt compelled to write a movie review - and this time, it is on a most unlikely choice: Passengers (2016) . I downloaded it recently on Netflix for my budget flight to Osaka to watch with my beloved wife. I had low expectations because it seemed like a standard Hollywood movie which cashes in on two of the brightest stars in the entertainment industry: The ever-lovely Jennifer Lawrence and brawny Chris Pratt . The story sounded intriguing right from the onset: The Avalon , a sophisticated spaceship transporting 5,000 colonists and 258 crew members in hibernation pods, is en route to the Utopian planet Homestead II , a journey which takes 120 years. However, due to an unexpected asteroid collision, one pod malfunctioned which caused its inhabitant, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), to wake up 90 years too early. Hence, Jim finds himself in certain doom and gloom: spending the rest of his life in solitude and knowing he can never reach Homest

Time to Sleep!

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If you're still thinking of your New Year resolution, consider making this one which costs you nothing but will totally change your life for the better: Sleep more ! Ever since I made this resolution on 1 January 2020, I find myself more alert, productive, innovative and slimmer too! It is amazing how a little sleep will transform your life! But don't just take my word for it and read everything on sleep here ! To track my sleep patterns, I use the Sleep++ app on my iPhone and for Android users, you can choose a similar app here . P.S. As 2020 is the lunar year of the Rat , it is interesting to note that rats sleep a lot - about 9 hours a day and that is why they are so energetic!