Chocolates

Whenever I feel stressed, I tend to eat my troubles away using chocolate. These sweet goodness from Hershey’s, Cadbury and Lindt never fails to make me feel good afterwards,  perhaps because “stressed” backwards spells “desserts”. I’m just kidding here. But in actual fact they really do leave me satisfied and happy.

Chocolates have a long history. The story of chocolate begins with the Theobroma cocoa, (Theobroma is Greek for “food of the gods”, which is why chocolate was a luxury item meant for only the rich and royalty back in the old days ) small trees that grew wild in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin and other areas in Central and South America. The Maya Indians and the Aztecs recognised the value of cocoa beans then – both as an ingredient for their special ‘chocolate’ drink and as currency – for hundreds of years before cocoa was brought to Europe. Christopher Columbus is said to have brought the first cocoa beans back to Europe from his fourth visit to the ‘New World’ between 1502 and 1504. However far more exciting treasures on board his galleons meant the humble cocoa beans were ignored. It was his fellow explorer, the Spanish Conquistador Don Hernán Cortés, who first realised their commercial value. He brought cocoa beans back to Spain in 1528 and very gradually, the custom of drinking the chocolate spread across Europe, reaching England in the 1650s.

It was only in the 1850s that English man Joseph Fry created the world’s first solid chocolate by adding more cocoa butter, rather than hot water, to cocoa powder and sugar. The chocolate evolved in 1875 when Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle added condensed milk to solid chocolate, creating a milk chocolate bar. Four years later in 1879, the chocolate underwent changes again when Swiss chap Rudolphe Lindt invented the conch, a machine that rotated and mixed chocolate to a perfectly smooth consistency and by 1907, Milton Hershey’s factory was spitting out 33 million kisses per day.

The main types of chocolate that are more popular today are white chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate. Each type of chocolate bar contains its own set of unique flavor profiles. Since the cacao bean is the source of all chocolate, its flavours can be imparted by a multitude of variables, such as topography, weather, soil conditions, post-harvesting processing, and of course genotypic properties.

Chocolate makes people happy because it tastes good and provides a moment’s respite from busy, and often stressed-out, lives. For some, chocolate is a guilty pleasure, and we are firm believers in the old adage that forbidden fruit is always the most satisfying. Just seeing chocolate, or inhaling its wonderful aroma, has quickened the beat of many a chocolate-lover’s heart. So now you know what to eat when you feel down in the dumps – chocolate!

Sources:

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Germaine Lee (2 Truth)

EXO’S BREAK UP

Recently, the ambitions of K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment Co. have hit some unexpected challenges. Firstly, Kris, one of the members of its hugely popular 12 member boy band EXO made a legal move to bail out.  EXO, with over two million fans registered in its official fan club, is extremely well known for songs like “Growl”. The group is sometimes split into two sub groups EXO-M, performing in Mandarin and EXO-K, performing in Korean. However, this successful group has also been plagued by rumours. The first hint of problems was when the leader of the EXO-M subgroup, Kris, went missing in action for an extended period of time in 2013. Then, Kris filed a lawsuit against SM in December 2014, saying that he had been mistreated by the company in a bid to nullify his contract with SM, which was unfortunately successful.

EXO’s remaining 11 members and SM Entertainment assured fans that EXO would continue with eleven, but the rumours began again several months after Kris left the group. This time, SM Entertainment announced that member Luhan would be sitting out several of EXO’s overseas concerts to recover from health issues. However, next month, following an abundance of rumours and fans worrying, Luhan filed a lawsuit to cancel his contract, accusing SM Entertainment of discriminating the Chinese members of the boy band.

“SM treated subgroup EXO-K, filled with Korean members, differently from how they treated the EXO-M members with Chinese members,” Luhan said in the lawsuit. “From the beginning of our debut, EXO-K received support from SM and actively did promotions, but subgroup EXO-M had no promotions, received no financial backing, and endured a difficult time.”

He also revealed that he had missed some EXO shows due to exhaustion.

There were even rumours that Tao and another member would quit EXO as well, though it appears those reports were unfounded. Luckily, EXO is officially coming back in 2015! The confirmed that a new album is in the works which is great news! So it seems the K-pop group is moving on despite the exits of Kris Wu and Luhan last year. Indeed since then, the group has released a concert album, complete with a new single. So it appears the comeback will continue as planned, even without Luhan and Kris Wu :))

This is a difficult time for SM Entertainment, which is also dealing with Jessica Jung’s shocking departure from Girls’ Generation. Jung claims she was forced out when her fellow members complained about her putting her fashion line ahead of her music career. Both sides seem to be moving on just fine since Jung’s exit, but it’s unclear if SNSD’s record sales will suffer without one of its most popular singers.

Sources:

http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/149641/20141211/the-writing-on-the-wall-exo-rumors-will-more-members-leave-the-group.html

http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2014/05/22/k-pop-world-abuzz-after-exo-lawsuit/

-Genevieve Sim (2 Purity)

Is it a good idea to create designer babies?

Nowadays, there is an ongoing debate about whether it is ethical to have designer babies. For some time now, humans have been able to genetically modify and clone animals and plants. Very soon, it may be possible to do the same for the most complicated species on earth – humans. Scientists predict that in a few years’ time creating designer babies will be possible. This means that traits like hair and eye color and personalities as well as possibilities of a child contracting diseases can be predetermined before birth! Not many people seem to be interested in the idea yet, but it does not seem like there is time to say “we will think about it in the future” as this is an extremely complicated topic and the future could be very soon. Or possibly, designer babies and cloning might be taking place behind closed doors at this moment.

I think that everyone has mixed opinions towards this topic. Some feel that it is beneficial as if their children are smarter, the family will be able to make better progress while others might feel that they will be at a disadvantage while competing with these designer babies. But do we all get to decide whether to create designer babies? The rich are usually the ones that get to control the market, and they will reap great benefits from these designer babies.

Personally, I think it is a bad idea to create designer babies. Due to globalization in the present years, the gap between the rich and poor is rapidly widening. With this “designer baby” idea, which probably only the rich will be able to afford, they can now form an elite “race” which will fill up job spaces more easily since they should be smarter and hence more capable, putting the “normal babies” at a huge disadvantage. It is arguable that designing babies before birth is like doing plastic surgery, but the difference is that for plastic surgery the person gets to decide while for designer babies, it is predetermined by someone else.

However, is creating designer babies even ethical? Did it occur to them how designer babies will feel? Designer babies might think they are superior but at the same time restricted. Just like how you would feel if your parents had already crafted out your life exactly for you. If we don’t get to decide our personalities and looks at birth, how is it fair that our parents get to? Did it also occur to them how “normal babies” will feel?

It will be very interesting to experiment with creating designer babies and understand genetics better, but those who came up with this idea should be responsible for the results as this can lead to creating robots and androids.

-Genevieve Sim (2 Purity)

Jokes and Pick-Up lines

Sometimes when you are having bad day, maybe all you need is some funny pick-up lines and jokes, so here are some!

 

“Hey girl, what’s your sine? It must be pi/2 because you are the 1!”

 

“Did you just fart? Because you blew me away!”

 

“I’m no photographer, but I can picture us together!”

 

“You’re as sweet as 3.14”

 

“If money don’t grow on trees, then why do banks have branches?”

 

A bear and a rabbit find a magic lamp with a genie in it. They decide to share the 5 wishes. The rabbit lets the bear go first. Mr. Bear wishes he was the only guy bear in existence. Mr. Rabbit wishes for a helmet. Mr. Bear wishes all the girl bears lived around the area he lived in. Mr. Rabbit wishes for a motorcycle. Mr. Bear, satisfied with his wishes lets Mr. Rabbit have the last wish. Mr. Rabbit puts the helmet on and gets on the motorcycle. Then he says, “I wish Mr. Bear was gay!” and speeds off.

 

The teacher asked the new student, “What does your father do?”

The students answered, “Whatever my mum says!”

 

“Hey baby, I’ve got my ion you!”

 

“Can you tell me the molecular formula of Nitrogen dioxide?”

“NO^2”

 

Lim See Mun

4 Truth

Taylor Swift Shakes It Off

1.287 million copies of Taylor’s Swift 1989 album were sold in a week after being officially released. Her lead single “Shake It Off” has received nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at 2015 Grammy Awards. Not only that, “Shake It Off” topped 15 music charts all around the world. At the age of 25, she has received countless awards due to her great music. Her music has changed tremendously from country music to pop music.  “Two years gives you enough time to grow and change; change what you believe in and what’s influencing and inspiring you,” Taylor Swift said of the two years between her Red and 1989 albums. “In the process, my music changed. I woke up every single day not wanting, but needing, to make a new style of music. This album is a rebirth for me.”

“Shake it off” has many views on YouTube as people are attracted to the catchy rhythm and the repetitive lyrics of the song. This song encourages people to not be stressed over how others judge them and it helps to let them forget about their troubles. This song helps to lighten one’s spirits. So, whenever you are stressed, remember to shake your troubles off!

nbjknjk          dfgfdg

-Sarah Tok (1 Purity)

Jokes to tickle your funny bone

1) Why can’t you explain puns to kleptomaniacs?

  Because they always take things literally.

2) Why did the bacteria cross the microscope?

  To get to the other slide.

3) What did the traffic light say to the car?

  Don’t look, I’m changing.

4) Why does a Moon-rock taste better than an Earth-rock?

  Because it’s a little meteor.

5) Why did the elephants get kicked out of the public pool?

  Because they kept dropping their trunks.

6) Helium walks into the bar and orders a pint of beer. The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve noble gases here.” What does helium do?

Nothing, he doesn’t react.

7) A neutron walks into the bar and asks ‘how much?’ for a drink. What does the bartender say?

“For you, no charge.”

8) Which trigonometric functions do farmers like?

   Swine and Cowsine.

9) What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?

   Pumpkin Pi

10) Teacher: “Johnny, why are you walking into the classroom on yours hands and knees?”

  Johnny: “Because yesterday you told me not to walk into class late.”

11) What do clouds wear under their shorts?

   Thunderpants.

13) The village blacksmith hired an enthusiastic new apprentice who was willing to       work long, hard hours. He instructed the boy, “When I take the shoe out of the       fire, I’ll lay it on the anvil. When I nod my head, you hit it with a hammer.” The    apprentice did exactly as he was told, and now he’s the new village blacksmith.

14) What do you call a parade of rabbits hopping backwards?

   A receding hare-line.

15) What happens when you put root beer in a square glass?

   You get beer.

-Calista Lo (3 Loyalty)

Nightingale

What is a nightingale? Perhaps, it is just a bird to you, but in this song, the word ‘nightingale’ takes a whole new meaning. Nightingale is a song from American singer-songwriter Demi Lovato’s latest album “DEMI” which was released on May 10, 2013 and no, it is not about a nightingale.

Nightingale is a song personally written by Demi Lovato. This song is about one of her friends who had passed away at the age of 13. “I literally know when he’s in the room with me and I just have a really strong connection to him.” Demi mentioned in a video (Demi Lovato – The Story of DEMI, Ep. 2).

Christmas last year came early for all the Lovatics out there. The black-and-white music video for Nightingale was released just in time for Christmas in 2014, a year and a half after the release of ‘Demi’, her newest album. Upon releasing the music video, Demi shared it via Twitter and tweeted, “Thank you all so much for the most amazing year yet! My Lovatics are truly the best. #Nightingale” The music video of Nightingale focused on the connection between Demi and her fans, the Lovatics, and also serves as a sentimental summary of Demi’s year. A peek behind the scenes at Demi’s concerts, her life on tour, how crazy the fans go… This music video has it all.

To me, this song always reminds me of the precious memories I have with my best friend, perhaps due to the strong friendship bond between two close friends which is evident in Nightingale. Demi’s amazing vocals, along with the meaningful lyrics, appealed to me and it has been my favourite song for months now. I have not grown sick of hearing it over and over again. Nightingale is so emotional that Demi even teared up during numerous performances at her live concerts. If you have never heard of Nightingale, listen to it! You might just end up falling in love with it!

-Chloe Kho (1 Purity)

Jokes and Pick-Up Lines

Can I borrow a kiss? I promise I’ll give it back.

 

Know what’s on the menu? Me-n-u.

 

Something is wrong with my cell phone. {Oh Really. What is that?} Its just that…your number’s not in it.

 

Are you trash? Because I wanna take you out.

 

Q: What happens to a frog’s car when it breaks down?

A: It gets toad away.

 

Q: What occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in one thousand years?

A: The letter M

 

Q: What is so delicate that saying its name breaks it?

A: Silence.

 

Q: A monkey, a squirrel, and a bird are racing to the top of a coconut tree. Who will get the banana first, the monkey, the squirrel, or the bird?

A: None of them, because you can’t get a banana from a coconut tree!

 

Q: What has 13 hearts, but no other organs?

A: A deck of playing cards.

 

Q: How many seconds are there in one year?

A: 12 of them: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd, April 2nd, May 2nd, June 2nd, July 2nd, August 2nd, September 2nd, October 2nd, November 2nd, December 2nd.

 

The Smith family is a very wealthy family that lives in a big, circular home. One morning, Mr. Smith woke up and saw a strawberry jam stain on his new carpet. He figured out that everyone who was there that morning had a jam sandwich. By reading the following excuses, figure out who spilled the jam.

Billy Smith: “I was outside playing basketball.”

The Maid: “I was dusting the corners of the house.”

Chef: “I was starting to make lunch for later.”

Who is lying?

A: It was the maid. The house is circular, it has no corners.

 

  1. What is something you will never see again?
  2. Yesterday

 

Q: Why did the boy have his girlfriend put in jail?

A: She stole his heart.

 

http://www.rd.com/jokes/funny/riddles/

http://www.gotlines.com/lines/funny.php

http://www.funology.com/riddles/

-Wong Jing Rung (1 Diligence)

Fish Deaths: Unveiled?

Did you know that thousands of dead fishes, including puffer fish and catfish washed up at Pasir Ris beach on 28 February 2015? It was a huge shock to Singaporeans on Pasir Ris Beach that day. In fact there are still corpses of fishes being washed up now and then. Have researchers finally found the cause of the problem?
After conducting many water test of seawater taken from Pasir Ris Beach, researchers have zeroed in on the source of the problem. It was first believed to be a type of algae. Personally I find that a little hard to believe because if those algae were harmful to fishes, why did they not do anything to humans? Apparently, the algae is known as Gymnodinium mikimotoi and it is not toxic to humans, but has been associated with massive kills of wild and farmed fishes in Japan and Korea therefore it is believed to be the cause of the problem.
However, they were wrong; it was indeed not the doing of the algae, but that of a recent plankton bloom! The plankton bloom responsible for the recent mass fish deaths cannot be prevented, but steps can be taken to minimise its impact when it occurs, Minister of State for National Development Maliki Osman said. Over the past few weeks, over 600 tonnes of fish has died! Find that unbelievable? I don’t, not after seeing the amount of dead fishes piling up at sungei buloh nature reserve while taking a walk. The smell was horrible.
Therefore, I hope that the problem can be solved quickly as this not only affects us, it also affects the fish farmers out there who have worked so hard to make a living. The AVA is also working with agencies and research experts to study the relationship between plankton blooms and fish kill.
The government has also commissioned projects to develop closed containment systems, which would reduce the vulnerability of fish stock to water conditions. Those farmers have reported that their fishes have been dying off one by one recently and they hope to have some kind of compensation. Let everyone put in their efforts to save the fish!
References : http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/singapore-budget-2015-ava-taking-steps-address-fish-deat

Stephanie Guan (2P)

stephanie

Jokes

It has been a long and tiring term for everyone! Time to rest and relax and get laughing to recharge ourselves for the upcoming projects and exams!! “Cheers” to more projects, more exams and more laughter! Gambatte!

Q: What has a foot but no legs?
A: A snail

Q: Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?
A: Nothing

Q: What comes down but never goes up?
A: Rain

Q: I’m tall when I’m young and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?
A: A candle

Q: Mary’s father has 5 daughters – Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the fifth daughter’s name?
A: If you answered Nunu, you are wrong. It’s Mary!

Q: In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower– everything was pink!
What colour were the stairs?
A: There weren’t any stairs, it was a one storey house!

Q: A dad and his son were riding their bikes and crashed. Two ambulances came and took them to different hospitals. The man’s son was in the operating room and the doctor said, “I can’t operate on you. You’re my son.”
How is that possible?
A: The doctor is his mom!

Q: What is the longest word in the dictionary?
A: Smiles, because there is a mile between each ‘s’

Q: What travels around the world but stays in one spot?
A: A stamp!

Q: What occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment and never in one thousand years?
A: The letter M

Q: What has 4 eyes but can’t see?
A: Mississippi

Q: If I have it, I don’t share it. If I share it, I don’t have it. What is it?
A: A Secret.

Sources:
http://www.funology.com/riddles/

-Rachael Fong (1L)