People

Saul Hudson, better known as Slash, was born to an African American mother and British father in London on July 23, 1965. He soon obtained the nickname “Slash,” because of how active he was as a child.

Slash lived with his father and grandparents in the UK until the age of five, when he and his father joined his mother in Los Angeles. After his parents divorced several years later, Slash became a ‘problem child’. He lost interest in schoolwork and took up BMX racing. He had also become quite an expert at reptiles and dinosaurs at this age. When he reached 14, he began learning to play guitar, sometimes practicing for as many as 12 hours a day. In 1981, he joined his first band, Tidus Sloan, and dropped out of high school to tour. Then on, he started playing for bands and singers as a guitarist.

For the next four years, Slash joined or formed a series of bands. Among them was Hollywood Rose, which also included Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin. The band didn’t last, but in 1985 Rose and Stradlin asked Slash to join their new band, Guns N’ Roses. They began writing the songs that they would become known for, including “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City,” and were signed by Geffen Records in 1986.

By the time Guns N’ Roses released their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, in 1987, Slash and other members of the band had developed a drug problem. At the age of 35, Slash was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, caused by years of drug and alcohol use. He was given just weeks to live, but he had a defibrillator implanted and, beating the odds, went on to survive. He has been sober since 2006, and in 2007. Today, Slash is still playing with Guns N’ Roses.

Other than performing for Guns N’ Roses and Rolling Stones, he has also played for Michael Jackson in songs such as “Black or White” and “Beat It”.

Slash is 50 this year and not only is he still an expert in reptiles, but he also still performs and has a passion for playing the guitar. Although he’s gone through addiction, something admirable about him is how he dares to pursue his dreams and worked hard for them.

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references: biography.com

Giselle Cho

2 Faith

 

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Opinions on society: Technology

We live in an urbanized society, where our lives undeniably revolve around technology and depend on them, as if they are indispensable to whatever we do. The simplest tasks we do seem to be impossible to complete without a little assistance from Siri, or a quick search on Google. Well, after all, everything is just at our fingertips and gaining information quickly certainly isn’t a problem. Need to find out which Chinese restaurant to patronize on our next date? Or maybe the results from the recent football match we’d missed? Simply posing a question to the iPhone genius Siri or browsing the web will answer our queries. Things are heating up in the tech world with the amazing inventions of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, bringing users the benefits of not having to messily ruffle through our wallets to fish out the credit card for payments. The function stores all our credit card information and value inside the device, thus we can simply tap our phones to make purchases. One way would be through the Touch ID, which requires fingerprint verification to activate it. In a nutshell, it boasts a safe and secure way of payment that has never been more convenient.

Who wouldn’t be in awe of such technological advancements? Back in the late 2000s, everyone was in envy of any lucky soul who had their hands on the first iPhone ever. Now, it is the norm to possess a mobile phone. These inventions greatly benefit not only us, but the society too. Technology is so prominent in many fields, and it saves time and effort for everyone. Personally, I think the integration and utilisation of technology into society is great. Society nowadays is so fast-paced with such creations, but the invention of technology has also brought much harm to our society. I spot teenagers glued to their screens on full-focus mode instead of conversing with their family over meals, I spot ignorant commuters too busy playing games to notice the poor old lady in need of a seat. The dark side of technology is bringing detriment to our society.

I won’t lie. At times, I hope our society was less dependent and addicted to technology when I see what harmful effects it has. The anonymity of our online selves offer a great breeding platform for romance scammers and paedophiles. What has the society become? I am afraid of the day where our society is overly-dependent on technology to the extent where we refuse to complete tasks without technology. If only our society could look up from their screens more to see the bigger picture, sacrificing a few minutes of game time on their phones wouldn’t kill too. We shouldn’t let technology control our society, it is the other way around. Our society should be an independent one, one that is able to perform even in the absence of technology.

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Emma Ho

1 Wisdom

Short Story

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It looked deceptively harmless.

Visibly and seductively larger than life. Hovering, humming, darting slightly at times. It’s body, although diminutive in size, buzzed angrily in an enraged fashion. It was difficult for it not to be noticed. I eyed it suspiciously as it danced outside the window panes, deliberating whether it should make a brave foray into my room. An unfamiliar and treacherous ground.

Still in half a mind about what I should do, the unwelcome visitor barged uninvited into the privacy of my room. I was intrigued by the seemingly vulnerable insect which had the nerve to intrude into my space, miniscule compared to my rust-coloured dog, apparently showing no qualms of the decision it had just made. My dog had by now espied the offending intruder, his hostile-looking eyes glared warningly at it. He bared his teeth threateningly, his teeth flashing most menacingly. The insect ignored my dog, flitting pompously and haughtily about the room as if it owned it. In vast annoyance at being neglected by the insect, my dog barked uncontrollably, almost haplessly. Finally he had caught its attention.

I could feel the growing tension between the offensive insect and my dog which had lost is usually calm composure due to the intense frustration it felt. Before either of us had the wits to react, the offending insect dived into the deepest recess of my dog’s fur. Despite the fearsome connotations to Rambo’s name, he yelped pitiably as he leapt an unbelievable two feet into the air, an achievement for my normally placid pet. Hanging in the limbo state between the realms of consciousness, fear and anxiety, Rambo wafted fitfully into a dazed state.

The battle began.

 

Sarah Tok(18)

2 Purity

Headlines – Deaf and Mute Cleaner Berated by Woman in Food Court

Recently in June, an incident portraying the obnoxious attitude of a woman who berated a deaf and mute cleaner at the Jem food court for clearing her food even though she repeatedly told him not to, as well as the manager who tried to explain the cleaner’s disabilities. This fiasco was entirely recorded in a video that was uploaded on Facebook, causing an uproar amongst netizens. The cleaner, Mr Png Lye Heng, 64, mentioned in an interview that he was “slightly hurt” by the scolding, but had forgiven the woman, Ms Fong. Although Mr Png said he enjoyed working at the food court and did not find it difficult to work there, he wanted to leave his job after the incident.

Although this incident shed negative light on Singaporeans’ intolerant attitude towards those with disabilities, it also brought out the kindhearted generosity of others, such as Mr Ang, an SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) owner, who is interested in hiring him to work at one of the two ramen shops he runs if he proves to be a good fit as it would be his first time hiring an employee with disabilities. Another also expressed his interest in hiring Mr Png as a steward or cleaner at his chain of Thai restaurants. In addition, Singaporeans have also been spotted at the food court handing Mr Png gifts such as supermarket vouchers.

Personally, I feel that one valuable lesson from this incident is that one should not be quick to make assumptions, nor raise one’s temper. In Ms Fong’s scenario, it would have paid to be observant in Mr Png’s lack of reaction towards her, and attempted hand gesturing or just letting the incident go, instead of raising her voice and berating him, causing a commotion that disrupted everyone’s dining experience, and drawing unnecessary attention to herself. Although it was also due to an oversight on the management and Mr Png’s side as he did not wear a badge to make his disability more obvious to others, it still gave a poor reflection of Ms Fong’s character due to the commotion she created about the incident.

However, what chills my heart the most is how nobody stood up for Mr Png while he was being berated, or even when the manager tried to resolve the conflict. The overwhelming majority of bystanders merely looking on and commenting on Ms Fong’s behaviour online via social media platforms, to the extreme of tracking down her personal particulars such as her job and address, makes me feel disheartened. What is the point of harassing her by sending spiteful letters to her mailbox and tracking down her employer? Nonetheless, the question remains: why did everyone take a bystander stand, instead of protecting Mr Png from the verbal abuse he was being hurled?

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Sources:

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/caught-on-video-woman-rails-at-deaf-and-mute-cleaner-at-jem-foodcourt

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/deaf-and-mute-cleaner-berated-by-woman-intends-to-quit-his-job-this-month

Chloe Kho (2P)

Movie Review – The Intern

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No matter how old you are, there is always something to share and pass on, and something to learn. Already in his 70s, Ben Whittaker has retired, lived a healthy lifestyle and a contented life, and yet, applied to get back to work again at one of the most successful fashion companies, when no one else would at his age. He impresses the employees with his good attitude during the interview and is assigned to be mentored by Jules Ostin, the founder of the fashion company. However, Jules was doubtful of Ben’s abilities but Ben never lost his enthusiasm. As the movie progresses, Ben does his work to the best of his ability and always helps Jules out whenever he can as Jules starts to face more challenges between home and work. As Ben continually (and never fails) to help Jules during the most challenging point of her life, their intern-boss relationship is drawn closer and Jules learns many valuable lessons from Ben as he gradually becomes her best intern, and her best friend.

Although it is not an action-packed and adrenaline-filled movie, its essence is filled with zest and sometimes humour that will definitely entertain you throughout the 2 hours of the movie. Not only so, it is poignant and meaningful as there are valuable life lessons you will be able to take away from a simple, light-hearted movie like The Intern. No matter how successful you are, sometimes it would not hurt to listen to someone’s advice or seek his or her help when you need it, even those who have a lower status than you as they might have the wealth of experience and knowledge that will definitely give you the encouragement and support you need to get you through when life throws you lemons. I believe you can also learn to adopt the all smiles, positive outlook of life from Ben and take away the most important lesson throughout the movie – learning to let go.

I definitely enjoyed this funny movie that has melted my heart with the wise words said and I believe when you step into the world of The Intern, you will enjoy and feel the energetic vibes from it that continues to tingle and leave you to reflect even at the end of the movie. Released quite recently and effectively presenting the very most important lesson of life that applies to all ages through a modern touch, this movie definitely closes the generation gap between the elderly and the young adults in a humorous and touching way. Reflecting reality at the same time, it gives you the opportunity to laugh and release some endorphins as you watch and learn together with the characters in the movie. I strongly recommend everyone to grab your popcorns and give it a go at being an intern!

Renee Ong

2 Justice

 

Alex and Sierra

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Alex and Sierra is an American band consisting of Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton, who rose to stardom when they won the third season of The X Factor USA.

Following their success, they announced the making of their debut album, “It’s About Us”, which was released in October 7, 2014. They worked hard with many famous artists, one of which was John Legend, and created an album that is truly unique and different from the rest.

The album opens with their very first single, an indie-pop, Scarecrow. Upbeat and acoustic, it quickly catches your attention and makes you want to hang on till the very last guitar strum. Even then, you’ll probably be humming the song throughout the entire day. According to Alex and Sierra, the song is one of hope and about when someone in a relationship is unable to communicate all their feelings, but the other believes in them and is willing to wait for them.

The album opens you up to a part of their world, and each song tells a story of its own and has its own beauty that makes you can’t stop listening to it, like the emotional rollercoaster of Bumper Cars, the country feel of Almost Home, or the jazzy beats of All For You. The lyrics show that, despite their fame, they have flaws and face problems that normal people do too. The soothing tune of each song, be it country, pop, or indie, on top of their harmonic duets, makes me fall in love with every song instantly, and it relieves my stress and lifts up my mood almost every time.

Whenever I like a song, I tend to listen on repeat again and again, which mostly results in me getting tired of it after some time. Surprisingly, this is yet to happen to any of their songs, and I don’t think it ever will. If you can, go check them out, and I hope you will love them too!

Chen Yu Yang (1T)

Sources: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/alex-and-sierra-scarecrow-release

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_%26_Sierra

At The Corner Of The Room

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I was switched on, after a week in this dark room.

They were seated at the couch, their usual friendly and loving demeanour replaced with stoic expressions. They were seated at the couch, fidgeting restlessly, yet their expressions never changing. They were seated at the couch, eyes raging, fists clenched, mouth trembling with anger. She was finally back.

She leaned against the counter, her usual friendly and loving demeanour long gone, only replaced with indifference plastered all over her porcelain face. She leaned against the counter, eyes cold, fingers kneading at the hems of her top, mouth sealed tightly. She leaned against the counter, a million thoughts ran through her mind, emotions took a toll on her. They already knew.

It was dark, with only a few of us lighting the dusty room.

It was like their heart, ever so dark, ever so lonely.

Screams filled the room, they were so engrossed with their views to even hear the cracks that emerged in her heart. As they took a step forward, she took one back. They were playing an elusive tango, just like how words, so quiet yet fuelled with anger and venom, were spewing out. Her shoulders were shaking, fear and confusion running through her veins as she wiped angry tears, trying to fight back. She felt so small, yet she protected her heart from shattering what’s even left from the people who should have been by her side but the very one holding the gun.

A photo frame flew across the room, the glass shards flew across the marbled floor, just like how they were so close to being broken and shattered. There laid a photo with yellowed sides but not entirely devoid of colour. A family of four, with smiles plastered over their faces, happiness radiated from within. They were happy. It was the same time when they bought me home, I remembered. They sat me in this exact same corner for the past ten years, having witnessed all the warm and cozy times the family shared. It was perfect, but too perfect to be real.

“You were a mistake.”

She flinched as silence devoured the room. All that could be heard was the raging carmine that surged through her entire entity as the words rang in her head. Their eyes flickered to hers that bore hurt and betrayal before they turned around to slam the door.

Her legs finally gave way and her lungs faltered, choking with her cries for herself and her brother.

She stood with all her strength as she walked over to me.

The light was out.

 

Rachael Fong

2L

 

 

 

The Good Side of Social Media

Social media are computer-mediated tools that allow people, companies and other organisations to create, share, or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and pictures/videos in virtual communities and networks. There have been many articles about how social media is bad for teenagers, how it distances them from their family and friends, and how it makes them less sociable. However, is social media really such a bad thing? Although the anonymity online may bring out the ugliness in people, many acts of kindness have been documented and shared widely on social media, a refreshing change from the nasty hate posts.

Some examples:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHTvgCoBwmJ/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFfik8itL7O/?hl=en

http://www.stomp.com.sg/singapore-seen/get-inspired/thank-you-reservist-officer-your-encouraging-words-my-son-yishun-open

Social media has become a more widely used platform for users to share their own, or even witnessed good deeds. Over the past couple of years, the number of people using common social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram has increased drastically. Not only have teenagers and adults have taken to using these convenient methods to share about their day, other users include the elderly as well! With this increasing audience, it is no wonder how inspiring posts can create a large impact.

Netizens have expressed a collective approval at such posts online, indicating how they are welcomed and how they may even become popular in the near future. Personally, I have experienced kind acts from complete strangers and without hesitation, I have quickly typed out paragraphs about them and shared them on Instagram, prompting my friends to comment things like “That’s amazing!” and “That’s really touching.”.

According to the Straits Times, the growing number of such positive posts could indicate the social media landscape becoming more mature, and people are moving away from just posting videos of wrongdoings. Many acts of kindness may not be featured in mainstream media and it is a good thing that many Singaporeans are taking the initiative to post about them on their social media accounts, ensuring that others know about them.

I feel that posting about good deeds online is an effective way to express appreciation and to remind and inspire others to carry out their own acts of kindness. In a way, it generates social pressure to be just like the people featured in these posts. Social media can be a very powerful medium to influence others to do good, especially when celebrities and others with a large online following share about issues present in today’s society. I believe with this method, the negativity online will be washed out by the surge of positivity. What are you waiting for? Make a change today!

Sources:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/a-kinder-gentler-social-media

 

Jocelyn Lim (3 Justice)

Food Review

Potatoes – nutritious and delicious. But how much of those nutrients are you missing out on by throwing potato peels away?

About half the spud’s fibre is in there – fibre prevents constipation and helps one maintain a healthy weight, among many other things. Potato skins are brimming with plenty of nutrients and minerals, some examples being vitamin B and potassium.

There are many ways to prepare potato skins, among which involve deep-frying or filling it with things like bacon. However, there are other cooking methods to help reap the benefits of eating potato skin, such as baking or grilling.
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Healthy Potato Skin Recipe:

Bake two russet potatoes for one hour at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then scoop out the pulp to save for another use, leaving an eighth-inch of cooked potato attached to the skin. Spray the insides with butter-flavoured cooking spray and press in minced fresh rosemary and ground pepper or other favourite herbs and spices. Bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Potato skins are also healthy and delicious when brushed with a tiny bit of canola oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper and cayenne, and popped on the grill for 10 minutes.

April

2H

Movie Review : Kung Fu Panda 3

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Recently, the long awaited sequel to “Kung Fu Panda 2” finally came out in Singapore cinemas. This time, the movie revolved around Po taking Master Shifu’s place as a teacher, Po meeting his biological father, Li Shan, for the first time, and Po becoming a true ‘Chi’ master.

The movie starts off with Kai, a yak who used to be friends with Master Oogway, fighting with Master Oogway in the spirit realm. Oogway gives in and Kai steals his ‘chi’, helping Kai escape the spirit realm to the mortal world. Meanwhile, Master Shifu announces his retirement and passes on the role of teacher to Po, resulting in the Furious 5 getting injured. Po starts to doubt himself as the Dragon Warrior. Later on, he meets his biological father, Li Shan, before Kai’s minion jade statues start attacking. Hearing from Master Shifu that the only way to defeat Kai was to learn the true ways of channeling ‘chi’, Li Shan promises to teach Po the ways of ‘chi’ if Po returned to the secret panda village with him. Therefore, Li Shan, Po, and Po’s adoptive father Ping set off to the panda village, and the adventure begins.

This movie is a good sequel to ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, and the answers to the questions in the previous movie. The new characters introduced are interesting and some people have already started writing ‘fanfictions’ on their origins. This movie is fun for all ages and is family friendly. If you are thirsting for a movie that will make you laugh, why not try watch ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’? Personally, I feel that this movie is a must see and is a choice that you will never regret as this movie will give you a laugh and will help you to relax after 1 tiring term of school.

Rachel Goh

1P

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda_3

http://kungfupanda.wikia.com/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda_3

http://www.metacritic.com/movie/kung-fu-panda-3

http://kungfupanda.wikia.com/wiki/Kung_Fu_Panda_3 (Image)