Taeyeon

taeyeon

Personally, I am not a kpop fan. Yet I know of the struggles kpop idols have: the pressure of being good looking, fit and fitting the social standards of the society. And I came to like Taeyeon, a kpop idol who deals with depression.

1) Her voice

She is consistent forward placement in the A4~D5 range, constant resonance in the A4~C5/C#5 range, occasional resonance up to D5 and forward masked placed sound in the chest voice. Most importantly, she has a stable pitch majority of the time for live shows, which is something hard for most kpop idols due to the strenuous dance moves.

2) Her personality.

During fan events and services, she can make ugly derp face but her reactions are yet so cute. She is always there for her fans, and despite having large number of fans during airport meetups, she tries her best to attend to each and every one of them.

3) Her laughter

Wow, her laughter sure is contagious. Many kpop idols try to cover up their laugh, but not her. She lets her laugh out and she doesn’t care who hears her. It’s so loud and something you wouldn’t have thought could come out of her, as such brightening up the entire variety show set.

4) Her relationship with her group members

Despite having her own set of problems to deal with, Taeyeon has a good relationship with every single member. You can tell that she loves them and they love her. She cares very deeply about them, and she is always worried about them. She wants to be a good leader for them and she does that by doing things with them. She also gives support by promoting her group member’s solo work.

5) Her bravery

She has difficulties with her weight with constant weight fluctuation, busy schedules (sleep and eating routines can be disrupted) and have been criticized for their bodies before (Tiffany, Yuri, etc.). However, in many of her interviews and Instagram post, she positively seeks a social support network and reach out to people like her. She also channel her misery into song lyrics to feel better. And despite her handling many scandals, she always try to spread positive messages and does what she can to deal with the depression she has and being strong for others who are in need of emotional support. There was one time fans inappropriately groped and molested Girls’ Generation Taeyeon during her visit to the Indonesian airport. Someone who faces such a situation will have an emotional turmoil yet the first thing she did was to apologise to the fans who were waiting and ensured that no one gets hurt. It takes a great deal of courage to look out for others when she herself was hurt too.

 

Lynn Tan

2 faith

Reference: https://aminoapps.com/c/k-pop/page/blog/why-i-love-taeyeon/02Ik_ujb8x52rNQmrVD57V7wmmLY3Q

 

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Stephen Hawking- Bright Spark On Wheels

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Stephen Hawking was at a young age of only 21 years when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that was predicted to take his life in just two years. Recently, he had been focusing on a subject he held dear to his heart- Physics. However, after the tragic news, completing his doctorate was what some may reckon to be ‘undeniably improbable’.

Despite the devastating setback, Stephen paved his road to success through bravery, determination, perseverance, hard work and faith. Eventually, his efforts paid off and his hope did not end in vain, when he finally attained his long-awaited Ph.D. Notwithstanding Stephen’s victory and defiance of odds, his problems did not end there. The deadly disease continued to spread throughout Stephen’s body, weakening him and, in 1985, even robbing him of his ability to speak. Following the loss of his verbal communication ability, Cambridge created a speech-generating device which enabled him to substitute his voice with an electronic one.

Stephen Hawking proceeded to continue attending Cambridge following his successful graduation, and assisted in complex research. Stephen Hawking was even initiated into the Royal Society, an international fellowship of scientists, and deemed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge. Regardless of Stephen’s recent passing, his ‘Black Hole Theory’, one of his most famous hypotheses, remains incredibly helpful to cosmologists’ research and studies. Moreover, Stephen has written numerous great reads, one of which inspired the release of a film inspired from his life of ups and downs.

In my opinion, Stephen Hawking is an excellent inspiration for the disabled with bursting dreams, and I’m sure a vast majority would agree with me. Stephen Hawking is a motivation for the young and old. He has encouraged, and even proved how an ailment, no matter how severe or life-threatening, should never be the barrier between one and their ambitions. Despite Stephen’s recent passing, his legacy will continue to be the flame leading generations through darkness, empowering the public to believe in themselves and endure obstacles.

Valerie Tan

1 Grace

 

Reference:

https://www.space.com/15923-stephen-hawking.html

Avicii: a legacy

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Tim Bergling was a Swedish 18-year-old DJ when he signed on to Dejfitts Plays Label, unbeknownst that his stage name ‘Avicii’ would be so widely known, all around the world. His true breakout into mainstream music was in 2011, when he released his song “Levels”. With “Levels” topping charts in many countries – including Austria, Belgium, Netherlands and Sweden  it was safe to say that Avicii was making his big debut as a legendary DJ.

In 2013, he released his album “True” that included the single “Wake Me Up”. The song is inspired by the happy feeling of “Life is a dream, wake me up when it’s all over”, which built the foundation of the song with the melody’s positive vibes and catchy tunes. The single also reached number one in 22 countries (to date), even to far ends of the globe in Australia and New Zealand!

Personally, it was “Wake Me Up” that made me notice Avicii. The encapsulating music video, which depicted a story about finding one’s self, resonated with me deeply. And thus, I am sure that Avicii’s music has touched many others’ hearts too.

From 2014 to 2015, Avicii worked on his new album “Stories”, which would receive double platinum certification in Sweden sometime after its release. It included songs such as “Waiting for love” and “For a better day”. Particularly, Avicii also released an animated lyrics video for “Waiting for love”, depicting a beautiful story about a dog’s love for its owner even going as far as to follow him into war. This video struck me with the awe of how music can relay such tender and sweet emotions in an extremely impactful way.

Unfortunately, Tim Bergling was experiencing acute pancreatitis due to over-drinking and many other health problems. According to his family, he was under extreme stress and had a surgery in 2014 to remove his gallbladder and appendix. He even had to halt touring in 2016.

On April 2018, Avicii decided to take his own life. It pained me to hear such heart-breaking news, and I empathised with his family and friends. But it was comforting to know that even with the life he had, he left a great legacy for years to come.

Jaime Ng

3 Truth

References:

https://consequenceofsound.net/2018/05/avicii-killed-himself-with-a-broken-wine-glass-report/

http://mcdaniel.hu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/254331_avicii.jpg

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_(Avicii_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wake_Me_Up_(Avicii_song)

Agatha Christie

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Born in 1890 in Torquay, Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller- best known as Agatha Christie- was an English writer acclaimed to be one of the greatest authors of her time, and remains the best-selling novelist today with roughly 2 billion copies of her novels sold, behind only Shakespeare and the Bible.

Throughout her career, she published 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest running play, The Mousetrap. Notable works include And Then There None (1939), Murder on the Orient Express (1934), The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, as well as those revolving around her fictional detectives, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.

Home-schooled largely by her American father, Agatha was forbidden to read until she was eight, but nonetheless taught herself to read by the age of five and entertained herself with long hours spent flipping through works by Edith Nesbit and Louisa M Alcott. By the time she was eighteen, she was writing short stories and managed to get some published-though in a much revised form-and only started writing detective novels during WWI.

Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy was what got me not only into her works, but also to seek out more thrillers which remains to be one of my favourite genres to this day. Written in 1934, Three Act Tragedy stars Hercule Poirot, and is about the murders of three different people, each believed to be poisoned, though no traces could be found in their respective glasses. Throughout the novel, Agatha Christie led me to believe that anyone could be the murderer, yet I was still surprised at the outcome, and marvelled at her ability to think of story after story like this.

Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Christie

https://www.agathachristie.com/

 

Chen Yu Yang

3T

 

People: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey, a name so many of us have heard of before. When I hear the name, I think of a woman who inspired so many with her story. Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey in 1954. At six years old, Winfrey was sent North to join her mother and two half-brothers in a Milwaukee ghetto. When Oprah was nine she was raped by her nineteen-year-old cousin who was baby-sitting her. This would not be the only time she was sexually abused, she would then be sexually abused by her cousin, a family friend, her mother’s boyfriend, and her uncle during her stay in Milwaukee. Throughout these incidents, she did not tell anyone about what happened as her predators made her keep quiet. When she was older, Oprah Winfrey moved to Chicago, in January 1984 with little money in her pockets, she took over as an anchor on A.M. Chicago. A.M. Chicago was a morning talk show that was consistently lowest in the ratings.

I think the traumatic incidents that she experienced earlier in her life pushed her to fight for women’s rights and got the victims to speak up about their experiences. In one of her latest acceptance speech during the Golden Globes Awards, she says “I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault, because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue”. She was speaking about the trending #metoo movement that encouraged women to speak up about their sexual abuse predators.

Oprah Winfrey inspires me because she started with nothing and is now one of the most successful and influential people in the world. She came from a family with a poor background and suffered through years of abuse and neglect. Most people would have just given up, but Oprah Winfrey persevered and aimed high. She worked so hard and now she has her own talk show that remains the highest-rated talk show in American television history. She has even won many awards, like Emmys and The Best Talk Show award. She has taught me that it does not matter where I come from, as long as I work hard and be resilient, I can be successful.

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Ashley Tung

3 Truth

References:

http://www.notablebiographies.com/We-Z/Winfrey-Oprah.

html#ixzz55keb6vXwhttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001856/bio

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/golden-globes-2018-oprah-winfrey-cecil-b-demille-acceptance-speech

No money for lunch? No problem!

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Feeling hungry but have an empty wallet? If you’re in Jinbōchō, Tokyo, then consider yourself lucky! Head to Mirai Shokudo, a restaurant which allows you to choose between paying or working 50 minutes for your meal.

Mirai Shokudo, meaning “Future Eatery”, was opened by Ms Sekai Kobayashi in 2015. She aimed to create “a place where everyone is welcome and everyone fits in”. There are no staff other than Ms Kobayashi herself, and the restaurant seats 12 around a small counter. Her customers can either pay for their meal (the daily lunch special is 900 yen — SGD10.50), or help out at the restaurant for just 50 minutes by doing tasks like serving other customers or cleaning tables.

“Instead, we offer meals in return for 50 minutes of labour at the restaurant. I use this system because I want to connect with hungry people who otherwise couldn’t eat at restaurants because they don’t have money.” Ms Kobayashi says, when asked about her unique scheme. Moreover, those who have offered their labour but do not wish to eat there will receive a coupon for a free meal which they can deposit at the restaurant’s entrance for others to use.

Since the opening of her restaurant, over 500 people, including university students, have opted to work for their meal, in order to save money. Ms Kobayashi’s former teacher, who is now 56 years old, frequently helps out at the restaurant. She commented, “It’s an exciting job because I work with a new person every time. It’s interesting to develop a good rapport and work with others.”

I think that this is actually a very good idea as it can help many people, especially teenagers who are studying and have no jobs yet. Working 50 minutes to get a free meal can not only help them save money, but also allow them to gain experience working with other people, which will be useful for them in the future.

Jing Rung (4F)

Sources:

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/entertainment/work-50-minutes-for-meal-at-tokyo-eatery

https://mymodernmet.com/mirai-shokudo-tokyo-restaurant/

https://www.timeout.com/tokyo/blog/work-for-your-washoku-lunch-at-jinbochos-mirai-shokudo-112415

http://www.odditycentral.com/travel/japanese-ex-programmer-opens-open-source-restaurant-where-patrons-can-work-for-their-food.html

Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull

Brandon Mull is an American author who lives with his family in Utah. Hearing this sentence, remove all conclusions you have thought of him and replace it with one word, “awesome”.

Although his books are more for 10-12 year olds, he is still my favourite author. Brandon Mull is the minds behind the Beyonders series and the Falling Kingdoms series. His clever storytelling not only makes me feel like I’m in the story but I feel like reading it over and over again. As a result, I have read the Beyonders trilogy at least 2 times.

In order to make sense of why I am so obsessed with Beyonders, the answer is simple: Fantasy. Fantasy is one of my favourite genres. The main storyline is about this boy named Jason. He lives a simple life when he is transported to this magical land called LYRIAN. He meets a girl from his world called Rachel (hehe) and they go on a quest to defeat the evil ruler, Maldor. To defeat him, they must say a simple word. However, they have to find out what the word is by collecting the missing letters all around Lyrian. There are amazing characters like a blind warrior or a man who can detach and attach his body parts at will.

However, all this amazing writing did not come just from his head. He has stated that some of his greatest inspirations for his stories include some very famous writers, including J.R.R Tolkien and J.K.Rowling, whose books you may or may not know. He has been writing books since 2006 and he still has big plans for the future. One funny thing about him is that at the end of his books, he would always put in funny jokes and punch-lines to make it seem like he was actually talking to all his readers. He would also keep the content of the next book or story very mysterious. One funny fact about him is that before he became a writer, he worked as a comedian, a movie promoter, a filing clerk and even a chicken stacker.

Above all, Brandon Mull is my inspiration for writing and whenever I have run out of ideas for writing, I always turn to his books. With his magical tales and wacky characters, I get inspired and I know my creativity can run wild and write its own stories if it wants to.

Sources:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700228277/Mull-converted-daydreaming-into-dream-job.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20061119074706/http://www.teensreadtoo.com/InterviewMull.html

Rachel Lie

1 Purity

Goh Keng Swee

Mr. Goh Keng Swee was born into a middle-income family in Malacca but little did he know that he would grow up to become an important figure in Singapore’s history. He was one of Singapore’s pioneer ministers. In fact, he was Singapore’s first Minister of Defence. He helped to establish the strong foundation in today’s Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

In 1967, Mr. Goh made it compulsory for all 18-year-old male Singaporeans to serve in the army as he felt that this would establish a credible defence force and help with nation-building. NS was also seen as the best way to quickly build up Singapore’s defence forces without placing a heavy burden on the country’s financial and manpower resources.

Mr Goh, with his vision to build strong and credible defence force, believed that air defence should be Singapore’s top priority in terms of security. In 1968, when the Singapore Air Force was set up, he saw a need to recruit pilots who could defend our skies. However, instead of setting up a recruitment drive, he set up the Junior Flying Club in 1971 to promote flying among secondary school and tertiary students, and nurtured potential pilots for the Air Force. Today, it is known as the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC). This initiative was both innovative and successful.  This program is still used today. In 2016, 46 members of SYFC received their Wings and Certificates after completing the Private Pilot’s Licence Course at the SYFC and all of them applied to SAF as pilot trainees after their studies.

Mr Goh was Minister of Finance twice and Chairman of Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Mr Goh was often referred to as the ‘economic architect’ of Singapore for his great contributions to the transformation of Singapore into a prosperous nation during his terms as Minister for Finance and defence.  As Minister of Finance, Mr Goh spearheaded many of the most impressive public policy achievements in Singapore: Economic Development Board (EDB) (lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance Singapore’s position as a global business centre. We dream, design and deliver solutions that create value for investors and companies in Singapore), the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS)(  leading financial services group in Asia), the Jurong Industrial Estate(key-manufacturing sector that provided jobs for thousands of Singaporeans, all while creating a brand new housing estate altogether) .

Mr Goh’s contribution to Singapore can never be understated. Like the rest of his pioneer colleagues his work and commitment set the foundation for the prosperous, peaceful and strong Singapore.

Reference:

www.nlb.gov.sg

www.wikipedia.com

www.pinterest.com

Elizabeth Leong

1 Truth

EXO

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Exo is a South Korean-Chinese boy group based in Seoul. They were formed by S.M. Entertainment in 2011, and the group debuted in 2012 with twelve members, also known to their fans as OT12, separated into two subunits, Exo-K and Exo-M, performing music in Korean and Mandarin respectively.

Exo’s first album XOXO (2013), which contained the breakthrough hit “Growl”, was a critical and commercial success, winning both Disk Daesang at the 28th Golden Disk Awards and Album of the Year at the 15th Mnet Asian Music Awards. It sold over one million copies, making Exo the best-selling Korean artist in twelve years. Subsequent albums and EPs continued with strong sales, and Exo were ranked the most influential celebrity by Forbes Korea for the year 2014 and 2015.

They have been named “the biggest boyband in the world” by media outlets, saying that “EXO are at the forefront of pop domination, with knife-point choreography seamlessly gelled to songs crafted by some of the world’s most gifted writers and producers, honed by their myriad of personalities and talents.” During their first tour, tickets sold out within 1.47 seconds!

In May 2014, Wu Yifan (Kris), a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, filed a lawsuit against S.M. Entertainment to be removed from the group because he wanted to pursue his acting career. Luhan, also a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, followed suit in October 2014 due to the same reason as Kris. In April 2015, Huang Zitao (Tao), also a member of Exo and its subunit Exo-M, suspended his activities due to a leg injury and subsequently followed suit in August 2015. Following their departures, Exo carried on with nine members, also known to their fans as OT9. In July 2016, it was announced that the lawsuit between Luhan, Kris, and S.M. Entertainment had been settled: the two idols will maintain their contract with SM until 2022, S.M. Entertainment will contract out their work outside of Korea and Japan to their current Chinese agencies—and they will “share related revenues with S.M. Entertainment.”

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Although Exo is now a nine piece band, they still continue to work hard and release good songs and albums. In fact, Exo recently won ‘Album Of The Year’ at the Gold Disk Awards for the fouth year in a row.

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exo_(band)

Desiree Lim (1G)

Makoto Shinkai

Makoto Shinkai, born on February 9, 1973 in Nagano, Japan as Makoto Niitsu, is a famous Japanese director, writer, producer, animator, voice actor, manga artist and former graphic designer.

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Shinkai has been hailed by some as being the next “Hayao Miyazaki”, whose name is almost synonymous with anime and has been credited with bringing Japanese animation to a global audience. His most famous works, notably, Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) (2004), Byousoku 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), and, most recently, Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.) (2016).

 

Out of all his movies, my favorite is Kimi no Na wa., currently one of the most famous animated movies.

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Released in Japan on August 26th 2016, Kimi no Na wa. received critical acclaim and was praised worldwide for its animation   The tear-jerking film was praised for its beautiful animation and emotional impact, The film received critical acclaim and was praised for its animation and beautiful animation.

 

With its wonderfully animated scenery bound to blow you away, Kimi no Na wa. is a story about a boy and girl who exchanges bodies as a comet is about to hit the Earth. The bizarre occurrence builds a connection between them, and they communicate by leaving notes on each other’s smartphones, distance seems to be the only thing keeping them apart…or is something It is a stunning masterpiece about time and the hearts of two souls intertwined with the red thread of fate. As of January 16th 2017, Kimi no Na wa. became the highest-grossing anime film of all time, overtaking animation genius Hayao Miyazaki’s 2001 classic ‘Spirited Away’. Similar to Freaky Friday, this brilliantly plotted supernatural love story is certainly a movie that absolutely cannot be missed!

 

I am definitely a fan of Makoto Shinkai’s movies and I strongly recommend you to watch them!

 

Laura Zheng (4U)