Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FAT Hopes - Seperate fat from fiction

10 myths about losing weight
MYTH 1: I lose weight when I sleep less because I burn more calories when I stay up through the night
FACT: More sleep is better than less sleep. Research shows that the body's fat cells secrete 18% less of the hormone leptin - the chemical that tells your brain you have enough energy reserves and do not need food - if you don't get a full night's rest. Chances are if you have less sleep, you are less likely to exercise and more prone to reach for that box of doughnuts to get through the day.

MYTH 2: Green tea boosts metabolism
FACT: Green tea contains the chemical, polyphenol (commonly known as catechins), which speeds your metabolism for a short while, but that does not cause weight loss.

MYTH 3: Stress from working long hours will help me lose weight
FACT: Some people who are stressed out tend to binge on food (junk food in particular) and irregular eating habits also attribute to weight gain, as well as indigestion.

MYTH 4: Drinking lots of water will help me lose weight
FACT: While dehydration does slow down the fat-burning process, your body requires an adequate amount of water to function properly. Although drinking water with a meal may make you feel fuller faster, drinking water alone may not have this effect because our bodies need calories and nutrients to feel satiated.

MYTH 5: Drinking milk will make me fat
FACT: Dairy products have many nutrients your body needs. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products, as they are nutritious as whole milk products and lower in fat and calories.

MYTH 6: If I go straight for the drinks and skip dinner, I will input less calories
FACT: If you drink excessively in place of a proper dinner, you risk not only consuming more calories but alcohol poisoning too. Alcohol is also more easily metabolised into fat than the protein and carbohydrates found in a nutritious meal.

MYTH 7: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight
FACT: Meal-skipping causes the body to go into "starvation mode" to compensate for fewer calories. This could then decrease the body's metabolic rate by as much as 10%-15%, causing the body will hold on to fat and burn lean muscle instead. Skipping meals also makes you tired and increases the likelihood of snacking on high-fat and high-sugar foods to keep you going.

MYTH 8: I should not eat dinner after 8pm
FACT: Your digestion system does not have a clock-watch. It's not the time of day that you eat matters, rather, it is the amount of physical activity you do during the day that determines whether you gain or lose weight. No matter the time of day you eat, your body will store extra calories a fat. Do not binge and cram you entire day's calories into one meal.

MYTH 9: If I can lose weight by counting calories or cutting carbohydrates, I don't really need to excercise
FACT: Exercise is an important part of maintaining weight. It enhances our body system, and tones up up our muscles; improving our general health as a result.

MYTH 10: Don't snack between meals
FACT: Snacking is not the problem, it is what you snack on that matters. There are people who require a snack between meals to keep their energy levels up during the day, especially those with an active lifestyle. Snack on healthier foods like fruits and nuts, instead of chocolate or chips.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Funny things that happen in Helpdesk

Some of my friends who work in IT Helpdesk have told me some really interesting stories:
I've a friend who works in Helpdesk (handling all Hotline calls) and one day someone calls him to tell him that there's a burning smell coming out of the computer, insisting that he send an engineer down fast. In response he asked whether the engineer should also come equipped with a fire extinguisher...
Another one told me that her colleague who worked in the same place, was so stressed that when she was helping the user pinpoint the problem on the phone, she actually pointed to the monitor and went, "click on this, you see its right here! On your top left, see it's there! can you see it? ". All the while pointing to the screen and talking to the user over the phone as if the user was really there.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Amidst the Doughnut Craze

There seems to be a whole lot of doughnut shops springing up all over Singapore, it is unbelievable that now you can find at least one doughnut shop almost everywhere! First it was the bubble tea boom, then the coffee bread craze and now its doughnuts galore…. Maybe after a while the number of doughnut shops would recede; when the craze has died down.

Anyways, I happened to discover yet another fattening and equally delicious treat – chewy junior (a well… chewy sort of cream puff). It’s bigger than your average cream puff, has a nice chewy spring to it and it even has toppings – 13 of them. I haven’t really tried everything just the cheese ones and there are pretty good. Initially it took a while getting adjusted to such a cream puff, and considering that I have never liked cream puffs, its amazing that I like this one so I just thought I’d share. (^-^)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A beginner's guide to HTML

Have you ever tried to create a HTML page with any WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, and got a result that was different than what you had envisioned? Although WYSIWYG editors are supposed to make the job of creating a HTML page easier, sometimes there are just some things that require the actual tweaking of the ... more>>

Monday, February 18, 2008

What makes the Internet so great

The internet has changed many people's life and the way they do their work. It has managed to bridge different parts of the world together in an efficient and seamless manner, creating a virtual world of information and resources that is easily accessible and convenient. It has become a virtual world in which people have come to rely on. As long as you have access to a telephone line and subscribe to a service provider, you are easily connected to this virtual cyberspace.

Even though the internet is a system of interconnected networks connecting with computers all over the world, it has... more>>

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Interesting Email

Recently I received an email saying about some feedback given to a local driving school, it went like this:
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your email.

Please provide us with more information on your feedback so that we can better improve our services.

Thank you once again.

Warm regards,
Ms. Debbie XXXXX
I was puzzled, so I scrolled down further and was surprised that someone had left a rather badly written feedback:
Comments :The driving instructors sucks and most of them don't have the
heart and patience to teach. the costomer service officers are impolite
and inefficient. The school ask us to pay so much money for learning, we
are not make of GOLD!From Web Server: 1
Ok first things first, my grammar and spelling are not that bad and its been ages since I went to the website, let alone take up driving again. It's just one of those things that make life more interesting , I guess.

The Durian Affair

Some hail it as the "King of fruits", while others simply cower at the mere mention of its name. What is about one fruit that can invoke such strong feelings from both sides of the spectrum? In case you do not know I am talking about, it is the durian - a fruit encased in a thorny husk, in a shade of green or yellowish green, with a very pungent aroma to some and odor to others and commonly find in parts of Southeast Asia like Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, to name a few.

There are over 30 varieties of this fruit, each variety having its own unique taste and loyal 'fans'. The inhabitants of Southeast Asia are so in love with this fruit that they have managed to concoct a variety of products made from durian - ice-cream, cakes, jelly, cream puffs, log cakes are but just a few out of a vast ocean of concoctions. They have also invented interesting eating the durian by: frying, fermenting, making it into a paste and even.... more>>

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Choices… choices and even more choices

So many things to do and yet so little time to do it all… I used to think I wanted to continue studying and I did after doing part-time work for a while. But lo and behold, the school actually closed down? Hmm… that really put a damper on my plans, that’s a given. So what did I do? Did I follow the rest of them to to another country? Nope. I mean if I really didn’t have a choice I would have had too, but I do have a choice - I decided that since it was so poorly handed and presented, why should they earn money that could be better spent elsewhere? It’s like you might never want to step into a restaurant that had bad service and bad food. Would you?

And so off back to work I went, and I’m happy with it; the pay increased and I get to gain more experience too, plus the environment is pretty good. So no the only option would be to study part-time or would that be full-time? If it were full-time, I would definitely miss my monthly income, can’t spend as much too… Choices… O well, I’ll just take them as they come. After all, the objective of studying is to get a good job with an equivalent amount of pay. It's not a matter of just getting it done and over it, kind of defeats the whole point, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

CJ7 the movie

CJ7 - The latest comedy from Stephen Chow, CJ7 is a fantasy tale featuring state of the art visual effects. A poor laborer father (Chow) and his young son’s lives are turned upside down when a fascinating and strange new pet enters their world. Amid the resulting comic mayhem, they ultimately learn a poignant lesson about the true nature of family and the things money can't buy.

At least that’s what the synopsis says. Today was the first time I watched a late night movie on the eve of Chinese New Year, and to say the least the movie was sorely disappointing; even “Underdog” was better than this. There was very little plot throughout the movie, and the transaction of character growth and change was simply non-existent.

There was no indicator of the bonding between the new pet and the humans, so it was hard to understand why the pet would go through so much trouble to please and save this father and son pair. The son was portrayed as this really good little boy, who was hardworking, considerate and understanding. And when he got the pet, he suddenly became more greedy and selfish overnight. Speaking about the pet, there was no clear explanation or indicator of its origin, how it got found after the boy practically threw it away in a moment of anger, and in the end what was up with a look-a-like pet running towards the boy together with a bunch of similar creatures in an array of colors? What poignant lesson did they learn and what were the things they realized couldn’t be bought with money? It also seems that they couldn't decide whether to make the pet organic or mechanical, or a combination of both.

Although there was comic mayhem throughout the movie, the part about the true nature of family and the things money cannot buy was almost close to nil. Even “Underdog” had a more satisfying plot and ending.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Monsoon Season

Monsoon season - that time of the year when the weather gets cold and wet. According to NEA it is now:

  • North-East Monsoon Season - December to early March
  • Northeast winds prevail, sometimes reaching 20 km/h. Cloudy conditions in December and January with frequent afternoon showers. Spells of widespread moderate to heavy rain might occur lasting from 1 to 3 days at a stretch. Relatively drier in February till early March. Also generally windy with wind speeds sometimes reaching 30 to 40 km/h in the months of January and February.

It can get as low (as it can get for an island near the equator) as 23°C to as high as 34°C; all within one day. I used to think that the rainy season was around October to December, but apparently I seem to have forgotten that it hasn't ended yet. >_<

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pesticide in Food Anyone? or maybe not...

Japan police find more pesticide on China dumpling packages
Posted: 03 February 2008 1818 hrs

TOKYO: Japanese investigators have found traces of pesticide on more packages of Chinese-made dumplings, police said on Sunday as Chinese experts arrived in Tokyo to join a widening food poisoning probe.

The toxic substance was found on the surface of six packages of dumplings in western Japan, a spokesman for Hyogo prefectural police said.

The packages were produced at a factory in northern China on the same day as one that triggered a nationwide scare here, the spokesman said, adding that police were still checking if the dumplings themselves were also contaminated.

The Japanese government has said 10 people became sick, with one girl still in serious condition, after eating frozen meat dumplings produced at a factory in China's Hebei province in which high levels of pesticide were detected.

The health ministry said the scare prompted some 950 people to seek medical treatment, but only 10 were diagnosed with pesticide poisoning.

Major foodmakers ordered recalls of frozen and other prepared foods thought to have been produced at the Chinese factory as officials warned Beijing that it had to ensure food safety.

China – Japan's largest trading partner and second biggest supplier of imported food – has denied Tokyo's allegations that the dumplings themselves contained pesticides.

Japanese police have said they were investigating a report of a small tear in a pack of 20 dumplings that made a family ill, opening up the possibility of deliberate tampering.

A team of Chinese experts arrived in Tokyo on Sunday to join the Japanese probe, officials said.

Japanese media quoted Li Chunfeng, a food safety official leading the delegation, as saying before leaving Beijing that his team would work closely with Japanese officials to probe the matter "objectively and fairly".

"We would like to take concerted action with the Japanese side," Li told reporters at Beijing airport.

The global reputation of China's vital manufacturing industry was seriously damaged last year by a string of overseas safety scandals and product recalls involving the country's export goods.

- AFP/so (channelnewsasia)

It'll be some time before I start buying the products again...

Friday, February 01, 2008

My First Digital Camera: Canon Powershot A430

What are Megapixels?
A pixel is basically a dot on the screen (though that's what my lecturer in school told us not to write should there be a similar question, its not accurate but the easiest way to understand what a pixel is). Thus, an image comprises of many of these dots (pixels).

A megapixel comprises of 1 million pixels. It is a term used not only for the number of pixels in an image, but also used to express the number of image sensor elements in digital cameras or the number of display elements in digital displays. The more megapixels there are in an image, it will be more clearer and detailed.

Getting that First Camera
The Canon Powershot A430 is one of the basic cameras' out there I would recommend for beginners or novices alike. It's affordable and easy to maintain, using AA batteries to power up instead of having to charge before use. This can come in pretty handy, especially when you decide to take photos and realize that either you forgot to charge the battery, or the battery needed to be recharged after a period of non-usage. I've had mine for 2 years now, and... more >>