Online dating version 2.0

[Published on 29 September, 2008]

Boot up your computer, turn on your camera and make sure you
comb your hair. Because in the next three minutes online,
you could be meeting the love of your life.

Internet dating may be as old as the World Wide Web itself,
but it is fast losing the stigma once attached to it, and
becoming a way for tech-savvy singles to find each other.

Now you can speed date, play real-time games, and chat with
prospective partners in your home, or even office, whom
you never have to meet in real life if you don’t want to.

One local site offers online games such as checkers, pool,
even tennis, where Singaporean singles can play together.

They can also speed date, form social clubs and chat in virtual
rooms that look like bars, swimming pools or even Times Square
in New York.

Another site locates available singles working in the vicinity
of busy executives.

Online dating reaches out to a younger segment of the population
who are not likely to use offline or face-to-face matchmaking

Doctors learn from the horse's mouth

[Published on 05 July, 2003]

A group of United States medical students have traded
stethoscopes for horse halters and sterile hospital hallways
for dusty equine exercise pens in a bid to improve their
bedside manner with human patients.

A western US ranch is the setting for an innovative
University of Arizona Medical School course with the weighty
title, Medicine and Horsemanship: An Introduction to
Human Nonverbal Interaction at the Bedside.

"This course is not about horses; it's about body language,"
said the head of the college's surgery department.

"Horses are very, very good at detecting those unspoken messages,
and it's a wonderful way to teach medical students to become
aware of their own body language."

At the Rancho Bosque horse ranch, the students get up close
to the horses, but do not ride them or use saddles or bridles
to control the nervous animals.

Instead, they learn and practise non-verbal clues -- such as
posture, eye contact, movement or breathing -- to soothe, guide
and encourage the 450kg patients into completing simple tasks
such as trotting in a circle.

Students learn that simple gestures -- such as gently patting
a patient's shoulder -- sends the message that they have a
genuine interest in hearing about his or her concerns.

Bottoms Up!

[Published on 15 September, 2002]

NEWater is treated wastewater that has been purified using
microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet technologies,
in addition to conventional water treatment processes.
The water is potable and can be consumed by humans.

Here are some ideas that can be used to coax more Singaporeans
to down a glass or two of reclaimed water...

Bottle a new version. But what type?
Something which gives Singaporeans a quick fix for fat.

They are willing but unable.
Bring down the psychological barrier by serving Newater
in restaurants -- for free.

Give flavour to Newater.
Add a taste of lime, pineapple or mango.
And how about harmless, artificial 'Nicotine' flavour for
those who wish to kick the habit?

People taking potshots while you're quenching your thirst
with Newater? Here are a couple of comebacks:

If your antagonist is drinking bird's nest soup...

If he is ingesting Kway Chap (Pig's Organ Soup)...

Make the bottle opaque.
The hotline number, which changes each week, is printed
inside -- visible only when the content has been drunk.

Shorter NS, thanks to technology

[Published on 16 June, 2004]

In the old days, a recruit had to wake up long before the crack of
dawn to make his way to a live firing range to learn how to shoot.

He could spend the entire, day there, mostly waiting for his turn
to shoot, and end up firing only 10 rounds.

Now, thanks to the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) Individual
Marksmanship Trainer, the recruit no longer has to wait almost a day
for his turn to shoot.

Instead, with the simulator, he can correct his shooting fundamentals
before he even steps into a live range.

In fact, the marksmanship trainer is so advanced, it can tell the
shooter things like how hard he squeezes the trigger, or how his
breathing pattern changes before, during and after the shot.

And it is technological advances like these that have convinced
the Ministry of Defence that national service could be shortened
by six months, without affecting the overall capabilities of the
Singapore Armed Forces.

With simulators and computerised combat trainers widely used,
soldiers are not only more effectively trained, it also takes
less time to train them.

Phones that announce the name of the caller

[Published on 28 February, 2003]

A new telephone device not only identifies the number of the
person calling you, but also shouts out the name of the caller.
The gadget, patented by United States phone company AT&T, uses the
caller's number to consult a central database of subscribers' names.

Once the name is found, it then activates a voice synthesiser on
the phone to announce -- like a butler at an embassy reception --
the name of the caller.

The invention also works the other way, by announcing to you the
name of the subscriber whose number you have dialled.

Many phones already provide caller ID in the form of a phone number.
But the new-fangled service will let a user screen out undesirable
calls, such as from salesmen, heavy-breathing stalkers and creditors.

And it could save money on misdialled numbers too, because you could
ring off before the call is answered.

Carpark surgery plan to cut hospital queues

[Published on 11 March, 2002]

British hospitals are preparing to use military-style mobile operating
theatres, which can be set up in their carparks, to reduce waiting lists.
The M*A*S*H (mobile army surgical hospital) style mobile theatres were
designed to treat battlefield casualties but have been adapted to deal
with up to 12 patients a day.

It can be set up in hours and connected to hospital supplies of oxygen,
water and electricity.

Hospital officials expect up to 500 cardiac patients could be treated a year.

The mobile theatres were named after the American Korean War film and
television series. They include an anaesthetic room, patient recovery room
and washroom for medical staff, alongside the basic operating theatre.

The units would help surgeons cope with emergency cases while existing
theatres were used for routine operations.

Government to release land for pet shelters

[Published on 14 June, 2003]

Stray cats saved from culling may get a new home at the Loyang Agrotech Park
near Pasir Ris, and sterilised strays picked up by town councils may be handed
over to animal welfare groups.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority will release five parcels of land for
animal lovers to set up pet shelters.

Any group interested in setting up such animal boarding facilities, which has
proven experience in taking care of and providing boarding for pet animals,
may bid for the land.

It was estimated that industrial users would pay between $8,000 and $10,000
a month in rent in the Loyang area for a 0.4ha plot of land. But that could
be halved if the bidders are animal welfare groups, which have smaller budgets.
The Cat Welfare Society, however, is convinced that shelters are not a
sustainable solution. It would rather the Housing Board did away with existing
rules barring cats from HDB flats, and believes sterilisation is the way to go
in the long term.

The society's president said: "There are many reasons why a shelter is not a
long-term or practicable solution. There is a limit to the number of animals
which can be sheltered and running costs will be crippling."