Saturday, December 31, 2016

Instagram beauty Francesca Tan

22 years old full-time blogger/model Francesca Tan is from Singapore and is listed regularly in Beautiful Singapore Girls To Follow On Instagram lists. According to her website, Francesca participated in the world’s most prestigious international modelling contest – Elite Model Look and clinched the title ‘Face of Make Up Store 2012′. As an Elite Model, she worked with clients like Samsung, Toni & Guy, Olympus, Volkswagen Singapore, Noël Caleb, Maybelline and more. She has also walked the runways for local and overseas designers such as Rêvasseur, Artelier Fang, Chun Ting Liu and Dusk Till Dawn.

You can find Francesca Tan's instagram account here itsfranxcesca. Her website is here

A photo posted by Francesca Tan 陈姿伶 (@itsfranxcesca) on

A photo posted by Francesca Tan 陈姿伶 (@itsfranxcesca) on

A photo posted by Francesca Tan 陈姿伶 (@itsfranxcesca) on

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Singapore staycation deals 2017

Staycation in Singapore has been a popular way of making holiday for the residents and as in the previous years, many hotels are offering Singapore staycation deals in 2017. In this post, we have compiled some of the best Singapore staycation promotions for you.

You can of course always check HotelsCombined Singapore Hot Hotel Deals web page for the latest hotel deals to have a very nice staycation with good prices. But here, we will list some of the specific Singapore staycation packages.

Pan Pacific Singapore has been one of the most popular hotels in Singapore for visitors and locals as well. In celebration of  30th Anniversary, you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city life with Pan Pacific Singapore 30th anniversary staycation offer including exclusive privileges such as SGD 30 dining credits, SGD 30 savings on spa treatments and breakfast at Edge. The offer is valid for bookings and stays until 31 March 2017.

Included in this package are :
  • Daily breakfast at Edge for up to two persons
  • Food and Beverage credit of SGD30 per stay redeemable at Edge, Hai Tien Lo, Keyaki, Atrium, Pacific Marketplace and Poolside
  • SGD 30 savings on all ala carte treatments (excluding rituals) at St. Gregory Spa
  • Complimentary Internet access
  • Access to round-the-clock fitness centre
Valid through March 31, 2017, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore offers Run Away from Home staycation package for prices starting from SGD 550 per night. 

If you are looking for a weekend staycation package, you can check Far East Hospitality's Weekend Getaways Weekend Saver promotion. With 10 distinct hotels offering 10 distinct experiences, you will surely find one that caters to your needs; be it a romantic respite with your other half, or a getaway with family and friends.

Village Hotel Changi is one of the Far East Hospitality properties where you can enjoy weekend saver promotion.
Marina Mandarin is another luxury Singapore hotel offering weekend staycation package. Package comes with free parking, free buffet breakfast, free WiFi and complimentary upgrade of room (Subject to availability).

Far East Hospitality's Quincy Hotel offers "Qool Weekend" weekend promotion, a couple staycation with fun activities. The Qool Weekend package includes:

- One night stay in Studio Room
- Buffet breakfast for two
- All-day light refreshments
- Evening cocktails (6 pm to 8:30 pm)
- One bottle of red wine
- Complimentary in-room mini-bar (replenished daily)
- Unlimited Wi-Fi access
- Movie Night by the pool (only on Saturdays at 9 pm)

You can also participate in one Qool activity (per room night stay): Chocolate Truffle Making class or Couple Art Jamming session.

Fake Bangkok Explosion News prompt Facebook Safety Check

Fortunately, the news about a massive Bangkok explosion on Tuesday night are fake. But the fake news were perceived so real that at about 9 PM, Facebook activated its safety check-in system for this "reported" explosion.

According to Independent, the safety check system was accidentally activated by a local and minor incident which is picked up by Facebook as a major incident because it was talked about a lot :
But no such explosion actually happened and the fake alert seems to be the result of changes that the company has made to its Safety Check feature. It appears to have been activated by a minor incident, reported only in the local news, where a man took firecrackers to a government building in an apparent protest.
That seems to have become seen as a major incident because people on Facebook were discussing it. Earlier this year, Facebook announced that it would be using people's posts to help decide when the Safety Check would be activated – meaning that it didn't necessarily need to be turned on by staff at the social network.
Source : Facebook Safety Check scares Bangkok residents with false report of major explosion

In Twitter, Bangkok Explosion has been trending and now the thread is full of messages calling it a hoax.

Fake Bangkok Explosion News prompt Facebook Safety Check
Fake Bangkok Explosion News prompt Facebook Safety Check
Facebook went further to say that the crisis was confirmed by media reports but the reports they are referring were themselves referring to a more than a year old article about bombing of the Erawan Shrine in 2015.

As of 10:15pm, the Facebook alert had been deactivated.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Centaur with a Stone by Dashi Namdakov on Orchard Road

I have recently photographed this stunning sculpture in Orchard Road Singapore. Created by renowed multidisciplinary Russian artist Dashi Namdakov, the sculture is named "Centaur with a Stone". Inspired by fantasy, folklore and myth, the Centaur with a Stone is a representation of independence and rebellion. Part man and part horse, the sculture exudes an impulsive and primeval power of these liminal beings and an embodiment of untamed nature.

Centaur with a Stone by Dashi Namdakov exhibited on Orchard Road Singapore.
Centaur with a Stone by Dashi Namdakov exhibited on Orchard Road Singapore.

Next Generation Advanced Planning and Scheduling for Manufacturing Webinar

ICRON Technologies, a leading provider of Advanced Planning and Scheduling solutions, has recently organized a webinar named "Next Generation Advanced Planning and Scheduling for Manufacturing" through its Singapore office.

The webinar covers the challenges in production planning and scheduling processes in modern manufacturing environment which led the development of Advanced Planning and Scheduling. Next, characteristics of a next generation APS platform are introduced. The webinar continues with a comprehensive demo of an actual implementation where ICRON platform performs mathematical optimization and scenario based Sales and Operations Planning, Capacity Planning and also detailed scheduling in a single implementation to cover tactical planning, operational planning and dispatching requirements of a company.

You can watch this 50 minutes webinar below. You can watch several advanced planning and scheduling features such as dynamic pegging, mathematical optimization based planning, scenario based planning, collaboration and state of the art user interfaces.

If you would like to see how Advanced Planning and Scheduling applies to Sales & Operations Planning, you can also watch the company's Optimization and Scenario Based Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) for Manufacturing Webinar presented by Associate Professor Caner Taşkın.

Elk by Dashi Namdakov

This stunning sculpture named "Elk" was on display on Orchard Road Singapore recently. Created by acclaimed Russian scupltor, artist and jeweler, Dashi Namdakov, it is presented in a realistic style that exudes strength, power of this magestic creature and a symbol of beauty in nature. Details on its antlers are reminiscent of sacred prehistoric cave paintings of hunters as a testament to the reverend status of the elk in Namdakov's culture.

Dashi Namdakov is a Siberian / Russian artist who infuses his expressive scultures with his distinct style reflective of his culture, heritage, mythology, beliefs and his nomadic upbringing in the ragged wilderness of the Asian steppes.

As an influential contemporary sculptor and representative of Asian artistic traditions, inspirations of Namdakov works are derived from ethnic folklore, spirituality and myths, which he expresses with a modern interpretation through his own method of form, movement and proportion.

Elk by Dashi Namdakov displayed on Orchard Road Singapore
Elk by Dashi Namdakov displayed on Orchard Road Singapore

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Serviced office Singapore - Greenhub

If you are looking for a service office in Singapore, you have only a few relatively cheap and good ones. I had a chance to use one of them; Greenhub, which provides service offices and virtual offices for rent in Singapore.

In Singapore, Greenhub operates in 3 locations : Phoenix Park, Reaburn Park and Westway. Westway is located next to West Coast Highway and PSA Vista. This serviced office is 2-minute walk from the Haw Par Villa MRT Station and also just off the Alexandra business district, with its abundance of technoparks and distriparks.

Greengub Westway offers 24/7 access office, where the office space can be 2 person to 5-6 people in size. The place has a nice collective area and meeting rooms which can be rented for 15 SGD per half an hour. The office spaces are individual rooms with their own air conditioning units and provides complete privacy. As your business grows, you can increase the space from smaller to bigger units and maybe even rent multiple.

The serviced office rental prices are very reasonable. 1-2 person units start from 750 SGD per month and a 5 person window unit will cost you just 2,000 SGD per month. Given the high office rental prices in Singapore, these are quite reasonable prices. What I like in these office is its accessibility (24/7), its near MRT location and service.

Serviced office Singapore - Greenhub
Serviced office Singapore - Greenhub

GreenHub Serviced Offices web site is here at Their unit prices are here at Serviced Office Availability & Prices page.

Greenhub also operates in Jakarta with two locations : 88 Kota Kasablanka and Plaza Marein.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

ICRON Technologies Advanced Planning, Scheduling and Optimization in Singapore

ICRON Technologies B.V., a Netherlands based Advanced Planning, Scheduling and Optimization solution provider is setting up an office in Singapore. ICRON Technologies Asia Pacific will serve South East Asia and East Asia markets to help companies to solve their planning, scheduling, supply chain network optimization, demand planning and S&OP problems.

ICRON Technologies has more than 20 years of experience in Advanced Planning, Scheduling and Optimization and their solutions are used in some well established companies like ASML, Vestel, LG, Singapore Airlines, Rolls Royce, Bridgestone, Perfetti van Melle, etc. The company builts these solutions on their Advanced Planning and Scheduling engine and is known for fast implementation times hovering around 3 months. Their product family includes :

- ICRON Advanced Planning and Scheduling (ICRON APS) - Enterprise level finite capacity planning and scheduling solution offering offers a clear, cost-effective migration path to full-function supply chain optimization.

ICRON Capacity Planning (ICRON CP) - Enterprise level supply chain network optimization solution providing strategic and tactical (long-term) planning of supply chain network including customers, production facilities, distribution centers, warehouses and transportation routes.

- ICRON Demand Planning (ICRON DP) - With ICRON DP, companies can accurately model their multiple forecasting inputs creating their unique forecasting algorithms and methodologies to drive forecast improvement across all types of products (fast- and slow-moving, lumpy, short life cycle, trending, steady, highly seasonal, causal driven) on different levels across your value chain. It introduces demand optimization to your organization by applying mathematical optimization techniques to identify the best combination of price and promotion to achieve desired sales, gross margin, inventory or market share objectives.

- ICRON Sales and Operations Planning (ICRON S&OP) - ICRON S&OP helps companies keep demand and supply in balance and achieve synchronization among different functions in the organization by rapidly generating high-quality plans and enabling ad-hoc scenario analysis.

ICRON Supply Chain Management Maturity Model
ICRON Supply Chain Management Maturity Model

About ICRON Technologies

Founded in 1992, ICRON Technologies Inc. is a leading developer of Advanced Planning, Scheduling (APS) and Optimization solutions for manufacturing, distribution, MRO and Services organizations. Once deployed it allows large enterprise companies to improve their supply chain operations by better streamlining inventory keeping, production (constraints), and sourcing of material including lead time with forecasted demand. More than 70 customers used the software today including ASML, Singapore Airlines, Rolls Royce, Bridgestone, DHL, Ford, Rohm & Haas, and others. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam with R&D in Istanbul and an office in Singapore. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Zika Virus Singapore updates

Update Jan 29th 2016: Zika virus is spreading explosively says World Health Organization today. According to a WHO scientist there may be 3 to 4 million cases in Latin America in the next year.

Update Jan 28th 2016 : Pregnant women are urged to not travel to Latin American and Caribbean countries where zika virus is spreading fast. This warning also includes women who plans to become pregnant.

The virus is linked to microcephaly, a rare and brutal condition that shrinks the brains and skulls of the newborns. Babies with microcephaly have an abnormally small brain and skull for their age, in the womb or at birth, with varying degrees of brain damage as a result. It has many potential causes: infections, viruses, toxins or unknown genetic factors.

Right now the list includes Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Suriname, and Venezuela. Here is the update list of countries with zika virus outbreak : Zika Travel Information.

If you're pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant, avoid traveling to places where the virus is circulating (Source : Vox)
Zika virus, a virus related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses, has been a major public health concern since the possible link between the Zika virus infection in pregnancy and microcephaly in fetuses and new borns. Although zika–microcephaly link is not scientifically proven yet, most experts agree that it is highly likely that there is a link. Microcephaly is defined as abnormal smallness of the head and is a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development. Zika–Microcephaly link came to light when the microcephaly cases jumped to thousands compare to a few hundred in previous years.

Before zika–microcephaly link was put forward, zika virus was not a concern at all because in adults, the virus causes mostly no symptoms or symptoms are mild.

What makes Singapore vulnerable is the aedes mosquito population here. This is the same mosquito responsible for the transmission of the dengue virus. Zika virus scare came at a time when 2016 aedes mosquito population and dengue fever cases exploded due to warmer than usual rainy season. The Ministry of Health and National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore is now introducing measures to guard against the Zika virus taking hold in Singapore.

Currently there is no detected cases in Singapore but the passenger traffic between the effected countries is large and Zika virus is already detected in many tourists returning from Latin America to Europe. It doesn't help that in South-east Asia, some zika cases have been detected in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, East Malaysia and Thailand in recent years.

Zika virus Singapore - aedes mosquito (aedes aegypti)
Females of Aedes aegypti a.k.a  yellow fever mosquito is the principal vector for dengue fever. Aedes mosquitos are also vectors for zika virus.
Once established, zika virus would be very difficult to eradicate from an area since aedes mosquito is constantly present here. NEA says "There is a high risk of subsequent local transmission, as the Aedes mosquito vector is present here. As such, the virus may become endemic in Singapore".

Singapore authorities have advised returning travellers from affected areas to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms of Zika such as fever, skin rash, joint and muscle pain, headache and red eyes. But 80% of the adults with the virus shows no symptoms at all, so it will be a difficult task to isolate the infected people. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Dengue in Singapore

Warm weather conditions have caused significant increase in dengue cases in Singapore in January 2016. In the week ending 16 January 2016, 628 dengue cases were reported which is higher than the cases in the same week in 2013 (last major outbreak in Singapore was 2013 dengue outbreak).

Warmer weather conditions are causing faster breeding and maturing cycle for aedes mosquitoes and there is thus an increase in the mosquito population.

What is Dengue Fever?

 Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (a more severe form) is an illness caused by infection with a virus transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. There are four serotypes of this virus (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4) which can infect you.

There is currently no drug for dengue but there is an intense effort to develop a dengue vaccine. Most cases follow a classic, non-fatal virus infection but in a small proportion of the cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

Aedes aegypti a.k.a  yellow fever mosquito

Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes, principally Aedes aegypti. The mosquito can be recognized by white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of the thorax (see below image). Also follow the link if you want to check out how does aedes mosquito looks like.

Aedes aegypti a.k.a  yellow fever mosquito
Females of Aedes aegypti a.k.a  yellow fever mosquito is the principal vector for dengue fever.
Active Dengue Clusters in Singapore

Singapore government hangs these big banners with red, green and yellow dots in dengue clusters *(see color coded dengue alert system) but these are easy to miss. Checking active dengue clusters in Singapore in National Environment Agency's Dengue page can help you to do simple plans to reduce your chance to have dengue. Today for example, I have realized that my workplace, my house and my kid's kindergarden are all just next to active dengue clusters only after checking the active dengue clusters web page. This means no outside park play around my house and kindergarden as well as using bus instead of walking from work to MRT.  

Reduce cost of car ownership in Singapore

Car is an expensive item to buy and maintain but if you think you have to buy one in Singapore, consider the below tips to reduce your purchasing and maintenance cost.

Use HDB parking - There are plenty of housing areas around the island and there are usually enough number of available parking lots in HDB car parks. If you are traveling a lot for work, familiarizing yourself with nearest HDB parking lots will save you a lot of money. HDB carparks are free in the weekends and it costs only 10 Dollars for an all-day parking ticket.

Buy a pre-owned car - An affordable pre-owned car will be usually cheaper to buy. 10-year ownership of a new car in Singapore will have much higher monthly car loan payments. This is because a new car will be more expensive than a used car.

Pay your car loan faster - Singapore car loan rates is around 2.78% at the moment and early payment will provide better savings in the long run. This is because accumulated interest rate of car loans will be much higher for a longer loan repayment period.

Buy a fuel-efficient car - A Renault Kadjar uses only 3.9 litres per 100 km which amounts to 826 SGD per year compared to a more "normal car"which can use 2,683 SGD (assuming 20K kilometers per year usage).

Know your car - Using your car to the book and maintaining it in optimum conditions (regular engine oil checks, gentle driving habits, right tire pressure, keeping your car lightweight) will save you tonnes of money in the long run.

You do not need to drive every day - This seems financially obvious but when you have car, you can think of maximizing its usage by trying to use it everyday. This may be costly. For example a family trip to a nearby mall can be faster, cheaper and more comfortable with a taxi in a weekend than driving.