Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day @ SJI International, Sat 02 May 2009

The Assissi Hospice Charity Fun Day @ SJI International, Sat 02 May 2009 is a day to find great music, food and drink, fruits galore (a friend took away a few cartons!), games, performances and loads of cheery people! Join us and part with some cash for the charity. 

  • Map: (off Thomson Road, after SLF building)
  • The carpark is at the MCYS charges per entry $1.07.
  • A free shuttle bus (40 seater) will operate from Novena MRT Bus Stop to SJI International bus-stop and back, from 9.30am to 4pm. It is about a 30-min loop. Note: DO NOT take the Mount Alvernia Hospital busplus shuttle at Novena MRT!

The people and atmosphere will make you part with your cash quite happily and we stall holders got kinda carried away ourselves. Some natural history books that I gave to friends this year were bought from my own stall (some of Adrian's flora books) – they had been kept until I found the right person to give them too. 

It’s all quite mad and good fun and the group of us like the process as much as the eventual target of raising funds (see last year’s blog post). I also look forward to bumping into more than a couple of my friends there. I am bringing along two Canon Selphy printers for the photographs with Star Wars characters. I better check those tonight!

Meanwhile, Lekowala writes to the team:

Hi Guys,

  1. Our stall is B24 & B25 (that’s the same as last year, in the middle of that long drive up SJI international.
  2. We will operate from 8am-5pm. Official launch is at: 10.30am – 12.00pm.
  3. Our stall will have:
    • Books, Electronics, Bags and other barang barang (i/c Ivan/Oi Yee)
    • Nun's books (i/c Ivan) 
    • Storm trooper photo taking (i/c Jen Kee)
    • Chin Chow (i/c Natalie)
    • Kaya Toast (i/c Jen Kee, Airani, Jessica Chak) 
    • Coffee by (i/c Adrian and Meng Shyan)
  4. Wai Leng’s cookies have been sold and the money all collected!
  5. Apparently the nuns and others have been praying since February for this event, so we should have enough blessings to help us along the way…   
  6. Anyone with flu or fever or not feeling well at all, please don't come… just stay at home and say some prayers for the event.


See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Getting a grip on Swine influenza A (H1N1)

I just posted “Communicating the Swine influenza A (H1N1) crisis” at The Biology Refugia and I indicate the main sources of information I typically examine in such situations in order to get a grip on the situation.

Three highlights are:

[1] @CDC Emergency
I was pointed to this twitter account by Kevin. The last tweet yesterday said, “CDC reminds you that you can NOT get swine flu from eating pork.” Hilarious but also sad.

[2] The Just-in-time Swine influenza lecture, one of two sources of reliable, summarised slideshows:
Just-in-Time Lecture: Swine influenza A (H1N1) Outbreak in US & Mexico: Potential for a Pandemic,” by Rashid A. Chotani. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Updated daily. The html and powerpoint versions are available at the WHO Collaborating Center, University of Pittsburgh, Supercourse site.

[3] The MOH flu
This slideshow will probably be updated daily and includes local status information. It is nestled in the Ministry of Health’s webpage:

My provisional Semester I time table

This schedule is just about confirmed for the new term. It al depends on enrollment, space and persuasion so it’s nice to see it has worked out comfortably for me – no rushing between venues, thankfully. I love a fresh morning start but there are also no 8am lectures – still, most students moan about this, even the hostelites, so its good.

The new module, LSM2251 may have its practicals replaced with a day-long Saturday field trip instead but we’ll sort that out later. Monday morning lectures at LT23 are useful for a quick swig of coffee before revving students up for the week ahead.

There are no free days so Wednesday afternoons is the best time for honours student consultation – most of them will be in the Marine Biology module in the first Semester so that leaves the afternoon. If I need to accompany them in the field, its good that there are mornings and afternoon in case of the tide.

Thankfully first year Biodiversity has the most preparation time – most of Tuesday as I will be trying the most number of new things with this module. And the Friday practical slot is ideal for those who want to stay back. I only wish Biodiversity was in LT25 and not LT26. The former is my favourite LT and is great for interaction, pacing around and climbing up and down the stairs to find some hapless soul to answer questions. Venue changes do happen depending on eventual enrollment, so we’ll see.

A short respite from the heat

Strong winds surged through Singapore at about midnight last night – I woke up groggily from a deep sleep at about 11pm and was reading after I had fed the cats. Mr Bats, Xylo and Tiger all hunched up all of a sudden and my ears pricked up as I watched them. Sure enough I heard a rushing sound approach. Then windows stated rattling and banging shut and loose objects clattered away in the streets.

There was no rain though, but in the direction of Bukit Timah, the sky was all cloudy. I twittered and so did others – the strong gusts of winds were apparently felt all over western and central Singapore (alter updates said ALL over SIngapore). Dustbin covers were blown off, umbrellas turned inside out and *drum roll* NEA weather pages were blown away (as one tweet announced).

I did manage to see a huge rain front heading towards Singapore from the west but subsequent updates did not get through. The rain came minutes later but didn’t last for very long. The twitter feeds too eventually petered out and my cats and the heat returned. It was but a short respite from the heat.

Image grabbed on 23 Apr 2009: 1530hrs

ST Breaking News: “Freak storm wreaks havoc,” by Felicia Wong and Derrick Ho. The Straits Times, 23 Apr 2009.

12 May 2009: Rhett Butler ( on “Communicating conservation science online”

“How to communicate conservation science effectively online?”
An informal Q&A session with Rhett A. Butler, founder of

Tuesday, 12th May 2009: 5.30pm
DBS Conference Room, Block S3, Level 5,
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
National University of Singapore

Hosts: Janice Lee & N. Sivasothi

All are welcome. was founded nearly 10 years ago by Rhett A. Butler, who today is the chief editor and primary writer for the site.  With more than one million unique visitors per month, is one of the world’s most popular environmental science and conservation news sites. The news and rainforests sections of the site are widely cited for information on tropical forests, conservation, and wildlife.

In this informal Q&A session, Rhett will share his experiences of managing and updating as well as answer any questions from the floor on how to communicate conservation science effectively using online tools such as blogs.  

For more information on, see:

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