Feet up!

It’s always interesting to explore new spaces in the forest despite the attendant scratches of legs and arms. It wouldn’t feel like an exploration otherwise! The sting only lasts hours and fades quickly.

Exhibit A is my well-scarred left shin.


But these days, infrequent activity means my joints get rattled so and this morning, my ankle bones were still crunchy and knee still sore so I took the wise option and messaged Darren to wish him well on his 170km ride – I would not be joining him!

For a short while, I put my feet up and read a book. How lovely, and civilised! Even Xylo the cat thought it strange.

Feet up with Xylo

I need to head out to the forest again next week, but this time I will tape up my knee and ankle before traipsing around.

Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat Workshop, 31 Aug 2013

It’s nice to have Gladys Chua working on the poster for the Mandai Mangrove and Mudflat Workshop, amongst other things – she’s in the Secretariat.

To get this done, we chat on LINE, exchange emails and share files via Google Drive and Wetransfer.

If she was in Singapore, we’d probably do it remotely as well, because the cats would make her cry, from allergies!

Click the banner to find out more.

MMM Workshop banner


2013-07-01 17.47.03

“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.”

– Welsh poet, W. H. Davies

Finding the child, meeting the teacher

Adrian Loo was at a meeting last week with primary school kids.

A parent himself, he wrote,

“I was asked by a P6 boy recently what I would do if I had a chance to change the education system – I looked at him squarely in the eye and told him I would do away with homework and let him study anything he wanted and make classrooms open so that he could meet the teacher more often.

He beamed and became a child again.

I could feel the weight fall off his shoulders.

We need to stop robbing our children of their childhood.”

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and primary school kids

Of all the things we need to introduce in primary school, how critical is this?

We should teach the fundamentals well – a value system, the ability to question and seek information. Tools which will allow then to navigate most things in life subsequently.

We should promote discovery.

Promote an appreciation of the potential which the internet provides, how to search, cite (which empowers you), share and circumvent limitations imposed by agendas in the guise of friendly services. Wait – like IPOS coming to teach primary school kids about copyright!

I think the people behind Creative Commons Singapore are better suited to promote a positive, empowering message which includes respect for the value of works by others and how to contribute meaningfully to the pool of shared information.

To see this facet of commercialisation thrust down the mouths of babes so early makes me wonder, who does this benefit, really?

“Intellectual Property Office reaches out to primary schools,” by Walter Sim. The Straits Times, 24 Jul 2013.

“Primary school pupils will soon learn about copyright protection and how it is illegal to download songs from unauthorised Internet sites.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) on Wednesday launched a new programme targeted at primary school students.

The programme primarily involves a half-hour interactive skit that they hope to perform at 150 schools by the end of 2014.

At the launch of the programme at River Valley Primary School on Wednesday morning, Senior Minister of State (Law and Education) Indranee Rajah said: “Singapore’s economic growth will be increasingly driven by innovation and knowledge creation. This makes the protection and exploitation of IP all the more relevant and important for our future growth.”

See the IPOS Media Release, “School Children Learn about Copyright the HIP way,” 24 Jun 2013.

Recycling and next, Reduction!

Tanjong Pagar Town Council changed the recycling service available to their Buona Vista Division from July 2013 – Veolia has placed recycling bins at each block and are clearing them three times a week.

The previous arranged was a bi-monthly doorstep collection. Both methods took in a variety of unsorted recyclables.

With this method, you can see what people are disposing at recycling bins – and it seems this new method has been embraced enthusiastically. The prominent location of the bins certainly reminds everyone about putting in some effort to recycle.

Hopefully this will mean a greater proportion of our recyclable waste makes it to these bins.

Block 2, Holland Close

According to NEA’s Singapore Waste Statistics and Recycling Rate 2012, plastic recycling is at the bottom of the class – only 10% was recycled last year.

NEA Singapore Waste Statistics and Overall Recycling

While we work on plastic recycling, ultimately we have to also keep an eye on reduction – in 2012 we generated 1,370 kg of waste, up from 1,330 kg in 2011 .

Waste Statistics, 2011-2012
See Zero Waste SG for more.

Learn more, DO something!

Ria Tan of Wild Shores Singapore, exhorts her readers to DO something – this time she’s talking about attending my public lecture (Sat 03 Aug 2013) about marine life, marine trash and solutions for a better planet.

And you can get your hands dirty soon after by joining me for the post-National Day mangrove cleanup on Sat 10 Aug 2013.

After this baptism of action, spread the word – you CAN make a difference, and it begins with a single step.

Singapore has dozens of opportunities to explore and learn about nature from a variety of activities and people! And you are lucky, all you have to do is check the Wild Singapore Happenings webpage, managed by Ria Tan.