Wed 31 Jan 2018: 10.30am-4.00pm – Zero-waste Roadshow @ NUS’ The Deck canteen

This Wednesday, The Deck canteen (Arts Canteen) is hosting a zero waste roadshow – learn how to reduce disposables, and be inspired about leading a zero waste lifestyle by outreach partners, retailers and video screenings (11am-2pm).

This initiative of Tingkat Heroes Singapore is conducted in collaboration with NUS SAVE and in support of NUS Goes Lite 2018. Visit the Facebook page to learn more and get connected.

Click for PDF
Zero Waste Roadshow

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“Least Concerned” – Green Humour

At the Biodiversity Friends Forum Macaque Watch workshop last Saturday, we briefly discussed the conservation status of the long-tailed macaque.

The volunteers looked up the classifications defined by the IUCN Red List briefly and were able to recall various categories which we matched to a some Singapore species.

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Then on Facebook I saw this comic by Rohan Chakravarty at Green Humour which tickled me to no end, because it is both informative and tragic.

He includes the five categories we battle for, from Least Concern to Critically Endangered, skipping the extinct and data deficient categories and makes a significant point:

NewImage

I think we can use the cartoons in our workshops and we’ll add “Concerned” (anyone who tries) and “Least Concerned”.

You can follow Green Humour on Facebook..

Habitat restoration is more than planting trees

Last night, Ridge View Residential College’s Dr Chua Siew Chin and I discussed the steps we would need for the habitat restoration programme we have undertaken at Chestnut Nature Park, with participation from the community through Friends of Chestnut Nature Park.

Two community enrichment planting events have been facilitated by NParks who provide a good mix of species amongst the 50 stems. With their supervision, the community is quite easily able to plant trees, which is both exhilarating and educational. So we will pin down a few dates this year for everyone to plan.

That activity motivates us to discuss the outstanding issues – long-term aspects which are tougher to carry out: seed and seedling collection, nursery work (being carried out by UWC), weeding out aggressive species (assisted natural regeneration), soil and leaf litter sampling, phenology monitoring and a youth education programme.

Now that we hammered out a draft plan, we will flesh it out into a proposal and seek reviews. This is not something we will achieve overnight, but with half-yearly markers, it will move along.

Dovetailing it with likeminded individuals and programmes will certainly help. And in the college (RVRC) we will offer a multiple-component programme as a Forum in the new Year 2 programme.

If you are interested in forest work, let us know!

nBox – a Dropbox-like 1TB cloud storage service for NUS Staff!

Staff were rolling up their sleeves to tackle the onslaught of students returning on the first day of semester. Well, we received some great news and it was about nBox, a 1TB cloud service for NUS staff.

This provides a secure service which Dropbox users were trying to work around and also relieved us of OneDrive which has restrictive name formatting issues. nBox has them too, but is slightly less fussy.

nBox has “team folders” which have independent storage allocation and adjust permissions per folder.

Even as @mammal_gram Marcus Chua was raving about the service over in Washington DC, I shifted over the teaching folders I share with the FTTAs.

That’s a relief – now to take it through its paces!

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“It’s become so crowded…” – visual comparisons of street directories with One Historical Map

When looking over the Faculty of Science from the Science Library, my former classmates from 30 years ago looked over the faculty against their mental images and remarked, “It’s become so crowded”.

Our BSc class year graduated in 1990 and One Historical Map has street maps from 2017, 2007, 1995, 1984, 1975 and 1966. The webpage allows a side by side comparison and I picked the 2017 and 1995 maps. Yes, it has become crowded indeed.

Click for a larger view. fos2017_1995
Street map comparison of Faculty of Science in 2017 (top) and 1995 (below); screenshot from One Historical Map

In addition to building density, student numbers have increased too, especially amongst grad students. There were 4,977 students (4,594 u’grads + 383 grads) in 1994/5 and this had increased to 6,675 students by 2016/17 (5,126 u’grads + 1,549 grad students).

Oh well, during this time, the population density in Singapore increased from 4,814/sq. km to 7,796/sq. km. These are different times indeed.

theory.isthereason.com (and its archives) live on!

More than a decade ago, before Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and what not extinguished the wild wild west of personal blogging, my regular blogging kakis included Ivan Chew and Kevin Lim.

Amidst a larger group of media socialists, we three would meet every couple of years or so for some intense face to face discussions. We’d share experiences and techniques, evaluate ideas and translate some thoughts into overt action.

Some of that underscores how we do things today. So beyond reminiscing, old posts allow me to extract useful lessons from the past to catalyse new effort.

Which is why I’m glad Ivan Chew left his blogspot posts at Rambling Librarian, even after he reimagined himself at artistivanchew.tumblr.com).

I shifted to this WordPress site a decade ago (10th Jan 2008), so those posts are all here. Last year, I managed to salvage and transfer my first blog on the NUS science server to a server fronted by sivasothi.com.

Then two days ago, Kevin announced he had to abandon his expensive MediaTemple host. He’s a geek so quickly found out how to shift to a server, install a WordPress template and that retained his URLs. So theory.isthereason.com, and its archives, lives on!

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A passionate Kevin at the “Youtube and beyond” workshop
at the National Library Singapore, 19 Jun 2007

Native Blog Editor, Mars Edit 4.0 to maintain multiple blogs

MarsEdit is a native macOS blog editor which I have used since 2007 to maintain multiple blogs on WordPress (including NUS Blogs) and Blogspot, some with multiple authors.

Webpage editors on desktop and phones have caught up immensely and are useful for a quick fix, but MarsEdit still reigns supreme for heavy duty work.

MarsEdit can switch between rich text and HTML which I had to use with my first blog engine. While I use system-wide Typinator html shortcuts, MarsEdit does provide for this with “Formatting Macros” (Format > Customise).

The SweetSetup has a detailed review of the Dec 2017’s ver 4.0 by Red Sweater.


MarsEdit handles multiple blogs simultaneously, switches between HTML and rich text and has a pre-publication preview.