I was glad when SLA-NHB introduced One Historical Map in 2015 which now allows users to compare six street maps between 1966 and 2017. We first had that facility first via iRemember in 2009 but it disappeared, and so I was glad to see it return. And the site is easy to use – after an alumni reunion, we could validate our observation of how crowded the Faulty of Science in NUS had become! 

Topographical maps were not available as yet and so it was with great excitement that the community greeted NUS Libraries announcement that they had mounted a “Historical Maps of Singapore” portal, consisting of topographical maps from between 1846 – 2018, which had been digitised with great effort, by a team from the Department of Geography.

You may view the maps online or stream them on Google Earth or other WMS (web map service) viewer. This is a treasure trove for teaching, research and an exploration of our landscape, and the changes it has experienced over time. A good place to start is your very own neighbourhood! Review the introductory guide by NUS Libraries here

For example, in the Sungei Mandai Mangrove cleanup project, we will invite the volunteer Site Captains to trace the rivers from the mouth to their origins at the foothills. These topographical maps before the relentless pace of urbanisation in the 1960’s and 1970’s will prove to be an eye opener for us all,. I love how it’s available for close examination on our desktops – it will sure make for some exciting tabletop exploration by the LSM2251 Ecology class! 

Sungei Mandai Mangrove 1966

Bukit Mandai

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Reviving my upgraded MacBook Air mid-2012

With my five and a half year old MacBook Pro in the shop for the third time, it was time to revive my mid-2012 Mac Book Air (MBA) which was on hiatus last semester. Having maxed its RAM at purchase to 8GB, and having changed the battery last year, it is in reasonable shape.MacBookAir-revived

The internal hard disk is a fast SSD but small at 500GB. So my most immediate files are on the cloud in Dropbox, GDrive or iCloud (and at work, nBox or the office server). I’ll survive with some discomfort and that will spur me to replace the faulty 1TB SSD I got from from OWC (I bought the kit below). Once I get my replacement, the MBA will be ready for some heavy lifting.

1TB OWC kit

Back up happens by virtue of working on cloud drives, and a background programme, CrashPlan Pro. And just in case, for the most current presentation, I have an emergency 200gb microSD card.

This mid-2012 Mac Book Air has a few ports: one thunderbolt, two USB3 and an SD card port. And I pack thunderbolt adaptors for VGA, HDMI and ethernet with it so that makes it functional in most places.

Some archives are residing on external 4TB and 5TB drives and must be backed up to Crash Plan Pro. Their subscription includes  unlimited backups on multiple devices including external drives, so less e-waste at the user’s end eventually. I tried retrieval off files and its not bad. Important when pulling out relevant photos or videos from a field site ages ago!

If you have old Mac laptop and want a second life with it, check your model (Apple venue > About), and then examine your options at the OWC upgrades page. If your unit is DIY-capable, there are videos to guide you through the process. With the SSD HD and battery upgrades (and some repairs), my laptops are soldiering on in their sixth year and the iMac is doing well in it’s ninth year.

Discover Pulau Ubin with the month-long Pesta Ubin 2018 with lots of free activities!

Pesta Ubin 2018From Pesta Ubin 2018 coordinators:

Find a Pesta Ubin activity that suits your interest and schedule [link]

Here’s some FREE activities that do NOT require registration. Just come to Ubin on Sunday morning.

  • 27 May (Sun): FREE Ubin Nature Walk with Strix Wildlife Consultancy, 9am-12noon [link]
  • 27 May (Sun): FREE Pesta Ubin Photo Booth, 9am-11am [link
  • 27 May (Sun): FREE Kampung Games at Teck Seng’s Place with U Cares Volunteers, 10am-2pm [link]
  • Ubin Town will also be full of activities as villagers prepare for the Tua Pek Kong Festival which starts 28 May (Mon) [link]
  • Activities on Sunday that require registration [link]

Fri 27 Apr 2018: 7.00pm, Lepak SG presents a panel on “Treasures of our shores”

Lepak in SG presents their April Workshop, “Treasures of our shores”.

“Treasures of our shores” @ Singapore Sustainable Academy, City Square Mall
Friday 27 April 2018: 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Register to attend here.

What treasures lie within our shores? Join us for a night of insight as we hold a panel discussion with experts on how our shores benefit us!

We’ve invited speakers of diverse backgrounds to show us as many sides of our shores as possible, bringing them together with the theme of Treasures Of Our Shores. Our esteemed panelists are:

  • Mr Azri Alwi: As an artist, Mr Alwi uncovers the intrinsic value of our shores. He will bringing us on a journey to discover the inner beauty of the ocean, and the inspiration they may bring to our lives.
  • Ms Liow Shen Yan: Everyone loves food! Especially seafood – Ms Liow from the Marine Stewardship Council will explain how seafood can be sustainable so we can make the choice to be responsible consumers.
  • Dr Serena Teo: a marine biologist, Dr Teo will discuss the World Harbours Project to explain how our shores are special, being a major port and harbour, and the unique challenges we face.
  • Mr Sivasothi: Fondly known as Otterman, Mr Sivasothi will share secrets of our local mangroves and shores, and the roles they play on a local and international stage.
Treasures of our Shores

Celebrate Earth Day in Singapore by battling marine trash @ Lim Chu Kang East (Sun 22 Apr 2018: 7.30am – 12.00pm)

It’s Earth Day on Sunday 22nd April 2018, with a focus on the battle against plastic pollution.

Join the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore volunteers on a mangrove cleanup on Sunday, 22 April 2018: 7.30am to 12.00pm at Lim Chu Kang East [see site details here].

There is transport from Kranji MRT. For registration and details, please see the Eventbrite registration page. Please register by Thu 19 Apr 2018.

IMPORTANT: please read the advise to participants and safety guidelines here: http://coastalcleanup.nus.edu.sg/participants/

Join me for an exhilarating experience – plant a tree (or two) at Chestnut Nature Park, Sat 19 May 2018

The Friends of Chestnut Nature Park (FoC) are happy to invite you to wield a changkul and plant trees at Chestnut Nature Park!

FoC-Chien_Siva

Chestnut Nature Park is a green buffer to our precious green lung and biodiversity core, the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. With active contribution by members of the wider community, Friends of Chestnut Nature Park hopes that Chestnut Nature Park will fulfil its potential both as nature reserve buffer and a vibrant and sustainable recreational space enjoyed by mountain bikers, hikers, heritage and nature lovers alike.

Besides, who doesn’t love to plant trees! The forest at Chestnut Nature Park is recovering from a history of use and this can take centuries. We hope to offer a boost to restoration and thanks to NParks, we have this wonderful opportunity to enhance the habitat!

We are happy to invite you to join us on this wonderful privilege!

Anyone can join us, just sign up at Eventbrite.