Sunday, 30 June 2013

5 Foods To Lower Cholesterol


1. Oat Bran and Oatmeal
Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which is effective in reducing the bad cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber helps block cholesterol absorption into your blood.

2. Fish
Fish is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially halibut, herring, lake trout mackerel, salmon and tuna. Therefore, it is an excellent food to help decrease your cholesterol levels and promote a healthy heart.

3. Nuts
Nuts like AlmondsHazelnutsPistachiosPecans and Walnuts are brilliant in reducing triglycerides. There are some incredible compounds in them that are transformed into Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) -- two types of Omega-3 fatty acids -- in your body.

4. Blueberries
Blueberries contain a compound known as Pterostilbene, which is a natural remedy to cut down LDL cholesterol levels with no unwanted side effects. Anthocyanins, an antioxidant found substantially in blueberries, are also effective in lowering LDL cholesterol and balance up your overall cholesterol levels.

5. Green tea
Scientific studies have found that green tea help lower overall cholesterol and LDL in particular. As reported by Reuters in November 2011, a study in the United States that has over a thousand participants has shown that green tea helps lower bad cholesterol readings.

Read more:

Friday, 28 June 2013

What Are Solar Panels Made From

The 5 minute video covers how solar panels work and how silver and silicon are used in making such panels, pointing out that it is the combination of silicon, which is used to make solar cells, and silver, which is an efficient conductor, that creates electricity.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

5 Foods That Relieve Constipation

1. Prune Juice
Prune juice is rich in dietary fiber. Fiber is mass that helps pushes everything in your stomach and intestines forward when it moves through you and ultimately out of the body. Besides food fiber, the laxative power of prune juice is also attributed to sugar alcohol known as sorbitol.

2. Ripe Bananas
Bananas are a good source of soluble fiber known as pectin, which are useful in regulating movement through the intestines, thereby treating constipation.

3. Apples
Apples are a good source of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber soothes the digestive tract, normalizes the intestinal contractions and regulates bowel function to prevent constipation and diarrhea. Insoluble fiber passes through the gastrointestinal tract quickly and helps pushes the food and waste out of your body.

4. Papayas
Papayas contain a compound called papain, which is a protein-digesting enzyme. It helps the body breaking down proteins into over 200 amino acids. Papaya enzyme also has antioxidant properties that promote digestion, as claimed by George Mateljan Foundation.

5. Cabbage
There is a waxy, indigestible substance in the head of cabbage called roughage. Roughage is another name for dietary fiber. Due to its presence, cabbage is a good food to relieve constipation.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Joke - Irish Family Tradition

Paddy had long heard the stories of an amazing family tradition. It seems that his father, grandfather and great-grandfather had all been able to walk on water on their 18th birthday. 
On that special day, they'd each walked across the lake to the pub on the far side for their first legal drink.

So when Paddy's 18th birthday came 'round, he and his pal Mick took a boat out to the middle of the lake. Paddy stepped out of the boat and nearly drowned. Mick just barely managed to pull him to safety.

Furious and confused, Paddy went to see his grandmother.

"Grandma," he asked, "It's my 18th birthday, so why can't I walk 'cross the lake like my father, his father, and his father before him?"

Granny looked deeply into Paddy's troubled brown eyes and said, "Because your father, your grandfather and your great grandfather were all born in December when the lake is frozen, and you were born in August, you dip stick"

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Good Corn - True Lesson Of Life

There was a farmer who grew superior quality and award-winning corn.

Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won honour and prizes.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learnt something interesting about how he grew it.

The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field.

If my neighbors grow inferior, sub-standard and poor quality corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn.

If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn."

The farmer gave a superb insight into the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbour's corn also improves.

So it is in other dimensions! Those who choose to be at harmony must help their neighbours and colleagues to be at peace,

those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches.

And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

If we are to grow good quality corn, we must help our neighbors grow good quality corn too....

Monday, 17 June 2013

Charlie Rose Interview With Lee Kuan Yew (16 Sep 1923 - 23 Mar 2015)

'Charlie Rose' show, host Charlie Rose interviewed Lee Kuan Yew, Former Prime Minister of Singapore about the new global order. (10/23/09)

"An hour with Lee Kuan Yew" is broken into 6 parts , each about 10 minutes.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sweet Potato And Health Benefits

Superior fiber content
Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving, they make an excellent starchy addition to any meal. The high fiber content gives them a “slow burning” quality. This basically means their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate.

They contain a large amount of vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial in breaking down a substance called homocysteine, which contributes to hardening of the arteries and blood vessels. Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely.

In addition, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of potassium. Potassium plays an important role in lowering blood pressure by ridding the body of excess sodium and regulating fluid balance. It is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system.

Rich in beta-carotene
Beta-carotene or vitamin A is an important antioxidant. One medium sweet potato provides your body with the complete recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and then some. Vitamin A is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer as it is one of the most potent antioxidants out there.

Beta-carotene also helps to internally protect your skin from sun damage by both deflecting and repairing cell damage caused by excessive UV exposure. It also is an excellent nutrient for eye health and has been linked to prevention of vision loss and macular degeneration.

A great source of manganese
Manganese is a little-discussed trace mineral that has some great health benefits. It is a pivotal component in the metabolism of carbohydrates which helps support healthy blood sugar levels. This can help stabilize the appetite for hours as opposed to the temporary satisfaction that comes with most other carbohydrates.

It also is a cofactor in enzymes that play an important role in the generation of energy as well as the efficient utilization of antioxidants. It is used for the treatment of anemia and is useful as a treatment for several premenstrual symptoms in women as well.

Rich in vitamins C and E
As if being one of the top vegetable sources of beta-carotene weren’t enough, sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins C and E. These are potent antioxidant vitamins that play an important role in disease prevention and longevity.

Both vitamins also play a huge role in the health and beauty of your skin and hair, making them popular supplements. The combination of beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C in one food makes the sweet potato one heck of a “beauty food”. These nutrients all contribute to a healthy, glowing complexion and vibrant hair.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Joke - Senior Thinking

A balding white haired man from Naples, Florida walked into a jewelry store this past Friday evening with a beautiful much younger gal at his side.

He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his girlfriend.

The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a $5,000 ring.

The man said, "No, I'd like to see something more special"

At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought another ring over.
"Here's a stunning at only $40,000"

The lady's eyes sparkled and her body trembled with excitement.

The old man seeing this said "We'll take it".

The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the man stated
"by check. I know you need to make sure my check is good, so I'll write it now and you can call the bank on Monday to verify the funds and I'll pick up the ring on Monday afternoon.

On Monday morning, the jeweler angrily phoned the old man and said
"There is no money in that account"

"I know" said the old man
"But let me tell you about My Great Weekend!"

Not all seniors are senile !


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Bubbles And Cycles

From the "bear trap" to the "new paradigm, is an exponential function.
"Fear" on the way down is exponential function in reverse and also referred to as "hockey stick".

Another way to depict cycles

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

4 Myths About Durian

This 22 minute video explains the different flavours of durians and how to choose the one you like.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Home Made Vitamin Water

Make your own vitamin water. Add fruits instead of sugar for a natural sweetener Cut the fruit into paper-thin slices or small chunks. Combine ingredients with water. Refrigerate 4-6 hours and serve over ice. So delicious and very refreshing!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Dragon Fruits And Health Benefits

Dragon Fruit Varieties:
  • Hylocereus -- it features red-colored skin with white-colored flesh.
  • Hylocereus polyrhizus -- the fruit has red-colored skin with red-colored flesh.
  • Selinecereus megalanthus -- it has yellow-colored skin with white-colored flesh.

Red and White Dragon Fruit

Source ...(link)

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Recipe - Duck With Salted Mustard Leaves Soup (Kiam Chye Ark)

The duck soup with pickled (or salted) mustard leaves or kiam chye used to be common fare in Singapore. Thirty years ago, it was quite easy to tuck into this hearty bowl of kiam chye ark soup at many eating places. Today, this duck soup with pickled mustard leaves is considered a gourmet dish.

Surprisingly, this kiam chye ark soup is much easier to cook than the braised duck (or lor ark).  The essential ingredients are the duck and the kiam chye. Other ingredients are added for flavour and for goodness.

As the soup is meant to be consumed, it should be tasty and healthy: a hint of salt, sour and sweet. As for the duck which is a lot tougher than chicken, the meat should fall off the bones. So it requires a longer cooking time.

Another key thing to remember is that the duck has strong smell. To get rid of the smell, I boil the duck for 5 minutes in boiling water added with 2 tablespoons of rice wine. Ginger or vinegar can also be used to get rid of the smell.

This recipe is a combination of 3 other video recipes which are embedded below. I added wolf berries for their sweetness and wolf berries are also good for eye health. Dried lily bulbs are added for fibre and they are known to stop coughing.

Half a duck (about 1.1 kg)
250 grams salted mustard leaves, cut into bite size
kiam chye
2 tomatoes, cut into large slices
1 thumb ginger, julienne
2 pcs of sour plum
A handful of dried lily bulbs, soak in water for 5 minutes (optional)
1 tbs of wolf berries (optional)
2 tbs rice wine for blanching duck
2 tbs rice wine for finishing
2 tbs of sesame oil
1 tbs of whole white peppercorn
(Note: 1 part mustard leaves by weight to 4 parts duck is about right)

I bought the half a duck from the supermarket and it came already cut up into 8 large pieces.
I just had to take out the skin and cut off any obvious fat.

Step 1
In a pot of boiling water, toss in the duck.
Add 2 tbs of rice wine and let the duck boil for 5 minutes.
This should get rid of any excess fat and also get rid of the duck smell.
Set aside the duck.

Step 2
The pot must be large enough to hold the duck and other ingredients, at least 3 litres.
Heat the pot on medium high.
Add 2 tbs of sesame oil.
Toss in the salted mustard leaves and julienne ginger.
Stir fry for 1 minute or so, for fragrance.

Add the duck
Add enough water to cover the duck
Toss in the dried lily bulbs, 1 tomato, wolf berries and 2 sour plums and white pepper.

Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 1 hour.
Do check at intervals of 15 minutes and top up water if necessary.

Finally, when all is done
Toss in the last 1 tomato (for decoration and freshness)
Add 2 tbs of rice wine (for flavour)

Now the kiam chye ark is ready to serve.
Everybody can cook their own kiam chye ark !

Get some tips from these 3 videos on how to cook kiam chye ark.

This video is from Taiwan. The language is a mix of hokkien and mandarin.
The first 6 minutes is for the kiam chye ark.
The duck is blanched in hot water and set aside.
The salted vegetable is fried with sesame oil for fragrance.
Julienne ginger and white pepper are added, also for fragrance.
Rice wine and dried lily bulbs are added.
The dish is simmered for 30 minutes.

In this 2 minute video, the kiam chye ark is a Peranakan version.
It is called Itek Tim in Peranakan language.
She added pork belly for sweetness and dried tamarind for the sour taste.
She added 2 cloves garlic and simmer the dish for 85 minutes.

This is a mandarin version (13 minutes) of kiam chye ark. It is in mandarin. She explains the rationale for using each of the ingredients.

One whole duck is boiled without skin to get rid of the smell and fat.
Her ingredients:
1 whole duck without skin (2.2 kg)
500 grams salted mustard leaves
2 to 3 tomatoes
3 sour plums
2 nutmeg
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon wolf berries
2 tablespoon rice wine

She blanched the duck to get rid of the smell.

Next she put everything into a pot and cooked for 1 hour

Nice !

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Beauty Of Mathematics

Absolutely amazing!
Beauty of Mathematics !!!!!!!

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn't it?
And look at this symmetry :
1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Recipe - How To Make Crispy Lotus Root Chips

The lotus root is the under-water edible root or rhizome of the lotus plant. The root grows underwater in mud. It is crunchy, sweet and has a delicate flavour. It is used commonly in Chinese and Japanese cuisines, mostly in a soup. The Japanese call it renkon.

The lotus root has lots of phyto-nutrients, especially vitamins B and C and minerals. It is best known for drying up mucus and stopping cough.

The lotus root is also a versatile vegetable. It can be fried till crispy to make a very tasty and delicious snack. Be warn that the crispy lotus root can be addictive. Once you take a bite you won't be able to stop. It is crispy and naturally sweet.

How to make them crispy ? 

You will need a slicer to slice the lotus root thinly and evenly. Peel the lotus roots and slice them up thinly.
Pat dry the sliced lotus roots and you are ready to go.
lotus root

Note: No salt is needed as the lotus roots are naturally sweet.

To save oil, I fry them in small batches in shallow oil till golden brown.


Heat the required amount of oil in wok or deep fryer on medium.

When the oil is hot, toss in the lotus root.

The thinner they are, the faster they turn golden brown.
It takes about 1 minute for a small batch. 
Set aside on serving plate with paper towel to soak up any extra oil.
Let it cool and serve.


A short 2 minute from Ching He Huang cooking crispy lotus roots

Entertaining video from Iron Chef  on the battle of lotus roots.