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Friday, October 29, 2010

Italian town ban mini-skirts

Women planning to visit this small Italian town had better not pack any mini-skirts or low cut tops.

Authorities in Castellammare di Stabia near Naples, have decided to fine women who wear skirts that too short or show too much cleavage up to 600 euros about S$700, the UK's Daily Telegraph reported.

The move against provocative clothing has raise eyebrows in a country which has produced sex symbols like Monica Bellucci and Sophia Loren.

The town council also wants to ban men and women from wearing low-slung jeans as part of a list of 41 new rules that "every good citizen must respect", the report said.

Mayor Lulgi Bobbio said it was all part of an effort to "restore urban decorum and improve coexistence."  The aim was to target people who were "rowdy, unruly or simply badly behaved".

Playing football in parks and gardens and swearing in public will also be banned under the new regulations.

If the new regulations are approved, offenders will face fines of between 25 and 500 euros.

The report said that Italy has become entangled in a web of petty rules and regulations in the last tow years after the government of prime minister Silvio Berlusconi gave councils extra powers to tailor laws to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

So be careful if you happen or going the above mentioned town near Naples in Italy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

No Short Skirts & Slippers for tertiary Students

The long running debate on what is proper attire for tertiary students flared up again last week, when some Republic Polytechnic students were warned that they could be banned from lectures.

The warning came via an email to students. It said, "Please note that students are not allowed to enter the class if they are found to be improperly attired."

After directing the students to the hand-book on what constituted proper attire, it when on to say, "If you are seen wearing slippers, a stern verbal warning will be issued first by your class facilitator.

"If the warning is note heeded and you return with slippers on the subsequently days, you will be refused student entry to the class and will be marked as absent."

In a footnote, it explained that "slippers are termed as any footwear with straps and exposes parts of the foot example heel and toes.  Hence, the safest footwear to wear would be covered toes shoes.

It is imposed to prepare students for the realities of industrial internships during their education at our polytechnic and for working life after they graduate.  In both private and public sectors, dress codes are part of corporate practice.

It represents one part of Republic Polytechnic efforts to deliver on our promise of holistic education.  Future employers expect that polytechnics act as the final post before they enter working life.

However, the rules have not been strictly implementing these rules in most of the other polytechnics and universities.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bathroom -"Room for Improvement"

Bath time tips:

Surveys have shown the bathroom is one of the most common places where domestic accidents happen.  It is as high as 70 percent of all domestic accidents happen there.  Furthermore, if it is not cleaned regularly, it can be a haven for bacteria and other unpleasant things.

Here are some ways you can make your bathroom a clean and safe place.

 Invest in a good bathroom mat to place outside your bathroom door, by the bathtub or next to the shower area.  Make sure it got a rubber backing so it will not slip and slide on the wet floor.  And they can also add a nice splash of colour.  Do not forget to wash and clean the mat regularly, it is a hot spot for bacteria.

Brushing your teeth in the shower may save you a couple of minutes when you are rushing for work in the morning, but do not keep your toothbrush anywhere near the toilet when your are done.  Scientists have discovered that your brushes can collect more bacteria than there is on the toilet bowl itself!

Make sure locks can be opened from the outside in emergencies.  Millions of people become unwell in their bathrooms every year.  It is important they can be reached quickly if they need help.

Avoid using harsh chemicals products such as chlorine bleach, ammonia, aerosols, formaldehyde and phosphates.  Use eco-friendly products that are environmental friendly to your home, safer for your family and at the same save the earth.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Young and Stress Out

Unlike adults, stressed kids tend to have more physical or somatic complaints.  The child may appear to fall ill more frequently or have declining academic results.

     Eddie was a disruptive ten years old student in class.  Adept at annoying his teachers, he was constantly on detention during lunch time.

     Although he was the clown in class, whose crazy antics tickled his classmates, he did not appear to have many friends in school.  His teacher found him to be hard working but is losing patience with him.

     Without a clearer understanding of him, it is easy to label him as a trouble maker.  However, clinical psychologist Ms Lyn Worsley, a child adolescent and family therapist, advised that such cases are not so straightforward.

     In Eddie case, it was found that his poor behaviour in school was a manifestation of childhood stress.  He was one of the many children with behavioral problems Ms Worsley, director of Alpha Counselling Services sees at her clinic in Sydney.

     Author of The Resilience Doughnut "The Secret of Strong Kids, a resource book that helps young people through stressful times.  She will talk about building resilience in children at a public forum organised by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

     According to her, Eddie's family life appeared to be a difficult one.  His parents worked full time in their own business and this meant that Eddie was left alone most of the time.  He rarely talked to his parents due to their exhaustion and distraction

     "While this appears to be unrelated to Eddie's significant behaviour problems in school, Eddie's stress was evident in his inability to relate with others and express his needs," she said.

"My tummy hurts"
     A child who experiences stress may not behave in the same way a stressed-out adult does.  Younger children tend to have more "masked symptoms", said a senior consultant and chief of the department of child and adolescence psychiatry at IMH.

     "At their young age, they may not have the language skills to describe the stress they are undergoing."
"Unlike adults. stressed out kids tend to have more physical or somatic complaints.  The child may appear to fall ill more frequently or have declining academic results."

     Ms Worsley added that children also have less control over their emotions, and hence react to them in ways that are difficult for adults to understand.

     So while adults may start snapping at people or simply become quiet whenever they are feeling stressed.  A child who feels pressured in his everyday life may interpret stress as irritation in their bodies, resulting in changes in bowel habits and tummy aches, said Ms Worsley.

     She added that they may also become more demanding and revert to earlier developmental behavior like bed-wetting and tantrums in some cases.

     While there are no official statistics to show how stressed out Singaporean kids are, a 2007 local study done by IMH on 2,139 primary school children found that 12.5 percent of them had emotional and behavioural problems.

     Over at IMH's child guidance clinic, which sees children aged six to 19, outpatient cases have risen by 16 percent from 2006 to 2009.  Often many of the cases cite academic stress, peer and family pressure to do well in school as the reasons for their emotional and behavioral problems.

What’s causing your child’s stress?
     Often, Dr Fung said the main source of stress for children comes from environmental changes due to issues such as marital conflict between their parent's.  “Children are still not masters of their own fate.  A child’s stress is often linked to his adult caregivers,” he said.

     Routine and predictability give a child some of control over their lives.  In today’s hurried pace of life, children who has no say in their lives will also experience stress, added Ms Worsley.

     However, Dr Fung said it is important to note that some degree of stress may not be a bad thing, since it drives a person to better himself.  “Stress is only bad when it is chronic, unpredictable and hard to control,” he added.

Enter Resilience Building
     While it may not be possible to change the temperament a person is born with, Ms Worsely said resilience skills can be built to help him cope more efficiently in tough times.

     “Resilience is not a personal trait but rather a process,” she said.  In Ms Worsely’s Resilience Doughnut model, a child’s resilience can be honed by building strong environmental factors around him.  There are seven types of environmental strengths; parents, skills, family, education, peers, community and money or work.

     “From these seven, a child needs only three to work well for him to develop resilience,  It is even better if he has more, but child who has less than three will not have the best environment to build resilience skills,” she explained.

     Ultimately, the onus is on parents to monitor their child’s emotional well-being, said Dr Fung.  “It is not just all about ensuring the child does well in school.  Keep in touch with his or her emotional needs too.  Support them without mollycoddling or over protecting them,” he said.

Articles by Bernard Teo

Black and White Photography

     The fundamental basic of photography actually started with black and white photography and many Professional Photographers and Photo Enthusiasts do enjoy and appreciate Black White Photography.

     Moreover, Black and White photo is long lasting than colour photo which faded after a few years.

     Photographers who had gone through the black and white course and printed their own photos’ will never forget the beauty of black and white photography as a Fine Art-Form

     It is not so much on just shooting but the after process.  One had to develop your own negative and you learned to master the art of printing your own photographs.

     Stepping into the darkroom is most interesting part of Black and White Photography with all the happening.  You begin to see your negative images being projected on the easer one by one; you begin to tell yourself this is not sharp enough, some need to crop away and others composition not good enough……….etc.

     You realized how important to see and compose an image before you click the shuttle.  While doing the printing process you learn to master the art of using your both hand to help do dodging and burning here and there to enhance the images.

     The biggest challenge was while you are developing your own printing in the darkroom, the satisfaction when you see the images appearing on the photo paper after you had immersed into the developer.
     This can be testified by the numbers of black and white enthusiast or course students who had attended the black and white photography course conducted by Photo Clubs or Photographic Societies.
     In colour photography you can play with colour to bring out the subject but black and white photography you must train to look at the fundamentals basic of composition, contrast, textures, lines, shapes, light and shadow, backlighting or highlight to create a more dramatic image.

     Black and white is all about capturing a sense of the dramatic, so if your subject has texture that is naturally dramatic, then you are in the right path toward making a good black and white photo.  With black and white, try to keep some symmetry in your texture.

     It’s easier to create stunning black and white photos when you have symmetry in your texture because it can sometimes be lost in colour.  Symmetrical textures in black and white are consistently beautiful and offer something the eye cannot capture as well when working in colour.   

     To understand and master black and white photography you must understand the concept of grey scale.  You see a piece of black and white photo is not really only black and white but it’s actually lots of different shades and depths of grey.

     The interplay of managed tones found within a photograph becomes a joy to behold and brings great satisfaction to a photographer.

     The use of filters especially the darker-orange filter is a must for general black and white photography.  If you wanted a high contrast or a high key image, a red filter will help to enhance the image to look more dramatic.

     Black and white photography has seen something of a resurgent lately and it’s getting a lot of attention in the digital photography magazines, books, blogs and websites.

     Perhaps it’s about people wanting to get back to basics; or perhaps people are just continuing to fall in love with the mood and atmosphere that black and white images conjure?  Or digital camera owners rediscover the beauty of monochrome images.

     Conclusion, be it Black and White or even Colour Photography the most important quality is “Passion”.  It is passion that drives you to stay up late and wake up early to discover the secrets of Photography.  Passion gives you power and keeps you going while others may have given up long ago
     Secondly, I always believed that one must first understand their equipments well & master the fundamental basics principle of photography.  Many great photographers are those who had learned or mastered the art’s basics and blend that understanding with their personal creativity to produce or capture those beautiful images.

     If we strictly adhere to rules then we are hindering the development of photography and discouraging the artistic and creativity of every individual.   Keep practice and practice till you get it right, there is no other way.

Articles by Bernard Teo