Structured Remedial Programs To Be Suspended For JC2s, Says Mr Bala

Mr Bala has made an unprecedented announcement to suspend all Structured Remedial Programs (SRPs) with effect from 31st July. The move was reportedly made to avoid students and teachers from suffering fatigue in college as the Preliminary examinations draw closer.

SRPs have been implemented to provide more time for the respective subject tutors and/or lecturers to teach additional study resources to their students. The aim of the program is to guide weaker Tpjcians in their studies so that they can improve and eventually do well in upcoming class tests and examinations. The sessions are usually held from 5-6pm. There are exceptional cases, for example the Economics SRPs, which starts from 6pm and end an hour later.

Nevertheless, consultation sessions are still encouraged, according to Mr Bala. The college has decided to perpetuate the private remedials so as to allow Tpjcians to clarify any uncertain concepts with their tutors. More quality time and attention can be given to the students, making it a more effective learning experience for them.

In my opinion, I believe the college has made a pragmatic move in its attempt to help Tpjcians do well in the upcoming Preliminary examinations, which is about two weeks from now. Firstly, the new measure is a plus point for students who have been consistently doing well in their work. Instead of squandering their time in college, they should be given ample time to revise their work at home.

As for the weaker students, more attention can be given to them as the lessons are now conducted with their own tutors. I believe having your own tutors to coach you is fundamental as they are the ones who know your strengths and weaknesses best. Having them to guide you until the 'A' levels will definitely ensure that your fullest potential is met.

Finally, the cessation of all SRPs will be beneficial to our hardworking teachers. They can have more time to prepare for future tutorial lessons, mark our test papers and even go through the specimen examination papers from other Junior Colleges (JCs). Overall, I think suspending the SRPs is a good move.

What do you think?

Official Launch Of The Adoption Of Sungei Tampines River by TPJC

26th July was the date of the official launch of the adoption of Sungei Tampines by TPJC. The river which is located in the North-eastern part of Singapore has been adopted by TPJC to ensure that the vicinity is kept pollution-free and well-preserved. The 6km long river is the latest addition of the college family which aims to nurture eco-friendly citizens in the future.


Did The Standard Of Our College Modern Dance Team Really Drop?

Soon after DanceFest '08 ended, our modern dance team faced immense criticism, particularly from the college blogosphere. Some accused that their standard have dropped ever since their seniors left them. Others commented that it was just unlucky of them to be performing with the likes of Meridian Junior College (MJC) dance team. The rest claimed that the winner, Project Crunk, was way better than the college dance team.

nothing interesting. anyways, it was unanimously decided that TP's modern dance SUCKS! wa lao pls la. they all look like kids dancing lor. and they'd invited the MJ dance to come and perform. wa lao they come out only it's so obvious MJ dance is much much better and polished. plus, they had at least 3 guys.

Nevertheless, the majority of the critics agreed on one thing - their performance lacked energy. If you study the three different opinions above, you should be able to figure out that the critics believed that the current TPJC modern dancers failed to dance as energetic as their seniors, the guest performers and of course, the winners of the competition themselves.

what i saw was disappointing though. no offence but im sure most people'd agree that our school's dancers aren't good enough save for a couple. Madeline was awesome. popping and pumping and whatnot in every item. but really, the dance team had no energy whatsoever and had no synchrony. i was definitely expecting much more at the tertiary level but nah.

In my opinion, I truly believe that our college modern dance team had given their best in every performance. Regarding the accusations that the standard have dropped ever since their seniors stepped down, I think perhaps its because of the time constraint. Perhaps, they were given less time to build the chemistry and confidence among members. This could be due to the implementation of the new rules which shortened the number of CCA days.

my fren from poly who watced dancefest said that its as if TPJC dancers never eat! no energy!

A dancer can only be perform with energy if he is confident in his steps. A dance crew can only perform with energy if they are confident enough to perform their steps in near-perfect synchronization together. And to have that requires a lot of team building and chemistry.

As for the comparisons between the TPJC modern club with MJC and Project Crunk, I leave you to decided if the argument is justifiable.

The latest victims of our 'comparing attitude'.

JC Rankings (Friendster Groups)

How the rankings are calculated

(i) Either Friendster group or profile of the respective Junior Colleges (JCs) are taken into account.

(ii) For Friendster groups, we use the data of the number of members added. For Friendster profiles, we collate the number of friends accepted.

(iii) In the case whereby multiple Friendster groups or profiles are present, only the one with the most number of members or friends is included.

(iv) The rankings follow the assumption that the number of spam members is negligible.

(v) The current list is updated as of 25th July 2008.

(vi) The list is not an official release by Friendster. It is done by TPJCian magazine.


2008 Friendster Junior College(JC) Group Rankings

(1) Serangoon Junior College [900 members]

(2) Temasek Junior College [823 members]

(3) Tampines Junior College [769 members]

(4) Catholic Junior College [548 members]

(5) Anderson Junior College [528 members]

(6) St. Andrew's Junior College [486 members]

(7) Anglo-Chinese Junior College [469 members]

(8) Hwa Chong Junior College [461 members]

(9) Nanyang Junior College [453 members]

(10) Victoria Junior College [404 members]

(11) Meridian Junior College [280 members]

(12) National Junior College [222 members]

(13) Pioneer Junior College [114 members]

(14) Innova Junior College [104 members]

(15) Raffles Junior College [84 members]

(16) Yishun Junior College [31 members]

(17) Jurong Junior College [14 members]

TPJC College Road Run '08: Missing Out On The School Spirit?

Bad weather coerced the 23rd annual College Road Run to be postponed for an hour. The first event of the day (Competitive Boys Race) was commenced by our Guest-Of-Honour, Ms Evelyn Ng, at around 9.30am. The event was followed by the Competitive Girls and Staff Race before ending with a Recreational Run. Competitors covered a total of 3km in each category. This year's College Road Run which took place in East Coast Park offered medals for the top thirty positions in both the Competitive Girls and Boys events respectively.

It was raining, and so everyone took refuge at the Seafood Centre.

The Eagle house emerged victorious by clinching the Overall Champion House trophy this year. It was a memorable experience for Tpjcians as they cheered on their friends to the finish line. Participants for the competitive races tasted glory as they crossed the finish line, overcoming the rain which blurred their vision earlier during the day. Route marshals and first aid personnel were stationed at the turning point of the route to ensure that the race went smoothly. Our teachers were not left out and they showed their support by participating in the events too - competitive or recreational.

College Annual Road Run at East Coast Park on Wednesday. Haha we weren't competitors, but as Route Marshal. We stationed ourselves at the turning point, other than going crazy (as usual for my CG) and having fun among ourselves, we cheered for the competitors! :D

Earlier this week, Ms Helen Choo, encapsulated the whole event with a disappointed tone. She was disheartened by the attitude of a group of students who blatantly left the park before the whole event ended. Was it the bad weather which spoilt the mood of the Tpjcians?

So all the poor TPJC students had to wait till about 9.30am, before things finally got started. Nothing much happened cause plenty had already left by then, but hell the guys can run really fast! 3Km in about 11 mins!

There were also reports that the PE Department struggled to enrol Tpjcians to participate in the competitive events. Was it a case of apathy in the part of Tpjcians?

Few days later, a teacher in P.E department said it's compulsory for every class to have 3 girls taking part in the college road run- competitive. Maybe there was only one person who took part, and obviously that person can't be competing alone.

As for me, I was impressed that the thick black clouds and pelting raindrops did not enervate the runners at all. They displayed great athleticism and gave their best in their respective events. Their efforts should be recognized.

Photo credits to Neo Jun Yong Timothy (PhotoShare album)

What do you think?

Plastic Bags To Be Banned!

The Los Angeles City Council had made a unanimous decision to impose a ban on plastic bags from stores in the city. From July 2010, consumers in LA have two choices to keep in mind before shopping - either to bring their own bags or pay 25 cents for a paper or biodegradable bag.

"We've gotten to a point where we need to act as a city, where we can have real results," said Councilman Ed Reyes, who proposed the bag ban. "We're trying to do it in a way where we can educate and inform the public of what we're doing."

The main reason why the use of ubiquitous flimsy plastic bags is outlawed is due to its non-biodegradable characteristics. This means that it takes many years for the plastics bags to fully decompose by bacteria. As a result, the city has to incur huge costs to manage the used bags by daily cleanups.

Los Angeles is not the first city to impose the new law aimed at curbing land pollution caused by the plastic bags. San Francisco implemented a similar scheme in early 2007, banning plastic checkout bags at large supermarkets and chain pharmacies. Paper bags are now frequently used by the shoppers.

Nevertheless, some people believed that although the ban will help combat land pollution, other problems such as land and water pollution will rise.

Paper bags, meanwhile, generate 70% more air pollutants and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This is because four times as much energy is required to produce paper bags and 85 times as much energy is needed to recycle them. Paper takes up nine times as much space in landfills and doesn't break down there at a substantially faster rate than plastic does.

Are Singaporeans ready for such a ban? In my opinion, we are not ready to embrace such a new ruling yet. I have seen shoppers who are still oblivious of the 'Bring Your Own Bag' day. It will take time before we can fully get ourself involved in the green revolution. As for now, what the Singapore government can do is perhaps to copy paste the system in educational institutions. It may be useful to inculcate the good habit of using lesser plastic bags. Perhaps, the Good News Cafe can have a promotion whereby students who return back their plastic cups will get a stamp on their reward cards. Collect 12 stamps and you receive a free drink.

What do you think?

Late Night Study Is Back...Now With Food And Drinks!

The college administration had released details of the dinner set menus which will be available for TPJCians who choose to study till late in the library. This move was made following the college's decision to extend the library hours to 8.45pm on weekdays. Furthermore, students who wish to revise their work in the library during the duration of the time extension can purchase food coupons from the Good New Cafe. These coupons can be exchanged for sandwiches and drinks, from 5-6.30pm.


The school canteen operator, John Cafe, has also prolonged their operating hours to 8pm as of 22nd July 2008. The measure was taken to meet the rising demand of TPJCians studying late in school. In general, the new system has been well-received by the student population. A majority of them are satisfied with the price of the set menus, which are as follows:

Sandwich + Cold/Hot drink + Mentos ($2.00)
Lo Mai Kai + Cold/Hot drink + Kit Kat ($2.00)
Chicken Burger + Cold/Hot drink + Kit Kat ($2.30)
Hot Dog Bun + Cold/Hot drink + Mentos ($2.30)

Nevertheless, a few TPJCians pointed out that food and drinks should be allowed to be consumed in the library. They preferred to enjoy their meals while studying at the same time, but was denied rights to do so due to the rules and regulations in the library. Perhaps, there should be a corner for TPJCians to feel their stomachs?

I was informed that a few neighbourhood libraries such as the Sengkang Community Library opened mini-cafes in the library itself for the readers to patronize. Moreover, I was also notified that Temasek Junior College (TJC) has such facilities in its library too.

What do you think?

Hundreds Of Dead Baby Penguins Washed Ashore

AP Photo |

Hundreds of baby penguins swept from the icy shores of Antarctica and Patagonia are washing up dead on Rio de Janeiro's tropical beaches, rescuers and penguin experts said Friday.

More than 400 penguins, most of them young, have been found dead on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro state over the past two months, according to Eduardo Pimenta, superintendent for the state coastal protection and environment agency in the resort city of Cabo Frio.

While it is common here to find some penguins -- both dead and alive -- swept by strong ocean currents from the Strait of Magellan, Pimenta said there have been more this year than at any time in recent memory.

Rescuers and those who treat penguins are divided over the possible causes.

Thiago Muniz, a veterinarian at the Niteroi Zoo, said he believed overfishing has forced the penguins to swim further from shore to find fish to eat "and that leaves them more vulnerable to getting caught up in the strong ocean currents."

Niteroi, the state's biggest zoo, already has already received about 100 penguins for treatment this year and many are drenched in petroleum, Muniz said. The Campos oil field that supplies most of Brazil's oil lies offshore.

There are two possible theories to explain this phenomenon:

1) Sea pollution is believed to have diminished the animal's immunity, hence allowing funguses and bacteria to weaken their lungs more easily. They are unable to survive while at sea.

2) The young penguins are more prone to sickness as they now have to swim in a more treacherous ocean, with stronger currents and more frequent cyclones, all as a result of global warming. As nature becomes more ferocious, the penguins are having difficulty searching for food.

What is your opinion?

Project Crunk Wins TPJC DanceFest '08 + 7 Blogger Reviews!

The full review of DanceFest '08 will be available soon.

Photo credits to Nur Hidayah Bte Jais (PhotoShare album)

Watch their winning performance below:


Dancefest was probably one of the things i'd looked forward to all along. what i saw was disappointing though. no offence but im sure most people'd agree that our school's dancers aren't good enough save for a couple. Madeline was awesome. popping and pumping and whatnot in every item. but really, the dance team had no energy whatsoever and had no synchrony. i was definitely expecting much more at the tertiary level but nah. Hai Sing dancers can pwn them at a dance-off or something tbh. sorry but they really didn't do the art of dance justice. =/


Yesterday's TPJC Dancefest was f-f-fabulous! Only when Project Crunk performed, though. The other items that competed were no match for Luqman's group. They stood out by a mile. Even my sister was amazed at his moves. Hah. The first item was disturbing. We thought it was some group that was gonna perform. But no. Street Catz was just one, gayboy. Doing some sleezy dance that almost made me want to run up to him and punch his balls in.


TPJC Dancefest 2008 was normal but the fun part was laughing my crew at the steps.
Mind you, we had to sit on the steps.
And Misery Business was just quite bad.
Does not sound like Paramore. HAHA!
But the main aim was catch Ms. Farisya as she was dancing.
I'm proud of her, she still got the skills.
All i can say, i think the other hip-hop dance was just normal.
I think because i see these dance in Poly and it's way better.
But TPJC reminds me of BGSS. hoho.


The next performance was the highlight of the day. It was an awesome way to start off the competition. It was Sylvester! He’s kinda known in TPJC for being a little… queer. Well, the rumours I heard were true. He did perform a stripdance to a PCD song - Buttons. But some other rumours weren’t true. I heard that he was gonna lapdance a random guy in the audience. That didn’t happen. Dang, I’d love to see the facial expression of the guy who got lapdance-d.


ytd we went to TPJC for Dancefest and saw alot of people. Joanne, Pris, Huihui, Amb, Jd, Yt, henry, rizuan etcetc. Quite a number of nc pple went, mjc pple went, ex-nch pple went. Actually overall it was not very nice but winnie's dance was as elegant as ever. the other dance groups eh.. not very nice 'cept for the winning group. i still cannot fathom why did they put a drama performance in a dance event.


went for the dancefest at tpjc today, it was good.
i was really impressed by most of them, esp project crunk who got the champions, they were damn good.
and that well known gay in tpj was really an eye opener, his performance was...brave. haha.


Project Crunk was the highlight of dancefest. They were good! The sync and choreography was good. One of them, Fuad's friend, did a really nice handstand, glided and flipped (not all at once though). I wish I could do all that cool moves.

After Project Crunk won and dancefest was over. Some people wearing matching clothes went on stage and started breaking. They must have thought that TPJC is totally noob. But I think they're weird. Calling themselves BBoys for life (on their shirts). They looked like a group form japan or something.


An Interview With Ex-TPJCian, Lina Bte Jalal: Direct From London!

Written by azhar.

Connecting with current and graduated TPJC bloggers.
TPJCian Magazine: Where Bloggers Unite!

I would like to express my gratitude to Ms Lina for taking her time off from her busy schedule to answer my questions. It has been a pleasure interviewing you. = ) I hope Mrs Lim Yit Han reads this - your student is looking for you!

1) Which batch of students were you in previously in TPJC? What was your

civics class?

I entered in 2001, second intake. My civics class was 01S02.

2) Do you still roughly remember your civics and/or subject tutors?

Of course! I remember all their names and faces (as well as some other tutors whom I had the fortune of meeting during my time in TPJC) as well as some of their quirks, but some have left the school. I'm not sure if they remember me though, although Mrs Lim Yit Han (my Physics tutor) had contacted my mother before to ask how I was earlier this year. I only remember good memories, but I don't think there were any that were bad in the first place. One reason I liked TPJC was because I liked learning, and that was augmented by the tutors who taught me.

3) Which CCA were you in last time in TPJC? Any achievements?

I was in the Student Council (that's another reason I liked TPJC). I liked preparing and planning events, although it was stressful at times. When I was in the SC, it was also the year when TPJC was doing the pre-U seminar, hence we had usher duty, and we had more usher duty during the Teacher's Day Rally which was held in 2001 as well. I can't remember what achievements exactly we had, but I remember that (after a few hiccups) all our events ran smoothly! I never regretted joining the SC, it helped me gain some experience in event-planning as well as leadership in general.

4) What was the most memorable experience/event during your stay in TPJC?

I'd say being in the Student Council was the most memorable experience, but I can't pick out a specific event, because there are too many, and some things will stay well within the 16th Student Council.

5) How well did you do for your 'A' levels?

My results were GP B3, Malay B3, Maths A, Physics A, Chem A, Bio A, Maths (Special Paper) Merit.

6) What are you doing now in London? What is your occupation now?

After my A-levels I went to London to study at University College London for a Mathematics degree for 4 years. I now hold an MSci (a Masters in Science which is a combination of BSc and MSc) and I'm currently studying for a Maths PhD at the same university, in Number Theory. I'm still a student but it definitely feels like more like work, as I don't have a regular vacation anymore.

7) Do you still keep in touch with your ex-classmates? Do you miss college life?

I've only kept in touch with two relatively regularly (I also keep in touch with some ex-councillors), and even then it's difficult because I live in a different country most of the time and I'm not very good at emailing. I have an aversion to social networking websites eg. Facebook but I guess if I were on one of those I might keep in regular contact with more. I'd like to know where my ex-classmates are now, and I guess most of them would be working or finishing up their degree.

I miss college life sometimes. It was the last place I went to for education before being thrown into the deep end in a foreign university, so TPJC will always hold a special place in my heart for being "safe", among other things. I know the school has been painted over and there are new additions. I think the last time I went back was quite a few years ago, maybe in 2005. It's difficult to imagine being in college now though, because the education system has vastly changed since I was in school. The syllabi have changed, project work is now compulsory (it wasn't in 2001) and school policies must have changed too.

8) Any shout-out to your teachers or friends?

I'm lousy at shout-outs, but I hope that my ex-tutors are well and remember me fondly (if they do at all!) and friends, please let me know how you are. And Mrs Lim if you read this, I'm doing well. I tried contacting you back but I guess it didn't work out.

Should We Change Our Blog Design?


10 Ways For TPJCians To Stay Awake During Class

Compiled by azhar.

We often struggle to keep our eyes open during lessons, especially the dry ones. Classes conducted in the late afternoon are the most badly affected. Tpjcians often try their best to stay awake during class, but at times the weight of the eyelids is just too heavy for the muscles to support. It will not take long before we find ourselves flying kites, fighting aliens or even making out in our dreams. Below are 10 ways to keep yourself awake during tutorials and lectures.

1. Eat healthy snacks
Eating a snack—especially carbohydrates and proteins—can help energize you. I liked taking a bag of healthy cereal like Cheerios to my very early or very late classes. I would eat the cereal one piece at a time—the carbohydrates plus the act of making myself take one at a time really helped me stay awake. If you need a burst of energy, try eating fruit like sliced apples or grapes instead of a candy bar. Junk food, obviously, is not a good option.

2. Drink water
Dehydration can really wipe you out, so bring a water bottle to class with you. Neither soda nor alcohol (which is very dehydrating) is a good substitute for water to keep your body hydrated.

3. Get interested in the lecture
A lot of your interest in a lecture is effected by your attitude. If you go in thinking it’s going to be boring, you’ll probably be bored. Even if you’re taking a required class, try to get interested in the lecture each day; it will help you stay alert. Try to learn at least three things you didn’t know, and tell someone about them after class. It might sound kind of lame, but it will help you stay awake and learn.

4. Singing in you head
If you are sitting in class completely bored, than try to sing a song you like in you head. You know those times when you get some song stuck in your head that you absolutely hate. Try to get a song stuck in you head, but make it one you like.

5. Take a break
Request permission from your teacher to go to the washroom. During the break, splash cold water onto your face to keep yourself fresh. Walk around school for a few minutes just to get your brain active again.

6. Tap you feet
This one does not have to be loud or obnoxious. Even if your class room has hard floors you can still do this without making too much noise. Keep the heels planted and tap the tips of you feel softly. Do this while singing a song in you head and you can stay happy.

7. Play with an object
Many teachers find it annoying if you are playing with something and not paying attention. So to pull this off were a light jacket or a hoodie. Basically anything that has pockets on the side will do. Just put you object in it and play away. The trick is you want to have something interesting. Coins and bottle caps are ok, but anything you can bend and manipulate is even better.

8. Bring a newspaper or magazine to class.
Reading interesting material, or doing the newspaper's daily puzzles can be helpful in staving off sleep. Unfortunately, newspapers make lots of noise, so have the puzzle you want to do ready if need be. On a side note, teachers don't really like it when you read newspapers in their class, so be sly about it. However, don't read the newspaper or magazine for the whole period! 5 minutes should be enough to get your mind active again.

9. Use technology!
In the age of modern technology, there are many different items that are small, hand-held or can be easily brought to class. Some materials that I have found helpful in keeping dreams at bay are laptops, and cell phones. However, just like newspapers, teachers tend to not like cell phones in class. Computers on the other hand seem to be perfectly fine. So if you are having trouble with a boring lecture, just start messaging a friend, or maybe look up something on your laptop.

10. Prepare for future lectures.
Reading ahead in the text could further your knowledge of the subject's material, and help you on the next quiz or test. This new material could be interesting enough to keep you awake until the end of the class period.

Do you have a tip for Tpjcians to keep themselves awake in class? Share with us by writing a comment above!


Our Security Guards Getting Stricter?

went back to tpjc with joan today to collect my SGC and A lvl cert. woah! the file they give super nice. how i wish i can get one for every graduation. i really hate going back to the sch. everytime i go back, nth good will happen. lyk today, normally, i only have to change 3 buses to get to sch. but today, i dunno what the heck happened, there's lyk no buses! so in the end, i changed 5 buses to go to sch. super expensive lah. the security has become stricter and i'm glad i brought along my a lvl cert that i received previously to gain entrance to the sch. if not, i'll hang myself there. LOLS! the sch has change quite a bit. we den had breakfast in sch, then we head off to sentosa.


there was once,after friday prayers i went into sch wearing slippers,the bald guard scolded me and asked for my ezlink card.i told him i had my shoes in my bag and would change on the spot,bt he told me to go out of sch and change..i was like,was he serious? then i changed on the spot and my friend waited for me.he told my friend to go away and whey must he wait for me? my friend was not wearing the collar badge,but was in full uniform.the guard asked,what school was he from..haha.i think we should all one day irritate the guard to the max (im joking,any attempt to do so is strictly at your own risk).haha.
Muhammad Rasikin B Abdul Samad


I'm sure there will be more to come. And with all this negativity surrounding this security guard, I think it's probably time for a review. I don't think the admin can see it because they have a higher authority than the security, and it's really up to the school to believe us.

I doubt we have anything to gain from making up stories. Yeah bascially that security guard, I don't have good experiences with him either. Once in a while he uses foul language and yes, he is egoistic. But that's probably just him, but I think he should learn to get a hold on himself since he's at work and he's an adult.
Cheot Yee Chien 07S26


TPJC Open House: 5 Blogger Reviews!

Click on the image to proceed to blog.
Reviews arranged in random order.






TPJC Shooters Bring Home 10 Gold Medals In 'A' Division Tournament

Written by azhar.
Contributed by
Adeline Pranata (08S02).
Information courtesy of
Sean Ang Hong Da (07S33).

They gunned down 24 medals in one tournament. Our very TPJC shooters have managed to win an impressive 10 gold, 1 silver and 13 bronze medals in the recent 'A' division shooting championship. Two of them, Sean Ang and Neo Cai Xiang, emerged as champions for the Air Pistol boys and Air Rifle girls events respectively. Below are the main achievements during the tournament:

Air Rifle Boys

East Zone 3rd

Air Rifle Girls
National Individual 3rd - Neo Cai Xiang
National Team 3rd Runner Up
East Zone Individual 1st - Neo Cai Xiang
East Zone Team 1st

Air Pistol Boys
National Individual 2nd - Sean Ang Hong Da
National Team 3rd Place
East Zone Indvidual 1st - Sean Ang Hong Da
East Zone Team 1st

Ex-TPJCian Nominated In Ping.sg 2nd Anniversary Blog Awards

Written by azhar.

Mr Adam Zhang, a 01S06 alumni from TPJC, has received a total of three nominations for the Ping.sg 2nd Anniversary Blog Awards. Ping.sg is a community meta blog for Singapore bloggers. His blog is a nominee for the Best Photoblog, Most Insightful Post and Best Photo Post categories.

Below is a snippet from his post which is nominated in the Most Insightful Post category:

Like anywhere else in Singapore, Nanyang Technological University is following the trend to promote people bringing their own shopping bags.

According to an email sent to all students, each plastic bag will be charged for $0.10 in the week starting from 10 March 08 at all shops and markets in NTU.

First of all I doubt what is wrong with using plastic bags. In many other countries, littering and improper waste treatment of plastic bags are causing a lot of problems, and plastic bags hanging at the roadsides would literally become ‘National Flag’ at some places. But it’s very different in Singapore. Quoting the National Enviromental Agency website, “Our operations over the years have resulted in Singapore having one of the most efficiently operated refuse collection services in the region.” With 92.7% of total waste (including plastic bags) incinerated in 2007 and used to generate 3% of electricity in Singapore, I don’t see a strong relationship between saving plastic bags and saving the environment here.

Yes, I understand Singapore is targeting Zero Landfill and also to increase the Recycling Rate from the current 51% to 60% by 2012, but shouldn’t people focus on other issues such as waste sorting collection?

Read more HERE.

Voting will close 6pm on Thursday, 17 July 2008. Winners will be announced on 19 July 2008 (Saturday) during the The Ping.sg 2nd Anniversary Party and Blog Awards II ceremony which will take place in Fig & Olive at Bencoolen Street. So what are you waiting for? VOTE NOW!

TPJCian Clinched Silver Medal For 110m Hurdles Event

Written by azhar.

Fellow Tpjcian and athlete, Shawn Wee, has made TPJC proud by clinching a silver medal for the 110m hurdles event in the 49th Inter-School Track and Field Championships 2008. He clocked an impressive timing of 00:15.40 seconds to come in second behind Joel Wei from Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC).

Congratulations to Shawn Wee for this tremendous achievement.

Photo credits to Muhammad Alsyaari (PhotoShare album)

WaterColours '08: TPJC Open House

Written by azhar.
Edited by DJ.

Being a youth is the best time for you to realize your fullest potential, both as a student and a responsible citizen. In Tampines Junior College (TPJC), the teachers provide full care to nurture you into a successful individual with a bright future ahead. TPJC has a committed group of teachers who will go the extra mile to make sure every day is fun and meaningful for you in college. The unique learning experience offered will enrich your mind with the best education available.

Photo credits to Mdm Wendy Lee (PhotoShare album).

Many students are drawn to TPJC as it provides a holistic education system, making sure every talent is recognized and not wasted. Contributions by outstanding athletes and performers are honoured with full esteem in front of the entire student population. Talent contests and sports tournaments are also prevalent in TPJC not only to sieve out the best talents in college, but also to allow Tpjcians to have fun in the midst of examinations and tests yet to come. Tpjcians are constantly encouraged to try out new things in their stay in college so that they can discover their hidden abilities.

Photo credits to Mr Nordin B Hassan (PhotoShare album).

TPJC is amongst the leading tertiary institutions in Singapore for its effort in preserving the natural environment. In the future, TPJC will play an integral role in preserving water since its adoption of the Tampines River. It was a proud moment for TPJC as it is now the front runner for water preservation in the eastern region. It showed that TPJC wants its students to excel in opportunities beyond just academics as the global community grows to become more eco-friendly. This level of excellence is mirrored in its effort to educate its students through trips to water recycling centres such as WaterHub and projects aimed to uncover innovative ways to promote awareness regarding water conservation.

If you wish to be part of the TPJC family, then do come along with your friends to experience the TPJC spirit - one that is unrivalled anywhere.

21st Century Digital War: Recording Companies vs File Sharing

Written by azhar.

Face the fact: The music industry is lost in the Internet revolution. Record companies are spending more time filing lawsuits against music fans than promoting album sales. Music lovers who download music online via file sharing programs are now viewed as Internet delinquents. Their actions are regarded as subversive of the traditional music industry.

Album sales dropped for a seventh consecutive year in 2006, but a significant increase in digital downloads provided a lifeline for the music industry. The iTunes store, run by Apple Inc., is one of the leading players in the digital music market. Online music stores carry two fundamental benefits for consumers. Firstly, consumers are able to choose and buy only the track(s) that they prefer from the album. Secondly, music fans can purchase music in the comfort of their homes.

However, despite all the advantages offered to the consumers above, music fans - especially the teenagers - are still downloading songs from P2P (peer-to-peer) programs such as Limewire and BitTorrent. The main reason why the illegal activity still subsists today is due to many reasons, ranging from the inability for teenagers to possess a credit card to the common belief that illegal download is an acceptable practice in the society. Nevertheless, the most vital reason may be the advancement in information technology and the Internet which has made it much more easier and 'safer' for teenagers to download and share songs illegally.

The earliest form of copyright infringement in the music industry is taping, whereby people record music directly from the radio. In the past, they would use tape recorders to do the job. The audio quality was low when played back. Now, music listeners are able to record the entire song in perfect quality, by connecting a modern microphone to another computer. The recorded track then undergoes a series of 'technical improvements' using sound-tweaking programs available widely in the market. The end product can then be stored in mp3s or iPods.

Instant Messaging has also evolved since the past few years. In the past, users can only engage in a conversation with their peers online. Now, they can share files via Instant Messaging programs such as Windows Live Messenger. This feature has made it easier and perhaps 'safer' for teenagers to share their latest music favourites with their friends. Well, all you need to do is to ask your friend to record a song from YouTube and send it to you straightaway. It is that simple.

Another suspect responsible for the murder of the album sales is the emergence of many softwares aimed at protecting the privacy of P2P users. Among the most popular is PeerGuardian, a software which blocks all traffic coming from suspicious IP addresses. The software is free to download and proven very effective. With the development in the Internet technology, it is no wonder teenagers are not at all intimidated by the penalty of illegal downloading. It is so easy to circumvent the law that the rise of Internet pirates seems inevitable.

Instead of attempting to squeeze music sharing to extinction, record labels should make use of its wild popularity. They should turn file sharing into a boon and bridge the rift with the millions of music lovers out there. It is about time we start believing that music sharing does not hurt the artist; perhaps, it can help make him or her more successful.

Popular hip hop star, 50 cent, explained, “The concerts are crowded and the industry must understand that they have to manage all the 360 degrees around an artist. They, (the industry), have to maximize their income from concerts and merchandise. It is the only way they can get their marketing money back.”

It makes sense. P2P (peer-to-peer) programs allow complete freedom for its users to upload and share music to millions of other users worldwide. The popularity of the artist and his songs will sky-rocket as a result of this. File sharing can expand an artist's fan base and stretch his target listeners, tapping into the adult as well as youthful market. The surge in fame will translate into a higher or even sold out figures for both his concerts as well as line of merchandise.

Nonetheless, there is a limitation to the point above. If music is authorized to be spread freely in the market, this can lead a major unemployment crisis in the music industry. Experienced recording producers, engineers and studio managers may lose their jobs. Furthermore, file sharing may adversely affect consumers. A fall in demand for CD sales will force record companies to incur huge losses. The companies have no choice but to pass the higher costs to consumers in the form of higher prices. Thus, file sharing does not benefit legitimate buyers.

There are other solutions to clear up the mess. In France, a small group of lawmakers wanted to adjust an anti-piracy law that would establish a so-called global license fee that - once paid - would permit Internet users to download unlimited digital music and films from the Internet for personal use.

"Artists currently get no money from peer-to-peer sharing, and with this fee at least they would get some," said Aziz Ridouan, a 17-year old high school student who has fought for Internet rights as president of the Association of Audiosurfers. "If the government and industry attack downloaders aggressively, we will just go underground with encryption and all chance of revenue will be lost."

The global license fee appears to be a prospective solution to counter the problem of illegal downloading or file sharing. It benefits the society as a whole: producers as well as consumers. Consumers can enjoy a wide variety of high quality tracks of their favourite artists and upload them in their mp3s or iPods legally. They are no longer blacklisted and labelled as Internet criminals. Meanwhile, record companies can also benefit through the establishment of the global license fee as a source of revenue. This will in turn encourage them to sign new artists apart from producing more songs by current stars.

Another answer to the issue is to treat music as a piece of art as it is. Consumers should be granted rights to place a value on the music - like how they place a bid on art paintings during auctions - and donate the money to the artist. This idea seem revolutionary but it has been experimented by English alternative rock band, Radiohead, who invited their fans to decide how much they want to pay for their new album. The model was successful, spurring other bands such as Oasis (who is not attached to any record label) to follow in their footsteps. It broke the convention that music always comes with a fixed price tag; music now has it own value.

Imposing a new or stiffer law to combat file sharing should be the last resort. It only acts as a measure to deter potential music pirates. It is just not pragmatic to use legislation as a solution to the problem. The police can only identify the culprit by tracing his or her IP address. This poses another potential complication - what if someone else uses your IP address to download music?

English soul and R&B singer-songwriter, Joss Stone, said, "The only part about music that I dislike is the business that is attached to it. Now, if music is free, then there is no business, there is just music. So, I like it, I think that we should share.”

Perhaps it's about time we free music from its chains.

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