Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Adopted Charity

I wouldn't really call them a charity but they are my adopted 'cause' for 2006.

A couple of friends, classmates and schoolmates have taken on the task of sterilizing stray cats in East Coast. They call themselves Project Kucing Coast and maintains a blog at

Other than regularly trying to bring the cats to the vet every wednesday, they also sent 6 cats for Cat Welfare Society's Spay Day.

Recently I helped them out at their fundraising booth at the NVAC Bazaar in NUS. Other than buying a few photos of the lovely cats, I also pledge to bear the cost of sterilizing one male cat. It cost $20 for a male and $50 to sterilize a female.

Alas being a poor student, that's about as much as I can afford. But that's not the end of their cost! They also need funds for boarding the cats so they can recover before releasing them again. There are more than 80 cats there now and some thing must be done to control the population. As Cat Welfare Society writes in their FAQ,

"Sterilised cats will guard their territory against other non-sterilised intruders. The sterilised colony will first stabilise, and then decrease over the years as the cats live out their natural lives. But this is only possible if pet cat owners do not abandon their cats and kittens."
A few people have been asking me what I want for my birthday coming up next month and since I do not really crave for any product of blatant consumerism at the moment, it would really make my day if people would gift me with aid to my 'adopted charity'.

So instead of buying me some consumer product that I might not need, how about contributing similar amount of money towards helping these stray cats?

It's $20 for a male and $50 for a female!

Or you can always buy one of the products that they're selling to raise funds like the lovely postcards and calendars that I myself bought.

I didn't buy this one though... I'm a supporter of adult cats who need more love than the eye candy bambis known as kittens *grin*

Do leave a note in the comments if you are interested.

PS: Understanding the importance for transparency in such things these days, rest assured I will put you through directly with them and since they are relatively new and that I have yet to go down to trap cats with them (which I intend to), I am going to speak with them about accounting directly to the individuals who sponsor the sterilization of a cat with a followup on the money used, the cat sterilized, the update on the aftermath and what not. Alternatively you can go down with them to trap the cat and bring him/her to the vet! That would be the best :) Remember to send me photos!!

Read full article here

Monday, October 16, 2006

NEA website down?

The haze seems to be worsening and from the NUS canteen I can hardly see the port from the Arts Canteen.

This morning, shocked from the hazy skies, I turned on the tv but did not see any PSI indications but upon checking the NEA website, I see that it was only in the 80s.

Right now, checking the NEA website, I find it inaccessible!

Is the NEA website down from too many people trying to access the website? Classmates have confided that they check the PSI almost hourly just as I do.

Finally, I found the latest update of PSI on the Channelnewsasia website.

I wonder where and how they get their data.

Is it time to get face masks yet?

The website appears to be working now.
Must be overloaded the poor thing.

2nd update
It appears to be on and off which proves that the website must have been overloaded at points perhaps. I wonder if there's any correlation with the height of the haze with the height of traffic to the website.

Read full article here

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hazy Days

Hazy Days Non Hazy Days
How different it is!

The haze has finally entered the unhealthy range after weeks of hazy weather. Is this a repeat of 1997 again?

Edit: With the return of the haze, my mom was reminded of 1997's PSI 226 when my granddad passed away due to the effects of the bad air quality. Having already suffered from lung problems having been a quarry worker most of his life, my then 75yearsold grandfather was at extreme high risk being elderly and having poor respiratory system. The hazardous air quality did not help either. He apparently started coughing badly and died on 1 Oct 1997, exactly 75 years from the day he was born. Only 6 days after his 8 years death anniversary, the haze is back. For some reason, I never remembered that he passed away due to the haze but hearing this from my mom right now brings back sharp poignant memories.

CNA reported at 7.45pm today (7 Oct)

"At 7pm, the pollutant standards index (PSI) was recorded at 126.

The highest PSI reading for the year was 130 at 10am on Saturday morning, and the all-time high was 226 in 1997.

The 3-hour PSI reading first entered the unhealthy range at 8am on Saturday morning, with a PSI reading of 101.

It recovered to moderate levels in the early afternoon but fell back later in the day."

Exactly one month ago on 7 Sept, CNA reported the beginning of hazy weathers in Singapore over the next months but then was optimistic in reporting NEA's statement that "air quality is not expected to go into the unhealthy range and it will continue to monitor the situation closely".

Upon examination of the PSI records over the last 1 month by NEA, it does appear this way but then situation suddenly exacerbated over the last few days! In fact, latest record at 8pm is the highest so far at 143! See NEA PSI Records.

Lets all hope this ends soon before getting any worse!

Read full article here

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Green Carnival Day 2

2 days in a row talking to nus undergrads and staff at the central library forum in this hazy condition is definitely detrimental for the heatlh. But nonetheless, yesterday, during the 2nd day of the carnival, we saw great support from the toddycats that came down to support. Many of us almost fell ill with exhaustion and dehydration but we perservered! Even when we were being chased around by the weather - first from the rain, then by the sun - we eventually took to it like fish to water. We moved for a total of 5 times in the 8 hours that we were at the exhibition.

3 env engineers
3 of the environmental engineers from our ICCS team that came down to help out yesterday!

Monkey couldn't last till the end and had to beat a hasty retreat an hour before the closing from the exhaustion. Had to go home for a quick nap before night language classes.

One thing for sure we will be more prepared for future exhibitions (or so we always tell ourselves) but practice does make perfect.

looking pretty
Our Booth

We also managed to sign up several people, with more than ten people signing up over the 2 days' less-than-intensive recruitment. 2 of these recruits being my honors class classmate! Nobody surprising but definitely an encoragement. One of them was hai-ren who is a frequent commenter on duck's blog and an avid blogger himself. The other is amazing claudia, my groupmate in many projects, who has been attending many events. As Otterman said, it's about time to go from participant to volunteer!

CIC also need to do work
Putting the Toddycats' commander in chief, Otterman, to work moving the booth for the millionth time

Not only did we become speedier in moving, we also expanded from 1 table (refer to SEC's booth on the right) to 3 tables!

hiding from the sun
Help help! we're melting in the sun!

Out of all the many applicants, I am sure we will not have any problem meeting our modest target of 5 commited toddycats.

Hopefully we'll be seeing new faces becoming regulars and maybe some becoming toddycattyos! I know the project managers do get sick of seeing the same ole faces every single time :)

Unexpected lot
We even had an unexpected bus load of swiss youth exchange students who were very interested

30 minutes to the last event contributed by the toddycats in this Green Carnival. Otterman will be giving a talk entitled Confessions of an Environmental Activist in Singapore.

Green Carnival 2006

It may be the last event in the official line up of programs in the Green Carnival but it's definitely not the last of us this week. On Friday, there will be free lunch time guiding at the public gallery and on Sunday, there will be Pedal Ubin. It still remains to be seen if Pedal Ubin will go ahead this month, depending on whether we find any participants. Monkey has signed herself up to attend a reef walk on the same day. Ah, why do I exhaust myself so.

Oh well, time to pop by the talk. More reports later!

Meanwhile, photos can be viewed at my flickr set.

Read full article here

Monday, October 02, 2006

Live from the Green Carnival

The first day of the NUSSU SAVE's green carnival has monkey seeing many familiar faces and new ones too. Our booth originally set out for recruitment ended up more in the public outreaching and awareness building of the budding intellects of the premier education institution in Singapore. It's also the first times my friends from NUS actually sees me as a Toddycat. It's probably very weird for them. But it's about time I introduce them to biodiversity in Singapore! One should always start with those around them. But often I find that more difficult than mere strangers. Strangers seems more receptive than friends who write you off from pure familiarity.

During the opening speech, the Deputy President of Administration who was previously from the UC Regents actually commented that he wants to push NUS towards reducing resource consumption and sustainability. That is definitely a good sign. I also met several of the CGC staff that I have only previously corresponded with but never met.

We will be here till tomorrow so do come and see us if you have not already!

Read full article here