The Surprising Relationship of Plants and Music

January 18th, 2016 by author | Permalink

Of course, people love music, and we’ve long known that other animals respond to it as well. Now it turns out that even plants also have the capacity to listen and appreciate melody.


What Spurred the Idea

In 1973, Christopher Bird and Peter Tompkins published The Secret Life of Plants, a book documenting studies that show music affecting the growth of plants. Since then, plant growers and scientists have agreed that there is indeed a positive relationship, theorizing that plants are able to pick up vibrations in the air when music is played.

A Few Early Studies


One of the earliest proponents of using music to grow plants was botanist T.C. Singh from the Annamalia University in India. In his studies, he found that, under controlled environments, playing music to balsam plants increase their size and yield. Later, Eugene Canby, a Canadian engineer, found that playing violin sonatas by Johann Sebastian Bach was also very effective.

What Music Works Best

Classical music appears to be the genre of choice of plants. In one experiment, plant specimens grew toward, and even entwined themselves on speakers playing Beethoven, Brahms, Hayden and Schubert. What about something more modern, you say? Well, it turns out plants are indifferent to pop and country music, averse to rock, but in favor of jazz.

Plants and Emotions

If plants respond to music, it doesn’t take a giant leap of thought to assume that also have feelings. Well, that’s both true and false: that is, while plants can indeed react to outside stimuli (sounds or music, as well as temperature and light), their sensory perceptions are much less developed than that of people or even animals.


4 Signs to Call It Quits

December 8th, 2015 by author | Permalink

It’s devastating to end a relationship. Whether it’s a friendship or a romantic one, deciding to go on separate ways is not going to be easy.


If you’re not sure whether to call it quits with your long-time beau, you have a few advisors: your family and friends. But ultimately, you are the one who’s going to tell whether or not to continue the relationship. Here are five signs that it may be best to call it quits with your partner.

1.       You find reasons to start a fight with him.

You get mad because he wasn’t able to respond to your text right away even though he has told you that he’s with his buds playing basketball. You just become increasingly hot-tempered, raising voice over the smallest reasons. The point here is not him being insensitive, but you constantly looking for a reason to pick a fight with him. It could be because you find him annoying and you’re looking for an excuse to end the relationship.

2.       You no longer put effort to look beautiful.

It’s not that you have to look dolled-up at all times. However, if you have stopped caring about how you look when you two go out, you might want to ask yourself why. Is it because you’re just too comfortable around him or you just think he’s not worth the time and energy anymore?


3.       You find other people more attractive.

Since you’re losing interest with your partner, you suddenly develop crushes on most unlikely people—your co-worker, workout buddy, or even the barista. Whether it’s just a fantasy or harmless flirting, your life now has some unexpected guests that you know—deep inside you—your partner should be alarmed of.

4.       Your gut feeling can sense that the end is near.

Your intuition is the best sign for the end of your relationship. As of now, you’re still worried about the way things are going between you and your partner. You have tried communicating your concerns, but for some reason you feel like you’re not heard. Listen to your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, trust your gut. Don’t worry too much though—ending your relationship means you can both move on to much better lives—and partners, soon.

It’s difficult to decide whether you should end a relationship, especially if you love the person and you have been together for quite some time. However, if the relationship does you more harm than good, ending it could be the best thing you can reward yourself.



Had Too Much Drink to Drive? These Apps, Devices Can Keep You Safe

December 3rd, 2015 by author | Permalink

Sometimes, you get so drunk that you believe you can still drive. And if you’re lucky, you have a good friend who’ll politely get you a cab instead. Unfortunately, you can’t rely on others all the time, especially when they are as sober as you are. That’s why these apps and devices exist. We all know that that driving when drunk isn’t safe, but f this doesn’t convince you, maybe these apps and devices will.


1.       Guardian Interlock

If you have serious problem with drunk driving, then this device is the best solution for you. Guardian Interlock has breathalyzer that’s attached to your car’s ignition. You won’t be able to start your car unless you’re legally sober to drive. Although it’s quite expensive, this is definitely worth the money if you need it.

2.       Edison’s Craft Beer BAC Calculator

You can find a ton of blood-alcohol content (BAC) Calculators in the app market, but this one is said to be the most effective among the rest because= it can detect the exact beer you’re drinking with its accurate search tool—you can find pretty much any beer on it. Afterwards, you enter your gender, weight, and the number of hours you have been drinking. Hit the “Calculate BAC” button, and you’ll get your BAC result.


3.       Alcohoot

So far, this is the coolest BAC device in the market—it transforms your smartphone into a breathalyzer. It is a lot cheaper and better looking than most breathalyzers, and conveniently plugs into your phone’s headphone jack. This tool uses an FDA-approved sensor, the same technology that cops used at DUI checkpoints, to analyze your breath. Another great thing about this technology, it comes a free app to help you understand your BAC and alcohol intake.

4.       Uber

Other than analyzing your BAC, it’s also important to secure a safe ride home when drunk. If you’re too intoxicated to drive, let Uber service take you home. This app allows you to easily book a cab to take you to your destination. You don’t even have to worry about having enough cash on hand as Uber accepts payments via credit card, Google Wallet, and PayPal.

There are so many road accidents caused by drunk driving. If you don’t take precautions, a fun Friday night can turn into a weekend of disaster. Take advantage of these mobile devices and applications the next time you decide to grab a few drinks with friends.


Les Miserables in 10 Minutes

November 15th, 2015 by author | Permalink

What do we do when we have spare time? We go to movies but we rarely consider a musical. Some Singaporeans are not big fans of musicals but it doesn’t mean that it is not as beautiful as motion pictures. We have to see one of the finest so we can change our mind about musicals.


Why not start with Les Miserables? Les Miserables is actually one of the most common musical plays in the world. If we want to witness one, we can look forward to Les Miserables here in Singapore. The musical play will be held at the Esplanade Theatre in May 2016. The acclaimed producer Cameron Macknintosh will be in charge. The tickets range from $58 to $228. The tickets will be on sale starting on November 2. The coordinator is MediaCorp VizPro International.

Les Miserables is a musical based on the novel of French poet Victor Hugo. Here are some things that we need to know about Les Miserables before going to the musical come May 2016:

  • Background: Les Miserables is originally released in French. Its first adaptation was offered at Palais des Sports way back in 1980. In 1983, director Peter Farago presented Cameron Mackintosh with the French concept. Mackintosh then produced it in English version. Mackintosh initially presented the musical for British audience and the success led to Mackintosh’s Broadway production.
  • Response: The opening in London at first was not so good because reviews were negative. Literary scholars did not take the musical seriously however, the public has different view. The public considered the musical box office.


  • Abstract: The story revolves around Jean Valjean and his survival. The story speaks of the survival of the human spirit.
  • Musical numbers: There are two acts. The first act includes songs like “Prologue Work Song”, “Prologue: On Parole”, “Prologue Valjean Arrested, Valjean Forgiven”, “Prologue: What Have Done?” and many more. The second act includes songs like “Building the Barricade”, “On My Own”, “At the Barricade”, “Night of Anguish” and many more.
  • Characters: Characters include Jean Valjean or also called Prisoner 24601, Inspector Javert, The Bishop of Digne, The Factory Foreman, The Factory Girl, Fantine, Crone, Bamatabois, Fauchelevent, Champmathieu, Madame Thenardier, Gavroche, Enjolras, Marius Pontmercy, Eponine, Brujon, Babet and many more. In May 2016, the characters include Simon Gleeson (as Jean Valjean), Earl Carpenter (as Javert), Patrice Tipoki (as Fantine), Kerrie Anne Greenland (as Eponine), Chris Durling (AS Enjorlas) and Emily Langridge (as Cosette).

Let us all be excited. We will find inspiration when we hear and understand Valjean’s and other endeavours of characters.


Giving Little Things Up for Bigger Things

November 11th, 2015 by author | Permalink

Can Singaporeans afford to buy a home these days? If we really put our heart and mind to it, nothing is impossible but there are many Singaporeans who still live with their parents because we have to admit that buying a home here is not so easy and affordable. If we really want to buy a house, we have to give up little things so we can make way for our biggest purchase.


We have to sacrifice and let go of many things especially extravagant expenses if we really want to make the purchase. We deserve a fine home and it will be up to us to make things happen. Before anything else, we have to delve deeper into our spending habits. We admit that sometimes, we splurge on things that bring us instant gratification like travelling, shopping and buying gadgets.

It is time that we curve our spending habits. Here are the little things that we need to give up just to give way to bigger things:

  • Cut latte: Coffee is part of our life but it doesn’t have to be an expensive habit. We have to cut our trips to coffee shops every day and just settle with making coffee ourselves. We will be surprised how much money we can save if we cut that latte. Even if we think the cost is irrelevant, if we gather everything, it can help us buy that furniture or that monthly mortgage payment.
  • Trade diamond rings: If we are planning to propose, diamonds are good but we need cash more. Instead of diamond rings, we have to look for rings that are affordable and spend the rest for the down payment or mortgage.


  • Home cooked meals: Going out to fancy restaurants is a fine experience but it can affect our budget especially if it is expensive. The best thing to do is invite friends to stay in the house and just cook home meals.
  • Skip buying gadgets: There are gadgets that we need. We should focus on that instead of finding excuses to get it. If we can live without those gadgets, we have to be smart about it and not consider it.
  • Staycations: One of the most expensive activities that we consider is travelling out of town or overseas. If we want to save money, we have to consider staycations instead. It can make a difference at the end of the day.

Being a homeowner entails a lot of responsibilities. In this particular purchase, we will be introduced to a concept not all people know – delayed gratification. The more time and effort we put into something, the more rewarding it can be.


6 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Halloween

October 18th, 2015 by author | Permalink

Many people across the world celebrate Halloween simply because it’s fun. However, that doesn’t give any explanation as to why kids dress up in costumes and go trick-or-tricking, nor answers why orange and black is Halloween’s colours. Here are six fun and spooky facts you may want to know about the holiday.


1.       Irish Origin

Halloween is said to be an Irish festival, which is celebrated at the end of the harvest season. The tradition soon spread to other parts of the world as the Irish leave their country after the potato famine.

2.       Halloween Costumes

The tradition of dressing up as ghosts originated from Irish Celtic tradition. The horrific costumes are meant to disguise people as demons and ghosts in order to avoid being recognized as humans by the spirits wandering around on Halloween night.

3.       Trick or Treat

The history of trick-or-treating originated from the superstition that ghosts disguise themselves as humans and knock on houses to ask for food or money. If they were denied, the ghost would haunt or curse the person who refused their request.


4.       Halloween Symbols

Halloween symbols aren’t picked randomly. Spiders, bats, and black cats are all associated with Halloween because of their spooky history. All of tem were believed to be familiars of witches and are said to bring bad luck.

5.       Finding a Soulmate

In some parts of Ireland, people once celebrated Halloween by playing fortune telling games. These games are said to reveal who they would marry, and when. And since Halloween was one of those annual celebrations where young people could mingle with one another, it was also believed to be a good day to search for a sweetheart.

6.       Jack-O-Lanterns

The origin of carving pumpkins originated from a Celtic folklore of an intoxicated farmer named Jack, who tricked the devil and paid the ultimate price—forcing him to wander purgatory for neither the heaven nor the hell would accept his soul. Since he’s stuck in earth, Jack carved a lantern out from a turnip and placed inside it the burning lump of coal that the devil gave him.

Apart from Christmas, Halloween is one of the most popular events that people from all over the world celebrate. It’s a fun experience to take part on this annual celebration, but do remember to always keep yourself self safe and do not harm others.


Fun and Creative Ways to Keep Kids Entertained In Weddings

October 16th, 2015 by author | Permalink

Entertaining kids at weddings is one of the most asked bridal dilemmas. Why? Because, apparently, kids are picky and gets bored very easily. A wedding day can be incredibly long and boring for children, so expect to see plenty of whining, sleeve-tugging, and early departures if you don’t put enough thought on the entertainment of your little guests.


To save your dear friends from the problem of pacifying tantrums, have a collection of these fun activities prepped and ready for your little guests.

1.       Make Their Table Kid-Friendly

You want to wow the kids so they would want t stick to their table while the rest of the wedding program is happening. You can use a paper tablecloth where they’re allowed to write and draw all over. And instead of flowers, have bouquets of sweets and treats as table centrepieces.

2.       Have a Bubble Station

Kids love blowing bubbles, so make use of it to keep the little ones occupied. Plus, bubbles last a while, are not messy, and look stunning in photographs—not to mention they’re incredibly cheap, too.


3.       Hire an Entertainer

From a balloon artist to a clown, there are plenty of kids entertainers that you can book to keep your little guests from boredom while the adults party the night away. If hiring a professional entertainer seems too costly, tap a family member or a friend who might love to present a puppet show for the totes.

4.       Let Them Play Photographer

If you’re expecting just a handful of children, give them the task of being your wedding photographer. Provide them a list of the things to photograph along with a disposable camera. You may be surprised of how artistic the children can be in photographing you on your big day. P.S. Hiring a professional photographer is still necessary.

5.        Provide a Play Ground for Them

Creating a separate space for the kids at your wedding is a great way to keep them all in one area (where their parents can see them)—plus it gives them the independence from the parents, which what kids want. Provide them with snacks, games, and baskets of mixed toys, and chances are you won’t hear a peep from them for hours.

Weddings, while fun and joyous affairs for adults, tend to be tiring and boring for the little ones. However, if you’re prepared with ample entertainment sources, it’s certainly possible to celebrate your wedding peacefully and blissfully with kids.


5 Ways to Balance Your Time for Your Guy and Your Friends

September 26th, 2015 by author | Permalink

Balancing your time for your new guy and your girls can be a bit tricky but it can actually be done if enough effort is exerted and with the right planning. Still wondering how it can be successfully done? We’ve listed down five tips on how you can manage your balancing act with some of the most important persons in your life.

Teenage Girl Friends Hanging Out

1.       Set a Schedule and Prioritize. Schedule a day for your girl’s night out and for your date with your guy. During those times, make sure to show some respect by being really there. Ensure that both your body and mind is present during your get-togethers. On the days where you have a hectic schedule, set a specific day for your friends and your guy. This way, you get to see them while still being able to look after your own needs.

2.       Honour Your Commitment. If Saturday nights are meant for your girls, then stick with it. Show up and be there mentally and physically. Never cancel your plans with them just because your boyfriend asks you to do so. If there’s an emergency you need to attend to, let them know beforehand so that they’ll be able to rearrange their plans as well.

3.       Plan Group Outings. If both your boyfriend and friends are comfortable hanging out together, then consider going on group outings. It’d also be a great idea to have his buddies join. That way, you get to introduce his squad to your own squad and you’ll become one awesome group.

Friends hanging out by a pool

4.       Meet New People Together. Meeting new friends together with your beau is actually a good idea. Through this, you’ll be able to meet individuals who have a good understanding of what it’s like to be in a relationship while keeping your friends satisfied and happy.

5.       Spend Some Time Apart. Regardless of how much you want to keep your guy and your girls happy, understand that you’re not a machine. You also need to have some me-time. Spending some time apart is actually healthy as it allows you to breathe. So go ahead and tell your beau that you need to have some me-time. We’re sure that he needs it too, and he might thank you for giving him his personal time.

When you’re in the I-want-to-spend-my-life-with-you-24/7 phase of your relationship, balancing your time between your friends and partner will really be hard. But by learning to prioritize and stay true to your commitment, you’ll definitely be able to divide your time between them without neglecting your own needs.


5 Healthy Seeds Worth Adding into Your Meals

September 23rd, 2015 by author | Permalink

For most of us, seeds only serve as an afterthought: toppings for our muffins or a salty snack. However, it’s about time that we start seeing these little seeds as a source of nutrition in our diets, and incorporate any of the following seeds in our meals.


1.       Chia Seeds. These seeds are probably one of the healthiest seeds out there. Apart from being packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds also help in boosting energy and forming strong bones and cartilage. Other than that, these seeds can also serve as a useful component in your weight loss program as it can fill you up faster. So use it as a replacement for your eggs every now and then for a healthier meal.

2.       Hemp Seeds. Considered as a superfood and complete protein, hemp seeds are rich in copper, fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium, and omega-3 and -6 acids. These seeds can even serve as a great replacement for energy bars minus the sugar and unhealthy additives. What’s more amazing is that unlike other protein-rich foods like cheese, eggs and meat, hemp seeds can be easily digested.

3.       Pomegranate Seeds. Unlike most seeds, pomegranate seeds can be instantly eaten once the fruit is sliced open. Apart from being high in fibre, folate, potassium, vitamins C and K, these seeds are also rich in antioxidants. With this, you can now fully enjoy eating the pulp and seeds of the fruit.


4.       Poppy Seeds. Extracted from the opium poppy flower, poppy seeds are obtained after the flower’s seedpods have dried, rendering it free of any narcotic effects. These seeds are rich in copper, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, linoleic and oleic acid, and zinc. Just like other seeds, it can be consumed as is or based on your personal preference.

5.       Sesame Seeds. Apart from adding a delicious crunch and nutty taste to our dishes, this seed is also rich in fibre, calcium, iron, folate, manganese, magnesium, potassium, protein, zinc, omega-6 and vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6. Other than that, sesame seeds also contain nutrients known as sesamolin and sesamin, which helps in preventing high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels.

Apart from giving an earthy feel to our meals, adding these seeds into your diet will also help in ensuring that you get all the necessary nutrients that you need every day.


Installing Voice Recognition Apps? Try These

September 16th, 2015 by author | Permalink

Voice recognition software is not new here in Singapore. Well, it may be new in the past years but now, many applications are readily available for smartphone download and installation. In the past, voice recognition only applies to our PC. If we had experiences with voice recognition software in the past, we would say that it got us frustrated – the tedious task of repeating words over and over again. At some point, this urged us to hate our PC.


We can go slow with our PC now because we can install voice apps through our smartphones. The good news is that voice recognition software these days is enhanced. Voice recognition is better thanks to its improved speech recognition capabilities. The improvement of voice recognition’s speech recognition capabilities upgraded user interfaces.

Another reason for the increasing popularity of voice recognition apps is the dominance of laws here in Singapore restricting cell phone use whilst driving. Bluetooth headsets are helpful when driving but we need access to our text messages and email too while driving. This fuelled the demand for many voice-based applications. We are lucky that there are many apps that can give us access. Here are some voice recognition apps that we can choose from:

  • Google Mobile Apps: This is free for iOS, Blackberry and Android users. Whatever platform we use, whether it is Android or iOS, we can give our fingers rest with the help of Google Mobile Apps. The application will give us access to Google through our voice. We can search the web or our contacts without even lifting a finger.
  • Bing: Bing also has this voice recognition app. This app is free for iOS and Android platforms only. Bing is Microsoft’s own creation and it can deliver mobile searches powered by our voice as well.


  • Vlingo: Vlingo is accessible for iOS, Android, Nokia, Blackberry and Windows Phone. The good news is that it is free for basic version only. If we will try the Plus version, prices will apply. Vlingo boasts of its personal assistants. These personal assistants will help us with our Facebook update status, search the web and bid.
  • Siri: Sir is only for iOS users. Siri is exceptional because she can do things like locate theatre tickets, make dinner reservations and book taxis. Siri will also know our personal preferences over time.
  • Pro: As the name suggests, this app can help us especially when driving. We do not need to be out of touch when we are behind the wheels. The app is available for Android, iOS and Blackberry only but with a price – $13.95 per year. This app can read to us our text message and send responses through our voice.