Thursday, 12 December 2013

The Effects Of Eating Too Much Chocolate

Ok, so if you know me you would also know I am a big fan of chocolate and I can eat a bar a day (which is what I did that my Mom asked me to write this blog post or I would not be allowed to buy or eat and chocolate anymore). Ironically, I am eating a piece of chocolate right now (at least it's not a whole bar. And it's 78% dark chocolate which supposedly is healthier than normal milk chocolate).

Anyway, back to the topic. I did my research and found out there are beneficial and detrimental effects if you eat chocolate. The latter, as everyone already knows, is high in sugar and all that, and also makes you more obese and may cause headaches. A popular belief is that it causes acne as well, but such an effect is not supported by scientific studies and research. 

Believe it or not, there are many beneficial effects too. Cacao and dark chocolate can support cardiovascular health. Other effects still in research include a lower risk in cancer, cough and heart dieseases (Wow). Also, the potential health effects of dietary chocolate can lower blood pressure and improve vascular function and energy metabolism. Now I wonder if my Mom will still stop me from eating chocolate. Huehuehue :)

With chocolate regards, 
Xavier

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Book Reflections: Pants

After I read this book I learnt nothing as its a "funny" teen kind of book, not those inspirational ones, but I still have to write my afterthoughts so yeah.
I think that this book is quite funny as the main character was accused of being a stripper because of a very ridiculous turn of events. It was also quite pitiful for the main character as his crush was taken away by his brother and his mother turned out to be a real stripper. Overall, I think this book is quite a ridiculous yet comical book at the same time.

Book Reflections: How Stella Saved The Farm

  After reading this book, I have learnt more about innovation and how to make a business successful. In this book, Windsor Farm is a farm run only by animals. Many years ago, Windsor Farm was at the top of the farming industry, but now they are facing a big problem: humankind has managed to overtake them by inventing and making use of machines like tractors to aid in their cultivation of crops.
 The animals decided to experiment on another business: making high quality alpaca wool. The idea was created by young Stella the sheep. This has taught me that innovation and entrepreneurship can appear at any moment and thought of by anyone of any age. A few weeks later, the alpaca arrived at the farm. At first, the sheep and alpaca were at loggerheads with each other and frequently quarrelled. Mav, the head of the alpaca wool business, also had a hard time dealing with Rambo, head of the sheep wool business as times were tough and they had not enough money to purchase another machine for the alpaca wool so they had to share the machines. Many of the farm animals thought investing on alpaca wool would cost money and would have not much positive cash flow, but after many hardships and difficult times, the alpaca wool business finally pulled through and became a success. I have learnt from this that business and new investments are not always very successful at first, but if you persevere until the end, it will surely show its benefits to your businesses.

Sincerely, Xavier.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

GCP Trip: Kalasin Reflections

  I went to an overseas service learning trip from 28 October-1st November to teach English(For my group we had to teach them directions) to Thai students from a primary school. I was delighted to receive the news after the EOYs. I was looking forward to it for very long but the day finally came.

  28 Oct (1st Day)
  I had to wake up at 5am to get ready and head off to Changi Airport Terminal 1. Thank God that my Mom was there to send me there. After we met and made sure everyone was there, we got our tickets, checked in our luggage, took a group photo and headed off for departure. We had to transit at Bangkok before we flew to Kalasin. We had lunch first, then went to the hotel to check in.We then arrived at the school we were working with to teach the Thai students. We were very warmly welcomed by Kamalasai School with a speech by the director and a delicious dinner before going back to the hotel to wash up and go to sleep.
My roommate was very nice and we enjoyed sharing the same room and staying up to eat chips. (We brought a lot of snacks!)

29 Oct (2nd Day)
  I woke up at 5am local time to wash up and went down to the lobby to play cards with my friend. (Don't tell!) We then headed to eat breakfast in our own groups. After that, we went to Kamalasai School for assembly and introduced ourselves before going for a dry run with the Thai students from Kalamasai School. We had lunch and headed to a Cultural Centre to learn more about Thai agriculture and how they used innovativeness to create natural products with lots of advantages like coal from bamboo and natural oil. I am grateful that we could learn so much.

30 Oct (3rd Day)
   We went for the joint assembly with Kamalasai School again and one of us gave a speech to the school. We then went to teach the primary students with the help of the students of Kamalasai. We were very happy and energetic when teaching the first batch, but when the second batch came into the room we were exhausted, but still carried on teaching. I think we should give our all for everything we do, or it will not be fair to the students in the second batch. After a day of teaching we made new friends and after that we went to the temple to visit and look at the paintings there. We also headed for the Ancient Tree which is about a thousand years old! It was so big that they had to chop it into pieces to fit it into the tent. I have learnt a lot on the third day and I hope to learn more on the next day (And I did).

31 Oct (4th Day)
  I was looking forward for this day as it was the day I could visit a dinosaur museum. We first went to teach two more batches of students and I think we did a much better job today as we were expecting the second batch to come. We engaged them well and I think that our group did well to help the primary students learn about directions. Overall I am glad we did a good deed to come here and teach the Thai students English. After that we went for lunch at a restaurant and then headed for Sirindhorn
Dinosaur Museum. It was the largest museum in Thailand and I was very amazed by the amazing fossils in their collection. I used to love dinosaurs when I was young and could still recognise
the fossils. After the guided tour around the museum, we went to the excavation site where they found the most complete dinosaur fossil in the entire South-East Asia. After we took our photos, we went back to the hotel to put down our bags and went back to Kamalasai School for the farewell party. We were to perform an item and we chose to sing "Hall Of Fame" by The Script ft. will.iam. We went to eat our dinner and greet the Thai students before going up the stage to sing. We got lots of presents from the Thai students even though we were not their buddies and it was very touching. After exchanging Facebooks and taking photos, we said our goodbyes to them and some of us even teared.

I think we learnt a lot from this trip and all of us going for this trip have matured. I am very thankful for being able to have the chance to do service learning to other people. I  hope I will get nominated for the student leader role for our Level 3 GCP next year.

Sincerely, Xavier






Sunday, 3 February 2013

Our God's Grace

I am writing this because of an incident hat had happened to me a few days back. It was a particularly windy evening and the sun was setting. It emitted a orangey tinge into the sky as me and my mom were walking home after a hearty meal of Fish & Chips and steak. We were walking back and we didn't realise that our house keys were missing. Not in my pocket. not in my mom's. Only until we were done playing with our adorable one-year old neighbour, Ruth and decided to head back did we realise that they were missing.

"Son, go and unlock the doors to our house. I am coming back as soon as I finish drinking my orange juice", My mom called out, as I fished out an imaginary set of keys and unlocked the door with it. I froze. "Where are the keys?"I thought. I rushed back to Ruth's house to find the keys. We flipped the whole house upside down looking for them. They weren't found, of course. And we couldn't call Uncle Jordan, my mom's husband(my mom and dad broke up when I was five) because he was in Manila for a business trip.

Then, a horrible thought hit me. They must be at the coffee shop where we ate our dinner. I told my mom. We ran all the way back to the coffee shop. And of course, my mom was running while busy scolding me:"If we don't find the keys, you are in trouble cos I will hamtam(hamtam means "beat" in Singlish) you until you die!!!" and "Tomorrow is a school day you know or not? You want to miss school is it(we Singaporeans speak in Singlish and slangs are included in our speech)?!" And I, on the other hand was desperately praying to God that the keys were in the coffee shop untouched or worse; not stolen by anyone. Ah, this is the part where our mighty God comes in.

So there we were, rushing to the coffee shop. I reached first. I frantically looked around the table where we sat in the coffee shop, but to no avail. I was on the verge of giving up when my mom arrived. She gave me 'motivational words' to 'encourage' me. "Why you looking around there? Xiao ah you?! Obviously got people take and keep right? Go ask around all the shops!! Go!!!" So I started with the nearest stall. The drinks stall. There was a man in the stall watching some kind of drama show on the TV. And guess what. I was looking around and then my mom suddenly budged in. Her eye caught something hanging on a hook innocently. JACKPOT!!! The keys. And then we thanked the drama addict guy and went home merrily. With an exception of my mom, who was scolding me even though we had already found the keys. "You see lah!! Count yourself lucky!!! You got pocket some more don't want to make use of it? I have to hold my stuff with my hands because I got no pockets!!!" THen I spotted to pockets on her dress behind her. I pointed that out to her. And then she was surprised to know that. In fact, she even forgot what we were talking about in the first place: scolding yours truly, of course. So that tells us that she wasn't acting. But she actually reads this blog and supports me, and I know she's gonna hamtam me for this post and praise me. At the same time. Yup, she can do that. How awesome. Well, so till next time(probably after I had healed from her beating)!!!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Steve Job's Secrets to Success

I came across this topic in I&E lesson (that stands for Innovation and Entreprenuership). And my teacher talked about success and showed us a powerpoint about the world's most famous innovators and all. Then came Steve jobs, the founder of the successful phone brand, Apple. Personally, I like Steve Jobs, because I use an iPhone. And then came the more'interesting' part-a video about Steve Job's secrets to success. It was about 7 principles that he lived by and what he believed had made him such a successful entreprenuer. And I'm pretty sure that you, the reader of this blog, know about this guy. because he's famous and all. So anyway, my teacher asked the class to do research about this thing, and I did. So here's the video about the thing. And a mindmap I did on this website called Popplet which I use to do mindmaps with.



This is the video.
And this is the link to the midmap. Hope you like it!
http://popplet.com/app/index.php#/726468



Regards,
Xavier Toh

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Happy Memories in the Past

I don't remember much about when I was a toddler; but I think I remember going to Gold Coast, Australia and swimming in a bathtub. A few days back I was packing my room (instructions from my Mom that I had to as my room was messy, and that is actually one of the few times that I agreed with her about my room being messy), and when I was clearing out my 'bed drawers' (my bed was one of those that has another pull-out bed and below of it were drawers), I came across a compilation of photographs in one of the drawers, so I decided to stop whatever I was doing (and yes, I knew I was gonna get it from my Mom) and flip through the album. They gave me a great deal of good memories, and they had me trying to remember that moment of joy depicted in the photos. There was one where I was doing what you could call "making friends" with an Australian toddler at a nature park. Then another one with me in Perth (as you can see, my family often goes to Australia. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I've been to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. But I wanna go to the Great Barrier Reef) standing beside a goat (or was it a sheep? Can't remember) and patting its head. Now I remembered that one. That goat, I clearly recalled, followed me back to our farmhouse and we gave it milk and cheddar cheese before it finally went away. But I did like that goat.

Other than oversea trips, of course, I also had tons of happy memories. So anyway, I was currently joining an after-school care centre called "The Kidz Club" then, so it was the holidays and my friends and I all signed up for an excursion. We were going to sleepover at the Marine Life Park in Singapore. So you see, the one in Singapore is just plain awesome, and you could imagine how excited we were. It had all sorts of marine creatures like jellyfish to sharks, and best of all was that we were gonna sleep in this conveyor belt and when you were to look up,you would be marvelling at this gigantic glass dome teeming with fishes of all sorts. And I had always wanted an opportunity like this one because I liked marine creatures. i think they're cool. So you could imagine what an amazing night we had sleepingover there when we were lying down on our sleeping bags and watching the fishes until we go to sleep (although we weren't really sleeping-we were having fun at night going through the conveyor belt while girls were busy whacking us hard in the back (and of course we retaliated). It was only about 4:30 in the morning that we started to drift away in our dreams. I think you should visit Singapore sometime. sure, it's a busy city, but this country still has its pros.

"Ah..."I would think back, sighing at how fun life can be when you're a child. Wild and fun and carefree. I always pictured adults thinking about their happy days in the past as a child. And I would probably also be thinking that in the future. Oh well...I better be enjoying my good ol' days now before I start stepping into adulthood.

Monday, 21 January 2013

The Hero In My Eyes

I am posting this as I came across this question in English class in my school. Well, while my friends chose people like Superman or Steve Jobs(because in my school it is compulsary to buy a Macbook Pro to 'learn', but most of the time I use it to watch One Piece, my favourite anime), I chose a very simple yet good answer-my Mom.

Why did I choose my Mom? Simple. Because I love her. And, other than that, I also find that she is more heroic than Batman, Superman, Spiderman, you name it. And that's because she can persevere until the very end of all ordeals, and she will never ever in a million years - give up. She is an extremely strong woman, as demonstrated when a few days back, our family car that we had relied on for about 7 years now(now that's a pretty old car);a car that had ferried us to and fro all the way from Singapore to Malaysia and many other memorable journeys; a car that we are very fond of and was nicknamed "Marchie"(because its model was a Nissan March) broke down at a crucial moment right when we were going to leave for home in a parking lot in IKEA. We tried to turn on the engine, but our efforts were fruitless. We had no choice but to call for a mechanic. Fifteen minutes later when the mechanic arrived, we waited for about 30 minutes just to hear the mechanic say in dismay: "I'm very sorry but I am unable to fix the car. It turns out that the starter was damaged." After that, my mother still willingly paid the mechanic $15 even though Marchie was not fixed. As a result, she had to pay another $60 to tow Marchie to the workshop to repair. Then, early the next morning, in order to reach her workplace, my Mom had to cycle all the way to work(which is not surprising as she loves and is excellent at cycling). Then at half past three in the afternoon, she received a call from the workshop saying that the fees would be more than $500. And what did my poor Mom do? She accepted the fact and prayed to God. And what happens the next day? She received a call to tell her that Marchie has been repaired for only $300! So I think you can tell how great our God is. So anyway, now Marchie is back on the road. And I can tell you, we are NOT rich. But despite that, my Mom tries her very best to please me when I'm down by buying what I ask for when I'm down, and laughing with me when I'm happy. Now I regret asking her to buy stuff for me, because now she has lesser money in her wallet compared to mine. And to thank her for being such a great mom, I gave her $10 when we got home.

So if you have read that whole chunk of sentences in one paragraph, it is not hard to understand why I respect my mom and why she is the hero in my eyes. No matter how hard times are, I don't need to worry about her because I know that she can definitely manage herself and pull through, which is no easy task to accomplish. Not that I know of any superheroes that can do that (because I'm not really a big fan of Marvel or DC Comics).

See, a hero in your eyes doesn't have to have the ability to fly, turn invisible or have an invincible body to...well...be a hero. Who's your hero?








Paperclip to House - The Inspirational Story

Now, there's this Canadian guy who blogs (I've done my research so GIVE ME A COOKIE!) and his name is called Kyle MacDonald (Mmm,his name makes me hungry). And through my research I could tell he was an awesome guy and all who wears awesome T-shirts. And he created this website called 'One Red Paperclip'.But why did Kyle name it the peculiar name of 'One Red Paperclip'? What's so special about a paperclip dyed in crimson? I could get a whole box of those at the store for a dollar or so. Has that paperclip got magical powers? Possessed by some sort of witchcraft thingamajig? No. The answer is(drumroll please): He traded this paperclip for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan!!! But of course its not a direct one-for-one trade, Kyle made fourteen transactions before making this impressive feat. And what inspired him to do this is the childhood game he played, "Bigger,Better". He had traded plenty of interesting things that he wouldn't mind keeping, like a cube van and a Honda generator, but in the end he still thought that a house was the best. Here is a pic of his house.

But I have not yet come to the whole point why I actually came across this awesome guy, which I will relate to you in a moment. It's actually about this card game called "Cardfight!!Vanguard", which is currently my favourite one. So anyway, I was flipping through this enormously thick " Cardfight Vanguard" album in a shop called Gamewerks in Clementi, Singapore.(Oh, did I mention that I'm from Singapore)? So I was there with my friend Kevin trying to make good deals with the owner of Gamewerks. But the problem was that our collection was much too small for the owner's interest. And so I wished that I would someday be able to make good enough trades until I had an as enormous collection as the shop. So I wanna be like Kyle, making good deals out of stuff until we got our 'house' that we had always oh-so wanted. So I hope that whoever that reads this blog and happens to play "Cardfight Vanguard" AND lives in Singapore(which is quite unlikely because we Singaporeans are very lazy and would much rather play games and check their Facebook accounts than read blogs), hope to trade with you soon!!!

I hope that you will help me build my dream 'house'!

Guess what? Today when I told my father about my plans, he gave me a paperclip!It's a yellow one though...

P.S. If you are looking for general information, I purposely did not add it in as I figured that since you can obtain it from oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com, I would just be repeating the same thing again. And I wanna have a special blog.


Regards,
Xavier

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Introduction

Hi there, my name is Xavier Toh Ik Hann. The reason I have started a blog is because my friend Max inspired me to by creating a blog. So I did the same. In fact, he's probably reading right now because I told him to read it. I'm a just a typical 12 year-old boy starting a blog, as you can see. I wanna use this blog to post personal stuff that I just feel like blogging about (mostly because I'm bored to death). But other than that, I want to have lots of readers or whatever you call it reading my blog. So, yeah this is my first post, hope you enjoy the rest of the "cure to boredom" blog posts. Regards,Xavier Toh (As you can see,I'm not very good with blogging so please bear with me).