How to give yourself a blowout and make it last

There’s something about a fresh blowout right out of the salon – hair is softer, more elastic, shinier, smoother, and overall healthier-looking. Whether you style your hair every day or you just like to add oomph for special occasions, mastering a blowout at home – one that looks like it was expertly done – definitely takes some practice, but the right hair tools, techniques and routine do it. easier. From choosing the right blow dryer to properly sectioning your hair, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting silky and shiny results, no matter your hair type.


Start with a pre-shampoo treatment

It may seem counterintuitive to try before shampooing; In fact, it is best to use most, but not all, hair treatments afterward. “A good mask or treatment works beyond a shampoo, so if you have fine or fine hair, you don’t want to do it before a blowout or it will weigh you down,” says New York hair guru Harry Josh. “On the other hand, if you have thick or thick hair that is prone to frizz, a treatment beforehand can help seal the cuticle with moisture for a better blowout.” What’s different about the new GOOPGLOW hair serum is that it works before shampoo, for all types of hair, even fine or fine, to obtain a magnificent shine, texture and elasticity.

  1. sticky beauty
    Restore GOOPGLOW
    + Shine Hair Serum

    NEWS PRIMER, $ 48 / $ 44 with subscription



What shampoo and conditioner
with makes a big difference

“Think of your hair routine exactly like your skincare routine,” says Josh. “Choose your shampoo, conditioner, and styling products that match your hair type in the same way that you would choose products for your skin type.”

  1. By volume

    Voluminous shampoo
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 36


  2. For softness

    Fruit Blood
    Garden of delights
    Botanical shampoo

    NEWS PRIMER, $ 52


  3. For a gorgeous color

    Full color conditioner
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 40


  4. To shine

    Adult alchemist
    Nourishing conditioner
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 49



Dry with a towel carefully

Shaking your hair with a bath towel is a recipe for breakage and frizz. Use specially designed hair towels, they are more absorbent and gentler on the hair, and wrap and squeeze gently, rather than shaking.

  1. Crown Affair
    The towel
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 45


  2. Aquis
    Lisse Luxe Hair Turban
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 30



Choose styling products by hair type

“If your hair is super fine (regardless of whether it’s straight, wavy, curly, or curly), I recommend that you stay in the mousse or mist category,” says Los Angeles stylist and R + Co Collective member Jenny Cho. . “If your hair is medium to thick, use a cream or oil to add moisture to smooth and soften the hair.”

  1. Mousse

    Inner scythe
    I create volumizing foam Lift
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 28


  2. Petroleum

    Balmyard Beauty
    Siren Luster hair oil
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 64


  3. Frizz Cream

    Milk anti-frizz leave-in conditioner
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 42


  4. Curl cream

    Inner scythe
    Quiet and quiet curl control
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 26



A big dryer really helps

What you blow-dry is just as important as your technique. Look for a high-quality, quick-drying hair dryer with different heat settings. Weight is also important. “Your arms can get fatigued quickly with a heavy blow dryer,” says Cho. Josh suggests asking friends for recommendations and seeing where the dryer is made. “Like luxury cars, dryers made in high-craftsmanship countries like Italy tend to be exceptional in terms of performance,” he says.

  1. Spectrum. Italy
    IQ Perfetto professional
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 400


  2. GHD Hair
    Air Flight Travel Hair Dryer
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 99



Use the right brush

  1. “A round brush made from boar bristles is great for all hair types, but especially for medium to thick hair because it has a lot of tension, which creates softer, brighter bangs,” says Cho.

    Christophe robin
    Pre-curved drying
    12 row hair brush

    NEWS PRIMER, $ 103


  2. Cho recommends a mixed bristle brush for textured or coiled hair. “It can get very close to the hairline to smooth,” he explains.

    Crown Affair
    Brush No. 001
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 62


  3. Josh likes a strong bristle brush to detangle and pull tension. “That kind of brush and a powerful blow dryer are the only tools that can handle a curl rolled into a satin lock,” says Josh.

    Philip B.
    Paddle brush
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 190


  4. For straight hair, Cho recommends using a round ceramic vented brush. “They get hot easily,” he says. “That gives you a nice curve at the ends, volume at the roots and a great body overall.”


Hair section
for efficiency

Part your hair and separate each portion with clips. “It makes the whole blowout more efficient and easier to handle,” says Cho, who says each section should be an inch to an inch and a half thick. Josh likes to divide the hair into five sections (two in the front, two in the back, and one at the top) to start. “If you have a lot of hair,” he says, “you will end up dividing it into more sections.”

  1. Crown Affair
    The Comb No. 002
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 38



Work from back to front

A good, professional-looking bang takes time, so don’t rush. “You want to start from the back because it’s harder,” says Josh. “Always do the hard part first. The front pieces are the easiest so if you do them first you will tire before you get to the back and it won’t be as thorough. “If you are someone with finer hair, Josh says start by blow drying the top section, he calls it “the mohawk,” to give the hair the initial lift and volume. “Start at the crown, hold the hair up, and blow-dry over the face,” he says.


Sleek or curly style

For a smooth, smooth blowout, place the brush under each section of hair as close to your scalp as possible and slowly pull the brush through the section. Point the dryer, nozzle down, at the tight section and turn it on. Cho says to keep the nozzle of the dryer closed, but don’t touch her hair directly. “Think of your hair as velvet,” he says. “It looks shiny and smooth when you brush, but when you brush, it doesn’t look that smooth.” Slowly run the brush through your hair, following the blow dryer, until the section is completely dry. When you get to the ends, they should be fully wrapped around the brush. Dry the ends completely, then press the cold shutter button to set.

For a curly, more bouncy blowout, start with the same steps above. When you get to the ends, wrap the entire dry section of hair around a round brush, as if you were wrapping it around a curling iron. Blow warm air on it for ten to twenty seconds (until the hair is completely hot), then let the hair sit on the brush until cool (you can speed it up with the cold injection). Gently remove hair from brush.


Make it last with the right finishing product

Depending on your hair type and the style you are looking for, you can set your style with different products, but don’t go overboard. “If your hair tends to fall out quickly, use a little dry shampoo to maintain your volume,” says Josh. If you have curly or frizzy hair, add shine to the ends with a finishing serum or cream.

  1. Act + Acre
    Herbal dry shampoo
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 22


  2. Inner scythe
    Inner Peace Whipped Cream Texturizer
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 22


  3. Ranavat
    Strengthening Hair Serum: Mighty Majesty
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 70



Refresh hair the next day with a hairdryer

You can relive your blowout using the same sectional approach. “You can do this with or without a light coating of dry shampoo,” says Josh. She also recommends sleeping on a silk pillowcase to maintain the shape of the blowout and help minimize frizz. As for combing your hair before bed, that’s up to you. “If you sweat when you sleep, it’s probably best to comb your hair overnight,” says Josh. “But it is case by case.”

  1. Inner scythe
    Refresh Dry Shampoo
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 24


  2. Slide
    White Queen pillowcase
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 89


  3. Slide
    Silk Scrunchies – Large
    NEWS PRIMER, $ 39


Deconstructed Ancient Electronic Art Framed in Malaysia

Writing for the Vulcan Post often means we’ll be reviewing some of the newest technologies on the market, from folding smartphones and laptop-style tablets to tiny headphones and huge smart TVs.

But taking a different route to exploring gadgets is The.Exploded 2.0. The Instagram account commemorates the old devices, deconstructed within the frames to display them as works of art, rather than dumping them in an abandoned tech drawer or landfills.

Each post also includes a short history lesson about the device. So as our team scrolled down the page, we were swept away by a wave of nostalgia to find teardowns of an iPod touch, Tamagotchi, cassettes, and Sony Ericsson phones.

This was a phone I always wanted as a kid, but never had / Image Credit: The.Exploded 2.0

So who is this mysterious artist behind the account?

Deconstructing the artist’s intentions

“My name is Liu Jeng Foong, most people call me Liu [like number 6 (六) in Chinese]. I am 25 years old and I am the founder of The Exploded 2.0, ”he told the Vulcan Post in an interview.

His journey began during the second year of his architecture degree. It was where he learned about exploded view diagrams, which are schematic or technical drawings of an object that show the relationship or order of assembly of various parts.

Liu simplified: “It looks like a menu of instructions from IKEA or LEGO. And I love this kind of drawing technique. “

While bored during his semester break and at the same time staying home during MCO 1.0, Liu started his digital art account, The exploited, to share exploded views of various objects, such as food, electronics, and cartoon characters.

Liu started with 2D art / Image Credit: TheExploded

Later, Liu stumbled upon a “deconstructed telephone art” that used broken and faulty telephones to create the kinds of parts that he also makes today.

“I fell in love with it and thought it would be a good way to take my exploded artwork from 2D to 3D. So I quickly pulled out my own version of the deconstructed artwork and shared it with my friends and family, ”he recalled, adding that they were impressed.

In July 2021, Liu finished his studies but did not want to rush to find a job due to the worsening pandemic. But he still had bills to pay, so he decided to release The.Exploded 2.0 to sell the old deconstructed electronics that have been put in a new light from its teardown and design.

Now old phones, walkmans, and game consoles that are filled with memories and have long been put aside are given a new façade as a unique work of art.

It also works as a small solution to the e-waste problem by preventing electronic devices from going to landfills and polluting the environment with the harmful and explosive batteries they contain.

A device as old as he

Liu shared that the most interesting device he deconstructed was also the first piece he worked on: a yellow Tamagotchi.

I think most 90’s kids had at least one Tamagotchi before. At first, I didn’t know about the history of Tamagotchi, but after taking it apart, I discovered that there was a label behind it that showed that it was made in 1996 (the same age as me). After researching online, I found out that it is the first product released by Tamagotchi.

Liu Jeng Foong, founder of The Exploded 2.0

You also get a short history lesson / Image Credit: The.Exploded 2.0

Intending to sell only the old electronic devices that he found in the second-hand markets, Liu soon began to receive requests from people who wanted to frame their own devices, which is how his framing services began.

He revealed that there was no exact price for the framing service, as it depends on the size of the chosen frame, the printing costs, the design itself, and the complexity of the device. Meanwhile, your labor costs can be 40% to 50% of the total cost or sometimes lower.

To give you an idea of ​​the base cost of your work, a custom part can range from RM180-RM230, depending on your List of stores.

A finished piece like yours Mickey Mouse Game Console and Clock it could go up to RM 349, and Liu explained that the price is based on the rarity of the device itself, along with the size of its frame.

You could buy her ready-made works at Shopee

“The rarer the item, the higher the price, because there is no fixed price for the device,” Liu said. “For example, you can get a Nokia 3310 for RM50 today, but that doesn’t mean you can find another one for the same price tomorrow.”

On the other hand, art is a good whose price is difficult, and whether it is worth it or not depends on each client. Since its launch 4 months ago, Liu has already sold 45 pieces of his deconstructed framed art, and he hopes to sell 100 of them by the end of 2021.

Looking at their The.Exploded 2.0 portfolio thus far, it’s no surprise that the majority of their clients are millennials between the ages of 20 and 39.

Further expanding the service

When asked about the future of The Exploded 2.0, Liu shared that the service is something he hopes to continue in the long term.

In the next 2 years, he hopes to expand the team by hiring more labor, as each piece usually takes 3-4 days to complete. Devices with many small components, such as cameras and watches, can take even longer.

Notice the work that goes into each piece / Image Credit: The.Exploded 2.0

Now that he still works his business from home, Liu also hopes to move into his own studio and ship his products around the world eventually.

As Liu is already retailing his works on Shopee, Lazada, and Etsy, accessing global markets wouldn’t be too difficult via these platforms.

The challenge you face would be based more on marketing and exposure, which you could do by engaging influencers on social media or investing some capital in social media ads.

  • You can learn more about The Exploded 2.0 here.
  • You can read about other Malaysian startups here..

Featured Image Credit: Liu Jeng Foong, Founder of The.Exploded 2.0

Singpass digital IC will be accepted by all government agencies from November 1

Starting next Monday (November 1), all government agencies will accept the digital identity (IC) card in the Singpass app as an alternative form of identity verification for in-person services.

This marks an important milestone for Smart Nation, whereby individuals can take advantage of this proof of identification to conduct digital transactions with public and private sector entities.

With the increased acceptance of digital IC by the government, Singpass App users no longer need to bring their physical IC most of the time.

They can comfortably prove their identity using the digital IC when transacting at government counters, polyclinics and public libraries. Currently, the Digital IC is also accepted by service providers such as SingHealth Polyclinics.

However, the digital IC is not accepted for cases where a physical document is required by law, such as marriage records and hotel records.

Instances where Digital IC / Screenshot from GovTech website will not be accepted

“We are working on modifying the legislation to formalize the use of Digital IC for these exceptions. The list of exceptions is available in the Singpass website, “He said Government Technology Agency (GovTech) in a press release.

He added that he seeks to “incorporate more companies from the private sector” to promote the use of digital IC.

Companies are also encouraged to accept the digital IC as an alternative to the physical NRIC or long-term pass card for identity verification, although GovTech understands that private organizations have their separate operational considerations and may need time to accept a new verification method.

Is it safe to use digital IC?

Access more details about your digital IC by tapping the card and verifying your identity / Image Credit: GovTech

Since the digital IC serves as an official identification document, there are security measures in place to protect the identity of the user.

To ensure safety and security, the digital IC displays minimal information (for example, partial NRIC / FIN number) that are masked by default to protect user privacy. Users must also verify their identity using their fingerprint, face, or passcode if they want to access the full details on their digital IC.

The Digital IC features the user’s latest government-provided photograph and is accompanied by an animated, holographic lion crest to prevent image manipulation and screenshot spoofing.

Also, users’ NRIC or FIN numbers are masked by default to protect their privacy during transactions, and user authentication is required to view full details on the digital IC.

The Digital IC function was introduced in the Singpass app in May 2020, and with the recent update of the app’s interface, it can now be easily accessed by users on the app’s home page. There is also a customizable profile where users can find their important information.

In a previous interview with Vulcan Post, Tay Li Soon, Senior Product Manager at GovTech, shared that there are plans to implement other identity documents in Singpass. In particular, the driver’s license will see a digital version in the Singpass app as early as this year.

While the driver’s license details are already available in the app, they also want to mimic the physical card, just like the NRIC. Besides that, some other feasible applications could be professional licenses.

It is important to note that the digital IC does not completely replace the physical IC. If you lose your card, you will still need to report the loss to the Immigration and Control Points Authority (ICA) and request a new card within 14 days.

Today, 97% of Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) aged 15 and over own a Singpass account, making it one of the most widely adopted national digital identity systems in the world.

There are also more than 3.2 million Singpass app users and around 300 million Singpass personal and corporate transactions each year.

Featured Image Credit: Singpass

Malaysian startup Recommend Group raises US $ 4 million in Series A funds

Social recommendation platform for home services, Recommend group (Recommend) has announced successful funding of US $ 4 million (approximately RM16 million).

Directed by Capital of the morning ridge (MCC), a Shanghai-based venture capital firm, was joined by existing investors, including those in Singapore. Brainless companies.

Founded in 2014 by Jes Min Lua, Alex Tan and Anthony Eka Wijaya, Recommend is operational in Malaysia under the name and in Indonesia as

It is essentially a social recommendation platform where users can search, review, and recommend service professionals for home improvement, maintenance, cleaning, and more.

Today, it has expanded to offer professionals in 200 service categories, including the events, education, beauty and business sectors.

Using AI to make recommendations

Home services can be a largely unregulated industry. For example, when looking for a professional to repair your air conditioner, many suppliers claim to have the best rates or the most competitive prices.

Also, you wouldn’t really know if your services are of good quality unless you have experienced it yourself or a friend has recommended it. So, these are some pain points that the Recommend platform is solving.

For one, after searching for an air conditioning service provider, the Recommend algorithm will suggest the right service professional based on previous reviews and ratings, experience, location, and availability.

Customers can choose to directly book the service through a call or WhatsApp, or get multiple quotes from various service professionals. Since the pandemic, Recommend has also enabled a feature that allows customers to specify whether they prefer fully vaccinated equipment.

Some of the home maintenance services you will find on the site

To ensure that service providers are of good quality, the Recommend team works with professionals to standardize their services. This includes the scope and pricing of the service, allowing for cashless payments and providing strong service guarantees and insurance protection.

This is beneficial for customers as it ensures that they will not be misled by false advertising and in turn also benefits service providers as these guarantees build trust in every recommendation.

“Because, [service professionals] You also get a higher conversion rate where interested clients are more likely to hire them for a job, resulting in more actual jobs for the service professional, ”Jes Min explained to Vulcan Post.

Ultimately, the platform works to drive new clients and jobs to these service professionals, which will also help them grow their business, something that became more crucial in the pandemic.

Doing business amid the pandemic

When the pandemic began, the Recommend team, which was primarily a platform for customer-facing service providers, was at a loss.

Unclear blocking rules meant that it would disrupt the jobs performed by these professionals.

“One of the options was to just freeze the team, but that would leave our customers and service professionals hanging,” recalled Jes Min. The team then decided to remain operational, while supporting their service professionals through SOP changes, obstacles, etc.

The team with some of their service providers / Image Credit:

This decision led to an acceptance of positive customer feedback and an increase in Recommend’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) results, meaning that customers appreciated that the platform was still operational during the period.

Jes Min also added that many cleaners, electricians and plumbers who lost their jobs during the lockdown also sought work at Recommend.

The service professionals also became really loyal to us, because we were the ones who were on the phone with government officials and police to clarify standard operating procedures and help educate them during this time. That was a turning point for us and it has been growing ever since.

Jes Min Lau, CEO and Co-founder of Recommend Group

This led to a significant increase in demand for Recommend, with some categories such as air conditioning service, disinfection, electrical repair, and plumbing services increasing threefold.

On the other hand, home improvement services like renovations and interior design fluctuated with closings. Now that the locks are lifted, Jes Min reported that this category is now growing by more than 20% month over month.

To keep up with the demands, the team is actively recruiting more service professionals, while training them according to Recommend’s standards and SOPs to keep customers safe.

Become an all-in-one platform

To date, Recommend has reported serving more than 1 million households in Malaysia and Indonesia. “This helps our algorithm to be smarter to make the right combination,” said Alex. The platform is also behind home service offerings on the Boost e-wallet app, consumer brands like IKEA, and community apps like Mah Sing M Concierge.

With its Series A total of US $ 4 million, Recommend plans to use the funds to expand its teams in Indonesia and Malaysia, with a focus on products and engineering. It will also improve the user experience on the mobile applications of your customers and suppliers, as well as on your website.

Recommend also plans to create new features that allow service workers to manage and grow their businesses. Already equipped with a scheduling platform, Jes Min shared that the team wants to have an all-in-one system where professionals can manage marketing, sales, payment collection, and team management.

Regarding expansion plans, Recommend will expand to 2-3 cities in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

At the local level, the team will focus on strengthening its presence in Penang and Johor by first bringing in some of the best service professionals in those cities. After that, they will seek to penetrate other cities in western and eastern Malaysia.

Once Recommend has expanded their reach in Malaysia and Indonesia, Jes Min is confident that they will explore the rest of SEA as well.

  • You can learn more about here.
  • You can read more articles on financing that we have covered here.

Featured Image Credit: The Recommend Group Team

This curry-roasted winter squash soup is your new weeknight pick.

As much as we like to see what our favorite foodies do when they want to “surprise” their guests, do you know what is even more interesting? Learn what dishes they prepare when they are at home on a normal night of the week. These recipes tend to be faster with fewer ingredients and are the perfect inspiration to answer the question, “What should I make for dinner?” whenever it hits. To satisfy our curiosity, our series, My favorite food, he asks chefs and foodies who love to share the easy recipes that are constantly rotating in his house. Below, Chitra Agrawal from Brooklyn Delhi shares the easy curry roasted winter squash soup she makes on busy nights.

When you think of the condiment aisle at the grocery store, what do you think of? Ketchup? Mustard? Mayonnaise? Okay, that’s all true and historically it’s been the bulk of the shelf, but in the last few years, an incredible group of creators and entrepreneurs have started to creep down the aisle with offers that make me absolutely dizzy (they’ve got me jumping up and down in front of the bookshelf – true story!).

The first time i saw Brooklyn delhi on the Whole Foods shelf I had to pause because I couldn’t believe it. Achaar and Korma sauce in my supermarket? Since then, I am a big fan of the founder, Chitra agrawal and the work he is doing in creating products that highlight Indian culture through food. Brooklyn Delhi’s first product line that launched in 2014 focused on an Indian pantry staple called achaar, sometimes referred to as Indian pickle. When I tell all of you that my mom can’t live without ache, I’m not even kidding. Achaar (pronounced ah-char; which translates to pickle in Hindi) is a flavorful condiment made from fruits and vegetables, spices, and chili peppers. My mom will add a little to what she’s eating to give it a spicy, sour, sweet and salty bite, more specifically, she’ll eat it with parathas or whatever sabzi is on the menu for dinner. Achaar is eaten with rice, dal, curry or yogurt, but what I love about the Brooklyn Delhi approach is highlighting how achaar can also go well with sandwiches, burgers, eggs, mixed in bowls, soups, noodles, with cheese and crackers. , etc. much more. That’s the beauty of food, right? Being able to use different dishes that traditionally fit in one kitchen and discover ways to incorporate them into others (only to find that they fit just as well there!).

I was so excited to chat with Chitra and introduce her to one of her favorite recipes as we enter the fall season. So, keep scrolling for the recipe for this delicious Curry Roasted Pumpkin Soup. You’re welcome!

What is your favorite food, Chitra?

Curried roasted winter squash soup, especially during fall and winter.

Hmm! How often do you make this soup?

The amazing thing about this recipe is that I can make it weekly and not get tired of it because it is so versatile depending on the pumpkin I have on hand (i.e. butternut, acorn, kabocha, delicata if it’s still fall, etc.). I also flavor it in a number of different ways using my simmered sauces from Brooklyn Delhi. One week I’ll roast the squash and mix it with coconut milk and my Cashew Butter Masala Sauce and the next with my Korma Coconut Cashew Sauce.

Sounds delicious, I love you all Cashew Butter Masala. What do you like the most about this recipe? Why is it your choice?

I love this recipe for many reasons. First of all, it is delicious but healthy without much effort. Most of the recipe is idle cook time, like when you’re roasting the pumpkin in the oven, so I can easily multitask and make this part of the recipe ahead of time, making it a super quick recipe. Monday to Friday. Since I already have caramelized onions, garlic, ginger and spices in my simmering sauces, there is no chopping, no rummaging with spice jars or waiting by the pot for flavors to develop, which is a win for a meal. weekday. And if you roast the squash ahead of time, you can collect the final recipe in a pot.

Any special tools that we need to have on hand to make this recipe?

This recipe calls for a skillet, pot, and an immersion blender or blender.

What are the featured ingredients that make it unique?

Winter squash is already so flavorful when roasted (especially when it’s in season), but I think the addition of hot Indian spices makes this soup truly unique and delicious.

What are some ingredient swaps you can use if you don’t have something on hand or for someone who could be gluten-free from dairy, etc.?

The recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free. If I don’t have pumpkin I made this recipe with sweet potato and sometimes if I have some cooked red lentils I also add them for more protein. I like to serve the soup with plain yogurt and it’s also delicious with coconut yogurt or sliced ​​avocado on top for a dairy-free version.

What cooking trick do you use in this recipe that we should all know about?

My simmer sauces are the main trick, but I also love this easy way to roast winter squash – slice it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and grill skin side up. When the squash is cooked just peel it off the skin and if the skin is thin enough I just use the whole squash. Roast the squash until you see a little caramelization because that gives the soup more depth of flavor and sweetness. This method is actually better than peeling and dicing the squash. A big time saver is roasting the squash the day before.

What ingredients do you always have on hand in the kitchen for recipes like this and others?

A winter squash or sweet potatoes, Brooklyn Delhi simmer sauces, coconut milk, a crunchy dressing like sev (crunchy strands of Indian chickpea flour), or roasted seeds (pepita or sunflower). I like to top the soup with some plain yogurt and chopped cilantro as well. I love dipping crusty sourdough bread in this soup.

Thanks for sharing this recipe, anything else you want to share?

The recipe is mild enough for my kids so I serve them the soup as is, an easy meal that kids love is always a win. To increase the heat, I add my Roasted Tomato or Garlic Achaar.

Amazon opens a new office in S’pore, to hire more than 200 people by the end of 2022

E-commerce giant Amazon announced today (October 27) the opening of its new Singapore office in Asia Square.

Called SIN16, the new office is designed to streamline agile work, learning and collaboration as Amazon continues to grow its business, operations and investments in Singapore.

With 100,000 square feet on three floors, the Amazon office has a capacity of 700 employees.

It will house more than 30 teams, including support employees for and Amazon Fresh, Amazon Advertising, Prime Video, seller enablement, and other corporate functions.

In accordance with its local expansion plans, Amazon will also plan to create more than 200 new jobs in Singapore by the end of 2022. Currently, there are more than 110 openings available in its corporate and consumer business roles.

According to the company, it has created more than 1,000 direct jobs in 2019 and has approximately 2,000 full and part-time employees in Singapore.

In addition, it is also looking to expand its range of offerings in Singapore and include more support for local businesses to go global.

Some cool features of the new Amazon office

The new office space features showcase Amazon’s journey in Singapore and the company’s core values ​​through its “wall of milestones.”

Meeting Room / Image Credit: Amazon Singapore

The office has five large meeting rooms, all with unique street names and local landmarks, including a wall with iconic phrases in the singular.

‘Mini café’ with gaming services / Image Credit: Amazon Singapore

There are also many spaces for creativity and inspiration. Employees can relax in the pantry and mini café, equipped with Nespresso coffee machines and game tables, including facilities for playing pool, foosball, and electronic darts. Employees can also enjoy interactive game board walls for friendly Scrabble and Chess competitions.

The office also includes a product display area for teams to highlight the latest and greatest products and services they develop, as well as 50 meeting areas for informal discussions and brainstorming.

Other facilities for work and learning include height-adjustable desks, 33 “quiet rooms” and 12 phone booths. There are also two training rooms that can function as physical spaces for events in the town hall.

“Our new office in Asia Square demonstrates our continued commitment to investing in Singapore and the long-term potential for the country to be a leader in the global digital economy,” said Henry Low, Country Manager, Amazon Singapore.

“The way we work has been forever changed by the pandemic, so as our teams continue to grow here, the new space will ensure they have the flexibility and ample space to collaborate, co-create and continue to innovate on behalf of our clients. . “

Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong, who graced the opening ceremony, said Amazon’s announcement to expand its presence in Singapore once again highlights that global companies are looking to Singapore as a destination for innovation, reinforcing the country’s position as a regional technology center.

Featured Image Credit: Amazon Singapore

Amor, Bonito raises $ 50 million in funding in Series C round

Southeast Asia’s largest omnichannel womenswear brand, Love, Bonito, announced today (October 27) the close of its Series C funding round, in which it raised a total of $ 50 million.

The round was led by Primavera Capital Group, a global investment firm whose previous investments include Alibaba, ByteDance, Yum China and Mead Johnson China. Other investors who participated in the round include Adastria and Ondine Capital.

According to the company, the new injection of funds will allow the brand to redouble its efforts in existing omnichannel markets and drive international expansion in markets that are collectively experiencing triple-digit year-on-year growth (YoY).

These key markets include Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and the US Additionally, the company is exploring categories outside of fashion as part of its plan to create a feminine ecosystem.

Boosting your international expansion efforts

Since its launch in 2010, Love, Bonito has achieved impressive growth, expanding into 10 key markets including those in Southeast Asia, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, and the East Asian markets, namely Taiwan. , Hong Kong, Japan as well as Australia and the United States.

To date, Love, Bonito has achieved overall growth of over 120% YoY in international markets and overall growth of 208% for its online sales.

The company believes that Asian diaspora communities have extremely high potential, especially in the US, where online revenue growth topped 1,200 percent year-on-year in September 2021.

With the latest funding, the brand will redouble its efforts in markets such as Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia that have an omnichannel presence, while other markets such as Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines and the US will see an expansion in omnichannel channels. new business verticals, strengthening local community engagement and key collaborations, as well as continually optimizing user experiences.

“I’m more excited than ever for what’s to come in the next decade,” said Rachel Lim, co-founder of Love, Bonito. “The growth we see today would not have happened without #TeamLB and our #LBCommunity constantly striving to support women at different stages of their lives. Being in the women’s business has been our mission from day one, and we are finally venturing out of fashion to bolster our offerings. “

More than a fashion line

In line with the brand’s mission to empower everyday Asian women, Love, Bonito said there are plans to increase offerings within the fashion line to include active clothing and accessories. The brand is also looking to venture into a content platform (LiBrary), as well as explore new categories (LaB) that will include wellness.

The product and category expansion strategy is based on community input and data from various platforms, including the brand’s soon-to-launch artificial intelligence (AI) offering customization at scale for women around the world, to through data and machine learning. Models.

Other existing platforms that contribute to the gathering of knowledge and insights include LBCommunity +, Love, Bonito’s loyalty programs that provide customers with a full access community and rewards experience; other LBCreate, Love, Bonito’s social impact program with a mission to bring women’s issues to the fore and create practical steps for the future.

“We have built a strong foundation for understanding everyday Asian women so we can anticipate meeting their needs,” said Dione Song, CEO of Love, Bonito.

“We are prepared to become a true life partner for our community of women, in and beyond fashion. We have yet to see a womenswear brand from the region that takes pride on the world stage among the industry heavyweights and we want to be the first brand to do so, being innovative, community-focused and purposeful. “

In the next phase of its growth, Love, Bonito aims to shake up the fashion industry by creating a more significant impact on its community at all stages of life. The brand aims to create a thoughtful and comprehensive female ecosystem, supporting the different facets of women’s needs in Asian countries and further reaching out to Asian diaspora communities around the world.

Featured Image Credit: Love, Pretty

S’pore’s Chinatown Food Street closes after 20 years

Another one bites the dust in the F&B business due to Covid-19. This time it is a whole street of street food delicacies.

Chinatown Food Street has closed permanently after 20 years of operations, according to The times of the strait. His last day was Friday, October 22.

A spokesman for the operator Select Group said the company could not continue the business because “there were no tourists or local people.” The tenants were also not paying the rent.

He used to feature such booths as King of Fried Rice, Tiong Bahru Meng Kee Roast Duck, and Boon Tat BBQ Seafood.

Image Credit: Treksplorer

I tried to revive the business

During Covid-19, promotions and deals were offered in an attempt to draw crowds to the food street. It reopened in December last year with a la carte buffet and steamboat concepts.

But the lack of crowds impacted by the resurgence of Covid-19 in the city-state this year made it difficult for the food business to continue. The closed borders also had almost zero tourists to frequent these food stalls in Chinatown.

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said it had provided support measures and worked closely with the Select Group in this period to revive the business. Support included rent waivers and financial assistance for marketing efforts.

STB says it is working closely with relevant agencies to explore options for the site, in response to inquiries from The Straits Times.

Image Credit: Treksplorer

Food street opened in 2001

The food street opened in 2001 as part of STB’s efforts to revitalize Chinatown.

Stretching a few feet long along Smith Street, it had drawn crowds at first, but the pace began to slow down a few years later.

In 2013, it closed for renovations to renovate the site, including building a roof to house diners. The site reopened in 2014 with the new operator Select Group, with 24 seats.

Featured Image Credit:

S’pore was a victim of its own success

The glamorous Asian city-state often makes world headlines for the best reasons: wealth, security, low crime, no corruption, the best business environment, world-class infrastructure, excellent health care and education, or the best port and world airport.

It has also long been a world favorite for its successful strategy of keeping Covid-19 at bay, with very few cases and deaths recorded since the pandemic began last year.

These days, however, in a rare exception to this rule, the world’s media has focused on how the city-state is seemingly sagging under the weight of the virus, just as it has tried to open up a bit. its economy and its borders. more, having vaccinated more than 80 percent of their society (or about 95 percent of the population eligible for the vaccine).

But is it?

Let the numbers speak for themselves

Following media headlines, online comments, and certain political opportunists, you may be thinking that the tiny island has indeed cracked apart and is only now feeling the long-awaited burden of the pandemic, which will surely erase its achievements, putting it at the height of the rest. of the world.

However, in reality, the biggest challenge in responding to a pandemic is not even addressing the virus itself, but the perception of it, often amplified by a poor understanding of basic mathematics mixed with fake news leaking from the foreigner, deceiving the public into believing things that simply are not true.

Isaac Newton said that “truth is always found in simplicity” and, in this spirit, I would like to advise everyone to form their own opinion based on these most basic statistical figures that show how bad or good the situation is. in Singapore it is.

Singapore’s place in the world

Covid-19 deaths per 1 million population (as of October 27, 2021) / Image credit: Worldometers

Despite what looks like a massive outbreak in the city, Singapore remains one of the least affected countries in the world. The current number of deaths as a proportion of the population (that is, the number of deaths per 1 million inhabitants) is only 56.

This is more than 100 times less than the worst affected country in the world, Peru, and around 40 to 50 times less than developed Western nations such as the United States, Belgium, Italy or the United Kingdom. Even disciplined Germany or Switzerland recorded more than 1,000.

Hong Kong, which Singaporeans like to compare their city to, is 28, but has been practically isolated from the world and follows Chinese protocols. It also deals with considerably more vaccine vacillation, preventing it from reopening borders, which would no doubt lead to an explosion of the virus in the relatively poorly inoculated metropolis.

The best performing country is New Zealand, with just five deaths per million people, but it also remains isolated, at the literal end of the world. If it were to open up more boldly to the world, it would suffer the same fate, or worse, considering that only 60% of its population is vaccinated (compared to 84% in Singapore, including 94% of children over 12 years of age).

In other words, the only places doing better than Singapore are those that have not yet tried to reopen their borders, encouraging more inward and outward travel. And they won’t escape an increase in recorded cases and deaths when they thaw, either. No country can remain completely isolated forever.

The daily number of cases is no longer relevant because we already understand that the virus is unlikely to ever become extinct. But with the help of modern medicine, we can neuter it to the point where it turns into another mild cold.

COVID-19’s Place Among Viruses

Speaking of viruses and knowing how Singapore fares against Covid, let’s talk about its severity. Of course, hearing that every day a few or a dozen people meet their end because of the virus is very disturbing.

But in reality, we have yet to be able to compare it to other illnesses that we know of, such as the common flu.

In an average year, seasonal flu is killing approximately 800 people in Singapore, a vast majority of whom share a similar profile with COVID-19 victims: underlying diseases, weakened immunity, old age, etc.

Over a comparable 20-month period (since the pandemic started around February / March 2020), the flu would have killed approximately 1,300 people, and this has been going on since time immemorial.

In the same time frame, COVID-19 has killed 329 people.

Average seasonal flu deaths versus Covid-19 in Singapore / Image Credit: MOH

Of course, this is not to say that COVID-19 is a weaker or less dangerous virus. It had the potential to kill between 5,000 and 15,000 people (based on figures reported elsewhere).

Singapore’s very low numbers have been achieved through national isolation, various restrictions on public activities, social distancing, working from home, contact tracing, etc. It has had a considerable economic and social cost.

However, as we mourn the dead, we must remember that it was possible to limit the impact of the disease well below what a common flu would have caused without anyone noticing. It is a great success.

However, read another problem. Thousands of Singaporeans have been reassured to obey, believing that they cannot be harmed. Unfortunately, this has led to the creation of one last tiny, but very dangerous, gap in the response to the pandemic: vaccinations over vaccines.

The biggest killer is not the virus, but misinformation

Despite having some of the highest vaccination rates in the world, Singapore still has to deal with a relatively small group, but large enough to be a problem, who refuse to receive the vaccine.

The comfort of living in a country that has vastly surpassed all others in the world was certainly a contributing factor, as the fear that gripped people last spring, which prompted thousands to clear the shelves, stock up. of toilet paper and masks, has disappeared. .

Singapore was so successful that thousands stopped caring about the virus.

Out of 5.5 million people, 500,000 children under the age of 12 are still not eligible to receive the vaccine. But while they may carry the virus, it is highly unlikely that they will end up in the hospital or suffer serious adverse effects. Among those 12 and older, 94 percent have already received their vaccinations.

However, the remaining six percent translates to a whopping 300,000 people, still a huge group, who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19.

With the local government reporting detailed figures on a daily basis, many confused the presence of vaccinated people among fatal or severe ICU cases with evidence that vaccines do not work. In fact, it is the opposite.

What matters are the proportions that show a huge overrepresentation of the unvaccinated among the dead.

Unvaccinated vs vaccinated Covid-19 deaths in Singapore (as of Oct 21, 2021) / Image Credit: Ministry of Health

According to the Ministry of Health (MINSA), the individuals of the six percent of those who are not partially or completely vaccinated accounted for 67.5 percent of the deaths in the first three weeks of October.

If the vaccines didn’t work, we would expect the proportions to be the same in both charts: six percent unvaccinated, six percent dead.

But given the huge overrepresentation of the unvaccinated, we can estimate that the risk of dying is more than 11 times higher among them (the Ministry of Health reported exactly 11.7 times) than among those vaccinated.

What’s really sad is that of 169 deaths reported in that period, 30 were from those who received a dose of the vaccine. This suggests that they freaked out for some time before they ended up contracting the disease and went to receive their injection, but they did not survive long enough to complete the two-dose cycle and develop the necessary immunity.

Fake news circulating on WhatsApp, conspiracy theories sold on the internet, and various strains of vaccine skepticism, sometimes used for political reasons (including in Singapore), are responsible for the majority of these deaths.

Instead of 200 to 300 deaths recorded in the last three months, there could only have been 20 or 30. The remaining victims were not killed by the virus, but by lies and misinformation from fools and criminals.

Last year, we were all forced to hide and isolate ourselves because we had no way to deal with the disease, but today we do.

Singapore has long had more than enough doses to vaccinate the whole world. You now have enough doses to implement the booster campaign.

Other than rare cases of underlying diseases, there are no reasons why nearly 300,000 people should not get vaccinated. But due to lies and stupidity now they have to race against time and disease, because it takes two months to achieve maximum protection.

The virus is no longer our biggest problem, other humans are. And those deaths are in them, not in COVID-19.

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Featured Image Credit: AP

[Review] Features, camera and performance of the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

Having recently reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3, reviewing the A52s 5G It was like a return to normalcy.

The phone is what you would expect from a mid-range Samsung and honestly, I didn’t have much to complain about. Without further ado, let’s see what the A52s 5G has to offer.


In terms of colors, I got the Awesome Black variant which was matte and quite nice to look at, but very prone to fingerprints.

The design of the cameras in their housing and the matte black back are pleasing to the eye.

The other colors like Awesome White, Awesome Purple, and Awesome Mint likely won’t allow fingerprints to show up easily due to their lighter colors.

Although the back of the A52s 5G feels sticky when touched, it doesn’t really take away from the solid feel of the phone, just like on the A72 as well.

In terms of display, the A52s 5G’s 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display was clear and vibrant, although I was expecting at least that on many of Samsung’s newer devices.

Very clear and vibrant work on a super reflective screen

Although the phone does not have a curved screen, I sometimes find myself triggering unwanted actions, especially when using the phone with one hand.

However, one feature that I wanted to be more sensitive was the in-display fingerprint identification sensor. On the A72, I found this feature to be smooth and fast. But on the A52s 5G, it was literally a battle at times, and I would opt to use my pattern unlock.

When it worked well it was good, but otherwise it could be pretty inconsistent, and that’s what mostly bothered me.

Through the lenses

In terms of cameras, I never expect too much from mid-range phones, and none of them in the photography department have yet impressed me.

I’d say the same for the A52s 5G, which passed for photography but wasn’t impressive. It has a 64 megapixel wide, 12 megapixel ultrawide, 5 megapixel macro and 5 megapixel deep camera.

The images came out fine, although I personally felt that images of objects that had too much detail (like a large bush or tree) tended to end up blurry.

The A52s 5G also only offers up to 10x zoom, but I never found a use for extreme zooms anyway, so this was not a disappointment. It does offer macro photography though, but is also lacking in detail here.

Altogether, the camera capabilities of the A52s 5G may help you in this age of Instagram, but I would consider it far from good.


Powered by a Qualcomm SM7325 Snapdragon 778G processor, the A52s 5G was easy to use in a variety of applications.

This, along with its stereo speakers, made it a pleasure to use for entertainment purposes, and I didn’t notice the phone getting too hot at all times.

Of course, I also tried Genshin Impact on it. It worked quite well, albeit with the expected hiccups and stutters when too much happened.

Still playable, but not my first device choice for playing the heavy game.

Its 4,500 mAh battery lasted quite a bit with regular use, and turning off the 120Hz refresh rate option would keep your phone charged longer.

However, recharging it was quick, so I have no complaints in the battery department.


Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G is a great mid-range phone, and if previous Samsung models hold true, they should last for a good few years before an upgrade is worth considering.

However, because it is priced at RM1,899, I am of the opinion that you can also put another RM1K or so and get a flagship like the Samsung Galaxy S21.

Many of the features the latter offers would outperform those of the A52s 5G, and with just a year of difference between the two versions, the software discrepancy wouldn’t be that noticeable either.

If it’s not a flagship, then maybe even the A72 would be more worth buying, as it’s technically a bit more high-end for exactly the same price.

If Malaysia’s 5G infrastructure had been more developed and really usable by the general population, perhaps the argument for getting the 5G A52s would have been stronger.

But until then, there is better value for money in the other Samsung models.

Pros Cons
Big screen In-display fingerprint sensor is not consistent
Improved processor High price for a mid-range phone
Good battery life
  • Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G here.
  • Read more Samsung reviews here.