{Review} Illuminating the mysteries of the Deep Sea

Sunday, August 30, 2015

“More men have walked on the moon than have dived to the deepest part of our oceans.” 

– Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover

Last weekend, we decided to explore the sea. The deep sea to be exact. I've always been very fascinated by the ocean and what's under. I've never dared venture into deep sea diving unlike my other half. So, what better way to find out more than to attend an exhibition of such theme. The Arts Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands is presenting an exhibition entitled THE DEEP from now till 27 October 2015.

The Deep is presented in a unique, pitch–black environment, virtually immersing you onto the realm of the deep sea. It will unfold to reveal the different depths of the sea, such as life in the mid-water and life on the ocean floor through different themed zones.

The specimens presented in The Deep are extremely rare. These fragile creatures are most of the time unrecognizable, as they are often damaged by nets during trawling. Several deep-sea fauna included in the exhibition have been captured in situ by scientific samplers on submersibles or tethered robots. Others have been carefully trawled during oceanographic missions conducted throughout the world. Some of the specimens on displayed are anglerfishes (the most famous deep-sea fish, thanks to Finding Nemo) and whole colonies of deep-sea radiolarians.

Big K and I were completely mesmerised by the specimens. I'm not too sure about Small K though. Ok, more me than them. This exhibition would benefit primary schoolers especially, in my opinion, as several interesting facts on adaptation (a topic in Primary 6 Science) are revealed. You know how the PSLE setters love coming out with weird creatures which you've never heard before right? And a question like why do camels have long lashes is so last millennium. Well, exposure is the key! Read more and see more! Here's sharing stuff which we've gathered on our learning journey:

Pycnogonid or sea spider
Up to 50cm in diameter
These distant cousins of the spider travel along the bottom of the ocean in search of soft, stationary meals that cannot escape, like anemones. They suck the tissues out of their prey with the help of their proboscis. The surface of their body is reduce to such an extent that their digestive tract reaches to the end of their legs. One rare characteristic is that it is the males who look after the eggs.

Some kind of angler fish which name i forgot. It looks pretty angry and cranky honestly. Well, i don't blame it. It lives in the lonely, lightless bottom of the sea. These creatures generally have enormous crescent-shaped mouths, filled withs harp, translucent teeth. Nope, they aren't anything like the one you saw in NEMO. Their mouths are so big and their bodies so pliable, they can actually swallow prey up to twice their own size. In lieu of continually seeking the vast abyss for a female, the male has evolved into a permanent parasitic mate. He latches onto her with his sharp teeth. over time, the male physically fuses with the female, connecting to her skin and bloodstream and losing his eyes and all his internal organs except the testes. A female will carry six of more males on her body! Talk about 癞蛤蟆想吃天鹅肉。吃到了但也被吃了!(translation: A toad wishes to eat swan's meat. Meaning to crave for what one is not worthy of and in this case, the male i.e. "toad" is ultimately eaten)

Fireworks physonect siphonophore
Size: 45cm
The spectacle this siphonophore stages when feeding is like a grand fireworks display, as it deploys thousands of toxic, bioluminescent tentacles to lure prey into its fatal snare. The structure of this gelatinous creature is basically the equivalent of a colony of hundreds of jellies all living along a central cord.

Here are the ticket prices for your reference.

So if you are an ocean lover like me or have a little one who is keen to know more, do check out these amazing creatures at the ArtScience Museum soon!

Daily: 10:00am - 7:00pm
Including public holidays
Last admission at 6:00pm

Disclaimer: I paid the tickets out of my own pocket. No monetary compensation has been received and I do not stand to gain any commission arising from ticket sales from this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience.

Sg50 NDP 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ok, so I'm late. But I've a very legit reason. Whilst many were flying or chilling over the Jubilee long weekend, we had been busy going through our first major shift. Yup. Even though it was just across the road (literally), it took us 5 whole days to fully move all our stuff over to my in-law's place. After staying in our marital home for 9 years, we finally shifted. A move which I find ridiculous and unnecessary. Why? Coz it's still in the same vicinity! I did say it was across the street right? I wasn't kidding. Whilst many would think of shifting to within 1km of some school, we were stuck. Coz the in-laws had balloted a unit elsewhere and we couldn't move. After 9 years, you tell me I still have to stay put? Thanks. seriously. I love the neighbourhood we are in, but see, Big K will be going on to Primary school really soon and we have to think forward. But noop, the entire family thinks I'm kiasu and insane to have to think that far plus they are the sort who feel that things will naturally fall in place and kids learn their ABCS in primary school coz they have great teachers. So ya, i've moved. For the moment, the tiny place we are living in resides 7 people and I'm now maid to not only 3 (it used to be only the 4 of us), now I'm maid to 6. 

Rants aside, I felt really bad to be neglecting the children and we made time on National day itself though the hubs and I were tremendously knackered. We had a very different national day this year. Instead of checking out the fireworks from our living room, we were itchy backside and decided to head down to Tanjong Rhu. We were there at about 430pm and traffic was already at a standstill. Hence we decided to make a U-turn and park at Jalan Batu, somewhere across the river facing "The Cage". From there, we walked all the way to the Marina Bay Golf Course and found a great spot under the Shears Bridge. There was a small park and it was packed with people of all races. They were armed with ground sheets and picnic baskets. Some came with a really good spread of cheese and roasted chicken. *Slurp. We weren't that well prepared. All I did was to make egg sandwiches for the children. Thank goodness for my hindsight for we would have starved if not for those sandwiches! There was a big screen set up under the bridge and a big crowd gathered. 

The children and I enjoyed the fireworks display as well as the performance by the Black Knights tremendously. We had a very good view but carrying two children was quite a workout. The total walk to and fro took us almost 2 hours. Yup, i kid you not. I made Big K walk almost the whole stretch and she is not a fast walker. On the way back, it was worse. They both SLEPT! I had to put Small K in the carrier and walk the whole stretch back! I almost gave up halfway! I don't think I had that much exercise for the longest time! But that night, the both of them slept well. 

Here's sharing some of the beautiful shots captured that day:

Little Miss Vain insisted on putting on some tattoos 

We paused along the way to the park, letting Small K roam on the grass. This boy really looks good don't you think?

Whilst others were watching the parade on the big screen, these two were playing in front of the big screen and this scene was captured by a reporter from The Straits Times who came forward to tell me that it will be placed on their instagram. But hmmm to date, I've not seen the shot she took :(

Credits to Big K for being our photographer! I think she's getting really good at taking photos

This was the scene we were greeted with. Nice and Free!

Stunning performance by the Black Knights.

Was really glad that the boy could entertain himself. I mean it was no joke to hang around that long just to see the fireworks and the rest of the parade. 

It was really sweltering so we simply had to strip him! What a hunk eh?

Am really glad that Singapore has come such a long way. Am very glad that I am a Singaporean and this is home. A place so peaceful where I have no worries to raise my children. A place so stressful but motivates me to scale greater heights. 

Happy Birthday Singapore! #SG50

Review: Jane Means, the Gift Wrapping Guru

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a gift wrapping workshop conducted by the renowned Jane Means. I was really excited as I'm really big on crafting and this would value add to my diapercake business (rhapNroll). If you haven't already known Jane, she is an author, a presenter and a designer who in her early days, made bespoke cards and wedding stationery which became very successful. She was commissioned to make a card for the Queen (which later went on display in Buckingham Palace Mews). By the late 90's, she decided to start her own gift wrapping training academy. I've never knew that there's a training academy for gift wrapping and to learn from the "Gift Wrap Guru" is indeed such an honour. Jane not only trains staff for Harrods, provided a luxury gift wrapping service for Dior, Ralph Lauren, Chanel just to name a few, she has also designed a signature style for YSL and has appeared live in the windows of Liberty London. Clients travel worldwide to attend her workshops in UK and Singapore. Clients travel worldwide to attend her workshops in the UK and Singapore.

Here's sharing some of the stuff I learnt at the workshop:

This simple gift wrap was done with cellophane paper bought from Diaso! Economical yet so pretty!

I've always battled with wrapping odd shaped items but Jane showed how easy it actually is. The trick is to use tension. Also, if you need to hide the design of your tin, wrap a dark colour tissue inside and a light coloured out. And look how a duo-tone pom pom added life to the entire piece. Pretty isn't it?

This was a fabric rose made using a wired ribbon. I didn't even know such things existed! She even prepared tutorial cards! How thoughtful! You can find the tutorial here

The beautiful flower added such a nice touch to the wrapping. It adds an instant luxury decoration to your gifts. A great alternative to bows. Tip: you could even spray on some fragrance to give it a special touch.

Dying to decorate your home or next party with some pom poms? did you know you could actually do it yourself!

A simple envelope created just with a few folds.

I've always encountered much difficulty when tying the perfect bow. Jane suggested that we place a little rose bud made of ric rac ribbon to cover up any unsightly knots. It instantly brightens the present don't you think? Back to tying the perfect bow. You can find a tutorial here, but Jane's advice is to pause and look and arrange before you tighten things. It's that easy!

At the end of it, I even received a certificate of completion! Talent unlocked!

The entire workshop was conducted with this as our backdrop. What a fabulous way to spend my Saturday! A real treat!

Was delighted to have made new friends: 
Front : Jane Means
Back ( Left) : DominiquePcMe & Serene

The wrapping expert has a dedicated team and now designs her own ribbon collections. This is such an inspiration for all crafters! Her well recognised ribbons can be found online. She also has a team of experienced Ribbon Bloggers who regularly post DIY tutorials and craft ideas using the company's ribbons and craft products.

Jane Means recently also launched her global book ' 'Giftwrapped'  and has produced her DVD  'The Art of Gift Wrapping' . Psst: If you want a peak to her book, you can check it out here
So if you are inspired to start dressing up your gifts and creating a neatly swathed gift that looks stylish and presentable, get in touch with Jane and her team for the dates on her workshops or connect with her via the following social platforms: Pinterest, Twitter @janemeans; Jane Mean's blog and Instagram!
Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the above workshop. No monetary compensation is involved. All opinions are of my own.