It's finally here. The blog post which some have been requesting. Aptly, it is being published on New Year's Eve. I hope this encourages and inspires you to consider realistic fitness and health goals, particularly if you're one who sets New Year Resolutions. For those just interested in the rough 'before'/'after' photos and only want … Continue reading 04(17): Why and how I lost 10 kg in 5 months, and successfully sustained it; lessons learnt, and next steps
INTRODUCTION It has been a while (about 1.5 months) since my previous blog post, in which I discussed a medical condition where the patient sheds 'crocodile tears'. Well, that condition (Borogad syndrome) is pretty esoteric, and I wrote about it largely only because I wanted to share some fascinating trivia I had encountered in my … Continue reading 04(16): Why 1 kg weight loss takes away 4 kg-equivalent of stress from the hip – a tango between medicine and Newtonian mechanics
BACKGROUND The animated film Tarzan (1999) by Disney is one of the many animated productions that I watched fondly as a kid. The film chronicles the tale of a man raised by apes and must decide where he really belongs when he learns that he is a human. Famous soundtrack from the film include You'll … Continue reading 04(15): A medical condition in which you shed crocodile tears
Introduction Many in society repeat ad nauseam how it's a person's personality that truly matters, perhaps in an attempt by their holier-than-thou attitude to demonstrate that they transcend the reality of the 'superficiality' of physical features. What's funny is that it's almost never the people who are conventionally unattractive that say that 'looks don't matter'. … Continue reading 04(14): What objectively determines the physical attractiveness of a man’s face?
Background What is your favourite cuisine? Personally, it would be Japanese (Western is a joint favourite). My love for Japanese food began at the tender age of nine, when I was granted even more daily pocket money upon advancing to being a Primary Three student at Pei Hwa Presbyterian Primary School (PHPPS). A photograph of … Continue reading 04(13): The secret of success according to the world’s greatest sushi chef
Background Yesterday, I went to get a haircut and while I was en-route to the barber, I encountered a sign which advertised the list of aesthetic services offered by a GP clinic, which itself was a member of a chain of GP clinics. Interestingly, aesthetic medicine isn't recognised as a specialty or subspecialty in Singapore. … Continue reading 04(12): Aesthetic medicine – does it deserve such a bad rap?
Introduction During my first week of the IM (Internal Medicine) rotation almost a year ago, I remember being asked by a doctor to perform an examination of a particular patient's cranial nerves. The patient had been diagnosed with Ramsay-Hunt syndrome. That encounter left an impact on me. Now, whenever I encounter the eponymous syndrome or … Continue reading 04(11): Justin Bieber – a case study on facial nerve palsy and basic neurolocalisation
Background & Introduction **Scroll to the bottom of this post for a tl;dr summary if you'd rather not read the details!** In perhaps the first quarter of 2021, I encountered a fellow Singaporean medical student’s retweet on Twitter. The retweet promoted an online event, specifically a global competition for medical students, that had been organized … Continue reading 04(10): The finale of a global challenge that was held in London, and sightseeing in the city
The main body's text was originally published on 27 April 2022. However, my views on social media yet again and with respect to that, I published an update (on 1 May 2022) that can be found at the bottom of this post. Frequent visitors to my site would notice that just a few days ago, … Continue reading 04(09): Evolving views on social media
Last night, I completed my re-reading of Cal Newport's "Digital Minimalism". The book is incredibly relevant to practically every soul whose life involves the use of, to any extent, devices such as smartphones, computers, etc. I realised that when I had read the book for the first time last July, I failed to note down … Continue reading 04(08): Notable snippets from a second read of Cal Newport’s “Digital Minimalism”
Earth without art is just 'eh'. This year, the 73rd NUS Medical Society Arts & Culture Directorate has put together the 2022 HeARTbuzz Art Exhibition and its theme is "Pneuma: Breath of life". The Ancient Greek word πνεῦμα ('pneuma') means “wind, breath, spirit” and wends its way into our modern lexicon, manifesting itself in terms … Continue reading 04(07): Earth without art is just ‘eh’
What a pleasant surprise to receive this in my inbox (see the following attached screenshot of the email correspondence that has been partially redacted). Yishun Health (consisting of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital 邱德拔醫院, 90 Yishun Central and Yishun Community Hospital) had their Teachers' Appreciation Day on 1 March to demonstrate their thanks for the indispensable … Continue reading 04(06): An unexpected appreciation for my piano arrangement of “The Road Ahead”
NB: This was adapted (mainly refinements on grammar, sentence structure, and a few additions to content) from a physical diary entry I made today.---Today, I experienced a renewed urge to become truly disciplined again with respect to my academic work - to work on my Anki reviews (ensuring that they are completed promptly every single … Continue reading 04(05): A revitalised urge for discipline in one’s pursuit of the deep life
Dear 6-year-old Nicholas, I am you from the future, specifically 24-year-old Nic. It must be freaky and overwhelming to receive this letter. In fact, the contents of this letter may be a little challenging to understand at your age, so don’t be afraid to ask Dad and Mom to help explain some of its contents … Continue reading 04(04): A letter to 6-year-old Nic
How the quote ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ originated “Comparison is the thief of joy”. This well-known quote is attributed to the 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). Attached below is an image of him (taken from Wikipedia ). Variations of this advice are common as well. In the US, a particularly well-regarded place … Continue reading 04(03): Comparison is the thief of joy
Skincare routines are not limited to use by women It isn’t challenging to appreciate the sheer number of beauty, skincare, and facial products that are marketed primarily towards the female demographic in society. It’s everywhere: physical advertisements at bus stops, MRTs, shopping malls; advertisements along the side of the page as you surf the web. … Continue reading 04(02): Establishing a basic skincare routine
In this post, I share my journey of how I was diagnosed with myopia and rotated through several glasses as the years passed until I settled on my current pair which I deeply enjoy.
I had been sleeping and just woke up (1:23 am) from a vivid and bizarre dream. I’m going to document/type what I can remember before the details are quickly forgotten. In the dream, I was with five other medical students (donning our white coats) working as assistants for a cardiologist (this person is someone who … Continue reading 03(04): Vivid and bizarre dream which interrupted my sleep
What a ride it has been. I just concluded the penultimate week of the Year 3 Family Medicine (FM) posting. Specifically, I just completed the second of two weeks of the GP component of the FM posting, and I must say that the fortnight that I have spent here at this clinic has been the … Continue reading 03(03): Saving a life
Today is the last day of the 1-week-long ICOPE (Integrated Care of Older Persons) component of my Family Medicine posting. While I spent my time at the community hospital (specifically at St. Andrew Community Hospital from Monday through Thursday), today was spent entirely at home, where I participated in the following lectures virtually via Zoom: … Continue reading 03(02): There’s more to it than “just exercise more”
On Friday, I concluded my three-week stint at Queenstown Polyclinic as part of the ten-week Family Medicine (FM) posting of the third year of the NUS MBBS undergraduate curriculum (i.e. Phase III). There were various assessment components associated with this three-week stint, one of which was the 'patient care plan' that each medical student was … Continue reading 03(01): Takeaways from drafting a patient’s chronic care plan
This blog post is my translation attempt on the fifth chapter of LLPSI FR. If you wish to learn Latin, all you have to do is just follow me from chapter 01. The Latin text is designed such that you can learn Latin from scratch just by reading the text itself without any external aid. … Continue reading 02(11): LLPSI Pars I Familia Romana, Capitulum Quintum
This blog post is my translation attempt on the fourth chapter of LLPSI FR. If you wish to learn Latin, all you have to do is just follow me from Chapter 01. The Latin text is designed such that you can learn Latin from scratch just by reading the text itself without any external aid. … Continue reading 02(10): LLPSI Pars I Familia Romana, Capitulum Quartum
This blog post is my translation attempt on the third chapter of LLPSI FR. If you wish to learn Latin, all you have to do is just follow me from chapter 1. The Latin text is designed such that you can learn Latin from scratch just by reading the text itself without any external aid. … Continue reading 02(09): LLPSI Pars I Familia Romana, Capitulum Tertium
This blog post is my translation attempt on the second chapter of LLPSI FR. If you wish to learn Latin, all you have to do is just follow me from chapter 1. The Latin text is designed such that you can learn Latin just by reading the text itself without any external aid. Such is … Continue reading 02(08): LLPSI Pars I Familia Romana, Capitulum Secundum
The diagram shows an island (insula), town (oppidum), and river (fluvius). Rome is in Italy. Italy is in Europe. Greece is in Europe. Italy and Greece are in Europe. Spain is also in Europe. Spain, Italy, and Greece are in Europe. Egypt is not in Europe; Egypt is in Africa. Gall is not in Africa; … Continue reading 02(07): LLPSI Pars I Familia Romana, Capitulum Primum
A few years ago, I decided to start learning Latin for various reasons. Firstly, I thought that it was and still do think it is a majestic and beautiful language. Its words just have that accompanying gravitas. It had so much weight. Somehow, the mere fact that something is written in Latin seems to lend … Continue reading 02(06): Getting back to learning Latin again after a hiatus; learn Latin with me.
I need to ensure the question to which I am giving my response is the same as the question that another party might be asking. It is easy to take for granted that both the former and the latter are always equivalent. They are not always the same, given the different lenses through which people … Continue reading 02(05): Are there really different types of intelligence?
In this post, I will be introducing the question bank of AMBOSS. Before diving straight into that, I think it helps to establish some essential background information so that we can at least understand slightly better AMBOSS's role in medical education today. My earliest encounter with AMBOSS was probably late in 2018, where I chanced … Continue reading 02(04): Take learning in medical school to the next level with AMBOSS
Today, I was playing the piano (indulging in the majestic opening chords of Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto and some soundtrack pieces from The Phantom of the Opera) and as I also played other pieces I was familiar with, I reminisced about the past. Specifically, I recalled how someone had written me a note when I … Continue reading 02(03): Thank you, anonymous listener
Today is March 14, which can be written as 3/14, and these digits correspond to the first 3 digits of the mathematical constant which is defined as the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, at least in the decimal system that we human beings have arbitrarily chosen to adopt. π is … Continue reading 02(02): Pi day
What a long time that has elapsed since my last post in September 2019. Five months have passed and now here I finally am, again, with yet another (long-awaited?) blog post. Earlier this morning, I attended a session from 9-11 am where the movie "Wit" (2001) was streamed in the lecture theatre. It was the … Continue reading 02(01): Thoughts on the 2001 movie “Wit”
Which is the "correct" term: Alzheimer's disease, Alzheimer disease? Should the eponym be replaced entirely? According to the Wikipedia article on medical eponyms, "medical eponyms are terms used in medicine which are named after people (and occasionally places or things). In 1975, the Canadian National Institutes of Health held a conference that discussed the naming … Continue reading 01(32): Should we abandon medical eponyms?
In a previous blog post, 01(15), I discussed my musical journey from its very beginning. I highly recommend that you read it if you want an exposition on my musical journey. That blog post is a must-read if you are a frequent visitor to my blog! In this post, I would like to expound on … Continue reading 01(31): How I chose the pieces for my piano exam, and what I could have done differently
What comes to your mind when you think of people swimming in warm freshwater lakes and rivers? For me, this thought conjures pleasant images of people relaxing in these water bodies. Some might even relax in natural hot springs. Usually, all is well and people are just enjoying their time away from work: the rat … Continue reading 01(30): Think twice before swimming in warm freshwater lakes, rivers, and hot springs overseas?
Yesterday, I was watching a video where the teacher had asked his students a question. He had just discussed how penicillins and cephalosporins can be used against certain bacteria, right after talking about Mycoplasma. The teacher then asked the class: "Which is Mycoplasma more sensitive to: penicillins or cephalosporins?" One student raised his hand and … Continue reading 01(29): What do beta-lactams and perhaps the smallest known living organism have in common?
NOTE: To make this blog post more educational, I have decided to come up with some questions throughout this blog post which you can contemplate to reinforce your understanding. My suggested answers can be found at the bottom of the post, just above the references. Feel free to give me feedback so that I can … Continue reading 01(28): Blood types, and converting type A to type O blood with two gut bacterial enzymes
"Hey bro, do you have this thing called G6PD? What is this G6PD?" What do the title and the preceding sentence have in common? These are perhaps the words of full-time national servicemen, both 30 years ago and now respectively, to their fellow soldiers as they are left perplexed by the medical questionnaires they are … Continue reading 01(27): Eh blarder, u god g6pd anot. dis g6pd si simi?
The world's tiniest motor, ATP synthase, or F1FO-ATPase, stands at about 20 nm in height and 10 nm in diameter. Look at the above artist's impression of ATP synthase. What a beautiful image. This protein complex is something that many biology, biochemistry, health sciences students are required to learn about. Today, I wish to talk … Continue reading 01(26): The world’s smallest motor
Ask any kid what he thinks of when he comes across the word "scientist". It is not surprising to hear scientists being described as weird, introverted, bespectacled old men with grey hair in white lab coats who do crazy stuff involving explosive chemical reactions in the laboratory. This stereotypical portrayal is perpetuated by the abundance … Continue reading 01(25): The fascinating story of Helicobacter pylori
The handspan, or simply "span", can be defined as the distance between the tip of one's thumb and one's pinky of the same hand. Understandably, a pianist is going to have a headache if his hand is not able to accommodate a particular series of notes as dictated on the sheet music. The hands are … Continue reading 01(24): Winning the genetic lottery for handspans as a pianist isn’t enough
One of my modules this semester is titled "Communication for Improved Patient Care". Yesterday, we had a lecture from 1-2pm, followed by a workshop from 2-4pm. The theme for this week was "Creating the right therapeutic environment". When delving into the realm of medical ethics and the nature of the relationship between doctor and patient, … Continue reading 01(23): The over-emphasis of patient autonomy under the guise of patient-centred care
“Don’t forget to complete questions 3 to 7a. We shall be going through them on Thursday! Remember this, I can’t help you if you choose not to help yourself. So please, be true to yourself!” reminded Mr Toh, our Physics teacher. As the school bell sounded like it always did on the hour, my classmates … Continue reading 01(22): I finally met you
My Primary One English teacher was addressed by us students as Mdm Siti. In secondary school, I had a Chemistry teacher who wished to be addressed as Ms Ngo. Then, when I was in Primary Four, I had a teacher who was to be addressed as Mrs Loh. On the other hand, addressing my male … Continue reading 01(21): Ms, Miss, Mrs, and Madam. What’s the difference?
One of my topics this semester is Pathophysiology. According to the topic co-ordinator, the "purpose of this topic is to introduce you to the pathophysiology of the cardiovascular system with a special interest in Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) & ECG Interpretation. The cardiovascular system is an integral part of every patients' [sic] presentation and understanding … Continue reading 01(20): The irony of the innominate artery, and other things
Have you ever wondered how the digits and letters within your NRIC relate to one another? The most recent news shrouding the NRIC concerns the nature of its collection, use, and disclosure. According to a Straits Times article published last August, it will be illegal for organisations to collect, use, or disclose NRIC numbers or … Continue reading 01(19): How to determine the last NRIC letter from the starting letter, and digits
Excuse the pun. I just had to do it. In Singapore, we drive on the left side of the road. As such, people use the right lanes for overtaking, and so, it is natural for expressway exits to branch out from the left-most lane on the highway, so that cars on the right lanes can … Continue reading 01(18): The last right-side expressway exit left in Singapore
What image is conjured in your mind when you encounter the word "Latin"? You would probably think of a bunch of old priests in parishes chanting in an esoteric language, and indeed - you would be right. As I type this, I am reminded of James Joyce's phenomenal encyclopaedic novel, Ulysses. I shall first talk … Continue reading 01(17): Joyce’s Ulysses, and the legacy of Latin
As I hopped on to my computer to conduct a search on Google this morning, I noticed that today's doodle featured lanterns. Did you notice that there is a pig in lieu of what would be the second letter 'o'? Hahaha. In Singapore, people are busy with their work and school and oftentimes, if there … Continue reading 01(16): Lantern Festival – the Chinese Valentine’s Day
I can still remember exactly how I started learning the piano. My family had paid a visit to Plaza Singapura and as a boy at the tender age of six, I marvelled at the majesty of the grand pianos that were showcased at one of the top levels of the mall. For those who are … Continue reading 01(15): How I started tickling the ivories, quit, then rekindled my love for music
'His Robes For Mine' is a hymn consisting of text by Chris Anderson and tune by Greg Habegger. I first heard of this hymn at the conclusion of my church's youth fellowship camp last December. This hymn was used as the background music of the church camp's montage. The montage was shown at the end … Continue reading 01(14): What I learnt from ‘His Robes For Mine’
On the evening of the first day of the Lunar New Year, my family paid my maternal grandparents a visit. In the living room of their residence sat an upright, and it was the piano with which I had grown up. In fact, my earliest videos on my Youtube channel feature that Christofori upright. That … Continue reading 01(13): Why grands are generally better than uprights
I used to wonder why the train ride between Caldecott (CC17) and Botanic Gardens (CC19) was unusually long (5-min) while taking the train home from school. I looked at the MRT network map and then realised that there was a skip from CC17 to CC19! Usually, train rides are 2-3 minutes. Sometimes, they can be … Continue reading 01(12): Why isn’t there a CC18 on the Circle Line?
People in their early twenties will remember Disney's High School Musical series. The first of the existing HSM trilogy was released on 20 January 2006 as a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM). It has been the most successful DCOM yet. Songs from its soundtrack such as 'Breaking Free' and 'We're All In This Together' became … Continue reading 01(11): How this song’s title (‘Everyday’) left me bemused for a long time
As a child, I visited my grandmother weekly and one thing that caught my attention was a calendar with which I was not familiar. Compared to the calendar I was accustomed to, this one had more 'annotations' and peculiar symbols. It looked something like this: This calendar has many names; it is known as the … Continue reading 01(10): Making sense of the Chinese calendar
The tenth and twelfth month in our calendar are October and December respectively. Yet, the prefixes of these months suggest otherwise. Has this ever puzzled you? The prefixes 'oct-' and 'dec-' come derive from Greek and they mean eight and ten respectively. With the prefix 'oct-', you have words such as 'octagon' (an eight-sided polygon), … Continue reading 01(09): On months and seasons
We deal with them all the time. 'Arrghh, I hate Mondays; Monday blues!' is something that is commonly heard. 'Let's have lunch on Saturday'. 'I have dinner with my family on Sunday'. 'I have a dental appointment on Wednesday'. These sentences are not unusual, and we do not give the days' names a second thought … Continue reading 01(08): Days of the week
I first heard the hymn during a church service a few months ago. It was the closing hymn for the service, and I could not help but feel how apt the hymn is as a choice for the closing hymn. Its melody is truly grand and majestic. Do you remember my post regarding the hymn … Continue reading 01(07): Story behind the hymn ‘Living For Jesus’
The three words describe the same thing - holiness. The first is self-explanatory as it is the most familiar to us. The second is more interesting. Where have you seen this word before? Most people would simply note in glee, 'Halloween!', and they would be right. According to the etymology as established on Wiktionary, the … Continue reading 01(06): Holy, Hallow, Sanctus
'Great is Thy Faithfulness' is one of the most recognisable hymns of all time. Its author and musician are Thomas O. Chisholm (1866-1960) and William M. Runyan (1870-1957) respectively. It is so popular that it is still sung even in most contemporary and liberal churches which have abandoned the traditional singing on hymns. This endearing … Continue reading 01(05): The story behind the hymn ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’
Last September, my pastor gave a sermon entitled 'Jesus led to Golgotha'. One learning point I had from that sermon was the meanings and etymologies of the words 'Golgotha' and 'Calvary'. The word 'Golgotha' means 'skull' in Aramaic, one of the two languages of the Old Testament. Golgotha is also known as Calvary, which is … Continue reading 01(04): Calvary or cavalry?
While learning about watches, I chanced upon the fancy feature of ‘perpetual calendars’. However, before talking about perpetual calendars in watches, I should also discuss annual calendars in watches and watches without either feature. In mechanical/automatic watches without either the annual or perpetual calendar feature, there is a date wheel that adjusts every 24 hours … Continue reading 01(03): Do leap years always occur every four years?
This is something I never noticed until I chanced upon an online article discussing this issue. Upon reading this, my eyes were immediately set upon the dial of my Longines. Indeed, 'IIII' is used instead of 'IV'. I continued reading the article and found it to be intriguing. The link to the article I read … Continue reading 01(02): Why do most timepieces with Roman numerals use ‘IIII’ instead of ‘IV’?
I remember a time when it was trendy to start your own blog on the domain 'blogspot.com'. All my peers in primary school were doing it. More than a decade later, things have changed indeed. At least among the people I know, few, are active bloggers. People establish and maintain blogs for a myriad of … Continue reading 01(01): Blogogenesis