Life

Arts groups cancel, push back shows

Performing arts groups in Singapore have cancelled or postponed upcoming productions in the light of the coronavirus outbreak which originated in Wuhan city, China. At least three theatre groups – Checkpoint Theatre, Nine Years Theatre and Singapore Repertory Theatre – have postponed their shows after the Ministry of Health (MOH) last Friday raised the level […]

Life

Art Basel cancels Hong Kong fair

HONG KONG • This year’s edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, one of the most important destinations in the international art market calendar, has been cancelled, with organisers citing the “sudden and widespread outbreak” of the coronavirus in China. The fair, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and featuring premier galleries from […]

Life

From Artemis Fowl to a vodka-guzzling dragon

When Irish author Eoin Colfer decided to write a children’s book about a 12-year-old criminal mastermind, he did not think it would go down well at all. His first book, Benny And Omar (1998), had been criticised in the media because its protagonist, a normal kid who sometimes misbehaves, was “not a good role model”. […]

Life

An ambitious gathering of love, loss and identity

POETRY TO GATHER YOUR LEAVING Edited by Boey Kim Cheng, Justin Chia and Arin Alycia Fong Ethos Books/ Paperback/ 684 pages/ $30/ Available at bit.ly/ToGatherYourLeaving /4 stars “If as a child I’ve said/ ‘one day I shall have no home’,” writes poet Wong May in Kampong Bahru, 1975, “…now it is said/over & again… the […]

Life

No snow for ice sculptures

SAPPORO (Japan) • Every year, tens of thousands of tourists flock to the snow festival in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo, attracted by some 200 large, intricate ice sculptures. But this year, there is a problem: no snow. With high temperatures that festivalgoers put down to climate change, organisers were forced to truck in […]

Life

Making Oscar history

Even as stunned South Koreans celebrate the history-making Oscar victories by Parasite and its director Bong Joon-ho at the Academy Awards on Sunday (Monday morning in Singapore), those who live and work in Hollywood must be scratching their heads and wondering: “What happened?” Why did the mostly American academy voters, whom Bong gently chided in […]

Life

South Koreans celebrate historic wins

SEOUL • South Korean social media erupted in celebration yesterday after the dark comedy Parasite became the first non-English-language movie to win the Best Picture award, already having netted three other Oscars in a historic first for the country. Director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite vaulted over what he once called the “one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles” to […]

Life

Galling that women directors still overlooked

“Congratulations to those men,” actress Issa Rae said drily, when she announced the yet again all-male slate of director nominees for this year’s Oscars nominations announcement last month. The 92nd Academy Awards, which took place on Monday, Singapore time, had given nods to Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, Bong Joon-ho, Todd Phillips and Quentin Tarantino. Eventually, […]

Life

Six other films by Bong Joon-ho

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho made history when he took home the Oscars for both Best Director and Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday (yesterday, Singapore time). Parasite (2019), his satirical take on the class divide, is the first Asian film to win the Best Picture award. It follows an impoverished family […]

Life

The red carpet’s best..and worst

The stars turned up shining at Hollywood’s biggest event, the 92nd Academy Awards, which took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday, Singapore time. It may have been a congregation of Hollywood’s finest – think Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson – but it was the underdogs who stole the limelight […]

Life

Don’t let your imagination run viral watching these horror films

Open the Netflix app these days and one might see that the top suggested feed is a documentary series with the ominous title of Pandemic – very subtle, Netflix. It is hard to blame the service. Movies about infections have been raking muck and sowing fear in the name of entertainment for a hundred years. […]

Life

Men’s hair loss no longer a taboo topic

LONDON • Mr Spencer Stevenson, 44, was blessed with thick hair as a young man.Then, when he was 21, his hairline began to recede and it made him anxious and depressed. His experience led him to become a mentor for balding men. For 15 years he has run an advice website, spexhair.com. He also presents […]

Life

Food junkie is now fighting fit

What is your secret to looking fabulous? I try to drink plenty of water and eat balanced meals on weekdays, as well as exercise regularly, to keep healthy. I do things I love in my free time to reward myself for the effort I put into my boxing sessions. It keeps me mentally healthy in […]

Life

Podcasts that help put you in better shape

NEW YORK • Now that it is a month into the new year, it is statistically likely that whatever health resolutions you set for 2020 have already lost their shine. Luckily for those in need of some straightforward training tips and expert motivation to help get back on track, plenty of coaches and nutritionists are […]

Life

Chinese New Year: A time to treasure family

Chinese New Year holds a special place in my heart as it is the one time of the year that truly signifies tradition, family and togetherness. I make it a point never to travel during this period and to always be around to help my mother with her celebrations. It is possibly the only time, […]

Life

Wordy morass drowns out the bright spots

Philosophical ideas may be gripping on a page or challenging to discuss over endless cups of tea, but they make for inert drama, especially when accompanied by the declamatory style of acting much beloved in Chinese theatre. Director and co-writer Goh Boon Teck seems to have bitten off more than he can chew in this […]

Life

Keeping the virus at bay while travelling

When warranty manager Teo Ah Bee went to Phuket over the Chinese New Year long weekend, she packed a box of surgical masks and had her husband and three children put them on while clearing immigration at Phuket International Airport. During their four-day vacation, the family avoided crowded places and large groups of mainland Chinese […]

Life

No need to kill your travel bug, with the right precautions

Even as apprehension builds over the global spread of the novel coronavirus, there might be a way around abandoning your travel plans for the new year. In the latest edition of the askST@NLB talk, The Straits Times Travel Editor Lee Siew Hua delved into precautions for travelling safely and the most important travel trends this […]

Life

Kicking smoking habit can reverse lung damage: Study

TOKYO • Smokers can effectively turn back time in their lungs by kicking the habit, with healthy cells emerging to replace some of their tobacco-damaged and cancer-prone ones, a new study shows. Smokers have long been told their risk of developing diseases like lung cancer will fall if they can quit. And stopping smoking prevents […]

Life

Bookmark This! Ep 12: Clothes, consumption and the climate crisis

Can these books change your mind on climate change? In this podcast, The Straits Times journalists Toh Wen Li and Olivia Ho check out three new books on the climate crisis: Naomi Klein’s On Fire, Jonathan Safran Foer’s We Are The Weather and Dana Thomas’ Fashionopolis. Listen at: str.sg/JTPX Produced by: Olivia Ho, Toh Wen […]

Life

Julie Smith-Clementi and Frank Clementi Form Smith-Clementi Design Firm

Julie Smith-Clementi and Frank Clementi have formed an independent design practice, Smith-Clementi, after a long-time association with the Los Angeles firm they helped found several decades ago, Rios Clementi Hale Studios. There, as major players in the L.A. design scene, they became known for work large and small—from such high-visibility, place-making venues as The Hollywood […]

Life

More Audi EVs to arrive amid growing interest

With an eye firmly on the future, German automaker Audi is keen to capitalise on the electrification wave lapping the shores of Singapore – first with its e-tron sport utility vehicle (SUV) that was unveiled at the Singapore Motorshow 2020 last month. Another battery-powered model will follow by year-end – the e-tron Sportback, a sportier […]

Life

Torque Shop

I have just taken delivery of a new car with double-clutch transmission (DCT). Is there anything about this transmission which I should be mindful of? Although the double-clutch system changes gears automatically and actually feels like any conventional automatic, its internals are quite unique. The clutches in a DCT are meant solely for transmitting power. […]

Life

Volvo’s new XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid is a red hot green car

Hybrids are usually a compromise, simply because they carry the weight of two powertrains. As such, they are programmed to conserve energy (both fuel and electricity), even though many will allow short bursts when both engine and electric motor work in unison. Please subscribe or log in to continue reading the full article. Learn more […]

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Fast Lane: Racing ahead with the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC

A Leaf racing ahead Behold the third-generation Nissan Leaf Nismo RC, an electric racer which borrows its name from the green Leaf but looks nothing like it. The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Leaf Nismo RC has 322hp and 640Nm of torque on tap – about double what the popular Leaf has. It hits 100kmh in just 3.4 […]

Life

Shoot, run or play to escape

While video games and mobile games reign supreme in this digital age, some people are still willing to step out of their homes to move around and interact with others for real-life gaming experiences. From Larp (live-action role playing) to Nerf to escape rooms that break out of the box, here is the low-down on […]

Life

Seungri indicted, without detention

SEOUL • Seungri was arguably the most high-profile artist ensnared in a K-pop scandal that erupted last year, but was not hauled to court even as two other singers were charged and received jail sentences. On Thursday, however, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office indicted, without detention, the former BigBang singer for allegedly gambling overseas […]

Life

Melange of styles

Scandinavian, industrial, a pastel palette. Each constitutes a distinct look and has adoring fans who bedeck their personal sanctuaries according to their tenets. For IT engineer Marina Chang and self-employed businessman Kenny Wan however, instead of taking the purist approach, they decided to blend the three looks for their four-room Housing Board flat in Boon […]

Life

Vintage Nordic chic lives on

Vintage Scandinavian furniture, mainly from Denmark, Norway and Sweden, and also Finland and Iceland, has influenced the world with its pared-down aesthetic as far back as the early 1900s. Most of the stunning minimalist designs from the turn of the century to the 1960s, termed “mid-century”, captured the imagination of the world, especially the work […]

Life

In love with mid-century Danish Modern furniture

Ms Lynette Wong has been collecting Danish Modern pieces for the last 14 years, and she says she still has a long way to go. She shows me why she cannot stop, inviting me to sit on all her chairs, discreetly removing the sign that says “DO NOT SIT” – probably for those with less […]