The Great Moscow Circus: Seriously Underpriced Tickets Even Before Discounts!

great moscow circus review

Not a crime scene. This performance involves trampolines. πŸ˜€

The only reason I’m putting together this blogpost at midnight, after watching The Great Moscow Circus at the Big Top Tent beside MBS, is because it blew me away. Yes, sure, I’ve seen some of those acts before (motorbikes in a metal cage, balancing, juggling, etc) yet there were some elements new to me, and most of the time I’m just shaking my head and inwardly going “No, no, no, don’t do that!” ‘cos some of those death-defying stunts are CRAZY…

Such as this one…

It’s always moving and yet the dude gets out from the (relative) safety of the hamster wheel-like compartment, heads to the top and STARTS SKIPPING (yes, that’s a skipping rope he’s holding). *no, I can’t watch, please don’t fall*

great moscow circus singapore

Thankfully, no performer fell from a great height. Sure, there were some misses here and there but overall, it was an enjoyable evening. Many thanks to my pal, Steven, for inviting me to join his family for this circus event. πŸ˜€ You can go check out his blog for his take on the evening.

The funniest thing that happened to me was when I (really) thought the show was over after the crazy ‘hamster-wheel’ routine. But there was actually a break of 15 minutes and there were yet more surprising performances to come.

Tonight I even splurged on cotton candy and popcorn ($8 each!) to share with the kiddos. πŸ˜€ I guess you can use the substantial savings from the ticket purchase for this weekend and spend it on merchandise and food at the circus! There’s 25% discount for this weekend, and usually there’s 15% discount for PAssion Card members. Head over to Sistic for the full details:Β https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/cgmc1218

HDB Farming: Growing Organic Tomatoes At The Rooftop Garden :D

hdb farming tomatoes

I secretly want to bring everyone I know to the rooftop garden and show them the tomatoes I’ve grown FROM SEED! But they probably won’t be impressed. πŸ˜€ It’s taken so many months before the plant bore fruit that I’ve lost count. Finally I have golf ball sized tomatoes ripening and it’s making my heart sing. πŸ˜€ I’ve been like a paranoid mother checking the leaves to see if insects (read: pests) are setting up their homes, pruning the plant, weeding, etc. I do also think the soil has been ‘fertilized’ with my sweat because it’s always a sweaty affair when I am at the rooftop garden and the sun’s beaming down on me. Finally, my baby’s all grown up and I have 8 tomatoes! πŸ˜€

Some are still green, but the size is pretty good.

Growing tomatoes in Singapore

I’ve wrapped up the redder ones in newspaper so the birds and insects won’t notice and attack them. I’ve read somewhere on the Internet that birds will peck at the tomatoes because they want to drink what’s inside; they’re just thirsty. I’m not taking any chances. So it’s newspaper PLUS netting!

And I’ve always had to combat the pest issue. Because no pesticides are used, there’s everything from white flies to grasshoppers to what I just found today… some black ladybird-like creatures and their eggs on the underside of one leaf:

Pests attacking tomato plant

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It’s been quite a journey. I’ve seen a neighbor give up on her tomato plant because it wasn’t bearing fruit (perhaps more patience was required). And my plant has grown so tall, it’s even taller than me now! Just imagine that!

From growing tomatoes myself, I’ve learnt that the leaves are so fragrant. I think I’ll be able to identify a tomato plant in future just by smell alone. πŸ™‚ And if you’re wondering what I’m thinking of growing next; it’s my favorite veggie: eggplant a.k.a brinjal.

And I’m so amazed at the power of just one seed. The seeds are so tiny you’ll probably need a tweezer to pick them up yet they can grow into ginormous plants and bear big fruit. And whenever I feel this level of amazement, I think there’s zero possibility that there’s no God. This kind of beauty can only happen by design, not by default.

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Click to read about my earlier crops:

Okra

Kailan

Caixin

Either There’s No Cat, Or There Are Two!

punggol stray cats

As it’s been raining today in Punggol, I thought the stray cat which frequents my block might be hungry. I’m always hungry when the weather is cold, so I figured Meow Meow might feel the same? πŸ˜€ Couldn’t find Meow downstairs so we went to do some grocery shopping and also get two cans of cat food. On the way home, I spotted Meow one floor down at the carpark so I happily rushed down to stop the cat in its tracks and show it I have food! Haha! This time I’m all prepared with a plastic tray. But what gave me a shock was the sudden appearance of a bigger, stockier cat. I thought the two would end up fighting over food but my fears were unfounded because Meow reacted as if to say “What’s up, bro? Here got makan. Come share!” And it appears the two cats know each other? The bigger one took a few bites and then went on its way. I’m not at all concerned about it ‘cos it looks so well-fed that it must belong to someone. It also has a very attractive coat; cannot be a stray, right?

This time round, Meow’s having Aatas cat food. Like, seriously, this is named Aatas. It’s a product of Thailand and there are quite a few flavors. I bought Tuna & Saba (‘cos I like both kinds of fish) and Tuna & Salmon! πŸ˜€ Each 80g can cost $1 at the supermarket and there was a promotion: buy-10-and-get-1-free. πŸ˜€ Maybe next time!

Aatas Cat Food

Meow gets spooked very easily by people shutting their car doors, a plane flying overhead, folks exiting the lifts, etc. So I had to move the tray to different spots and wait for Meow to come back and resume eating. I guess I’m a lot more patient than people think. πŸ˜€

Punggol Community Cats

He asked me whether I’m too young to be a cat feeder, or to be involved in feeding strays. Perhaps most people think only crazy old cat ladies will do this. I beg to differ. I think that even kids should be taught at a young age to care for (if not love) young animals. Then perhaps we’d have fewer cases of cruelty to animals.

Most people have pets for the sake of vanity. Sure, some pretty breeds will beautify your Instagram feed. They may even help get you, the owner, onto the cover of a Pet magazine. But that’s totally missing the point of having pets.

Everyone finds it easy to love the gorgeous pedigree cat. But few would give a skinny stray cat a second look. It’s ok. To me, the skinny stray needs more love than the gorgeous pedigree one. So I’ll give it what I can. πŸ™‚

Don’t get a pet because you think it’s gorgeous. You’ll have to walk the dog even when you don’t wish to. You’ll have your furniture scratched by the cat and your heart may bleed. πŸ˜€ And the worst thing to do would be to release the pet into your neighborhood and have it fend for itself when it has already forgotten how. Whenever possible, adopt, don’t buy. And if you find that it’s too much for you, get your pet rehomed.

I certainly hope today’s big, plump cat was simply out for a stroll and is not someone’s missing or abandoned pet. It would be a crying shame if it became as skinny as Meow Meow (whom I definitely intend to fatten up).

Part 2: I Went For The FREE Chinatown Walking Tour

Free Walking Tour Chinatown

After surviving the Kampong Glam walking tour (2.5 hours is no joke), I took a break for two days then returned for the Chinatown walking tour, again with Monster Day Tours. πŸ˜€ Our guide for the morning was Basirun (or Bas). The meeting place is at Exit A of Chinatown MRT station, and the walking tour ends at the Fuk Tak Chi Museum in Telok Ayer. I thought Bas had a “air steward” sort of voice – the kind that’s so pleasing you’ll either zone out or fall asleep. But he confirmed that he had never been employed as cabin crew before. :DI liked that he used an iPad during the tour, to show us pictures from Singapore’s past, etc. The highlights of this particular tour is the trip to the hawker centre (free popiah!) and a tour of the wet market located at the basement.

free chinatown walking tour singapore

It’s a tough job, I think, trying to make the tour entertaining and engaging for not-easily-impressed angmohs. Using an iPad means there’s no need to search within the bag for laminated pictures, as the guide during the Kampong Glam tour did.

I thought it was really funny how Bas took us to a shop that sells paper offerings which, as you probably already know, are burnt as gifts for deities and deceased loved ones. There are chicken rice sets, cigarettes (what?!), cars, clothes, passports and ferry tickets, among other “essentials”. I could not believe my ears when an angmoh lady said she was going to buy some of the items to bring back and show to her pals. (@_@) I didn’t even want to step into the shop, as I had no business to be there. Maybe I’m slightly pantang. πŸ˜€

chinese paper offerings for the dead

former opium den chinatown

Bas points out what was formerly an opium den for the rich (levels 2 and 3) and for opium sales to coolies (level 1).

We also saw lots of artwork along the streets, one of which depicted a scene from a ‘mass wedding’. Bas had even prepared a picture to show us. I think he said the photograph was from one of his colleagues. We were told that couples had to pay just $6K to participate in one, and they got a honeymoon trip to HongKong, Bali and Japan too, alongside all the other couples. Sounds pretty unromantic to me. But I guess people had to do what they had to do back then…

mass wedding mural and photograph

I absolutely LOVED the trip to the wet market. Here I am thinking that seafood at FairPrice supermarkets is cheap. And at the wet market, I saw prawns being sold at HALF the price I’m used to paying! My goodness. I’m going to shop at wet markets from now on…

live frogs chinatown wet market

I thought it was HILARIOUS how the angmohs tak boleh tahan this part of the tour. They looked like they were going to pass out. So nauseating meh?

It was quite funny how a group of us were standing outside this live frog stall at the wet market, and as the boss was taking out some of the frogs (presumably for another customer), one agile frog managed to escape and stood proudly on the cage, breathing what must be the air of victory and freedom, and along comes the dude again, giving the frog a backhand swipe so it falls back into the cage! The angmohΒ ‘cheerleaders’ were devastated. XD

Joked with Bas about their reactions, and he simply said he had already forewarned everyone about what they’ll experience during the wet market tour and everyone still wanted to participate so yah… πŸ˜€ We wisely decided not to tell anyone about the yummy frog leg porridge at Chinatown. πŸ˜€

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Overall, I enjoyed the tour. Gave the guide a $10 tip ‘cos I felt he deserved it. He bought popiah for everyone to share (I didn’t eat it ‘cos he’d specifically ordered popiah without chili and I think popiah HAS to have chili in it lah).

The vibe I got from Bas is that he’s very friendly and open, and he cared enough to ask me what I work as, whether I was on leave that day, etc.

When he told me that his wife had just given birth last week, and he’s now the proud father of his first child (a girl), I was so happy for him! I really think he should have told the group this good news at the start of the tour. So if he ever looked tired, all the guests who are parents would be able to commiserate. I’ve been told that babies keep their parents awake throughout the night but have never experienced this myself, so I can only try and imagine, you see. I’m sure they’ll be more generous in tipping too. *wink wink*

And he was happy to satisfy my curiosity about his job too. He shared about his journey to becoming a tour guide, money matters, and even about their non-competition clause. Also, I learnt how some tour companies actually disallow people from joining their tours if you’re training to be a tour guide and you’re going to work for another company. (What? They know some secrets about Singapore’s history that no one else knows, is it?)

I Joined A (Really) Free Walking Tour Around Kampong Glam

FREE WalkingTour

Our guide for the free walking tour around Kampong Glam was Kyanta Yap (told us to call him Yap).

I never knew about the free walking tours happening in Singapore. And now I think they’re such an oddity because… “free”? Nothing in Singapore is free! πŸ˜› Apparently, there are quite a few tour operators in Singapore offering free walking tours… some are more ‘free’ than others. I’ll explain why in a minute. There are operators such as Monster Day Tours (the one I went for), Indie Singapore, SneakPeek Singapore, among others.

Why some are more free than others?

Monster Day Tours doesn’t mention tipping at all, Indie Singapore hints that “tips are always welcome” while SneakPeek Singapore just states upfront that there is a “recommended minimum tip of $22” in red font, underlined. Like that also called free ah, bro? Your bak chor mee is free, but please tip the uncle a minimum of S$5, ok?

Told you nothing’s free in Singapore. πŸ˜›

SneakPeek walking tour

Their definition of “free” is rather different from mine. πŸ˜€ [Screengrab from SneakPeek’s website]

Anyway, I went for the free (really!) walking tour hosted by Kyanta Yap from Monster Day Tours. My pal, Samy, had shared about these daily free tours on Facebook so I decided, on a whim, to go on one of them. Turns out the guide is Samy’s former student! πŸ˜€ The guy has students all over Singapore, I tell you. And I know this to be true! πŸ˜€

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Summary: The 2.5 hour tour on Mondays starts at 9.30am. The meeting point is exit A of Lavender MRT station. The ICA building is just next door so you can visit the (free) washroom there first; no pee breaks during the tour. The guide shares a little of Singapore’s history – everything from Sir Stamford Raffles to nightsoil collectors. We walk past some HDB blocks, admire a mosque that’s humorously known as “the leaning tower of Singapore” with a tilt of 4 degrees, find out how Kampong Glam got its name (gelam trees, if you don’t know), enter Sultan Mosque (time for pictures in those robes given to angmohs to cover themselves up), get a drink at a coffeeshop, gawk at a set of buildings that look like an optical illusion, and end the tour with a stunning view of the Singapore skyline on the 39th floor of Andaz Singapore.

monster day tours review

Angmohs who obviously have no fear of heights. Or of the glass shattering.

singapore free walking tour

Robes and sarongs loaned out for free at Sultan Mosque. PERFECT time for taking pictures. As a well-covered-up local, I didn’t get a new OOTD.

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What I liked: This tour is really FREE. After the guide signals that the tour has ended, you’re free to go. But if you want to hand him a tip or ask more questions, you may. There is ZERO pressure to tip. He points out stuff that tourists may not notice at all, such as the extra time given to seniors to cross the road if they tap their ezlink cards on the card reader at the traffic light pole.

What I learnt: Orchard Road used to have nutmeg plantations. Nightsoil was used as fertilizer. As alcohol isn’t halal, Muslims use perfumes without alcohol. But if they’re at the hospital and alcohol swabs or whatever is needed, then yes it can be used in life-and-death situations.

free walking tour in singapore

The optical illusion! πŸ˜€

free walking tour singapore

There were probably some 30 people on this tour; some cropped out of this photo. Guide used a portable mic so we could hear him loud and clear. Yes, even if you’re standing behind him. πŸ˜€

What I think can be improved: Show pictures of the interiors of HDB flats. The Malay Heritage Centre is closed on Mondays so instead of bringing tourists there and saying sorry, we cannot enter, why not host the Kampong Glam tour on some other day of the week? The coffeeshop that Kyanta wanted to take us to was also closed, so that was a bummer. When talking about geomancy, why not share about the famous $1 coin with its octagonal shape? Don’t recommend the Chinatown hawker centre. The one behind Bugis Village is better! Or Tekka Centre. I personally visit the one at Kovan frequently. I avoid the one at Chinatown at all costs. The touts and the people begging for money freak me out. Also, I find that it’s mainly PRC people cooking for other PRC diners. My preference is for local food prepared by locals.

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I stared at the guide’s name tag / guiding license for the longest time because his name did not seem ‘local’ to me and at that point, I didn’t know he’s my pal’s former student. Turns out Yap was born in Jakarta, Indonesia but spent many of his growing up years in Singapore, and he’s now a citizen. He mentioned he’s quite new so I suppose that’s why he spoke about the recent Beerfest and joked about getting drunk there the weekend before the tour. πŸ˜‰ I’m also not sure if he really likes the sun or if it’s a genius move, but when he was wrapping up the tour at the 39th floor of Andaz, he had us stand around under the shade while he stood out there in brilliant sunlight. πŸ˜€ If I’m a tourist, for sure I tip lah. (As a local, I’m thinking eh bro here still got space leh… why you standing there ah? 39th floor sunlight no joke hor! Later you chaotar!)

Meow-phy’s Law: After TWO weeks, I FINALLY Get To Feed The Cat :D

Feeding community strays

In my excitement and haste, and worry that the cat would run away, I did not remove the lid of the can entirely. (@_@) Did so later. πŸ˜€

Remember that post I did a while back about shopping for cat food at Pet Lovers Centre? For two whole weeks I didn’t see any cat out and about. So there were a few days when I left home with cat food in my bag, and those were left untouched because the cats all seemed to be in hiding! πŸ˜€ Today, I went out without any cat food with me and lo and behold, there was a cat slinking around the carpark. #Meowphy’sLaw I dashed back home, grabbed the bag of food I kept ready on the table, and thankfully the cat (whom I’ll call Meow Meow) was still there, sunning itself next to a red car. It saw/heard/smelled me approaching and hid under the car. πŸ˜€

I opened the can ofΒ β€˜Tuna Whole Meat with Salmon in Jelly’ from the brand β€˜Burp!’ and the cat gave an approving ‘meow’, it seemed. Like any stray, it was apprehensive about coming near me. So I backed away, and once it circled around the food and was convinced the feast was laid out for it, Meow Meow tucked in.

Punggol Community Cat

I can’t begin to imagine what the life of a stray cat must be like. This one had so much uneasiness. Every little noise seemed to spook it – whether it was someone unlocking their gate, a rustling of the tree leaves when the wind blew, a bird’s chirping, or the dull roar of an engine far away. I’m glad it got a good meal though. Meow Meow finished about 80% of the can, and sat in a corner licking its paws, then slinked away just like when I spotted it. No backward glance, but it’s ok. πŸ˜‰ We’ll get to know each other better soon! Haha!

Once again, for the uninitiated, it is not illegal to feed strays, but it is illegal to litter, so as long as you clean up after the cat (and bin all trash), it’s fine. πŸ™‚ Don’t let the little animals starve in your neighborhood. πŸ™‚

Feeding Strays: Shopping For Cat Food Is Quite An Adventure

cat food singapore

What I bought from Pet Lovers Centre, Waterway Point, today.

There are a couple of stray cats, or community cats if you’d like, which I do sometimes spot at the foot of my block. They’re really elusive creatures. This morning, I spotted one of them again. And it looked at me with pitiful big eyes. I guessed it must be hungry but, as usual, I didn’t have any food (much less cat food) with me. So before dinner this evening, I popped by Pet Lovers Centre at Waterway Point to purchase some cat food. The selection blew me away – I don’t even get so many choices when looking for some canned tuna at NTUC FairPrice! πŸ˜› And some of the items came as quite a surprise…

LAMB JERKY?! And GRASS-FED BEEF?!

exotic food for cats singapore

SALMON SASHIMI CAT TREAT!

salmon sashimi cat treat singapore

Β I wonder what that salmon sashimi treat tastes like, and whether it’s fit for human consumption! πŸ˜€

I didn’t get the lamb jerky nor the salmon sashimi ‘cos that’s obviously for cats living with people of high SES. πŸ˜›

I bought the Made-in-Belgium ‘Cat & Kitten Milk’ from the brand ‘Cindy’s Recipe’. Contrary to popular belief (maybe gained from watching cartoons), cats don’t drink milk. They are lactose intolerant so milk causes them stomach upsets! These lactose-free ones are ok though. $2 per bottle, so I got 2!

cat and kitten milk singapore

I also got a can of ‘Tuna Whole Meat with Salmon in Jelly’ from the brand ‘Burp!’ This one’s made in Thailand. ‘Burp!’ seems to be the ‘Ayam Brand’ of the cat food industry. It seemed like the entire canned food section was filled with their products. I got dizzy just looking at the range. But I was told you can’t go wrong with tuna PLUS salmon.

As a member, you get freebies when you buy more…

canned cat food singapore

Apparently, if you’re a PLC member, you get extra freebies with your purchase. But I’m not about to shell out S$6 for a 1-year membership just yet. πŸ˜› Seems like a slippery slope toward cat enslavement.

burp cat treats promotion singapore

I also bought the 2-in-1 cat treat – it has catnip and salmon – and also the Dried Sunfish. The PLC staff told me that it’s best to get the products with fish, versus chicken or anything else, because the heavy scent would attract the (stray) cats. Since I don’t know what the strays like or don’t like, it’s best to go with what seems like a sure bet.

Also, another common misconception is that feeding strays is illegal. It is not. Littering is, though. So make sure you clean up after the cat. Remove plates, trays and cans so water does not collect in them and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes!

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I’ll keep some cat food (and drink) in my bag from now on so the stray kitties will get a treat when we meet. πŸ˜€ And oh! I did check if there are any sites offering free cat food samples. I found one at canclover.com. Sent in a request already so… fingers crossed.

Also, I learnt a new word today: Kibble…

the meaning of kibble

Update (4th Sept) – Received the cat food sample from Can & Clover in the mail. πŸ™‚ It took a while but I’m so glad it’s here. Hopefully Meow will like it. πŸ™‚

can and clover free cat food sample singapore

It’s an 80g pack that expires in May next year, so there’s plenty of time to locate Meow and feed it. πŸ˜€

D’Best Skill Fishing At Pasir Ris: Price, Catch Rate, Things To Note

Update: (1/3/18) Caught only 1 fish in the 3hours. So that’s a $50 fish ($45 for the 3 hours, $5 for the prawn bait) πŸ˜› The water seemed very dirty and fish didn’t seem to want to bite.

d'best fishing pasir ris

Recently, we had a good harvest at D’Best Fishing in Pasir Ris Park, even though previous visits involved poor catch rates and ‘donations’ of fish from other fishing ‘shifus’. That day, we took home our very own catch of 3 ‘pomfrets’ and 5 larger fish (snapper and seabass, I believe). And he even caught one very small fish that he insisted on taking home (I would have released it back into the pond. LOL) And this was done within 3 hours and using just 1 rod which we shared. So I’m trying to wrap my head around this bountiful harvest and figure out just what it was that made this fishing ‘outing’ so different from the earlier ones.

*If you’re wondering, it costs $45 for 3 hours of ‘Skill Fishing’.

#1: The weather and day of the week

pasir ris fishing

It was a rainy day so by the time we were done fishing, we were thoroughly drenched. We were so ill-prepared that besides an umbrella, we didn’t have much else to shield us from the rain. Meanwhile, other anglers had raincoats, boots, etc. Amateur much.

But the rain also meant that few people wanted to come fishing, and this means less competition. There’s obviously a limited number of fish in the pond so the fewer ‘experts’ there were fishing next to us, the better for us. πŸ˜€

And on the topic of quantity, this time round, we popped by on a Friday afternoon, right after lunch at the newly-opened Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre next door. I might be wrong but I’m guessing the operator releases more fish into the ponds on Fridays, since more people might pop by in the evening after work, and also early in the morning on Saturday.

#2: Ponds just got topped up with fish from the fish truck

skill fishing at pasir ris park

There’s this truck carrying fish that will back into the park and offload lots of fish at a certain time of the day. But the new additions to the pond will take a while to get used to these unfamiliar surroundings. You’ll see the fish sink to the bottom like rocks once they hit the water. They don’t show signs of life till much later.

So if you spot the truck, it’s a good idea to wait a while before commencing fishing. We were prawning then, and since we had the entire place to ourselves, it was a really good prawn harvest too.

The corner where he’s standing has a death trap too. Lines usually get snagged here…

pasir ris prawning

#3: Avoiding ‘death traps’ is key! Prevent fish from escaping or the line from snapping…

pasir ris park fishing

I’ve circled the wooden platform and the ‘structure’ you’ll find in the middle of ponds. If fish you’ve already got hooked swim under that platform in a desperate bid to escape, you can almost say goodbye to this catch already. He even broke a rod when that happened and had to pay the $10 penalty.

As for me, another fish I’d almost gotten swam round the circular structure in the middle of another pond and bye bye… I should have released my hold on the rod. πŸ˜›

I don’t know why but that circular structure in the middle of ponds gets fishing hooks stuck to it… and it’s almost impossible to release. So make sure you avoid it.

#4: Movement

I watched an ‘uncle’ fishing and noticed he dragged the line across the pond in a sort of ‘darting’ fashion, the way I’ve seen small fish move. I guess it makes the bait seem ‘alive’ and prompts the big fish to snap at it. Anyway, this technique appeared to really work for me. The bigger fish on this trip were caught by me but, of course, with his help as I’ll share in the next point…

#5: Teamwork

It’s best to work as a tag team. One person gets the fish hooked and brings it close to the surface, while the other person helps pull the line (and fish) out of the water. There are very few people (I’ve seen) who can do both tasks themselves and get the fish out successfully.

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Seafood prices tend to go up when CNY is approaching so it made a lot of sense to head out and catch our own prawns and fish. πŸ˜€

fishing in singapore

homecooked fish

steamed pomfret

πŸ˜€

MAKER UNO: Your Robot Pet With A Motion Sensor

Motion Sensing Robot

I spent an hour today learning how to make this robot pet you see in the picture above, and I consider it an hour well-spent. This Maker Uno project turned out to be even more difficult than learning to program and fly a drone. I have zero knowledge of circuitry and things like motion sensors, breadboards, and even jumper wires! (>_<) So it was certainly an intense hour. Once the robot is assembled, though, it can move forward on its own and once it detects an obstacle in front of it, it reverses. Apparently, the sensor uses echolocation (like bats do) to measure the distance between itself and the obstacle. How cool is that?!

Here’s what it looks like when all the wires are in the ‘right’ place, and before I stick everything together with tape:

Maker Uno Singapore

If you think it looks like one big mess, yup, I think the same way too. πŸ˜€ But it’s really cool – when you connect it to your laptop or a powerbank via USB, the wheels start turning immediately.

Now I just have to figure out the coding portion for the Maker Uno, and dress up my robot pet! πŸ˜€Β 

Learning To Program A Drone Was Fun, Even In A Class Full Of Kids

airblock singapore

I’ve always wanted to fly a drone so today, even though it was really awkward being an adult participant in a class with kids less than a third my age, I relished the opportunity to get a hands-on session with the Airblock. It’s a really cool drone with 6 removable parts so it can be transformed into various shapes. The Airblock can fly (obviously), be a hovercraft, and also work on water (but that we did not try). It’s entirely crash-friendly because of the material (EPP, which is like styrofoam). I liked this class even more than the Micro:bit one.

If you want to find out more about the Airblock, you can check out its Kickstarter page, where they got funded over 800K when the initial goal was only 100K! *It’s actually from this Shenzhen company calledΒ Makeblock – they make lots of cool stuff.

Here’s what the box looks like:

airblock review

Pros: Great practice tool for kids to learn about drones and how to program one. Crash-proof. Relatively cheap. Parts can be replaced if damaged without having to get a total overhaul.

Cons: Battery takes very long to charge but gets depleted fast. Blades actually come off (sometimes) during a crash, and can be a pain to find. It’s not very consistent – flight path may not go the way you programmed it.

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You can easily order your own Airblock online. While it launched on Kickstarter for just USD89 (super early bird price), it now costs over S$200. I found it selling for $269 on Lazada and $260.75 on toytag.

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I’m totally amazed at what young children are learning these days. And us adults have to really keep up. It helps that things like drones are such fun to play with. And you can even use it to teach principles of physics. So tempted to go buy a drone now. πŸ˜€