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Archive for September 3, 2013


Fantastical Review: Apple, Please Make this app the Default Calendar app on the iPhone

APP NAME: Fantastical
PUBLISHER(S): Flexibits
GENRE(S): Productivity
RELEASE DATE: November 16, 2012
PRICE: $1.99
DOWNLOAD Fantastical - Flexibits Inc.

Calendar apps are aplenty in the App Store and depending upon your taste any one of them may be better than the stock Calendar app. I’ve never found one that ultimately dethroned the built-in convenience of the stock app; but now that I’ve tried Fantastical for iPhone, my days with the stock app are over. Fantastical nails the calendar experience in a way that’s so good, I wish Apple would buy them out and make Fantastical the core iOS Calendar app.

In terms of basic functionality, Fantastical works like any other calendar app. You can enter events, set them up to alert or repeat, sync with things like Google calendars and iCloud, etc. Where it really shines is in two areas: in the way you enter your event data, and in the way information is delivered.

Event data is entered through a useful and well-honed “natural language function”. You type in a real-world sentence like “Meeting with Chip from 9am to 11am” into the entry field, and Fantastical automatically figures out you want to schedule a Meeting with Chip in the 9am – 11am slot that day. If you’re in a hurry, that’s it — type one line and the item is there for you later.

Using Fantastical’s easy entry feature is the typing equivalent of telling Siri to schedule the appointment. Like Siri, it will assume things by default (set the meeting for “Busy,” set it for an hour if no end time is specified), and you can change or add details once the item is created. But for on the fly scheduling, it’s a great convenience, especially in situations where talking to Siri isn’t practical or desirable. [And if you do want to talk to the app, just use the dictate function on the keyboard.]

The second standout here is the so-called DayTicker, the name of Fantastical’s way of delivering calendar info. This split-screen display gives you the days of the week along the top, along with colorful bubbles indicating scheduled events (the longer the bubble, the longer the event) while a color-coded list of event details appears beneath it. Scrolling either one scrolls the other with it, and tapping on any day or event brings up those details. Want to see a whole month? Tugging down on the days automatically pulls down a monthly calendar. Want to go back to the day view? Tug down the calendar.

I’m finding it difficult to express the ease with which this thing works in words, but trust me, it does. It’s fluid and intuitive and visually appealing.

Now, if only Apple would see this app for what it is and buy it outright; this needs to become the default calendar for iOS. Because if there’s one complaint I have with this, it’s just that: I can’t use it as my default calendar app. Calendar alerts will always open up Calendar by default; Siri will function through Calendar first; It doesn’t show the current date in the app badge. I want Fantastical to be my only calendar app; but Apple always keeps Calendar in there as my iPhone’s middleman.

I also wish the app integrated Reminders. I would like to have everything in one list without having to fake work-arounds like setting an “All Day, Open” event for a reminder that I know is in my Reminders app. There’s got to be a way to make this happen, Flexibits!

Despite the few limitations, I love Fantastical. Eventually, everyone falls in love with a third-party calendar app, and this one is mine. It’s definitely worth a look.

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5

Fantastical - Flexibits Inc.

via Fantastical Review: Apple, Please Make this app the Default Calendar app on the iPhone | App Chronicles.

Seaweed and Tofu Beignets with Lime Mayonnaise




1 large egg yolk*

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

2 tsp. fresh lime juice

1 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil

Kosher salt


1 large lemon

1 jalapeño, with seeds, chopped

Kosher salt


½ cup dried wakame (seaweed)

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking soda

1½ tsp. kosher salt plus more

1 large egg yolk

3 oz. soft (silken) tofu (about ⅓ cup)

1 cup (or more) club soda

Vegetable oil (for frying; about 3 cups)



  • A deep-fry thermometer


  • Whisk egg yolk and lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly add oil, drop by drop at first, and whisk until mayonnaise is thickened and smooth; season with salt.
  • DO AHEAD: Lime mayonnaise can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.


  • Finely grate lemon zest; then, using a small knife, remove peel and pith and discard. Halve lemon; remove seeds from flesh. Pulse lemon zest and flesh and jalapeño in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and press out liquid; discard liquid. Place paste in a small bowl; season with salt.
  • DO AHEAD: Paste can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.


  • Place wakame in a small bowl; add warm water to cover. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain; squeeze wakame to remove excess water and coarsely chop.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in wakame, egg yolk, tofu, and 1 cup club soda, adding more club soda if batter is too thick (it should be the consistency of pancake batter).
  • Fit a medium saucepan with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2”. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°. Working in batches and returning oil to 350° between batches, drop tablespoonfuls of batter into oil and fry, turning occasionally, until crisp, cooked through, and deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer beignets to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt.
  • Dot serving plates with lime mayonnaise; place beignets on plates and dab each one with lemon-jalapeno paste.
  • DO AHEAD: Batter can be made 1 hour ahead (do not add baking soda and club soda). Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and whisk in baking soda and club soda just before frying.


  • *Raw egg is not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems…or people who don’t like raw egg.

via Seaweed and Tofu Beignets with Lime Mayonnaise – Bon Appétit.

秋天多燥氣 養肺必按4個穴道





































via 秋天多燥氣 養肺必按4個穴道 | 20130903 | 華人健康網.

每日喝1小杯紅酒 揮別憂鬱症





發表於「BMC醫學期刊」(BMC Medicine journal)的研究報告指出,每周攝取酒精量5~15克,也就是約喝2~7杯紅酒的人(每杯約50毫升),在罹患憂鬱症的機率上比完全不碰酒的人低了32%。





這樣的研究結果與過去普遍認知的「飲酒會更憂鬱」現象的說法有所出入,主導此研究的米格爾(Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez)教授表示,紅酒中的「白藜蘆醇」已知是預防心血管疾病、心臟病的有益物質,而憂鬱症有部分成因其實也與心血管雷同,都與體內炎症有所關聯。

淺酌有益健康 勿飲酒過量


via 每日喝1小杯紅酒 揮別憂鬱症 | 20130903 | 華人健康網.




肌膚水噹噹 吃得營養健康很重要




養顏美容 天天4水果5蔬菜








  • 食材:紅蘿蔔 50g、深色蔬菜50g、葡萄 50g、香蕉1根、亞麻仁籽2茶匙、冷開水300c.c.。
  • 作法:深色蔬菜洗淨,燙煮1分鐘,再將所有食材至入果汁調理機,打勻即可飲用。


  • 食材:蘋果1粒、煮熟的黃豆1米杯、開水約600c.c.。
  • 作法:將蒸熟黃豆、開水放入調理機打勻;再將蘋果丁放入,打勻,即可飲用。


  • 食材:苜蓿芽半碗、綠色葉菜1碗、蘋果1個、奇異果1個、腰果5粒、海帶芽(乾品)1g、黑芝麻粉3g、蜂蜜10c.c.、開水約200c.c.。
  • 作法:
    1. 深色蔬菜洗淨,燙煮1分鐘後備用。蘋果和奇異果洗淨去皮切塊。
    2. 腰果、海帶芽用沸水泡10分鐘,軟化後瀝乾。
    3. 所有材料加水200c.c.入果汁機,充分拌勻,即可食用。



via 止肌膚的渴!秋季保濕喝蔬果精力湯 | 20130903 | 華人健康網.
























via 2013年09月03日 – 徐力盼南方大學學院成領頭羊‧帶動中醫腫瘤治療 – 大柔佛 – 頭條新聞 – 地方.




























via 職業婦女調適心理‧平衡家庭事業 – 健康人生 – 粉紅手記 – 生活誌.

Weight alert

People who are obese have a BMI of over 30.

Are you obese, fat or skinny? Check your body mass index and body fat reading

THE New Straits Times-Cyberjaya Green Ride 2013 is all about encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity and balanced meals will help you maintain your ideal weight.

One way to find out if your weight falls within the healthy range in relation to your height is by using the body mass index (BMI). You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight (kg) by the square of your height in metres (BMI = kg/m2),
Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to determine if a person is underweight, overweight or obese.

With the World Health Organisation giving its endorsement for the use of BMI to determine a person’s appropriate weight to their height, it has been used extensively by health practitioners around the world.

A person with BMI of  30 and above is considered obese and those between 25 and 29.9 are overweight. Healthy weight is between 18.5  and 24.9, and underweight is below 18.5.

There are health risks associated with people with underweight and overweight problems. Illness associated with being underweight ranges from simple tiredness due to inadequate energy intake, reduced immunity, infections, anaemia, vitamin deficiencies, thinning of the bones, infertility and heart rhythm irregularities.

While those with high BMI are at risk of high blood cholesterol or other lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers, gall bladder disease, sleep apnea and snoring, premature death, osteoarthritis and joint disease.

The classification enables health professionals to recognise that people with low BMI may have an eating disorder, or alert them to certain health problems in  a person with high BMI.

To maintain an ideal weight, it is advisable to start on a healthy diet that has a balance of food groups, vitamins and minerals as well as engaging in physical activity.

If you are in the overweight and obese range, losing at least 10 per cent of body weight may bring about desirable health benefits and improved feelings of well-being.

Come to  the Health & Style booth at the New Straits Times-Cyberjaya Green Ride 2013 on Sept 14 at Cyberjaya Lakeside and check your BMI reading.

BP Healthcare Group will set up a mobile diagnostic centre equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for audiometry test, lung function test, resting ECG, body composition analysis, bone mineral density check and body mass index test.

Read more: Weight alert – Health – New Straits Times

via Weight alert – Health – New Straits Times.

Helping patients change their mindset

Some patients develop depression because they have to go through difficult treatment methods.

Psychologists can help patients cope better with their illnesses, writes Sushma Veera

WHEN a person is diagnosed with a medical condition or a physical illness, it is not just the physical symptoms that need to be treated.

Most patients experience anxiety when told they have a life-threatening illness. Others may become depressed because of the difficult treatments they have to undergo.

Then there are patients who are in denial, who do not take care of themselves with appropriate behavioural changes.

Clinical psychologist Dr Hariyati Shahrima Abdul Majid says psychological treatment can help patients change the way they perceive or view their illness in terms of symptoms and severity, what it entails and the types of treatment.

“There are many people who associate psychological treatments with mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar or borderline personality,” she says. “But psychological treatments also help patients who are mentally healthy but have one or more physical conditions.

“It teaches patients to manage the distress, anxiety and depression among others issues associated with living with a medical condition. In other words, the treatments help patients find new ways of dealing with the illness effectively.”

Not many people know that psychologists can help those with physical or medical conditions. It can come in the form of basic emotional support such as counselling.

“For patients who are resistant to treatment or are in denial, we have what is called motivational interviewing,” she says. This is a counselling approach to engage intrinsic motivation so that a person can make behaviour changes.

“For example, if I have diabetes, I have to start exercising and to manage my stress better. I also have to change my eating habits. Motivational interviewing makes patients less resistant to change and start thinking of behavioural changes,” she says.

“Another type of psychological treatment that is widely used is cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps patients change the way they think about a stressful event and consequently, the way they behave or respond to it.

“There’s also mindfulness therapy where patients are taught to develop gratitude and be thankful for what they have as well as to be aware of their surroundings and people. This ultimately changes the way they think, so they become more positive.”

There are also treatments for stroke patients and to help patients quit smoking.

“It is not like a wishy-washy thing. It’s not just us saying ‘we understand your problem’. We use different techniques to address the way patients think, which results in behavioural changes so that their anxiety or depression can be managed,” she says.

Trained and qualified psychologists — ideally with a clinical or health psychology background — will work with the patients.

“We help patients deal with emotional distress, with the shock of being diagnosed with a certain medical condition and to help them with behavioural changes, such as quit smoking, change their diet or manage anxiety and depression,” says Hariyati, who is also an assistant professor of psychology.

Psychological treatment is not confined to any particular illness, but  everything from light urinary leakage (LUL), diabetes, stroke and cancer to other debilitative illnesses.

“Even for those with less severe medical conditions, there are changes that may affect patients in different ways,” sayd Hariyati.

For example, she adds, those who have LUL may  not want to attend events with a longer time frame. “Their self-esteem suffers because they feel they have no control over their condition. If they don’t have someone to talk to, they may become depressed. They would see LUL as a barrier to an active social life.”

Hariyati was on the expert panel for the recent Poise event, Embracing The Realities Of Light Urinary Leakage Workshop For Women.

Psychological treatment has no exact time frame. It takes longer to work on people with severe medical conditions if they are without the support of family and friends or have mobility problems.

“Sometimes, it takes just two sessions but on average, if I deal with someone who also has social anxiety about attending programmes, it may require more sessions,” says Hariyati.

“Working with a patient diagnosed with terminal stage breast cancer  may take about five to six sessions. However, if a patient has borderline personality disorder or a psychological disorder or diabetes and cancer, it may take up to six months.”

Sadly, Hariyati says psychological treatment is not a common practice here. “Many people do not understand what it is. Sometimes we think a motivational talk will be enough  but that is only at a basic, superficial level.”

On whether local doctors pay attention to the link between illnesses and psychological treatments, she says: “It depends on their training and whether they’ve had experience with a mental health professional. If they have, they will be more open to work with a psychologist. I think younger doctors are more open as it is part of their training as well.

“I take it as a challenge and I like that there is evidence to show that psychological treatment has significantly impacted patients’ health.”

She thinks it will take years before hospitals start providing and implementing psychological treatments for medical patients.”

She adds that there is definitely progress because there are private sectors who hire psychologists to work with medical patients.

“There is still work to be done before people accept that psychologists are part of the multi-disciplinary team for patients that include doctors, nurses, dietitians and physiotherapists,”  she says.

Read more: Helping patients change their mindset – Health – New Straits Times

via Helping patients change their mindset – Health – New Straits Times.

Get fit at the workplace


To get their employees to live healthier, more companies are setting up fitness programmes and facilities, writes Lili Lajman

Although I rarely used the gym as I was already frequenting another closer to home on weekends, it was comforting to know that the facility was just a few steps away in case I needed to work out on weekdays, to sweat away the unwanted-but-always-there calories and work stress.

But this bank is not unique. Many banks  provide gym facilities for staff in their headquarters. And from the looks of it, this healthy trend is growing in all industries in the country.

More and more companies are getting their office premises fitted with a gym. This positive move may just help boost the health and fitness level of a huge percentage of the working population.

The New Straits Times Press too has a well-equipped gym at its main office in Jalan Riong, Bangsar. It has also gone a step further in its bid to promote a healthier lifestyle among its employees by organising weight management programmes, periodic health talks and Health Awareness Day.

NSTP launched its weight management programme, called the Lose Big Win Big Contest, in 2011. It ran for six months, with participants working out at the in-house gym under the supervision of personal trainers.

Last year, the company and Media Prima Berhad (MPB) took a different approach by introducing the Kilos For Cash (KFC) programme where participants were given the freedom to formulate their own exercise and diet regime.

Overseeing the programme is Dr Rohaya Ramli, director and family physician at the Bakti Healthcare. She says:  “NSTP-MPB embarked on this programme to encourage the workforce to lose weight the healthy way — that is through regular exercise and a low calorie healthy diet.”

The KFC contest, which ran for 100 days, was open to NSTP-MPB staff who registered a BMI reading of 25 and above. However, they must be fairly healthy, not pregnant or suffering from any serious medical condition or injury. They must also not be on any concurrent weight loss medications or slimming programmes.

“Following last year’s success, the management has decided to continue it this year. The programme, which started in mid-June will be ending on Sept 13 and lucrative cash prizes awaiting the winners,” adds Dr Rohaya.

Interestingly, KFC has its own Facebook page to provide an easy communication channel between participants and the  committee members.

Additionally, healthy cooking demonstrations are also carried out for the benefit of the contestants. Clearly, proactive employer engagement has proved to be valuable in ensuring employees’ fitness and health.

According to independent researcher Dr Mageswari Rajoo, employees with desk-bound jobs generally tend to have a weight problem. When a company takes the initiative to undertake work wellness programmes, these employees may be encouraged to lose weight the healthy way.

Dr Mageswari conducted a study to investigate the effectiveness of 20-30 minutes of physical exercise as part of the wellness programme. Her study focused on a six-month programme at an oil and gas company in Terengganu. It began in 2009 and is still ongoing,

“The company showed its commitment to the cause by providing gym facilities. In 2009, there was only one treadmil. Today, there are four,” she says.

The programme consists of simple exercises such as aerobics, squats or walking on the treadmill. Over the years, there were different groups of participants from the pre-retirement group aged 40-55, with a BMI of 25 and above.

Presenting her findings at the recent 2nd International Congress in Sports and Exercise Medicine 2013, Dr Mageswari  said that when people were at work, they generally did not exercise. However, when companies make it easier for them to work out in the office, some are more inclined to do so.

“We also found that those provided with dietary information tended to lose more weight compared with those who only focused on exercise. This was mainly because they were made more aware of what they eat, especially the calorie content,” she said.

“Our lifestyle is different from that of our grandparents. Apart from the food factor, we live a sedentary lifestyle, which contributes to obesity.”

Recently Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya  said that there are about three million obese Malaysians and that the number is increasing. Also, there are about five million people who have varying degrees of diabetes.

The numbers are alarming, to say the least.

Professor Datuk Dr Mydin Musa, president of the Society Of Sports and Exercise Medicine Malaysia, said: “Healthy Malaysians would mean a healthy productive population and healthy wellbeing can be achieved through sports and exercise. Corporate companies and government bodies should take the initiative to provide proper gym equipment and trainers as well as organise sustainable wellness programmes, including awareness talks and campaigns at the workplace.”

With the recent launch of the Youth and Sports Ministry’s Gym Makes Me Fit & Healthy 2013 programme for its employees, perhaps more ministries and government bodies as well as the corporate sectors will jump on the health bandwagon.

Read more: Get fit at the workplace – Health – New Straits Times

via Get fit at the workplace – Health – New Straits Times.

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