Veganism – Trends; Pros/Cons

Chelsea Whyte. (27 Jan 2018). Living on the Veg. New Scientist. London. [Ms Whyte is the New Scientist Magazine Physics Editor; at the time of publishing she has reverted to veganism]In the UK and US at least, there is a reported uptrend in veganism (diet with zero meat or seafood and their derivatives). Between 2014 and 2017, there was a 4% increase in US vegan numbers. Actress Natalie Portman and sportswoman Serena Williams called themselves vegan. Across the Atlantic ocean, the UK Vegan Society opined an increase of more than 300% from 2006 to 2015. Most adherents range from 15 to 34 years old. (age distinction?)Arguments for veganism are consequentialist based; it implies great benefits.

  • [Global/Government]
    • Soy protein results in 4.5 time less deforestation compared to meat protein (thus soy protein substitution would alleviate global warming)
    • Better health via a vegan diet would cut global healthcare costs in excess of $1 billion/year (Marco Springmann, University of Oxford academic)
  • [Individual] Springmann also forecasted that becoming vegan would decrease 8.1 million ‘early deaths’ each year worldwide

On the negative side:

  • [Healthcare/Individual/Government] Vaccine creation/preservation require eggs or gelatin(e) [glutinous material made from animal tissue], no alternative has been found yet. (The author did not suggest stopping vaccinations because they are non vegan).

See also


Scary movies: –ve effects

Bernie DeGroat. (29 Mar 1999). Scary movies can have lasting effects on children and teens, study says. The University Record. University of Michigan.

  • More than 150 college students were surveyed
    • 90% media fright reaction stemmed from childhood/teenage years.
    • 26% reported ‘residual anxiety’.
  • Blood and gore in horror movies tended to cause the most phobic reactions. One person surveyed had nightmares for two months due to blood scenes. Sound effects came second in terms of the fear factor.
  • The research listed at least 20 negative effects.
  • The researchers felt parents were obligated to protect their children from such harmful media. (By extension, guardians would have to do the same for their wards/dependents).

EBS (7066) – Secondary – Resources

The following might be useful resources for Elements of Business, a subject studied under the Normal Technical stream in Singapore.

Basic Marketing – Podcasts (with scripts)

Viral marketing. British Council.

eBay. (2006). British Council.

Customer Relations (3.1 – Communicating with the customer) – Videos (with scripts) 

Lemon-sized luxury boxes. (26 Oct 2016). Episode 17. English at Work, BBC.

The email. (2 Nov 2016). Episode 18. English at Work, BBC.

Repost: Financial (or Capital) Globalisation

This would be useful information/analysis for the GCE Cambridge A Level History and General Papers; and would more be useful for the GCE Cambridge O Level Social Studies paper (Syllabus 2267 than Syllabus 2204).

A review of Chapter 2 in Part Two of <The End of Finance>. The term ‘capital’ refers to financial capital. The book describes one subset as ‘portfolio investment’. This has traits similar to subprime mortgages – which were sold and purchased on secondary markets; such capital can be recalled and disbursed quickly. One can consider the ‘capital flight’ during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis as an example. The authors argue that such volatile inflows and outflows form the crux of crises from Mexico (1995), Southeast Asia (as written above), Russia and Brazil (1998), Turkey and Argentina (2001). Hence, history continually repeats itself. Why does this happen? Arguably changes in market confidence, which ironically can be a self-fulfilling prophecy… [Foreign Direct Investment were deemed less responsible for fluctuations of international capital availability and transfers].

This globalisation was underpinned by 3 things: international freedom of capital flows; ostensibly unrestricted enlargement of money supply; and central banks acting as a lender of last resort to prevent collapse (for most of the years after 1945, this was the US Federal Reserve; and perhaps of greater prominence in recent decades, its Governor Alan Greenspan). The trend began in the mid 1970s. [Technology was also pinpointed as a catalyst by Walter B. Wriston (August 3, 1919 – January 19, 2005), a banker and former chairman of Citicorp, in 1988. It should be surmised though that technology’s role should be considered contributory, in my opinion.]

Relating the recent subprime crisis, it had been the ‘international capital market’ who targeted the credit shaky borrowers in the US with ‘predatory practices’, and ‘often underhand and occasionally fraudulent’ methods. This has some parallels to the 1970s ‘oil shocks’ and resultant ‘petrodollars’ which flooded Latin America, providing the structural foundations for the Debt Crisis of the 1980s. The negative repercussions from the subprime collapse amounted to an estimated net loss of homeownership for approximately 1 million American families (quoting from Subprime Lending: A Net Drain on Homeownership, 27 Mar 2007, Center for Responsible Lending – headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, US)


Wriston’s works can found at his Tufts University archives.

More on the Debt Crisis from <10. Debt Crisis of the 1980s> by Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). [Do note that their analysis for the causes of the crises may differ.]

=> Reproduced with approval from



This is an initiative suggested by one student (let us call him TSZ) approximately 10 months ago.

He had hoped this would be a resource for students (Secondary and Junior College Level) in Singapore (if not beyond).

Finally, it has come into fruition. The works after editing are posted here. Please feel free to look around. We hope that it would be useful :  )