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Chicken Soup recipe
June 29, 2007, 8:55 am
Filed under: food

Chicken Soup

I tried this at home but with some modifications. I skipped the noodles mix, pasta and beef bouillon. I used concentrated chicken broth and much more cracked black pepper. The pot I used was a bit too small but having a smaller pot made the soup tastier since the soup is more concentrated. The chicken I used was bought from NTUC, which isn’t a great choice since it would be best to buy an old, flavourful chicken. Unfortunately this is Singapore; the quality of meat available here is… decidedly normal. Next time I might just use two chickens for the stock.


  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken
  • 3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
  • 1 packet chicken noodle soup mix
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pinch dried thyme
  • 1 pinch poultry seasoning
  • 1 pinch dried basil
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch dried parsley
  • 1 (8 ounce) package farfalle (bow tie) pasta


  1. Place chicken in a large pot and cover with water. Place celery leaves in pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and place in a bowl until cool enough to handle.
  2. Meanwhile, place celery, carrots, onion, bouillon, soup mix and chicken broth in pot and let simmer. Season with thyme, poultry seasoning, basil, peppercorns, bay leaves and parsley.
  3. Bone chicken and cut up meat into bite-size pieces. Return meat to pot. Cook until vegetables are tender and flavors are well blended, up to 90 minutes.
  4. Stir pasta into pot and cook 10 to 15 minutes more, until noodles are al dente. Serve hot.



Hengxin Technology Ltd
June 29, 2007, 8:43 am
Filed under: companies analysis

Hengxin Technology Ltd (SGX: I85)

As of 29 May 2007

  • 1 SGD : 5 RMB
  • EPS: 0.08/share
  • P/E ratio: 4.875
  • Earnings Yield: 20.5%
  • 52 Week High: 1.070
  • 52 Week Low: 0.360

Continue reading

eating tips
June 29, 2007, 3:59 am
Filed under: training and nutrition

Here’s a nice article from MSN regarding the benefits of eating unprocessed foods and the dangers of “faux food”. The main gist of the article is that processed foods contain much less nutrients as compared to food that is processed less. Processing food, be it through heating or mixing with chemicals, amongst other methods, inevitably strips a food of its nutrients and usually replaces it unhealthy elements like trans fat and simple sugars. 

The solution is to eat foods that are unprocessed, or at least less processed. In a society where our alimentary habits are often dictated by the range of foods at our supermarket shelves, it is harder to gain access to truly “whole foods” that are unprocessed and organic. We barely have any farms here in Singapore, much less farmer’s markets.

However it is still possible to at least alter a diet towards unprocessed foods. This involves mostly substitution and elimination of dietary options. Some basic guidelines when choosing what to eat:

  •  Unprocessed, not processed foods – eat food that looks like food. Eat grapes instead of grape jam; say no to doughnuts and junk food like potato chips.
  • Whole foods – try to eat the whole of a food item instead of parts of it. For example, eat brown rice instead of white rice and don’t be afraid to eat chicken innards together with the meat.
  • The less items/ingredients on the label, the better – avoid labels with a long list of gibbrish like dicalcium phosphate (?), datem (??) and “artificial flavours” (whatever that means). More “ingredients” and chemicals, the worst it is for health.

For starters, go for complex carbohydrates. Substitute white bread with wholemeal bread; try having whole grains for breakfast. They are healthier and keeps a person full for longer.Popular bread brands like Gardenia and Bonjour have wholemeal and multi-grain equivalents for their white bread, and they are not much more expensive than white bread.

Avoid processed foods. This is quite easily done. Instead of a Mars or Snickers bar, go for real dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Instead of corn syrup, go for real corn. Honey Stars can be easily replaced with grains like oats and bran.

I wager that most Singaporeans do not eat enough fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Just look at the paucity of vegetables found in most of our hawker centre dishes and the relative unavailability of fatty fish in most dishes. We have our kuning and garoupers but they do not have the same amount of omega-3 fatty acids as “ang-moh” staples like salmon and cod.

A simple solution would be to consume a serving of steamed vegetables at home everyday. For most working professionals doing so during lunch would be hard given the exigencies of work, so do so for dinner. Buy a whole bunch of vegetables on Sunday and consume throughout the week. Nothing too fancy, just steam the vegetables and eat.

Obtaining omega-3 is a bit harder, since salmon and cod are expensive fish and they take some preparation. What I do personally is to buy fish oil tablets and pop two of them each day. A good alternative would be to drink cod liver oil; it’s a bit of an acquired taste though.

On top of switching diet staples, there are some specific foods that can be added to a diet for their extraordinary nuitritional value. I read Superfoods Rx by Steven G. Pratt and in the book the author listed a total of 14 Superfoods. Personally I have been consciously eating most of the Superfoods ever since reading the book and I do experience an overall increase in well-being. My heart rate has decreased and I feel more energetic. Of course this might be the placebo effect at work, but I really do think that eating these Superfoods on a long term basis will yield immense health benefits. What is there to lose? The food is natural and yummy and most importantly, they taste real, unlike processed foods.

i think i just fell in love
June 28, 2007, 5:52 am
Filed under: diary


What a beautiful guitar.

The temptation to buy is overwhelming.

modules schmodules
June 27, 2007, 6:40 am
Filed under: diary


Being in the University Scholars Programme (USP) and double degree programme (DDP)makes module choice rather confusing. In order to avoid confusion when I start school I surfed the NUS website to clarify what exactly I have to do to fulfill the requirements of my degrees.

There are three types of modular requirements I have to satisfy: law, economics and USP requirements.

Firstly, the USP requirements. This website is probably the most useful one with regards to modular requirements for DDP students in USP. Apparently I have to complete 8 First-Tier Modules and 4 Advanced Modules. There is no need for me read Breadth modules, whatever that is. Requirements are published on a yearly basis; I am taking the 06/07 requirements as a proxy for 07/08. I am regarded as an Arts-based student. I can’t make any guess about which modules I will take since the list seems to change and information about the various modules on the USP website is incomplete.

For economics, I have the compulsory modules and elective modules. For elective modules, I am interested in:

  • EC3312 Game Theory & Applications to Economics
  • EC3332 Money and Banking I
  • EC3333 Financial Economics I (will take this)
  • EC3341 International Economics I
  • EC4332 Money and Banking II
  • EC4333 Financial Economics II (will take this)
  • EC4341 International Economics II

I have to choose 4 modules though.

For law, it’s pretty straightforward. I have a grand total of one law elective to take. Here are some potential choices:

  • LL4032 International Investment Law
  • LL4060 World Trade Law
  • LL4065 Comparative Corporate Governance
  • LL4006 Banking Law
  • LL4089 Chinese Corporate and Securities Law

Hopefully the admissions package explains my requirements well. Currently it’s quite foggy, especially with regards to USP requirements and how it merges with my DDP requirements.

calvin and hobbes’ last comic strip
June 26, 2007, 8:50 am
Filed under: diary

I was clearing the contents of my webmail when I chanced upon this mail sent by a dear classmate from secondary school, in which he inserted what is apparently the last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip done by Bill Waterson. I am inserting it here; it’s really poignant.

calvin and hobbes

What makes it even more moving is that it was sent to my secondary school class’s yahoogroups mail right at the end of our time together as secondary four students at the school. The mail was sent on 17 October 2002. It summed up our graduation pretty well; it was a defining moment, a departure that marked the end of the halcyon days of our teenage lives as well as the beginning of life in junior college and beyond.

Being at the brink of starting my university life instills my chancing upon this email with even more meaning and infuses me with a greater sense of nostalgia.

Why I am studying Law and Economics
June 26, 2007, 8:45 am
Filed under: diary


School opens in about one month’s time and I guess it would be good to rationally go over and put down in words the reasons why I am pursuing Law and Economics at university. At least it will be interesting to see how my thinking would have changed after I have started studying. I will write about my potential career paths before exploring the reasons why I am studying these subjects.

Currently, I am considering two potential career paths. I will either embark on a career in the legal sector as a lawyer or forge a path in the financial world, preferably in the area of investment management. As of now I have a tendency to prefer a career in the financial sector.

A career in the law offers me the opportunity to exploit my ability with language and analytical thought. It is a challenging career that will develop my thinking and speaking abilities, on top of my interpersonal skills and problem-solving abilities. I have a tendency to be competitive and goal-oriented and hence being a lawyer caters to these instincts. I have an intellectual interest in the nature of morality and the difficulty of pronouncing judgement; being a lawyer will allow me to directly involved in exploring the frontiers of morality.

Delving into the investment management industry appeals to my wide intellectual interests; life in the financial markets involves being able to utilise knowledge from diverse fields ranging from psychology and economics to physics and mathematics. Being able to materialise academic theory in concrete investment strategies is a great pull factor; I will be able to indulge in my interest in epistemology and economics.

Why study Law and Economics? Below are the reasons:

  • Knowledge of the law will give me an edge in my asset management career. Knowing the rules that govern financial markets will help me in my job, especially if I become a fund manager or decide to start my own fund management business.
  • Studying law provides good training in analytical thinking and verbal persuasion.
  • Understanding the impact of laws on economic behaviour allows me to formulate a trading strategy with an edge.
  • Law and economics are complimentary subjects that gives me a broader perspective and endows me with a more comprehensive understanding of the world.
  • A law degree is a mark of calibre and ability in the eyes of potential employers. The NUS Law school is an established law school.
  • Studying law is a good hedge against the possibility that I might not want to pursue a career in finance, in which case a career in the legal sector is a great backup plan.
  • Studying economics will provide me with the tools of analysis and thinking philosophies required for me to be a good investment manager.
  • The double degree exposes me to people from two different faculties; I will have a more diverse array of friends.
  • If I am to practise law, I will most probably go into commercial law. An understanding of economics will put me in good stead.
  • The double degree opens up many employment opportunities in many different industries and sectors. I can work for the government, banks, law firms or even international organisations like the United Nations.
  • Studying law allows me to explore philosophical problems, especially that of morality, logic and rationality; studying economics allows me to explore the problems of epistemology and to develop quantitative techniques in economic analysis.