8 things to remember when you feel that you’ve lost your way.

Traits of happy people

Racist People Attack Filipinos and Philippine Independence Day Event in Singapore

 By  on April 23, 2014

Racist People Attack Filipinos and Philippine Independence Day Event

Below is a letter sent by one of our readers with a plea for less racism and more acceptance.

Dear friends, I write this letter in an appeal to end global quarrels, racism and hate. 

I am a Singaporean-Filipino. My father is a Filipino businessman and my mother is a Singaporean banker. I have always felt nothing but love for both my cultures and I often fly to and from the Philippines and Singapore for both business and vacations. 

I do not wish to be named due to the amount of online attacks and anger I see. Despite my plea for understanding, love and acceptance, I still feel that many will find wrongs and will attack my personal and family life. 

Recently, the Pilipino Independence Day Council (PIDC) started preparations to commemorate the 116th Philippine Independence Day in Singapore. I would imagine that for most people, this is no more than just another event, from the thousands and millions of other events around the world happening simultaneously. One would think that we are all free to participate in this if we wish, and just as free to completely ignore this if it does not affect you in any way. 

My concern here is that many instead chose a third route, which was to spread hate, anger and racism.

The planned celebration to be held at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza in the very busy Singapore shopping area, had to be cancelled due to an unexpected online backlash from many. I’m not sure of the origin but we believe that this was spearheaded by Facebook page titled “Say ‘NO’ to an overpopulated Singapore.”

With that, many Singaporeans (at least it seems like they are Singaporeans) hopped on this hateful outburst and objected this celebration. They trolled, attacked and complained about everything from why the ads had the words “two nations” why this was being celebrated in Singapore and event into more racist rants about their hate of other races. 

Racist comments against Filipinos flooded the net

Because of this, the event had to be cancelled. 

For the life of me, I cannot see how this spread of hate is helping anyone. What did Singapore and Singaporeans possibly gain from this? How would you feel if your relatives or loved ones living in other countries get faced with the same form of hate, racism or anger? 

Singapore and other countries celebrate Oktoberfest, Cinco de Mayo, St Patricks Day, Christmas, and many more culturally or religiously related events. But why was this one singled out? What was so offensive about this that people had to resort to ignorant and baseless racial slurs?

The final say I have in this is when one lowers themselves to purposely say mean things to other people, when one does something intentionally hurtful, then just know that they are the ones who end  up looking ugly. Haters don’t really hate you. In fact, they hate themselves because you’re a reflection of what they wish to be. 

Please end racism and hate. Please spread love, understanding and acceptance. We all live in one world, on one planet. We are more alike than you ma 

What are your thoughts on this? 

Please do not use vulgar language or other hateful slurs in the comments below. Two wrongs don’t make a right.


“To cheapen the lives of any group of men, cheapens the lives of all men, even our own. This is a law of human psychology, or human nature. And it will not be repealed by our wishes, nor will it be merciful to our blindness.” 
― William Pickens

“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.” 
― Fred Hampton



15 things you should never say to an introvert 

by: Amy Odell

1. “You’re so quiet.” I know. Society makes me feel self-conscious enough about this already; do you really have to point it out as though it’s a flaw? I just speak when I have something of value to say.

2. “You just don’t have a warm personality.” Or: “So-and-so is warm. You can learn from her.” It takes some of us a while to open up to people. Just because it’s not in my nature to be BFFs with everyone as soon as I meet them, that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in getting to know people.

3. “You never speak up around my friends/parents/[other group of people who is relatively new to your life].” Actually, I do, I just only do so when I have something to say or after I feel like I’ve had time to connect with new people.

4. “My friends think you don’t like them.” I like your friends, I just don’t click with them as well as you since I’ve only just met them.

5. “Don’t be so shy.” There’s nothing wrong with being shy! If it doesn’t interfere with my ability to get things done, it’s not something that should concern you.

6. “Why don’t you smile more?” Because when people order you to smile, like you’re a child, it doesn’t make them want to smile more?

7. “I know you don’t like big group gatherings, BUT…” Actually, I’m fine with big group gatherings, I just feel uncomfortable when people go out of their way to point out what they seem to think is a personality deficit.

8. “When I first met you, I thought you were a bitch.” Funny, now I kind of think the same of you.

9. “You come across as mean because you rarely talk.” Silence is not the same thing as nastiness. Give me time to get to know you, and I will open up and be my warm, sparkly self, and I will have your back whenever you need me.

10. “Don’t be so serious all the time.” I’m not serious, I just like to take in what’s going on around me before I react to it.

11. “What’s wrong? Are you sure nothing’s wrong? You can tell me if something is wrong! It seems like something’s wrong?” The only thing that’s wrong is I haven’t had time to be alone with my thoughts in a while. But thank you for your concern!

12. “Why do you hate people?” I don’t hate people. I just like getting to know people over a period of time and tend not to click with people instantly, but that doesn’t mean I won’t click with them in the near future.

13. “Don’t you want to get out of the house?” When I have a stack of magazines here to read to a soothing Corinne Bailey Rae CD playing? Nope.

14. “Live a little!” Actually, I do, I just don’t talk about it on social media or around other people all the time.

15. “Why can’t you make more of an effort when you meet new people?” I do make an effort, it’s just more subtle and may happen more gradually than how you interact with people.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

Who and Whom

This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the object of a clause. Using “who” or “whom” depends on whether you’re referring to the subject or object of a sentence. When in doubt, substitute “who” with the subjective pronouns “he” or “she,” e.g., Who loves you? cf., He loves me. Similarly, you can also substitute “whom” with the objective pronouns “him” or “her.” e.g.I consulted an attorney whom I met in New York. cf., I consulted him.

Which and That

This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring.  e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores. In this case, you don’t have to go to a specific grocery store to obtain organic fruits and vegetables. “Which” qualifies, “that” restricts. “Which” is more ambiguous however, and by virtue of its meaning is flexible enough to be used in many restrictive clauses. e.g., The house, which is burning, is mine. e.g., The house that is burning is mine.

Lay and Lie

This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g.,Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie” (e.g., I lay on the bed).


Contrary to common misuse, “moot” doesn’t imply something is superfluous. It means a subject is disputable or open to discussion. e.g., The idea that commercial zoning should be allowed in the residential neighborhood was a moot point for the council.

Continual and Continuous

They’re similar, but there’s a difference. “Continual” means something that’s always occurring, with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous” means something continues without any stops or gaps in between. e.g., The continual music next door made it the worst night of studying ever. e.g., Her continuous talking prevented him from concentrating.

Envy and Jealousy

The word “envy” implies a longing for someone else’s good fortunes. “Jealousy” is far more nefarious. It’s a fear of rivalry, often present in sexual situations. “Envy” is when you covet your friend’s good looks. “Jealousy” is what happens when your significant other swoons over your good-looking friend.


“Nor” expresses a negative condition. It literally means “and not.” You’re obligated to use the “nor” form if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with another negative condition. “Neither the men nor the women were drunk” is a correct sentence because “nor” expresses that the women held the same negative condition as the men. The old rule is that “nor” typically follows “neither,” and “or” follows “either.” However, if neither “either” nor “neither” is used in a sentence, you should use “nor” to express a second negative, as long as the second negative is a verb. If the second negative is a noun, adjective, or adverb, you would use “or,” because the initial negative transfers to all conditions. e.g., He won’t eat broccoli or asparagus. The negative condition expressing the first noun (broccoli) is also used for the second (asparagus).

May and Might

“May” implies a possibility. “Might” implies far more uncertainty. “You may get drunk if you have two shots in ten minutes” implies a real possibility of drunkenness. “You might get a ticket if you operate a tug boat while drunk” implies a possibility that is far more remote. Someone who says “I may have more wine” could mean he/she doesn’t want more wine right now, or that he/she “might” not want any at all. Given the speaker’s indecision on the matter, “might” would be correct.

Whether and If 

Many writers seem to assume that “whether” is interchangeable with “if.” It isn’t. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives. e.g., I don’t know whether I’ll get drunk tonight. e.g., I can get drunk tonight if I have money for booze.

Fewer and Less

“Less” is reserved for hypothetical quantities. “Few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify. e.g., The firm has fewer than ten employees. e.g., The firm is less successful now that we have only ten employees.

Farther and Further

The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can’t always measure. e.g., I threw the ball ten feet farther than Bill. e.g., The financial crisis caused further implications.

Since and Because

“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation. e.g., Since I quit drinking I’ve married and had two children. e.g., Because I quit drinking I no longer wake up in my own vomit.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Contrary to popular usage, these words aren’t synonymous. A “disinterested” person is someone who’s impartial. For example, a hedge fund manager might take interest in a headline regarding the performance of a popular stock, even if he’s never invested in it. He’s “disinterested,” i.e., he doesn’t seek to gain financially from the transaction he’s witnessed. Judges and referees are supposed to be “disinterested.” If the sentence you’re using implies someone who couldn’t care less, chances are you’ll want to use “uninterested.”


Unless you’re frightened of them, you shouldn’t say you’re “anxious to see your friends.” You’re actually “eager,” or “excited.” To be “anxious” implies a looming fear, dread or anxiety. It doesn’t mean you’re looking forward to something.

Different Than and Different From

This is a tough one. Words like “rather” and “faster” are comparative adjectives, and are used to show comparison with the preposition “than,” (e.g., greater than, less than, faster than, rather than). The adjective “different” is used to draw distinction. So, when “different” is followed by a  preposition, it should be “from,” similar to “separate from,” “distinct from,” or “away from.” e.g., My living situation in New York was different from home. There are rare cases where “different than” is appropriate, if “than” operates as a conjunction. e.g.,Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles. When in doubt, use “different from.”

Bring and Take

In order to employ proper usage of “bring” or “take,” the writer must know whether the object is being moved toward or away from the subject. If it is toward, use “bring.” If it is away, use “take.” Your spouse may tell you to “take your clothes to the cleaners.” The owner of the dry cleaners would say “bring your clothes to the cleaners.”


It isn’t a word. “Impact” can be used as a noun (e.g., The impact of the crash was severe) or a transitive verb (e.g., The crash impacted my ability to walk or hold a job). “Impactful” is a made-up buzzword, colligated by the modern marketing industry in their endless attempts to decode the innumerable nuances of human behavior into a string of mindless metrics. Seriously, stop saying this.

Affect and Effect

Here’s a trick to help you remember: “Affect” is almost always a verb (e.g., Facebook affects people’s attention spans), and “effect” is almost always a noun (e.g., Facebook’s effects can also be positive). “Affect” means to influence or produce an impression — to cause hence, an effect. “Effect” is the thing produced by the affecting agent; it describes the result or outcome. There are some exceptions. “Effect” may be used as a transitive verb, which means to bring about or make happen. e.g., My new computer effected a much-needed transition from magazines to Web porn. There are similarly rare examples where “affect” can be a noun. e.g., His lack of affect made him seem like a shallow person.

Irony and Coincidence

Too many people claim something is the former when they actually mean the latter. For example, it’s not “ironic” that “Barbara moved from California to New York, where she ended up meeting and falling in love with a fellow Californian.” The fact that they’re both from California is a “coincidence.” “Irony” is the incongruity in a series of events between the expected results and the actual results. “Coincidence” is a series of events that appear planned when they’re actually accidental. So, it would be “ironic” if “Barbara moved from California to New York to escape California men, but the first man she ended up meeting and falling in love with was a fellow Californian.”


Undoubtedly the most common mistake I encounter. Contrary to almost ubiquitous misuse, to be “nauseous” doesn’t mean you’ve been sickened: it actually means you possess the ability to produce nausea in others. e.g., That week-old hot dog is nauseous. When you find yourself disgusted or made ill by a nauseating agent, you are actually “nauseated.” e.g., I was nauseated after falling into that dumpster behind the Planned Parenthood. Stop embarrassing yourself.

15 Things Introverts Absolutely Love

You’re all in favor of a long conversation with a friend. But small talk with strangers? Not so much.

1. Spending the day alone at home with a stack of magazines and your nicest tea. Especially when the weather is dumpy.

2. Long walks or runs with nothing but your music. This gets you going way more than other people.

3. Dinners with one person or a couple of people instead of huge group gatherings. A lot of your friends are in different social groups anyway so this always works out best. Not only is it less overwhelming, it’s easier to split the check. 

4. Binging on Netflix instead of going out. Forced small talk is bad enough, but it somehow feels even more difficult when you’re talking to a drunk man in a fedora with a shark’s tooth around his neck.

5. Quiet, by Susan Cain. This nonfiction book explains the fascinating, secret powers of introverts and is near-impossible to put down.

6. That one night off during an otherwise crazy week. So you can curl up with dinner and House Hunters, and not communicate with anyone for a little while.

7. Long one-on-one conversations with a close friend. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the phone, at the beach together, or at an unexpectedly long night of dinner and drinks after. You’re just happy to catch up with someone you care about.

8. Privacy. You wouldn’t mind if your office scrapped its open plan in favor of individual offices for everyone.

9. Solo projects. Whether it’s making a photo album, baking, or just eBaying that pile of stuff in the corner you’ve been meaning to list for ages.

10. Writing. It’s the ultimate solo project, whether you do it professionally or because you love keeping a journal.

11. Enjoying a glass of wine at home instead of going out.You don’t feel self-conscious about “drinking alone” because that one glass of wine when you need to decompress totally hits the spot.

12. Working from home. Even if you enjoy socializing with your co-workers, it’s nice to be able to take a day now and then to get things done with only your pet as company.

13. That wonderful feeling you get after you make it through a big presentation at work. Especially if you can take some time to yourself afterward.

14. Having a cell phone handy. When you’re at a party and your date is in the bathroom, you can text your friends or scroll through Twitter to avoid starting up small talk with strangers.

15. Long stretches of uninterrupted time to get work done.This is why you secretly don’t hate long flights.

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