Earth Hour 2018

Are you earthlings aware of ‘Earth Hour’?

Picture sourced from WWF

Earth Hour is an iniative, started by the WWF that turned it into a global yearly phenomenon taking place all across the planet. The event is meant to encourage all individuals, communities and businesses to turn off all non-essential electric lights for an hour, from 8.30pm to 9.30pm. It is usually held towards the end of the month of March.
Earth Hour has officially become a symbol of commitment towards our beloved planet.

Earth Hour 2018 will be held on 24/3/2018 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm Local Time.

Let’s get ready, prepare our candlelights and pre-charge our portable battery packs, and join the millions who are already fighting climate change!

Find out more about Earth Hour and it’s initiative at


The Tigers are vanishing

After having interviewed a WWF representative recently, it was brought to light, the dwindling population and situation of our beloved cats here in Asia.


The Amur Tiger, also abbreviated as the Siberian Tiger were once often found roaming throughout the far east of Russia, northern China & along the Korean peninsula. Hunting had been the sport for the ruthless poachers who bloodthirstily seeked game. The poor tigers were driven to the brink of extinction…Today, with gratified thanks to Russia, it’s becoming of the first country of the world to grant the subspecies full protection, had been caringly boosting the numbers back up from a mere 40. The population of the ‘Panthera tigris altaica consists of roughly 540 cats, having them often weighing in around 396-660 pounds.

Forests habitats are at risk due to logging, conversion to agriculture, urban expansion, mining, road construction, fires & inadequate law enforcement. The ferocious felines have been restricted to the Sikhote-Alin range in Primoski and Khabarovsk provinces of the Far East. These tigers actually own the largest home range of any tiger subspecies, having to roam far and wide because of the low-prey density in the area. They currently represent the largest unfragmented tiger population in the world.
It goes to show there aren’t really many of these pussycats around anymore.

Amur_Tiger_8.14.2012_Threats_Section_Image_XL_257585Deforestation occuring to make way for illegal logging industries. // Photo(s) courtesy of WWF.

Did you know that tiger bones and teeth are used for human facial products & medicine?

Tiger skin is often sold off and traded for carpets, rugs & furniture.

Every week, a wildlife ranger gets shot in action thanks to poachers hunting for game.

World Wildlife Foundation is doing everything possible in their power and means to put a halt to humans endangering other land animal species on our still vibrantly life harbouring planet.
Monitoring populations. Protecting habitats. Increasing Tiger prey. Advocating for improved legislation. Raising Public awareness.

If you wish to make a one time donation to our cause or support the WWF on a monthly basis, you may use the following links:- //

Article sourced from
Written by Yoji Amashiro

Truth in Fiction


We must become the change we wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
One of the many wise quotes from a distinguished leader of the Indian Independence movement in British-rule India in the 1940s. Gandhi led India to independence and inspired Civil rights movements and freedom across the World.


“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” – Nelson Mandela. He was the first elected Chief Executive of South Africa, in a fully representative democratic election. With his leadership, his government focused on demolishing the legacy of the system of segregation or discrimination on the grounds of race, through tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation.


These are the people who we have looked towards for some form of leadership, in the past, to ignite changes within systems that are flawed. There are many more in the past that have risen to the occasion and have made an impact on our current lives and reality. Yet, there is still a disparity that lies hidden within the unseen cracks of our current economic systems and governments. The leaders we have currently tend to be modest in the changes that are put forth compared to those in our history books. Mostly within the subject of economic and military growth. Below are some known examples of our current leaders’ speeches on growth:


1. President Obama elaborating on his budget and inviting people to take action.

2. Prime Minister of the United Kingdom speech on transforming British economy.

3. Speech by the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Leong, at the Economic Society of Singapore Annual Dinner.

4. Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli delivering a speech at the conference, vowing to push forward with China’s “New Formal” growth model.


As you can see, these speeches are mostly about the economy and the country’s growth. So why is economic growth so important to us?


Economic growth has been presented to be essential for each and every one of us surviving in this current time. It has been deemed important to acquired more wealth accompanied by the growing consumption everyone has in most countries. This allows businesses and corporations to grow and prosper exponentially. This relates to growth in the output of the economy as a whole. Currently, growth is measured as the difference or change in the gross domestic product of a country over a year. However, good economic growth does not equate to a better standard of living as always intended.


I live in Singapore, a small country located in the southernmost region of the continental Asia, which has no natural resources besides its people. Since their independence in 1965 from British rule, Singapore has grown to be a global commerce, financial and transportation hub. In 2014, Singapore was crowned the most expensive city in the world according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). With such luxury like casinos, “low” crime rates, multi-million dollar properties, ever-green parks and a great Business district skyline, many expats and foreigners have resided in this small country which has tremendously impacted and increased the cost of living for the average Singaporean. Despite the high cost of living, I lead a happy, thriving life. I can safely say that with a slightly over-average income, I am able to have a home, water, electricity and some simples vices that makes living here tolerable. However, I cannot say the same for part of the population that work just to survive this increasingly expensive place. Recently, a study has shown that the ‘working poor’ in Singapore are not getting sufficient pay or salary to make ends meet. ‘Working poor’ is defined as a working individual whose income per household member is less than half of the national median per capita household income of Singapore, which stands at SGD $1,920. A survey done on poverty attitudes by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Social Work Department presented that those who need money want to work and that there are jobs available for them. However, it has been reported that there are more than 300,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents who earn less than SGD $1,500 a month (excluding employer CPF contribution) despite working full-time. Read more on this 2013 article here. Here is an article from the Guardian by Warwick Smith on his opinion on economic growth.


Simply put, quite a number of people do not prosper while the economy does. It is quite simple. We have been conditioned by our monetary and economic systems, that supports and purports greed rather than growth, to want and yearn more. To have more of something is the societal norm that has encompassed the mind of every individual that has lived in these past years, and will live in the years to come, as these ideas and concepts are built and incorporated into our education system. Competition has been put in place within the structures of growth rather than collaboration or cooperation. We have been made to judge and dream about the redundancies of the materialistic world. We promote greed and jealousy in our advertisement to grow consumption and thus the economy.


There are other possibilities of a far better economic and social structures that have been researched and also presented to the world which will abolish war, hunger, poverty, debt and unnecessary human suffering. One of them is called the Venus Project. This was created by an organization that created a feasible plan of action for social change towards a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are no longer a paper proclamations but an actual way of life. They have presented us with many different solutions such as a world economy that is resource based. With this, it utilizes existing resources, rather than money, and provides an equitable method of distributing these resources in the most efficient way, to the entire population. This system requires no use of money, credits, barter or any form of debt or servitude. Other solutions include housing, transportation and energy. The founder, Jacque Fresco, a futurist, inventor and industrial designer, uses the frontier of science, technology and imagination to create an intelligent application of what is available to us. The only limitations are those which we impose upon ourselves.


Think of all the human suffering that can be eradicated. Think of all the unnecessary famine, war, deaths and destruction that undoubtedly follow in our current plans for economic greed and power. The Venus project alone shows the very possibility of a new way of life. Rather than just to survive, we can thrive and develop a new world where every single individual can live and prosper. However, we need to change our current mindsets and some parts of our beliefs that have been instilled to indoctrinate us to the current structures of society and culture. We need change on an individual level first before the world can change. We need people to explain and lead us forward and inflict creativity and open-mindedness, towards these changes that will have to take place in order for each and every one of us to thrive.


Where are these people or leaders?


They are available anywhere, but do not look for them in the next political campaigns or in the current government. These ‘leaders’ are nothing but fictional characters that are invented by creative people to address the rising conflict between truth and lies within our reality. With many mainstream media and entertainment industries being owned by corporations, information tends to be exaggerated and sometimes, even fabricated to present the population with only the truth of what these powers want you to believe and not. It seems that politics and mainstream media are more about fiction than facts. We live in the age of technological advancements and with the easy access of information available to the common man, we hold the ability to research on a certain subject. With all these information available in an array of platforms and avenues, the truth is just an accepted perception of the conscious mind. In today’s context, fiction has become a primary point on which the journey towards truth will start. In many books, TV series and movies, truth has been portrayed as a kind of camouflage that can only be detected by the curious mind. Below are some examples of truth in fiction:


1. Known by most as “the most honest 3 minutes in television history”, this is an HBO TV series called the ‘Newsroom’ starring Jeff Daniels. The character Daniels plays is Will McAvoy, a news anchor. In this scene, he answered a question asked by a student, “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?”. Great answer!


2. The Matrix. This movie provides a great representation of exactly what we are to the Elite of the world; batteries. It also shows the possibilities of an individual once they have awakened and escape the matrix. Your mind is the only limit.


3. Lord of War is a movie, starring Nicolas Cage, about an arms dealer confronting the morality of his work. It shows the Government’s prominent role in the distribution and sales of weapons and how they cover up the distribution and uses it to promote violence and fear throughout the world.


4. Blood Diamond is a movie that sheds light on the hardship and corruption incurred in a certain part of the world to provide trivial luxuries to people in developed countries. It also shows how the truth is being kept and hidden from people who keep the diamond industry intact through value and praise.


Well, it may not be hard facts, but there are some truths in them. Do not even get me started on the symbolism that are found in these shows. The best part is, there are many more just waiting for you to search on or stumble upon. Remember to always be wary and keep an open mind on the meanings and hidden messages in these shows. The most important thing you can do is to share these information. Share your opinions and comments with others so we can learn different perspectives that will ultimately lead us to unveil the real truth. Below are some of my favourite finds of great videos that will intrigue, fascinate and motivate you to strive for truth and change.


1. George Carlin – The American Dream


2. V for Vendetta – The Revolutionary Speech


3. My ultimate favourite, The Great Dictator (1940) – The Greatest Speech Ever


Written by Fariq Yusoff
Image sourced from Flickr

Politics or ‘Clout’?

[Photograph taken by Yoji Amashiro]


Hegemony is a word derived from the Greek language, which roughly translates, to ‘dominant influence or authority over others’. It also could stand for influence held by a dominant group – socially, culturally, ideologically and economically.
To identify whether hegemony is present in a modern day’s society, culture and lifestyle requires much information and research about the governmental body and the population.
Media and the news
All in the world is not as you have been told. There is this saying that goes by “truth is stranger than fiction” and it could very well be accurate, for we have been deceived on such huge way that most people would have difficulty comprehending to the fullest. The behind the scenes machinations of big money and politics are almost as good as non-existent to the rest of the population people had access to the answers, there would be no qualms to cause a revolution. Many a ton of people are not willing to believe an entire nation is deceived in such a manner, although it is not that unbelievable when you decipher the reality and hierarchy of a revered media where we blindly place trust. The truth is only as you know it. They are told that most politicians are not truthful but have no hint of knowing that the news media deceives us just as much, if not more. Our media to such an extent has deceived us, mostly because people are too trusting of our news system. They very naively believe that broadcasters and journalists would never lie to them. This trust has clearly worked against the things we thought of with devastating consequences, which are unknown to most. To understand this, we first need to learn about how our news organization was hi-jacked in this manner. Once we learn this historical fact, it is far easier to understand that life is not as we know it.
The media does not only serve as the news spreader, the media serves to sell itself and sell advertising within itself. The media, therefore, does not always report the truth, but rather reports the reality that the audience wants to hear, often times in a fashion that departs from the truth considerably. In my experience in reading and observing the news, I have noticed it to become harder and harder to find an unbiased and well-rounded report on anything. Very little to no news article or reports present information from both sides and it has been getting worse over the years. Since most articles lack integrity, or contain bias, it is very difficult to trust the media.

In America
The U.S. press, like the U.S. government, is an almost corrupt and troubled institution. Corrupt not so much in the sense that it accepts bribes but in a systematic sense. It fails to do what it claims to do, what it is supposed to do, and what society wants it to do. The news media and the government are intertwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, false truth, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and it requires government officials to respond to it. Too often, the crises are not really crises but an untrue idea of the truth as it has been altered. The two institutions have become wounded in a web of lies that the news media are not truthful and the government is unable to govern effectively.
Media Bias
Humans crave information, which is why we always turn to the television, radio or newspaper. Without the media, we would still be getting used to newspaper pigeons we are often used in the past, leaving the rest of the world clueless as to what is going on, around them. The problem with news and media today that there is a notable success rate for it to be bias, certain media networks have a particular tendency or inclination towards someone or something. Certain networks have been claimed by others to be more biased than others, leaving the news consumer to decide what they would prefer to watch. Often times, the media is accused of being the most unfair especially when it comes to news associated with politics, especially during presidential elections.
People often wonder why the bias in media exist and why it is inevitable. Different news outlets or media networks seek different information. For example, a famous athlete is accused of failing a drug test. A news reporter may want to find out the facts, and a sports reporter might be trying to find out how the team is impacted. Each reporter is known for doing their job, but because they are telling the story to wide range of audiences, they attempt to make their reports look appealing to those audiences. Another main reason why bias tends to exist in the media is due to editorials. Editorials are known to be ‘sections’ of the newspaper that have been crafted entirely out of biased opinions. The opinions of the general public are allowed to be submitted to the newspapers.
Efforts in keeping the media unbiased
Many news networks are blamed of being biased, not every station has a bad reputation. There are some networks that try their best to keep news as neutral as possible.
More often than not, there number of so called ‘biased’ media networks outweigh and outnumber more than un-biased networks. One of the well known ones is ‘Fox News’ and is a prime example of a biased broadcasting station. This network has been notably accused of being biased towards more democratic and more conservative causes and politicians. The Democratic National Committee chairman called Fox a “beast similar to that of Godzilla when it comes to giving false news.” As we all know, the guy Mitt Romney is a conservative republican, people accused Fox of siding for him throughout the election. This is all happening while, MSNBC is a station that has been blamed for being biased towards the liberals and the democrats. Rupert Murdoch is one of the world’s most influential people, he is the owner of Fox News Corporation. Biasness is clearly found in daily or big news and information because the reporters were taught to develop their own opinions and sharing it with the rest of the world online. Social media is a great way to send out information and one of them is through sites such as Facebook and Skype, but it is risky to do so because it can create a very biased atmosphere. The public associates certain reporters with certain stations, and when that reporter makes a biased remark on a social media site, citizens may accuse the news station as being biased as well.
There are many different types of media bias and it is important to learn how to identify them.
Bias by omission
By leaving out important aspects of an article, or series of paragraph, over a span of time; ignoring certain facts which disproves several liberal or conservative claims, or that support liberal or conservative beliefs; ‘bias by omission’ happens usually within a story, or over the long term as a particular news outlet reports one set of events, but not another. To find instances of bias by omission, be aware of the conservative and liberal perspectives on current issues. See if both the parties’ perspectives are included in stories on a particular event or policy.
Bias by selection of sources
It includes more sources that support one view over another. This bias is selectively targeted when a reporter uses such phrases as “experts believe,” “observers say,” or “most people believe.” In courtroom trials, experts in news stories are like expert witnesses. If you know whether the defense or the prosecution called a particular expert witness to the stand, you know which way the witness will testify. It is obvious when there comes a news story, which only presents a monotonous angle of the story, and then it is the information that the reporter supports and agrees. To find bias via expert advice or with credible sources, remain vigilant to the affiliations and political perspective of those who are dubbed as experts or authorities in news stories. Not all stories will include such experts, but within those stories, make sure the number of conservatives and liberals quoted, are numbered equally. If a particular story quotes non-experts, such as those portrayed as average citizens, make sure by checking for an equal number coming from both sides of the issue in question.
Bias by story selection
If able to notice a pattern of highlighting news stories that coincide with the agenda of supporting views, while stories that coincide with the opposing view are rightfully ignored; printing a story or study released by a liberal or conservative group but ignoring research on the same or similar topics released by the opposing parties. To identify bias by story selection, one has to be able to seek and understand both sides of the story. See how much coverage certain issues get compared to other issues or the amount of liberals compared to conservatives. For example, if a liberal group puts out a study proving a liberal point, look at how much coverage it received when compared with a more conservative study that was published earlier, or vice versa.
Bias by placement
Story placement can be noted by how important the editor considers the story. Several studies have shown that, in the case of the average newspaper reader and the average news story, most people read only the headline. Bias by placement usually takes place on a website, newspaper or in an article a story or event is printed; it is a pattern of placing news stories so as to throw off information supportive of either views. To locate such cases of bias by placement, you must watch where and how the media broadcasts their political stories. Or when there is a story to be read, look how each viewpoint of the story unveils itself. In a more balanced environment, the reporter would quoting or summarizing both, liberal and conservative views in the same places of the story.
Bias by labeling
Bias by labeling can appear in dual forms. Firstly, the act of tagging such conservative politicians and groups with extreme labels while leaving liberal politicians and groups untouched or un-judged, or vice versa. The second kind of bias by labeling can happen when a reporter not does not identify a liberal as such or a conservative as one, but instead, decides to describe the person or group with positive labels, for e.g “independent consumer labels”. In such a case, this results in the reporter not recognizing the professionalism of the party. In the case where the “expert” is properly called a “conservative” or a “liberal” the news consumer is able to keep that ideological view into account when re-evaluating assertiveness. When looking for bias by labeling, it is wise to recall that not all labeling is wrong. Bias by labeling is present when the story labels one party but the other, when the story resorts to extreme sounding labels for the conservative than the modern day liberal and conservative. Many of these known conservative official or group are simply experts that are linked to a news radar or independent watchdog organization.
Bias by spin
Bias by spin occurs when the story has only one interpretation of an event or policy, also known as ‘spinning a story’ or ‘a story that has been spun’. It usually involves a reporter’s comments regarding facts; makes one side’s ideological perspective seem outwardly better. To check if it’s spin, try observing and checking which interpretation of an event a news story matches – the liberal or conservative. Many news stories do not reflect a particular spin. Usually people tend to summarize the story. But if a story reflects one to the exemption of the other, then it could possible be bias by spin.
Manipulation of media
I learnt how easy it is to manipulate the media, for it runs like most organizations, in a hierarchy that ends with the wealthy ownership. It is a tragic mistake for those who errantly claim that media is not controlled. In print, stories are scrutinized by an editor before publishing. A radio broadcaster is subjected to direction from the Program Director, consultant or station manager. A talking head in TV news gets their stories scripted and fed via teleprompter, all of which is once again subject to editing to meet company policy. On a daily basis, our media is very much controlled and deceives.
The vast majority of all news media in the United States is controlled by approximately 50 corporations back in 1983. Today however, it has been reduced to six but incredibly powerful media corporations . What people watch, hear and read every single day are controlled by them. Most people do not wonder and question who is providing them with the endless hours of news and entertainment that they take in. They do not give a thought for the citizens. However, it is a fact that the messages they often are constantly portraying and delivering to us, much impacts us deeply. Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal are the six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today. Together, they are making use and taking majorly influencing the news and media in the United States.
However, people must realize that the media does not necessarily lie. They often use sub-lingual language to mask the true origin of the text. The words used in media offer a high chance to omit socio-cultural connotations associated with them – these similarities in the drive of hunger can easily set the difference between a man seen in a positive light or a negative light.
In my opinion, it is evident that the media is very biased. Although some networks have the ability to be truthful, all but the remainder of all media networks are almost completely the opposite when they report news. Either way, it is clear that our society produces news that is often unfair and biased.
In conclusion, media is simply the bestest of ways to convey and receive important and truthful information on. Corporations own media outlets and they use the media as a form or method to make money. The media are known to have a tendency to exaggarate their stories and changes them to be interesting and to get more viewers, it is bias information to get the viewer to brainwash and perhaps empathize the audience to think a certain way.

McQuail, D. McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory (4th edn Sage, London 2000).
Nobles, Richard and Schiff, David. Understanding Miscarriages of Justice: Law, the Media and the Inevitability of Crisis (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2000).
Sherwin, R.K. When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Lines Between Law and Popular Culture (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2000).
Street, J. Mass Media, Politics and Democracy (Palgrave McMillan, Basingstoke 2001).

Written Yoji Amashiro
Photograph by Yoji Amashiro

Medical Marijuana & Cannabis Oil

The Medicinal Properties Of Medical Marijuana

Mary Jane, Ganja, Herb, Hemp, Cannabis or more commonly known as Marijuana, has been known to be grown and used for literally thousands of years. Newly found evidence shows that consumption of Cannabis has been dated back to the 850 BC. It is a plant that is indigenous to Central and South Asia. Throughout history it has been made known to mankind as a recreational drug and all-in-one purpose plant. In India, babas or sadhus partake in the consumption of Cannabis as an entheogen – spiritually, shamanic and religiously. There are a wide range of religious conceptions involving the plant. In modern culture, pro-marijuana movements such as the Rastafari have been introducing and spreading awareness about the sacred plant.
In the more recent times, many scientific studies clearly show that Cannabis, or just simply Marijuana, has medicinal properties. Moreover, it has been introduced to modern day societies, tolerably making them legally available in countries such as the US, North Korea, Uruguay and has been decriminalised in several other countries spread across the globe.

There have been lots of skeptics and pro-marijuana activists arguing and forging the road to 100% legality. As more and more people are being introduced to the idea..people begin to wonder, if man made booze and god made cannabis, whom do we actually trust?

Here is a short interview by CNN with Tommy Chong, actor from movie series – ‘Cheech And Chong’.
You can find plenty of similar videos, articles, research studies and conventions concerning medicinal marijuana on the net and social media.

Here are a list of some:


Please allow yourself to watch this documentary by Rick Simpson about the use of Cannabis and its miracle working, life-saving and mind expanding plant.

If you have a loved one, know anybody who has or have had issues with cancer, glaucoma, arthritis or any other health issues that could be resolved with the use of this god gifted plant, here you will find here useful and enlightening knowledge containing vital information that might just improve or even save a life.

Watch as these cancer cells get killed by THC, the active ingredient in Marijuana.

Perhaps it’s time we continue to nullify and get rid of this purge of disinformation and propaganda that is the notion of ridiculously accepting the use of cannabis.

Take a step back, come forward with an open mind with the intention to learn and seek.
Let’s think about it from a different perspective and attempt to tip over the scales and hop across the border between blind skepticism and the real truth folks!

An Initiative To Legalize Marijuana In California To Appear On Nov. Ballot

BERKELEY, CA – MARCH 25:  One-ounce bags of medicinal marijuana are displayed at the Berkeley Patients Group March 25, 2010 in Berkeley, California.  California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certified a ballot initiative late Wednesday to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana in the State of California after proponents of the measure submitted over 690,000 signatures. The measure will appear on the November 2 general election ballot.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

All credits given to sources taken above.
Written by Yoji Amashiro

Making a difference: Activism

What differentiates ‘Activism’ from ‘Slacktivism’?

In modern society, social networking has made everything in our lives so much more convenient through the internet. This is also with regards to Social Activism. Now, don’t get me wrong..being passionate and enthusiastic about a cause is great. But does sitting there contributing to society behind the computer screens actually make a difference? Perhaps it does. It doesn’t take much to get out there and take part in a non-violent protest, gathering or an intervention in order to make an impact and creating a difference. Spreading that awareness is great nonetheless but we need to start doing more than just sitting there and making contributions to sites like and or even sharing posts on Facebook.

Digital Activism has been integrated into a large part of our youths that makes spreading awareness much more swift and precise. It encourages people to start making a change in their lives no matter how minuscule or insignificant it may seem. Even in Singapore, where they are so afraid of their own government due to the strict laws and regulations, people have taken a stand and are beginning to occupy places like Hong Lim Park to protest and project their views and opinions to the public and the not so tolerant government.

 group of not-so-happy Singaporeans and their concerns about the government.

So you see, while the world as it is, desperately needs change..we as human beings have to make a stand, voice out our opinions and help out in whatever way possible. Whilst making the habit to get out there and attend a protest, I hope that you guys continue to spread awareness and keep the energy flowing.
Remember, Love is the key.

Written by Yoji Amashiro