Monthly Archives: September 2010

Everyday Creative Living

Some of the things we use in our everyday living were not invented with their intent in mind. Rather, they are discovered by chance. Unlike the time when Mr. Newton sat under an apple tree and viola came the theory of ‘Gravity’, these inventions are the results attained by accident through their inventors’ attempt to solve a particular problem. Add a little creativity and viola; we have something that is not only useful but also essential to our daily living.

Corn flakes, a staple breakfast for many, was the invention of the Kellogg brothers who were driven by the aim to search for wholesome food which could comply with the Seventh-day Adventists’ vegetarian diet for the patients of the sanitarium where they worked in. Boiled wheat left sitting out by accident became stale. Instead of throwing the food in the bin, the brothers placed the wheat through the rollers. Expecting sheets of dough, they got flakes instead, which the creative duo toasted. The rest we know is history.

Corn Flakes

Corn Flakes

© Alexey Arkhipov/ PhotoXpress LLC 2009-2010

Post-it Notes – a daily essential. Without them, would we have to rely on the primitive way of cutting strips of scotch tape and paper? This invention was the brainchild of Spencer Silver and Arthur Fry, both employees of 3M. Instead of successfully creating a strong adhesive, Silver, landed with the prototype of a very weak glue that could be removed effortlessly. Attempts to promote his product failed. Fast-forward 4 years. Fry faced the problem of falling slips of paper used to mark his hymnbooks. Remembering Sliver’s creation, Fry applied the weak glue to his slips of paper and sold the idea to 3M. That was how 3M became synonymously connected with post-it-notes.

Post-it Notes

Post-it Notes

© gianna/ PhotoXpress LLC 2009-2010

Food, glorious food! Would our late-nights parked in front of the television be as enjoyable, without potato chips? Created by George Crum in 1853, to satisfy a persistent customer who kept sending his fried potatoes back to the shop because they were soggy and not as crunchy as expected, Crum sliced the potatoes into thin slices, fried them in scalding oil and added salt to them. “Saratoga Chips” took Saratoga Springs in New York by storm. Its popularity spread rapidly through New England and now, the world.

Potato Chips

Potato Chips

© Ragnarocks/ PhotoXpress LLC 2009-2010

We all have the potential to become inventors. Think creative today!


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Documentary Photography by Jean Loo

Are you already a photographer? Are you keen to use your photography skills to chronicle significant events and do your part to improve the community? Then don’t miss this 4-part workshop by Jean Loo, where you will learn about storytelling using documentary photography to bring greater depth and meaning to your work. This programme is presented by Noise Singapore and Bear Fruit Academy (an initiative of the National Library Board). Selected works from this programme will be showcased at the Noise Singapore platform (

Requirements from Participants
– Commitment to work on photo project outside course hours
– A keen interest in documentary photography, social documentary photography, photojournalism and storytelling
– A basic DSLR kit

Ready to take on the challenge?
To register, please send an email to by 30 September 2010 with the subject header “documentary photography” and the following details:
– Your name, NRIC and contact number
– Why do you want to join this programme (in 250 words)
– 5 of your best images (if you are submitting the images to be viewed as a series, do indicate it in your submission)
– required file format: hi-res .jpeg
– file size: max. 15MB
This programme is STRICTLY for committed individuals and only successful registrants will be notified.

Session Details (Successful registrants must attend ALL sessions)
Saturday, 16 October 2010, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm, Meeting Room, National Library Building (1st session)
Topics to be covered:
1. Introduction of trainer and background in photography
2. Workshop Objectives and introduction to assignments for the course of the workshop
3. Introduction to documentary photography and its relevance today
4. Getting started: Story ideas, research and deciding on a topic of interest and purpose of photo story.

Saturday, 30 October 2010, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm, Programme Zone, Queenstown Public Library (2nd session)
Topics to be covered:
1. Taking Better Photographs / Seeing things from a different point of view
2. The Photo Story – How to put together a set of images that tell a story or reinforce a message.
3. Photography according to assigned themes

Saturday, 6 November 2010, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm, Programme Zone, Queenstown Public Library (3rd session)
Topics to be covered:
1. The Written Word – How it can help a picture tell a thousand words
2. Audio and Video: An introduction to how multimedia can help the “storytelling” experience
3. Putting together a photography presentation

Sunday, 21 November 2010, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm, Multi-purpose Room, Central Public Library (Final Session)
Presentations by participants and final critique from class, traineer and guest editors.

About the Speaker
Jean is a freelance documentary photographer and writer who loves exploring the world with her camera and notepad. Fascinated with the diversity of people and cultures around the globe, she hopes to accumulate a life of adventure and create social dialogue through her work. Born in 1984 in Singapore, Jean graduated with an honors degree in Journalism from Nanyang Technological University. She is currently based in Singapore and works around Asia.

Her adventure started in September 2006 during a six-month trip around Southeast Asia to produce a book on children growing up amidst change in the region. Titled Changing Phases, the project was commissioned by the National Youth Achievement Award Council of Singapore and launched by then Minister of Information, Communication and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang, in 2007. As a student journalist, the experience was mind-blowing, humbling and reaffirmed her decision to walk this path. In March 2008, she was selected for Objectifs’ Shooting Home workshop, which gave her the necessary fundamentals to embark on her professional career.

Since she started working independently, Jean has garnered a number of awards including five honorable mentions at the International Photography Awards and second place at the Asian Mosaics travel photography competition held during the inaugural Singapore International Photography Festival. Her work was also published in the Photo District News Photo Annual 2009 and 2010. In 2009, Jean was selected for the prestigious Eddie Adams workshop in New York City, a mind-blowing experience that sustains her whenever the going gets tough. She was featured in Female magazine as one of 18 local up-and-comers to watch and also described by the Asian Photography magazine as an emerging talent. Some of her other career highlights to date also include representing the National Heritage Board at the 2008 ASEAN Youth Camp in Indonesia and participating in The Rice Project where she documented the Asian tsunami victims in Sri Lanka and raised funds for Habitat for Humanity through a photography exhibition. For more information about her projects, visit

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