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Whether you’re a tourist planning to visit this enchanting country, or whether you’re a resident who’s lived in Singapore for 50 years, here are a few facts that we bet you still didn’t know for sure. So go on, and read what we’ve put together, and get back and tell us if you’ve heard of any of these facts before. If you know of any interesting facts, do share them with us. Read on!
1. Meaning of the Merlion: The Merlion is the national symbol of Singapore. The half-fish, half-lion beast represents Singapore aptly; Singapore means Lion City, so the lion refers to the city. The fish is a tribute to Temasek, the ancient sea town that Singapore once was. The Merlion is one of the top Singapore tourist attractions.
2. 3,000 Kilometers of Roads! Singapore’s roads would measure 3,000 kilometers long, if stretched out end to end. What’s more, they would actually cover the distance to Hong Kong! Isn’t that one of the coolest Singapore facts?
3. Micro-text National Anthem: Singapore’s national anthem is printed in the tiniest possible micro-text on the back of the country’s SD$1000 note. If you’ve not noticed this yet, grab SD$1000 note and take a look.
4. Named After a Lion Sighting: The strange thing is, the word Singapore, or Singapura originally, means Lion City. There never were any lions in Singapore, except now at the Singapore Zoo. Still, the city has been called Lion City for decades because a young prince called Sang Nila Utama of Palembang saw an animal he believed to be a lion while out hunting in the region. And so the city got its name.
5. 2-In-One-Country: Singapore is a State and a City, at once. The only other surviving City/States in the world are the Vatican City and the richest tiny kingdom in the world, Monaco of the Formula One races.
6. Fastest Walkers! Singaporeans are the fastest walkers on earth, according to British Council’s study on the subject. Singaporeans can walk about 6.15km in an hour on an average. Can you do that?
7. Malay Is the National Language: If you’re wondering what Singapore’s national language is, it is Malay, not English and definitely not Singlish! The country’s national anthem (Majulah Singapura) is written in the Malay tongue.
8. Youngest Brainiac: Who’s the youngest person to clear the GCE ‘O’ Level Chemistry paper in the world? It is SingaporeanAinan Celeste Cawley, 7 years and 1 month old when he took the test. He passed and that makes him the youngest in the world to achieve this mega achievement.
9. Singapore Isn’t Just One Island: The nation of Singapore is one large main island and 63 other tiny islands, most of which are uninhabited. Exciting, huh? If you want to explore these islands, best obtain your Singapore visa in a hurry.
10. Top Ghost Writer: A team of ghost writers write the hottest-selling volumes of True Singapore Ghost Stories. This team of ghost writers is known by the name Russell Lee, and people don’t know that it’s not a person but actually a bunch of people stirring up scary tomes. So far, 11 volumes of ghost stories have sold more than 600,000 copies.
11. One of The Smallest Countries: Singapore has a total land area of 682.7 square kilometers. If you want to put that in its proper context, the United States of America is about 15,000 times bigger than Singapore.Singapore is among 20 of the smallest countries in the world.
12. Singlish Made It to Oxford Dictionary! Singapore speaks a local blend of English, Chinese and Malay known as Singlish. This language is well-known internationally; two words from Singlish have actually made it into the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary!
13. Ornamental Fish: Here’s some cool Singapore information – if you’ve ever stood in awe at a large aquarium at a friend’s place, wondering where all those colorful ornamental fish came from – well, they’re likely from Singapore. Singapore is the largest exporter of ornamental fish, claiming about 25% of the world market. Did you know that?
14. More Tree Species than In North America! Did you know that there are more species of trees in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore than are available in the entire North American continent? Size doesn’t count for everything! Bukit Timah is one of the coolest Singapore tourist spots.
15. 280 Meter or No Construction! Did you know that in Singapore, buildings cannot be constructed taller than 280 meters, which is 918 feet. Presently, Singapore has only three buildings that are 918 feet high or less – OUB Centre, UOB Plaza and Republic Plaza.
16. East Asian Tigers: No, the term does not stand for a mafia group in East Asia. It’s a group to which South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore belong, to signify the huge amounts of economic growth experienced by these countries in the past few years.
17. Largest Fountain: Singapore owns the largest fountain in the world; it was built in 1997 in the heart of Suntec City and cost about US$6 million to build.
18. Why the Palm Shape? If you wonder why the towers in Suntec City are built to resemble the palm of a hand, there’s a good reason for it. Apparently, the open palm of the hand symbolizes good ‘feng shui’. We think this is a cool example of Singapore culture facts.
19. Best Airport since 1987! Did you know that Singapore’s Changi Airport has been winning the ‘Best Airport in Asia’ award from the Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards Committee since 1987? That’s 28 years of excellence, a definitely impressive record!
20. 40,000 Copies in Two Months! Political cartoonist George Nonis wrote the book Hello Chok Tong, Goodbye Kuan Yew: The Untold Story and he never knew that his book would sell 40,000 copies in two months. Have you read his satirical work yet? Better!
21. The Fabulous Singapore Sling! This famous drink which is now synonymous with the city’s nightlife was first prepared and served to guests at Raffles Hotel’s Long Bar in 1915. If you’ve been curious about the Sling and what goes into it, the ingredients are pineapple juice, gin, cherry brandy, Cointreau, Dom Benedictine, Grenadine, limes and Angoustura bitters.
Singapore has many more cool facts that’ll leave you stunned, impressed and more than a little happy. For one thing, every waterfall in Singapore is manmade, including the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay, which drops from a height of 35 meters.
Jack Daniel's is the world's most popular whiskey brand, but until recently, few people knew the liquor was created by Nathan "Nearest" Green, an enslaved Black man who mentored Daniel.
"We've always known," says Debbie Staples, a great-great-granddaughter of Green's who heard the story from her grandmother. … "He made the whiskey, and he taught Jack Daniel. And people didn't believe it … it's hurtful. I don't know if it was because he was a Black man."
But people believe it now — in large part because Brown-Forman Corporation, owner of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, has acknowledged the foundational role Green played in the brand's development.
"The truth of the matter is, Nearest Green was the first head distiller of Jack Daniels whiskey," says Matt Blevins, global brand director for Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey. "We're very proud of this story and are very committed to amplifying it and acknowledging that. In the past, we did not amplify it the way that we could have in earlier eras, but we're about the future and moving forward."
America's first-known Black master distiller
The story begins in Lynchburg, Tennessee, current home of the Jack Daniel Distillery. In the mid-1800s, Green's slaveholders hired him out to a local preacher named Dan Call. Green, who had a reputation as a skilled distiller, made whiskey for Call, using a sugar maple charcoal filtering process that is believed to have originated in West Africa. Daniel, a boy who worked for Call, became Green's apprentice and learned the special technique that gave the Tennessee whiskey its smooth taste.
After emancipation in 1863, when all enslaved people were freed, Daniel purchased Call's distillery and hired Green as Jack Daniel Distillery's first master distiller.
"The best knowledge that we have is that they had a mentor-and-mentee sort of a relationship, and I would say, a friendship," says Blevins. "The stories that have been passed down [talk] about the care that Jack Daniel took to always acknowledge … the Green family."
Historic photo of Jack Daniel (in white hat) seated next to George Green, the son of Nathan "Nearest" Green Image source: VOA
There are no known pictures of Green, but there is one of Daniel with Green's son, George, sitting next to Daniel, rather than being relegated to the back.
"That photograph shows the respect that they had for one another and for their families," says Stefanie Benjamin, an assistant professor of tourism management at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. "To be not only allowed in that photograph, but also positioned in the foreground and sitting right next to Jack Daniels himself."
Search for the truth
Green's role in the history of the brand was uncovered by a writer and entrepreneur named Fawn Weaver, who became fascinated by Green's unheralded contribution to the world's most popular whiskey. After extensive research, including interviews with Green's descendants, Weaver shared her documentation with the company.
"I was very pleasantly surprised when they embraced my research and updated their records to reflect that," Weaver told VOA via email. "I think it said a lot about the character of their company that they moved that quickly to course correct."
Jack Daniel's has incorporated Green's contributions into the official history of the brand, but Weaver has gone a step further. She invested $1 million of her own money to establish Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, which is now the fastest-growing independent American whiskey brand in U.S. history.
Fawn Weaver (center in red) with her leadership team at Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, including master distiller Victoria Eady Butler (far left), the great‐great‐granddaughter of Nearest Green. (Photo courtesy Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey) Image credit: VOA
The company's master distiller is Victoria Eady Butler, Green's great‐great‐granddaughter.
"Uncle Nearest is the most-awarded American whiskey or bourbon of 2019, 2020 and 2021, and the fact that it is the bloodline of Nearest Green blending and approving what goes into our bottles is something I marvel at regularly," Weaver says. "Victoria is an absolute natural when it comes to blending, and to watch her work is to see something pretty darn close to perfection."
Seven generations of Green's family have worked at the Jack Daniel Distillery, a tradition that continues today with Staples and two of her siblings. But the Green family did not benefit when the Daniel family sold the Jack Daniel distillery to Brown-Forman for $20 million in 1956.
"Although they [the Green family] were very well off in terms of finances [in the 1800s] in that time, they were not the owners or co-owners of the Jack Daniel distillery," Benjamin says. "And so, those millions of dollars have been passed down through generations of the Jack Daniel family, and not necessarily the Green family."
Maturing barrels of whiskey in a barrel house on the grounds of the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy Jack Daniel's) Image credit: VOA
Weaver's Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has joined forces with Jack Daniel's to launch a program that provides support, expertise and resources to African-American entrepreneurs entering the spirits industry.
Staples says her family is thrilled their great-great-grandfather is finally being recognized.
"It's kind of mind-boggling … and we are so proud," Staples says. "And to think that from here to Africa, that recipe goes all the way back. And to think that he played such an important role in establishing this company. It sometimes seems unreal. It really does."
Because of Weaver's tenacity, Green's story, although left untold for more than a century, will not be lost to history. But that's not the case with so many other stories of Black achievement and contributions to the nation.
"Part of telling his story and sharing his legacy is to give credit and to give attention to a person who, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have the Jack Daniel whiskey as we know it today," Benjamin says. "It showcases yet another example of how formerly enslaved people, Black people, African American people who have really built this country, are left out of the dominant narrative that we tell." (VOA/RN)
(This article is originally written by Dora Mekouar)
Keywords: Jack Daniel's, Whiskey, Nathan Green, Slavery, Black achievement
Cricket fans can now book the ultimate experience with the official accommodation booking partner for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Booking.com. The T20 Pavillion, a bespoke cricket-themed luxury stay that transforms the Presidential Suite at Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel and Residences into a classic cricket stadium.
The suite offers guests an all-inclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience during the India vs Pakistan ICC Men's T20 World Cup match on October 24, 2021, packed with quirks and luxuries that is sure to satisfy even the biggest cricket enthusiast. Additionally, as a part of the experience, guests will also have the exclusive opportunity to meet Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor at The T20 Pavilion.
The booking window that opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021 and check-out on October 25, 2021. | Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash
For one night only, guests can soak in the energy of a roaring stadium to enjoy the epic match on a life-sized screen while seated on comfortable sofas -- just like the luxury box seats at the stadium. They can also head to the locker room (dining room) next to the field (living room) to have some energy drinks, just like a cricketer would do or head to the bedroom, transformed into a net practice area. It's got the field, the pitch, the locker room, pitching nets and cricket memorabilia infused in every element of the room.
The booking window opens at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and will be booked on a 'first come, first serve' basis with check-in date on October 24, 2021, and check-out on October 25, 2021. The T20 Pavilion is priced at Rs 6666 only in honour of all the great sixes smashed at the T20 World Cup. The T20 Pavilion can accommodate up to four guests. Cricket fans can visit the website or mobile app to book this cricket-inspired stay. (IANS/ MBI)
Amid the rush to find quick treatments for Covid-19 last year, the world saw a global race to find new stem cell-based treatments. Now, researchers report that such therapies were filled with violations of government regulations, inflated medical claims and distorted public communication. There are reports of patients suffering physical harm -- including blindness and death -- from unproven stem cell therapies.
"Efforts to rapidly develop therapeutic interventions should never occur at the expense of the ethical and scientific standards that are at the heart of responsible clinical research and innovation," said lead study author Laertis Ikonomou, associate professor of oral biology at University at Buffalo, New York. There are clinics offering unproven and unsafe "stem cell" therapies that promise to prevent Covid-19 by strengthening the immune system or improving overall health, the researchers noted in the paper published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.
There are reports of patients suffering physical harm -- including blindness and death -- from unproven stem cell therapies. | Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash
The findings from preliminary studies on possible stem cell-based Covid-19 treatments are frequently being exaggerated through press releases, social media and uncritical news media reports. Clinics selling supposed stem cell treatments on a direct-to-consumer basis sometimes use these findings and news reports to exploit the fears of vulnerable patients by unethically advertising the unproven benefits of stem cell treatments to boost the immune system, regenerate lung tissue and prevent transmission of Covid-19, said co-author Leigh Turner from the University of California, Irvine.
"Patients suffer financially as well, as the products range in price from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, and people are often encouraged to receive the expensive treatments every few months," added Ikonomou. Patients led to believe they are protected against Covid-19 may decide against vaccination, stop wearing masks, cease engaging in physical distancing, or otherwise avoid behaviours intended to promote personal safety and public health.
They may also become less likely to take part in carefully-developed clinical trials conducted by companies that follow ethical standards. "Scientists, regulators and policymakers must guard against the proliferation of poorly designed, underpowered and duplicative studies that are launched with undue haste because of the pandemic, but are unlikely to provide convincing, clinically meaningful safety and efficacy data," Turner stressed. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: findings,studies,therapies,unproven,reports,treatments, pandemic, covid, world