Dec 31, 2011

MacFuse Not working after Lion upgrade

After upgrading to new Mac OS Lion, my MacFuse ceased to work and I could not mount any USB drive I have.

Uninstalling MacFuse is not an option.  It seems the upgrade broke something there.

I found a way to actually uninstall it and make mounting works again.

OSXFUSE is the word. Download and install it.  Remember to click the option to provide MacFuse layer, which would help us to uninstall MacFuse properly.

Nov 22, 2011

Civilization V Campaign Edition - Debug Mode (Mac)

Civilization is one of the best turn-based game.  Recently, I started playing Civ 5 on Mac.  As usual, I looked for cheat codes to speed up the learning curve.  All I found in the net were all related to PC.

Here is how you do it in Mac.

  1. You will need to edit the config file via Terminal. The file is under /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Civilization V Campaign Edition/config.ini
  2. Change "DebugPanel = 0" to "DebugPanel = 1"
  3. In game, all you need to do is press ~ key to open debug panel.
  4. As far as I know, the only useful cheat is Reveal All.
Have fun!

Nov 3, 2011

Breeze MasterCard® - 10% cashback

 Offered by Bankwest!

Happiness is a low rate

Looking for a credit card with a low rate and loads of great benefits? You've found it. The new Bankwest Breeze is now offering you 10% cashback on your festive spend at all department stores, grocery stores and on eating out for 3 months. That's right, 10% cashback... no catches, just happy shopping!!
Breeze also offers you the lowest ongoing purchase rate of any MasterCard in Australia – just 10.99% p.a.
It can even help you consolidate outstanding balances on your non-Bankwest credit cards. Transfer them over to your new Bankwest Breeze MasterCard and you'll pay only 5.99%  p.a. for the first 12 months.

Why Breeze MasterCard is a winner:

  • 10% cashback on your everyday spend at department stores, grocery stores and on eating out for 3 months.#
  • Australia's lowest MasterCard purchase rate of 10.99% p.a.
  • up to 55 days interest free on purchases
  • we won’t charge the Annual Fee in the 2nd & subsequent years where the annual spend is $10,000 or more for Classic cards, $15,000 or more for Gold cards or $20,000 or more for Platinum cards*
  • 5.99%  p.a. for the first 12 months on non-Bankwest credit card balance transfers
  • if you find goods you buy with your card cheaper within 21 days, claim the difference^
  • up to 12 months extra warranty on top of the manufacturer's warranty^
  • three months free protection against loss, theft or accidental damage of any goods you buy with your card^
  • up to three additional cardholders at no additional fee

Nov 2, 2011

Consumer Ratings

Canstar Blue

Canstar Blue is an exciting new initiative of CANSTAR CANNEX, the ratings company. Canstar Blue’s goal is to help consumers make the right choices by promoting product excellence. Canstar Blue ratings are based on customer satisfaction, hence our tag line ‘by consumers for consumers’.


The People’s Watchdog Independent and transparent, CHOICE was founded in 1960 with one clear mission: to ensure the consumer voice is heard loudly and clearly. CHOICE empowers consumers to get the most out of all their purchasing decisions by providing a mix of advocacy and advice .

Solid Food For Babies - Rice Cereal

When the baby is over 6 months, we can start introducing solid food for her.  The first choice is rice cereal which is easy to make.

  • 1/4 cup brown rice (brown rice is preferred)
  • 1 cup water
  • little formula/ breast-milk

  1. Sterilise all cookwave first.
  2. Blend brown rice and make a powder.
  3. Boil water and add brown rice powder.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir constantly.
  5. Add little formula or breast-milk for the taste.

Oct 17, 2011

Is private education worth it?

While the costs of private schools continue to rise, the jury is still out on whether the money is a worthwhile investment, writes David Potts.

When you're up for $150,000 in fees and extras for a child's private-school education, it'd be nice to know it's a good investment.  After all, a year 7 student starting next year will cost $215,000 by year 12 if school fees keep rising at an annual rate of 6 per cent.  Could that be better spent on tutors and extensive travel to other cultures to broaden a young mind?

Certainly it would be cheaper.  They might put a value on everything else but economists have a problem working out the worth of private schools, even though that's probably where many of them went.

Fortunately, the well-regarded - and, as it turns out aptly named - London School of Economics has had a shot at it.  Based on the "ample evidence" that private-school students will earn more "and are more likely to get top jobs", it calculated that "the average net return to investment in a private school education was 7 per cent for boarders and 13 per cent for day students".
That's 13 per cent a year, which you don't need me to remind you is a return that's a lot better than the sharemarket.

Oct 15, 2011

Homemade Sesame Candy

Delicious homemade sesame candy.

Time: 60 minutes
Serve: 80 pieces
  • 2 cups black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  1. Butter 2 baking sheets.
  2. In a large pan,  toast the sesame seeds on medium heat until aromatic. Stir often and  continuously till ready.  Set it aside.
  3. In the same pan, mix the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring continuously, then let boil for 2 minutes, still stirring.
  4. Remove from heat. Quickly stir seeds into the sugar mixture.
  5. Transfer immediately to one of baking sheets, spreading as best as you can. 
  6. Place the other baking sheet on the top; using a roller to press the seeds into an even and thin sheet.
  7. With a knife, cut the sesame candy into small pieces while it's still warm.
  8. Let it cool for 15 minutes and enjoy it.
  9. Store it in layers separated by wax paper.

  • Less honey with more sugar makes candy harder if desired.

Oct 14, 2011

What Cooking Oil To Use?

I bet everyone is confused over which oil to use, you are not alone. In many instances it’s less about the oil and more about what you do with it, how you use it and how long you keep it.  I have researched on the web and consolidated many information here. Enjoy!
Type of Fats

Polyunsaturated fats can be found mostly in nuts, seeds, fish, algae, and leafy greens. They have been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks.

Monounsaturated fats are found in natural foods such as red meat, whole milk products, nuts and high fat fruits such as olives and avocados.

Saturated fats,  like butter and coconut oil, are the most stable. They are commonly considered to be potentially less healthful than fats with a lower proportion of saturated fatty acids and higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids

Trans fats are unnatural fats, and they do not promote good health. The consumption of trans fats increases one's risk of coronary heart disease by raising levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and lowering levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are more harmful than naturally occurring oils.

Oct 13, 2011

Steve Yegge's Google Platforms Rant

Posted on Google+ by Steve Yegge

I was at Amazon for about six and a half years, and now I've been at Google for that long. One thing that struck me immediately about the two companies -- an impression that has been reinforced almost daily -- is that Amazon does everything wrong, and Google does everything right. Sure, it's a sweeping generalization, but a surprisingly accurate one. It's pretty crazy. There are probably a hundred or even two hundred different ways you can compare the two companies, and Google is superior in all but three of them, if I recall correctly. I actually did a spreadsheet at one point but Legal wouldn't let me show it to anyone, even though recruiting loved it.

Oct 8, 2011

Walnut Cake

Simple walnut cake made in an hour.

Walnut Cake
Time: Less than 60 minutes
Serves: 8 muffin-size cake


  • Part 1
    • 1 cup plain flour
    • 2 tablespoons self-raising flour
    • 125 g butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt with less brown sugar)
  • Part 2
    • 125 g walnuts
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  2. Put (Part 1) in the mixer and mix them thoroughly.
  3. Put half of cake mixture to the base of greased tin.
  4. Chop walnuts to smaller pieces.
  5. Combine (Part 2) and sprinkle half of it over the cake mixture.
  6. Spread the remaining cake mixture on the top and sprinkle with the remaining walnut mixture.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes.

Oct 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: You've got to find what you love.

This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

Oct 2, 2011

Costco - What's Cheap, Actually?

With the current Coles and Wollies' price wars, lots of our daily goods are much cheaper than ever.  The question of whether it's worth the $60 Costco annual membership or not is being asked frequently.

Being a Costco member, there are only two main reasons:
1. Price
2. Unique Products

CHEAP items in Costco:
  1. Frozen Mixed Berries 1kg - $6.29
  2. Free Range Eggs 18cts (900g) - $4.29
  3. Dried Mango
  4. Rice
  5. Short Rib Beef - $16 per kg
  6. Duck
  7. Spinach $8 per kg
  8. Asparagus 0.5kg - $3.49
  9. Lilydale Chicken $5.80 per kg
  10. Milk Lite 3 litre - $2.88
  11. Jalna Vanilla 1kg - $4.19

Unique Products in Costco:
  1. French Truffle Chocolate 2kg - around $10 as May 24, 2013.
  2. Plain Indian Roti 1kg - $9.69

Sep 30, 2011

Emergency Services Around Me (Melbourne)

Austin Hospital

Phone: (03) 9496 5500
Location: 145 Studley Road,
                 Heidelberg VIC 3084

The Austin Hospital's Department of Emergency Medicine, also known as the Emergency Department or ED, is a busy tertiary department attending 60,000 patients annually offering a wide range of clinical services.

The new purpose-built ED opened in May 2005 as part of the Austin Hospital's redevelopment and has 50 treatment areas including a six bed paediatric area, a Fast Track area, an eight bed Short Stay Unit, procedure rooms and resuscitation rooms.

The Department is accredited for two years advanced training with the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and has paediatric logbook training. It offers registrar rotations in ICU, anaesthetics, obstetrics and gynaecology, toxicology, spinal medicine, ambulatory care, psychiatry and paediatrics.

The Department is also the acute spinal and trauma reception area of Austin Health.

In August 2008 the Victorian Poison Information Centre will be relocating to the Austin Hospital's Emergency Department.

Box Hill Hospital

Phone: (03) 9895 3333
Location: Nelson Road, Box Hill, 3128

Cheap Ways To Entertaining Kids

Having kids at home doesn't have to shrink our wallets and doesn't have to involve endless hours of TV or video games.  Libraries, beaches, parks and some museums are some of free ways we can keep our kids occupied with.

A website full of paper folding models from famous landmarks to cars and even famous people

A website of free colouring pages, games and puzzles

Shows how to make a range of items in origami, including a water balloon made of paper

Search "science" to discover a list of science experiments for children of all ages to do at home

Games and craft ideas for younger children

Lego games and also create your own Lego models

* Information obtained from

Sep 26, 2011

Fairy Park in Anakie, Victoria

For General Enquiries & Bookings
Call: (03) 5284 1262 or email:

2388 Ballan Road
Anakie 3221
Victoria, Australia. 

Admission between 10 am to 4 pm.
Gates close at 5pm sharp.

Open Daily*

All year round. Rain, hail or shine.
We do not close for the winter.
Open all public holidays*

*except Christmas Day

View Travel in a larger map

Fairy Park is approximately one hours drive west of Melbourne.
Take the West Gate Bridge out of Melbourne following the Princess Freeway. Take the first Werribee exit marked C109 and follow this road through to the Werribee Racecourse. Along the Racecourse runs Bulban Rd. Spelt B-U-L-B-A-N. Follow Bulban Road to the end and follow the Fairy Park signposts at each intersection. 

Adventure Park in Geelong

Great family funs just a short distinace from Melbourne.

Park Open:
Saturday 1st October 2011 until Sunday 29th April 2012
Winter Closure: May through September

* Closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, Open Melbourne Cup Day & Anzac Day.

View Larger Map
1249 Bellarine Hwy (B110) Wallington, Geelong.
Midway between Geelong and Queenscliff.
Adventure Park is only 1 hour south of Melbourne from the westgate bridge.
Melways page 469 G8

Costco Price List - Digital Camera

Prices were obtained in early Sep, 2011.

Fujifilm FinePix T200  10X 14MP 2.7" LCD - $169.99
Fujifilm FinePix S2950 18x 14MP 3.0" LCD - $199.99

Olympus VR-310 10X  14 MP 3.0" LCD - $159.98
Olympus TG-310 3.6x 14 MP 2.7" LCD - $249.99

Nikon S3100  5X 14MP 2.7" LCD - $139.99
Nikon L120  21X 14MP 3.0" LCD - $249.99
Nikon S9100 18X 12MP 3.0" LCD - $379.98

Canon IXUS220HS 5X 12MP 2.7" LCD - $259.99
Canon SX220HS  14X 12MP 3.0" LCD - $339.99

Aug 19, 2011

Price Comparison: Baby Wipes

Baby wipes is probably used mostly throughout baby's life.

- Here I listed all I used so far for my baby girl.
- Put a comment if you like to recommend other brands.

- Has bear picture embossed on it.
- Good, if you got money.

- I like this brand.
- Not too wet and easy to pull.

Kirkland Signature - Costco
- Larger size.
- Cheap.
- I feel it is too dry at the top of pack and too wet at the end.
- The new package was introduced (2012).

Price Comparison:

Solar Panel Systems - Free Electricity

The price of electricity is now making people interested in solar energy.  The first question being asked is whether it is worth the up-front cost.  There is no straight answer to that, but in general it would be.  Of course, there is one factor you need to consider first:

That is: Location of your home. It is important to have enough sunlight where your house is loaded. Ideally, you should have sufficient north facing roof with no shade.  The more sunlight that can be captured in the solar panels, the quicker the solar energy system will pay off your investment. For me, living in Melbourne, probably the worst city in Australia to capture sunlight. Nonetheless, my 1.5kw system provides my energy usage during summer and covers my winter usage cost, too.

2. Amount of electricity you use is not as important as many people claim (depends on how you look at it financially).  Since government only subsides up to 1.5kw system, it is wise to purchase just a quality 1.5kw system.  This way, you get the maximum return.


1.5kw system => $3000.
Generate $1000 worth of energy (due to government premium tariff)
Excluded the potential interest of up-front cost, 5%, the investment return is 28%.

You tell me, where can you get a solid investment with this kind of return?

Aug 13, 2011

Ducted Gas Heating

I installed Brivis ducted gas heating this winter for my little baby.  It is used 24-hour a day with 20c setting all the time.

My gas bill was around $60 ~ $100 every two months before ducted heating installation.  Heard from my friends paying from $300 for a couple of hours heating daily to $600+ for daytime/evening heating daily. Mine is 24-hour a day, nonstop!

It's been a painful waiting period for the gas bill to come in. It finally did today. The bill is merely $320 (for two months). That's 50% less than what I expected.  Great system, Brivis!

Here is my model details:

Brivis StarPro HX23
- External System
- 7 outlets

Tell me about the system you have and your usage cost.

Aug 6, 2011

Giveaways from Australian Family Magazine

Australian Family Magazine provides parenting information and samples of products to parents of children aged two to eight quarterly.

As a registered user, you will be able to enter competitions and giveaways. 

Click here to visit their web site.

Aug 4, 2011

Swap your Woolworths fuel savings for Qantas Frequent Flyer points

Join Woolworths Everyday Rewards program. When we spend $30 or more at any Woolworths supermarket, we get fuel vouchers for 4c discount per litre at CALTEX WOOLWORTHS / SAFEWAY co-branded fuel outlets.

Recently, Woolworths offers an option to swap fuel savings for Qantas Frequent Flyer points. Instead of 4c discount per litre, we get 2 Qantas Frequent Flyer points per litre. Woolworths has another offer with Qantas that we can redeem Qantas Frequent Flyer points for Woolworths gift cards. 750 Qantas Frequent Flyer points can be redeemed for $5 Woolworths gift card.

See Woolworths program details here.

Now here is the catch: Why would you swap your fuel savings for Qantas Frequent Flyer points?

* With fuel voucher, 1 litre = 4c discount.
* With Qantas points, 1 litre = 1.3c value. (2 points * $5 / 750)

4c vs 1.3c

It's obvious, isn't it?  Unless you are saving up points for tickets, fuel voucher is still a better deal.

What do you think?

Aug 3, 2011

Costco finally offers items on special!

After opening Sydney and Canberra stores, it seems that Costco has enough purchasing powers to offer members some items with further special discounts.

Here is the coupon.

It is valid between Aug 1 ~ Aug 14, 2011 only.

Costco Price List 1

Costco Dockloands, Melbourne

381 Footscray Road
Docklands, VIC 3008


Price List:

* Dried Pineapple 500g $3.69 ($7.38 per kg)
* Dried Mango 850g $13.99 ($16.46 per kg)
* Dried Apricots 1.3kg $12.79 ($9.84 per kg)
* Dried Pitted Dates 1.13kg $7.39 ($6.54 per kg)
* Dried Blueberries 576g $11.59 ($20.23 per kg)
* Dried Cherries 567g $8.49 ($15.16 per kg)
* Dried Cranberry 1.36kg $9.29

* Macleans Extreme Clean 4 x 170gm $13.99
=> Macleeans Advanced Freshmint 170g $2.99 at My Chemist.

* Colgate Total Toothpaste 4 x 160gm $13.79
=> Colgate Regular 150g $1.99 at My Chemist.

* Oral B Cross Action Toothbrush 6ct $19.99
* Palmolive Shower Gel 750ml Pump & 750ml Refill $9.99
* Ivory Bath Bar 16x127g $9.28
* Palmolive Bar Soap 20pk $9.28

* Olay Total Effects Night Cream 3x50g $65.99

* Centrum Select 50+ Multivitamins 200ct $25.89
* Sandhurst Stuffed Green Olives 1.9kg $6.89
* Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce 907g $4.79
* Kikkoman Soy Sauce 2L $9.99
* Lee Kum Kee Soy Sauce 1.75L $4.89
* Balsamic Vinegar 1L $13.39
* Sunflower Oil 5L $14.89
* Canola Oil 5L $11.79
* John West Tuna in Olive Oil 12x185g $24.29
* SPAM 3 x 340g $8.89
* Skippy Creamy (or Chunky) Peanut Butter 1.36kg $5.89
* Nutella Hazelnut Spread 2x750g $10.79

Costco Price List - Wine

Costco Dockloands, Melbourne

381 Footscray Road
Docklands, VIC 3008

Other price lists: 1 2

Price List:

Yellow Tail Shiraz 1.5L $11.99
Johnnie Walker Green 700ml $57.99
Penfolds Grange 1L $1499.99
Penfolds Bin 311 2009 $29.96
Guinness Draught 24x440ml cans $55.99
Fat Yak 24x345ml bottles $46.79
Penfolds Bin 23 $29.96

Aug 2, 2011

We are safe for another month!

August 2nd, 2011 Media release from RBA:

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.75 per cent.
The global economy is continuing its expansion, but the pace of growth slowed in the June quarter. The supply-chain disruptions from the Japanese earthquake and the dampening effects of high commodity prices on income and spending in major countries both contributed to the slowing. It is still not clear how persistent this slower growth will be. The supply-chain disruptions are now gradually abating and commodity prices have softened of late, though they generally remain high. In China most indications suggest only a mild slowdown so far.
The central scenario for the world economy over the next couple of years envisaged by most forecasters remains one of growth below the pace of 2010, but at or above long-term averages. Downside risks have increased, however, as concerns have grown over the outlook for the public finances of both Europe and the United States.
Australia's terms of trade are now at very high levels and national income has been growing strongly. Investment in the resources sector is picking up very strongly and some related service sectors are enjoying better than average conditions. But in other sectors, cautious behaviour by households and the high level of the exchange rate are having a noticeable dampening effect. The impetus from earlier Australian Government spending programs is now also abating, as had been intended.

Jul 29, 2011

iTunes Gift Card

Got an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or any i* from Apple.  Instead of setting up credit credit with Apple to make purchases, it is cheaper to buy iTunes gift card and redeem into your iTunes account.

There are on sale frequently; usually 20%~30% off face value.

Gift Cards on Sale is the best site that tracks all iTunes gift cards promotions in Australia.

Price Comparison: Nappies

Having a baby consuming nappies at the rate that makes you feel everything else is cheap.  Hunting
for cheap and best nappies is an on-going adventure.

- Only two brands were highly recommended via various sources.
- Put a comment if you want to recommend other brands.

Huggies - nappies/nappy pants
- Somehow it is the best.
- Girls or Boys.
- The number of nappies in Bulk-size package was reduced as noticed on June 1, 2012. Effective price increased!

- Aldi homebrand
- Said to be as good as Huggies but at a lower price.
- Unisex only.
- I start using this again due to Huggies price hike.
- Aldi has reduced prices on the Mamia ranges; there is also jumbo box available at the moment. (Oct 2012)

Where To:
- Put a comment if you know a cheaper place.

- Sold in mega box.
- One location in Melbourne: hard to get to and harder to park a car
  (Need to consider the cost of petrol unless you think going there is a weekend getaway/family trip.)
- Noticed prices hiked as normal bulk-size package reduced sizes at supermarkets.
- Noticed its prices reduced during the period that Coles/Woolies has nappies on special.
- New price updated as 13 July 2013.

- Sold in various size.
- Cheaper when it is on special.

Price Comparison:

Jun 26, 2011

Delete that late-night emailing habit

I saw a great article today and like to share it with everyone. Hope you enjoy it.
Extracted from The Office, The Age:
It is NOT acceptable to be sending business emails at 11.52pm. Ever. Perhaps it’s job insecurity or perhaps some people just feel validated by compulsively pressing the send button but I for one have had enough and would like to formalise the hours in which we’re emailing before we all go insane. It’s Darwinism at its finest.
Survival of the fittest is no longer about who’s the last one blearily staring at their screen in the office at night. It’s about who’s last to send an email.
What better way to show the boss how hard you’re working – just CC the boss in on an email to a major client at 1am – hello pay rise!
No one knows you watched MasterChef and Grey’s Anatomy, called your friend in New York on Skype, took a bubble bath and then composed an “urgent” email just before bed. It’s genius, right?

Got Milk?

Confused when buying milk in the supermarket? Check out this article by CHOICE:
It’s no longer simply a matter of reaching for full-cream, light or skim milk; nowadays you have to navigate labels claiming everything from high calcium to low saturated fat and from added omega-3 to A2 proteins – not to mention the growing organic milk market. They all cost more than the generic brands of regular or low-fat milk, but are they worth the extra money?
CHOICE has skimmed off the marketing hype and found that generic brands of milk are much the same as the equivalent big national brands. What’s more, the generic brands can be half the price of branded milk.
Trawling the major supermarkets in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, we found more than 80 different brands and types of milk – an amazing number considering that milk production is dominated by just two big multinationals, Parmalat (based in Italy) and National Foods/Dairy Farmers (owned by Japanese brewing giant Kirin) – and that doesn’t include products such as flavoured milk, goat’s milk or soy milk.

Kickstarter – new way to do fund-raising

Want to find a way to fund your project and short of money. This may be the answer for you.
Here is the FAQ of the idea:

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a new way to fund ideas and endeavors.
We believe that…
  • A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
  • A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

The great super debate

One must-read article:

The great super debate

John Collett | September 9 2009 | The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age
After seeing a quarter of their retirement nest egg wiped out between November 2007 and March this year, super fund members were jolted out of their complacency. Funds had sustained their biggest losses since compulsory super was introduced in 1992 and bewildered members were forced to pay attention.
And while some of the losses have since been clawed back, it has been a massive blow for those near the end of their working life.
How, then, do ordinary members of the public judge whether their super fund is any good?
Most of the information and comparison tables that consumers see are the work of a few research houses. But consumers only get half the story because bad performers are seldom mentioned. Researchers generally prefer to deal in the good news.
Currently, there are only voluntary industry standards as to how funds should report their returns and fees. There is no single way laid down as to how funds should value, and how frequently they should value, their unlisted investments, such as infrastructure and property.
The regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), offers guidelines on best practice but there are no regulations forcing funds to report the data in the same way. And, each of the researchers takes a different view of how performances should be measured.

On top of this, research firms cannot compel funds to provide their figures.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

the Tesselaar Tulip Festival


Sept 13 to Oct 9 2012

Time: Open daily 10am to 5pm

Prices: Adults $18, Concession $15, Under 16 free
           Groups of 10 or more $15 each person.

Address: Tesselaar Tulip Farm, 357 Monbulk Road Silvan, Victoria 3795
               Melway Map 123 B5

Join Your Voice and Make Pocket Money

The Nielsen Company is the world’s leading provider of market research and market information. The Your Voice Panel is a website and community that has been designed to provide members with a forum to voice their opinions on current affairs, products and services via online surveys.
By joining the panel you also have the chance to win great prizes. Your Voice offers:
  • A quarterly prize draw valued at up to $15,999
  • E-points for every survey you complete
  • Regular survey invitations on a range of topics
  • An opportunity to express your opinion on topics and products you are interested in
Plus, you automatically receive 20 e-points just for joining!*
The best part is you decide which surveys to participate in, and you can also remove yourself from the panel at any time.
To Join, click here.


This iteration is a enjoyable guide for everyone who wants to know more about local culture and foods in Singapore. It was planed by myself when I visited Singapore in 2009. It contains step-by-step on how I managed to travel among this beautiful city within 2 days/2 nights.

Visiting Singapore – Day 1

On the first day, the plan is to visit all famous major attractions, Singapore Flyer, Merlion, Fountain of Wealth, etc.

7:30am – Arrive Singapore

7:40am – Purchase ez-link and take the train to downtown

8:00am – Check-in hotel

9:00am – Go to City Hall statation

10:00am – Visit Merlion Park

11:00am – Esplanade/Singapore Flyer

12:00pm – Lunch at Suntec City

13:00pm – Fountain of Wealth

14:00 – Raffles Hotel

15:00 – Orchard Road

17:00 – Vivo Mall

18:00 – Sentosa

19:30 – Song of the Sea

21:00 – Back to hotel

Visiting Singapore – Day 2

On the second day, it’s culture experience. Singapore is in the center of Southeast Asia. It has a mix of many cultures in this tiny city. Little India, Bugis Village, Arab Street, etc are my top choices. It’s also my “food” day. I managed to go though famous food stalls in various hawking centers.

8:00 – Little India

9:30 – Bugis Street

10:30 – Arab Street

11:30 – Golden Mile Food

12:30 – MRT (Lavender) Raffles Place

1:30 – Lau Pa Sat Hawker’s Center

14:00 – Chinatown

15:30 – Maxwell Food Center

16:00 – Chinatown

19:30 – Clark Quay

21:00 – Back to Hotel

The Zebra Plant (Haworthia Fasciata)

  • Compact slow growing.
  • Heads to 8cm across, forming numerous offsets when mature.
  • Plant in well drained soil.
  • Outdoors in pots or garden.
  • Indoors in any well lit position, very hardy.
  • Low maintenance.
  • Partial sun or any shaded position.
  • Water when almost dry in summer, less often in winter.
  • Drought Tolerant.
  • Will tolerate frosts.
  • Tall stems appear with small stiped blue flowers over growing season.
  • Can be grown in the garden in many shaded positions.