5 Practices to Begin a Minimalist Year

Whatever the reason is, practicing a lifestyle of minimalism can in turn be challenging but also life changing at the same time. 

Gone will be the days of icky clutter and 2021 would be the year where less is in fact more. Like every other life changing decision, simplicity takes a few steps and patience to reel in while sometimes it takes a little boost to make that jump in order to see how happy the other steps would be.

Although you might not think of any, there are many things in your life that you can simplify, such as clutter, debt, home and schedule. These are a few ways to ensure that 2021 isnt going to be jammed pack out of the box.

1) Write stuff down

Visual aids are always a great way to begin if you want to take that first step towards making life simpler and more straightforward. What are the reasons that you want this change? Are you tired of looking at a messy cupboard or fed up of being stressed out at night? These are your whys, and they provide great motivation to keep you going, your reasons would help you remember when you need them too.

2) You really don’t need any duplicates

Grab a box, walk around your home, if you see something that you have two of, chuck it in the box. Two sets of the same hand-mixer, copies of the same book, two of the same mats for your bedroom, if you don’t see yourself using it for the next couple of weeks, chances are that you don’t need it.

3) Clutter-free zones

Clutter doesn’t only take up space, but it also causes unnecessary stress with many of this only adding on to what we’re facing right now in this whole pandemic. Declare clutter free zones in your home to ensure the utmost focus when needed. If you too enjoy that clean and clear environment, look towards expanding your zone each day in order to have that clutter-free home that you’ve been planning about.

4) Think less, do more

Whether it be eating, travelling or simply living, the time taken where you’re deciding on stuff is best spent doing it instead. Spend lesser time to decide on what to have for lunch, what to wear or what to make for your family dinner; try a healthy routine that you could use to rotate throughout the week where you’d have 2 or 3 dinner choices for example.

5) Travel light

Travelling on a holiday or simply travelling to work is best when you’re aren’t held down by baggage mainly in your pockets and your backpack. The next time you take a trip for the week, pack half of what you planned for initially; when commuting for work, take less cash if you don’t plan on using them all, especially with the amount of e-wallet choices we have these days.

Covid-19 Broke 2020, Will It Be Here to Stay in 2021?

Fast forward to June 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic has been happening for a year and a half now as the virus continues to spread slowly and very dangerously; half the world is still in lockdown as sights of healthcare workers in full body hazard suits just isn’t surprising anymore. At least 200 million are infected worldwide while 1.75 million are dead.

Before you start panicking, this is just one of the many scenarios that might play out in 2021. As we try to paint an early depiction of what to expect in 2021 in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic, this would definitely help as it works as a way to prepare for and even reduce infections for the upcoming year if possible.

Covid-19 is here to stay

Although their predictions vary with one another, modelers agree that Covid-19 would be here to stay, and the future depends on a lot of factors that are yet to be known, which also includes on whether a long-lasting immunity is developed, whether we can control the spread ad even down to the actions of governments and individuals.

According to Rosalind Eggo, an infectious disease modeller at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), we don’t really know what’s in store yet.

“A lot of places are unlocking, and a lot of places aren’t. We don’t really yet know what’s going to happen,” says Eggo.

Joseph Wu, a disease modeller at the University of Hong Kong, adds on that “the future will very much depend on how much social mixing resumes, and what kind of prevention we do,”.

According to nature.com, researchers have modelled how the pandemic has unfold and estimates up to 294 million infections globally by March 2021.

Working from home, again

The temptation to take a lunchbreak at your desk is strong when you work at home. But it’s worth taking a break where you move to a different space where work can’t reach you. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/dpa

Whilst leaders such as Google has extended the work-from-home policy until June 2021, it’s all also dependent greatly on how fast a vaccine starts arriving. Working from home could even take a large part of the year as the World Economic Forum predicts the number of remote workers to double in 2021.

According to Enterprise Technology Research (ETR) who surveyed 1,200 chief information officers around the world, 72% of their workforce is currently working remotely; 48.6% reported that productivity has improved since workers began working remotely and only 28.7% of respondents indicated a decline in productivity.

“The productivity metric is proving that remote work is working,” Erik Bradley, chief engagement strategist at ETR, told Reuters in an interview.

“So we all thought that there would be some increase in permanent remote work, but we didn’t expect that to double from pre-pandemic levels. There would be huge ramifications of this in a lot of areas, whether that is real estate, retail, restaurant or transportation.

How soon can we expect normality to return?

Similar to the Australian bushfires in early 2020, this pandemic is like a bushfire, a worldwide one that is. A vaccine is the key towards a new beginning but we aren’t quite sure how many people are actually vaccinated and if it has helped reduce the infection rates.

As of now, Malaysia is set to receive its share of the vaccine in February while Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) has been extended well into January. Will we start seeing change then? Rest assured, it’s not going to take long for us to find out.

TIME Magazine Releases Top 10 Photos of 2020

The power of photographs could be an understatement especially when so much could be told with so little.

When it comes to 2020, most of our mind’s images of it could be pretty blurry as when we look back, it is as if we only saw one thing – the pandemic. On top of that, we couldn’t in fact remember all the places we’ve been and record all that has happened; So, how would you remember what you couldn’t even picture?

TIME’s photo department release their top 10 photographs of the year at every end of it, similar to 2020, they did so once more and made 2020 that much more personal to each and every one of us.

Meridith Kohut

Meridith Kohut for TIME Magazine

Pictured is the staff and patients at the Brooklyn Heights Medical Center. Thousands were killed by Covid-19 in New York City and millions more around the world. Taken on April 22nd, Kohut captures a lone Kyle Edwards gathering lanterns from inside one of the refrigerators that stored these corpses.

Newsha Tavakolian

Iran mourned as the assassination of major general Qasem Soleimani sparked hurt and vengeance in the country.

Hassan Ammar

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

Hoda Kinno, 11, is carried by her uncle Mustafa after a massive explosion at the port in Beirut on August 4th. “I was taking pictures of everything when I saw men holding two injured girls on the highway opposite the port. I followed one until they reached a military vehicle that was being loaded with injured people to be evacuated to a hospital.”

Al Bello

Al Bello/Getty Images

A drop cloth hung from a clothlines, serving as a simple barrier between two family members who began embracing nonetheless. Bello captured the embraces over 45 minutes, including that of Sileo and granddaughter Olivia Grant, shown here. “They were long hugs,” he says.

Erin Schaff

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Jacquelyn Booth mourning the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Hector Retamal

HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

A man lies on the ground, merely a block away from a hospital in Wuhan, China. When they saw us, they shouted at us. They seemed to tell us not to get any closer,” Retamal remembered. After a while, others in protective suits arrived; they approached the man but would not touch him.

Peter van Agtmael

Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos for TIME

Trump went head to head with Biden for the U.S. hot seat, it’s hard to know what he knows at times.

Adam Ferguson

Ferguson for TIME

3 billion animals, that’s how much animals were killed or displaced during bushfire season in Australia. When on a photographic mission around Kangaroo Island, he noticed something grey afar. “As I approached, I realized it was a koala,” he recalls. A volunteer from a nearby fire-response team noticed and came over with water. “Under normal circumstances, the koala would have scrambled up a tree,” says Ferguson, “but it was exhausted and dehydrated as the woman approached with her offering and poured it on its head.”

Malike Sidibe

Malike Sidibe for TIME

George Floyd’s murder by police in Minnesota was the final straw for many as protests soon took over the country and lasted throughout the year. Being there, Sidibe says, “changed the way I view the world and how I carry myself in this world.”

Jim Huylebroek

Jim Huylebroek/The New York Times/Redux

Following a U.S. and the Taliban peace agreement, Huylebroek and his colleagues took advantage of this by visiting insurgents in the eastern Laghman province. “They welcomed us in a friendly way, but things felt a bit tense,” he says. As two children walk up to road and past the fire fighters, “For me,” says Huylebroek, “it shows the harsh reality in which children grow up.”

“Only Use Hands if You Have No Head” Eatery Settles Forehead or Wrist Dispute Once And For All

You’ve seen it more than once, customers to a restaurant or shoppers at a mall, there’ll always be people who end up using their hands for temperature taking instead of using their foreheads like how we’re supposed to be.

So that brings the question to which method should we use? To answer the question, an eatery in Singapore has resorted to leave a sign outside where customers are to have their temperature taken at a machine – Only use your hands to have your temperature taken if you don’t have a head. 

With some of us more clearly still more confused than the other, this one eatery is obviously fed up with all the connotation of “having your temperature taken”.  

Should get scanned for your temperature at the wrist or forehead?

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said that having it taken at the forehead would result in the most accurate body temperature reading. However, Malaysians who were concerned about infrared rays perpetrating the skull and affecting the brain started the trend of using their wrists instead, causing a nationwide phenomenon.

Arms are not considered in temperature checks as they are the peripheral parts of the body, and extremities would have temperatures at the arms vary depending on environmental conditions.

The normal human body temperature varies from 36.5°C to 37.5°C, any temperature higher would be considered a fever.

Dr Noor Hisham also assured to the public on how there have been no reported side effects of scanning the forehead with infrared light

“We do not deny that many people are worried about side effects if they use the thermometer on their foreheads, but as far as we know, there is no scientific data that states it will cause illness,” he said.

Cellphones and Internet Usage In Prisons?

Getting involved with the outside world is an easier than said task when most of your time is spent behind bars with very limited face-to-face communication; for prisoners, most of them who rely on plain email hard copies are getting more and more out of the outside world, but with technology and the internet advances, things are beginning to be that much simpler for prisoners to reconnect with reality.

As weird as it sounds, it’s the way the world works now as pen and paper just don’t seem to be able to cut it anymore. Gone are the days of meeting up in person as virtual meetings, instant messages, and the ability to follow, like, post or comment seems to be the majority of the way we interact now, and there aren’t signs of us slowing down anytime too.

In practice, prisoners aren’t allowed to have cell phones, but in reality, they’re in fact all over social media. Sources told VICE that prisoners are able to post photos to Instagram and to tweet directly from their cell blocks and this is because of them being able to use contraband and illegal cellphones.

In Malaysia, the National Prison Department took an approach which allowed those behind bars to keep in touch with love ones and respective lawyer. This started when prisons nationwide were barred from having any visitors, following the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Since 2008, selected prisoners who have undergone higher education were allowed to use the internet for their studies. Open University Malaysia (OUM) was among the first who had offered higher education to prisoners where inmates would be offered an online and flexible learning system.

The prison had earlier allocated computer and internet usage for said inmates from 8am to 5pm daily with monitoring by management to ensure that it was only used for academic and learning purposes, which comes mainly from the OUM digital library.

For those wanting to try smuggling an authorized handphone though, Jabatan Penjara has an entire unit that is dedicated to preventing items of such. Known as the UKP (Unit Kawalan dan Pecegahan) or the Prevention and Control Unit, spot checks, zone patrol are utilized to ensure nothing gets past their sight. These men are also easily identifiable by their maroon berets and camo uniform.

They were also rumored to have beaten up inmates who tried smuggling handphones in as it is essential for drug businesses in prison. Phones with cameras are also believed to be able to threaten the reputation of a prison.

When successfully smuggled in, prisoners have an ingenious way to charge them though, with the use of fluorescent lights. As there are very limited to no plug points to work with, prisoners connect the charger to electricity wires from fluorescent lights inside the cells. By connecting wires from cell lights or even the CCTV camera to charge phone batteries, touching a live wire could also result in fatal injuries or even death.

Because of this, Sungai Buloh Prison cells disabled their lights because prisoners kept using them to charge their phones!

10 Things We’ve Learned From 2020

So, we’re days away from another new year and things seemed to have moved so fast that we could not even remember bits and pieces from this year even if we try too.

What started with the Covid-19 pandemic and pretty much ended with the Covid-19 pandemic as well, showed that a global health issue was perhaps too much to handle and we might just show gratitude by counting our blessings while we still have them.

Nonetheless, it’s still time to look back and what year seems more fitting than the year that has been filled with so much. Here are 10 things that we’ve learned from the somewhat infamous 2020.

1) We weren’t ready for the pandemic

When the coronavirus started to spread globally, we didn’t thought things would even get this bad. Well, it sure did, and we weren’t ready for it. The New Yorker traced the lack of action throughout the world and saw a lack of preparation in China that allowed the virus to spread and also all other nations who failed at what China failed initially as well.

2) Staying at home isn’t a problem

Now that all of us are forced to work, study or literally do everything from home, staying at home for long periods of time isn’t a problem anymore. Hopefully this too serves as a reminder that it’s okay to not have a full schedule out and that you are in fact well-prepared to be at home for all that.

3) Healthcare workers are a blessing in disguise

BERNAMA (2020) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

While the rest of us were either all snugged up at home having our virtual meetings and avoiding the outdoors, nurses and doctors were doing the exact opposite as they were out in reality facing a deadly enemy that they couldn’t at all see. Where would we even be without them?

4) Teachers, restaurant workers and garbage collectors, the list only goes on and on

Being able to learn, eat outside and to simpler things like throwing out our thrash, all these wouldn’t be possible without our essential workers who were making sure that important tasks in our lives were able to be carried out.

5) Change doesn’t wait till you’re ready 

When things change, they change even without prior notice. Experiencing change firsthand when you aren’t ready might be challenging but life changing, in a good way. 

6) Isolation creates anxiety or depression

Other than insomnia, isolation takes over our thoughts at times when we need our thoughts to be at its most healthy. All the what ifs can be deafening at times and getting out of them is a hard task but not impossible one.

7) It’s okay to not be okay

Let’s face it, this year was in fact challenging for some than the rest. Asking someone “how are you today” doesn’t feel right anymore and it’s completely fine. It also became a year when checking in with others became more specific which in turn made us rethink our sentences and questions before sending them out of our mouths.

8) Acceptance

There are always going to be situations that are out of your hands and control. Even world leaders had to face the fact in which that things were to happen as it wished. One way to deal with it though, was to fact the truth and accept it as a whole in order to have some sense of closure for the year.

9) The internet can be a tool for both good and bad

Fake news and reporting that causes panic are just the many dangers of using technology and the internet. Good thing though, we have the good that would balance it out, such as Zoom meetings, streaming services and keeping us in touch with family and friends especially when we need them the most.

10) We are much capable than we think we are

This pandemic made us dig deep and unleashed our utmost creative side for dealing with so much changes and the new norm. From homeschooling methods to cooking, we’ve perhaps just only picked on the possibilities where we can adapt to our surroundings.

Syed Saddiq to Go Bald for #1Keluarga1Laptop, Literally

Youth & Sports Minister,YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

To think that 2020 isn’t going to be more surprising is an understatement even with current circumstances, as now, Muar MP, Syed Saddiq just might be ending the year bald!

In a bid to raise RM200,000 for the “one family one laptop initiative”, this was aimed to be able to raise enough funds in order to buy laptops for 100 students in his parliament area of Muar, Johor. Before this he had been successful in similar projects, being able to provide 100 laptops for students as well.

The former minister of youth and sports added the hashtag #1keluarga1laptop in his Instagram post a few days ago to kick start the movement. 

“This initiative was made because I know the importance and need for a laptop when you are a student.” he said.

“I also promise to go bald, as a token of appreciation, once this campaign has reached its goal. It’s all for Muar”

Up until last night at 8pm, the campaign had receive funds of up to 61,410 ringgit.

Saddiq also didn’t wait for it to end in order to make his gratitude known as the donations came from people of all races and religions.

“This only strengthens my commitment towards making sure the 200,000 ringgit goal is met. Praying that this campaign is a success” he said.

“Want to see me bald? Hope this all goes well!”

The campaign has four days left before it ends and donations could be made at CIMB 8603323060 Pejabat Khidmat Rakyat Parlimen Muar.

The Week Between Christmas and New Year’s Can be A Little Weird


The week between Christmas and New Year’s isn’t like any other days, whether you call it “Betwixtmas,” “Crimbo Limbo,” or “The Merrineum, it is in fact a weird one as you aren’t sure if you should be carrying on with your days as usual or be ready to reel in the new year.

It is a strange period in exceptionally strange times as well, so it’s all normal if you feel somewhat uneasy and don’t have a proper direction to go in.

If you find this period way too uneasy to go by, here are seven tweets that would perhaps help brighten the situation and also to help you in defining your whatever you would call this period.

Whatever you plan to do, remember to do it with some positivity. It still took you a long way to finally reach this point, didn’t it?

If one of us would be looking for a way to define this year, look no further as we’ve practically been living like this since the start of the pandemic.

No, you shouldn’t be drinking at 10am; but I guess we surely can’t stop you with your decisions.

If my boss is seeing this, we’re sorry but not sorry at the same time.

Like we said, nobody’s stopping you from doing anything.

Yeah, we only have one day on our minds and it doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out.

We don’t know a lot of things, but one thing we know for sure is Christmas cookies.

Apple Cars Planned for The Roads By 2024

With the electric vehicle becoming much more of a reality than fiction these days, it is only fitting to see tech companies following suit in which what Tesla has successfully done so with its range of electric self driving cars; however, another tech giant may be giving the Tesla a run for its money though, as Apple is rumored to be releasing their version of self driving electric cars as early as in 2024.

Said to be boasting a breakthrough in battery technology as well, the iPhone makers initiative for electric self driving cars is known as Project Titan, which has seen uneven its progress since 2014.

At one point, it was also rumored to be drawn back and reassessed as a whole. According to CNBC, Doug Field, an Apple veteran and former Tesla employee, had returned to managed the project in 2018 and had laid off 190 people from the team in 2019.

Apple has had steady results since and aims to build a vehicle for many of its customers in the Apple ecosystem, according to two anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

Central to all these is also a rumored ground breaking battery design that could reduce the cost of batteries and increase the car’s range, according to a third person who has seen the battery design by Apple.

Apple of course, has declined to comment on its plans and future products

One significant challenge would be looking for a supply chain as even with the amount of dollar signs the company holds onto, it has never assembled a car ever. Did we mention that it even took Elon Musk 17 years before he found sustained profit from making cars?

“If there is one company on the planet that has the resources to do that, it’s probably Apple. But at the same time, it’s not a cellphone,” said a person who worked on Project Titan.

Two people with knowledge of these plans also added that the pandemic may have pushed the start of production in 2025 or beyond.

Apple may also be utilizing technology from previous devices such as the lidar sensors in order to scan different distances. Reuters had previously reported that Apple had talked with potential lidar suppliers but doesn’t rule out the fact that Apple may even as well develop its own sensor.

The batteries would also be built upon plans of a unique “monocell” where individuals battery cells are bulked up and frees up space in the battery pack. This would mean that more active material can be packed in the battery, which means potentially a longer range. Thee are also talks of a chemistry for the battery called lithium iron phosphate to help with the overheating.

It’s next level,” the person said of Apple’s battery technology. “Like the first time you saw the iPhone.”

5 Ways to Deal With the Christmas Blues

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but when a pandemic has taken up the whole year, trying to deck the halls with boughs of holly may be a harder task than usual this time.

It’s important to know that it’s understandably normal to feel the blues during this festive season as some of us may have more downs than ups in 2020 that Christmas doesn’t even feel festive anymore.

Apart from skipping Christmas parties and cutting down on holidays festivities, a blue Christmas isn’t permanent as there are ways to overcome them. Here are 5 ways to ensure that your holidays are filled with festive when you need it.

1) Limit alcohol intake

Instead of beer and wine, try stirring up a mock tail or perhaps even a classic homemade cup of eggnog instead to lifted the mood. If you are in fact at a party, limit yourself to fewer servings of alcohol and focus your energy on catching up with friends for the season instead.

2) Get some sleep

A little bit of sleep helps boosts your immunity and importantly, you mood as well. Take rests when you have too and refrain from staying up too later as some good sleep goes a long way when you need the energy for the next day.

3) Learn to say no

Yes, gathering with family and friends are important during this time of the year; don’t overpower yourself with a full schedule and remember to take time for yourself when you need it, but do remember to spend time with them, Christmas is still in fact the perfect time for family time.

4) Avoid overeating

Christmas food may be wholesome and oh so tempting for seconds, but avoid overeating and only eat what you can. You are what you eat, so you certainly don’t want to be a turkey on the sofa during this festive season.

5) Volunteer

As many are less fortunate than you, take this time of the year to give. Look for soup kitchens or volunteer centers where you could help spread the joy of Christmas, plus the gift of giving is always a good one to give out for Christmas.