Lifestyle

Apple releases the emoji we all need

That and over 60 new emoji

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I don’t know about you, but I have most definitely mastered emoji speak. These cute, tiny characters have helped me convey feelings and emotions in ways I never thought possible in fewer words that I could’ve ever imagined.

Honestly, I can’t even imagine life without emoji — how would I know if the person was joking through chat messages? I mean, think about the misunderstandings that would arise!


Whenever a new batch of emoji is released, I always find myself celebrating. More emoji means more ways to explain myself.

This is why I’m so pleased with Apple’s newest emoji: The pleading face.

Think of all the times you could use this in chat conversations. Your friend telling you that you can’t have that fifth slice of chocolate cake? You know what to send that buzzkill. Having a hard time accepting Justin’s being engaged to Hailey? You know what to tweet @ Selena. Just think of all the perfect scenarios this face could be useful in!

Of course, the pleading face isn’t the only emoji that was released today, it being World Emoji Day. There are more that 60 new emoji released today based on approved Unicode 11.0 characters. (In case you didn’t know, emoji need be approved by the Unicode Consortium before it gets released to the world.)

In the spirit of inclusivity, there are now bald emoji, gray-haired emoji, red-haired emoji, and even curly-haired emoji.

There are also more smiley faces to convey more of my moods:

More food is also added to the roster. My favorite? The mango and the mooncake!

Countless animals are in the mix too, including one majestic peacock.

Other additions include a softball and even superheroes!

Yep, more emoji, more fun!

Lifestyle

Vaping supposedly linked to mysterious lung disease, investigations ongoing

More than 150 cases reported in the US

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If you’ve gone out within the past few years, you’ve probably ended up in a dense mist of vape smoke. In fact, you might have tried the smoking alternative yourself. Since its invention, vaping has prided itself as the safer bet compared to tar-riddled cigarettes. Further, vaping is supposedly less addictive and cooler in today’s standards. Case in point, vaping bars have popped up all over the world. The fairly new technology became a cultural sensation.

Unsurprisingly, vaping’s clean reputation owes to its recency. So far, scientists haven’t finished conducting more rigorous tests confirming the technology’s safety. Naturally, science will eventually catch up.


In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating more than a hundred pulmonary cases linked to vaping. Across the States, 153 people have succumbed to “severe lung illness” from June 28 to August 20 of this year. All cases involved some sort of vaping usage.

The unnamed illness includes “breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain before hospitalization.” In some cases, the illness further developed “mild to moderate gastrointestinal illness including vomiting and diarrhea.” Thankfully, none of the cases have caused death.

So far, the CDC has not pinpointed a definitive compound or product causing the illness. Investigations are still ongoing. Further, health officials are also investigating a potential link with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, the same compound found in marijuana. As of late, vapers have started vaping with THC oil. Several of the existing patients used such products prior to the illness.

In any case, the CDC is still finalizing its investigation, indefinitely extending vaping’s clean slate. If anything, the phenomenon is now under the microscope. Is it still as safe as it claims to be?

SEE ALSO: Fitbit and Singapore are teaming up for a healthier nation

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Lifestyle

Fitbit and Singapore are teaming up for a healthier nation

Could include more than a million subscribers

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Governments everywhere are trying to leverage modern technology in their public healthcare programs, but the process has been slow. Adopting new technology is difficult because of the wide scale and costs. In a first, Fitbit and Singapore have teamed up to build a healthier country.

Singapore launched the Smart Nation initiative five years ago to modernize the city-state with state-of-the-art technology, as well as proactively improve citizens’ health. Fitbit has been signed onto Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) to undertake a project.


Starting next month, residents of Singapore can register for the Fitbit Inspire, which the company launched earlier this year specifically for employers and health plans. Citizens won’t pay anything for the device, but will commit to spending SG$ 10 a month for a year of premium service, which includes guidance and one-on-one coaching.

Fitbit Premium provides personalized coaching and nudges subscribers to drive behavior and lifestyle changes to live healthier. Apple, Fitbit’s arch-rival, had also competed for the Singapore contract, but Fitbit’s bid ultimately won out.

As part of the partnership, Fitbit’s digital health platform and wearable devices will integrate with Singapore’s public health program. It’ll be called Live Healthy SG and will be available to people of “all ages and levels of health.”

Singaporeans will be able to pre-register for Live Healthy SG around mid-September, Fitbit said, with the program set to launch sometime in October.

This project can be a inspiring stepping stone for other countries as well. Singapore is a very small country and hence ideal for a pilot run. The same setup can be replicated elsewhere and scaled.

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Entertainment

YouTube Original Series to feature TWICE

First K-Pop girl group to be featured

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Image from JYPNation at Naver

K-Pop continues to be more popular than ever and it’s now making its way to YouTube Originals. TWICE, who constantly tops Korean charts, will be featured in a YouTube Original Series. They are the first K-Pop girl group to star in the award-winning series.

The series will feature the North American leg of their 2019 World Tour called TWICELIGHTS. This might prove to be an emotionally charged content from the group as one of the members — Mina — took a leave in the middle of the tour due to anxiety.


According to Billboard, the series is “unlike anything released by TWICE before. The series will showcase exclusives, in-depth interviews, as well as an “intimate and personal portrayal of all of TWICE’s members.” It will also dabble into the group’s four-year journey so far. The series will launch in the first half of 2020.

TWICE debuted in 2015 with nine members namely Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group first hit their stride following their first comeback Cheer Up. The group has consistently released hit songs since and have been tapped as endorsers by multiple brands including tech-related ones like LG.

YouTube Originals and YouTube Premium

YouTube Originals had previously worked with K-Pop boy groups, most notably the one with BTS called BTS: Burn The Stage. It features various shows produced by YouTube itself. The show series was launched alongside YouTube Premium — a subscription based entertainment platform akin to Netflix, Hulu, et al.

YouTube Originals are currently only available to YouTube Premium subscribers but the content will soon be accessible for free but with ads starting September 24.

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