Chinese woman, 94, wakes up from coma speaking English

Baffling: This elderly Chinese woman, 94, suffered a stroke, went into a coma and woke up not being able to answer questions in her native tongue. She could only reply in English.

There was relief when she awoke from her two-week medical induced coma.

But upon uttering her first words, something was different. Ms Liu Jieyu, 94, stunned medical personnel in Changsha, China, because she was unable to answer in Mandarin.

Her replies were spoken only in English. Ms Liu had been an English teacher but The Mirror reported that her family was adamant that she had not spoken English for more than 30 years. 

The questions continued, but Ms Liu was unable to speak a word in her native language.


The coma had been induced as Ms Liu had been diagnosed with a cerebral infarction - a type of stroke that limits blood supply to the brain.

Medics who tended to Ms Liu said that she spoke in fluent English when she awoke from her coma and said: "Where am I? What is happening?"

One of the baffled doctors treating Ms Liu said: "I can't ever remember having a case like this before but we anticipate that with proper rehabilitation that she should be able to regain her ability to speak (Mandarin)."

It is assumed that the infarction affected the area of the brain that controls language. It is hoped that Ms Liu's brain will repair itself and return her bilingual ability.

Waking to speak another language is not unique.

Ms Liu's condition is reminiscent of a Croatian teenager's in 2010 who was also in a coma.

ABC News reported that when the 13-year-old girl came out of her coma, she was fluent in German, a language that she had only just started studying in school.

She had lost all ability to speak her native Croatian.

More common is for people to find that they have changed accent

Source: Mirror UK, ABC News, Daily Mail

US museum does not want you to 'stick' around

Banned? Selfie sticks are frowned upon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

Selfie-sticks are coming in for some stick.

The device is becoming increasingly common around the world, but it is also becoming increasingly unwelcome in US museums.

They are now discouraged at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in New York.

It seems that visitors looking to get a snap of themselves beside a statue are somewhat clumsy.

Museums are saying that the extendable rods could damage the delicate art works.

Wary of patrons whacking a priceless Wedgwood or crashing into a Caravaggio, the says that signs banning the sticks  have not been displayed yet.

But Sree Sreenivasan, the museum's chief digital officer told New York Times that those caught with selfie sticks “Will be asked quietly to put it away”.

It is not just about protecting the art on display. Umbrellas, tripods and even backpacks are frowned up because of availble space during peak hours.

Mr Sreenivasan added:  “It’s one thing to take a picture at arm’s length, but when it is three times arm’s length, you are invading someone else’s personal space.”

The National Gallery Of Art and the Museum Of Fine Arts in Houston have also taken the same precaution out of concern that waving selfie sticks around could injure other visitors.

For now, selfie sticks are still allowed at the Louvre in Paris and the Tate Modern And National Gallery in London.

Source: Time, New York Times

An iCar to match your iPhone?

It has created phones, iPods, iPhones, iPads  iWatches and now there is the possibility of an iCar. 

Apple employees are said to be tasked with secretly working on a design for an electric people-carrier with the code name Titan.

Although it has yet to comment, sources close to the company told the Wall Street Journal that Apple wants to shake up the car industry in the way it did with smartphones.

Apple executives are said to have met high-end car manufacturer Magna Steyr in Austria and also hired industrial designer Marc Newson - who built a concept car for Ford in 1999.

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook reportedly assigned vice president of product design, Steve Zadesky, to lead the design group. 

He has a pedigree. Zadesky led the teams that created the iPod and iPhone.

Apple's Chief Executive Tim Cook. Photo: Reuters

But before you book a new parking spot.  It was only last year that an 'automotive research lab' was reportedly established at a secret location in outside Apple’s main Cupertino campus in California.

Google has been working on a driverless car for a number of years and it is not known if the car produced by Titan will also be "handsfree".

Apple already has links with Daimler, Volvo and Volkswagen through its dashboard car system, CarPlay. 

Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, told USA Today: "While Apple is serious about at least experimenting in the car space, it is unlikely that the company will launch anything in the next five years. More importantly, the potential for a car gives investors something... to look at as the next big thing for Apple."

The company was valued at a record-breaking US$700 billion last week. The company has enough funds to play with the idea of the next wave in car technology. 

Hopefully the vehicles navigation does not have the location difficulties Apple Maps first ran into.

Source: The Independent, USA Today

Facts about prostate cancer

Prostate cancer has been thrown into the limelight.

It was announced yesterday that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had been diagnosed and will be undergoing the surgery to remove the cancer today (Feb 16). 

It is the third most common type of cancer affecting men in Singapore.

Here are some key facts on the disease and the surgical procedure to combat it.


It occurs when a malignant tumour forms in the tissue of the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system located below the bladder.


It typically affects those over the age of 50, although it is most often seen in those above the age of 70. Smoking and having a family history of prostate cancer can also increase the risk of developing the disease.


Some symptoms include urinating more often than normal, experiencing pain during urination and blood in the urine or semen. In its later stages, the growing prostate will pinch the urethra, making it more difficult to urinate.


In cases where the cancer is confined to the prostate gland, the condition can be treated by removing the prostate gland and the nearby tissue. Patients can also treat the condition through chemotherapy and external beam radiation therapy.


There are no proven methods that prevent prostate cancer, but regular exercise, a balanced diet and abstaining from smoking are helpful measures to take.


Prostate cancer can be detected through blood tests, as well as through ultrasounds and rectal examinations.

Top 10 cancers affecting S’pore men

2 Lung
3 Prostate
5 Lymphoma
6 Skin (including melanoma)
7 Stomach
9 Kidney and other urinary cancers
10 Myeloid neoplasms

Source: National Cancer Centre S’pore


Doctors say PM Lee should recover quickly from prostate surgery

SELFIE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at an event in Ang Mo Kio on Saturday.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to undergo prostate surgery today after being diagnosed with prostate cancer last month.

But doctors say that he should be up and about in no time.

"In experienced hands, patients recover very well from surgery and need a few days' hospital stay at most," said Dr Sim Hong Gee, 45, a senior consultant urologist at Gleneagles Medical Centre.

The operation will be performed by Singapore General Hospital lead urologist Professor Christopher Cheng, who was a pioneer in the use of robots in surgery.

During Mr Lee's week of medical leave, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean will be the acting Prime Minister.

Mr Lee also posted a selfie on Facebook and thanked well-wishers for sending him their "concern, good wishes and encouraging words".

"I have already received so many e-mails, SMSes and messages through friends and contacts wishing me well. I'm all set for my op (today), and so are my surgeon and medical team," he posted.

Read the full report in our print edition on Feb 16.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at

Survivor: Blessed to detect cancer early

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'Handsome' cop in standee says strangers don't recognise him

IN THE FLESH: (Above) Meet ASP Ryan Koh, the man from the standee, which has become a popular online meme.
VIRAL: ASP Koh in the anti-shop theft video released yesterday.

He’s the face of more than 800 anti shop-theft standees placed islandwide, and the subject of countless internet memes.

Photo: Facebook/SGAG

Photo: Facebook/SGAG

But Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Ryan Koh, nicknamed ‘Yan Dao (handsome in Hokkien) Policeman’ by netizens, has never been recognised by people on the streets.

He has even bought items next to his standee in shops without the cashier giving him a second look.

Despite the online buzz his standee has been generating, ASP Koh counts it part of his duty as a policeman.

The Singapore Police Force is also riding on the standee’s online popularity, by pushing out a Chinese New Year crime prevention video on their social media platforms yesterday featuring ASP Koh.




Read the full report in our print edition on 16 Feb.

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at

She's in critical condition

DIRE: Family members of Bobbi Kristina Brown (above) have said she is fighting for her life.
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Face value

PORTRAITS: Mr Lee painted by local artist Jeffrey Koh in the style of Van Gogh.
PORTRAITS: Chinese artist Ren Zhen Yu uses vivid colour in his painting.
PORTRAITS: Korean artist Park Seung Mo created this piece from stainless steel mesh.
PORTRAITS: Singaporean artist Sukeshi Sondhi with her Pop Art paintings of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
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