4 Cafes to Check Out

There’s just something about cafes; the smell of bread, the smell of coffee, and the thought of simply sitting down and taking time for yourself. Here is a list of cafes here in SG, some popular, some not-so-popular. Be sure to check out all of them!

1. Open Door Policy
In Open Door Policy, you can be sure that your food is fresh, healthy, and sustainable. This is a cafe that prides itself on its eco-conscious values; its sustainable marketing strategy begins with growing their own produce indoors, using vertical growing methods. This cafe boasts of a dairy- and gluten-free menu, so those with gluten and lactose allergies can rest assured that their food is good for them. Those who simply want to have a more eco-conscious and sustainable diet can also find a good dining experience in Open Door Policy.

Open Door Policy is located at 19 Yong Siak St. and is open daily except Tuesdays.

2. Marble Bistro and Cafe
The Marble Bistro and Café is a cafe that everyone should experience. Headed by local chefs trained by the Culinary Institute of America, this café is popular for the quality of their dishes and the uniqueness of their presentation. All their dishes are made and presented with a clever twist; take for example their Deviled Eggs, which is presented in a bell jar and mini pesto cones.

The Marble Bistro’s seven-course dinner comes highly recommended. They can be found at 6 Everton Park, and are open on weekdays from 11:45 am to 5 pm, then at 6 pm to 9:30 pm.

3. Monocle Café
The Monocle is a global affairs and lifestyle magazine, with three other cafes in London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Its cafe here in SG is housed in a two-storey shophouse and comes with a retail shop, so fans of the mag can browse and shop while sipping a cup of their renowned Allpress. Located in a residential house with minimalist interiors and outdoor seating, photography junkies and Instagram enthusiasts would find this cafe a treat for the eyes.

The Monocle Cafe can be found at 74 Jalan Kelabu Asap and is open from 11 am to 7 pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from noon to 6 pm on Sundays.

4. PS.Cafe at Palais Renaissance
Since its opening in 1999, PS.Cafe has always been a Singaporean favorite. Its large windows and high ceilings make for lovely photographs and an ambiance that can only be described as rustic and romantic. PS. Cafe is perfect for romantic dinners or casual get-togethers with friends.

PS.Cafe at Palais Renaissance Is located at 390 Orchard Road., Palais Renaissance, and is open from 11:30 am to 11 pm on weekdays, and from 9:30 am to 11 pm on weekends.

27 Jul 2018

The Best Video Game Soundtracks You Should Listen To

Tired of your usual music playlist? If you love video games, then you should listen to some of these awesome video game soundtracks.

The first installment of this series has some amazing indie tracks from around the world. The soundtracks from the sequels LittleBigPlanet 2 and LittleBigPlanet 3 are also equally fun to listen to when you need to focus on your work.

A lot of fans enjoyed this role-playing title not just for its appealing gameplay and characters, but also for its unusual mix of orchestra and futuristic music.

Fallout 3
While most recent video games feature modern music, Fallout 3 includes some of the best classical pieces and old school music from the 40’s onwards, such as “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” by The Ink Spots.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Not only is this one of the best video games of all time, but its soundtrack is also iconic in the gaming world.

Super Mario Galaxy
Another iconic game series, the Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack features an orchestra for an out-of-this world music experience.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
It’s not unusual for some video games to feature several artists in its soundtrack, but if you want to listen to punk and hip music, this is the one for you.

Chrono Cross
Composed by Mitsuda Yasunori, this award-winning soundtrack should be a staple for Chrono Series fans.

Mega Man 2
Want something fast and upbeat? Mega Man 2’s soundtrack will get your heart pumping with its fast tunes, perfect for a slow morning at the office.

The title of the game should give you an idea about the gameplay, but it’s also perfect for those days when you just want to relax and listen to soothing music to calm your nerves.

Red Dead Redemption
Although you could also pick any of the Grand Theft Auto game soundtracks, what makes the soundtrack of Red Dead Redemption stand out are its emotional pieces that complement its powerful storytelling.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Orchestra and video games commonly go together, but Skyrim stands out because this massive title includes an equally massive soundtrack. The most notable, however, is the main theme “Dragonborn.”

Metroid Prime
Another classic game on this list, Metroid Prime features not just futuristic themes, but also choral chants and alien insect sounds.

Shadow of the Colossus
Need to study for an exam tomorrow? Hailed as one of the best games ever, Shadow of the Colossus also features the best soundtrack that will serve as background while fighting the sixteen colossi.

Crypt of the Necrodancer
If you need to hit the gym but don’t want to listen to the usual songs on your playlist, try the Crypt of the Necrodancer soundtrack for upbeat techno, jazz, trap, and metal that will inspire you to work harder.

31 May 2018

What You Need to Know About Dengue

Dengue is still a threat in most affected countries despite the precautions taken against it. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half the world’s population is now at risk, but most especially those residing in subtropical and tropical climates including Singapore.

Here are some facts about dengue you need to remember.

Dengue Mosquito
The virus is primarily transmitted by the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, although there were instances that another species, Aedes albopictus, was also the transmitter. Ae. aegypti is the same transmitter for other mosquito-related diseases such as Zika infection, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The symptoms are almost similar as well.

Four Dengue Serotypes
Serotype is the name that describes varieties in a species, and in the case of the dengue virus, there are four distinct types that have been documented in recent years. These are DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. The treatment of the patient will depend on which serotype has infected the body and may even provide immunity in the future.

Incubation Period
If a person is bitten by a mosquito that carries the virus, dengue will incubate for a period of four to ten days before the symptoms show up. Usually, these symptoms last for two to seven days, but the severity will differ among affected individuals.

No Specific Treatment
Unfortunately, there is no one proven way to treat dengue. The affected individual must be taken to the hospital to monitor and maintain the correct levels of body fluids to help the body to fight off the infection naturally. It’s crucial for the patient to get the appropriate care at the first early signs of dengue. Do not wait for the symptoms to worsen, because the infection can cause severe bleeding, organ impairment, plasma leaks, respiratory distress, and fluid accumulation.

Platelet Monitoring
If an individual is suspected of having dengue, he/she needs to have tests to confirm the diagnosis, such as a platelet count test and an antigen test. The normal count should be anywhere between 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter, that is why if the patient’s platelet count falls below 10,000 per microliter, he/she will need a platelet transfusion.

Different Symptoms
The infection will manifest differently among affected individuals, but there are common symptoms that you should look out for; such as high fever (usually 104° F or 40° C), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, pain behind the eyes, nausea and/or vomiting, rashes, and swollen glands. Severe dengue can cause more serious complications, that is why you should not wait for the following warning signs: vomiting, rapid breathing, severe pain in the abdomen, fatigue, blood in the vomit, and bleeding gums.

31 May 2018

5 Species of Large Fish You Can Catch in Singapore

Fishing is a great pastime to get into as a way to relax, get in touch with friends, and get acquainted with what nature has to offer, since Singapore is home to a wide variety of freshwater fish.

Because several reservoirs that have been previously closed to anglers have now been opened, now is the perfect time to get started on this hobby. Here are just some of the species of large fish you can reel in:

1. Catfish
This is one of the most recognizable fish that you can find in most places in Singapore because of its smooth grey color and prominent whisker-like barbels.

These fish can reach weights of as heavy as five or eight kilograms. There are several types of this fish that you can catch in Singapore, such as the warty catfish and the old world river catfish.

2. Peacock Bass
Belonging to a genus of large cichlids, this predatory freshwater fish is originally belongs to the Amazon water basin and is diurnal in nature. You can usually catch this type of fish any time of year in Singapore.

The peacock bass is a prized catch among anglers in Singapore as both food and game, as this fish is not only hard to find, but also quite hard to catch.

3. Giant Snakehead
The giant mudfish is capable of growing to a length of 1.3 meters, and can weigh up to as heavy as 20 kilograms. Though often found in Southeast Asia, this species is considered an invasive species in a number of countries since it has been introduced to different ecosystems, particularly those in Singapore.

4. Barracuda
This ray-finned fish is one of the most common species of large fish that you can catch in Singapore. Though not sought after as much as other species of prized fish, barracuda have an intimidating appearance and aggressive behavior that make them a challenge for any angler who happens to have them on the line.

Most characteristics of barracudas that make them distinct are their dark grey, green, or blue color, irregular black spots on one or both sides, and their pointed heads with a large under-bite. Given time, they can grow to 1.6 meters in length and weigh as much as 7 kilograms.

5. Grouper
Groupers are perhaps the largest and heaviest fish that you can catch in Singapore. Though the name “grouper” is given to most fishes belonging to the Epinephelus and Mycteroperca genera, it actually extends to other smaller genera, such as Anyperidon, Cromileptes, and Tirso.

Groupers are characterized by having a stout body and a large mouth. Not only can they reach lengths of more than 2 meters, but also weigh as much as 200 kilograms.

30 Apr 2018

4 Basic Items that Any First Aid Kit Should Always Have

Minor scrapes, burns, grazes, and cuts are only a small part of the whole package of being alive. However, nothing is perhaps more frustrating than having to dress a wound or bandage a burn only to find out that you don’t have the proper items to do so.

Whether or not you have kids, having a first-aid kit is a must-have in any home anywhere in the world, Singapore or otherwise. And because first-aid kits often make a huge difference in keeping otherwise minor scrapes from becoming bigger problems, here are the items that any kit should always have:

1. Band-Aids/bandages/gauze – Cuts, burns, and scrapes will need to be treated and dressed properly to avoid being exposed and possibly infected. Topical antibiotics are also a welcome addition for sterilizing, and hand sanitizer and gloves can come in handy in treating wounds.

In the off-chance that you need to make an emergency splint for a broken limb, having bandages would really come in handy.

2. Scissors, tweezers – Different situations would require different things to handle them. For some wounds that have debris stuck in them (e.g. broken glass, gravel), not only will you be needing scissors to cut off clothing and pieces of dressing, but also tweezers to remove debris.

You can also use tweezers to remove splinters and insect stings (but special splinter extractors can do the trick just as nicely – be sure to ask your pharmacist!).

3. Thermometer/Cold Pack – These two items should come together, and are really useful for helping someone who has a fever in the house. Depending on the case of fever, over-the-counter fever medication, lots of rest, and water could help decrease the body temperature.

Cold packs also come in handy for insect bites, minor burns, and sprains as it reduces the swelling.

4. Splint – Even though accidents rarely happen, they still do. Broken or sprained limbs can be the result of strenuous physical activity, and may need immediate medical attention. Already having a splint that you can use to immobilize a limb is more convenient than having to make one yourself.

Splints immobilize sprained or broken limbs or even a person’s spine in certain instances. The difference between a splint a cast is that a splint is “non-circumferential” (it doesn’t go all the way around the limb), where the cast goes all the way and encases the limb.

Always be sure to choose a brightly-colored container or plastic bag that can be easily identified. Place it somewhere in the house where only adults can access it and small children can’t (preferably, placing it on the top shelf on a central location in the house).

30 Apr 2018

5 of the Best Survival Mobile Games in 2018

Survival games aren’t new in the gaming industry. With the genre bringing thrill and excitement to its players, it’s not a surprise to know there’s a blooming fanbase in Singapore. This type of game has a general gameplay: you are to land somewhere, make use of the available tools around (such as guns), and fight other players to death. Your only goal is to survive.

These survival games aren’t exclusively played on a computer, too. Even just with your smartphone, you can enjoy the best survival experiences on your handheld device through downloading these games:

1. Rules of Survival
This game is arguably one of the leading survival games when it comes to graphics and gameplay. It is similar to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), a Battle Royale themed game that has been well-received by the PC community. The major difference is – you can play Rules of Survival on your smartphone. It allows solo, duo, and team games. A virtual thumb stick is used for smooth movement, but practice is still key.

2. Black Survival
Think of Black Survival as your typical survival game with an added twist: it has a visual-novel style gameplay. You will have to travel around static environments until the moment you come across another player – which is contrary to other survival games where you have the freedom to shoot around given you have a weapon. Your quick reflexes and better stats will render you victorious in this game.

3. Grand Battle Royale
Named after the 2000 survival-themed Japanese cult classic film, Grand Battle Royale mixes up the classic battleground set-up with Minecraft-style visuals. This adds another edge to the game, making it stand out from the rest. You simply spawn from one island to another – and once you hear the buzzer, the carnage begins. It’s a mad dash for nearby weapons once you begin to converge on the center.

4. Free fire – battleground
With high-end graphics, Free fire is considerably too beautiful for your typical mobile game. This easily makes the game the most visually pleasing title in this article. It boasts of a smooth and clean gameplay, and it also adheres to the general playbook of survival games (with the inclusion of teamplay and vehicles). The map may be too wide for the initial small player count – but just wait until the safe zone shrinks sufficiently!

5. Last Battleground: Survival
This game has a similar gameplay to that of Rules of Survival, but its visuals rely heavily on crude aesthetic. Nonetheless, it adds to the game’s appeal. It’s almost as if you are playing a PS2 game on your handheld device in many ways. This free-to-play game only has a 32-player count and doesn’t offer duo/team plays. However, the core gameplay of Last Battleground: Survival remains addictive enough to encourage loyal players to continue playing.

26 Mar 2018

Healthy Breakfast Options to Start Your Day Right

Eating the right breakfast food can provide you the energy you need and make you last for the long day ahead. Considered as the most important meal of the day, it is encouraged to eat breakfast even if you are on-the-go. Having a hearty meal in the morning also prevents you from eating too much for the rest of the day.

More than just filling your stomach with food, choosing what you eat for breakfast is important if you want to give your system the appropriate nutrients and sufficient amount of energy it needs. Here are some of the healthy breakfast options to start your day right:

1. Oatmeal
If you’re a cereal lover, having oatmeal in the morning might just be the perfect breakfast! Made from ground oats, oatmeal contains beta-glucan – a unique fiber which can bring the body many health benefits such as reducing one’s cholesterol count. It also promotes a feeling of fullness, preventing you from snacking on other food shortly after your meal.

2. Coffee
Considered as one of the best beverages to jumpstart your day, coffee can also be considered as a healthy breakfast option especially when taken moderately. Since the drink contains high caffeine content, it effectively improves your mood, alertness, and your general mental performance. The ideal amount of coffee to be taken on the daily ranges from around 1 – 4 cups, depending on how strong the coffee is.

3. Eggs
Eggs are not only delicious, but they are also packed with the essential nutrients we need to get going. Eating eggs at breakfast also increases your fullness, maintains a steady insulin and blood sugar levels, and reduces calorie intake during your next meal. What’s more, three large eggs can already provide you around 20 g. of protein!

4. Fruit
If you’re running out of time to prepare a hearty breakfast meal, simply grab a fruit and you’re all set! Fruits are relatively low in calories and they are packed with fiber, vitamins, potassium. A cup of chopped fruit only ranges for about 80 to 130 calories – depending on the fruit type. Having fruits for breakfast can also make you full, thanks to their high water and fiber content.

5. Protein shake
Fitness gurus and bodybuilders aren’t the only people who can enjoy protein shakes. If anything, having a protein shake or smoothie is a great way to start your day. You can use various types of protein powder: either egg, pea, soy, and whey protein. It is known to provide the body with several health benefits and effectively reduces your appetite. Enjoying a high-protein shake is both filling and satisfying.

To provide you additional antioxidants and fiber content, feel free to add nut butter, fruit, seeds, and even greens to your shake!

26 Mar 2018