The Best Indie Video Games

Video Games 2 October 2019 | 0 Comments

In recent years, indie game developers have been gaining more recognition from the gaming community with their unique and engaging titles that are a breath of fresh air from the big-name publishers.

The popularity of casual gaming has also inspired a new breed of games that are slightly more challenging than the ones you play on your smart phone. These indie games target the hardcore gamers who are always on the lookout for something exciting.

The following are the best of indie video games so far.

Undertale (2015)

The game is about a child who is trapped in a region called Underground that isn’t readily accessible to everyone because of a barrier. The player must guide this child in finding a means of escape. This role-playing game has several endings based on the choices made by the player.

Braid (2008)

This platforming puzzle game features the Tim who is trying to save a kidnapped princess. One of its key features is Tim’s ability to manipulate time that he must use to erase his mistakes in the past.

Bastion (2011)

Set after the destruction of Caelondia, the Kid is given the task of collecting the Cores that used to power the city to restore it. Players will enjoy the Kid’s ability to float through different locations.

Super Meat Boy (2010)

Players will enjoy the three hundred levels that Meat Boy must go through to rescue Bandage Girl after the latter was kidnapped by Dr. Fetus. Although the gameplay involves controlling Meat Boy while he tries to avoid different obstacles, the platforming game still never gets old.

Spelunky (2008)

As the name suggests, the player will control a spelunker who explores several caves to find items. During his explorations, he will also meet some enemies and rescue damsels in distress.

Papers, Please (2013)

Set in Arstotzka, the player controls an immigration officer who must review the papers of immigrants trying to pass the border. Now while this might seem like a boring game to you, it features a story mode where the player should provide for his family by doing his job perfectly.

FTL: Faster Than Light (2012)

This ship simulation game allows the player to control a spacecraft tasked to deliver information to allies by crossing hostile territory. Sounds easy, eh? If the player’s ship is destroyed, however, he has to begin the game with a new ship.

Terraria (2011)

This sandbox game allows the players to choose from various activities, such as crafting, building, exploration, and combat. The player starts the game with just three items and must try to survive with those in a procedurally-generated world.

The Binding of Isaac (2011)

As the title suggests, the game is inspired by the Bible story of Isaac, but in the game, Isaac is left by his mother in their monster-filled basement after hearing god’s message.

Fez (2012)

Fez might seem like another puzzle game, but its objective is not just to put things in order, but to restore the universe’s order in the process.

What Causes Stillbirth?

All About Pregnancy Woes 2 October 2019 | 0 Comments

Stillbirth is the term for the death of the baby in the womb within twenty weeks of pregnancy, specifically an intrauterine death. Most stillbirths happen before the mother goes into labor, although there are cases where it happens during labor and birth. It can be devastating for a couple especially if it is their first attempt at having a child.

What causes a stillbirth and can it be prevented?

Causes of Stillbirth

To determine the cause of the baby’s death, several methods are recommended. Blood tests are usually given to rule out other possible conditions that may have caused the death, while amniocentesis is recommended if the doctor suspects problems in the chromosomes.

There is no one cause of stillbirth and usually it’s a combination of various factors. If the couple is attempting to have another child, it’s important to determine the cause so that they can take steps to prevent it from happening again.

  • Placental Insufficiency

Some factors in placental insufficiency include placental abruption, blood clots, inflammation, problems in the blood vessels, and umbilical cord problems. It is the most common cause of stillbirths, because the placenta is important in the growth and development of the fetus. If there is a drop in the supply of oxygen and nutrients because of problems in the placenta, the baby becomes smaller than it should be.

  • Mother’s Health

Other factors are usually determined by a mother’s overall health. If she has pre-eclampsia or if she experiences heavy bleeding late in the pregnancy, the risk of a stillbirth becomes higher. The following conditions will also make a woman more susceptible to having a stillbirth:

  • Obesity and/or high blood pressure
  • Use of prohibited drugs, smoking, and alcohol abuse
  • The woman is older than 35 years
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • It is her first pregnancy
  • History of stillbirth, neonatal death, and miscarriage
  • History of pre-eclampsia, premature birth, and other pregnancy complications
  • Untreated sexually-transmitted infections in the mother (which might also have been passed on by the father to the mother)

Delivery of a Stillborn

If the mother notices that the movement in her womb has ceased, she needs to visit the hospital right away to get the appropriate tests. If the procedures confirm that the heart of the baby has stopped beating, it means that it died and must be delivered to save the mother from infection and blood clotting.

Induced labor and other methods are recommended to remove the baby, but it will depend on the dilation of the cervix and the length of the pregnancy. If it’s in the second trimester, for example, the doctor will use the dilation and evacuation method. Others usually have no problems delivering vaginally after contractions in the uterine are stimulated.

Finally, to determine what caused the stillbirth, several tests are recommended, such as an autopsy, amniocentesis, genetic test, and tests for infections. Fortunately, the couple can still attempt to have a baby even after a stillbirth.

Techniques to Counter Stress

Career Talk,Health and Wellness,Lifestyle 4 September 2019 | 0 Comments

Stress has taken over most of our lives. In fact, some even glorify stress as an indication that a person is working hard, but stress can take a toll on your health, relationships, and productivity. It is just as bad as eating poorly and not exercising.

Here are tips to effectively manage and eventually get rid of stress.

1. Identify the Stressors

If you can acknowledge and recognize all the things that stress you out, it is already a big step towards healing. It does not have to be as heavy as a death of a loved one, divorce, or a loss of a job because those are definitely sources of stress.

However, factors such as toxic co-workers, noisy neighbors, unruly children, traffic, and lack of sleep all contribute to stress. It also does not have to be an external source. Stop making excuses and look closely at all your habits and attitude that could be causing the stress, too.

2. Write a Journal to Vent Your Feelings

It is easier to let of steam if there is an outlet for it, but if talking to other people isn’t comfortable for you, you can start a journal instead. It doesn’t have to be a detailed journal; just write down your thoughts for the day and the highlights. If there is a stressful event, write down how it made you feel physically and emotionally.

3. Avoid Stressors

If you know which things can cause stress, it is easier to avoid them. In fact, most of the external sources of stress are easily avoidable. Learn to say no, cut off people who stress you out, and eliminate unnecessary and stressful activities.

4. Adapt to Things that Stress You Out

However, you can’t avoid everybody who stresses you out. Perhaps it is time to sit down and talk it out with that person so you can solve the issues. Look at the problem from a different perspective and perhaps lower your standards so that you don’t feel disappointed anymore. There will always be things that we cannot control, and if we can’t control them, we can still control how we act and think towards them.

5. Change the Situation

If something is bothering you, don’t bottle it up. Speak out and try to change the situation. If nothing happens, at least you tried. But you should also be willing to compromise if the person wants to change. If your work is stressing you out, maybe quitting isn’t the solution yet. Balance it by pursuing activities that make you happy. It’s not all about work all the time.

6. Accept Things You Can’t Control

If you are given a challenge, look at it instead as an opportunity to grow and learn and become better next time. There will always be things that are beyond your control, so if you feel like you can’t deal with it alone, talk to a trusted person about it.

7. Make Time for Yourself

By managing your time better, you will have more opportunities to do things that make you happy. Remember that you work to live, not live to work.

Tips to Counter Burnout

Career Talk,Work Productivity 4 September 2019 | 0 Comments

Burnout has recently been recognized by the health organizations as a real condition, but it is probably an epidemic in workplaces and in schools worldwide. It is not simply about feeling tired or stressed, but it is also characterized by disillusionment, reduced productivity, depersonalization, excessive and prolonged stress, and mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.

In Singapore where there the culture of productivity is normal; the long working hours are among the highest in the world. This has devastating results in the country’s fertility rate, family relationships, and cases of emotional distress.

1. Find a better alternative to caffeine and alcohol. Most people turn to coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and energy drinks to keep energized and motivated at work, but it is a different issue altogether if you become dependent. You might think that you’re physically fit and healthy now, but your bad habits are going to catch up to you soon.

2. Do activities to release frustration and aggression. Don’t turn to the bottle to find release but it is important that you find a safe outlet for it. There are plenty of activities you can do that are not going to harm other people and yourself such as sports, video games, music, and art.

3. Don’t take your work home. You should rest and spend time with family when you’re at home. It’s not always about work and earning money; you have to enjoy the products of your hard work and remember why you’re working hard in the first place. Take work-related calls only at scheduled hours, don’t take extra jobs or tasks, and finish everything you can within the set work hours and days.

4. Ask for a different task. Sometimes having to do the same tasks over and over can be tiresome. You not only lose your motivation to work, but you start to question why you’re working in the first place. Perhaps it is time to talk to your manager about giving you a different responsibility.

5. Take a break from work. And by taking a break it means going on a vacation for several days, not just taking the weekends off. Talk to your manager about your problem and maybe the company can help you. Take it one step further talk to a therapist who can provide a written proof of your condition so you can show it to your employers. After all, burnout is now considered an authentic medical condition.

6. Quit your job. If talking to your employer is not going to improve your situation, then perhaps it is time to leave. This could be the sign you are waiting for to find opportunities elsewhere and take a different path. Or do something completely different.

However, remember to be rational about it when talking to your employer; enumerate the reasons why you feel that you deserve this break and why you are suffering. No job is worth destroying your physical and emotional well-being. Your employer can replace you, but you’re indispensable to the people who depend on you.

Filipino Food in Singapore

Food 18 July 2019 | 0 Comments

Pinoy is a slang for Filipino and if you are from the Philippines and happen to find yourself craving Filipino food in Singapore, then you are in luck! The funny thing about Filipinos is that they tend to make anywhere around the world feel like home and Singapore is not an exception at all. Due to the many Filipinos in Singapore, people have begun to start some Filipino friendly restaurants which may not amount to the legendary standard of “luto ni nanay” (mom’s cooking), the food will most definitely bring you a piece of dear Philippines.

One complex thing about Filipino cuisine is that we have a lot of different methods and use a lot of different ingredients from other countries but then again, every country’s cuisine is different. Cooking is a basic skill for a Filipino as it is a common chore that they are expected to perform especially when it comes to cooking rice! Speaking of rice, Filipino’s love eating rice to the point that some of them can even eat rice with spaghetti or rice with soy sauce. The Filipino tongue is filled with exotic flavour as the bagoong (shrimp paste) with manga can make up for a very interesting flavor. Although getting some of the ingredients needed to cook some of our favorite dishes in Singapore, the Filipino food still tastes amazing!

Filipinos are used to having a small garden or having small stores around the neighborhood where they can find most of the herbs and ingredients used to cook their recipes but in Singapore, it is much harder to get herbs like the laurel leaves and etc. Some Filipino favorites that we all love are served with much welcoming spirit in Singapore. Dishes like adobo, sinigang, kare-kare, lechon kawali, lechon manok, lechon, sisig, and many more. The best part is that you can even order your favorite tapsilog meals in Singapore!

Finding a place like home in a different part of the world is hard and sometimes frustrating because there will never be a place as good as home but at least in Singapore, there are places that serve with the genuine Pinoy spirit and for those non-Pinoy who enjoy the Filipino cuisine, Singapore is not a place that will make finding a good Filipino restaurant hard for you.

Masarap ang pagkain ng Pinoy kahit saan man sa mundo. Filipino food is amazing anywhere in the world!

Singapore Fitness

Health and Wellness 18 July 2019 | 0 Comments

One of the good things about Singapore is how they are very active in healthy living. It might be shocking but you better get used to see people jogging at two in the morning. Singaporeans make time for fitness no matter how busy they may get. There are countless parks where people are free to workout with natural workout equipment like the pull-up bar and many others.

Getting fit in Singapore is not that hard because of how fitness has slowly found its way into culture due to the mandatory scout and military training, you will find men at the age of 40 still having a well-shaped body as they continue to maintain their fitness by occasionally working out despite the busy schedule.

Here are some ways to get fit in Singapore:

1.  Take a look around the neighbourhood

There are many places in Singapore where you can workout. The parks in Singapore are very accessible and they also have a playground-like workout station. As long as you are not in a busy neighborhood, you won’t have a hard time finding the perfect spot for you to workout. Finding a gym nearby is great for those who want to fully dedicate themselves to fitness but if you haven’t got the time nor the desire for intense fitness, going for a run every once in while will still keep you fit.

2.  Make a diet and list the places where you can eat or buy food

The temptations in Singapore are very strong as there are a lot of places to just have a quick bite of something not helpful to your diet. Find places around your neighborhood where you can eat without feeling guilty. Finding a place near work helps keep you on track as you won’t settle for something against your diet.

3.  Start simple

Most people tend to over complicate things especially when they are starting. Sometimes to the point of information overload which usually kills the progress even before they start. Make a plan that is simple and possible. You do not have to start with great intensity just yet, start smart and start small. Fitness is trendy in Singapore and getting yourself into fitness isn’t that hard as the environment itself will inspire you to push your limits. Singapore is a great place to build yourself not just when it comes to work but also when it comes to fitness.  Progress doesn’t have to be intense, progress just has to be consistent.

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