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7 Fun Topics to Talk About on a First Date

A first date is a big deal for many. While it is a good idea to just let chemistry do its work, sometimes it takes a little effort to get to that point. That being said, it never hurts to prepare a little to eradicate the pain of awkward silence. Here are seven fun topics to bring up (other than how’s your day) when you’re tongue-tied.

1. Where did you grew up?
Knowing where the person is from, as well as where they lived throughout their life, is a good way to get to know someone. You’ll be surprised to know that you’ve been neighbors all along or at least once in your lives. If not, ask what the place was like living there to keep the conversation flowing.

2. Do you have a favorite place?
Some people like exploring the great outdoors, while others love lazing on the beach. Others like the hustle and bustle of the cities, while some love the peacefulness of the roads less travelled.

3. What do you do for a living?
People can talk about their jobs for hours. Find out what they currently do for a living, as well as their past jobs, and maybe also the reason they left the previous work. You will learn a lot about the person by knowing what keeps them busy.

4. Where did you finish school?
Talking about your college days is always an interesting topic to talk about. Other than sharing about your finished degree, also ask and bring up stories about college friends, the school clubs you joined, fun night outs and your overall college experience. University years are always fun, and you certainly want to highlight your fun side during a first date.

5. What kind of music do you often listen to?
For the music lovers, this is a particularly interesting topic to talk about. Ask about favorite bands and artists, concerts and music festivals you have been to, and so on. It will give you a peek of whether you have the same taste for fun. Plus, you’ll have ideas for your second date!

6. What hobbies do you have?
Learning new interesting things is important when dating a new prospect partner. Your date may have some cool hobbies that can lead to weird and fun conversations, or you can share yours and offer your date to teach them your hobby some time.

7. What do you like to splurge on?
Many people love to go shopping for clothes, others have an impressive music collection, while some enjoy a splendid vacation once a year. This will give you a glimpse of what your date really enjoys doing.

Let’s face it; first dates are like job interviews, except that the both of you are the interviewer and the interviewee. And just like any job interview, you want to make a good impression. A little preparation and some research will more likely make things run smoothly for you.

6 Things You Need to Know When Travelling to Singa...

Singapore is one of the smallest (if not the smallest) country across the globe. But don’t be fooled by its land size; it is one of the most vibrant and exciting city-states in the world.

On a quick glance, Singapore may seem like a collection of high-rise corporate buildings and luxurious hotels, but once you get to explore the place, you will get a sense of how truly exciting the Little Red Dot is and why you need to visit very soon.

1. Extremely Safe Place
Walking your way back to your hostel in a dark and quiet alley is like taking a stroll at the park in broad daylight—it is that safe. If you are planning for a solo trip, Singapore is one of the safest place in the world to visit.

2. Cheap Food
In some aspects, Singapore can be quite costly. But if you are looking for gastronomical experience, the Merlion City is oozing with cheap and authentic eats. The hawker centres are where you can find cheap and delicious local treats.

3. Multi-Cultural City
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures. The mix of locals and expats from neighboring countries creates a colorful fusion of a variety of culture, experiences and food.

4. The King of All Fruits
Durian, the king of all fruits, is eaten often here. Sounds like a boring fact, but wait until you experience the fruit yourself. Try to smell it. Yes, indeed, it stinks a lot; which probably leave you wondering why people, especially the locals, love it. The trick is to first try it before the fruit gets too ripe. But if you’re an avid durian fan, you’d probably don’t mind picking the ripest one in the bunch.

5. The Best Airport in the World
This is a well-known fact about Singapore—Changi Airport is hands-down one of the best airports in the world. There is so much to do and see in this airport, making it a great place to have transit in.

6. Beaches are Scarce
Singapore doesn’t really have fascinating beaches, but they have breathtaking infinity pools. That being said, there are still a number of decent beaches in Singapore, though they aren’t as glorious as the beaches in Bali, they are still great hangout place for a weekend with friends.

7. Summer Weather All-Year Round
The weather in Singapore is quite consistently warm all-year round. So, if you are planning to stay in one of its luxury hotels with pool in it, like the Marina Bay Sands with a magnificent infinity pool that boasts a mesmerizing view of the Singapore skyline, you sure have a lot of time for a dip and swim.

Singapore is a popular tourist destination for all the good reasons. Let this list be your little guide to appreciate this city in the best possible way.

Pros (and Cons) of Online Dating

OkCupid, Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, and a whole lot of dating apps and sites are already being used in Singapore. The question is simple, are they really reliable?

1. Quick and convenient
One of the best things about online dating is that it is quick and easy. You can easily disregard people you don’t match with without, for example, having to spend any time or money on a coffee date. You can save some time and maybe save yourself from the embarrassing moment of getting turned down on the first date.

Con: No second chances
The other person might already be doing a hobby that you want to try out, or you just observe certain things about him/her that is mysteriously appealing in person. You can only really see this if you see each other face-to-face.

2. Plenty of choices
‘There’s plenty of fish in the sea’ it is! Dating online means you get exposed to a diverse set of people who may share the same interests with you. You’ll never run out of choices because dating online means you’re not only limited to the people of your place, but also in other places, cities, even other countries.

Con: A little too many choices
It can be a hassle to sift through people who don’t interest you only to find “the one/s” an hour later. Also, there are others who incidentally use multiple dating sites and apps at once for whatever reason – this definitely adds to the stress.

3. It is fun
Somehow, you could say that online dating is meant to be a fun approach to romance. You get to learn about a person’s culture, language, likes and dislikes, all by simply talking to them online. When it comes to dating apps, for some reason, people have a lot of fun swiping left or right (left: not interested & right: interested, although this can change depending on the app).

Con: You might get disappointed
It may be fun before you meet each other in person, but once that happens, prepare for the worst (well not always if you’re lucky). You might get disappointed because the other person isn’t the same as he/she is online. For instance, a guy or girl might be talkative and funny on chat, but plainly the opposite in person.

4. Compatibility
Some dating sites and apps start with a personality test when you sign up. You put down your hobbies, likes and dislikes, and all that information. This is then what the site uses to match you with others whom you might be interested in. Plus, some people also put descriptions on their profile, which can tell more about themselves making it easier for others to see if they can be suitable partners.

Con: People lie
It’s very easy to fool others on the internet. There are people who use fake pictures, lie about their physical appearance, maybe even pull scams. This is why it’s not entirely reliable and safe when meeting someone online.

Owning Less: Advantages of Being Minimalistic

Minimalism is slowly gaining track partly through the Facebook group, Minimalism in Singapore. But what is it exactly?

Being minimalistic allows you to get rid of what things you don’t need and allow you to focus on the more important ones. But, some people may think it stops there – decluttering and getting rid of unessential things. No! There’s more to it than that, more opportunities, and definitely more benefits.

You spend less
It’s very simple: you buy less stuff, you save more money! When you are able to distinguish between your wants and needs, you will spend considerably less money. It’s unnecessary to buy the new model of a smartphone if the one you have is still working properly. Consequently, having that extra money allows for financial freedom. You can use it for learning or gaining new experiences (e.g. traveling) rather than using the money on temporary things.

Lower stress
Decluttering can have a very therapeutic effect. When you have a desk full of documents and files, pens and pencils lying around, and pieces of used papers everywhere around you, this will only add to more stress. Decluttering and organizing your work desk, room, or office will have mirrored effects on your mind. Being in a clean, organized environment invites a calm and peaceful mind that will definitely help reduce stress.

You get to focus on the important things
Again, recognizing your needs from your wants – the essentials vs. mere fancies, is an attribute that comes with minimalism. It guides you to see the value of the things you already have instead of the satisfaction from having more (yet unnecessary) things. This also teaches you to recognize the things that you really need in your life, and avoid the unimportant stuff that may hold you down.

Makes cleaning a lot easier
Because you have less things, it’s also easier to go around and clean. You’ll have an easier time organizing your things and cleaning because, well, you don’t have unnecessary stuff. Plus, having fewer things in your house or office means you spend less time cleaning and more time relaxing or accomplishing the more important things you should be doing for the day.

Also helps you find things easier
In addition to making cleaning easier, you’ll also be able to find stuff faster. You won’t have to dive in heaps of papers to find an important document you’re looking for if you keep things small, clean, and organized. Having less means it is easier to keep things arranged. As a result, you’ll know where things are and save time looking for them.

Helps you improve your health
In summary, being minimalistic is a step towards being better and healthier versions of ourselves. For one, when we have less things to clean or have less to worry about, we’ll have opportunities to exercise, learn new things, and even relax. In general, we have more time to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional health.

5 Signs that Say You’re Shaving Wrong

While it seems that keeping your facial hair to a minimum seems simple enough, shaving is actually more complicated than it seems – and there’s a good chance that you’re doing it wrong. Here are five signs that tell you that you are:

1. You’re rushing your shave.

Shaving should take at least five minutes, and a good shave should take more than that as you make sure that every inch of your face that would sport facial hair is free. Even most professional shaves in barber shops would take between twelve and twenty-five, which includes the time for preparation, shaving, and the after-shave.

2. You’re shaving before showering.

Ideally, your skin’s pores should be opened up and yourfacial hair should already be moist before you start taking the blade to make yourface’s skin as smooth as possible. This makes shaving solutions an importantpart of your kit: they help to moisturize, lubricate, and soften your facialhair and skin. 

3. You’re using a dull blade.

Contrary to what you think, the sharper your blade is, the safer and better your shave will be. What makes dull blades dangerous to use is because of the microscopic burrs that develop on the edge of the blade – while they may be too small to be seen by the naked eye, they can make shaving all the more difficult and painful.

If your razor comes with a cap, don’t throw it away. Having caps on your razors allow the blades to last longer as they will come in contact with the elements less frequently.

4. You’re not sure whether you should shave along or against the grain.

When it comes to shaving, considering the grain is really important – hair grows in all directions, and your facial hair can grow in multiple grains. Get a feel of how your beard/mustache grows by actually taking your fingers and running them down your facial hair.

You will know when you’re going against the grain when you feel a little resistance against your fingers and it feels prickly and weird. Depending on the type of razor and the grain of your face, you may have to go against the grain for a closer shave.

You should also use short strokes when you’re shaving.Not only will this allow you to account for the multiple grains on your face,but using long strokes when shaving could result in cuts that make theexperience more painful. 

5. Your aftershave is really harsh (and it stings).

Alcohol-based aftershaves are not only painful, and you don’t even need an aftershave in the first place. What you do need to do is to keep your facial skin smooth, which a simple moisturizer is suited to quite nicely.

How to Keep Your Shoes Looking Like New All the Ti...

Your shoes can do much more than enhance your look ata party or wherever you go – much like your outward appearance, it’s aninvestment that will stick around for a long time and will keep you from havingto buy new pairs on a regular basis.

Polish leather shoes frequently.

As much as leather shoes can last you forever, they also need to be taken care of a lot. You can get them to do this by investment in a high quality shoe polish for your leather shoes.

When choosing to invest in suede shoes, be sure to invest in a spray that’s capable of resisting both sand, water, and mud. Be sure to test the spray before using it to know that you get what you’re paying for.

Remember to take brushes over sponges when cleaningyour shoes – you’ll never know what could be in them, and they might end updamaging your investment instead. As much as possible, use shoe polish thatdoesn’t use a sponge-tip applicator.

Keep your shoes dry as much as possible.

Even if your shoes are built to withstand getting wet, keeping them dry as long as possible is perhaps one of the best ways to extend their life span. One way to get them to dry as fast as possible after a hard rain is to stuff them with newspaper.

What you shouldn’t do when your shoes get wet is to place them near somewhere really hot or use a blow dryer on them, as it could cause your shoes to become cracked and brittle. This is especially true when it comes to leather.

Investing in a waterproof protector will also go a long way when it comes to keeping your shoes’ surfaces from getting wet in the rain.

Have an added layer of rubber to your shoes.

Dress shoes can benefit a lot from having an addedlayer of rubber soles on the bottom – not only will they protect the actualsole from getting worn, but they are also much cheaper to replace and give youthe extra traction you need with your footing.

Allow your boat shoes to embrace the elements.

There are some exceptions to maintaining your shoes – some types of shoes have to take on the dirt and be salt-washed and faded, such as boat shoes. Sometimes, the best way to keep your shoes in peak condition is by allowing them to embrace the elements.  

You should still avoid introducing the elements to your shoes too much as they can still be worn down. One of the many ways you can start is by not dragging your feet to avoid damaging the soles.

Understanding and Managing Hypertension

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is a condition wherein there is prolonged high pressure on the walls of the arteries. It is a dangerous condition as it makes the heart work above its capacity, causing the arteries to harden over time (a condition called atherosclerosis).

Hypertension increases one’s risk of other dangerous and potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure—some of the leading causes of death in modern times.

Risk Factors for Hypertension
Risk factors for high blood pressure are either controllable or uncontrollable.
Its two uncontrollable risk factors are age and genetics. Men above 55 years old are unavoidably at a higher risk of developing the condition; for women, the age is 65. Having a family member with hypertension also increases one’s chance of developing it.

Controllable risk factors of hypertension include the following: a high-cholesterol diet, diabetes, being overweight, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle. Risk factors compound; thus the presence of multiple factors raises one’s chance of having hypertension exponentially.

Blood Pressure Levels in Adults
Blood pressure level is read by combining a person’s systolic and diastolic levels. Normal blood pressure have systolic level lower than 120 and diastolic level lower than 80; persons with a systolic level between 120 and 139, or diastolic level between 80 and 89 are considered prehypertension; while persons with a systolic level above 140 or diastolic level above 90 are considered hypertensive.

Individuals with prehypertension should already take measures to lower their blood pressure, such as by following a healthier diet and becoming more active.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Hypertension
While most people will have hypertension in their old age, it can still be prevented or delayed. Luckily, avoiding the condition is the same as simply following a healthy lifestyle. This means doing the following:

• Avoiding eating salty foods
• Limiting alcohol consumption
• Observing a healthy, balanced diet
• Staying within one’s recommended BMI
• Taking medication only as prescribed, and
• Maintaining an active lifestyle

Weight and Hypertension
Weight is perhaps the biggest factor in controlling hypertension, with one’s risk of developing high blood pressure rising along with one’s weight. Furthermore, risk of heart disease (the biggest cause of death in developed countries) are higher for people who are overweight or obese.

Objectively monitoring one’s risk for high blood pressure requires watching one’s body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. Overweight and obese people should immediately take action to reduce the effects of hypertension.

Understanding BMI
BMI compares one’s height and weight, thus giving an approximate total body fat. (Note that it’s fat that actually makes one prone to hypertension, not being heavy per se.) The normal BMI is 18.5 to 24.9; an overweight BMI is 25 to 29.9; and an obese person has a BMI of 30 or higher. However, some people with a high BMI may simply be muscular; therefore it’s also important to measure one’s waist.

What You Need to Know About Acid Reflux

Acid reflux (also known as heartburn) is a medical condition characterized by a burning and/or sensation around the chest area caused by acids in the stomach going back up the esophagus.

One of the most common medical problems in Singapore, it’s estimated that about 60% of the population will experience some form of the condition at some point in their adult lives. The medical term for acid reflux is gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Causes
The causes and triggers of acid reflux vary. Most people who have the condition exhibit the following:

• Abnormalities in the lower esophageal sphincter
• Abnormalities in esophageal contractions
• Slow digestion of food in the stomach
• Hiatal hernias

Factors that increase the chances of a person having acid reflux are:

• Eating very large meals
• Obesity or being overweight
• Lying down or bending after a heavy meal
• Eating before going to sleep
• Pregnancy
• Smoking
• Eating certain foods, such as tomatoes, citrus and chocolate
• Taking certain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and muscle relaxants

Symptoms
The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, the burning sensation in the chest as acids go back up the food pipe. Other symptoms include:

• Nausea
• Laryngitis
• Hoarseness
• Regurgitation
• Ear pain
• Asthma
• Salivating
• Lingering bitter taste
• Teeth corrosion (due to the acids)
• Trouble swallowing
• Chronic cough
• Sore throat

Acid reflux is unusual as, in some people, resting only makes the pain worse

Treatment and Prevention
The most common treatment for acid reflux is taking antacids, an over-the-counter medicine that works by reducing the acidity of the stomach. This is advised for infrequent episodes. However, antacids are not advised for regular use as they inhibit absorption of nutrients.

For persistent or chronic acid reflux, a GP may advise taking specific medications like proton-pump inhibitors or H2-receptor antagonists. In severe cases, surgery may be requires to prevent the acid from leaking into the esophagus.

Self-help measures can also be practiced to treat or prevent acid reflux. These include eating smaller meals, chewing food carefully, avoiding foods that trigger the condition, maintaining a healthy weight/BMI, and raising one’s head when sleeping.

Complications
Occasional acid reflux is normal and may need no further treatment. However chronic episodes may cause serious complications, such as ulcers in the stomach or esophagus, scarring and narrowing of the esophagus (this will make swallowing more difficult), and Barrett’s esophagus (a condition the cell linings change).

Getting the help of a medical professional is advised for people who experience prolonged or repeated acid reflux, severe pain, difficulty swallowing, or for whom OTC medicines provide no relief.