The Rise of eSports and What It Means for Gamers

Following the announcement of eSports being included as a medal sport in the 2022 Asian Games, the industry has been gaining more and more attention. This made possible the launching of the first ever eSports Academy in Singapore through a collaboration between Singapore Cybersports and Online Gaming Association(Scoga) and streaming website, Twitch. 

In addition, a diploma program has also been launched by Informatics Academy. It aims to impart skills on game development and design theories, live-streaming production, eSports knowledge, and coaching/team management. It is also supported by some major developers and companies namely, Riot Games, ESL Asia and Twitch.

It’s true that the eSports scene is definitely flourishing, but what does this really mean for gamers and eSports enthusiasts alike?

“It’s not just a hobby”

Generally, this means that players won’t have to waste money in internet cafés to play/hone their skills anymore because there is now a proper place where they can learn and practice. By being enrolled in an academy, players can showcase their abilities and talents while also learning scholastically. So those who alternate schoolwork and play don’t have to worry too much anymore. This also helps parents to be more accepting of gaming to not be just “a waste of time” but as a legitimate career that their children can pursue. We should then be able to acknowledge eSports as a career path that can be both academic and/or vocational.

Not just for players

eSports is not just about the gamers, it’s involves a lot of different fields in the industry. This is why the academy also includes lessons on live-streaming, shoutcasting (live commentators), and etc. Tournaments are one of the reasons why there are so many gaming enthusiasts around the world. If people can’t make it to the venues (e.g. it’s abroad), they can simply watch broadcasts. And broadcasts would also not be possible without live-streaming production teams. Schoutcasters also contribute to a lot of hype in tournaments. They can be especially important when the game becomes fast-paced and there is a need for analysis and live commentating. Learning to coach teams could also prove to be a worthy career. Even coaches like kKoma of three-time League of Legends world champions SK Telecom T1, has become as popular as his players.

Revenue

Because there is a legitimate demand in the industry itself, sponsors and advertisers have invested in a lot of eSports teams and players. This also isn’t the only way team organizations earn money. In the 7th iteration of the major DotA 2 tournament, The International, the total prize pool was a whopping US$24,787,916. Singaporean DotA 2 superstar, Daryl “iceiceice” Koh Pei Xiang also already has above one million dollars in overall winnings in his pocket. League of Legends developer, Riot Games, has a different approach on the other hand. Riot provides professional players with salaries instead of directly raising the prize pool.   

6 Benefits of Swimming

Whether you’re looking for ways to beat the heat, dream of being an Olympic swimming champion like Joseph Schooling, or just want to have fun at the Choa Chu Kang Swimming Complex, here are some good things you could get from a good dip in the water.

  1. Keeps you safe

Well, the biggest reason people learn to swim is simply not drown. So much so that swimming is considered an essential life-skill. Learning to swim is crucial because bodies of water are all around us, hence it is important for our survival. If you know how to swim, not only will you be able to save yourself from the dangerous situation of drowning, you could also go and help others.  

  • A good stress-reliever

Floating through the water in a slow pace can definitely help us unwind after a long, tiring day. We also relieve stress while swimming because we control our breathing, like inhaling and exhaling in meditation. Because we also focus on our bodies when swimming, it gives a chance for our mind to rest and that can help us think more clearly.

  • Strengthen the immune system

The benefits of swimming to our health is mainly centered around its power to enhance the circulatory system. Through the breathing exercises used for swimming, oxygen is regularly distributed to the cells in the body. Through this, the blood can flow easier and the cells can efficiently remove toxins. Swimming also affects the lymphatic system. When it is functioning well, it distributes more healthy white blood cells which increases overall immunity against diseases, as a result. 

  • Improve your flexibility

Flexibility is an important aspect that not only is involved in, but also is improved through swimming. The joints and ligaments in various parts of the body don’t go through too much stress, even though we do broad ranges of motion when swimming.  Being flexible not only improves our range of motion, it also protects us against possible injuries.

  • Interact with many people

Swimming almost always prompts us to interact with others. Whether you’re a competitive swimmer, or just taking a relaxing swim, you will always have people to talk to. We can meet and talk with other people in fun and relaxed way. Another thing to look at is the many of groups synchronized swimmers that exist, both in the competitive and entertainment scenes. 

  • Have a full-body workout

Even though there are no heavy equipment or weights involved, swimming can engage the whole body. You use your arms, legs, and even you’re back. Also, because you float on the water, the muscular stress in the body is evenly distributed. Unlike, in jogging, where all your weight presses down on your legs and feet.   

A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Flooring for Your Home

Next to the walls, and ceiling, the flooring is one of the largest, and by extension, most important aspects of your home that you need to pay attention to. This not only means looking for a kind of material that is easy to clean, resists staining, and feels good to your feet, but also a kind of material that works best with the rest of your home’s elements.

Whether it’s your home or your commercial property, here are some of the most common types of flooring you will encounter in most buildings in Singapore:

Vinyl

For a family with kids and the elderly, vinyl makes for an excellent type of flooring because of its high resistance to slipping. It’s also waterproof, which makes it quite easy to maintain.

This type of flooring is best placed in areas where heavy traffic is likely to occur, which makes it popular among homes or HDB flats with families of four or more, and in areas of the house such as the kitchen or hallway.

Ceramic Flooring Tiles

This type of flooring comes in two types: reflective, which is easy to clean at the cost of being susceptible to foot marks; and non-reflective (matt), which is more suited for areas that need slip-proof flooring because of its texture.

Hardwood/Solid Wood

Nothing gives you the same level of luxury and beauty for your eyes (and your bare feet) as having a solid wood floor. Though teak is the most commonly used hardwood for flooring in Singapore, other types have recently become more popular, such as cherry, oak, and birch.

Wooden flooring often comes in planks and boards of different properties, from cuts, to sizes, to dimensional stability.

Laminate

The look of wood without the hassle of maintenance can be found in laminated flooring, which is why it has become another popular flooring type. However, laminate should only be installed in dryer areas in the house or property.

While quality laminate flooring is made to resist scratches, staining, and fading, they are still prone to warping when exposed to moisture for extended periods of time.

Stone

Every cut of stone used for flooring is unique, which can make materials such as marble, granite, and slate equally luxurious and highly sought after. They even come in various finishes that you can choose from: honed, polished, or bush-hammered.

However, as much as natural stone is beautiful to have as a flooring for your home, it can also be quite expensive. When choosing to have stone flooring for your home, keep in mind that extra care is needed to take care of it.

The Different Types of House Paints and Finishes

The ultimate medium of any designer is the paint that goes on the surfaces of homes, whether applied on the outside or in. While paints or finishes are effective ways to both protect and decorate surfaces, not all paints are applicable in every surface.

Most paints fall into general categories, and these basic types of paint will usually be enough for all your domestic paint job needs. Here they are for your consideration:

Base Coats

Base coats are what bind the finishing coats to the surface they are painted on. Done well, they keep the other coats from peeling off or from losing their colors because of the nature of the surface.

Primer – The primer, or whitewash, is used on uncoated surfaces in order to protect the material underneath as well as provide a good base for the succeeding coats.

First Coat – To build up the opacity of the decorative finishing coat, one or two more coats are usually applied. This is because the paints applied may not always be spread evenly or a surface may need more paint to be coated evenly.   

Finish Coats

Finish coats are more decorative, applied only after the base coats have dried, or after washing down surfaces that have been previously painted.

There are at least three types of finish coats: flat, eggshell, and gloss and satin. The first one is often used for ceilings and walls, and is best used on siding materials. Eggshell finish is more durable than flat, and gloss and satin goes best with wooden or metal surfaces.

Specialty Paints

While most paints will do well in most domestic purposes as long as the right primer is applied on the surface that they were designed for, there are some paints that are made specifically to fulfill a particular task.

Some of these specialty paints include bathroom/kitchen paint, floor paint, metal paint, and traditional paint. The first two are formulated to resist fungal growth, moisture, and staining, with the exception that newly-painted concrete floors need to cure completely before painting.

Metal paint is exactly what it is: high-gloss paint that is designed specifically to give metal surfaces their sheen, and can even be applied directly over rust. Cleaning the brushes used to apply metal paint will, however, take paint thinner instead of mineral spirit.

The last category of specialty paint is traditional paint, such as distemper, limewash, and other types of traditional colors, which can now be purchased much more easily. (One thing you need to look out for in limewash is that it can be volatile when mixed with water, so be sure to read the instructions carefully.)

4 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Electrician for Your Home

When it comes to keeping your home in good condition, you also need to pay attention to your home’s electrical works and fix them if needed.

The good news is you don’t usually need an electrician services company to fix most problems that come up at home, such as replacing a faulty lightbulb socket, or fixing wires with electrical tape.

But while there are some things you can do yourself, there are also other problems that you should call a commercial electrical contractor for, since they are much more suited to fix them.

In fact, here are the biggest reasons why you need a licensed electrician for your home in Singapore:

1. Electricians can minimize present and future safety concerns.

The expertise of an electrical contractor from Singapore is critical when you need to restore power failure at home. Only a seasoned and licensed electrician has the right knowledge to fix electricity problems safely and efficiently, thus minimizing safety hazards.

If you want to install power point switches for your home, it’s usually best to leave it to someone with expertise, such as a cabling technician, or even with residential linemen.

2. Professional services saves you time and money.

With a certified electrical worker, you can expect quality services and troubleshooting to make sure that any problems with your home’s wiring is approached properly (i.e., the cables and wires are properly connected and insulated, etc.).

With a minimized risk of accidents at home, you also save yourself a lot of time and money. Not only do you have to spend once on electrical service maintenance, but you also save yourself from the stress of messing up your circuitry and making the problem worse.

A professional home electric handyman can perform regular maintenance for your home to prevent other problems from potentially occurring.

3. Professional services protects your home devices.

Poorly-designed or worn circuits can pose a hazard for your home’s appliances, circuitry, and devices. This could even turn your power supply into a potential hazard, and if you’re not careful, you could be at risk of a power failure or a fire.

To avoid this, you will need an electrician to connect electric wires safely and properly, from the circuit breakers, to the switches, and to the light bulbs and power outlets themselves.

4. Professional services offer insurance.

Professional electrician services in Singapore are often both certified and insured which means that it is a guaranteed by the company the electrician works for. In fact, if you experience problems with the service after a certain amount of time, the company can even re-inspect it and repair it free of charge.

24 hour electrician service providers can also send over a licensed electrician to ensure the quality services that your home’s electrical wiring and circuitry needs.

How to Find the Right Air Conditioner Repair Company

For a lot of homeowners, a fully functioning central air conditioning system is a necessity, especially during the summer months – which is why finding out that your unit isn’t working properly often creates a lot of discomfort at home. Things get even worse when you can’t find a good aircon servicing company to perform the necessary repairs on your unit. Worry not though, since we’ve listed down some essential tips on how you can find the right repair service company and get your system back in working order.

1. Look for Local Air Conditioner Services Online

One of the easiest way to find an A/C service company is to search the internet. Researching online allows you to know more about the company even before making a phone call or setting an appointment. As you search online, you’ll want to narrow your options down to local repair companies in your area in Singapore since they’ll probably know your area better, and more likely to service your unit faster.

To have a successful local search, be sure to use specific key terms such as “air conditioning service Jurong Island”. Doing this will give you the list of the aircon maintenance companies available in your area, as well as the possible links to consumer reviews for the said companies.

2. Check the Labelling of the Unit

One of the most commonly overlooked source of information about a high quality aircon servicing company is the A/C unit itself. Before you start calling any repair companies in your area, examine your system first to see if there are any information related to the company that installed or has serviced it before. Most local aircon repair companies place identifying marks on the cooling system that they previously installed or worked on. Aside from saving you the time that you’d otherwise use to look for an experienced aircon contractor in Singapore this information will also give you confidence that your prospective A/C contractor has worked on your unit before.

3. Get Referrals

The best source of information about a particular A/C service often comes from the people you know and trust. Ask your family and friends for some recommendations on A/C service providers who have previously repaired their units. If you’re a business owner, ask your neighbouring business establishments about the company that serviced them and get some feedback. A good and reliable aircon repair company will have a good reputation and a lot of happy clients.

4. Make Sure That the Company is Insured and Licensed

Make sure that the company you’re considering to hire is properly licensed, insured and certified by the state or any local agencies in Singapore. Licensing helps in making sure that the company meets the standards required by the state in terms of safety and performance, while the bond and insurance ensures that both you and the company are protected from any form of accident and liability. Without these protections, you won’t have any recourse if the job isn’t done properly or safely, or if you are not satisfied with the work done on your unit.

5. Ask About the Services They’re Offering

Once you’ve decided on an aircon servicing company, be sure to inquire about the services they are offering, such as maintenance, repairs, installation and other A/C emergency services. Also, make sure that they are knowledgeable about the air conditioning unit that you’re currently using and that they offer full repair and maintenance services for it. More importantly, you should also ask about the emergency services they might be offering, as well as its price and hours of availability.

6. Know the Available Warranties

A reputable company will stand behind its work, so ask about the warranties that they are offering on new parts, equipment and labour. A good warranty ensures that your system runs trouble-free for years or can be repaired at a reasonable cost. Once you’re done choosing an aircon maintenance company, be sure to know all the details and keep the records of the warranty for the work that was done.

7. Inquire About the Financing Options They Have

Air conditioning repairs can be quite expensive at times, and your budget might not be able to cover all the extra expenses. Fortunately, a lot of A/C repair companies in Singapore offer financing options that make the upfront costs of full system replacements or large repairs easier to handle. Before getting the services of your prospective service provider, know all the requirements for their financing programs and the interest rates, and find out whether or not you’re qualified to avail of the said program.

8. Check if They Offer Maintenance Plans

See if the company you’re considering offers service plans for your air conditioning unit. Regular maintenance is what keeps your A/C system running efficiently, extends its lifespan and prevents problems that could possibly lead to expensive repairs in the future. Having a maintenance plan will ensure that your unit receives the maintenance it needs at the recommended intervals. So be sure to ask your aircon servicing company about any maintenance plan they have, what it covers, as well as how much it costs.

Choosing a reputable air conditioning repair centre can be made easier if you just narrowed down your options using these tips. After you’ve made your decision, have the servicing company perform an initial inspection of your A/C unit so they can be familiar with it, suggest any necessary repairs and devise a suitable maintenance schedule.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: How Effects Impact Women Differently From Man

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is undoubtedly one of the major health challenges in Singapore, especially among women. If left untreated, these infections can cause serious health complications (or death in extreme cases) and can damage the reproductive organs to the point of infertility. Unfortunately, a person can get infected and show minimal or no symptoms at all.

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STD screening and HIV testing are the keys to prevention of the disease. Why is it believed that women are affected differently and are more prone to STDs? Below are the reasons why STDs impact women severely than men.

1. Women’s anatomy is more prone to infection compared to men’s.

According to a women’s health clinic professional, women’s internal anatomy can serve as a breeding ground for infection as it allows bacteria to get deeply into the body and multiply easily in the moist environment. The consequence of all these can be checked out by http://www.mlamclinic.com.sg/anonymous-hiv-testing/ in Singapore to ensure that your sexual health is ok. Moreover, the lining of the vagina is thinner and more delicate than the skin of the penis, making it easier for viruses and bacteria to penetrate and thrive.

2. STD symptoms have the same symptoms with minor female reproductive problems.

Women usually confuse STD symptoms for something less serious. Women experience normal discharge, especially before and after menstruation; abdominal pain before getting their period; and itching and burning feeling when having occasional yeast infection. Men, on the other hand, can easily detect signs of STDs like discharge because they don’t normally experience one.

3. Women are less likely to show symptoms.

Common STDs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia often show minimal to no symptoms on women compared to men, according to men’s health clinic. If symptoms occur, they go away on its own even if the infection still remains.

4. Lesions can happen internally.

Genital lesions (like from syphilis or herpes) usually occur inside the vagina and can go unnoticed, while in men, symptoms are more likely noticeable as the sores and ulcers happen externally—on the penis.

5. STDs can affect women’s reproductive plans.

If left untreated, STDs can lead to serious health problems and cause infertility, which can affect a woman’s future pregnancy plans. Unresolved STD cases can also cause internal inflammatory problems in the reproductive system, which can result to ectopic pregnancy or inability to conceive. Chlamydia, a common STD, can also affect men’s fertility but not as severe as women’s.

6. Pregnant women can pass the disease to their babies.

HIV, syphilis, and genital herpes can be passed to unborn babies. Some of the harmful effects of STD include low birth weight, brain damage, deafness and blindness, and stillbirth (a baby that’s born dead).

7. HPV is a common cause of cervical cancer.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common STDs, and is the number one cause of cervical cancer among Singapore women. Fortunately, there is now HPV vaccine, which helps prevent many kinds of reproductive cancer. Although HPV is also common in men, most cases don’t develop into more serious health complications.

Reducing Chances of Getting STDs

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Regardless of the gender, STDs pose a serious threat to the health. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce the risk of getting infected. But of course, the best way to avoid STD is to abstain from sex. For those sexually active people, there are many ways to secure your health from these infections.

• Be open with your partner. Talk to your partner about sexual health, STDs, HIV testing, and other prevention methods before any sexual interaction. Open communication about your sexual health and encourages respect and trust in the relationship and helps reduce risks for STDs.

• Get tested. If you have never had any sexual contact with another person, there is no risk of getting infected. However, if your new partner has had sex with anyone else, STD screening will let you know whether he or she may have STD.

• Limit your number of partners. If you intend on having sex, have it with just one person. The fewer partners you have, the lesser chances you will get contracted.

• Take advantage of vaccines. An important preventive tool against STDs is vaccination. So far, the vaccines available can protect against hepatitis A and B and HPV. Visit a GP clinic to know more about these anti-STD vaccines.

• Use condoms. Men’s health clinic professionals always remind sexually active men to use condoms as they serve as barrier during intercourse. Condoms are great in preventing most STDs from being passed on from one person to another when used correctly and consistently. And by consistently, we mean correctly using condoms every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex.

• Lubricate sufficiently. Along with using condoms, sufficient lubrication should be used during intercourse to avoid abrasions caused by friction. Abrasions and wounds, no matter how small, create a potential place for bacteria and viruses to thrive in the genital area.

• Avoid alcohol and drugs. Avoiding alcohol and drug use significantly shrinks your risk of contracting an infection, being forced to have sex, and unwanted pregnancy. When not intoxicated with alcohol and drugs, we make better decisions. Moreover, intravenous drugs require the use of needle. By sharing needles, it’s possible to spread or contract an infection. If donating blood, make sure that the nurse is using disposable needles and uses proper precaution while drawing blood.

STDs affect both men and women in Singapore. However, some STDs affect women more seriously than men, which means women should be extra careful when it comes to sexual and reproductive health. Good thing there are now tests, treatments, and preventive procedures available in women’s health clinic that are especially tailored to meet women’s reproductive needs against STDs. With the right knowledge and by working with a qualified specialist, you can protect yourself against these potentially fatal infections.

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