Separating Myths and Facts About Aging

Most of modern society is afraid of getting old. People often associate aging with disease, senility, and immobility but that does not mean that the elderly can no longer contribute to society, have fun, learn something new, and stay healthy.

Here are some common myths about aging that we need to correct.

The elderly are sickly

Bad habits can catch up on you even when you are still in your 20s, so that doesn’t mean that if you’re old you will automatically get sick. Not everyone can live up to the age of 60 years even with the advances in healthcare and science, and this is determined mostly by genes and lifestyle. Some seniors who live up to 90 are certainly healthier than the younger people who live stressful, unhealthy lives.

Old people can’t do sports

Not having to worry about going to work everyday actually gives you more time to explore other interests or start a new hobby. Most sports are accessible even to the seniors as long as they have been active and healthy all their life. Some seniors even find new life in learning new activities such as jogging, cycling, trekking, water sports, golf, and martial arts.

Seniors are always moody

Stress will make anyone moody, especially if the person cannot handle day-to-day challenges very well. When you’re a senior, you have fewer problems to worry about because all your children have graduated and are earning for themselves; plus, you don’t need to go to work every day. In fact, the most stressful time of a person’s life is between the ages 20 to 35 when the combined pressures of family, work, and society can be felt at full force.

The elderly can’t learn new tricks

The brain does not shrink as you get older even if your movements and reaction are a lot slower. Seniors can still enjoy the things they love and discover new things. It is also the perfect time to learn a new skill because you have all the time to spare.

Staying at home and wondering when you’re going to expire will not be good for your mental well-being. In fact, staying active after retirement can help stop dementia and other degenerative illnesses from developing.

Old people suffer the effects of aging

There is so much pressure given to people to stay and look young. Just look at all the age-defying beauty products sold in Singapore and the rest of the world. But getting old is not a disease. It’s natural to have bald spots, graying hair, and wrinkled skin.

It is a natural process that everyone must go through at some point, that is, if you’re lucky to even reach 50 years. Instead of feeling like you’re being left out, look at aging as a blessing. The older you get means the more time to spend with family and friends and to enjoy the things you love longer.

5 Red Wine Recipes to Enjoy

Did you know that the red wine you love so much can be included in tasty meals for the family? Here are 5 recipes with wine that you should try.

Red Wine-Poached Chorizo

Ingredients: Two pieces of 4-ounce dry Spanish chorizo, 10 peeled garlic cloves, 4 bay leaves, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 6 cups dry red wine

Preparation: In a skillet, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for not more than 15 minutes until the chorizo become plump. Slice the chorizo diagonally and simmer again for another 5 minutes before transferring to a bowl and pouring the liquid on top.

Chicken with Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients: 3 pounds of boneless chicken breast halves, 1 cup red wine, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 minced garlic, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 cup brown sugar, and salt and pepper

Preparation: In a skillet, sauté garlic until tender then place the chicken. Cook for 10 minutes on each side then remove the heat and drain the oil. Sprinkle paprika, sugar, and pour red wine around the chicken. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes while basting with wine sauce.

Salmon in Red Wine Sauce

Ingredients: 4 salmon steaks, ½ cup red wine, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon oil, salt and ground black pepper, and 2 scallions with tops and bulbs separated

Preparation: Preheat oven to 450° then place the oiled pan for about 5 minutes. Season the salmon with salt and pepper before placing them in the pan. Cook for 8 minutes then drain the excess oil. Use the oil to saute scallion bulbs and wine for not more than 2 minutes. Next, whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. On a plate, place the fish and sprinkle scallion greens then spoon the sauce around the salmon.

Red Wine Mascarpone Risotto

Ingredients: 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese, 1 cup alborio rice, 3 ½ cups chicken stock, ¾ cup dry red wine, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 finely chopped shallots, 2 minced garlic cloves, and 1 juiced lemon

Preparation: In a saute pan, melt the butter and saute the shallots and garlic for three minutes. Add the alborio rice and cook for about one minute before pouring the wine. Let the wine evaporate before adding chicken stock. Stir constantly until the rice absorbs the stock. Remove from heat and add the cheese, chives, lemon, and lemon juice. Season with salt then serve.

Red Wine Portobello Burger

Ingredients: 4 portobello mushrooms, 4 toasted hamburger buns, 2 teaspoons grill seasoning, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 chopped garlic, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons red wine, ½ cup grated cheddar, ¼ cup mayonnaise, 4 romaine lettuce leaves, and 1 sliced tomato

Preparation: Combine the grill seasoning, garlic, oil, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl. Coat the mushrooms in the mixture. Heat a grill pan and place the mushrooms with the gills downwards for about 5 minutes on each side. Before flipping, coat each side with cheese. Combine 2 tablespoons of the mixture with mayonnaise and spread these on the hamburger bun. Serve the buns with the mushroom, tomato, and lettuce.

How to Care for Aggressive Aquarium Fish

Raising fighting fish might seem like an attractive idea, but are you capable of raising healthy, happy fish in your home? Here are tips to help you do that.

Types and Number of Fish

Some fish can be territorial or shoaling types, while some fish are labeled semi-aggressive, because they are sensitive to unsuitable tank conditions. This is precisely why you need to research about the different species first before purchasing anything.

Some fish can get along with others of the same species, while there are some that should be kept alone in a tank like the green-spotted puffer, oscar, and betta fish. Others, however, become aggressive if they are not kept in large enough schools. Each species need different requirements especially when they’re still growing. Always stick to the rule of once inch of fish per one gallon and anticipate how large the fish will get so you can already set up the right aquarium.

Aquarium Setup

Aquarium hobbyists will tell you that you should get the largest possible aquarium you can afford, because larger aquariums make water conditions easier to control and it will give more room for your fish. Research about the fish’s natural habitat, because this will also help you determine how best to setup its tank.

Each fish has different water condition requirements, such as temperature, salinity (if it’s a saltwater fish), pH level, and others. Territorial fish also need barriers such as plants, wood, rocks, caves, and other tank ornaments. Even the lighting can provide barriers for the fish, as long as you know the lighting and temperature needs of the species.

Diet and Health

Feeding can be tricky especially if you keep species with different feeding habits. This could trigger aggression among your pets when they try to race for the food. The best solution is to feed them in different places in the tank with small amounts of food. Take note of their feeding habits based on the lighting and time of the day as well, because some prefer to feed in the dark and come out only after sunset.

While feeding, you should also observe the fish for signs of problems such as injuries, loss of appetite, rapid gill movements, and lethargy. Unusual behavior could signal bad aquarium conditions or diseases.

Fish Behavior

Behavior that will seem problematic might also turn out to be normal for some species, such as rearranging decorations in your tank, refusal to eat if the diet isn’t varied, swimming near the surface, and swimming quickly around the aquarium. However, these can also be indications that the fish is stressed and that you need to check your tank condition.

If you’re keeping a community of male fish, you should also expect some fights. These can be reduced if you limit the number of each species in the tank and there is enough space and barriers to break their line of sight. Remember that overcrowding can be a problem for semi-aggressive and aggressive fish.

Hair Care Myths and Facts

You will find hundreds of hair care beauty tips on the Internet, but how do you sort the facts from the myths. This list provides you with the most common hair care myths that you should stop believing.

  • Washing your hair daily will not make it dull and dry. If you have dry hair, it’s most likely from applying a lot of chemicals, exposure from heat, and over-styling.
  • Shampooing twice is good for the hair. Well, not really. Wash your hair once daily to keep it clean but doing it more than once can strip it of its natural oils.
  • Exposing your color-treated hair to heat and bleach will change its color. You might want to stay away from the beach, spa, and pools in Singapore during hot days if you want your hair to stay healthy and shiny. If you need to go out, make sure that you apply a sun protector on your hair or wear a hat.
  • It is better to wash and rinse your hair with cold water. Hot showers are divine, but you should opt for cold baths if you love styling your hair. Just like heat and chemicals can damage your hair, so will hot water.
  • Hair doesn’t grow faster if you trim it regularly. Remember that your hair does not have blood vessels, so it would not know the difference if it has been cut or not.
  • Regular brushing does not necessarily make your hair shiny, but brushing is a good way to massage the scalp and bring out the natural oils that protect the hair.
  • Rubbing your hair vigorously with the towel will not necessarily damage it, unless of course you already have damaged hair from too many treatments and hair coloring. Remember, however, that the water in your hair can potentially reduce its tensile strength when friction is applied.
  • There is no remedy for split ends, so save your money instead of buying hair repair products. Regular trimming will make your hair look less damaged, but it will not solve the problem either.
  • Extreme stress can cause hair fall, but alopecia is rare unless you have a genetic predisposition to baldness or your hair is extremely damaged.
  • Pulling out one strand of hair does not mean two strands will grow in its place. Ingrown hair comes from improperly shaving or pulling hair.
  • Coloring your hair while you’re pregnant can have negative side effects on the child, however, the studies are conflicting. Still, most stylists and doctors will advise against it.
  • You do not need to change your shampoo and conditioner regularly if they already work. Your hair does not magically develop an immunity from the chemicals. However, if you have chemically-treated hair, you should switch to sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to avoid damage.
  • Coloring can cause hair damage. To some extent, yes, it can weaken your hair. But if you want good results, consult a reputable stylist and use only the best products you can afford.

A Better Understanding of the Strength of Men

When it comes to being a man, there’s usually one attribute which people think of and this attribute is none other than something we like to call, strength. That’s just it. Everybody expects a man to be strong. You know what the worst part is? Well, everybody expects a man to be strong physically. This isn’t always the case guys.

We’re Not Talking About Muscles

Men aren’t measured by how physically strong they are, men should be measured by how emotionally and intellectually strong they are. Not every buy is into physical fitness, let’s face it. Some guys prefer other things. But this does not definitely make them less of a person, no. This in fact makes them unique.

The moment they embrace their masculinity in their own way, they become better than those who seek masculinity through their physical appearance. You know what really makes a man strong? His confidence. That is the biggest strength anyone can have. Okay, not everybody was born equal, some people are better at some things while others have a hard time on those specific things.

Each Man Excel Differently

Some people excel in other places while others excel in the good old-fashioned things. This has nothing to do with confidence is built when you are not comparing yourself to other people. Other people can be good at whatever they want but you? You should focus on what you want and not how society expects you to perform. The thing about society is that everybody speaks within a certain norm.

A huge chunk of society just wants to be better than other people. A lot of them are capable, yes, but not a lot of them are strong. A lot of them haven’t even fully accepted who they are both through their strengths and weaknesses. The hardest part of being confident is admitting you made mistakes.

Struggling on in the Face of Challenges

Once you’ve made mistakes, it’s time to man up and face them. Nobody is perfect and nobody has it on their side every time. Some people have worse but that’s not the point. People go through ups and downs in their life and the only way to face it is with confidence.

You don’t need to be the best at everything, you just need to accept who you are and be the best at being you. The physical aspect of strength should only be a source of fitness and not a measurement of masculinity. Although it’s great to look good, looking good isn’t the most important thing in the world. The most important thing in the world is to be happy with who you are.

Atari Games for the Nostalgic Gamer

Atari may no longer be a major player in the video game industry, but its contributions in gaming is undeniable. Not all of us were born during the years Atari was still active, but there are titles that you can still play today if you know where to find them.

Space Invaders (1978)

The game is one of the earliest versions of the shooting games in which the objective is simple; defeat as many enemies as possible and earn as much points as long as you can. The player controls a laser cannon, which can be moved from left to right and vice versa.

Pitfall! (1982)

Pitfall! is probably one of the earliest types of addictive games in which the objective is to collect items within a limited period. In the game, you only have 20 minutes to find the 32 treasures in the jungle while avoiding different obstacles.

Pac-Man (1982)

The player controls Pac-Man in a maze while avoiding ghosts and consuming the wafers scattered on the screen. If one of the ghosts touches him, the character is allowed to respawn only according to the number of lives left. One the extra lives run out, it’s game over.

Asteroids (1979)

Another space shooter, the player controls a spaceship in Asteroids and will try to navigate the vehicle in an asteroid field while avoiding both the asteroids and flying saucers.

Pong (1972)

Considered as one of the earliest video games, Pong is inspired by the sport Ping-pong or table tennis, in which the objective is to return the ball using the paddles on the left and right of the screen.

Breakout (1976)

The objective of this game is to destroy a wall of bricks using a bouncing ball. The player must make sure not to let the ball drop to the bottom of the screen by using the movable paddles.

Donkey Kong (1981)

One of the earliest forms of platforming games, Donkey Kong allows the player to manipulate Mario/Mr. Video up a set of obstacles to rescue Pauline/Lady from the ape.

Adventure (1979)

The goal of the game is quite simple; find the magic chalice and return it to the castle. But the character must traverse a world filled with enemies and obstacles, including three dragons.

Pole Position (1982)

This racing game features a race circuit based on a real race track. Pole Position has an F1 race car that the player controls to complete time trials and qualify for the F1 race.

Dig Dug (1982)

In the game, the player must try to eliminate the Pookas and Fygars by making them explode or by crushing them with rocks. The player controls Dig Dug, the protagonist who has the ability to dig tunnels in the earth.

Why is Blood Typing Important?

Blood typing is important in the hazardous blood transfusion procedure, but what are the blood types and how are these determined?

Blood Types and Genes

Your blood type is determined by your genes, specifically by the combination of the alleles you inherit from your parents. If you can recall from your biology class, alleles are the forms of the gene within one chromosome which are responsible for the codes of enzymes that create the A and B antigen. Possible combinations include, A, AB, B, and O which make up the ABO blood group. You might be surprised, however, that there are at least 20 blood group systems today including the Rh (rhesus) factor blood group, which is characterized by the presence of Rh antigen in the blood. This then makes up a total of 8 blood groups in humans.

Mixing Blood Types

How did people know that using a different blood type on a patient is fatal? You guessed it. Failed experiments in blood transfusion that resulted in deaths happened until 1901 when the human blood groups were finally identified by Karl Landsteiner. Mixing two different blood types will result to agglutination or clumping, causing cracks in the red cells, releasing toxic hemoglobin. The response is triggered by the body’s immune system which produces antibodies against the foreign blood cells. As a result, the blood vessels will clog up and stop circulating.

Finding Your Blood Type

To find out a person’s blood type, a blood sample must be taken to a laboratory and mixed with three reagents of three antibodies for A, B, and Rh. The laboratory technician will then observe what will happen with the mixtures to determine which one has agglutinated and are not compatible for the person’s blood type. The sample that shows no indication of agglutination is considered compatible. People with Rh negative blood can receive donated blood from Rh positive donors, but the next time he/she receives another set of Rh positive blood transfusions, there could be a problem.

Compatibility Issues

Even between a pregnant woman and her fetus, there could be some problems in the blood compatibility, if for example, a father is Rh positive type and a mother is an Rh-negative blood type. Their combination will result in a fetus with a positive Rh antigen. The result could be fatal for the baby and may result in hemolytic disease caused by the mother’s antibodies attacking the fetus’ red blood cells. Thankfully, this can be prevented with injections of Rh immune globulin during pregnancy and after delivery of the newborn.

Blood, Tissue, Organ, and Marrow Donation

Blood transfusion might be recommended in the following cases: severe anemia, bleeding during surgery, injuries and blood loss, cancer, and bleeding disorders, but careful testing is always done. Even when receiving tissue, organ, and bone marrow from a donor, both the recipient and the donor should be tested for compatibility before transplantation. Blood typing and HLA testing are done to ensure that the donor and the recipient match.