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Fishing is a good pastime to get into as a way to relax and get in touch with friends, and since Singapore is home to a wide variety of freshwater and saltwater fish, it’s a great way to get acquainted with the different bounties that nature has to offer.

Whether it’s a carp, barracuda, or simply a catfish, there’s definitely something you can catch if you cast your line in the right at the right time.

Before you decide to go into fishing, there are a few terms that you need to know to be familiar with the hobby as a whole. Here are some of the essentials to get you started:

• Bag Limit – How much you’re allowed to catch at a given time, usually a daily basis. This is to allow the population to replenish itself and prevent overfishing.

• Bait – Anything used to attract or entice fish to the hook.

• Bait-casting – Fishing using a spool reed mounted on the topside of a rod specific for casting bait. In Singapore, only artificial bait is allowed to preserve the water quality.

• Blind-cast – Casting your line in no particular area, which does little to increase your chances in catching fish.

• Bottom Feeder – Refers to fish that feed at the bottom of riverbeds, such as carp and catfish.

• Brackish – Mostly freshwater with a bit of saltwater mixed to it. Areas with brackish water can support both freshwater and saltwater fish.

• Catch-and-Release – A conservation practice where the angler unhooks and returns the fish to the water rather than keep it. This is encouraged by the angling community as it helps maintain the ecosystem.

• Catch-and-Keep – Also called “catch-and-kill”, where you take home your prize instead of releasing it back to the water. Typically, you want to keep only the fish that are abundant or harm the freshwater ecosystem.

• Channel – A riverbed or streambed. Bottom-feeding fish usually spend most of their lives here.

• Tackle – Refers to any fishing equipment in general

With more reservoirs and bodies of water being recently made open to the public, now is the perfect time to start getting into the hobby.

If you’ve always wanted to find something that doesn’t take too much energy while still being able to enjoy nature and fresh air (the perfect formula to unwind if you’re feeling lazy during the weekend), then fishing is the perfect thing for you to get started on.

The best part about angling is that anyone can do it. All you really need is a good fishing line, artificial bait, and the free time. With a little practice, you can even get something big on your hook!

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

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  • Filed under: Hobbies
  • Music is a great way to invest your spare time in, and there are a lot of ways you can get started. It’s also easier to do so as an adult, since you already know your tastes and you have easier access to a much wider range of instruments.

    In fact, if you don’t know where to start, here are a few that would definitely peak your interest:

    1. Piano/Keyboard
    The piano can be as versatile as it can be complicated to pick up, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many guides and tutorials you can look up online, and there’s a lot of sheet music for you to get started with.

    If size is your main concern, there’s also no need to have a baby grand installed – in fact, an electronic keyboard give you just as much options, and can even let you experiment with various sounds.

    You’ll be surprised at what you can actually play and how fast you can get past the learning curve.

    2. Guitar
    The piano and guitar often come hand in hand as the most versatile instruments that anyone can pick up and start learning.

    Today, the guitar is more popular than the piano because it’s used in so many music genres all over the world, and a good quality one is certainly more affordable than a piano. You can also learn songs more easily with chords.
    You also have more options to choose: electric guitar is easier to learn, and acoustic guitar is cheaper to pick up.

    3. Flute
    If your home is quiet enough and you want to pick up something that’s slightly more inconspicuous, then you definitely won’t regret picking up what is perhaps the oldest instrument that’s still played today.

    It’s much lighter and easier to transport than the first two instruments, and even cheaper and easier to master. Once you do, the sound it a flute makes can mesmerize any audience from a distance, and the farther they are, the better the sound.

    There are also different types of flutes for you to choose from, such as end-blown flutes, side-blown flutes, and various flutes in different registers and keys.

    4. Drums
    If you’re looking to join or start your own band, investing in a good kit will mean that you won’t have to upgrade or buy replacements as often as you would your counterparts who play the guitar or bass.

    However, when you do decide to play it at home, make sure you also include soundproofing panels in your investment to avoid upsetting your neighbors – they can also be quite noisy.

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  • Filed under: Music
  • Not everyone is aware, but colorectal cancer is one of the few types of cancer that can be treated when detected early. But like most cancers, the symptoms are so subtle that the condition is often ignored until the disease has progressed.

    Look out for the symptoms of colorectal cancer.
    The symptoms of colorectal cancer will resemble other diseases of the bowel such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Some patients do not even notice that their constipation or diarrhea is a symptom. As the disease progresses, however, the symptoms become more severe and persistent and it becomes difficult to determine if you have colorectal cancer when you already have an existing bowel disease.

    Some symptoms of colorectal cancer include diarrhea, constipation, changes in shape and size of the stool, bloody stool, inability to empty the bowel completely, rectal pain, abdominal pain, stomach cramps or gas pains, changes in appetite, sudden weight loss, feeling full or bloated, and fatigue.When the cell lining of the large intestine develops cancer, it causes blockages and results in bloody stool.

    Get to know the function of the colon and the rectum.
    Colorectal cancer, sometimes called colon cancer, affects the colon or the rectum. The colon is part of your large intestine, while the rectum is a passageway that connects the anus to the colon. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine, which is only 15 cm long, and its location makes it highly likely to spread the cancer cells to other organs. Taking care of your large intestine through healthy diet and lifestyle can lower the risk of having colorectal cancer.

    Get diagnosed when you feel the symptoms.
    If your family has a history of any type of cancer or you have a history of ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease, you should be screened annually because you’re at risk of developing the disease than most people. Most cases of colon cancer start off as abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum called polyps. These should be removed to prevent them from becoming cancerous.

    Most people affected by this cancer are aged 50 years and above, although are cases among young adults who have inherited conditions such as non-polyposis and familial adenomatous polyposis. Among the male patients in Singapore who suffer from cancer, colorectal cancer is the most common form, while it is only second to breast cancer among female cancer patients.

    Several screening methods are used to diagnose colorectal cancer such as rectal examination, sigmoidoscope/colonoscope exam, and barium enema.

    Know the available treatments for colorectal cancer.
    Sometimes when the cancer cells spread from the colon to the lymph nodes near it, treatments are quite successful in hospitals in Singapore through surgery and chemotherapy. Treatment becomes difficult, however, if the cancer cells have spread to the other organs.

    Surgery, such as the removal of the fat, lymph glands, and the cancer, is the first form of treatment. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy might also be recommended.

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  • Filed under: General Health
  • What are Bunions?

    A bunion is known as a hallux valgus among doctors and is a type of deformity in the base joint of a big toe. Not only does it make your feet look uneven, it can also cause pain, swelling, and discomfort especially when you’re wearing the wrong shoes.

    Causes of Bunions
    Most doctors cannot pinpoint the cause of bunions in most patients with the condition, but they can locate where the deformity is. The big toe is angled towards the next toe, causing a bump to form on the side of the big toe’s base. As a result, the tissues and the skin surrounding the deformed joint, called the metatarsophalangeal joint or MTP, becomes thick. In some cases, a bursa or a sac filled with fluid forms on the joint. The joint deformity is called hallux valgus, causing the bones of the big toe to push the other toes due to its sideways angle. “Hallux” is a Latin word which means big toe, while “valgus” refers to the action of turning away from the body’s midline.

    Some doctors point to genes as a determining factor, while others are the result of joint problems like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The condition can run in families especially if most of the members have feet with low arches, loose joints, have flat feet, or have loose tendons. The structure and shape of the feet, such as the roundness of the metatarsal head,can also increase the risk of getting bunions especially if you’re not wearing the right footwear.

    Bunions in most women, however, are the result of repeatedly squeezing their feet into narrow, pointed-toe footwear that sometimes even come with high heels. This habit can put pressure on some parts of the feet especially the joints in the toes, because the body’s weight is pushed forward.

    Bunions also tend to develop among people whose occupations require hours of standing and walking.

    Treatment of Bunions
    The symptoms of bunions include pain, difficulty walking, inflammation of the base of the toe, infection of the toe, widening of the foot, difficulty finding shoes that will fit and feel comfortable, arthritis on the big toe, and deformation of the second toe.

    Some people ignore bunions, but it’s important to get it treated because the MTP is supposed to help the feet distribute the weight of the body evenly. Ignoring the pain can lead to other more serious problems in the future, such as hammertoes, corns, foot impairment, ingrown nails, bursitis, and misshapen joints.

    The simplest way to get rid of the pain is to wear comfortable shoes that are flexible, wide, and have correct support for the feet. You can also ease the pain with occasional cold compresses or the use of bunion pads and shoe inserts.

    The doctor might also recommend that you take over-the-counter painkillers to ease the swelling. For people with other joint conditions or those who suffer from severe pain, prescription-strength drugs are recommended, while some cases require physiotherapy and surgery.

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  • Filed under: Health and Wellness
  • With the internet and digital storage, you may think that having a traditional photo album for your cherished memories is a thing of the past. But having a physical album that you can flip through someday when you’re old and grey is something else, and nothing can truly replace that.

    Don’t know how to make your special wedding album? Fret not – here are some tips you can get from us.

    1. Avoid overcrowding each page.
    Though you may think that there should be spaces enough for all those hundreds of photos you took on your photoshoot, less is more. Give each page about two to three photos so that each photo could have its own voice.

    Having too many photos can confuse your eyes and make you dart around the page too quickly because they compete for your attention. This ends up with none of them getting the attention that they deserve and the story gets lost in the process.

    2. Embrace the negative space.
    Part of not overcrowding your photos includes the negative space. This is what gives each picture the focus that they need so that your eyes will linger on each one. It’s also much easier to design each page when there are fewer pictures that compete for your attention.

    3. Minimize fluff (and pick only your absolute favorites).
    There’s sure to be dozens of pictures that your photographer has taken during the wedding, but they may feel a little repetitive. Each spread should have its own theme or portray one particular event. Pick the best three or four that showcase each theme or event, and place them in the page.

    You should also take it easy with the spreads. Much like magazines, albums are made up of spreads that relate to each other by content or style, and helps to connect the album as a whole. If it helps, think of it as the “poetry” of the album, where is just as important as the order.

    4. Keep it clean and simple.
    Take it from us: the elegant/minimalist/“clean and simple” design is the only design that’s guaranteed to stand the test of time. You can add extra graphics, photo layering, and even fading to your photo album, but keep in mind that design trends are exactly that – trends – and they come and go with the years.

    However, if you do decide to add graphics to your wedding album, make sure that they also share the same theme as the pictures themselves.

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  • Filed under: Weddings
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