8 Shows for You if You Like Game of Thrones

Can’t get enough of the fantastic action scenes and court intrigues of one of the most successful high fantasy series of the last two decades? Here are some shows that can help fill the void of Game of Thrones.

Rome

This historical drama recreates the events during Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire. Told from the point of view of two soldiers, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, the series details the civil war, the rise to power of Julius Caesar, and the Ides of March. It also shows glimpses of the future emperor, Augustus.

The Tudors

As the title implies, most of the events shown in the series took place in 16th century England, but it focuses on the life of King Henry VII. It begins with the ongoing negotiation for a pact of friendship with the French and his troubled relationship with Katherine of Aragon.

Knightfall

The story opens with a spectacular recreation of the Battle of Acre in 1291 between the Crusader and the Saracens. More than the Holy Land itself, the conflict also threatened the Holy Grail. The series then shows the events 15 years later by following the story of Landry du Lauzon.

Vikings

The series loosely follows various tales of the Norse sagas, although there is a lot of focus on Ragnar Lothbrok and his family. Ragnar is known for his conquests of France and Anglo-Saxon England.

Spartacus

There have been several adaptations of the exploits of the historical Spartacus, a gladiator who led a successful but short uprising against a dying Roman Republic. The series opens with the Getae campaign, in which the proconsul of Macedonia marched against Mithridates VI of Pontus. When one of the Thracians mutinied against the legate Claudius Glaber, his village was destroyed, and the man captured and sold into slavery.

The Borgias

The intrigues that surrounded the Borgia family have been a subject of various adaptations, including this show which focused on the height of the Borgias’ power over the Roman Catholic Church. This is the third known television series that depicted the lives of the Borgias.

Black Sails

If you loved Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, then this prequel series is for you. Set 20 years before the events of the book, it highlights the Golden Age of Piracy in the West Indies. It focuses primarily on New Providence Island and the life of Captain Flint. The series also features familiar names such as Charles Vane, Anne Bonny, Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Jack Rackhan, William Manderley, and more.

The Last Kingdom

The series is based on the book series The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. It begins with the attack of the Danes in the 9th century at the time when England had seven kingdoms. The Danes were about to defeat the last of these, the Kingdom of Wessex.

How to Rock a Neck Tie or Bow Tie

Neck ties and bow ties are often associated with formal events, but you can still rock them for a casual trip to the mall or a get-together with friends. But first, you need to learn the basics of balance, layering, and tying.

Here are tips on how to rick a neck tie or a bow tie for any occasion.

Bow and neck ties are statement pieces. By keeping this in mind, you will remember that using too many other accessories will make you outfit look disorganized. A statement piece means that it is the focal point by which you decide the theme and the elements that go with it. Wear it like you would a necklace.

A balanced look is the key. Like with any statement piece, the background must be less flashy and more basic. That is why if you pick an extravagant neck tie or bow tie with eye-catching colors or designs, your shirt and trousers must have muted colors and patterns. For example, if you’re wearing a brightly-colored neck or bow tie, wear neutral-colored shirts and trousers to avoid looking like a clown.

Know when you can’t wear it. You can wear a neck tie or bow tie at formal events and at the office, but you can pair it with casual outfits as long as it fits the occasion. For example, if you’re going to spend most of the day under the sun, you will look out of place with your bow tie. General rule of thumb: if you can wear a neck tie for that location or event, then you can also wear a bow tie.

Experiment with different fabrics, colors, and patterns. The type of fabric also determines how casual or formal the look can be. More expensive fabrics such as silk and wool are more suited to formal events like weddings, while cotton or linen can be worn casually. Don’t be afraid to try various bow tie shapes and neck tie colors and patterns. There are also some styles that are already pre-tied which are perfect for casual outfits.

Know how to tie them properly. Keep practicing the different ways to tie knots. Some of the most commonly used styles for the neck tie are the classic knot if you’re wearing a spread collar, four in hand if you want a more informal look, and the simple knot for skinny neck ties.

Take note of the length and width. When purchasing a neck tie, make sure to measure the length. You will know that the length is right for you if the tip of the tie ends just about the beltline, not above or below it. There is also a basic rule when it comes to the width of the neck tie. For casual looks or for shirts with narrow collars, always pick narrow ties. If you have a bulkier body, however, pick wider ties and avoid the skinny ones.

What is a Japanese Light Novel?

You might have heard of a genre called light novel while watching anime, but how does it differ from novels and manga? Let’s examine this genre more closely.

Description of a Light Novel

The name light novel applies to any type of publication which targets teenagers and young adult readers. Like the manga, or Japanese comics, they also contain illustrations using the same art style in most manga, and the size of each volume is classified as a “bunkobon,” which has measurements of 105 mm x 148 mm. They also have the same qualities that will classify them as novellas, but most of them have less than 300 pages, not enough to classify them as full-length novels. So why is it called a light novel if it is a novella?

Translation of Light Novel

The name light novel is the closest English translation of the name “wasei-eigo.” The words wasei-eigo literally means Japanese-made English, a characteristic that describes the tendencies of most light novels to have words written in kanji, a syllabary used to spell borrowed foreign words. Others even refer to it as raito noberu, rainobe, and ranobe, which are all borrowed from the English words light novel. The light novel, therefore, means a Japanese novella. Some of these light novels are also in English instead of Japanese to appeal to a wider range or readers.

Light Novel and Novel

If that is the case then light novels are not like novels, because they are shorter and contain more illustrations than most novels produced by English writers. They might look like manga at first glance, but instead of panels and speech bubbles, the story is told with the use of both continuous texts and interspersed with illustrations in monochrome or colored pages. So why do they look like manga? The light novels are also closely tied up to pulp magazines in the 1970s, which practiced placing illustrations at the beginning of each story. The most popular serials (or the series of episodes with one overarching story or common character) were later printed into novels.

Light Novel and Manga

The spines of the light novel series will look like those of any manga series to make them easier to find on the shelves. They are also classified based on the age bracket of the target audience and themes. Light novels, however, are not like manga even if they share a lot of common features. Some light novels are even adapted into manga and some manga series have light novel counterparts and spinoffs. A few light novel titles are also adapted from live-action movies or TV series and anime.

Light Novels to Read

Here are some of the best light novels you should check out:

  1. Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
  2. Utsunomiko
  3. Tokyo Ravens
  4. Guin Saga
  5. Legend of the Galactic Heroes
  6. Majutsushi Orphen
  7. Record of Lodoss War
  8. Saiunkoku Monogatari
  9. Arslan Senki
  10. Kino no Tabi

Understanding Growth Charts for Children

There are different growth charts for children of different ages, but most of these charts are divided into two major age brackets; one for 0 to 2 years and another for 2 to 18 years. These growth charts, which can also be found in pediatric clinics and hospitals in Singapore, include the recommended height, weight, and head circumference for each age.

Separate growth charts for children with special needs are also available to help monitor the child’s health and development.

Ideal Body Weight

It is accepted among medical practitioners that the abnormalities in growth and development of a child is associated with chronic diseases and can even indicate a child’s chances of getting a certain disease when he/she becomes an adult. For example, adults who are obese were more likely to have had a different growth trajectory than adults who never had problems with their weight as children.

For the ideal body weight, the doctors use the body mass index (BMI) chart or what is also known as the weight-for-height computation. However, some medical practitioners disagree with the use of a BMI chart, because it does not take into account the changing body proportions in children. Instead, they use charts that include blood chemistry measures, fat versus lean mass, total body potassium, and dual energy measures.

Special Growth Charts

As already mentioned, there are separate growth charts for children with developmental disabilities from ages 0 to 36 months and 2 to 18 years. These guides, however, do not include comparisons for weight, height or length, BMI, and head circumference of children older than 2 years. The special growth charts are used alongside the standard charts to determine if the child has a tendency to become overweight or underweight.

There are also charts for the fetal measurements, but these should be compatible with the mother’s ethnic composition. The development is monitored by comparing it to growth percentiles through examinations of the fetus in different gestational ages. The result of the fetus’ weight divided by his/her length will determine if he/she is growing normally.

Poor Growth Identification

The existence of different growth charts for girls, boys, children with diseases or developmental disabilities, and children who were breastfed or not, led most hospitals around the world follow the growth charts set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to WHO, there are three indicators of poor growth for a child aged younger than 2 years; namely, length, weight, and weight relative to length. Some infants need more measurements such as weight-for-age, head circumference-for-age, length-for-age, and weight-for length. Children older than 2 years on the other hand, are monitored using either length and stature or length, BMI-for-age, and measure stature.

The Art of Drinking Vermouth

Vermouth is often used in various cocktails because of its aroma and flavor. It’s also a popular fortified wine because of the roots, herbs, flowers, and bark that are added to it, but what do you really know about vermouth and what it tastes like if drank on its own?

How Vermouth is Made

Vermouth is a type of Moscato wine in Italy that is flavored with tree bark, saffron, anise, cinnamon, chamomile, and even absinthe to make it sweet or semisweet. More accurately though, vermouth is a fortified aperitif wine, which means that its base is either mistelle (white grape juice or brandy and fermented white wine) or white wine. Unlike Moscato wine, however, vermouth contains more alcohol because it’s fortified. Using the base of white wine or mistelle, distilled alcohol is added, usually using brandy, to raise the proof.

This process is what makes up the fortification of vermouth. Next, the base is aromatized using substances made from plants. This could be a mixture of spices, herbs, roots, seeds, flowers, and others. The use of botanicals give vermouth its color and flavor. Most of the vermouth today contain wormwood, from which its name is derived, while the color caramel comes from the sugar.

The Benefits of Vermouth

Whether you prefer the pale, dry and bitter vermouth or the red and sweet vermouth, when consumed in moderation, it is good for you because it promotes food digestion and improves appetite. In some cases, 50 grams of vermouth can even help someone recover from food poisoning or gastroenteritis. Besides being a good antiseptic, too, the herbs and spices it contains can help you relax after a stressful day at work. Some people use a mixture of vermouth and 2 tablespoons of honey to relive cold and sore throat. It can also be mixed with aloe juice and honey to relieve stomach ulcer.

Vermouth Food Pairings

Because of the diverse flavors of vermouth, there are a lot of options for food pairings depending on its characteristic taste. Aromatic French vermouth are best paired with cheeses because they complement the vermouth’s nutty flavors. While dry vermouth like Italian varieties are best paired with smelly cheeses. However, most vermouth will go well with chicken, scallops, shrimp, mushrooms, beef steak, mussels, salmon, and pancetta.

The Best Vermouth Cocktails

Try these vermouth cocktails with your friends:

  • Negroni: 1 ounce sweet vermouth, 1 ounce Campari, 1 ounce gin, and citrus essence
  • Black Dog: ½ ounce dry vermouth and 3 ounces rum
  • Vampire’s Kiss: ½ ounce dry vermouth, 2 ounces vodka, ½ ounce dry gin, 1 tablespoon tequila, 2 ounces tomato juice, and 1 pinch salt
  • Manhattan:1 ounce sweet vermouth, 2 ounces bourbon, 1 dash orange bitters, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, and brandied cherry for garnish
  • Rob Roy: 1 ounce sweet vermouth, 2 ounces blended scotch whiskey, 2 dashes angostura bitters, and lemon peel for garnish
  • Vermouth Cassis: 1 ½ ounce dry vermouth, ¾ ounce crème de cassis, and club soda
  • Carpano-Rita: ½ ounce sweet vermouth, 1 ½ ounces tequila, ¾ ounces lemon juice, and ¼ ounce agave syrup

Singapore’s Hainanese Chicken Rice

Trust me, one article is not enough to know about one of the most celebrated dish by not just the residents of Singapore but also tourists is the legendary mouth-watering all-Asian experience, the Hainanese Chicken Rice. I know what you are thinking, how is chicken and rice such an attractive dish? Well, for those of you who haven’t tasted Hainanese Chicken Rice, it is acceptable that you cannot fathom the taste of this amazingly tender dish. What better way to describe an Asian dish than with steamed chicken and rice right?

Although very well celebrated in Singapore, this dish does not actually come from Singapore itself. This dish originates all the way from Hong Kong and was brought to Singapore by the Chinese who slowly started to migrate. Chefs from all around the world can be found in Singapore as they have one of the most diverse cuisines around Asia. Although diverse, Singapore never fails to pay attention to the small details in the quality of their servings which makes it hard to say that the food you are eating does not taste authentic.

Finding this dish is no problem at all as almost every hawker center in Singapore has at least three stalls selling this type of dish. Now how about the price? Well, depending on your location and how near it is to the different malls, the price of this dish may vary but to play it safe, this dish may vary from three to twenty Singaporean dollars. The farther away you are from a mall or the smaller and more residential the neighborhood is, the lower the price of this dish may be.

Now, why is Hainanese Chicken Rice one of the best dishes you can find in Singapore? Because of the rice itself! The rice is not just any ordinary rice but is cooked with the broth used to steam the chicken and what makes the taste really sink in is not just the ingredients used but the time dedicated into cooking this meal. The chicken broth is made sure to be treated with utmost priority as it is the main ingredient in the rice. This dish is usually served with cut cucumbers which really give it a luscious and brighter flavor every time you eat the chicken with the rice.

Hainanese Chicken Rice is just one of the many different dishes to fall in love with. Never be too shy to try out something new.