How to Care for Leopard Lily Plant

While its other name seems silly – “dumb cane” – this house plant is anything but dumb. The leopard lily (Dieffenbachia amoena) is resilient and easy to grow in any light conditions and no matter your gardening skill. However, if you want the plant to thrive, you need to keep the following basic tips in mind.

The dumb cane plant can produce flowers. Because they are mostly grown indoors and can withstand neglect, not many house owners know that this plant can produce flowers. The buds are 5 inches long and will only come out if the plant is healthy. However, with the unique color and pattern on the 20-inch long and 10-inch wide leaves should be enough to make it suitable as a house decor.

Any soil mix will do. Although you do not need a specific soil mix to grow the dumb cane plant successfully, uou should avoid orchid and sand mixes. The best mix is perlite and potting soil with a 1:1 ratio.

It needs a large space to grow. This is a perfect indoor plant for a large apartment because it can grow up to 6 feet in height. You should also check the root density once a year and consider re-potting the plant if it is growing too big for the container. Before re-potting, reduce watering until the leaves are rubbery. You can also propagate it by planting new growth in moist soil.

The dumb cane plant needs bright lights. But it should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Too much light can burn the leaves, but too little of it will lead to stunting. You can ensure that it gets indirect but bright lights if you place it in an east-facing window.

Keep constant temperature. Indoors, the dumb cane plant should be exposed to temperatures between 18°C to 23°C. Outdoors, it can tolerate temperatures up to 35°C. Anything below or above the average can kill the dumb cane, so make sure to place it in areas protected from direct sunlight, drafts, and sources of cold or heat.

The dumb cane plant thrives in moist soil. Whether you grow it outdoors or indoors, it is important to keep the top soil moist all the time, but do not over-water the plant. You can tell if it is getting too much water if the leaves are stiff, while dehydration is indicated by shriveled leaves.

Use a fertilizer to encourage growth. To get the best results, you should use a full-strength balanced fertilizer every 4 to 5 weeks, however, if the leaves start drooping, it might mean that it is getting too much fertilizer.

The dumb cane plant is poisonous. If you have pets in your apartment, it is important to keep the plant away from them. Even humans can get poisoned from the sap if ingested and it is also a skin irritant. Try not to touch the plant when unnecessary and keep it away from your kids.

How to Dress to Cover Extra Weight for Males

Just because you are slightly bigger than most men, it does not mean you can’t dress to impress. While your clothes will not magically make you slimmer, you can avoid over-emphasizing your big belly with a few simple tricks.

Here are tips on how to look great even with extra weight.

Stop wearing baggy clothes

They do not hide your weight. All those extra bulges and wrinkles on your clothes achieve in the opposite. Baggy clothes make you appear larger and draw more attention to your belly and arms. Pick clothes that are not tight fitting or hanging. They are more comfortable but will not make you look fatter because they rest lightly only on your body.

Do not pick heavy clothes

Avoid heavy fabrics that will make you look even bigger. Thick fabrics will also make you sweat more, and you would not want to be labeled as big and sweaty by your co-workers.  Smooth and light fabrics look clean and create lines and drapes that are perfect for hiding those extra fat.

Look for clothes that frame the top

This means that it will make the top neat and self-contained. For a big belly, sports coats, suits, and blazers will look flattering. Avoid sweaters, sweatshirts, loose T-shirts, baggy shorts, and loose tank tops as much as possible. If you think about it, baggy and loose clothes do not look good on anyone no matter the body type.

Stick to minimal details

Pick clothes that have minimal details like patterns, colors, and embellishments. The simpler, the better. You will look larger if you drape yourself with accessories that clash with equally flashy clothes. Solid colored clothes also make you look slimmer.

Look for spread collars

Broad collars look great on big men. This helps create an illusion of a smaller face because it broadens your collar area.

Invest in tailored clothes

Sometimes the trouble with being plus size is that you cannot find clothes that will fit you. If this is an issue especially with clothes you wear to work, you need to find a good tailor. It does not have to be expensive. Just take your clothes and have adjustments made to them. It will make a world of difference on your appearance.

Wear suspenders instead of a belt

A belt can emphasize a large belly even if you try to hide it with good fitting top and trousers. Switch to suspenders. Not only will they keep the trousers secure, but they look slick too.

Pick dark colors

Dark colors look flattering on large people. Plus, they are stylish too and can be combined with another color. Make sure you have a variety of gray, charcoal, navy, and black clothes for versatility.

10 Best Video Games with Multiple Protagonists

Why stick to one lead character in a video game when you can get more out of the story by experiencing it through different points of view? Here are ten of the best games with more than one lead characters.

Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Set in the fictional state of San Andreas, specifically in Los Santos, this installment from one of the best game series lets players cycle through three different protagonists. Players can switch among the characters during the main quests and get to know Trevor Philips, Michael De Santa, and Franklin Clinton.

God of War (2018)

This soft reboot of the Greek mythology-inspired series sees Kratos return with a son, Atreus, in Midgard. As Kratos and Atreus journey on a quest to deliver the to the highest peak in the nine realms, they meet various creatures, new friends, and some mysterious, powerful pursuers.

The Last of Us (2013)

In this post-apocalyptic world, there is one objective for Joel: to deliver Ellie safely in return for a weapons cache. Most of the time, the players control Joel and try to survive the horrors by improvisation, combat, solving puzzles, and scavenging for items.

Heavy Rain (2010)

This interactive drama game allows the player to control four different characters who are connected by the mystery of the Origami Killer. The ending of each gameplay is determined by the actions of the characters Ethan mars, Norman Jayden, Madison Paige, and Scott Shelby.

NieR:Automata (2017)

Set against a backdrop of a war between humans and invaders from another world. The players control YoRHa No. 2 Model B and 9S, androids who specialize in fighting. The war is complicated by the emerging human-like emotions exhibited by the machines.

The Walking Dead (2012)

This graphic adventure game is set in the same world of the comics from which it is based. The players control Lee Everett and Clementine, an unlikely pair of a former professor turned criminal and a young girl.

Onimusha 3: Demon Siege (2004)

Samanosuke Akechi finds himself taking on the role of Jacques Blanc. Samanosuke was about to be defeated by Oda Nobunaga, but a portal opened showing him a man fighting an army of Genma. Samanosuke helped Jacques fight off the horde, but the French officer was teleported to Japan.

A Way Out (2018)

What makes this game unique is that it has to be played by two players, because cooperation is needed to control both Leo Caruso and Vincent Moretti. The characters are convicted criminals trying to leave prison.

 

Set in Victorian London, the players get to control two assassins for the first time in the series. Jacob and Evie Frye and has all the familiar elements of the series that the fans love. However, the twins have a difficult task ahead of them as the Templars control the city.

Left 4 Dead 2 (2009)

Four survivors must try to fight off zombies until they can reach a safe zone. The players can control the characters Coach, Ellis, Rochelle, and Nick.

What You Need to Know About Cystic Fibrosis

Although classic cases of cystic fibrosis are very rare among Asians, it is still a widely-known illness even in Singapore where no more 1 case is reported annually. However, there are variant forms of the disease which medical practitioners might not be aware of, making diagnosis and treatment almost impossible.

Causes and Inheritance

Cystic fibrosis primarily affects the lungs of a person. It’s a type of genetic diseases that causes a buildup of sticky and thick mucus in the lungs and other organs. This mucus can clog the airways, allowing an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. This is turn leads to infections and other problems in the organs also affected by the buildup of the mucus.

Those who have this condition have mutations in their CFTR genes, which are responsible for water movement in the tissues and the transportation of chloride irons in the cells. Therefore organs that produce mucus are affected, which cause digestive problems and issues in fertility.

Most cases of cystic fibrosis are diagnosed among children, although some adults do not get a proper diagnosis until later in their lives. Most of the men suffer from infertility, while the women are prone to complications during pregnancy.

Diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis

Symptoms of cystic fibrosis can vary among patients but the most common signs to look out for include the following: persistent coughing and frequent incidences of lung infections, wheezing, shortness of breath, weight gain or poor growth, salty-tasting skin, and persistent problems in bowel movement.

These symptoms vary in their severity and complexity, which is why some patients are still able to live productive lives despite the disease. However, most of them are vulnerable to lung infections, liver disease, infertility, and malnutrition.

There is a newborn screening for cystic fibrosis in Singapore if the parents request for it. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better the chances of the infant having a better life. The newborn’s blood sample is screened for the presence of immunoreactive trypsinogen, which may be higher among babies with cystic fibrosis.

The result needs to be confirmed through sweat tests and genetic testing. For older children and adults, sweat and genetic testing are recommended especially if there are signs of recurring lung infections, chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, and pancreatitis.

Lifestyle and Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no cure for cystic fibrosis yet, but the symptoms can be treated to avoid complications. However, treatment is unique for each patient and will involve several specialists depending on the symptoms and their severity. The goal of the treatment is for the person to get the right amount of nutrition, preventing intestinal blockage and lung infections, and to remove mucus buildup in the lungs.

Regular checkups are required to monitor abnormalities in the organs and to remove nasal polyp, mucus, and bowel blockage. In some cases, a feeding tube may be needed, or a lung transplant required if the infection is severe.

At home, the person is expected to monitor nutrient absorption, update immunizations, maintain proper fluid intake, and to take supplements.

Rapping 101: Tips for the Beginner Rapper

More and more rap artists are popping in and out of Singapore today. With rap becoming the most listened-to music genre at the present, more talent has been showing up as well. If you’re one of those who love to listen to hip-hop, you might even think of becoming a rapper yourself. You think of that one time a famous Eminem beat just came on and you were able to rap all the lyrics fluently. By then, you became inspired! So, here are some tips if you want to try your hand in rapping.

Listen to all types of rap music

A lot of people don’t know that there are so many types of rap music. There’s the classic boom-bap style used in the old school by legends like 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. Then there’s the modern trap style that you hear from rappers of today. Listening to a wide variety of styles will help you find your actual taste in rap music. Of course, some people prefer boom-bap while others prefer rap. But listening to both will help you get a grasp for the overall feel of rap so that you can also find what’s most comfortable for you.

Listen to iconic rappers

If you’ve now found the type of rap style that you like, look into famous rappers who do those styles. For boom bap, for example, some would say the best choice would be The Notorious B.I.G. He’s considered a lyrical genius and a legend when it comes to boom-bap. Listening to iconic rappers and imitating their flow can be a good start. You can also practice by memorizing their songs and practicing your flow with that. But of course, once you start getting better, it would be a good idea to stop imitating your idols and start finding your own voice.

Dedicate time to writing lyrics

Aside from listening to rap, you should also start writing your own lyrics. The thing about rap though is that writing lyrics is a lot like poetry. There are rhyme schemes to consider, there’s also wordplay, and then you’ll also have to consider the melody. For a beginner though, you can build a great foundation by just writing lyrics without worrying about a beat. A lot of newbies like to look for a beat online and create lyrics that can match that beat. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, you can actually improve your lyricism if you can create something without relying on an already-established beat.

Just practice rapping daily

By practicing daily, this doesn’t mean rapping only in your mind. When you practice, you have to actually use and train your mouth. There are a lot out there who make the mistake of rapping only in their minds. Even when they’ve memorized the lyrics, when they actually start rapping, they mess up. This is because they didn’t hone their mind-muscle connection. Their tongue and mouth simply are slower than they expect.

Tips to Remember When Setting Goals for Self-Improvement

When it comes to self-improvement, there are a lot of things we can do to make sure we succeed. One of the most common and most effective is actually setting goals for yourself. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that setting goals and following them is a hassle. But you should know that this is exactly why it can boost your progress! So, without further ado, here are some tips you should know when you set goals for self-improvement.

Motivation is an essential driving factor

When we set goals, it’s usually for specific aspects of life like success at work, becoming healthier, getting high grades, and etc. And among all these, one factor that can determine if we succeed or fail is motivation. How motivated are you to change your lifestyle? How motivated are you to succeed? Motivation and willpower will be very important things to consider once you decide on your goals.

Take note of your whys

In connection to the point above, your motivation will highly depend on your reasons for self-improvement. If not, your whys will exactly be your motivation. One way or another they will dictate how motivated you are to change, how willing you are to monitor your progress, and if you have enough determination to succeed. This is why when you’re setting goals, you should consider the whys as your guidelines.

Lean on the positive

One common mistake we make when writing down our goals is that we use a negative tone. We usually write, “I will stop smoking” or “I will stop eating junk foods” For one, these are too broad. And two, the tone itself sounds like it’s more of a chore than a goal. Instead, what you can do is simply to focus on more positive phrasing. For example, you could write, “If I get the urge to smoke, I will write three positive things I’ve experienced today instead”. You’ll be surprised at how effective this actually is, so just try it!

Always pay attention to the process and not the outcome

Logically, you’ll know if you achieve a goal by looking at the outcome. But when you’re starting from scratch and still planning out those goals, it will be best not to pay attention to the end result at all. Focusing on the steps you take will actually feel much more rewarding. For example, you’re ordered to walk to a certain point. As you walk and walk and walk, the end-destination still looks so far away. But then you look back and you’ll see how far you’ve gone which helps you push further. This is the magic of focusing on the process and not the outcome.