A Guide to Buying a Dinnerware Set

Are you moving into your own apartment in Singapore or are you looking to add more items to your kitchen collection for use or display? Knowing the differences of the different types of dinnerware will help you how to look for the right pieces to add to your collection.

Dinnerware Sets
If you buy a set for one person at the shop, you will most likely get a four-piece deal that includes a dinner plate, mug, salad plate, and soup bowl, but the contents can also vary. Estimate of how many pieces you will need before purchasing. Usually, dinnerware is sold in the following sets:

• Open Stock. Some stores sell each dinnerware piece individually instead of a set that includes the usual four items. This will give you freedom to choose from different sizes, designs or shapes, and colors that you can mix and match. If there are individual pieces that you want to display in your kitchen cabinet, buying open stock dinnerware is your best option.
• Place Setting. This term describes the dinnerware set for one person. Each set usually comes with a dinner plate, cup, saucer, and additional plates for dessert and other snacks. Choose a place setting if you want expensive items to display on your cabinet.
• Boxed Set. This dinnerware set is made up of more than one place setting. This is a perfect choice for dinnerware for a family of four to eight persons. Some dinnerware boxed sets also include additional items such as saucers and flatware (spoon, fork, and knife).

Dinnerware Materials
The type of material used decides the price of the item as well as its durability and quality, so pick the best material for a specific function.

• Porcelain. Also called Chinaware, this item is made from a fine particle clay which is comprised of feldspar, kaolin, and quartz. The material is heated at high temperatures that is why it’s durable, translucent, and non-porous. You can use these in your microwave and oven, although you should avoid exposing pieces with metals to heat.
• Earthenware. The material is valued for its thickness and antique look, but the glazed and fired dinnerware absorbs water and isn’t durable.
• Stoneware. It uses the same materials as the earthenware, but glass is added to make the material durable. Unlike porcelain, the finish comes in many varieties and are generally opaque and fine.

• Bone China. From the name of the dinnerware, the items are made from animal bones mixed with porcelain clay. The materials and the exposure to heat make this the most durable type of dinnerware, that is why it’s safe for oven and microwave oven use and in dishwashers.
• Vitrified Glass. This type of glass is exposed to high temperatures to make the material durable and non-porous. Top brands that manufacture vitrified glass create dinnerware that are very durable even when dropped or exposed to high temperatures.
• Melamine. Plastic dinnerware is lighter and stronger than glass or clay, but it cannot be used to microwave food. However, if you’re looking for safe plastics, look for polycarbonate BPA-free dinnerware.

5 Picture-Worthy Places in Singapore

Travels and even everyday routines don’t go about without a snapshot or two. There is always that picture-worthy angle, that good shot we all want to capture. Singapore, with all its other perks, offers just the right infrastructures to pepper our feeds with like-hoarding photos.

1. Orchard Gateway Bridge
Built on April 26, 2014, this bridge connects Orchard Gateway to Orchard Gateway@Emerald for the purpose of allowing pedestrians to cross safely unscathed by the weather to and fro the two locations. Its tube-like structure offers great lines and depth for photos, with Orchard Road as background. It also has 3D art which creates the illusion as if there is a whole at the center of the bridge.

2. Helix Bridge
This 280-meter bridge connects Marina Centre with Marina South, all in the Marina Bay Area. It accommodates pedestrians which is just perfect for taking shots of this picturesque structure. At night, LED lights illuminate the bridge in contrast to the pitch black darkness giving it an identical aura to its inspiration – the human DNA. It is comprised of two delicate helix structures forming a tube, only touching one another at one point.

3. Railway bridge
Picture yourself back in the day when bridges were rare and transportation wasn’t as accessible as it is today. The Railway Bridge in Singapore stretches above Bukit Timah Road. Despite all the rust, this structure still holds much beauty and nostalgia, both locals and tourists appreciate.

4. People’s Park Complex
Who would have thought that a residential building could provide a catchy backdrop to that profile photo you’ve been waiting for? The People’s Park Complex is a high-rise structure with 31 floors which functions both as a residential and commercial building. Containing both offices and apartments, it thrives in commerce as it is located in one of the most packed areas of Singapore.

5. Sports Hub
Bask in all the reds you can see in this sports structure not only for athletes but enthusiasts as well. The dome of the National Stadium houses 55,000 red seats which makes all indoor structures stand out in contrast to this vibrant hue. It also has other amenities such as Aquatic Centre, Arena, commercial retail space, which will surely fill your camera roll with architectural delight.

No better way of appreciating today’s symbols of advancement and urbanization than through the lens of equally-advanced cameras. We can preserve what our eyes enjoy as of the moment, and immortalize it to a certain time when it would be no longer what it is today – either its change for the better or the opposite.

Good thing we can take snapshots; good thing we have memories along with each click.

What Happens During a Newborn Screening

Parents want only the best for their child. That is why it’s best to prepare early during pregnancy. But even then, some disorders can only be detected after the child is born. That’s where newborn screening comes in.

Benefits of Newborn Screening
Newborn testing determines the harmful or potentially life-threatening diseases not noticeable at birth. Some rare genetic disorders can also be detected through the procedure, making it possible for the parents to prepare for treatment.

Babies who look normal and healthy sometimes have medical conditions that aren’t noticeable. The goal of newborn screening is to prevent organ or brain damage and death caused by diseases that can be treated if detected early. Some diseases that cannot be cured and will affect the child for the rest of his/her life can be treated to prevent serious problems. Metabolic disorders for example don’t manifest physically.

Targeted Disorders
The following are the disorders the screening will try to find: amino acid disorders, fatty acid oxidation disorders, endocrinopathies, hemoglobinopathies, organic acidemias, cystic fibrosis, urea cycle disorders, lysosomal storage disorders, hearing loss, congenital heart defects, sever combined immunodeficiency, and others diseases depending on the programs within the jurisdiction.

Expanded Screening
In Singapore, most of the births are done in the hospitals so newborn screening is accessible. Neonatal screening began in 1965 in the country. Besides the basic newborn screening procedure, the parents can opt for an expanded newborn screening program too. Called the National Expanded Newborn Screening Programme, it includes the metabolic screening test to detect inborn errors of metabolism or IEM. The test is done when the baby has developed his/her feeding pattern between the second and fifth day after birth. Metabolic screening will be able to detect any of the three groups of metabolic disorders such as organic acid disorders, fatty acid oxidation disorders and amino acid disorders.

Screening Procedure
Newborn screening is done within 24 hours after birth. It is a standard medical procedure in hospitals. If the parents refuse because of religious purposes, they can talk to the health professionals about opting out.

First, a newborn screening card is filled out. Included in the information are the time of heel stick collection and the the baby’s first feeding. Then a few drops of blood from your baby’s heel is taken. The blood is blotted on an absorbent filter card. This card with the dried blood spots is sent to the laboratory for analysis.

When an abnormality is detected, the physician might require additional tests to confirm or eliminate some conditions before a treatment program is recommended for the baby.

Those with a family history of some disorders can request for additional tests. The only difference between newborn screening and the expanded newborn screening is the number of disorders that can be detected. Expanded screening also needs collected blood from the baby’s heel. Babies born during preterm or have low birth weight or are sick require several tests along with the necessary treatments.

Alcoholic Drinks from Asia You Have to Try

Posted on April 4, 2018 by in Drinks

Humans will make booze out of anything if it’s possible. The diversity of alcoholic drinks in Asia alone will drown the most experienced drinker in happiness. Here are some that you need to try.

Toddy or Kalu
Toddy is a drink from fermented palm sap. It should be consumed while young because aging toddy will make it acidic and sour. Palm wine drinks listed here belong to this group.

Arak, sometimes spelled arrak, is distilled palm wine or tuak from Indonesia. Sometimes it is made from coconut palm sap that is fermented then distilled.

Another palm wine, tuba from the Philippines is made from the sweet sap of the date palms, coconut palms and palmyras.

Not to be confused with another drink with the same name, Arak from Jordan is from crushed and fermented grapes placed in barrels for a minimum of three weeks.

Basi from the Philippines is made from boiled and fermented sugar cane mixed with leaves and barks. This semi-sweet drink is prepared in many ways depending on the region.

Baijiu from China is made from fermented and distilled sorghum, which makes its alcohol content slightly higher because it’s a spirit.

Huanjiu can be dry or sweet. It’s a Chinese rice wine, or yellow wine, which has different varieties made from millet, wheat, rice, sorghum and jiuqu.

Kumis of Mongolia is a fermented drink made from a dairy product, grain or fruit. The old kumis was made from mare’s milk.

Shochu from Japan is made from distilled rice, barley wine, sweet potato or buckwheat. It’s pretty much the same as the more famous sake, but its kick is stronger because it’s distilled.

Sake, sometimes called Nihonshu, is fermented rice wine and is considered to be the oldest spirit in the world. It can be consumed hot or cold.

Sombai is rice wine from Cambodia. Sometimes it’s distilled or infused with spices, fruits and sugar cane sticks.

Singapore Sling
Also called gin sling, it’s a cocktail of cherry brandy, Cointreau, gin, grenadine, angostura bitters, Benedictine, lemon juice and pineapple juice.

Raki of Turkey is from grape pomace that is distilled twice and tastes like anise. It can be drunk chilled, straight or diluted.

This is a type of fermented and distilled sorghum drink from Taiwan. It is similar to baijiu but has a different taste.

Filipino Rum
Filipino rum is made from sugar cane. It’s similar to rums made in the Caribbean, but has a more bitter and spicier taste.

Sang Som
This is a distilled rum made from sugarcane. It is quite popular in Thailand and has even won awards in some international competitions.

Makgeoilli or makkoli from Korea is fermented rice wine or wheat mixed with nuruk. It’s a dry type of drink and is similar to beer.

Soju from South Korea is similar to vodka but is sweeter. It is a type of distilled drink made from rice, barley or wheat.

What is Anaphylaxis?

Although rare, anaphylaxis has claimed lives of a lot of people. It is a severe allergic reaction that affects more than one part of the person’s body. The trigger might be one of the following: insect stings, food, latex and medication. The best way to avoid it is to stay away from whatever triggers the allergy. There are situations, however, were a reaction cannot be prevented.

The person might not be aware that he or she is allergic to any of those mentioned above. Allergies to medication cannot be determined beforehand. Unfortunately, allergies can only be detected when a reaction already happens.

It is an Emergency
Anaphylaxis is an emergency situation. You should not wait for the symptoms to go away before you call emergency. If the person has already had an episode previously, there is a greater chance of experiencing anaphylaxis in the future so always be prepared.

One way to prevent a fatal reaction is to let people know about your allergies. Ask about the food or read labels if you have a food allergy. Visit an allergist to be certain.

To know more about the treatment and prevention of anaphylaxis, the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Society in Singapore has a set of guidelines for almost every type of allergy.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
If you or a person you know have any of the following symptoms, it might be anaphylaxis: hives, swollen face or parts of the face, difficulty breathing, vomiting and nausea, diarrhea, change in blood pressure and heart beat, abdominal pain, and difficulty swallowing.

Sometimes a combination of any of these symptoms are not severe and may not be anaphylaxis, but always assume it’s an emergency especially if the reaction is very unusual. Note that people with asthma are also at a higher risk of having anaphylaxis.

If your children have allergies, be mindful of their reactions to food and drugs. One study found that more than half of anaphylaxis cases in children in Singapore were triggered by food. Peanut was found to be the most common culprit, followed by seafood and bird’s nest.

Among teenagers, shellfish like shrimp and crab are the most common triggers. In adults, the most common triggers are molluscs and crustaceans. Dust mites are also a common trigger because they are common in humid climates.

Treatment of Anaphylaxis
At the onset of an anaphylactic attack, the first line of defense is an injection of epinephrine. Some patients are advised to carry injectable epinephrine (or epinephrine autoinjector). It must be administered to the person in not less than 30 minutes after exposure to the allergic substance. Don’t wait for the symptoms to get better. If there is no EpiPen, take the person to the nearest hospital.

Epinephrine or adrenaline is the only known and proven medication that can stop anaphylaxis. Care should be taken however when the person is an elderly, but it should still be injected.

Call emergency even if the symptoms are getting better after a shot of epinephrine. The doctor might administer other medications to the person such as antihistamines, steroids and asthma medication.