Popular Materials for Cosplay Armor

Cosplaying is a serious business to a lot of hobbyists nowadays, and creating an outfit from scratch is no joking matter. In fact, you can become an instant celebrity if you’re good at the craft. These are the most common materials used by cosplayers for creating armor.

Foam

There are two popular types of beginner materials commonly used to create armor; craft foam and floormat foam. Each one requires different techniques and your preference will depend on the size, function, and design of the armor you’re cosplaying.

Craft Foam can be bought cheaply in rolls or sheets and is common in most hobby shops in Singapore. What makes them ideal for most cosplayers who need a full armor is that they are easy to carry around because they’re light. They’re also easy to shape and manipulate using heat, but they are not ideal for creating round pieces. It’s a flimsy material and needs resin or glue and fabric to make it last longer and to seal its porous surface.

Floormat Foam, also called EVA foam, is also cheap and is much lighter than craft foam. However, it might be challenging for beginner cosplayers because it’s more difficult to work with. It can be sanded, but you will need a respirator. It will also leave a lot of mess and it needs to be sealed before it can be painted. You’ll also need a lot of practice when cutting the floormat foam because it’s thick. Most of the seasoned cosplayers will opt for thermoplastic and PVC foam once they are more confident with their crafting skills.

Cardboard

Cardboard is used for papier mache and paper clay armor. Some cosplayers find these materials much easier to work with than the others, although they need the same level of skills to create a cosplay-worthy piece. For a cardboard armor, you will need the following additional items: newspaper, glue, papier mache paste or mix, paper tape or masking tape, gesso, and sand paper.

Casting and Molding

Casting and molding is an advanced armor-creation technique that will require knowledge of how to work with materials such as, plastic, resin, and rubber compounds. The most common resins used by cosplayers are polyester, urethane, and epoxy. The molds are usually made from scratch using either a putty or a paste, but the material will also depend on the type of resin you’re going to use to hold it in.

Advanced armor cosplayers go the extra mile by learning how to craft leather, chainmail, fiberglass, and other advanced materials. Even your skills at other crafts, such as dressmaking and sculpting, will also be a bonus when creating armor.

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Get to Know the Good Bacteria in Your Food

You might have heard of the name good bacteria in advertisements of probiotic or super food, but do you know which microorganisms are considered beneficial and what they can do for our health?

Not all the germs we come in contact with or live in our body can cause diseases. In fact, a lot of bacteria help keep our bodies function properly, particularly by breaking down our food.

Probiotics

The word probiotic refers to both the method of preparation of a food or ingredient and the act of introducing good microorganisms into the body. Probiotic food often comes from fermented food, but fermentation has been overtaken by other methods of food preparation, that is why most of us don’t get the good bacteria in our food.

By adding probiotic food in your diet, you will improve not just your digestion, but your overall health because of the efficiency in nutrient absorption and conversion. The best probiotic food are yogurt, fermented milk like kefir, fermented soy like miso, fermented tea like kombucha, green pickle, and pickled sauerkraut like kimchi.

The Good Bacteria

These are the good bacteria you might find in your probiotic food.

Bacillus coagulans

This good bacterium is used to treat various gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s even useful while recovering from respiratory diseases and immune response diseases. Bacillus coagulans is recommended as a dietary supplement besides the medication for treatment of these diseases.

Lactobacillus acidophilus

The most well-known good bacterium is the Lactobacillus acidophilus, but other lactobacilli (more than 80 species to date are considered probiotic) are also used in probiotic food and supplements to help in the digestion of food. L. acidophilus is naturally found in our intestines and is responsible for the production of hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid, which can create an unsafe environment for possibly harmful bacteria in our body. It’s not that hard to repopulate your L. acidophilus because they’re quite common in yogurt.

Streptoccocus thermophilus and S. salivarius

S. thermophilus is also used to treat diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, other digestion problems, and most importantly, lactose intolerance problems. They’re quite common in probiotic products such as mozzarella cheese, yogurt, and other fermented dairy food. Meanwhile, S. salivarius has been found to help improve the symptoms of bad breath, which is probably why its genus refers to the saliva.

Bifidobacterium bifidum and B. breve

Bifidobacterium bifidum is known to help people with stomach ulcers, because they can repair the damage caused by a harmful bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. On the other hand, Bifidobacterium breve is known to help improve the symptoms of childhood constipation according to several studies.

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12 Best Western-Themed Video Games

With Red Dead Redemption 2 already out, you might be wondering what other Western-themed titles you can play when you have finally exhausted all the possible activities in the game. Here are some of the best in the genre.

Red Dead Redemption (2010)

If you haven’t played this game, you do not need to catch up on the story to understand RRDR2. The new game is a prequel to this title which follows a former outlaw who is hunting for the people responsible for the murder of his wife and his son.

Gun (2005)

This open world game follows Colton White, an Apache marksman. It is set in 1880 and includes areas in New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas, and Colorado.

Sunset Riders (1991)

This side-scrolling game introduces Billy, Bob, Cormano, and Steve who are bounty hunters looking for the most wanted criminals in the American Old West. The game is divided into several stages each ending with the primary target outlaw.

Outlaws (1997)

One of the first-person shooters in the Western genre, it was also the first game to introduce the sniper zoom detail. The player follows the story of a retired marshal who is looking for his kidnapped daughter.

Westerado: Double Barreled (2015)

This open world game has the similar storyline for most of the Western games on this list: you control a character looking for criminals responsible for the murder of your family.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (2009)

If you enjoyed the first game in this series, this sequel focuses on the events two decades after the first. It is set in the American Civil War and follows the adventures of Ray and Thomas McCall, deserters who fled to save their home.

Wild Arms (1996)

Although set on an alien planet and has several fantasy elements, it takes all the important points in the Western genre for an interesting merging of concepts.

Darkwatch: Curse of the West (2005)

This one combines the elements of Western with steampunk and horror. Players control a vampire and gunfighter named Jericho Cross who is out to defeat a secret organization.

Hard West (2015)

Set in a fictionalized American Old West, players get to fight not just outlaws but metaphysical enemies such as ghosts and demons as well. It also has a turn-based tactical mode besides the strategic exploration.

Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive (2001)

This real-time tactics game allows for control of six characters, with the leader taking the role of John Cooper. The goal is to find and defeat El Diablo with the help of his friends.

Red Dead Revolver (2004)

This is actually the first game in the Red Dead series and follows the story of two friends Nate and Griff.

The Oregon Trail (1985)

One of the most iconic video games ever, you should at least have played this game if you are a fan of the western genre. Players control a wagon of settlers on their way to Willamette Valley in Oregon.

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Sleepless Singapore

They say the more money you make, the less you sleep. Well, with that analogy, poverty in Singapore is hardly critical, which might make it safe to say that Singaporeans sleep less. At three in the morning, you will find healthy and active Singaporean citizens going for a run in the park or around the condos. Does the city ever sleep?

Sleep vs. productivity

There are two major questions we can ask concerning this topic: Namely, what keeps us awake and is our lack of sleep destructive for them? The usual working hours for everyone in the world is around eight to five but normally for Singaporeans, this could go up to nine or ten. How do they survive with limited sleep and what do you think keeps them awake at night?

One of the laws in Singapore is that you cannot drink in public places from 10:30pm-7am in the morning. Unless you want to spend hour nights in a bar that usually closes around 2 AM, you won’t be able to use alcohol and going out at night as an excuse for you lacking sleep. Well, the real problem here is actually not concerning the locations in which Singaporeans spend their time on but rather the hobbies that Singaporeans spend their time with.

Are we using our time correctly?

Social media in Singapore is very strong and eats up approximately 3 hours of every Singaporeans day just to scroll down or communicate with others. This is usually the reason why most people are not able to sleep very well very often. Now, is lacking sleep usually a bad thing? Well, this answer totally depends, if you are over stressed and not taking care of your fitness, then the lack of sleep is definitely bad for you.

But as most Singaporeans tend to take care of their health by keeping up a regular cardio, watching what they eat, handling stress, or train themselves to function efficiently, the results of getting the minimum amount of sleep isn’t so bad. Singapore may be a land of opportunity but does that mean sleep has to be sacrificed?

Finding the right balance

Well, it all depends on the lifestyle you live and how you balance it. Too much of anything isn’t good and you have to know yourself well enough to resist the things that aren’t good for you. Self-discipline may be a dreadful word for most but once you learn more about self-discipline and time management, you’ll realize that it’s definitely possible to fit more amazing three things into your life.

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A Beautiful Vulnerability: Why it’s Worth the Try

Wearing your heart on your sleeves, especially if you’re not used to doing so is never an easy process. How many times did you feel dreadful to tell a partner or parent how much you needed their support? Or maybe you avoided an issue with your S.O because you didn’t like to appear unlovable. Perhaps you bounced on a friend when their emotions felt too overwhelming. Either this fear or shame constitute core vulnerability, an emotional state that is terrifying to you in reaction to which you’ve developed strong defenses Steven Stosny, Ph.D., explains.

Stosny points out that there are two types of core vulnerability 1.) Fear of harm, deprivation or isolation 2.) Shame of failure or loss. People whose core vulnerability is fear will most likely risk shame if they have to, in order to prevent themselves from experiencing their fears; while those whose core vulnerability is shame, will risk harm, deprivation and isolation to at least avoid feeling like a failure.

No matter what your core vulnerability is, the fear of opening up is common and highly influenced by the early connections we had in our lives. Research published on International Journal of Psychological studies suggest that the more stable, predictable and loving relationships one had growing up, the lesser the concerns there will be in letting others in upon reaching adulthood.

Refusal to reveal your authentic self makes you put up a persona of likeability or even selfishness. Hiding what feelings underneath this façade may lead to walking a dark alley alone. As an article in singhealth.com.sg points out, keeping a tight lid on feelings will intensify such and may drive one to deep levels of depression. Here are realistic thoughts why vulnerability is worth the risk:

No one can emotionally hurt you without your consent

Say you always wanted to wear red swimsuit that feels like so you with that Baywatch babe feels, but you never had the nerve to pull it off until now. Then while you’re out soaking at the beach, someone approaches you and comments you look fat.

Even if we assume this is a rude person, she did not harm you. If she approached and told you your hair was on fire, you’d possibly laugh at it. But when she said you look fat, you feel hurt. Why? Because you have your own belief about the idea of fat and you associate it with feelings of unworthiness. But this gal was just holding up a mirror that reflects your system of beliefs.

She gave you a reminder that you equate “fat” with “unworthiness” and you hurt yourself by thinking just that. You wound your feelings by believing that fat means you don’t deserve to wear that red swimsuit. Ever.

Vulnerability is a key to connect with yourself and your relationships

When you allow and accept yourself to be vulnerable, fail, make mistakes and have imperfections, you connect with yourself. It opens the way for you to grow, transform and heal for the better.

The people in your closest relationships exist because you allowed them to see the real you. When you hide or pretend to be likeable, you cut people off from the authentic you. You become invisible to your own tribe.

You reject yourself before anyone has

When you avoid being vulnerable to avoid rejection in the end, remember that you have rejected yourself first before anyone did. And this sound like “I would really love to audition for that singing contest, but I think others are better singers than me so I’ll just pass at it.”

That thing right there is the rejection you hand to yourself. You seek to protect yourself from the idea of rejection and yet you pull the trigger to your own.

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