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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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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8 Tips to Help You Manage Your Time

Many of Singapore’s millennials are sleep-deprived for numerous reasons, some related to work either on-the-job or in school. Surely, it’s not easy to say that there is a clear answer to being more productive and working efficiently. But, learning to manage our time effectively can maybe help ease out on the stacking papers.

1. Wake up early
You’ll be surprised at how many things you get done in the morning if you get out of bed early. You’ll be able to think more clearly about your objectives for the day, you can get some exercise in to get yourself energized, and you can even get to work and start early.

2. Establish goals
Determine the things you have to do and finish for the day. Having a list can help make it clear to yourself that you’d want to finish these tasks as efficiently as possible. You’ll also be able to determine which things to prioritize and things you can simply do for later.

3. Set a time limit for each task
Establish a time limit in which to finish a task. By doing so, you challenge yourself to fully commit to finishing that task while not getting distracted. This can help you focus and complete the task successfully and possibly faster.

4. Finish the important ones first
Prioritize the bigger, or more important tasks before anything else. You don’t want to start with the smaller and easier ones and be too tired to finish the major tasks later on. And because you’ve finished, you will find yourself relieved of a heavy burden.

5. Take breaks
Some may think that this is counterintuitive to time management. “How can taking a break even help us save time?” But having our brain work non-stop doesn’t really help us in the long run. Giving our mind a time to rest can help keep it fresh and alert.

6. Avoid multitasking
Many would think that they’re good at multitasking, but this is actually a delusion. When we do multiple things at once, we’re making ourselves more prone to making mistakes. We’ll then waste more time trying to fix our mistakes rather than spending the time to make progress.

7. Do something while waiting
There will be times when you’re not doing anything relatively important, like if you get stuck in line or when you’re just sitting on your commute. In these times, try to read books or listen to their audio versions. This isn’t multitasking, though, because you’re only doing one thing.

8. Say no
Sometimes, the temptation to go out with your friends can far outweigh your intentions of finishing a project. But instead of accepting invitations directly, developing the habit of saying no to unnecessary things can help you use your time more efficiently.

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Benefits of Waking Up Early

Many of us hate that worn out, groggy feeling that we get when we wake up early. Sometimes waking up is just hard to do. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of benefits to getting out of bed early. And here are only some of them.

You get to have breakfast
When you rise up early, you can get an important meal off first thing in the morning. Being able to get a healthy breakfast can be a start to better eating habits. You won’t have to feel too hungry and end up eating food full of sugar and fat while waiting for lunch. If you’re late to rise, you often have to rush and just get something “convenient” instead of having a full, healthy meal.

A time to exercise
Waking up early gives you the opportunity to get some exercise in your daily routine. Of course, exercising can be done any time of the day, even after work. But chances are you’re going to be too tired or you’ll still have obligations at work or with your family. Furthermore, exercising in the morning can give you a boost and keep you energized throughout the day.

Better sleep
Having enough time to sleep by going to bed early and waking up early can improve sleep quality. If you consistently sleep and wake up at the same times each day, you will find that you’ll be sleeping deeper and more comfortably. When the body gets used to your schedule, it will help our internal body clock and facilitating sleep more naturally.

Increases productivity
Establishing your goals first thing in the morning will help you achieve accomplish them. After waking up from a good, quality sleep, the brain becomes fresh and ready to hustle. You’ll be able to focus more and make better decisions. There will also be less interruptions early in the morning so you can get things done without much to distract you.

A time to enjoy peace and quiet
These days, it’s very hard to get some “quiet time” for yourself. The silence and peacefulness early in the morning allows you to enjoy a certain calmness and may help you have an amazing start for the day. In addition, because you get nearly no distractions, you can have a time to think about important things and focus on your day.

Easier commute
Traffic really isn’t much of an issue in Singapore because of its efficient road network, but the rush hour crowd is no joke. Especially with the MRT being used by thousands daily. But when you wake up early and leave for work early, you get to avoid contesting for a ride and get in a train that’s not too crowded. Plus, remember that you get 50-cent discounts when you enter stations before 7:45am.

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How You Can Fix Broken China at Home

Seeing cracks on a favorite piece of chinaware can be really frustrating, and even more so when it breaks or shatters into lots of tiny pieces.

However, damaged china doesn’t always have to stay damaged. There are different ways to repair broken china using all kinds of tools and epoxies (the process is still cleaning and gluing the broken pieces).

Securing the Pieces
The first thing you need to do is gather all the broken pieces and them in place. While it’s not a good idea to hold two pieces together by hand for a long time, you can hold them together using different methods.

There are ways to secure pieces:

• With sand (bury one piece halfway, broken side up, and secure the other broken pieces using clothespins);
• With clamps (be careful since this may add more strain to the porcelain); and
• With modeling clay (molded around the part where the two broken pieces connect).

Make sure the pieces are aligned properly before proceeding to bond them together with a filling or glue.

Fixing the Cracks
Once the pieces are held down, it’s time to There are a few techniques and materials used in filling the cracks made in porcelain to help restore its strength and appearance:

• Epoxy Filling – Applying epoxy filler directly is the easiest way to seal most cracks and add as filler for small chip marks on ceramic, since the excess epoxy can be scraped and left to dry overnight.

• Peg – Long, deep cracks in chinaware (excluding thin, fine, or bone china) can be fixed by adding copper wire and epoxy filler with the help of ceramic repair supplies.

• Using Milk – For hairline cracks, place the piece in a pot with about two or more cups of milk and let it simmer for about an hour. After this, turn off the heat and allow the bath to cool before rinsing the piece.

Keep in mind that repaired pieces can only be used for display and not for eating, since the adhesives used for them are toxic. The only exception for this is for those pieces repaired using milk.

If these methods don’t work for your piece/s, your last resort is to send them to a professional restoration service to restore your chinaware to their former state.

Hiring a Professional Restorer
If the piece is heavily cracked or shattered into many small pieces, the best way to get it fixed is to send it to a professional restorer with the tools, expertise, and the space for fixing different pieces.

There are different levels of service that a restorer can offer, from the bare minimum crack sealing, to higher quality services, such as shade matching, UV testing, and even using special epoxy coatings.

Professional restorers also provide online estimates, which helps you know if the process (wait time included, which can take several months depending on the piece) is worth the cost.

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