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Horror Films That Are NOT Campy

Some fans of the horror genre are turned off by so many releases of slasher films that sometimes even turn into a hit movie series. The article isn’t making fun of other people’s choice of the dark and macabre, but sometimes its refreshing to see films that aren’t about semi-human psychopaths with sharp saws for forks.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
This classic silent horror film features the hypnotist Dr. Caligari who uses the somnambulist Cesare to kill people. Francis, who is having problems with his fiancee, investigates the murder of his friend Alan who earlier had visited Cesare.

Hellraiser (1987)
This is the first of Clive Barker’s films of a gruesome tale of Frank who was resurrected after he escaped an alternate dimension populated by Cenobites. His niece Julia had solved a puzzle box and meets Pinhead, the leader of the Cenobites.

Fallen (1998)
Detective John Hobbes investigates murders which seemed to have been copied by a recently executed serial killer whom he captured earlier. Further investigation revealed that another detective in the past uncovered the mystery but ended up committing suicide.

Uzumaki (2000)
Based on the manga of the same title by Junji Ito, it’s a frightening tale of a town obsessed with spirals. Kirie is disturbed by one of Kurouzu’s resident’s love for the patterns on a snail. He later went inside a washing machine to find more spirals.

Secret Window (2004)
Based on a novella by Stephen King, it tells about the descent of Morton Rainey into madness. He was in the process of divorcing his wife and was trying to finish his work, but someone is accusing him of plagiarism.

Three… Extremes (2005)
It’s a compilation of three short films from East Asian writers and directors. “Dumplings” is about an actress who wants to become younger following her discover of her husband’s infidelity. “Cut” is about a film director who is threatened by one of his extras because of jealousy. “Box” tells the story of Kyoko who recalls her frightening past as a circus performer.

The Descent (2005)
Six friends enter a cave system in the Appalachian Mountains and were trapped. One of the women, Juno, claimed that she led them to an unknown cave system so she can restore their friendship. In the cave, they find human-looking creatures.

Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Ofelia and her mother move in with Captain Vidal. She was led by a stick insect to a stone labyrinth where a faun tells her that she is the Princess Moanna, the daughter of the king of the underworld. Ofelia has to perform three tasks to become immortal.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
Arash was about to pay the drug-dealer Saeed when he found that the latter was murdered. The woman who supposedly killed Saeed found Arash after he was drugged and lost. Not knowing what she was, Arash gave her the earrings he was supposed to use as payment for Saeed.

Procedures in Diagnosing Cardiovascular Diseases

If you are hypertensive or there are abnormalities found in your heart during a general check-up, your primary doctor in Singapore will recommend heart screening to determine if you have a cardiovascular disease.

If you see symptoms that are associated with heart diseases, you should look for the best cardiologist at the nearest hospital. Different techniques are employed by the cardiologist whom you will be referred to. Let’s look at each procedure.

Checking Your Blood Pressure

The first part in a heart screening is the manual checking of your blood pressure. In this procedure, a cardiologist will use a sphygmomanometer to check the systolic and diastolic pressures. This is usually a good indicator if you have hypertension. The systolic pressure is the upper number and indicates the pressure of the blood on the artery walls. The diastolic pressure is the lower number indicating the pressure on the artery walls when the heart is at rest. The result is measured in mm Hg, and the normal blood pressure is no more than 120/80 mm Hg.

Electrocardiogram

Electrocardiogram or ECG or EKG is a procedure that records the electrical activity of the heart. The result, which is read by either a technician or cardiologist, will show if there are abnormal rhythms or arrhythmias and heart muscle damage in the heart. Each electrical impulse that causes the muscles of the heart to pump will be recorded, particularly the timing of the top and lower chambers of the heart. The cardiologist will look at the interval of the waves and the amount of electrical activity.

Echocardiogram

Echocardiogram, also called echo, uses high-pitched sound waves to assess the condition of the chambers and valves and the pumping action of the heart. You can click here for more info on heart check before going for one. On a monitor, this heart screening process will show an image created by the sound waves that bounce off the parts of the organ. The heart doctor will use an ultrasound probe over the skin surface of the patient. There are three types of echocardiograms; Doppler, transthoracic, stress and transesophageal echocardiogram.

Cardiac CT Scan

The computed tomography scan uses X-rays to check the heart and the blood vessels. There are three types of cardiac CT scan based on what the cardiologist is trying to look for. Coronary calcium scan is for determining the build-up of calcium deposits in the arteries. CT angiography is done to monitor blockages and changes in the arteries. A cardiac CT scan is also done to check the pulmonary arteries and aorta. This last technique is a combination of the two.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI of the heart uses radiofrequencies and magnets to create images of the heart and blood vessels. This procedure will determine the health of your heart’s valves, the major vessels and even the presence of other abnormalities in the system. A heart surgeon will also require a magnetic resonance angiography or MRA before any heart procedure is performed on a patient.

Thallium Scans

Thallium scans are also called myocardial perfusion scans. In this procedure, a laboratory technician will intravenously inject radioactive sestamibi so that a camera can take photos of the heart. It is recommended by a cardiologist so that the blood supply to the heart can be viewed. This will tell him/her if there are areas in the heart that do not receive enough blood. There are four types of thallium scans used in hospitals in Singapore today.

Blood Tests

Blood tests will also be recommended by the cardiologist especially for hypertensive patients who are taking medication. The tests will check the level of cholesterol and triglycerides, sugar, C-reactive protein or CRP, ceramides, brain or B-type natriuretic peptide, creatine kinase or CK, creatine kinase-MB, cardiac troponin or troponin T, myoglobin, and urine albumin/creatinine ratio. The cardiologist will ask you to have a 12 to 14-hour fast before cardiac blood tests are performed. Don’t forget to tell him/her about other medications and supplements that you’re taking.

Stress Test

A stress test may be done by asking the patient to use a treadmill or a stationary bike. Also called exercise ECG, the result of this test will tell the heart doctor in Singapore if a person’s breathing and blood pressure are within normal range during and after a strenuous physical activity. The cardiologist may also administer medicines which will stress the heart during the procedure. The result will help the heart doctor determine if the patient has a high risk of developing coronary artery disease. This is also a way for the heart surgeon to determine if the patient can start exercising after a heart surgery was performed.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization or coronary angiogram is done by placing a narrow hollow tube into the artery in your upper leg, arm or the heart. When the dye is injected, X-ray photos will be taken as it travels through the patient’s heart. The cardiologist will recommend this procedure to determine the extent of the narrowing in the arteries, the functioning of the valves and others.

Positron Emission Tomography Scan

Also called PET scan, it a procedure that looks for signs of damage or abnormalities in the flow of blood and the heart muscles. PET scan is a nuclear scan that uses a radioactive tracer that is given intravenously. You will be asked to lie down in a scanner so the technician can record the signals on the monitor. The heart doctor might recommend a PET F-18 FDG scan to look for damages in the heart. The heart surgeon will also ask for this procedure to assess your condition after a heart surgery.

Tilt Table Test

In this test, you will be asked to lie down on a table. The laboratory technician will secure you on the table with straps and connect an ECG and a blood pressure monitor. The table will tilt you in standing and lying positions alternately to see if your blood pressure and pulse rate suddenly change when you are lying down or standing up.

Introduction to Trading Card Games

If you think card games are a thing of the past, well think again. Collectible card games have a lot of fans among grownups and it’s an industry that still sells millions around the world. Collectors spend as much money for cards as those who play video games. Other video game franchises also have trading card versions.

Origin of Trading Card Games
Known as TCG, it’s also called the collectible card game. It started in 1993 as a different type of playing cards similar to a 52-card deck. Card games have been recorded since the 12th century. There were baseball card collectibles in the early 1900s but there were no definite rules on how to play them.

The rules employed in TCG are much more complex and the cards vary. It’s like playing a strategy tabletop game. TCG is different from another type of game called deck-building game in which players use the cards as a sort of currency during a game.

The player collects cards with different attributes and features by random. Players can also trade cards or packs.

The first TCG was Magic: The Gathering by Richard Garfield. It is still considered today as the best TCG.

How Do I Play
Beginners can usually start with an intro deck consisting of basic cards that can be put into play. By collecting more cards, trading with other players and buying booster packs, the player can have more choices during the duels.

Cards usually contain instructions on how they are used. The different TCGs have their own set of rules, but we’ll be using Magic: The Gathering or MTG as an example.

The players begin the game with a life of 20 points each. Each one must have at least 60 cards. Once a player’s life is at zero, the remaining player will win. They take turns attacking each other using creatures and casting spells. In MTG, there are seven types of cards, namely; land, creature for attacking and defending, artifacts for equipment and items, enchantment, planeswalker which has abilities different from creatures, and sorcery and instants which can both be cast only once. The rules take time to master, but once you know how the cards work, you will be hooked. To cast spells for example, you have to understand how mana works. In MTG, you have to cast cards called lands to obtain mana.

The Best Trading Card Games of All Time
If you want to give TCG a shot, here are the best games you should check out. Some of these games also have digital versions.

1. Magic: The Gathering
2. Yu-Gi-Oh!
3. Pokemon
4. Duel Masters
5. HEX: Shards of Fate
6. World of Warcraft
7. Scrolls
8. Urban Rivals
9. Legend of the Five Rings
10. Vampire: The Eternal Struggle
11. Star Wars: The Card Game
12. Middle-Earth Collectible Card Game
13. Shadowfist
14. Android: Netrunner

Essential Items Men Should Have

You don’t have to be vain to consider owning these items. Not only will they help your appearance, but you’ll feel more confident as well.

Wristwatch. Invest in a quality wristwatch. That is the only accessory, besides your wedding ring, respectable-looking man will ever need to make a good impression.

Cologne. Having your own signature scent can be attractive to the ladies. Don’t pick a bottle randomly. Find a scent that matches your personality and lifestyle and make it your own.

Wallet. Not all men like the idea of carrying huge bags to work, but you will still need a wallet for important small items like your cards. A well-made leather wallet can last for a long time.

Travel Bag. Whether you choose a sling bag or a back pack, always have an extra bag for traveling separate from the one you bring to the office.

Grooming Kit. Yes, there are grooming kits made especially for men. Included in the set should be a comb, nail clippers, hair styling products like gel and lip balm.

Dopp Kit. The name comes from the man who invented the pouches for toiletry of soldiers. It’s similar to your grooming kit too. The set should include shampoo, deodorant, soap and facial wash, toothbrush and toothpaste, lotion and a shaving kit.

Sunglasses. The weather in Singapore can be harsh on your body including your eyes. Squinting isn’t stylish either. You can also hide dark spots under the eyes by wearing shades.

Toolbox. You should always be ready for emergencies and repairs at home. Have screwdrivers, hammer, pliers, power tools and other items handy. Place them in a container that is easy to store and carry.

Multipurpose Tool. You can’t bring your toolbox at the office so you should at least have a pocket tool for emergencies. Pick a Swiss knife or a pocket knife. A small bottle opener can also be handy during special occasions.

Journal and Pen. Even if you can use your smartphone to record data, you might still need pen and paper to write down information quickly. There are journals that look sleek and stylish and can fit in your pockets.

Full-Sized Umbrella. You wouldn’t want to walk under the rain and get your clothes soaked. Choose a black umbrella if you’re worried about colors and patterns that stand out.

Headphones/Earphones. If you love listening to music while you work, you should have headphones in your bag. You can also choose earphones with built-in mic to answer calls.

Factors to Consider Before Deciding to Own a Pet

Having a pet at home offers enormous health, social and emotional benefits. In fact, even just seeing mine run around the house is already enough to inspire me to start each day right. But I have to say though that being a pet owner is not for everyone. So if you’re thinking of getting a pet, here are some factors that you should first consider before you bring one home.

1. Time to Care for Pets

One of the most important factors you should consider before becoming a pet owner is if you actually have the time to care for your chosen pet. Caring for domestic pets like cats and dogs will require a considerable amount of your time and attention. This is especially true for dogs, since they tend to feel lonely when left alone for longer periods. If you won’t be able to devote enough time to interact or play with your pet, then consider getting pets that are less demanding with time and attention, such as a fish.

2. Cost of Caring for Pets

Ensuring the health of pets like birds, cats and dogs can be costly, especially if they get injured or ill. Consider talking to other pet owners to get a good idea of the cost of veterinary care. By doing this, you can set the right budget for both regular and emergency veterinary visits.

3. Suitable Environment

Different pets require different environments. While pets like gerbils, cats and fishes are fine with almost any type of dwelling, dogs tend to do better in certain environments. They can be happy in both high-rise buildings and houses as long as there’s an access to outdoor parks. Also, remember that not all buildings and establishments in Singapore allow pets so be sure to check with your building rules first before you proceed on bringing one home.

4. Allergic Reactions

Certain pets won’t be appropriate for your home if you or any member of the family have allergies. Guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and certain breeds of dogs do well with children, but some canine breeds might not be suitable for families with infants. Before taking any pet home, have every member of the household exposed to it first to check if anyone might be allergic.

5. Pet Trainings

Another area that you should be honest with yourself is whether or not you have enough time and ability to train your pet. Certain pets (such as dogs) require a lot of training, while there some that won’t involve any amount of training at all. If you’re a first-time dog owner, see if you and your dog can take an obedience training to know more about proper dog ownership and improve the habits of your dog.

The rewards of owning a pet are great, but do keep in mind that being a pet owner comes with responsibilities too. As long as you have realistic expectations about owning a pet, and make due preparations, then the joy and personal growth you’ll experience with your pet will be limitless.