The 15 Best Anti-Heroes in Video Games

Not all of the most iconic video game characters are heroes. Some of them have a dark past and have made no-so-heroic decisions to achieve their goals.

Wario of the Super Mario series – He is the arch-rival of the series’ protagonist, and why not? His name is Japanese means “bad,” and he was always jealous of Mario and Luigi even as kids.

Alex Mercer of PrototypeThis shapeshifter and a superhuman, among other things. As he uncovers memories of his past, Alex was forced to act after learning that he was responsible for the plague. However, Alex soon lost his faith in humanity.

Paxton Fettel of F.E.A.R.When Paxton merged with a psionic, he slaughtered several staff of a secret project, had dreams about cannibalism, and had a psychotic breakdown.

Agent 47 of HitmanHe’s not just an ordinary assassin, but a cloned specimen with a spotless record.

Dante of Devil May CryDante’s looking for those responsible for the death of mother and his brother. A half-demon, he takes pleasure in hunting supernatural forces of evil.

Max Payne of Max PayneThis former law officer took it upon himself to look for the criminals responsible for the slaughter of his family.

Garrett of ThiefWhen you are known as the most decorated criminal in The Watch and The City, you’re most likely a person who will do everything it takes for personal gain.

Arthas Menethil of WarcraftThe idealistic crown prince turned into a lich when his desire to become a hero and protect the people made him decide to face a dark threat all by himself. Once he took up a cursed blade, however, he was transformed into a death knight.

James Earl Cash of ManhuntAs a former death row inmate, James was the perfect casting for a snuff film because of his emotionless approach to butchering people.

Kratos of God of WarAfter becoming a pawn of Ares, Kratos soon learned that he was the prophesied son who would eventually usurp Zeus. His rampage against the Olympians was fueled by their trickery and ill use of his powers.

Cole MacGrath of inFamousA simple delivery boy turns into a superhuman with the power of elektrokinesis. After his exploits, however, he was considered as a felon or a bioterrorist because oft eh number of casualties that resulted from a plague.

Kazuma Kiryu of YakuzaHe had plans for the future with the Dojima Family, but it all came crashing down when he was pinned as a suspect for the death of the family patriarch.

Alucard of CastlevaniaDespite being the son of Dracula, Alucard took it upon himself to oppose his father after his mother’s passing.

Sweet Tooth of Twisted MetalWhen you have a face of a killer clown, it’s not easy to convince people that you’re a good guy.

Trevor Philips of Grand Theft Auto VMostly unstable, resentful, and will easily give to his emotions, Trevor is someone you don’t want to cross. However, he shows a sentimental side that made him the most popular character in the game.

Self-Reflection: Are You Unconsciously Bullying Others?

Bullies need help too like their victims, in fact much more so because they have a lot of problems to deal with, not the least of which is to acknowledge their horrible actions and how they cause harm to people.

If you are reading this, then you might have been called a bully once. If that is so, then you are on the right track to becoming a better person because acknowledgement is the first and most difficult step to take.

A bully doesn’t always need to physically abuse victims

Most bullies who are never reprimanded for their actions are excellent emotional manipulators because they know they don’t need to resort to physical violence to scare their victims. Are you the type who always get what you want even at the inconvenience of other people? Have you been called bossy occasionally?

A bully isn’t just a grade schooler

Bullies exist in workplaces. They are usually the ones who love to order people around even if they have no authority do so; use threats to make people yield for them; and always has a beef with someone and doesn’t seem to have a lot of close friends.

You have a short temper

You don’t have to throw tantrums at work to be considered a bully, because passive aggressive comments that you think are clever can be considered a form of bullying. You love humiliating people and seeing them get embarrassed even more despite acknowledging they made a mistake.

You’re fascinated with insecure people

Bullies feel strong around people who have low self-esteem and avoid confrontation. Just because no one wants to stand up to you doesn’t mean you are strong. In fact you are weak, because you can only exercise your power on people who don’t want any conflict. You can also be a bully if you love evoking discomfort in another person and seeing them fail.

You don’t understand difference

Do you think your co-worker or classmate looks different than most people? Does someone you know speak or dress differently than you? The world is bigger than the bubble you build around yourself and everyone is unique.

It is none of your business what the other person looks like, prefers to dress in, who to date, and what to do on their spare time and with their money. If you can’t wrap your head around the idea of diversity, then the problem isn’t the world, it’s you.

You have plenty of problems yourself

There is no excuse for bullying, even if you were bullied yourself before. Think about why you bully other people now; is it because you’re angry at someone? Do you feel insecure? Does your victim deserve the shame? Remember the problem is with you, not your victim so if you are having a difficult time acknowledging your mistakes and don’t know how to deal with it, seek help and make amends.

4 Cold Soup Recipes for Your Family

Who says you can only enjoy soup on rainy days in Singapore? Try these cold soup recipes to cool down this summer.

Chlodnik

Ingredients: 2 grated cucumbers, 1 pound beets with greens, 1 grated dill pickle, 1 ½ cups kefir/buttermilk, ¾ cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons scallions, 4 halved hard-boiled eggs, 2 teaspoons dill, 4 cups water, and salt

Preparation: Separate the stems and greens on the beets. Scrub the beets before placing them in a pot with water. Bring pot to a boil, then uncover and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and let the beets cool. In a separate pot, place the beet stems and greens with 4 cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt.

Bring to a boil then simmer for about 5 minutes. While cooling, grate the beets then add them to the beet stems and greens. Stir in cucumber, pickle brine, pickle, buttermilk, scallions, sour cream, and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Cover the pot and chill for 30 minutes. Serve with dill and eggs.

Smoky Salmorejo

Ingredients: ¼ teaspoon grated garlic, 2 pounds halved tomatoes, 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, 4 bread slices with crusts removed, ¼ cup smoked olive oil, 4 seedless green grapes, 1 tablespoon roasted almonds, and salt

Preparation: Grate the tomatoes and discard the skins. Make cubes out of the bread slices and toss with the grated tomatoes to create a mixture. Place the mixture in a food processor then wait for 15 minutes before pulsing it. Then, add vinegar and grated garlic and gradually pour the smoked olive oil. Strain the mixture in a bowl and season with salt before covering and refrigerating it for at least an hour. Serve with smoked olive oil, grapes or almonds.

Golden Beet Gazpacho

Ingredients: 1 pound peeled and steamed golden beets, 1 garlic clove, 1 shallot, 1 peeled and seeded cucumber, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cups water, and sea salt

Preparation: Place all the ingredients except salt in the food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt, more sherry vinegar or lemon juice if desired, then chill for an hour. Garnish with your choice of toppings (micro greens, chives, avocado, and hemp seeds).

Chilled Yogurt Soup

Ingredients: 2 cups plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup walnuts, ¼ cup dried rose petals, 1 ½ cups ice water, ½ seedless and peeled cucumber, ½ cup golden raisins, ¼ cup mint, ¼ cup chives, ¼ cup dill, salt and pepper, and ground sumac

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350°F while spreading the walnuts in an oven-safe plate. Toast walnuts for 10 minutes, then cool before chopping. In a bowl, combine rose petals with cold water and let stand for 20 minutes. Drain then squeeze the petals dry.

In another bowl, whisk yogurt with ice water, then stir in cucumber, dill, raisins, walnuts, chives, mint, and rose petals. Season with salt and pepper before refrigerating for about an hour. Serve with sprinkled sumac.

Tips on Teaching Kids on Emergency Preparation

Earthquakes and floods are becoming more common in recent years even in Singapore, that is why people should be prepared to act appropriately when needed to avoid panic and injuries. These can be frightening even for adults, but children’s preparedness for disasters are usually overlooked unless there is an occasional school drill.

Here are tips on how you can prepare your kids at home for emergencies.

Read up on natural disasters

Understanding what happens during an emergency might help family members calm down and to think of better ways to deal with the situation. Explain why they need to be calm and to acknowledge that fear is normal but it should not get in the way of doing what is supposed to be done.

Even children who cannot yet read will be able to pick up useful information by reading books on topics such as earthquakes, flooding, waterspouts, heatwaves, etc.

Prepare emergency kits

No one can be fully prepared for unpredictable natural phenomena, but you can control what your family should do during and after an emergency. There might come a time when you might have to ask them to help treat a wound or fracture or how to call for help when you are injured or immobilized. Older children should know basic first aid and how to use a flashlight or emergency light, mobile phone, and to pack light essentials in a few minutes.

Let them participate in emergency preparation

Ask the children to help identify items needed for an emergency including where to find flashlights or emergency lights, finding the emergency exits and stairs, and what to bring during an evacuation. Letting them read a checklist can keep their minds preoccupied to avoid panic.

Don’t forget to plan where to meet and how to get there in case you get separated during an evacuation. Children should be familiar of the escape/evacuation routes in the apartment complex. You can do this by drawing a map or showing them where the stairs and exits are. Role-playing is also a fun way to help them remember the information.

Prepare them for school

Schools occasionally schedule a drill, but you can also help b using the same techniques needed at home. They should have your contact number and address at all times in case they get separated. If possible, you can post important information such as blood type and allergies on the child’s identification.

Teach them when to call for help

What if your child encounters another person who might be in need of help? Children should be taught how to assess an emergency situation without having to use a lot of medical terms. It can be as simple as pointing out that if someone is lying down on the ground, the person might need help.

Before calling for help, however, remind them that they should be somewhere safe before calling for help. Then, make them remember and understand keywords such as “ambulance” and “emergency” if their vocabulary is limited.

Introducing the New Food Pyramid

Most legitimate diet programs have a chart or diagram that lists down how much nutrient or vitamin your body needs on a daily basis. The most famous diagram used for nutrition is perhaps the food or diet pyramid that illustrates the ideal serving for each basic food group.

As a parent with growing kids, it is important not only to keep your children well-fed but to feed them the right food for optimal growth. Here is a brief guide to the food pyramid nutrition.

Purpose

The purpose of the food pyramid is to provide an easy guide for healthy eating, which means there is a clear illustration of how much carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, fat, and minerals are needed to be healthy. The division of the type of food is based on the type of nutrients they contain. The aim of following the guide is to get the right balance of all the essential good stuff without over-consumption of the other food groups.

Old Pyramid

The structure of the pyramid should tell you that you should not consume more of the food that belongs to the top, but you need to eat more of each food group from the second level to the bottom level. This can be used both to maintain a healthy weight or to gain weight because there is a minimum and maximum number of servings for each food group.

In the old pyramid food group, you should consume sweets, oil, and fats the least because they belong on the top of the pyramid. Below that are classified milk, yogurt, and cheese as well as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts. You should only have 2 or 3 servings per day. After that are the vegetables and fruits, which you will need 2 to 4 servings to meet daily requirements.

At the bottom of the pyramid are bread, cereal, rice and pasta; which means you should eat 6 to 11 servings per day. In the old pyramid, the ideal calorie level for women, children and elderly is about 1,600, while for teenage boys and girls it should be between 2,200 to 2,800.

New Pyramid

The new food pyramid is updated to emphasize a balanced diet without having to count calories. It also has six food groups instead of the five from the old pyramid. Instead of the rows from top to bottom, the pyramid is now divided into columns. On the leftmost column belong grains, especially whole grains in which the daily recommended amount is 6 ounces. Next are vegetables which should equal to 2 ½ cups per day.

After that are fruits which should equal to 2 cups daily. Next is a thin column that belongs to oils which should be consumed sparingly. Next is milk or dairy, which should amount to 3 cups daily. Last are meat and beans which should not be more than 5.5 ounces daily. It even has a recommendation of a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise for adults daily, and 60 minutes minimum for children.

Tips for Keeping Your Fish Tank Clean

Freshwater and saltwater aquariums have specific requirements to keep the fish happy and healthy, but there are common practices that you need to remember when maintaining the tanks. If you are a beginner, these are some helpful tips to keep your aquarium clean.

Use two different filtration systems. If you currently only have mechanical filtration installed, which is the type recommended for most beginners, consider installing biological or chemical filtration. There are also other options that combine the best qualities from all three filtration systems.

Use a filter that’s bigger that your tank requirement. Always choose one size bigger when it comes to the basic equipment for the aquarium. This will leave room to add more fish, plants, and decoration. You will also feel assured that you’re getting more than 100% from the filtration system.

Limit the number of decorations. Plastic decor can be home to bacteria and catch debris from leftover food and droppings. They will need to be cleaned once a week, but if you do not want the hassle, switch to rocks and live plants. Not only will they make the tank look more natural, but they can also help keep the water clean.

Do not overfeed. Each species of aquarium fish has a specific requirement for feeding, nutrients, temperature, etc. that you need to remember. The correct amount of food you need to feed the fish should be based on how much they will consume within 5 minutes. If there are a lot of leftovers, the food will spoil and make the water dirtier.

Clean up after feeding. Make it a habit to clean up the leftover food after each feeding. Rotten food will increase ammonia in the water. You can use a fish net or a gravel vacuum to remove the food debris.

Use only premium food. Some fish need to be fed only once or twice daily, so you do not have a reason to go cheap when it comes to food. Choose only the best quality food you can afford that is easy to digest. The better the food, the less dirty the water will be.

Control lighting. Do not place the aquarium near the windows or any heat or light sources because that can affect the algae growth. Make sure that you have the correct lights installed for the tank based on the species’ requirements. There is also a limited amount of time required for plants and fish to be exposed to light.

Consider bottom feeders. Fish are also classified based on where they feed. Bottom-feeders are great for cleaning up debris that sink to the bottom of the tank. There are also other fish that can help with algae control.

Replace the water. You are required to change 25% of the aquarium water once a month. It will be easier to control tank conditions that way. You should also schedule the brushing of the interior of the tank once every few months to remove algae and other debris.

How to Be Fashionable and Eco-Friendly

With so many cheap materials and machines used to make clothing, we are now making more clothes than we will ever need. In fact, according to studies in the fashion industry, clothing and textile garbage make up the second largest polluter in the world next to oil.

However, the problem doesn’t just stop at the disposal of used clothes and the overproduction of clothing and textile in general, but the manufacture and production, too. Textile industry wastes more than 2 billion tons of water annually and the cuttings also contribute to the garbage problem.

As a consumer, is there something you can do to help lessen this problem?

Repair Old Clothes and Shoes

Investing in quality clothes and shoes lets you save money because they are durable and will last long than most cheap materials, needing fewer repairs and replacements. Expensive items are like jewelry that need proper maintenance to make them last longer, that is why you should also invest for cleaning, repair, re-sole/re-heel, or re-dyeing of shoes. Clothes can be repaired by a trusted tailor or made into new clothes.

Stop Buying New Stuff

A lot of people want to have a walk-in closet full a year’s supply of clothes, but like it or not, not everything will fit after a few years or so. Maybe you’ll get thicker (or thinner) or your feet will get slightly bigger (yes, they still keep growing as you age), or maybe the designs and colors are no longer the trend. Invest in clothes that are made from durable materials and with colors and designs that are timeless.

Learn How to Wash Clothes Properly

The wear and tear on the fabric happens during the washing. Even durable fabrics like cotton mixes can be torn and stretched if you don’t follow the proper washing instructions. Dry-cleaning regularly is not the only solution, too, because your clothes will regularly be exposed to chemicals. Skip the tumble dryer if you can. Not only does it use a lot of energy, the heat can also damage fabrics.

Learn How to Sew and Recycle Clothes

Sewing is a basic life skill every adult should know. You can’t just rely on your tailor to reattach a button or change the garter of your clothes. Keep a mending kit at home and learn at least the basic sewing patterns. This skill can also be used for recycling old clothes and other textiles for other use. For example, you can use old materials for cosplaying instead of buying new fabric. Old shirts can also be sewn into tote bags that you can use for groceries.

Know Your Brands

Some top fashion brands now use recycled polyester, organic cotton, wood pulp fabrics and other alternatives for brand new clothes and have cut down the use of water for printing by using digital printing techniques instead of the traditional screen printing.  You can learn about these by reading the labels or visiting the company’s website. Eco-conscious celebrities also endorse some names, so take note!