What are the Condiments Made Of?

We often take them for granted because they are not the most important ingredients in the food, but condiments make meals tastier. So, do you know what’s in your favorite condiments?

Ketchup
Ingredients: Tomatoes, salt, vinegar, sweeteners, onion and garlic, other spices, and flavorings
Trivia: The original ketchup was made from pickled fish or shellfish. Some ketchups today are made not from tomatoes, but other main ingredients like banana and mushroom.

Mustard
Ingredients: powdered mustard seeds, water, and vinegar; others contain wine/beer, oil, sugar, and spices
Trivia: There are different types of mustard based on the three colors of mustard seeds (white, black, and brown). The yellow mustard is white mustard seed plus turmeric, while Asian and most European mustard are made from brown seeds.

Sour Cream
Ingredients: fermented regular cream (mostly butterfat)
Trivia: Sour cream is a dairy product that undergoes bacterial culture which can vary according to the thickening agents used.

Mayonnaise
Ingredients: egg yolk, oil, and vinegar or lemon juice; others add spices and herbs, while some make egg-free mayonnaise
Trivia: There are many speculations to the origin of the word “mayonnaise,” and it was not used as a condiment until the early 19th century.

Worcestershire Sauce
Ingredients: anchovies, brine, garlic in vinegar, tamarinds in molasses, cloves, sugar, shallots, and chilies
Trivia: The mixture is sat for two years and stirred occasionally, then the solids are sifted before it’s bottled.

Tabasco
Ingredients: tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt
Trivia: The name Tabasco is taken from a Mexican state, but it was first made in the Louisiana, USA in 1868.

Soy Sauce
Ingredients: fermented soy beans, water, salt, and roasted grains
Trivia: Creating soy sauce can sometimes take months. There are also more than a hundred types of soy sauce because of the variety of the recipes.

Balsamic Vinegar
Ingredients: different varieties of grapes
Trivia: Creating a true balsamic vinegar in the traditional way is as tedious as creating the best wines. The grapes are crushed, simmered, then transferred to wooden barrels for evaporation and oxidation. Then, red wine vinegar is added and aged for 12 to 150 years.

Wasabi
Ingredients: grated wasabi rhizome; most manufacturers outside Japan use horseradish, starch, mustard, and spinach powder or green food coloring
Trivia: Most of the wasabi paste served with your sushi outside Japan are fake due to the high cost of the wasabi plant.

Fish Sauce
Ingredients: fermented fish with sea salt, herbs and spices
Trivia: Fish sauce is usually made from one species of fish or shellfish. One variety, called kechiap, might have been the inspiration for ketchup.

Salsa
Ingredients: tomatoes, chilies, onion, corn, beans, and other spices
Trivia: The word “salsa” means “sauce” in various languages.

Vinegar
Ingredients: acetic acid (made from fermented ethanol), water, and trace chemicals
Trivia: There are more than a dozen varieties of vinegar all over the world, but they are made through process called fermentation. The most popular types are apple cider, cane vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and coconut/date vinegar.


What is Ichthyosis?

The name might bring images of extinct sea creatures that look more horrifying than sharks, but ichthyosis is a name for a group of skin diseases that is characterized by thick, dry, and scaly skin which make the affected person look like a fish. It is a disfiguring disease that results in the isolation of the victim, because it is a condition that is misunderstood by so many. A study in 2012, however, showed that 200 to 400 cases of moderate to severe types of ichthyosis in Singapore are reported annually.

Types and Symptoms of Ichthyosis
Ichthyosis can be acquired or inherited, the former usually resulting from malignant, inflammatory or hormonal diseases. Some doctors, however, cannot point the exact cause of acquired ichthyosis. Inherited ichthyosis is known to occur if there are mutations in more than 40 genes that are associated with the disease. Genetic ichthyosis will often show symptoms at birth and will affect the person for the rest of his/her life.

The symptoms of this disorder of cornification vary in every form, but the patients all suffer from dry and scaly skin, blistering, redness, skin shedding, pain or itching, and overheating. There are 22 types of ichthyosis that have been studied so far, with the inherited type usually altering the skin cells called keratinocytes found in the outer skin layer or stratum corneum. The 22 types of ichthyosis are grouped into 3; common, autosomal recessive congenital, and keratinopathic ichthyosis.

Common Ichthyoses:
1. Ichthyosis vulgaris
2. Recessive X-linked ichthyosis STS

Autosomal Recessive Congenital Ichthyoses:
1. Lamellar ichthyosis TGM1 and Others
2. Harlequin ichthyosis ABCA12
3. Congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma ALOXE3 and Others

Keratinopathic Ichthyoses:
1. Epidermolytic ichthyosis KRT1 and KRT10
2. Superficial epidermolytic ichthyosis KRT2
3. Ichthyosis Curth-Macklin KRT1
4. Congenital reticular ichthyosiform erythroderma

Other types of ichthyosis include, Collodion baby; Darier disease; epidermal nevus; erythrokeratodermia variabilis; keratitis- ichthyosis-deafness; Netherton syndrome; Pachyonychia congenital; palmoplantar keratodermas; Sjorgen-Larsson syndrome; Chanarin Dorfman syndrome; CHILD syndrome; Conradi-Hunermann; ichthyosis hystrix with deafness syndrome; Refsum disease; and trichothiodystrophy.

Treatments of Ichthyosis
Ichthyosis is diagnosed using prenatal testing for inherited ichthyosis, blood tests, and biopsy. Prenatal testing is recommended for parents who suspect that their baby might inherit the disease. The test will determine the levels of plasma cholesterol sulfate and confirm the absence in fibroblasts of steroid sulphatase. The blood tests and biopsy on the other hand will reveal the thickening in the stratum corneum, degeneration of suprabasal keratinocytes, and the absence of the filaggrin and granular cell layer.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for ichthyosis to date, and the treatments focus on easing the symptoms experienced by the patient such as the use of ointments, creams and lotions. The affected person is advised to bathe in salt water or urea or salicylic acid to reduce the scaling, and to take retinoids or keratolytics if the symptoms are severe.

Infants born with the disease are closely monitored to avoid infection, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, flexibility, skin fragility, and ocular complications.


Tips on How to Stand Out as an Intern

In an internship, many interns desire to go out of their way to leave their mark and become an intern who shines. Instead of merely blending into the background, they would prefer to rather stand out in the eyes of their employer.

However – they somehow lose the drive once they’re assigned to do mundane tasks. This turns into a challenge for them to make their presence memorable to the people they work with around. The good news is, there are ways which an intern can do in order to leave a lasting impression and at the same time, (hopefully) gain eventual job prospects.

• Arrive prepared
One foolproof way to stand out from the rest is to arrive prepared. This leaves a pleasant impression on your colleagues and your employer. Rather than showing up doe-eyed and unprepared, reach out instead. Show initiative by asking if there is anything you can prepare for prior to your first day. Perhaps there’s an ongoing project you can help with, or skills/researching you can apply.

• Get to know your boss
This spans beyond knowing their name and what they ask of you to do. Accordingly, you must get to know your boss’ work style in order for you to go with the flow smoothly. Whenever you have a new boss, make sure to get to know them and the way they work so you can anticipate their possible needs. This will help you assist better in the likely event of project demands and other related tasks.

• Follow your internship description
Prior to starting out your internship, you are likely to be oriented of what’s expected of you and the general tasks you have to take over. Over the course of your internship, some tasks may be replaced with another or you might have additional tasks you have to do – but make sure that they’re still in line with the general description of the position you’ve applied for.

• Communicate
The key to having a smooth relationship with your boss and colleagues is to communicate with them properly. Make sure that you are on the same page with them (in the event of negotiations) to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. Address any issues and concerns that arise as soon as possible to prevent trouble. Also, ensure that your needs are met.

• Get to know the staff
Your boss isn’t the only person you should get to know with over the course of your internship. The people around, the persons you work with, they are also the ones you must acquaint yourself with. Talk to everyone that works at the company during your free time – even with those outside of your own department. This is also one way to make connections and network yourself out there.


The Road to Becoming a Morning Person

Not a lot of people can confidently call themselves true morning persons. In fact, waking up early in the morning is something a lot of us dread doing. Sleeping in sounds just like the perfect idea – but there goes our responsibilities, upcoming deadlines, and other urgent tasks joining in the picture.

The good news is: you can always change your ways. You may not be a natural morning person, but if you begin to change your lifestyle, you can turn into this other person who appreciates waking up early instead.

Becoming a morning person means you’ll become more prepared and on top of your game, not to mention you’re likely ready for whatever comes your way.

1. Follow a bedtime
Following a bedtime is still a good idea even after you’re long done having read bedtime stories for. Accordingly, getting your body acquainted with a bedtime schedule is one way to form healthy sleeping habits. This makes it easier to wake up even in mornings when the sun hasn’t risen fully yet. If you adapt this habit regularly, chances are your body will function as a natural alarm clock!

2. Keep your alarm clock away from bed
The dangers of keeping your alarm clock next to your bed is the temptation of hitting that snooze button to continue sleeping in peace. You may not be in an alert state while doing so, and this might endanger all your important meetings, examinations, and other appointments you have to arrive in time for. If you keep your alarm clock a little further, however, you will be forced to get out of bed just to turn it off.

3. Set an alarm tone
An annoying beep or rising tone may just ruin your mornings. Hearing such a sharp sound first thing in the morning may drive you in your worst mood. In order to avoid waking up on the wrong side of the bed, set your alarm to a music you like. Hearing it in the morning may just allow you to wake up rather calmly. You are also more likely to be in a good mood as well!

4. Open your curtains
One way to let that morning sunshine inside your room is to leave your curtains/blinds open before you sleep. The natural daylight is found to help the brain recognize it is time to wake up in the early morning. If enough daylight finds its way inside your room, perhaps, you may not even need the help of an alarm clock anymore. A sunny room is enough to signal your mind and body that it’s time to rise and shine!


Singaporean Indie Music

What is Indie? Well, this has just recently become a trend. Back in the 2000s, there were so many scenes evolving around the youth that it was just impossible for them to be able to categorize themselves as one. Some of them fit right in while others were caught in between. Back then, there were scenes where people were into hiphop, there were also scenes where people were into punk, there were so many ways for people to associate themselves with a certain scene.

Although there was a wide range of scenes available for people to fit in, some of them just weren’t cut for that scene. Some of them didn’t even want to associate themselves with that specific scene. This is when the hipster phase started to surface. People started to parade how unique they actually were instead of being proud to belong to a certain group, they became proud to stand out. They found beauty in individuality and this is what sort of broke the whole scene format because more and more people started to associate themselves with different things from different scenes.

Hipsters started to put themselves out of the box and would try to stand out as much as possible from the mainstream crowd. Now, what would you listen to if you didn’t want to listen to something mainstream? Well, you would listen to indie music! Most of you still have this huge question stuck in your heads, what is Indie music? To be exact, indie music started when artists felt like they did not belong in the mainstream light and did not want to sign with any labels because of the fear of selling out. Artists wanted to be unique and away from the crowd which is why they wanted their music to be as pure as possible without having to give in to the demands of the public. This is why artists started to publish songs by themselves. You heard me, by themselves!

A huge trend began to emerge. People started using the website Soundcloud or Youtube to easily upload their compositions and slowly but surely, most of them took off. Some artist became instantly recognizable because of their unique style of music and ironically, they became mainstream themselves. They became popular!

Singapore is very involved in social media which is why it is not surprising that a lot of youth like to indulge themselves into indie music trying to find their unique voice in a pile of music from all over the world. This encouraged bands like The Summer State and many others to finally come out without fear to express their own original music.


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