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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Palawan’s Huma Island: Almost there…

Dom visits Huma Island in Busuanga, Palawan and discovers that – even with the good PR spouted by the likes of Kris Aquino, the place leaves a lot to be desired. This is not to disparage Huma Island because this place has its (numerous) charms, “but I’d like to think of Huma Island as a paradise-in-the-making; a place that is ‘almost there’ but ‘not quite there yet’,” Dom says.

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Huma Island1Huma Island2Kris Aquino was here,” a few of the staff members of Huma Island are bound to say (at times with a hint of pride) to visitors.

That is supposed to be an enticement (the “hook”, so to speak, on why people should at least visit this place). But for many others (LIKE ME!), it’s actually a reason why you should not visit.

Don’t get me wrong – Kris bashing is the farthest thing in my mind (Kris gets more than enough bashing from others, as it is). But if you eat at Chowking because you believe Kris eats its food (Hey, she endorses the chain, after all!), you’re a fool. If you buy Cherry Mobile’s Omega phablet because Kris endorsed it, well… D’UH! If you buy Leonardo bags because you think she uses it (Well, she similarly endorsed it!), you need to reconsider your shopping BIG time.

And in the same way, if you visit Huma Island solely because Kris promoted it, you’re a bigger fool.

Not that this place doesn’t have charms. Because it does.

But with the rates ranging from $800 per night, it isn’t for everyone. And – for those willing to cough up that much money – you should expect more from this place than the PR mouthing done by Kris.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at Huma Island…

WHY GO THERE?

As a somewhat exclusive resort (it is on its own island somewhere in Busuanga in Palawan), that “exclusivity” can be appealing. Particularly for those who want to be by he beach, where the space is accessed by (extremely) limited number of people, this is worth considering.

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There are only a few villas in Huma Island – some built over the water; and others built by the beach. The villas can accommodate from two adults (occupying the queen-sized bed) plus two kids (occupying the sofa bed/s). Every villa, by the way, has its own verandah with a small(ish) Jacuzzi – this is enclosed by rattan-like material, so that every verandah offers guests privacy.

Also because of the exclusivity, facilities abound: there’s the library (not that you’d head here just to read…); the fitness center (also built over the water); the pools; the rocks for climbing; the archery; and the restos (one atop a hill, overlooking some parts of the island – or at least those not covered by the foliage).

Huma Island3Worth mentioning is the spa. Why? Because: 1) The massage rooms are all over the water; and 2) The floors of the massage rooms are transparent (fiber glass), allowing you to see the corals and the fishes swimming in them. It’s almost like being massaged while looking at an aquarium…

And the waters? Well, as can be expected in Palawan, there are wonders to be had here – from shipwrecks that can be viewed not just by diving but even by just snorkeling, untouched underwater environments, pearl farms, et cetera, et cetera. Hello, this is not called the “Last ecological frontier” for nothing!

For so many, though, it’s the display of the so-called Filipino hospitality by the Filipino staff members that is the biggest come-on. The bowing and kowtowing is endearing, making you feel welcome; and the desire to be of service is authentic, not at all invasive or – well – fake.

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WHY NOT GO THERE?

Alas, even risking being called bitchy, I still have to say that this isn’t… paradise.

The swimming area isn’t spectacular. And note that early in the day is the high tide, when swimming is okay; and the latter part of the day, when the tide is low, is when swimming isn’t even possible because the rocks surface. Well, the pools are there, you say? Yes; but they aren’t even big enough for laps, so…

The waters under the villas are actually among the nicest, particularly during high tide. Except that – no – you can’t swim there. If only they make that part of the seas accessible…

The food is a hit-and-miss affair – some of the preparations were yummy (everything grilled, for instance, were S-U-P-E-R!), while others just weren’t (e.g. the mousse tasted like a mousse would when left too long in a hot and humid condition). Now, am I expecting too much? Perhaps. But again, for spending a lot, the expectations soar.

And the water (both for washing/showering/brushing teeth and for drinking)? Think salty…

And the bar offerings? Almost all of them – from Weng weng to Singapore Sling to whatever – tasted like Four Seasons (!).

The facilities in the villas are sufficient. But sufficient, I suppose, isn’t what’s expected. So as not to be disappointed, forget the hot shower; the replacement of the water in the Jacuzzi; the fluffy pillows; et cetera.

Connectivity sucks, by the way. Smart connection is almost always nil; Globe – even if the island has its own Globe tower – doesn’t fare any better; and Wi-Fi connectivity is… extremely disappointing. There are times when getting disconnected with the world is a blessing (such as when visiting an island paradise, perhaps). But in these days of selfies, being able to upload a visit to paradise should be a given – and this just isn’t an easy thing to do when here.

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And despite the lure of getting a massage while there (that glass floor!), the spa’s limitations are apparent – i.e. limited oil choices, and even if I adore her, just how many times can one listen to Enya wailing?

FOR THE WILLING…

If you’d rather believe Kris and head there anyway, that’s fine by me.

But I’d say that Palawan – albeit largely under-developed – does have numerous venues that may offer the same, if not more of what Huma Island offers (I’m thinking of, say, El Nido; or even some of the resorts off Coron, many of them offering better access to the natural attractions of the area).

This is not to disparage Huma Island, nonetheless. Because as I said, this place has its (numerous) charms.

But I’d like to think of Huma Island as a paradise-in-the-making. A place that is “almost there”, but “not quite there yet”. Though hopefully, its owners think the same way, too.

That is, if changes are made to it, it can most definitely become a must-visit attraction, no matter the price it demands its visitors to pay; and no matter who (including Kris) promotes it. But until then, well… you know where I stand…

Huma Island is at Busuanga, Palawan, Philippines. For more information, contact (+632) 553 0119.

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My name is Dom - that's short for DominiK... or Dominique, depending on which parent you're speaking with. One of my Dads, Michael, says it should be the former; but my other Dad, also named Michael, said it should be the latter. It must be because they have the same names, so they get confused about me, too (!). But no matter, I'm here - all peachy and fluffy. About me: I'm almost peach in color (not brown, ARGH!); have striped ears (white and red), black eyes (and toes), and brown nose. No, my nickname is NOT "Fluffy"! I'm only four (or five - again, depending on which Dad you ask); but that's a gazillion years in Teddy-time (if you must know). So I feel... experienced. I move a lot, too, with my Dads, and I'm here to share everything as I move around. So come join me...

Health & Wellness

Gay and bisexual men have higher rate of skin cancer

Rates of skin cancer were higher among gay and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men, but lower among bisexual women than heterosexual women.

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Photo by leo abdelnaby from Unsplash.com

In the largest study of skin cancer rates among gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital report important differences in skin cancer prevalence among sexual minorities. Rates of skin cancer were higher among gay and bisexual men compared to heterosexual men, but lower among bisexual women than heterosexual women.

These findings, which were possible because of the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) module built into a national system of surveys, have implications for patient education and community outreach initiatives focused on reducing skin cancer risk. They also have implications for the design of future nationwide surveys. Results are published in JAMA Dermatology.

“It’s absolutely critical that we ask about sexual orientation and gender identity in national health surveys; if we never ask the question, we’d never know that these differences exist,” said corresponding author Arash Mostaghimi, MD, MPA, MPH, director of the Dermatology Inpatient Service at the Brigham. “This information helps inform the nation about how to allocate health resources and how to train providers and leaders. When we look at disparities, it may be uncomfortable, but we need to continue to ask these questions to see if we’re getting better or worse at addressing them. Historically, this kind of health variation was hidden, but we now recognize that it’s clinically meaningful.”

Mostaghimi and colleagues leveraged data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), using data collected from annual questionnaires from 2014 to 2018. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) uses the BRFSS to collect information about risk factors and behaviors among adults. About 450,000 adults are interviewed by telephone by the BRFSS each year. Beginning in 2014, the BRFSS began using the SOGI module to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity. This module was administered in 37 states.

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Mostaghimi and colleagues compared skin cancer rates among heterosexual men to rates in gay or bisexual men and compared rates among heterosexual women to lesbian or bisexual women. Rates of skin cancer were 8.1 percent among gay men and 8.4 percent among bisexual men, statistically higher than the rate of 6.7 percent among heterosexual men. Skin cancer rates were 5.9 percent among lesbian women and 6.6 percent among heterosexual women, which was not a statistically significant difference. However, the rate of 4.7 percent among bisexual women was statistically significantly lower than heterosexual women.

The authors note that the data are based on self-reported skin cancer diagnoses, which have not been confirmed by a physician. The SOGI module was also only implemented in 37 states, so may not be generalizable to all states.

The BRFSS survey did not collect information about risk factors for skin cancer, such as UV exposure, Fitzpatrick skin type (a measure of skin color and susceptibility to sun burn), HIV status and more. However, smaller studies have reported higher usage of indoor tanning beds among sexual minority men, a known risk factor for skin cancer.

The CDC recently considered stopping implementation of the SOGI module for future BRFSS surveys, a move Mostaghimi feels would hinder efforts to support this population.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to look nationally at data about skin cancer rates among sexual minorities. Eliminating SOGI would prevent us from better studying this vulnerable population over time to see how rates may change from year to year,” said Mostaghimi. “As a next step, we want to connect with sexual minority communities to help identify the cause of these differences in skin cancer rates. This is work that will need to be done thoughtfully but may help not just sexual minorities but everyone.”

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

5 Slot games based on movies that are simply awesome

Today, slots have only gotten more appealing and exciting over time. There is practically every type of slot machine under the sun available today but some of the most common and most used slot machines are those that are based on movies.

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Gamblers love slots- and it’s evident! You may or may not know this, but approximately 70 percent of all casino revenue is acquired from slot machines. The slot machine boom began in the early 20th century with the ever famous Liberty Bell. After this, slot machines could be found practically everywhere from saloons and bars to all the well-to-do entertainment hotspots.

Today, slots have only gotten more appealing and exciting over time. There is practically every type of slot machine under the sun available today but some of the most common and most used slot machines are those that are based on movies. 

These slots are exceedingly fun to play because they incorporate components from the movies into the game. As such, with these machines, you can expect to interact with your favorite characters, plots, props and even specific scenes from these movies. Movie-themed slots also contain an array of prizes and bonus games that ensure that you are fully entertained right up to the last whistle. 

Today, slots have only gotten more appealing and exciting over time. There is practically every type of slot machine under the sun available today but some of the most common and most used slot machines are those that are based on movies. 

If you are a lover of slots, here are five slot games based on movies that are simply awesome.

The Terminator 2 slot machine

The Terminator movies have been a staple in pop culture years. As such, to say that the Terminator 2 slot machine holds up well would be a bit of an underestimation. Owing in part to the pristine and detailed 3D graphics, this is one of the most exciting and satisfying slot machines that you will ever play.

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The original Terminator movie, released in 1984 was a smash hit in its heyday and with actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, the sequel (Terminator 2) did the unimaginable by expanding and improving on the original. In Terminator 2, Schwarzenegger stars as a T-800 robot programmed by the opposition to defend a 10-year-old John from the threat of the T-1000, a much more advanced terminator machine.

As was the norm with movies made in the 90s, you can expect a huge range of special effects that make the slot game even more eye-popping. Terminator 2 was regarded as one of the best action and sci-fi movies ever made, and the slot machine named after it is no different. With the slot’s 243 pay lines, the Terminator 2 slot is easily one of the easiest to play in the market.

The Dark Knight slot machine

There are countless die-hard Batman lovers out there, so it made sense to create a slot game based on one of the most epic Batman movies, The Dark Night. The symbols in the slots are based on some of your favorite characters from the movie including Batman and of course, the Joker. Best of all, this five-reel slot game provides players with a progressive jackpot feature.

The Dark Night slot machine offers punters with excellent graphics and sound ensuring that everyone has a gripping and enthralling gaming experience. Though this slot machine does not have any pay lines, it provides the standard 243 ways to win. Because of the limited betting options, this is one of the most unique movie-themed slots out there.

The Scarface slot machine

Just like the movie, the Scarface slot machine has a cult following. With big characters such as Chi-Chi,Manny, Elvira, and of course, Tony Montana serving as symbols, the slot is almost as popular as the movie. Not only does the Scarface slot machine take you back on a journey of some of your favorite scenes from the classic film, but it also allows players to win the jackpot, which stands at 10,000 coins.

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This slot machine features 5reels with 20 pay lines and Tony Montana is at the helm of it all. The coin values of the slot range from $0.01 to $0.50 while the betting range starts from $0.20 to $100.00. The bonus games are one of the reasons that this slot machine is so popular with gamblers.

As well as allowing you to walk away with easy money, the slot machine also allows players to unlock bonus levels that task players with the responsibility of helping Tony Montana fight off rival drug dealers, just like he did in the famous scenes. The machine also has an autoplay feature that allows punters to pick between line bets and coin values.

Man of Steel slot machine

If you are obsessed with super heroes, then you will love the Man of Steel slot machine. Based on the 2013 box office hit by the same name, the game boasts comprehensive, vivid and attention-grabbing graphics and music. You will encounter all the primary beloved characters from the movie in the slot including Superman, Perry white, as well as Martha and Jonathan Kent.

This 25 to 50 payline slot comes with 4 bonus features that consist of shifting wilds, the World Engines bonus, Battle for Earth free games and Krypton free features. With this slot machine, any spin can trigger the jackpot game, which increases your chances of winning any one out of the 4 progressive jackpots.

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The Jurassic Park slot machine

The Jurassic Park slot machine has been a fan favorite since its release in the 90s and even today, it continues to thrive. There are many reasons why the Jurassic Park movie made such an impact. Its appealing storyline, lovable characters and remarkable graphics and stunts are just a few of these reasons.

Like numerous Jurassic Park fans out there, Kate Huber, chief editor at NJGamblingFun states, “although Jurassic Park debuted back in 1993, the truth is that it has never been far from my memories. For me, Jurassic Park is the type of film that stays with you for a lifetime, no matter how much you watch it. The fact that I can sit down and play the Jurassic Park slot machine is something I never tire of. To be honest, playing this slot makes me feel like a kid again!”

With the Jurassic Park slot, you get to relive the excitement of this dinosaur filled film all over again. The graphics in the slot are second to none and the parallax scrolling ability helps to create an even more immersive experience for punters. The game has a five-round free spin component based on various dinosaurs from the movie.

Movies and slots machines make an excellent combo.

Final Thoughts

There are many different types of slot machines that you can play but some of the best ones are the ones based on movies. Movies and slots machines make an excellent combo. Movie-themed slot machines were created to cash in on the immense popularity of some of the world’s biggest and best movies.

It doesn’t matter what your favorite genre is, whether science fiction, action, drama or family movies. If you love it, there is probably a slot machine out there themed after your favorite movie.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Why CBD will help you burn more fat

It’s important to note here that CBD should not be used as a treatment for weight loss. Instead, it should be used in conjunction with your eating and exercise.

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There are plenty of benefits to using CBD but will help you with weight loss and burn more fat?

Today’s world is full of different methods to lose weight and, unfortunately, not all of them are very healthy options.

The best way to lose weight is through the tried and tested methods: eating right, drinking lots of water and having regular exercise. 

Of course, there are certain factors that you can’t control that have an impact such as genetics. This is why some people find it tougher to burn fat than others.

It’s important to note here that CBD should not be used as a treatment for weight loss. Instead, it should be used in conjunction with your eating and exercise. That said, it can really help you shed that extra bit of weight and see you achieve your goals.

Some research suggests that the brain works at its best when it’s fueled by foods high in fat. Most of what we eat is used to power the brain.

Now, CBD is a hydrophilic compound. This means that it dissolves in fatty oils as opposed to water. Cells in the body have a lipid bilayer meaning that they can easily interact with CBD.

So with all this in mind, here is why CBD can help you to burn more fat.

It’s important to note here that CBD should not be used as a treatment for weight loss. Instead, it should be used in conjunction with your eating and exercise.

How CBD Affects Weight

Taking CBD is not the same as swapping that fast-food cheeseburger for a lean chicken breast, or going for a run after work rather than getting comfy on the sofa and binging on the latest box set. 

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CBD acts as a vehicle to compliment the fat burning process developed from healthy eating and good, regular exercise. Too many people assume that just by taking CBD they will automatically start to lose weight but that’s not how it works.

With this in mind, there has been a study that shows how rats had a “significant decrease in body weight gain” after 14 consecutive days of CBD injections. In this study, the researchers gave the rats 2.5mg and 5mg of CBD per kg of their respective body weights. The results showed that rats with 2.5mg of CBD per kg of body weight had “more pronounced” results compared to those injected with 5mg of CBD per kg of body weight.

The researchers concluded from this study that CBD  “has the ability to alter body weight gain, possibly via the CB2 receptor”, supporting the claim by Marina Turea at CBD Kyro that CBD can help with weight loss.

CBD also has some other effects that can help with weight loss and help you burn more fat..

CBD Suppresses Appetite

People that consume medical marijuana report that they have increased appetite. This because THC, the compound that gets you high from consuming marijuana, also acts as an appetite stimulator. 

CBD and THC are different compounds.

As a result, CBD will not increase your appetite. However, as mentioned by CoolThingsChicago, some of the noted side effects of taking CBD are that it can suppress your appetite. Even so, this should not be the main reason why you take CBD as it’s still important that you eat right.

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Interestingly, there are also reports that CBD can help to activate an internal bodily process known as “browning”. This process is when white fat stores accumulate to create a bigger, bulkier physique. People with a higher muscle content will have more “brown fat”, a leaner, less dense type of fat.

A study on CBD on browning supports this claim. It shows how CBD encourages white fat to store leaner brown fat, while also supporting the breakdown of fat and lipids in the body. The study also suggested that CBD may initiate thermogenesis. This is when the body metabolizes food faster due to increased temperature.

CBD acts as a vehicle to compliment the fat burning process developed from healthy eating and good, regular exercise.

CBD Helps To Regulate Metabolism

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is key to how the body uses energy. Studies suggest that the ECS modulates eating and the use of energy based on our environment. For example, in a scenario where there is little access to food, the ECS will promote appetite and fat storage.

Researchers also suggest that drugs that can block CB1 receptors may be able to help with weight loss and burn more fat among other metabolic conditions.

Since CBD inhibits CB1 receptors, experts believe that it can regulate the ECS and so fight against obesity.

In fact, researchers suggest that one of the ECS’s primary responsibilities is regulating how much energy the body uses, metabolizes and stores. A study from the journal Cell Metabolism supports this theory; it showed that the ECS controls the metabolism of lipids and glucose in different peripheral organs.

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As such, CBD stands to function as a great product to use for anyone looking to burn extra calories and naturally boost their metabolism.

CBD Melts Fat

There is a theory that CBD melts fat in the body by breaking it down and removing it as a waste product. This is because the browning process requires energy and thus burns calories which translates to burning fat.

Further, CBD prevents the creation of fat cells and boosts the number of mitochondria (cells responsible for turning ATP into energy) in brown fat cells. This has a greater impact on burning fat.

Conclusion

CBD has had a huge impact on the medical sector over recent years. The benefits have been well documented and its success has burst into the mainstream. It wasn’t that long ago when CBD was full of mystery and misinformation. Today, it can be found in retail stores across the country and online.

CBD can be used for weight loss and to burn more fat when it’s used alongside healthy lifestyle choices. There is also evidence that suggests that CVD supports weight loss by disrupting the over-accumulation of fat stores. 

Of course, if you do decide to start using CBD to help burn more fat, it’s best that you seek the advice of a doctor first. This goes especially for anyone using existing medication as it could easily interact with the CBD.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

5 Reasons why gambling vloggers are on the rise

In this article, we will explore the reasons why the number of gambling vloggers continues to grow and introduce you to a handful of them well worth subscribing to.

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Several poker and casino players have turned their hobby of gambling into a more creative – and sometimes somewhat profitable – venture. What they have done is turned to YouTube and created video content that outlines their gambling adventures. What has happened is an explosion of video bloggers, known as vloggers, on the do-it-yourself video channel.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why the number of gambling vloggers continues to grow and introduce you to a handful of them well worth subscribing to.

Here are the reasons why gambling vloggers are on the rise.

1 – They Share Personal Experience

This is the most important factor that supports the ongoing popularity of YouTube. It is a video platform where ordinary people can share their personal experience on any topic. With gambling vloggers, this is key to better engagement. By showing both the ups and downs of the casino games, the vlogger earns credibility and this leads to trust. Once viewers start to turn to a vlogger because they trust and believe that person, subscription numbers increase as does their reputation.

2 – They Know Their Stuff

Sure, you sometimes take a chance when you view any DIY video online. There are some very bad examples out there of people posting how-to type content and are doing so just to gain a following or to qualify for some online advertising revenue. The difference with gambling vloggers, and the reputable ones, in particular, is that many use their vlog to teach you the basics, tricks and share their knowledge on how to avoid becoming a big loser at the hands of a casino. 

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3 – They Use It As A Teaching Tool

Some of the best gambling vloggers know that viewers watch and subscribe to their YouTube channels to learn how to become a better gambler. The video format is a perfect tool to utilize as a teaching tutorial. A number of the gambling vloggers online have gone this route and use a tutorial style to help guide any level of player – from beginner to expert – on the finer parts of your chosen casino game. Gambling vloggers have an insight you won’t find in a how-to book.

4 – They Give You Hope

This may sound a bit odd but in reality, several gambling vloggers are just hobbyists who just happen to make a few extra bucks hanging around casinos. Other gambling vloggers have turned casino games into a full-time job. Regardless of which type of vlogger you watch the most, both show you that it is possible to succeed at gambling. You just need to hone your skills and apply some of the tips offered by these successful gamblers.

5 – They Are Noticed In The Industry

Who knew that vlogging about poker or any other casino game would put someone on the radar in the gambling industry? Well, that has happened and is going to continue to take place. The Global Poker Awards, sponsored by Global Poker Index (GPI) recently included a new award category – Vlogger of the Year. There were just five nominees this last time but that doesn’t reflect the number of great gambling vloggers out there by any means.

By showing both the ups and downs of the casino games, the vlogger earns credibility and this leads to trust.

Some of the Gambling Vloggers You Should Get To Know

1 – Brian Christopher

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Brian Christopher is considered to be the top influencer for both slot machines and casinos on YouTube. His channel has over 180,000 subscribers and he uploads gambling videos daily. In just three years his Brian Christopher Slots YouTube channel had over 100-million views. His style is casual and he exudes a positive attitude throughout. In addition to sharing all kinds of insight into various slot machine games, Christopher will also feature a guest from time to time. His main focus is on the promotion of responsible gambling and shows him doing just that.

2 – Andrew Neeme

Andrew Neeme is a poker player who lives full-time in Las Vegas. His YouTube channel has recently topped the 100,000 subscriber mark in just two years of vlogging. He posts a new vlog weekly and focuses mostly on the poker sessions he has participated in around Vegas.

3 – Brad Owen

Brad Owen started vlogging in December 2016. He also lives in Las Vegas and shares a lot in his regular posts about his many adventures in and out of the casinos in his hometown. Owen and Neeme are Meet-Up Game (MUG) partners and Owen will soon reach the 100,000 sub mark.

4 – Marle Cordeiro

Marle Cordeiro is a recent vlogger having launched her YouTube channel last year. Her style is unique in that she uses comedy and storytelling to share details on her gambling exploits. Her early vlogs were controversial, which gained her exposure and followers. 

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5 – Kristy Arnett

If you recognize the name Kristy Arnett it may be from her former gig as a presenter at PokerNews. She is a professional poker player and uses her YouTube channel to vlog about her experiences. She lives in Las Vegas and quit her PokerNews job to gamble full-time.

6 – Jeff Gross

Jeff Gross has one of the longest-running poker vlogs on YouTube. He is known for his consistent content which follows his poker and real-life adventures. His vlogs also feature many cameos by big names in and out of the casino world. 

If you are seeking some simple and easy to understand tips on how to improve your skills in a casino, you would likely turn to a tutorial of some kind.

Will Watching A Gambling Vlogger Help Your Game?

According to Lucian Marinescu at OnlineCasinoGems.com ”Any tips you can get from a reliable source can’t hurt. There are some very good vloggers out there who share valuable information that all gamblers can learn from.”

In Conclusion

The main reason why the number of gambling vloggers continues to grow is that the things they post on their YouTube channels are interesting and educational. If you are seeking some simple and easy to understand tips on how to improve your skills in a casino, you would likely turn to a tutorial of some kind. That is exactly what vloggers are doing and they are doing it well.

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Travel

LGBTQIA travel guide in Ireland

Due to the abundance of icons and interesting spots and events, here is a list of the best and must-see in Ireland.

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Ireland currently sits up there with the most progressive countries in the world. Having legalized gay marriages in 2015 and generally legalizing homosexuality in 1993, the country has quickly become a mecca for the LGBTQIA community.

Gay Dublin

Merely walking around the city, you are bound to see several icons that will intrigue you as a member of the LGBTQIA community. For example, simply walking around the famous Stephen’s Green Park will lead you to Oscar Wilde who was not just one of the most famous Irishmen in history, but also an iconic playwright. His statue shows a lot about how highly Ireland regards its LGBTQIA community.

However, due to the abundance of icons and interesting spots and events, I have taken it upon myself to list the ones I believe are the best and must-see.

  • The George Gay Club
    Your visit to the country wouldn’t be complete without a night out at this iconic gay club. The club was opened in 1985, long before homosexuality was legalized in the country. And even then, it was a safe haven for homosexuals. A place they could come to have fun while being themselves.
    In the present day, this hasn’t changed a bit as the club has retained its reputation for being a fun, loud, and raucous place for gays to have fun. You can always check out their social media pages for up to date information.
  • The Panti Bar
    If you are a fan of drag shows, then this is by no mistake the best place for you to be. Some have even proudly called it the best gay bar in Europe and they definitely have their reasons.
    Run by the Irish drag queen and icon, Panti Bliss, it has been the perfect LGBTQIA spot for more than a decade.
    Panti Bliss is well known in the Irish community because of her part in the fight for LGBTQIA equality and rights. The bar opens daily from 2pm and runs till very late.
  • The Dublin Gay Pride Parade
    The parade which was established in 1974 has since evolved from a one-day event into a full-blown 2-week annual festival that takes place in June. The festival rounds up with a huge street celebration which always proves to be massive fun for everyone.
    The party is attended by the whole city and even some Irish leaders like Leo Varadkar, have been known to attend.
No trip is complete without a taste of the local cuisine. Enjoy the unique taste and flavor that Ireland has to offer by sampling their food and craft beer.

Other Highlights

Naturally, being gay doesn’t define who we are. Like everyone else, we have a liking for the finer things in life and Ireland will never be found wanting of such great attractions. Apart from the obviously gay activities, there are a lot of other fun things to do in Ireland, and some of them include:

  • Guinness Storehouse
    Located at the Saint James’s Gate Brewery in central Dublin, this exhibition space was where the renowned stout was first brewed back in 1759.
    A visit here will take you through a fun journey of how the iconic stout is created. You will even get to taste some variants. You can finish your trip here with a free pint of Guinness at the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor while taking in a spectacular view of the city.
  • Book of Kells/Dublin Castle
    This right here is the embodiment of Irish heritage. A visit to this monument will take you through a journey of discovering some of the most important parts of Irish history.
    It is known for its incredible artistry and its numerous secrets and mysteries which date as far back as 800AD. 
    After this, a trip to explore the Dublin Castle will be the perfect way to round up the trip.
  • Irish Food Walking Tour
    No trip is complete without a taste of the local cuisine. Enjoy the unique taste and flavor that Ireland has to offer by sampling their food and craft beer. Eat and drink your way through the various restaurants and cafes, while basking in the ambiance of the Irish hidden gems.
Merely walking around the city, you are bound to see several icons that will intrigue you as a member of the LGBTQIA community.

Traveling Tips

Deciding to visit Ireland is probably the best vacation decision that is possible to be made. However, as a visitor who is probably visiting for the first time, there are a couple of things that need to be known in order to ensure you have the best possible experience.

  • Mobile Apps
    Being a stranger in a new land, one of the best apps that you can have at your fingertip is Google Maps.
    The app offers you both an offline and online mode. This means that if you are not sure if you will have access to the internet where you are going, you can pre-download a map of the area. And if you have an internet connection, you can easily access the app for up to date information on how to get around in the area.
  • Travel Insurance
    This is not even up for debate. You should have travel insurance as it protects you against travel risks and incidences like loss or theft of valuables, cancellation cover in the event you are unable to travel because of unforeseen medical issues, and even medical expenses while traveling.  To get the best travel insurance quote from different Insurance companies you should visit AA Insurance and find more information about right type of travel cover.
    It is important to keep safe while traveling overseas by always making sure you do not go out alone or stay out late. However, in the event of an accident, your travel insurance can protect you from unexpected costs. 
  • Money
    Although a lot of the businesses accept credit cards, some of the smaller ones prefer getting paid in cash. Therefore, it will be of great advantage to you to come along with some cash to aid in your transactions.
  • Tripadvisor
    This app comes quite handy when you are looking for which hotel to stay or which restaurant to eat around.
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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

How sports can help unify people

Sports can bring people together within societies, and across borders.

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Sport has proved to be a unique unifying factor in an often divided world. It brings people together within societies, and across the border. While there are organized forums intended to unite people from different backgrounds, it is hard to think of a better factor than the cheers and noises coming from sports stadiums. 

One eye-catching incident happened in the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics in South Korea, where long-term enemies North Korea and South Korea matched together to the applause of hundreds of millions of fans watching from different parts of the world. In what has been hailed as the biggest show of reconciliation, the two nations are set to enter a combined women’s hockey team.

Role of sport

Let’s face it, the world is already too fractured with endless conflicts among nations. Race and religion have played their part in dividing nations, but looking at sports events like UEFA Europa League fan news, there is only one language of peace for the sake of the sport. Even where there is little or nothing in common between different factions, sport has found a way of bringing these people together, and getting them to speak one language. Betting with Betway, for example, covers sporting events from all over the world.

Packed stadiums of supporters cheering their teams is evidence enough of how the love of football or any other sport surpasses political or geographical animosity and differences. It is believed that the popular Olympic Games were first aimed at reducing conflicts among warring parties. In what gave birth to the tradition of the Olympic Truce, the Oracle at Delphi came up with the idea of starting a peaceful sporting competition at a time when Greece was plagued by endless armed conflict. 

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The idea was given to Iphitos, who was the King of Elis, and it is documented that he received massive backing from his fellow monarchs. The truce would allow for a peaceful end to all regional conflicts days before and after the Olympics, to facilitate safe travel of athletes and their families to and from the events. The Olympics Truce was re-adopted in 1994, and today it remains the ideal of the games, where a UN resolution is passed two years before each Olympics.

Modern day sport

Football happens to be the most popular sport in the world, even when different regions are associated with a variety of other sporting disciplines. The famous European leagues, for example, the English Premier League, Bundesliga in Germany, Ligue 1 in France, and the Italian Serie A attract fans from all over the world. This is largely due to the presence of hundreds of players from all over the world playing in these leagues, as well as the unconditional love of the sport regardless of who plays. Remember you can bet on all the action happening on all Europeans leagues on Betway on the website or on the app.

International tournaments organized at different levels, featuring a variety of sporting disciplines bring people together, albeit for the moment. In essence, getting people supporting one course and forgetting the differences that alienate them is one of the most effective ways of bringing universal peace.

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