Health

How Do Muscles Contract? Specialized Proteins in Muscles Do the Work that Leads to Contraction

Everyone knows that when muscles contract they generate force. You know this because you use your muscles to do work of various kinds. You know this because you can see your muscles rippling when you do something particularly strenuous. Did you know this happens because of the work being done inside the muscle by two very specialized proteins?

Actin and Myosin

Skeletal, or voluntary, muscle is an unusual tissue. First, individual muscle fibers (myofibers) are made from a number of precursor cells that decide to fuse together and make a single very large cell. Second, these myofibers are filled almost completely by a series of thin and thick filaments each of which is composed largely of a single specialized protein. For thin filaments the protein is known as actin and for thick filaments the protein is known as myosin.

How Do Thick and Thin Filaments Work?

The myosin molecule is a member of a family of proteins known as “motor proteins”. That is they can generate actual physical movement as a result of an energy using process. In the thick filament, many molecules of myosin are wrapped around each other to make a rod-like structure. Importantly, these myosin containing rods have the “head” of the myosin molecules sticking out along their side. The thin filaments are made up of many molecules of actin tightly associated together. The myosin head group can stick to the actin thin filaments and when energy is released by myosin consuming an ATP molecule (the universal energy fuel of all cells), the myosin head groups can actually pull against the thin filament to which they have stuck and force it to move by.

The Contraction Cycle

Other signals inside of the muscle cell are very important to the activation and regulation of the contraction process. When the signal is received for muscle to contract, the calcium ion plays a critical role. Calcium levels rise in the cell cytoplasm and this tells specific regulator proteins to let myosin thick filaments to stick to actin-containing thin filaments. The myosin head groups split ATP, they force the actin filaments by and then they relax and let go of the thin filaments. Calcium inside of the cytoplasm is sequestered inside specialized storage depots and the process ends.

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How Can These Sliding Filaments Do Work?

Obviously, if the thick and thin filaments were simply “floating around” inside of the muscle fibers not much work would get done. The sliding of these filaments past one another generates force because they are fixed at their ends and are attached to the other structures inside of the myofibers in a highly organized fashion. They are so organized, in fact, that if you look at skeletal muscle in the microscope, it has a striped or “striated” appearance. When contraction occurs, the complete “contractile apparatus” within an individual myofiber gets shorter and the muscle can generate force.

For a wonderful animation of the contraction process view the movie online provided by San Diego State University College of Sciences.

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Computers

Saving a Document in Writer: Comparing OpenOffice.org Writer to Microsoft Word

OpenOffice.org’s Writer can create the same documents commonly created in Microsoft Word. Once created, those documents should be saved if intended for future use. Saving a document in Writer is very similar to Word and has the same considerations.

Ways to Save a Document

  • From the main menu, click File > Save or click File > Save As
  • Click Save button (looks like a floppy disk) on Standard toolbar
  • Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl + S to Save or Ctrl + Shift + S for Save As

Just as in Word, if a document is new and has never been saved, the Save As dialog box will appear the first time only. The Save As dialog box has the same considerations in Writer and Word: Location, File Name and File Type.

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Location (Save in)

Deciding where to save a document is very important. Saving to a location that is meaningful and intuitive will save time later when trying to find the document later. Writer offers a default location to save documents, which can be changed. To choose another location to save the document, click the down-pointing triangle to the right of the Save in list box. This displays a list of choices. Click the drive and folder(s) where the document is to be saved.

File Name

Naming a file is important as well. The document should be given a meaningful name that reveals the content. Just calling a document “My Stuff” is not very helpful.

File Type (save as Type)

In what file format should this document be saved? Writer has its own default file format with the file extension .odt. When a document is saved in this file format it can be read by anyone that uses OpenOffice Writer, however, it cannot be opened by anyone using Microsoft Word. The file type can be changed by clicking on the down-pointing arrow to the right of the save as type list box then selecting the desired type. This way, a document created in Writer can be shared with those who have Word but not Writer.

If the document is to only be shared with a Word user and then discarded, only save in Word format. For files that need future edits, it is recommended that the document be first saved in Writer (.odt) format so that there is an original file to return to. A document can be muddied up if switching back and forth between file types, so it is always good practice to keep the original document in Writer format.

Before clicking the save button, consider the check boxes at the bottom of the dialog.

  • Automatic file extension – is helpful for this box to be checked as it will identify the individual files as OpenOffice documents when searching My Computer or Windows Explorer.
  • Save with password – only available when saving a document in Writer format. Password must be a minimum of five characters. Be careful! If this password is lost it is really lost!

If preferred, could also set up the document to be automatically saved

From the main menu select Tools > Options. The Options window will appear.

Select Load/Save > General

Click on Save AutoRecovery information every – then choose the amount of time to automatically save the document (default is 30 minutes).

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Jobs

Using Video Resumes: How to Make a YouTube Resume

While video technology is hardly new, it is not commonly used to vet prospective job applicants. Some companies may refuse to view video resumes – probably because they fear it may end up being a legal minefield. Others businesses may just be unsure about what to do about them. Still, it can be a powerful selling tool for the right company.

Videos Show, Don’t Just Tell.

Some attributes just don’t carry across very well in a cover letter. Anyone can say s/he is a “people person”, but showing it is so much better. Then there are things that just have to be seen, or heard – art pieces, musical ability, a prototype or invention, even the right “phone voice” or sales pitch. Sometimes, a story or change of scenery makes a compelling case for a prospective job applicant.

The flip side of this is that videos provide tell-tale information about factors such as sex, race, age, and disability which are prohibited from being considered during the hiring process. Videos also provide information about things which are not protected from discrimination – looks, voice, weight, etc. – but which may hamper an effective job search. True, all this information will come out during a face-to-face interview. But at least the interview after traditional resumes have been vetted in a less biased sort of way and only qualified applicants remain.

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Scripting Matters.

There are no “errs”, “umms”, or slips of the tongue in a regular cover letter and resume… at least, one hopes not. But these awkward sounds can easily slip into a conversation with a camera. Traditional resumes can be written, edited, redrafted, and proofed by others. A similar amount of vetting is appropriate for a video resume: applicants should script the content of the video and practice it several times before pressing the record button. “Scenes” should be reshot if necessary, and the final product should be edited as appropriate.

Content is King.

Some people view multimedia as an outlet to go wild. Wrong. Prospective employees need to highlight their accomplishments just like they would in a written resume… except with the potential addition of brief testimonials (“John is one of the best students I’ve ever had”) or vignettes (“as sales manager at XYZ I achieved a volume of ABC. The key to my success was always putting the customer first. For instance, one day…” Then on to the next thing).

Production Value Counts.

Things look different on camera than they do in real life. The type and amount of lighting, make up, sound, even clothing might look appropriate in a face-to-face interaction, but may not necessarily work in a video. Too many videos are produced by the people that are in them, and it shows. Take the time to learn about things like lighting, pondering where and how to mount the camera, etc. – or hire someone to do it.

Time is of the Essence.

Most employers glance at resumes and cover letters for mere seconds. A video resume is sure to peek interest for longer than that – but prospective employees should not push it. If no guidelines are provided, keep videos between 90 seconds and 3 minutes.

The Bottom Line.

Should a prospective employee send out a video resume. The answer is a definite… maybe.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t make a video resume just because. Make sure that the video format has something to add that just can’t be done with a normal paper resume.
  • Ask before sending. No point in sending a resume that is going to be tossed, or in doing a 30-minute video when the hiring body will only sit still for two.
  • Do it right or don’t do it at all. Good lighting, polished script, and seamless editing are musts. Anything else says the interviewee is not professional.
  • Have a neutral third party review the video before sending it off.
  • Make sure there aren’t things that prospective employers SHOULDN’T see online. More than one applicant’s prospects have been destroyed by an inappropriate YouTube video.
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Search Engine

Getting Free Traffic to Your Website With Online Forums

Forums are one of the most visited sites on the internet. Their popularity is a result of their niche focus and quality educative posts. People don’t just visit forums, they visit them to learn, interact with like minded people and to promote their ideas and products. If you have a website, forums can increase organic traffic to your site with just a little effort. To make the most out of forums, you need to get a few things right.

You must join the correct forums. A process of identifying relevant forums must precede any other activity. Your website is the key indicator of where your traffic should come from. If your website is an online store for beauty products, you must target forums that have to do with ladies, beauty, fashion, skin diseases, professional women and so forth. This is about driving quality traffic to your site and you must be very careful on the forums you target.

The way you present yourself is very important. Make sure you register your details giving all indications about your kind of business. Create a good profile with a keyword signature and a link if the forums allows. A thumbnail picture of your site may be appropriate here. It helps the visitors get a picture of what you are promoting and some of them may as well just want to go ahead and visit your site without getting more details.

Contributing to the debate is the best part of forums for marketers. The quality and frequency of your contribution determines how much traffic you drive to your site. Most forum visitors follow threads that seem related to their interest. They will also follow threads that have quality and enlightening discussions. For you to drive traffic through your content, don’t just contribute to threads; do some research to know what is current and relevant. Also make sure you regularly update your posts, threads can sometimes get very long and you need to have several in the thread. Some people reply to one thread and hope that traffic will flow to their site forever. Forums are discussion sites and you must take them as such. The more you contribute, the more popular you become and the more you get noticed. Traffic comes from visitors who find your posts on the forums. If you are not a regular contributor, you will hardly be noticed and there will be little or no traffic to your site.

Register and participate in as many forums as possible. There are thousands of forums available on any given topic. All you need to do is to search for all those that have potential to give you traffic and you begin to participate in the debate.

Besides their heavy traffic potential, most forums are free to join and participate and this makes them an easy and free source of traffic. However it is only for those who can commit to regular participation.

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Health

The Mediterranean Diet Plan Improves Mood: Research Uncovers a Connection Between Diet and Depression

The Mediterranean diet plan may benefit more than just a person’s waist line. This popular diet may also offer protection from depression, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry (October 2009). Researchers evaluated the eating habits of 11,000 people in Spain. They found that the participants who followed the Mediterranean diet the closest decreased their risk for depression by 30 percent.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure what the connection is between this particular diet and mental health. However, they think it may be that the Mediterranean diet plan supports the healthy functioning of blood vessels, reduces inflammation, and helps cells heal from oxygen related damage. All of these effects can help reduce the likelihood for depression.

The Mediterranean Diet Menu

According to the American Heart Association, the Mediterranean diet menu consists of large quantities of vegetables, fruits, rice, pasta, beans, bread, and potatoes. Many people who are on the Mediterranean diet eat around nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.Seeds and nuts are also a part of this diet. Red meat, poultry, and fish are eaten in moderation.

The Mediterranean diet menu also includes generous amounts of foods that contain the so called good fats. Monounsaturated fats like olive oil and polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids contained in nuts and fish are examples of essential fats. People who closely follow the Mediterranean diet use olive oil as their main source for fat rather than dairy or animal fats.

Many of the foods on this menu such as fish, nuts, and beans are rich in selenium, a mineral necessary for maintaining good health. This may partially explain the connection between the Mediterranean diet and depression prevention. Multiple studies, including one at Texas Tech University found that selenium supplements can relieve mild to moderate depression. However, it is better to get selenium from foods rather than supplements to avoid a toxic reaction.

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Vitamin D as a Depression Remedy

Foods containing vitamin D are also showing promise as a depression remedy. A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry journal (May 2008), uncovered a possible connection between depression and a vitamin D deficiency. Researchers analyzed 1,282 seniors for depression. The participants were between the ages of 65 and 95.

Researchers found that more than a third of the depressed men and more than half of the depressed women had vitamin D deficiencies. This leads researchers to theorize that some forms of depression can be treated by eating more foods containing more vitamin D and by increasing sun exposure. The recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 600 IU.

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Health

Finding a New Doctor: The Switch From Pediatricians to Adult Docs

For young adults, transitioning from seeing their pediatrician to finding an adult doctor can be a difficult task. Forced to navigate through a sea (or a barren desert) of referrals, Yellow Pages and Internet searches, the question looms: “How do I find a good doctor?

Finding a Doctor

The first key is to evaluate what type of doctor you need. A doctor of internal medicine (“internist”) is an adult equivalent of a pediatrician. He or she should be your go-to for most common illnesses, afflictions or check-ups. An internist should also help to refer you to specialists.

The reality of modern medicine, however, is that internists are growing scarcer. Cite what you will — overwork, crowded offices and/or hospitals, uncooperative insurance or medical companies – but internists don’t look after patients the way they used to. While some relatively healthy men and women may be happy with their internists, those with special concerns (seemingly the majority) are often bypassing internists and relying on specialists instead.

To find either an internist or specialist, ask any of your former doctors for referrals. Ask friends and family. If you get a name but aren’t sure the doctor is right for you (wrong specialty or location), you can even telephone their office, explain your situation and see if they have another doctor’s name instead.

Meeting with a new doctor doesn’t mean you have to stick with him or her. If you dislike their approach or disagree with their evaluation, don’t “tough it out” to see if things get better. Giving someone a “fair shot” is one thing, but you do not owe anything to the doctor beyond showing up for the appointment on time. You should feel comfortable discussing any concerns with your doctor.

You have the option of switching to another doctor within the same office, or another office and/or hospital entirely.

What to Do

So you’ve found a doctor – hooray! But the transition isn’t yet complete. It’ll take awhile for a new doctor to really get to know you, but here are a few things to keep in mind as you take your health into your own hands:

  • You should receive a confirmation call (or letter) regarding your appointment. If you do not, inquire.
  • Start building your own medical file. Get a notebook and write down every time you have an appointment – the date, doctor’s name and the reason. In this file, keep copies of all test results. Young people tend to move locations a lot, and this will not only jog your own memory, but it is imperative for a new doctor to see what you’ve been through.
  • Also save all receipts, including prescriptions and parking. Important for tax reasons: Parking fees as well as transportation (gas mileage) can be written off.
  • Type a list of your medical history to give to any new doctor. Make sure you go through it step by step with him or her (don’t let the office simply stick it into their file.)
  • Speak up about any tests you know you need. A new doctor has known you only several months, you’ve known yourself your entire life.
  • Establish with your doctor the best way to reach him or her. Options include calling the office, voice-messaging or e-mail. Discuss the approximate amount of time in which to expect a reply.
  • Finally, make sure you bring a list of any medications being taken along with your medical history and ask questions on the spot, before the doctor leaves the office.

Who knew choosing a doctor is so easy, but you know what isn’t easy, choosing the right supplement plan for Medicare. We aren’t going to get into the details here but we will definitely do that in the next post or two, so stick around, in the meantime if you want to read more, check out a post called how to choose the best Medicare supplement plans 2018.

Good Health!

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Telecommunications

Improve Wireless Internet Connection Speed: Slow Connectivity to the Internet? Troubleshoot Issues and Fix Lag

Laptop wireless Internet connections are less reliable than hardwired systems. If the user has a wireless network in the home, sometimes the system slows, random disconnects occur and game play is interrupted. There are some troubleshooting steps that can be taken to improve a laptop’s wireless Internet connection speed when problems arise.

Purchase a Router with a Hi-Gain Antenna

There are two kinds of wireless router antennas: omni-directional and hi-gain. An omni-directional antenna is installed in most common household routers. These antennas broadcast signals in all directions, so a router placed in the corner of a room loses some of its signal strength when it’s focused in one area of the home.

An omni-directional router focuses the signal in one direction, so there is less loss of signal strength. Purchase a corner router with a hi-gain antenna to improve signal strength.

Install a Wireless Repeater

For large houses or offices, a wireless repeater improves the strength of a signal to each computer. A repeater strengthens a laptop wireless connection when it is placed at the halfway mark between the router and the machine. The repeater takes a signal from the router, increases its strength and retransmits it to other areas of the home or office. This improves the signal so that laptops and other wireless machines on the network do not suffer from slow speeds due to signal degradation.

Avoid Wireless Phones that Use 5.4 GHz Frequency

According to Microsoft, the best wireless frequencies are 5.8 GHz or 900MHz. A frequency is a channel of communication. Similar to a radio station in your car, a frequency channel is used to transmit signals from a router to a laptop. Using common frequencies such as those used for wireless phones can lead to interference and degradation in the signal. Routers come with the ability to change the default channel. Home and office users can change that channel to lower the rate of interference and signal degradation.

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Purchase Router and Network Hardware from a Single Manufacturer

Some local networking companies such as Linksys, D-link and Netgear sell routers and network cards. This makes it easy to connect a small network and avoids some issues. It also improves compatibility by offering boosting capability between the router and the network card. For instance, Linksys offers SpeedBooster, which is the manufacturer’s speed boost for wireless networks that use the company’s technology.

As home networks become more affordable, the option to use wireless technology in the home is more common. The first step is configuring a Linksys router, but afterwards poor connectivity can lead to slowness issues. Use these techniques to speed up the connection of any home or small office network.

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Cars

Top Luxury Sedans: These top sedans boast luxury and speed.

The Mercedes E350 wins out in the luxury sedan category for three reasons: smooth ride, good price and decent fuel economy. Starting at around $52,000, this ultra-luxurious ride is a good value in its category.

The 268 hp, 3.5-liter, 24-valve V6 engine has great acceleration, suspension and handling. The interior is a study in luxury done right with power everything.

And at an estimated 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, the E350 gets pretty good marks for fuel efficiency from such a heavy-feeling wagon.

Want to find out more? In a recent story on Top Five Sport Wagons , the E350 took the No. 2 spot, only behind less expensive and more versatile Saab 9-3 Sport Combi.

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Lexus GS 450h

OK, so fuel economy is big these days, which is why the Lexus GS 450h is No. 2 on this list of luxury sedans. However, for a $55,000 hybrid, you’d like to see this sedan get more than its estimated 25 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

The 3.5 liter, four cam, 24-valve V6 engine with front electric Lexus hybrid drive certainly isn’t at all like its roaring counterpart, the Lexus GS 430 . The GS 450h engine starts up without a sound and is ultra quiet until you hit speeds around 30 mph. That’s when the car whines and gurgles a bit and then accelerates at lightning speeds as the gas engine kicks in.

The interior styling seems made for a male driver. The leather bucket seats are long and comfortable. The wood-and-leather steering wheel is classic and fashionable. Tons of faux bois on the dashboard and center console also make for a more luxurious feel. But for the ladies, there seems to be something amiss, something soft and feminine and gentle.

Another reason this luxury sedan is at the top of this list is because of its navigation system. Simply put, Lexus (and Toyota) have the best navigation system in the business! The on-screen, push-button controls are super intuitive, easy to use and provide the best turn-by-turn technology to date. At almost $2,000 extra, this navigation system is worth the extra price.

Here’s some notes from the senior perspective:

If you’re a senior looking for a “quiet” drive with lots of power, the Lexus GS 450h has your name on it. I found this car to be one of the best hybrids on the market for its electric, almost non-existent power driven system, to its luxurious interior. Enough can’t be said for this new generation of hybrids so any senior with a solid retirement plan should check these sports cars out for fuel savings and fast driving performance.

Although the Lexus GS 450h has an arching roof line, the interior roof was a bit too low for a tall senior like me. Still, it has lots of leg room for that quiet ride to the market or the mountains.

The bottom line is price vs. fuel savings. This Lexus hybrid gets an estimated 28 mpg highway with a top speed of 131 mph. You’ll need to do the math to find the value, but for a senior that wants luxury, good gas mileage and a quick pick up, the Lexus GS 450h is my choice for the leaner, meaner hybrid machine. – Rev. Joanne Tucker

Jaguar S-Type

The Jaguar S-Type 4.2 is an all-around good pick in the luxury sedan category, especially for female drivers. I mean, there’s just something about this pussy that’s all about feminine charm from the curvy lines on the outside to the sumptuous and stylish interior.

But this wily cat is also all about power. The agile 300 hp, 4.2 liter V-8 engine is helped along by Jaguar’s speed-sensitive steering, double wishbone suspension and dynamic stability control. To put it simply: This ride rocks!

But the little luxuries make the Jaguar S-Type even more special. The ecru leather seats with brown piping and all-electric controls are deliciously comfortable. And the champagne-colored interiors with complementary Madrona wood trim are pleasing to the eye.

Once again, the push-button navigation system is one big reason to buy Jaguar.

The seven-inch, easy-to-use touch screen navigation and audio system leads anyone around town or country with great ease and certainly more peace of mind.

At almost $52,000 ($55,000 with $2,800 navigation system), the Jaguar S-Type is reasonably priced in its category. The fuel efficiency is also within range at an estimated 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

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Here’s some notes from the senior perspective:

On a weekend jaunt to Palm Springs, California, an upscale desert resort town filled with senior retirees, the Jaguar S-Type fit in perfectly with its old-world elegance and a modern, simple-to-use, color-coordinated navigational system. I loved this car’s international flair for comfort with its burled walnut instrument panel and lux leather seats. For any senior that wants to travel in style, the Jaguar S-Type is definitely your kind of car, offering a fine balance between luxury and sports car. And for a good laugh that reminds a senior that the Jag is a made-in-Britian car, the screen shoots a very British statement that says “most functions are inhibited whilst the vehicle is in motion.” And, I still love that cat’s head on the hood for an unmistakable Jag symbol of luxury and performance. – Rev. Joanne Tucker

BMW 550i

If you need speed, there’s only one luxury sedan to buy for you: anything from BMW. And the BMW 550i doesn’t disappoint. So far, this sedan has the best acceleration, speed and handling of the bunch.

But to this comfort queen, speed isn’t everything. Yes, the interior of the 550i is pleasing with its leather, plastic and lots of shiny wood paneling. However, the dash, controls and console seems more robotic and stiff than the others, especially the cozy Jaguar.

In a recent story comparing the Lexus GS 430 vs. BMW 550i , the BMW couldn’t match the Lexus in overall comfort and amenities.

At about $65,000, this modern marvel also has advanced features like a $2,300 sports package, satellite radio, front and rear seat advanced head protection system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, iDrive system and BMW Assist Bluetooth.

Another reason the BMW 550i is at the bottom of the bunch is gas mileage. It gets a paltry estimated 15 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.

Cadillac STS

Cadillac’s super fast STS is the wild card in the top luxury sedans category. Do you want an American muscle car, but don’t want to sacrifice styling and luxury? Then this pimped out Caddy is your car.

The STS starts out at just $41,000, but the model we tested neared $70,000 with all the bells and whistles like a bumping sound and navigation system. For that much money, we’d like to see a bit more styling on the outside. But if you are looking for a muscle car that harkens back to America’s glory days, then the STS will make your heart skip a beat with its chunky grill, hood and side fenders.

The interior of the car we tested was a rapper’s dream come true with a two-tone, black-and-red leather combo and lots of shiny wood on the steering wheel and center console. The wide, comfortable leather seats seemed to make you want to glide your seat back, put on your shades and blast the music with your Bose 5.1 Studio sound and push-button, on-screen audio systems.

The 4.6-liter V8 we tested was lightning quick on acceleration and handled nimbly. The engine roars nicely and makes you feel powerful too.

Here’s some notes from the senior perspective:

From the moment I laid my senior baby blues on the awesome egg-crated shaped grille and vertical stacked headlamps of the blank Cadillac STS, I knew the racy sleek design of this vehicle was a total package of luxury. But when I opened the driver’s door, my eyes further feasted on a very plush black and red interior, complete with cushy leather seats that reminded me of living room lounge chairs.

For any senior who likes Sci-Fi movies, the Cadillac STS is straight out of a James Bond fleck as its technology recognizes and remembers your own personal seat preferences, which any senior should adore, and responds to your voice commands. And the all-around sound system is amazing!

This car’s trunk has enough space for lots of luggage for long-range trips, and for those golf-loving seniors, you can add a set of golf clubs And with the STS’s comfortable and quiet ride, it makes a wonderful touring car for those seniors who love to travel cross-country or for a relaxing get-away golf and spa weekend. With a price tag of around $42,000, the STS provides good value for a comfortable ride for a senior who loves to travel in luxury. – Rev. Joanne Tucker

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Health

Burning Water Instead Of Gasoline: Can “Browns Gas” Eliminate The Need For Fossil Fuels?

I recently came across your article “Fuel Saving Devices“. While the article was informative and enlightening, it did not touch base about the so called water for gas claims and/or plans for a water based hydrogen cells which are so prevalent on the internet now that gas has crashed through the $4.00 mark.

I would like to know if you, or anyone else as ever tested one of these devices, or plan to in the near future. I would really like to see someone come out with an independent test, such as yourself or a show such as Myth Busters and give an honest evaluation of one installed on a vehicle.

Thank you,

Bob Hansen

Answer:

We would love to do a test of one of these devices, but so far not one company that makes them will respond to our request. We invite anyone who markets such a device to send it to us for testing and evaluation.

We have seen these products and even bought a set of plans for it. They are just a glorified lab experiment. We built one when we were in high school 40 years ago. The principal is simple, run electrical current through water and it breaks the water molecules into its component atoms, hydrogen and oxygen. You can do this with a nine-volt battery and a couple of pieces of wire.

We have serious doubts that a standard gasoline powered engine can run on pure hydrogen and even more doubts that this device can supply all the hydrogen you will need if the engine does run.

The problem with hydrogen is that it does not have any octane. So hydrogen fueled engines need to be designed differently and ignition timing is radically different for an hydrogen engine then it is for a gasoline engine.

We think we would be remiss if we did not issue a warning about these devices here. Many of these people and companies only sell you the plans; they leave it up to you to build the actual device. This protects them from lawsuits because they do give you what they say they will, a set of plans. This way when people build the device and it doesn’t work, they can’t sue the seller.

Another thing these companies fail to mention is that you need about 5 watts of fuel energy to power these devices. So let’s look at this from an objective point of view and assume for a moment this device does work and the engine will run.

You take a gallon of water and put it into your fuel tank. You use this device to convert the water into H and O2. You burn it and it converts back to water and instead of throwing it out the tail pipe, you put it back into your tank to start the process all over again. Sounds like a perpetual motion machine. Something that many scientists have proven to be impossible with the technology we have today; and which may be impossible to build at all.

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Telecommunications

Access Custom Applications from The BlackBerry: The Magic of MDS-IS

The BlackBerry is best known as a way to access mobile email securely. And while this device is still a market leader for secure push email, there is so much more The BlackBerry Solution can do for an organization. Mobile Data System – Integration Services (MDS-IS), which is included free in with the purchase of full BES, allows access to these backend applications.

Selecting the Candidate Application for MDS-IS

When considering extending an application to the BlackBerry smartphone, an organization should ask these questions:

Will mobile access to this application increase the organization’s productivity?

While extending an application to the BlackBerry device is an interesting challenge, it is not a task that should be undertaken merely for the education or entertainment of the IT department or a partner company.

The application to be mobilized should be important in the flow of accomplishing the organization’s work, and the team who will have mobile access should be truly mobile workers. Executives, salespeople, consultants, and other mobile workers generally are good target audiences.

Do we have access to the backend database?

Many organizations are jumping headfirst into the world of SaaS (Software as a Service) and purchasing applications from outside providers who host the applications. While there can be advantages to outsourcing these functions, there are potential downsides as well.

Many times SaaS vendors will be reluctant to allow access, as this increases traffic on their systems without any increase in revenue for them. In other instances, the vendor will provide promises of data access but will not provide technical documentation or support.

If the application to be mobilized is critical to a very mobile group within the organization in performing their job duties, and if your organization has the data in a place where it can be accessed, the application is a good potential candidate for mobilization.

Selecting the Provider Partner for MDS Studio and BlackBerry Development

Once the candidate application is selected, it is wise to partner with a company experienced in developing and deploying applications via MDS as there are a few landmines all new projects encounter. A few questions to ask would include:

Does the company provide MDS development or only Java development?

If the partner company being considered does not have examples of applications extended to the BlackBerry using MDS, beware. MDS development is much more affordable than using Java to extend an application to the device, as much of the integration is done using web services.

However, since many software developers charge by the hour, they have little motivation to learn or use a development platform that makes their projects smaller. MDS development is a more rare skill set than Java development, but using MDS will save money.

Are you willing to work on location and train the team?

An organization that is not willing to work from the client’s office and to train client staff is either outsourcing everything overseas or trying to keep the client dependent on that company’s expertise.

While either situation is fine if an organization is merely looking for development assistance and does not want to be involved in learning the development techniques, if a client is interested in taking over the maintenance of the application and perhaps even developing future applications in house, a partner that is willing to train your staff is key.

Could we see an application developed using MDS?

If the organization being considered practices what it preaches, the partner comany should be able to show a potential client a few working applications it has developed for in house use. If they cannot, beware, as they may be bluffing and hoping to learn while the client pays the bills.

In conculsion, mobilizing an application using MDS – IS is a great time saver and productivity booster for most organizations. Even when partnering with an outside development firm, the process can be affordable if the right partner is engaged.

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Health

Is Drug Rehab or Alcohol Addiction Something You Can Treat at Home

For many people there is a resistance going to a rehab program for either alcohol problems or a drug addiction issue involving cocaine, prescription drugs abuse , meth or other substances. Is someone kidding themselves that they can do this at home? What are the issues involved in getting clean?

First of all, everyone will be reluctant to go to a rehab program and make excuses such as that it conflicts with work, the time isn’t right, won’t work with family obligations and many other postponements. There is never a perfect time to take a month off from your life. It is very easy to come up with a million reasons why this is the wrong time. This is one of the reasons why for an alcoholic intervention or an intervention for drug abuse, that a rehab place is already picked out and arrangements are made in advance.

There are people however that have been successful at stopping drinking by using local support groups such as alcoholics anonymous. Some people go to several meetings a week, call their sponsors regularly and between the meetings, counseling and going to a religious organization find that they are maintaining sobriety. The same can be true about narcotics anonymous meetings and some individuals having success through this. Keep in mind that someone needs to be highly motivated to succeed, sick of their lives and be tired of lying to themselves and others. For situations where there is going to be a physical withdrawal, a detox unit may be necessary as well as medications that will enable someone to taper down and avoid the shaking and side effects of withdrawal from alcohol or prescription drug abuse.

A rehab treatment program that is thirty days has the advantages that someone is freed from the environment that may keep causing the stressors and reactions which lead to substance abuse or alcoholism. Everyone is closely monitored to avoid cheating and there is intensive therapy both individually and in group. By getting into these issues, the root causes can be understood and eliminated as one moves towards healing.

There are success and failure stories of both inpatient rehab treatment programs as well as those using outpatient counseling and support groups from home to overcome drug addiction and alcohol abuse. One needs to look at their level of motivation, temperament and use complete self-honesty in making this decision as one compares these two approaches for healing from drugs or alcohol. But if you are going to take our advice, I would tell you to choose a rehab center over home treatment just because going to drug rehab center is much easier than staying home and fighting the addiction yourself, I know you might be nervous to go a rehab center but you will be glad you did it. Why am I telling you this? Because I have been through this before, the drug rehab center I went to was in South Florida and I only have good things to say about those guys, you can visit their site here, Detoxofsouthflorida.com. Before I went and joined, I was just as nervous and confused as you probably are right now but in the end, it was all worth it and a great experience.

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Health

Basic Information on Lung Cancer, Causes and Symptoms

Tumors interfere with the main function of the lung which is to provide oxygen to the body through the bloodstream and to get rid of carbon dioxide from the body. Tumors can be benign or malignant. A benign tumor is not life-threatening unlike a malignant tumor which grows aggressively, invading other tissues of the body by spreading through the bloodstream and lymphatic system. This process of spread is termed metastasis.

Causes of Lung Cancer

Smoking of tobacco is the primary cause of lung cancer and accounts for 90% of lung cancer cases. A person who smokes two or more packs of cigarettes a day has a high risk of developing lung cancer – 30 to 40 times higher than a non-smoker. Research has shown that tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds, many of which are carcinogenic. Carcinogens are a class of substances that damage DNA and aid in development of cancer.

Passive smoking or second-hand smoking is another risk factor for development of lung cancer. This is where a person inhales smoke from another person who smokes. This usually happens with people who share a room either at home or in the workplace.

Radon gas is another cause of lung cancer. Radon gas is a radioactive gas (chemically inert gas, a decay product of uranium). It is an odorless gas that can pass through soil and get trapped in houses and buildings. Other causes of lung cancer are chemicals such as asbestos and arsenic; radiation such as gamma and x-rays; the sun and car exhaust fumes.

Recent studies have shown that people whose diet consists of few or no fruits and vegetables are more likely to develop lung cancer.

Popular post: How to get rid of food poisoning quickly? By Dr. Paul Polentio, Gastroenterologist Physician in Illinois.

Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Symptoms of lung cancer vary and depend on the site of the body where cancer has grown, where it has spread to and the size of the tumor. The symptoms do not appear in the early stages of the disease. The following are the symptoms of lung cancer:

  • persistent cough
  • chest/shoulder pain
  • difficulty in breathing and swallowing
  • swelling in the neck and face
  • hoarse voice
  • thickening of the tips of the fingers
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • pneumonia
  • coughing up blood
  • pain in joints or bones
  • headache
  • seizure

It is a fact that lung cancer is one of the most common cancers all over the world. If people who are addicted to cigarette smoking quit the habit, there would be a reduction of development of cancer and eventually the person would return to a healthy state. According to studies done on lung cancer, it was found that the disease is common in men. In the case of women, as from the year 1987, more have died each year of lung cancer than breast cancer.

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News

Indian Gaming: Gambling on Indian Reservations

One of the benefits of becoming a federally recognized American Indian tribe (effectively a “ward of the state” with certain rights and regulations) is the ability to own and operate a casino or other gaming facility on tribal or reservation land.

The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina, who have been appealing to the government for recognition for more than 200 years, have insisted they aren’t concerned with this allowance. They were given recognition in 1885 but the appropriate benefits were withheld.

But Clara Sue Kidwell, director of the American Indian Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, admits the Lumbee probably would open a casino if given the chance, considering the financial benefits.

Native American Gaming

Gaming brings in revenue for tribes and is not taxed by the government, which is a boon for many reservations that suffer some of the lowest poverty levels in the country.

In North Carolina, as Senators Hagan and Burr argue that the Lumbee deserve federal recognition with full benefits, there’s a firestorm surrounding alleged contradictions with a state law banning video poker in the state. A Fayetteville game machine vendor argues that there should be no exception for the casino in Cherokee, N.C.

How did casinos come to be associated with American Indians in the first place? Depending on the part of the country, some connect “casino” with “Indian” quite easily – some states have several recognized Indian tribes with casinos on their reservations – but other states have none.

Kidwell, who has spent much of her life studying American Indians and descends from the Chippewa and Choctaw tribes, explains that it all started with a Florida Indian tribe almost forty years ago.

The Cabazon Decision

In the 1970s the Seminole tribe opened a high-stakes bingo enterprise on their reservation, igniting questions of fairness and gaming legality that led to several cases in the Florida courts system. When the case made it to the United States Supreme Court in 1987, the Cabazon decision removed gambling restrictions on Indian reservations.

Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

In response to the Cabazon decision, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGR) in 1988, permitting gambling centers on Indian reservations in states with legalized gambling. By 1996 there were almost 300 gaming centers run by 184 tribes, some on and some off reservations, but all bringing in millions of dollars.

When Congress passed the IGR in 1988, they also created the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) to oversee and regulate Native American gaming. This split gaming jurisdiction into three categories, classes I, II and III covering charitable gaming for small prizes, bingo, and casinos respectively.

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Jobs

Plumbing Training Courses

In the current economic climate, more people are being made redundant and/or are considering career changes. A number of companies offer courses which will enable you to become a plumber and many such courses allow you to train part-time whilst you continue to work in your present job. These courses are becoming increasingly popular and, if you are considering changing jobs, they may offer just what you are looking for.

If you have ever tried to call a plumber, for a household emergency or new installation, you will know how difficult plumbers can be to get hold of. This is because there is always plenty of work for plumbers and some countries, such as the UK, appear to have a genuine shortage of plumbers. Wherever you live, people will always need plumbing work. This is true no matter what the economic conditions are and this is why plumbing is a very secure career choice. If you train to become a plumber then you can be sure that your work will always be in demand.

Plumbing Training Course Structures

Plumbing training courses vary from company to company so it is worth doing some research to find one that suits your personal circumstances. Selecting a larger training company may be a better option for a number of reasons. Firstly, they may have more regional workshops available which could save you travel costs. Secondly, you will have access to a greater range of trainers who can provide you with different inputs. Thirdly, they are likely to be more financially stable.

A typical course would usually consist of both theory and practical work. A common course format involves asking you to read and study a series of carefully structured notes. Then you would have to complete a number of assignments, which are marked by a professional tutor. Feedback is always provided to ensure that any apparent weaknesses are reduced to a minimum. Alongside this theory element, you will be attending workshops where you will learn those vital, practical skills, such as pipe-bending, bathroom installation and lead-work.

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Plumbing Employment

Once your training course is complete, you could work for an established plumbing company or you might decide to start your own plumbing business. If you decide to go down this second route then you can become your own boss and work with flexible hours that fit around your family. Some students decide to combine plumbing work with another job and this gives them a valuable second source of income. Plumbing tasks are varied and hands-on so that no two days are ever the same for a plumber.

Plumbing training offers excellent earning potential and it also allows you to make changes to your own home so that you never again have to try to call out an unavailable plumber. Many of the heating requirements in any family home are jobs for a plumber. In addition to this there is a great future ahead, for plumbers, as the demand for renewable energy increases. So, if you are looking for a secure, yet flexible, career you might decide that enrolling on a plumbing training course will provide you with plenty of new opportunities.

 

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Health

How to Save Energy – Energy-Efficient Winter Heating

Autumn and winter cause temperatures to drop rapidly, especially at night, and keeping the house warm throughout the winter can be expensive; fortunately, there are a number of easy ways to warm a house or apartment during fall and winter without spending a fortune on heating costs. Energy-efficient methods of heating the house and saving money benefit the family, the environment and the checkbook. Use a few simple methods to stay warmer and save money.

Clean Technologies For Cooling And Heating Your Home

Energy Efficient Heating – Winter Heating Costs

Saving money while heating the house efficiently are two easy ways to help the environment and stay warmer. Simple things like the way the curtains are used during the day and at night can make a big difference in keeping the house warm. Open the curtains during the day to let sunlight into the house, and close them at night to help keep the heat in. This is a simple step to keeping the house a few degrees warmer, and it can save a great deal of money.

Ensure that the house is properly insulated. Good insulation on a house is key to keeping the heat inside and circulating instead of escaping through the walls and seals of the home. Properly insulating a house can save energy and money throughout the entire year by helping to regulate the temperature and creating energy efficient heating.

Energy Efficient Windows – Sealing Heat Inside

Check all windows at the beginning of autumn to ensure that there are no leaks, cracked seals or broken windows. These can quickly become a major heat and energy drain on the home, causing cold air to enter the house and lowering the temperature throughout the day and night. Seal windows and exterior doors with fresh caulk to help prevent costly leaks.

Winter Heating Methods – Keeping the House Warm

Heating the house during fall and winter can be a challenge, as heating the home is expensive and uses a great deal of energy. Heating the house properly can keep energy use and costs lower. Turn the heat down during the day when no one is home. Lowering heat use for an empty house saves both energy and money.

Keep the heat at a low but comfortable temperature throughout the winter and use a fireplace, sweaters and blankets to stay warm instead of using unnecessary energy. Close all interior doors during the day to keep heat within a room and ensure that it feels warmer.

Electric Heating Systems – What are the Benefits of a Boiler?

Electric heating systems are an energy-efficient method of turning electricity into heat for the home. Although they do require a boiler for houses and apartment units, there are a number of advantages to using an electric heating system. The heating system works quickly, lasts for many years, can be adjusted on a room-to-room basis and operates quietly within the house.

Installing an electric heating system with a boiler is a costly way to improve home heating, but its energy efficiency and long-term benefits make this a good option for homeowners who are looking to decrease the environmental impact of their home.

Keeping the house warm during autumn and winter can be a chore. Following a few simple methods, such as lowering the heat during the day and leaving the curtains open to catch natural heat, can help maintain a comfortable home temperature without damaging a bank balance or the environment.

Also think about getting an air purifier in your home, it might not save you a ton of money on your bill but it will make the air around you clean and fresh. You can read more about air purifiers at www.rockymountainairpurifiers.com/smoke-eaters/air-purifier, official site for Rocky Mountain Air Purifiers.

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Health

Build Strong Triceps with a Bodyweight Pushup Workout

Triceps Brachii Anatomy and Function

The three heads of the triceps brachii muscle join at the elbow to form the largest muscle of the arm. The lateral and medial heads of the muscle originate near the top of the humerus, while the long head originates at the shoulder. All three heads insert onto the olecranon process of the ulna. The main function of the triceps brachii is extension of the elbow, making it an antagonist of the biceps brachii and brachialis muscles. Because the long head also crosses the shoulder, it is also a minor adductor of the arm. Heavy and high-tension extension movements are useful in recruiting all three heads of the triceps.

Pushup Variations that Work Triceps

Two main pushup variations are useful in training the triceps, the close grip pushup and the one-armed pushup:

  • Close grip pushups – Moving the hands closer to the midline while doing pushups helps to exclude the large pectoral muscles from assisting the movement. To perform the basic variation of this pushup, start with hands directly below the shoulders and keep the elbows tucked against the body as the body is lowered to the floor. Maintain strong shoulders and contract the triceps to rise to the starting position. This pushup variation can be made more difficult by slowing the rise and descent to create more tension, or by moving the hands even closer to the midline to decrease chest involvement.
  • One-armed pushups – The one armed pushup is among the most difficult bodyweight exercises, and is certainly one of the most challenging pushup variations. A proper one-armed pushup is performed with the shoulders parallel to the ground, hand just inside the shoulder, feet slightly wider than shoulder width, balls of the feet on the floor, and with enough depth that the chest nearly touches the ground. Since the working hand is placed just outside the centerline, the triceps are the primary pushers. Mastering one-armed pushups will also train the tension techniques that help express triceps brachii strength.

Build Triceps Strength with Pushups

Long sets of close-grip pushups are excellent for developing strength endurance in the triceps. Performing the push at maximal speed, these pushups can also help develop explosive strength. One-armed pushups provide a high-resistance challenge for the triceps, training maximal strength and teaching full body tension techniques. A few sets of each of these exercises can make for an excellent pushup workout, developing multiple aspects of triceps strength.

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Cars

Defensive Driving Course: Beat the Traffic Ticket by Attending Traffic Ticket School

Moving violations, such as running a red light or speeding, are never fun for the driver who is ticketed. A defensive driving course can be the best option for traffic ticket defense.

Fighting a ticket may conjure up images of a boxing ring with a crowd going wild. The announcer’s words blaring out into the stadium, “And in this corner, the reigning champ, the driving machine, the one, the only Drives Like a Maniac!” The driver in question jumps into the ring pounding his fists against the boxing gloves glaring at his opponent. The announcer continues, “And in this corner, his opponent, his nemesis, the thin but mighty Traffic Ticket!”

Whoops and hollers drown out the announcer reverberating voice as the two begin to spar.

Finding Out If Traffic Ticket School is an Option

When a driver receives a traffic ticket, the options for settling the dispute are explained on the ticket. Generally, the driver can pay the fine. If this is done, points are often assessed on the driver’s driving record. These points count against the driver for a driving offense, and if too many points are assessed in a given time frame, drivers can have their license revoked.

If taking a defensive driving course is an option, this will often dismiss the ticket and any associated points against the driver’s record.

Sign Up for a Defensive Driving Course

Usually there are two options for defensive driving courses: take a classroom course or sign up for online defensive driving school. Often the in-person class requires taking a test which is open book, meaning the students may change their answers if they get them wrong. This way all students pass the test. Taking an online defensive driving school course does not usually allow this open-book option.

Call or go online to sign up for a course. Find out the requirements to sign up and attend class, such as the following:

  • how to pay: many defensive driving schools require payment in the form of a money order or cashier’s check, not cash or credit card or personal check
  • when to show up: signing in at least one-half hour to forty-five minutes early is often required to be admitted to class
  • where to show up: get specific directions of where the class is being held and allow enough time to get to the location

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Attend the Defensive Driving Course

Showing up to traffic ticket school on time is important. If the school representative says that the class starts of 8:00 a.m., that does not mean the student can show up at 8:00 a.m. They will generally give specifics on the time to show up to register and ensure the student is signed up in person. Following these directions will ensure students are credited with attending the entire class.

Listening to the instructor regarding what is expected of the students is necessary. In person classroom settings often require a test of traffic signs that can be updated following a review in class. Students can take notes as needed to educate themselves on traffic laws they are not familiar with. This will help the student get the full experience from a defensive driving course.

Learn from Traffic School

Hearing other drivers’ stories and listening to the material the instructor presents will allow students to become better drivers by being educated and aware of laws that were unclear before. And better drivers equal fewer traffic tickets and safer roads for all drivers.

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Games

Monopoly for the PlayStation 3: Hasbro’s Casual Gaming Classic Comes to the PS3 and Other Consoles

Coming out of the throes of the Great Depression, the real estate game, Monopoly, rapidly gained popularity among those wanting a taste of a life they only imagined. In the current Great Recession, does the modern version of this classic still resonate in the same manner?

Featuring modern graphics that take full advantage of the capabilities of the PlayStation 3, Monopoly contains the original version of the game which uses the original game board along with others from various exotic locales. There is also a faster-paced, “Richest Edition”, with a host of mini-games that provide a new take on the classic.

Monopoly for the PlayStation 3 Features

  • 2 Main Game Modes (Monopoly Edition, Richest Edition)
  • 12 Mini-Games (Part of the Richest Edition and also Playable Separately)
  • No Multiplayer Online Mode
  • No PlayStation Network Trophies

The Classic Original Monopoly Game

The “Monopoly Edition” of Monopoly for the PS3 features the same gameplay that has captivated gamers since the 1930s. Players roll dice and move their pieces around the game board acquiring properties as they go, and paying rent when they land on properties they don’t own. Once all the properties in a color are purchased – a Monopoly – the user can purchase houses and eventually hotels to drive up the rent.

The game nicely supports various house rules which are implemented when starting a new game. All the other familiar game elements are there, including Free Parking, Jail, Community Chest, and Chance. Hasbro and Electronic Arts have developed a spot on version of Monopoly that plays like the original.

The Monopoly Edition also includes different game boards that are unlocked buy acquiring stamps for the gamer’s passport. Stamps are earned by purchasing properties in the game. Some of these newer game boards are graphically stunning, especially the Future Board and the Chocolate Board. Despite the extra sheen, the gameplay remains the same when using these boards in the Monopoly Edition.

Monopoly Richest Edition Misses the Boat

The “Richest Edition” version of the game ramps up the speed of Monopoly and introduces 12 action-based mini-games that add to the chaos. Essentially adding a time limit to the original game by enforcing a finite number of rounds, the Richest Edition is a fun take on the original, but ultimately not as rewarding as the Monopoly Edition.

Frankly, considering what Monopoly for the PlayStation 3 lacks – namely multiplayer online play and PlayStation Network Trophy support – it is easy to question why development time was spent on the Richest Edition and a bunch of half-baked mini-games. Fans of the original Monopoly will still find enough fun playing the Monopoly Edition to warrant a purchase.

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Health

The Most Common Home Heating Systems

Wintertime can prove to be a financial drain on a home. The obvious reason for this is that a cold interior will need to be heated. This, in turn, can mean extensive gas or electricity bills. It is not uncommon for a large home to yield $200+ monthly heating costs. This problem can be circumvented with the right home heating system installed. Depending upon the type of home in question, the particular budget, and the homeowner’s personal needs, a great many different types of home heating systems can be employed to cut costs and deliver effective results.

 

Regarding which heating systems for the home are available, here is an overview of some of the excellent heating systems which can be selected:

Forced Air Systems

This particular system is far and away the most popular of all the many types. The possible reason for this is that it can also provide cool air as well as heated. For those that wish to use it for heating, the way it operates is simple. Air is captured in a furnace where it is heated and then released through ductwork into the many rooms of the home. Commonly, electricity is used to heat the air, although other fuel sources such as natural gas may be employed.

Floor (Radiant) Heating Systems

The several types of floor heating systems can be easily considered the second most popular form of home heating method. The floor heating employs a hot water stove that sends hot water through tubing underneath the floor. The heat then transfers from the tubing to the floor surface which, in turn, heats the home. The boiler that heats the water is energy efficient although the oft cited drawback is that it can be a little slow in heating the home.

Steam Radiant Heating Systems

This classic model employs a radiator that contains hot water and steam in its pipes. As the radiator gets hot, it will emanate heat through the home. At one time, radiators were the prime means of heating a home. Today, they are not used anywhere near as much since more efficient methods have been developed. However, it would simply not be accurate to infer that radiators have little or no value. They have worked quite well through the bulk of the 20th century and can certainly continue to work well in the modern age.

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Hot Water (Hydronic) Baseboard System

This can be considered identical to a radiant heating setup with the main difference being that heat travels through a baseboard alongside of the wall. Once the water is heated by a boiler and travels through the baseboard, it will emanate upwards and heat the interior of the rooms in the home. It can do so quite efficiently provided the right system is installed.

Geothermal Heating Systems

If radiators are the heating systems of the past, these systems could be considered the ones of the future. A geothermal system is buried underground and it transfers heat from the earth and into a home. Such low maintenance systems are quite energy efficient and have been known to cut heating costs immensely. In today’s budget conscious environment, the popularity of these systems is sure to soar.

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Travel Hacks

Lyon’s Public Transportation System

Lyon boasts an extensive and modern public transportation network, allowing the city and some of its suburbs to be accessible to those without cars. Visitors may choose from a number of transportation modes: Métro, tramway, trolley, funicular, bus, and last but not least, Velo’v, Lyon’s bicycles sharing program. Purchasing tickets is simple, convenient and again, with a variety of options to accommodate diverse needs.

Lyon’s Métro System

Unlike Paris or New York, Lyon has a straightforward and easy to navigate Métro system. Four Métro lines operate in the city: red, blue, yellow, and green. Entrances to the Métro are marked with the letter M. Train frequency depends on the time of the day and differs from line to line. Waiting time, however, is seldom more than 10 minutes. Major Métro stations and connecting points include: Bellecour, Charpennes, Gare Perrache and Gare Part-Dieu.

Tramway and Trolley Lines in Lyon

After the Métro, the tram and trolley are the next fastest modes of transport in the city. There are four tramway lines (T1, T2, T3 and T4) and three trolley lines (C1, C2 and C3) in Lyon. Unlike the Métro, riders have to validate their own tickets on the tram and trolley. Tickets validation machines can be found near the doors. Don’t forget this step as officers from the TCL, Lyon’s public transportation agency, frequently carry out random checks.

Using Buses in Lyon

Many buses circulate in the city. Some go out to neighboring towns and the suburbs of Lyon. Buses usually take the longest time, but they often go the furthest and to places where other types of transport do not.

Buying Tickets for Public Transportation in Lyon

Tickets for buses and trolleys can be purchased from the driver. For the Métro and tramway, tickets need to be bought in advance. Ticket machines are available at all Métro and tramway stations. Riders can pay by cash or card. A single ride costs €1.60. A set of ten rides costs €13.70. A day pass, at €4.70, allows unlimited number of rides on the Métro, tramway, trolley, funicular and bus.

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Maps and Schedules of Lyon’s Transportation Network

Métro and tramway stations have comprehensive maps of all the Métro, tramway, trolley, and bus routes. Free copies of these maps and bus schedules are available at all TCL branch offices. The TCL website has electronic versions of maps and schedules, as well as minutely updated information on delays, route changes, and more.

While Lyon is probably best explored on foot, walking everywhere can get tiring and unpleasant, especially during the cold months of winter and hot months of summer. Visitors to Lyon should plan out the sites they want to see and get a day pass or two, that way they can freely enjoy the city’s beauty without having to keep track of transportation cost.

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Telecommunications

How to Choose The Best Telecommunication Management Software

Businesses, large or small, rely upon internet and communication devices for the majority of work done by them. One easy approach to reduce these expenditures is to deploy a telecommunications cost management program by the use of a telecommunication management software. Such software are capable of realizing and controlling telecommunication costs. They not only reduce the number of man hours required to configure a manual telecom management system, but also track the usage of voice and data throughout the organization.

Features of a Good Telecom Management Software

There are several factors that lead to an increase in the total expenditure of an organization on telecommunications. Most of these factors exist due to the absence of a single tool or management system that synchronizes the end to end workflow. The first and foremost thing to look for in a telecom management software must be its ability to manage the workflow, from the request of a service to cost allocation and management.

The software must be able to understand, manage and automate all processes related to telecom management and should help organizations keep away from maintenance of separate paper bills and invoices.

The software should be able to handle and manage disputes. Many telecom management software allow administrators to bundle several disputes from one or more invoices from the same carrier and file a complaint. This could be done manually but the process of finding disputes one by one is time consuming. Such software will automatically track disputes and register them accordingly.

A good telecom expense management software automates the process of tracking and management of invoices. The software must be able to keep a record of all invoices, whether from the same carrier or different carriers, and track down and report any disputes that are found in an invoice. It should also alert the administration against billing errors and inappropriate variance in usage and costs.

Advance telecom management software experts also recommend methods of improving the productivity with the same resources and telecom cost reduction techniques.

Some telecom management software require human help to automate the process of invoice management i.e., human help to enter the data from the invoices into the software’s databases. These methods still leave space for human error. Advanced versions of such software, use an OIR (Optical Invoice Recognition) technology to automatically read data from paper invoices and save them in the databases for further processing. Such software will also help reduce the expenditure on human help responsible for feeding the data to the databases.

Another important factor in telecom management system is usage management. The software should be able to promote effective telecom usage management. It should prioritize processes such as monitoring the telecom usage throughout the organization. Also, it must be able to use ‘user behavior’ trends to minimize the cost per user.

The software must also provide a tool for telecom inventory management in the organization that allows the administrator to keep track of all telecom assets of the enterprise, and provide helpful information to manage and maintain these assets in the most cost effective ways.

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Why Use a Telecom Expense Management Software

A telecom expense management software helps an organization manage all aspects of the telecommunication resources with only one tool. Such software help large and small organizations to simplify, evaluate and control the telecom infrastructure of the organization. A typical telecommunication management software will take care of most of the needs of an organization such as ordering services, developing and maintaining an inventory, cost allocation for different services and also automated payment of invoices as per organizational guidelines.

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TV

Digital TV Transition: Analog TV Owners Will Need Converter Boxes to Continue Receiving TV

The FCC further states, digital broadcast will change television broadcast for the better. Digital broadcast will be sharper, clearer, and virtually interference free.

If you do not own a newer model television (HDTV) which handles the new digital signal you might be wondering if your old analog television will handle the change over to digital. Or will you have to purchase or replace all your old analog television sets. This might cost the average person several thousand dollars.

The FCC states the older model analog television set will still receive the new digital signal. All that is required is to attach a digital converter box to the set that will enable the old analog television to accept the new digital broadcast.

Also note: all analog DVD, VCR recorders will need the converter box to accept the digital signal also cable or satellite customer’s probably already own a set top box that receives digital signals. Contact your cable or satellite provider for more information. Here’s how to get ready for the digital transition.

Digital Converter Box Coupons

Visit www.dtv2009.gov Before the digital change takes place. Fill in the form on the website to request the $40.00 worth of coupons to help purchase the digital converter box. At this writing each household may request up to 2 coupons. In about 6 to 12 weeks the brand new digital converter box coupons should arrive.

Submitting Digital Converter Box Coupons

Take the digital converter box coupons to any local retailer who accepts the coupons and purchase the digital converter box. Most retailers will carry several models. Choose the model that is compatible with your television set. Some models have a regular remote control. Others are bundled with a Universal Remote. Many might prefer the Universal remote if they have several other electronics connected to their television set. Using a Universal Remote to control all the electronics will cut down or eliminate remote control clutter. And is a great option.

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Digital Converter Box Set-up

Now, follow the instructions bundled with the converter box. Setup is relatively smooth process. Connect the converter box to the television. Also, connect an indoor or outdoor antennae to the converter box to receive the strongest signal. Now you are ready to watch digital television.

HD TV Ready Antenna

The FCC states if the consumer already owns a VHF or UHF antenna they will not have to buy a HD ready antenna because the existing antenna should work well after the transition. The digital signals will broadcast over the same VHF and UHF bands between 54 and 700 MHZ where channels 2 to 51 are now.

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Google

Does YouTube Represent the Demise of Television? YouTube: A Model of Collaboration and Non-Economic Production

YouTube, the Internet based video streaming site that garners revenue through advertising, still generates much of its content from individuals who are not compensated for their work. Only 3% of the content is generated is sponsored “partners” and some make good money for their work.

However, most of the original content is non-economic work representing a growing movement globally. More people are using technology to network, collaborate with others, and engage in work that replaces economic compensation with the personal satisfaction stemming from the a sense of accomplishment, creativity, and meaning. Today non-economic work is having a profound effect the continued growth of content for the Internet, shareware software, and even advancements and discoveries in astronomy.

Collaboration Can Undermine the Traditional Economic Formula

At the core of the YouTube model is the idea that there are smart creative people who are looking for a place where they can do meaningful worker share their expertise. YouTube is full of intelligent content with high production values as well as informative how to videos on language, music, carpentry, automotive repair, and almost anything else you can dream up.

Sure YouTube also has plenty of whining teenagers, personal confessions, and pirated videos. However, this content does not take away from the viability of the YouTube model. In the book Wikinomics, Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams present vibrant examples of collaboration in the website Wikipedia, the operating system Linux, and even a mining company.

The key to the YouTube model is that businesses work cooperatively with people who want to contribute their unique talents and knowledge. Companies are beginning to understand the value of opening the door to people who want to freely contribute content or knowledge.

The YouTube Economic Impact

The YouTube model for collaboration cannot be ignored. If businesses do not find a way to harness the influence of these non-economic producers then businesses will lose market share to non-economic forces. In the long run this can lead to the demise of an industry.

Ipsos MediaCT reports that television viewership continues fall as Internet video viewership continues to rise. Traditional television content production and the millions of dollars in productions costs associated with television programming are being displaced by Internet videos. Many of these videos are produced by individuals not financially compensated for their work. Television can control sports programming and big budget television programs. It cannot corner market on news, entertainment, game shows, and reality shows.

These genres are areas non-economic creators can move in and produce online videos. The economic concern is that some types of business will be completely replaced by non-economic workers. The encyclopedia is one example of a business that has all but vanished.

YouTube is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon, if you already have a YouTube channel and are looking to promote your channel, I would recommend this short article: Promote YouTube Channel by Michael, who has over 500,000 subscribers on YouTube.

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Search Engine

Free People Search Engines: Find Classmates and Loved Ones or Egosurf with Online Tools

People search engines help locate long lost family members, business associates, loved ones, and classmates. Besides finding people, people search engines are also used for “egosurfing” or “vanity searching”. Also known as “auto googling” or “self-googling”, by typing in a user name, individuals are able to view information that is posted about them online.

Several of the search engines listed below provide an additional resource for parents. Not only do these search engines search traditional online locations, but many search social networking websites and blogs. It is strongly recommended parents frequently perform vanity searches on children to monitor online activity and personal information that is published online.

The following people search engines offer varying search criteria and provide a variety of search results:

  1. Wink is a comprehensive search engine that provides an invaluable resource for parents. Besides the “standard” people search inquiries, Wink searches over 300 million profiles from blogs and social networking sites including Facebook.
  • Search by location, name, school and interests
  • Refine searches by using marital status, birthdate and gender

Wink offers a variety of helpful and free tools for users:

  • The Wink Widget
  • Search plug-in for Firefox and IE 7 users
  • A Wink button can be added to blogs and profile pages

  1. Peek You is another people search engine that is simple and easy to use. “The smartest way to find people online”, this service searches social networking websites and photographs, and registered users can add profile information. The user interface is sharp and clean with a new Google tab also included.

Search by:

  • First and last name
  • Username-which is an online nickname typically used in chat rooms, forums and social profiles
  • Country
  • Tags which are short descriptive words
  1. Pipl delves deep within the “invisible web” for information traditional search engines do not search. Touted as “The most comprehenvisve people search on the web”, besides traditional searches, Pipl searches through millions of social networking profiles as well as databases not commonly searched with traditional search engines. The Pipl interface is clean and simple and results are nicely categorized for easy viewing.
  2. Spock is a newer search engine, still in beta, that includes a simple and straight-forward user interface. Started in 2006, Spock was voted “Top 25 Websites to Watch” by PC Magazine.

Spock search engine includes:

  • Tags which allow users and owners to add a variety of search engine optimized words. People can vote, add or delete tags
  • Profile aggragation which helps consolidate various user identities and profiles
  • Reputation Ranking
  1. Yo Name provides three types of searches; people search, web search or public records search from Intelius, which is a paid search. Yo Name also searches social networking websites and blogs.

Search by:

  • Username
  • First and last name
  • Telephone number
  • Email address

Clicking on the “advance search” tab provides additional searches from:

  • Webshots
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Match
  1. Riya is a different type of search engine. Touted as a “visual” search engine, Riya performs searches by:
  • Person
  • Location
  • Object
  • Public photographs
  • Album
  • Tags
  • Text
  1. White Pages is similar to telephone directories people have at home. The online White pages has over 180 million adutls in their searchable databases which covers more than 80% of people in the United States.

Search by:

  • People
  • Business
  • Reverse Address
  • Reverse Telephone searches are used to find the owner of a particular telephone number. Type the phone number in the search box and the user will be identified in results.

Whether trying to find an old friend or egosurfing, the seven people search engines listed above are helpful online resources for young and old alike.

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