content top

Did you say Coffee?

Did you say Coffee?

As far as the baristas at Intelligentsia Coffee in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago’s north side are concerned, I might as well be a coffee junkie. I most certainly am, by all accounts, but the difference between your run-of-the-mill junkie and me is that I actually have a job. But what’s great about my job as a freelance graphic designer is that I can do it anywhere and at anytime of day. That is, if I have a cup of Intelligentsia Coffee by my side. I started drinking coffee as most people probably do, which was in college with gallons of cream to delude the actual flavor. But eventually you undergo the process of learning to like how it tastes, or noticing the differences between a French roast and an Ethiopian roast, and the difference in texture based on preparation method.

Read More

Want your iPhone to get wet?

Want your iPhone to get wet?

As a white-water rafting guide on the Snake River in Rexburg, Montana, keeping my phone dry isn’t exactly a simple task. The families, bachelor parties, and businessmen on team retreats who I frequently lead on these trips are always stunned to hear me ask them if they want pictures of them on the ride. But of course, they always say yes, so I bring my phone along with me, and then when we get to a particularly gentle eddy in the river, I rip out my iPhone and take some action shots. Everyone’s always very impressed. That is, unless I either A.) fall in the water with phone in hand or B.) drop my phone in the water and never see it again. Either way, my phone is ruined, and so is my reputation as being the river guide who effortlessly takes fantastic photos and shouts hilarious, encouraging things, all while hurdling down a river at an electrifying pace.

Read More

The Evolution of Wedding Planning: 5 Ways Technology Has Changed It

I’m not planning my own wedding but I just want to share my ten cents’ worth on wedding and technology – the internet’s role, in particular. Because I couldn’t help but notice the way ceremonies as traditional as marriages have been affected by the products of innovative thinking, writing about this topic is something I wouldn’t put off. Nowadays, from the looks of it, almost all parts of a wedding are researched online.

Here are 5 ways technology has changed weddings:

  1. You can create top-notch, creative wedding invitations.
    Heard about romantic movie-themed posters, and save-the-date videos for weddings? While family and close friends’ attendance won’t be a problem, some people are not quite as easy to politely ask to show up for at least an hour-long ceremony. Basically, to get people to come, you have to give them a reason. If I’m the one tying the knot, I’d give my wife-to-be the blessing to go all out on the invites, too.
  2. You can make unique giveaways.
    I may be inexperienced in slipping a garter belt on the thigh of a really pretty lady but I once was a lucky wedding guest who walked away with heart-shaped sparklers and a container of mints that read mint to be. Because these fun and novel ideas are increasingly getting publicized on social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr, numerous betrothed couples have gotten ideas and thought of letting attendees head home with some sappy wedding favors.
  3. You can make the union happen quick.
    Not a fan of lengthy rituals but don’t wish to let your marriage be as basic and dull as a signing of legal documents? Or, not as loaded with cash to spend for an overrated yet somehow dreamy church event? Well, fret not because you can get to say I do online. Provided the ceremony is officiated by an ordained minister, local laws have it approved, and marriage licenses will be issued, you can legitimately proclaim your undying love for another in a snap.
  4. You can purchase one-of-a-kind rings.
    A pair of 13k gold and sterling silver handmade creation that each features a deer antler can be yours. If you’re picky regarding the type of shiny wedding band you’ll be wearing on your ring finger for the years ahead, you’d totally feel giddy at the thought that you can order jewelry from makers in many parts of the world.
  5. You can take inspiration from other couples’ wedding vows.
    Getting the idea from a site on the internet, my clown officemate, James, announced to his then fiancée Sara that he volunteers to be the one to kill cockroaches for her for the rest of her life. Apparently, it’s not like any of the usual wedding exchanges but I think it’s brilliant and original. If or when I decide to get married, I’ll consider as bold a wedding vow, too.

Wedding planning has definitely journeyed long from days when plain and simple created a buzz. As someone who is observant by nature, seeing the highs and lows and what’s left in between is kind of my thing. In my opinion, with technology and the internet, promising forever to a significant other in the modern world could only get better.

Read More

CrossFit:Having Fun with Fitness

In today's fast paced era, fitness is considered to be multi-faceted. Everybody wants to have a lean and healthy body. With the increase in popularity of fitness industry, more and more gyms are getting rid of hefty weights and machines. They are eventually turning their steps towards stocking kettle bells and other equipment that goes with CrossFit. There has been much debate about which training program is best for you. With so much increase in popularity of CrossFit, it seems to be hovering over every traditional gym. CrossFit training programs work on the basis of Workout of the Day (WOD).  

If we analyze the workouts in traditional gyms, we can easily notice that they are centralized for using many hefty machines that concentrate only on particular muscles. Since our muscles don't function and operate in this way in our daily life, these exercise are of no use. However, CrossFit focuses on many high intensity programs that provide you the perfect coordination of different muscle groups. As all the muscles work together, a significant increase in the overall body strength can be easily noticed. 

CrossFit programs are completely different and innovative from traditional training programs. They are designed in such a way that it will benefit you in various ways rather than just pumping up your body. CrossFit workouts aim at boosting your stamina, endurance, speed and strength. All the innovative workouts of CrossFit are a perfect blend of sprinting, weightlifting and gymnastics. The main feature that separates CrossFit from traditional pumping iron exercises is its high energy and shorter environment. With so much fun and drills involved in CrossFit, you don't even know that you are actually doing a fitness program.

All the CrossFit workouts are based on circuit training, there is no gap between two exercises and hence the calories are burned very quickly. There is no room to get bored in these high intensity programs because all the workouts change daily in the form of “Workout of the Day (WOD)”. The CrossFit trainers design the workouts in such a way that not a single muscle group is left out. Every moment in these intense circuit training is an amazing challenge for both mind and body. CrossFit programs have the unique ability that combines modern fitness workouts, and create a fun and intense exercising environment. This in turn yields some incredible results that you may never have imagined. However, in order to get the most benefit from CrossFit, you should be properly equipped. I would recommend you get yourself a pair of the best crossfit shoes, gloves and shorts and prepare yourself for the elite fitness.

Variety Everyday

Today people like only those things that have a continuous evolution. Nobody likes to eat same old food everyday. With this point in mind, every workout of CrossFit is tailored to be more efficient with the change of time. This way even your body is kept under suspense and this surely makes the exercises more interesting and effective for you.

All the trainers work hard to include drills and unique exercises in your Workout of the Day, so that you don't get bored. Unlike traditional pumping iron exercises which were meant only for few body muscles, CrossFit workouts target every single muscle in your body that helps you to lead a healthy and fit life.

Read More

Juicey Smartphone App

I’ve recently received letters from juice enthusiasts asking if there is a smart phone app that can suggest smoothie or juice recipes when pictures of fruits and vegetables are taken from the camera. It’s not as weird as it sounds. Although Image Recognition Software is still in its infancy stage, there are mobile apps now which can name landmarks and translate signs. Google Goggles which became available for Android phones can not only identify landmarks and translate signs; the app can also name DVDs, CDs, paintings and wine labels. This is very useful when you’re out shopping. All you need to do to compare prices is to take a picture and Goggles will bring up the product in Amazon.
So, an app that can suggest smoothies or juice recipes when a picture of a fruit or vegetable is taken from the mobile camera is not so far off, but right now none exists. I got curious though about why people would be so enthusiastic about a juice or smoothie recipe, so I did some research on juicing and found some really cool stuff about this health practice.
It seems that juicing or making smoothies out of fruits and vegetables can be really good for the health. We’re not talking about supermarket juice here. Juicing is about juice or smoothies that use fresh produce. There’s no artificial processing involved. All you will need is either a juicer, a blender or both, to make a fresh glass of juice.
This is particularly interesting to me since I must admit that I don’t eat healthily… well, not as much as I want to. If I can get more nutrients in my body without too much of a fuss, I’d welcome that. Most of the time, when I’m busy, I just grab or order the easiest take-out food available, mostly burgers or pizza or maybe a bucket of chicken. They’re delicious, relatively cheap and convenient, but I do wonder sometimes if all that grease is good.
Juicing has become popular for the following reasons:
• It increases your fruit and vegetable intake, allowing you to meet your daily requirements which are 5 kinds of fruits and 6 vegetables a day.
• It cleanses your body of toxins since they’re so rich in fiber and nutrients.
• It’s better than taking vitamins. A simple broccoli has more vitamins in it than your regular multivitamin.
• It’s all natural and you avoid unhealthy chemicals from entering your system.
• The juice is low calorie, the green juices that is. Dieters have used it for weight management by using it as a food replacement.
• The infusion of vitamins and nutrients gives you more energy.
• It gives your digestive system a break from processing proteins.
• Juice is easier for our body to digest and the nourishment is absorbed by our body faster.
• It can help prevent the onset and progression of diseases by boosting your immune system with anti-oxidants, vitamins, phytonutrients and enzymes.
All of these benefits are mainly because of the amount of good things that we’re giving our body – from a simple glass of juice.
I have a blender at home and it’s just one of those necessary kitchen gadgets that lie on the countertop. I decided to give it a try to see if I could use juicing to become healthier. I bought the required Broccoli, Carrots and other assorted fruits and vegetables. Then I experimented with a recipe that I saw called Beetlejuice with beets, apple and kale . It wasn’t too bad! I just blended it with water and drank it straight without removing the pulp since I read that the pulp is a good source of fiber.
I’ve been experimenting with different combinations since then. It’s actually delicious and filling and I enjoy a glass at least twice a day. Do I feel different? There is a feeling of lightness, maybe because I haven’t been stuffing myself with greasy foods lately. Sometimes, changes begin with the silliest things, like that letter about a smoothie making app. It made me ask myself if I’m really taking care of my health. After closer scrutiny, it’s obvious that I wasn’t. But it’s never too late to start.

Read More

Why the BioLite Camp Stove is the Coolest Thing Ever!

When somebody says the words ‘high tech gadget’ one would normally think of a smart watch, or phone, or computing device. The BioLite camp stove flips that assumption upside down. This little piece of camping gear is truly a high tech gadget that has the power to change people’s lives (bear with us!). Check it out!

When you go back packing into the wilderness you are bound to have your traditional camping gear with you: tent, sleeping bag, compass, etc… And up till this point you’ve either brought along petroleum fuel to keep your little stove blazing, or you’ve relied on the old fashioned campfire for your cooking activities. Both of these are wasteful, pollutant and not very efficient uses of resources.

The BioLite camp stove is none of the above! This tiny stove uses twigs and cones that you gather on your trek as fuel, captures heat energy to power it’s internal fan, diverts excess power to a USB port which can charge external devices (like phones, GPS, lights and more), and packs to the size of a litre water bottle! What?!

How It Works

The BioLite company has developed a patent-pending thermoelectric technology which takes power from the fire to recharge itself, fan the fire for ultimate efficiency, and charge your personal devices to boot.

Instead of lugging around fuel canisters, which add weight to your pack, pollute the environment with toxic fumes, and take up unnecessary landfill space, the BioLite utilizes the produce of the environment surrounding you. This mini stove burns twigs, wood chips and pine cones which are all naturally renewed by nature and who’s ashes fertilize the earth.

Not only does this stove work ultra-efficiently, requiring only 1.6 ounces of wood to boil a litre of water, it also can boil that water in 4.5 minutes (boil time can be even faster depending on the strength of the fire!).

How Big Is It?

This stove is a mini brute. Weighing only 33 ounces, and measuring 8.25 inches in height and 5 inches across, it’s the perfect back pack camping companion! Perfectly engineered to accompany your other camping equipment without taking up much extra space at all, which can be extremely valuable depending on your expedition.

Remember when I said that the BioLite can change people’s lives? You probably thought that I was being dramatic. But get this – The BioLite company produces stoves, like their mini camp stove, that are big enough to provide heat, cook food, and power people’s lives in developing countries!

In many countries where power is not readily available, people can spend hours a day slaving over smokey fires that destroy their lungs. The BioLite stove is trying to change that by providing well ventilated, efficient stoves that do so much more for people in need and part of the proceeds from their product sales go towards supplying these stoves!

BioLite is an up and coming company to be looking out for, and we’re excited about all that they’re bringing to the table. Check out more at BioLiteStove.com!

Read More

The Ongoing Rise in Popularity of Home Entertainment

How Technology has driven the popularity of consumer electronics …

People have enjoyed various forms of home entertainment since they started living in caves however like so many other phenomena, technology has driven and controlled how it has developed. These days, consumer electronics drives the home entertainment industry and people all over the world can choose to watch studio quality movies and TV series in the comfort of their own homes, many of which contain a home theater room filled with high quality audio and visual equipment to ensure that family and friends are able to participate in the best possible viewing experience.

We’ve come a long way since black and white TVs and VHS video tapes. Technology has driven the development of HDTV, 3DTV, Blu Ray players, sophisticated gaming consoles, surround sound and digital data transfer. The development of digital data transfer has also been responsible for the advent of the humble HDMI cable and you will need to have these as well as all the other high tech hardware that is necessary to fully create the home theater experience. HDMI cable reviews are a good place to start so as to ensure you purchase a cable that is going to be suitable for use with the other necessary audio and visual home theater hardware.

Movie studios and cable companies such as Starz, HBO and Foxtell are making movies and TV series that are suitable for home theater viewing and they are frequently emulating the Hollywood blockbuster style that has proven to be so visually appealing. For example, series such as Spartacus, Vikings and Da Vinci’s Demons have been made specifically for home viewing, yet the audio and visual spectaculars are reminiscent of movies like Gladiator. It is not only action drama that makes its way into our home. Sports, documentaries, children’s programs and sit coms also feature heavily in the choices that are available (at a price) for viewing at home.

Part of the technology that makes it all possible is audio and visual digital data and how it is transferred from the relevant source to the viewer’s particular hardware. Essentially, the viewing quality has improved with the ability of technology to transfer ever increasing amounts of bandwidth. This trend has been occurring for several years now and looks set to continue doing so, however a possible downside is that constant upgrading of home theater equipment is necessary to keep up with the ever improving audio and visual quality.

This makes it even more important to consider your audio/video components and to ensure your cables and network are compatible with high speed data delivery. Individuals can of course choose the level of sophistication necessary for viewing purposes, but most home entertainment enthusiasts opt for keeping up with the latest technological developments and those who can afford it, frequently opt for high end quality equipment as well. So who knows what technology will deliver as LED and plasma screens are superseded but it is bound to be exciting as the quest for even better audio and visual experiences continues on its current path.

Read More

Best Apps To Get Out And Enjoy The Outdoors

Technology is great for those who love to sit at their computers and plug away all day long. However, with smart phones and tablets, our lives are no long confined to the area that is a cubicle, office or even our home. Instead, there is an entire world out there waiting to be explored and mobile apps make it easier to do just that. Here are a look at some apps that will help you not only get outside, but also maximize the amount of things that you can do once you get out of the office.

ParksNReviews
Many people fail to realize that you don’t have to go very far to find a beautiful world of nature. ParksNReviews help you find hidden gems that are right in your backyard and are easy to get to. They also let you know what other people think about them and what they would be good for. If you want a relaxed day at either a dog park, a national park or just a city park, you can find it with this review.

SAS Survival Guide
If you are one that opts for the serious outdoor experience, then don’t leave home without SAS Survival Guide on your phone. This app will help you prepare for anything that you make come across and also teach you how to deal with emergencies. In the even that you need to use an emergency safety technique, you’ll be glad that you have this app on your mobile device. It’s also perfect for hunters, when out planting a trail camera or hunting game out in the wilderness and making sure you don’t leave home without your SAS Survival Guide on your smart phone should become a requirement.

Foresee
The only thing that can put a major damper on your mood to plan an outdoors adventure is getting to your destination and then the weather takes a turn for the worse. With Foresee, you can get a detailed weather report from wherever it is that you are hoping to spend your outdoor excursion. Whether you are looking to hit the slopes, go on a hike, or go anywhere else, you can get a better idea of what the weather will be like with Foresee.

Liftopia
If the idea of fresh powder is the ideal description of serenity in your mind, then you want to have Liftopia on your device. This app helps you find the best prices on lift tickets, which means you can spend more money on finding the best snowboards and other gear for you. Your adventure on the mountain will be more complete, and less expensive, once you have Liftopia.

Surf Report
If you opt for the beaches and sun instead of snow and mountains, then grab Surf Report for your phone. This app tells you what the swells will be looking like, as well as how many people are at each particular beach. This is a great way to find a beach that has the perfect waves, without the touristy crowd that seems to flock to the best areas.

Waze
What good is an outdoor adventure without doing it with friends? Waze is primarily a GPS app that will help you avoid getting stuck in traffic. However, there is also a social element that helps you meet new people that are around you. This is a great way to meet likeminded people and get together as you explore together.

Hunting Light & Blood Tracker
A great way to explore the outdoors is to go hunting. Now most hunters understand the importance of being able to scope out their prey. It’s true that hunters need the right equipment to do this such as decking their rifles out with the best rifle scope, but if you are a hunter and don’t want to break the bank then you should not leave home without this app. It gives hunters improved vision when out hunting in various conditions by using various lighting colors. It has nigh vision and uses a blue light to see things that appear camouflaged. It also assists in seeing blood trails left my game that may have been wounded.

It’s time to get out an enjoy the outdoors. And with the apps on this list, you can do that while still staying connected to your mobile device.

Read More

Photographers Get Shots from Above With Drones

Have you heard about all of the talk lately of drone usage for photography? Recently the FAA lost a court case in which they were attempting to fine a drone pilot. They claimed the pilot flew recklessly and because he was operating commercially for pay, the FAA wanted to impose sanctions.

It is good news for enthusiasts and pilots in industries who can benefit from drone use. One hot industry right now is real estate. Real estate photographers are using drones to get their cameras up into the sky for a higher vantage point. Homes on a lot of land or with beautiful scenery can stand to benefit from high aerial views. Additionally, home buyers can better understand a property like a giant estate, if they can see it from above.

So what are some of the different drones that are available to consumers right now, how much do they cost and how easy are they to fly? It is actually not as expensive as you might think! A photographer can get a camera into the sky relatively quickly and easily with out-of-the-box, inexpensive solutions.

DJI Phantom

The DJI Phantom really made drones come to the forefront recently. It’s an all-in-one package that comes ready to fly. Pilots do not have to assemble the drone, and it comes with a remote and battery for flying. Depending on the version that is purchased, a camera may or may not come with the drone. Deciding to purchase one without the camera means the photographer will have to strap on a camera like a GoPro to get aerial photo and video.

The DJI Phantom can be purchased from $500-$1200.

DJI F550

Photographers who are looking to lift a heavier camera have the option of building a DJI F550 hexacopter. Unlike the DJI Phantom that has four arms (quadcopter), the DJI F550 has six. Because the F550 comes in kit form that requires assembly, the pilot has the option to upgrade before putting the drone together. Photographers who want quality improvement over a GoPro choose the F550 and upgrade the motors and propellers to allow it to lift a heavier camera.

Lifting a heavier camera will come at a cost. Not only in terms of dollars, but also time and knowledge. The majority of F550 hexacopters come as a bare kit that requires soldering and manually syncing all of the electronics together. This in itself could deter a photographer from going this route, however the end result is much more satisfying being able to get higher quality aerial footage.

The DJI F550 can be purchased for around $650. However upgrade costs including camera could easily add a couple thousand to the bill.

Learning Curve

Cost alone shows these drones are not in fact toys. It is quite difficult to fly them, even for something like the DJI Phantom. Pilots have to learn how to not only control the drone while it is flying away from them, but how to return it back safely when it is facing the pilot and the controls are reversed.

Photographers looking to add aerial work to their services should purchase a starter quadcopter like the WLToys V929. Not only are the controls the same when you upgrade to a more advanced drone, but it’s small enough to fly indoors, insuring plenty of practice time.

Read More

5 New Gadgets Your Man Cave Is Sorely Lacking

It’s the only place in your house where you can be fully at ease. That’s the whole point of a man cave! It’s a safe ground for technological experimentation; a place where you can set up crazy new gadgets that your other half wouldn’t want to allow elsewhere in the house.

That is just the point of this article. To highlight the latest technologies that your manly lair is sorely lacking. Sure, you’ve got a fancy flat screen, sound system and video game kit. But that is just ground basics. Here’s how you really push it to another level with these five pieces of tech in your man cave.

  1. Brewbot
  2. Spotter
  3. WowWee Rovio
  4. Marshall Amp Fridge
  5. Ambient Orb

Brewbot

Maybe you already have a beer dispenser… but real men will brew their own beer! That’s the whole point of this smart brewing gadget that’s been making the news recently. It’s an automated brewing station that gives you full control of your beverage, while handling the boring technicalities for you. Just add the ingredients and keep track of the progress through its companion smartphone app. Sooner than you know it, you’ll be drinking your own brew.

Spotter

Here’s your own private sight beyond sight — plus most of the other senses. What this crafty little gadget does is bundling up several monitoring features into a compact device. You drop a Spotter into your man cave, and you’ll always stay on top of temperature and humidity changes, unexpected motions, sound and light changes. Intrusions of any kind will be immediately notified to you via smartphone, so you always know what’s going on.

WowWee Rovio

In a way, this is similar to the Spotter… yet different both in range and scope. Rather than just idly monitoring your man cave for environmental shifts, this minion-like gadget allows to actually take action from afar. It’s a remote controlled wheeled drone featuring a wi-fi camera. You can control it via the Internet to effectively check up on your man cave, scare away intruding pets, and anything else you can imagine.

Marshall Amp Fridge

Space is limited, but awesomeness shouldn’t be. If you must keep a fridge in your man cave as well as a good amplifier… why not go for a best-of-both-worlds solution? The Marshall Amp fridge will impress anyone who has a heartbeat. Especially since the amplifier was clearly not added as an afterthought. This is a real Marshal amp complete with all the details and control knobs you’d expect… but it just happens to double as a refrigerator door. And yes, the refrigerator part is also fully capable of doing its designated job.

Ambient Orb

Here’s an interesting ambient light that does so much more than arbitrary change the lighting of your man cave. This wi-fi gadget can be programmed to react to specific variables and change colors accordingly, thus acting as a discreet but effective warning sign. You can synch it up the weather report your stock exchange data, or any other information you find relevant. It will add both flair and functionality to your private manly haven!

These five great additions to your man cave will tell your friends that you are a hip dude with all the latest and greatest tech toys. These items can be found on Amazon and be in your man cave in no time. Heck you can just charge it your credit card and pay it off slowly while you are enjoying your dude cave! Now go get your technology Bro!

Read More

Oster Professional Fast Feed Clipper Review

If you are a jet-setting man who cares about your looks, you’ll find the Oster Professional Fast Feed Clipper useful. It enables you to groom your hair for next to nothing. It’s a quality product from Oster, a popular name in the self-grooming market.

The Oster brand has been in existence since 1924 when Mr. John Oster saw a chance to sell hand-operated hair clippers. The John Oster Manufacturing Company was bought by the Sunbeam Corporation in 1960, but the Oster brand, to this day, has a long history of strong, durable and well-made products.

The Oster Professional Fast Feed Clipper is a very quiet, lightweight clipper with an ergonomic design, and textured housing that makes it easy to hold and maneuver. When it comes to power and performance, this product holds up extremely well with a 120 watt voltage and pivoting motor. It’s a durable product which was made to run cool for long periods of use without getting hot. It cuts fast and feels effortless as there is no pulling while cutting.

These clippers may be used on any hair type, wet or dry, due to the pivoting motor, and can be used as a beard trimmer making it a very versatile product with steel blades delivering a clean cut. The side lever makes the blades easily adjustable, going from size 000 to a size 1 blade. The clippers come with an attached 8 foot power cord (which is a good length).

In the Box

* 1x hair Clipper

* 1x blade guard

* 4x guide combs

* 1x cleaning brush

* 1x cleaning oil for the blades

* 1x power cord

Oster Professional Fast Feed Clipper Features

* It’s very quiet and high quality. This is made possible by Oster’s Whisper-Quiet pivot motor which is 2x more powerful than a magnetic motor clipper

* They’re actually shorter than most motorized clippers, which makes it fit and feel so comfortable to hold

* The adjustable blades make tapering really easy, even without the use of the guide combs

* Also, they run cool for long periods of use without getting hot

* It comes with 4 different size clips – 1, 2, 3, & 4. This enables you to cut to your desired hair length

* They also have minimal vibration and are heavy-duty

Oster Professional Fast Feed Clipper Reviews

During our investigation into the Oster Fast feed, we found a very large number of reviews left by people that have already bought and used one, and we are pleased to say that out of a possible 5 stars, this product attained a solid 4.3 stars. There were over 600 reviews out of which 404 gave the full 5 stars.

There were a few other remarks where people had some issues with the product and these were – The guide combs are very short, and you may need to order longer ones, some had problems with the attached cord as it feels a bit heavier than others. Also, the attachments are nice but the clippers do not come with a storage bag, some users felt a small case included with the product would have been a nice accessory.

Conclusion

Overall, this Oster product pays for itself in a short time; it’s an excellent investment for cutting your hair at home.

Read More

Lasers, Blue-Lights, And Other Cool New Technology For Treating Acne

As you guys know, I’m into technology, and recently, my teenage daughter started having problems with acne, so I decided to take a look at what new technology is available to help people like her treat their acne.

I know when I was a kid my parents just told me to pop the pimple, and then wash my face really well a couple times a day to keep it clean and prevent pimples from forming.

More recently, I know there had been all different kinds of creams, pills, and numerous other new ways to treat acne. However, I was more interested in learning about what possible high-tech type treatments were available, if there even were any.

Unsurprisingly, acne treatment has come a long way since the days of my youth. Now, we can use high-tech devices like lasers or even a specific wavelength of light (blue), to treat acne, and even to reduce the appearance of those horrible acne scars.

However, as much as I like new technology, I admit that sometimes it’s best to stick with the tried and true method that has been used for years.

That’s why, for my daughter’s acne, I taught her how to get rid of whiteheads the same way that my mother taught me. I showed her how to take a warm compress and apply it to the pimple to open it up so it would be easier to pop and less likely to leave a scar.

The next step that my mother always told me to do was not to squeeze the pimple but to gently pull apart the skin. After using the compress, this would almost always be enough pressure to cause the puss to be expelled, and it was much less damaging on my skin.

As far as new technology for pimple popping goes, there isn’t anything much better than your own two fingers. If you are determined to use some kind of new device to pop your pimple, then you can always buy one of those fancy pimple extracting tools, but in my opinion your fingers work just as well.

One place that I think technology can definitely help is when you are looking for how to get rid of acne scars. There have been some major advances in this treatment field. The two most notable of these new treatments are laser and blue light therapy.

Apparently, lasers and blue light at a specific frequency are able to stimulate the cells underneath your skin, in particular the collagen, which then helps to rebuild the damaged skin and reduce the appearance of acne scars.

That’s not to say that these technologies are full proof or without potential side effects. I’ve seen some pictures of people that had laser treatment done to their skin to help with acne or scarring or whatever else, and they ended up looking like a burnt tomato.

However, it is always nice to see improvements in currently available technology and I hope that one day these two technologies will improve to the point where they can eliminate numerous types of scars and make skin look good as new.

Read More

Why Choose an HP Wireless Mouse

The mouse has been an essential computer component for decades now. Even if computer users are provided with multiple ways or devices of controlling a computer’s cursor such as touch screen monitors and track pads, they still prefer using mice. Well, that is because it feels more ‘natural’ and comfortable. And in case you want to buy one, you must make sure that you take a glance at an HP wireless mouse. However, if you do not feel that a wireless mouse will suit your needs, you better read the following.

For gamers, it is a big issue whether they need to switch from wired mouse to wireless mouse. Apparently, a wired mouse has a few disadvantages to it that are often ignored by many.

First, wires are susceptible to wear and tear. With the excessive use of mice, the copper inside the cable that connects the mouse and the computer may get disconnected. Also, the solder that connects the wires on the mouse’s PCB (printed circuit board) can get detached. And that is to be expected, especially if you are using a cheap mouse from an obscure manufacturer.

Second, the wires can limit a gamer’s hand movement. In case a gamer is not used to play using high mouse sensitivity (cursor moves faster with little mouse movement), he will have a hard time moving his mouse since the wire will limit how far he can move his hand. Even though it can be easily adjusted, it will only make the wire look messy and get tangled on anything that is placed on his table, which may damage the copper inside the cable.

Of course, those issues are minor compared to the lag and delay of response of wireless mice. However, due to the improvements applied to the common wireless mouse, the delay is now barely noticeable. On the other hand, even if that improvement is not enough for gamers, it is sufficient for regular computers.

With a wireless mouse, users can control their computer’s cursor without being forced to be near their computers. This is especially advantageous if the user is unable to sit normally near their computer due to physical constraints and if being near the computer and the monitor is troublesome (e.g., the monitor’s size is too big for them).

On the other hand, many wireless mice can now be converted into wired ones in case the users will need 100% precision and reliability from their mice (e.g., playing a game, creating digital art). Also, converting to wired mode allows the mouse to recharge its batteries. And due to that, users of this kind of mouse do not need to be bothered by replacing the batteries and charging them whenever they are running low on power.

If you understand the number of benefits that a wireless mouse offers, now is the right time for you to browse on HP’s website, and find a wireless mouse that will fit your taste. Why HP? Well, why will you risk buying sub-par products, otherwise? For more information on choosing the right muse, check out www.WirelessMouseHQ.com.

Read More

How I Keep My Mind Sharp – The Natural Way

Leading an active (if at times stressful) lifestyle keeps my body in shape. It also keeps my brain sharp. Yes, you read it right! Studies have proven that physical activities can help boost brain power. This is why I always make sure that I exercise regularly. But when things get too crazy at work, I try to avoid pharmaceuticals and stay on the ball with natural products – and I’ve had the most success with Rose Geranium essential oil and Neroli essential oil.

Managing Stress for Better Brain Health

Many of us may not be aware of the fact (or just tend to ignore it) that stress can be a silent killer. This is probably because stress has become so commonplace these days that people has accepted as part of life. Well, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it is our body’s way of protecting us – it helps us stay focused and alert. Too much stress, however, exposes your body to serious health risks. Apart from physical and emotional strain that leads to all sorts of illnesses, it can also cause damage to the brain by releasing harmful hormones.

So, how do we fight stress? One of the best ways is stop and smell the roses. Well, kind of. Rose Geranium oil’s sweet and rosy scent creates a balancing effect on the body’s nervous system. It helps relieve anxiety, and depression. Whether in vapor therapy or in the bath, rose geranium oil has a soothing effect that can lift your spirits.

To give you a little background, Rose Geranium is also known as Pelargonium Graveolens and it is part of the Geraniaceae plant family. It is a perennial shrub that has pointy, serrated leaves and tiny, pink, aromatic flowers. Rose Geranium is actually different from the rose flower that we are all familiar with. Rose geranium has many different species and comes in a variety of colors (just like roses). Its essential oil is not as pricey as pure rose essential oil, though. This is why it can be used to mix with rose oil. Both oils possess similar therapeutic properties.

Traditionally, rose geranium plant was grown in order to drive away evil spirits. Over the years, the essential oil extracted from it has been used to ward off stress and tension – the sort of modern day equivalent of evil spirits. Along with aromatherapy, meditation is also effective in relieving stress and thus, promote increased levels of brain functioning. It activates the brain’s “prefrontal cortex,” which is said to be the well-spring of advanced thinking and performance.

I’ve found that the best complementary oil for rose geranium is neroli essential oil. Extracted from the blooms of bitter orange trees, this oil has a beautiful, uplifting aroma which inspires real feelings of relaxation and joy.

Fighting the Fight or Flight Response

Meditating for at least 10 minutes a day can help you manage stress, eliminate anxiety, and achieve greater capacity for mental and physical relaxation. It is also effective in improving cardiovascular health among other health benefits.

When we are exposed to sudden stress or threat, our body reacts with the so-called “fight or flight” response. It results in the release of the hormone’s epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal glands. When coupled with aromatherapy, meditation allows the body to react from the “fight or flight” response in an opposite manner.

I can’t stress enough the importance of meditation and aromatherapy in promoting active brain functioning. Essential oils such as Rose Geranium or Neroli essential oil have been helping me stay alert and focused. They don’t just help me relax; it also keeps my brain sharp.

Read More

Different outdoor hobbies you should consider trying

We talk about a lot of different things on this website in regards to things to do in the outdoors. However I don’t believe that we have covered some of the hobbies I have been trying over the last couple of weekends.

Shooting

The first is air rifle shooting, which I find to be a great way to get away from the pressures of work and everyday life. I starting out with air rifle shooting is easy with plenty of different firing ranges that will kit you up if you just want to aim at targets. For me I decided to get my hunting gear on and go out air rifle shooting with a friend who was really keen on the activity. He showed me the ropes and let me borrow one of his guns so I could see if I was interested in air rifles or not. After that I was pretty much hooked. I decided that I was really interested in getting a quality sniper air rifle like my buddy, so I did a quick search for best sniper air rifles to compare the different types of sniper rifles that were available, and I landed on a website that specialized in comparing heaps of the best sniper rifles available on Amazon.

I decided to purchase the RWS 54 Air King which came highly recommend. It is both a top of the line air rifle, and also as a quality RWS model gun. After firing just a few rounds I can tell you that these things really pack a punch! My first tests involved shooting cans off the top of a fence, but i also managed to score a rat later in the day. This rifle didn’t come with a scope, so I had to buy an after market one, and man does it make shooting fun – this thing is like a telescope to look at the stars with the distance it can provide!

If you haven’t tried shooting with air rifles, then do yourself a favor and give it a try – it really is a heap of fun.

 

Metal Detecting

The other hobby I decided to try recently was metal detecting, or treasure hunting as it is known by the pros. I always thought that metal detecting was something that only old guys did on weekends, but it turns out that there is a heap of young to middle aged people that enjoy it as well (women too). I actually only discovered this outdoor hobby after watching that TV show Diggers. They seemed to be having a blast and finding all kinds of interesting historical things.

I’m actually a bit of a relic hunter myself, so the idea of finding buried treasure that had been lost to time and history really appealed to me. I remember the guys on the show talking about the different types of detectors they used and why, so I decided to see if the internet agreed with their findings by looking for the best metal detector by asking people on forums, speaking to the local pros and doing internet searches. It turns out that there are HEAPS of different types to choose from, and they all are good at finding different things.

I was way in over my head and didn’t really have the amount of time required to do an in depth assessment of each device. So I decided to just go with a recommendation from an expert. I read a great Garrett ATX review which essentially said that this detector was about as good as it gets. The review was detailed and said that the ATX came more or less pre-setup out of the box without much fine tuning necessary and was great at finding even the deepest targets – definitely my kind of machine, take a look at it below!

My plan at the moment is to take my detector with me the next time I go out hunting. I figure that should I struggle to find any decent game to hunt then I could get out my ATX and see if the ground yields anything more interesting. Plus after talking to many of the local detector groups in the area, I think I might end up joining one and seeing if they can teach me the finer points of finding really interesting buried treasures.

 

Both of these hobbies are a tonne of fun and are open for pretty much anyone to get into. You can even get air rifles and metal detectors for under $100 if you don’t have a heap of money, so there are no excuses as to why you shouldn’t give them both a try.

Read More

What Help is Available Online for Wealthy First Time Buyers?

A very small percentage of the population is classed as wealthy. Even smaller are those classed as ultra-wealthy.

Yet this percentage is seemingly increasing year on year now, with many internet millionaires being created in this new economy.

These new-rich ‘ultra wealthy millionaires’ are often still very young so setting down in a home of their own is often the last thing they are considering, when they can be out there having fun and spending their money on toys like the latest ferrari or bugatti.

But speaking from experience as a young CEO, I know wealth management is important to consider early on and part of this is looking at investing in to property.

Whether it’s for your own home or simply as an investment, it doesn’t matter. It’s just simply good business sense. Those cars will loose value quickly… that vip Cessna club membership may be exciting but it won’t add to your bottom line.

That’s why this article looks at what help is available for the super wealthy & new breed of ultra millionaires when it comes to investing wisely and becoming a first time buyer in the property market.

Getting Clean Air

To act like a CEO, you need to live like a CEO.

Clean air helps give plenty of space to think, so being outdoor & living in the country is the ideal.

But those idyllic villages amongst green hills beside clear rivers are not always the cheapest places to buy and many first time buyers simply don’t stand a chance.

Luckily for you that’s not an issue. Instead of worrying about prices, it’s a balance of finding that rural living space close enough to the major cities to still be able to operate your business.

Sure project management software like podio can help you work easily from home, but you’ll need to maintain a close work presence if your going to make this work.

Cash or Leverage

Many of the banks and building societies offer online calculators to help work out how much money may be available for a mortgage, which will dictate how much money you can borrow.

There’s a strong argument for using leverage. It will catapult your ROI and will put your money to work much better, but you maybe slightly restricted on the terms of the financing depending on what your buying.

However once you know what kind of budget you are working with, you can start looking at what type of properties will fit your plan of home ownership or investment.

Now this is where it gets really interesting.

There is a wealth of estate agents and property investment companies out there that will help you find prime real estate investments.

Here are just a few options.

> Click here for investment properties
> Go here for prime location properties

Some of the websites now are fantastic with full walkthrough’s combined with specialist app’s that provide everything from furniture placement to art ordering that match with the layout, colouring & design of each room.

Not only that but you can look at the ‘where’ of a property, the ‘type’ of property in a certain postcode or even just scan a whole postcode area to be inspired.

Below Market Value Properties

Another, slightly trickier proposition, is finding a house which is for sale below market value.

This is a key indicator that any price conscious buyer should be looking. Learning how to find & buy investment properties is one option, but why spend the time doing it yourself when you can bring a specialist onboard.

Another option is considering repossessed properties going up for auction

For repossessed properties, some property investment companies have searchable databases which list these properties. This saves you having to scout around a variety of different sites to find a property which may suit you.

Renovation projects can also be cheaper than the market value, but bear in mind, extra money will be needed to do the work, possibly before you can even occupy the house. So the amount you spend on the property needs to leave enough money from your original budget to do this work.

There are lots of online resources to help with property development, whether you want to do the work yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Legal Stuff

Once you find a property and organise your mortgage, then there is the legal side of things to be sorted.

Many mortgage providers will have a list of approved solicitors who offer a service called a conveyancer. This is simple and straight forward, but I would recommend combining this with a specialist tax advisor to make sure your getting the right structure of ownership from the start.

They would then liaise between mortgage lender and estate agent, sort out the legal paperwork and run searches.

Moving In

And then you are ready to go. Once you have a completion date, you can arrange removals from the range of companies who will give online quotes. If your buying in the UK, make sure you use someone who is a member of the British Association of Removers to ensure you are protected. If your buying in the US there is no equivalent so simply make sure you use a decent company with the correct insurances in place.

Good luck in your new home!

Then comes the gadgets, wine cellar and art collection, which is always a nice way to top of a new move!

Read More

The Mermaid

My girlfriend, Andi, has been swimming her entire life. She grew up with a pool in her backyard, and literally, her parents had her in there virtually every day as an infant. She was swimming by herself by the age of two and a half, and she was on her swim team all through school. Needless to say, she’s very comfortable in the water, and extremely fit. Any time we go to the beach or a pool or anything, I joke about her being “my mermaid.”

So last summer we were on vacation in the Caribbean, just splashing around in the ultra-clear water, and Andi kept diving under the surface and circling around me like a little fish for a full minute or two at a time, without coming up for air. And then this silly idea jumped into my head. I told her, “You’re going to be a star, little mermaid.”

I invested in a GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver. It’s a prosumer-grade camera that’s completely water proof. We’re talking professional quality high definition video in 200 feet of water for just a few hundred bucks. That would have been unthinkable just a decade ago. Now I can easily do what a professional Hollywood crew would have been hard pressed to do for a hundred times the cost not all that long ago. Plus, I’m a certified scuba diver and I own all my own gear. Andi is too, but I told her she wouldn’t be needing it for this “project” I dreamt up.

First, we shopped around for her official mermaid tail. It’s amazing how many surf shops sell mermaid tails these days. The ones we found in retail stores were all a bit junky and cheap looking, so we searched online until we found one that was passable as a genuine fish tail. She’d kill me if she knew I were including it in this post, but she actually already owned a clamshell bikini top, so there was no need to hunt for one of those.

We spent a great many afternoons testing her lung capacity. We’d use my dive watch to time how long she could stay underwater, then we’d see how far she could swim while holding her breath. Turns out she can hold her breath for over a full minute while covering a tremendous amount of ground—approximately 100m—swimming underwater with her monofin tail.

So then I would dive down with my scuba gear and the GoPro, I’d signal to her, and then she’d swim down under the water a full minute at a time. I had to start timing her with the stopwatch feature on my Aquaracer, though. Because she’s such an overachiever, she’d drown herself before she’d give up on a great take. But I made up my mind: 60 seconds and I’d start signaling for her to go up for air.

We shot some tremendous footage. Now we have dozens of uninterrupted, unedited 60-second-long high definition shots of a mermaid swimming, doing flips, and fooling around in the sand at the bottom of the bay. We’re not 100% sure what we’ll do with them yet. We put a couple of the videos up on conspiracy forums around the web to see if we could cause a stir, but no luck yet. We did one shot where Andi sees this shiny thing on the ocean floor and she goes to inspect it. It turns out to be my watch, so she puts it on and swims away, proudly displaying her new timepiece. We were thinking of pitching it to Tag Heuer as sort of a speculative commercial spot. Who knows? We might start a YouTube channel or try to sell the shots as stock footage. No matter the outcome, we had a heck of a lot of fun doing it, and I can assure you that the GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver and the Tag Heuer Aquaracer Grande Chronograph are quality products that actually function well underwater. And Andi will testify that AquaTails High End Mermaid Tails are comfortable and durable, as well.

Read More
content top