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Debunking 8 Common Skincare Misconceptions

When it comes to taking care of your skin, there are a lot of myths out there. We spoke to dermatologists about the most common skincare misconceptions to debunk them once and for all. While a little tingling with some products is normal, any stinging or burning may indicate an allergic reaction and should be […]


A Music Lover’s Guide to Finding the Best Earphones

Earphones should be comfortable to wear for long listening sessions, and they should have good noise isolation to block out external sounds. They should also feature wireless connectivity, a long battery life and a sleek design. Many audiophile earbuds are designed with touch controls, making it easier to adjust music or hands-free calls. You should […]


The Dos and Don’ts of Designing a Beautiful Garden

Gardeners can easily get carried away with plants and features. But overcrowding can create a cluttered outdoor space that is less than attractive. Instead of filling gardens with flowers that only provide a brief moment of beauty consider using plants that have interesting foliage, form or texture. These qualities are more lasting and deliver extended […]


Why Is Ventilation Fan Repair Necessary? (Explained)

Ventilation fans work to remove moist air from your home and release it outside, helping protect against mold, mildew, water-loving insects and other moisture-related issues from damaging it. For this to work properly, the fan must vent properly without blockages or leaks occurring. When your ventilation fan isn’t performing as it should, maintenance might be […]


Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident

The first thing you should do is check yourself and anyone else involved for injuries. If there are any, call 911. Next, take pictures with your phone from different angles of the accident scene including the positioning of the cars and their damage. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Call 911 […]

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Debunking 8 Common Skincare Misconceptions

When it comes to taking care of your skin, there are a lot of myths out there. We spoke to dermatologists about the most common skincare misconceptions to debunk them once and for all. While a little tingling with some products is normal, any stinging or burning may indicate an allergic reaction and should be […]

A Music Lover’s Guide to Finding the Best Earphones

The Dos and Don’ts of Designing a Beautiful Garden

Why Is Ventilation Fan Repair Necessary? (Explained)

Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident

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Why Some Colleges Have High Graduation Rates

Why do some colleges have higher rates of graduation than others? What is their secret?

If you are serious about getting a degree, then go to a college that has a good number of graduates. A college that screens its possible students to find the best among the rest. After all, a college degree is your ultimate goal and you can only achieve it if you graduate.

Here are the traits you need to take into consideration when choosing a good college or university.

  • Quality of the College: Colleges do not make it to the list of top schools for nothing. It means they are doing something right with their curriculum, teaching methods, choice of professors, etc.

Read reviews and comments about your preferred school. You can check out the list of the best colleges we have here.

  • Qualifying Exam or Screening: Colleges require entrance examinations to evaluate candidates and screen out the undeserving or low performers.

Those who pass are the ones who are most prepared to face the challenges of a college course, and are ready to hurdle any obstacles to earn their coveted degree.

Quality students mean higher graduation rate for colleges.

  • Outstanding Curriculum: Experts say a high graduation rate is not always an indication of a good college or university. It is likely that some colleges have high rates because they have a very easy curriculum as compared with other colleges. So, before deciding on a college to attend, check the course curriculum and see if it contains all the necessary subjects you need to learn and trainings that you need to undergo.
  • Teacher to Student Ratio: The National Center for Educational Statistics said 18 students is the ideal number for every class, or an 18 to 1 ratio. Studies also recommend smaller classes so a student can learn better.

So, knowing how many students are accepted in each class is important. The smaller the group, the better.

When the class is small, a student is able to familiarize himself/herself with the other students making him/her comfortable and able to ask questions and join discussions on various subject matters. It will encourage him/her to participate and stand out in class.

A professor will also be spared the stress of a big class. He will also get to know the students better, and will know how to handle each one depending on the student’s learning ability.

  • Student Financial Aid: If you have the finances to pay for college tuition, good for you. Some students would need to work on a part-time basis to cope with college expenses. 

So, if you’re a student who doesn’t have sufficient college funding, look for a college that provides financial aid. Financial aid can hugely help you pay for tuition so you don’t extend your education, and you can graduate on time.

Colleges usually give out information on the number of students they help each year with financial aid, and how much they provide. Read through it to get a good idea.

Features of a Great College

Do you find yourself having a hard time choosing which university or college to go to? That could be a real problem especially if you have a lot of options to choose from.

If you have decided to pursue a college degree way back before graduating from high school, you may have already made a list of possible colleges you wish to attend. So, go back to that list, and know your real priorities. Know what’s important to you – your course, the location, campus size, student organization, etc. Focus on the things you really want.

To get you started, we have come up with a list of the most important characteristics you need to find in a university/college.

Appealing Curriculum

If you still need to do a lot of thinking about the course you really want to enrol, take a look at each course curriculum to get a good idea. Check the general subjects offered with the course. Ask yourself if they make sense to be in  that course.

Does the course cover all the relevant topics you need? For example, if you want to be an accountant, the course should have more subjects relevant to it, and not talk a lot about marketing.

Student to Faculty Ratio

A student is able to acquire better learning when studying in a small group, so knowing how many students are accepted in each class is important. The smaller the group, the better.

The National Center for Educational Statistics indicated that an ideal student to faculty ratio in college is 18.

A small class also familiarizes a student with his or her classmates making the student comfortable and able to ask any questions he/she has in mind regarding a subject matter. It will encourage students to participate and make the excellent ones standout in class.

A small class is also less stressful to a professor, and makes him or her get to know the students better.

It is important to learn about the students so the professor will know how to handle each one because each student would have different levels of learning ability.

Internship Opportunities

If you’re planning to enroll in an engineering, medical, or communication courses, these courses generally require going through a practicum at a reputable institution.

Ask the admission department for information on this so you’ll know the extent of their internship program.

Internship will give you a hands-on experience to apply what you learned in class. Theoretical learning is not sufficient. Practical learning is a must to give students an idea about how the work is done in the real world.

The hands-on knowledge you get will help you showcase your education and experience to prospective employers when you start searching for a job after graduation.

Admit it or not, most employers prefer those who already have an idea about the job because it lessens the time a recruit will spend familiarizing himself/herself with the work, and make him/her productive at the soonest possible time.

Safety in the Campus

Recent news reports about shootings in school campuses should make you think about the safety of the college grounds. Check on this thoroughly.

The college security should ensure that only students and college staff could get inside, no outsiders who have no official business in the campus.

The college administration should also be very keen from banning students who are involved in grave misconduct to ensure the safety of its student population.

How to Choose the Best College

The university or college you will attend will be your learning provider until you graduate. And with the huge fees they charge, it is but proper to choose wisely!

Your initial concern would be where you want to be – would you like to study close to home or be in another city?

Second consideration would be your college course. Is the university near you offering it or not? If not, are you willing to leave home and go off to college in a different city or state?

Deciding on which college to attend will take months even years. You have to do your research, and do it well. Remember, your college course will most likely dictate your lifetime career so be sure to get the best education.

We have listed several tips to help you be on the right track.

  • Choose your course well.

A college degree is expensive so it is very important that you think very hard of the degree you want to earn.

It should be something that you are interested in because no money spent on tuition should be wasted.

It must be something you really love so when you encounter difficulties, you would not change your mind and transfer to a different course.

  • Check the list of best universities/colleges.

Do your research and find out if the university/college you are planning to attend belongs to the list of those on top. Some of them are ranked according to an overall rate, while others are ranked according to their performance per course.

A ranking per course will give you a good insight as to which course or courses a college is good at.

Also check if the college offer information on its website about the number of students per class. It is always good to have smaller classes because it is less intimidating to ask questions, and it is more quiet so you get a better understanding of the discussions.

  • Check the facilities.

One of the considerations for a good college is its library. A decent library should have most, if not all, of the resources needed by students to better understand their subjects, and be able to thoroughly research on topics. It must also be comfortable and well lit.

A good college should also have a cafeteria that offers clean and healthy food, as well as affordable meals.

Also check if it offers student accommodation. Visit it and see how comfortable it is. After all, it will be your home away from home for three to six years if you opt to study outside of your locality.

  • Check course content.

A university or college website will most often have a page that features each of the course it offers, including a description of the course, and hopefully, a list of the topics or subjects offered under each course. If this is not available, go ahead and send them an inquiry.

They would be very happy to answer all your questions.

  • Find out about the sports and organizations.

If you’re into sports, you should definitely find out what sports the school offers. You can even get a scholarship if you’re good at a certain sport.

If you love group activities, check out the kind of school organizations in the school so you can decide on which group you want to join.

How to Choose the Right College Course

Is a university or college degree worth the huge expense? Eighty-eight percent of students who are now taking college courses seem to agree.

A 2019 report from indicates that the average cost of a college education annually is $45,000. A recent Pew Research Center study also reported that about 49 percent of those who graduate from college owed student loans averaging at $25,000.

With the huge expense of a college degree, it is very important that anyone thinking of going to college must think very hard of what degree he or she wants to earn. It should be something that he or she is interested in because no money spent on tuition should be wasted. It’s not something you think you want but when you encounter difficulties, you change your mind and enroll in a different degree.

It is also important to remember that whatever course you take in college will highly likely dictate the path of your career in adulthood. So, choose wisely because you might end up hating what you’re doing later on when you’re not in the right college course.

So how do you decide on which college course to take? Here are tips that will help you decide:

  • Choose a course that you love or enjoy.

What motivates you to get a college degree – a better life, bigger earnings like a six-figure salary, popularity?

Whatever it is that drives you to get a degree, you must remember a very important point: It must be something you really love or enjoy because the degree you will get will highly likely dictate what you will be doing for the rest of your life.

Choose carefully so you would not end up hating your every waking hour to get to work, or drag yourself out of bed to go to work. That would suck big time. As a quote from Confucius goes: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Make a list of the things you enjoy, then narrow down the list to a specific course.

  • Explore courses.

Check courses and their reviews. Also check course descriptions to get a glimpse of the subjects that will be discussed. Better yet, visit the school campus and ask around. Ask those who are taking the course about their experience and how the course is conducted.

  • Consider the college’s location.

Would you like to be in a college close to home, or in a different town or city? If you’re planning to study outside your current residence, do a research on the kind of town or city the school is located in.

Check for safety considerations like criminality rates; check what the weather is like.

Also search if there are lodgings close to the school. If you could find a school that is just a walk away, it could help you save on bus fares.

  • See who the lecturers are.

Your professors will hugely affect the way you will learn your course so it is important to know their background. Are they experts in their field of study? Do they have published researches or studies? Know them well.

  • Apply for scholarships.

Scholarships can hugely help in your college expense so search for them. There are a lot of colleges that offer them. See if they have scholarships for the course you are planning to enroll. Also be prepared to write a convincing admission essay because they require it.

Top Five (5) Tuition Free Universities in the US

Would you like to earn your college degree for free? Yes, this is possible with the help of colleges that provide tuition-free courses to deserving and hardworking students. Some institutions even offer hourly wages on top of the free tuition. Isn’t that amazing?

Of course, getting in to these colleges is not for the lazy and faint-hearted. You have to be very firm about your goal of finishing your studies to earn a degree. Read through our list of these schools below and find out if you will qualify for admission so you can get ready.

  • Berea College (Berea, Kentucky)

Berea College is one of the few private schools with the greatest number of offered courses among colleges that offer them for free. It offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 28 courses like Computer Science, Chemistry, Nursing, Communication, and a lot more.

Berea College has a “No-Tuition Promise” that guarantees students to not pay tuition which generally cost $176,000 annually. Internships are also funded by Berea.

  • Alice Lloyd College (Pippa Passes, Kentucky)

Alice Lloyd College is another private school that offers degree courses in the liberal arts, as well as minors in accounting and social science.

It’s average tuition of $7,000 is subsidized to allow a select number of students to earn a college degree. Students who want to continue receiving free tuition are required to render 10 hours of work per week, or a minimum of 15 hours of work per week to include free room and board.

  • College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri)

College of the Ozarks, also known as “Hard work U”, is a Christian school that discourages student debt. It offers free courses in liberal arts like Accounting, Communication Arts, Education, and more.

College of the Ozarks particularly prefers students who are financially unable to get a college degree. Students are required to work 15 hours per week to avail of free tuition.

  • Webb Institute (Glen Cove, New York)

Four years of free tuition is awarded to students who enroll in engineering courses, particularly, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

Students also have the opportunity to earn while studying through the school’s paid internship program.

  • United States Service Academies

The United States Academies have the toughest admission requirements, but tuition is absolutely free for all who make it, plus a monthly stipend. The academies also guarantee job placement right after graduation.

Students can choose to enroll in the Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, and US Air Force Academy. Students are required to render a minimum of five years active service to the US Military service they choose to enroll in, plus three years as a reserve officer.

Other colleges that offer free tuition courses are also listed below:

  • Barclay College (Haviland, Kansas)
  • Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Deep Springs College (Dyer, Nevada)
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Needham, Massachusetts)
  • State of Washington Universities
  • Warren Wilson College (Swannanoa, NC)
  • Williamson College of the Trades (Media, Pennsylvania)

Debunking 8 Common Skincare Misconceptions

When it comes to taking care of your skin, there are a lot of myths out there. We spoke to dermatologists about the most common skincare misconceptions to debunk them once and for all.

While a little tingling with some products is normal, any stinging or burning may indicate an allergic reaction and should be stopped immediately. Also, a moisturizer is essential no matter your skin type.

1. Your Skin Can Get Used to Products Over Time

There’s no scientific evidence that your skin builds up an immunity to products over time. It’s possible that if you are constantly switching up your skincare routine, you might be adding one that doesn’t play well with the rest (for example, retinol and sunscreen shouldn’t be used together because they can interfere with each other). However, the main sign that a product has become ineffective is irritation, so if you start feeling a stinging sensation when you apply your cream, it’s probably time to switch it up.

It’s also important to remember that your genetics play a huge role in how your skin looks. Even if you follow the best skincare practices, it might take some time to find what works for your skin. However, if your skin seems to have plateaued or isn’t looking as glowing as it used to, there are likely other factors that you can address, like nutrition, exercise and stress. It’s also helpful to speak with a board-certified dermatologist about any skincare concerns you have.

2. You Don’t Need to Wash Your Face in the Morning

It’s a skincare habit that most of us stick to without much thought, but washing your face in the morning might be doing more harm than good. While rinsing your face in the morning is essential for removing any residue from nighttime serums and moisturizers, a full cleansing routine is unnecessary.

Instead, opt for a micellar water or gentle cleanser that’s light on the skin, says Gonzalez. “This will leave your skin hydrated, ready to take on the day,” she says.

If you have incredibly oily skin, however, Markowitz agrees that a morning wash is necessary to remove excess sebum. “Oil can build up overnight, leading to clogged pores,” she says.

If you are a true believer in the power of morning cleaning, Buldini cautions against stripping the skin of its natural oils, which could lead to further dryness. She recommends opting for a lighter cleanser that also contains some barrier-boosting ingredients.

3. You Don’t Need to Moisturize if You Have Oily Skin

Moisturizing your skin is a vital skincare step, even if you have oily skin. But many people with oily skin skip this step out of fear that it will make their skin greasier. The truth is that moisturizers actually help balance out your skin’s oil production, which can be an issue for those with oily skin.

If you have oily skin, look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizing product that is non-comedogenic. This will prevent your pores from getting blocked, which can lead to blackheads and whiteheads. It should also contain humectants, which are ingredients that draw water from the lower layers of your skin to the outermost layer.

Avoid moisturizers that contain occlusive agents, such as mineral oil, cocoa butter, and petrolatum, as these can create an excess of oil. Instead, opt for a product that contains dimethicone or cyclomethicone, which will not cause your skin to feel greasy. It’s also important to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet that contains lots of fruits and vegetables. This will also keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from feeling dry and flaky.

4. You Can’t Get Rid of Acne With Greasy Foods

Eating greasy foods can make your skin oily, but it won’t cause acne. That’s because acne results from an overproduction of oil in the sebaceous glands, which can be triggered by a variety of things like clogged pores, bacteria, and hormonal changes. The fat in greasy foods is also not directly responsible for causing acne, because the skin only becomes greasy when the oils come into direct contact with it (like when you touch a fryer basket with greasy hands).

But eating high-glycemic foods like white bread, rice, and boxed macaroni and cheese can lead to acne breakouts by rapidly raising blood sugar levels and stimulating insulin production, which can boost the production of oil and lead to clogged pores. This is why it’s important to choose a low-glycemic diet that’s rich in whole foods and avoid processed junk foods.

In the end, genetics plays a much bigger role in acne than your skincare routine or diet, but you can take steps to have healthy skin and help prevent acne breakouts by changing some of your habits and using products that are designed for your specific needs.

5. You Don’t Need to Wear Sunscreen Every Day

If there’s one skincare myth that abounds, it’s the belief that you don’t need to wear sunscreen every day. Spending time in the sun is healthy and can help you get your vitamin D, but too much unprotected exposure to UV rays can cause damage to the skin. This can lead to skin cancer, wrinkling and pigmentation changes.

In fact, sunscreen is the easiest way to prevent sun damage. It can also prevent premature aging and protect your skin from rosacea, eczema and acne flare-ups.

It’s important to use a broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply it frequently. It’s also helpful to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, especially when spending a lot of time outside.

It’s also important to note that even if you spend most of your time indoors, it’s still necessary to wear sunscreen. This is because harmful UV rays can penetrate glass, and they can accumulate over time. Even a short stroll at lunchtime can put you at risk, so it’s best to be safe.

6. You Can’t Get Rid of Wrinkles With Age-Defying Products

Even though anti-aging products can help minimize fine lines and wrinkles, they won’t completely eliminate them. They also won’t reverse DNA damage or cure rosacea.

The Food and Drug Administration has started to take on beauty companies that make over-the-top claims about their wrinkle creams. The FDA recently sent a warning letter to Strivectin, which makes a line of anti-aging products sold at Costco and Nordstrom. The reason why: the company’s wrinkle creams claim to “alter the structure or function of the skin,” which is a big no-no.

There are a lot of wrinkle treatments out there, from medical-grade retinol to over-the-counter ones that promise to plump your skin and make your lines less visible. This retinol resurgence is seen in tiktok trends nowadays. But if you want to keep your wrinkles at bay, stick to simple skincare habits like wearing sunscreen and using moisturizer. And try to avoid over-treating your face with products, as too many can cause dryness and clog pores. Instead, eat a diet rich in health-boosting nutrients to support healthy skin. Plus, you should avoid tanning beds, as overexposure to UV rays can cause premature aging.

7. You Can’t Prevent Acne With Exfoliation

A can’t-skip skincare step for baby-soft smoothness and a radiant glow, exfoliation is also essential for acne prevention. Exfoliating helps sweep away dulling surface debris that could otherwise clog the pores, which is one of the main causes of breakouts. When clogged pores are exposed to excess oil and shed skin cells, they become a breeding ground for acne bacteria. Both physical (scrubs) and chemical (AHAs like glycolic acid and BHAs such as salicylic acid) exfoliants help remove dead skin cells.

But it’s important not to over-exfoliate and use a gentle, exfoliating product with non-abrasive ingredients. Over-exfoliation can strip the skin’s natural barrier and lead to irritation, which can contribute to acne breakouts.

A little tingling when you exfoliate is normal but if it’s painful or burning, it may indicate that you have sensitive skin or an allergy to an ingredient. In that case, stick with a gentle cleanser and moisturizer to avoid further irritation. Then you can slowly add back in an exfoliant and treatment products after your skin is back to baseline.

8. You Can’t Get Rid of Dark Spots With Sunscreen

The primary function of sunscreen is to protect the skin from UV rays that can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen does not remove or fade dark spots that are caused by sun damage, although it can help prevent the appearance of new dark marks and patches.

When the skin is exposed to the sun, it produces an abundance of melanin pigments to act as a natural sunscreen and protect the DNA in the cells from harmful UV rays. However, excessive sun exposure can cause the production of excess melanin and lead to sunspots.

While there are a variety of skincare treatments, like chemical exfoliation and retinols, that can help fade dark spots, the best way to get rid of existing marks is with regular use of a physical exfoliant that contains glycolic acid or lactic acid. The daily application of a mineral sunscreen that offers a high level of UV protection will also help to prevent the formation of dark spots in the future. Discover our best sunscreens for dark spots and hyperpigmentation here.

A Music Lover’s Guide to Finding the Best Earphones

Earphones should be comfortable to wear for long listening sessions, and they should have good noise isolation to block out external sounds. They should also feature wireless connectivity, a long battery life and a sleek design.

Many audiophile earbuds are designed with touch controls, making it easier to adjust music or hands-free calls. You should also look for a carry case and additional accessories to complete your purchase.


The quality of the headphones that you use can have a huge impact on your listening experience. They need to be comfortable to wear for extended periods and have an excellent noise cancelling system to block out external noise. They also need to be lightweight so you can listen to music without your ears getting fatigued from the weight of the headphones.

Thankfully, there are many options available to music lovers when it comes to choosing the best earphones. Headphones have come a long way since the cheap foam-eared efforts that were bundled with Sony Walkmans back in the day. They are now lightweight, stylish and offer lush sound quality at an affordable price. There is a common misconception that you will need to spend a fortune on a pair of headphones to get good audio quality, but this is not the case.

One of the biggest factors to consider is whether or not you want a pair that are in-ear or over-ear headphones. In-ear headphones are small and sit in your ear while over-ear headphones surround your entire ear. Both types of headphones have advantages and disadvantages, but the right one will depend on your preferences and budget.

For example, if you like dance music, you may prefer the wireless earbuds from Plantronics that are lightweight and feature a great noise cancellation. They have eight hours of playback on a full charge and come with a carry case for when you’re out and about.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for high-quality headphones that are ideal for studio work and are willing to spend a little more, both the Jabra Elite 8 Active vs Jabra Elite 7 Active are exceptional choices. These headphones are designed for professional musicians, DJs and producers who need to hear every detail of their music. They have a neutral response and high-resolution audio codec to ensure that the listener gets an accurate representation of their music.

Noise Cancellation

A good pair of headphones will block out ambient noise, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the music you’re listening to. But this kind of sound isolation usually comes at the cost of battery life, which is why earbuds that offer active noise cancellation tend to be more expensive than those without it.

But that’s changing, and we’re starting to see ANC appear on more budget models. The ANC works by using electronic circuitry to create a sound wave that’s 180 degrees out of phase with the sounds around you, effectively canceling them out and leaving only your music. This is a nice feature to have on hand when you need to be in public places, such as at the gym or on public transport.

Similarly, these headphones from Asus are also affordable but don’t skimp on quality. They use hybrid active noise cancelling to minimize ambient sound while keeping the audio you’re playing at high levels. This helps you hear every squeak in your music and eliminates the masking effect that can sometimes make lower-frequency sounds harder to hear.

Sound Quality

There is nothing quite like the experience of listening to music on a pair of great-sounding headphones. That is why audio quality is often the biggest factor that separates earbuds that are truly fantastic from those that are just fine. Bass is perhaps the most recognizable feature that sets superb wireless earbuds apart from the rest, but in many cases the best earbuds will also provide a solid mid and high range output so you can hear all of the intricate details of your favorite songs.

In addition to sound, the design and hardware that go into a pair of earphones can have a significant impact on how they fit in your ears. They need to be comfortable and stable enough for long periods, but they should also seal out external noise and allow you to enjoy your favorite tunes without any interruptions or distractions.

A wide soundstage is another key aspect of a good set of earbuds, as it helps to separate sounds so they feel more immersive. They should also be smooth and balanced rather than abrasive or grating, with clear, textured and warm mids and highs that can deliver the fullness of the vocals and instruments in your music.

These Bluetooth earbuds from Sony offer a full, rich soundscape that is ideal for casual listening and even more demanding listening scenarios. Their DSEE technology can upscale compressed music files in real time, while their dual-sensor noise-rejecting microphones will minimize ambient sounds around you so that you’ll be able to hear important things like announcements or traffic. They also come with three ear tip sizes to ensure a snug and comfortable fit.

Wireless Connectivity

Whether you prefer wired or wireless headphones, it all comes down to convenience and comfort. You want to be able to take your music with you, without being bothered by cords. A good pair of headphones should be comfortable enough to wear for long periods, even when you’re listening to a full album or working out. Some models may have special features that make them suitable for day-to-day use, like tap controls and smart assistant support. Others will offer active noise cancellation, which can mute the sound of rush hour traffic or noisy offices while still providing clarity.

A few of the headphones we’ve highlighted feature bluetooth technology, which makes them easy to connect with any mobile device and enjoy your favorite tracks on-the-go. They also have built-in microphones for hands-free calling and can be synced to your phone to access voice assistants. You can also download an app to customize the sound and adjust the settings for a better audio experience.

Serious audiophiles tend to prefer wired headphones over wireless models because they can deliver exceptional sound quality that’s closer to analog signals compared to digital ones in wireless headphones.

Unlike the foam-eared headphones that came with your Sony Walkman back in the day, today’s best headphones are packed with amazing technology that delivers an immersive listening experience. Look for models that offer advanced features such as active noise cancelling, a long battery life, and the ability to connect to multiple devices at once.


If a music lover is going to invest in a good set of headphones, you want to make sure they get the best bang for your buck. Sound quality directly correlates to price, with the top picks delivering incredible audio with clarity and detail. Bass may be the easiest to reproduce in headphones, but a great pair will also have a strong mid-range and treble output so you can enjoy the vocals and the finer details of instruments.

The best earbuds come with multiple sizes and tips to help you find the perfect fit in your ear. The smallest buds tend to be the most comfortable, but you may need to upgrade to a larger size for some extra oomph. You can also consider purchasing a replacement case for your headphones, which will keep them safe and secure while in your bag or pockets.

Lastly, you’ll want to check to see if the headphones are compatible with your music player. Some earbuds are exclusive to one brand, which can be frustrating if you switch between phones frequently.

A pair of headphones can make a thoughtful gift for any music lover. To complete the package, consider adding a music-themed accessory to suit your recipient’s style.

The Dos and Don’ts of Designing a Beautiful Garden

Gardeners can easily get carried away with plants and features. But overcrowding can create a cluttered outdoor space that is less than attractive.

Instead of filling gardens with flowers that only provide a brief moment of beauty consider using plants that have interesting foliage, form or texture. These qualities are more lasting and deliver extended design value.

Don’t forget about wildlife

Not only are plants a visual delight, they provide food and shelter for a huge range of wildlife. Providing a wide variety of flowers and fruits, and including some that are out of season, will encourage more insects to visit throughout the year. Choosing some that attract a particular bee species – long-tongued bees, for example, love foxglove and forget-me-nots – will help support your local pollinator populations.

Leaving dead trees in the garden, as well as brush and rock piles, can provide valuable cover, nesting sites and food sources for many different bird, reptile and amphibian species. These can also be an attractive feature of a garden, especially when they’re arranged in secluded areas that don’t block views or create safety hazards.

It’s not necessary for gardens using native plants to look wild and unkempt, but they shouldn’t be too neat either. Aim for a balance between formal and naturalistic styles, with the use of plants that support our local wildlife.

Aim for splashes of colour, which not only break up the green and add contrast, but can be a great draw for wildlife too. The most obvious are flowering plants, but herbs and vegetables with pretty foliage are a good choice too. For instance, clumps of curly leaf parsley, mounds of chives and thymes, compact Greek basils, rosemary and lavender (in purple) and flowering tatsoi, marigolds and violets will provide plenty of colour without distracting from the garden’s structural elements.

Fences, walls and hedging can be a significant element in the landscape, so it’s important to make them look as good as possible. If you can, paint them in pale colours to reflect light and show off the plants behind. You might even consider growing climbers up them, such as native honeysuckle or clematis.

Don’t forget about water

A garden should have some form of water feature, it doesn’t need to be a large pool or an elaborate water feature but even a small pond can create a focal point and be attractive. Be careful with water features though and make sure that the plants and soil are able to tolerate the amount of moisture in the area, especially during summer when temperatures can rise and dry out the soil.

The other thing to consider is that water features can also be dangerous for children and pets, so it is best to design something that a child or pet cannot access. This could be achieved by having a curved water feature or an enclosed pond that is fenced off in some way.

Another important consideration is that a beautiful garden should last through all the seasons so choose plants and features that will look good in winter as well. This is often easier said than done but things like evergreen foliage, berries or fruits, bark texture and plant shape can all help to create a beautiful winter garden.

Finally, be sure to remember about the views from your house and any other buildings, these may need to be screened or hidden from view with planting or hedging. Also consider any nearby roads and footpaths as they might need to be screened with hedges or fences too.

It is important to plan out a garden and create a design before starting any major work, ideally you should have at least two plans one to scale for the overall layout of the garden and a second to scale for the individual areas or rooms that you want to include in your garden. This will help you to visualize what the finished garden is going to look like and will prevent any major mistakes from being made.

Don’t forget about lighting

Lighting is a key component to a beautiful garden. It allows you to highlight features and create dramatic effects with shadowing and silhouettes. It can also be used to create a sense of movement in the garden, by highlighting moving shadows and reflections. It is important to remember that lighting should not be overdone, as too much can wash out the natural beauty of the plants and create a dull and two-dimensional appearance.

Another thing to remember when planning your lighting is that a garden is a living, evolving space and should be considered a whole landscape. It is important to take into account the placement of any structures or other elements such as a house, shed or deck that might interfere with your planned lighting scheme. Learn more about summer houses that can provide you with a good garden area for you to experiment on!

It is also important to think about the effect of your lighting at different times of year. Evergreens are a great choice for year round focus, but deciduous trees can look sculptural in winter when the leaves have fallen and are contrasted with ice, snow or bare branches.

The way a garden is lit can have just as much impact on the final design as the planting itself. Choosing the right lights for your garden can make it feel more magical, especially at night. It is also a good idea to include some lights for practical purposes, such as paths, entranceways to the garden and any elevation changes. However, it is best to avoid illuminating everything in your garden and to focus on a few focal points such as a water feature, tree, wall or pond. Including these key elements can help to bring your garden to life at night and will give the space a more intimate, personal feel.

Don’t forget about texture

The colors and flowering periods of plants may be highly attractive, but there is much more to a garden than just flowers. Plants have many attributes, from shape and form to color, texture and size — all of which contribute to the overall look of your landscape. Flowers, shrubs and groundcovers are the most obvious elements of a garden to consider, but don’t forget to consider how other plants like foliage, herbs, or even the berries of fruit trees add interest and beauty to the landscape.

In addition to providing visual contrast, a variety of shapes and textures can also help to create a sense of movement in the garden. This can be achieved by using contrasting plants with different heights and textures, or using varying levels of edging. The use of unique structures and garden ornaments can also add a focal point to the garden and capture attention.

It is important not to overcrowd the garden with too many plants and hardscape features, which can lead to a cluttered and chaotic look. If you are using fences and hedges in your garden, try to link them visually with other features in the garden by choosing a color or style that will blend in well. If you are using climbers, make sure they can scale your walls or fences and are well suited to your climate.

Straight lines and hard angles can suit formal gardens, but gentle curves give a more natural and informal feel. Curves are particularly effective when used to form borders.

Don’t forget about color

A garden is a place for fun and should reflect your personality. If there’s something that really stands out to you – whether it be a particular plant, piece of garden art or a color scheme – don’t be afraid to incorporate it into your garden design.

Using a palette of pale colors makes your garden feel bigger and brighter. You can use masonry paint to make brick walls or fences pop, and you can add splashes of brighter color with flowers like lilies, chrysanthemums and peonies. Brighter flowers also play a role in the overall landscape by contrasting with the green of foliage and providing a focal point for the garden.

If you aren’t ready to commit to a bold color scheme, try a neutral palette with varying shades of browns and greys. This helps create a sense of depth in the garden and makes it easier to see the structure of the plants and the shapes they form.

A lot of us love a good bloom, but many flowering plants have very short durations and can quickly become dull and uninspiring when they’re out of season. A better strategy is to introduce a lot of color by planting a mix of perennial and annual flowers that come in different hues and repeat throughout the growing season, e.g. hydrangeas, dahlias and petunias.

Don’t forget about color in the winter too! Evergreens, berries and other fruit, bark color and texture and even the shapes of branches can all play a part in making a garden beautiful. If you want to add extra interest and drama to your winter garden, consider incorporating evergreens with interesting color and textures that will stand out in the snow.

Why Is Ventilation Fan Repair Necessary? (Explained)

Ventilation fans work to remove moist air from your home and release it outside, helping protect against mold, mildew, water-loving insects and other moisture-related issues from damaging it. For this to work properly, the fan must vent properly without blockages or leaks occurring.

When your ventilation fan isn’t performing as it should, maintenance might be required to restore proper performance.

Poor Air Circulation

Air flow in any room is essential for keeping it cool and preventing mold growth, but many factors may disrupt its natural circulation, leading to poor ventilation in a home or business. Luckily, taking some simple steps can improve airflow and alleviate problems caused by inadequate ventilation.

One of the major causes for ventilation fan repair is inadequate ventilation. This often stems from clogged ductwork; however, improper fan selection or accumulation of dirt and debris on its blades could also contribute to insufficient ventilation, leading to hotter rooms and higher energy bills. Poor ventilation results in higher energy consumption costs as well as hotter rooms.

Poor ventilation can contribute to an increase in indoor pollution levels. Carbon monoxide and radon build up as air does not circulate enough to expel it out of the space, while stagnant or stale air may exacerbate allergy symptoms or create other health risks.

Lack of ventilation can also contribute to high humidity levels, leading to moisture build-up on mirrors and surfaces, potentially leading to mold and mildew growth. Ventilation fans that exhaust into the attic can help reduce humidity levels while avoiding moisture damage; however, in order for this to work efficiently they must be properly sized; unfortunately some contractors take shortcuts by installing them directly in the attic instead of running them through roof ductwork.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Air pollution is usually thought of as occurring outdoors; however, indoor environments can also become polluted. Ventilation issues and specific sources of pollutants often contribute to poor indoor air quality, leading to sickness or health concerns in some cases.

Bad indoor air quality can cause immediate irritation of eyes, nose, throat and headaches; furthermore it can contribute to fatigue, difficulty focusing and headaches. Long term, however, poor quality air could increase your risk for respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular conditions such as cardiovascular disease and lung cancer.

Identify sources of pollution: bathroom exhaust fan motor replacement and eliminate specific sources. Insulation and air sealing techniques may help mitigate mold growth more cost-effectively than increasing ventilation, which would substantially raise energy bills.

Ventilation fans are designed to remove stale, humid air from areas in your home that are often used. Kitchens and bathrooms often employ ventilation fans in order to remove excess moisture that might otherwise lead to problems like mold and mildew growth; high humidity levels could even damage walls, ceilings and flooring as well as produce unpleasant odors if this moisture pool remains stagnant for too long.

Ventilation fans can help more than just remove excess moisture; they also reduce unpleasant odors in your home and the amount of dust, allergens and pollutants found inside. Such contaminants come from multiple sources – cooking, smoking, cleaning products or newer building materials are just a few examples.

One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality is with air filtration systems, which remove contaminants before they have time to impact health or comfort. Furthermore, exhaust fans should be installed in all rooms of your home whenever possible; portable ones may be useful when working in garage or other workspaces.

Increased Energy Bills

Sometimes when your ventilation fan is working inefficiently it can increase your energy costs, due to being undersized or with a clog in its ducting. These issues will greatly diminish how much air gets moved around your home – keeping temperatures cool and healthy is paramount! If you’ve noticed an unusually higher energy bill it is wise to troubleshoot first before immediately replacing an exhaust fan as there may be simple solutions like unclogging its duct or adding additional attic ventilation; alternatively the dampening plate on it could become stuck and needing some lubrication on it for adjustment before it will work again!

Mold and Mildew Growth

Mold and mildew growth is not only annoying, but can be hazardous to one’s health. Mold and mildew infestation are common problems in homes and commercial buildings where moisture and humidity allow its development; mold and mildew growth is especially destructive when found on prized possessions like books, toys and clothing that were once treasured relics destined for trash bins; in extreme cases it has even caused structural damage by invading building materials that contain vital structural supports such as wood.

Maintaining dry indoor spaces is one of the best ways to prevent mold and mildew growth, using fans and opening windows in areas prone to dampness. Furthermore, regularly cleaning surfaces that have come into contact with water or condensation is recommended to further safeguard against growth of mold or mildew.

Once mold has taken hold, it must be treated immediately in order to prevent further contamination. This can be accomplished using commercial products, soap and water or bleach mixed with water mixtures – using bleach in well-ventilated areas while wearing nonporous gloves and protective eyewear is always advised for maximum efficiency.

Identification of Moisture Mold and mildew growth is usually the result of excess moisture entering or accumulating within a structure due to design or construction flaws, maintenance/repair issues or occupant activities. Common sources include flooding, roof leaks and drainage/plumbing issues while others such as temperature gradients causing water vapor condensation on colder surfaces can also contribute.

Increased ventilation, cleaning regularly, and drying wet areas can help protect against many forms of mold growth. Dehumidifiers and fans may help lower humidity in moisture-prone areas to as low as 50%; porous materials contaminated by mold should be discarded such as carpets, drywall and insulation while solid plastics, wood or concrete that do not support porous growth should be cleaned thoroughly and dried completely after being washed with detergent water or disinfected using bleach solutions; any additional mold growth despite these measures may require professional inspection or remediation including air testing services to assess and treat further growth – but this does not mean mold growth will simply keep growing without being contained by these measures – professional inspection and remediation measures will require professional inspection as well as air testing services as well.

Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident

The first thing you should do is check yourself and anyone else involved for injuries. If there are any, call 911.

Next, take pictures with your phone from different angles of the accident scene including the positioning of the cars and their damage. Also, get the names and contact information of any witnesses.

Call 911

If someone is injured or there is a lot of damage, it’s important to call 911. Even if you think the injuries are minor, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and have an expert determine whether there are any hidden complications. Injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, concussions and internal bleeding are not always immediately obvious.

If you can, pull your car over to a spot away from traffic, such as on the side of the road or on a sidewalk. This will prevent other cars from driving into the crash site, which could potentially lead to secondary accidents and further injury.

Before police arrive, make sure to take pictures of the accident scene with your cellphone camera. Take close-up pictures of the vehicles, including license plates and damage, as well as more distant photos of the entire scene. Also, try to talk to any witnesses and ask for their contact information.

However, it’s important to remember that whatever you say at the scene of the crash may be used against you later on in court. Avoid saying things like, “I’m sorry,” or admitting any responsibility for the accident, no matter how minor you think it is. You should also be careful not to offer information regarding your insurance policy coverage, which can potentially compromise your claim. Also, never move young children, pets or disabled adults from their car seats; they might have injuries you can’t see.

Exchange Information

In addition to providing information to the police officers, make sure you get all the necessary information from other drivers involved in the accident. This includes name, address, driver’s license number and insurance company (including policy number), vehicle model, plate number and owner of the car if it isn’t the driver. It is also a good idea to get the names and contact numbers of any witnesses, according to Passmore. Witness testimony can be invaluable to a successful insurance claim.

It is important to remember that if you leave the scene of an accident without reporting it to the police, you may be subject to criminal penalties, including fines and even a possible license suspension or jail time. Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a hit and run, even if it seems minor to you.

If the other driver tries to rush you through exchanging information, insist on taking your time to verify that the information is correct. It is a good idea to use your smartphone’s camera, video and voice memo features for this purpose, as this will help you avoid errors that could come back to haunt you in the future. Inquire about the police report, if possible, and be sure to get a copy once it is written. Insurance adjusters will use this report to determine fault and how much money you will receive for repairs or replacement of your car.

Take Pictures

The first thing you should do when you are in an accident is take pictures. The more photographic evidence you have, the better, especially if there is a dispute about the accident later on.

Taking photographs from different angles is important as well. This will provide a good idea of the overall scene, such as any damage to your vehicle or the other car, skid marks on the road, weather conditions, and so on. You should also try to capture a wide range of items that are in the area, such as traffic signals, signs and street markings, and any other elements that might help provide context to the scene.

It is essential to take pictures right away, because the scenes of accidents change quickly. Even if you think that something is a certain way, by the time you return to take photos, it may look completely different due to things like lighting or weather.

If you are not able to take pictures yourself (because of your injuries, for example), ask someone else who is able to do so. You should never skip this step, as it is a crucial part of proving your case. This is why it is so important to always carry your camera phone with you, as this can be used immediately after a crash. It can help you capture details that could be forgotten as the day progresses, such as the make and model of a car, a license plate number, or even the badge of responding police officers.

Contact Your Insurance Company

The best time to call your insurance company is as soon as possible after the accident. It will help you make a record of the crash before your memories fade and will also keep the other driver from changing his or her story later to implicate you to some degree. Most car insurance policies require notice within a certain time frame.

When speaking to the insurance company, be careful of what you say. Never admit guilt, blame or anything that could damage your case. Likewise, don’t give recorded statements to the insurance company without consulting with your attorney first. Make sure to notify car accident lawyer Milwaukee as they are a formidable institution that can help you in these kind of situations. Those statements can be used to deny your claim or to minimize the amount you receive for damages.

In addition, it’s important to report the accident to law enforcement so they can create an official police report. This will provide a documented record of the accident that will be valuable in the claim process, says Holeman. It’s also a good idea to get the names and contact information for any witnesses, which can also be useful to support your version of the accident.

It is also a good idea to seek medical attention immediately after the accident, even if you feel fine. Some injuries don’t appear right away or may not show up until days or weeks after the crash. This way, a doctor can make sure you are okay and document your injuries with a medical report.

Report the Accident to the Police

If there is any kind of injury or damage involved in the crash, it’s important to call the police. The police will be able to create an official accident report which can be used for insurance purposes. Without a police report, the other driver may change his or her story later on which could hurt your case.

In addition, you are legally obligated to call the police even in a minor accident. This will allow the police to take statements from witnesses and perform an inspection of the scene to help determine who was responsible for the accident.

It’s also a good idea to call the police if there are any children, pets or disabled adults in your vehicle. This way, you can be sure that they are not left in a hot car after the accident.

Once the police have arrived, you should give them all the information you have collected, including the names and insurance information of everyone involved in the accident. You should also make note of the officer’s name, badge number and police report number if possible. You should also try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses who appear at the scene, as they may be able to provide valuable testimony later on. Once everything is settled, you should get your car out of the road as much as possible so that it does not create a traffic hazard.

Contact an Attorney

If police officers come to the scene, ask them to create an official accident report. This will help prevent the other driver from changing their story later and it will be an important document for your insurance company to review.

Use your cell phone or a camera to take pictures of the cars, any skid marks or debris from the accident, and any visible injuries. Make sure to do this from several angles, if possible and safe to do so. You should also note the names, addresses, phone numbers and basic insurance policy information of everyone involved in the accident. It’s also a good idea to get the name, badge number and contact information of any police officers that arrive on the scene.

It is important to stay calm and avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as admitting fault or blaming the other driver for the accident. It is best to have a lawyer speak on your behalf to the other driver’s insurance representative or to their attorney.

You should also find out if the other driver has medical payments coverage in their insurance policy. This is typically called “medpay.” Medpay covers hospital bills, doctor visits and other expenses for injury-related treatment. However, your personal health insurance should be the primary source for paying your medical bills once medpay is exhausted. Keep a file of all accident-related documents and receipts for any expense you incur.

The Ins and Outs of Transcription

Transcriptions are a valuable tool for businesses that produce audio and video content. They can improve accessibility and searchability, save time, and help to create a more cohesive, immersive experience for users.

For instance, business owners can use meeting transcripts to train new team members and reinforce key concepts. Additionally, transcriptions can be shared with employees who couldn’t attend a meeting to keep them up-to-date.

What are the benefits?

Having access to high-quality text can dramatically shorten the time it takes for researchers to analyze qualitative data. This means that research interviews, focus groups and seminars can be completed in a much shorter period of time than if the content had to be hand-transcribed. It also enables researchers to perform more in-depth analysis of the data, rather than simply skimming over it.

Transcriptions can be used to create coded extracts, which provide a more detailed account of the spoken data and make it easier to spot patterns. This is particularly beneficial for market researchers, who may have to sift through thousands of audio files in order to obtain the relevant information they need.

It can also be useful for businesses looking to hire new employees. Having transcripts of video training sessions can make it much easier for prospective employees to review the relevant information before deciding whether or not to apply for the job. This can significantly improve the recruitment process and reduce the time-to-hire for business managers.

Getting videos transcribed and captioned can also help businesses to reach a wider audience. Roughly 80% of YouTube users are from non-English speaking countries, so having your content transcribed and translated into foreign languages can be extremely helpful for business owners who want to increase their brand awareness overseas.

In addition, transcribed videos can be used as a basis for creating subtitles for YouTube and other video platforms. This can be very helpful for business owners who want to reach a more diverse audience and boost their SEO rankings.

Finally, transcribed videos can be used as an alternative for people who are not able to watch video content because of hearing or vision disabilities. This can be especially important for individuals who work in noisy environments where they cannot afford to take the time to turn on their audio equipment. In this case, a transcribed video can be viewed with closed captioning, which provides the same information as the original video but in a text form.

What are the drawbacks?

While transcription offers numerous benefits, it does not deliver flawless results. Some transcripts might include inaccurate words, grammatical errors or false starts that can disrupt the flow of the dialogue and detract from its legibility. Additionally, transcriptions might not capture all the audio file’s content if it is distorted by noise, interference or feedback.

Another drawback of transcription is that it can be difficult to accurately transcribe dialogue containing multiple speakers. The process is made even more challenging when speakers talk over each other. This is known as crosstalk and it can make it hard for the listener to follow the discussion. Fortunately, there are ways to improve the quality of a transcript by marking crosstalk with asterisks or using subtitles.

Regardless of the type of transcription, a clean, accurate and concise transcript is crucial. Without one, your team might struggle to get a clear understanding of the data or message being conveyed and this can hamper their productivity. Did you also know that there are money saving ideas for police departments in terms of transcriptions?

For example, if you’re working on a qualitative research project that involves multiple participants, relying solely on transcription can limit real-time interactions between researchers and prevent them from arriving at meaningful insights. This can also have a negative impact on the overall outcome of the research.

Another drawback of transcription is that it can take a while to complete, especially when you’re dealing with large volumes of recorded material. However, if you use a professional transcription service with advanced software and trained transcribers, this can be significantly reduced. This can help you save time and effort that could otherwise be wasted on manual transcription. In the long run, this can boost your productivity and allow you to focus on other more critical tasks. Transcription services are utilized by professionals in a wide range of industries. From television and radio networks to business leaders and authors, many professionals need a written copy of their recordings. They use them for market research, preparing articles and dissertations, or as a reference tool for their work. This includes legal and medical professionals, who often refer to their transcribed interviews and conferences for research purposes.

How do I get started?

As with any work-from-home job, transcription has its challenges. You’ll need to find clients and establish a workflow that eliminates distractions. That may mean creating a dedicated workspace at home, or making sure to avoid noisy areas and using headphones when listening to audio recordings. You’ll also need to ensure your computer or laptop meets minimum requirements for working with transcription software. Finally, you’ll need a headset or earbuds that minimize external noise and improve clarity, along with a foot pedal to control playback without using your hands.

Finding work as a remote transcriptionist is easier than you might think. Many companies require transcription services, and you can easily find them online through freelance marketplaces. You can also get started by contacting individual businesses in your industry and offering your services directly.

The first step is to decide what type of transcription you want to do. There are several different types, from general transcription to medical and legal transcription. For example, doctors often need transcripts of patient interviews and other conversations. Closed captioning and subtitling are additional forms of transcription that are becoming more common in online video content. Podcasters and speech/lecturers also transcribe their recorded content to provide their audience with a written copy of the spoken word.

Getting started with transcription is a great way to earn some extra cash or make use of your existing skills. However, it’s important to know what you’re getting into before jumping in headfirst. It’s helpful to read the style guides for transcription companies to see how they expect their transcribers to work. For example, some companies may only require that you transcribe verbatim, while others might be more flexible.

If you have stellar listening skills and are able to ramp up your typing speed, transcription could be the perfect fit for you. With a bit of dedication, you can start earning a steady income from transcription in no time at all. And, who knows—it might even turn into a full-time career! Are you interested in starting your own transcription business?

Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining Food in the Wild

Obtaining food is one of the most important survival skills. Thankfully, the wilderness is full of edible plants and animals.

The best way to know what to eat is by carrying around a book on edible wild plants in your region that has pictures for easy identification. Also, cook your food to kill parasites and to preserve nutrients.

Look for Water

In the wild, water is crucial to survival. The human body can only go about three minutes without oxygen, a few days without water, and a week or so without food. Therefore, finding and obtaining water should be your top priority.

Running streams are a good source of drinking water, as are lakes and rivers. However, you should note that these sources can be tainted by microorganisms.

Other options include hunting and fishing for fish and amphibians that aren’t poisonous to eat, such as frogs, geckos, salamanders, and snakes. You can also hunt deer, rabbits, squirrels, and hares for meat.

In a pinch, you can also collect rainwater. However, you should remember that it can be tainted by dust and dirt, so it is best to filter or boil it first. You can also find water in the crotches of tree limbs and in rock crevices, but these sources are not always reliable.

Look for Food

The act of looking for food in the wild is called “foraging.” Foragers harvest edible plants from their natural environments for free. Foraging can be done for fun, as a hobby, or as a survival skill.

Foraging can be a dangerous activity, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions. The best way to practice safe foraging is by finding a field guide that includes easy-to-identify photos or line drawings of the edible species in your area. It’s also important to remember that not all plants look the same, so never eat anything you’re not 100% sure about.

Foraging can be a great way to get more protein in your diet. In addition to fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you can also eat insects, which are rich in protein if cooked right. However, it’s important to be careful when foraging for insects, as some can be deadly. For example, avoid eating ants and scorpions unless you’re absolutely sure you can kill them safely.

When it comes to wild food, a survivalist’s first priority is to make sure they can identify what they are eating, especially plants. For example, the orange, yellow or red nasturtium flower, commonly found in park and street-side flowerbeds is not only beautiful, but every part is edible, from the leaves to the seeds. Likewise, hairy bittercress and plantain (Latin name: Plantago) are common, cool-weather wild edibles that can be cooked or eaten raw, as are weeds and grasses like yarrow.

Foraging is a valuable skill to learn if you plan on spending extended time in nature. The key is to know when each plant is at its best. For example, acorns and cattails are available all year, but their peak is in fall. Other seasonal options include berries, roots and tubers. It’s also important to note that some plants are poisonous if eaten in the wrong season or even in small amounts. Always try a new plant one at a time, and eat only as much of it as you can tolerate to avoid becoming ill.

Look for Shelter

While it is possible for humans to survive in the wild for quite some time without food, the body needs nutrition to function properly. Similarly, it is not wise to go too long without shelter since it can also lead to malnourishment and even hypothermia.

If possible, look for abandoned human-made structures such as houses, barns, cabins, or even mines. If these are not in your immediate vicinity, search for a cave, gulley, ravine, canyon, or abandoned animal den as shelter. Make sure to cover your hole with a large rock or log to prevent atmospheric heat from entering your cool, underground space and to conceal your food from hungry animals in the area.

Another option is to attract wildlife by creating a brush pile. This can be a good habitat for many different birds and other animals in the area. Be sure to stop mowing part of your yard and turn the leaves, twigs, and tree limbs into a brush pile for wildlife to use.

A solid shelter can help keep you warm and protect you from rain. Look for natural caves or hollows where you can tuck yourself away. These places will also be naturally camouflaged, making them easier to find by rescuers.

It’s important to know which wild plants are safe to eat, and this is one area where it helps to learn more before you go out on your own. A good way to do this is to study the plant life in your area, paying particular attention to both toxic and edible varieties.

Learning the nuances of the wind is another great survival skill. Spend time wandering all around your land, experiencing the different winds and identifying where there are sheltered nooks and crannies. Then, mark the locations for future use. For instance, you could mark the North facing nooks and crannies with rocks so that food placed there will remain unaffected by buffeting winds.

Navigate Unpredictable Situations

In a survival situation, the first thing your body needs is shelter to protect it from the elements. From there, you need hydration and then food. Taking care of your most pressing needs will help you save energy for hunting and foraging. If possible, look for natural shelters that will temper extreme heat or cold and also camouflage you from rescuers’ eyesight. I bet that you’ll love this article at Survival Tip which can help you on many occasions.

When searching for food, you should learn about wild edible plants and master hunting, fishing, and trapping techniques to expand your options. Remember, though, to prioritize safety and respect the environment, accurately identify food sources, and avoid depleting wildlife populations.

The ability to understand the fundamentals of wilderness survival is critical for navigating unpredictable situations and maximizing your chances of thriving. By obtaining a clear understanding of the importance of shelter, fire, water, and food, you can venture into unpredictable environments with greater confidence. Shelter offers protection from the elements, while fire provides warmth, cooking capabilities, and a way to signal for help. Water is a vital resource that requires careful sourcing, purification, and conservation to prevent dehydration and waterborne illnesses.

Look for Fire

A thriving fire can be critical in the wild, both for cooking and providing warmth. Having the skills to build and maintain a fire in a survival situation can help you conserve your energy while increasing your chances of surviving in the wild.

In addition to helping you cook food, a fire can also be used to gather more food. For example, a fire can be lit to attract insects to your camp and then killed to capture them as a source of protein.

It’s important to know what plants are safe to eat before you go foraging in the wild. You can learn how to identify edible wild plants by reading survival books or taking a survival course. You can also rely on local knowledge to know which plants are edible in your area. Some plants may have toxic look-alikes or might contain poisonous stems and bark. In addition, it is best to avoid any plant that has been contaminated by chemicals from nearby busy roads or treated land.

Learn Foraging

Whether on purpose as part of a wilderness expedition or in an emergency, foraging is a necessary survival skill. It provides the nutrients that many modern diets lack, and it teaches children to respect food as a gift from nature rather than a commodity to be bought in supermarkets.

A good way to learn about the plants that are edible in a given area is to keep a foraging journal over months or years. This allows you to see the seasons in a year and know what will be available when. It also helps you to avoid wasting time looking for a food that isn’t there.

It’s important to use all your senses when foraging, especially taste and smell. Many wild edible plants have look-alikes, and if you can’t identify a plant by sight alone, try other ways to tell it apart like touch or smell. Hairy bittercress, for example, is a common cool-weather wild edible that looks and tastes a bit like spinach and makes a delicious cooked green or tea.


The Journey of Your Morning Pick-Me-Up From Bean to Cup

The world of bean to cup coffee machines has come a long way in recent years. Once restricted to barista bars in proper coffee shops, these machines are now proving hugely popular at home.

But before you invest in one, it’s worth understanding what goes into making great coffee. This article takes you on a tour of the epic journey your morning pick-me-up makes.

The Bean

Coffee lovers are familiar with the brew and the drink, but few know about the fascinating journey of this humble bean. From the seed to your cup, coffee is a beverage that has shaped cultures and connected people worldwide. It has also faced opposition and attempts at prohibition, but is now widely enjoyed in countless forms by millions of people.

The story of your morning pick-me-up begins on a farm. The seeds that eventually become beans resemble little more than cherries and can take up to five years to produce (Arabica trees can actually take seven). This is when the true magic happens. At this point, the soil, climate, and altitude will begin to influence the bean’s flavor profile and what type of coffee it will become once roasted. Coffee beans made in Singapore are on another level and I suggest that you try it yourself.

Once the beans are ready, they are shipped to a coffee roaster. It’s at this stage that they’re seasoned with the spices, oils and aromas that will give your cup of coffee its unique flavor. The beans are then roasted, ground and packed for distribution.

Before they make it to your mug, however, your beans must undergo a final step that polishes off any remaining skin and pulp, ensuring you’re getting the highest-quality, most flavorful coffee beans available. This is the process that makes a difference between a cup of coffee that leaves you with a gritty mouthfeel and one that’s smooth as silk.

It’s worth noting that while the best bean-to-cup machines can produce an impressive range of drinks, it’s important to think about what you’re going to be using them for. If you want a full-on espresso that you can enjoy alongside your breakfast, for instance, it’s worth looking for one with a portafilter and a high level of customization over factors like coffee temperature and volume dispensed. Similarly, if you’re planning on using your machine for lattes, cappuccinos or flat whites, it’s a good idea to look out for one with manual steam wand functionality. This gives you the ability to experiment with different texturing techniques and create the barista-quality foam that will really elevate your brew.

The Grinder

As any discerning coffee drinker knows, your best cup of joe is made from freshly ground beans. That’s why the best bean-to-cup machines are such a popular alternative to pod coffee makers. These clever, counter-top machines crush the beans for each individual serving and grind them fresh in-house, ensuring your brew is as tasty and aromatic as possible.

Unlike traditional espresso and pour over machines, many of these are a lot more hands-off and will let you control the process via an app on your phone or a touch screen menu. They can also dispense milk, texturize it and then froth it up into the perfect cappuccino or flat white.

For those who like a little more interaction with the process, there are models that let you control the grind size yourself. Depending on what kind of coffee you’re after, this can impact how fine or coarse the beans are ground, and you may have to do a little trial-and-error before you find your preference. If you’re interested in experimenting with different grind sizes, check out our guide to the best coffee grinders for more information.

In fact, the best bean-to-cup coffee machines are usually designed with this in mind, so you can adjust your brewing to suit your preferences. Some even come with a built-in grinder, so you can skip the extra step of having to buy a separate device.

Another great thing about this type of machine is that it helps reduce waste by creating made-to-order coffee. It’s estimated that the amount of pods dumped in landfills could circle the Earth 14 times, and that’s definitely not a good thing for our environment. By grinding the exact amount of beans needed for each individual cup, can help you cut out your pod waste by up to 30%.

The Water

The water that you use to make your coffee will have a major impact on the final flavour. Ensure it’s fresh, clean and filtered or softened. This helps to prevent bitterness and will also improve taste and health.

The best bean-to-cup machines have a built-in water filter and will automatically soften your tap water before brewing. Filtered water is also healthier for you and the environment.

Once restricted to the barista bars of proper coffee shops, bean-to-cup machines have been growing ever more popular for their convenience. These machines crush, brew and dispense whole beans or pre-packaged pods to make a great cup of coffee at the push of a button.

We test all the models in our bean-to-cup range to find the best, and this guide is regularly updated with machines that have earned their spot based on their performance in rigorous product testing . Each machine in our bean-to-cup range has a full review that will tell you what to look out for, including whether it’s easy to set up and use, what type of drinks it can make and how much it costs.

One of our favourite bean machine is a chunky appliance that will require some trial and error to dial in but, with its settings and clever touchscreen, it makes an outstanding cup of coffee that rivals the cafe.

You can even choose how hands-on you want to be and opt for a fully automatic model that will serve up a milky espresso at the touch of a button while you butter your toast or a semi-automatic model with a manual steam wand, perfect for making smooth microfoam.

The amount of disposable pods thrown away every year is enough to circle the planet 14 times, so look for a greener alternative that lets you preset recipes for your favourite drinks and reduces staff labor costs by automating the production of made-to-order beverages.

The Machine

As the name suggests, these machines combine an espresso machine, coffee grinder and milk frother into a single unit. They are like the high-end pod equivalent, offering exceptional coffee with minimal effort on your part (other than handing over quite a lot of cash).

We have a whole range of fully automatic bean to cup machines available, from budget options through to top-rated models that make the best coffee in the world at the touch of a button. We only ever feature machines that consistently perform well and that we feel offer excellent value for money.

Some bean to cup machines are now so smart that they actually do all the clever stuff a barista would – tamping, dosing, extraction, milk texturing – for you. This makes them a bit more expensive than traditional espresso machines, but we think the end results are worth it.

These fully automatic bean-to-cup machines are ideal if you want to make your own speciality coffees but don’t have the time or the space for an espresso machine with separate grinder. They produce a black coffee using compacted grounds brewed under pressure with hot water and topped with a velvety crema.

A few of the best bean to cup coffee machines in our collection also have the ability to dispense iced drinks, perfect for those warmer summer days.

Many of the commercial bean-to-cup coffee machines we have in our range are available on a lease scheme so that you don’t need to invest upfront, while having the security of knowing that you will have a professional quality machine for years to come. We can help you choose the right machine to suit your needs, whether that’s a single catering bean to cup with fresh milk machine for a busy office or multiple commercial coffee machines for a hotel or hospitality establishment.

Everything You Need to Know About Campers and RVs

RVs tend to be smaller and less costly than homes; additionally, they’re usually more portable.

An additional essential tip for RV rookies is practicing towing before their initial RV trip. This will enable them to learn how to control it safely while not exceeding load restrictions of their vehicle.

Class A

Class A motorhomes are the largest RVs on the market. Constructed on bus or commercial truck chassis and featuring luxury amenities inside, these motorhomes are popular among full-time RVers who seek comfort on the road. However, due to their size they’re costly both financially and operationally.

Deciding whether or not to purchase a Class A camper depends on several factors, including how many people you plan on traveling with and your desired travel destination. If traveling as a family, for example, longer RVs with floorplans that maximize living and dining space may be preferable. It’s also worth taking into consideration your desired kind of power source: gas engines tend to be more affordable in both terms of purchase cost and operation cost, while diesels offer greater torque output and longer lifespan.

Class A RV size matters because it determines its ability to fit in parking spots and driveways, as well as ease of navigating tricky road conditions like steep inclines or declines. When travelling through mountainous regions, research roads that are suitable for this vehicle type.

Before purchasing a Class A RV, it is essential that you understand the various state driver’s license requirements. While these requirements vary between states, typically they involve obtaining a special license endorsement, paying a fee, and passing written and driving tests. Furthermore, proper storage can have an enormous effect on its resale value; for instance, keeping it under cover in a garage could protect from moisture damage and other issues that might affect its resale value.

Class B

People generally think of RVs in terms of class B motorhomes or camper vans when they think of RVs. Commonly known as camper vans, these RVs are constructed on automotive van chassis like Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit vans to offer superior comfort when traveling and camping, plus boast superior fuel economy which means longer journeys can be accomplished on one tank of gas.

Class B campers are usually the smallest and most affordable form of RVs, making them great value. Their size makes them extremely easy to drive and maneuver; indeed, some models even allow drivers with regular car licenses to operate them as their daily transportation solution!

Class B camper RVs typically feature living space, kitchen and bathroom amenities as well as ample storage capacity – perfect for road trip essentials and gear storage!

Some come equipped with solar systems that will allow them to stay off grid for extended periods. Plus, many come equipped with offroad tires designed to tackle 4×4 mountain trails.

Class B camper RVs boast flexible entertainment spaces. Some models feature swivel seats that make it easy for front seat travelers to join conversations or board game sessions while on the road, while others come equipped with TVs so you can catch your favorite shows and movies while out and about. Plus, depending on which model you select, many class B camper RVs come complete with fully functional kitchenettes equipped with sink, cooktop and even microwave!

Class C

Class C RVs offer more of a home on wheels than van or trailer RVs, making them a fantastic option for travelers who value comfort without compromising the freedom of camping. Constructed on truck or bus chassis, class Cs can sleep up to 8 people depending on their layout; additionally they provide more storage space than other types.

Class C RVs tend to be easier and cheaper for first-time RV owners to operate than class A or B motorhomes, with better gas mileage as a benefit. Their lower purchase and operating costs make them a popular option when starting out in this aspect of travel.

Class C RVs can also be an ideal choice if you have limited storage space or must stay in crowded campgrounds, thanks to their smaller size and shorter length. They’re easier to maneuver into city streets compared to Class A models and may come equipped with garages at the back for storage of items such as side by sides or dirt bikes.

Though class C RVs make great travel companions, it’s important to keep in mind that they require additional maintenance and upkeep than other forms of RV. Furthermore, you will require an SUV or truck capable of accommodating their weight when fully loaded up for travel if this type of RV is your choice; otherwise it might be necessary to rent one from an RV rental service when ready.

Travel Trailer

According to this Trip Savvy article, travel trailers are one of the most beloved RV types on the market and it’s easy to see why: often cheaper than other options and offering a wide variety of floor plans and sizes, travel trailers make an excellent starting point for new RVers who might not yet know if full-time RV living is for them or don’t possess suitable towing capabilities for larger models like fifth wheels.

Pull-type trailers, typically composed of aluminum or fiberglass, typically offer a queen-sized bedroom and some bunk beds to accommodate additional family or guests. Most feature at least one slide-out to increase living space and create the feeling of more room, while windows provide natural lighting, giving this type of camper a homey and inviting ambience; features such as air conditioning or washer/dryers can add even further luxuriousness.

Some travel trailers also come equipped with stabilizer jacks to reduce shaking or bouncing while traveling over uneven roads – this feature is especially important as unlike motorhomes, travel trailers do not possess the strength necessary to withstand such movements on their own.

Trailers require a tow vehicle for operation and you should always leave it attached when not camping, making life in town or up the mountain more cumbersome than desired. Furthermore, some communities or neighborhoods prohibit leaving unattended trailers parked for long periods. Our South Thompson experts advise investing in travel trailer insurance policies to protect against theft, fire, liability and more.

Tiny Trailer

Trailer is a term often thrown around, but what exactly does it entail? In RV parlance, a trailer refers to anything attached to another vehicle for camping or living space. Most trailers feature seating areas and dining tables as well as kitchen facilities, toilets (often including showers), and sleeping quarters; they may also feature purpose-built or converted cargo trailers with different exterior dimensions designed to pass under low bridges and clearance obstacles while on the road.

Campers and trailers are designed for longer trips ranging from days, weeks, or even months, so their design must ensure maximum comfort during long stays while being easily uncoupled when necessary for running errands or traversing mountain roads to reach trailheads.

Travel trailers make an excellent camping solution, as they come in all shapes and sizes to suit every camping style imaginable. These versatile camping tools range from ultralight teardrop trailers to large 39-foot options that sleep 10. For the greatest flexibility when selecting a trailer like the Droplet XL: this Sprinter or Ram ProMaster van chassis offers sleeping for two adults while featuring an rear galley complete with sink, water tank and faucet plus LED lighting – making this model one of the most livable choices out there!

Teardrop campers are ideal for adventurers. Easy to drive and park anywhere your tow vehicle allows, they require minimal disruption when parked and are highly lightweight yet fuel efficient so that you spend less on gas while traversing rugged terrain.

Best Practices to Maintain Your Artificial Lawn

Artificial grass has grown increasingly popular as homeowners seek low maintenance landscapes. While it may appear straightforward to lay turf down and walk away, installation actually involves much more.

Installers must lay down a layer of granite dust or decomposed granite (DG), followed by weed barrier fabric and then the turf – this process may take some time!

Make Sure It’s Clean

Your artificial grass requires regular upkeep in order to look and smell its best. Stains may occur from food spills, bird droppings and grease from barbecues; should these occur, immediately remove it with a mixture of water and mild detergent.

Mechanical brushes such as power brooms are among the most efficient tools for maintaining artificial grass, as they remove traffic wear prints, repair flat spots, and give your grass that new-looking appearance again. Regularly brushing your artificial grass to prevent matting should also be considered an integral part of maintenance.

Care should be taken when cutting and seaming synthetic grass to pay attention to its grain direction; doing so correctly will avoid gaps or visible seams and promote urine drainage. In addition, remember to frequently hose down your turf so urine drainage takes place properly.

Add Color

One of the main draws to artificial grass is its ease of maintenance, though you still can personalize your lawn with creative touches to give it your own stamp of individuality.

One way is by installing a brick or stone walkway. Brick and stone pairs perfectly with grass, providing low maintenance requirements that allow homeowners to keep their yard looking its best without spending hours tending to it each week.

There are also special paints and dyes designed specifically to work on artificial turf surfaces. These water-based solutions can help mark lines and boundaries on your lawn without harming it; making these paints and dyes especially helpful if your fake lawn will be used for sports, games or other activities.

Add Texture

Artificial lawns offer many advantages. They can reduce water costs, eliminate allergens and save time spent mowing real grass – but just because a synthetic lawn requires minimal upkeep procedures like weeding and brushing doesn’t mean its maintenance needs won’t need attending to regularly.

One key to maintaining an artificial lawn’s beautiful appearance is adding infill. This helps keep upright grass blades and prevent matting in high traffic areas, while also making the lawn appear more natural and potentially reducing injury from falls or sprains.

Dependent upon the type of lawn, using infill can create a shock-absorbent space for kids to play and practice tumbling and floor exercise safely. Furthermore, adding this layer can also help protect soil beneath grass from erosion while improving drainage.

Artificial turf comes in various textures and colors, so it is important to look at samples to select one that complements your landscape design and fits with your aesthetic.

Regular maintenance is also crucial for keeping your lawn looking its best. Be sure to clean up any spills, pet stains or discolorations immediately and hose down your lawn occasionally so as to wash away accumulated dirt and debris from its surface.

Installing artificial turf requires laying a base layer to ensure proper drainage and compaction, such as crushed stone, gravel or construction grade crushed rock of 3-4 inches thick for most climates. After installing this layer, weed membrane should be laid over it to prevent weed growth that would disfigure its appearance and after all is laid it can be graded to achieve a 2-3% slope using a landscaping rake.

Be Mind of Colors

Artificial grass comes in various textures and hues to match any style or decor on the property, so selecting one with colors that complement other landscaping will give the best look for your home. A colorful tile mosaic may make your artificial lawn stand out among similar properties with similar aesthetics.

Padding underlayment can add another dimension of texture and keep your turf looking its best, protecting children and pets from ruining it by keeping their hands off the grass. Plus, adding padding may prevent children and pets from damaging it!

The use of a power broom on an artificial lawn can also add texture. Not only will this clear away small debris and mold growth, but it will also make your turf appear more natural by brushing against its grain – something which should especially be done for high-traffic areas like play yards or sports fields. If you want to read more and expand your knowledge of artificial lawns, click here for more information.

Add Paint

Add some flair and variety to your fake lawn with painted edges! Turf-safe lawn paint won’t fade, smear or stain like regular paint does – use it to create anything from hopscotch boards to basketball courts!

Although artificial grass lawns do not need to be cut regularly, they do still require basic upkeep in order to look realistic and remain looking their best. Brushing artificial turf using special tools designed for it is one way to revive matted fibers and bring life back into your synthetic landscape.

Add depth and dimension by layering silica-coated sand as infill. Not only will this enhance the realism of your lawn, but it will also absorb and neutralize odors associated with pet waste while visually blending into the turf – an especially crucial step when dealing with high traffic areas where wear and tear from family activities occurs.

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