Lifestyle:

Choosing the Perfect Chair

Choosing a chair for your office didn’t used to be the big ordeal it is today. However, that was before it became common knowledge that sitting too much can be bad for your health. As the number of Americans who work from their chairs continues to rise annually, the issue of office chair technology becomes more and more important.

And the office isn’t the only place we’re sitting. Movie theaters, lecture halls, classrooms, and more keep Americans in their seats for many of their waking hours. If you’re sitting frequently, it’s important to have your seat serve your health — wherever you are.

You may feel at sea when it comes to choosing the best chair. After all, individual needs vary; you may have sat in a high quality chair before only to find it immediately making your back hurt. Fortunately, finding the perfect chair for your specific needs is now down to a science. When looking to buy a chair, consider the following.

How Many

Perhaps you’re buying a chair only for yourself. On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to fill a waiting room with seats. When choosing chairs for people other than just yourself, it’s important to assess the needs of the people who will be using your chairs. How long are they likely to be sitting? Are the people using them likely to be older, making lower back support a priority?

Write down a list of everything you need from your chair or chairs. You’ll be surprised how many different kinds of chairs there are. If you figure out exactly what your needs are, you’re likely to get the exact chairs you need.

Budget

Chair prices vary widely, as you may have noticed in your research. Some office chairs will run you less than $50, while others boast price tags in the thousands. Before you set out to choose your chair or chairs, lay out a clear budget. With a little research into the type of chair or chairs you want to buy, you can get an idea of the price range and what you get for your money.

If you’re buying many chairs, you probably want to buy all the same ones. Rooms look messy and unprofessional when filled with all different kinds of chairs. Many companies offer deals if you buy multiple chairs or rows of chairs; this can help you save money while making a sound purchase.

Conclusion

Choosing a chair requires a lot of careful consideration. One thing buyers today can be happy about is the diversity on the market today when it comes to chairs. Because so much health-oriented research has gone into designing chairs good for the human body, you can rest assured that the chair you pick will serve you well.

 

Lifestyle:

Greening Multi-Family Housing

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People who want to make our world a better place to live in shouldn’t be penalized just because they live in multifamily housing communities. If you live in an apartment, multiplex or townhome, you can still make green choices. Technology is making it easier and easier to make the right decision for both the planet and your budget.

Saving Energy

It turns out a simple light bulb change is a very bright idea. When you switch from traditional incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, you use about 66% less energy. And, the CF bulbs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent ones so you don’t have to worry about changing the light bulbs as often.

One big waste is all the electronics that that you think are off. Here’s a big secret:  they aren’t really turned off. They are silently sipping energy constantly. So, unplug the tv’s, vcr’s, dvd players, cable tv boxes, computers, printers and other electronic equipment. The off setting for the majority of these devices is actually a standby mode. The average household uses 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity on standby in a year. That’s enough power to run an entire home for over two months. The best bet is to unplug anything you aren’t currently using.

Caring Property Management

The people who are in charge of the housing units can make a larger impact than just you in your small part of the world. If the property management team and the owners make the good decision to have a positive impact on the world, they can set a major example of how to go green. It doesn’t hurt that they can also save money. Plus, it has gotten super easy for them to make the choice and implement changes.

A new device, known as a submeter, is letting multifamily dwelling owners make green changes on a large scale. The submeters can be easily added to a new apartment building or retrofitted to a building that is completely full of families. Then, the submeter can let the utility charges for the actual amount of the utility usage be charged to the resident. Residents are usually happy knowing they are only paying for what they use. And, they have control over the amount they consume, so water conservation in submetered properties increases. In fact, those people that live in submetered properties tend to use 20-30% less than those who don’t have submeters.

The submeters let the unit owners and managers know about leaks that are occurring, as well. That way the leaks can be fixed in a timely manner before damage is done to the physical apartment. This saves money for the owners, but it also saves money for the renters, as they won’t have to pay for the wasted water. It also makes sense for water conservation.

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last update: April 25, 2015

Lifestyle:

5 Tech Tools to Advance a Hair And Beauty Career

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The field of cosmetology is a brutally competitive one, and has many rewards. In years past, salon clients would remain with their stylist out of loyalty, alone, but this is not necessarily the case. Cosmetologists and stylists need to stay abreast of the most current styles, fads, and fashions in order to claim the title of best of the best. What are the most advantageous ways to go about this? Technology makes staying in ‘the know’ easy and fun for both clients and stylists. Here are some tips for advancing a career in the cosmetology field after graduating from a cosmetology program.

Booking Applications

Before, clients had to call to make an appointment or decide on a time and date at the end of their current session. With the help of technological advances, the internet, and mobile devices in nearly every purse, pocket, or desk drawer, twenty-four/seven mobile access is easier than ever. Try offering clients the option to book their next appointment whenever, wherever, making it convenient for both parties involved.

Social Media

In addition to scheduling applications, cosmetologists should also be involved in social media sites. The new advertising is often self advertising, and with all the various social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and Pinterest, to name a few, posting portfolios is fun, easy, and beneficial on a large scale. This allows cosmetologists to show off their work to potential new clients, get feedback for improvement, and announce any new services or products that are upcoming.

Fashion and Style Applications

It is important that stylists stay as up-to-date as possible, and the big books in the waiting area are no longer the best way to show the most fashionable and popular styles. Many apps provide links and access to new up-and-coming artists. Browse through their portfolios, see what people are asking for, and perhaps gain some new ideas for clients. These applications offer more than just images, however. Learn how these stylists achieve their works of art in detailed descriptions.

Credit Card Reader

Checks are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and people carry less and less cash around with them every day. Instead, plastic is the payment option of choice, and with so many applications and devices that allow small business owners to take credit cards, valid excuses not to have one are becoming less viable. Adding this tool will bring convenience to just one more aspect of the salon.

Finance Tracker

Last, but certainly not least, applications that help with keeping track of finances are a must. Some apps, such as “My Chair”, do much more than keep track of appointments and client contact information, they also keep track of financial and payment information. Having this on hand can be extremely helpful for getting in touch with clients who have missed appointments, or need to reschedule.

There are many more applications and tools to help further and advance a career in cosmetology. From everything to booking an appointment, browsing services offered, making payments, organizing finances and bills, and keeping track of new and upcoming events, all stylists and cosmetologists should have a good handle on the tools available to them.

Lifestyle:

How To Use a Reminder System To Avoid the Credit Trap

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How many times have you heard the story from friend and family about how bad credit has affected their ability to do things? They say, ‘I can’t go on vacation,’ ‘I can’t buy that,’ or ‘I can’t do that with you because I don’t have the money.’ And the thing is, it isn’t necessarily that they don’t have the money, but that they owe money to previous debts, so that even though they’re making enough money now to cover things now, they’re still paying old bills because they didn’t know better back in the day. To avoid putting yourself in this unfortunate but extremely common predicament, consider a few factors before it’s too late.

What You Need Credit For  

First, think about what you need credit for. You need credit for housing loans, you need credit for apartment applications, and you need credit for major purchases like cars. Yes, there are plenty of companies that can help you get auto loans after having bad credit, but it’s much better for you to keep good credit from the get go. In your late teens and early 20’s, credit seems like the answer to buying all the things that you want, and worrying about it later. But that ‘later’ can really bite you if you aren’t careful.

How To Set Up Your Reminders

As far as reminders go, mobile technology and smart phone apps can be your best friends. It is easy to simply forget about when payments are due and what they are going to cost you in the long run if you don’t pay for things immediately, but if you install certain reminder apps, they can warn you if you’re moving too far outside your predictable budget considerations.

Budgeting Techniques To Help You Out    

Consider following budgeting techniques that will pair up with the apps and reminders that you have installed as well. One of the best theories that you can follow to stay out of the bad credit situation is to only buy things that you can already afford. In other words, if you don’t have access to $25,000, don’t buy a $25,000 car! If you don’t have access to enough money, don’t buy the latest and greatest model computers. You may want them, and you may even feel like you need them, but the way to keep yourself out of trouble is to make sure that you earn the money before you spend it, instead of relying on you ability to make payments in the future. No one has a crystal ball, so even though you intend on having your great paying job for the next five years in order to pay for your expensive car, you never know what’s going to happen.

Lifestyle:

Technically a Global Community

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Recently, more than 73,000 visitors from over 80 countries met at the 50th Anniversary of Electronica. In order, Germany had the most visitors, then Italy, Austria, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, France, the Czech Republic and the USA. Italy, China, Austria, India, and Slovenia showed a significant increase in the number of visitors that attended.

There were 2.737 exhibitors from 50 countries represented, as well. This year, just as in years past, the percentage of international visitors increased from 47 to 50 percent. Again Germany led the exhibitors and was followed by China and Taiwan. Then the USA, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Italy and France were ranked in that order. Switzerland and the Republic of Korea followed France. The technological world is truly a global community.

Smartphones Take Over

Throughout this ever-growing community, mobile phones are emerging as the lead device to be had. Of course, smartphones are leading this takeover. Smartphones are creating an interesting partnership between two completely separate industries, those being the wireless networks and personal computing. In fact, mobile operators served about 3.2 billion people. Only about 1.7 people used PCs to get online.

PC’s still outrank smartphones as the choice for personal computing devices around the world. However, smartphones will soon outstrip these. As older phones are replaced by smartphones, PC’s are used less. Two-thirds of the mobile phone market had yet to get smartphones prior to 2013. Speculation is that PC sales will gradually decline as nearly one billion smartphones will be sold that same year.

Reportedly, 1.3 million Android devices are set up every day. About 300,000 human babies are born in one day. So in a twenty-four hour period, more than four times as many Android smartphones and tablets are purchased and activated than babies are born, and that’s just Android devices. Imagine if the ever-popular iPhone devices were combined in the count. Activation would far outstrip births.

Smartphones Require Parts

As with all technology, smartphones need parts. Aftermarket parts and their lower prices are appreciated by most consumers. Batteries are exposed to less than ideal conditions, such as extreme cold or heat. Poor air quality, with high particle counts, will wreak havoc on smartphone parts. People are human wherever they live in the world, and accidents always happen with phones. Consumers throughout the world will definitely need to order parts.

The most common item broken on smartphones is the screen. Some smartphones have the digitizer attached to the screen. The digitizer is what translates your touch into information your phone will understand. Replacement parts can be purchased relatively easily, and usually for less money than you would spend having someone replace the screen for you. However, should a person choose to replace the screen, the proper tools are necessary.

The next most common issue that needs repair is the headphone jacks. Once the phone’s case is open, this is a pretty easy repair, but again, you need the proper tools. Buttons also wear out and are as easily fixed as the headphones jack, once you have access inside the case itself.

The global community is becoming more and more technically savvy as a whole. Countries once thought of as less than technically enlightened have become as addicted to technology as first world countries; citizens of the world love technology.

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Lifestyle:

How an Electric Car Works

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With new tax benefits for fully electric cars and the chance never to pay for gas again, many consumers are jumping on the opportunity to own an electric car for the first time. But does the average American know exactly how an electric car functions? Without a standard car’s need for gas and oil, the process may present some confusion. Read on to learn more about how it works.

Components of a Car

While this is a simple concept for many, it’s important to pick apart the functions of a traditional car to show precisely where an electric car differs. The four major components comprising a car include:

  1. An energy source. In a traditional car, this is either gas or diesel.

  2. A container for fuel. For most cars, this is the gas tank.

  3. An engine. In most cars, the cylinders and pistons serve to convert the fuel into power.

  4. A transmission system. A car’s transmission takes the engine’s mechanical power to move the car forward. This includes the wheels, gearbox, and crankshaft.

How an Electric Car Compares

While both an electric and a traditional car serve the same function, the components of the two differ drastically due to their source of fuel. Most obviously, an electric car contains no gas tank. Instead of a gas tank, an electric car uses multiple batteries to hold electric power. The batteries must be plugged in to charge overnight, which works on a traditional power socket. As the car drives forward throughout the day, the battery will gradually lose power.

In the place of an engine, an electric car has at least one electric motor, which it uses to run the transmission. The motor consists of a tight-wrapped wire coil, which spins around inside a casing of powerful magnets. When the coil receives electricity from the battery, it creates a magnetic field, rotating rapidly inside the magnetic casing.  The quickly spinning coil attaches to an axle, which drives the car’s wheels. Certain high-power electric cars have multiple motors, called hub motors – one for each wheel.

Not all electric cars are built equally. Newly designed and created vehicles like the Chevy Spark EV, the Fiat 500E, and the BMW i3, deliver zero to 60 acceleration in a matter of just a few seconds. Similarly, some electric cars offer fuel cells, which are similar to batteries, except that they don’t run down. Supplied by a tank of hydrogen gas, fuel cells convert the gas into electricity to allow the car to run. Other electric cars have solar panels to aid in charging their batteries as the car moves forward.

While electric cars function differently, they all offer the same benefits, which include not only tax credits and major savings on fuel, but also a much greener option. The savings come at a direct benefit to the environment – a win-win solution for all parties involved.

 

Lifestyle:

Four Must Have Fishing Gadgets and Gear

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Whether you’re a weekend warrior fisherman reeling a few out of a nearby pond or stream, or a big time sport angler on a Hawaiian fish charter going for a record Marlin, the gadgets and gear you use can dictate your success. Below are four of the best gadgets you’ll want for your next fishing adventure.

Garmin GPSMAP 741XS–$1299.99

Garmin’s new GPSMAP 741XS combination sounder/chartplotter is sure to become the focal point of your vessel’s helm. The unit boasts super fast refresh times of up to ten times per second, advanced sonar support for a wide range of Garmin transducers, the ability to network with other anglers compatible GPSMAP units, and more. This GPSMAP also has compatibility with Garmin’s CHIRP technology, and if the two are paired together Garmin promises sonar imagery so crystal clear you might just find that new favorite secret fishing spot.

Cabela’s Guidewear Bass Angler Outerwear—Prices Vary

Cabela’s Guidewear collection of fishing outerwear is some of the best weather repellent outerwear money can buy. Almost inevitably, rugged outerwear restricts motion and makes essential tasks more difficult, but you just can’t do without it in the wet and cold. Cabela’s Guidewear Bass Angler Outerwear is an attempt to strike a compromise between comfort and freedom of motion. Made with Gore-Tex, the gold standard in waterproof technology for decades, outside moisture is effectively blocked but the fabric still breathable enough that interior moisture can evaporate away, keeping you warm and dry. The true advantage is in Cabela’s articulated sleeves and knees, which afford the wearer a great deal of flexibility in motion.

Flambeau Ultimate Tough ‘Tainer–$12-$17

“A container on a top gear list?” you might ask. Yes, but only because the Tough ‘Tainer series has proven to be a cut above the rest. Take any of your everyday run of the mill tackle containers, put it through its paces, and you will likely quickly begin to see cracked corners, warped dividers, and broken snaps. Everything about these containers really is tough, from the reinforced corners, and rustproof metal parts, to its completely watertight O-ring seal; this box is the most trustworthy item on the market to store your water sensitive fishing gear.

Nautilus CCFX2 Fly Reel–$200-$315

For the avid fly fisherman, Nautilus reels, in particular those of the CCF line have always been respected for their tough, high quality construction. Any variant of the CCFX2 series is a continuation on that proud tradition. Nautilus claims that this new reel has not only twice the drag strength of the old reel (now boasting up to an amazing 20+ pounds of drag strength), but twice the smoothness and half the startup inertia of the old model as well. Features that include a fully sealed construction, TPX brushings, hybrid ceramic bearings, and an oversized drag knob with “infinadjust” drag settings make this a must have for any fly fisherman searching for an edge.

 

Lifestyle:

4 Must-Have Apps for Real Estate Investors

Whether an individual is a first-time homebuyer, a real estate agent, or a broker, scoping out homes and putting together all the necessary paperwork to complete the purchase is a daunting task that requires a significant investment of time and effort. Thanks to modern apps available on desktops, tablets and smartphones, the amount of time it takes to locate, valuate, determine the best mortgage for, and get all the needed paperwork to close on the home can be substantially reduced. Melanie Haselmayr writing for Forbes suggests taking advantage of some of the best apps available to help with different aspects of real estate investing. Four of these apps stand out as absolute must-haves for anyone hoping to invest in real estate.

Zillow

With the purchase of its largest competitor, Trulia, in 2014, Zillow is now the most comprehensive source of real estate information on the Internet, including maps, details and statistics on properties as well as values over time, MLS numbers, and more. While homeowners can list their homes for free on Zillow, most homeowners work with agents who can maximize Zillow’s benefits, according to Joe Levy of Business2Community. With apps available for desktop and mobile, Zillow is now an indispensable resource for real estate brokers and agents, as well as potential homebuyers interested in professional tools to locate prospects and gather information about properties. The app also includes mortgage calculators and other tools to help estimate closing fees and other costs.

Waze

Having grown from a traffic-tracking app to a social phenomenon, Waze is near-essential for a real estate investor on the go. The app, available for Android and iOS devices, is designed so that traffic stops and other problems can be quickly reported, which then alerts other nearby users so that they can avoid those same traffic errors. For time-strapped real estate professionals moving from location to location or potential homebuyers unfamiliar with the area a property is in, this app is not only a time-saver but an invaluable stress reducer. Rachel Metz of Technology Review noted that Google’s purchase of Waze was likely due not only to its usefulness, but its massive community of over 50 million users (though the fact that Google’s purchase kept the app—and its community of users—out of  rival Apple’s hands was probably also a bonus incentive behind the purchase).

Mortgage Calculators

One of the most bothersome parts of dealing with home purchases has to do with the mortgage. More properly, it has to do with interest rates. Whereas previously, this was mostly handled with a calculator and a phone call to determine what interest rates were against the rates of specific companies, apps that function as mortgage calculators have changed the way that professionals and even first-time investors deal with the math of investment. GuaranteedRate.com has a page for investors and real estate professionals which contains not only mortgage calculators, but comparative interest rate charts.

Cam Scanner

Whether a professional on the go or a first-time buyer, paperwork is one of the more tedious parts of real estate investment. Using a program like Cam Scanner, which converts photos of documents into usable scans, documents can be signed and sent by email from any location, without the need to go to the office or run home. With a scanner app program, listed at #6 on Forbes’ top ten apps, paperwork can be handled up-to-the-minute when required, reducing the chance of missing or lost documentation later.

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