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Ford Gives us the 101 on Hybrids

Ford Hybrid

There is more and more confusion added to the mix every time the automakers come out with a new version of energy efficient vehicles. There’s hybrids, plug-in hybrids, plug-in electric vehicles, and likely several more on the way that combine gas, electricity, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, and gravitational energy induction to propel our vehicles.

Continue reading Ford Gives us the 101 on Hybrids

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3 Ways Technology Is a Major Money Saver

If there’s one thing every household wants to accomplish, it’s saving money. Whether you live within a tight budget or you simply want a bigger cushion in the bank, cutting spending is something everyone is interested in.

Something else most everyone is interested in is electronics and technology. How convenient would it be if you could incorporate your savings into your lifestyle by utilizing your technology? Pretty convenient; good thing it’s easy to do.

Download savings apps

Your smart phone is more than just an easy way to upload photos of your dinner for all your friends and followers to see; it’s a money-saving device. There are a number of free apps available that allow you to save money in just a few seconds time.

The RetailMeNot app makes it simple for you to find the store in which you are shopping and gain instant access to current coupons and codes good online and in stores. For example, if you’re in a store with a coupon for 20 percent off your entire purchase and your total is $100, this app just saved you $20.

Barcode apps are another great way to save using technology. Simply scan the barcode of the item in which you are interested and see if it’s available for a lesser price at another store nearby or even online. It’s instant savings in less than a few second’s time.

Household technology

It’s a nightmare to come home to a house that’s so hot you can’t breathe, but it’s also a nightmare to see the utility bill come in at the end of the month after leaving your air conditioning turned down low while you’re at work all day.

Instead of making sacrifices to your wallet and/or comfort, invest in a Nest Learning Thermostat. It’s simple to use; it learns your habits and works to your programming to keep your heat and air turned off when you’re not home.

You can even control it with your smart phone, computer or tablet, turning it on or off when you’re at work or traveling. It can save you as much as 30 percent in utility costs each year.

Bundle household technology

What three things do you use more than anything else at home? The answer to this question is your television, your phone and your internet. Instead of paying three separate bills with three separate sets of fees each month, bundle your phone, cable and internet and save significantly.

Conclusion

Technology makes life exceptionally easy when you let it. Let your technology make your life less expensive by taking a few minutes to see what type of technology fits into your budget, works best for your lifestyle and saves you the most money.

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last update: December 19, 2014

Science:

Science Proves These Quirky Activities Create Better Athletes

Our bodies react to different stimuli and activities in surprising ways — ways that scientists and trainers continue to probe in an effort to understand the human body better, and mold the greatest athletes of the future.

Below are some of the most surprising activities that can boost athletic performance.

Squeeze with your left, not with right

In perhaps one of the strangest studies ever conducted — one from which you would expect absolutely no conclusive or meaningful results to come — it was discovered that clutching something in your left fist (or even just clenching your empty left fist) increased athletic performance in pressure situations and prevented “choking.”

Clenching the right fist rendered the opposite result, however. It had a negative impact on athletic performance.

The reason behind this surprising result is that the left hemisphere of the brain, which is devoted to rumination (in other words, potentially over-thinking during critical moments), becomes activated when the right fist is clenched, and that may increase tension and introspection. By contrast, clenching your left fist activates the right hemisphere of the brain, which is associated with movement and motor functions, thereby improving physical functioning.

Sniff some jasmine

We know scents can have a powerful psychological effect on the body. It has recently been discovered that certain scents can even improve concentration and athletic performance.

A study of six Major League baseball players suggested that the ones who sniffed a jasmine-scented armband before each swing during batting practice greatly increased their hitting performance compared to those who sniffed an unscented armband.

The results showed that any activity involving hand-eye coordination or precise muscle movements could be enhanced by surrounding oneself with the sweet smell of jasmine.

Believe in something positive

Many athletes swear by visualization and positive reinforcement techniques to improve their performance, and science has backed them up on at least one aspect of this belief. In an experiment reported in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, white basketball players were better at shooting free throws after watching videos that portrayed white basketball players as the best free throw shooters.

Caucasian players who watched videos that depicted black players as the best shooters experienced a decreased performance. The study showed that believing in one’s own ability to perform a task, even when that belief stems from nothing but a generality regarding their race, can have a positive effect on performance.

So if you’re an athlete who’d like to fill your trophy cases with trophies and awards, consider sniffing some jasmine, filling your mind with positive reinforcements, and clenching a ball in your left hand when the pressure begins to mount.

Lifestyle:

3 Ways in Which Technology Benefits Travel

Most of the world has no idea just how much of a role technology plays in life. On any given day, however, technology probably adds to – or detracts from if you’re addicted to Candy Crush Saga – your life in a significant way.

One of the biggest impacts technology has on your everyday life is its ability to make travel simple. From gadets to apps, planning your trip online to staying in touch with everyone back home when you’re thousands of miles away, technology has made travel easier than ever.

It’s more convenient

A decade ago people used to use computers to check flight status and print directions to hotels, restaurants, attractions and homes of family members.

They then took that plethora of paperwork with them on vacation, being careful not to lose any of it lest they end up lost in the middle of a city or town with which they are unfamiliar. Today, you simply need a smart phone, laptop or tablet to do all of the above without a single piece of paper.

Now you can check in for your flight, download your boarding pass, check flight statuses, use your GPS for directions and book attraction tickets right from the palm of your hand.

It’s more fun

When you have your technology on hand, you can maximize your vacation time. So your beach trip is rained out and you’re looking for something to do. Use your technology to perform a quick search of the best indoor activities near your hotel and go from rained in your room to having a great time in minutes.

Technology also allows you to see which restaurants, attractions and events are the most talked-about, most fun and most entertaining wherever you are.

It’s easier

There’s no longer any need to spend road trips wondering if you’ll find satisfactory accommodations at the next exit. Now you can use your technology to get online and check to see what taccommodations are nearby.

For example, you’re traveling through South Africa in need of an accommodation. A quick Internet search using your handheld technology allows you to find the best Johannesburg accommodations available with your preferred amenities and price range.

Conclusion

Traveling is easier than ever thanks to technology. You can spend time FaceTiming your kids at home, checking your work email to stay on top of your game or just sending photos to your parents so they can see what a great time you’re having. All in all; it’s just simple and convenient.

Mobile:

5 Apps That Make Moving a Breeze

 

Finding a new house or apartment can be a long, arduous process– but it doesn’t have to be. These smartphone apps are like having a realtor right in your pocket. With better search options right at your fingertips, you’re sure to find the right home at the right price without any surprises.

1. Realtor.com

This site offers an app that can serve as a go-to for quick listings. It boasts the most listings of any app, and it’s from one of the top websites for real estate resources.

2. Photo Measures

This might be the best six bucks you’ll spend while house hunting. This app tells you the measurements of a room just by taking pictures, so that you can plan where your stuff will go and visualize what it would be like to live in potential homes.

3. Mortgage calculators

When you’re serious about buying a home, a simple mortgage calculator will definitely help you determine what you can afford so that you can be focused in your search. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can get more out of real estate agents and try to tap into pocket listings.

4. Wikihood

Get to know your potential neighborhoods with virtual tours offered by this app. You can learn about a neighborhood’s history, demographics, and the businesses in the area.

5. Walk Score

Are you the kind of person who walks everywhere? If you want a neighborhood that has everything you need in one place, this app can help you get a feel for what it would be like to live in different neighborhoods. Find out which restaurants, grocery stores, and other services are nearby before you even go check out the listing.

A lot of these apps make it easier to find the perfect house on your own, but if you’re still wading through listings without any luck, you can find real estate agents or brokers online and benefit from their expertise almost immediately. It can be frustrating when the hardest part of house hunting is simply trying to get a hold of a real estate agent, landlord, or owner. These online and mobile tools should help you not only shop smarter, but also let you speed up the process.

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Science:

3 Non-Traditional Uses for Vitamins in Technology

 

When most of us think of vitamins, it’s in connection with dietary supplements that help keep us strong and healthy. Many people take a multivitamin to make up for vitamins and minerals they may not be getting from their regular diet.

Vitamins can also be used to combat signs of aging, such as greying hair.

Vitamins are not only used for these purposes, though. They also have a role to play in modern technology. Here are three examples of ways in which vitamins are used for non-traditional goals.

1. Vitamin B2 used for 3D printing

Vitamin B2, or Riboflavin, is found in foods like meat, green vegetables, and cottage cheese. A group of biochemical engineers in North Carolina found it could be used to 3D print medical implants that are more compatible with the human body than existing materials.

Using this technique, researchers can create structures that will be implanted into the body, such as micro needles or scaffolds for tissue engineering custom body parts.

2. Vitamin C neutralizes chlorine in water

Vitamin C is your go-to vitamin to keep your bones, teeth, and gums healthy, but it also does a great job stamping out chlorine in water. If left untreated, chlorine will kill fish and other aquatic life in the water supply, upsetting the local ecosystem.

Two types of Vitamin C, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid, can be used to neutralize chlorine. Neither is considered hazardous, since they do not lower the dissolved level of oxygen in the water. Vitamin C is not toxic to wildlife: Once it is introduced to the water, it will degrade in 24-48 hours.

3. Vitamin E stamps out static cling

Static cling is a nuisance when you’re trying to get dressed, but it’s a more serious matter for the manufacturing sector. When electrostatic shocks occur in that setting, it can be enough to damage computer chips or television circuits.

Static electricity also has the potential to start fires and explosions that could result in extensive property damage and personal injury for anyone caught on the premises at the time.

Vitamin E, along with other non-toxic antioxidants, is added to coatings for electronics to minimize this problem. These surface coatings will not react chemically with sparks or dust that build up on equipment or plastic parts, which avoids the static charge.

It’s a simple solution to an old problem.

Mobile:

3 Healthy Apps for Kids

 

Did you get a tablet for Christmas? If you’re like many people this year, you did. And if you’re like many families, your young children will be using that tablet, too.

Many educational tools and apps available for use on a tablet will not only teach your kids, but also entertain them. Here are three of the best:

1. Pick Chow!

A team of health and nutrition experts have created a site for kids called ZisBoomBah. On this site is the popular Pick Chow! tool, which is a fun way for kids to learn about nutrition and how it affects their health.

By placing foods on a virtual plate, the program gives kids a nutrition rating — between one and five stars — for their meals. Additionally, the app lets kids send an automated email to parents.

The email contains information about the virtual meal that has been prepared as well as a recipe and coupons for real-life preparation.

2. FitnessKids

FitnessKids teaches children how to have fun while staying fit. The app features 25 different exercises that are presented in an instructional animation complete with sound and music.

Digital records are kept so progress and improvement can easily be chronicled. Kids can do the exercises alone or challenge a friend through the “Joust” feature.

The exercises and presentation are colorful, musical, and designed to be fun. Your kids will learn lifelong fitness habits, and have a great time doing so.

3. This is My Body

This is My Body is an interactive app that teaches kids about their bodies. Created by medical experts, the app teaches anatomy, and gears the information toward a growing child.

All the major systems of the body are covered, and instruction is provided in a way that even young kids with a low reading level can follow along.

The more your kids know about how their bodies work, the better they’re able to make healthy choices. Additionally, education can help them reduce shyness when dealing with potentially embarrassing problems, such as body odor or painful gassiness.

Apps and online programs can be a fun and intuitive way for children to learn, and one of the most important subjects to learn about is health. By promoting a fit lifestyle, these apps help your kids develop lifelong habits that will, in turn, support a long, healthy life.

Mobile:

Apps Every Woman Should Use for Great Hair

Your smartphone makes it simple for you to do just about anything, from booking an entire vacation to making dinner reservations. But what you don’t know is that it can actually help you look gorgeous.

Besides calling your grandmother in Texas and checking your work email for signs that your boss is upset with you, you can use your smartphone to choose hair colors or styles, and even make appointments at your favorite salon.

These apps make it possible for you to find hair inspiration, cuts, styles, and even try on hair color before you commit to it at the salon. As a woman you are naturally vain — even if it’s just a little bit — when it comes to your appearance, which is why these apps are life changers.

Pinterest

By downloading the Pinterest app onto your smartphone you can create an entire board that’s dedicated solely to your hair. You can pin colors you love, styles you want to try, and updos that are perfect for the next formal event you attend.

Show it to your stylist and let her go from there when she cuts, colors, and styles your hair. Can’t figure out what to do on a day you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to devote to styling? Pinterest has plenty of quick styles that leave you looking great and not at all rushed.

Magic Mirror

This app allows you to upload a photo of yourself and try on hairstyles. You can use it as a serious method of choosing how you want to look, or as a fun way of entertaining yourself in the doctor’s office waiting room.

You wouldn’t really choose a mullet, but you might get a good laugh out of seeing yourself sport one in a very non-permanent manner.

Hair Color Booth

Once you color your hair, it’s done. This app allows you to use your own photo to change the color of your hair without any permanence. It’s a great way to see how you’d look going from auburn to platinum blonde, or blonde to brunette, without making any major life changes in the process.

Booking appointments

Even if you don’t download any of these great apps, you can still use your smartphone to book an appointment with your favorite stylist. Many salons have websites that allow you to book online using your smartphone.

This makes it simple to get the next available appointment without ever having to make a call or spend time on hold waiting for confirmation.

Gorgeous hair is really only a smartphone away. Use yours as inspiration and to gather ideas to discuss with your stylist the next time you visit the salon.

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