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The Health Benefits of Air Mattress Beds

An air mattress bed is an air-filled sleeping pad made out of PVC vinyl plastic. It is an inflatable mattress that can be rolled up into one compact piece, making it very easy to bring along anywhere. Aside from its portability, air beds are more known for the number of health benefits that it offers. So if you want to know what exactly these are, keep on reading and find out.


This is perhaps one of the top reasons why many people prefer air mattress beds over the traditional foam or spring beds. Since they are completely filled with air, the mattress can easily conform to the natural shape of your body, allowing you to sleep in the most natural and comfortable positions. Apart from that, most air beds also have knobs that allow you to adjust the pressure so you can easily choose to have softer or firmer mattresses by simply releasing or adding in air.

Relief from Back Pain

One of the major causes of back pains are overly soft or overly hard mattresses. Air mattress beds however, can give back sufferers that much needed relief from this kind of condition. As mentioned before, air mattresses can easily conform to your body's natural curves so you'll never have to sleep in awkward positions that lead to back pains later on. Air mattresses can also provide relief from neck pains, stiff joints and even spinal problems.


Another great thing about an air mattress is it contains different air chambers which can be controlled individually. This is a great feature to have when there are 2 or more people sleeping in the bed. With air mattress beds, you can easily adjust the firmness or softness of different sides of the mattress according to your preference and comfort requirements.

Say Goodbye to Mites and Bed Bugs

Mites and bed bugs normally live around the coil and the foam of mattresses. However, air mattresses are purely supported by air so there is practically place for these insects to live and breed. This way, you can peacefully rest away without bed bugs ever bothering you in your sleep.


As mentioned before, air mattress beds are mainly made up of PVC vinyl plastic. This kind of material is practically dust-free - a great thing to have for those who have asthma or dust allergies. This also makes the entire mattress very easy to clean and maintain. All you need to do is wipe it with a damp cloth and you should be good to go.

New Self-adjusting Technology

Most of the airbed mattresses today make use of a self-adjusting technology that can evenly distribute pressure all throughout the body when lying down, regardless of body shape and weight. This is a wonderful feature that promotes better and more comfortable sleeping patterns.
Air mattress beds are without a doubt, very beneficial to your health. The provide relief from back and neck pains, create better sleeping habits and promote good over-all health. So if you are planning to buy a mattress anytime soon, this is definitely one of the best choices that you can get from the market today.


Bedroom Furniture - Trends For Teenagers

If you're the parent of a teen, you know they're picky, exceptionally picky. If you're about to be the parent of a teen, you are going to need to start preparing yourself for this trait.

Teens are among the pickiest of people as they are trying to find out who they are, define their identity, and rebel against anything their parents want, like or enjoy.

When it comes to picking bedroom furniture for a teen, this can be a nightmare. Understand that no matter what you get, it will likely be wrong. They are going to want to personalize their bedroom furniture to be more like them.

This is not a bad thing. It's just the way things are. The best thing you can do, as a parent, is to choose bedroom furniture that is relatively simple and let them add to it, by dressing up the environment around it.

Note we said the environment around it. Bedroom furniture can be expensive. So, you don't want them to be taking their art supplies to the bedroom furniture pieces.

While it may seem impossible to pin your teen down for a few minutes, you should ask them to look over some of the bedroom furniture options you are considering to see which one they can live with.

Don't expect to go shopping with your teen, as most of them want their parents to only drop them off and pick them up from the store, not to be seen in the store with them. Instead, you should do a little online shopping. This way they can shop with you, without looking corny, at least in their eyes.

When choosing the bedroom furniture pieces, let your teen know they can dress up the room around it, but they need to choose furniture they are going to leave as is. They will appreciate that you did this down the road, as this may well be the bedroom furniture they take when they go off to college and move out. At that time, they won't want their goofy high school decorations anymore.

Remember all the uses of this space. Your teen is not only going to sleep in this room, but pretty much live here. This will be their study area and a place where they will bring friends. It will also be the location of the majority of their at-home teen life. Make sure the pieces of bedroom furniture you choose will be able to help them to accomplish everything they need to do.

If you want to make an easy sale, show them some of the accents that most suit their personality for the rest of the room. Once they can picture what it will look like, in their mind, they will be more likely to go with some of the bedroom furniture pieces you are showing.

Finally, don't question their style. Teens are very protective about their creative thoughts and ideas. You should be supportive of these thoughts, even if they are foreign to you.


How Organic Cotton Linens Can Offer You A Better Nights Sleep

If you have been experiencing a lot of trouble getting a good night of sleep, did you ever stop to wonder whether or not it might have anything to do with the sheets that you have on your bed? This might be a little confusing at first, as some believe that sheets are sheets and that they could in no way affect the amount of sleep that you could get or the quality of that sleep. However, there is a lot of new information out there that is stating otherwise. Believe it or not, organic cotton linens are the way to go. Sure, you might have tried the bedsheets that are 100% cotton, but if they are not bedroom linens that are completely organic, you are still missing out.

Once you start reviewing the opinions of others regarding organic cotton linens, you might find that there will be some people out there complaining that the organic cotton linens are incredibly hard to get the wrinkles out of. The fact of the matter is that yes, even once out of the dryer, these are sheets that are going to be wrinkled and you really will not be able to fit them on the bed properly without getting those wrinkles out first. However, they are exceptionally easy to iron and you will find that the effort is well worth it.

So why are the bedroom linens made from organic material much better than the 100% cotton sheets? Many people assume that these are one in the same, even though they are not. With the organic bed linens, you are going to find that absolutely no chemicals were used in the growing of the cotton or the processing of it. You might not think so, but many have found that the bedroom linens that were made without chemicals allowed them to breathe better at night.

You will also find that the organic cotton linens are simply so much more comfortable to lay on and since you spend a good majority of your time, over the course of your entire life, in your bed, you are going to want to make sure that you are doing everything possible to get the best bed sheets for your money. These sheets may be a little difficult to find in your local department store so you might have no other choice than to shop online for them. Over time though, there is little doubt that more and more retailers will start to carry the organic cotton linens as they grow in popularity.

So what are you waiting for? If you are finally to a point where you want to make sure that you are getting the best sleep possible, then it is time to find yourself the best possible deals on organic cotton linens.


Selecting Kid's Bedroom Bedding

Who said that comforters and bedding are just for adults? Anyone that has ever invested time in buying children's bedding sets will point out that there are a great many different comforters on the market which can be employed to make a kid's bedroom look tremendously unique and inviting. In some instances, the kid's bedroom bedding can also make sleeping a lot more comfortable since comforters can capture warmth quite effectively. And no, you do not have to spend a lot of money
to acquire quality comforters.

However, you do need to be deliberate with your purchasing decision. That means you have to maintain a few insights into what is needed to acquire the best of the best comforters on the market for the little ones. Here is a little look at how to do this....

Right off the proverbial bat, you must realize that adults will look for style and elegance when trying to pick bedding sets and comforters. However, little kids will find bedding that is a lot more fun to be avvealing. This is why collectible children's sets featuring cartoon characters or superheroes can be considered among the best purchases you can make for a boy's bedroom. Why would they not be? You kids will likely find the look of the bedding imaginative and exciting.

Those with little girls may wish to look towards seeking bedding with polka dots, animals, bright pink colors, and the like. You could select those bedding sets with cartoon characters but you need to make sure that the cartoons are those that little girls will like.

What specific characters should you select? There are a lot of licensed items out on the market which make for excellent kid's bedroom bedding so you will never be short on selections.

Obviously, cost wills play a major factor in the kid's bedroom bedding selection. This does mean you will need to send an enormous amount of money on the bedroom set. However, you also do not want to purchase the cheapest bedding sets on the market since you want bedding that will last. Look towards acquiring the best bedding from a quality perspective within your current budget range. When you do this, you increase the likelihood you will get the most out of your purchasing. And you kids will end up with much better bedding which is likely what you both want.

Certainly, you would definitely want to acquire children's bedding sets that are made by a name brand manufacturer. The reason for this is likely obvious. When you have bedding made by a name brand company, you will likely be acquiring a bedding set that will last a long time without fading or tearing. This could certainly help you get the most out of your consumer purchasing investment.
Is it tough to pick the best kid's bedding on the market? No, it can be considered relatively easy as long as you follow a few simple and basic steps. Of course, you will also want to buy bedding your kids will truly love...if they don't like the bedding then why buy it?


Improve Your Health With Memory Foam Pillows

Everybody knows you need to get a good sleep. It doesn't matter who you are - you won't be able to function properly if you don't get the rest you need. This advice has been pushed by people in the health industry for ages, but now business is trying to get in on things. With people looking for things like memory foam pillows, everyone's getting into the act.

The pillows in particular are becoming a very popular item. Those who know anything about business will tell you there's good money to be made there, and companies are jumping on the opportunity. Though, of course, the profit is the bottom line for them, you get the chance to get the type of products your health really needs in these pillows.

You might not have even considered needing something more when it comes to where you put your head as you sleep. Yet, you certainly wouldn't want to sleep on a bed without a pillow, and so we see how important they are to us. There are many types of pillows, all designed to help you sleep better, and there are more being brought onto the market every day. Memory foam ones, though, will actually give you what you need.

The reason most people look for memory foam products in general is to get support for their bodies, and these products offer that right where you need it most - on your neck. When this part of your body is properly aligned, your shoulders, back and legs will follow suit, and you'll feel a lot of relief if you've ever suffered from pain in these areas.

Some of the other advantages of using these items are surprising; like the fact that they can even reduce headaches. If you already have a memory foam mattress, you'll know how good it feels, and the decision to buy the pillow as well should be an easy one. Even without the mattress, you can still get a lot just from buying the pillow on its own.

No matter whether you're using the mattress, the benefits of the pillow are still open to you. If you don't have the money to afford both, this is a very low-cost option that will still give you an immediate difference in how you sleep. Without having to set much money aside, you'll get something that will feel like it's worth a lot of money to you.

There is the fact that you want to be sure you're getting the best option for your money. There are a lot of options when it comes to getting best quality. You should be looking for something with a five to six pound density and a thickness of four to five inches, not to mention companies that will give you warranties and return policies when you buy.

There are lots of good places to find information on this sort of thing. You'll find them mostly online, but you should also be looking for the personal recommendations you can only get from people you know. These help you be sure a product is good before you buy it so that you can rest easy knowing your relaxation will be improved for a long time to come.


Camo Bed Sets - 5 Reasons To Redecorate With This Budget-Friendly Theme

When you think of camo bed sets, you might picture hunters or military buffs flooding their bedrooms with wall-to-wall green and grey. The truth is a camo comforter set isn't just for the avid outdoorsman or serviceman. It can be a great way to add a unique and decorative touch to the home without going over budget. Learn why camo bet sets are in and how to fit them into your decor.

A New Bedroom in a Bag

There's nothing more daunting than redecorating a room in the home. Especially the bedroom. Camo bed sets are convenient because the bed becomes focal point of the room. Instead of finding a bed set to match the decorations chosen, most of the decorating is already done as soon as the bed is made. You need only find interesting accent pieces to add the finishing touches.

With camo bed sets, everything comes in one bag so there's no making several purchases at a few different stores and hoping the theme comes together at home.Camo bed sets come standard with 1 comforter, 1 bed skirt and 2 pillow shams. Matching sheet sets come with 1 flat top sheet, 1 fitted bottom sheet and 2 pillowcases (1 pillowcase for twin).


camouflage bed sets are budget-friendly, too. Their unique, slightly rustic design makes it easy to decorate around them with basic end tables, chairs and bureaus found at any thrift store or yard sale.

Avid hunter or fisherman? Your favorite mounted catch or hunting trophy now becomes the perfect accent piece to a traditional camo comforter set.With a camo comforter set, there's no need to shop around and pay separate shipping charges or waste gas driving from store to store. Everything you need comes in one convenient bag.

Lots of Variety

There's a lot more to camouflage bed sets than the traditional light green and grey of military and hunter's garb. As the popularity of camouflage grows, so does the wide variety of available styles and variations on the theme.

The most popular types of camouflage are:

* Advantage
* Galaxy
* Break-up
* Geo
* Max-4
* Timber
* All-Purpose
* Green
* Blue
* Pink
* AP Pink

Camo bed sets also come in different fabrics and thread counts. Choose from hypoallergenic cotton, fleece, sateen, satin and silk. The style and type you select will depend on the look and feel you're going for. Brings the Best of Nature Inside

Hunters, hikers, campers and nature enthusiasts can bring the best parts of nature indoors minus poor weather and bugs. Camo bed sets can turn a bedroom into a calming oasis to return to after a stressful day on the job.

Perfect for Children

A camo comforter set is a great choice for kids, too. Add a mosquito canopy, jungle-themed toys and posters to round out the look. Your little camper or hunter will love having friends over for an outdoor-themed sleepover.Another great thing about bed sets? The dark-colored themes hide stains well so there's no worry about having to rush them to the wash each time a Magic marker accidentally gets left open. camouflage bed sets are a fun, economical way to add some unique style and flair to any home.


What you need to know about car price depreciation

When you come to buy a new car, there are of course many different things you'll need to give careful consideration to. Obviously, price is one of the most important considerations of all - especially at a time when so many of us are struggling to keep on top of our finances. Household incomes are being squeezed by a combination of wage stagnation and steadily rising living costs, and there seems to be no end in sight. You might think, in the circumstances, that buying a new car at this stage might be a bit of an extravagance. However, there are genuinely outstanding deals out there provided you know where to look.

It might well be tempting to splash out on a new car, but it could well be the wrong option for you. The most important thing you need to remember when buying a vehicle is that new cars have a tendency to lose value rapidly, particularly within the first few years of their lifespan. In fact, new cars have been known to lose as much as a third of their value within two or three years. This could mean that if you find yourself having to sell a relatively new car earlier than you might have expected, you may have no choice but to accept a considerable loss on what you originally paid for it. This could leave you out of pocket to the tune of several thousand pounds - which few of us can afford at the present juncture.

This is why you may want to think about buying a pre-owned vehicle instead. While car price depreciation works to the disadvantage of owners, it works to the advantage of owners - so provided you shop around, you should be able to find three or four-year-old cars available for genuine bargain prices. There are countless motorists who keep falling into the trap of buying new cars and then find that they have to sell them for far less than they originally paid. Take a look online, in the classified sections of newspapers or at used car dealerships to get a better idea of just what deals are out there.

You should also think about just what you want to use your car for before you start searching. If you only intend to use it for relatively short commutes, then your best bet may be to simply opt for a small runaround to get you from A to B - it hardly seems worth investing in a 4x4 or a sports car for the purpose, for instance. This should help you narrow down your search, saving you time and effort.


SUV Rollovers Pose Serious Auto Accident Risks

The sport utility vehicle (SUV) has the highest rate of death in rollover accidents. According to government tests, SUV rollovers are almost three times more likely to occur than in the average passenger car, and the most stable SUV is still more unstable than the most unstable car. In 2002, nearly 11,000 people died in rollover accidents, 61 percent of which occurred in SUVs.

With the number of people killed in SUV rollovers increasing by 14 percent per year, consumers should be aware of the risks SUVs pose to their families. Even more alarming than the rising rollover statistics is the withholding of rollover information by the government and auto manufacturers.

Sobering Statistics

Though the number of SUV rollover fatalities continues to escalate, but SUVs are not being manufactured to better resist rollover crashes. Not a single SUV earned the federal agency's highest safety rating, according to an NHTSA report in 2003. However, SUV consumption has increased: SUV popularity created a large increase in sales in the 1990s, and because of high consumer demand for these cars, car makers continue to manufacture SUVs. Because the vehicle has changed from simply being an off-road vehicle to a replacement for the family station wagon, manufacturers removed the roll bar that protects drivers and passengers in a rollover situation from SUVs.

Many SUV rollover accidents occur because of the unusual propensity the large car has to roll over when steered hard in foreseeable accident avoidance maneuvers. Also, the size and height of an SUV may increase the danger of rollovers. SUV defects, like weak roofs and safety restraint system failures, are some of the heightened risks involved in an SUV rollover situation. Roof Crush Injury

Roof crush injury is most often the result of rollover automobile accidents. Roof crush injuries kill 10,000 people every year. Vehicle design is supposed to depend on a structural support system that creates a "survival space" that protects car occupants in a crash from injury due to roof crush. When a vehicle does not have the proper roof pillar strength, it will cause the roof to cave into the passenger compartment during an accident. A weak roof makes a vehicle defective, and roof crushes can cause serious and fatal injuries, including disabling brain and spinal injuries.

Safe Roof Designs

Safe roof structure designs have been documented from as early as the 1930s. Vehicles with the safety features mentioned above would reduce the number of roof crush accidents. Despite the availability of safer designs and structures, manufacturers claim it is the force of the impact that leads to injuries and death, notwithstanding the fact that the relationship between rollover crashes and injuries from roof crush was observed and noted as early as 1932.

Safe roofs are equipped with strong roof pillars and full-length closed sections, windshield headers and side sections, internal baffle plates, strong tubular cross-members, and reinforcing gussets at the connections. Some use rigid foam within the tubular cross-members to help strengthen the structure. These different safety precautions can significantly minimize the fatal results of roof crush.

Roof Crush and Rollover

Roof crush injury risks are higher in vehicles with a greater propensity to roll over. Because they are taller and narrower, SUVs, or sports utility vehicles, are three times more likely to roll over in an accident than are other passenger cars. In 1973, the government passed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216, creating a standard roof strength test to measure the integrity of roof structure in motor vehicles. This test was to apply to motor vehicles weighing six thousand pounds or less. Many SUVs weigh more than this, and are therefore exempt from compulsory safety standards that may be crucial to preventing roof crush injury. In light of SUV roof crush injury risks, consumer advocacy groups have urged the federal government to modify standards so that they include any vehicle weighing ten thousand pounds or less.

Roof pillars appear strong to the average consumer, but most of them consist of just sheet metal that is hollow on the inside at the cross sections. When an accident occurs involving roof structures with a filled inner space, the outcome has been shown to be safer due to a lesser amount of roof crush.

Pillars filled with high-density foam can reduce the severity of a roof crush significantly, saving lives and reducing serious injuries. Overall, federal safety standards fail to provide roof strength requirements that adequately protect people from suffering roof crush injury in a rollover automobile accident. Despite federal standards, many vehicle roofs will easily crush a foot or more during a rollover accident. More stringent testing standards and minimum industry safety standards must be employed if the government hopes to adequately protect people from sustaining serious roof crush injury in automobile accidents.

If You've Been Injured in an SUV Accident

Though rollover accidents are regarded as highly survivable events, the integrity of a vehicle's roof structure during impact is crucial. Windshield reinforcement is a critical component of vehicle design: when a windshield is destroyed in the course of an accident, the strength of the roof is instantly reduced by 33 percent. As a result, roof crush injuries are often extremely serious. Common roof crush injuries include neck fractures and other spinal injuries. Sometimes a brain injury may result from the roof crushing in on the vehicle occupant. These head and neck injuries can also cause paraplegia, quadriplegia, or other life-altering conditions.

If you have suffered injury due to a roof crush car crash, you may be eligible for monetary compensation due to faulty automobile design. Contact an experienced crashworthiness attorney as soon as possible. Your crashworthiness lawyer will help you assess your claim, file a law suit, and get the compensation you deserve.


Making the Power Tool Battery Decision: NiMH vs. NiCad vs. Li-Ion

If you've ever wondered about the difference between NiMH vs. NiCad vs. LiIon you're not alone - there are thousands of DIY home improvement types out there wondering the same thing as you, and wondering how to make the best decisions for their next power tool purchase.

Here's a question you may be asking yourself: "What is the difference between NiMH and NiCd. How do Lithium Ion batteries work compared to the others?"

To tackle this question we have to look at the criteria for making the power tool battery decision. And then bring Lithium Ion into the equation to round out the choices when you're next making a power tool purchase decision.

Read closely - your power as a consumer lies in your understanding of the products available!

Criteria for Making Your Power Tool Battery Decision
According to Building a Better Power-Tool Battery you should be looking at a battery's run time, life cycle, volts and amp-hour rating.

Run Time:
Quite simply run time is the amount of work a tool can do before its charge runs out.

Life Cycle:
Life cycle is how many times the battery can be recharged during its life time.

Volts (Power):
Volts will determine work output of the tool. John Sara, cordless product manager for Milwaukee Electric Tool, says "Individuals currently using a 18-volt NiCad battery, should see 2 - 21/2 times more work output from a V28."

Amp-Hour Rating
The higher the Amp-Hour rating the longer the battery lasts - be aware that power tool batteries of the same voltage will often have different Amp-Hour ratings.

NiMH vs. NiCad vs. Li Ion: Picking What's Right for You

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) Batteries:
I don't think I could define it better than wiki pedia: 'A nickel metal hydride battery, abbreviated NiMH, is a type of rechargeable battery similar to a nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery but has a hydrogen-absorbing alloy for the anode instead of cadmium. Like in NiCd batteries, nickel is the cathode.'

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) advantages:
-- lighter than NiCad
-- 2-3X capacity to equal size NiCad

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) disadvantages:
-- fewer life cycles compared to NiCad
-- shorter run time
-- performs the worst in cold temperatures, so keep that in mind if you plan to use tools powered by NiMH outdoors in cold weather
-- higher self-discharge level than NiCad
-- voltage drop at near-discharged levels

Nickel cadmium (NiCd) Batteries:
According to Wiki pedia: the 'nickel-cadmium battery (commonly abbreviated NiCd and pronounced 'nye-cad') is a popular type of rechargeable battery for portable electronics and toys using the metals nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd) as the active chemicals.'

Nickel cadmium (NiCad) advantages:
-- longer life cycles
-- performs in cold temperatures (perform well to 20F)
-- lower self-discharge level than NiMH
-- no voltage drop at near discharged levels

Nickel cadmium (NiCad) disadvantages:
-- Heavy, making it harder to use for longer periods of time
-- May suffer from 'Memory Effect' or 'False Bottom Effect' if constantly discharged half-way and then recharged (wiki pedia)

The Lithium ion (Li-Ion) Battery:
The new comer to power tool batteries, Lithium Ion are hot because they have 'one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, no memory effect and a slow loss of charge when not in use,' according to Wiki pedia.

Lithium ion (Li-Ion) advantages:
-- High performance in cold weather - to 0F - great for winter outdoor use
-- Light weight. You can lift tools powered by Lithium Ion over your head all day.
-- Increased life cycles over NiCad and NiMH, so it keeps going past other batteries
-- more rapid charge times that get you back on the job more quickly

Lithium ion (Li-Ion) disadvantages:
-- less tested than other battery formats - in early stages of development
-- has a shelf life based on life of battery, not related to charge or charge time
-- can sometimes erupt or explode in high heat - hot cars, direct sunlight, etc, or sometimes after tampering. a more dangerous battery than the others
-- permanent damage to battery if stored at too-low discharge level, so be careful and keep these charged well

What battery is right for your power tool decision? Clearly there are many different options, and many different pluses and minuses for each battery type. That's why it's imperative that you come to your purchase prepared with knowledge that will help you make the right decision for your situation.

Plus you are certain to impress the guys at the big box tool depot when you display your knowledge about the different types of batteries and their different merits.

Now you know what to look for - life cycles, run time, volts and Amp-Hours and you know the three major battery types. I hope that with that information you'll be better equipped to make the decision between a NiCD, NiMH or Li-Ion battery!


5 Tips For Buying Jewelry Online

While jewelry sales at brick-and-mortar locations far outnumber online jewelry purchases, the trend for online jewelry shopping is quickly gaining popularity. Purchasing jewelry online offers may advantages, the biggest being saving a ton of money. While the reward increases, the risk increases as well. When purchasing diamond jewelry online you should feel safe and secure about the retailer you're purchasing with and the transaction security. There are simple precautions you can take to safeguard yourself against not-so-honest online retailers and ensure you get exactly what you paid for. Below are 5 simple methods to ensure a safe experience when buying diamond jewelry online:

1- Know the exact details of the item you are purchasing. Many online jewelry retailers do not provide all the necessary information about the product they are selling. Factors such as Total Carat Weight, Diamond Color and Clarity, the number of diamonds included in the item, the quality of gold or metal, etc. should all be clearly identified. If you are missing just one of these pieces of information, you may not end up with the item you believe you are purchasing.

2- Always check the return policy. Even if you have all the specifications of the item and are quite confident it is exactly what you want, you should always have the option to return it. Be sure to examine the Return Policy closely and ensure you can return the item even if you just don't like it. Some online retailers only allow returns if the item is damaged, some charge a restocking fee and many online retailers will only provide 5-7 days to return the ring. The optimal policy will allow you to return the item within 30 days with no questions asked.

3- Does the company offer any type of warranty? What happens if a diamond falls out 2 days after you receive the jewelry? It is then most likely a manufacturer's defect and you should not be held responsible to repair it. Make sure the company offers some sort of free protection plan or warranty to cover manufacturer's defects.

4- Is the online retailer a member of the Better Business Bureau? Don't just assume they are if they show the seal! A 1 minute online inquiry with the BBB will show if the company is an accredited member and if they've received any complaints within the last 12 months. Also look to see if the company belongs to any industry organizations. Any reputable jewelry retailer will have membership to jewelry organizations.

5- Is the site secure? Make sure the site uses SSL encryption software and has a privacy policy in tact. They should state clearly that they do not share or sell your personal information with any outside sources. If they don't state the security features prominently, most likely it's because they don't have it!

Purchasing jewelry online can save you a lot of money and afford you a beautiful piece of jewelry. Be cautious and follow the above practices and you should have a safe online shopping experience!


School Vending Machines, Choice Versus Regulation

So much emphasis today is about portion control versus value. These seem to be the most fraught battles festering between folks interested in making legislation to fight obesity and folks afraid that regulating large food corporations is just step one towards a nanny state of restricted choices for citizens. Still, on either side of the argument there seems to be some agreement to basics on both sides of the debate. No one for example is looking to take away school vending machines all together. Instead the emphasis is generally on what said vending machines should stock and how large those items should be.

Recently when New York mayor Michael Bloomberg started talking up a wide spread ban on extra large sodas people had a bit of a tizzy. Some worried that this was the first step towards making the full scale banning of sugary drinks and snacks justifiable and legal. Still others thought that the law would only be a band-aid on a nationwide health wound that was becoming worse and worse each day. In this debate school vending machines were not even brought up. While over the past several years school districts through out the country have begun to close budget gaps with snack and soda vending in schools the specter of a tightening on these machines availability or at least what they offer has grown along with their popularity.

Luckily for the vending machine manufacturers of the world soda and candy companies seem eager to comply prior to being reined in by legislation. Soft drink companies have taken to reducing the sizes of their servings and offering more and more low calorie options. The candy and chip companies seem willing to play ball in these areas as well. Should all of those efforts fail though the folks working on and stocking vending machines will likely shift their businesses to all health conscious options. As time marches on it seems in spite of the push and pull of the debate that it will become less and less common to see piles of sugary candy and sodas in vending machines.

Of course this does nothing to address the actual problems that a lack of personal restraint can cause. This is why it is perhaps more important to teach children how to wisely use snack vending machines as opposed to simply cutting them off from these options. Either way the debate about our collective health and our ability to make decisions rages on.


Living Green

In these times of economic crisis and concerns over climate change and global warming, our thoughts are turning more towards reducing our ecological footprint to a more sustainable living, simply put, living green.

Sustainable living goals can be said to have begun back in 1954, with the Helen and Scott Nearing publication, "Living the Good Life" opening the way to the "back to the roots" movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Whereas the early pioneers of green living advocated a simpler lifestyle, with reduced dependence on luxurious home comforts, modern technology, for all its faults, has enabled green living without the necessity to drastically change our lifestyle. We can, as it were, have our cake and eat it too.

We can achieve green living in many ways. Storing rainwater, using solar powered water heaters and investing in composting toilets can have a significant effect on our water usage. Even the simple trick of placing a brick or weighted plastic bottle in the toilet cistern can reduce the amount of water used when flushing by as much as 70%.

We can purchase green bedding, towels and washcloths. These days there are many household products developed using sustainable and renewable resources, such as organic cleaning materials. There are even organic cosmetics available. We can use more eco-friendly methods to heat our homes, such as geothermal heat sources and insulate our homes more to reduce the energy losses from the heat we do produce.

We also have a plethora of green appliances and fittings available for our homes, low energy light bulbs, more efficient freezers, stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators and LED or LCD flat TV screens. When you need to upgrade that out-dated home appliance, check out the Energy Star ratings before you buy. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards Energy Stars to new appliances that are at least 10 - 15% more efficient than the minimum federal standard.

If you have a small plot of land, or even a balcony, you can consider growing some of your own food. Herbs and many vegetables don't need a lot of space to grow and your summer excesses can be dried, bottled or frozen for use throughout the year.

But despite all these advances, we should not be complacent. There are still a number of areas that can be improved. We can and should demand less unnecessary packaging for the goods that we do buy, and we can try to reduce waste as much as possible by cancelling junk mail, through composting food wastes or recycling goods that have reached the end of their lives. Remember the three 'R's, reuse, reduce and recycle.


The facts surrounding Payment Protection Insurance

Payment Protection Insurance is also known as credit insurance or loan repayment insurance. It is sold along with loans and overdrafts by banks and credit companies. It covers a variety of different types of loan such as car loans, mortgages and credit cards. It is a kind of insurance which will cover the consumer in the case of the loss of a job, illness, disability, death or any other circumstance which would mean that the borrower was unable to earn in order to repay their debt. It usually covers the consumer for a period of 12 months and after this they will need to find their own means of repaying the debt.

It has recently emerged that there has been a huge amount of Payment Protection Insurance policies which were fraudulently sold to people. The payment protection insurance tended to bring in far more capital for the credit companies and banks than the actual interest from the loans themselves.

Credit companies and banks often sell the product at the same time as the overdraft or loan and often only specified in the sales script that the loan was "protected". They failed to mention anything about what the insurance was or how much it was going to cost a consumer. For this reason many consumers were totally unaware that they even had this type of insurance. If customers did ever ask any questions about the insurance some companies even falsely stated that it would improve people's chances of getting the loan or that it was compulsory to get it.

In April 2011 it was decided in court that the allegations of the mis-selling of payment protection insurance were correct and many large companies were fined huge amounts of money.
These companies include Alliance and Leicester, Capital One, Egg and HFC.

There are also a number of new rules which have been set up which credit companies and banks must now abide by when selling Payment Protection Insurance. A quote and information about the policy must be given to the consumer. It is no longer legal to try and sell the policy at the same time as the setting up of the loan or overdraft.

There are now a number of different companies which have formed in reaction to this which offer advice and help in making a claim with regards to mis-sold PPI. These companies usually work on a no win no fee basis. They will do all the work involved in order for you to regain any mis-sold PPI payments which you made.


Not All Safety Vests Are The Same

If your job requires you to do any kind of work outside in areas where there might be motorized traffic or other hazards, wearing a safety vest is an absolute must. If your employer doesn't provide one for you, how do you know which kind is right for your situation? Here is a description of the different kinds of safety vests available on the market today and the appropriate contexts for their use.

Most safety vests are made from highly durable polyester mesh or water-resistant nylon. They are not designed to provide any kind of protection from the heat or cold: they are strictly meant to help the wearer be seen. All safety vests are reflective, of course, but that degree of reflection varies depending on which "class" the vest falls under. The higher the number of reflective tapes a vest displays, and the broader the width of those tapes, the higher the designated class it is intended for.

-- Class 1: Class 1 vests are appropriate in environments where the worker retains a large degree of control over his surroundings such as on a loading dock, in a parking lot, or in a warehouse. In these kinds of settings, motorized vehicles are at a minimum or are traveling at low rates of speed. Also, the worker himself is in a position to keep an eye on traffic and is not so absorbed in his tasks that he can't look out for his own safety.

A valet driver is a perfect example of someone who would wear a Class 1 vest: he is usually located at curb side near to slow-moving parking lot traffic, and he is occasionally walking in the parking area itself.

-- Class 2: Class 2 vests should be worn by those who need to work near traffic going around 25 miles per hour or less, such as in a residential neighborhood. Utility workers doing sewer work on a residential street are perfect candidates for Class 2 vests. They are at higher risk than Class 1 workers because of the potential speed and proximity of traffic and may be too absorbed in their duties and tasks to pay close attention to what is going on around them.

-- Class 3: These vests are most similar to Class 2, but have the maximum amount of reflective properties available in a vest. Workers who wear these vests generally work in areas where nearby traffic travels at speeds exceeding 50 miles an hour, such as on a freeway. Utility workers and highway construction or repair crews are the most likely wearers of Class 3 vests. They need to be easily visible in snowy and rainy conditions and need to be instantly recognizable when they come within headlight range.

Even athletes such as bikers and runners should wear some type of reflective vest if they choose to travel the busy streets: it's all about staying safe.


Product Recall Statistics: An FAQ For Manufacturers

Manufacturers of consumer products selling into the U.S. market are aware of the potentially dangerous and costly consequences when their products contain a major design flaw or manufacturing defect. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Web site indicates that there is indeed reason for caution on the part of all manufacturers: deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the U.S. more than $700 billion each year.

The CPSC's "November 2007 Recalls and Product Safety News" report indicates a wide range of recent recalls that were enacted in order to protect consumers from potential dangers ranging from lead-based paint in toys to collapsing furniture.

Here is an FAQ for those manufacturers who are currently considering a product recall or who operate in industries that face a high degree of risk of product recall-related incidents.

FAQ #1: Which types of consumer products are experiencing highest incidence of recalls?

A: According to an analysis of the "November 2007 Recalls and Product Safety News" report available on the CPSC Web site, 36% of recalls in that month involved baby goods or toys. Following close behind were products in the following categories: jewelry/costume jewelry (13%), electronics/electrical products (13%), furniture (9%), and machines/vehicles (6%). Other product categories represented among the multiple recall campaigns mediated by the CPSC in November include clothing, decorations, outdoor/sporting goods, school supplies, paper goods, storage racks and tools.

FAQ #2: What are the most prevalent potential dangers related to recent recalls?

A: The recalls in the aforementioned November report were implemented in order to avoid a number of potential public and consumer health hazards as indicated by the CPSC. By far the most prevalent potential hazard among recent recalls was that of the presence of lead in the recalled products (47%). Other potential hazards include the risk of fire (19%), collapse/bodily injury (11%), choking (6%), lacerations/cuts (6%), strangulation/suffocation (6%), and electric shock (4%).

FAQ #3: What events typically lead up to a product recall?

A: A product recall can come about in two primary ways. The first is the result of multiple consumer-originated complaints to the CPSC or other government organizations about the same product. (Such complaints can be directed by consumers directly to the CPSC Web site). The second is when proactive or cautious manufacturers or distributors of a given product suspect a defect or flaw and decide to error on the side of caution by instituting their own recall campaign. Either way, the CPSC ultimately gets involved with all consumer product recalls - provided that the product in question is one of the 15,000 product types that falls under the CPSC's domain.

FAQ #4: How should my company determine whether we should issue a recall?

A: The determination as to whether your firm should issue a product recall should depend upon a number of factors, both internal and external to your company. Often, multiple dimensions are to be taken into account when considering whether to issue a campaign. Legal, financial, ethical, technical and political factors are all involved. If you are facing a potential product recall situation and would like to find out more, visit the Business section of the CPSC Web site for information about regulations and industry guidance.

FAQ #5: What are the options available to me to get the message out to consumers and distributors in the event of a recall?

A: The very nature of most product recall situations is one of urgency. Companies have a number of options available to them in getting the word out to affected parties, including direct mail, press releases, e-mail and telephone-based campaigns. The fastest-to-implement media for conducting recalls messaging campaigns are telephone and e-mail-based campaigns. However, telephone-based campaigns are likely the most realistic to implement, given that the typical company's customer database often lacks e-mail addresses for many consumers, while telephone number data is readily available for most or all consumers.

Facing a product recall situation is something that every manufacturer or distributor would like to avoid. However, given that most consumer product categories are potentially at risk for a recall - and given the public health dangers at stake - the decision to implement a campaign is often the least-costly and most ethical choice. If your company is facing a recall situation, it is important to make quick, accurate judgments about whom to contact and how to determine the content of the recall message that consumers will hear. From that point forward, choose a medium for your messaging campaign based upon the following factors: time-to-launch, chances of reaching the highest percentage of affected consumers, operational flexibility, and cost.

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Web Site


The advantages of LED strip lights at Christmas

Getting your home ready for the festive period? Want to decorate the inside and out of the property with twinkling, blinking lights? Fancy being a bit more eco-conscious this year by using Led strip lights instead of traditional fairy lights? Led strip lights look just as impressive but they're so much kinder to the environment. Consider Led strip lights from a supplier of led downlights they look lovely and have a number of distinctive advantages over traditional types of fairy lights. Get in the festive spirit with a selection of Led strip lights this year and see what a difference these environmentally friendly types of lights make to your home.

Reduce energy with Led strip lights

Switch on a set of fairly lights and they'll blaze away burning a huge hole in your energy bill. Plug in a set of Led strip lights and they'll lower your energy consumption thanks to their wonderful green credentials. Led strip lights and led downlights use less electricity than standard types of lighting. They still come in a range of colours, just like fairly lights, they're just a lot kinder to the planet. You can plug Led strip lights in knowing you're doing your bit for the planet by lowering your carbon footprint. Led strip lights look lovely and they're the perfect product for putting you in the mood for Christmas thanks to their vibrant, colourful displays.

Great for indoors or out

Drape Led strip lights along your staircase, hang them in your hallway, decorate the outside of your home with the lights or place them in conifers or other bushes in your garden. The versatility of Led strip lights make them suitable for a host of indoor and outdoor uses, especially when waterproof varieties are bought through a supplier of led downlights and other led products. Really go to town this Christmas with a selection of Led strip lights and buy different colours for various parts of your home. Due to the long lasting and hard wearing nature of Led strip lights you'll be able to enjoy their colourful displays on countless Christmases in the future.


What are the consequences of not having secure payment solutions?

These days the majority the retailers will also have a website or online section of their enterprise. More and more people are starting to do their shopping online, as it has lots of benefits over heading to the high street, whether it's to buy clothes, food or other items.

However, it is important for these enterprises to bear in mind that there are some key things to remember when establishing an online presence. It is not as simple as putting pictures of their products online and then getting people to buy them. They have to do things properly if they want to attract customers and ensure they return with repeat business.

One of the most important things to remember is that secure online payment methods are an essential aspect of running an online enterprise. Without them, the whole system would not work and customers would be left very disappointed and potentially in a lot of financial trouble.

Over the past few years, a growing number of people have found themselves in a situation where their bank details have been stolen and the money has been taken from their account. It is becoming increasingly easy for criminals to do this, because so many people are buying things online and giving out their credit and debit card details.

This is a problem for businesses because it could have some very serious consequences, including a serious loss of business. If a consumer purchases a product from them and their bank details are stolen because the website does not have secure payment solutions in place then it is very unlikely that customer will return. What is more, they are bound to tell their friends and family about the experience they had, which means they will never trust the company either. Not only is the firm losing business from the consumer who suffered, but it is potentially losing a lot more as well.

In the current economic climate this could be a serious issue and just one security breach could make all the difference. This is why it is so important to have secure payment solutions included as part of the website set-up. Although this will be at an initial cost, it will be well worth it further down the line when customers are happy at the way their money is handled whenever they make a transaction. Over all, this is the best thing for both the retailer and their consumers.


What Is Herbal Skin Care?

Skin care is not a modern idea, it has been around for thousands of years. The big distinction is that we have changed from traditional herbal skin care to synthetic or chemical based products over the last one hundred years.

Why we abandoned traditional herbal skin care is not completely clear, in fact there may be several reasons. A hundred years ago, people were fascinated by the sciences. They were seen as modern, a break-through, the saviour of mankind's health, an emergence from darkness and old-fashioned ways, despite the fact that a deficiency of regulation led to thousands of sham claims for wonder drugs, lotions and potions.

Another reason could be that millions of people moved from the countryside, where they could collect herbs and spices while they were out labouring in the fields, to the city, where they had to work eight to ten hours a day in a factory and no longer had the chance to make their own herbal skin care products.

These days there is a shift back to herbal skin care products. Some people make their own herbal skin care products and others delude themselves by buying chemical skin care products with wording such as 'with added lemon' in a half-hearted attempt to 'go herbal'.

Commercial herbal products have to have a long self life because they are normally made hundreds of miles away from where they are sold. In order to accomplish this, they have to contain preservatives and this lowers the effectiveness of the preparation. The unfortunate fact is that, despite a growing public interest in herbal skin care, people are reluctant to make their own, so they continue to buy commercial, chemical, skin care merchandise.

So, if you would like to learn more about making your own herbal skin care products, where do you start?

Aloe Vera - is a succulent, a hot climate plant that grows widely around the world. It can be used by snapping a leaf and rubbing the juice straight onto cuts, bruises, burns and dry skin. In Thailand, where aloe vera grows wild everywhere, people also use it for bites and stings and practically any skin trouble.

Banana and Avocado - are well-known for their skin care quality. They are good for moisturizing dry skin.

Dandelion, chamomile, rosemary and lime flowers can be utilized as skin cleansers. Make an infusion with boiling water and apply with a flannel.

Lavender, marigold, thyme and fennel are strong antiseptics. Again soak in boiling water and apply with cotton wool.

Lavender water and rose water are superb skin toners.

Herbal skin care products can be manufactured very easily at home, but people are sceptical because we have been trained, brainwashed, to buy commercial products by hundreds of billions of dollars of advertising over the last one hundred years - that is four generations. That sort of influence will be hard to shift, but you can make your own herbal skin care products and you should try at least one.

So, pick a form of herbal skin care that you would like to test and switch to making your own from a recipe that you can find on the Internet. If that works, and why should it not, then you can try another herbal skin care product.


Natural Face Lifts - Is There Such A Thing?

Which woman wouldn't give anything to halt the hands of time moving on when it came to her face? Or better still, to reverse the ravages of time? Let's face it, as we age, our fight with gravity is one long losing battle and the sagging slowly appears, dragging our spirits down with it.

That's the time it hits us - why can't we do something about it? Unless we are in the entertainment business or in the public eye, most women just dreamed about it and then let it go. Not so anymore. There seems to be a trend emerging as the older women refuse to let their faces and their bodies age. Suddenly they are fighting back and managing to really turn back the clock. There are two courses open to a woman when it comes to her face - should she go under the knife or not? The problem is that surgery comes with its own ensuing problems. The great news? The option - facelifts without surgery are viable and what's more, there are options! What they promise is this: bringing back the elasticity to the face, erasing wrinkles and fine lines, removing scars and lifting sagging muscles.

Let's take a look at the many routes open to someone who is looking at non-surgical face lifts. Acupuncture is one way to go. They stick needles and pins into you and promise you a young, firm visage. Does it work? Well it's safe and reasonable as far as price goes but the effects do not last very long.

Some beauticians also promise a face lift with masks and peels. Very popular today are the TCA peels which have shown promising results. And it is also effective in a whole host of other skin problems like spots and lines.

A 'quickie' would be the laser face lift where a mild dose of laser rays sees your lines and wrinkles banished. The laser works to get your collagen going and soon you have plumper, firmer skin. You might go a little red in the skin but that's just for an hour or two.

The latest to hit the market is the Thermage face lift. Yes, it does involve anesthesia, takes an hour in all and you're out without any scars or bandages. The method used is radio frequency waves and is guaranteed to give you great results. The only way you can't have it done is if you have a pacemaker.

Yet another method is the Microcurrent face lift. This gets the body's chemical processes going at a cellular level and makes you look and feel young again. It is just a one-hour's treatment and uses a mild current which could leave your face tingling for a while, but other than that, you won't feel a thing!

Are face lifts without surgery the way of the future? Suddenly, it has opened the doors to a younger looking face to hordes of women. Why, many of them will probably go and get it done during a lunch break. No checking into hospital, no being cut up, no bandages. It really is a freedom trail for women who want to look and feel young.


Corporate social responsibility - a challenge to business

Recent years have seen a real surge in consumer awareness, with the economic downturn prompting a wide-ranging debate on the ethics of the current system. Perhaps frustrated by the lack of response from politicians, consumer activism has become an increasingly important force in civil society, putting pressure on businesses to reconsider their actions across a wide range of areas - including labour practices in developing countries and environmental issues. The rise of consumer activism is a relatively recent phenomenon and has forced firms to give more consideration to ethics - something that many argue was in relatively short supply in the years preceding the global financial crisis of 2008.

While it might have the ring of a buzzword to it, corporate social responsibility is an increasingly important consideration for many businesses. In previous years, consumers' input in the world of business had been largely limited to price signals. While there have been countless isolated boycotts over the years, they have had a relatively limited impact on changing the way the system itself operates. The increasing importance of big business has complicated matters somewhat over recent years, with competitors being bought out sometimes becoming part-owned by larger rivals.

The essence of corporate social responsibility is the desire to portray a positive public image. No business wants to be seen as a heartless, Dickensian enterprise but the events of the last few years have certainly prompted many people to ask somewhat uncomfortable questions. Needless to say, consumers must be vigilant to ensure that companies observe their obligations in relation to corporate social responsibility so that they don't amount to a public relations exercise, but there is evidence that the consumer activist lobby is becoming an increasingly important force for good in civil society.

Any entrepreneur is no doubt well aware of the importance of good PR, and businesses now have to be seen as if they are acting in the interests of society as a whole. The shareholder maximisation argument, so often held up as the cornerstone of British business, has itself come under intense scrutiny in recent years. Corporate social responsibility has been shown to be effective in a wide range of areas, one of the most prominent of which is the long-running Fairtrade scheme, which aims to ensure farmers and workers in developing countries are rewarded fairly for their efforts. There are now a range of Fairtrade products available in UK stores, and this is just one example of how consumers have promoted ethical business behaviour.


A House For The Baby Boomer

There happens to be new home that seniors are buying, and not only do they really know what they want, but it is their last home. These types of homes that the baby boomers tend to be looking for don't have the high-tech 21st century gadgetry as you would expect.

This new style of house is all about energy efficiency, comfort and strength. It's going to endure such acts of God, as hurricanes and earthquakes, along with noise, fire, wind, snow, rain and sun. This kind of home will provide fresh air and comfort twenty-four hours a day. It handles the unusually cold temperatures of the Canadian North with ease as well as the extreme tropical weather of Florida. The floors are body temperature warmed up, and the walls possess three inches of styrofoam insulation on both sides of airtight, steel reinforced concrete cubes. There is a series of pipes that will be positioned five feet underground to pipe in fresh air. Considering that the air is going to be pre-cooled during the summer, and pre-warmed during the winter, there is not any reason to open the windows, which are high-efficiency, Low-E Argon filled.

24 / 7 fresh air will enter into the home, stringently controlled and filtered. The cost for this method of heating is approximately 11% less that conventional heating systems. Numerous houses today have lots of the technology that will be used in this luxury home of the future. It is likely to include tank-less water heater, radiant heating floors, as well as insulated concrete forms. The steel bolstered walls provide safety from fire and wind in addition to earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. The walls usually are solid enough to offset sirens and traffic noise.

This kind of home will not have rattling windows, squeaking floors, or drafty air coming in. The insulated concrete forms offer energy cost savings in addition to comfort. You could possibly save anywhere between 35% to 60% on your energy monthly bill. The tank-less water heater will certainly provide hot water when needed. It is very convenient plus it is very cost-efficient. You could easily generate your very own energy from this home by incorporating a solar energy system as well.

The cost of this type of home is approximately 10% more than conventional wood framed homes but the long-term savings and comfort certainly outweighs the initial cost. In case you are looking to get a new home, think about getting this type of house and consider if it is worth your while.


Avoiding Lottery Scam Emails

In recent times, lottery scam emails have become increasingly clever, as well as a lot more common. Indeed, lottery scam emails are nothing new, but they are becoming a lot more widespread as technology progresses and an increasing number of people gain access to the internet.

As it goes, emails are quite easy to forge; they can appear to come from an official sounding source, which can often lead unsuspecting recipients to appear far more trustworthy than they should be. A typical lottery scam email informs the recipient that they have won a major prize and then requests that the "winner" takes a number of steps to claim it. As such, one of the steps will be to claim the prize, and then arranging for it to be transferred to the winner's bank account.

The scam procedure for a prize transfer involves the recipient being asked to pay a handling fee so that their prize can be deposited into the bank account of the winner. This fee is often a sizeable amount of four figures or more; however, because the reader thinks they have won millions, and they are dealing with an official organisation, they are often willing to pay this sum. Of course, as soon as the handling fee has been paid, the scam is complete and the unsuspecting lottery winner has unfortunately lost a substantial amount of money.

However, there are some lottery scam warnings to look out for, which can prove very useful in helping lottery players avoid being duped:

* First, always remember that you can only win a lottery game that you have actually entered. If you can't remember entering a lottery that an email says you have won, consider this to be a big red flag; someone is probably trying to scam you.

* Next, always look at the name of the lottery that the email is purported to represent. Scam emails often name lottery organisations that don't exist in the real world, as is the case in a UK International Lottery scam. Therefore, if the lottery doesn't exist, you can be sure the email is also a fake.

* Finally, be sure to note that no genuine lottery game will ever ask you to pay any handling fee in order to claim a prize. So, if you get a scam email (or letter, or phone call) asking you for money because you're a "winner", either ignore it or report it to the authorities.

Although you can't stop lottery scam emails from arriving in your inboxes, the good news is that from looking out for the specific lottery scam warnings, you can avoid getting caught out by them.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, so by paying attention to the latest scam developments, you will be in the best possible position to stay safe in what is becoming an increasingly deceptive online world.


Overview of BRC Global Standards for Food Safety

Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

The Global Standard for Food Safety was the first standard to be approved by the GFSI as part of their process for mutual recognition of food safety standards and continues to be the most widely used of the GFSI standards with over 10,000 certificated sites worldwide. Under the global standard entire food and related industry is divided in 4 parts and standards are published by BRC as below.

The Global Standard for Food

The global standard for food issue 6 was released by BRC in 2011.

The Global Standard for Food Safety was first developed in 1998 by the food service industry to enable suppliers to be audited by third party Certification Bodies against a single consistent standard, reducing duplication of effort and enabling the retail industry to focus activities on areas of competitive advantage. Built on the principles of clear risk based requirements, informative report format and auditor competence, the Standard has continued to develop and evolve with input from a wider base of international stakeholders including retailers, caterers, food manufacturers and Certification Bodies.

The Standard is closely managed by the BRC who license the use of the Standard to Certification Bodies who must be both accredited by their national Accreditation Body and abide by strict BRC requirements for auditor competency, reporting and performance.

The latest edition features a number of innovations, including:

* Optional unannounced audits have been introduced for companies gaining certification grade A or B
* More guidance on implementing HACCP based on Codex Alimentations principles
* Greater emphasis on senior management demonstrating their commitment to the aim of achieving product quality and safety and to ensuring corrective action for non-conformities is undertaken
* Expanded sections on issues of major importance, such as allergens and identity preserved materials, laboratory management, and physical and chemical contamination control
* A more rigorous grading system for grades B, C and D has been introduced with a re-visit by the Certification Body required within 28 days to verify corrective actions for grade C as well as audit frequency reduced to 6 months
* Revision of product categories that focus on product technologies that are now cross referenced with fields of audit pertinent to auditor requirements
* A new section has been introduced on site security requiring controlled access and training of staff, secure storage of materials and registration and approval of premises.

The Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials

Originally created to establish a Standard for the suppliers of packaging and packaging materials for the food industry, this Standard is now a leading global Standard adopted by major retailers, manufacturers and packaging businesses around the world and is equally applicable to non-food packaging producers. Certification to the Standard verifies technical performance, aids manufacturers' fulfillment of legal obligations and helps provide protection to the consumer.

The latest edition features a number of innovations, including:

* Extended scope to cover non-food packaging producers
* The audit frequency established at 12 month intervals, with 6 months for suppliers receiving 3 or more major non-conformities
* Requirements for auditors included in the Standard to allow companies to verify auditor qualifications
* Greater emphasis on senior management demonstrating their commitment to the aim of achieving product quality and safety and to ensuring that corrective action for non-conformities is undertaken
* Hazard and risk management has been comprehensively reviewed to provide greater guidance to certification bodies and producers
* Expanded sections on issues of major importance, such as site security, product design and development and control of In-line testing equipment

The Global Standard for Consumer Products

Meeting the requirements of the 'BRC Global Standard - Consumer Products: Issue 2' ensures best practice standards are developed, implemented and maintained for manufacturers and assembly packers of consumer products.

Manufacturing and assembly packing companies can be certified against this Standard to demonstrate their competence in maintaining product safety, legality and integrity.

The requirements in the Standard are designed to:

* Satisfy the legal requirement to demonstrate compliance with EU General Product Safety Directive 2005 and 'due diligence'
* The supplier assesses their product risk using the guidelines supplied in the Standard. The product level is then verified by a Certification Body and/or customer. The supplier is evaluated against the requirements for that risk level. This is a unique concept in Standards.
* The Standard has been written to address the requirements in relation to potential of the product to cause harm to the Consumer
* The product risk has been categorized into four levels. Levels are based on product risk to the consumer and each has its own unique set of requirements
* Recommendations have been removed completely or incorporated into the requirements
* For ease of use each set of requirements is held in a different chapter in the Standard. This approach makes the certification process easier for both manufacturers and certification bodies. This is the only Standard of its type.

The Standard is applicable to the manufacture of a great many non-food products including greetings cards, DIY products (e.g. paints, power tools, nails and hammers), home wares, white goods, and non-prescription pharmaceuticals.

The Global Standard for Storage and Distribution

Meeting the requirements of the BRC Storage and Distribution Standard ensures best practice standards are developed, implemented and maintained for any organization involved in the storage and/or distribution of goods.

Storage and distributor companies can be certified against this Standard to demonstrate their competence in maintaining product safety and integrity. The Standard is equally relevant to companies storing and/or distributing food, consumer goods and packaging. This Standard is applicable to all forms of transportation.

Storage and distribution is the link between all stages of the product supply chain and retail. The introduction and the implementation of this Standard represent the efforts made to ensure product safety and integrity through the supply chain.

The Standard contains separate modules for the different sectors within the supply chain, namely storage, distribution, wholesaling and contracted specialist services offered by storage companies such as:

* Product Inspection/Sorting
* Contract Packing (Repacking, Assembly Packing)
* Quantity Control Inspection
* Contract Chilling/Freezing/Defrost Operations

EU Regulations (No. 178/2002, No. 852/2004) legally oblige food storage and distribution companies to ensure systems are in place to supply safe and legal products.


A Review Of Teeth Whitening Products

Many people now regard teeth whitening products as one of life's necessities, it has become so important to them to have white teeth. There has been a massive boost to the sales of teeth whitening products because people think that they need whiter teeth for their self-confidence or their jobs.

There are essentially two ways of getting whiter teeth: professional or home whitening.

Professional Whitening: this necessitates a trip to the dentist or other dental hygienist. Most dental experts endorse only one product, so it is better to pick the product rather than the dentist, if you have a preference for one whitening system over another.

A professional teeth whitening session will begin with an inspection of your teeth, as any corrective work will have to be carried out first. Then the plaque will be scraped off and your teeth will be polished. At this point, you and your dentist will be able to determine how much whiter your teeth should be. The colour of your teeth will be compared to a chart and the shade will be noted for comparison later. They may even take a photograph.

The actual teeth whitening sitting usually lasts an hour, during which you can watch TV or listen to music. The results will be visible after the hour. The cost is very much higher than any other form of teeth whitening

Home or DIY Whitening: there are dozens of home teeth whitening products on the market which are intended for use at home without professional guidance. Because of this, DIY products tend to be weaker than professional ones and so they take longer to achieve the same result.

DIY whitening is an on-going process, but you will need to read the directions that come with the product to find out what you have to do. As a rule, you may have to whiten your teeth for one week every month.

There are also conventional home remedies such as bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice, which has very similar results, but you would have to use them once or twice every week to maintain your teeths' colouration.

When purchasing products for home use, be sure to look at the contents. If you do not know what the names mean, look them up on the Internet before buying. Linked with the ingredients is the strength of those ingredients. For instance, a product label may state than hydrogen peroxide makes up 60% of the product. You could look up hydrogen peroxide and see if there are any warnings about using concentrations over 50%.

If you go for a professional treatment session, take note of how well you are treated. Are you satisfied? Did they ring you up a few days later to see if there were any complications? If you are not completely satisfied, maybe you should try home remedies next time

If you use a DIY product, do they have a good website? Does it tell you a lot bout the product's ingredients? Are the directions complete and simple to follow? Is there a helpline? Again, if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, try another product.


The Antivirus Industry

Most computer enthusiasts in the United States have heard of the foremost American antivirus manufacturers. Producers such as Symantec, McAfee, Computer Associates, and Trend Micro. These organizations have a market leading presence in the United States. Microsoft, too, has plans to become a major player in this enormous growth industry.

In fact, Microsoft bought intellectual property and technology rights from GeCad software in 2003, a company based in Bucharest, Romania. They also acquired Pelican Software, which had a behaviour based security product, as well as the Giant Company Software for spyware and Sybari Software, which managed virus, spam, and phishing filtering.

A great deal of discussion centered on whether Microsoft would end up in a dominant position in the antivirus market by merely bundling its newly acquired software technologies up with its Windows operating systems at no cost. This is a comparable technique that has been applied in other markets such as word processing and Internet browsers. In fact, this is exactly what did happen. Microsoft has come out with a free product called Microsoft Security Essentials.

It is too soon for me to advise whether MS Security Essentials is a world-class antivirus product, but it is not free to everyone. Microsoft has been battling Windows piracy for a while now with its Windows Genuine Advantage sneaky download and sure enough, this new product from Microsoft will only work on Windows systems and even then, only with operating systems that pass the Windows Genuine Advantage test. (Please click the link at the bottom the page to find out more).

There is nothing wrong with that per se, but it does mean that hardly anyone in the Third World will be able to make use of it, because a pirated operating system comes bundled with every computer that I have ever seen in Asia and probably elsewhere too. People save for years in order to afford a computer and the last thing they worry about when they plug it in is whether the operating system is genuine or not.

Of course there is a number of other antivirus manufacturers prominent in this market. There are many companies with great market presence in other countries that are starting to become more widely recognized. These vendors include GriSoft from the Czech Republic, Sophos from the United Kingdom, Panda Software from Spain, Kaspersky from Russia, SoftWin from Romania, F-Secure from Finland, Norman from Norway, Arcabit from Poland, VirusBuster from Hungary, Nod from Thailand and AhnLab from South Korea.

It is not yet apparent where the industry is heading and everyone in this market is confronted by a swiftly changing landscape. The amount of effort necessary to discover and deliver updates for new viruses is quite staggering. Malicious programs are getting more and more complex and the quantity of them is increasing.

Many companies may find themselves without the capital to equal the hard work of those truly determined to create chaos. The antivirus companies are receiving hundreds of new examples of viruses a day! What is more, the new viruses are getting "cleverer" in that they spread themselves quickly and they often hide themselves too. Some are even intelligent enough to move around in a system by renaming themselves in an effort to make it hard to remove them.


Adding Security to Consumer Products

Production and assemble manufacturing plants that ship large quantities of products and raw materials to storage warehouses and retail back room storage areas often have to bundle their goods together to ensure that the freight doesn't shift or move during shipping.

These companies rely on heat shrink tubing to wrap their products in plastic wrap. The plastic wrap comes in tubes of yards of the plastic film material that is then unraveled as it is wrapped around a pallet of products awaiting shipment to retailers and warehouses.

To make sure that the plastic wrap is tightly sealed to prevent any movement inside the wrapped load it is heated using a heat gun that looks a little like a hair dryer with a lot more heat packed inside the coils. The plastic film is then shrunk by the heat gun forming an air tight seal over whatever the plastic film from the heat shrink tubing is applied to.

In almost every manufacturing plant in the world there is a need and use for heat shrink tubing. Consumer products are especially prone to the uses of heat shrink tubing. Anyone that has ever purchased and compact disc or DVD knows that there is a protective plastic film wrapped around the outside of the case to prevent theft of the disc inside.

There are also security stickers tapping the cases closed underneath the plastic wrap. Both of these preventative security measures are taken to ensure that the consumer purchasing the finished compact disc or DVD will get what they paid for.

The plastic film containing the CD or DVD has been heat shrunk using heat shrink plastic. The case holding the electronic disc is placed inside a sleeve of plastic film that is typically open on one side or may be two separate sheets of plastic film depending upon the equipment being used. Once inserted the film is cut and sealed using a bag sealer that incorporates a heated wire that essentially melts the two open ends of the plastic film together sealing the contents inside. The left over air inside the sealed plastic heat shrink tubing is then subjected to a heat gun and shrunk under the heat to tightly seal in the contents.

Sometimes stacks of sealed CDs and DVDs undergo another round of heat shrink tubing to package them together in bundles for shipping. The process of wrapping and sealing heat shrink tubing assures the consumer that the end product they are buying has not been tampered with and comes directly from the producer.


How Consumer Protection Attorneys Present Guidance

For the average consumer there may never be an occasion in which they will need to seek help from consumer protection attorneys. Persons that have to be legally represented have often been dealt with in an unfair manner by a company. Each state carries their own set of laws made to protect their citizens.

The Lemon Law is in most states and it may vary from one state to another. This law is meant to give consumers coverage in case a vehicle is knowing sold with issues or if the car breaks down within a certain amount of time and needs to be repaired or replaced. It is up to the company to make things right. If a person is unable to get compensation, this is where consumer protection attorneys are up for the job.

Those that have been scammed may also seek the services of a consumer protection attorney. As the internet grows, the amount of scams also grow. Investing online with someone that takes investments and uses it in an inappropriate manner would be another reason one needs the services of a lawyer.

Someone may look into using consumer protection attorneys when they are sold defective products. Merchandise that has malfunctioned is usually the reason. There are times where an item such as a stroller breaks or vehicles are too dangerous to be sued on the road due to being defective. People expect to be able to use their items for a certain period of time or that the merchandise is not too dangerous to use.

Those misled with false advertising may want to find legal assistance. Ads need to have certain things be evidenced as fact. The merchandise shown needs to work as represented. Detergents need to wash well, knives need to be sharp enough to slice, and with medications, the benefits and contraindications should be noted. It is also wrong to have hide fees.

Debt collectors are required to adhere to specific codes of behavior when attempting to collect. Even people that owe are offered protection under consumer laws. These codes also allow those in debt the rights to ask that they verify certain information.

Consumer protection attorneys work to make sure people are able to seek compensation when goods are sold deceptively or are just plain defective. This also gives protection for those treated unfairly by a company. Many hope to never need one, but it helps to understand consumer rights.


What's All The Fuss About Comparison Websites?

Price comparison websites seem to be all the rage at the moment, with regular advertisements across all media platforms. The question that many people continue to ask is; do they work and what, if any, are the benefits of using a price comparison website?

The answer to the question is; yes, price comparison websites do work! Why? Three simple reasons;

Time - A price comparison website saves you a lot of time and energy. Remember when you use to trawl the phone book, Google, or even the high-street for a particular product? Now you can visit a price comparison website and be done in a matter of minutes!

Money - This is one of the most important reasons why price comparison websites work - you save money. How? Instead of buying the first product you see at the first price you see, you can now search a price comparison website and check out all the stores selling your product, and see who offers the best price!

Choice - Another important factor is choice. Choice of what price to pay, what postage prices, and what product!
Philips LCD TV's

Philips LCD TV's are one of the leading brands of the best TV's available in the 21st Century. Whether you're interested in having a small LCD, or a huge 40+ inch TV, the answer is a Philips LCD.

The problem...

...with Philips Flat Screen LCD TV's is the price. Head on over to your local store and you'll see exactly what I mean - the prices of these high quality TV's mean that it's difficult to consider purchasing unless you're rich! Thankfully, price comparison websites have come to the rescue and offer a service that instantly searches for the specific product you have entered, and returns with a list of all the stores who stock this product and at what price.

Now What?

Now you can sort by price and quickly find the cheapest Philips Flat Screen LCD TV's! No more time-wasting, no more accepting the first TV you find at extremely high prices - now you can purchase the Philips Flat Screen LCD TV you've always wanted, at a price you never dreamed of, all thanks to a price comparison website!


Diet and Acne - The Alkaline Acid Balance

Copyright (c) 2013 www.acnepimplehelp.com

An alkaline or acidic diet has been linked to inflammation and skin appearance. A diet that creates acidity inside the body has very bad effects on the skin. The link between diet and acne has been researched in many medical studies. One of the conclusions was that an alkaline diet can help reduce acne and inflammation in general. The blood pH is around 7.1 which means that it is slightly alkaline. The body needs to keep its pH around this value. An acidic blood pH (or pH less than 7) can lead to a potentially life-threatening condition named acidosis. If the foods we ingest create too much acid ash, the body needs to remove minerals from bones and teeth in order to keep the blood pH at an optimum value. Losing these minerals can lead to acne and other health conditions that are related to a loss of essential minerals.

An alkaline diet (pH > 7) is not just about eating acidic or alkaline foods, but also about the body's ability to digest certain foods. Allergenic foods can create much more inflammation than other foods. This also depends on blood type and other particular genetic predispositions.

Synthetic medications usually leave an acidic ash behind which can create an acidity problem. This is why treating acne by using different medications is not always successful. What foods are acidic? There are some foods that can create acidity for virtually everybody. This happens because they have a very low pH. Those that suffer from acne should cut out these foods completely in order to get rid of this condition. Foods that are very acidic include: soft drinks, artificial sweeteners (especially aspartame), refined sugar, refined flour, berries, citrus fruits, milk and cheese. Sugary and salty products that contain preservatives create a lot of acidity because the body works a lot harder to process them. It is a good idea to give up all sugary and salty snacks if you suffer from acne.

An important note: the way the food is cooked can make it more alkaline or more acidic. Most cooked foods become more acidic, except tomatoes which are more alkaline when cooked. Also, meats can be acidic, but a person with a lot of stomach acid can digest them better.It is usually people with blood type O that can digest meats better than other blood types. The food that can't be properly digested can become very acidic inside the intestines and creates a number of digestive problems.

What foods are alkaline? Alkaline foods are mostly green vegetables and legumes. These green veggies are very rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which are essential for getting rid of acne. Try to eat at least one green salad per day, or make a delicious green smoothie every morning for a perfect breakfast. Juicing is also an option to getting more nutrients at once. Other alkaline foods include: avocados, raw honey, pineapple, chestnuts, millet, quinoa, goat cheese, almonds, ginger, grapes and sweet potato. Other anti-inflammatory foods that are a must for treating acne: Omega 3 fatty acids which can be found in fatty fish such as salmons or sardines.

How to keep an ideal alkaline-acid balance? Make sure that you check out the blood type diet that outlines which foods can create issues for a certain blood type. Also, analyze your dietary history and cut out any foods that give you digestive or allergy issues. It is ideal to eat something alkalizing first thing in the morning. This is the time when your body is detoxifying the most, so something alkalizing will be very beneficial.

Avoid any stimulants such as coffee, smoking, and even condiments. Stimulants tend to create inflammation which leads to more severe blemishes. There are also natural supplements that contain anti-oxidants which can reduce inflammation and improve your skin. People that don't consume fatty fish regularly should at least supplement with a good Omega 3 brand.


Tools to Help Detect Counterfeit Bills

Currency counterfeiting is a problem that can affect both business owners and managers, and the general public. No business wants to end up with a pile of counterfeit bills at the end of the day, just as honest citizens don't want to walk around with counterfeit bills in their wallets. Even though you may come upon a counterfeit bill or two accidentally, you may have a hard time explaining that to authorities if you happen to get caught using it to pay for something. And with so many business equipped with counterfeit bill detectors, that possibility is increasingly likely. Businesses of all types and sizes who regularly exchange money with customers as part of their business are fighting back against counterfeiters with different counterfeit bill detector tools.

One tool that businesses use are counterfeit pens. A counterfeit pen resembles any normal writing pen, but is actually an effective counterfeit bill detector. A counterfeit pen is basically a counterfeit testing device to give an indication of whether a particular bill is legitimate or a counterfeit. With counterfeit pens, a store employee simply makes a small mark on the bill. Depending on the characteristics of the specific brand of pen, the mark will turn one color to indicate a good bill and another color to indicate a counterfeit bill. Counterfeit pens are relatively inexpensive and have the potential to save thousands of dollars over their lifetime. Even private consumers can carry around counterfeit pens to test the bills they get from banks, or as change from stores when purchases are made. It is a quick and inexpensive solution to getting stuck with counterfeit bills you definitely don't want.

If you own or run a busy retail store, a more substantial counterfeit bill detector may be a more efficient tool than just counterfeit pens. Some countertop counterfeit bill detectors use technology like infrared imaging and strong microprocessors to compare the images of the bill presented in the machine to images of good bills in the memory. This type of counterfeit bill detector will let you know right away if the bill is a counterfeit. Most counterfeit bill detectors won't take up a lot of space behind the counter, and are easy for employees to learn.

Another type of counterfeit bill detector uses a strong UV lamp to reveal the various security features that are hidden within the bills and aren't visible to the naked eye. These types of detectors are usually available in small, portable units or as a larger unit that attaches to the wall. Using one generally consists of flipping a switch and simply looking at the bill to see if it has the necessary marks.

Regardless of the type of counterfeit bill detector you end up using, it's a wise purchase that could pay big dividends down the road. The more counterfeit bills that are removed from circulation, the better it will be for everyone. Businesses will lose less money, consumers will avoid getting into trouble and the criminals will see their business suffer.


Safety Tips From The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is a government agency that is charged with the job of protecting the consumer from injuries or death as the result of faulty consumer products. This agency has set up guidelines to ensure that products that you may want to purchase for your baby are safe. By doing a few simple checks you can provide your baby with the safest environment possible.

When purchasing a back carrier, there are several items that you should check to ensure that you have chosen a carrier that will be safe for your child. You should check to make sure that the style that you have chosen has a restraining strap to secure your child. You should also check the leg holes to ensure that they are small enough to prevent the baby from slipping out but large enough to prevent chafing on the baby's legs. The frame of the carrier should have no pinch points, and should have a padded covering in the area around the baby's face. As long as the carrier that you want to purchase has met all these requirements, you should have no problems with it in the future.

Many parents purchase bassinets or cradles for their babies. The Commission also has a checklist for these pieces of furniture. The base of these items should be wide for stability and the bottom should be sturdy. All the surfaces of the cradle or bassinet should be smooth with no protruding hardware or staples that could injure the child. If the furniture folds, the leg locks must be strong enough to prevent folding while in use. Finally, the mattress in the cradle or bassinet must fit snugly to prevent the baby from sliding in between the mattress and the side. By completing this checklist, you should be able to purchase the safest cradle or bassinet possible.

High chairs are another popular piece of baby furniture. When purchasing a chair, the Commission suggests that you purchase a style that has a waist and crotch strap that are independent of the tray and that the tray locks should also be secure. The agency also suggests that the buckle on the waist strap should be easy to use and the base of the high chair should be wide to ensure its stability. It suggests that you check the caps or plugs on any tubing to make sure that they are firmly attached and that they cannot be removed by a child who can choke on them. Finally, if it is a folding chair, you should make sure that the legs locks are strong enough to prevent the chair from accidently folding up. By ensuring that a high chair meets all these requirements, you should be able to buy one that will last you for years.

These are just a few of the many products the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has evaluated. Although you may think that their checklists are time-consuming, you should realize that all the recommendations made by the agency were the results of a complaint or an injury sustained because of a particular flaw with the product. By using the agency's guidelines, you can be assured of purchasing the safest items possible for your baby


May the Best Dressed Man Win

Mark Twain once commented that it was the clothes that made a man. On the campaign trail in the United States this is especially true and it was widely considered to be the case with the 2008 elections.

As such, fashion has always played a specific role in politics; for the electoral candidate, the most insignificant fashion faux pas could see them ridiculed for weeks in the media. On the upside, a good fashion sense can play an important part in political success, and getting the right look can stand in your favour in winning over huge numbers of undecided voters.

While John McCain and Barack Obama both typically wore suits and ties for the majority of the season, Obama set himself apart with his modern, yet refreshingly simple look.

So what is the typical Obama look? Although he played with a few different styles throughout the political campaign, the classic look consisted of a single-breasted, dark, two-button worsted wool suit - this was often worn with a white dress shirt and a dynamic red tie.

Occasionally, especially in slightly less formal debates Obama would opt for a blue tie, in addition to removing his jacket and rolling up the sleeves. When contrasted against McCain's formal look, this roll-up your sleeves approach to fashion sent a symbolic, down to earth message that made Obama look like the more dynamic, energetic and vibrant candidate.

Obama's choice of tailors was also important. All of his suits were custom-made through popular Chicago-based tailors - Hartmarx - which was key to highlighting his decision to support American businesses, especially those close to home. Michelle Obama was also very vocal in her choice and promotion of young, American designers.

In reality, Obama's look reflects his hands-on approach to his whole political campaign, which was reflected in his remarkable inauguration speech. Since he is fighting for the average American, Obama uses his image and fashion sense as a way to further communicate his agenda.

Indeed, it is important that voters feel that you are concentrating your efforts on the issues rather than your appearance. In 2004, Senator John Edwards made this mistake thanks to a leaked video which showed him in a weak moment of vanity in front of the mirror. The video is said to have played a major part in his defeat.

What's more, Obama's use of fashion has often been compared to that of John F. Kennedy. Before Kennedy, it was typical for candidates to wear a hat on their inauguration. Once Kennedy broke the mould, men across America stopped wearing hats to work. Therefore, when it comes to winning an election, the choice of men's suit and general fashion choices are clearly important for many varied reasons - overt and subtle.


The Ancient Origins Of The Afghan Hound

This unusual looking dog is rooted in ancient history with Egyptian pharaohs. It is considered an elegant dog, its fur is like silk and the texture is fine. Its tail curls. It is among the sight hounds of the Middle East. That means it hunted by sight. Though it began its life as a breed in the courts of royalty it worked as a hunting dog for nomads for centuries and that is how its capabilities were fully developed. It supplied gazelle and hare for the hungry nomads with the aid of the great falcons. These aggressive birds were trained to plunge down at the prey.

The Afghan hound is quick, nimble, leaps extremely well, and has good endurance. For most of history these dogs were limited to the Afghanistan mountains. They were brought to Britain during the 1800/partners/s by returning army officers. They were brought to the U.S.A in 1926. They were known as Galanday Hound, Barukhzy hounds, Shalgar Hound or Persian greyhounds. There were two kinds of Afghan hounds developed in Afghanistan; one was breed in the north and another in the south and west. Once they reached Britain a new standard was coined for the breed, which depended on the arresting features of a dog named Zardan that Captain Bariff, brought back from India. And this dog was one of the Persian sight hounds. In 1912 a standard for these dogs was written. The breeding of them ceased during World War I.

Some of the dogs were taken to Scotland and they are the Bell-Murray strain, originally inhabiting Baluchistan The were the steppe kind of dog and their fur wasn/partners/t as thick. In 1925 Mrs. Mary Amps sent some of her dogs from the kennel in Kabul. They were from the Ghazni strain; their fur was thicker; they were the mountain kind of sight hound. From this model the current stylized dog was bred in the United States. The dog gathered appeal slowly; people interested in glamor were most attracted.

The Afghan hound became in vogue with show dog trainers and such more quickly. They are popular dogs in conformation showing and lure coursing.

It has never lost its taste for hunting and when outside will tend to run down small animals, though it gets along well with them inside the house. Sometimes it doesn/partners/t obey when called. It is warm-hearted around children, though not as playful as may be desired. It is reserved around strangers. It is an independent dog.

The Afghan hound needs exercise each day outside. Sprinting and walking combined help to fulfill its need for exertion. Excercing it in a space where it can run and leap is better. It needs to be brushed several times each week. The male weighs between 45 to 60 pounds and is 24 to 29-inches tall and then female weighs 50 pounds and is 25-inces tall. Its lifespan is about 12 to 14 years. They are easily affected by stress and sometimes it causes digestive problems. They are prone to allergies and cancer. They are sensitive to anesthesia because of their lower body fat. The Afghan hound has a tendency towards developing chylothorax. It is a rare disease that affects the lungs.


Is Consumer Credit Counseling For You?

You've maxed out your credit cards. You're paying your minimums, but your debt just seems to keep growing. No matter how many ways you try to manage your money, nothing seems to be working. If you find yourself in this financial dilemma, consumer credit counseling may be your ticket to financial freedom.

Unsecured Debts

Unsecured debts are like two edges of the financial sword. On one hand, the creditors cannot seize your property to balance your debt because the debt isn't based on tangible assets. On the other hand, these debts can wreak havoc on your credit. Unsecured debts include debts like credit cards, student loans, medical bills, utility bills, and consolidation loans that are paid according to creditor's terms.

If you are unable to make your payments according to the terms, these creditors will report your delinquencies to the credit bureaus. Each bad report will lower your credit score. As more and more companies base their decisions on these reports, your chances of securing anything from a new car, a house, renting an apartment, and even getting satellite television can be impaired, require large deposits, or be just plain impossible to get.

If you make your payments sporadically to your creditors or cannot meet the payments at all, the creditors may even seek a judgment to obtain payment. Judgments are court orders that allow creditors to garnish your wages, usually 25 percent from each check you receive. When you are already pinching pennies, this additional loss of income can be devastating to not only your budget, but also your life.

Managing Your Debt

Most people have minimal education about managing their money and their debts. There are plenty of resources to help you learn, but unless you have the time to sift through all the different methods and scout out the method that will work best for you, education yourself may seem like an insurmountable task.

You may even have that education and feel well equipped to handle your budgeting, but if you don't have an income to match your debts, all the budgeting knowledge in the world may not be enough. And your debts are still there regardless of your education or your income.

How Consumer Credit Counseling Can Help

Consumer credit counseling can give you the backup you need. Usually, these credit counselors have the expertise that the average citizen doesn't. They've studied the financial world and know how it ticks.

Using their services mean you don't have to tackle your debt dilemmas alone. They have established relationships with major creditors and have studied financial law. Their services assist you in reducing your monthly payments by making new contracts with your creditors. Most will combine all your debts into one monthly payment and then divide that payment among your creditors according to these new agreements.

Many credit-counseling services also include educational articles or classes to help you gain some footing on managing your own debts in the future. Rather than finding yourself in an impossible situation, facing bad marks on your credit reports or possible court judgments, consumer credit counseling can help you regain control of your finances.

They are what they say they are -- Consumer Credit Counseling -- meaning they counsel consumers about their crediting and money management. And they are more than that -- they give you the ability to learn how to manage your debts yourself and handle your current debt situation for you enabling you to start seeing black instead of red in your financial life.


Credit Card Debt Statistics

Do you have any idea just how common credit cards are? Let's take a look at a few statistics from the USA.

The average family carries a balance of between $5,000 and $8,000 on all their credit cards, depending on which figures you believe. Over $1,000 per family goes on interest every year. And that's just the average - some people owe much more! Overall, Americans spend over $1 trillion every year on their credit cards, and owe more than $500 billion of it.

If debt continues at the current rate, then one family in a hundred will be forced into bankruptcy. Over 90% of Americans' disposable incomes are spent paying back debts. Whatever happened to saving?

Debt Costs Everyone Money.

Literally billions of dollars are being used up on expenses that are only created because of the existence of the credit card industry. The weight of the calculations, administration and marketing needed to support the industry is immense - the average American gets at least one credit card offer in the mail every day.

That's before you take into account the burden bankruptcies put on the court system, and the cost to the government of providing subsidized debt counseling. You might also note that consumers with more debt have less to spend - and when money isn't flowing, it hurts the economy. There are very few industries or people that aren't hurt by debt, at least in the long run.

Debt is Much More Common Than It Used To Be.

It's not so long ago that being in even a little debt was considered to be absolutely terrible. When you wanted something, you saved up for it, and bought it once you had enough money. If you had bad credit, you couldn't get a credit card at all. Go back fifty years and consumer debt figures were absurdly low, the same way they are today in most of the non-Western world.

In the West, though, the art of saving seems to be a lost one - almost no-one is saving enough for their retirement, and banks are having to offer ever-higher interest rates to get people to put money anywhere near a savings account. We have an 'I-want-it-now' consumer culture, and we're willing to pay more than we can afford to fund our lifestyles.

Spending Isn't To Blame.

Now that I've said that, don't think that the reason you're in debt is that you haven't spent your money cautiously enough. According to statistics, it is very rare for people to get into debt because they spend their money frivolously. Far more people get buried in debt because they lose their job, or get sick - they take out credit cards to pay for basic expenses, and fall into the interest trap. Their debt spirals out of control from just a few thousand dollars borrowed to pay for essentials.

Most people have a reasonable sense of what they can afford, and won't go out and use credit cards to buy things that they wouldn't usually be able to pay for. The problem is simply a matter of people leaving their balances on credit cards for too long, not realizing just how high the interest really is.


Consumer Reports Summary for the Subaru Impreza

In its early years, the Subaru Impreza started out as a good car that consumers could buy for reasonable price, but with new models coming out almost every year, the Impreza has evolved into one of the most reliable and speedy sedan cars on the market. In fact, by 2008 the Impreza became a Consumer Reports recommended vehicle. And, it is still a pretty affordable purchase. Although the Honda Civic still comes first in sales for sedan cars $20,000 and under, the Impreza has been rated "the most fun to drive" for several years in a row.

Another thing that sets the Impreza apart from its competition is all-wheel drive. With energy going to all of the wheels, the Impreza has been described as a car that sticks to the road like glue and handles corners very well. Combined with short breaking, this makes it a very reliable vehicle. In addition to affordability, safety and all-wheel drive, the Impreza is also fast enough to compete in races. This is one reason why some consumers enjoy driving them so much,

In spite of all the things that consumers like about the Impreza, there are definitely a few drawbacks that repeatedly crop up in consumer reports. For example, gas mileage is not that great. On the highway, the Impreza might get as much as 25-mpg and in the city it might get as much as 19-mpg. In a world with rising gas prices and global warming, 25-mpg is nothing to brag about.

Another common complaint is that the Impreza is ugly. Subaru has made significant efforts to alleviate this problem though and appearance is a pretty subjective quality.

Third, many consumers believe that the back seat is cramped. Subaru has made the interior more spacious over the years, but the cramped complaint still stands. Compared to more fuel-efficient cars, like the smart car, the Impreza feels like a mansion though.

And finally, when the Impreza does need repairs, they can be pretty costly. In fact, in 2003, Subaru had the highest warranty repair costs.

You might not be able to do anything about the gas mileage, the space, and the appearance, but as a consumer, you can lower repair costs by ordering discount Subaru Impreza parts online. If you know the part number searches can be quick and easy, but even general descriptions of a particular part can help you find the replacement part that you need.


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