Landscape Design: Neglected Shady Site Becomes Meditation Garden

Large east-facing picture windows in a narrow hallway of a senior residence frame a setting difficult to plant and establish, shaded by a crabapple tree. This continuously used hallway leads...
Read More

Sealing Ductwork for Energy Efficiency

High efficiency furnaces and central air conditioning units do increase the overall efficiency of a home. But replacing your furnace or air conditioner may not be as efficient a purchase...
Read More

Cell Phones in the Workplace

Cell phones have become an integral part of our daily lives. We use them to communicate quickly and efficiently. In business, cell phones have become tools that we cannot seem...
Read More

Curations Print Top with Batwing Sleeves is Not One Size Fits All

When I saw that scarf cut and caftan tops were going to be popular this year, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the trend. My mother-in-law wore nothing but...
Read More

Dental Care

A good dental care routine can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and attractive for as long as possible. Although it’s true that to a certain extent genetics...
Read More

A Glimpse at More Advanced Monocular Microscopes

If you look constantly through old science books, or if you are a science history enthusiast, then you might be well acquainted with the monocular microscope. With a single eyepiece...
Read More

Does the Car Really Get the Girl: A Case Study

It’s always been hard-wired into the brain of every guy on the planet hasn’t it? Women and cars go hand in hand. Some have even gone far enough to scientifically...
Read More

Free Online Classified Advertising is Now a Revolution that Goes Way Beyond Craigslist

Free Online Classified Advertising is in a new stage of evolution and revolution in terms of having non-competitive online resources to multiply your effectiveness in getting results from advertising. Online...
Read More

The Agency: FPS MMO Action

The Agency is a game coming out for the Playstation 3 and the PC. It is being published and developed by Sony Online Entertainment, LLC. Ever since James Bond has...
Read More

Last Minute Family Vacation Ideas: Plan a Spontaneous Family Vacation Right Now

When kids come along, it can be tempting to plan family vacations to death. But it really isn’t necessary, believe it or not. In fact, it can be a lot...
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Recent Posts

Government Adoption Grants for Free

May 4, 2021
Government Adoption Grants for Free

Awareness is required among people because even though there are government grants for free available, they give money to fraud individuals and get trapped in fake promises. You should be prepared for an application process and a waiting period whenever you opt to apply for any of the grants. Remember, the government grants money is not offered to people. The person, who wants to have the money, has to apply for the grants meeting all the requirements set for that grants. There are other resources also that offer free financial aids to different people and you can find whether you come under them or not.

Adoption Grants for Free

Make use of all the resources to search for the government grants. The best place to look for them is Internet. Here you have to save yourself from scams. So, the best thing you can do is visit the website. Here you will get complete and first hand information regarding any grants you want to know. Collect all information regarding the grants that are capable of fulfilling your needs. Now see to it that you qualify for the grants or not. If you qualify, fulfill all the requirements set for that grants and then fill out the application form.

The application for government grants for free are available on the government website or you can get them from the related government agencies. Make sure you fill out the application form accurately and submit it before due date. Recheck the application form before you submit it so that there are no miss outs or mistakes there. This will unnecessarily lead to rejection of your application for that grants.

Do not limit yourself to apply for any one or two grants. Apply for the grants for which you over qualify so that your chances are increased to receive the grant money. The grant money is free and you do not have to repay it. So, even if you have to go through the application process, it is worth the money you receive in the end. So, apply for government grants for free and wait with patience.

Government Adoption Grants

There are various government adoption grants that help people who want to become parents but cannot have kids of their own. These grants can help you have a child and will not even have to worry about the costs of adoption. The main thing is that adoption is a costly affair. For those couples who do not have money to go through the adoption process, they can seek help from the government and different non-profit organizations for financial assistance.

Apart from government you also have different sources of funding for adoption. There are even religious organizations that give out this type of grants. It depends on whether you are applying for grants for personal need or need grants to support your organization that works in regard to adoption and taking care of children that are either orphans or left by their original parents. These are of great help for those who cannot have children and want to be the parents and lack the necessary fund for that.

When you are applying for government adoption grants, do not limit yourself only to the government grants. In fact, you should apply for as many grants as possible. It is always better to have some back up plans because it happens that sometimes that you are denied of one or more grants. These back up applications leave still some chances of getting approved. Hence you will be provided the money for the accomplishment of your need and desire. In order to apply for these grants, you will have to do the entire research work.

When you will do the research work you will also be able to collect information on the adoption procedure. Since there is no guarantee that you will be awarded the grant that you are applying for, you need to make ample use of the resources accessible to you. However, the best thing about these government adoption grants is that you do not have to repay the money. You can fulfill your dream of becoming parents as well as get along with the gratifying experience of parenthood and that too without taking the financial burden on your shoulders.

Landscape Design: Neglected Shady Site Becomes Meditation Garden

April 30, 2021
Landscape Design: Neglected Shady Site Becomes Meditation Garden

Large east-facing picture windows in a narrow hallway of a senior residence frame a setting difficult to plant and establish, shaded by a crabapple tree.

This continuously used hallway leads from the main lobby to first floor apartments and elevators. Several attempts by landscape maintenance companies produced disappointing results. Plant selections failed in this difficult location or designs failed in their visual properties.

A small group of residents with gardening experience ultimately produced a design that provided four-season views from the hallway looking outward, rather than from the parking lot looking inward to the windows. The design was simple and trouble-free. It combined decorative boulders – obtained from a local dealer - with undemanding plants, well suited for the location, in various shades of green.

Site Specifics

The site, surrounded by two brick walls and the picture windows and dominated by a 20-foot-tall crabapple, receives some winter sun, but almost no summer sun. It measures approximately 300 square feet. Soil in this location is relatively humus-filled, workable and retains moisture. There is also automatic irrigation in place. To get more information about landscape design, visit website.

Shade Tolerant Plants Used

Shade Tolerant Plants Used

The main plants used, hostas and ferns, possess dramatic and distinctive foliage. They require little maintenance other than irrigation immediately after planting and at the hottest times of the year. Removing spent blossom stalks benefits hostas aesthetically.

Hostas for Shaded Areas

Carefully chosen hostas are tried and true garden cultivars in various shades of green. They progress in size from huge to medium sizes with flower stalks carrying odor-free nearly white or lavender flowers.

  1. 'Big Boy' is an enormous mounding garden cultivar, introduced to horticulture in 1980. It possesses gigantic dark green leaves that measure about 144 square inches on plants that may grow more than 28 inches tall.
  2. 'Francee' is a slightly smaller mounding old favorite introduced in 1986. It displays dark rough-looking medium-sized green leaves with narrow white margins that grow from 80 to150 square inches on plants that are 20 to 30 inches tall.
  3. Hosta 'variegata' (currently known as a cultivar of H. undulata and originally as Funkia variegata) is one of the first – as early as 1839 - hostas known and grown in North America. It is a familiar plant with wavy leaves having white centers and green margins that grow from 25 to 80 square inches on plants that range from 10 to 20 inches tall.

Ferns for Shady Locations

Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)and Cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum – long considered to be in the genus Osmunda) are both North American native plants. Both ferns form large clumps especially in moist locations. Planted along the garden edges they will produce, over time, tall vegetative fronds as well as spore-producing ones. The spore-producing fronds can usually tolerate winter weather and provide seasonal interest.

  1. Cinnamon fern fronds may grow up to six feet long and a foot wide. Cinnamon ferns have big green vegetative fronds and smaller spore-producing ones that start out bright green and then turn a cinnamon color. The cinnamon color of the spore-producing fronds lends itself to the fern's common name.
  2. Ostrich fern fronds may reach a length of four feet while the spore-producing fronds are smaller and grow to two feet tall. These ferns are called Ostrich ferns because the graceful vegetative fronds resemble ostrich plumes.
  3. Japanese painted fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum) is a spreading plant that remains low growing. These ferns grow up to two feet high and two feet in diameter. The common name Japanese painted fern probably resulted from the silvery dark maroon stems and veins that mark its grayish-green fronds.

Finishing Touches for a Meditation Garden

The Sprite statue, a cast stone three-foot high reproduction of one of Frank Lloyd Wright's Sprites of Midway Gardens (Chicago), adorns the area between the windows and the crabapple tree trunk. A semi-circle of Japanese painted ferns frames the statue loaned by a resident to the garden organizers.

Finishing Touches for a Meditation Garden

An English garden teak bench rests against and softens the look of the south brick wall. The bench is highly visible and attention grabbing not only because of its position, but also because of its gold-orange cushion; it catches attention and highlights this key element and connects all parts of the design.

The resulting shaded meditation garden, viewed through the picture window, provides ever-changing four-season views for passersby. The bench offers comfortable outdoor and semi-secluded seating for residents and visitors. The residents put together and implemented a design that is pleasing to them, relatively sure to grow and preserve, and is low-maintenance.

Sealing Ductwork for Energy Efficiency

April 28, 2021
Sealing Ductwork for Energy Efficiency

High efficiency furnaces and central air conditioning units do increase the overall efficiency of a home. But replacing your furnace or air conditioner may not be as efficient a purchase as you may think. If your ductwork has holes, or the seams are not sealed, you are losing a significant amount of air through these areas. Sealing these areas could increase the efficiency of your entire HVAC system without the costly upgrades in new equipment, read more from here. There are a few different sealing methods for increasing the efficiency of your HVAC system.

Duct Mastic

Duct Mastic

Using duct mastic around the horizontal seams of the supply ductwork is important in keeping the air that is being distributed throughout the house inside the duct work. Wrap the seams with a mesh tape and apply the pre-mixed duct mastic with your hands. Wear a rubber glove and be generous. The mastic should be smoothed out over the tape and should go all around the duct seams. The duct mastic takes about an hour to dry. At that time the HVAC system can be turned back on.

Duct Tape

Duct tape has a metallic backing with a peel and stick surface that adheres to the ductwork. In order for the duct tape to adhere properly to the duct work, the ductwork must be free of dust and debris. Wipe the area down with a damp, clean cloth and wrap the tape around the duct seams. Use a small piece of wood to push along the taped seam to make sure that the tape has fully adhered. This is good for harder to reach areas.

Closed Cell Spray Foam

Using closed cell spray foam seals the seams of the ductwork completely and adds rigidity to the ductwork itself. The surface of the ductwork must be free of any dust or debris before spraying the foam onto the ductwork. Use a piece of cardboard in back of the area you are spraying to prevent overspray from going everywhere.

One of the major benefits to this method is that it is easy to apply and will also insulate the ductwork if you choose to insulate the supply duct lines. This can add enormous efficiency, especially in crawlspaces.

Health and Sanitation

One aspect of duct sealing that is rarely discussed is the health and sanitation aspect of the duct work. Seams and gaps allow insects and rodents to enter your ductwork and can create a major sanitation issue. Sealing the ductwork keeps these creatures from entering your ductwork and keeps the ductwork cleaner. Duct cleaning is a recommended practice by the Environmental Protection Agency for optimal indoor air quality.

Before you invest in a high efficiency furnace or air conditioner, seal your ductwork properly. Not sealing your ductwork will not create nearly as much efficiency, even with new equipment.

Cell Phones in the Workplace

April 16, 2021
Cell Phones in the Workplace

Cell phones have become an integral part of our daily lives. We use them to communicate quickly and efficiently. In business, cell phones have become tools that we cannot seem to do without. Loaded with cameras, calculators, calendars, planners, the use of the internet and so much more, cell phones let companies be run on the go. Some people use their phones only for personal use, playing games and chatting with friends and family. It is this rampant personal application that has many companies looking to ban cell phone use in the workplace, see page. Some companies are going so far as to ban employees from even having their phone on their person.

The generations born in the '80s and '90s wonder how people had survived before cell phones came along. Many in these generations even show signs of addiction to the devices. Some people are very rarely seen without their phone in their hand. Everyone seems to agree how valuable the cell phone is, but companies are questioning whether or not the average worker needs to have access to their phones while on the job. This is where the opinions quickly become widespread and the arguments heated. Many people already think that too many of their rights are being stripped from them. Taking the cell phone away seems to being adding insult to injury. This is an issue where the employers and the employees are not on the same page. Workers feel that it is their right to have their phones with them at all times. Employers, on the other hand, feel that carrying the cell phone in the workplace is more of a privilege than a right.

From the employer's viewpoint, cell phones are a nuisance and a distraction. Depending on the actual task at hand, cell phone distraction can be hazardous to the employees' health and to those nearby. Cell phone use while on some jobs does cause a drop in productivity, like texting while driving; it is not a good idea. This kind of abuse does cost companies money and does give them a legitimate gripe. With all that being said, is that enough to warrant firing an employee for carrying a cell phone in their pocket?

When dealing with this cell phone problem, there are a tremendous amount of facts that should be looked at before any drastic decision is made. Having the ability to communicate to anyone instantly gives a person peace of mind. For a worker in a coffee shop who has a phone hanging on the wall, it really isn't that big of an issue. Workers who are employed in large facilities are faced with different circumstances. Workers are not always easy to locate in a large facility. In cases of disaster, fires, or any number of emergency situations that arise, cell phones do play a role in how they communicate with each other.

It is true that the younger generation is a little spoiled when it comes to modern day conveniences. In defense of this generation, times are changing. Society has changed drastically in the last 20 years. We now have workers that go on rampages and shoot coworkers, seemingly more natural disasters than ever, and the ever-growing terrorist threat on our nation. We do live in and work in a dangerous world. It brings us back to the right or privilege question. Companies do have the power to run themselves as they see fit. Do they have the right to fire employees for simply carrying a cell phone in their pocket? That will probably be determined by lawyers somewhere down the road.

Companies having cell phone issues should probably step back and take a hard look at their policies. Are they fair across the board? Are they even being enforced? If they are not working, why are they not working? Is it necessary to punish employees that abide by the rules just to get the few that do not? Most of the time controls that are in place work great and maintain proper order. When rules that have always worked in the past suddenly do not work anymore, it would seem more likely a management problem.

Cell phone policies should be tailored to fit individual businesses. One policy will not work for every business. Like individuals, every business is unique. Before companies fly off the handle and ban carrying cell phones, they should take a hard look at how communication is vital and critical to both their success and the safety of their workers.

Curations Print Top with Batwing Sleeves is Not One Size Fits All

April 14, 2021
Curations Print Top with Batwing Sleeves is Not One Size Fits All

When I saw that scarf cut and caftan tops were going to be popular this year, I wasn't sure how I felt about the trend. My mother-in-law wore nothing but caftans for much of her last 20 years.

Since I thought they made her look sloppy, I've always equated the look as unkept. The last thing I ever wanted to do was imitate it.

However, being somewhat fashion conscious and seeing how comfortable such tops looked, I decided to give them a try. My first purchase came from the Curations line on Home Shopping Network. It is called the Print Top with Batwing Sleeves, see more.

The top came in a limited variety of hot designs, but they were undeniably striking and beautiful. They included a leopard print, a multi-colored tie-dye, a brown tie-dye, an orange paisley, a turquoise paisley and a purple snake print. Made from 100% polyester, the top looks and actually feels like silky satin on the skin.

Curations Print Top

Its featured boat neck is flattering on most women's necklines. The sleeves are cut like a batwing and drape beautifully to show off wrist jewelry. The bottom is cut straight across at an average tunic length of 27".

The Print Top with Batwing Sleeves could be a good multipurpose top. It fits loosely for ease of movement. It is perfectly designed for wearing as a swimsuit cover, but could be equally charming over a pair of jeggings, skinny jeans or even a slim pencil skirt.

It comes in two sizes '" Missy and Women. Missy cuts are supposed to fit from size 2 to 18 while the woman's cut is for size 18 and up. This is where the trouble with this top begins.

I found that the cut, designed to fit such a wide range of sizes, looks good on women who are at the high end of the scale but not so much on those at the low end.

I purchased the Woman's size as suggested by the sizing chart. It was huge on me. I could have fit both my daughter and myself inside of it.

Consequently, the top fulfilled my worst fears. It looked unkept and sloppy.

I chose the multi-colored tie die and the print was absolutely beautiful. It had sufficient colors within it that it could be worn with just about anything. That was, in fact, the best thing about the top next to how it felt on the body.

The fabrication was silky smooth. One could almost feel like they were wearing nothing at all.

I also loved the length. It did look good over my skinny jeans and leggings. However, I found the sleeves a bit too pointy and rather annoying.

Additionally, while it appeared to be easy to care for, washing instructions advised it be hand washed and laid flat to dry. I prefer things that can at least be washed on gentle cycle in my washing machine and fluff dried. I'm a creature of habit and don't like extra steps.

I purchased the top when it was a Today's Special Value so I got it for less than $40. However, it normally retails for $49.99, which I feel is too high a price for it.

Batwing Sleeves

Curations is a brand sold on HSN. I'm uncertain whether it is sold anywhere else.

With everything working against it, I returned the top and got my money back. It simply wasn't worth keeping.

Here is my summary review:

Fit: 0 stars. The one size fits all concept really doesn't work well. A size 2 can never wear the same garment as a size 18, no matter how it is cut.

Cut: 0 stars. The top is sloppy looking.

Comfort: 5 stars. The top was silky and cool on the body. It felt delicious on the skin.

Fashion: 5 stars. This top definitely fit within the perimeters of what is hot in today's fashion.

Colors/patterns: 3 stars. What Curations provided in the way of patterns was pretty but they were for the most part, pretty much the same thing. I think a wide variety would have made it an easier sale.

Price: 2 stars. $49.99 is too high for this top. I'd say $29.99 is even pushing it. I'd prefer something under $20.

Quality: 5 stars. The fabric, cut, and material were all done with quality.

Reputation: 3 stars. I am not that familiar with the Curations line and after this bad experience chances are good that I never will be. This top was a miss on too many different levels '" cut, price, fit, etc. I won't be eager to try the brand again.

Dental Care

April 13, 2021
Dental Care

A good dental care routine can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy and attractive for as long as possible. Although it's true that to a certain extent genetics are to blame for how our teeth age, it's also true that we can do a lot to help ourselves if we have the right attitude. There's no doubt whatsoever that the foundation for good dental care is good oral hygiene on a daily basis, along with good nutrition.

We often overlook the nutrition aspect, but lack of vitamin C and other antioxidants can weaken the gums so that they are prone to gum disease. Lack of calcium in the diet may mean that the body leaches calcium from the teeth and bones to provide the system with essential daily amounts of calcium. A good diet can keep you safe on these fronts.

Keeping Tooth Decay at Bay

Keeping Tooth Decay at Bay

Without proper oral hygiene, however, it is only a matter of time before sticky plaque deposits and bacteria begin to eat into healthy tooth enamel and to destroy gum integrity. Thorough brushing twice a day and regular flossing should form the foundation of an oral hygiene routine. In addition you may want to try using a mouth wash of your choice and a tongue scraper. These are both helpful if you suffer from bad breath, see more.

You may also find that using powered dental care products such as electric toothbrushes or the Water Pik can greatly improve your standard of oral hygiene with hardly any effort on your part. Powered toothbrushes have been proven to help remove plaque buildups that are so dangerous to teeth. The Water Pik is the perfect choice if you have hard to reach areas that you've been having trouble with.

It is important to visit a dentist regularly so that any decay can be dealt with before it becomes a major problem. At least once and preferably twice a year is ideal. If you have neglected your teeth for a long time, you may need to get help from a dental hygienist who will help you by removing plaque buildups so you can begin your new dental care regimen afresh.

Dental care begins at home. While you should visit a professional at least two times a year, without the necessary at-home steps, even two trips to the dentist can't keep your mouth free of trouble. Below are some of the treatments you can administer at home without the help of a professional.

Over-the-Counter Dental Care

Over-the-Counter Dental Care

Mouth ulcers, otherwise known as canker sores can cause unbelievable amounts of pain. Even though these tiny sores don't take up much room, they cause a huge inconvenience when it comes to eating or drinking anything. Before you call the dentist, you should explore some of the over-the-counter treatments available at your local drug store or through internet providers.

This dental care medication provides instant relief from mouth ulcers and allow you to go about your business. Other dental issues can be treated with store-bought solutions. For those of you suffering from a less than snow-white smile, there is help out there.

Whiten Your Smile in Days

Teeth whitening products allow you to gradually lighten your smile back to the shade it was before you experienced red wine. A simple morning and evening application may do the trick. For more serious stains you may have to consult your dentist or explore professional whitening techniques.

A Glimpse at More Advanced Monocular Microscopes

April 13, 2021
A Glimpse at More Advanced Monocular Microscopes

If you look constantly through old science books, or if you are a science history enthusiast, then you might be well acquainted with the monocular microscope. With a single eyepiece objective, this microscope allows the user to use only one eye when viewing specimens under it. This has proven to be quite inconvenient for many researchers, who found that they suffered from eyestrain much faster when using only a single eye to do their work.

The creation of the monocular microscope before the convenient, modern-day binocular version is understandable. A prism takes the light from the image to the eyepiece, and the prism is easily placed in a microscope tube that will allow the image to travel through one eyepiece. Place two eyepieces, and the prism system becomes more complicated, and even more difficult to design, hence the higher price placed on binocular microscopes on the market.

Monocular Microscopes

However, monocular microscopes are still being manufactured today, and have several advances associated with them that make them much easier to use than the monocular microscope of yesterday. For instance, today’s monocular microscopes have entered the digital arena: digital monocular microscopes still have the convenience of design in terms of using a single prism to bring the light to one objective lens, as well as the convenience of documentation through picture or video capture.

Today’s digital monocular microscopes are fitted with a digital camera, which can also be joined to a preview monitor attached to the head of the digital monocular microscope. This preview monitor can allow users to see the specimen before a picture or video is taken; it can also be more convenient to look at after straining a single eye to peer through the monocular microscope’s lens. Moreover, a preview lens can allow more than one person to see the images of the specimen at one time.

The camera on a digital monocular microscope can also be attached to a computer or laptop. Most of today’s digital monocular microscopes also come with their own photo editing software. This software allows researchers to make photos of their specimens brighter or darker, and it can even allow them to take measurements of their specimens using a screen micrometer. In the past, measurements were taken using an eyepiece micrometer and a corresponding scale or measuring device on a slide. The digital monocular microscope now makes this process more precise.

The software that comes with digital monocular microscopes also allows researchers to take notes or add labels to their photographs. This is important especially in field research, where field researchers cannot print their pictures out immediately, and where notebooks and pencils might be inconvenient. Of course, if the laptop runs out of batteries, the software can no longer be used, and a researcher has to go back to conventional note-taking.

There are even cordless monocular microscopes that can be advantageous if you are working out in the field and have no access to electric outlets. A cordless monocular microscope can operate using batteries that power its light source. A cordless monocular microscope can also operate using an external light source, such as a powerful flashlight or even sunlight: this is advantageous in the field as well, since all that a researcher needs to do is adjust a mirror in order to focus light onto a specimen.

An advanced monocular microscope needs much of the same care that has to be exercised on other less advanced models of monocular microscopes. For instance, the objective and eyepiece lenses have to be cleaned regularly and kept free of dust and grime. This is especially important in digital monocular microscopes, which rely greatly on the clarity of the lenses in order to produce high quality pictures. The digital monocular microscope also has to be kept in a cool, dry place, where fungi and molds will not reside in the lenses and ruin them.

With even more research going into microscopy, the researchers of the future can look forward to monocular microscopes that offer up a good many amenities and features for a low price. And, as research progresses in many fields today, monocular microscopy has nowhere to go and nothing to do but advance as well.

You can find out more about advances in the field of monocular microscopy by visiting Here, you can also find different monocular microscopes and how they can serve your various needs while meeting your various budget constraints. With good budgeting and a lot of care with that monocular microscope you have, it can serve you well for a much longer time whether it is a product of advanced technology, or a much older but still useful model.

Does the Car Really Get the Girl: A Case Study

April 12, 2021
Does the Car Really Get the Girl

It's always been hard-wired into the brain of every guy on the planet hasn't it? Women and cars go hand in hand. Some have even gone far enough to scientifically prove that the roaring of an exotic Italian car raises testosterone levels in women, and the sound of a fuel-efficient econobox actually reduces them. Some also say that the primary concern of many males* purchasing a vehicle is how many girls it could possibly lure.

At the core of many guys is the hope that their new car purchase will allow them to drive over to their favorite bar or club on a Saturday night [preferably right at the entrance], and have the hottest woman there decide that the cool car that just pulled up is suddenly the coziest place on earth. Since the beginning of the Stone Age, men have battled for the attention of women. From the biggest biceps to the fastest horse-driven chariot, guys just need to impress.

In this line of work, we get to test drive cool cars all the time. And besides all the track testing and photo shoots, we also like to conduct scientific experiments. For the sake of... research and science. So what better scientific endeavor than to answer the age-old question: does the car really get the girl?

Test Vehicle 1: Toyota Prius

Its shape is pretty eye-catching. Definitely, a car you don't see around often. Makes 25 kilometers per liter! Gives the impression that you love the environment. That could be sexy, right?

Lady test subject doesn't seem to care. I could've been driving a Corolla and it probably wouldn't have made a difference to her. I try to impress her with the Prius version of a throaty engine growl but realize I'm running on battery mode. She probably thinks I somehow stalled the engine and started coasting.

Nevertheless, the date goes on smoothly as we talk about global warming and polar ice caps. And how Justin Timberlake probably owns a Prius.

Test Subject 2: Hyundai Coupe

Ah, a sports car. A Korean front- wheel drive sports car, but a sports car nevertheless, Its sleek silhouette and two-door appeal is bound to put a few smiles any girl's face, right? As I pick my date up, things look good as she opens with an enthusiastic "wow!" Then the unexpected:

"Nice car! Is that a Mustang?"

A Mustang? This car has about as much in common with a Mustang as a slice of cheesecake does to a slice of apple. A long deliberation goes on in my head on how to answer that question. In the end, science wins.

"Why, yes. Yes it is." Wink. Smile. The date does not go along as well as I'd hoped. We had very little in common and though she was a nice enough girl, the rest of the evening went by with a lot of long pauses, empty smiles and polite laughter.

Test Vehicle 3: Kia Carens

This is the quintessential family car. It seats 7, a practical CRDi engine and a lot of space in the back for groceries or bags for out of town trips. In other words, not exactly the type of car you'd expect to impress a girl with on a first date. And yet, the evening goes on without a hitch. We manage to hit it off well, with long, deep conversations and sincere laughter from both ends of the table. I ask her how she likes the car. "I like the shape. And it looks like it's easy to drive too." Well, well. Our research suddenly takes an unexpected turn.

Test Vehicle 3 Kia Carens

Test Vehicle 4: Mazda MX-5

This is it. Rear-wheel drive, convertible, two-seater and definitely eye-catching.

And it's in red. If there were any way to find an answer to our question, this night would definitely be a big clue.

My date hops in and oddly enough, doesn't even bring the car up. That's definitely not what I was expecting. As I drive her to our venue, we manage to cover topics ranging from our favorite music to where you can find the best beef steaks in town. Everything except the MX-5. The night goes along, and we start talking about each other's jobs. I explain to her how I review cars for a living and that the MX-5 is scheduled for an upcoming feature. Unable to bear it anymore, I ask the question up front. "What was the first thing on your mind when you saw the car I was picking you up in?" She thinks for a while. "I thought it was hot." Bingo. "But after that, I admit I was a little skeptical." Wait... what? 'Judging from your car, I thought you were some playboy, and that made me a little nervous." It turns out that to her, a guy driving a sports car is out to play with women's hearts, and he's not afraid to show it. And then I understood.

The Conclusion

Yup, it doesn't really matter what car you drive. Any woman of substance would know better than to judge the success of a relationship based on what car you own. You could be driving a Bugatti Veyron, and while this would definitely impress any girl on the planet, it would be foolish to assume this meant instant success. If you really want to bag a girl you could bring home to mom then the only thing that should really matter isn't what you're driving, but what's driving you. In the end, it's the driver that really counts. Enjoy your sports car for your sake, not hers. Now if you're looking for a girl you could take home to mama-san, then that's another story altogether.

Free Online Classified Advertising is Now a Revolution that Goes Way Beyond Craigslist

April 10, 2021
Free Online Classified Advertising

Free Online Classified Advertising is in a new stage of evolution and revolution in terms of having non-competitive online resources to multiply your effectiveness in getting results from advertising. Online advertising is dominated by Craigslist which sets standards, and perhaps too many standards. The community control of the separate ad boards on Craigslist often ends up rules that make absolutely no sense like free pet advertising where pets cannot be listed for sale and if they are those ads are flagged and removed. Everyone who uses the craigslist service knows how trolls have positioned themselves in various sites to flag and remove anything that displeases them and apparently for no reason whatsoever. There is a kind of moral guidance for what is appropriate and inappropriate in almost every craigslist category in major cities where Craigslist really has become the nexus of free advertising. Other factors such as Craiglist charging fees for some ads like help wanted ads and for automobile advertising makes people think that there is a formation of yet a new monopoly in classified advertising on a local level that used to be controlled by local news paper oligarchies and monopolies.

The New revolution in online classified advertising is that Craigslist is not the only game in town. If you cannot advertise pets for sale on Craigslist because some self -appointed community trolls have special views feelings that it is not politically correct you now have an amazing array of new options beyond Craigslist that are becoming as effective or more effective than Craigslist the dominant player. Besides the Politically correct community trolls and censors that populate Craiglist, people placing ads have also noticed that Craigslist readers tend to be notoriously flaky. A lot of people will answer an advertisement on craigslist and completely flake out. This flaking out can happen as fast as returning a phone call to them or replying in an email. The Craiglist junkies also tend to be people expecting virtually everything advertised there to be an absolute bargain or completely free of charge. This is not to minimize the importance of Craigslist as the market leader and main online free ad facilitator. Without Craigslist we would be back in the days of $4 per word newspaper classified print ads or Classifieds 2000 which was one of the first successful "newsgroup" entry order system classified ads systems now defunct.

The method of placing a truly free classified ad in any category you can imagine now is not to rely on craigslist exclusively but to use a multiplicity of services. Some of these free online classified ads services grew in popularity just simply because of Craigslist unfortunate prohibitions such as fee based employment ads, no sales of pet or other animals, trolls , flakes, pseudo political correctness, arbitrary whim of Flaggers who remove ads for no good reason. Sometimes a craigslist ad is just removed because someone interested in the ad wants it removed to they can be first to get the item without competition from others or because they are the competition and they want to sell an identical item before you do. One never really knows but one suspects. Craigslist may be the first place you place a local ad. You can make the local ad go international by entering the URL for that craigslist ad on open source search engines and google and other search engines automatically do pick up craigslist ads for the period of time they appear. It not known if every thing gets cashed Google since the content of the ad expires on Craigslist. If the ad is flagged and removed or proves ineffective and useless not much is wasted with the Craiglist ad trial because you have a lot of other options and they are growing in popularity particularly where Craigslist is failing. Here is a short list of other free classified ad sites that not only expand you free advertising options but expand your audience beyond the Craigslist Everything should be free and PC mentality population. Some of the other sites are more business oriented where there is a sense that things can't all be free of charge or at rock bottom prices as give aways. That audience can be a more valuable one to advertise to. Surprisingly Walmart has entered the market for free classified ads in a big way but it is boxing itself in with political correctness pandering such that one is not supposed to advertise pets for sale there. Walmart cannot be ignored even though it is not really the ad service provider.

There is yet another revolutionary dimension to free online classified advertising and that is the local newspapers are being forced to compete against craigslist , in particular, to allow their readers to post free online classified ads. An example is here in Portland , Oregon where both The Oregonian daily newspaper offers free classified ads online, not all subject areas there are free but should be, though . Willamette Week , a weekly counter culture magazine offers on line free advertising on it's site. These have miraculously become effective advertising venues on the local scene because they do an existing large audience that scan their ads on a regular basis. The simple way to find free classified ads in your city or area is to goto google and type in the name of your town or city , state , country and the words free classified ads. There is a good chance your local newspapers are being forced to offer free services online too.

Here is a list on online free advertising sites you should get to know besides Craigslist. Most do not require any complicated registration forms be filled out and most are really just about as easy and in some cases easier than posting an ad on craigslist. The real trick to free online classified ad effectiveness is to post a multiplicity of ads on various sites for the same items or services because the disparate sites have separate and overlapping audiences. It would be nice to have a site that automatically posted to all of these sites including craigslist with one entry form after a short registration process. At the moment no such service exists so you have to do each one manually.

Online Advertising

Http:// is allied with Http:// as it's free ad service provider. It is a tested effective free place to place the ads allowed. Walmart is helping grow it's audience fast. An ad placed on Oodle might not also appear on the Walmart version of the site?

Http:// is yet another place to post your classified ads to especially if you are getting nowhere with craigslist alone. It is an easy to use site,

Kijiji ( ) is associated with Ebay. It is a site modeled on the original Craiglist pattern with a lot of international local ads sites. is yet another free ad site not to be ignored. It maybe bigger in India than it is in the USA. is one more useful site that lets you post up to ten pictures in each free ad. Http:// offers basic free ads that can be helpful too. Not all services at inet giant are free nor are they necessarily so on the other sites. The pay for services can just be ignored and that is advised for keeping online advertising free! One does not want to encourage advertising sites to charge money by paying them even as much as a dime! Added payed services may suit your needs under various cirucmstances but should be avoided for the sake of the revolution. The local ad companies offer to put your ads in print for an additional charge. The problem is that as an online free advertiser you really prefer that there be a critical mass of online audience that will do online free advertising searches using key words. Print ads still appeal to people who still have no computer and read classified ads the old fashioned way with a big magnifier glass and old age reading glasses. That audience maybe just what you need to sell your service or item in which case it will be worth the added fee.

Effectively one can reach an audience that is far larger than the original percentage or margin of newspaper circulation readers. Not all people who subscribe to a newspaper or magazine actually ever bother to look at their classified ads that is what puts them on the margin. Some people subscribe to a newspaper just to clip out coupons or to read the sports section and throw the rest away without ever reading even as much as the front page. The revolution of online free classified advertising that began with newsgroup ads and then Classifieds 2000 and then became the Craiglist phenomenon is the ease of using key words to search though ads or to scroll down pages of ads only having to read the title index. These factors have made back page classified ads a lot less marginal and a lot more popular. Not only has critical mass appeared online since Craigslist to make online ads an ongoing success story, but it has expanded the size of the entire free pie of the market. The pie diameter grows so there are more free slices for everyone. Everyone is eating free pie. This in tern may actually be expanding the entire economy. For those concerned about recycling. Free classified ads are probably creating wealth in our society by not forcing people to just up and throw things away when they can list them as available on a free online ad. The best may yet be coming where almost all needs and wants maybe easily matched and it really will be a form of realized science fiction. At the moment there are an infinite number of stores online that cost nothing more than the maintenance of a computer by an individual.

Multiplicity of free online classifieds is worth exploring by simultaneously posting your ads or links between your ads to these various main sites and to your local competing newspapers if they too are in the business of free advertising. Again here is a list of sites not to be ignored especially when Craiglist flakes out on you: (there is no proper order and you can google more free ad sites and can add them to your own list. Also if you are looking to buy something you can also use the independent search engines of ebay and and find what is for sale to check the local prices and compare the competitive online super store prices etc.)

Free Online Classified Sites to Post Ads in Multiplicity:

There are lots more niche free advertising sites online just google them or yahoo them with the keywords added such as "free classified ads pets." beware some of these sites have big audiences but they require credit card registration or other complexities. The ones listed above are tested , some of the biggest best , most frequented by an audience and least intrusive on your time and privacy. It helps before placing an ad to search for similar ads already posted. You might even respond to someone else's ad to see how the complete system works. Most like Craiglist will hide your identity and foreword the replies to you. For more effective advertising you should put your phone number(s) in the ad or address if it applies for something like a garage sale , as an example, to facilitate business and not to have to reply to the inevitable where are you located questions or how do I reach you by phone. One or more of the sites listed may eventually become bigger than Craigslist. It might put some of the competitors out of business or combine them. Some will introduce more pay for use services others will rely on ads place on their pages to keep them in business. As some start to charge new free advertising competition should appear to compete with them or offer niche subject pages. Don't encourage these site to charge for classified ads by paying for services if you don't need to.

The Agency: FPS MMO Action

April 9, 2021
FPS MMO Action

The Agency is a game coming out for the Playstation 3 and the PC. It is being published and developed by Sony Online Entertainment, LLC.

Ever since James Bond has been around, many have been obsessed with the idea of being a super spy. Battling the forces of evil while the common public have no idea that their lives have just been saved. Now PS3 and PC gamers will have the chance to do just that. Or they can choose to be a mercenary and disrupt all the work that the good spies are doing.

The Agency: Features


According to the SOE press release the Agency will be a fast paced online shooter for gamers who enjoy everything from Metal Gear Solid like sneaking and infiltration to the less subtle Gears of War full out assault with guns blazing, more helpful hints.

The multiplayer game will allow gamers to hook up through the internet to take on missions around the world, collecting intelligence, getting rid of crime bosses and assaulting strong holds along with lots of player-versus-player content.

The world, the press release states, will be persistent meaning that when players take a break away from the game, the world that they play in may end up changing.

The Agency will let gamers choose from two sides: Mercenary or Spy. These will be the two factions that are at a persistent war in the game. As the player progresses they will be collecting gadgets, weaponry, accessories, gear and aliases to unlock different areas in which they will be able to complete more missions.

Spies and Mercenaries will also collect non-player characters that will complete missions even while the player is not playing the game. These NPCs can be traded or auctioned off to other players of The Agency.

The Agency: Covert Ops

While gamers wait for The Agency to ship for their PS3 or PC, they can play The Agency: Covert Ops, the social media version of the platform and PC game. Much like many other social media games, players must wait to acquire enough "cover" to do missions and they gain experience and wealth to level up and create gear and technology for their characters.

Covert Ops is not all clicking though. It offers several mini games that are quite good. Bomb defusing is a matching minigame. To get intel, players will have to do a search-and-find game and to gain entry to computers or other electronic devices, players have to scan keyboards to see where fingerprints are and unscramble words based on what keys have been pressed.

While this game is not what its PS3 and PC counterpart will be, it will help fill at least some time between now and when the real game ships.