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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What your back pain means

Be it tension from working at a computer all day or a stiff feeling when you get up in the morning, almost 96 percent of us experience back pain at some point in our lives, according to Reza Ghorbani, M.D., a board-certified interventional pain management specialist and president and medical director for the Advanced Pain Medicine Institute in the greater Washington, D.C., area.

But diagnosing what your back pain means can be difficult. The back is loaded with nerves, bones, discs, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints, making it complex and sensitive to pain, he says.

AOL Health asked Ghorbani to explain what different kinds of back pain really mean and when you should see your doctor.

When to See a Doctor
Your first defense against back pain should be over-the-counter medications (pain relievers and anti-inflammatory tablets, creams or patches) and some physical therapy, says Ghorbani.

“This can even resolve a herniated disc within a month, without having injections or surgery,” he says.

If, however, your pain doesn't go away within a month, gets worse or prohibits you from going to work or maintaining most of your daily activities, or if you develop numbness or weakness in your legs, then you should see your doctor right away. He or she will examine you and may prescribe medication or order an MRI or X-ray to further determine what course of treatment should be taken.

And remember, back pain is preventable. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and not smoking can all help keep your back in good shape.

Muscle Strain
Dull, aching pain usually signals muscle strain, which is one of the most common causes of back pain, says Ghorbani. It can occur anywhere you have a muscle, which means the neck and upper and lower back are all at risk. Twisting the neck or torso, lifting something, exercising without stretching properly first or working behind a desk or computer are frequent causes of strained or pulled muscles in the back and neck, says Ghorbani.

Degenerative Disc Disease
Dull, aching pain could also signal degenerative disc disease if you're over 30 years of age. As we age, the discs between the vertebrae in our spine naturally start to shrink, placing more pressure on the spine. While not everyone will develop symptoms (genetics can play a role in whether you will), that increased stress can mean dull, aching pain on a daily basis, at the end of the day for some. And, depending on how worn the disc is, the pain can turn from dull and achy to sharp, shooting and burning if the disc tears or becomes herniated. DDD commonly occurs in the low back, but it can affect the upper back or neck, too.

Herniated Disc
A sharp, burning pain is often a sign of a herniated disc. Intense pressure on the discs between the vertebrae can cause them to rupture or herniate. Herniated discs often occur in the lower part of the back and tend to be accompanied by a stinging sensation that travels from the low back to the buttocks, says Ghorbani. Pain from herniation in the upper part of the spine can coincide with discomfort in the front of the thigh, while neck herniation often means headache pain or a burning sensation down the shoulders and arms, too.

A sharp, shooting pain indicates a nerve is being affected, says Ghorbani. The most common cause of sciatica pain is a herniated disc in the low back pressing into the sciatic nerve, causing pain to shoot from the lower back to your buttock and all the way down to your toes. If pain is projecting from the neck to the shoulders, elbows and fingers, you may have a herniated disc in your neck (the term sciatica does not apply to the neck). If you develop numbness or weakness in your legs, see your doctor right away. It could be a sign of nerve damage, says Ghorbani.

Facet Joint Disease
Facet joint disease is a common cause of low back pain, says Ghorbani, although the upper and middle spine is not exempt. When the facet joints between each vertebra in the spine degenerate -- either from arthritis or age -- the joints can become inflamed and painful. The dull, achy symptoms tend to be concentrated in one area (not shooting down a leg), and spasms can occur as an attempt to stabilize the back. Standing or moving around can ease the pain associated with facet joint disease, while sitting or resting for too long can make it worse. If getting out of bed in the morning is difficult because of a stiff back, facet joint disease may be to blame, says Ghorbani.

Failed Back Syndrome
Between 15 and 40 percent of people who have had back surgery have failed back syndrome, a condition that leaves you in either more or the same amount of pain as you were in prior to surgery, says Ghorbani. The pain is usually constant.

“You don't have to stand up, walk or twist. It comes from a malfunction of your nerves,” he says.

Symptoms can be a dull, achy pain that radiates into the hips, buttocks and thighs or sharp stabs of pain in the back and legs.

Spinal Stenosis
Stenosis is a narrowing of one or more areas in the spinal canal, which causes pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. It's often a condition that follows other back disorders such as herniated disc, arthritis or degenerative disc disease, says Ghorbani, and it can cause cramping, pain and numbness in the legs, back, neck, arms or shoulders; a loss of feeling in the extremities and sometimes problems with bladder or bowel function. The symptoms tend to get worse with walking or with activities and somewhat better with rest. If you develop numbness or weakness in your legs, see your doctor right away. By Stephanie Tweito Jacob

Friday, August 27, 2010

More on Facts & Trivias

A Holstein's spots are like fingerprints -- no two cows have the same pattern of spots.

A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.

A pig's penis is shaped like a corkscrew.

A pig's skin is thickest at the back -- 1/6 of an inch.

The "wild" horses of western North America are actually feral, not wild.

Over the average lifespan of 11 years, a dog will cost you $13,350.00.

When a female horse and male donkey mate, the offspring is called a mule, but when a male horse and female donkey mate, the offspring is called a hinny.

The way to get more mules is to mate a male donkey with a female horse.

A donkey will sink in quicksand but a mule won't.

Pigs, walruses and light-colored horses can be sunburned.

Today's cattle are descended from two species: wild aurochs -- fierce and agile herd animals that populated Asia, North Africa and Europe -- and eotragus -- anantelope-like, Asian forest creature.

Horses cannot vomit.

Goat's eyes have rectangular pupils.

A 1,200-pound horse eats about seven times it's own weight each year.

A capon is a castrated rooster.

A Cornish game hen is really a young chicken, usually 5 to 6 weeks of age, that weighs no more than 2 pounds.

A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in her lifetime.

A Holstein's spots are like a fingerprint or snowflake. No two cows have exactly the same pattern of spots.

A normal cow's stomach has four compartments: the rumen, the recticulum (storage area), the omasum (where water is absorbed), and the abomasum ( the only compartment with digestive juices).

A quarter of the horses in the US died of a vast virus epidemic in 1872.

It is physically impossible for pigs to lookup into the sky.

Brown eggs come from hens with red feathers and red ear lobes; white eggs come from hens with white feathers and white ear lobes. Shell color is determined by the breed of hen and has no effect on its quality, nutrients or flavor.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Did You Know? Interesting Tricks & Facts

  • 1. Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

  • 2. The Statue of Liberty's tablet is two feet thick.

  • 3. There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.

  • The slogan on New Hampshire license plates is 'Live Free or Die'. These license plates are manufactured by prisoners in the state prison in Concord.

  • 4. The straw was probably invented by Egyptian brewers to taste in-process beer without removing the fermenting ingredients which floated on the top of the container.

  • 5. David Prowse, was the guy in the Darth Vader suit in Star Wars. He spoke all of Vader's lines, and didn't know that he was going to be dubbed over by James Earl Jones until he saw the screening of the movie.

  • 6. The United States government keeps its supply of silver at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY

  • 7. There are only thirteen blimps in the world.

  • 8. Nine of the thirteen blimps are in the United States.

  • 9. The existing biggest blimp is the Fuji Film blimp.

  • 10. Naugahyde, plastic "leather" was created in Naugatuck, Connecticut.

  • 11. The Swiss flag is square.

  • 12. The word 'pound' is abbreviated 'lb.' after the constellation 'libra' because it means 'pound' in Latin, and also 'scales'. The abbreviation for the British Pound Sterling comes from the same source: it is an 'L' for Libra/Lb. with a stroke through it to indicate abbreviation.

  • 13. Sames goes for the Italian lira which uses the same abbreviation ('lira' coming from 'libra'). So British currency (before it went metric) was always quoted as "pounds/shillings/pence", abbreviated "L/s/d" (libra/solidus/denarius).

  • 14. The three largest land-owners in England are the Queen, the Church of England and Trinity College, Cambridge.

  • 15. The monastic hours are matins, lauds, prime, tierce, sext, nones, vespers and compline.

  • 16. If you come from Manchester, you are a Mancunian.

  • 17. No animal, once frozen solid (i.e., water solidifies and turns to ice) survives when thawed, because the ice crystals formed inside cells would break open the cell membranes. However there are certain frogs that can survive the experience of being frozen. These frogs make special proteins which prevent the formation of ice (or at least keep the crystals from becoming very large), so that they actually never freeze even though their body temperature is below zero Celsius. The water in them remains liquid: a phenomenon known as 'supercooling.' If you disturb one of these frogs (just touching them even), the water in them quickly freezes solid and they die.

  • 18. The white part of your fingernail is called the lunula.

  • 19. Madrid is the only European capital city not situated on a river.

  • 20. The name for fungal remains found in coal is sclerotinite.

  • 21. The Boston University Bridge (on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts) is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane.

  • 22. Emus cannot walk backwards.

  • 23. It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear.

  • 24. The shopping mall in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada has the largest water clock in North America.
  • Monday, August 23, 2010

    Get Fit, Lose Weight With Online Programs

    We’ve all heard the drill: Eat right and exercise, and you’re bound to improve your health and live longer. The fitness revolution escalated in popularity in the 1980s and has enjoyed a continuous upward surge well into the new millennium. There have been countless diet and exercise trends – from Atkins to South Beach, from Weight Watchers to Jenny Craig to Wii Fit-- not to mention gym memberships that enabled Americans to flock to the nearest treadmill and stationary bike to ward off unwanted pounds.

    The NBC reality show “The Biggest Loser” pits overweight contestants against each other in a weight-loss contest. The show’s astonishing popularity suggests that most of us are probably interested in keeping fit -- or at least watching those who agonize over extra pounds achieve their ideal weight.

    The trick is finding the time to work out and the money for professional fitness advice. Has the Internet finally come to the rescue?

    Online fitness programs
    Aside from walking or jogging regularly (which cost nothing), online fitness programs could be a solution, costing a fraction of what you would usually pay for personal trainers and nutritionists. Programs like FitOrbit or, for example, design workout routines and diet regimens specifically designed to suit your needs. Don’t like working out at the gym, or dealing with the crowds at the treadmill? No worries. Online programs allow you the option to work out in the comfort of your own home.

    The only drawback to this type of program is that you won’t have face-to-face interaction with your trainer. But you work out at your own pace wherever you like, follow a meal plan designed with you in mind, and -- the biggest benefit -- you won’t break the bank.

    What the statistics say
    Online fitness programs have arrived just in time because despite (what appears to be) an obsession with fitness and diet, Americans are actually more obese than ever. This phenomenon has led to First Lady Michelle Obama calling for an end to childhood obesity. A recent report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows that more than two-thirds of U.S. states have obesity rates of 25 percent or higher. Mississippi has the highest obesity rate, and Connecticut and Colorado the lowest.

    For decades, health experts have sung the praises of exercise: Not only does it lower your weight, but it also relieves symptoms of stress and improves your sleep. The Department of Health and Human Services even released a report that claims exercise can ward off certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, which are commonly associated with weight gain. But maintaining an active lifestyle can chew up a lot of time and, given what personal trainers and nutrition experts charge, also put a serious dent in our wallets.

    Fitness done your way
    The online trend is gaining momentum every day, as even fitness celebrities like Jillian Michaels and Denise Austin have jumped on the online-fitness bandwagon. In a weak economy where many consumers are concerned about pinching pennies, it’s inevitable that expensive in-person personal-training sessions or costly diet programs will be tougher to afford. Cheaper options are readily available. If our greatest wealth is health, as Virgil once said, then we have to make sure to protect it. Visit AOL.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Cheap Laptops: Budget-Friendly Deals

    cheap laptopsFor college and even high school students, a computer notebook is an essential back to school purchase. Believe it or not, you don't have to spend a whole lot of money to get a decent laptop. Cheap laptop prices help you stay within a tight back to school budget, and you don't really have to sacrifice quality for a low price.

    If you mostly need a computer for Internet usage, email, and games, a netbook can be the perfect cheap laptop for you. At $294.99, the Asus Eee PC 900 Notebook is an inexpensive option for your mobile computing needs that is easy to learn, work, and play. Featuring a shockproof design, this netbook is equipped with an 8.9 inch widescreen, an Intel processor with a speed of 900 MHz, a standard memory capacity of 1 GB, and a solid state drive capacity of 12 GB. With a built-in microphone and webcam, you can keep in touch with friends all across the globe. Its operating system is Windows XP Home, a system recommended by many PC users, and its network technology uses fast ethernet Wi-Fi to keep you connected online. This netbook is perfect for first-time computer users.

    dell latitude 610c
    Browse more
    cheap laptops
    under $500:
    When you buy a Dell computer, you know you are getting a quality product, even at a cheaper laptop price. Yes, this Dell Latitude 610C Notebook is under $300! Using an ideal blend of technology and innovation, the Dell Latitude is made for on-the-go people who want to get the most that they can out of a practical all-in-one notebook. With a lightning fast 1GHz Intel Pentium III processor, a 20 GB hard drive, and a built-in memory of 256 MB, you can surf the net, listen to music, play games, and more with this multimedia laptop. The large 14.1 inch Active Matrix LCD screen makes it easy to do whatever you want or need to do. Easy to use, the Dell Latitude is equipped with the Windows 98 operating system which simply performs tasks and operations.

    Toshiba Portege M400-S933 Tablet PC Another top choice of a cheap laptop, the Toshiba Portege M400-S933 Tablet PC is a powerful tool for productivity at the low price of $499 -- super low for a tablet pc! Delivering all the possible functionality of today's super laptops, this computer is powered by an Intel Pentium T5600 Core 2 Duo 1.83 GHz processor. With a 100 GB hard drive, a memory of 1 GB, and an installed Intel 950 Video Card with 256MB Ram, you can perform any computing task you need to do on the Toshiba Portege. A fast ethernet wi-fi network card insures you can quickly surf the net, and the fully loaded with Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3 operating system (Windows 7 Ultimate can also be installed for same price) guarantees an easy-to-use computer.

    cheap laptopsOur final feature among cheap laptops, the HP Hewlett-Packard Compaq Evo N610C Notebook, is a bargain at $335. Designed to support your personal and business computing needs, this laptop contains mainstream technology, productivity tools, and security features that give you flexibility no matter how large your computing needs. With a 1.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor and a maximum memory capacity of 1 GB, you'll know that you can depend on this laptop to get your work done. Drives include a hard drive with 30 GB capacity, and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive to read and write CDs or play DVDs. An integrated network card, ethernet ports and modem are also built into the computer. The Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system allows you to perform any business task as well as all personal tasks.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Tips for Smooth Skin

    Get that charming look and glow on your face by taking very little care of your skin. You too can spread your charisma of beauty with the smooth and clean face. External beauty is the result of internal healthiness and hence, a very good and balanced diet is very important for glowing skin. Take plenty of water and other juices made of vegetables and fruit. Intake of at least 2lts of water is must as; it hydrates the body and detoxifies the system leaving a healthy and young skin.

    Consume a balanced diet and take vitamin A and E for smooth skin. You can also supplements it by taking break up capsules, fresh fruit and vegetables. Stress leads to damage of skins and results in wrinkles and acne problems. You need 8 hour's of undisturbed sleep each night and a tension free mind. Hormonal imbalance is caused due to tension and stress ensuing pimples, blemishes and wrinkles at early age.

    Identify your skin type – dry, oily or combination and then treat your skin gently. Always keep your skin free from dirt and dead cells. Wash your face twice a day with the right cleanser and use mild scrubs. Exfoliation of skin is very important for removal of dirt and to open the pores to avoid clogging. Use warm water and never be harsh with your skin. Always remove cosmetics before sleeping in the night because your skin also needs to breadth. Use a suitable night cream or just dab aloe vera oil/gel. Avoid using highly fragrant soaps on face; you may just use oatmeal and sugar to clean the surface of your skin. Ensure hypoallergenic beauty products and always splash cold water before the application.

    It is always better to cover your skin when exposed to sun and pollution. But too of sun block is also not advisable as, it gives Vitamin D that adds sheen to your skin. Male skin is more exposed to dirt and hence, is 15% oilier than female. A little extra care can work wonders for sensitive skin and is great for under eye treatment. Always use toner and astringents (as per skin type) and odor free after-shave lotions. Toner gives your skin a firm look and prevents clogging of pores. Skin breakouts are the results of oil and dirt in our hands. Avoid touching your face with hands and keep your hair off.

    Treat immediately if, you have dandruff problems. Dandruff falls on face and breaks into acnes and pimples. Never touch, pinch, scratch or press your facial skin to get rid of acnes or heads (white/black). Always use applicators to wear makeup or other creams. Keep the applicators and brushes clean for simple hygienic reasons. Another tip is, not to share your beauty products with anyone. A smooth skin is the outcome of personal hygiene and little care.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    How to Get Rich Fast Tips

    We all are fascinated with the luxurious and royal lifestyles of affluent businessmen. We all would like to be in their shoes, but the basic question before us is - how is it possible? Read this article to know how to get rich fast without doing any illegal activities.

    How to Get Rich Fast

    Becoming rich fast is possible if you have the ability to take risks and have patience as nothing can be achieved without hard work. Wealth creation is a process which is understood by some people quite early in their lives while others take a comparatively long time. The ones who understand it quickly are bound to become rich quickly. Many people refer to books on how to get rich quickly, to get some valuable tips in this regard. Reading books to know how to get rich fast is a good practice, but we should try to achieve the things written in the books practically. One should be aware of the ground realities and accept them without feeling bad about it. Go through the tips given below to know how to get rich fast.

    Understand the Scope for Growth Opportunities

    Before starting a business, learn about the future prospects of that business and invest your money wisely. Do not always go by what others feel. Have an opinion of your own and implement your views only after a good research. It's a misconception that, only businessmen know how to get rich fast. Even if you are working in a company as an employee, you can make money quickly, if you prove yourself at your workplace. Try to do things accurately and before the deadline, to get your promotions faster. As your designation in the company gets higher, you will become more powerful and rich. Instead of thinking how to get rich fast all the time, focus more on your performance and you will definitely get the returns for your good work, in the monetary form. Businesses, like the restaurant business, transport business, spare parts manufacturing business, can make you rich quickly than you would have expected, if you have a brilliant business acumen. Any business done with sincerity, honesty and dedication will make you a rich person over the next few years. Your involvement in your work will decide the speed of your success.

    Using Talent to Earn Money Quickly

    If you have any hidden talents in you, like ability to paint or sing beautifully, playing sports like football, cricket or boxing, write books, then you can become rich in a lesser span. Use your talent to the fullest and market and present your products well, to succeed in your mission. You can earn a lot of money in a short time by becoming a successful sportsman through contracts and endorsement deals, if you can reach the top position.

    Always Remember - nothing is impossible, if your decision is firm and final. Many authors, painters and singers earn mega-bucks once they get on the right track of their careers.

    Some More Ways to get Rich Quickly

    You can become rich quickly by investing your money in areas like real estate, power generation plants and the stock market. However, by careful study of the past, it is evident that very few people have actually succeeded in achieving their targets. Learning from your past mistakes, is the key to get rich quickly. Adventure sports like car racing, doing bike stunts, horse racing can fetch you a good amount of money in a relatively less time horizon.

    Rich and successful people do not do different things, they do things differently. You can become rich by learning to visualize the things happening around you in a right way.

    By Charlie S

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Creating Powerful TV Commercials

    We’ve all seen those 30 second ads splashed across the TV in our living rooms, but have you ever wondered what makes a good commercial? Here are some ideas to producing memorable advertising in the 30-second visual medium:

    #1: Sentimental Stories:

    Advertising that guides viewers with relatable characters in a storyline helps people to remember the advertisement far better than one that simply touts the product or company with a laundry list of benefits to consumers.

    For example, in a heartwarming MasterCard commercial, a puppy finds himself astray from his family and winds up hitching rides from various travelers. In the end, the dog never found his way home as he jumped into a truck and rode down a long road. This ad actually was structured as two separate commercials: Parts 1 & 2. Part 1 posed a question of whether this dog would return home. A question that goes unanswered means it lingers in the consumer's mind. Weeks later, Part 2 aired showing the dog returning home his family, satisfying the question.

    #2 Make ‘em Laugh:

    Laughter is one of the highest forms of emotional therapy and allows viewers to let down their guards. The Got Milk commercials were some of the most memorable and talked about ads for years.

    Rather than discussing a list of nutritional benefits of drinking Whole, Skim, 1%, or Fat Free milk, the advertisers brilliantly told hilarious stories of characters placed in situations where they desired milk after eating a delicious cookie. The milk of course, eluded their grasp every time and caused viewers to empathize with the character at an emotional level rather than an intellectual one.

    The effect? We relate to not getting what we want, whatever it was, and the symbolization of drinking milk became a way of satisfying that craving.

    #3 Adapt Previous Material:

    In 1984, Apple computers hired Ridley Scott, famed director of Blade Runner to direct a commercial to launch their newest computer, the Macintosh.

    The commercial paid homage to George Orwell’s book “1984” as it depicted a woman in a colorful outfit running with a sledgehammer inside an underground facility while evading darkly clad police officers. As people in grey outfits and shaved heads mindlessly watched a dictator spew fascist propaganda on a giant screen, the woman destroyed the screen with her sledgehammer.

    The effect? Macintosh computers would birth a new era of freedom and creativity with technology.

    Additional Note: The 1984 ad aired once during the super bowl and in a few theaters, but because of the powerful message that people recognized from the book, it created a media craze. The commercial gained attention in print, radio, and TV newscasts, generating free advertising for Apple. This ad remains the most famous & popular commercial ever made.

    Copyright Joe Lam. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    How To Save Money On Electric Bills

    You have just received you electricity bill and it has rocked your monthly budget totally. Now, you start searching for ways to cut back on the bill, making drastic lifestyle changes and investing in costly energy-saving appliances. Hold on! Before you advance any further on either of the two decisions, sit back and have a look at some low-cost and minimal effort tips for reducing electricity bill, provided below. Neither do they cost too much, nor do they require any massive efforts on your part. All you need to do is adopt certain inconsequential habits and when the next electric bill comes, you are definitely going to be surprised, pleasantly of course. So, check out some of the best ways to save money on your electric bill.
    How to Save Money on Electric Bills
    • Turn off the lights the moment you go out of a room. Leaving them on unnecessarily only adds to the electricity bill.
    • In case of work in a particular area, like study table, make use of task lighting, like table lamps, instead of lighting the whole room.
    • Replace incandescent lamps (regular light bulbs) with compact fluorescent lights. Though costly, they bring down your electric bill considerably.
    • In case you want to use incandescent lamps, go for the ones that have a light dimmer. When you don’t need too much light, dim them and save on power.
    • Regularly clean your lamps and light fixtures. Even the slightest layer of dust can reduce light levels.
    • Try to avoid AC and use fans as much as you can. If and when you use AC, try to lower the settings, from high to medium or low.
    • In case of portable and baseboard electric heaters, try to set the temperature a couple of degrees lower.
    • During winter time, try to let in as much sunlight as possible. It will reduce the need for heaters.
    • In summer season, ensure proper ventilation in your house. This can diminish your need for tuning on the AC.
    • During summers, use thick curtains and window shades to reduce sunlight. This way, the room temperature will be lower than usual.
    • Keep your printer switched off, when not in use. At the same, turn off your computer when not in use, even if you will be gone for 15 minutes.
    • When inside the house, switch off your answering machine. At the same time, turn off TV's, Video Cassette recorders, DVD players and Cable TV converters, when not in use.
    • While using the hairdryer, keep the setting slightly lower than the maximum. It will reduce the power bill and also save your scalp.
    • In case of frozen foods, take them out of the freezer and keep in the refrigerator, sometime before cooking.
    • Always remember that smaller appliances use less electricity. So, while buying a toaster, don't buy an extra long slot one if you are not going to use the extra long slots.
    • Keep the refrigerator section between 2C and 5C (36 to 42° F,) and the freezer at -18C (0° F). This will ensure food safety, while reducing the use of power. Any lower temperature will increase power consumption.
    • Don't run the dishwasher until it is completely full. After washing the dishes, let them dry at room temperature.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Increase Your Height To Be More Attractive

    People want to increase height for several reasons; these could range from looking attractive to becoming more noticeable to others. Becoming noticeable has its own advantages, many people believe success becomes easier once you are noticed by people around you. In fact people also find it easier to make friends and become famous if they are taller.

    Though some of these are myths, it is the general attractiveness that could be increased to some degrees once you are taller. Being taller also has some advantages like being able to wear dresses which have been created for them, also being able to wear these elegantly rather than looking like short version of a model.

    You can increase height using several different methods, some of these methods should are easy especially if you have been involved in sports for a long time. sports activities often make it very easy to grow taller, because body is getting enough nutrition and also because body is being exercised constantly.

    Increase height is generally deemed as genetic. So if you have shorter parents, it is possible that you could become short too, however, you can be conscious about these factors when planning increase in height. You can grow taller till the age of 16-18. However, there are many products in the market which claims these could make you taller after 18, these products should be used only after you have consulted the physician.

    You can start looking taller by wearing dresses and accepting some minor changes to the way you generally dress up, including your shoes. You can use shoes which have higher heels, such shoes are available for both men and women. However, at times using very high heels makes it very obvious to the onlookers that you are trying to increase height.

    Another very effective method to increase height is using the height insoles, these are an excellent alternatives with the least of side effects. In fact these insoles provide you with a lot of benefits and help in relieving a lot of foot and health problems. These insoles are available on the internet. You can search for some of the most appropriate ones.

    Insoles can increase height easily up to 2 inches, these are simple to use and you can shift them from one shoe to another within seconds. You can clean these by washing them. There are premium quality insoles available which do not just increase height, these provide you relief from foot ache, arc ache, leg length discrepancy, etc. in fact some of the very scientifically created soles can also help relieve stress on the spinal column. This will be a boon for those suffering with backaches and also for those who need to stand long hours.

    Increase height is possible through many different methods. It is necessary that you choose the method which is harmless as well as effective. Such methods are rare, yet not impossible. If you want to increase height, it is also very essential to maintain your diet properly. Please visit this site for more tips and tricks about growing taller.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    6 tips for shopping safely online

    Done right, purchasing over the Web can be as safe as a store. Done wrong, you risk your money and your identity. Here’s how to get it right.

    You've settled on the perfect gift for that special someone. On clearance from Bobsyouruncle45, the new laptop computer is going to cost you a mere $65. Getting your Visa card out of your wallet, you click over to the checkout page and get ready to seal this spectacular deal.

    Not so fast.

    If you don't know from whom you're buying, and are simply praying for good luck after sending your payment over the Web, you're setting yourself up -- and not just for losing money. You're risking your personal information, and it's time for a rude reality check.

    It makes sense that security is not always a bedfellow of convenience. Open 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world, online shopping sites entice consumers with an array of come-ons such as free shipping, comparison pricing, bargain deals and extra security features. Saving gas and being able to shop on your own schedule adds more to the online shopping appeal.

    Yet, the question remains for the leery: Can online shopping be done safely?

    How safe is online shopping?

    The Internet security experts we spoke with say "yes" -- on the condition that consumers abide by some basic safety tips.

    Bigger names equal better protection. "Go with reputable companies you've heard of," says Jim Stickley, co-founder and vice president of engineering at TraceSecurity, a company that works with financial institutions to better their network security systems to deter identity thieves.

    Stickley, who knows firsthand how easily sensitive information is stolen, says that if a deal sounds too good to be true -- say, $20 for that new iPod Nano -- it probably is. What's worse, it's probably an attempt to trick you into giving out personal information.

    Steven Branigan, founder and president of CyanLine and author of "High-Tech Crimes Revealed : Cyberwar Stories from the Digital Front," agrees. He says that it's good to know the site you're going to, such as the bigger sites like "These sites put their name on the line."

    On the other hand, the fear factor hurts smaller merchants who might have better deals.

    One comparison shopping site, solves both problems by bonding qualified merchants for up to $25,000 with Liberty Mutual. BuySAFE puts merchants through a screening process to verify the merchant's identity, online sales experience and ability to deliver the purchased items. If a retailer passes that process, buySAFE is willing to stand behind them with their purse, says CEO and president, Jeff Grass.

    When in doubt, check them out. If you go with an unknown merchant or Web site, contact someone there who can verify the company's privacy policy for you before you make a purchase. Ask if they'll send you a catalog. "If they don't list phone numbers and only have an e-mail address, that's a huge red flag," Stickley says. "Call the phone number and see if it goes to voice mail. Anyone can have voice mail set up."

    Find a real person

    Bottom line: If you can't get a human being on the phone or don't like what you're hearing, go shopping somewhere else.

    Encryption doesn't equal security. Leah Ingram, author of "Gifts Anytime: How to Find the Perfect Present for Any Occasion," is a certified etiquette and protocol consultant. This expert gift-giver says one of the first things you should do before typing in your credit card information is look for the "plural URL." That is, when you go to the site's checkout page, the "http" in the URL should change to "https." A closed padlock or key should also appear on the page, letting you know your personal information will be encrypted or scrambled.

    If you don't see either of these "locked" icons or a change in the URL, log out and shop elsewhere, says Ingram. The reason: "You can't be sure the site has a secure server, and you shouldn't take that risk," says Ingram.

    Here's one tell-tale sign that you've entered a scammer's site: If you ever see numbers at the beginning of the URL, such as, it's probably a scam, says Stickley.

    Still, even if you see a proof of encryption, such as the plural URL, you shouldn't equate that with the site's trustworthiness.

    "It just means the session is encrypted," says Stickley. He likens the mistaken belief to believing that someone owns a house just because that person can lock the front door. It means nothing. To verify the site's trustworthiness, he advises calling the company and talking to them about their privacy policy.

    When sharing is a bad thing. Shared computers, such as the ones available to multiple strangers at computer centers, are a big no-no, says Branigan.

    The danger is that hackers can insert a keylogger into the back of the keyboard, a device that looks like a harmless adapter. This monitoring device captures everything you type before it's encrypted. Sometimes installed as software, the device can be hard to detect. The best thing to do is avoid shared computers when typing in sensitive information.

    Pay with a credit card. You've found a trustworthy site with a secure checkout page. Now you're ready to pay -- with what? Check, money order, debit card, credit card, cash or Monopoly money?

    Plastic is safest

    We got a resounding answer from the experts: Credit cards are the safest method for online purchases.

    "The last thing you want to use is a debit card," Stickley says. "Most credit cards have protection on them -- if someone rips you off, you can dispute the charge. Debit cards pull money right from your bank account. It can take months to get your money back, if you ever see it again."

    The beauty of using a credit card is that it's not just your money on the line -- it's the creditor's money, too. "If you have a problem with your transaction, the credit card company will go to bat for you to resolve it," says Ingram.

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, federal law limits your liability to $50 in charges, should someone use your credit card fraudulently

    Another option is making purchases through a third-party escrow service such as PayPal. Paypal Buyer Protection covers qualifying eBay purchases for up to $1000 at no additional cost, helping to guarantee your purchase.

    After any sale, print and save all of your receipts and e-mail confirmations in case of a dispute.

    If you are reluctant to give out your credit card number over the Internet, you have alternatives. Some credit card companies such as Discover Card, Citi and MBNA offer a secure online account number service -- a virtual credit card or virtual account number.

    In the five years since Discover has offered virtual credit cards, they've had no incidences of credit card fraud or identity theft in situations where hacking has occurred, says Steve Furman, marketing director of e-commerce at Discover Financial Services.

    There are alternatives

    By providing merchants with a special credit card number instead of your real account number, your actual Discover account number is never exposed to scammers. Check with your credit card company to see if they offer this type of security feature.

    Another security feature on the horizon is a one-time-use password token. The technology has been developed, but it's not in widespread use yet. To protect yourself, be wise in your choice of passwords. Use a combination of letters and numbers difficult to guess, suggests Chris Young of RSA Security, a company that has developed password tokens. Don't use a word or number someone else could figure out, such as your dog's name or birthday. Change your password frequently.

    Suspect the suspicious. If you're at the checkout page and the site asks for your date of birth and Social Security number, be very careful.

    "This combination can give people enough information to start applying for new credit cards in your name," Branigan says. What's scarier is the ease with which driver licenses can be purchased overseas -- for as little as $100. If that scares you, remember a simple rule of thumb: If anything seems suspicious, call the company and ask questions.

    Also be wary of sending out credit-card information via e-mail or instant messaging, says Branigan. Neither is encrypted. Copies can remain on your mail server as well as theirs. Since you can't control who's looking at your information, stick to the site's secure transaction page.

    Moment of truth: Is online shopping safer than shopping offline? The experts offer a silver lining to the cautionary warnings against online identity theft and credit card fraud.

    Shoppers should be aware that as long as they are dealing with reputable companies, online transactions are far more secure than the face-to-face transactions people perform every day, says Stickley. Online transactions eliminate the middle man, such as the waiter who processes your credit card payment, so there are fewer people to physically see your private information.

    Consumers who research companies before making purchases, watch for warning signs of fraud, use credit cards for purchases and keep receipts should be relatively safe. "They can be absolutely as confident as physically shopping in a store," says Branigan.

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