Sports Psychology and Baseball Hitting Tips – How and Why to Relax at the Plate

The baseball season is about to begin and I already getting calls from parents, players and coaches who are concerned about hitting slumps.

Anyone who has played baseball for any length of time has experienced the frustration of an extended hitting slump. And there are many causes of these performance valleys.

Some of the causes are physical. A breakdown in mechanics, poor balance, poor technique, a moving head, a tight grip on the bat or an injury can contribute to poor performance by baseball players.

Some of the causes of hitting slumps are mental. A batter who has been hit by a pitch can be scared in the batter’s box. A player who has been hitting poorly can lose his confidence. A batter who is worried about impressing his coach, his parents or a scout can become quite anxious. A player who is conflict with teammates may find it hard to hit to his potential. Similarly, a player with stress related to his or her life off the field can have difficulty concentrating when he or she steps up to the plate.

Also, it is important to understand that there are many relationships between the mind and the body where hitting a baseball is concerned. For instance, a nervous player is apt to grip the baseball bat too tightly. Likewise, a tense player is apt have difficulty turning on a pitch.

Interestingly, some people believe that our vision gets worse when we are tense and that it improves when we are relaxed.

There are many ways to relax one’s mind and one’s body before you get up to bat.

Players can learn relaxation techniques, meditation, visualization or self-hypnosis. Some players benefit from listening to music in the dugout or before a game. Others do some aerobics before they take the field as they find that this helps them to relax when they get up to bat.

Tension will work against you at the plate, so it is important that baseball players learn how to get very comfortable when they face the opposing pitcher.

What Kind of Glass Should I Use in My Fireplace Or Wood Stove?

This is a question we hear a lot. Pyroceram, Neoceram, Robax, Tempered glass? The answer will very depending on the style you have. There are many different types of fireplaces and wood stoves that use a wide variety of different glass. This article will help you to decide which type you have and how to order it. There are just a few simple questions you need to answer in order to do so.

– 1st – Do you have a fireplace or a wood stove? If you know the answer to that question then move on down. If your not sure then lets take a look at each one. Most fireplaces have 2 or more doors on the front. Where as for wood stoves they typically have just one door. Most wood stoves seal at the door with a fire-gasket. A fiberglass material that makes a air tight seal when the door is closed. There are also fireplace inserts, which are pretty much wood stoves slid into a masonry fireplace. The idea is to make your fireplace, wood stove or insert as efficient as possible while still providing a beautiful view of the fire.

– 2nd – Now that you know what type of gas/wood burner you have. What kind of glass is currently in it? We are going to assume that the original manufacturer glass is in the unit. When the original glass broke, did it break in a million little pieces or did it break in larger “chunks” of glass. If the glass broke in a million pieces then is a tempered glass. To learn more about Tempered glass click here.

If the glass just cracked, or broke out if bigger chunks then it is know as a glass-ceramic. Commonly know as PyroCeram®(not Pyroceran), Robax or Neoceram. Just different brand names for the same type of product. On this site we use the term PyroCeram®. To learn more about PyroCeram® click here.

– 3rd – What kind of heat does your unit put out? Is it a gas unit, using natural gas or propane? A wood burner that just for looks. Or a Air tight wood burner that produces over 600 degrees?

If it is a gas unit, then it typically uses tempered glass. All though gas units do put out heat, the top end of the heat against the glass is less then 400 degrees. The tempered glass in these units is usually of a clear tint. If you have a masonry fireplace. A fireplace built in the home with brick and mortar. They can have a set of fireplace doors applied to the opening. These type of fireplaces are not very efficient and do not generate heat much higher than 400 degrees. At least not for any extended period of time. The glass in these types of door systems are typically tempered.

If you have an air tight wood stove or insert. These units can generate up to 1200 degrees and are very efficient. The glass in these units must be Pyroceram. Using any other type of glass will cause the glass to fail and could cause a home fire. Pyroceram glass has an amber tint in color. If you have a high efficiency fireplace. This is a fire place that is not air tight, but has a adjustable damper that allows you to control and slow down the fire to burn more efficiently and generate more heat. These units generally supply heat in the 600-1000 degree temperature range and need to use Pyroceram glass.

– Lastly – If your not sure about any of the above, there are still a couple of ways to find out. Look in your owners manual. It should tell your what type of glass was supplied. Contact the company you got it from. They should be aware of the different types and can advise you. Or just send us an email and give us as much info as you can. Brand name, size, wood or gas, and take a picture and attach it. We have seen most of the types out there and should be able to tell you what you need. Still not sure. Then replace it with Pyroceram. This will cover all the bases. It is able to be used in all the applications that we have covered.

Instant Pot IP-LUX60: A Great Kitchen Must-Have Appliance

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 is the next generation electric pressure cooker that was designed overseas. It boosts cooking food by 2 to 6 times using as much as 70% lesser energy, and above all, produces nutritious wholesome food in a convenient and constant fashion.

It is a 6-in-1 programmable cooker combining the tasks of a pressure cooker,saute and browning, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and warmer. The most recent technologies with the embedded micro processor that significantly improve cooking result, preserve consistence and boost security. Your favorite dishes are within the reach of pushing a control button with 10 built-in programs and 3 adjustable modes. 3 temperatures in Saute for browning or thickening, and 3 temperature ranges in Slow Cook to complete the tasks of a common slow cooker. It also works as a perfect porridge maker enabling to you wake up with a fresh produced porridge.

The Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker cuts the cooking time and energy consumption a lot. Moreover, it keeps the nutrition and flavors in all-natural components. Instant Pot produces virtually no noise nor steam, and is truly a kitchen-friendly equipment. The stainless-steel inner pot leaves no health issues of non-stick coating residual. The brushed stainless steel exterior is finger print proof. It arrives with instructions, recipe and cooking time-table in English, Spanish, French and Chinese.

Listed here are A few Of What Pleased Customers Had To Say

A) I’ve been looking for a lead-free slow-cooker for some time and was recommended the Instant Pot IP-LUX60 pressure cooker because it features a stainless-steel insert and may be utilized as a slow-cooker. Nevertheless, that’s not even the very best thing regarding this item. It is what this pressure cooker does. I am new to the pressure-cooker world and i do recall my mom utilizing one sometimes whilst growing up (the stove-top version, obviously). I never truly believed I required one, but right after getting this cooker for less than one week and using it 3 times already, I was amazed. My first try was black beans.

I added 3 times as much water to the beans just to be safe, (poured off the extra when done and measured it, could have only used twice as much rather than three times as much and it would have been the correct quantity). From dry beans to properly cooked in approximately 30 minutes. My next attempt was a pork sirloin and it was great also, about as tender as you can most likely get a pork sirloin. My third attempt was some chicken fajitas.

I used about 2 lbs of chicken (bone-in simply because that is all I had) with an onion and a bit of red pepper, plus some chicken broth and spices. Cooked perfectly in 15 minutes. I just had to remove it from the bone and shred it and it was set to be served. I adhered to a slow cooker recipe that stated to cook it on low for eight hours, but I utilized the pressure cooker function for 15 minutes and it was juicy and yummy. I can’t recommend this item enough.

B) I was searching for a product to change my slow cooker and preferably wanted a stainless steel insert. That is not simple to find but I did discover the Instant Pot IP-LUX60. Pressure cooking was foreign to me but since I started to study more, I understood this sounded even better than slow cooking. I received the pot in a timely manner and it is a good-looking piece. My first food was chicken breasts that has been frozen. That’s correct, I put frozen chicken breasts with onions and a can of rotel and seasonings.

In 25 min they were tender, moist and able to get shredded with a fork. The chicken was delightful for chicken tacos. I look toward experimenting more and I did use the browning option which worked well for another meal. You are able to use this with the lid off. The stainless pot is quite strong and cleans up nicely. I’m very happy with my Instant Pot IP-LUX60 so far and recommend this equipment to anyone. It’s an excellent addition to my kitchen. Lastly, it certainly is the must-have cooking machine in your fast-paced, health-oriented and green-conscious life-style.

Stack Molding For Plastic Injection Molding

Stack molds are some of the most amazing production tools to be found anywhere. The engineering and craftsmanship that goes into a stack mold is truly a marvel.

For the layman, who has never built a plastic injection mold, it might look like a big, fancy piece of machinery that produces plastic widgets. Yet, from the perspective of an plastics mold maker, stack molds represent a very high level of expertise.

What is a stack mold?

There are numerous variations on the theme of stack molds, but some common features are:

  • Built for very high production runs
  • Have a one cavity and multiple cores
  • Use indexable cores to injection mold multi-materials
  • Have the ability to do multiple operations in the molding cycle

Basically, a stack mold has a stationary “A” half, and at least two “B”, or moveable halves. They are similar to the rotary molds that have been in use for many years, but are vertical rather than horizontal.

This means that the moveable cores rotate about a vertical axis, rather than a horizontal. Also, the stack mold is very compact and has a much smaller footprint.

Are stack molds expensive?

Yes, stack molds are quite expensive. That is why a high volume is required to justify their expense. However, especially in medical or cosmetic molding, the ROI is quickly realized.

Considering the tremendous amount of engineering and mold making involved, the expense is understandable. Designing and building a stack mold is not for beginners, or mold makers who cut corners! Plastic injection molding is not easy, and stack molding is on an entirely new level.

What are the applications for stack molds?

Because they are for high production products, the common applications are for cosmetics and consumables, such as deodorant or toothpaste containers. Automotive and medical products are also frequently produced using stack molds.

More and more products are being designed to use soft overmolding, such as toothbrushes or hairbrushes. These are perfect applications for stack molding.Because the part is injection molded, ovemolded, cooled and ejected in sequential cycles, production costs can be minimized.

What are the benefits of stack molding?

Stack molds are available in numerous configurations to meet a variety of molding demands. Stack molding offers an economical and efficient manufacturing solution for the production of multiple plastic parts. Injection molding companies are always looking for more efficient way of molding, and for the right

A few of the benefits of the stack molding process include: Increased output efficiency (productivity)

  • Decreases number of machines required
  • Lower machine size requirement vs.. multi-cavity single face molds
  • Produce twice as many parts without increasing press size or clamp tonnage, which greatly reduces part costs
  • Set-up time and run-time costs are divided by all the parts produced
  • Producing the front and back parts of a key fob at the same time is a good example of an application for stack molding
  • Mold ejection functions are self-contained, no additional labor or steps required

Stack molds are not for everyone!

Five Keys to Increase Vertical Jump – The Pillars of a Successful Jump Program

So you want to increase your vertical jump? It’s not that complicated, but it will be a huge help in all kinds of sports. Obviously, if you want to dunk in basketball or go to the net in volleyball, you need to get up high. Not your sport? Increasing your vertical jump will help in other sports. It will make you quicker off the blocks in track, give you explosive speed off the line of scrimmage in football, and build quick and powerful legs for skiing. But how do you jump higher? Here are five key components to a jump training program.

1. Plyometric Jump Workouts

Plyometric exercises consist of a stretch-lengthening phase, followed by rapid contraction. In plain English, this means that you shock the muscle and then immediately rebound. For jump training, research shows that the most effective exercise for increasing vertical leap is the depth jump or drop jump. In a depth or drop jump, you start out on a box, jump off the box and explode up with a maximal effort (after a nice warm up of course). Sports physiologists have tested many different heights of boxes, but somewhere around 10-12 inches is enough to get most of the benefit with a lot less risk of injury than jumping from a 20+ inch box. Some key considerations:

  • Quality not quantity. You’re going to rest between each jump and you’re not going to be doing a lot of jumps per session. Most importantly, want to measure every jump. Once you start losing height, stop immediately. You don’t want to practice sub-maximal effort. You want to train yourself to go higher.
  • Not too often. Since you are doing maximal effort, you can’t do this every day. Depending on age and base fitness level, 2-3 times per week should be about right.

2. Strength Training and Olympic Lifting

Power is the ability to develop force rapidly. Plyometrics works explosive power. Strength is the ability to develop maximal strength. For this, you’ll want to go to the classics: squats and deadlifts. In all cases, paying close attention to the spine and avoiding any curvature is essential to your health. There is correlation between vertical jump and leg power on the one hand, and leg strength on the other, so you need to work strength to be your best.

Deadlifts, both straight and bent leg, are great exercises for strengthening the “dorsal chain”, that is the muscles of your backside from the back itself through the glutes (butt) and hamstrings. Start light and build up over several workouts.

The traditional squat is a somewhat dangerous exercise and some of the top strength coaches, like Mike Boyle, recommend against it even for their pro football players. A safer alternatives is the front squat, where you rest the bar on your clavicle. This encourages good form and inhibits you from curving at the spine or leaning too far forward and also challenges your core muscles. Leading coaches like Boyle and Gray Cook actually prefer single-leg squats. These are very safe, a killer workout and will reveal imbalances in your strength. I find it best not to go too low. Some people with poor balance may try to cheat and stay too high. So a good guide is to do it near a bench press bench and sink down until your butt just touches, but doesn’t rest on the bench. If you’re 6’10” that may still be too low. Essentially, you want to go to where your thigh is parallel to the floor, but not too much further as that puts huge stress on the knees.

Once you’re comfortable with these exercises, you’re ready to move onto Olympic lifting. Studies have shown that of all the strength exercises, the power clean is the best predictor of the vertical jump ability. Ideally, you’ll get proper instruction from a qualified trainer as this is a complex exercise, but there are some good instructional videos on YouTube as well. Essentially, a power clean is a deadlift that brings the bar all the way to the shoulders.

This requires building speed with your legs through the initial phase so that the momentum brings the bar past the hips and you can sink into it and get the bar on the shoulders. Please do not do a power clean from that description. I have longer descriptions on my website, but even better is to get an actual trainer to help you learn this exercise. The only point I want to make here is that, like jumping itself, the power clean is an explosive, compound exercise. Because of that, it works much the same pathways as jumping and overloads the muscles in the same way, so it is fantastic component for any jump training program. Did I mention that you should get proper instruction? Please!

3. Core Strengthening

Quick, what’s the favorite exercise of Kadour Ziani, world-record holder in the vertical jump? Squats? Plyometrics? Nope. It’s spiders. To do a spider, you lie on the ground face down, spread eagle in an X. Then you lift up so still in an X, you’re on your fingers and toes. From there you can just hold it or even “spider” around, “walking” back and forth or going round in circles. It’s a killer core exercise.

So what in the world does core strengthening have to do with vertical leap? Simple: core strength will give you rigidity in your torso. So when your legs generate that massive force you’re building through plyometrics and strength training, you want to transfer that force into vertical leap, not dissipate in a wet-noodle body.

If you’re not ready for spiders, you can start with front and side planks and back extensions. Front planks are basically like a pushup position, but you hold it at the top for 1-4 minutes depending on how strong you are. Side planks are like that, but turned 90 degrees, so your chest faces the wall, not the floor. In back extensions, you put your hip cushion with your feet under a roller on a Roman Chair. If you don’t have one in your gym (I don’t), you can use an exercise ball for your hips and put your feet under a dumbbell rack. And while you’re on the exercise ball, turn over and do some crunches on top of the ball, which gives you a longer range of motion and a better workout that doing crunches on the floors.

4. Stretching and Flexibility

You should allocate some scheduled time every week to dedicated stretching and flexibility work. Ideally, you do not want to stretch a lot right before a jump workout. Why? Because it will temporarily weaken the muscle a little. Better to do a nice warmup and just a bit of basic stretching. But outside of your strength and power workouts, you want to work your flexibility by doing some extended sessions, as well as several sessions throughout the day. The best gains come from holding one position for a long time (1-2 mins) and then also maintaining that stretch with frequent refreshers throughout the day if your job or school schedule allows. The refreshers can be just 10 seconds with your foot on the back of a chair.

Why bother with all this? Two reasons. One, you don’t want all that strength and power you’ve developed to be impinged because your body can’t move as it should. Second, you also don’t want your form to be messed up because of an inability to move correctly or because of an imbalance between one side and the other.

5. Proper Nutrition.

Obviously, you want to eat your veggies. Lots of broccoli. That’s true whether you’re training or not. If you’re training hard, though, you want to make sure that you have adequate nutrition. Research is divided on the subject, but I take a multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps. More importantly, you want to get enough high-quality protein without too much fat. The best source of this is whey protein. The best deal I’ve found at this time (October 2009) is a 10-pound bag from NOW Nutrition ordered through, but look around. As a general guideline, you’d like your total protein (including what you get from broccoli) to equal about 1 gram per pound of lean body mass (that is your body mass minus your fat mass). Ideally, you’ll take this in throughout the day in doses of about 20 grams, since you can’t utilize large amounts of protein and the excess protein in a dose will just get converted into fat.

One more tip: some research suggests that 20gms of whey protein taken without other calories right before bed can promote the release of human growth hormone during deep sleep. So that can be a huge booster for your recovery.


Remember, these are just a few key components to a successful vertical jump training program, but it’s far far from exhaustive. You still need to use common sense and that means warm up before you exercise or else you’re asking for injury, and get plenty of rest, otherwise your body can’t recover and you won’t make adequate gains. Remember, rest includes plenty of sleep as well as rest days after strength training.

Train hard, train smart, jump high!

Life Coaching For Teens: Section III – Part IV – Creating A 5-Year Life Action Plan

Turn Your Passion into an Action Plan: How to Create a 5-Year Life-Action Plan?

A Quick Review

Before we begin developing a life plan, let’s see what you have acquired from the Life Coaching for Teens guidebook:

1. In the first section, you discovered foundational cornerstones necessary for your life’s journey; primarily discovering your identity and purpose.

2. Then you learned The Top 12 Virtues for Teens, foundational virtues that develop strong character for the journey ahead.

3. Finally, you have discovered and defined your life mission, now you can take hold of your future and live courageously.

What is a Life Plan?

A life plan is simply a road map depicting “where” you are going for a specific period of time, so you can get there with minimal amount of stress. Many people take life for granted, thinking that “luck” and “fate” will guide them safely to fulfill their life dreams. Although, you may have heard of “luck” stories in the past, or people who have made it big by winning the lottery; these stories are few in number and not worth betting your life on. It would be wise to devise a strategy for your life.

Before Starting Your Life Plan

What should you consider before starting a life plan? The virtual world of the Internet is full of advice. You can Google the words “Life Plan” and you will find various opinions on the subject. Here are some general guidelines for you to consider:

1. Identity: Do you have clarity of purpose? Do you know the “why” of your life? Example: Who am I? What I am doing here? What am I called to do in life?

2. Character: Have you cultivated (or are you cultivating) the needed character to run the race with confidence? Do you possess the moral qualities to endure hardships? In other words, can you believe in yourself and your life mission even when there is contradiction?

3. Innate Gifts: Since your gifts and passions are road signs to direct you, consider them in your life planning. For instance, if you are good at math and science then pursuing a degree in “literature” may not be a wise choice.

4. Passion: Does your life reflect consistency of attitude and vigor? Remember passion is a strong belief in yourself and what you’re doing; it’s “passing onward” even during challenging times.

When these four cornerstones are evident in your life… then life planning comes easy. As a matter of fact, a person who displays these four cornerstones are already moving forward and know with confidence where they are going. Then life planning can begin.

Life Planning

Consider a 5-year plan instead of a longer version. At the start, I recommend a short planning cycle. The reason for this is that you are getting started, so the foundation of your life is critical. College, career, where you live and who you marry are important choices that need deep thought. Here is the common road map students choose after High School:

a. Attend College

b. Job

c. Join the Military

d. Traveling the world for one year

e. A combination of the above. For instance, some young people join the military because they can travel the world… others go to a university in another country for a year to experience the culture first hand.

A Life Planning Path

A 5-year plan will take you through a critical stage of your life. If you are fourteen, a life plan will take you through your years of High School. If you are 18, a five-year life plan will take you through college. Do you feel you have the direction you need for these five crucial years of your life?

Components of a Life Plan:

1. Get a Vision for your future – What does the future look like for you?

A vision can include your dreams, hopes and aspiration. You have to know your destination. A vision is seeing the horizon on the mountain far away. Although faint in appearance you know where you’re going. The vision is the “big picture”, like getting a degree in Business and starting your own business after college, which takes around 5 years.

2. Set Goals to Accomplish your Vision – Steps to get to your destination.

A goal is slightly different than your vision. A goal is a big step in the fulfillment of your vision, much like which business school to attend, how many years will it take to complete your degree. An objective is the steps you take to complete a goal, visiting three campuses so you can make a better decision, filing out your application, and how many classes to take per quarter.

a. Set Long Term Goals first: You must first set long term goals. In other words, get the “big” picture of your life in mind then short-term goals follow.

b. Short-term goals are next: Methodical steps are critical. Example: Attend a junior college then transfer to a major College or University.

3. Follow a Calendar – You will need a visual road map.

You have to be “calendar” savvy and use it like a “map” to guide you through your 5-year life plan.

4. Money Allocation and Resources – You will need funding and tools for the journey.

Where is your money coming from? Your money may come from a combination of your savings, a part-time job, student loans, federal or state grants, scholarships, parents, transportation, budgets, etc. A resource is something like a laptop, and mentor/guide.

5. Faith, Commitment and Accountability – You need to believe in yourself and recruit others to do the same.

Do you have someone, a mentor, who can advise you and keep you accountable? I recommend someone mature and out of college. A peer is usually not the best accountability partner when fulfilling a life plan. It has to be someone who is vested in your life, like a parent, an older brother or sister, a mentor, a teacher, a pastor; someone you deeply trust to remind you of your mission. You’ve got to believe in yourself and your plan. Don’t give up – persevere!

6. Refining Your Life Plan – Evaluate and refine your plan through the journey.

Life plans should be reviewed a few times a year for adjustments. During your journey within those five years other things will emerge that will be advantageous for your life. During this time you will find out more about yourself (Remember the “40% yet undiscovered” part of your life) so adjustments are necessary.

7 Commonly Used Spanish Words You Should Know Before Moving To Latin America

In this lesson I have 7 commonly used Spanish words that you should know before moving or relocating to Latin America. All of these 7 words are household words. Let’s begin with how to say light switch in Spanish:

1. Interruptor – switch as in “light switch”

La oscuridad impedía ver el inerruptor.

The darkness prevented seeing the light switch.

By the way, in Colombia the “gente” (people) are familiar with the word “interruptor” but the word that I hear Colombians use for light switch is “switche.” Obviously, they “borrowed” the word “switche” from our English language.

How to say electrical outlet in Spanish:

2. Toma (de corriente eléctrica) – electrical outlet

Enchufa esto en la toma.

Plug this in the outlet.

How to say electrical plug in Spanish:

3. Enchufe – electrical plug

El enchufe de la licuadora ya no sirve, hay que cambiarlo por uno nuevo.

The blender’s plug no longer works, you have to change it for a new one.

How to say to plug something-in in Spanish:

4. Enchufar – to plug something in

Enchufaste la lámapara que está cerca de tu cama.

You plugged in the lamp that is near your bed.

By the way, if you use the verb “conectar” (to connect) instead of “enchufar” you will also be understood by Spanish speakers.

How to say to unplug something in Spanish:

5. Desenchufar – to unplug

Antes de lamer la batidora, desenchúfala

Before licking the mixer/beater, unplug it.

How to say to turn something off in Spanish:

6. Apagar – to turn off as in to turn off the lights.

Cuando salgan, apaguen la luz.

When you guys leave, turn out the lights.

How to say to turn something on in Spanish:

7. Prender – to turn on as in turn on the lights.

Prendieron la luz.

They turned on the lights.

Be aware that in Spain you are likely to hear Spanish speaks use the verb “encender” instead of “prender.”

Before I conclude today’s lesson on 7 commonly used Spanish words that you should know before moving or relocating to Latin America, I want to say “gracias” to all the concerned subscribers to my learning Spanish newsletter who who sent me emails asking if I was O.K. after hearing on “las noticias” (the news) that in one day over 180 people died in a “derrumbe” (landslide) in Medellin.

It was a very unfortunate “desastre” (disaster). From what I heard, Medellin and the rest of Colombia have not had this much rain in about 40 years, and it has caused massive “derrumbes” (landslides) throughout Colombia.

License to Kill: When Drunk Driving Turns Deadly

The US has liberal driving license laws for its young people with some states offering supervised driving licenses from the age of 14. It is also possible for young teens to apply for a hardship driver’s license if they have no other means of getting to school or work and, if they are successful in their application, this allows them to drive unsupervised from as young as 14. In some areas of America, particularly in rural areas, it can be difficult to go anywhere without a motor vehicle so there are undoubtedly benefits to the scheme. However, in young and inexperienced hands a car can turn into a ruthless killing machine. The risk of car accidents in the 16-19 year old age group is higher than in any other group and drivers of this age are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash compared with drivers 20 years old and over. One of the reasons for this is alcohol abuse. In 2010, 56% of 15-20 year olds who were killed in car accidents were drinking while driving and not wearing a seat belt. 27 people in the US die every day as a result of drink driving. A third of those facing lawsuits or convicted of drunk driving are repeat offenders.

Why are Teens More Dangerous Drivers?

The pre-frontal cortex of the brain – the area that deals with inhibitions and risk taking – is not even fully matured until the age of 25 which may explain why many teens behave recklessly. The functions of the pre-frontal cortex include focusing attention, problem solving, evaluating consequences, inhibition of inappropriate or impulsive behavior and making predictions. Prior to full maturation these functions are still being fine tuned and the teen may knowingly engage in risky behavior because they fail to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions or to understand just how risky it is.

If the teen driver has male passengers it can also influence how he drives and increase the likelihood of drink driving. Due to this, some campaigners want the legal driving age to be increased. Tragically it isn’t only the driver who is at risk of injury or death from drink driving – passengers and other road users are equally at risk. There were 211 deaths of children under 14 in 2010 and over half the deaths were caused by drunk driving.

Preventing Accidents Caused by Drink Driving

Giving young people more comprehensive driving lessons and stricter licensing terms can lessen injuries and fatal crashes. Delaying the issue of a full license may also help. By giving the teen a provisional or graduated license he or she can learn to drive sensibly without being given full freedom. Other ideas for accident prevention include stricter enforcement of drink driving limits (the blood alcohol should be no higher than 0.08%) and increasing the minimum legal drinking age, traffic stops to breath test drivers and the immediate suspension of a person’s license if they are found to be intoxicated while driving. If the teen has been habitually abusing alcohol, there are alcohol recovery programs he can attend to help him beat his addiction before he attempts to drive a car. Raising the price of alcohol may also limit its availability to younger drivers and continuing to develop effective educational programs that teach new drivers to assess the outcomes of their actions. For instance, teaching them the consequences of being caught intoxicated at the wheel, including:

  • The possibility of injuring someone
  • The removal of their vehicle
  • A criminal record
  • Possible dismissal by their employer
  • Difficulty in obtaining further jobs due to having a criminal record
  • Financial problems
  • Depending on the severity of the situation, a possible custodial sentence.

Risks taken when deciding to drink and drive can have lifelong implications and limit the person’s career success and chance of happiness. Powerful and concise ways to convey this to young people could be enough motivation for them to think twice.

Legal Re-Dress for the Victim

Victims of drunk drivers – or the families of victims if they are deceased – can also seek legal re-dress to compensate them for their loss or injuries.

If the victim was killed, their family can sue for wrongful death – not only punish the perpetrator but also to gain financial assistance with any hospital bills, loss of earnings and funeral expenses. If the victim survived, they can make a personal injury claim to compensate them for any disability, medical expenses, time absent from work and emotional trauma they may have suffered as a result of the accident.

Businesses that sell alcohol may also be held accountable if it can be proved that the vendor sold the alcohol irresponsibly, for instance, to a minor, to someone who was noticeably intoxicated or to a regularly drunk customer. This is called the Dram Shop Act and encourages businesses to put the general public before profit. By holding retail outlets responsible for their selling habits, the victim is helping to protect other citizens from going through the tragedy of drunk driving.

Real Love Versus the Fake Stuff

Do you know the difference between real and fake love? Just like any counterfeit object or characteristic, it can be tricky to know and identify the real from the fake. Sometimes, even experts can’t tell what is genuine and what is not.

The fake stuff resembles the real thing in many aspects. The facade can look exactly like the true article. Hollywood sets with their cardboard exteriors are good examples of that. So when it comes to falling in love, if the object of your affection looks good, sounds reasonable, and seems to feel the same way you do, you may not get it that he or she is not what you think they are.

What are the defining characteristics that can signal to you what is real and what is fake? What are the warning signs you need to heed?

Essentially, the fake love fades away as soon as the chemistry wears off. But love endures, showing up in the actions and deeds of the two people.

Here are the signs of fake love:

1. Time

Fake love, which is chemistry only, lasts anywhere from three weeks to a year and a half and then disappears. Real love loses the immediacy of the chemical rush, but retains chemistry while it grows deeper and calmer. The onset of both kinds of love is marked by obsession. For a period of time, the two people in love cannot think about anything but the other one. They may lose weight, lose sleep, and lose all concept of time. Nothing else exists for them except the other person. When this chemical high wears off, the true picture of the person emerges for them. All of the above involves…time.

2. Projection

Fake love, based primarily on physical intimacy, is what two people assume about each other. They can’t see future problems. Idealized qualities, lives built on fantasy, and a perfect life together dominates their thoughts. Each one insists that the other one is the greatest person they have ever met. The problem is, they haven’t really MET each other yet. They are relating to their idealized version. When this cyclone of projection ends and the dust settles, the true person emerges. Then they can decide if they are right for each other.

3. Fairy Tales

Counterfeit love feeds off of the stuff of fairy tales. The women in the story want Prince Charming. They will have riches, happiness, love, and all dreams come true. The man in the story, who feels like a frog and may even look like one, is kissed by the princess. He miraculously turns into a handsome, dashing Prince. When two people get together and fall into the chemical cocktail, they unconsciously can fall into this stylized story. Only when the chemicals wear off do they actually see each other. They may like each other, in which case, real love may develop. Or- the chemicals become toxic, the guy goes back to being a frog, and she looks for another prince.

4. The Future

When two people meet and fall into chemistry, they may begin to plan their future together within weeks. Their “real” selves are not talking to each other here – it’s their spiced, fried, scrambled brain that can’t be trusted to make clear decisions.

What does REAL love look like? It is able to get past the chemistry phase and into real time. Fake love involves conflict, drama, and pain, once the chemistry wears off. Real love evolves into service, thought, care, and sincere emotions for the other. Real love is shown in loving acts – over and over – with no one keeping score. Real love responds to the needs of the other, flowing effortlessly from one day to the next.

How To Stop Your Air Conditioner From Freezing Up


My air conditioner is freezing up almost daily. I’ve tried resetting the temperature and nothing seems to work. What would you suggest I to to stop my air conditioner from freezing?


There are several factors that could be the cause. The four main reasons for air conditioner freeze ups:

Refrigerant charge

Outdoor temperature

Insufficient air flow

Defective blower

You may have a low refrigerant charge which can cause the air conditioner to freeze up. The system needs to be charged correctly to enable it to work properly. You may have a leak in the refrigerant lines.

If the lines have been vibrating or rubbing other parts or objects the friction could cause a leak. In addition if there are loose fittings or weak solder joints it could be leaking from those areas. If you’ve determined the refrigerant lines are not leaking than it may just need to be recharged. If you don’t know how to recharge it you may need to contact a service technician.

In temperatures under 60 degrees outdoor air conditioning units tend not to function as well. When the temperature drops the system begins to not function properly and freeze ups can occur. The simplest method is to not use your unit when the temperature cools down and open your windows or doors. If that’s not a option you will probably need to have a ambient temperature control installed in your system.

The evaporator coils will become dirty over time. A dirty filter restricts the air flow making it lose air flow and eventually it becomes so slow that it freezes up, or at best, not cooling as well as it should. This results in dirty coils that will need to be cleaned. Depending on your air conditioner you may have to remove the coils to clean them. You should replace the AC filter yearly. For central air conditioning units another problem that occurs is when you have duct work that is undersized causing the unit to freeze up. If you feel that may be the problem you’ll need to consult a professional. Try replacing the filter first and it may do the trick.

Air conditioner freeze ups can occur when the blower is not running at the required speed and may need to be replaced.

These are the main reasons why air conditioners freeze up. If you’re lucky it may just be a dirty filter which you should be able to replace yourself.

Why Choose a Career in Welding Technology

If you have been searching for a career path chances are you must be tired by now. Everyone is telling you what the best career choice is. It’s your parents, friends and even the TV and the internet are telling you what to do for a living. Hey it’s your choice and it is a decision that will affect the rest of your life. Take your time and do what feels right for you. But before you decide make sure you know the facts about what a career in welding has to offer.

Welding is what makes almost everything we use possible. It does not matter what it is as long as it is made of metal chances are it was welded. This makes welding a technology that will always be in demand no matter what the economy happens to do. But did you know welding offers:


Advancement Opportunities

Excellent Pay

Do those perks sound good to you? Be careful what you ask for!

Welding is one of those fields that is always in need of people who want to travel. As a welder if you want to earn a good living then you need to travel. Most of the high paying jobs are located in remote places that have few people to fill the positions. Some of the places welders have worked range from the bottom of the oceans to outer space. Chances are you won’t need to travel that far but going overseas is very common.

As a welder you will get a chance to advance your career. Not only are the opportunities available but many companies are willing to work with you in order to fill the positions that few schools offer degrees for. Welding is one of those fields that have always had a shortage of people and that means employers that are willing to train or pay for you to advance your career! That is pretty good considering many other careers are only looking to get rid of their employees.

Welders can make really good money. The work is hard but where else can you earn a doctor’s salary. The catch is you will also work very long hours like a doctor. It is very common to work 84 hours a week or more! That is how many welders are able to earn more than $10,000 a month! It all comes from overtime pay and the other perks that companies offer to get you into the door.

In the end, welding does offer many opportunities that very few other careers can even come close to. Welding is one of those careers that requires a lot of commitment but the rewards are just as great if you are willing to stick it out. It’s not for everyone so think about what you really want to do for a living before jumping into a lifelong commitment.

5 Disadvantages of Using Prescription Glasses – Are Glasses Harming Your Eyesight?

Prescription glasses are convenient. They immediately improve your eyesight, however, glasses might not be as helpful as you think. When you suffer from pain you might pop a couple of pills and feel better shortly after. What do pills have to do with glasses? Just like the pills, they’re “quick fixes”. They take care of the symptoms, but they don’t resolve the underlying cause.

Like most quick fixes, they may cause even more problems in the long run. What are some of the disadvantages of using prescription glasses?

1) Glasses cause your eye muscles to become inefficient. If you don’t challenge your muscles, they become weak. Eye muscles are not an exception. Glasses alter the way you would normally use your eye muscles, and cause them a lot of strain. Your eye muscles continue to be strained, and it causes you to need a new prescription, which causes problem number two.

2) They create a cycle of dependence. The more you use them, the more you need them.

3) They cause your vision to become narrow, you peripheral vision takes a big hit, and activities that require good peripheral vision become more challenging. Glasses force you to use a small part of your total field of vision, which you compensate for by tilting your neck constantly. This causes strain which can lead to pain and poor posture.

4) They might make you look less attractive. This isn’t really a health concern, but it’s important to a lot of people. It’s not that the intellectual look is not appealing, but in some cases prolonged use of glasses can make your eyes look smaller because your eyes retract deeper into the eye sockets. This can affect how your face’s proportions are perceived.

5) The cost. This isn’t a health concern either, but it can matter to a lot of people. If you have a condition that worsens with time you might have to get a new prescription every year. Those costs add up, and in the case where multiple family members need glasses, the total cost can be very high, and this is without factoring in special cases.

Wearing glasses won’t make you go blind, or anything drastic like that. On the other hand, glasses won’t help your eyesight improve either. They’re convenient, but ineffective as a remedy. Glasses should only be worn when needed. Using prescription glasses too often will cause dependence, which can be detrimental to your eyesight.

Hiring Staff, Employees and Job Postings For Starting a Bakery Or Opening a Cake Shop Business

Hiring Staff, Job Postings, Employees

It does not matter what business you are in or about to get into or whether you think being self employed is the way to go in today’s employment market. You are going to be involved with job postings, employees and hiring staff!

Hiring staff? Are you self employed, then you just hired yourself to operate a business! You are an employee of your own business! Alright; maybe you did not advertise and answer a job posting in the local newspaper or employment office, but you did answer to your own desire to be self employed. Therefore you did answer your own job posting.

Hiring staff is the next process of our bakery business and that bakery business can be a cake shop business, a bread shop or any other product related to the bakery profession. These people will be employees and likely answering the job posting either in the local newspaper or the local employment exchange.

One of the first things we need to do is decide what the job posting will say. So we also need to know what qualifications that person needs to have to answer the job posting in order to get hired. Our previously designed business plan will answer that question. Or at least it should!

What are you looking for in the employee? Someone to ice and decorate wedding cakes, maybe! Maybe the person needs to be able to mould bread into shapes with two hands! Perhaps they need to handle cash, in which case they need to receive and give exact change. Maybe you don’t know anything about accounting, so the person you hire might need to have accounting practices as a resume requirement.

Age and experience might play a part in the job posting as maybe the wage offered. Depending upon where you are in the world the age of your employee may not matter. However, if you live in a civilized country many of them will state the hours an employee can work.

That country might also state, that a person under a certain age cannot work before a certain time, they might also prevent that person from working a night shift or working certain machinery too. Many countries also state that unless you have a visa or work permit for that country, then again you cannot work.

It is also an advantage to your business to make certain that the people who reply to your job posting have a food safe certificate. Or you can stipulate that they obtain one before a certain date in the employment. Also, in some countries the government requires each employer to be held responsible for hiring staff without a social security number, and the penalties are high for employing a person without such a document.

Newspapers charge by the column inch for all advertising as well as the number of words used. The better ads are boxed ads. These are designed to get as much attention as possible, but even these ads can be enhanced by the position on the page and in what category they appear.

A survey suggested that people who are right handed see the bottom right hand side of a page first, while left handed people see the opposite left hand page. But with all newspaper advertising it will solely depend upon who purchases that newspaper as to whether your ad is seen. Radio advertising is expensive and needs to be a long term advertising to have any effect. Here again, your radio advertising will only be heard by people who are listening and have that channel on their radio.

The same is for television advertising. It is extremely expensive and needs to be a long term advertising campaign. However, people are sick and tired of having their favorite program interrupted by advertising, so you really have to ask yourself, “how much”, can your business afford to get your advertising word in front of your prospective clients. Work of mouth, is always the best form of advertising to aim for and you might be surprised, at how many resumes you receive, even without a job posting. Satisfied employees will tell their friends about staff hiring’s or job postings.

Ugly Holes in Your Travertine? Fix Them As Easy As 1-2-3!

Not only are missing fill holes in travertine unsightly, they can also lead to more significant problems over time. When your travertine loses fill, the area immediately around the hole no longer has physical support and becomes much more susceptible to further damage. Additionally, the hole left by the missing fill will take on water, cleaning solution, dirt, or whatever else falls into it.  This will eventually result in spalling, microbial growth, and internal damage to the stone.  With this in mind, it is important to ensure you stay on top of any fill loss that occurs.

There are three processes for repairing travertine fill loss: epoxy / polyester resins, non-sanded grout, and water-activated vinyl adhesives.  Epoxy / polyester resins are generally not recommended for homeowner use.  They are toxic, difficult to work with, and require toxic and flammable solvents for clean up.  Grout is not recommended due to the fact the repairs just don’t last.  We strongly recommend the use of water activated vinyl adhesives.  They are non-toxic, non-flammable, easy to use, and long lasting.

If you do not have access to a water-activated vinyl product, we have an excellent kit for sale that contains everything you need to perform professional quality repairs.  To learn more about our Travertine Filler Kit, visit us at links provided in the Resource Box, below.

Before following the repair instructions below, ensure your travertine is clean and dry.

1.) Fill one of the mixing cups between 1/2 and 2/3 full of TraverFill Powder.

2.) Add a SMALL amount of water and mix with one of the mixing sticks provided in your kit.  Continue adding water until the mixture reaches the consistency of peanut butter.  If you accidentally add too much water, just add a small amount of TraverFill until the desired consistency is reached. 

IMPORTANT:  Continue to mix the product until it is completely smooth and all air bubbles are worked out. You will now have 15-20 minutes to use the product before it begins to set up to the point it is no longer usable.


3.) Using one of the mixing sticks provided in your kit, take a small amount of the TraverFill mix and completely pack the holes full of TraverFill mixture.  Work the mixture by pressing down firmly several times until all the air is forced out of the holes and they are completely filled. 

ProTip: When filling small, deep holes, use a toothpick in a circular motion inside the hole to help release trapped air as you add fill.

4.) Holding one of the mixing sticks at a 45 degree angle against the stone, GENTLY pull the stick toward you to remove excess Traverfill from the surface of the hole. 

The surface of the filled hole should now be flush with the surface of the stone and very smooth in appearance.

5.) Moisten the sponge provided with the kit and use it to wipe any large amounts of residue off the stone. IMPORTANT:  Do not wipe the filled holes with the sponge.  Doing so will remove the uncured TraverFill mixture from the holes!

6.) After 2 hours, inspect the filled holes for any sinkage.  If the TraverFill mixture has “sunk” in the holes (sometimes happens if air was still present in the holes or the stone drew excessive amounts of moisture from the TraverFill mix), simply repeat Items 2-5 with a new batch of TraverFill mixture.

7.)  Allow the mixture to cure in the holes for 24 hours. Remove any remaining residue on the stone with the moistened sponge.  It is now safe to use the sponge in filled areas.

Roof Windows And Dormer Windows

Let´s say you do not like the petty skylights. You want some nice, large windows to let the most possible sunshine under your roof. In that case you can choose from the roof windows or the dormer windows. Which ones are the best? It depends.

The roof windows vs skylights

The roof window is something like large skylight. Actually there is no substantial difference between skylights and roof windows, nevertheless skylights usually refer to smaller surface. Both skylights and roof windows are installed aslant, to the surface of the sloped roof.

The roof windows advantages

The roof window offers better (and longer) illumination compared to the vertical, dormer window. In certain areas the difference can be as much as 40%.

As the slant roof windows are installed directly to the roof surface, no special frameworks are necessary and installation of the roof window is cheaper than the dormer window installation (less material, less work).

The roof windows disadvantages

The roof windows do not add any space to your loft or ceiling as they only copy the roof.

Also the view from the roof window is little limited compared to the dormer window view.

The dormer windows

The dormer windows refer to the vertically installed windows projecting out, from the sloped roof surface.

The dormer windows advantages

Dormer windows increase the space of your loft or ceiling.

The vertical viewing (dormer) window also offers better view as you are closer to the viewed object.

Last but not least, the dormer windows, as they lift the sloped part of the roof higher, improve the safety conditions of your ceiling or loft (means you will not hit your head when looking out of the dormer window, of course, if you comply with all standard recommendations for the dormer window placement and dimensions.

The dormer windows disadvantages

Unlike the slant roof window, the dormer window faces the direct daylight with smaller surface, therefor it lets less light in.

Also the dormer windows installation is usually more expensive and demanding on planning and sources than the slant roof window installation.