Car Donations In California

A California vehicle donation here in the “Golden State” may help someone in need in your own community. An entire family could possibly end up getting helped by your generosity. And you may even get a tax deduction along the way. But these are not necessarily the best benefits.

Are there special rules for donating my vehicle in California?

Just a few special rules for the CA DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles: You must leave the license plates on the vehicle (most states you are required to remove them), and you must fill out a Release of Liability form. This form can be downloaded from the CA DMV website or filled out in person.

A tax break is just the start: Depending on your situation, you could immediately free your premises of a possible eyesore. You might get additional parking space and/or regain space in your garage (or perhaps your yard). You’ll be able to circumvent the hassles as well as cost of having to refurbish an old motor vehicle in order to get it ready to sell – not to mention having to advertise it and find a buyer for it. These jobs are hassles and require your time to be able to complete them – your valuable time.

Free towing from your place: You may be thinking that repairing and selling your older car may get you a little more money as compared to donating it. Although this may be true, your car donation in CA can instantly take care of these time-consuming inconveniences. Remember your time isn’t free, yet most non profit organizations will tow your car or truck for you – and for free. So this really is like money in the bank for you.

Non-running vehicles often accepted: And if your car or truck is non-running – and maybe even up on blocks, it is still more than worth it for the charity: The salvage yard will pay the charity enough money to cover towing plus some leftover for the needy. And in case your donated vehicle is valued above $500 (figured through Kelly Blue Book or NADA), you can claim more than the standard five hundred bucks tax deduction!

Beware of bogus “charities:” California has many bogus car donation “charities.” Most of them are eventually busted and deactivated, but for every one that gets shut down, a new one appears. So how do you recognize which of them are legitimate?

One way is to check that any California charity you may be considering is registered with the state. Here’s a link to the CA Charitable Organization Financial Database search: http://cfr.doj.ca.gov/.

Another link from the Attorney General of California is the Registry of Charitable Trusts (RCT), which can be found on this page: http://caag.state.ca.us/charities/statutes.htm.

Charity ‘watchdog’ websites: It turns out the answer is really simple – An easy search online using at least one of the online companies which qualifies charities based on a variety of factors. Simply type the name of the charitable organization in the search box on the ‘charity watchdog’ site. Or you could query the California Attorney General Office’s website, or the Secretary of State website. Most states, like California, require nonprofits to register with them, and have searchable databases on their websites.

But another caution here: Nearly all of the Attorney Generals (including California) are quick to emphasize that although a charity is registered with them does not imply that the charity is necessarily a good one. Registration means exactly that – that the charitable organization registered as required.

It’s interesting to note that part of the registration with the states (in the ones that require charities to register) is the requirement to submit financial reports every year. However, it is easy for the bogus charitable groups to fudge these reports, submitting figures that make them appear legit and ‘above board.’

So check the charity out at two sites: Because we now understand that fraudulent car donation charities may be registered with the state of California, it’s a wise idea to check out any charity you may be considering at a minimum of two websites:

Not only confirm that the organization is registered with California, but it is also listed ‘in good standing’ with one or more of the web based ‘charity watchdog’ agencies.

You having nothing to lose and everything to gain! So now you know how to choose a high quality vehicle donation charity here in California. Not only will you be doing something truly good for somebody or some family in your community, you may even get the tax deduction. And don’t forget all those time-saving and hassle-saving fringe benefits of donating your old vehicle!

Nordic Track Treadmill

Nordic Track treadmills are renowned for their comprehensive range of features. Nordic Track treadmills provide a comfortable running surface on which users can either jog, walk or run. Nordic track treadmills are produced by Icon Health and Fitness, Inc..

Nordic Track treadmills range from around $1000 to $4000. The various features of Nordic Track treadmills help during weight loss programs and workouts. Nordic Track treadmills are very comfortable treadmills to run on.

Nordic Track treadmills offer generous sized running deck/belt, good cushioning and well designed console displays. All Nordic Track treadmill models are iFit compatible which enables downloading of new workout programs from the Internet directly to users treadmill via a computer. Nordic Track treadmills consist of electronic consoles which offer lot of preset programs and readouts.

Nordic Track treadmills feature a Reflex Deck Technology that flattens and absorbs the impact when users step down and springs back returning to its original shape.

All Nordic Track treadmill models consist of heart rate monitors which are activated by gripping pulse sensors built into the hand rail. Nordic Track treadmill models come with pulse driven programs that respond to and maintain users target heart rate.

Nordic Track treadmills offer a 3 year warranty for the drive motor, 2 year warranty for other treadmill parts and 1 year warranty on the labor. The warranty duration of Nordic Track treadmills is a good indication of the quality of the treadmill.

There are different models of Nordic Track treadmill available in the market. The Nordic Track C1900 treadmill offers a 1.5HP motor capable of speeds up to 10 mph, incline adjustment up to 10%, a running surface up to 55″ x 20″, cool air fans and a heart rate monitor. This treadmill model costs about $1000.

The Nordic Track C2300 treadmill offers a 1.75HP motor capable of speeds up to 10 mph, a running surface up to 55″ x 20″, incline adjustment up to 10%, a heart rate monitor and cool air fans. This treadmill costs about $1300.

The Nordic Track E2500 treadmill offers a 2HP motor capable of speeds up to 12 mph, a running surface up to 55″ x 20″, incline adjustment up to 10%, adjustable cushioning and a heart rate monitor. This treadmill costs about $1500.

The Nordic Track 7600R treadmill offers a 3HP motor capable of speeds up to 12 mph, a running surface up to 60″ x 20″, incline adjustment up to 12% and a heart rate monitor.

The Nordic Track E4400 treadmill offers a 3HP motor capable of speeds up to 12 mph, incline adjustment up to 12%, a running surface up to 60″ x 20″ and a heart rate monitor. This treadmill model costs about $2500.

Nordic Track treadmills are known for their cushion technology, electronic consoles and warranty features. Nordic Track treadmills offer smooth running on the treadmill.

Nordic Track treadmills are popular for the comfortable running surface they provide.

Snapchat – Best Marketing Tool

There are two kinds of businesses right now – those who are taking advantage of Snapchat before other businesses find out they should be on it – and those who will wish they'd had the foresight to jump on Snapchat back in 2017.

So what are some marketing strategies you can use on Snapchat for growing your business?

Specialized Content

Make your fans feel like insiders by providing content you offer now else. Your goal is to make users feel like they've got exclusive access to insider info. This develops emotional connections between them and you and your content.

For example, you might provide tips or inspiration in the form of 24-hour Snapchat stories. Give your fans the keys to success, daily insights, advice and so forth to create a sense of trust and inclusivity.

Contests and Perks

Surprise your fans with promotions and giveaways to build customer loyalty. Contests work wonders on snapchat and they're easy to do. Your contest can be as simple as naming a product, captioning a picture, taking snaps with your product and so forth.

Announce your Snapchat contest on all of your social media channels, and make the prize suitable for the target audience you want to attract.

You can also offer insider access, promo codes or discounts with a Snapchat scavenger hunt. Build anticipation for the event prior to the launch date.

You might even do something as simple as sharing a daily deal with your followers by giving them a special Snapchat referral code.

This is a great way to get them to spread the word about you. And you can track customer behavior by monitoring how many promo codes are used.

Engage Fans in Your Story

Ask for your followers to participate, creating a two-way conversation with the community.

For example, ask them to send a selfie featuring your product. Or ask them for a picture that illustrates an answer to a question. Or have them create videos on why they love your product or how they relax at the end of the day or whatever is appropriate to your niche.

Make sure you reply to your fans. You can do this either by replying in the chat feature, or sending back a photo of you thanking them.

It pays to go the extra mile to make users feel special and a part of your community.

Team Up with Influencers

Snapchat takeovers give people you select access to your Snapchat account, so they can create stories promoting and enhancing your brand's personality.

When you let advocates take over, your account looks less promotional and more fun and authentic.

If you're worried about what might happen, it's not like the monkeys are taking over the zoo. Rather, it's influencers and fans chosen by you who agree to 'be' you for a day.

For example, let's say your niche is gardening. You ask a master gardener to show off her garden and those of her neighbors using your account.

Or if your niche is relationships – you can let one of your clients tell the story of how you saved his marriage.

Really, you're only limited by your imagination.

Final Thoughts

Snapchat enjoys the highest growth rate of any social media channel right now. So if you're not there, you're missing out on some major exposure for your business.

That said, remember that Snapchat is about the fun, not about bragging about your product or hammering prospects.

Find the light-hearted angle to your business and use that to help your followers achieve their goals and you'll build brand loyalty unlike anything you've achieved on Facebook or Twitter.

Temperament in Life and Work

Free will can carry us far but not infinitely beyond our genetic limits. We can stretch ourselves like a rubber band can stretch, but only so much. It's like Stephen King is never going to be Stephen Colbert, no matter how much he polishes his comic delivery, and Stephen Colbert can never be Stephen King, no matter how much time he spends alone writing. A person's preference for stimulating turns out to be a specific characteristic, and once you realize your own preferences, you can begin to intentionally situate yourself in environments favorable to your own temperament-yet over-stimulating nor under-stimulating, either boring nor stressful. By attaching to the range of preferences in your and your family's life, you can tap into increased energy and satisfaction.

Even though people can push to the outer limits of their temperament, it's often better to situ ourselves squarely inside our own unique sweet spot. Too much stimulation produces a sense of being unable to think straight, it makes people tongue-tied, and it's the feeling when you've had enough and want to go home. Not enough stimulation is something like cabin fever: you feel idgy, restless, sluggish, like not enough is happening and it's time to get out of the house.

It's overly simplistic to say that we should always seek moderate levels of stimulation. After all, excited fans at a soccer game crave more stimulation, while people who visit spas for relaxation seek low levels, and confusingly, high stimulation levels measured in the brain do not always correlate with how we feel. Also there are many different kinds of stimulation: loud music is not the same as mortar fire, which is not the same as presiding over a meeting. Furthermore, you may be more sensitive to one form of stimulation than another, and some of us seem to enjoy more stimulation than others.

We naturally seek our own sweet spot of optimal stimulation, and we do it without much awareness. It's a dynamic process. Imagine sitting contentedly under a grape arbor reading a fantastic novel. This is a sweet spot, but after half an hour, you realize that you've read the same sentence five times. Now you're under stimulated, so you call a friend to go for coffee. In other words, you ratchet up your stimulation level. As you laugh and talk, you're back, thank goodness, inside your sweet spot. However this agreeable state lasts only until your friend (who needs more stimulation than you) persuades you to accompany her to a party, where you're confronted by loud music, plates of food, alcohol, and a room full of strangers. The people seem affable enough, but you feel pressured to make small talk above the din of music. Now-bam, just like that-you've moved away from your sweet spot, except this time you're overstimulated.

The recognition of the role stimulation plays in your own actions and emotions is a powerful tool, and now you'll be much better at understanding the dynamics between too much and too little. Once you become attuned to your temperament in terms of stimulation you'll be able to design your office, home, and social life for as much time inside your sweet spot as possible. People who inhabit their sweet spots the majority of time gain the ability to stretch when they want to, work with people in more useful ways, and change parts of their environment that exhausts them.

7 Products That Can Make Your Teeth Yellow

Not only cigarettes and coffee can spoil natural whiteness of our teeth. Food that you eat everyday can also do this. There is a list of certain products that can give your teeth yellow color. Some of them are really harmful, and not only for teeth and their removal from your daily menu can do only good. But not all of them are dangerous – some are useful, have lots of vitamins and minerals, and if you exclude them from your nutrition, it won’t do any good to your health. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the harm they bring.

So, the information below can make you aware of the products that can make your teeth yellow and can be a guide to improving your menu to save your teeth from getting yellow.

1. Black tea. It contains tanine that leaves stains on your teeth. It is in the head of the list. Things are getting worse when you combine it with other products from that list because it makes their coloring influence stronger. So it’s better to drink green tea instead, it doesn’t have such aggressive qualities, but has a number of useful components.

2. Cola drinks, soda and sport beverages. They contain different acids that ruin the enamel of teeth. Interesting that sport drinks are even more dangerous than others, because they contain more acids.

3. Sweet candies. Even children know that sugar is the worst enemy for our teeth. But it’s not the only point. Also time matters – the longer you chew or suck a candy, the more harm it brings. And it concerns all of the products in this list.

4. Wine, red and white. Both of them contain tanine, about whose harmful qualities you already know.

5. Bright-colored sauces. Dental enamel’s structure has pores, where they can stay and share their coloring with teeth.

6. Spices. The same thing about spices that have bright colors too.

7. Fruits and fruit juices. They bring a lot of profit to us, so they mustn’t be removed from menu by any circumstances.

What to do to minimize those unwanted effect? Perhaps you heard a popular recommendation to chew a sugar-free chewing gum after you’ve eaten. But it’s a myth and very dangerous myth, because such gums contain sugar substitutes that are also dangerous for teeth. There are two ways of protecting your teeth color. First – rinse your mouth with water, it will wash away acid and coloring elements. Second – after rinsing try to cover your teeth with saliva; it is a natural protection for our mouth. If you make these two simple procedures a habit, your teeth will stay white much longer. Protect the white color of your teeth and reduce chances on undergoing teeth whitening procedures, which are rather expensive.

How To Get A Bigger Butt by Exercising

1.) Change your walk. Stand and sit straight with your shoulders square and your head raised. Keep your abs contracted and your pelvis in a neutral position. This will not only make your butt more prominent, but it’ll also slim your torso a bit and make your chest look bigger.

2.) Butt Bridges. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms at your sides. Lift your butt toward the ceiling, then lower it. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

3.) Squats. Stand erect with your feet about shoulder width apart and your arms extended in front of you. Bend your knees to a ninety degree angle with your back straight, then rise back up

4.) Lunges. Stand erect with your feet about shoulder width apart. Bend one leg behind you and the other leg in front of you.

5.) Do kick backs. Stand on one leg. With the leg that is free off the ground, kick it back until you see your butt squeeze into a bubble

6.)L eg lifts. Leg lifts (or raises) might sound like they’re focused on your legs, but really they’ll help work your abs.

7.) Twist crunches. Lie on your back on the floor and bend your knees. Put your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows bent. Lift one shoulder off the ground, and twist to the opposite direction. For instance, if you lift your left shoulder up, twist your body toward the right. Repeat, alternating shoulders. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps. Rest for between 30 to 60 seconds between each sets.

8.) Try sports that build your leg and buttocks muscles. A hobby you enjoy could also simultaneously enhance your rear. Here are some possibilities:

Running

Cycling

Swimming

Gymnastics

Skiing

Volleyball

Soccer

Field Hockey

Cheer leading

Pick the right pants. The right pair of jeans can seemingly transform your butt, making it appear round and perky. Consider the following next time you buy a pair of jeans:

Pick the right fit for your body type. If you have a slim waist, try a pant that will hug your waist, such as skinny jeans or a tight-fitting boot-cut. If your waist is smaller than your hips, wear low-rise jeans (that hit at the widest part of your hips) with a fitted shirt.

If you have a thicker waistline, try wearing high-waisted jeans. The top of the pants should fit around the slimmest part of your waist, making it look small and your butt appear bigger.

Look at pocket placement. Small, high back pockets will make your butt appear larger. Additionally, pockets with embellishments such as sequins, stitching, or colored thread can add more interest and “direct traffic” (or draw the eye) to your rear. Avoid jeans with big pockets or no pockets at all.

Avoid dark wash jeans, which will make your legs and rear look smaller (especially if you’re wearing a light-colored top). Instead, try white, pastel, or light blue jeans.

Wear high heels. Heels change the natural curve of your spine, causing both your butt and your boobs to protrude more.

Avoid wearing heels for longer than two or three hours at a time. This will reduce the strain on your body.

For an extra-lifted rear end, ditch the kitten heels and go for stilettos.

If you’re unsure that this works, get in front of a mirror and stand up on your tiptoes (it will help). Take a few steps, and you’ll notice how the movements of your legs and rear are a little more exaggerated. Your legs should also look more toned, and your butt should appear to be an inch or two higher.

5 Sexy Dresses From The 2017 Grammy’s

The 59th Annual Grammy Awards brought out the biggest names in music, and with it sex appeal has hit an all-time high for music’s biggest night. We will review the sexiest dresses from this years red carpet. Ladies wore everything from super seductive high-end designer dresses to vintage-inspired gowns. Let take a look at who stunned the crowd.

Jennifer Lopez stunned the crowd in a pink gown by Ralph & Russo. It’s vintage style showed class and sex appeal all at the same time. The slit to show of her legs along with it being sleeveless and showing off her mid-drift had the men in crowd going goo-goo eyed.

Celine Dion wore Zuhair Murad‘s curve hugging long emerald green dress with a high leg slit, with long sleeves and a plunging neckline. Of course you must mention her emerald green matching Gucci sandals and Dvani earrings.

Lady GaGA brings sex appeal to a whole new level in a skin-bearing look wearing black leather mini shorts and a black barely there top that only covered her shoulders and part of her breasts with a black ruffle/feather sleeve. This was by far the most provocative look of the Grammy’s.

Kristin Cavallari has a head turner in a plunging black dress with a tulle accent. This low cut dress showed off more than enough skin to make this list of five of sexy dresses from the 2017 Grammy’s.

Demi Lovato dress was something you would imagine a sex goddess would have wore a thousand years ago. The white stitching of the dress left many little holes throughout with gorgeous little rings holding the stitching together. Although the dress cover her from toe to chin it left much to the imagination. This is what Demi said,”There is nothing wrong with being confident. But there is a super fine line between “confident” and “the guts to wear an elaborate cat’s cradle that barely covers her pubis,” she definitely showed that she is confident and has guts.

These three outfits yes we will call them outfits because what Lady Gaga wore couldn’t be considered a dress, all show major sexy appeal. Every year different celebrities push the limits while others find a more classical medium. Either way all are there to make a statement and soak up the spotlight. With the Oscar’s only weeks away we are sure to see new sexy dresses worn by today’s diva’s.

How to Get Scooter Financing For Good and Bad Credit

With gas prices increasing many Americans are looking to scooters as a way to protect their pockets against the price of gas. While finding a fuel efficient alternative is a good decision, many scooter buyers are not protecting their pockets when it comes to scooter financing.

There are many options available when financing a scooter including credit cards, manufacturer low payment promotions, installment personal loans and financing for bad credit applicants. Educating yourself about the various types of scooter loans is important before you make a financial decision.

Here are some tips for you to follow:

1. Do not shop for a scooter that is too expensive: Today there are scooters that cost as much as $ 9000, but shopping for one of these scooters makes little sense if you can not get approved for financing.

Therefore, it is a good idea to shop online, and at your local bank for a scooter loan before you enter the showroom.

2. Watch out for low payment promotions: Manufacturers often entice you into buying a scooter with low payment promotions which structure payments as low as $ 39 for 2 years.

Low payment promotions look enticing, but are a very bad financial decision for you.

Fundamentally with low payment promotions you are only paying off the interest on your loan each month and very little is going towards the principal on your scooter.

Worse off at the end of the promotion your payment will double and your interest rate could increase to as high as 22.9% annual percentage rate.

3. Get an installment loan: Most low payment promotions mentioned above are on a manufacturer credit card.

Opting to get scooter financing with an installment loan is a much more wise decision.

With an installment loan the lender can not increase your interest rate or payment and your scooter will be paid off at the end of the term.

4. Consider a personal loan: If you walk in your bank and ask for scooter financing the bank may not have such a product.

Therefore you will likely have to ask your bank for a personal loan, which is basically a simple interest installation loan that can be used for recreational items.

A personal loan is a great way to finance your scooter and is much safer than a credit card or low payment manufacturer promotion.

5. Read the fine print: As your parents probably told you make sure you read the fine print before signing any loan document. Definitely do not enter a loan contract that you do not understand.

6. Do not borrow more than you can afford: There is little reason to purchase a scooter to save on gas if you borrow more than you can afford.

Borrowing more than you can afford will put you in a risky financial position. You must consider the cost of insurance, registration, maintenance and gear and choose a scooter that fits your budget.

7. Avoid zero down payments loans: Trying to secure scooter financing with a zero down payment is possible, but may not be the wisest financial decision.

Since scooters depreciate quickly putting money down can help you from being upside down if you wish to sell your scooter in the first 24 months. Putting money down is a wise decision.

In the end, buying a scooter is a great way to hedge against future gas price increases. But making a sold financing decision that gives you a piece of mind is much more important.

The Importance of Culture in Translation Work

Translation is not just the activity of translating word by word from the source language to another language. This cannot guarantee quality translation as one language cannot express the actual meaning of the other if the transalation concentrated on words only.

In fact there are differences between the meanings built in and the meanings that must be captured and expressed. A translator might face a lot of difficulties while translating from one language to another. This is why a translator working with a Translator Toronto or New York based company needs to think differently by directing their attention to different aspects of the environment.

Translation is not simply replacing words with similar meaning but of finding appropriate ways of saying things in another language. For accurate translation from the source language to the target language importance must be given to the culture of the target language. It is the cultural aspect only that can help in communicating the message in the way it should be. Plus, it also helps in avoiding misunderstandings.

Before beginning the translation work, it is essential for the translator to do some research on the lexical content and syntax of the target language along with the ideologies, value systems and ways of life in a given culture. This will help the translators to have an idea about the audience in both languages and different elements of the target language. For example there is a lot of difference in the way French is spoken in European countries and in Canadian states and the same goes with English too and any translator in Toronto or Montreal or in some European city will have to take the differences into account.

Key cultural elements to consider while translating:

1) Customs and tradition are part of a culture and for translating a translator must be aware of these aspects. Be it a marriage or a funeral, a festival or some vows, any translator can get into problems if he/she translates without comprehending or understanding the significance behind the occasion. For example, in a Christian marriage, the exchange of kisses is part of the ceremony while the same would be totally inappropriate. Even expressing feelings in public is outrageous here.

2) It is important to verify the connotation of the product name in a foreign language, as there might be different meanings of the same word in different languages. This is even more important when the translation is done for a global marketing campaign.

3) Anything humorous must be treated carefully as the target audience might not appreciate the way it has been written or even understand it. Thus, translation and linguistic expression must be viewed within the wider societal and cultural environment.

4) Keeping in mind the target audience, the grammar, punctuation and vocabulary should be used as it impacts the style of the language.

5) Also consider other cultural factors too such as pictures, symbols and colors as the same picture might have negative connotation in some other country. For example the color white is associated with mourning in Japan but in most of the European countries it is the black color that represents mourning. In the same way even pictures can have a cultural or political implications and can sometimes cause a problem with the target audience.

Thus, for a good translator working with a Translator Toronto or New York based company it is important for him to a thorough understanding of the culture of the source language as well as that of the target language apart from their hold in linguistic. When looking for translation service in Spanish Translation or say German Translation make sure that the company gives due importance to the cultural aspects of both the source and the target language.

A Review of the GreenZap Income Opportunity

GreenZap is a world-wide payment service which allows customers to send and receive cash easily and securely online. Services can be used to make purchases from online merchants or to send money quickly to friends or family. The GreenZap mission is to provide customers with quality and personalized service by developing a system that allows users to communicate and make smooth transactions electronically. Cash rewards are offered to new members.

The GreenZap team is comprised of specialists in many fields including Internet Security, Legal, Design, Customer Care, IT, Business Management and Marketing. The company Advisory Board is made up of experienced legal, international business, banking, sales, technology and finance individuals.

Opening a GreenZap account is free and can be done by visiting their official website. Members can send money to anyone that has an email address. Recipients must open a GreenZap account to receive funds. Members can make online purchases through ZapExchange, GreenZap's classified ad sites. Money requests can also be made from one member account to another.

GreenZap provides two kinds of accounts, Green and Gold. Green accounts are free to sign-up. Sending money is free while receiving funds is subject to a $ 2.00 fee. Gold accounts cost $ 100.00 at sign-up and have no fees in conjunction with receiving money. GreenZap Gold members are given the opportunity to sell products as a GreenZap merchant.

WebCash was created by the GreenZap team to provide cash rewards to all new users. Every new member receives $ 25.00 in WebCash upon signing up. Unlike real money, WebCash can only be used to buy items from ZapExchange and make purchases from their list of preferred merchants in GreenZap Storez. Members can not withdraw, buy or sell their WebCash as it can only be used exclusively online.

Deposits sent to GreenZap accounts can be made via United States Electronic Bank Transfer and Mail-In Checks. Electronic transfers must be made using a verified bank account. Checks, Money Orders and Cashier's Checks must be made out to GreenZap, Inc.

All account funds are placed into an FDIC-insured banking institution which is subject to pass-through insurance to protect deposits of up to $ 100,000.000. In the case of a GreenZap insolvency, user funds are protected from credits and will be returned.

GreenZap can only be used to send and receive funds internationally between approved countries. Non-approved countries include Cuba, Iraq, South Korea, Thailand, Libya, Singapore, Nigeria, Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Nicaragua and Sudan.

Health Issues – Healthy Mothers Deliver Healthy Babies

In the fast life of the day, one often delays the issue of marriage; children and health issues are pushed as further away as possible, as issues of finance gain precedence over all the other issues. Often, career is the main concern. It is very difficult to get into a career of one’s choice in the first place and to maintain it is even more difficult. Therefore, when the question of pregnancy arises, one immediately gets visions of unemployment, which brings jitters of fear. There are other issues as well, like family compulsions and physical weaknesses, which need to be cleared, before one can decide to become a mother. Usually one is so engrossed with one’s work that one easily crosses the age of healthy pregnancy. However, it should not be so, and this is where pre pregnancy planning gains importance. Health issues, foods, women’s most fertile period, all these important considerations should remain in the mind of every woman to deliver healthy babies.

Keep Your Mind And Body Fit

When women older than 35 years decide to get pregnant, they can have congenital abnormalities in the newborn baby. As one ages, one also catches some form of illness or the other. High blood pressure, diabetes, blood pressure, anxiety, piles, weakness in the bones and limbs are some of the common ailments of today’s environment. In case the mother has any of the above, which is not treated properly before conceiving, the prospective child can have many abnormalities.

Some Common Ailments

Hypertension is common when twins are born. Older women too have this condition. During the stage of pregnancy planning, a well-controlled regimen of exercise can handle hypertension. One has to be very cautious in this stage. Constant monitoring is required under the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner. You need to remain stress free, and in a diet plan that keep a check on your weight. A little meditation also helps in curing hypertension. You also have to take medicines recommended by the doctor.

Diabetes is a disease that does not allow you to die and it does not allow you to live as well. In a natural condition the level of sugar in the blood rises with every intake of food and liquid. The pancreas of the body creates a chemical called insulin, which neutralizes the raised sugar content in blood. Under the influence of diabetes, pancreas stops creating insulin and the sugar level continues to rise, affecting the organs of the body. If diabetes is not controlled, you might lose your kidneys, eyes, heart and other organs of your body one by one. Diabetes can be controlled by administering insulin by injection. This condition needs to be in full control at the pre pregnancy planning stage lest this disease cripples the infant.

Heart diseases are common concerns of doctors worldwide nowadays. Especially with couples who wish to become parents at a later stage in their life, doctors insist on a complete checkup for defects in the valve, rheumatic heart disease, hole in the heart etc. After all clearances, the consultant decides whether you should become parents or not. Parents with heart disease are advised complete bed rest in the pre-pregnancy planning period. Any miscalculation can lead to a miscarriage or premature fetal death.

There are other diseases like thyroid, cancer, tuberculosis that need to be disclosed, and discussed in complete confidence with your consultant. The advice of the consultant is the final word in this matter, after all tests to consider competency have been conducted. Never ever, hide such illness, as they can be fatal for the mother and or the baby.

Genetic disorders, exposure to radiation and other harmful fluid (as in factories), Urinary infections and venereal diseases are some other reasons for would-be mothers to remain on their toes. Always be very sure of your medical condition before you attempt to become a mother.

Food Photography Techniques for Capturing Minimalist Cooking

The rise of minimalist cooking is changing the art of food photography. The following is a look at some of the techniques adopted by photographers to capture the simplicity and the spirit of this modern cuisine. Whether it is because of the recession or a genuine desire to downsize and simplify, minimalist cooking has become extremely popular. Everything from expensive and hard to acquire ingredients to rarely used, specialized utensils and equipment have been pared back to the bare minimum. Less is definitely more. Many photographers have not noticed this change, either consciously or intuitively and are evolving and adapting their techniques to suit. The old sumptuous systematic glazing overfilled image just does not seem to be a good match for this new approach to cooking and food in general.

The photographers who get this and have a feel for the subject have started to utilize a few specific techniques which serve to emphasize the subject matter but in a much more understated way and this article will lay out a few of these basic techniques. It is not intended to be a comprehensive photography primer and most of the techniques will not require expensive equipment. It needs to be stated though, that even a basic dSLR camera will be capable of much more flexibility than even the best point and shoot due to the amount of control available to the operator. This does not mean however that perfectly acceptable results can not be achieved with the point and shoots, just that the range of possibilities is smaller.

Simplicity is the Key

When composing the shot keep things very simple, plain white plates and brushed steel or plain counter tops work very well. If the image needs a bit of additional color, a sprig of a fresh herb such as sage is more than enough. Shoot on a level with or just a few degrees above the food. We are used to looking down on food and, in photography, offering a fresh perspective is always a good idea as it wakes the viewer's brain up. It also adds interesting possibilities for lighting but more about that later.

A blurred background is generally a good thing as this emphasizes the subject. This can be achieved by either using a long lens eg a 300ml with a wide aperture from a few feet away with a dSLR or by utilizing the macro setting on a point and shoot and getting in really close, normally within a foot of the subject. Both of these approaches have the added benefit of giving a very narrow depth of field. This means that only a small proportion of even the main subject is likely to be in focus. This concentrates the viewer's attention even more.

The Tripod

The only piece of equipment that is essential for taking high quality food photographs, other than a camera of course, is a tripod. It may not be required for every single shot but not having one would rule out a lot of potentially good shots. The choices would be between a small tabletop model, probably best with the smaller point and shoot camera. This would enable the tripod to be set on the same surface as the item being photographed, very useful when the camera has to be close to the food. There is a small tripod available that has flexible legs enabling it to be wrapped around objects such as tree branches and signpost poles. This type of support would come into its own for say, picnics or barbecues. The larger dSLR cameras tend to be too heavy for the smaller tripods and generally require a normal sized model. The advice usually given to photographers is to buy the most expensive tripod that they can afford. I would say buy the tripod that will do the job without breaking the bank.

Whatever tripod is used always either release the camera's shutter remotely or use the timed delay function built into just about every camera now on the market. Pressing the shutter causes the camera to vibrate so doing this off camera or giving the camera time to settle down before the shutter release makes for a much sharper photograph. This leads us to the main reason for using a tripod: the photograph can be taken in natural light, ie flash is not essential. As a rule of thumb good natural light is always preferable to artificial if the choice is between one or the other but often the best photographs use a combination of the two.

Lighting

While the above applies to food photography in general there are specific lighting approaches that give a more minimalist feel. The use of a very strong back light is one such approach. The best source is a window that occupations the entire background. This will give a very bright background with any colors reduced to pastels and objects such as trees, cars or other buildings reduced to abstract shapes. Now if this were the only light source used the food itself would be silhouetted and appear far too dark so a little fill light is needed. This is a blast of light from the camera's flash that is not as powerful as it would be if there was no ambient light but it is powerful enough to illuminate the main subject. Point and shoot cameras generally have a setting that automates this process while a little more experimentation may be required with dSLRs and flashes.

A couple of quick points about lighting that applies to all photography. Direct light is harsh and produces heavy sharp shadows. I think that it is safe to say that in all minimalist food photography this is a bad thing so we need to soften the light. This applies to both natural and artificial light. With expensive off camera flashes a small diffuser that fits over the bulb is usually enough. In the case of smaller cameras with built in flashes a little ingenuity goes a long way. If the flash can be covered with a piece of semi transparent plastic or even a piece of greaseproof paper results can be drastically improved. The worse light source for photography is the small built in flash units on cheaper cameras. As for natural light, direct sunlight is to be avoided which is why a North or south facing window is best. If direct sunlight is the only option then a semi transparent plastic shower curtain attached to a frame of plastic piping makes for a great diffuser.

The Computer

Of course the process does not end with pressing the shutter. Once the session is finished, or even during the session, the images are uploaded to a computer and edited. Usually the editing consists of little more than a bit of sharpening, a slight color correction or a minor crop. It is possible to use the computer for just these technical chores but, with a little imagination, the computer, can become a creative tool in it's own right. A minimalist approach to photography requires an awareness of what is essential to the image and what is incidental. It is often possible to lose information by increasing the exposure at this stage, often an increase of two thirds to a full stop can really make an image pop. Part of the reason that this is so effective is because it makes dull and off whites bright. This effect is often used in fashion photography but works well with food.

Technique and Eye

There is no great mystery regarding what makes for great minimalist food photography. The best advice, as with all types of photography, is to find images that you like which were taken by others, see which techniques were applied, then practice. Hopefully a combination of good technique and a practiced eye will produce something unique. The following techniques work well for me: diffuse natural light from behind the subject and fill flash to fully illuminate the subject; a low point of view, get close to the same level as the food; blur the background and aim for a small depth of field; on the computer, sharpen the image a little, crop and color correct if required. Above all, experiment and have fun. One day I may be practicing and writing about a technique that you have discovered.

Tips on Choosing an Outdoor Garden Fountain

SIZE of the garden fountain should be the first thing to consider. A fountain may be great to look at but more importantly it needs to fit into your garden landscape. If you have a relatively small garden, it doesn’t make sense to install a grand fountain that covers most of your garden views. The fountain must not stand out and be the sole focus in your garden. It should either blend in with the rest of your garden or the garden must enhance the fountain. Picking the right size outdoor garden fountain is vital.

SHAPE of the garden fountain is the next important thing to decide. This has less to do with garden space and more to do with you and what you prefer. You need to determine what suits your garden and more importantly, what expresses you and your lifestyle. Garden fountains come in a variety of shapes including animals and wildlife, statuary, tiered, pedestal, rock and wall, just to name a few. Deciding on the shape of your fountain may be your most difficult task.

TYPE of fountain water flow must be considered when you are deciding on a shape.

BUBBLING FOUNTAINS are the most versatile and perhaps best-suited for most home gardens. Typical design involves a single jet of water produced below the water surface in the center of a glazed pot. The water runs over the edges of the pot and runs quietly down the sides into a basin where it’s collected and recycled by a small pump. These fountains are perfect for smaller, intimate spaces since they don’t make much sound, just quiet bubbling.

SPILLING FOUNTAINS have water exiting from a spout and dropping unimpeded into a basin. Be sure you listen to these types of fountains before you make your purchase. They can produce quite a bit of sound. Even a single arc of water splashing into a basin can be too much sound for a small space. Unless it’s just a drip, the sound is energizing and active, not relaxing,

JET FOUNTAINS are perfect for large spaces since the water becomes rather architectural and rather dramatic. In a large space, seen (and heard) from some distance, these fountains can become a main focal point. But there are also simple, small-scale jet fountains for small spaces, too. The water hits the surface as multiple droplets and jet fountains are typically not as loud as spilling fountains.

SEASONAL or YEAR ROUND Another important factor to consider when deciding on a garden fountain is whether you want it functioning year round. A seasonal fountain must be shut down in the winter months if you are in a colder climate. Otherwise the water could freeze and cause damage. You may also need to relocate it inside to protect it from harsh temperatures.Year round outdoor fountains are heated and can be left running in the winter months. The two main types are solar powered or electrical.

Fitness And Nutrition For Health

In the age which we live there is an unprecedented focus on getting and staying healthy. As more and more research points to the effect of fitness and nutrition on our overall health, the findings become more difficult to ignore. There is no doubt that the food that we eat and the physical activity that we perform significantly impact our weight and our body’s overall health and longevity.

When you look at fitness and nutrition and the consequences of ignoring their importance, it is not difficult to see how large a role they play in our health. First and foremost, it is important to understand how powerfully diet can affect us. Natural, whole foods – such as fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins – give our bodies the vitamins that it needs to function effectively. We have energy when we eat right. And when we have energy we burn fat. Eating properly allows us to maintain a healthy weight and keep undue stress off of our hearts; it also allows us to keep our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Most importantly, good nutrition keeps our bodies stocked with antioxidants that fight off a range of illnesses including cancer.

But nutrition does go it alone; fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for achieving good health. When we keep our bodies active through a consistent exercise program, we are adding to our body’s ability to metabolize food and keep weight down. Further, good fitness means strong and limber muscles and a strong cardiovascular system. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

Learning how to pair fitness and nutrition for optimum health means a commitment to a particular lifestyle. It is essential that you revamp your diet to eliminate fatty, high-sodium, and processed food and replace it with fresh, natural – and even organic – choices. But remember, fitness and nutrition work best as a team. Implement a consistent regime of physical activity into your daily schedule including cardiovascular work, stretching, weight training, and even yoga or Pilates.

When you truly understand the importance of fitness and nutrition in your life, you will understand how crucial these lifestyle changes are in order to live a long and healthy life.

Difference Of Analog And Digital TV Antennas

There are numerous shows individuals can watch with their friends and loved ones. However, this joyful activity can be ruined due to poor signal. Because of this, it is important for individuals to know their antennas. Today, the most popular TV aerials individuals see in their neighborhood is the analog. These TV aerials can be used indoors and outdoors depending on your location or signal. But, with the advancements of technology, more and more individuals are replacing their old TV aerials with digital ones. To know more, below are some of the differences between analog and digital antennas.

Frequencies

One of the main differences of analog and digital TV antennas is its frequency. All televisions rely on frequency in order to obtain signals. However, antennas make use of different frequencies to provide you with optimum viewing experience. As of now, TV signals make use of two types of frequencies. The lower frequency is used by old antennas, meanwhile, the higher frequency is used by digital TV antennas.

Picture Quality

Analog and digital antennas also differ in producing pictures for your television. As mentioned above, old antennas make use of lower frequency, which mean frequencies can be interfered that can affect the quality of picture transmitted to your televisions. On the other hand, digital antennas provide better quality since it uses higher frequency which provides better and more stable signal.

Degradation

Another difference of analog and digital TV antennas is the way it degrades on your TV screen. When using old antennas, individuals can still watch shows even with weak signal. However, the quality of the picture can be very poor that causes blurs. On the contrary, when using digital TV aerials, televisions will stop displaying or may turn to black when signals are weak.

Installation

Lastly, these TV aerials also differ in terms of installation. When installing old TV aerials, individuals are required to look for areas that there are no hindrances. Apart from that, antennas must be installed on high areas to receive better signal. As for digital TV antennas, specialists state that installing such device is more complicated since you need to consider numerous factors. For one, individuals need to optimize the antenna’s placement. Next, individuals must orient and optimize the antenna itself.

These are only some of the differences between analog and digital TV antennas individuals need to be aware of to ensure that they can use the right TV aerial which can provide better and clearer shows.