Archive for October, 2010
What Are Computer Cookies? – A Definition
What Are Temporary Cookies? What Are Permanent Cookies?
In computer terms, cookies come in just two flavors — temporary and permanent. Temporary cookies, also called session cookies or temp cookies, are only stored for a specific amount of time in your web browser’s memory banks, and are usually deleted when you end a browsing session. At the other end of the scale are permanent cookies, known also as persistent cookies. These are stored permanently on your computer’s hard drive and, even when you delete them, they can regenerate themselves the next time you visit the site that originated the cookie.
What Are Cookies Used For? The Purpose of Computer Cookies
The first files that took care of the registration problem were called “temporary cookies”, and they used a tiny bit of browser memory to save information about a visitor to their websites. This didn’t allow for recognition of returning customers, and certainly couldn’t save enough information for long enough time to function the way websites needed.
Persistent cookies allow a website to recognize a customer permanently by assigning a unique ID tag to the visitor’s hard drive. With permanent cookies, your web browser is “recognizable.”
The many functions of cookies can’t be laid out here in full, but rest assured that everything from automated login, Web preferences, and shopping carts are examples of how cookies can be put to good use.
The Dark Side of Cookies
The worst thing to come out of computer cookies is Web profiling. Websites started to use persistent cookies to keep track of the habits of their users all over the Internet, not just on their site. Cookies were used for evil purposes first for Internet advertising purposes — advertisers bought ad rights on thousands of popular websites and combined their Web customer’s profiles from multiple sites to create a “profile” of that person. These profiles made it really easy for advertisers to “target” advertising to people on the Internet. Cookies are responsible for the eerily pertinent ads you see on Facebook and Gmail, for instance.
Cookies have been used to create massive profiles of people’s Web surfing habits over years and years of web surfing history. Profiling programs were then created to sort this massive amount of information into target areas based on statistical data and a million other factors created by eggheads to sell you junk. Your gender, race, age, income level, political stance, religion, geography, marital status, number of pets, and even your sexual orientation can be charted, mapped, and appealed to using cookie profiling. Though it may not seem evil at first glance — imagine if “real world” companies followed you around, wrote down your activities, who you talked to, etc. in order to better sell you Tide laundry detergent or Folger’s coffee.
This cookie profiling activity did not go unnoticed, and when people found out what was being done with persistent cookies, they demanded a way to opt out of this system.
Now, every web browser has special cookie controls to help you control cookie activity on the Internet. Users can now turn cookies completely off if they choose, and though not being able to use the good things about cookies must be inconvenient, at least you have an option when it comes to cookie profiling. Permanent cookies technology was first used in 1995, and it wasn’t until the early 2000s that people started to protest. Now, we have better control over cookies.
How Can I Protect Myself from Computer Cookies? Computer Cookie Cleanup
There are three easy steps you can take to get rid of unwanted computer cookies.
1. Delete cookies as often as you use the Internet. Open your ‘Internet Options’ file or choose ‘Delete History’ in your Internet browser and choose the ‘delete cookies’ option as well, every time you use the Internet. All cookie text files will be wiped off your hard drive. Sure, a website will just create a new cookie for you the next time you visit, but if you clear the history and cookies each time, you can keep them from accumulating information about your Web usage.
2. Turn off cookies on your Internet browser. This prevents automatic login to email and other websites, and it can cause problems logging in to other websites, but it is the only way to maintain complete privacy while you are online.
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How to Treat Flea Bites on Humans
Humans can be targets of flea attacks just as easily as dogs. Fleas use their powerful jaws to cut through human skin and pump in anticoagulant chemicals through their saliva to keep the blood flowing. Fleas are capable of jumping over a foot and don’t care what they bite as long as it draws blood. Fleas are capable of transmitting disease, from typhus to bubonic plague as well as the larvae of tapeworm and other parasites. These flea bites itch — and scratching that itch can easily lead to a serious infection.
Flea bites on dogs are notorious for causing repetitive scratching and biting — the dog is miserable and will do anything to get relief, often scratching themselves so much they cause bleeding or abrasions. Flea bites are just as ugly on humans, causing redness, irritation, burning, and even infection or the transmission of parasites and other dangerous organisms.
So how do you recognize flea bites on a human being?
Symptoms of Flea Bites on People
Flea bites on a human usually take the form of a small bump surrounded by a red “halo” of skin. The spot itches on a human just as much as it does on a dog, of course. Each bump has a tiny hole in the center where the flea’s jaws pierced the skin. You will most often find flea bites and bumps on the lower legs and around your waist, or anywhere clothing is very tight. Fleas are excellent climbers because of the tiny bristles that exist on their legs, pointing backwards, enabling them to climb up your leg hair or the material of your pants.
Different bodies react to flea bites in different ways — some people are incredible sensitive to flea bites while other may be completely unaware of them. In general, adults have a milder reaction to flea bites than children.
So — to determine if a mark is a flea bite, determine three things. Does it itch? Does it have a “red halo”? Is it on the lower extremities or near the waist? If all three are true, it is probably a flea bite.
Treating a Flea Bite on a Human
If you find yourself covered in flea bites, there’s only one course of action to protect yourself from infection or severe itching. Here’s the seven step process for treating a flea bite on a human being.
Take an oral antihistamine or apply an appropriate amount of antihistamine cream to get ride of the patient’s urge to scratch their bites. You can often find these medications with cooling agents or other additives to help comfort the flea bite victim.
Wash the specific areas affected by flea bites with antiseptic lotion or soap. You should wash each affected bite area with cool water, as warm water can cause a person’s itching to feel worse. After the specific areas of the body affected by fleas have been washed, an overall body wash can help relax the patient and protect them from infection. Again, use cool water in your shower to stop the itching.
Yes, I know, you’ve already showered. But soaking for a while in an oatmeal bath is the best way to get long-term relief from itching. A warm tub is very soothing and can promote healing.
Using tea tree oil and a cotton swab, clean the flea-bitten areas. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and won’t irritate your flea bites while it protects from infection.
5. Itch Treatment
If you didn’t use it in step one, it is time to apply an external hydrocortisone cream to the area that is bitten to further reduce itching. Make sure and read the directions on the cream to see how often you can apply lotion and any possible dr
Golden Corral Coupons
Golden Corral is a popular restaurant chain in the United States. With restaurants in forty different states, the Golden Corral serves food to tends of thousands of Americans every day.
Golden Corral coupons are perfect for families or people who eat on the go. It may seem easier or cheaper to drive through a McDonald’s or Taco Bell, but eating at Golden Corral means eating home-cooked food in a pleasant and quiet setting. Eating at the Golden Corral is perfect for large families who all want to eat something a little different — salads, steaks, chicken, even shrimp and seafood are readily available at the Golden Corral buffet, so your family member can mix and match their own meal.
Though Golden Corral also serves regular menu items, the most popular dining option by far is the buffet. Golden
Corral is famous for the size of their buffet and the items they offer — monthly promotions include “Oceans of Shrimp” and “Applewood Grill”. The Golden Corral breakfast buffet is also popular, and it is a bacon-lover’s dream, with piles of seemingly never-ending crispy bacon. So Golden Corral is successful not just because of their buffet, but because of the special items they offer that most buffets just don’t have.
Finding Golden Corral coupons can be as easy as flipping through your local paper. The Golden Corral often advertises in newspapers, but be aware that any coupon you clip out of the paper will probably not be valid on any Golden Corral special menu options — meaning you can’t combine a discount coupon with a menu item that’s already discounted. Call ahead to be sure — every restaurant’s policy is different.
If you can’t find coupons for Golden Corral in your local paper, you could try a coupon website such as RetailMeNot.com or occasionally at larger sites like Coupons.com. The results you get at these sites can be hit-or-miss (and Coupons.com usually only offers coupons regionally and not nationally) but you could end up saving a few bucks on the buffet or on a Golden Corral menu item.
How to Lose Water Weight
Water weight refers to excess weight on your body due to stored water. When you retain extra water, you feel “bloated”, and as your wrists, hands, ankles, and feet swell (not to mention your face) your weight is going through the roof. The strange thing about losing water weight is that the easiest cure is simply to drink more water — sounds counter-productive, but it is true.
Your body takes on extra water weight when you get dehydrated or your body thinks you may be getting dehydrated. Your body is retaining water as a counterattack against dehydration. That’s why water weight is a sign that you need to drink a ton of water, and fast.
But when it comes to losing water weight quickly, there are some things you can do to get rid of the water weight you’re carrying now and keep it off in the future.
1.Drink Water All the Time
I’m not exaggerating here — you need to start drinking water constantly. Buy a large (64 oz.) refillable container to hold
the huge amount of water you’ll be consuming. Getting a big water jug makes it easy for you to stay on track with your water consumption. They’re also extremely cheap at any chain discount store or sporting goods store. The fact is — you need to make drinking water a part of your daily routine, and you can cram a ton of water into a 64 oz. jug. Because these jugs are portable, you can bring your water supply with you wherever you go. You’ll want to start out by drinking at least one entire jug of water during the day, though your goal needs to be two jugs a day. With this massive amount of water intake, your body will shed its excess water and your weight will drop noticeably.
2. Add Lemon or Lime to Your Water
Here’s a simple weight loss trick that tastes great and is mostly unknown — just adding a little bit of lemon or lime to your water can help you shed water weight. Now that you’ve got a giant container of water, squeeze a little bit of lemon or lime juice in there with your next fill-up and enjoy the delicious taste as you drop pounds. You can use any citrus fruit juice (as long as its natural and doesn’t have added sugar or sodium) though lemons and limes are cheapest and taste the best. Citrus fruit acts as a natural diuretic (a chemical that makes you pass urine more efficiently) and the refreshing taste makes it easier for you to drink the necessary amount of water each day.
3. Cut Out the Sodium
Yes, you’re going to need to modify your diet a little to lose water weight — the good news is, all you have to do is eat less salt. Low sodium foods are everywhere these days, and there’s no reason you can’t cut out at least a third of the salt from your diet. The formula here is simple — drink more water and your body can get rid of some of its storage of sodium. By switching to a low sodium diet, your body stores less excess water, and you’ll find you need less water for the same weight loss result in the future. Many people who are trying to lose weight have switched to diet sodas without realizing the huge impact these sodas have on their sodium intake. If you cut out diet sodas, you’ll notice a big change in your water weight.
4. Try Diuretics
We’re talking about natural substances that can flush your body of water weight here, not chemicals. Natural diuretics help your body flush its water weight. There are prescription diuretics that your doctor can prescribe, but that only happens in special cases. Prescription diuretics are hard on the body and usually come with a side effect of heavy diarrhea. Instead of risking harming yourself further with a prescription strength diuretic drug, look into herbal diuretics available at health food stores for a more natural detox experience. Getting rid of excess water weight is good for your body, but should be handled as naturally as possible.
5. Crank Up the Exercise
You knew there’d be some exercise in this plan, right? Though you shouldn’t think of exercise as “cumulative water weight loss” (in some cases, your body may hold more water after a workout than before) but as a way to encourage your body’s general health.
Though drinking a large amount of water will always be the biggest part of any water weight loss program, throwing some citrus juice in your water, taking natural diuretics, eating low sodium foods, and doing cardio and other exercises will also spark water weight loss. Losing water weight is a great way to start down the path towards a beautiful and healthy body, and along with a comprehensive weight loss plan could turn you into an Adonis in no time.
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What Are the Symptoms of Aspergers Syndrome in Adults?
Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder that is part of the autism spectrum. Though autism and other pervasive developmental disorders are not fully understood, doctors say that Asperger’s syndrome is a diagnostically unique disorder from autism, with different symptoms, treatments, and expectations. Like all autism spectrum disorders, the cause of Asperger’s syndrome is not know, though there are plenty of theories. We know that there is a genetic component of Asperger’s syndrome, like with all autism spectrum disorders, but it is unclear how large a role heredity plays in the development of Asperger’s.
Also like autism and other PDDs (pervasive developmental disorders) Asperger’s syndrome affects people from all walks of life and in every social class — however, most researches agree that PDDs are as much as four times more common among men. Asperger’s is even more of a “male” disorder — some doctors claim that 80% of Asperger’s diagnoses are given to men. Other names for Asperger’s syndrome — Asperger’s disorder, Asperger’s, or AS.
Unlike other autism spectrum disorders, people tend to be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome well into adulthood. Some of them are highly symptomatic from the time they are young children, but the nature of the symptoms of Asperger’s are such that the disorder can hide itself in a person’s youth. For example — the highly unusual and specific interests that patients with Asperger’s syndrome develop may only result in a child being “weird” or having trouble getting along with classmates. Some of these highly focused interests may even be good for a young child — should a young patient with Asperger’s become really interested in mathematics or computer programming, we may readily call him a young genius without realizing that his highly specialized obsessions are a part of his Asperger’s syndrome. Many adults with Asperger’s share that they were often the target of bullies as youngster, insulted for their strange interest in extraordinary things.
Does this mean every child who is bullied has Asperger’s syndrome? Hardly. But the symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome in adults are not so bizarre that they stand out, like the repetitive or violent behavior of true autism. Many doctors explain a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome using words like “quirky” or “eccentric.” What are those symptoms?
1. Impaired social reactions
This is the main component of an adult diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. For various reasons, some thought to be biological, people who suffer from Asperger’s syndrome have trouble developing long-lasting relationships with friends or family. We know that people with AS are biologically different in some specific ways (different levels of intestinal flora, different facial features, differences in brain chemistry) but doctors are not sure how much of this trouble forming bonds is biological and how much is psychological.
2. Difficulty understanding communication
The subtle language that humans use with their eyes, bodies, and facial expressions is difficult or impossible for people with AS to understand. This difficulty communicating also means that people with AS have trouble showing love or affection.
3. Inappropriate behavior
People with Asperger’s syndrome are sometimes though of as “rude” or disrespectful because they don’t understand other people’s expectations of “appropriate” behavior. Their difficulty socially combined with an inability to judge other people’s feelings, means that people suffering from AS find it hard to get along with others on an emotional or social level.
How is AS Different from Autism?
People with Asperger’s syndrome almost always lead “traditional” lives in many respects. They are active members of the community, parents, teachers, employees in every part of the workforce. Doctors think many people will go through their whole lives without realizing they have Asperger’s syndrome — so what makes AS so different from true autism? Why is it that people with AS can go so long without being diagnosed?
The biggest difference between autism and Asperger’s is that people with true autism suffer from multiple developmental delays. Think of autism as disordered development across multiple categories — speech and motor development, emotional development, communication, social interaction, etc. Autism affects many more areas of your developmental life than does Asperger’s syndrome. People with AS tend to be highly intelligent (one concomitant symptom of AS is “above average intelligence”) and in order to be diagnosed with AS, you must fail to meet the diagnostic criteria for any other PDD such as autism.
Researchers in autism spectrum disorders say that patients diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome tend to be excellent workers and driven professionals — highly focused, logical, and exceptionally talented in the field of their choice, usually in math or some sort of hard science. It is assumed that Albert Einstein had Asperger’s syndrome, though his early trouble developing speech tends more toward a severe PDD such as true autism.
Treatment for Asperger’s Syndrome
Like all of the major pervasive developmental disorders, there’s no cure for Asperger’s syndrome. Some treatments have shown more promise than others in helping people cope with their AS. One exciting are of research is good old-fashioned cognitive behavioral therapy. This run of the mill therapeutic talk treatment is affordable and accessible, and seems to help people with AS interact more efficiently with the world around them. Some people with AS will need speech therapy and counseling to deal with AS’s more physical symptoms, like difficult forming words and understanding facial expressions.
When people with Asperger’s learn how to cope with their syndrome, it is normal for them to have “normal” lives — married with kids, gainfully employed, and leading a successful and independent life.
The trend now is for people with Asperger’s syndrome to self-identify. They use the term “aspies” or “Aspergians” to make themselves part of a larger community rather than feel victim of a disease process. There’s a growing movement to celebrate Asperger’s syndrome, to highlight its benefits and play down the downsides, to do away with the syndrome’s stigma and to celebrate what Aspergians call “neurodiversity”. Asperger’s patients try not to think of themselves as people with an illness in need of medical treatment.
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What Is John Lewis?
John Lewis is a chain of retail stores with their headquarters in London. It was founded in the 19th century by (of course) a man named John Lewis.
From its beginnings in 1864 as a single store on Oxford Street (where the company still maintains a massive retail store) the company grew to include thirty-two stores in England, Scotland, and Wales. Since 1925, the company’s slogan has been “Never Knowingly Undersold,” reflecting their position as a discount retailer, similar to Target stores in America.
John Lewis is famous for being a provider of goods to the Queen (as part of a Royal Warrant) as well as their fair business practices, such as the fact that all full-time employees share ownership of the company. John Lewis was the only large retail store that closed its doors on Mondays back when the UK had laws against operating on Sundays — they did this to give their employees a full two-day weekend. This policy has changed, as the laws on conducting business on Sundays have relaxed, but this once long-standing tradition reflects the company’s continuing “employee-friendly” persona.
The History of John Lewis
The first John Lewis retail store on Oxford Street began life as a simple drapery shop — drapery referring to textiles and cloths of all types. It took forty years for John Lewis to acquire another shop, but by the time his son took control of the company in the early 20th century, John Lewis was expanding far beyond its original product line.
The 20th century saw John Lewis expanding time and again, opening its first shops outside London, and diversifying their investments and their product line. Following a trend seen in American big box retail stores, John Lewis shops now include bistros, banking, and other options, making a John Lewis store something of a one-stop shop for people in the UK.
These days, the presence of a John Lewis shop is a sign of economic prosperity. Often, a John Lewis store is the anchor in a new big retail center or shopping mall. UK developers see a John Lewis store as a commercial magnet, and in a time when much of the world is in financial disarray, John Lewis continues to expand, having opened three new stores already in 2010.
What Does John Lewis Sell?
Billing themselves as “Britain’s favorite retailer,” John Lewis stores sell a huge array of products, comparable to the product line you’d find at large American retailers like Wal-Mart or Target. Just like the big retailers in America, John Lewis forms partnerships with well-known brands (like Penguin Clothing or Greenapple Electronics) and they sell their own line of products, known simply as John Lewis.
What big box retailers did in America — condense several shopping experiences into one — John Lewis is doing in the UK. Rather than shopping at an electronics store, having lunch at a cafe, and buying a new outfit for work at a clothes shop, you can do all three in a John Lewis store. A quick glance at a John Lewis retail store reveals products sold in various categories, such as:
- Home and Garden
- Men’s and Women’s Clothes
- Baby and Child
- Sport and Leisure
Each category is further divided so it’s easy to find products at a John Lewis store or on their website. There are John Lewis branded products in every category, though John Lewis sells hundreds of different brands and tends to depend less on its own product sales than big retailers in America. Put simply, John Lewis is not quite Wal-Mart and not quite a mall department store.
John Lewis Insurance
Continuing their expansion into the world of insurance, John Lewis offers insurance products in too many varieties to mention. The traditional insurance options are here — home insurance, car insurance, etc. Americans may expect an insurance expansion to include health insurance, but remember that the UK’s health system works differently than our own, and health insurance is not a concern.
John Lewis is famous for offering a few really cool niche insurance options. Wedding insurance from John Lewis, for instance, costs as little as $60 or $70 and can protect you from damage to your wedding items (such as dresses, cakes, etc.) as well as cancellation due to illness or other catastrophe. This coverage is available for up to tens of thousands of dollars.
John Lewis’ other insurance products — pet insurance, travel insurance, etc. — are perfect for the UK market. Travel and backpacker’s insurance is huge in the UK — proximity to amazing foreign destinations means people simply travel more, and these kind of insurance products protect both the people vacationing and their investment.
The Future of John Lewis
With the company’s continuing expansion into the UK and their continued growth in terms of number of retail stores, it is not too far-fetched to imagine John Lewis stores opening in America. But as John Lewis has not officially announced plans to break into the American market, we can only concentrate on changes they’re making now.
John Lewis is constantly altering their point of sale system in an attempt to move customers through the checkout process faster. This new point of sale system carries another huge benefit for the company — like Wal-Mart first perfected in America, the new system will allow John Brooks to monitor sales in real time from a centralized location. If nothing else, this plan further cements the notion that John Lewis is doing extremely well in a tough economic environment.
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How Do You Write a Business Email?
As more commerce takes place online, it’s become important to be able to communicate with business partners via email. Show me a business that still conducts business through the postal service or paper memos, and I’ll eat my hat.
While you may have experience writing a business letter, the rules for emails seem fuzzier. Since email is more informal and business correspondence is more formal, it seems difficult to blend the two. Learning proper business email writing techniques is easy.
General Tips for Writing Business Emails
1. Because email is informal, don’t try to write a business email with the formality of a written letter. Emails are not only informal, they’re best when they’re concise. If you’re writing an email to your best friend about your date the night before, a meandering email may be called for, but business emails are best when they’re shortest.
2. When writing a business email to a person you haven’t met, don’t feel like you have to use a fancy salutation like you would in a written letter. The best opening for a business email is simply: “Hello.” When a business email comes across my inbox that starts out “Dear Mr. Andrews” or “To Whom It May Concern”, it is a good sign that the email is spam or a form email.
3. If, on the other hand, you are writing to a business associate that you know well, you can speak comfortably to them via email. There’s nothing wrong with being as conversational in an email as you would at the water cooler.
4. Avoid stuffy language. The best example of this is the use of verbs. Business emails that say “he is” and “we are” instead of “he’s” or “we’re” are too formal and make you seem cold and detached.
5. When it comes to including contact information, the simpler the better. Don’ot include your email address. The recipient of your business email can hit “reply” to write back to you. Do include your business phone number in the signature of the email though. This will give the recipient of your business email the option of telephoning or emailing.
6. Eliminate unnecessary information from your business email. This is important when forwarding an email to another business associate — trim the email to include only those sections relevant to your business proposition. This is a point of courtesy and will make your communicate run more smoothly.
Writing a Business Email – Step by Step
It’s normal to be confused the first time you write a business email. You’ve written thousands of emails to friends, relatives, maybe even customer service at online retailers, but you may never have felt the unique strangeness of writing a formal business email.
Here’s a step by step guide to help you. Like falling off a bicycle, once you do it, you never forget how.
Be sure to write a detailed, accurate subject line. Your recipient may get thousands of emails a day, and sorting through vague, mislabeled email subject titles makes it unlikely that you’ll get the response you want in a timely fashion. Business executives often complain that email with vague or missing subject lines. Your vague subject line could get your email tossed in the spam folder. Make your subject line concise, but include enough details so the recipient can identify it. “Questions about the meeting on 9/20″ is better than just “Questions.”
Now that you’ve got a great subject line, start your business email like an informal letter. Say a simple “Hello.” It can’t be said enough — business emails are informal, but a plain salutation like “Hello” is still your best bet. One other area of the salutation that retains some formality — use a colon rather than a comma after you say “Hello.” A proper opening should read “Hello:” as opposed to “Hello,”. Once you are more familiar with the business associate in question, you can start using commas. Seems old-fashioned, but for some reason this tradition has stuck.
Body of the Email
Now that you’re into the body of the email, learn to summarize. No need to write your autobiography in a business email — get to the point. A good business email uses only as many words as it takes to get the message across, no more and no less. If you’re in the process of emailing a report to a co-worker, you can save the friendly chit-chat for a face to face meeting later. Until you’ve established a rapport, it’s best to make the body of your email completely business-like.
Once the business aspect of a business email is completed, it’s time for a closing line. Closing lines tend to be dramatic in written letters, the most common being “Sincerely.” Business emails don’t call for flowery closing lines any more than they call for extravagant opening lines. For your first business email, close with a simple “Thank you,” and stick with that until you are emailing someone with whom you have a more casual relationship. In fact, end all business emails with “Thank you” until you’re comfortable doing otherwise.
But you’re not done yet. A good business email contains a good signature — not a literal signature of your name, but an online version that includes contact details. Make your signature as concise as the body of the email. But include a few specific pieces of information — your full name (not your initials), your business title, your company’s name, and any contact information that your business partner may not have, such as a private telephone number. Don’t go on too long, as using an over-long email signature is akin to blowing up your college degrees to wall-size and lighting them with a spotlight.
Writing business emails will become second nature. Most business communication is conducted this way, and that number’s not going to shrink any time soon. If you plan on working in the business world, knowing how to write a business email is critical to your future success.
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What Is a Good Credit Score?
There’s no such thing as a “good credit score.” Different loan and credit products require different credit scores, so establishing a single number as a “good” credit score is impossible.
But a credit score at the upper end of the scale is “good”, right? People with top-notch credit scores can say they have a “good credit score”, but you didn’t me to tell you that perfect credit is good, did you?
There are many different credit scoring systems all spitting out different numbers. There’s no way that your credit score at all three major credit reporting bureaus is the same, it just doesn’t happen. And because the credit range is different from company to company, there’s no single number you can point to and say — there, that’s it, that’s a “good credit score”.
Credit Score Range
But when you look at credit scores in a range, you can identify what a good credit score and a bad credit score are.
Here’s a good guide to determining if your credit score is good enough.
760 – 849
Excellent credit score. People at this level qualify for the best interest rates and loan terms.
700 – 759
This is still a wonderful credit score. People with credit over 700 should have no problems getting good loans and interest rates.
660 – 699
Good credit score. People with credit scores above 660 may not qualify for the best rates, but they will always qualify for a loan.
620 – 659
Average credit score. Most people fall in this range. They won’t get great interest rates but they probably won’t be turned down for loans.
580 – 619
Poor credit score. People with credit under 619 have a hard time getting loans or lines of credit.
Very poor credit score. There’s no chance that people with credit below 579 can get loans or credit cards.
Note that these numbers aren’t hard and fast. Some creditors may take a chance on a person with a low credit score, especially if there is collateral or some other backup system for a line of credit. Similarly, people with really high credit scores (700 or so) find that they don’t have access to some lines of credit because their score is “too good”. It is rare, but it happens.
So . . . What Is a Good Credit Score?
You could say that a credit score of 700 or higher is “great”, and that a person with a credit score of 650 or higher is “good.” Does it mean that these people will be offered loan products at the best interest rates? Of course not, but they’re far more likely to be offered the best financial products than people with a score below 600.
Credit Score 101
A credit score is nothing more than a mathematically generated number. Credit reporting bureaus use your credit information and a formula to calculate your credit score. This funny little formula analyzes data from your credit report to determine your score. This will be a number ranging from 300 to 850. Different credit reporting agencies use different formulas, which is why your credit score candiffer from one credit bureau to the next.
Your credit score is a number that reflects your “credit-worthiness”, or how likely the bureau thinks you are to make good on loans and lines of credit. It is meant to protect creditors from making poor financial decisions on customers who may not be able or willing to repay.
What goes into determining your credit score?
- Payment history – If you miss a lot of payments, or have missed big chunks of payments recently, your credit score will be affected. The good news is, as long as you start making payments on time, your credit score can improve quickly by making adjustments to your personal payment history.
- Amount you currently owe – Your credit score drops when you owe more money, and it rises when you owe less money.
- Credit history — This refers to the length of time you’ve been using credit responsibly. The longer you’ve been using a line of credit, the better — that’s why paid off credit cards or other lines of credit are best left open to increase your credit history rating.
- Applications for credit — If you apply for a lot of credit from multiple sources in a calendar year, your credit score drops.
- Credit mix — If you only have credit from one source, your credit score will be negatively affected. If you have loans from the bank, from a credit card company, and other types of loans and financial products, your credit score goes up. That’s why having a student loan, home loan, boat loan, car loan, and credit card is actually good for your credit score.
How Does My Credit Score Affect Me?
A higher credit score saves you money. Your interest rates will be lower if you have a higher credit score.
Let’s look at an oft-cited example of credit’s impact on your personal finances — a 30-year mortgage interest rate for a $300,000 loan –
credit score 760-850
Monthly payment $1,609
credit score 700-759
Monthly payment $1,650
credit score 680-699
Monthly payment $1,683
credit score 660-679
Monthly payment $1,724
credit score 640-659
Monthly payment $1,806
credit score 620-639
Monthly payment $1,913
In this example, a buyer with a credit score of 760 would pay $579,240 while a buyer with a credit score of 660 would pay $620,640. That’s a difference of nearly $45,000 on a 100 points variation on the credit score.
Your credit score is important. And more important than knowing if you have a “good” credit score is knowing if your credit score is good enough to secure the credit line you need.
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How to Get Rid of Bruises
A bruise, known in the medical world as a contusion, is a simple injury in which the capillaries beneath the skin rupture, and blood flows into the surrounding tissue. Blood trapped in that tissue has a reddish-purple appearance, though bruises can be many different colors and sizes.
Bruising happens when the body makes hard contact with another surface. You can bruise from falling into water at a high speed just as easily as you can bruise from slamming your thumb in the door. People’s bodies bruise differently. Some bodies bruise more easily than others, so no two bruises are alike.
Why Do People Bruise Easily?
Some people bruise from the lightest contact, and this is a problem medically and aesthetically. Most people who bruise easily do so for specific reasons:
- People with platelet disorders or blood coagulation disorders will bruise easily.
- People with a deficiency in vitamin C are more susceptible to bruising.
- People with certain cancers and other serious diseases bruise easily.
If you’re concerned about your bruising, you should always contact a doctor.
If you’re interested in preventing recurring bruises, here are some ways you can make yourself less bruise-prone.
There are a large number of women, usually young, educated, single women, who seem to bruise easier than any other part of the population. This phenomenon is not new to doctors, and most of these women find out about the phenomenon when they ask their doctor about it. It seems that some ingredients in some forms of birth control (whether it is the chemical that controls ovulation or some other additive to the pill is not clear) can cause a person to bruise easily when combined with even moderate consumption of alcohol. It isn’t that these women are any clumsier than their male counterparts. But their use of birth control combined with an occasional drink means that their bodies are more likely to bruise from everyday life, like bumping into a chair or stubbing a toe.
Women who take birth control and drink alcohol, even occasionally, can do one simple thing to prevent this touch and go bruising. Consume lots of vitamin C. Most women with this bruising problem add a few extra sources of C to their diet and the bruising goes away. If you add more C to your diet and you still bruise easier than most, you should consult your doctor for further testing.
Medical Treatment For Bruises
There’s not much you can do to heal your bruise. Once a bruise happens, it takes time to go away. You can reduce any swelling and attempt to cover up the mark of the bruise itself, though.
Here are some tips to help a bruise victim deal with the pain and attempt to cover the bruise.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are over the counter pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs that you can take to deal with bruise pain. Always follow the instructions on the label of the medication you take, and consult a doctor before taking either of these medications if you have health problems or are pregnant or nursing.
Using an ice pack or a bag of ice directly on top of the bruise will help with pain and can reduce the swelling of the bruise. Reduced swelling means a reduced appearance of the bruise.
You don’t just have to use ice. If you roll Play-Dough up into a log and freeze it inside a freezer bag for a few days, it will act as the perfect moldable cold compress, and it will stay cold almost as long as ice will.
Other Bruise Treatments
Elevating the bruise above the level of your heart will both reduce swelling and pain. Some people believe that this also reduces the appearance of the bruise, but this hasn’t been proven.
If you want to reduce swelling quickly, apply a compression bandage tight enough to temporarily restrict blood flow to the bruise, and keep it elevated. This will reduce swelling fast, but it can keep the bruise itself from healing too. Also, be careful not to restrict blood flow for too long, as that can cause further injury.
Arnica is an herbal supplement to reduce pain, swelling, and to promote healing to bruises. It comes from a flower that grows in the mountains, and has been used for centuries to promote healing and reduce pain. Arnica has been proven scientifically to flush out the trapped blood of a bruise, and it could be your best chance to get rid of a bruise fast. Arnica is available as a paste or as a pill, though the paste is said to work better for bruises.
Folk Remedies for Bruises
Athletic trainers deal with contusions all the time. Football pads don’t protect the body from serious bruising. Many athletic trainers keep a small pot for melting chocolate in their offices. Many people swear that an application of melted chocolate on top of the bruise, wrapped in gauze overnight, can reduce healing time for bruises. If you have access to a steady supply of melted chocolate, you could keep yourself bruise free for years to come.
Eating foods that are high in vitamin E, or just applying vitamin E cream directly to the bruise, are said to reduce healing time, although this has never been proven medically.
Cover Up Your Bruise
If you want to hide a nasty bruise really fast, as in within the hour, you’re going to have to become skilled at applying makeup. If you’re a man, or a lady unfamiliar with makeup, try to ask the customer service people at the makeup counter at your local pharmacy for help. They’ll be happy to pick the color out and teach you how to apply the makeup.
Bruises aren’t the end of the world, and most of us don’t even notice the tiny bruises we all have all over our bodies. When bruises are ugly or particularly painful, it can seem like there’s no way at all to treat them. Use the above tips, and make sure to buy a pot for melting chocolate, to make bruises a thing of the past.
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How Old Do You Have to Be to Be a Bartender?
Working as a bartender can be really lucrative — people love their bartenders and they often show their love with good tips. Regardless how much salary the bar pays you, it will pale in comparison to the cash you make from happy customers. On top of the financial benefit, tending bar is a cool job. You make people in your bar happy, keep them entertained with a little bar banter, and meet people from all walks of life — and instead of an office cubicle, your office is stocked with liquor and beer.
Depending on the state you plan to tend bar in, the age minimum is a little different. In some states, an 18 year old can tend bar, while in other states you have to be 21.
Here’s a quick guide to each state’s minimum age required to become a bartender:
Alabama 21 Illinois 21 Montana 18 Rhode Island 18
Alaska 21 Indiana 21 Nebraska 19 South Carolina 21
Arizona 19 Iowa 18 Nevada 21 South Dakota 21
Arkansas 18 Kansas 21 New Hampshire 18 Tennessee 18
California 21 Kentucky 20 New Jersey 18 Texas 18
Colorado 18 Louisiana 18 New Mexico 19 Uah 21
Connecticut 18 Maine 18 New York 18 Vermont 18
Delaware 21 Maryland 18 North Carolina 21 Virginia 21
DC 21 Massachusetts 18 North Dakota 19 Washington 21
Florida 18 Michigan 18 Ohio 21 Wesst Virginia 18
Georgia 18 Minnesota 18 Oklahoma 21 Wisconsin 18
Hawaii 18 Mississippi 21 Oregon 21 Wyoming 21
Idaho 19 Missouri 18 Pennsylvania 18
Why Is There an Age Restriction on Bartenders?
Because a bartender’s main job is to serve alcohol, their employment is controlled by various state and national organizations. The intent of the age restriction is to make sure that bars are hiring responsible servers who understand the rules behind serving alcohol and to keep minors from standing in behind the bar.
Do I Need Certification to Bartend?
The answer to this question depends, again, on the state where you plan to work. The short answer is “No,” you don’t need certification to tend bar in every state in America. However, since you do need to be certified to work in some areas, your best bet is to look into the laws in your home state.
The following states require certification before you are allowed to tend the bar:
- New Mexico
- District of Columbia
No other state requires a certification or license for bartenders, however the state of Michigan does require that bar managers take certification courses.
Why Certify as a Bartender?
The first reason to get bartender certification is if your state requires it by law before you can serve drinks. The second reason is simple — bartending certification can make it easy to find a job pretty much anywhere in the country. Your job as a bartender will be easier and restaurants and bars more likely to hire you if you complete your bartender certification.
A bartending certification course can cost hundreds of dollars depending on the type of “bartender school” you choose. There are even “bartender colleges” that certify as well as teach the art of tending bar. If you really want to know your stuff before you step behind the bar, going to bartending school will help you remember those complex drink recipes.
Bartending certification and education courses show to your future employers that you got a certain amount of training, and it will look like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.
Who Teaches Bartender School?
Most bartender training programs have a special staff trained in education and in tending bar — you can learn from their years of experience in the hospitality industry as well as their ability to teach and communicate. Your bartending school should provide lots of hands-on training at an actual bar, with real bar equipment, in a bartending atmosphere.
What is Bartender Certification?
If your state requires Alcohol Server Certification, this essentially means you’re earning your bartender’s license. Though only one state in the country calls the certification a “license” (Wisconsin), this is basically what you’re earning.
To earn your bartender certification, you need to take and pass a previously approved “responsible alcohol service class”. These are available all over the place and at all times of the year, especially in areas where bartenders are required to certify before they can work.
When you take one of these responsible serving classes, you’ll learn about a wide range of responsible alcohol serving topics, from how to properly check an ID, how to spot a fake ID, different stages of intoxication, and the responsibilities and liabilities of the server.
If your state requires all potential alcohol servers to take and pass these responsible alcohol service classes, they’ll most likely use one of four different class types. The main three primary bartender certification classes are called TIPS — Training and Intervention Procedures for Servers, Serv-Safe (run by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation), and Learn to Serve. Outside of these three programs, there’s not much in the world of responsible alcohol classes. Some states have their own certification program, namely Texas and Tennessee. These two states use the same process, known as TABC, to certify and control alcohol sales. All bars and restaurants in these two states require TABC certification before you can set foot inside as an employee. Both of these states allow you to certify with TABC online, which is the “wave of the future” for alcohol class certification.
What is Liquor Liability?
If you’re just starting out as a bartender, you should be familiar with the words “liquor liability” — it means that anyone who operates a retail store or restaurant that sells any kind of alcohol is at high risk for claims made against their restaurant due to liquor issues. Let’s say your bar serves a couple of glasses of wine to a guy who leaves and gets in a terrible car accident — it is possible that your bar holds some liability in this case, and this is why states require restaurant and bar owners to carry liquor liability insurance.
The requirement that bars carry this insurance is the main reason behind requiring employees to get server certification. Bar owners get discounts on their liquor liability insurance when their bartenders and staff are certified to serve alcohol. This is a “win / win” for the government — bars carry liquor liability and their employees are better trained to serve intoxicants.
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How to Get Rid of a Headache Fast
Headaches are common — everyone will have a headache at some point in their life. Headaches can range in severity from very minor pains to extremely dangerous migraines or cluster headaches that can even sometimes be fatal. Headaches are caused by a number of things, from stress and strain to injury or headaches triggered by allergies.
No matter the cause of your headache, there are steps you can take to get rid of a painful ache in the head. If your headache is keeping you from performing at your peak and you need to be rid of it now, all you need to do is figure out what is causing your headache, and cure it.
Here are ten possible headache remedies along with their possible solutions. Use these steps to get rid of your headache fast.
Your mother was right — good posture is important. If you have poor posture and find yourself getting headaches, it is time to stretch your body. Tension headaches are often caused by our posture and our working position — sitting in one position for a long period of time can cause your neck and shoulder muscles to tighten up, causing a headache. The best way to get rid of this type of headache is to have good posture. When you have to work for long periods of time with bad posture, stretch your muscles a little to relax them.
Tension headaches have as many potential cures as causes. Many people find that applying moist heat to the head (using a hot compress) is the best way to relieve some of the pain of a headache very quickly. Take a regular wash cloth or dish towel, soak it in hot water, and apply it to areas of the had and face where the pain and tension is worst.
Another tension headache buster is a massage — when your headache pain radiates through the neck and shoulders, getting scalp, neck, and shoulder massage is a surefire way to relieve tension headache pain. You will literally be “releasing” tension that’s caused your headache.
Just like moist heat and massage, application of ice or a cold pack can provide some short-term relief of headache pain. Just lie down in a comfortable spot and place an ice pack on the parts of your body where you feel tension and pain. Ideally, you’ll apply ice behind your neck, on your temples, and on your forehead.
One of the unfortunate symptoms of menstruation is a nasty headache that arrives in the days before a period. Menstrual headaches are painful and sit right behind the eyes. To deal with a menstrual headache, women should eat foods rich in zinc, such as lean proteins found in meat.
Stress is the most common cause of headaches. Luckily, stress headaches tend to be the easiest to relieve and to prevent. Relieve your stress headache by taking a break from work or having a fifteen minute “power nap.” To prevent stress headaches, you should work on making your life healthier in general by sleeping and resting more often. Usually you can feel stress headaches coming on, so avoid potential headaches by taking lots of breaks.
Any amount of dehydration can cause a headache. Luckily, you can avoid dehydration headaches simply by staying hydrated. Human beings need at least eight glasses of water a day to maintain good hydration levels. Another side effect of drinking water — your body cools down. If you feel a major headache coming on, drink a big glass of cool water.
Other Headache Causes and Cures
Sometimes your headache simply won’t respond to any of these treatments. When this happens, it’s time to bring in the pain killers. Headaches have as many potential over-the counter medication treatments as any other medical problem, and many of them actually work to relieve headaches. Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and even caffeine can quickly cure your headache, or at least make it bearable until it goes away on its own. However, just like with any medication, you may need to consult with your doctor before you start taking a regular headache treatment plan. If you have regular headaches that aren’t controlled by traditional methods, you need to see your doctor to make sure the headaches aren’t serious.
If you still don’t want to take medication and find you’re having headaches, it could be a matter of what foods and drinks you’re putting into your body, so watch what you eat. Headaches can be triggered by food, especially for migraine sufferers. If you get regular debilitating headaches, start keeping a food journal so you can identify what it was you were eating that could have triggered your head pain.
We all get headaches, and we all know the discomfort that comes from that pounding ache in your head that seems like it will never go away. Headaches keep us from being ourselves, can hinder or halt our performance at work, and is generally a terrible nuisance. Because headaches have so many causes and triggers, what works to end your headache one day may fail the next. To successfully end your headache misery, try to figure out what triggered your head pain, and head your next headache off at the pass by altering your lifestyle to avoid that trigger.
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What Is an Eternity Ring?
The ring, a continuous circle, has been a symbol of friendship and relationships for thousands of years. The first people to make and wear rings were the ancient Egyptians. All rings, in effect, could be called ‘eternity’ rings, but as will be discussed later in this article, an eternity ring, because of its unique construction, is a special category of ring. Comprised of an uninterrupted circle of metal, often encrusted with precious stones, rings have long been a symbol of eternal love and friendship. The round, unbroken circle of an eternity ring meant then, and continues to mean, that two people are binding themselves into a relationship that cannot be broken, and with precious stones set completely or partially around the unbroken circle, they also symbolize the great value of the relationship.
In ancient marriage ceremonies, the ring symbolized the relationship on a number of levels. The unbroken circle symbolized permanence and eternity. The precious metal from which the ring was forged was a symbol of strength and durability, and the precious gems set into the metal symbolized the value placed in the relationship; the more valuable the stone, the more valuable attached to the relationship.
There are a number of types of rings which people exchange to mark various ceremonies:
• Wedding or engagement rings
• Friendship rings
• Eternity rings
Eternity rings, like more traditional rings, can be used for weddings, engagements, and as symbols of friendship. In addition, they are used to mark special occasions.
History and symbology of the ring
The practice of bride and groom exchanging rings to mark the marriage was used in ancient Rome, but is in fact probably much older. The rings were not only a symbol of ‘eternal’ love but were used to symbolize the earnest money, or exchange of valuables that went along with the ceremony. In fact, because marriage in ancient Rome and medieval Europe was often more a financial contract between families than love between a man and a woman, the ring was more a symbol of the exchange of value than eternal love and affection. Rings were also used in ancient Celtic wedding ceremonies, and in these cases, they did symbolize the more or less ‘eternal’ nature of the relationship, or ‘forever and a day.’
The custom is usually for the man to give a ring to the woman upon the betrothal or engagement, and for the couple to exchange rings at the actual wedding ceremony. The wedding ring is worn on the right hand because this is the hand that is usually used for taking oaths, and wearing the ring on that hand ties it to the oaths taken during the marriage ceremony.
Friendship rings are often exchanged between people who want a symbol of the enduring nature of their relationship even though they might be separated by physical distance. While men and boys sometimes exchange friendship rings, this is primarily a custom of women and girls. Parents will sometimes give friendship rings to their children just before they leave home. This is a practice that dates from biblical times. Even though the bonds between parent and child are considered unbreakable, rings were exchanged as a potent symbol of the eternal nature of that relationship.
In addition to the familiar types of rings, such as engagement and wedding rings, eternity rings, sometimes called ‘dress’ wedding rings, are increasingly popular. They are also known as diamond infinity rings and diamond bands because of the way they are constructed.
The construction of eternity rings often make them look like a circle of precious stones – most often diamonds. This unbroken circle of gemstones symbolizes the unending, eternal love between two people. Quite often eternity rings are purchased to mark special or significant milestones in a couple’s relationship, such as a child’s birth, or a significant anniversary.
Eternity rings are basically a simple design; even-sized gemstones nestled together, either the full circumference of the ring, or half. Eternity rings with gems around the full band must be individually sized and cannot be resized, making the half bands more popular. The advantage of the full band is that when it is rotated on the finger, the stones are always in view.
The stones in an eternity ring must be nestled close together, making round or compact shaped gems the most popular choices. Full rings require not only compact shapes, but the stones also cannot be overly large.
The most popular gemstone for eternity rings is, of course, the diamond. But, rubies, sapphires, tanzanite and emeralds are also used, often alternating around the band with diamonds. Almost any stone can be used, however, to add unique symbolism to the particular ring.
Many women currently chose to substitute an eternity ring for either their wedding band or engagement ring. Depending upon the size of the stones in an eternity ring, even though individually they’re often smaller than the diamond in an engagement ring, their total carat value is often higher. When all the rings are relatively slender, some women also chose to wear an eternity ring along with the other two, taking care that the setting of the eternity ring is compatible with the others and the prongs holding the stones in place do not scratch the other rings.
Prices for eternity rings vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending upon a number of factors.
The first financial consideration is the metal from which the band is forged. The costs of white or yellow gold, platinum, or titanium vary widely depending on world market conditions.
The size and quality of the stones has a major impact on the overall price of the ring. Diamonds are the most expensive of gemstones, with prices that vary depending upon the quality of the stone, color, presence or absence of flaws, and the cut. Other stones, such as emerald and jade, will also vary in price based on color and flaws.
The size and number of stones in an eternity ring will also impact the price. Full rings, because they must be custom made, are often significantly more expensive than a similar number of carats in a half ring.
To ensure you get value for your money, only buy an eternity ring from a reputable store, whether it’s an independent retailer or a chain store. Consulting a licensed gemologist is a wise course of action when selecting the stones for your ring. An eternity ring symbolizes the eternal nature of your relationship, obtaining the advice of an expert to ensure the highest quality will yield you a symbol that will endure.
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How to Conceive a Boy
There are so many old wive’s tales related to conceiving a specific gender, you’d need a Rolodex just to keep them all straight. From eating certain foods to having sex in certain positions, there are millions of rumored ways to influence the birth of a male child.
Questions about the gender of your offspring probably comes from a healthy place inside your head — you may prefer a boy this time because you have nothing but daughters, or maybe you and your husband have dreamed of having a little boy for years. In older cultures (and even in some modern ones) having a male baby is tantamount to winning the lottery — males pass on the family name, do more work around the home, and are less of a liability in certain situations.
How Is a Baby’s Gender Determined?
Whatever your reason, you’ve decided you’d like to try and have a boy. Here’s something not many people know — the female partner has very little to do with determining a baby’s gender.
Every woman has eggs that contain exclusively X chromosomes. A baby boy is conceived when sperm that carry a Y chromosome fertilizes her egg. When a Y chromosome and an X chromosome meet, the woman gives birth to a baby boy. However, if the sperm that fertilizes her eggs contains another X chromosome, the mother will give birth to a daughter.
That’s it. Plain and simple. Most men have no idea that their body carries the ability to create both boys and girls. This is because when a man ejaculates, 200 to 400 million sperm are released into the woman’s body. Some of these sperm contain Y chromosomes, and others contain X chromosomes. Since only one sperm can fertilize an egg, the gender of the sperm does most of the work of gender selection.
Theories about how to conceive a boy using simple at-home gender selection tricks are based on the idea that a couple can eat certain foods or do certain things to create an environment that helps select which gendered sperm fertilize the female’s eggs.
Here’s an in-depth look at a few methods rumored to help conceive a male baby.
Chinese Conception Chart
Sometimes called the Chinese Gender Chart or Chinese Birth Chart, this chart is a method of at home gender selection that says that the age of the mother and the month in which the baby is conceived help predict the sex of an unborn baby. This conception chart was found over 700 years ago in a royal tomb near Beijing. People who believe in the Chinese Conception Chart claim it is about 90% accurate when it is used properly. Unfortunately, the Chinese Conception Chart is based on a mother’s lunar age and the baby’s lunar month of conception to make an accurate prediction — using our calendar system will probably give you an inaccurate result.
Dietary Supplements and Medications
Is it really possibly to take over the counter products to influence the gender of your baby? (See How to Take Vitamins for more information.)
Some people believe that taking Evening Primrose Oil supplements increase the quality of a woman’s cervical mucus, an important ingredient in conception. Another theory revolving around cervical mucus and medication — some women take the drug Guaifenesin (Mucinex) during the five days before their ovulation in order to thin out cervical mucus that is too thick, which reportedly increases the odds of a woman conceiving a son. Other supplements, like potassium in particular, are said to increase a woman’s chances of having a boy.
There are some truly off-the-wall ideas out there in the land of urban legend about conceiving a boy. Any expert in the field will tell you that superstition and folk remedies don’t really work — but for many couples, there seems to be no harm in at least trying these folk methods of creating a boy baby.
1. The woman should change her diet to include lots of red meat, salty snacks, and soft drinks.
2. The man should initiate sex and the sex should be focused on his pleasure. This folk tale says that if the man climaxes first, the woman is more likely to have a baby boy.
3. Only make love on odd-numbered days of the month.
4. Only make love at night, preferably only when there’s a quarter moon in the sky.
5. Make love as much as possible. This folk tale seems to put faith in the folk belief that boys are often conceived during the “honeymoon” phase of a relationship.
6. The male partner should drink coffee before sex, so his Y chromosome sperm will become more active.
The Shettles Method
A man named Dr. Shettles wrote a book on conceiving male children. He bases his theory of gender selection on the notion that sperm containing Y chromosomes move much faster than X chromosome carrying cells. Because they’re so much faster, couples who want to conceive a boy child should have sex less than twenty-four hours before ovulation and no more than twelve hours past it. Dr. Shettles also suggests that you penetrate your partner as deeply as possible in order to deposit sperm close to the cervix. He thinks this method should deposit more aggressive Y chromosome sperm closer to the woman’s fertilized egg.
The Whelan Method
Developed as a rebuttal to Dr. Shettles’ method, the Whelan method exists on the belief that the timing of intercourse is most crucial to determining the sex of the baby. In Dr. Whelan’s opinion, having sex earlier in your monthly cycle is far more likely to produce male babies. The Whelan method has been tested, and can create male children 68% of the time. Not much greater than 50% (the overall odds of having a boy) but it’s something.
There’s simply no tried and true way to influence the gender of your child. Different folk tales suggest different things that can cause a male child to be born, from eating figs and chocolate (Italian folk remedy) to eating spicy food (India) to not sleeping with your partner during the month of conception (American South). No matter which method you choose, remember that a baby’s gender has a 50% chance of being male or female no matter what you do to try and intervene.
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If you’ve thought about losing a few pounds, you may have wondered the following: “What is a 1200 calorie diet?” The answer is actually a simple one, and the benefits of sticking to such a diet will pay dividends for both your waistline and health.
In the following article, we’ll look at the 1200 calorie diet and examine its benefits and drawbacks. I’ve also included a number of sample menus for a 24-hour period, which should get your started down the right path.
What is a 1200 Calorie Diet Plan?
The 1200 calorie diet is beneficial because it provides the body with enough nutrition to allow the weight loss process to kick in. If you consume too few calories, your body will slow down its consumption of calories, and you’re less likely to drop those extra pounds. Consume too many calories, and you’ll end up gaining even more weight.
The 1200 calorie diet is perfect for women, because the number of calories suits their smaller frames. Men, on the other hand, may need anywhere from 1500 to 1700 calories to operate at safe levels. Before you begin a diet, it’s always important to consult with your doctor.
Also keep in mind that numerous factors influence how many calories a person needs to consume in order to promote healthy weight loss. These include body size, the amount of exercise you get, any medical conditions, gender, age, and basal metabolic rate.
1200 Calorie Diet – Pros and Cons
The biggest complaint of the 1200 calorie diet is that people often feel hungry. That’s to be expected if you’ve been eating thousands upon thousands of calories each day. Just keep plugging away, and you’ll soon find yourself growing accustomed to your new caloric intake.
While it should help you lose weight, the 1200 calorie diet is not meant to sustain an intense exercise regimen. It simply does not supply your body with enough energy for that. If you overdo it, expect the 1200 calorie diet to leave you feeling tired.
On the plus side, the 1200 calorie diet will provide enough nutrition to keep you feeling full throughout the day. This should help eliminate overeating, one of the worst culprits of obesity.
NOTE: Pregnant women need more than 1200 calories, as they’re essentially eating for two. Your pregnancy is not the time to start a diet.
1200 Calorie Diet Menu and Recipes
For those of you looking for 1200 calorie diet menus, I’ve put together a number of examples to get you started. You can optimize the diet by combining fats, carbohydrates, and proteins during meals, as well as sticking to unprocessed foods such as lean proteins, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Drinking water with your meals is also highly recommended, and always make sure that the water is cold. You may not know it, but the body actually burns a few calories while heating up any cold water you’ve ingested. During each meal, make it a goal to drink 48 ounces of water. This may seem like a lot at first, but you’ll get used to it in no time.
- 1 whole wheat English muffin
- ½ banana
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
(Snack – middle of the morning)
- 1 apple
- 20 almonds
- 2 oz. low-sodium turkey breast
- 2 slices low-calorie whole wheat bread
- 1 oz. cheese
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 orange
(Snack – middle of the afternoon)
- 8 oz. low-fat yogurt
- 3 oz. grilled, baked or broiled chicken breast (skinless)
- 2/3 cup of brown rice
- 1 cup cooked broccoli (or other vegetable)
(Snack – evening)
- 1 cup of 1% milk
- 2 low-fat cookies
- 1 waffle (plain)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 salad with romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup each carrots, green peppers, celery, and cabbage
- 1 tablespoon light salad dressing
- 1 whole grain roll
(Snack – afternoon)
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 6 oz. fat free yogurt
- 3 oz. sirloin steak (lean, broiled or grilled)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 mixed green salad
- 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup cooked carrots
- 2 tablespoons of fat free dressing
(Snack – evening)
- 1 orange
- 1 cup fruit juice
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup low-fat yogurt
- Herbal tea or black coffee
(Snack – morning)
- Smoothie (1 cup berries blended with ice cubes and 1 cup one-percent milk)
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 1/2 Cup tuna (in water only)
- Salad (tomato, cucumber, lettuce) with 1 teaspoon mayonnaise and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
- 3.5 oz chicken breast (skinless and boneless)
- 1/2 Cup Brown Rice
- 1 Cup Broccoli
- 1 cup bran cereal
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 banana
- Tuna sandwich with whole grain bread and low-fat mayonnaise
- 2 cups raw vegetables (carrot, celery, and red pepper)
- 1 apple
- Sparkling water with lemon
- 3 oz grilled chicken breast
- ¾ cup steamed green beans
- Salad with 1 cup lettuce, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup grated carrot
- 2 teaspoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- 1 fresh peach
- 1 small pear
- 2 slices whole wheat toast with 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 cup canned fruit cocktail (natural juice only)
- 8 oz of 1% milk
(Snack – morning)
- 1 medium banana
- 6 crackers with low-fat cottage cheese
- Handful mixed nuts
- 1 medium-sized piece of fruit
- 3 oz sirloin steak
- 1/4 cup onions
- 1/2 cup mushrooms
- Medium baked potato
- 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil (cooking)
- 1 cup mixed vegetables
Now that we’ve answered the question “What is a 1200 calorie diet,” you should have no trouble losing weight. A 1200 calorie diet is easy and healthy to maintain, and the above menus should demonstrate that it can also be pretty darn tasty. Just remember to exercise and drink plenty of water to supplement your diet, and you’ll find yourself shedding the pounds in no time.
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What Are Coach Outlet Stores?
Outlet stores (also called factory stores) are retail shops where big name retail brands sell items directly to the public. In the beginning, factory outlet stores were literally attached to factories, “cutting out the middle man” so that the price for the consumer was much lower than in a retail store. These days, it is rare to find a factory or outlet store that is actually attached to a factory, and the discounts are not quite the same as at the factory outlet stores of the 80s and 90s. (See How to Be a Bargain Finder for more information.)
Coach is a huge leather goods brand, making a long list of clothing and accessory items such as ladies’ handbags, luggage, briefcases, wallets, watches, shoes, and other footwear items. Not outrageously expensive, but not cheap either, Coach goods are well-known for the beauty and their craftsmanship. Since Coach, as a brand, is considered somewhat “higher end”, factory stores that sell Coach brands are really popular, the discounts there turning once pricey Coach bags into something a little more affordable.
How Do I Find a Coach Factory Outlet Store?
Coach’s Factory Store locator can help you find a Coach outlet store near you. You can search by state or zip code and you can search within different ranges of miles. Check it out here.
What Do Coach Outlet Stores Carry?
There’s no way to look up the inventory of a particular Coach outlet store — no websites, no catalogs, etc. If you show up at a Coach outlet store, you never know what you’ll see from week to week.
If you’d like an idea of the items for sale at your local Coach outlet, you can call the store. It is best to ask about specific items by name or style number rather than simply ask “What are you carrying right now?” The employee will be able to look up a particular item for you and tell you if it is in stock. They may even be able to tell you about future shipments, if the item isn’t currently for sale at their shop.
Coach outlet stores will generally hold an item for up to two days, or (if your item is not in stock) you can have your name put on a contact list, and if that item arrives, they’ll let you know. All factory outlet stores have a really strange variety of items in stock, and one store may have a completely different inventory from the next, so if you have a few Coach outlet stores within driving distance of your home, you can always contact multiple stores.
How Much Cheaper Are Coach Outlet Stores?
This varies depending on the item you’re looking for. In general, Coach outlet stores sell their items anywhere from 15 to 80% off of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
Believe it or not, the Coach outlet store has its own clearance rack, where older items or items that may have a small factory defect are available for even lower prices, often an additional 20 to 40% off the discounted outlet price.
Are All Items at Coach Outlet Stores Damaged or Defective?
Once upon a time, selling flawed merchandise at a factory outlet store was very rare. Now, outlet stores often sell slightly damaged items at deep discounts. Often, the flaw is so small or is hidden in such a way that no one will ever see it — and don’t forget that most of the stock at your Coach outlet store is not going to be defective or damaged, and those items that are damaged will be marked.
How Do Items End Up in the Coach Outlet Store?
Besides damaged merchandise, the reason why stock may end up in a factory outlet is probably that they were sitting unsold on a shelf at a boutique store somewhere else in the country. The only way someone would notice that your Coach bag came from an outlet store is the tiny circle that is imprinted on the Coach logo of factory outlet items. The quality is still pretty much the same, but you should always inspect items you buy at outlet stores.
A good percentage of the handbags at Coach outlet stores come from “last season” — the boutique stores want to sell new styles, so they ship the old units off to outlets to make a small return on otherwise unwanted merchandise. Also, shipping items to an outlet store makes room for the more expensive new items.
When Do Coach Outlet Stores Get Shipments of New Items?
The beginning of the month is ideal Coach outlet store shopping time — that’s when the factory trucks arrive and the new outlet items are put up for sale.
Tricks for Shopping at the Coach Outlet Store
1. If you are looking for a specific Coach bag, call all the Coach outlets within an easy drive of your home and put your name on the list for that bag at each store. Most Coach outlet stores use those lists to determine if they need to order a lot of a specific item, so putting your name on the list could be the reason they decide to order the bag you want. Besides, putting your name in multiple outlet locations increases your chances of getting the Coach bag you’re after.
2. Shop with your hands. Grab anything that you think you may want to buy — remember, you can always put the item back or decide not to buy it later. If you don’t pick it up, a sneaky Coach outlet shopper could come behind you and snatch up the bag you really want. Debate your purchase with your Coach bags in hand.
3. Pay attention to price tags and other tags. It is easy to forget to look at all the tags on an item at a Coach outlet store, but you may end up buying a bag with a specific defect that you didn’t know about before you plunked down your cash.
See How to Buy Stuff on eBay for additional ideas on how to save money on Coach products.
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What Are Resume Blank Forms? Where to Get Free Sample Resumes
Resume blank forms are like “free sample” resumes with the information blanked out so you can insert your own.It takes almost no time at all to put together a resume from a blank form — and sample resumes available for perusal online can help you figure out how to present your work experience and job skills in such a way that it attracts attention from employers. (See How to Write an Effective IT Resume for more information.)
Why Do I Need a Resume?
Pretty much every job out there will require you to put one together. You usually have to turn one in before you’re even granted a job interview. Its purpose is to allow your future employer to see your various accomplishments, education, and work experience in very little time, and without asking too many questions.
A well-written resume is important — it may be the main way your skills are communicated to potential employers.
Depending on the job you’re going for, or your own skill set or personal taste, you may want to go with one of any number of “specialized” resumes. Here are three of the most popular types of resumes for basic business applications.
This is the most common type. Chronological resumes are best for people seeking entry-level work, or for people who have few jobs or have worked one job for a long time. All you need to put together a chronological resume is your work history — resume blank forms for chronological resumes help you do the rest.
When it comes time to switch fields, or to cover up the fact that you have a long period without work, the functional resume is best. For job seekers who want to highlight qualification and experience but keep their lack of work history a secret, functional resumes are key.
The combination resume is just what it sounds like — a combination of functional and chronological resumes meant to highlight your work experience, qualifications, volunteer work, and education.
Where Can I Find Free Sample Resumes?
Luckily, you don’t have to shell out a ton of money for a resume blank form, or use the plain versions available for free on Microsoft Word. Here are three good sources for resume blank forms.
College Grad may be better known for their information on colleges around the country, but their blank resume forms are excellent, even if they are generally geared more to college applications than jobs.
Visual CV wants you to include videos, photos, links, and any other flashy item you want to your CV. They also have blank forms available to practice your hand at writing a CV.
The free resume templates here are little more than plain sample “fill in the blank” resumes that you can find anywhere online. Still, their samples look better (and are more functional) than most others online.
Preparing a good resume is a lifelong pursuit — your first one right out of high school will be pretty small compared to the amount of material your resume will show by the end of your life. Still, using free resume blank forms to get your resume started is the best way to increase the likelihood that you’ll get hired after your next job interview.
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What Is the American Express Rewards Catalog?
Not a traditional catalog, the American Express Rewards Catalog is an online store where customers of American Express can spend the reward points they earn by using their American Express card. The American Express Rewards Catalog is full of options, some of them bizarre or outlandish. In fact, the rewards options with the American Express catalog range from trendy electronics to expensive special events or luxury vacation trips. (See The Best Places to Travel and Most Popular Gift Cards for more information.)
Examples from the American Express Rewards Catalog
- A golf trip to TPC Sawgrass golf course including two nights’ accommodations for two and four rounds of golf at TPC’s famous courses.
- A bottle of Dom Perignon (vintage 1993, rated 97 by Wine Spectator)
- A 3D-ready 60 inch Mitsubishi DLP Home Theatre HDTV
All three of these items cost about the same number of points — from 125,000 to 200,000. How much money is that equal to? American Express claims you earn a point for “just about every dollar you spend” — this has more to do with the fact that some purchases are not eligible for reward points. Ideally, every dollar you spend on your American Express card turns into a reward point, meaning that bottle of Dom up there cost you about $125,000. Of course, you already spent that money, so really the bottle of wine is your reward for being such a good customer.
Then again, there are ways to earn bonus reward points. Here are the basic rules of earning bonus points:
You can earn ten points for every dollar you spend on purchases at select American Express partners. Check the AmEx website for details on which partners are offering this bonus.
If you spend money at the American Express Bonus Points Mall, you’ll earn three points for every dollar. If you desperately need that 3D ready HDTV, spend $30,000 at the AmEx Bonus Points Mall and it can be yours.
The final way to earn points is to purchase them directly from American Express. I wouldn’t suggest buying a large block of points this way just to earn an item, but if you’re just a few points short of an item you want in the Reward Catalog, you can purchase them directly.
To make things even more confusing, there are three “levels” of awards that are available through the rewards program at American Express. The level of award you can get is determined by the type of AmEx card you carry.
The first level is “Membership Rewards Express”. This is offered on American Express Blue, Business Management Accounts, Platinum Business, and Optima Platinum cards.
The second level is plain old “Membership Rewards” – This is offered on American Express Green and Gold cards.
The top level of American Express rewards is called “Membership Rewards First” – This is considered a “super premium” award program for American Express Platinum members, Business Platinum cardholders, and Corporate Platinum Cards only.
What Is Membership Rewards Express?
This the basic awards program at American Express. With Rewards Express, you can earn bonus points as described above, plus you can select from a list of over 200 goods when you want to exchange your reward points. At this level of membership, you can use your points to pay for hotel stays with certain hotel chains.
What Is Membership Rewards?
The “Membership Rewards” program has all the features of the Membership Rewards Express level, plus a travel reservation service, and you can use your points at a wider range of hotels, car rental agencies, and spas and clubs.
What Is Membership Rewards First?
The super premium reward program by American Express includes all the benefits listed above, as well as the ability to earn triple points shopping at certain retailers, luxury goods available in the rewards catalog, one free companion ticket for any international flight, entrance into “invitation only” events like concerts and film premieres, and other red carpet extras that American Express is expanding every day.
Using the American Express Rewards Catalog
Since the catalog is online, it is easy to use. You browse for items like you would at any online store, only here you don’t pay with a debit card, you pay with reward points. The catalog gives all the information you need on the items you’re shopping for at the click of a mouse, and it shows the points it will take to buy a particular reward.
There are four basic categories of rewards in the American Express Rewards Catalog:
- Dining and entertainment
- Exclusive limited time offers
You can also sort the list by shopping by category, by points totals, and by brand. If you’re looking for something fancy, you could shop only for items above 100,000 points, or shop by expensive name brands.
The American Express Rewards Catalog is well known because it contains so much cool stuff. Check it out online to see why this catalog stands out above the competition.
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What Is Barclay’s Online Banking?
Barclay’s is a UK-based bank that is trying to break into the American market with online banking services for American customers. Barclay’s happens to be the largest financial services company in the world, holding $3.7 trillion in assets as of the last fiscal year. There are nearly 4 million registered users of Barclay’s online banking, and though most of their customers are in Europe and the Middle East, there are seven million Barclay’s online users in America.
How Did Barclay’s Spread to America?
When Barclay’s acquired basically all of the Lehman Brothers holdings in September of 2008, they were able to greatly expand their presence in the United States. The popularity of Barclay’s in the UK spilled over into the United States. Remember that the barclayscard they invented in the 60s was the first credit card in the UK and eventually became the first “all-purpose” credit card in Europe. People in America became familiar with the brand from travel and from an aggressive marketing campaign Barclay’s used to attract wealthy American clientele.
Barclay’s Online Banking
Like any other online banking service, the online banking at Barclay’s gives their customers access online to all of their bank accounts (even their checking account.) With Barclay’s online banking, you can pay your bills online, perform transfers between accounts, and look at your bill payment and check history. You can get your Barclay’s statement online, rather than in the mail, and even apply for loans through Barclay’s online loan application.
Basically, anything you can do at a Barclay’s branch office can be done using Barclay’s online bank service. About the only thing you can’t do is withdraw cash, but give Barclay’s a few years and they may well work that out too.
Barclay’s Online Customer Support
Unlike banks in America, UK customers of Barclay’s have the option of talking to live customer support twenty-four hours a day. Unfortunately for American Barclay’s customers, the same service isn’t available all day long. To reach Barclay’s customer service, American customers should dial 302-622-8990 between the hours of 6 AM and 2 AM.
Is Barclay’s Online Bank Secure?
Online banking customers depend on web security to protect their money and investments. That’s why Barclay’s uses a Gemalto security system to protect their customers assets — Gemalto is widely recognized as the industry leader, and Gemalto built Barclay’s security software from scratch — it is seamlessly integrated into the Barclay’s online bank website.
The main purpose of the security system at Barclay’s is to prevent fraud. Barclay’s uses a secure 128-bit encrypted server, and immediately logs the customer out after 10 minutes of inactivity. Other security features include a way to enter your password that is safe from password capture programs and viruses.
Barclay’s online banking service takes it a step further, giving its customers free Kaspersky brand web security software to download on their home computer. You get this for free with your online account at Barclay’s — the thinking goes that if their customers computers are clean, their bank system will be clean as well.
Barclay’s online banking service is meant to replace trips to a Barclay’s branch or time spent on the phone with a customer service representative. If Barclay’s online banking makes your life any easier, you’ve got a good bargain. Barclay’s online banking is free, and the nearly twenty four-hour a day help line makes the deal even sweeter.
See also: What Is Wachovia Online Banking?
How to Fix Facebook Login Problems
Facebook is one of the top two most popular websites in the world. (See What Are Social Network Sites? for more information.) Google and Facebook go back and forth as the number one website, depending on the time of day and the month of the year you’re talking about. Because Faceboook is so essential to so many people, problems are rare. Sure, you’ll occasionally come across a glitch, and the Facebook login page is often “down” for a minute or two due to high volume, but in general the site is glitch-free.
Users of some operating systems or alternative web-surfing devices like the iPhone sometimes have trouble logging in. There are even a couple of web browsers that don’t perform perfectly under Facebook pressure. If you’re having Facebook login problems and are using one of the systems below, here’s how you can correct the problem and log in like normal.
Facebook for iPhone version 3.2
When the new Facebook for iPhone version 3.2 was rolled out, it was supposed to provide more support for background uploading of pictures, videos, and other media in iOS 4. This update was also supposed to include all kinds of visual interface enhancement, like the much rumored “Pull-to-Refresh” iPhone / Facebook feature.
Many people have found that this new version works even less than the version it replaces. If you’re using the new version of the iPhone and you’re getting a ton of “Unable to Load this Page” errors, you may have this common iPhone for Facebook problem.
Most iPhones with this problem are jailbroken — altered to allow more freedom on the iPhone. Another problem app is called “BiteSMS” made by a company called Cydia. For some reason, the new Facebook for iPhone 3.2 is simply not compatible with this BiteSMS app, causing the login problems.
If you have a jailbroken iPhone and you have BiteSMS installed, uninstalling the app should fix the problem.
Hopefully, a new version of BiteSMS will be available for jailbroken iPhones soon that makes it compatible with Facebook for iPhone, but until then, you’ll just have to disable the app.
Opera browser version 10.5
When Opera 10.5 was released, there were widespread reports of problems logging into Facebook. The problem is, the folks at Opera had no idea why this was happening.
The solution turns out to be a simple one — reset your cookies and you’re in business. The problem came when people upgraded to a new version of Opera from an older version without clearing their cache or their cookies.
Here’s how to fix problems logging in to Facebook with Opera 10.5:
- Click on the O menu – Settings – Preferences.
- Click the Advanced Tab.
- Select Cookies – Manage Cookies.
- Search for any “Facebook” cookie(s) and delete them.
- Load www.facebook.com and log in.
Resetting the Cache to Fix Facebook Login Problems
There are other devices and operating systems that cause login glitches. Nine times out of ten, the problem lies in your browser’s cache — a pile of temporary Internet files that tends to pile up and cause problems. Here’s how to clear your cache for a few different popular web browsers. (Clearing your cache will also make your computer run faster.)
On the Internet Explorer 6 Tools menu, click Internet Options. The Internet Options box should open to the General tab.
On the General tab, in the Temporary Internet Files section, click the Delete Files button. This will delete all the files that are currently stored in your cache.
Click OK, and then click OK again.
If you want to setup your IE browser to automatically clear the cache every time you finish a browsing session, that’s simple as well.
Go to the Tools menu, and click Internet Options. Click the Advanced tab. In the “Settings” box, scroll down to the section labeled “Security,” and click to check the box next to the “Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browser is closed” option. Click OK to finish. This option will not delete cookies, but it automatically clears your cache of other Internet files every time you close your browser.
Click the Tools menu. It is a wrench icon located in the upper-right corner of the browser.
Select Options. Click the “Under the Hood” tab.
Click Clear browsing data. Check off all the boxes for the types of information you want to delete.
You can choose from:
- Clear browsing history
- Clear download history
- Empty the cache
- Delete cookies
- Clear saved passwords
Using this same menu, you can setup Google Chrome to delete cached information automatically — just choose the amount of time you want the browser to go before clearing the cache, then click OK when you’re done.
From the main Safari menu, click “Empty Cache”. When the computer asks: “Are you sure you want to empty the cache?”, click “Empty”.
Most Facebook login problems are due to simple problems like a full cache or a browser compatibility issue. The next time you have trouble logging in, make sure your cache is properly cleared and the device you’re using to access Facebook is compatible.
Some of the other pages on similar subjects that we offer include What Is Facebook Lite? and How Will Facebook’s New Policies Affect Users? And How to Get on Facebook is a good guide if you’re brand new to social media sites.
What Is Ravel Footwear?
A better question might be what was Ravel Footwear?
Ravel Footwear was a shoe company based in the United Kingdom. They had a good reputation among shoe fanatics for making quality attractive shoes that were reasonably priced. Then in the spring of 2007, they absorbed by Clarks, a larger United Kingdom-based shoe company. The brand is no longer available, though Clarks promised to keep making some of the styles under their label.
Before they stopped making shoes, their shoes were available in a variety of styles, from pumps and sandals to flats and even boots. The popularity of Ravel Footwear was not confined to the UK — though they were sometimes difficult to find, shopping on the Internet was the main source for buyers outside of the UK.
What Is Clarks?
The company that absorbed Ravel Footwear is famous for making mules and flats, shoes known more for their comfort and durability — while Ravel made sexy shoes, Clarks has always been about comfort. The typical fan of Ravel Footwear is looking for strappy shoes, sexy sandals, pumps, and items like stiletto-heel boots that are far outside the creative boundary of Clarks.
Clarks technically took control of the company in 1974, but didn’t make any major changes to the women’s shoe line until discontinuing the line for good in 2007. You can no longer find Ravel Footwear on High Street or in any retail location, partly because Clarks shut down the retail stores that were competing with Clarks own stores. Just before the stores shut for good, they offered huge discounts on their stock, so many people bought up as many pairs as they could. That’s why you can still find Ravel shoes, some brand new in the box — people took advantage of the discounts just before closing and stockpiled shoes to wear (or to sell) later.
What Makes Ravel Shoes Special?
People love these shoes because they’re fashionable but not unreasonably priced. Ravel Footwear is famously sexy — these aren’t necessarily the best shoes for a job interview. (See How to Dress for a Job Interview for more information.) It is difficult to find well-made shoes that are both fashion-forward and affordable.
What was once a trendy London brand, aimed at the fashionista market, became a worldwide phenomenon. If you’ve seen photos of fashion in the 60s, you’re probably familiar with Ravel Footwear. Their famous high leg white patent boots became a hallmark of the 1960s. They were able to take that trendy image and update it to whatever was new in fashion.
Finding Ravel on eBay
You can find lots of Ravel Footwear using eBay. (See How to Buy Stuff on eBay for more information.) I found the following items for sale right now on eBay:
- A pair of size 5 pumps, brand new without tags, currently selling for $12
- A pair of blue pumps, brand new in box, currently selling for $8
- A pair of size 5 wedge platforms currently selling for $20
And this is just a sampling of the dozens of styles available right now on eBay.
When you’re buying Ravel Footwear online, especially from an auction site, you should pay attention to the description of the item. Since they’re no longer made, you’ll probably be buying something secondhand. It may even be used or have some light wear and tear. Read the description carefully so you don’t feel ripped off when you open your new shoes and find them a little scuffed.
You might also be interested in our article about the top 10 womens clothing websites.
What Is Wachovia Online Banking?
It’s becoming common for people to do most of their banking and financial transactions online. Online banking was conceived in the early 80s, but it took the Internet boom of the early 90s to get the ball rolling. The first widespread online banking functions were offered in late 1995 by Presidential Savings Bank. Big banks followed, including Wells Fargo and Chase Manhattan, two of the first nationwide banks to offer online banking to all customers. (See also: Barclays Online Banking for more information.)
Wachovia Online Banking
The Wachovia online banking service is similar to other online banks. Security features are standard — such as the login image, a small picture that appears when you’re signed in to a legitimate Wachovia online banking site. The content at Wachovia’s online bank program is also similar to other online banks, and includes:
- account activity and balances
- mobile phone account management through Wachovia Mobile
- online bank statements
- images of paid checks
- funds transfers between accounts
- online bill pay
- investment account balances, holdings, and activity
- online investment trading
- real-time stock quotes, news, commentary, etc.
- online retirement fund access
- manage your 401k retirement plan online
Wachovia is now owned by Wells Fargo. That should mean even more Internet banking capabilities for Wachovia customers. Wells Fargo is famous for their advances in online banking technology, and though there were some reports of issues with Wachovia’s online banking system right after the takeover by Wells Fargo, these issues have been corrected.
What Is Online Banking?
Online banking is the practice of making bank transactions or paying bills via the Internet. Thanks to technology, and the Internet in particular, we no longer have to leave the house. We can shop online, communicate online, and now, we can even do our banking online. Online banking allows us to make deposits, withdrawals and pay bills all with the click of a mouse. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.
Benefits of Wachovia Online Banking
The benefits of using Wachovia’s online banking system are many.
Obviously, the biggest “pro” is the convenience factor. Most of your day-to-day banking activity can be accomplished online. Your bank statements are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can make checking your account balances a part of your daily routine without much effort.
The fact that you can keep such a close eye on your accounts means you have a better chance of catching a mistake or an instance of identity theft much easier. Any place you have Internet access becomes a portal to your online banking needs.
Online bill pay is a big part of the upside of banking online with Wachovia. You don’t have to write any more checks, put stamps on return envelopes, and possibly forget to mail checks to pay your bills — set it all up online for free. Wachovia’s online banking system makes it easy to set up your bill payment schedule. The funds will be automatically deducted from your account.
Don’t forget that online banking at Wachovia is cost-effective. It doesn’t cost you a penny to use online banking, and it makes sense for Wachovia to offer this service for free. They save money when you use online banking instead of driving to the bank and talking to the teller, and you save time in the process. I’d say that’s a fair trade.
A final check in the “pro” column for online banking is that it is an easy way to ‘go green’. Since online banking is paperless, you and the bank will be using less paper and creating less waste.
Downsides of Wachovia Online Banking
The biggest concern many people have when they begin using online banking is security — it is difficult for some people to believe that transactions on the Internet are secure. All information on the Wachovia online banking site is encrypted, and the chance of your account being accessed through the online banking system is slim. Wachovia’s spent a ton of money on high-tech firewalls and other online security systems, and don’t forget that your bank account at Wachovia is FDIC insured in case of such a problem. Though security can be an issue, know that your online bank account is probably a hundred times more secure than your home computer.
Another downside for some customers is the lack of face to face interaction. Believe it or not, some people enjoy going to the bank and seeing the employees, chatting with them, and getting a free lollipop for making a bank transaction.
Don’t forget that some bank functions still can’t be performed outside of the bank. Depositing cash or checks will require you to spend some time at a Wachovia ATM or in a Wachovia branch. Only direct deposits will go to your Wachovia bank account without your intervention.
All told, the benefits of online banking (convenience, low cost, etc) outweigh the potential downsides. If you are careful with your bank information and use online banking to supplement your other good financial habits, online banking is a great idea.
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