You go online to check your twitter and your Facebook and to update yourself whether the person you’ve been stalking has done something different since the last time you checked on him 30 minutes ago. Hey, a lot can happen in 30 minutes right? You enjoy the fact that he has no way of finding out that you’ve been stalking him. And yet you feel bad that the “Big brother era” is here and now. You worry that the government is trying to keep an eye on your activities online because you think your privacy is being put at stake.
Based on a research by the University of Southern California, an increasing number of internet users are concerned about what seems to be internet spies of the government. In addition to their opinions on confidentiality, the latest report also found that 86 percent of Americans are online, from 82 percent in 2010. This is the highest level in the study’s history and auxiliary proof of how fundamental the Internet has become in American’s lives, especially in the age of mobile devices. Who doesn’t have a phone nowadays? Everybody is online. Even those who we thought despised technology are now embracing it fully. One of the reasons the typical American is worried about their online activity being spied on is the fact they do not feel comfortable knowing that some agencies are collecting their information. Online activity is one way of understanding the behavior and interests of people. However, the government has for so many times reassured that what they do is to protect ad not invade our privacy.
Allow me to make sense of what this is about. This isn’t also about me telling you that it’s acceptable that the government wants to spy on you online because who are you anyway? What harm could you cause America? I would probably feel the same if I find out that some CIA emissaries are lurking online to see what emails I have been sending another person or what YouTube videos I’ve been watching. For all we know it could be and mean something else. However, I’d like you to take yourself out of the misery of worrying about your online freedom because certain statistics show that there are way more serious problems that you should worry about other than wasting your time fretting over unseen enemies.
Have you ever thought about how safe your house is from burglars? Do you get to sleep peacefully at night not worrying that some people just might force themselves in? These and more are the things that most of us fail to mull simply because we are too busy fighting for online freedom. I don’t want to sound so slack but you can worry about your online freedom later. For now, let’s analyze the one fear which should be of your immediate concern.
With the fast paced world and the pile of things we need to do we very seldom get to check how our own household is going. It is but weird that we have the time to check our social networking accounts but we rarely have time to check our home security. Of course we make assumptions that our home is our safe place. While this may be true, we have to be reminded of how tricky and smart home burglars can get and how they could actually get in our house in 5 minutes and steal away everything we’ve worked hard for.
According to studies by a number of home security companies, 88% of Americans worry about their homes getting burglarized, yet only 22% have a home alarm system. This is due to the awareness of most Americans that a home security system may easily be paralyzed by cutting the phone line. It is for this reason that companies came up with wireless alarm systems that cannot easily be defeated by burglars. This home security basic may just save you from losing everything that you have. What’s more interesting is that this security system is meant for non-experts. They are simple and may be assembled at the comfort of your own home.
Want another interesting idea to protect your home from burglars? How about trying to burglarize your own home? This may sound ridiculous but the only way to finds out the strengths and weaknesses of your home security is by trying to think and act like a burglar. Consider locking your home even when you’re going out for just a short while. Many burglars can just walk inside a house and do their jobs spot on. Change all your locks if you just moved in to your new home. I know that you have to leave home almost every day but you don’t have to announce it to the world. It’s better if you leave it looking occupied all the time. We can go on with a longer list of home security basics but if you do not keep it in your head and act haphazardly all the time all these things will just be put to waste. What I’m trying to say really, more than these no nonsense tips is that you have to worry where it counts. You can worry about your online freedom, but worry about your home and family safety first.
October 9, 2013
They say that beauty is now acquired, not innate, and that no one else could be faulted for being “ugly” but yourself, given the many ways by which you can now take care of yourself and improve your appearance. We have anti-aging products, whitening creams as well as tanning potions, a long line of hair care, a wide assortment of moisturizers, conditioners, oils and many other products to help improve what you already have in the looks department.
In that respect, we can say the same for online marketing. With the recent innovations we have especially in the field of internet technology, no trade or industry may now be considered a minor player, because there are now endless ways and means by which you could promote and advertise your business—whether big businesses or startups—through marketing strategies made available on the web.
As with appearance and personality, and the many wonderful opportunities and chances out there to beautify and improve oneself, web designers and online marketers can now be considered gravely at fault for any failure to make design and content as exciting, dynamic and awesome as it should be.
Consider the following tips in making content creative, even for the most boring industries out there:
Think dynamism, color and animation. The World Wide Web abounds with so many tools, techniques and even tutorials to make sure you will not actually end up with boring textbook-like pages in your website. Jazz up your web design with dynamic graphics that you should update as to compatibility with the newest platforms and most especially, with the mobile platform which millions now use on a daily basis. Learn more about animation and graphic design from available resources online.
Consider your target audience when you develop content. No content will turn out boring if you seriously consider the “language” of your target clientele. Even humdrum subjects like customized awnings and verandas can be presented with grandeur and in a trendy fashion, provided you know how to reach out to your target market, with design, content and features that you understand to be most appealing to them.
Integrate multimedia features. No boring content should remain as such. There are many tutorials to find online, which would allow you to combine a good mix of animated pics, engaging sounds, as well as informative videos that will ensure you a comprehensive approach to marketing and advertising your products and services to your target clientele. One thing to consider when you do this is its compatibility likewise with today’s most used platforms and gadgets, so they can be easily accessed without hassle on the part of your prospective customers.
Include social media buttons. It would be safe to assume that a good percentage of your target clients are social media savvy. By adding social media buttons to your website for what may be treated as the most boring, dullest industries, you are allowing your clients to see that your company is updated, trendy and reachable. Think about what that will do for your company, and start learning the ropes of social media to make your content more exciting and dynamic, if you haven’t already.
August 1, 2013
Sleep. You become most vulnerable when you lack sleep. But how do you keep yourself safe when the cause of sleep problems could be you? Off the bat, there are two types of people who need to be safe from themselves when sleeping, those who suffer from sleepwalking and sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea, as defined by Expertmedicine.com, is a common sleep disorder that affects both children and adults, and that could result to critical cardiac events such as stroke, cardiac arrest, heart arrhythmia, and chest pains. Research associates sleep apnea as a serious disorder that needs treatment immediately. Apnea or “want of breath” in Greek tally in an estimated 18 million sufferers in America, or at least 1 in every four households (family of 4), that’s 6.62% of the American population. It’s not gender specific or age specific. As a result, 263,000 kids have their tonsils removed to help remove the obstruction in their breathing.
Indirectly, the bed mate of the person who has sleep apnea is most likely to lose sleep since the sufferer may experience a nightly average of 400 apneas per night. The joke is that since almost one in two hypertension patients have sleep apnea, the other half hypertension victims are their bed mates. It is recommended that you see a doctor if you feel you have sleep apnea but you can also try this self treatment tips:
- Lose weight. Some people find that even moderate to severe sleep apnea can be completely corrected by losing excess weight. For others, even a small amount of weight loss can open up the throat and improve sleep apnea symptoms.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is believed to contribute to sleep apnea by increasing inflammation and fluid retention in your throat and upper airway.
- Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives, especially before bedtime, because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing.
- Avoid caffeine and heavy meals within two hours of going to bed.
- Maintain regular sleep hours. Sticking to a steady sleep schedule will help you relax and sleep better. Apnea episodes decrease when you get plenty of sleep.
- Sleep on your side. Avoid sleeping on your back, as gravity makes it more likely for your tongue and soft tissues to drop and obstruct your airway.
- Try the tennis ball trick. In order to keep yourself from rolling onto your back while you sleep, sew a tennis ball into a pocket on the back of your pajama top. Or wedge a pillow stuffed with tennis balls behind your back.
- Prop your head up. Elevate the head of your bed by 4 to 6 inches or elevate your body from the waist up by using a foam wedge. You can also use a special cervical pillow.
- Open your nasal passages. Try to keep your nasal passages open at night using a nasal dilator, saline sprays, breathing strips, or a neti pot.
It’s been defined that there are 5 stages of sleep and sleep walking happens during stage 3 and 4 or the stage before Rapid Eye Movement or the sleep cycle associated with dreaming. So does this mean that sleepwalkers have at least an amount of consciousness when it happens?
Somnambulism, a disorder that occurs when people walk or do another activity while they are still asleep.
No, sleep walkers have no recollection of what they did upon waking up. It is also most prevalent during middle-childhood to early adolescence. The prime causes could be genetic, sleep deprivation, alcohol intoxication and sometimes medical conditions brought about by high fever and sleep apnea. A sleepwalker has symptoms that range to quietly walking about to agitated running of trying to escape. They can be responsive but incoherent and slow. They do not do what is depicted in movies with the arms raised. In kids, it is suggested that restless sleepers are most likely sleepwalkers. If it’s not that alarming, a simple self care can be done to correct sleep walking or keep the house safe for a sleep walker. Here are some tips:
- Get a good amount of sleep.
- Avoid any kind of stimuli (auditory or visual) prior to bedtime.
- Keep a safe sleeping environment free of harmful or sharp objects.
- Sleep in a bedroom on the ground floor if possible. This will prevent falls, avoid bunk beds.
- Lock the doors and windows, add an extra bolt if you must.
- Remove obstacles in the room like toys and objects of potential hazard.
- Cover windows with heavy curtains.
- Place an alarm or bell on the bedroom door and if necessary, on any windows.
November 7, 2012
A typical adult spends most of his time in two places, home and work. Given this amount of exposure, you are at risk at work from contracting disease to fatal injuries. And though the rates and average are an acceptable level, it is better for us to understand what puts us at risk and how can we contribute to minimizing it.
In Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent study, work related injuries and illnesses are at 1,078,140, keeping workers “away from work at least 2 ½ times the average.” Among these numbers, laborers, truck drivers, nursing aides and construction workers tally in the most incident.
Geography plays a major part in increasing the odds of getting exposed to accidents. In a city like Boston for example, a worker is at risk to assaults, transportation accidents, and exposure to fire. This may ring true to most places and cities around the country, even around the world. New York, given its high population density, tallies the most number of fatal occupational injuries. Source: Occupational Safety and Health Statistics: New Data for a New Century
To note the numbers are still relatively low especially since there have been changes in recording data since 2002. BLS states “The 2002 recordkeeping rule included many changes. For example, under the old rule, recurrences of injuries or illnesses after a 30-day period were to be recorded as separate cases. Under the new rule, there is no longer a specified timeframe. A recurring illness may be counted as the same case. But this time since the rise of HIV/AIDS and other needle contracted diseases, it is given more significance. There are trends that happen from time to time, common of which is the evolving flu virus. Relatively, the risk when getting to and from work is a constant that is preventable.
Along with a person’s vigilance and awareness, the Occupational Health and Safety Specialists are employed (federal, state and local) to analyze the many types of environment and procedures at work. They work in parallel with:
• Construction and Building inspectors
• Environment Scientists
• Fire Inspectors
• Health and Safety Engineers
• Occupational Health and Safety Technicians
Their tasks range from Industrial hygienist, ergonomists, to loss prevention specialist. They help identify issues involving workers and how they can improve productivity since a median of workers take an annual 8-day leave due to incidents at work.
From our end, knowledge is the most important tool whenever we go to work and risk our health. If we know what we’re risking, we’ll know or find a way to prevent it. After all, prevention will always be the best cure out there.
November 7, 2012
We see it on basic cable, the very sensational “caught-on-cam” violation against property and safety. It is played in slow-motion over and over and ranked from bad to worst.
On the back of my head I say “This is a very good ad for Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system”. And indeed, CCTV sales are on the rise up to 40% in the last few years, depending on where you live.
The thing about CCTVs that makes it an incomplete security system is that it only serves as a passive witness to the crime. If one does not have the resources to have actual guards monitoring the system to stop the crime as it happens, you only have a documented evidence of the crime. The evil deed is done. That’s a bad oversight.
Ideally, CCTVs and a competent alarm system should come in pairs. But if you must choose, better begin with an alarm system as primary protection for your homes. Why? Because what you need is protection, a deterrent! This is true when a corrective action is not readily available.
If you notice, you can see that most establishments that have cameras also have conspicuous signs that say they have security cameras. That serves as a deterrent. But people get smart, even evil doers, so when one does not have the resources to act on a melee quickly, it’s a fail.
If you are a person living alone, or on a budget securing a home that requires complex coverage, start with an alarm then eventually add a CCTV in place. The alarm should serve as a good deterrent and a call to action if you are burglarized. It’s also cheaper and easier to maintain if you just want a secure household in an area with a relatively low crime rate.
This is also a good add-on to the security in place if you are living in condominiums which mostly have CCTVs in place but not enough security personnel to monitor every floor.
November 7, 2012
Questionable safety is one of the biggest deterrents for tourism all over the world. Every country, every city you want to visit poses a unique threat to an individual’s security and safety. These are the initial hurdles when traveling and sometimes the hurdles are just too great to deem practical and sometimes common sense is a good enough tool. The Department of State’s website (http://travel.state.gov) provides travel advisories that help us identify countries with high risk due to political instability or just outright high criminal activity.
How grave are these incidents? The rise of number of tourist in Indonesia is perpendicular with a rise in the number of crimes. “Transnational crime such as bank fraud, terrorism, drug and human trafficking may highlight the island’s crime scene this year due to the tourism boom.” according to a report on Jakarta Post.
Not to discourage you further, here are some pocket knowledge you may want to take with you while on vacation
About Air Safety. Air safety is one of the biggest concerns of travelers all over the world specially post 9/11. There is a sense of paranoia if the pilot is telling you accurate info when there are odd incidents during the flight like delays. The threat of getting abducted or anything similar to the movie Taken, starred by Liam Neeson is relatively low. It remains a threat in Columbia.
Try STEP. If you’re going out of the country, the US government has a free service called Smart Traveler Enrollment Program that allows you to enter information about your upcoming trip abroad so that the Department of State can better assist you in an emergency.
Water and Food. Issues with water and food should always be top priority. Bottled water is always advised or you can try water disinfection as taught by the Center for Disease and Control Prevention. As for food, you may not want to be too adventurous with local cuisine if you are prone to food poisoning. The food may not be bad but your stomach may not have the tolerance for it.
Have a Map. Airports have these lying all over as soon as you arrive. These are still better that most online. They are mostly updated and have emphasis on stuff that you want like a shopping guide, hotel guide, transport matrix etc.
Police Visibility. Learn what the local police look like. Police visibility and knowing who to look for in a foreign place should come in handy.
Small Bills. Have small change available always. A typical con when in a foreign land is that they don’t have a change for your Benjamins.
Travel light. But in a large suitcase, make space for souvenirs or anything nice you’ll find along the way.
Don’t talk to strangers. Yes, it’s a rule we impose on kids and as an adult you’d always want strangers to identify themselves as a form of safety and security.
How safe are we when on vacation will always depend on our preparation. Stock on water, stock on knowledge. This will get you far and enjoy travel better.
November 6, 2012
Hydroponic gardening is slowly becoming a hit among gardening fans. Hydroponics is actually one type of gardening that doesn’t use soil as its medium. Instead, it uses water filled with nutrients and alternate growing mediums (like moss, clay, sand, coir, etc.) for the plants to grow. It can be called as organic, but without the fertilizers and the compost.
It can be classified as one type of indoor gardening without the hassle of bringing in dirt to the house. There is not much space needed for the plants to grow. It only requires a pot for each plant to grow and enough space for the water system to operate.
Hydroponics is by no means cheap if you want to have all the gears to your advantage, but do-it- yourself enthusiasts have come up of different methods of making your own hydroponic gardens on the cheap.
One is to make your own water pump system. Purchasing an actual water pump may appear to be expensive, but making one yourself doesn’t take out much from your wallet and can work just as well. You can use large empty soda bottles and a bit of tubing from the corner hardware for making one.
Using chemical- and toxin-free plastic bags and containers is a good alternative for actual plant pots. It promotes reuse of recyclable materials and is cheap as well.
Sometimes, air and water pumps are not needed for the casual gardener. Other hydroponic methods are available without stressing over pumps. One method such as Wicking makes use of any cotton material with a growing medium placed at the nutrient-filled water. The water will rise up toward the growing medium and into the plant.
Hydroponics is a good conceptual way to test out indoor gardening. Why not try it out for yourself and see if you have the works for it.
October 25, 2012
While I am staggered by the controversial Burj Khalifa Tower, I can’t help but thank its creators. Dubbed as the tallest building in the world, I bet it is also among the proudest achievements any developer could accomplish in the next 10 years. I would drool over this matter, and yet, I won’t mind getting embarrassed. The complexity and material competitiveness in the building is yet unmatched. Having an opportunity to live in an Armani residence would be a lifetime honor.
Excuse the overstated happiness but these kinds of things are like an orgasm to constructors, builders, architects, and the likes.
While I am still snowed under the existence of this giant, let me treat your with ArchDaily’s compilation of the 14 coolest buildings around the world in the year 2011, featured in Business Insider. They were acquired after a two-stage voting process with more than 65,000 votes. These buildings range from established offices to upcoming young practices, with one thing in common: good architecture.
I can’t wait for this year’s anthology of buildings with great design and architecture.
1. SPORTS ARCHITECTURE
Located in Miribilla, Bilbao Sports Arena finished its construction modeled on the surrounding natural environment for three years. This municipal building (30,800 sq. m) houses a sports center which includes a swimming pool and gymnasiums for use by the residents of Miribilla.
Cornell University in Ithaca, New York has introduced a new building in over 100 years for the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, called the Milstein Hall. One of its unique features is the floating large horizontal plate, connecting the levels of the building.
3. PUBLIC FACILITIES
Moses Bridge was made to serve a recreational function to connect routes. Since a suspension bridge is not allowed across the moats of defense works, especially on the side of the fortress, an invisible trench- like bridge was built. It is made entirely of wood, waterproofed with EPDM foil.
4. MUSEUMS AND LIBRARIES
The design of this building has won in an international competition. The spatial concept of being under the sea or the sky is reflected on the architecture of the Museum of Ocean and Surf. The precise integration of concept and topography is what gives the building its unique profile. The interior of the main space is white plaster and a wooden floor that provides an under-floor wiring flexibility.
The winery is located in a small historical village called Tokaj, and is directly adjacent to a church. The underlying concept of the building is to combine modernity to its original components to create an old classic feel.
6. HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS
Located in Polanco, Mexico City, Tori Tori finished its construction for 2 years and opened for public in 2011. It is considered as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Mexico. The place before the transformation was a residential property in which they renovated to turn into a multi- functional restaurant that maintains an intimate and subtle feeling.
Created by Metaform Architects, this housing project can never go wrong in any proportion. It is an art found side by side, entangled with more elegant pieces. The architecture competitiveness and concept is well- revealed under the overhanging volumes with yellow, orange and red clouds, at times in the background of the loggias of the apartments with its peculiar figures.
October 15, 2012
I am one of the people who love the why of things.
Twitter • Google+
I am a freelance writer, communications specialist, a general constructor, and a musician. Roxbury, Boston – renowned for its place at the very forefront of American history has been my quarters for excellence and continued learning.
To date, I have driven a thousand miles along the back roads of America to study construction engineering and management in Stanford University, California. But before that, I have switched my major no less than 4 times and held 10 part- time jobs.
In 2000, I moved to New York, where I worked as a freelance writer up until now, before realizing that I did not care when Google was born. At that point, I was just ripe for discovering the manifestos of the Constructionist’s such as Ken Garland’s “First Things First” declaration. You must know that I dig design as a method of education and empowerment. This is the reason why I engaged in the construction industry.
While I am not occupied in coordinating construction for physical objects, and providing work oversight, I find generous time to share what I know through writing, and now, blogging. I write about a range of topics including saving money tips, home improvement, and the construction business. I have established some design programs and write-ups, which got featured in CBS News and NBC Southern California News.
Selected Publications and Presentations
- “General Interpretations on Construction Management” Editorial, TEDx
- “Home: General Safety and Security Provisions” New York: W. W. Norton
- “Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment” GOOD Magazine
- “My Sanctuary” Architectural League of New York
- “Construction on Work Site Security and Safety” Presentation at NAEA Conference, New York
After midnight, I make mix tapes and audio loops, and perform in a small bar owned by my sister in Helsinki. I am currently finishing my last set of aviation classes, and a book about home improvement, which I’m hoping to get published. At some point in the future, I plan to go off the grid, and live in Malibu.
October 5, 2012