North Carolina Lottery History

North Carolina's lotto is a notably young lottery. In fact, this lottery online came into existence only after state legislation establishing the lottery was signed in 2005.

This lottery was created with one purpose: to raise funds for education. This is reflected in the official name of the lottery, which is the "North Carolina Education Lottery."

According to the NC lottery website, 100% of lottery proceeds go towards funding the state's education programs. Lottery players who don't win can find solace in the fact that their money is going towards educating the leaders of tomorrow.

What Is the NC Lottery Money Being Spent On?

50% of the proceeds go towards reducing class size ratios for young children, so teachers can give each child more personalized attention.

40% goes towards school construction and repairs. More schools mean less crowding for expanding student population, and repairs can reduce safety hazards and improve the quality of the student's education environment.

The remaining 10% of the proceeds goes towards college scholarships. These funds will go to Pell Grant students, which are students from lower income backgrounds. These students can use their scholarship money to help pay their tuition at any North Carolina colleges, whether private or public.

What Are the NC Lotto Rules?

The North Carolina lottery provides two main types of lottery.

Instant scratch-offs are cards with quick games that can be played by scratching away the coverings on different regions of the card. The rules of each game vary, borrowing themes from games like tic-tac-toe and crossword puzzles.

Generally, scratch-offs have a relatively high win probability but smaller pay-offs. Lottery drawings are the other type of lottery.

North Carolina has Pick 3, Pick 4, Cash 5, Powerball, and Mega Millions lottery drawings. The rules of each drawing differ, but each has the same basic principles.

Tickets for the drawings can be purchased at many retail locations, especially convenience stores like 7-11. There are also many online lottery ticket sellers who buy tickets, check results, and handle winnings payments for their users. It is always a good idea to check the reputation of an online lottery site before using its services.

Depending on the drawing, NC lottery players pick between 3 and 6 numbers, with the available number range varying from drawing to drawing.

Other variables to consider are ticket price (opting to pay more increases winning potential), drawing date, play type (basically how many numbers need to match and in what order), and the number of times the chosen numbers will be played. It is possible to play several drawings with a single ticket.

Players can view results on TV or through announcements online. Lotto winners should sign their ticket to prevent others from claiming it and contact the lottery officials through the number on the ticket. From there, players usually have a choice between long term payments over several years or a comparatively smaller lump sum payment.

While the chances of winning a drawing are pretty small (there's a 1 in 195,249,054 chance of winning the Powerball jackpot), the payouts are large enough to create instant millionaires.

Past NC Lottery Winners

One North Carolina lottery couple showed everyone the meaning of suspense when they claimed a $1 million lottery prize one day before the deadline. Nervous about the attention from winning, Raleigh Hill, the lucky NC lottery winner, stalled for months and guarded his ticket by hiding it in a variety of places, including his Bible.

Another NC lottery winner, Marsha McCain, was able to clear away all of her debts after winning $100,000 dollars. In addition to clearing away her debts, she was able to purchase land and continues to work as a chef.

Becky Ozmun, a convenience store owner who sells lottery tickets, won a dozen jackpots from scratch-off tickets during a period of 13 months. One of her winnings was a $150,000 prize.

NC Lottery Fraud

With its relatively short history, the NC lottery hasn't seen much lottery ticket fraud.

However, there has been a lot of attention placed on the frequency of lottery ticket jackpots among lottery retailers. There are multiple store owners like Becky Ozmun who have won an above average amount of NC lottery money.

The North Carolina lottery started tracking whether or not winners are involved in lottery ticket retail in 2008.

For now, while winning rates among retailers may seem disproportionate, lottery officials have so far seen no concrete evidence of fraud. NC lottery players are encouraged to directly verify lottery results to avoid being scammed by retailers who can claim a ticket is a loser only to later cash it in.

North Carolina Lottery Trivia

  • Lottery wins can sometimes be cause for depression. North Carolina has a lottery policy requiring that lottery winnings first go towards paying off a winner's lingering debts. For example, hundreds of thousands of NC lottery dollars have gone towards paying off child support.

  • Lottery winnings, like most financial transactions, are subject to taxes.

  • Playslips from other states cannot be used in North Carolina.

What if there was a strategy you could use to win the NC lottery?

I know it seems skeptical, but there is a method developed that is proven to be more effective then simply guessing numbers yourself.

Do you know how to calculate the odds of winning the lottery, including the Florida Lottery? You can calculate each set of odds for each different lottery game you play. With the assistance of a small hand held calculator or with the free calculator on your computer, you just multiply the numbers together and add one division process when "the order" of your chosen numbers is not required for a particular lottery game.

What you "need to know" is the number of total balls that the winning numbers are drawn from.....is it 59, 56, 42, 49, or 39? If there is a secondary drawing for the single extra ball, such as the "red ball" with Powerball or the Mega Millions' "gold ball" you need to know how many balls are in this group as well. Are there 49 or 39?

It doesn't matter if it is the Florida, Ohio, Texas, PA or NJ Lottery. This strategy or formula gives you the true odds. Florida Lottery is 6/53. New York Lottery is 6/59. The Ohio Lottery, Massachusetts Lottery, Wisconsin Lottery, and the State of Washington Lottery carry a 6/49 lottery numbers ratio. Illinois Lottery carries a 6/52.

Once you have this information correctly in front of you and your calculator in hand, you can start working the formulas. You need to choose five regular balls and one extra ball correctly matched to the winning drawn numbers to win the multi-million dollar jackpot that most of us dream about winning someday.

In the first example there are 56 balls in the first group and 46 balls in the secondary group. In order to win the Jackpot you need to match all these balls (5 + 1) exactly, but not necessarily in order. The California Lottery's Super Lotto Plus is 47/27. The big drum is spinning with the initial part of the drawing. You have a 1/56 chance to match your number to this first ball.

With one ball removed after the first number has been drawn, you now have a 1/55 chance of matching another one of your numbers to the second ball drawn. With each drawn number a ball is removed lowering the number of remaining balls by a total of one.

The odds of you correctly matching the number on the third ball to be drawn is now 1/54 from the total number of balls remaining in the drum. With the third ball removed from the drum and sitting with the other two winning numbers, your odds of correctly matching the fourth ball is reduced to 1/53.

As you can see each time a ball is released from the drum the odds are reduced by one. You started with a 1/56 chance, then with each new winning number it is reduced to 1/55, 1/54, 1/53, and with the fifth ball you have the odds of 1/52 correctly matching this fifth winning number. This is the first part of the formula of how to calculate your odds of winning the lottery, including the Florida Lottery.

Now take these five odds representing the five winning numbers (1/56, 1/55, 1/54, 1/53, and 1/52). The "1" on top of the fraction represents your one and only chance to correctly match the drawn number.

Now you take your calculator and multiply all top numbers (1x1x1x1x1) equal one (1). Next you multiply all the bottom numbers (56x55x54x53x52). Correctly entered and multiplied you discover the total is 458,377,920. The new fraction becomes 1/458,377,920. This is a 458 million to one chance to win. If you were required to pick the numbers in order just like they are drawn, then these would be the odds against you to win this Pick 5/56 ball lottery game.

Fortunately or unfortunately, you are not required to pick the numbers in the exact order they are drawn. The second step of the formula will reduce the odds, which allows you to match these five winning numbers in any order. In this step you will multiply the number of balls drawn -- five (1x2x3x4x5). With calculator in hand you see that the total equals 120.

To give you the right to choose your five matching numbers in any order, you create these odds by dividing 120/417,451,320. You definitely need a calculator for this one. 120/458,377,920 reduces your odds of winning this lottery to 1/3,819,816. These are over 3.5 million to one odds against you of winning this Pick 5/56 ball lottery game.

If this were the Mega Millions Lottery, you need to add the "gold ball" to these five winning drawn balls in order to win the Multi-Million Dollar Jackpot. The single gold ball is calculated as a 1/46 chance of matching it correctly, and since you are drawing just one number it has to be an exact match. Again, you only have that "1" chance to do it right. Now you need to multiply 3,819,816 by 46.

Grab your calculator and do the multiplication. Your final odds against you winning the Mega Millions Jackpot are calculated to be 175,711,536 or clearly stated 175 million, 711 thousand, 5 hundred 36 thirty-six to one (175,711,536 to 1). Now you know how to calculate the odds of winning the Mega Millions Lottery.

The Powerball Lottery calculations are based on a 1/59 for the first five white balls and 1/39 for the "red" power ball. The first set of multipliers is 59x58x57x56x55. This group totals 600,766,320. Now divide 600,766,360 by 120 (1x2x3x4x5). Your new total is 5,006,386. There is a 1/39 chance to catch the "red" ball. 39 x 5,006,386 gives you the real odds of winning the Powerball Jackpot, namely 195,249,054 to 1.

Another 5 +1 Lottery that seems to be everywhere in the United States is the "Hot Lotto" which has a 39/19 count. It is played in 15 different States. DC Lottery, Delaware Lottery, Idaho Lottery, Iowa Lottery, Kansas Lottery, Maine Lottery, Minnesota Lottery, Montana Lottery, New Hampshire Lottery, New Mexico Lottery, North Dakota Lottery, Oklahoma Lottery, South Dakota Lottery, Vermont Lottery, and the West Virginia Lottery. The final odds of winning the minimum $1 Million Jackpot is 10,939,383 to 1.

A Pick 6/52 ball Lottery game formula looks like this: (1/52, 1/51, 1/50, 1/49, 1/48, 1/47) for a total of 14,658,134,400 divided by 720 (1x2x3x4x5x6) for the odds of 1/20,358,520. Your chance to win the 6/52 Lottery is over 14.5 million to one to win, such as the Illinois Lotto.

The Hoosier Lottery that uses Indiana State's nickname, carries a 6/48. Michigan Lottery is 6/47, Arizona Lottery and Missouri Lottery are 6/44, Maryland Lottery is 6/43, and Colorado Lottery is 6/42. Compare this to the Florida Lottery.

A Pick 5/39 ball Lottery game formula looks like this: (1/39, 1/38, 1/37, 1/36, 1/35) for a total of 69,090,840 divided by 120 (1x2x3x4x5) for the odds of 1/575,757 of winning the Jackpot such as the Illinois Little Lotto. Other States with the same 5/39 lottery numbers include the NC Lottery, Georgia and Florida Lottery Fantasy 5, and Tennessee Lottery's Pick 5. Virginia Lottery's Cash 5 carries a 5/34 range.

The over-use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in tandem with the Green Revolution of nineteen sixties and seventies (also known as the new seed-fertilizer-water technology) in the Indian context following two decades of their widespread application in the West, has hardened the soil, decreased its fertility, polluted air and water, and brought hazards to our health and environment. Ironically, despite the disastrous consequences of the Green Revolution in the northern parts of the country in recent years, the government seems to be in mood to spread the aftermath of this chemical-seed-fertilizer technology to other parts of the country. However, the hazards of chemical fertilizers on health and environment have been well established by studies carried out from time to time and they pose serious challenges to sustainable development. In this perspective moving towards bio-fertilizers and organic farming from a system of farming requiring high doses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides seems to be a viable alternative as the latter is observed to be friendly to health and environment.

Chemical Fertilizers and Environment

Chemical or synthetic fertilizers are basically salts by definition, and therefore, are expected to be harmful to agriculture in the long run. Yet they were promoted by their manufacturers under the misgiving that they would replenish the nutrients in the soil. Contrary to this, studies carried out from time to time have established that synthetic fertilizers tend to replenish only nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, while depleting other nutrients and minerals that are naturally found in fertile soil. Decrease in soil fertility also corroborated with continual use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the field as revealed in these studies.

Excessive use of phosphatic fertilizers cause hardening of the soil as phosphorous does not dissolve in water, while alkaline fertilizers like sodium-nitrate, basic slag develops alkalinity in soil reducing its fertility. Increasing use of chemical fertilizers also causes imbalance in quantity of specific nutrients in the soil adversely affecting, in turn, soil fertility and vegetation.

Soil fertility is also reduced due to pesticides applied to wipe out unwanted herbs in the field, insecticides meant to kill pests, and chemicals that have bio-cidal activity affecting rodents etc. Pesticides cause land degradation in various ways. They kill some useful species like the earth worms and micro-organisms that maintain the natural fertility of the soil by their activities. The bacteria or micro-organisms in the soil would normally break down organic matter into plant nutrients, and help convert nitrogen from the air into a plant-usable form. There are other useful soil bacteria such as "disease organisms" which keep cutworms, chinch bugs, grubs, and other parasites in check. Decline in the organic matter of the soil also results in hardening of the soil which, besides affecting vegetation also decreases infiltration and water retention capacity.

Besides, application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides causes contamination of the aqua system both directly and indirectly. For instance, nitrogen is toxic to fish and invertebrates. It is also toxic to humans. People who depend on rural wells for potable water have higher risk of exposure to conditions like Methemoglobinemia, and aka Blue Baby Syndrome which damages blood cells and is traced to high levels of nitrate concentration as ground water is contaminated. The herbicide atrazine, one of the most commonly used pesticides, is known to be a common water contaminant. Pesticides developed in recent years are found to be more toxic to water dwelling insects, planktons, crustaceans and fish. Even a low level of the herbicide atrazine, through contamination of streams, ponds and estuaries can be harmful to the whole aqua system. It may inhibit the growth of algae and plankton affecting the diet and reproduction of fish or other water bodies.

It has been observed that, chemical pesticides no more killed the target pests, for the latter had developed resistance absorbing the residue of such pesticides while they have hit the non-target pests, birds and micro-organisms beneficial to agriculture and environment. There are pesticides like organochlorine that are, though breakable, relatively faster than DDT, hit the non-target organisms. They enter the food chain of human-beings and remain accumulated in species like the eagle, falcon and kites. The recent decline in the eagle population is the cause of it. There are cases of decline in kite and vulture population in India due to use of pesticide of an US multinational corporation. It was banned only recently following protest by ecologists.

Again, use of pesticides not only pollutes the ecosystem contaminating the soil and acqua system, but also pollutes the air. For, even a careful spray of pesticides can make it mix in the air as vapour. As a result, there are chances of poisoning of bees and other pollinators. Thus, apart from posing a threat to biodiversity affecting flora and fauna, chemical fertilizers and pesticides destroy the environment through air, water and soil pollution.

Chemical Fertilizers, Bio-fertilizers and Our Health

Pesticides and overuse of chemical fertilizers also affect our health by retaining the residue by food chain. There are evidences of residues of pesticide in vegetables causing chronic health conditions in human-beings such as cancer and other systematic dysfunctions. Residues in food and water extend the hazards to a much wider population than that affecting the farmers alone.

A twelve-year study by researchers comparing organically grown and chemically grown foods found that synthetic nitrogen fertilizer leaves toxic nitrates in vegetables at least 16 times higher than that found in vegetables grown organically. Nitrates and residues of pesticides have oncogenic or cancer producing elements. The element omega-3 found in vegetables protects us from heart disease, cancer and Alzeimer's disease. But it is decreasing day by day in foods chemically grown. As is obvious, these diseases were not very common before the World War II when chemical fertilizers were not used.

Scientists have found that minerals containing in the food are crucial to our health. They keep us disease free. Mere vitamins and calories are not sufficient for our survival. But it has been established by studies that chemical fertilizers and pesticides destroy the essential minerals in crops and vegetables. In comparison to vegetables grown under organic system of cultivation these minerals are found much less in quantity in chemically grown vegetables. So it is argued that the foods coming from modern agricultural methods would only fill your stomach but you remain deficient in nutrition.

Again, studies carried out by researchers in the US and UK over last seventy years has come to the conclusion that organic fruits and vegetables contained 27 per cent more vitamin C than those chemically grown. Besides, they invariably contained more minerals and much less toxic nitrates.

Bio-Fertilizers and Bio-pesticides as Alternatives

Unlike the synthetic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers would have no obnoxious problems on our health and ecosystem. Bio-fertilizers include excreta of animals such as cow-dung, vermin-compost, dhanicha (green manure), organic wastes, crop residues, manure etc having biological or organic origin. Use of bio-fertilizers brings back the natural fertility of the soil without causing harm to earth-worms and micro-organisms. Besides, these fertilizers do not leave toxic residues in the food. Far from it, they would retain the natural minerals and the plant absorbs from the soil.

Bio-fertilizers like vermin-compost will increase soil fertility and prevent hardening of the soil. The vermin and living micro-organisms in the soil would also break the naturally available nitrogen from the air for plant use. Again, it will help allowing infiltration of rain water rather than causing water-logging. The use of bio-fertilizers will have little detrimental effect on ground water as there would be little nitrogen leaching into the earth contaminating the water.

Again, the use of animal and plant wastes in the field as manures will clean the environment. The organic wastes piled up everywhere can be used as compost reducing the environmental pollution. Besides, the deposits from ponds and aquatic systems can be used as bio-fertilizers and pesticides. This will clean the aquatic system while increasing productivity in the field.

As against the poisonous chemical pesticides bio-pesticides prepared from natural biological resources like plants and standardized microbes have no harmful effects. Local bio-pesticides like neem leaf and oil, karanj (derris indica) extracts and oil, cow urine can be used as insecticide and fungicide. Unlike the chemical pesticides they do not hit the non-target pests nor do they pollute the environment.

Preparations of neem include neem cakes, neem kernel, neem oil etc. Neem leaves and oil have been used by farmers in the Indian subcontinent since time immemorial as effective pesticide and preservative as well. Scientists in India, US and Europe have discovered many properties of neem as an obnoxious pest controller. Studies have shown that instead of killing pests at one go neem serves as a pest repellant and ovipositional deterrent, that is, pests do not spread eggs on plants applied with neem extracts.

Karanj oil and preparations made from it (now available with firms manufacturing them) serve as effective insecticide and miticide. All kinds of mites causing harm to plants like the red spider mites, scarlet mites, yellow mites etc are effectively controlled by preparations made from karanj.

Conclusion

The development of hybrid seeds of cereals, pulses and other crops though raised the productivity and supported the growing population of the country from starvation, since the sixties, it required greater use of chemical fertilizers, some of the compounds imported from developed countries. After two decades of the Green Revolution it was found that the soil was losing its fertility demanding more and more of chemical fertilizers for the high yielding varieties (HYV) of seeds to raise productivity, while pesticides were to be used in greater doses as pests developed greater resistance. Today the situation is so acute that productivity cannot be increased without surpassing the dangerous level of fertilizer use affecting health and environment, especially in regions like Haryana and Punjab where the per capita consumption of chemical fertilizers is very high. In view of the above hazardous effects of synthetic or chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the question arises, should we continue the use of HYV seed-chemical fertilizers technology? If not, what are the alternatives? In the present context, a system of organic farming using indigenous rather than HYV seeds with bio-fertilizers and local pesticides seems to be the only solution. It is time that both the Union and State Governments should arise from their slumber and promote and propagate the system of organic farming dismantelling the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

alex jacob at April 30, 2021 at 2:52am EDT

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) no longer is an enigma in our society. Unfortunately, more and more people have it in some form or another as many in the health care industry are accepting it as a concrete diagnosis. What is it? MCS is defined as a multi-system disorder usually brought on by toxic exposure to a chemical or chemicals. The exposure can be acute, i.e. a large amount of a toxin over a short period (hours to days) or it can be long-term, a low-level exposure over a period of weeks, months or years.

An example of an acute exposure is a chemical spill and an example of a long-term exposure is a person living in a house that has been tented to kill termites and gets progressively sick.

MCS over the long haul depletes an individual's nutritional stores and causes problems in many different systems and organs in the body. Hence the term multi-system disorder. The person becomes sensitized to the particular chemical. With repeated exposure, the sensitivity increases.

Also, there is what is called a spreading effect where the individual is bothered by many more different chemicals. As this happens, more body systems become involved. MCS almost always effects the Central Nervous System.

According to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) the diagnosis, treatment, and etiologic assessment of MCS had remained a troublesome medical and social concern for individuals, physicians, government and organizations. Also, according to the ACOEM, the condition was first described in 1952 and has since amassed over 20 different names, including "environmental illness", "total allergy syndrome", "20th Century disease" and "Chemical Aids". My personal favorite is 20th Century disease.

In my mind, this name is totally appropriate since our society's quest to preserve everything from food to building materials has created this mess.

ACEOM recognizes that there is a lack of scientific research about MCS. However, they support tentative conclusions about MCS. These conclusions are: 1) that there is no immunologic basis for MCS. 2) that there is an overlap between MCS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and other historic non-specific condition.

An article by Japanese physicians from the University of Tokyo School of Medicine is pretty much in agreement with the statement of the ACOEM. Baisky AJ,Borus from the Division of Psychiatry at Birgham and Womens Hospital in Boston Massachusetts in an article titled Functional Somatic Syndrome which is another way of saying MCS states that even though physical causes may ultimately be found in patients with MCS, the suffering of these patients is exacerbated by a self perpetuating, self-validating cycle in which common endemic, somatic symptoms are incorrectly attributed to serious abnormality reinforcing the persons belief that he/she has a serious illness. In other words, although there may be just medical cause for this condition, much of the symptoms are psychological. I am in total disagreement with this statement as I believe and will try to prove to all that MCS is a toxic reaction to chemicals that creates abnormal physiological function in the body.

In 1999, consensus criteria for the definition of MCS were formulated because even though there continues to be a lack of objective physical evidence that support the diagnosis of MCS, government studies in the U.S., U.K. and Canada revealed 2-4 times as many cases of chemical sensitivity among Gulf War Veterans than soldiers who weren't deployed to the region.

Also, state health department surveys of civilians in New Mexico and California showed that 2-6% respectively, have been diagnosed with MCS and that 16% of civilians reported and "unusual sensitivity to common everyday chemicals. Those criteria are as follows: 1) chronic condition. 2) symptoms that occur reproducibly. 3) symptoms that respond to low levels of exposure. 4) symptoms to multiple unrelated chemicals. 5) symptoms that disappear or are reduced when the chemical is removed. 6) symptoms that occur in multiple organs.

In my opinion, the best thing that is happening with regards to MCS is awareness. Today, there are more governmental agencies and health care providers who acknowledge MCS.

BBC News Online did an article March 15th,00, called Household Chemicals Health Warning by Alex Kirby. In the article, it talks about Drs. Keith Eaton and Honor Anthony who are the authors of the report Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Recognition and Management that was published in the British Society for Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine. " Drs. Eaton and Anthony urge the British government to tighten the regulation of chemical use, including stricter controls on the authorization of new chemicals and the removal of persistent chemicals from food." Interestingly, only 14% of the most heavily used chemicals used in Europe have a full set of basic safety data publicly available. I find that incredible.

One of the television news magazine's here in the US did an hour show on Sick Building Syndrome. It featured the total disruption of families because of fungus growing rampant in their house. The other story that they did was the family disrupted and forced to move out of their house because they had their house sprayed for termites. These are real phenomenon, no one would ever imagine this. Because of all the chemicals in the products that are put in our buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency calls indoor air quality one of the top five environmental health risks of our time.

Benzene and formaldehyde both, both carcinogens are only protected by OSHA which is the Occupational Health & Safety Administration in a white collar setting. Elissa Feldman, EPA's associate director of Indoor Environments Div. states "There is no federally guaranteed protection from exposure to unhealthy air indoors." Feldman also calls the air going through the buildings "chemical soup. Of course, there are many other ways and many other chemicals that can cause Sick Building Syndrome. I'm limiting it simply because of space.

Let us talk for a minute about formaldehyde. Another name for it is embalming fluid. It's a preservative. I tell you, it is everywhere, from foods to drinks to walls, just everywhere. Remember, I said in the previous paragraph that it is carcinogenic. That means cancer causing. Amazingly, there are only two beers that I have found that does not have formaldehyde in it.

What about pesticides that are known cancer causing agents? Sure, the US government bans them from being used on produce in the US, but we still import produce from other countries that use those harmful pesticides. I ask why?

People who are affected by MCS usually have experienced toxic amounts of substances through repeated exposure to synthetic chemicals. Remember, I stated that you can have either a repeated exposure to small amounts or a one time exposure to a large amount. Notice I said synthetic chemicals. Man- made products are causing this to happen to us. We are doing this to ourselves. It's the odor of the chemical for the most part that causes the damage. This includes many of the common household products that are in our cabinets now.

From what I can gather, MCS affects about 16% of the population. Now that is a huge percentage of the population. Why though only those 16%. No one can say for certain. Obviously, the 16% have some sort of vulnerability, maybe some genetic predisposition. That is the conclusion that I come to.

When MCS occurs through the odor of the chemical, it effects the oldfactory (nasal) system. Now remember from above that MCS is a multi-system condition. This being because it affects the Central Nervous System, the brain if you will. The odor then goes from the nose to the different parts of the brain. That is how it reaches the multiple systems. Not a good thing! Again, we are doing this to ourselves. When MCS occurs through the ingestion of the chemical for an example in our food, it is treated like any other chemical that enters our body and causes a reaction.

What about food? Much of our food is chemically treated so that it is more profitable to the companies. Ingesting these foods and chemicals can cause a myriad of health concerns. Most of these pesticides are neurotoxic which means that they adversely effect the Central Nervous System of the insects that are targeted to kill. An individual who is vulnerable will have an adverse reaction. Also, just as a side bar, simply because a fruit or vegetable is classified as organic doesn't mean it doesn't have pesticides. Some organic growers spray the soil not the plant itself and call it organic. You have to be an investigator.

There is much discussion about Phorphyrin Metabolism problems as they relate to MCS. From the Porphyria Educational Services Bulletin, Vol. 1 No. 39, Sept 22, 1999. To paraphrase, it states" that chemicals do indeed play a large part in triggering acute attacks of porphyria in today's modern environmentally unsafe world. However, porphyria as a disease on it's own was around long before chemicals played a roll in the increase of the disease. The well known MCS writer, Cynthia Wilson who spent her life in research and writing on our toxic world, found by her research that there are 3,700 toxins that are directly linked to porphyria. As you can see, the chemical toxicity causes the porpyria, the porpyria doesn't cause the chemical toxicity.

Researchers at the University of Washington and The University of California at Los Angeles in August of 1998 as reported in the Journal Nature, began mapping out how differently people react to the same pesticides and chemicals. They found through their research that one person can be 100 times as sensitive to a particular chemical than another person. "A little bit of difference in metabolism can make a lot of difference in response," says Clem Furlone, a professor in the UW's Department of Environmental Health. They concluded that the difference in people stem from an enzyme in the body. This enzyme apparently is a contributing factor for vascular disease and also regulates resistance to some pesticides. "Someone with low levels of this enzyme would be very susceptible to those pesticides," says Furlong.

This is an explanation of why individuals are sensitive only to some pesticides. Logical deduction would lead on to believe that MCS sufferers have deficiencies in different kinds of enzymes that make them susceptible to a particular one or group of chemicals.

In 1998, a research group lead by Diane M Shih found that mice lacking an enzyme called serum paraoxonase are susceptible to organophosphate toxicity. I believe we are getting there people. Only closed minds will prevent us from understanding more and more about this disease as time goes on

My husband who was a chiropractic, homeopathic and acupuncture physician prior to his disability keeps pointing out to me while writing this article is that in his opinion, the MCS patient is hypersensitized. What does he mean by that? In this case, hypersensitized means that you can and or will react to almost anything. Does that mean that your toxicity is to everything? No! My husband says that because of the toxicity to the one or 2 chemicals, your system is now sensitive to any and every chemical. In my husband's opinion, the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity comes from being hypersensitive to multiple chemicals because of the toxic overload by one or two chemicals to your system. My husband goes on to describe two types of unfavorable reactions in the body. A histamine reaction which we all know as allergies that are treated for the most part by antihistamines, and a kinin reaction. Histamine reactions are caused by pollens, dust, mites, etc. Kinin reactions are cause by chemicals and such. It is the kinin release that caused the hypersensitivity. Because of this, my husband believes that finding the chemical that cause the initial kinin release is imperative.

Evaluation

OK so you suspect or are certain that you have MCS. What next? Do you simply go to any physician that is available? The answer to that is a resounding NO! First off, you need to make sure that the physician you choose believes that MCS is a physical, not psychological condition. The physician needs to believe that synthetic chemicals toxically overload your body. Don't even let him/her make the implication that your condition is psychological.

So what do you do if you have or think you have MCS? The first thing that you need to do is to seek medical help. What kind of physician do you go to? I think that the best answer to that is one who understands what MCS is. That could be a MD, DO, DC, Acupuncturist or a Homeopath. To find the right person nearest you, you need to do some investigating. Check with MCS organizations to try and find the nearest one to you. Personally, my preferences are the homeopathic practitioner and the Acupuncturist, because in my opinion you need natural approach.

There are acupuncture points that will drive toxins out of the body. The homeopath is equipped with remedies that will counteract most chemicals. My husband a retired Chiropractor, Homeopath/Acupuncturist treated many people with MCS and according to him with good results. He states that he used a combination of acupuncture, homeopathic remedies and nutrition to help combat this condition. The one thing that he stressed to his patients was that it was mandatory that they get out of the environment that is causing them to be sick. Without that, nothing will work.

Without taking an active role in helping yourself, you will become a prisoner to the chemical environment. Some of you are too damaged already for many things to help. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Keep on trying.

In order for you to have a chance of getting better with a certain physician, in my opinion he/she needs to make a declaration to you that they recognizes the intensity and the reality of your symptoms and that they are indeed related to a chemical toxicity. Without that declaration, in my opinion you will not have any confidence that he/she can help you and consequently, you will not receive any help.

Remember you doctor can not give you all of the answers on the first visit. It should take time to gather all of the information needed to properly advise you. When your doctor is taking your initial history, you should make sure that you review each symptom that you have. You need to tell him/her when the symptom started and probably more importantly how did it start? Was it after a specific exposure to a specific chemical? How long was the exposure? What have you done to try to heal yourself?

The doctor's examine should focus on the body parts in question with specific blood work for the specific organ system. Just as important as doing the proper tests for the specific organ in question, don't allow the doctor to order tests that are not necessary and therefore will cost you more money. The following tests are not recommended for routine evaluation of MCS because either they can precipitate a violent reaction or because they are worthless for the diagnosis. Notice I say routine. There could be a specific reason for anyone of these tests. Let your doctor explain to you why you need the test. 1) Environmental challenge test. 2) Quantitative encephalography. 3) Brain electrical activity mapping. 4) Neuropsychogenic testing. 5) Brainstem evolked potentials. 6) Position emission tomography. 7) Immunologic testing and determination of blood levels of trace volatile organic compounds or pesticides. These tests sound important but don't help in the diagnosis of MCS.

Your physician's primary objective is to help you uncover which chemical/chemicals are causing your condition. You need to work as a team with your physician to uncover this mystery. Note nothing is trivial in this investigation.

Treatment

While a number of different types of treatments may help improve you overall health, only complete and strict avoidance for the specific chemical/chemicals will stop the progression and if not to much damage has occurred, improve the health of a MCS patient. The most essential part in treating a patient with MCS is identifying and then avoiding the chemical/chemicals that triggered your body's reaction. Even with strict avoidance of the trigger chemical/chemicals, improved health may take up to a year.

The web site http://www.ourlittleplace.com has a wonderful page named guidelines for Non-toxic Living. I'm going to highlight them for you but feel free to go to the site and read them thoroughly. 1) Avoid all scented products. 2) Avoid all fabric softeners, dryer sheets, Clorox scented detergents, etc. 3) Avoid all pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and fertilizers. 4) Use only non-toxic cleaning products and person care products. 5) Drink and bathe in filtered water. 6) Eat organic food. 7 Wear only natural-fiber clothing, 100% cotton, linen, wool or silk. 8) Use only 100% cotton, wool or pure silk bed linens and blankets. 9) As much as possible avoid plastics. 10) Open your windows as often as possible. 11) Certain houseplants are beneficial to remove toxins from the air. The best are philodendrons, spider plants, aloe Vera etc. Go to the site to get the rest.

The second thing that the MCS patient needs to do to improve their health is to maintain optimal nutrition. What is optimal nutrition? You need to make sure that you are eating enough calories. My research has lead me to the opinion that your food intake should be 40% protein, 30% fats, and 30% carbohydrates, very similar to the Zone diet. In the next couple of paragraphs, I'm going to outline some natural therapies. Prior to outlining them, I did research into their efficacy and spoke to a number of physicians including my husband. I am not giving out medical advice; I am simply trying to expand your knowledge. I suggest that you do your own research, speak to your own physician and come to a conclusion if you want to try any of these natural therapies.

Nutritional supplementation in my opinion is very important. A general multivitamin is fine to take as a baseline. Make sure that your multivitamin is entirely natural. Do not take any synthetic vitamin! Synthetic vitamins are man make chemicals. That is what got you feeling sick right! Along with your multivitamin, according to my husband, you should take a B complex 75 mg., and approximately 2 grams of Vitamin C. Also, very important are proteolytic enzymes. These should be taken immediately upon awakening in the morning and then wait an hour before you have something to eat. With all supplementation, you need to follow the directions on the bottle. Most importantly, you need to investigate and find these vitamins in an all-natural source. Again, do not use synthetic vitamins or one with fillers.

Acupuncture therapy can be very beneficial to the MCS patient. There are specific acupuncture points that release toxins from the body. There are also points that can strengthen specific organs. I would be very cautious taking Oriental Herbs though. If you are being treated by an acupuncturist who wants you to take pre- packaged Oriental Herbs, make sure that there are no synthetic chemicals or fillers in the herbs. Also, make sure that any bulk herbs that you take have not been sprayed with anything. This can be dangerous to you. Ask a lot of questions and be a good investigator. A good acupuncturist is worth their weight in gold to a MCS patient in my opinion.

Homeopathy in my opinion can be extremely helpful to the MCS patient. A good Homeopathic Physician is priceless. The Homeopath needs to take an exhaustive history to match your symptoms to the proper remedy. There are many different kinds of remedies that can be prescribed. My husband tells me that each case is different to the homeopath. However, he used three remedies a lot with MCS patients. They were Nitric Acid, DDT, and Formaldehyde.

When it is all said and done, I believe that combining all three of the natural remedies along with strict avoidance of the offending chemical/chemicals will give you the best chance of regaining some of your life.

If you must smoke at all, why not do so in style? Cigarette lighters, cigarette holders, and cigarette cases help you light up with panache.

Dual Purpose

Cigarette cases are often metal, hinged cases designed to store cigarettes in small amounts and keep them fresh, especially when traveling. Cigarettes are kept from falling out of their cases by a spring-loaded retaining arm.

Cigarette cases these days, however, have since evolved into more than storage cases. They have morphed into accessories that enhance the personality of the smoker carrying them. In fact, cigarette cases have become as much a status symbol as watches, mobile phones, and jackets.

Variety in Cigarette Cases

A range of cigarette cases are currently available in the market. There are varieties made to fit any gender, age, and personality. Cigarette cases normally hold up to 18 cigarettes, though that number differs with each case. Most cases are shallow enough to store only one row or half a pack of cigarettes. Cigarette cases can fit both filtered and unfiltered cigarettes.

Nowadays, cigarette cases are created from any material, with metal being the most popular. There are now cigarette cases made of materials such as gold, silver, brass, chrome, leather, aluminum, canvass, and even plastic.

Cigarette cases sport designs ranging from famous artwork to famous people, cartoon characters to landscapes. For a more personal touch, some people commission embossed designs on their cigarette cases. Engravings are also very popular with metal cigarette cases. Customized designs and patterns are often available upon request.

Cigarette Cases in Fashion

Though both genders use cigarette cases, they are more popular with women. Cigarette cases can be a fashion statement. Many have been designed as purses to match outfits, mainly made from velvet, PVC, and leather. Men, on the other hand, often stick to the classic metal cigarette case.

Cigarette Cases and Business

Cigarette cases are popularly used by companies whose main clientèle are smokers. Cigarette lighter manufacturers like Zippo and Bic have their own line of cigarette cases, often matching their cigarette lighters. Liquor companies like Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker have long since produced their own line of cigarette cases, too. Even Playboy magazine has also tapped into the revenue brought about by cigarette cases.

Cigarette Cases and the Non-Smoker

From a non-smoker's point of view, cigarette cases can also be very useful. Instead of using it to store cigarettes, it may be used to keep a multitude of other things. Techie people have found cigarette cases to be very useful in housing tiny, sensitive devices like PCMCIA and Compact Flash cards because they keep dust and dirt away from the connectors.

Cigarette cases are also cool alternatives to wallets or purses. You can carry cash and coins, credit cards, and identification cards in them. They can help you prevent the unwanted bending of items when you carry them around in your pocket.

Cigarette cases are good for any number of things. Whichever way you use it, however, always remember that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health.

In need of cigarette cases? Whether it's a cigarette case you need, a Swiss Army watch, or ringbearer presents, our site can give you with what you need.

Nicotine itself is not addictive, but it is responsible for releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reinforcements in the brain, thus inducing addictive tendencies in humans. Nicotine is a chemical found in tobacco leaf, the main ingredient in cigarettes and is said to cause addiction and disease in cigarette smokers, (World Health Organization (WHO)).

Nicotine mimics the activities of acetylcholine, a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and the nerve-muscle junction of skeletal muscles. Acetylcholine is responsible for excitability, which causes increase heart rate, alertness, and reaction times, (Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1989; 97(2):257-61.). Because acetylcholine and nicotine are chemically similar, they trigger the same cholinergic receptors in the brain. The nicotine-acetylcholine receptors consist of nerve endings that release dopamine when coupled or bind with nicotine or acetylcholine. Receptors are like cups having the exact dimensions that will fit a neurotransmitter molecule, such as acetylcholine.

The cup itself is lined with nerve endings (tips of neurons). It is these nerve endings that release dopamine when the neurotransmitter acetylcholine binds with the cup-like acetylcholine receptors (cholinergic receptors). A reinforcing and reward phenomenon of dopamine develops because the dopamine that is released from the nerve endings initiates a feeling of pleasure in the individual's brain. The reinforcement mechanism is initiated when the brain becomes addicted to the pleasure caused by the dopamine that is released from the cholinergic receptors. This means that the brain is constantly seeking to be pleasured. So, what will happen in the case of cigarette smokers is that they will continue to smoke cigarettes so the nicotine from the cigarette can induce the release of dopamine in the brain, causing them to feel happy every time they smoke a cigarette, (Nature Reviews Neuroscience 7, 967-975 (December 2006)).

The first time cigarette smokers smoked cigarettes there were only a few cholinergic receptors available because the natural action of acetylcholine only needs the normal amount of receptors provided by nature to do its job. However, the increase concentration of nicotine available caused the normal amounts of cholinergic receptors to become desensitized to the presence of the increased number of nicotine in the cholinergic receptors. This desensitization causes the production or growth and development of more cholinergic receptors. These extra cholinergic receptors will soon become desensitized from the excess nicotine available. Such processes occur until equilibrium is reached. Equilibrium is reached when cigarette smokers decide on the amount of cigarettes they will consume or smoke in a given day. At this time, a fixed amount of receptors will be available for the addiction to continue. Smokers will normally say they smoke one or two packs per day. They said so because of the amount of receptors available to accommodate two packs of cigarettes in a day.

A detrimental effect of all this is the fact that such large amounts of cholinergic receptors are now available and hungry for nicotine. So, they can stimulate dopamine to pleasure the cigarette smoker. This is the reason why cigarette smokers have a very difficult time quitting. The best approach therefore for a cigarette smoker to use in quitting is to gradually cut back on the amount of cigarettes smoked in a given time interval.

In addition to the dopamine-inducing effect of nicotine, is the speeding-up of the heart rate by nicotine every time a cigarette is smoked. From a medical perspective, constantly having an artificial increase in heart rate isn't a great idea either. For one thing, a constant increase in heart rate by drugs such as nicotine can cause heart disease, (WHO).

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use leads to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, such as heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer. Most cigarette induced cancers are lung cancer, cancers of the larynx, mouth, and pancreas. Cigarette smoke also causes myocardial infarctions, peripheral vascular disease and hypertension. The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco is responsible for about 5.4 million deaths in 2004 and about 100 million deaths during the 20th century.

In addition to its addictive effects on the central nervous system, cigarette smoke contains a multitude of cancer-causing agents. They work by binding to DNA causing many genetic mutations. Nicotine could be the main culprit that is doing the binding to DNA causing genetic mutations, which leads to cancer. Nicotine is said to disrupt the natural processes of apoptosis (programmed cell death) by binding to DNA in cells, (National Institute of Health (NIH)). Defective cells consist of junk DNA and other waste materials. When apoptosis is inhibited, natural cell death does not occur; instead, defective cells are allowed to proliferate or grow larger, uncontrollably. This is what happens in cancer and the main reason why cigarette smokers are more susceptible to developing cancers.

When apoptosis is uncontrollably triggered by chemicals, such as nicotine, it causes normal cells to die off. This could possibly be what is happening in the heart tissues of cigarette smokers who suffer from heart disease and could also be what is taking place in the extremities of cigarette smokers, who often complain of excessive coldness in their fingers, arms, toes, and legs, where circulation is lowest.

There are no existing studies to support this exact explanation. However, based on the knowledge of known scientific evidence of apoptosis and the increase in death rates of cigarette smokers, this hypothetical explanation has some credence; and will continue to have credence until proven otherwise! There is something deadly that is happening to cigarette smokers and nicotine is one of the agents behind it.

The tar in cigarette smoke is also an agent that sucks the life out of cigarette smokers. The lung of a cigarette smoker is as black as the color of asphalt. It is like a severe piece of burnt pot roast. This is why most cigarette smokers have difficulty breathing. It is next to impossible for air to pass freely down the airways of smokers. The sad thing is that it is difficult for cigarette smokers to quit. So, they continue down the road of destruction, day after day, puffing on the silent killer--cigarette smoking.

One very important solution to quitting smoking is smoking one less cigarette a day or even one less cigarette in a month if one less cigarette a day is too steep of an adjustment to the deadly habit. If one normally smokes a pack of cigarettes a day, that individual should remove one of those cigarettes and discard it--throw it in the trash can. Remember that the smoking of cigarettes started gradually. No one started smoking a pack of cigarettes a day in that awful beginning stage of smoking cigarettes. Smoking one less cigarette per a particular time frame will help eliminate the excessive cholinergic receptors that nicotine so dearly craves.

Wellbutrin is another method for helping people stop smoking. Wellbutrin is an antidepressant drug used by people with depression. However, it is very potent in helping people kick the deadly habit of cigarette smoking. It can be taken while smoking, unlike other smoking cessation agents. Wellbutrin blocks nicotine receptors and weakens the action of dopamine reuptake by neurons, (J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2000 Oct; 295(1):321-7.).

Cigarette smokers who are interested in quitting should implement an exercise program in their schedule because the lack of nicotine in ex-cigarette smokers causes weight-gain. How do we know this? Former cigarette smokers who kicked the habit complain of putting on weight after they quit smoking. Ask any ex-cigarette smoker. One will hear the same thing. Nicotine induces weight-loss in smokers. This is why most cigarette smokers are skinny or slim. If a cigarette smoker is overweight while smoking cigarettes, then that person should definitely seek medical attention because there could be a very dangerous medical condition lurking in the shadows.

alex jacob about 1 month ago

Photocopiers have changed drastically in the last ten years, now being able to perform many more tasks than just duplicating hard copies of documents. These improvements in technology mean that many photocopiers use a built in hard drive so function in a different way to some older photocopiers. Although impressive, these changes sometimes cause a few problems with accessibility for disabled users, especially as small touch screens have replaced the old large, easily recognisable buttons. Photocopiers can perform many more functions and so need a screen to display all the options but this change meant that some people found them hard to access. However, a few photocopier manufacturers have now come up with ways to improve the accessibility of photocopiers.

Voice guidance kits are now available for visually impaired users which often work by having a small speaker attached to the side of photocopiers and use speech-output software to communicate with a user. The number pad is used to go through various functions, with the speech output guiding the user. Braille label kits can also be provided for some devices, making tactile buttons recognisable.

Automatic document feeders that are now included in photocopiers increased the speed at which multiple documents can be copied. However, where there used to be just a straight forward platen cover covering the platen glass, these often now incorporate automatic document feeding equipment, making them heavier to lift and especially difficult for wheelchair users. To combat this problem, an accessibility handle can be fitted to many photocopiers which makes lifting the document feeder much easier.

Touch screens can also be a problem as they are designed to be viewed from above and sometimes do not have very high contrasts making them difficult to access by wheelchair users and people with low vision. This problem has again been addressed by some photocopier manufacturers. The majority of photocopiers can now be networked. Software such as Remote Operator's software kit can be installed on the photocopiers, allowing users to access from a laptop or desktop PC, where the contrast and size of the information can be changed to make it more easily readable.

A number of measures have been taken to improve accessibility of photocopiers. Technology in photocopiers and their capabilities has improved vastly in the last ten years and should be accessible to everyone. Now that a few photocopier manufacturers have taken measures to improve accessibility for disabled users it should mean that more people will be able to take advantage of these new features and access them easily.

For more information about the accessability of photocopiers please click here.

A business can make a very huge investment into a photocopier. The basic computer printer/copier that comes with standard ink cartridges might be fine for the home, but a busy office environment is going to require a professional grade photocopier machine. A high end photocopier also does have to be properly taken care of. Taking care of the copier refers to more than just replacing the ink cartridges after their use life has expired. Regular repair work might be required beyond just changing ink cartridges. To ensure this is done properly and timely, signing an agreement with a maintenance service is strongly recommended.

In a busy office, a great many people are going to be using the photocopier. In addition to providing copies, the machine may be handling fax duties and also facilitating print orders from computers. A lot of use also means a lot of wear and tear. Yes, the office is going to go through a lot of ink cartridges but this is not exactly unexpected, nor is it very difficult to replace a cartridge when it runs out. Major problems are when the machine just does not perform as requested or even shuts down and cannot power up again. Out of the ordinary noises that clearly indicate something is wrong would be another harbinger of a serious problem that must be fixed. No matter how well-made a top of the line machine may be, parts are going to wear out due to constant use. In some cases, mishandling can lead to damage to the machine. To deal with such problems, it is best to place a call to a repair service.

Signing a service agreement with a photocopier repair and maintenance service in advance of any problems is strongly recommended. The reason is you do want an immediate response to any woes that arise with the photocopier. Buying ink cartridges is easy. Clearing out a paper jam in a photocopier on your own is not very complicated. Locating what the root cause of an operational failure requires expertise as does being able to fix the problem with the photocopier. Getting a quick response after merely placing a phone call to a photocopier service technician ensures office operations can resume quickly.

Trying to find a quality photocopier repair service after a machine breaks down is not easy. Again, you are not just ordering ink cartridges. You are seeking expert help. A prudent approach would be to sign a service agreement with a company immediately after buying the photocopier. This way, when a problem occurs, the photocopier problem can be quickly fixed.

Evolutel offers a wide range of products and services for the telephony and networking needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Whether you're in need of IT services, ink cartridges or photocopier repair services EvoluTEL are a one-stop solution for all your business needs.

Before you start adding anything into your coffee, let's first try to get something straight: a cup of black, unadulterated coffee made from quality coffee beans is amazing all by itself. In addition to tasting great, coffee can help improve mental and physical performance, so it's no wonder that so many people around the world start the day off with a cup of coffee in the morning.

I myself have been a regular coffee drinker since my college days and always prefer my coffee black. In fact, I find it hard to understand how people can truly appreciate coffee after adding so much stuff to it. It's incredible how much sugar, cream and more sugar you see people adding to their coffee. My theory is that people who do this may not actually like coffee - it is the sugar-high they are after, with a little caffeine thrown in for good measure.

So when I first heard about how people were adding globs of butter to their coffee, I wondered whether loading coffee up with fat instead of sugar was really all that different.

Is chasing a fat-high more worthy than chasing a sugar-high?

What Exactly Is Bulletproof Coffee?

"Bulletproof coffee" is a term originally coined by self-proclaimed biohacker, Dave Asprey, to refer to coffee made with his own brand of coffee beans, blended together with healthy fats. Of course, nowadays it seems the term "bulletproof coffee" is used more broadly to refer to any cup of coffee that is mixed with fats such as butter, coconut oil and MCT oil. The idea is that these fats, combined with caffeine, can give you a nice, sustainable energy boost while also making you feel full and satiated.

Bulletproof coffee is certainly gaining in popularity in the U.S., particularly among athletes and CrossFitters. In a recent three-part series on nutrition in the NBA, CBS Sports even talks about how bulletproof coffee is the "pregame beverage of choice" for the Lakers. A quick Google Trends search for "bulletproof coffee" shows that the term started building steam towards the end of 2012 and has been on the uptrend ever since.

What Are The REAL Benefits Of Drinking Bulletproof Coffee?

If you head to Asprey's website, you can find the following claims about bulletproof coffee:

"It makes you feel energized, alert, and focused all day without the crash of commercial energy drinks." "It will keep you satisfied with level energy for 6 hours if you need it, and because I'm having it for breakfast, I'm programming my body to burn fat for energy all day long!" "Try this just once, with at least 2 Tbs of butter, and have nothing else for breakfast. You will experience one of the best mornings of your life, with boundless energy and focus. It's amazing." Now I'm not going to try to refute any of these claims. In fact, I tend to agree with most of them. However, the issue that I have is this: How many of these benefits could be attributed to drinking coffee alone, regardless of whether you "bulletproof" it?

I would venture to guess that most of the benefits that people claim to experience from drinking bulletproof coffee come from the coffee itself. But I've found that the real distinguishing benefit of bulletproof coffee that is seldom stressed, perhaps because it is so ridiculously simple, is that you will feel full after drinking bulletproof coffee.

The fact that you will feel full after chugging generous amounts of butter and oil with your coffee probably doesn't come as a surprise to most people. But why I would view it as the key benefit of bulletproof coffee may not be so obvious. Basically it comes down to the fact that there are only so many decisions that your brain can handle effectively in a day. Therefore, if you want to be effective, it is important to minimize distractions and focus on the decisions that matter most. Bulletproof coffee, in this case, can help you manage your hunger so that it isn't a distraction. The idea is to overcome the conventional belief that in order to function, you have to or should eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at set times every day. You should listen to your body, and if you aren't hungry, you have the green light to continue conquering the task at hand.

Is Bulletproof Coffee for YOU?

At this point, a logical question might be: "If all bulletproof coffee does is make you full, why don't you just drink regular coffee and eat like a normal person?"

For me it comes down to efficiency and diet.

Firstly, if you are already a coffee drinker like me, why not kill two birds (caffeine craving and hunger) with one stone? Adding some butter to your coffee is more efficient and less distracting than having to decide on what to eat for breakfast and then either prepare it yourself or buy it from somewhere. Those who appreciate the productivity benefits of sticking to daily rituals will be able to understand this point best.

Secondly, I think a point often missed by people commenting on whether bulletproof coffee is "good" or "bad" is that many bulletproof coffee drinkers (myself included) are on low-carb diets. Diets that are low in carbohydrate (basically sugar) are typically high in fat. In other words, low sugar diet = high fat diet. Thus while fatty coffee might sound delicious to a low-carb dieter who is accustomed to consuming higher quantities of fat, it is understandable how someone on a conventional diet might find the concept disgusting.

So to summarize, I recommend trying bulletproof coffee if any of the following statements apply to you:

You aren't convinced that eating three meals a day is "necessary" and prefer to spend less time eating and more time being productive. You want to simplify your daily routine so that you can focus on the things that matter. You prefer eating fat over sugar. You are on a low-carb diet. Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee

If you've gotten this far, I assume it means you are ready to try bulletproof coffee. Allow me to explain how I make my own version, which I'll call Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee. "Shanghai" in the name is recognition of the fact that my less precise (and thus more Chinese) preparation strays from Asprey's strict approach, and it's how I make it here in Shanghai. Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee is about getting the desired performance boost from your coffee while expending the least amount of time and effort. If at the end of the day, our goal is to reduce decisions and distractions, then getting too caught up in the preparation of your coffee seems counterproductive.

So here's what you'll need:

Coffee - To minimize changes to your routine at this point, simply start off by making (or buying) your coffee as you normally would at home or the office. I haven't noticed any declines in performance when switching between reputable brands of coffee, so I don't stress if mass market coffee (e.g. Starbucks) is the only coffee available. But in general, I do buy coffee that is as fresh as possible. When buying coffee beans, ask the staff when the beans were roasted or look for a roast date on the packaging. As with any type of food, the more recent the date the better.

Butter - Similar to my experience with coffee, I don't notice significant performance differences between brands of butter. So just start off with what's convenient, and then try out various brands until you find what you like best. I usually use unsalted butter, but I've tried using salted butter as well and find that it actually adds some interesting flavor. If all you have in the kitchen is a stick of salted butter, just go with it and adjust later. I typically go with Kerrygold or President butter, which supposedly come from primarily grass-fed cows and are easy to find in most supermarkets. And if you're lactose intolerant like me, don't worry -- butter contains close to zero lactose so unless you are super sensitive, it is unlikely that you will encounter unpleasant side effects.

Coconut oil - The original Bulletproof coffee recipe calls for MCT oil. MCT's, or medium chain triglycerides, are found naturally in foods and are basically fats that can metabolize quickly to provide fuel to your body. I do use MCT oil from time to time, but I prefer to use virgin coconut oil because in addition to being naturally rich in MCT's, virgin coconut oil is also rich in other healthy nutrients. Virgin coconut oil also adds subtle coconut flavor and is easier to find than MCT oil, particularly if you live in China.

Chopstick - Use a chopstick to stir the ingredients together. A chopstick works great as a stirrer and adds additional "Shanghai flavor" into the mix. Using a blender or milk frother will give you a thicker, latte-like foam on top, but I find they aren't worth the hassle. With a blender, it is a pain in the ass to clean up and the process of transferring the coffee to and from the blender pretty much guarantees that your coffee will no longer be hot by the time you drink it. A handheld milk frother can be more efficient relative to a blender since you can use it to stir directly in your coffee cup, but you will need a very large cup to avoid spillage as the coffee swirls around. Once you have your ingredients, make Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee in four simple steps:

Step 1 - Add butter and coconut oil to the bottom of an empty coffee mug. I typically add one tablespoon (~14 grams) of butter and one tablespoon of coconut oil per cup. If you aren't concerned with being precise, a tablespoon is roughly the size of half a golf ball. When buying butter, look for measurement markers on the packaging so that you can simply cut through the packaging to arrive at the amount of butter you need. Another easy hack to measure the amount is to buy (or take) the packaged, single-servings of butter that you often find in restaurants (they are typically 10 grams each). If this is your first time, try starting with smaller amounts and then work your way up depending on your energy needs and how your body feels.

Step 2 - Add coffee to mug. Start off by adding however much coffee you feel like drinking and then adjust ratios accordingly based on your personal preference. Just make sure you leave enough room in the mug to be able to stir without spilling everywhere. My machine is setup to make roughly 7 oz of coffee per serving, which fills a standard coffee mug to about three-quarters full.

Step 3 - Stir with chopstick until the butter and coconut oil dissolve. You will find that the butter and coconut oil dissolve quite easily in hot coffee so stirring should only take about 20-30 seconds max.

Step 4 - Drink your Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee and feel awesome! Now go make yourself a cup of Shanghai Bulletproof Coffee! Often the hardest part of trying something new is taking that first step. With my streamlined version of bulletproof coffee, hopefully I've helped make it easier for you to try it and see for yourself. Our bodies are all unique so the only way you will know if something works for you is to give it a try.

Randy Wang is an entrepreneur and biohacking enthusiast currently living in Shanghai, China. He lived in San Francisco prior to Shanghai and studied Economics and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. Follow his experiment to create the perfect lifestyle.

Coffee shops are a dime-a-dozen in San Francisco.

Seriously, there are over 300 coffee shops throughout the City - that's about 6 per square mile!

Why are there so many? SF is a global leader in the progressive, third-wave coffee movement - a movement that aims to produce high-quality coffee as an artisanal product, like craft beer or wine.

This is great news for us, as San Franciscans love their coffee. We narrowed down our list to the best, and then the best of the best to bring you this list of coffee shops you have to visit before you die.

Réveille Coffee/Cafe Réveille Réveille Coffee began in 2010 when brothers Thomas and Christopher Newbury began selling coffee out of a repurposed delivery truck. Six years and four locations later, Réveille serving up some of San Francisco's tastiest coffee and espresso drinks. After moving into Mission Bay just six weeks ago, Cafe Réveille is already generating tons of buzz on Yelp and social media. With bright colors combined with modest, artsy decor, Cafe Réveille is a great spot to grab coffee, breakfast/lunch or spend a little bit of time telecommuting. (Note: Cafe Réveille is also open for dinner and drinks every night.) All beans are roasted in-house, and their mocha is one of the most popular items on the menu. Réveille Coffee has other locations in Jackson Square, The Castro and North Beach. Cafe Réveille (Mission Bay) - 610 Long Bridge Street, San Francisco, CA

Golden Bear Trading Company Right down the street from UCSF's Parnassus Medical Center is Golden Bear Trading Company. This unassuming coffee shop sells breakfast food, spirits and coffee-snob approved beverages. This small cafe is a must-go for coffee lovers in the City, and was featured on Yelp's Top 100 Places to Eat. Sam, the passionate owner of Golden Bear, has been known to say that if you don't think his coffee is the best, he'll give you another cup for free. Challenge accepted, Sam! Golden Bear Trading Company - 1401 6th Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Andytown Coffee Roasters On quiet Lawton Street in the Outer Sunset lies Andytown Coffee Roasters, known for their Snowy Plover iced expresso drink. It's a concoction of iced espresso, sparkling water and brown sugar syrup, topped off with delicious house-made whipped cream that gives Cool Whip a run for their money. This drink is just one of the reasons for the long lines that often file out the door. (That, and the fact that Andytown packs in a coffee shop, roastery and bakery all within its 600 square foot shop!) Don't skip on the Northern Irish soda bread and scones. Added bonus: it's just a few blocks from Ocean Beach. Andytown Coffee Roasters - 3655 Lawton Street, San Francisco, CA

Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company Founded in 1935, Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company is one of North America's oldest artisan coffee roasters. You'll find Graffeo just up the street from Washington Square Park in the heart of North Beach, San Francisco's famed Italian grotto. Graffeo isn't actually a cafe; it's a roaster. You can only buy their deliciously roasted beans or grounds. Totally worth it. Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company - 735 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Papa November Papa November is a coffee truck permanently at the corner of 15th Street and Kansas in San Francisco's Design District, across the street from the Design Center and Design Within Reach. While there's no seating, the coffee makes up for it. Serving Stumptown coffee, the truck rotates a selection of beans each week. They also sell homemade baked goods which change daily. What should you order at Papa November? The Claris - cold milk cream with espresso. Obviously, there's no seating at Papa November's coffee truck, so grab a cup to go on your way to the office or to get you ready for a day of furniture shopping. Papa November - 215 15th Street, San Francisco, CA

Ritual Coffee Roasters Ritual Coffee Roasters sparked a coffee renaissance in San Francisco after opening in 2005. Based out of The Mission, Ritual has expanded to include four locations including Bayview's Flora Grubb Gardens and Napa's Oxbow Public Market. Our favorite is the outpost at Hayes Valley's PROXY - a modified shipping container that's positively hipsteriffic. Get caffeinated with their delicious Gibraltar Coffee, San Francisco's version of a Cortado, and head over to Chantal Guillon to pick up a sweet pairing. Ritual Coffee at PROXY - 432b Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA

Philz Coffee No listicle of San Francisco coffee shops would be complete without Philz Coffee. Scratch that. San Francisco wouldn't be complete without Philz! Phil Jaber was the owner of a mini supermarket in The Mission District and wanted to leave behind a greater legacy for his son, Jacob. In his quest to create the perfect coffee, it took seven years to get his first coffee blend, Tesoro, just right. Philz is a San Francisco staple with 14 locations in the City and 15 others throughout the Bay Area. (Philz has also expanded to Los Angeles, and he has his eyes set on Washington, DC - we'd say he's going to leave behind a great legacy.) The Mint Mojito Iced Coffee is one of the most popular items, along with the Mocha Tesora - but you really cannot go wrong with anything here. Philz Coffee - 3101 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

Home This trendy, modern coffee shop located just off of 19th Avenue & Noriega is known for its communal tables, comfortable environment and eclectic espresso creations. Popular with students and a hipster crown, the menu is written on giant pieces of paper on the wall. What should you order at Home? No doubt: the lavender latte. If lavender's not your thing (or you're afraid your coffee will taste like soap - a valid concern, even though it's capital-D Delicious), try the sea salt caramel and coconut vanilla coffee. Home - 1222 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA

The Mill The Mill is the love child of Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread on the buzzing Divisadero Street corridor between NoPa and Alamo Square. The Mill serves up delicious, velvety espresso drinks, coffees, artisanal toasts and granola (change seasonally and feature weekly specials) baked by Josey Baker Bread, pastries from Neighbor Bakehouse, cookies from Anthony's and donuts from Dynamo Donuts. If your taste buds haven't already exploded while dreaming about the goodness that is The Mill, prepare for it: The Mill has Pizza Night every Monday from 6:00-9:00PM and a Grilled Cheese & Soup Night on Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00PM. Seriously, is this place heaven-in-SF? Yes, yes it is. We recommend ordering an espresso drink with a Pistachio Blackberry Croissant. The Mill - 736 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA

Blue Bottle Coffee Another Bay Area original (Oakland, to be precise), you can never go wrong at Blue Bottle Coffee. With unique locations around the world (Blue Bottle recently opened shop in Tokyo), coffee lovers everywhere flock to Blue Bottle for delicious, handcrafted beverages - especially their famous iced coffee drinks: the chicory-flavored New Orleans Iced Coffee and creamy Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Our favorite Blue Bottle outpost is without a doubt the semi-hidden Linden Alley shop in Hayes Valley which operates out of a garage, and surrounded by graffiti art. A perfect pit stop before or after a day of shopping Hayes Valley's many boutiques. Blue Bottle Coffee - 315 Linden Street, San Francisco, CA

Fog Lifter Cafe Fog Lifter Cafe is a small, quaint coffee shop located in the heart of Ingleside. This unpretentious hangout - popular with neighborhood residents and SFSU and CCSF students - serves delicious coffee roasted by Blue Bottle and Sightglass, as well as smoothies, pastries, breakfast scrambles, panini sandwiches and more. This shop specializes in pour-over coffee. Fog Lifter Cafe - 1901 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Trouble Coffee Company Trouble Coffee Co. is the little coffee shop that could. With its original location based out of a tiny shop in the far reaches of the Outer Sunset, Trouble Coffee sparked San Francisco's artisanal toast craze with $4.00 cinnamon-sugar toast on thick bread. (Hey, the name just started to make sense to us - because you'll be in trouble with their bread - calorie-wise, and possibly financially, too.) Founded by Giulietta Carrelli, Trouble has expanded its little coffeehouse's (and coconut club) reach with two new locations in Bayview and Oakland - along with its toast offerings. Trouble Coffee Co. & Coconut Club - 4033 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA

Saint Frank Coffee This hipster-chic cafe is located on upper Polk Street in Russian Hill. With soaring ceilings, abundant natural lighting, clean lines and minimalistic, white and oak interior, Saint Frank will make you feel like you've been transported to Copenhagen. As you might have guessed, Saint Frank is named after our beloved City. The menu is small, and the coffee is on the lighter side (in true Scandinavian form). Our favorite creation at Saint Frank is the Almond Macadamia Latte. Saint Frank Coffee - 2340 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA

Piccino Coffee Bar Piccino is a modern Italian trattoria with an adorable connecting coffee bar. This tiny coffee bar serves Sightless coffee, oven-hot stick buns and other homemade pastries that are certain to delight. Open until 10:00PM, it's the perfect stop after dinner in the Dogpatch for a cappuccino. While the coffee bar does not have seating, you can find a bench in the pleasant Woods Yard Park across the street. Piccino Coffee Bar - 807 22nd Street, San Francisco, CA

Coffee Bar Located between the Mission District and Potrero Hill is Coffee Bar, one of our favorite spots in San Francisco. This cozy, but modern coffeehouse features a split-level shop with sidewalk and courtyard seating, and serves coffee and espresso drinks sourced from Mr. Espresso. This unique spot offers breakfast and lunch items, including sandwiches, salads and, of course, sweets.

What is a Dog Park?

A dog park is a location set aside for dogs to exercise and play in a controlled environment under the watchful eye of their owners. It is a safe setting for both dogs and humans to interact with each other and to possibly learn more about other breeds and their behaviors. It is a great opportunity for owners to play with their pets where they otherwise might not be able to do so-such as in cities or areas with little to no yards.

Getting Started:

The best way to start is to talk to people who are already walking their dogs. Don't be afraid to ask for support from your neighborhood, you'd be surprised at how many dog owners would love the opportunity to be involved. The best way to get the word out is clever marketing.

Many groups decide to incorporate as non-profits, where they have formal meetings and elect officers. This helps to have a strong group of individuals who are passionate about their dogs and can ban together to overcome any objections. Also, find a city official(s) who will support the dog park concept. Having a city official who is a dog person will help pave the way for you.

Be prepared for objections. There is always going to be someone out there who will disagree with you, spell out proposed rules for users before a park is even established and discuss your plan of action.

Funding: Deciding early how funds will be raised makes the process easier. Funds can either be acquired through your local government or by private contributors. You can raise the funds by asking for donations from pet groomers or stores, and animal clinics. You can also have fundraisers such as dog washes or treat bake sales.

Choosing the Location:

Your new group will need to find the perfect spot for the dog park. Most small dog parks are no bigger than one acre. Make sure you choose a location that the masses can access. This will ensure that the park will be a hit and have a better chance of being passed by your local Parks and Recreation Department.

Once you have selected a site, it helps to let the community know of your plans, just in case it may interfere with the plans of other organizations. Post flyers at veterinary offices, groomers, pet stores, grocery stores, etc. See if your local newspaper or radio station would be interested in doing a small story about your proposed idea. Once enough interest has been gained, you should submit a letter and any signed petitions to your local Parks and Recreation Departments.

You'll need to make sure that you have a clear outline about the need for a dog park and proposed plan. Focus on how the dog park would be a benefit to your community as a whole, not just for the dogs. The parks department will then be able to decide if the area you have chosen is available for use or if there is another area to consider.

Here are a few things to consider when finding the perfect location:

Shade: Pick an area with trees that provide natural shade for both dogs and owners. Water Lines; Dogs and their owners will need to keep hydrated. Due to the noise, stay away from the schools or playgrounds. Benefits and Rules:

Dog parks are a fantastic way for community members of all ages to interact with each other. With low start-up and maintenance costs, dog parks offer a great return on investment since park users are often voting adults. Dog parks offer outdoor exercise for most park users-which can help battle against obesity. You might face the opposition asking why valuable park space should be set aside for dogs. The answer: Dog parks are not just for the pets. The people who bring their pets use the space just as much as the animals. It also gives people who can't handle a dog full-time the chance to interact with dogs.

To ensure the safety of everyone involved, here are a few basics to consider:

Dogs must remain on a leash to and from the parking lot. All dogs must have their vaccinations. Recommend that dogs be spayed or neutered. Dogs should be licensed. Dogs should be accompanied by their owner or a dog walker. Owners should dispose of their dog's feces in appropriate waste stations. Establish decent park hours. Dogs showing any signs of aggressions must be leashed and immediately removed from the park. Perk:

Promotes responsible dog ownership. Plenty of exercise for your canine, which leads to a healthier and happier dog. Socialization. A public open space can help with compliance of city regulations. To Leash or Not:

When starting a dog park it's important to consider the differences between an on-leash dog park and an off-leash dog park. Below are the pros and cons for an off-leash dog park.

Pros:

Provides a community setting in which owners observe the interaction of groups of dogs at play. Dogs and owners can spend time together while allowing the dog to satisfy its craving to play and companionship. Allows dogs to get plenty of exercise that would normally be restricted by a leash. Dog owners can learn about other dogs and training. Other public parks will be free of dogs off-leash. A leash can cause a dog to become territorial. Cons:

Some dogs may be intimidated by large groups of dogs. There is the potential for dogs to fight. There is the potential for dogs to bite adults or children. Some owners don't control their dogs. If dogs aren't properly vaccinated there is a potential for the spread of diseases. REMEMBER: As with any social environment there will be dogs that aren't used to having playmates. Dog owners must watch their dogs carefully from a safe distance so that they can intervene if a dog becomes violent towards another dog or human. Having separate areas for small dogs and puppies is great if it is possible. It means that puppies, that are up to date on vaccines, can start in the small pen and graduate to the large pen with the bigger dogs.

Amenities:

Once the site has been chosen and construction is about to begin, there are certain things that every dog park should include:

A 4'-6' fence with double-gated entry and exit Nearby parking Water fountains for both dogs and owners Seating (i.e. picnic tables or benches) Shaded areas Pet Waste Stations Trash Receptacles These are just the basics. Feel free to be creative by adding swimming ponds, agility equipment or separate walking trails. Your goal is to have an area that is inviting for both dogs and their owners. Place benches both inside and outside the fence line of the park. This allows those passing by to sit and watch the playful pooches.

Having a small and large dog park does mean an extra fence line, but it does not mean double amenities. Placing the drinking fountain outside the fenced areas means only purchasing one set. It also allows dogs to hydrate without being distracted by other dogs. You MUST make sure there are enough pet stations scattered around the park if you expect owners to clean up after their 4-legged companions.

Park Maintenance:

You'll want to immediately organize a dog park council or group to help maintain and monitor the park. Since city funds can be scarce, most parks will need volunteer help to stay open. Assign a contact person for the city in case there are issues or other concerns from neighbors or members of the community. This council will also be responsible for issuing rules for the park, cleaning up after park hours, mowing, fixing fences, disposal of pet waste, etc.

You'll also be responsible for setting up meetings with your city officials to discuss the success of the park and what may need to be improved. Planning clean-up parties is a fun way to get many individuals involved to help keep the park clean and safe.

Providing self-serving pet waste stations is a great way to keep maintenance costs down. It puts the responsibility in the park users hands. It is a good idea to place multiple trash receptacles throughout the dog park. This will ensure that owners will clean up after their pet. Make sure the area has the proper signage to direct users with the rules and expectations of the dog park.

Is There Any Value?

Most parks take two (2) to three (3) years of planning and resilient efforts before there can be a ribbon cutting ceremony. After reading this, you're probably asking yourself is it really worth the effort? The answer is "YES"!

Dogs need a lot of exercise and a dog park is the perfect place to let them run and play. It's also a great place for community members to relax, socialize, and know that their dog is safe and secure. In case you didn't realize, a dog park is the perfect place for you to meet new people and make new friends. It's also a chance for community members to learn more about different breeds and how they interact with dogs and humans. Dog parks provide a place for soon-to-be dog owners to better understand what breed is going to be a good fit for them before they get hooked on those 'puppy dog eyes'.

Once the dog park is open your community will wonder how they ever survived without one! Community members of all ages will appreciate the events that can be organized-doggie birthday parties and puppy play dates! So go ahead and get started forming a committee today, you and your dog will be happy that you did!

Hydroponics is highly productive; it is a method that conserves water and land. It is also safe for the environment. Hydroponics is high tech, but requires only basic agricultural skills to begin with. It is important to regulate air and root temperatures, among other factors like light, water, plant nutrition and extreme climates. For this reason, hydroponics systems must often operate in temperature-controlled environments like greenhouses.

Hydroponics is a form of soilless culture where plants are grown in nutrient solutions, with or without the use of an artificial medium. Hydroponics is highly productive; it is a method that conserves water and land. It is also safe for the environment. Hydroponics gardening is high tech, but requires only basic agricultural skills to begin with. It is important to regulate air and root temperatures, among other factors like light, water, plant nutrition and extreme climates. For this reason, hydroponics systems must often operate in temperature-controlled environments like greenhouses. It is very important to pay proper attention to the greenhouse conditions else hydroponics will stop being cost-effective for you.

In liquid hydroponics systems, there is no supporting medium for the plant roots. This is also known as solution culture; the three main types of solution culture are solution culture, continuous flow solution culture and aeroponics.

In the former, plants are grown in containers of hydroponic nutrient solution. They are typically home-level applications where hydroponics systems function in glass jars, plastic buckets, tubs and tanks. The solution is sometimes gently aerated but can also be unaerated, in which case the solution level is low enough so that some part of the roots get access to regular oxygen supply. The nutrient solution is changed as per a predetermined schedule, mostly once a week.

The continuous flow solution culture is orchestrated differently, with the hydroponic nutrient solution flowing past the roots. A popular version of this culture is the nutrient film technique; here, a very shallow stream of water containing all the dissolved nutrients needed for plant growth is circulated past the roots of plants. The hydroponic nutrient solution travels in the lower half of the roots, which forms a watertight root mat, while the upper sections of the roots are exposed to air and get a good supply of oxygen.

Aggregate hydroponics systems, however, have a solid natural or artificial medium of support. Hydroponics systems can also be open? Where the nutrient solution is delivered to the plant roots and not reused, or closed, where the surplus solution can be recovered, replenished and recycled.

Every crop has very specific requirements and like in another other method of agriculture, hydroponics must pay attention to the unique needs of each crop. Hydroponics systems are rapidly evolving today and yields are increasing manifold, touching heights we had never envisaged. Hydroponics is possible in places where natural agriculture isn't, including deserts and space stations. People living in densely-populated places can grow their own fresh vegetables in rooftop gardens or windows using hydroponics. Hydroponically grown plants also grow faster and are relatively free of soil-borne diseases.

The keystone of proper speaking and writing is correct English grammar. Whether or not English is your native or second language, you can gain a lot from small exercises to enhance your grammar and be more successful in communicating with other people. Here are tips for you to improve your grammar in the English language.

Read books or materials that are well-written in English. You can try the classics as these employ good English. You can go to the library or ask a clerk from the bookstore to guide you in the books you need. You will then know what the new English words are and how they are used in sentences. You will also be entertained with what you are reading.

Read or listen to the news such as those on TV, radio, newspaper and the internet. You will be trained to recognize correct English grammar and meanwhile be updated with the latest happenings around the world. When you read newspapers, you will be given the chance to watch out for grammatical errors and see how writers articulate their thoughts in words.

Check out magazines that are well-written. Most of the writers know the fundamentals of good English and can express their ideas correctly. You shall know examples of basic grammar and learn a lot of new things. Go for magazines that are intended for educated readers.

Be around educated people who communicate well in English such as your relatives, friends, officemates and acquaintances. Listen to them when then talk in English and see how they enunciate their words and phrases. They may not be perfect in the said language but when you are with them, you will train your ear in hearing correct grammar.

Go over style guides and writing manuals that are reputable. There are many books you may read for such a purpose. These are available in a book store near you or in your local library. Check out grammar books that have exercises and quizzes for you to answer. Read the lessons there and then do the quizzes and tests. You should practice often so as to be better in both oral and written English.

Go online and key in the words, "English grammar" in your favorite search engine. You will see plenty of websites that shall help you in learning correct usage of grammar. You can also try online tutorials which will teach you grammar lessons and let you do interactive activities to test your grammar. There are also online schools with the purpose of teaching English.

Enroll in an English class. Check out the local community college in your area and take English remedial classes being offered. Such a class will make you go over grammar points. Make sure to enroll in the class which fits your schedule so that you can really concentrate on it. If you have difficulty in comprehending concepts of the English grammar, do not be afraid to ask your teacher to help you.

With these tips, you will know correct English grammar and be able to communicate effectively in English.

Timur Karipov is an expert when it comes to Book Search Technology. To find out everything about Free Online Books,

A preposition usually connects - comes between - two words or phrases. The written word or phrase before or to the left of the preposition is, or contains, 1) a (PRO)noun, 2) a verb, or 3) an adjective: 1) a book of poems; a pain in the neck 2) she talked about quitting; we all voted against his proposal 3) they're ready for action; she's really good at math.

Right after the preposition, to the right of it in writing, there is a word or phrase that is the preposition's object, or complement. This complement is 4) a noun (phrase), 5) a gerund (phrase), or 6) a how or wh- phrase: 4) a glass of water; a letter from my sister 5) they were fired for fighting on the job; the director gave a talk on cutting costs 6) the cops asked questions about how the fight started; I'm interested in what you think of the idea [A preposition cannot have as complement/object the subjective form of a personal pronoun, a to- infinitive clause, or a that finite clause. So utterances such as I looked at she, We're surprised for to see you, and They're mad about that you did that are all unacceptable English.]

Thus a prepositional phrase - a preposition followed by its complement/object - can be used to complete the meaning of a noun, a verb, or an adjective, and the prepositional complement/object - what follows the preposition and completes the meaning - can be a noun, a gerund, or a how or wh- phrase. Below are examples of the nine syntax patterns that are possible:

I noun + preposition + noun: a trip to the store II noun + preposition + gerund: a manual on dieting III noun + preposition + how/wh-: an explanation of how to clear a plugged sink IV verb + preposition + noun: she laughed at me V verb + preposition + gerund: they're thinking about leaving VI verb + preposition + how/wh-: we knew from what we'd heard that.... VII adjective + preposition + noun: fit for service VIII adjective + preposition + gerund: excited about getting the offer IX adjective + preposition + wh-/how: surprised at what she said

Stranded Prepositions

A preposition remains alone at the end of its clause when:

1) the prepositional complement replaces anticipatory IT as grammatical subject

It's fun to work with her. She's fun to work with.

2) the prepositional complement becomes the subject of a passive construction

We've paid for the room. The room's been paid for.

3) the prepositional complement has how or a wh- word as its first word

Where are you from? I'm from Ontario.

4) the prepositional complement is a relative pronoun that is not the clause subject

There's the house [that] I'm talking about.

Independent English Prepositional phrases

A prepositional phrase can stand alone, not grammatically connected to the language it modifies, and it can be like an incidental comment on a whole sentence or even a paragraph. The utterance that such a prepositional phrase modifies is always grammatically complete without the prepositional phrase:

By the way - you still owe me fifty euros. On the other hand, she may be right. In the long run, we'll be better off, because.... (Grammarians call phrases like these adverbial disjuncts.)

There may be at least hundreds of such prepositional phrases in the English language and a lot of them, like the three italicized above, are idioms - phrases that pose problems of semantics because they have to be learned and memorized as a unit. The sharper ESL students may have questions about them.

This paper gives a grammatical description - it names the three different permissible parts of speech - of the word that an English preposition can modify. And it describes the three different parts of speech that can occur in that modification (in the prepositional phrase). It also names three fairly common mistakes made by ESL students who are studying prepositions. In short, it describes the linguistic context where a preposition does (or should not) occur.

For more help with English grammar, syntax,or semantics

Wondering if you should invest in Bitcoin? If you've been around any kid of financial news lately, you've no doubt heard about the meteoric rise in the world's most well-known cryptocurrency. And if you're like a lot of people right about now, you're probably wondering, "Bitcoin - yes or no?" Should you invest? Is it a good option? And what the heck is Bitcoin anyway? Well here's a few things you should know about Bitcoin before you invest. Also note that this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as any kind of financial advice. What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is known as a cryptocurrency or a digital currency. It's basically online money. Like any currency you can exchange it for other currencies (like say, buy bitcoins with US dollars or vice versa) and it fluctuates in relation to other currencies as well. Unlike other currencies however it is decentralized, meaning there isn't any one central bank, country or government in charge of it. And that means it's not as susceptible to government or central bank mismanagement. Pros of Bitcoin #1 Easy To Send Money Because it's decentralized, this also means that you can send a friend Bitcoin (money) on the other side of the world in seconds without having to go through a bank intermediary (and pay the banking fees). This fact alone makes Bitcoin very popular. Instead of waiting for a wire transfer which can take days, you can send your payment in seconds or minutes. #2 Limited Supply There are only 21 million Bitcoins that will ever be mined. This limits the amount of Bitcoin that can ever be produced. This is like saying a government cannot print money because there is a limited supply of bills - and they won't print anymore. When there is a set supply your purchasing power is preserved and the currency is immune to runaway inflation. This limited supply has also helped to contribute to the rise in the price of Bitcoin. People don't want a currency that can be printed - or inflated - into infinity at the whim of a greedy government. #3 Private Most people think that Bitcoin is completely anonymous. But actually it's not anonymous - it's more private. All Bitcoin transactions ever made can be seen on the Blockchain - the public Bitcoin ledger. But your name and identifying details behind the transaction are not seen. Each transaction is linked to an address - a string of text and characters. So while people might see your address - there is no way to link that address to you. A lot of people who don't like their banks spying on them (or telling them how much of their own money that they can or can't move), really like this privacy feature. #4 Cheaper to Transact Many businesses have to take Visa or MasterCard these days to stay competitive. However these cards take some rather substantial fees out of each sales transaction. But a merchant who accepts Bitcoin doesn't pay these hefty fees - so it puts more money in their pockets. So those are some of the main pros of Bitcoins. What about the cons? Cons of Bitcoin #1 Risky - Price Fluctuations Bitcoin is famous for rising slowly over months - and then falling 20 - 50% over a couple of days. Because it's being traded 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the price is always fluctuating. And all it takes it some bad news - like the news of the Mt Gox hack a few years ago - to send the price tumbling down. So basically it's not stable - and there are a lot of unknowns out there that can affect the price. The rule here is this: don't put any money into Bitcoin that you can't afford to lose. #2 Slowing Transaction Speeds Bitcoin is starting to run into problems with slower transaction speeds and higher transaction fees. Other cryptocurrencies have come along that are faster and cheaper. The Bitcoin miners are working on the problem. However until these issues are resolved, you can expect the price to be extremely volatile. #3 Bitcoin Transactions Not Reversible Unlike a credit card charge, Bitcoin transactions are not reversible. So if you send Bitcoin to the wrong address - you can't get it back. Also, there are a lot of tales from people who have lost their Bitcoin wallet address (through hacking, phones being stolen, virus-infected computers, etc.) and they've completely lost their coins. There's no way to get them back. For this reason, you really need to know what you're doing and take the time to research how to buy and store your coins properly if you want to invest in Bitcoins - or any other cryptocurrency. So those are some of the things to consider before investing in Bitcoin. Basically while Bitcoin has a lot of great things going for it - and while it has the potential to change financial transactions as we know it - there is still a lot of risk. There are a lot of unknowns out there still. If you do decide to buy, take your time and research your options. Don't buy from just any seller. Some of them are trustworthy and run a great business. But there are others that will overcharge you and may not even deliver your coins. Be safe and do your research first. Find a trusted seller with a stellar reputation - there are quite a few of them out there. And remember the golden rule here - never invest more than you can afford to lose. Article Source:

When you search online, you will see thousands of store, offering a different type of products to meet our necessities. Here we will discuss 8 cheapest online shopping sites in USA where you will see products at a very reasonable price. 1- Lemon This website is the best shopping site which provides dropshipping and wholesale shopping. They mainly offer men and women's wear. They offer a wide range of men and women wear where you can select according to your choice. 2- Boohoo This website provides a wide range of the best women's wear. It offers both wholesale and dropshipping. One can buy according to one's comfort. 3- Lowe's Lowe is the best cheapest online shopping site in USA for construction material including garden and home equipment, furniture and different tools. It is one of the best online stores which provides the home improvement equipment. Known for the best quality furniture with the latest design. 4- Macy's It can provide its products to more than 200 places or locations, and it makes it attractive for the digital buyers of men, women and children wear and accessories. You will see Macy's name on top when you are talking about the latest designer dress, no matter if you are looking for a party dress, nightdress, casual dress. 5- Amazon Everything is available on this platform from furniture, electronics, toys, accessories, and tools to jewellery. Amazon has achieved its status as the uncontested leader in lines of online shopping websites. It also does business in foods market, publishing, cloud computing and video streaming. Offering their services in more than 30 countries. Famous for its product quality. 6- eBay It is one of the best online market locations where people can buy and sell. It is working in more than 20 countries, and it sells cars, industrial products, business products, toys, sports products and other electronics. 7- Walmart This website provides the best products for wholesale shopping. From electronics to food, from pharmacy to fashion and from auto-parts to home equipment, one can buy anything. 8-Gosaveshop Gosaveshop is a rising cheapest online shopping sites in USA ; here, you can find everything in your daily use. No matter if you are looking for products for your home or office, for your personal use or a gift of love one. Everything is now available under an umbrella of Gosaveshop. Gosaveshop is one of the best online shopping stores not just because of the availability of thousands of products; here you will find many offers, discounts, and vouchers for everyone with free shipment in the USA.

2-5Reasons to love Online Shopping

Online shopping has achieved great success, especially in a pandemic situation. It is convenient and comfortable for men to buy online. They love online shopping because they are hindered by the Covid- 19 to go outside. 1- No Rows or Fear of Covid- 19 Covid-19 has changed the lifestyle around the world. But cheapest online shopping sites in USA are the best companion in such pandemic. There is no need to go outside. Many websites provide different things and products, including food, accessories, automobile and business-related items. Every person can buy and sell the products according to the budget and need. 2- All the Varieties at your Doorstep Are you searching for a good quality T-shirt or car? You should be assured that the internet has all the items you are looking for just at one click distance.

3- 24/7 Hours Availability The people lock their stores at the articular time, and women do not have enough time to go outside because they cannot leave their children at home. But online shopping is opened 24/7. One can buy at any time from anywhere. The business inn is open around the clock and the world. 4- A quick second opinion is available You want skinny jeans or tights; there are hundreds of views with beautiful pictures. It makes women love to buy, which seems reasonable. 5- No Worries about Transportation Women love to shop online because there is no need to worry about transportation services such as buses, train and other vehicles. Sometimes women are prevented from travelling because of pregnancy or other health issues. The women love to shop online because they can buy the items without travelling in such a case.

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alex jacob about 1 month ago

Completion of an MBA program ensures realistic future benefits for the student and the organization. This explains why completing an MBA dissertation is critical to graduating from your MBA course. People seeking an MBA degree has been on the rise for the past few years. The graduates of MBA and PhD programs who had completed MBA and PhD dissertations are the cream of the crop and are likely to occupy top management positions in their respective employment. We are living in a highly competitive business world and people who win are those who usually completed their MBA dissertations. Business operations and workplaces are changing. Employees know that the positive respond to a changing pace of technology and business operation is only the pursuit of higher education to obtain an impressive resume and experience in research and data analysis.

Completing your MBA dissertation will be time consuming, but worth the effort spent. MBA dissertations differ from an MBA thesis. Here are some how to tips and helpful information to completing your MBA dissertations:

Other MBA dissertation writing tips include asking questions to your assigned faculty help. Your assigned faculty has all the experience and knowledge to answer your questions and help you complete your paper. Take advantage of the opportunity for a personal coaching as much as possible. The dissertation is an individual academic paper project design to test your thorough understanding of the topic as well as show some acquired research techniques with a range of course materials and subjects. Universities usually assign a faculty supervisor for each student to guide and help them complete the dissertation. Good MBA dissertation writing tips should include how it is crucial to seek their help to be able to write and follow university's required format including laying out paper structure. Educators chosen to guide you have the necessary technical skill, knowledge, and experience of the field of study you have chosen. These qualifications make them an authority of that particular field of study to which they are capable of providing valuable insight.

MBA dissertation writing tips include showing your knowledge of the research process. Research is a well-earned skill gained through constant reading and performing research. The panel reviewing your MBA dissertation would want to know about your understanding of the research topic from the content that you have written. You derived your analysis and conclusions from your content. You demonstrate powerful research techniques from the quality of your content. Any individual competing in a business setting needs solid research skills. Your techniques and methods of research are the heart of any MBA dissertation. Content is everything and they came from research. Illustrate being an expert researcher. You have higher chance for success if you methodically show research competence.

Select reliable editing companies that will help you perform intensive research. The dissertation topic usually focuses on business operations and analysis. Your research and dissertation topic relate with the business conditions in the real world. More MBA dissertation writing tips include how it is important that you learn how to make your general outline, follow the guidelines, analyze your research materials, and select the topic that you are confident you can complete. The strength of your recommendations, conclusions, and analysis largely depend on the information that you have gathered. It is critical that you choose a business topic that you are capable of completing.

Preparing and completing an MBA dissertation takes a lot of your time. Some students consider it long and difficult. However, we have a team of writers that can help you with your MBA dissertation difficulties. Please send us your requirements and we will reply with a free quote.

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Even though more and more adults seem to be using (or perhaps being a bit more open about their use of) sex toys, not everyone has the same comfort level with these items. And even with greater acceptance of sex toys, the sex doll continues to have a certain reputation that prevents many from acknowledging their interest in this option. However, when used with proper attention to penis care, a sex doll can become a welcome addition to a man's masturbatory routines.

Reputation

For years, the sex doll was seen as something that only desperate men used, but the fact is that many men with a healthy sex life enjoy making use of a doll as well. Sales of these dolls have risen steadily in recent years, and advances in manufacturing and technology have created a whole line of lifelike and expensive dolls.

Many men prefer to use a doll rather than simply masturbate with their hand because of its similarity to actual intercourse. And many men also believe that because of its resemblance to intercourse, it enables them improve penis health and work on issues, such as premature ejaculation, or to enhance their technique when they are in bed with a partner.

This article will focus on the more traditional (and less expensive, and therefore more readily available) blow-up sex doll. But it's important to acknowledge that many options do exist in this area.

Hints

The following tips are suggested for men interested in exploring a sex doll option.

  • Use lubricant. Although the dolls are designed for penetrative exploration, there can still be significant friction. Using an appropriate form of lubrication will protect the penis from wear and tear.

  • Try a pump. Blowing up a full-size doll can take a lot of lung power. Using an electric pump is a much better idea.

  • Clean it thoroughly. Be sure to thoroughly clean all parts of the doll after use, especially the areas of penetration. A doll should come with instructions on the best way to maintain its cleanliness, and it is important that a man follow these instructions.

  • Avoid a trial run. Some guys have friends who use a sex doll and may be tempted to ask if they can try it out for themselves. In general, it's best to avoid this. Not everyone is as scrupulous about cleaning up after themselves as they should be. If a man does use another's doll, he should wear a condom - just in case the owner has left traces of himself behind.

  • Be aware of noise. Some dolls can be surprisingly squeaky. If a man wishes to keep his activities clandestine, he may want to refrain from utilizing a doll except when he is sure he is alone.

  • Consider storage. When deflated, most dolls do not take a great deal of space, but it may not fit easily into a small space, either. Some men feel uncomfortable with other people knowing they use a doll; such men are advised to consider where they can store the doll when not in use.

A doll, like many other sex toys, can open up new worlds of masturbatory fun for a man - which may in turn lead him to overdo things, resulting in a sore penis. If this happens, regularly using a first rate penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can ease the soreness and help restore the penis to health. It's best to select a crème that includes powerful but natural moisturizing ingredients, such as Shea butter and vitamin E. This will keep the skin supple and hasten healing. The crème must also contain a potent antioxidant, such as alpha lipoic acid. This can combat the free radicals which cause oxidative stress; these free radicals not only age the skin but interfere with its ability to heal.

alex jacob about 1 month ago

When purchasing your new luggage bag, there are various factors that you need to take into consideration, it's not just about the size, the capacity, the number of wheels, or TSA regulations. You also need to choose what your luggage bag will look like. You need to decide whether to choose a soft-side or hard-side luggage bag. You need to choose what luggage bag will best suit your travel requirements.

Soft-Side Bags

Obviously, soft sided suitcases provide huge flexibility. The tops aren't rigid so it is easier to squeeze them into tight spaces like crowded airplane overhead bins even if you have over packed a little. To add to their flexibility, a majority of these types of luggage bags are capable of expanding to allow for even more packing capacity. Their flexibility makes them durable in a different way compared to their hard-side counterparts. These luggage bags won't give in to pressure from being tossed onto luggage conveyor belts or the occasional baggage handler getting rough with it, because it can withstand many of the bumps and bruises from travel. These bags also come well protected with skid guards and corner guards. The inside of these bags have pockets or special dividers to store the items that you may need to pack to accommodate your travel needs. Lastly, these bags also tend to be lightweight because of the fabric used to construct these bags like nylon, polyester etc. These materials are considerably lighter than the plastic needed to build a hard-side bag. With saying this, it does depend on the structure of the suitcase. The variables depend on the frame, hardware, and the accessories that are included in this particular kind of luggage bag.

Advantages of Soft Side Luggage

Flexible, easy to maneuver and lightweight. Can be lighter both empty and full and a majority of the luggage bags are easily expandable compared to the hard side luggage bags. Easier to store in overhead compartments in airplanes, cars, trains and buses because of the flexibility provided and is able to change itself to irregular shapes spaces. Disadvantages to Soft Sided Luggage

They are less water/moisture resistant than the hardsided bags. These bags will stand up to a bit of rain. The contents of the bag will be slightly damp or worse if they are in contact with any significant amount of water.

Valuables or breakable items are not as well protected in a softside bag due to their flexibility and the fact that you can squeeze them into compartments easier than hardside luggage. Hard-Side Bags

Hard-side luggage can be made from a variety of materials, these include ABS plastic and highly durable polycarbonates. In numerous ways, their features are no different than the soft-side bags - fairly light weight, durable, designed for simple organization. One reason travellers purchase hard side luggage is to enhance their individual and personal preference. They can be more visually exciting than the standard black rollaboard models. Hard side luggage bags are available in a variety of colours and are available in flashy printed patterns, solid colours and even textured patterns. Their surfaces can come in a gloss or matte finish. Some hard side bags really stand out, which can determine a travellers personality and also makes it a lot easier at baggage claim. Unfortunately, the hard side luggage is more apt to get scratches, blemishes and more structural damage from rough baggage handlers and normal wear and tear of pushing them into overhead compartment bins. Your belongings are more protected in a hard side suitcase as they don't flex as much.

Advantages of Hard Side Luggage

Rigid shell that's created generally from aluminum, ABS plastic or polycarbonate which is one of the main reasons most travellers will choose it.

More durable. They are not likely to break, tear or otherwise come apart. The added durability and strength comes with the disadvantage of additional weight, but with the modern technology of today a number of lightweight luggage bags are offered, providing a larger weight allowance for packing.

Hard side luggage also wins over soft sided luggage when it comes to the protection of valuable items and water/moisture resistance. There are many models that are waterproof to everything but being submerged or dunked in water. Disadvantages of Hard Side Luggage

There are less choices for expandable hard side luggage but there are some luggage bags that do have that option.

A rigid shell does not make it possible for 'squeezing' making it more difficult to pack into cars, buses and airplane overhead bins.Bumps and bruises of travelling are more obvious in a hard side luggage bag. Nothing worse than finding a dent, or even worse a hole.

If you are thinking about purchasing affordable hard side travel luggage, it is possible that the material construction is brittle. It is advised to purchase a trustworthy brand and if available, a lengthy warranty.

Most hard side luggage comes with a glossy finish. It looks awesome on the first trip but following that first trip, you have to prepare yourself for the noticeable scratches and dents that may occur or the glossy finish wearing off. Of course, your choice of luggage depends on your own personal preference and your travel requirements. What you choose should fit your budget, your style and the reason you are travelling, whether it be for business or pleasure. The vast variety of luggage outlets out there, whether they be online or brick and mortar, you will always find the right luggage to meet your needs.

At some point, your furniture might require some sort of repair to revive it. Damages are sometimes inevitable since you might not be the only person handling your furniture pieces. Situations can also arise which leave the items broken or damaged in a way requiring repairs. Repairs are more affordable compared to replacements and you should consider the services before getting rid of your furniture pieces. To get the best, however, you will need to find the right professionals to handle your repair needs.

Conduct a local search Furniture repairs are of course best handled by professionals nearest to you. This is because they will have an easy time finding their way to where you are for on-site repairs or you will have an easier time transporting the damaged or broken items to the furniture store for repairs.

Compare several service providers This is important in giving you confidence in the repair company or handyman you are about to hire to handle your items. The reputation and experience as well as the repair costs are some of the things you should consider when making the comparison. Settle only for services you feel you can completely trust.

Consider the repair services offered This is important because there are handymen who offer repairs only on specific furniture and materials while others will basically handle any kind of furniture and material for that matter. The best is a service provider who can handle practically any item regardless of the material it is made of. This way, you will be taken care of even with any future repair needs that might arise.

Get recommendations and referrals The search for the best handyman can be tricky, especially when you are limited by time to have the repairs done. You can use friends and family to direct you to the best carpenters or furniture stores from where you can enjoy the services you truly deserve fast and easy. Referrals will not only make it easier for you to make a decision but will also keep you off unreliable providers.

Consider the repair costs They will basically be determined by the length of damage your furniture is suffering from. However, most service providers have standard charges for different kinds of repairs. Looking at the repair costs is not only important in helping you select the best services, but can also greatly help in determining whether repairing is the best way to go over replacing the item.

If you cannot handle your furniture repairs, it is then best to hire professional repair services. Your handyman will know the best way of dealing with the issue at hand, the best tools to use in the repairs and the techniques that will achieve the desired results with the repairs. Having your furniture repaired will add life and save it from further damage that could be even costlier. It is therefore important to seek repair services as soon as there is sign of furniture damage.

Whether you are looking for couch repairs Dubai or upholstery services, you will find a service provider you can trust with your needs by making the right considerations. You can now continue enjoying your items without having to replace them completely.

This is rightly named as the age of traveler-centricity and with the evolution of the new era of personalized travel; it is leading to research and development of a host of new so-called intelligent services. The command-and-control perspectives of traveling have changed a lot from the past and the focus has shifted more on the traveler and the productivity of each trip. It has become essential to maintain that the travelers have the greatest return on investment on each trip. New generations of young employees and managers, who have been growing up and dwelling in a digital age, are moving up the ranks as travelers. It has become essential to recognize the need for greater flexibility acknowledging that the employees who travel on corporate trips also consider a percentage of their trip to be a leisure outlet. With increasing globalization and rise in companies sending their staff overseas to network and connect with their offshore prospects/customers/suppliers, corporate travel is a highly profitable tourism segment. Before we talk about how tourism companies can better cater to business travelers, let us first look at why they prefer to use specialized corporate agencies over traditional agents

Why do businesses use Corporate Travel Agencies?

This might be the most basic question for a travel agency as to why they need to use agencies specializing in corporate travel when there are plenty of regular travel agents in the market. Here is the importance of corporate travel agencies who have online systems which allow business travelers access to their complete itinerary.

The following information is at the fingertips of the CTAs:-

full business itinerary details up-to-date tracking details of flights (including delays or rescheduling) transparent details about additional costs such as baggage fees or in-flight fees travel alerts, if any, in the destined area complete and up-to-date details about the visa procurement policies and identification required currency requirement and conversion rates What do corporate clients expect from Corporate Travel Agencies?

Negotiated Fares

The Corporate Agencies tend to have tie-ups with hotels, car rentals, flights etc. giving them access to lower fares which can be used only by the frequent business travelers. Discounted prices are not the only advantage though as they also offer flight upgrades, room upgrades, and VIP check-in lines as required.

In-depth information about the travel industry

Corporate travel agents have access to many travel resources and most importantly, quickly, than any other leisure travel agent. Additional information helps to make the business trips convenient and comfortable.

Changes in Itinerary

When an airline ticket needs to get rescheduled or cancelled, chances are the airline or the online service provider will charge lofty fees. When booking with a corporate travel agent, most of the times schedule changes can be done at zero or minimal extra charges.

Viable emergency contacts

It is important for the business travelers to reach the correct person at the need of trouble. Corporate travel agents have the experience and professionalism to relieve stress for both the traveler and the company.

What you need to consider as corporate travel increases?

Business Travel Barometer reported that corporate travel is witnessing an accelerated growth. However, when poorly managed, it may be no longer an advantage to companies and may, in fact become a burden. There are some factors which the corporations and CTAs must consider to get the best out of the time spent traveling.

Adopting a travel policy

The corporate must define a travel policy which is applicable to and respected by travelers at all levels. This policy should be used to establish the standards which will help to track the improvement of business travel. It will eventually help to reduce the costs of the entire package.

Do not limit the traveler's autonomy

The management is responsible for budgeting the travel policy which helps to improve cost management however, it is also essential to give a degree of autonomy to the traveler. The policy should be flexible enough to allow the employee to adapt the trip as per the situation.

Traveler's security should be a major concern

Business travelers need to have security in place. The company needs to stick to its definition of standards to ensure the employee's integrity. The CTAs should have reliable partners (travel insurance, airlines, hotel chains etc.).

Mobility and automation

To optimize time and ease the processes, the administration of management platforms should have automated processes. This means they should adopt mobile solutions where search options, travel alerts, ticket reservations etc. can be accessed quickly, easily and on the go.

Corporate Travel Trends in 2016

Corporate travel trends tend to change regularly. 2016 has also not been any different and the travel management companies (TMCs) and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) are quite focused to provide steady if not strong axis all over. A growing MICE sector, investments in mobile and big data and enhanced focus on duty of care are some of their areas of focus.

Rising prices

The consolidated buzzword among global suppliers, airfares, hotel rates etc. is the rising fares. It is sometimes the move of the suppliers to generate discounts which encourage travel if there is a strong decline in demand. A positive 2016 world economy has been bringing an increase in air fares of a few percentage points, hotels are expected to see 4%-6% rise in average global rates and the competition will remain moderate in the car rental services.

Duty of care

Risk management is one of the major points of emphasis for corporations. Corporate customers are allowing new policies and improved technologies to monitor employees' location in case of an emergency, especially when they are travelling to foreign destinations. For instance, Concur Risk Messaging helps to identify the travelers moving around in the world and alerts them with alternate travel arrangement as and when needed.

Focusing on MICE

Meetings industry is a major growing sector and the corporate travel trend is developing on it. The corporate travel agencies should better start aligning the various meeting procurement methodologies with its transient travel sourcing. One of the ways could be to broaden the variety of meeting services by incorporating incentive trips within it.

Investing in technology

A sharper focus on increasing value and becoming more traveler-centric can be done by bringing in mobile friendly technologies. Mobile and big data are definitely the two most significant technological investments which any corporate travel agency must focus to make their platform more appealing.

Business travel analysis after Brexit

Following Brexit, ACTE and CAPA shared their speculations. According to them, the greatest short-term effects on the travel industry will come from the weakening of the pound against other world currencies. Greeley Koch, executive director for the Association of Corporate Travel Executives said that the business travel industry will trend on currency fluctuations; with some companies taking advantage of the weaker pound and traveling more, while others may withhold business travel until world markets find their own level.

Impact of terrorism on corporate travelers

Travel policy makers and administrators need to be guided by rising terrorism scare. For executives and staff undertaking travel on behalf of businesses, the travel agents and corporate travel agencies (CTAs) should prove the reassurance for their safety through the travel policies. It is more than likely that the surveys conducted over corporate travelers reflect the general concern of the global business travelers about the spate of terrorism. However, there is no denying the fact that terrorist threat is changing the patterns of business travel. The key impact of this is to keep in mind that the companies providing travel services for business travelers need to enhance their focus on security and the associated risks in delivering the services to corporate clients. According to a recent finding, travel managers have higher estimation of their policy's effectiveness in addressing risk compared to skeptical business travelers.

Concluding

Although the corporate travel sector has continued to progress, there are a plethora of challenges faced by the industry. A rapidly changing consumer market, the emergence of new business models, the impact of technology, man-made and natural crises are some of the fulcrum points that need to be considered before planning corporate trips.