Energy and persistence alter
all things. -Benjamin Franklin
From "Positive Energy," by Judith Orloff, M.D.:
all know that energy comes from diet, sleep, and exercise. But we're also influenced by an extensive network of energy
fields undetectable to our five senses. Think of gravity, the force of attraction to the earth's center, which
holds us to the ground. Or magnetic fields: you remember those metal filings mysteriously drawn toward the magnet
in grammar school science class. Similarly, there's an energy field or "vibe" emanating from everything
we encounter, from food to friends to current events. Our response to these vibes is manifested in our energy level.
What we usually think of in physical, emotional, and sexual terms, using words like, "My heart's racing,"
"I'm afraid," or "I'm aroused," are different expressions of subtle energy. If you're
a particularly sensitive person who frequently feels drained or exhausted, this information can make the difference
between an exuberant life and one you're constantly recovering from... To begin, envision energy as conveying
two qualities-either positive or negative. You must become acquainted with each to take charge of your health and
You'll learn how to harness the power of positive energy-loving and nurturing forces from within,
such as compassion, courage, forgiveness, and faith. (Being the best people we're capable of being brings wholeness
to a broken world.) Or from without: supportive friends, creative work, the ability to laugh, or vibrant sexuality. Positive energy comes from an honoring of the Earth and all its creatures, a deep capacity for tolerance, as well as
the passion to achieve a peaceful civilization. These are as central to our sustenance as food or oxygen.
You'll hone skills to combat and reverse negative energy, which enfeebles us, causing dis-ease. Negative energy
keeps us small, unhealthy; it alienates us from our best selves. We may generate it with our own fear, self-loathing,
rage, or shame-an emotional terrorism we inflict on ourselves without realizing the toll. Unless we're committed
to identifying and healing such negative forces, they will enervate us.
It's Good to Know: How to Measure Things Without a Ruler
When you don't have a ruler handy, use one of the following to
card (3-3/8" x 1-1/8")
a standard business card (3-1/2" x 2")
a dollar bill (6-1/8" x 2-5/8")
a quarter (approximately 1" in diameter) or a penny (approximately
sheet of paper (8-1/2" x 11")
(Source: The New York Public Library Desk Reference)
Improve Your Fuel Economy Tips for better gas mileage By: HANDY Staff
Online Rating: (6/10)
Engineers go out of their way to make cars and trucks as fuel-efficient as they can possibly make
them. But the one thing over which they have no control is how efficiently vehicles are driven. This is critical, because
the way you drive can have a huge impact on the fuel economy your vehicle obtains. Just ask any hypermiler.
may have heard the term hypermile. It’s used to define a driving strategy for getting the greatest distance out of every
gallon of fuel in a vehicle’s fuel tank - and maybe even exceed the vehicle’s EPA fuel-economy estimates.
up Hypermilers have been known to take drastic measures to stretch the fuel economy of their vehicles. For starters,
they lighten their vehicles as much as possible, tossing out tools, spare tires, even passenger seats. They might inflate
tires to pressures considerably beyond the manufacturer’s recommended limits. They’ll drive with their vehicle’s
windows closed to optimize aerodynamic efficiency, and they’ll turn the air conditioning off. They’ll shut their
vehicles’ engines off when stopped in traffic, rather than let them idle. And they’ll keep speeds down –
Speed, in fact, is a good place in which to start your search for better economy. Aerodynamic drag, a
by-product of speed, costs fuel to overcome. The amount of drag your vehicle generates is not linear – it does not increase
at the same rate as your vehicle’s speed does. Instead, drag is more or less proportional to the square of speed. It
increases exponentially. So when you drive a little faster, you burn considerably more fuel.
Six rules The first rule of the day, then, if you’d like to spend a little less on gasoline, is to slow down. Whatever
your favorite cruising speed is, back it down a bit.
Second rule of the day: Once you’re out on the
highway at cruising speed and traffic permits, use your vehicle’s cruise control. You’ll burn less fuel if you
Third rule of the day: Check the inflation of your vehicle’s tires. Now, this one’s a little tricky.
Under-inflation can greatly increase a tire’s rolling resistance, and that will cost you gas. Over-inflation generally
tends to reduce a tire’s rolling resistance, but it also tends to concentrate the load on the tire on its center, which
can lead to premature wear. Your best shot is to increase inflation to the maximum recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer,
then adjust pressures as needed to obtain even wear across the width of the tire. If you save gas at the expense of tire wear,
what have you really gained?
Fourth rule of the day: Slow down for hills. Maintaining your speed up a hill means
opening your vehicle’s throttle. A larger throttle opening means burning more gas. So you might want to think about
backing down by a few miles per hour – maybe even five or 10 – for climbs.
Don’t increase your
speed until you get to the very top of any hill you climb this way. In fact, if there’s a downgrade at the top of the
hill, use that downgrade to help you increase your speed – let gravity help you to better fuel economy.
rule of the day: Connect your vehicle’s gas pedal to your brain. Every time you accelerate, think, “Hm, that just
cost me some gas.” Do that, and you’ll soon rethink this business of acceleration. You’ll start accelerating
only when you have to, and only as much as you need to.
Sixth rule of the day: When it’s time to slow down
or stop, get off of the gas as soon as you can. If you have to climb onto the brakes, that could mean that you’ve stayed
on the gas longer than you needed to. Use your brakes when you need to, but allow aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance and
all the other forces working on your vehicle help you slow down.
Roll up windows While you’re
trying these steps, do keep your vehicle’s windows rolled up – lowering the windows greatly increases the aerodynamic
turbulence around your car, and thus increases the drag. To stay comfortable, use your vehicle’s air conditioning. It’s
the lesser of the two evils. And resist the urge to tow or to use a roof rack or a rooftop container for extra gear. These
have extremely negative effects on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
And there you have the basics. If you choose
to give hypermiling a try, even if you don’t go to the extreme measures some hypermilers use, keep close track of your
vehicle’s fuel economy. No matter what the vehicle, you’ll almost certainly find that as you become adept at these
strategies, you’ll begin to extract your vehicle’s full fuel-economy potential.
Do you love
watermelon? If so, you should know that America's favorite summer fruit has recently been found to have some interesting
is packed with a variety of phytonutrients, including citrulline. In the body, citrulline is converted to arginine - an amino
acid with many benefits for the heart and circulatory system... and one that may surprise you.
"Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the
same basic effect that Viagra has," says Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M's Fruit and Vegetable Improvement
Dr. Patil notes that extra
nitric oxide could not only help men who have "performance" problems, but also those who need increased blood flow
to treat angina, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems.
To maximize the benefits of watermelon, leave the uncut melon at room temperature, then
chill just before serving. And don't be shy with your bites. Most of the citrulline is found in the white rind, not the
And for delicious,
healthy recipes that taste nothing like "health food," check out nutrition expert Kelley Herring's website,
A quick reminder: You already know about several of the 12
things, and the others... I'll share with you more details about them in 2008. The list is in order of what I think is
most important for your health. I am often asked what I think are the most important things people can do for their health...
well, here they are:
I try to get at least eight hours of sleep nightly. This is hard to do when traveling and during the holiday party season.
I try to avoid being the last to leave a party (although my extroverted nature fights this). And I especially avoid staying
up late while scheduling meetings early in the morning. When I'm tired and rundown, my immune system doesn't work
as well, and plenty of good evidence links heart disease with poor sleep habits. Also, avoid turning the TV on when you sleep
(more on this in 2008).
MOVEMENT. Last year, I wrote "stretch" for No. 2, but what I really think
is important is simply moving in a formal way. Call it "exercise" if you'd like, but I think it is so critical
to move for 30 minutes daily (1/2 of a TV show). I lie down on the floor and stretch several times a week. On other days,
I run or walk. This may be the most important thing I do... In fact, there are incredible benefits to doing more. As you may
know, I also love yoga whenever I am traveling.
SUN. I make sure to get sun on my body all year long, but especially
during the winter. More studies came out in 2007 confirming the benefits of the sun. It turns out that sunlight lowers the
risks of several cancers. The Vitamin D produced by the body from sunlight may be critical in preventing diseases such as
multiple sclerosis and depression.
MASSAGE. I try to regularly (at least every three weeks) get a full-body
massage (usually for 60-90 minutes and usually with hot stones). Doing this is a simple way to ensure that toxins are cleared
from my body. Plus, if you find the right person, the energy flow and "recharging" can truly alter your life for
a day or two.
FRUIT. I eat fruit whenever I can (berries are especially good for you). The micronutrients within
fruits are so poorly appreciated, researched, and understood. Last year, I had this at No. 8, but have moved it up because
I am more and more convinced of the benefits of fruit. And the older I get, the more important fruit seems to be for good
ASPIRIN. I take one 325 mg tablet every week. The simple but miraculous effects last about 7-10
days. This drug is perhaps the most powerful drug known to mankind... so powerful that the FDA would NOT approve it today.
I am currently trying to meditate at least three times a week, usually in the morning. Taking time to create peacefulness
and mindfulness within yourself is a wonderful way to finding happiness and answers to your questions about life. As I get
older, it becomes clearer that meditation provides these benefits and more. For some people, religious services and time spent
in prayer provide an equivalent physiologic and spiritual response. In fact, for physical health, this is probably better
than aerobic exercise.
ESSENTIAL OILS. Smells can be uplifting and stimulating to the soul, body, and mind.
Did you know that Cleopatra loved the smell of roses so much that she had around 15 inches of rose petals covering the floor
of her bedroom? (For more stories about smell read the book, A Natural History of the Senses.)... I regularly place
a few drops or sprays of my favorite scents around the house, e.g., lavender in the bedroom on the inside of pillow cases,
orange on the side of the air cleaner, pine on the bathroom rug, bergamot or patchouli on the papers in the trash can in my
study, etc... Aromatherapy is a luxury to be afforded – this is one of my favorites! It has moved up from last year,
and I suspect it will go higher next.
DON'T SHARE UTENSILS. I avoid sharing or tasting from other people's
drinks and food (this and Vitamin C will practically guarantee you never get a cold again). I recently violated this rule
on a weekend with a bunch of friends and, like magic, I had every cough, cold, sore throat, and GI distress possible. Anecdotal,
sure, but in the past around holidays when I didn't do it (and I come from a family of "here try my pumpkin soup
with baby kale" and everybody dips) others got sick and I did not. So... you've been warned.
I take an antibiotic once a year whether I am sick or not. Erythromycin is my choice this year. I believe this will
help me avoid and delay the onset of many inflammatory diseases caused by infections. It seems to me that many simple pathogens
persist over decades of exposure to our bodies. Moreover, I suspect that many chronic diseases, such as arthritis or even
heart disease, will be linked to an infectious process.
WINE. I drink one or two 5-ounce glasses of wine each
weekend day. Occasionally I'll have a small 4-ounce pour if it's early on a weeknight.
VITAMINS. I take:
° 1,000 mg-3,000 mg of VITAMIN C
every day (timed-release to avoid urinating too much out).
° 200-400 IU of VITAMIN E two to
three times per week. I make sure to take the all-natural 8-isomer form. (GNC and others now carry this.)
SELENIUM (100 mcg) and ZINC (50 mg) twice a week.
° One MULTIVITAMIN
about every three to four days (you don't need more than this).
These 12 things are so simple that they don't seem very important. But... I look
for simple, cheap, and safe things to improve the long-term quality of my life. You can too!
let these toxic types bring you down.
1. Bullies. It's not just kids who get bullied on the playground, although
that's often where it starts. A Canadian study found that, in the workplace, bullying is more harmful than sexual harassment.
The study, which was presented at the International Conference on Work, Stress and Health, revealed that compared with employees
who reported sexual harassment, bullied employees were more likely to quit their jobs, were more stressed, and had more anger
and anxiety. The researchers speculated that the discrepancy may be due in part to there being more resources available to
victims of sexual harassment. 2. Abusers. Everyone deserves to live in a safe and respected environment, but abuse is
more common than you might expect. According to a domestic violence symposium at Harvard University, half of all women will
be in an abusive relationship at some point in their lives. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, help
is available. Often local resources can provide assistance; check with your local police station, YMCA, church, synagogue,
or other place of worship. Or you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). 3.
Jealous people. Often, people who display signs of jealousy do so because they're not confident in themselves. For example,
a study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior discovered that short men were the most jealous, while
very short or very tall women were more jealous than women of average height. The researches speculate that taller men and
women of average height were least jealous because they are commonly considered the most attractive to the opposite sex and
were most confident in their abilities to attract a mate.
am not a crook.” “That dress looks great on you." Some lies have bigger consequences than others, but at
some point, we've probably all told one. In fact, according to a Cornell University study, people lie in roughly 25 percent
of their daily interactions. How can you tell if someone's trying to deceive you or if they're telling the truth?
Here, we pinpoint a few common signs.
• Inconsistencies. One of the easiest, and most reliable,
ways to catch a liar is to identify inconsistencies in their story—details that just don't jive with common sense,
prevailing logic, or societal norms. For example, if your date claims he's as rich as Bill Gates but drives a Hyundai,
you can bet he's telling a tall tale. • Eye contact. When it comes to lying, the eyes can be
a dead giveaway. Generally, liars avoid eye contact, but if you're dealing with a seasoned fabricator, he or she might
stare excessively. In addition, most people's pupils dilate when they're lying because their adrenaline rises. According
to an FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, liars may also blink rapidly or close their eyes for slightly prolonged periods
in an attempt to block out auditory or visual stimuli. • Contradictions. As they weave their tales
of deceit, liars typically forget a few details along the way and reveal some telling contradictions. For example, if a friend
backed out of your weekend plans because she supposedly had a life-threatening illness and later described the weekend as
"wonderful," consider it a red flag. • Stammering or scrambling. The majority of liars,
especially under questioning, will utter a lot of nervous ahhs, umms, and wells in an effort to buy time
and save face. When confronted with particularly tough questions, they may also scramble for flimsy rationales and far-fetched
excuses to reinforce the lie.
The 10 Most Expensive Foods in the World
Not all mushrooms and martinis are created
equal. Discover the secrets behind these ultra-pricey indulgences.
Quality Health News
thousand dollars for an ice-cream sundae? Sixteen grand for a cocktail? Believe it or not, there really are foods
and drinks that sell for this much--and there really are people who are willing to pay for them. Here, 10 of the
world's most expensive indulgences. Are they are worth the hefty price tag? You be the judge.
1. Saffron. Grown worldwide, this spice is derived from the saffron
crocus flower. A pound of dry saffron requires 50,000 to 75,000 flowers (enough flowers to fill an entire football field),
and because of the massive amount of resources and labor needed, saffron prices range from $500 to $5,000 a pound.
2. Almas caviar. The word "almas"
is Russian for diamond, which is a fitting name for the world's most expensive caviar. This beluga variety hails from
a fish (not the beluga whale), which is believed to have once lived at the same time as the dinosaurs. Packed in none other
than a 24K gold tin, Almas caviar is white in appearance and sells for an unbelievable price of $23,308 per 32 ounces.
3. White truffle mushroom. These fancy fungi have
their origins in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Typically sold for $1,350 to $2,700 per pound, the record price paid
for a single white truffle was set in December 2007, when casino owner Stanley Ho shelled out $330,000 for a truffle weighing
just over three pounds.
beef. This meat from Wagyu cattle is known worldwide for its incredible taste, texture, and marbled appearance. Because
of the animal's genetic predisposition and special diet, including beer and sake, wagyu yields a beef that contains a
higher percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than typical beef. Grocery stores in the United States generally sell
this sought-after meat for $40 to $150 a pound.
Kopi Luwak coffee. The world's most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak is made from coffee berries that have
been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet, a catlike animal. The animal eats the berries,
but the beans inside pass through its system undigested. This process takes place on the islands of Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi
in the Indonesian Archipelago, and in the Philippines. The total annual production is only around 500 pounds of beans, which
may explain the outrageous price of a pound--$300 or more.
"Diamonds-Are-Forever" martini. This ain't your everyday cocktail. The olive has been replaced
by a 1.6 carat diamond, partially accounting for the martini's $16,000 price tag. If you're looking for a taste of
this divine drink, though, you'll have to travel to the only place it's served: the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, Japan.
7. Kona Nigari water. This seaweed
mineral concentrate, which sells for $16.75 per ounce, must first be mixed with regular drinking water before consuming. The
concentrated water is said to be high in minerals and free of contaminates. If you're thinking about purchasing one gallon,
though, you'd better have more than $2,000 set aside.
Chocopologie truffle. At $2,600 per pound, these handmade dark-chocolate treasures are available by pre-order
only from Knipschildt Chocolatier in Norwalk, Connecticut. Each truffle, made from Valrhona cacao, is blended into a creamy
ganache, hand-rolled, and dusted with cocoa powder. How's that for your next Valentine's Day gift?
9. Nino's Bellisima pizza. They say there's
nothing like New York City pizza, and Upper East Side restaurateur Nino Selimaj proves it. This specialty 12-inch pie features
lobster tail, crème fraiche, and six types of caviar. If you've got $1,000 to spare, the pie is yours. Just make
sure you call 24 hours ahead because the ingredients must be specially ordered.
10. Serendipity sundae. Prepared with five scoops of the richest Tahitian
vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with some of the world's most expensive chocolates, this $1,000 dessert created by
Serendipity in New York City certainly lives up to its name: Grand Opulence sundae. What's more, the treat is topped with
special dessert caviar, adorned with a 23-karat edible gold leaf, and served in a crystal goblet complete with an 18-karat-gold
Weirdest Facts About the Human Body
From WiFi and plasma screens to picture phones, modern technology might seem pretty complex. But
according to biologists, the human body is still the most sophisticated--and mysterious--machine on Earth. A single brain
cell, for example, can hold as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica, while human stomach acid is strong
enough to dissolve razorblades. Read on as we reveal the 10 strangest-but-true facts about the human body.
1. The human brain is the world's most powerful computer. When it comes
to sheer computational strength, today's state-of-the-art processors are still no match for the human mind. According
to experts, the average brain has a storage capacity of about 100 terabytes, while the typical PC offers only a fraction of
that, about 100 gigabytes.
2. The human body has roughly
60,000 miles of blood vessels. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the body's blood vessels, which include the
arteries, veins, and capillaries, would be 60,000 miles long if they were laid out end to end. That's approximately the
distance you'd need to travel if you wanted to circle the globe two and a half times.
3. The human nose can remember 50,000 different scents. Although you'd probably never want to
recall that many aromas, it's nice to know that your nose is doing its job. That said, you shouldn't be too impressed--humans
have about 5 million odor receptors, while dogs, depending on the breed, may have more than 220 million.
4. A human sneeze can exceed 100 miles per hour. People generally
inhale air slowly, but when they sneeze, air rushes out of their nostrils at 100 miles per hour or more. It should come as
no surprise that it's so easy to catch colds and flu; a sneeze's velocity enables it to propel germs up to 12 feet.
5. The human body contains about 32 million bacteria per
square inch. There's no denying it: Every one of us is basically a petri dish for armies of microscopic critters.
In fact, the human body contains 10 times more bacteria per square inch than the average toilet bowl does.
6. The largest internal organ in the human body is the small intestine. Contrary
to what its name might suggest, the small intestine--the portion of the gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and the
large intestine--is anything but petite. In fact, if you unfolded it, you'd find it was roughly 23 feet long.
7. Three hundred million cells die every minute in the human body. It might
sound like an awful lot, but it's insignificant compared with the overall number of cells in your body. Scientists estimate
that the average human body contains between 10 and 50 trillion cells, so it can afford to lose a few here and there.
8. Human stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve razorblades. According
to scientists, human stomach acid is seriously powerful stuff--so strong, in fact, that it's capable of dissolving razorblades.
But whatever you do, don't attempt to swallow one.
Humans produce enough saliva to fill one or two swimming pools. Saliva helps to keep the mouth lubricated
and plays a key role in the digestive process. Most experts believe that humans produce between 0.75 and l.5 liters of the
fluid a day, which means that during your lifetime, you'll produce enough to fill one or two swimming pools.
10. Humans have as many hairs per square inch as chimpanzees. They might look
a lot furrier than we do, but according to biologists, we have the same amount of hairs per square inch as our primate friends.
In fact, when scientists at the University of Washington, Seattle, sequenced the genome of the chimpanzee, they found that
humans were 96 percent similar to the great ape species.
How to Avoid the Foreclosure "Spin" and Make a Bundle in This
The news media is all doom
and gloom about the current real estate market, and the economy in general. But let me tell you. You can still make money
with foreclosed property, especially in today's economic climate. I've had great success with this, and it can work
for you too.
But it's crucial to separate the
facts from fiction and ignore the hype.
approaches real estate investing with the same point of view. They try to convince themselves that they'll make a ton
of money quickly, without any risk whatsoever. You've seen many of those people profiled on evening news shows or in newspaper
articles. They're the ones who were caught short when the real estate bubble burst.
The get-rich-quick impresarios almost never reveal the full extent of the downside
risk of the strategies they're promoting. And the downside risk is a big deal for me.
Take, for instance, the "buy, fix, and flip" strategy. The days when you
could make money doing this are over for the short term (the next three to five years). Why? Because buyers are scarce.
Despite all this, opportunities for making huge profits with foreclosed
and bank-owned properties can't be ignored... even by entrepreneurs who are coming into the market for the first time.
This is especially true if you are able to acquire foreclosed or bank-owned properties at deep discounts.
But before you jump on the "foreclosed train," here's
something to keep in mind...
Just because a property
is foreclosed or a bank owns it, does NOT make it a good deal. As with any business or investment opportunity, due diligence
is necessary. Whatever your experience level, the best foreclosure deals can be identified through patient research.
The Perfect Insider Strategy
The current trend in real estate emphasizes rental revenue (versus appreciation). That's
why foreclosed and bank-owned property is worth a look.
people can't afford their homes or condos, where will they live? Smaller, more modest homes and/or rentals. So there are
still buyers and renters out there, but they are looking at smaller, cheaper properties. That's where the opportunity
lies for you.
One way to capitalize on this current
market demand is to acquire foreclosed homes or bank-owned properties - at deep discounts − and rent them out.
When I tell you to purchase at deep discounts, I'm talking about buying from desperate sellers - sellers
who must sell, no matter what.
real estate developer Sam Zell is known as the "Grave Dancer" because he gets interested in a property when it's
almost dead and gone... and no one wants it. You should take a similar approach if you want to make money with foreclosed
and bank-owned property.
One of the largest banks
in the world is Bank of America. They have a new website featuring hundreds of bank-owned properties for sale.
You'll be amazed at some of the deals. But don't go hog wild. Be patient and develop a clear strategy for your business.
Before You Get in, Know the Downside
Buying foreclosed property can be a lot of fun and it can be very profitable.
But it's important to avoid the typical foreclosed property "spin."
If a renter's bull market develops, you'll want to be sure you're not left holding
the bag. So always consider the worst-case scenario. There's always a possibility that something will go wrong - especially
when it comes to real estate.
Consider the fact that
millions of so-called investors who were planning on making big bucks with their "buy, fix, and flip" strategy are
now holding properties that are worth less than what is owed. Most of the homes the flippers are trying to unload are too
nice (or pricey) to offer as rentals. But what if hundreds of those fixer-uppers hit your market at the same time?
In larger cities, renters have been easy to come by. But what happens
if the rental market softens or collapses? Can you afford that foreclosed or bank-owned property you have your eye on if the
rental income goes down? This is a calculation you must make before buying.
Let's say you're looking at a foreclosed property within two miles of a Super Wal-Mart for $50,000.
(A potentially excellent investment.) Let's say the mortgage payment is $415 a month ($50,000 at 5.75 percent for 15 years).
Your objective would be to recoup the cost of your
mortgage payment, simple maintenance, insurance, property management, taxes, and background checks on prospective tenants.
And let's say those expenditures add up to $650 month. So, in this case, you'd need to rent the house for $650 to
In most areas of the United States
and Canada, this property would be fairly easy to rent. Of course, if hundreds of inexpensive rental properties suddenly hit
your market, renters would have a smorgasbord of options. Bad for you. However, few of the "buy, fix, and flip"
real estate investors and developers are likely to be in this particular market. The kind of properties they're sitting
on would have to rent for far more than $650 a month.
Zell is confident the trend toward rental revenue (versus appreciation) has already begun. This doesn't mean a foreclosed
or bank-owned property will not appreciate. But don't count on it. Instead, focus on patiently acquiring deep-discounted
properties that will provide you with rental revenue. In 10 years, when it's time to get back into "buy, fix and
flip" real estate, you can sell all your rental properties for cash, or just sit on them with mortgages paid in full.
What happens if other landlords sweeten their deals to renters by including
heat, electric, and water? This may happen in apartment buildings, but I don't see it happening in single-family home
rentals. You'll have to adjust your strategy accordingly if this occurs. But I think you're safe.
As with any business, you should expect the best but prepare for the
The Big Upside
Despite the risks, there's a big upside to buying foreclosures.
Because foreclosed property can often be purchased for less than market value.
Contact the top 20 mortgage lenders in your state. Ask for the Real Estate Owned (REO)
department. They'll send you a list of REO properties that are currently available. Banks typically sell foreclosed properties
"as is," and buying them is like buying anything else "as is": There are no warranties or guarantees.
However, you can review the property (and its assessed value).
The next step is to submit an offer to the bank (with proper due diligence, of course). The bank will often return
with a counter offer that is higher than you expected. If you feel the property still has tremendous potential, you should
counter their offer with a new offer.
and purchasing a property before it reverts to the mortgage company is always the best way to go. But REO properties
give you a way to get started quickly. The main objective is to find smaller homes at deep discounts and rent them out to
If you purchase two deep-discounted
properties this year and two each year thereafter for the next 10 years, you'll have 20 rental properties. The debt service
on those properties should be very manageable.
say you rent each of your 20 homes for $1,250 per month. If the debt service, taxes, insurance, and maintenance on these homes
is $12,000 (about $600 per property), you could conceivably net $13,000 per month.
I hate generic illustrations. But if you work the numbers, you'll find that acquiring
deep-discounted bank-owned properties with a view toward renting them makes sense.
Hundreds of bank-owned property websites are popping up every month. Why? Because banks are
not in the real estate business; they are in the money business. And so they are eager to get these properties
off their books.
Okay. So how do you get your hands on deep-discounted foreclosed and
There are many sites on the
Internet that list foreclosed homes for sale. And, of course, real estate agents always try to get in on the action. Though
they seldom tell you about properties that are not listed by their agencies, it is possible to find agents who are unbiased
Here are some sites to help you
locate deep-discounted foreclosed and bank-owned properties:
Don't be scared away by all the negative press the housing market is getting. It IS possible to make a great
living and build substantial wealth by purchasing foreclosed and bank-owned properties.
Advertising on the WEB-
Here's a list of the top video-sharing sites...
After posting a video at one of these sites, don't stop there. Continue sharing it
at several social-networking (Web 2.0) sites. When done tactfully, this can create a nice flow of viral traffic that can actually
be hard to slow down... even if you wanted to!
Top social-networking sites include...
The goal is to have your video create a buzz and be spread virally via these networks.
Only the most entertaining (and even quirky) videos go viral, so try to think outside the box when creating yours for these
No Nursing Home for Me
About 2 years ago my wife and
I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting
alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room. I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters,
busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady.
I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told
that she owned the line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back to back.
As we left the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, "I understand
you've been on this ship for the last four cruises" She replied, "Yes, that's true." I stated, "I
don't understand" and she replied, without a pause, "It's cheaper than a nursing home."
there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average
cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long-term discount and
senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:
Gratuities, which will only be $10 per day.
will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have
breakfast in bed every day of the week).
has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.
They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.
They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5
worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.
I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days.
T.V. broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything
and apologize for your inconvenience.
and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for them.
If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess
ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.
Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand,
Asia, or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go.
So don't look for me in a nursing
home, just call shore to ship.
To Your Good Health,
Mow, Mow, Mow Your Lawn
The grass is always greener in everyone else’s
yard. It could be your angle. Or perhaps the dog, the kids or the grubs. More likely, though, it’s because your neighbors
spend more time making it look that way.
Not that you’re lazy or anything. You just aren’t aware of
a very important fact, one that makes the often torturous chore of maintaining a lawn worthwhile: Your yard is worth something.
If you plan on selling your home at any time in the future, maintaining or improving your yard is actually an investment. According
to the Gallup Organization, a well-landscaped yard can add 7% to 15% to your property value. Trees add value, too. The Council
of Tree and Landscape Appraisers says mature trees are often appraised at $1,000 to $10,000 each. That's a nice chunk
The same goes for townhomes, brownstones and condos. Even if your green space is a little smaller, you can make it the most beautiful on the block! So what are you waiting
for? Mow! Prune! Fertilize! All that hard work will pay off someday. Plus, the neighbors will like it—and you'll
love the way a well-kept space makes you feel more at home and at one with nature.
(P.S.—Apartment dwellers, you can "add value" to your rental by bringing some plants
into your space to make the air cleaner and your rooms brighter! You obviously won't reap financial rewards, but you'll
get the same good feelings and make your house feel a bit more like a home.)
July 20, 2008
FOR YOUR HEALTH: Five Things to Remember By Dr. David Eifrig Jr.
Before reading this week's Health Report, spend a few moments imagining what
your health will be like during the next 15 years.
you are envisioning a healthy life, then the next step is to start doing more things to achieve that vision. A life filled
with peace and pleasure is close at hand if you remember to pay attention to your self. Be mindful of the risks and benefits
I have developed a list of five simple
steps to a healthy lifestyle.
The delight is that
all five of these things are easy to do. I can promise if you begin today, you'll actually feel better tomorrow. And if
you do these things again tomorrow, I guarantee you'll feel great by Tuesday.
I'll caution you now. I read a lot of research and try out a lot of different ideas myself.
But astonishingly, most of what I'll share with you is based on common sense and quite simple to do. The hard part is
starting. But if you start, the results will be fantastic.
These five things have been studied, tested, and proven to provide great benefits. Even if you can't do all of
them all of the time, at least try them once a day or week, until they become habit. The quality and length of your life will
Start on the path to improved health with
these five practices:
You are what you eat. This is the most important thing to remember: Pay attention to what you eat. Sounds
simple enough. If all you eat are donuts and pastries with whole milk, French fries, Cokes, fried chicken, and onion rings,
then guess what? You're going to be fat, stink, and ache all over. Why? Because those foods are dense in calories and
high in fats that destroy the good fat in your body.
Want to feel good? Eat whole grains, fruit, berries, teas,
slowly grilled meats, and vegetables. A diet like that will get you closer to your natural weight because it will reduce your
caloric intake. (Who can eat 18 apples in a day?) By the way, the Japanese have a saying "hara hachi bu," which
means eat until you are almost full, not stuffed. Humans who practice this live to their 100s and maintain good health. Remember,
you are what you eat.
your body. It doesn't matter what you do – just get moving. Gardening is as beneficial as aerobics. Walking
is as good as tennis. Your body knows it's alive when it's moving. By moving, you allow your body to produce chemicals
and molecules that help keep it alive.
Amazingly, research shows movement results in changes at the molecular
level. Exercise turns on and off different genes. It actually changes our genetic makeup! Ten years ago, doctors would laugh
if you suggested such changes occur. If you are getting started, be careful and go slowly. But do something and let your body
do the rest. Start with a simple 15-minute walk tonight.
Get your sleep. The fastest-growing health industry in the U.S. is the sleep business.
It turns out poor sleep habits (and hygiene) will kill you faster than anything else. With poor sleep, you gain weight and
your brain stops functioning. The actual structures in your brain change with poor sleep. Some changes are permanent. So remember
to get at least seven and a half hours a day... although eight hours is ideal.
Get your sunshine. No matter where you live, get sun on your body every day.
Sunlight prevents multiple diseases and improves moods. It decreases the odds of getting multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure,
cancer, and depression. Sunlight stimulates your body to produce vitamin D, which then combines with other important molecules
critical to health.
Are you worried about sunburn? Don't be. It's simple: Don't go out during the
midday sun (11 a.m.-3 p.m.). And perhaps most important, avoid those cancer-causing sunscreens. The higher the SPF, the more
concentrated the chemicals.
and smell the roses. I've saved the best for last – flowers. Flowers change your mood instantly. Flowers
with sweet smells bring back memories. And science shows flowers increase our ability to create new memories. Flowers in the
workplace increase productivity and mood.
Plus, it's fun to grow your own. With a few pennies and a little
bit of time, a small area in your backyard can be heaven. Watching the plants grow and picking them for a vase on your table
is truly one of the joys in life. Be sure and plant varieties that smell good, like sweet peas, oriental lilies, roses, petunias,
or even ever-blooming gardenias. But if you're less inclined to test out your green thumb, be sure and buy flowers weekly...
it will be the best $10 you have ever spent.
When it comes to these five things... What do I do?
I eat berries – such as blueberries,
raspberries, and blackberries – that are high in antioxidants, which support healthy metabolism.
I take a multivitamin once a week to supplement my food.
I try to eat a little less than what makes me full.
I exercise in some form almost every day. Often it's as simple as
a 30-minute walk after dinner.
try and get at least eight hours of sleep every night. If I don't get that amount of sleep, my body and even my eyes ache.
I make sure to get some sun on my body every day.
I buy flowers almost weekly. Occasionally, I bring them to the office
and surprise people... I don't tell them I brought them. This is great fun.
Here's to our health,
David Eifrig Jr., M.D., M.B.A.
Brainiest Cities in America
These U.S. hot spots house some of the nation's most cultured and educated residents.
By Natalie Vavricka, QualityHealth News
Part of what shapes a city is its people. And while these impressive locales can lay claim to scenic beauty
and fascinating history, they're also home to some of the smartest people in the country. Here are the top seven brainiest
cities in the country, based on the percentage of residents who have college degrees, the number of cultural activities available
(such as museums and plays), and literacy levels of its residents.
Home to 40 educational institutions, 20 libraries, the largest percentage of residents who hold bachelor's
degrees (52 percent) and second largest percentage who hold advanced degrees (nearly 21 percent), Seattle tops our list of
brainiest city in the country. A number of high-profile companies have helped place Seattle on the map, but few can deny that
it's Microsoft and Starbucks that are largely responsible for this city's infamy. Microsoft's creator, Bill Gates
(otherwise known as the richest man in the world) has a home that is said to be worth over $110 million. Need we say more?
2. Washington, D.C.
From the White House
and the Smithsonian museums to the FBI and prestigious Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. is home to some of the most
famous and historical landmarks in the world. It's comforting to know that the residents of our nation's capital and
the center for our government are also some of the most educated in the country. Of residents ages 25 and up, 44 percent hold
bachelor's degrees, and nearly 24 percent hold advanced degrees. Additionally, Central Connecticut State University's
study ranked D.C. as the fifth most literate city in the country.
3. San Francisco.
Nestled into the southern part of this city by the bay is Silicon Valley-the country's
leading high-tech hub-and nearly half of San Fran's residents (age 25 and up) carry a bachelor's degree, the second
highest in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Mix in nearly 17 percent of residents with advanced degrees and
a population teeming with cultural and ethnic diversity, and it's no surprise that San Francisco has earned one of the
top spots on our list.
largest city in New England, Boston is also considered to be the cultural and economic center of this entire region. The home
for prestigious universities, such as Harvard and Cambridge, attracts superior brain power from all over the globe. In addition,
Beantown ranks fifth for most cultured city, tenth for most literate, and twelfth for percentage of residents with bachelor's
degrees. Not too shabby.
mecca for outdoor sports fanatics, the mile high city also draws distinguished intellects. Not only was Denver ranked as the
fourth most literate city in the country, it almost cracks the top ten for percentage of residents who hold a bachelor's
degree (41 percent). As for culture? More than 60,000 Americans put Denver at the fifteenth spot, so if you thought that all
this city has to offer is steep ski slopes and climbing rocks, think again.
Arguably the financial capital of the world, it's no coincidence that
30 percent of New York residents hold a bachelor's degree-and this number nearly doubles in the borough of Manhattan.
Wall Street is also overflowing with advanced degrees, with nearly 27 percent of residents touting one. But finance isn't
the only field that lures ambitious scholars to New York. Career opportunities in the fine and performing arts, publishing,
and advertising industries draw some of the brightest, most driven, and creative people to the city that never sleeps. Don't
forget the museums, theaters, and diversity: The results of a 2007 Travelandleisure.com and CNN Headline News poll deemed
New York the most cultured city in the U.S.
One of Minnesota's twin cities, Minneapolis boasts more of the nation's top companies (such as Target
and Pepsi) per capita than any other U.S. city. It has the fifth highest percentage of residents ages 25 and over who have
received bachelor's degrees. Still not totally convinced of this spot's intellectual prowess? A study done by Central
Connecticut State University analyzed six key indicators of literacy (including newspaper circulation, number of bookstores,
and library resources) and ranked Minneapolis as the most literate city in the country.
Put These 10 Things On Your List
By Dr. David Eifrig Jr.
Do you remember trips to the grocery store as a child? If you were
anything like me, you would reach for all the junk your tiny hands could handle. I had the system down: Wait for mom to turn
her back and then quickly and quietly toss my favorites into the cart. Occasionally, my treasures made it home. Most times
they were returned to the shelves with no explanation.
Now that I'm older (and perhaps more mature), I can put whatever I want in the cart. Amazingly, I've
discovered the grocery store is my fountain of youth. It can be yours, too.
The grocery list on my refrigerator reminds me of the things I need to keep in my home
at all times. I have had the list on my fridge for years, and it's grown quite long. But here's a quick rundown of
the top 10 things on the list that have been proven by medical science to improve the quality and length of your life. I hope
you'll find them valuable on your next trip to the grocery store.
The Eifrig 10:
1) Olive Oil: The Mediterranean secret that
wrote about the benefits of olive oil in the last S&A Health Report. No doubt, this should be the only oil you
cook with. According to a study approved by the FDA, taking two tablespoons of olive oil a day is all you need to reap the
Salt: If you're part of the 50% of Americans deficient in this mineral, it could be harming your health.
I have found a way to give myself a mini "spa"
treatment at home for just a few pennies and a few minutes. I fill my tub with hot water and add a couple cups of Epsom salt.
Epsom salts are named for the mineral-rich waters of Epsom, England... And its benefits have been known since Shakespeare's
The active ingredient, magnesium
sulfate, is very important in the normal physiology of both the muscles and the nervous system. It is critical to hundreds
of enzymes in the human body. However, the National Academy of Sciences reports most people are magnesium deficient. This
might even account for our society's high rate of heart disease, strokes, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pains, digestive
maladies and stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue, and a host of other ailments.
3) Dental Floss: The secret to longevity.
Mouth care is essential to good overall health. Bacteria
in your mouth can cause cavities and – even worse – heart disease. Yet many people think simply brushing their
teeth with toothpaste is the answer. As I have written before, this logic and behavior is quite dangerous for your health
(see my archived article on fluoride). However, the most important part of good oral health is one that most everyone accepts,
but many don't actually practice... flossing.
4)Tomatoes: The "veggie" that has more vitamin C than an orange.
While the tomato is most commonly associated with Italian
food, the plant is actually native to the western coast of South America and was not introduced in Europe until the early
1500s when returning Spanish colonists brought it from the New World. Ironically, North Americans believed tomatoes were poisonous
until 1820, when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson disproved that myth during a public demonstration on the courthouse steps in
Salem, New Jersey.
inside the tomato – like lycopenes, coumaric acid, and chlorogenic acid – make it healthy. These chemicals are
strong antioxidants and help keep your cellular function and immune system healthy. Tomatoes also provide other micronutrients
like potassium, iron, and vitamins A and C (even more than oranges).
And by the way... to answer that age-old argument about whether it's a fruit or vegetable?
While botanically, tomatoes are a fruit, legally they are not. Back in 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the tomato
is a vegetable.
Halt the aging process
of life's simple pleasures is picking berries right from a garden or wild in the woods. Berries are a good source of vitamins.
They provide many phytochemicals, which are nonnutritive bioactive plant substances like flavonoids or carotenoids, considered
to benefit human health. Extracts from berries stop the growth of cancerous cells. Dark-colored berries contain many antioxidants
in their skins (this is why they are dark), which help slow down the aging process. And berries also contain lutein (similar
to carrots), which is important for healthy vision.
6)Yogurt: Keep your bones and digestive system in good shape.
Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin
B12. It contains more calcium and protein than plain milk, mainly due to the cultures themselves.
To get the most health benefit from yogurt, you must eat yogurt with
live and active cultures ("probiotic") . That should be noted on the label.
7) Salmon: Lower your risk of heart disease.
Science has discovered the type of dietary fat we consume
alters the production of an important group of biological compounds known as eicosanoids. Specifically, one type of oil called
omega-3 (technically, it's not an oil but a fatty acid) produces a series of eicosanoids that have been shown to decrease
the risk for many diseases. Among these are heart disease, inflammatory processes, and certain cancers.
Guess what food is high in omega-3 oil? You're right
And one more
suggestion... wild salmon may be better than farm raised due to the risks of mercury and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls) concentrations
in the less-regulated and poorly-monitored farming system.
8)Wine: Lower your blood sugar, decrease your risk of dementia, and
protect your prostate.
Red wine is better than
any drug your doctor will ever prescribe – including those cholesterol-lowering "statins" dispensed like candy.
So cheers to your health!
9) Chocolate: Decadence for everyday health.
The Journal of the American Medical Association
reported dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. This is due to the "cocoa phenols" found in chocolate. In addition,
Johns Hopkins reported these same potent antioxidants in dark chocolate help to prevent heart disease by decreasing free radicals.
Mmmmm. I wish I was part of that study...
Fresh Flowers: Reduces stress and boosts your mood.
I love fresh flowers! Flowers (and babies) are nature's way of saying that life will go on. No
shopping list worth its salt (Epsom, of course) would be complete without flowers. It's true... a simple, strategically
placed arrangement of an inexpensive seasonal assortment is one of the easiest ways to lift your spirits and lighten your
mood. One study reported men and women aged 55 or older who receive one or more bouquets of flowers over a two-week period
showed an improvement in mood as well as an improvement in cognitive function-memory.
Well, that's the list. I hope you realize these are 10 of the very best
things you can get from the grocery store that will immediately improve your health. Finally, please remember that good health
is not simply about avoiding death; it is about quality of life and living well. The grocery store is a great place to begin
your common sense journey toward good health.
it comes to grocery shopping... What do I do?
I buy flowers almost every time I
shop. As a gardener myself, I appreciate the effort to create this sort of beauty.
I love buying chocolate, red wine, and flowers together – especially
if I am cooking at someone else's home.
I always buy extra-virgin olive oil.
I alternate between unwaxed and waxed floss (some think one is better than the other).
I buy wild salmon when I can find it.
I compare my grocery list with the supplies I already
have before shopping.
berries are out of season, I find that frozen berries usually work just as well.
Glenn Beck recently did a fascinating
interview with Ray Kurzweil, the remarkable inventor/futurist. Among other things, Kurzweil, a member of the prestigious National
Inventors Hall of Fame, developed the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind.
Right on Beck's show, he demonstrated how it works. It was amazing.
While listening to Kurzweil talk, the thought crossed my mind how geniuses
like him appear to be able to transcend the junk that you and I allow to flood our brains day in and day out . Dumbed-down
infomercials. Round-the-clock sports on TV. Nonstop pain-at-the-pump and global-warming tales. The latest shenanigans of cartoon
characters like Vladimir Putin and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The childish ramblings of our own presidential candidates. Even the
scary news flashes about Hollywood celebs who are threatening to emigrate if their candidate doesn't win the upcoming
Listening to Kurzweil reminded me that
most of the things people think about, fret about, and argue about don't really matter much in the long run. Over the
past century, we've survived a rash of bad presidents and shameless politicians, unthinkable natural disasters, the Great
Depression, and "world" wars (along with a few little skirmishes like Vietnam). And humankind stubbornly keeps pushing
I believe one of the biggest reasons for
this success is that the people on the leading edge of civilization seem to be unfazed by all the nonsensical stuff.
Now when I say we've survived, I admit I'm talking on a macro
basis. Between the advances, there is almost always a great deal of pain and suffering for the many people who happen to be
living in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Soviet Union is the best recent example of this. It was only a matter of time until the lie of communism collapsed under its
own weight. But for 70 years, hundreds of millions of people suffered and tens of million died. The same was true of Hitler's
Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Saddam's Iraq, and Mao's China. But what's interesting is how, notwithstanding
government's best efforts to slow human progress, the best and the brightest keep moving mankind forward.
As a result of the exponential progression of information technology,
Kurzweil says that the rate of progress itself is now doubling every decade. In fact, he believes we will experience 32 times
as much technical progress in the next 50 years as we've seen in the last century! It's hard for a guy like me, whose
neurons shut down at the thought of learning how to load my iPod, to comprehend such things.
Kurzweil says that when he first came to MIT, the school had only one computer. It
took up an entire floor and cost more than $10 million. Now, the computer in a $50 cellphone is thousands of times more powerful
than that MIT dinosaur. Which is why he believes we will see a billionfold improvement in information technology
over the next 25 years. And then, in the years that follow, we'll see it again, and again, and again.
I could go on and on about Ray Kurzweil's amazing inventions, knowledge,
and insights into the future. But the biggest of all his predictions is that due to advances in nanotechnology, we will soon
be able to produce highly efficient, lightweight, inexpensive solar panels. As a result, he is all but certain that solar
power will provide 100 percent of the world's energy needs within 20 years - easily and inexpensively. He points out that
the sun provides us with 10,000 times more sunlight than we need to accomplish this.
If Kurzweil is right, it not only will put a damper on draconian save-the-planet ideologies
aimed at increasing control over people's lives, it will change the balance of political power worldwide. It would also
mean that millions of hours have been (and will be) wasted over debating whether or not to drill through the hides of caribou
or dig up our trillions of tons of coal and convert it to oil.
All this reminds me of something that another great futurist, the late Alvin Toffler, said in his landmark book Future Shock. Toffler believed that at any given time in history, about 90 percent of the population thinks in terms
of the past, 7-8 percent have their heads in the present, and 2-3 percent are focused on the future.
When you look back on just the past 10,000 years, the evidence is clear: Human progress
accelerates, notwithstanding little inconveniences such as famines, disease, volcanic eruptions, and asteroids paying their
respects from time to time.
Don't get me wrong.
In the coming decades, I believe the U.S. is likely to be a totally different place than it is today. We may even have to
go through a dictator or two. Perhaps even a couple of revolutions. But the scientific brains and futuristic thinkers don't
seem to pay much attention to politics and social upheaval. They just keep marching forward as though nothing were going on
Nevertheless, the big question that
remains is the same one that's been implied throughout human history: What good does human progress do in such fields
as technology, medicine, and energy if there continues to be no human progress in the area of goodwill?
So, what can you and I do about this? Plenty. The thought of ever-greater
technology joining forces with ever-greater malice should incentivize each of us to demonstrate - through our actions
-a spirit of goodwill.
You and I can't force
anyone else to change to our liking, but we totally control who and what we, as individuals, can become. Rather than joining
crusades to save the world, we can accomplish much more by focusing on making ourselves the best human beings we can possibly
For those 'dog days' of summer
by: Dale Y, The Green
We are about to enter into those classic days of summer with high temperatures, some
oppressive humidity, and a lot of stagnant air.The easiest thing to do to combat these waves of heat is to turn up the AC
and ride it out. Although I am as much a convert to the AC lifestyle as anyone else, I really enjoy the outside air more than
filtered and cooled inside air. For this reason, I love to have several fans around and ready to run at a moments notice.
I'm all for AC cooling on those hot and sticky
night, no doubt about it. But truth be told, I will turn off the AC whenever I can and run several fans throughout the house.
When you place a box fan in a window at night, you suck in the cooler air and when you're using a couple more fans, distribute
all that air all around your house.
that, how about considering the green issues? Even small room-size AC units will consume almost 600 watts of power. Larger
one will use up to 1500 watts. A larger box fan uses only about 80 watts of power each. So when you're using 3 big box fans,
you will be using between 60 to 90% less power than an AC unit. In my book, that is some serious saving per month even if
you only switch to fans one or two nights in that time period.
So let's cut to the environmental chase here. Any sized fan, from small to large, is going to use less power and
energy than any air conditioning unit on the market. Not to mention, you can direct a fan to blow anywhere, even directly
onto yourself, which will keep you cooler than a proverbial cucumber. They even make fans now with a built in misting system
which will actually mist the air with water and give you a far better cooling effect than just blowing air around.
Fans are inexpensive, too. For under $20 at your local
store, you can get a window sized plastic box fan that does a solid job of blowing air. For those of us into the recycling
aspect, there are plenty of the old metal bladed fans to be found at rummage sales. Generally, they are really inexpensive
and they blow a good quantity of air in any direction you need.
Power savings, fresh air and a cool breeze will blow you right through the 'dog days' of summer every time. Add that
to the fact you will be saving not only green in your wallet, but also you'll be doing a little green energy savings to boot.
You can't get enough of fan appreciation.
Seven Steps to Prepare for $200 Oil
1) Slow down. Typically, a car going over 60 miles an hour is
likely to decrease its fuel economy. The rule of thumb is for every mile per hour faster than 55 mph, fuel economy drops by
about 1%; the drop-off increases at a greater rate after 65 mph. According to fueleconomy.gov, "you can assume that each
5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas."
2) When you're finished at the gas pump, turn the handle 180 degrees so that it's
upside down. This will force out up to 1/2 cup of gas into your tank. Put your gas cap back on right away and tighten
it firmly — gas evaporates quickly.
gas prices on the Internet at sites like Gas Price Watch. Just put in your zip code and compare. However, don't drive out of your way to get cheap gas — you'll
burn more gas on the detour than you'll save at the pump.
4) Use cruise control on the highway. That cuts down the engine speed and allows your car to
maintain a steady momentum without exerting too much effort.
Remove excess weight from your car. By that, I don't mean leave your mother-in-law at the rest stop. I mean dump
all the junk you may be carrying around in your trunk. Every extra 100 pounds your car carries decreases fuel efficiency by
6) Perform needed maintenance on your car.
A well-tuned engine, clean air filter and fully-inflated tires will do wonders for your gas mileage. According to fueleconomy.gov,
under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. On the other hand,
fully inflating your tires can improve your gas mileage by about 3.3%. Replacing a clogged air filter improves your mileage
by about 10%, and tuning your car (when it needs it) improves gas mileage by about 4%. Add it up and that's 17% improvement.
If your car gets 25 miles to the gallon and you drive 12,000 miles a year, you'll save 81.6 gallons — about $326
at $4 per gallon gas.
And if you get 15 miles to the gallon,
the same tips could save you $544.
as much as possible. This isn't possible for everyone, but the cheapest gas is the gas you don't use; plus
time you don't spend driving is time you can spend working. If you need another argument to convince your boss, here's
one: It's patriotic. A portion of every dollar we send our "good friends" in Saudi Arabia goes to support al
email us any questions or ideas you may have
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