Recent News & Stories

When Water Becomes Your Worst Enemy
With Great Power (Tools) Come Great Responsibility

Latest Stories

When Water Becomes Your Worst Enemy

dental waterline testingEven if you are not taking any prescription drug, there’s still a good chance that your body is consuming some chemicals. This is due to the traces of drugs that come with your tap water. Recent studies showed that tap water carries significant amounts of pharmaceutical drugs that processes such as chlorination cannot eliminate. This can drive a person to ask, how safe is the water we’re drinking?

Shattered belief

Many of us have become used to the idea that treatment procedures were enough to deal with any harmful compounds in the water supply. Some researchers, however, have already put this belief under the microscope. Apparently, these treatments are only successful in giving us a false sense of security. Procedures such as dental waterline testing are even being done to guarantee the safety of dental water lines. Today, most of the water supplies contain compounds that came from detergents, flame retardants, beauty products along with plant and animal waste.

The usual suspects

There are several ways for these contaminants to end up in the water supply. Hospital employees, for example, usually flush unused medications down the toilet to discard them. Wastes from factories are also among the known culprits.

There’s still hope

Two new technological innovations have been successful in eliminating water contaminants – granular activated carbon and ozonation. When used together, these methods can completely remove the contaminants. This level of success is possible only in laboratories, though. In reality, some compounds are still resistant to such processes. Chlorination is still the ideal solution, even if it only works in getting rid of certain bacteria, germs, microbes, and other contaminants.

In your home, the best way to protect yourself is to filter the water you drink. Because when it comes to the quality of your drinking water, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

With Great Power (Tools) Come Great Responsibility

toolsTradesmen do not go to work without power tools in their toolbox. After all, it is only through the use of this equipment that they can do more complex tasks and achieve better results. From power drills to table saws, power tools make work easier, faster, safer, and more convenient.

Using these modern tools, however, takes skills and full knowledge of proper use. Mishandling them can easily lead to accidents, damages, and injuries. If you are looking to expand your tool selection, you need to know how to use them safely and properly.

Here are a few things about power tools safety you should take into careful account:

Use the Right Tool for Specific Tasks

There are various kinds of power tools and accessories available today, and each one is designed for specific jobs. For instance, table saws are for cutting wood and other similar materials with great precision. Using it for any other purpose might only lead to accidents. GTPRO says that even if you are already familiar with how to use it, reading the tool’s user manual is still a necessary step to take.

Disconnect Idle Power Tools

You should always unplug power tools whenever you are not using them. This prevents accidents and eventual damage to the tools. You must also keep them away in safety boxes, so they do not obstruct any spaces or get lost.

Inspect for any Possible Damage

Frequent use can wear power tools out. This is the reason you should always inspect for any sign of damages. For example, if the handle gets broken that you cannot hold on the tool properly, it is time to repair it. Better yet, replace your old power tool with a new one.

Keep Your Workplace Clutter-Free

It is the number one rule when working with power tools, but many tradesmen tend to forget. Make sure your workplace is free of clutter to avoid accidents. For good measure, wear appropriate PPE whenever you use power tools.

Power tools help improve your skills as a tradesman, but it helps if you know to use these items the right way. Take time to read the instructions and always prioritise safety when using such equipment.

Cool Down Your Home Cooling Costs

air conditionerAir conditioner usage makes up almost 20 percent of the homeowner’s utility bill. According to the US Department of Energy, air conditioning units account for about 5 percent of energy consumption in the country at a yearly cost of $11 billion to homeowners.

Small changes around the house can reduce the cost of air conditioning. Here are a few ways to slash your home’s cooling bill:

Use Ceiling Fans

Fans circulate air, which creates a wind chill effect that can make you feel more comfortable. You can also use whole house fans to pull air in through the window and exhaust it through the roof or attic. Professionals should take care of installation to ensure safety and proper sizing.

Prevent Heat Buildup

Whenever the temperature outdoor exceeds the temperature indoors, avoid using appliances that generate a lot of heat. It is best to wash the dishes by hand and air dry clothes to avoid the release of heat from the dishwasher or clothes dryer. You can also use an outdoor grill or microwave instead of the oven.

Benefit from Natural Ventilation

This technique uses the wind to create a chimney effect to cool the home. One way to encourage natural ventilation is to open your windows. You can benefit from the wind to naturally cool your home, especially if you live somewhere with a cooler climate.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Install a programmable thermostat to save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling costs every year. Set it to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re at home and program it to a warmer temperature at night or when you’re away. According to the Department of Energy, this can help you save 5 to 15 percent on your air conditioning bills.

Use Window Coverings

Install energy-efficient coverings that let natural light in and prevent solar heat gain. Hang the shades close to the windowpanes to block outdoor heat from radiating inside. Insulated or reflective shades are a good choice, as they can help you save money during the summer season.

Apart from the tips discussed, you can also lower your cooling bills simply by making sure your unit gets regular maintenance and repair. Annual maintenance can improve efficiency and prolong the service life of your unit.

Honda Top of the World: 4 Reasons You Should Own a 2014 Honda Accord

honda carThe Honda Accord has been at the top of the Canadian car market, and it stands among a very large group of competitors. The 2014 model, in particular, could be the best one yet.
There are simply no major flaws in this model, and it is so widely loved. Here are the top five reasons you should own a 2014 Honda Accord.


Whether it’s a sedan, plug-in, coup, and hybrids, you have plenty of options. The 4-door sedan is great for large groups or families, 2-door coupes are for the sporty, and the hybrid and plug-in sedans are perfect for those who spend a lot of time on the road. If you’re planning to buy in a Toronto Honda dealership, for example, you choose one type over the other only because of your specific needs.

Smooth Exterior

The Honda Accord, even with older models, always had a great appeal. The 2014 model only added to this. It matched the look of trends, enhancing sophistication while maintaining its sleekness. The alloy wheels and the improved grille mix well with the features, every feature looks like they’re in the right places, and there are no major exterior flaws.

Super-Efficient and Economic

The 2014 model comes with an ECON button and an Eco Assist system. This maximizes the fuel, and you get the most out of every mile. The Accord Hybrid and Plug-in models, in particular, are for those who want a superefficient vehicle. The Hybrid gets 50 city/45 highway mpg, while the other gets 47 city/46 highway mpg.

Low Risk for Collisions and Accidents

This model uses a camera on top of the windshield; you can see what’s happening on the road ahead. The Touring model has a radar system in the grill. This provides warnings if it detects lane departures or if it senses possible accidents.

The 2014 Accord also has safety features when the situation leads to an impact. The body uses high-grade steel designed to distribute force during a crash. It also has front airbags and front side airbags to reduce the risk for potential injuries.

Overall, the 2014 Honda Accord has so much to offer, from power to economy and from comfort to convenience. This has helped the car brand hold a commanding position amid a field of tough competition.

Basic Branding Principles That are Often Neglected

brandingBranding is one of the most important aspects of business. Without establishing a solid brand that potential customers can recognise immediately, you risk the chance of not having a loyal clientele to fall back on. When that happens, you can expect your start-up business to crumble and fall by the wayside.

Branding involves more than just the crisp integration of all these aspects with your company name, logo, voice, and tagline.

The following are basic branding principles that start-up companies all too often fail to remember:

• Clear Definition

Not clearly defining your brand can leave your business in a driftwood state. It serves to confuse customers as they may cause undue expectations that you may not be able to deliver.

What is your company’s mission? What the benefits and features you can offer clients? Do your competitors have these? What qualities do you want customers to associate with you? You need to clearly define these points right at the onset.

• Distinctive Logo

Industry veteran says design strategies of Canberra businesses play an important part in this too. You do not necessarily need to be elaborate when coming up with a logo. Keep in mind that Nike only has a single swoosh, Adidas has three minimal stripes, and Facebook has a simple lower case letter. You have to come up with something that truly sticks. Simplicity works.

• Creative Approach

Your creativity can set you apart from the pack. When you have a brand that is clearly unique and you market it in a fresh, and appealing manner, you stand a better chance at establishing a truly magnetic brand that customers are more likely to patronise.

• Be Relatable

Audiences need to to relate to you. Chances are consumers will not patronise brands that they cannot find relatable. Know what makes your target clientele tick and they will gravitate towards you naturally.

• Continuous Innovation

Never get complacent. Remember that times change and popular culture have a way of going in cycles. What works today may not necessarily work a decade from now. Remember how companies like Nokia were untouchable giants? Innovate, and do so continually.

When it comes to branding, the most neglected aspects when it comes to marketing strategies are the basics. Remember, though, that it is the basics that are the most important. Keep these in mind as they are crucial to the overall success of your company’s branding.

Fifty Shades for Your Patio: Creating a Comfy Outdoor Space

patioThe patio is usually where family and friends hang out, but sometimes, you just can’t enjoy the space because of the intense heat. There are many ways to create shade for this area, though, so you can lounge and be comfortable whenever you like.

Roller Shades

Experts from Half Price Shutters recommend roller shades if you have a structure that can support it. These shades will not only protect you from the harmful rays of the sun at noon, but also create a cool, calm atmosphere in the patio.


Offer shade and add accent in the dining area of the patio by installing umbrellas. Umbrellas come in different sizes, styles and colours. Consider the motif and your needs when choosing an umbrella. If you want to go traditional, try garden umbrellas and match them with rattan furniture. You might also want to try wind fibre glass umbrellas if you want something that can withstand the strong winds and rains. Just remember that style should go with functionality.

Fabric Strips

Putting fabric strips on the roof are a clever way to provide shade and at the same time allow some sunlight to come in. Choose bright colours if you want to achieve a summery vibe. For a more sophisticated look, go for neutral colours.

Drapery Panels

You can create a private space like a mini reading or study area by covering an area with outdoor drapery panels. Again, when choosing the drapery panel, consider the motif of the space and select from acrylic, linen and polyester cloths.

Natural Shade

You may have a tree nearby so take advantage of its natural shade and create your patio near it. You can also set up flowers around the space to provide fragrance and add a pop of colour and complete the ambiance of nature.

Choose the right shade for your patio so that you can enjoy the cool outdoors.

3 Gems for an Impressive Demo Reel Creation

reelA demo reel is your ticket to landing more projects and opportunities in the world of film and video production. In essence, it serves as your résumé and lets potential employers know of your exceptional works. In cutthroat industries such as film and television, second chances are often a scarcity. Every opportunity is golden, which is why you have to make sure your reel stands out from the rest of the competition.

Much has been said about the composition of a demo reel, but it actually just boils down to three things. Wow industry professionals in a matter of seconds by employing the following:

Proper Duration

The ideal length of a demo reel posts polar opinions to many. It could differ from one company to another; Pixar prefers four-minute reels, while other smaller production outfits settle with standard 30-seconders. Make every second count to make a positive impression.

Best Foot Forward

The time you have to showcase your skills doesn’t depend on how long your reel is, but rather the attention span of whoever is reviewing your sample work. The editors or lead technical directors don’t have forever to watch your demo. You need to put your best material–clips that emphasize your abilities–early on, because they’d simply move on to the next reel if they don’t find anything intriguing in your work.

The content of your demo reel should be relevant to the post you’re applying for. If you want to be an animator, your reel should be composed of animated creations; the same thing goes for positions. You can use the elements you’ve submitted to animation and stock video footage marketplaces like to beef up your demo further. Industry-leading sites employ visual search functionality, allowing others to spot your best works quickly.

Break It Down

Your particular involvement in the production is what matters to potential employers. Put in short descriptions regarding the things you did. If you were part of notable productions under major film and television companies, include that on your reel as well to make it more impressive. Also, slating your contact details at the beginning and the end is paramount.

Have your demo reel get critiqued by other professionals before you use it for application. Be ruthless and use constructive criticisms to make sure what you have is at par with industry standards.

What Your Surgeon Won’t Tell You: Risks of a Botched Cosmetic Surgery

cosmetic surgeryCosmetic surgery is a booming industry throughout the world, and it shows no signs of slowing down. People of all ages choose these quick ‘fixes’ to their appearance, and some have undergone multiple operations in a quest for perfection. But many of these patients do not understand the sheer risks that they are facing.

Without even delving into the world of psychological issues that these operations can promote, the physical and financial consequences of a botched procedure are huge deterrents. Even if it is for purely cosmetic reasons, any kind of surgery carries significant risks. Before you decide to go under the knife, seriously consider if you are willing to potentially suffer through these.

1. Severe disfigurement – One of the most common results of a failed cosmetic procedure is a physical deformation or defect. A face lift might result in your eyes not opening or closing properly, implants may cause your breasts to become oddly shaped, and liposuction could result in uneven distributions of fat around your body.

2. Medical complications – All it takes is a single careless mistake from your doctor, and you could face a life threatening infection. Or, blood clots could form under your skin. Something might go wrong with the anaesthesia. Permanent nerve damage is also possible. Once again, you need to remember that any sort of surgery can have potentially fatal complications.

3. Difficult legal battles – If your surgeon messes up, they aren’t simply going to apologise and hand over their money to compensate you for the damage. You will likely need to fight a long battle in court, which is a stressful and potentially expensive ordeal. You can minimise the risks and hassles of going with no win no fee lawyers like, but do you really want to go to court if you can help it?

4. Career impact – Many people actually choose to undergo plastic surgery to help boost their careers. But what if the operation goes wrong? Imagine the effect it would have on your work, especially if you are an actress or a model. Even professionals in corporate settings would have a much more difficult time.

Most people think of cosmetic surgery as significantly less dangerous and complicated as most other operations, to the extent that some are willing to hire illegal surgeons to cut costs. It is not a spa trip; just because a surgery is elective does not mean that it is safer. Approach this with as much caution as you would any other medical procedure.

Maximize Your Small Bedroom with These Big Design Ideas

bedroomDesigning the layout of a small bedroom can be difficult, but not impossible to pull off. Apart from the bed, all you need are some essentials –a nightstand, lamp, mirror, and wardrobe – and a creative mind.

Mattress revolution

In designing a bedroom of any size, the first thing to think about is the mattress. After all, it’s something you’ll use for about six to eight hours a day for the next several years. Even without factoring in the size of your room, you still have a couple of options.

If you’re on a budget, a basic bed would be fine. If you wish to pamper yourself, you may choose a memory foam mattress. As the bed specialists of the Mattress Department would suggest, the thing to think about is to choose something that is of the right width and height.  Of course you also have to think about comfort and your personal style.

Smart storage

Make the most of the limited space by building a closet with sliding doors into the walls. Add separate shelves for your clothes, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories. Instead of a side table, think about getting a nightstand. Nightstands are great for books, phones, jewelry, and other personal effects that need to be within easy reach. Depending on your own style, you may choose a nightstand with either a classic or contemporary design.

Miscellaneous matters

Need a table for your laptop? Then why not have a built-in desk? You may build one that you can fold back up into the wall after use. Do you need to add some accent? Put small art pieces or flower vases on the shelves. To create the illusion of space, install mirrors on the closet doors. This is a better idea than purchasing a standing mirror.

Working on the layout of a tiny bedroom can be fun as it challenges your creativity and resourcefulness. The trick is to create a plan that not only makes your small space seem larger, but also stylish and comfortable.

(Green) Thumbs Up: Sure-Fire Ways to Jumpstart Your Gardening Efforts

GardenGardening is not as easy as you think. There is more to it than just digging around and planting seeds in the ground. It requires sensibilities to grow and keep a beautiful garden. For many, seeing their efforts bloom into flowers is encouraged to pursue the art and science of gardening even further.

If you are planning to attempt to grow your own little patch of greenery, it pays to know how to get started. In fact, you do not need a green thumb at all. Here are a few things to consider to jumpstart the project:

Breaking Grounds

The soil composition of a lot varies; particle present can include silt, clay, or sand. Certain plants thrive better in specific soil types. Bluebells and peonies, for instance, grow in soil heavy in silt or clay. It’s important to know what type of soil you have before looking for plants to grow. Gardening experts Oakleigh Manor recommend checking with landscape specialists for expert help on this matter.

Food for the Soil

Fertilisers boost nutrient levels already present in the soil and encourages microbes and other living organisms to thrive. This keeps the soil moist and makes it healthier. Think about the kind of fertilisers or compost you need for your garden carefully.

Sea Spray

Avoid using chemical substances to ward off pests and weeds. Rather, use natural methods to prevent them from wreaking havoc in your garden. For instance, experts suggest seaweed mulch or spray. This enhances plant growth and helps repel pests like slugs at the same time.


It is always best to plan ahead when it comes to watering plants. There are many ways to build an irrigation system for your garden without breaking the bank. Coordinate with a landscape designer to maximise the space in your garden for good measure.

Gardening is more than just a leisure activity. With careful planning and research, you can grow a more beautiful and fruitful garden. All the hard work will be worth the results once you start enjoying the benefits of having a patch of green in your backyard.