How it works?

How it work’s ?   

the Subject can be anything from a needle to a Rocket in Space.   

How Nuclear Power Works?

What is atomic energy?

Methane molecules in a carbon nanotube

It’s not immediately obvious but tall buildings store energy—potential energy. You have to work hard to lift bricks and other building materials up off the ground into the right position and, as long as they remain where you put them, they can store that energy indefinitely. But a tall, unstable building is bound to collapse sooner or later and, when it does so, the materials from which it was built come crashing back down to the ground, releasing their stored potential energy as heat, sound and kinetic energy (the bricks could fall on your head!).

Atoms (the building blocks of matter) are much the same. Some large atoms are very stable and quite happy to stay as they are pretty much forever. But other atoms exist in unstable forms called radioactive isotopes. They’re the atomic equivalents of wobbly old buildings: sooner or later, they’re bound to fall apart, splitting into bits like a large building tumbling to the ground and releasing energy on the way.

When large atoms split into one or more smaller atoms, giving off other particles and energy in the process, we call it nuclear fission. That’s because the central part of the atom (the nucleus) is what breaks up and fission is another word for splitting apart. Nuclear fission can happen spontaneously, in which we case we call it radioactive decay (the conversion of unstable, radioactive isotopes into stable atoms that aren’t radioactive). It can also be made to happen on demand—which is how we get energy out of atoms in nuclear power plants. That type of fission is called a nuclear reaction.

How does a nuclear power plant work?

Okay, we’ve figured how to get energy from an atom, but the energy we’ve got isn’t that helpful: it’s just a huge amount of heat! How do we turn that into something much more useful, namely electricity? A nuclear power plant works pretty much like a conventional power plant, but it produces heat energy from atoms rather than by burning coal, oil, gas, or another fuel. The heat it produces is used to boil water to make steam, which drives one or more giant steam turbines connected to generator—and those produce the electricity we’re after. Here’s how:

 

  1. First, uranium fuel is loaded up into the reactor—a giant concrete dome that’s reinforced in case it explodes. In the heart of the reactor (the core), atoms split apart and release heat energy, producing neutrons and splitting other atoms in a carefully controlled nuclear reaction.
  2. Control rods made of materials such as cadmium and boron can be raised or lowered into the reactor to soak up neutrons and slow down or speed up the chain reaction.
  3. Water is pumped through the reactor to collect the heat energy that the chain reaction produces. It constantly flows around a closed loop linking the reactor with a heat exchanger.
  4. Inside the heat exchanger, the water from the reactor gives up its energy to cooler water flowing in another closed loop, turning it into steam. Using two unconnected loops of water and the heat exchanger helps to keep water contaminated with radioactivity safely contained in one place and well away from most of the equipment in the plant.
  5. The steam from the heat exchanger is piped to a turbine. As the steam blows past the turbine’s vanes, they spin around at high speed.
  6. The spinning turbine is connected to an electricity generator and makes that spin too.
  7. The generator produces electricity that flows out to the power grid—and to our homes, shops, offices, and factories.

The nuclear power plant stands on the border between humanity’s greatest hopes and its deepest fears for the future.

On one hand, atomic energy offers aclean energy alternative that frees us from the shackles of fossil fuel dependence. On the other, it summons images of disaster: quake-ruptured Japanese power plants belching radioactive steam, the dead zone surrounding Chernobyl’s concrete sarcophagus.

But what happens inside a nuclear power plant to bring such marvel and misery into being? Imagine following a volt of electricity back through the wall socket, all the way through miles of power lines to the nuclear reactor that generated it. You’d encounter the generator that produces the spark and the turbine that turns it. Next, you’d find the jet of steam that turns the turbine and finally the radioactive uranium bundle that heats water into steam. Welcome to the nuclear reactor core.

The water in the reactor also serves as a coolant for the radioactive material, preventing it from overheating and melting down. In March 2011, viewers around the world became well acquainted with this reality as Japanese citizens fled by the tens of thousands from the area surrounding the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear facility after the most powerful earthquake on record and the ensuing tsunami inflicted serious damage on the plant and several of its reactor units. Among other events, water drained from the reactor core, which in turn made it impossible to control core temperatures. This resulted in overheating and a partial nuclear meltdown.

As of March 1, 2011, there were 443 operating nuclear power reactors spread across the planet in 47 different countries

In 2009 alone, atomic energy accounted for 14 percent of the world’s electrical production. Break that down to the individual country and the percentage skyrockets as high as 76.2 percent for Lithuania and 75.2 for France

Despite all the cosmic energy that the word “nuclear” invokes, power plants that depend on atomic energy don’t operate that differently from a typical coal-burning power plant. Both heat water into pressurized steam, which drives a turbine generator. The key difference between the two plants is the method of heating the water.

While older plants burn fossil fuels, nuclear plants depend on the heat that occurs during nuclear fission, when one atom splits into two and releases energy. Nuclear fission happens naturally every day. Uranium, for example, constantly undergoes spontaneous fission at a very slow rate. This is why the element emits radiation, and why it’s a natural choice for the induced fission that nuclear power plants require.

Uranium is a common element on Earth and has existed since the planet formed. While there are several varieties of uranium, uranium-235 (U-235) is the one most important to the production of both nuclear power and nuclear bombs.

U-235 decays naturally by alpha radiation: It throws off an alpha particle, or two neutrons and two protons bound together. It’s also one of the few elements that can undergo induced fission. Fire a free neutron into a U-235 nucleus and the nucleus will absorb the neutron, become unstable and split immediately. See How Nuclear Radiation Works for complete details.
The animation

      

The decay of a single U-235 atom releases approximately 200 MeV (million electron volts). That may not seem like much, but there are lots of uranium atoms in a pound (0.45 kilograms) of uranium. So many, in fact, that a pound of highly enriched uranium as used to power a nuclear submarine is equal to about a million gallons of gasoline.

The splitting of an atom releases an incredible amount of heat and gamma radiation, or radiation made of high-energy photons. The two atoms that result from the fission later release beta radiation (superfast electrons) and gamma radiation of their own, too.

But for all of this to work, scientists have to first enrich a sample of uranium so that it contains 2 to 3 percent more U-235. Three-percent enrichment is sufficient for nuclear power plants, but weapons-grade uranium is composed of at least 90 percent U-235.

Inside a Nuclear Power Plant
In order to turn nuclear fission intoelectrical energy, nuclear power plant operators have to control the energy given off by the enriched uranium and allow it to heat water into steam.

Enriched uranium typically is formed into inch-long (2.5-centimeter-long) pellets, each with approximately the same diameter as a dime. Next, the pellets are arranged into long rods, and the rods are collected together into bundles. The bundles are submerged in water inside a pressure vessel. The water acts as a coolant. Left to its own devices, the uranium would eventually overheat and melt.

To prevent overheating, control rods made of a material that absorbs neutrons are inserted into the uranium bundle using a mechanism that can raise or lower them. Raising and lowering the control rods allow operators to control the rate of the nuclear reaction. When an operator wants the uranium core to produce more heat, the control rods are lifted out of the uranium bundle (thus absorbing fewer neutrons). To reduce heat, they are lowered into the uranium bundle. The rods can also be lowered completely into the uranium bundle to shut the reactor down in the event of an accident or to change the fuel.

The uranium bundle acts as an extremely high-energy source of heat. It heats the water and turns it to steam. The steam drives a turbine, which spins a generator to produce power. Humans have been harnessing the expansion of water into steam for hundreds of years. To learn more about the properties involved, read How Steam Technology Works.

In some nuclear power plants, the steam from the reactor goes through a secondary, intermediate heat exchanger to convert another loop of water to steam, which drives the turbine. The advantage to this design is that the radioactive water/steam never contacts the turbine. Also, in some reactors, the coolant fluid in contact with the reactor core is gas (carbon dioxide) or liquid metal (sodium, potassium); these types of reactors allow the core to be operated at higher temperatures.

Given all the radioactive elements inside a nuclear power plant, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s a little more to a plant’s outside than you’d find at a coal power plant. In the next section, we’ll explore the various protective barriers between you and the atomic heart of the plant.

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<pre><h1>The Job Interview</h1>
<h5></strong><strong>  </strong></h1> <h4><strong>10 Common Questions Asked at a Job Interview</strong></h4> <pre> <strong><span style="color: #3366ff;">Yes, you should always have a few questions ready during a job interview.</span></strong> <strong><span style="color: #3366ff;">Don't be speechless when the tables are turned on you during a job interview.</span></strong> </pre> <img src="https://encrypted-tbn3.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSM-b8ekIAfALTBlq0QK3ViqnvSH9Gw1Q2jVOkaO93dQxP-60gPCw" alt="" width="126" height="144" /> <pre> <strong>Most of us prepare to answer questions when we go to an interview. We look up on the organization. We think through our resumes. We find books or Web sites with tips about frequently asked questions.</strong> But what about asking questions? Toward the end of most interviews, the interviewer asks if there's anything you'd like to know. Often, people say something like "No, not really. I think you've covered most of the questions I had." If that's what you say, you're passing up an opportunity to make points about your interest in the job, your personality and the way you'd fit into the organization. You're also missing a chance to get a better idea of whether you want to work there. You might get your turn to ask questions before the interview's end. Let those doing the interviewing set the tone. If they're using a conversational approach, it's fine to politely ask questions that arise during the discussion. Prepare by thinking of several questions that you could ask. You may not get to ask them all, and what you hear at the interview may prompt others. Having some in mind will help you ask the right sort of questions.</pre> <h4><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong> There's no definite formula, but here are some basic guidelines for you to go by:</strong></span></h4> <ul type="disc"> <li>Don't ask about salary, vacations or benefits. Demonstrate your interest in the organization and the work. Show what you can do for the organization. If you're offered the job, then you can ask what the organization will do for you.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Don't ask confrontational, critical questions. Be polite at all times.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Don't ask questions that sound as though you don't know what the organization does and what it is about.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Don't ask about things that you could easily verify on the company's Web site or in its publications.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Do ask questions that show you've done your homework. You don't need to know minute details, but you should know the basics. It's all right to mention that you noticed something on the Web site and ask an in-depth question about it.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Do ask open-ended questions that stimulate conversation. Ask specific questions about what the organization has done and is planning rather than generic, hypothetical questions.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Do use company and industry terminology.</li> </ul> <pre> <strong>1. What Would My Typical Day in the job Look Like?</strong></pre> <address><img src="https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQyUTvyBVRWkn7A1jV9zAd3Oo0OfKk7_mmdWtPLpX7QFvP4st3PjQ" alt="" width="159" height="114" />  <strong>Maybe a typical day looks something like this:</strong></address> <pre> It's good to phrase questions in a way that places yourself within the organization. Ask "we" questions rather than just "you" questions. Doing so makes you seem truly interested in the job. It also subtly makes you seem more a potential part of things, not just an outsider. Of course, your questions should also help you learn more about the job for which you're interviewing. An interview works both ways; you and the organization should be learning about each other. A good way to accomplish both of these goals is to ask this question: "Can you tell me something about what my typical day (or week) at work would be like?" That's not the only "put yourself in this picture" sort of question you can ask. Find another one on the next page. <strong>2. What Would I Work On?</strong></pre> <div><img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/interview-questions2.jpg" alt="" width="173" height="115" /> <div><address><strong>Your interview questions should show an active interest in the job.</strong></address> You want to show interest in what the organization is doing. You want to demonstrate that you're eager to be a part of what's going on. You want the interviewer to begin to envision you as part of the team. And you really want to know more about what you'd be doing if you're hired. So a good question is, "What projects (or assignments) would I likely be involved in during my first few months on the job?" If your research -- or what's been said in the interview -- has made you aware of a specific project that interests you, you might ask if there's any chance that you'd be involved in that.</div> </div> <pre> <strong>3. Why Are You Filling This Position Now?</strong> It's not unreasonable to want to know why the company is hiring for this job. One way to find out is to ask, "Is this a new position?" If the answer is yes, that opens the way for more questions and discussion. You'll want to know why the position is being created. Does it involve a new initiative? Is an existing position being duplicated or divided? Who has defined the job and its responsibilities? How will success be measured, if there's no precedent? A "no" answer also raises more questions. Why did the previous person in the job leave? How long do people typically stay in this job? Are there usually chances for advancement? <strong>4. Who's the Boss?</strong></pre> <div><img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/interview-questions3.jpg" alt="" width="173" height="115" /> <div><address><strong>Asking about your future boss could make recruiters see you as a future employee.</strong></address> Asking the simple question "To whom will I report if I get this job?" can generate a lot of information. Sometimes, one of the people conducting the interview will be the actual supervisor, but that's not always the case. Starting a discussion about who will be your boss can lead naturally to talking about the organization's structure and corporate culture. You'll want to know to whom your boss would report, and whether you're likely to interact with people above your direct supervisor and with those in other departments. Such questions can also help you find out how the company handles probationary periods and performance reviews. You can also move naturally into discussions about whether you'll supervise anyone and who your close coworkers will be.</div> </div> <pre> <strong>5. Where Is The Company Going?</strong> Most of the questions you ask should serve the dual purpose of expanding your knowledge about the job and showing the interviewers that you're really interested and qualified. It's a good idea to inquire about the organization's plans for the future. A general way to phrase the question would be: "Are any important changes, new programs or initiatives in the works?"If your research suggests it, you might ask a more specific question about an expansion or merger, for example, or changes to deal with the unpredictable economy. Such questions let interviewers know that you're interested in the organization for the long haul and that you want to be a part of its future. Read on for some suggestions of questions that might make the interviewer open up -- and make him or her feel friendly toward you, too. <strong>6. How Did You Get Started?</strong> Here's a question that should spark a good conversation: "How did you start working at this organization, and what has your career path been like?" Most people like to talk about themselves. This question should please the interviewer and make the conversation go smoothly. It also should provide a natural, interesting way for you to learn more about how the organization's structure works and about possibilities for advancement. The answers you get to this question also should provide clues to what the interviewer values and tell you more about what the company looks for when it hires. Such clues can be useful when you follow up the interview with a thank-you letter and if you're called back for a second interview. <strong>7. What's It Really Like?</strong></pre> <div><img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/interview-questions4.jpg" alt="" width="173" height="115" /> <div><address><strong>Remember, recruiters like talking about themselves, too.</strong></address> Here's a good, open-ended question to ask: "What do you find is the best thing about working here, and what's the biggest challenge?"</div> </div> <pre> This question is another one designed to get the interviewer talking. You're showing that you value the interviewer's insight and opinion. You are showing that you understand that even the best organizations will have their problems, and you are suggesting that you aren't afraid of a challenge. If the interviewer responds candidly, you also might learn a lot of information that you won't necessarily find on the organization's Web site or in its annual report. Read on for some questions that get to the heart of what you care about. <strong>8. What Do I Need to Make it Here?</strong></pre> <address><img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/interview-questions5.jpg" alt="" width="173" height="115" />  <strong>With every question, show that you know the company and that you're a good fit for it.</strong></address> <pre> When you get a chance to ask questions during a job interview, use the opportunity wisely. You want to show that you've done your homework. You want to convince the interviewer that you're interested in the organization and the job. You also want to learn as much as you can, for two reasons. One is that you want to know if the job, if offered, is really what you want. The other is that you may be able to use the information you gain to your advantage in the hiring process. A good way to get some of this information is to ask: "What skills, education and abilities do I need to succeed at this job?" The answer to this question should help you know what to emphasize in a thank-you letter and in any follow-up interview. You can emphasize your strengths. If you find that you're lacking in some qualification, you might address that lack directly and suggest a way you could overcome it. <strong>9. Who's the Ideal Candidate for This Position?</strong> Often, asking similar questions in different ways can make an interview fruitful. In your quest to position yourself well during a job interview, you could ask: "Could you describe the ideal candidate for this position?" Sure, that's another way of asking about the skills and qualifications for the job. But it's also a question that might help you -- without sounding stilted -- get the interviewer to tell you a lot about the organization's values and corporate culture. In addition to learning more about the company, you'll also pick up some good points to stress in later communications and interviews with those doing the hiring. Lots of question can be useful, but when you get right down to it, there's usually one big question in the mind of someone who's interviewing for a job. Read on to find out how to -- almost -- ask that one. <strong>10. Will You Hire Me? Please?  <img src="https://encrypted-tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRLEtcKty28fnRGIPDXz8qJeLU5vUwANpUiHhUVch0zP1jqbJ7IrQ" alt="" width="108" height="108" /></strong></pre> <address><strong>The result of your interview won't be this clear, but a few discreet queries can give you a good indication of your fate.</strong> It's not good form to come right out and ask those people interviewing you for a job opening whether they're going to hire you. You want to be a little more subtle than that. But there are questions you can ask that will give you some insight as to what to expect next. Start by stating that you're very interested in the job. Then ask, "When do you think you will be making your decision about this job?" Or "What will be your next step in the hiring process?" If you're brave and don't mind being disappointed, you can ask at the end of an interview: "Do you think you'll be calling me back for a second interview?" If the answer to that question is no, asking "Why not?" might enable you to correct any wrong impression the interviewers might have. At worst, the answer might teach you something that will be useful when you interview for a job somewhere else.</address> <pre> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~</pre> <h1 style="text-align: center;"><span style="color: #008000;">Planting a Garden</span></h1> <pre> While a great deal of work goes into getting your garden ready for this stage, planting feels like the real first step to getting your garden started. You must take great care with your new plants to make sure you get them in the ground without damage or distress. The information in this article will give you everything you need to know to plant a garden. Learn about: In our next section, we'll talk about starting plants from seeds.</pre> <h4><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Starting Plants from Seeds, Cuttings, Divisions, and Layerings</strong></span></h4> <pre> Starting your own plants from seeds, cuttings, divisions, and layering saves money and expands options. But be prepared to give propagation a certain amount of attention. Young plants need tender loving care to get them off to a good start. Many plants grow well from seeds, especially <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/tips-for-growing-annuals-and-biennials.htm">annual flowers</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/herb-growing-tips.htm">herbs</a>, and <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/vegetable-garden-growing-tips.htm">vegetables</a>. You can find new, rare, or old-fashioned varieties that aren't available in local nurseries in seed catalogs. Seed sowing allows you to grow a few, dozens, or even hundreds of seedlings from a seed packet that costs a dollar or two. That's economy! </pre> <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/planting-a-garden-8.jpg" alt="" width="168" height="168" /> <pre>   <strong>Certain special plants don't grow from seeds.</strong> They need to be cloned (vegetatively propagated). This is done by rooting sections of stems, roots, and, in a few cases, leaves. Clump-forming <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/tips-for-growing-perennials.htm">perennial</a> plants can be divided into several pieces. Stems of some kinds of plants can be rooted while still attached to the mother plant. This is called layering. Some plants can be propagated equally well in several ways. For example,<a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-lantana.htm">lantana</a> can be grown from seed (flower color will vary); started from cuttings, either in soil or in water; or propogated via layering.</pre> <h4><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>How to Divide Perennials</strong></span></h4> <pre>  </pre> <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/planting-a-garden-3.jpg" alt="" width="144" height="200" /> <pre>   <strong>Easily divide <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-daylily.htm">daylilies</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-hosta-plantain-lily.htm">hostas</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-astilbe-garden-spirea.htm">astilbes</a>, or other clump-forming perennials with a sharp shovel. Just slice off an edge of the clump in spring or late summer. Uproot it and replant elsewhere. Keep the new division watered for at least several weeks or until it has regenerated lost roots.</strong> Divide a large <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-grow-perennials.htm">perennial</a> clump into small divisions to get many little plants fast. This is a quick and easy way to make enough plants for the big drifts of perennials such as <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/aster-china-aster.htm">asters</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/goldenrod.htm">goldenrod</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-helenium-sneezeweed.htm">sneezeweed</a><a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-helenium-sneezeweed.htm">,</a> and <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-liatris-blazingstar-gayfeather.htm">blazing stars</a>before encouraging them to grow. Division renews a declining clump of perennials. As many perennials grow, new shoots emerge at the perimeter of the clump, which keeps spreading outward. The center becomes increasingly older -- sometimes woody, sometimes completely barren. In spring, late summer, or fall, dig up the entire clump. Cut out the old heart and discard it. Refresh the soil with organic matter, and replant the healthy young pieces. Perennials that can be divided easily include asters, daylilies, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-yarrow.htm">yarrow</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/annual-phlox-texas-pride.htm">phlox</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-ladys-mantle.htm">lady's mantle</a>, salvia, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-coreopsis.htm">coreopsis</a>, hardy geraniums, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-iris.htm">irises</a>, mint, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/thyme.htm">thyme</a>, oregano, and winter savory.</pre> <h4><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Plants from Seeds Indoors</strong></span></h4> <pre>  </pre> <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/planting-a-garden-4.jpg" alt="" width="170" height="200" /> <pre>     <strong>Indoors you have more control over growing conditions and a lot of flexibility about what time of year to plant the seeds.</strong> Use specially prepared seed-starting medium, which is available from mail-order seed companies and from garden centers. Start seeds indoors under lights, rather than in a window, for even, compact growth. Seedlings must have bright light from the moment they peer up out of the soil or they will be weak and leggy. In climates with cloudy weather or homes without south-facing windows, sun may not be reliable enough. A light garden is an ideal solution. Set seedlings in their containers a few inches below a fluorescent shop light. You can place seedlings on a table or counter and suspend the shop light from the ceiling over them, or set up three or four tiered light stands. You can adapt ordinary shelves by attaching lights to the bottoms of the shelves and setting growing trays below each light. Put the lights on a timer set to turn on 14 hours a day and then off again (one less job for you). You can't beat the results! Make a mini-greenhouse under lights with a clear plastic garment bag. This traps humidity near seedlings, helping to protect them from wilting. To cover nursery flats full of seedlings, bend two wire coat hangers into arches and prop them in the corners of the flat, one at each end. Work the plastic over the top of the hangers, and tuck the loose ends in below the flat. It's even easier to make a greenhouse cover for individual pots. Slide two sticks into opposite sides of the pot. Then top with the plastic and fold it under the pot. If starting seeds in a window, take extra care to maximize light. Use a south-facing window that will receive sun all day. It should not be blocked by a protruding roof overhang or an evergreen tree or shrub. (If you don't have a south-facing window, you should consider using plant lights.) Hang foil reflectors behind the flat to keep seedlings from leaning toward the sun. If the seedlings are sitting on a windowsill, make a tent of foil behind them, with the shiny side facing the seedlings. This will reflect sunlight and illuminate the dark side of the seedlings. They will grow much sturdier and straighter as a result. Don't transplant seedlings into a larger pot until they have one or two sets of true leaves. This allows seedlings to develop enough roots to be self-supporting, even if a few roots are lost in the process. It's also a time when seedling roots are fairly straight and compact, making them easy to separate from nearby plants. This is not as simple as counting the number of leaves on the stem, however, because the seedling usually has an extra set of leaves called cotyledons. They emerge first and store food that nourishes the sprouting seedlings. Looking closely, you can see that cotyledons are shaped differently from true leaves. Squash seedlings, for instance, have oval cotyledons, but the true leaves are broad and lobed. When transplanting, handle the seedlings by the cotyledons to prevent squashing the delicate stem.</pre> <h3>Mini-Greenhouses</h3> <pre>  </pre> <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/planting-a-garden-6.jpg" alt="" width="240" height="160" /> <pre>  <strong>Start seeds or cuttings in an aquarium or clear sweater box to keep humidity high</strong>. These are more permanent alternatives to makeshift options with plastic and are good for cuttings that need more overhead and rooting room than seedlings. To reuse these containers, wash them with soapy water, rinse, and sterilize with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.</pre> <h4><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Plants from Seeds Outdoors</strong></span></h4> <pre> There are times to plant seeds directly in the garden. When this is successful, it is economical and very effective, for the plants grow without the disruption of being transplanted. Prepare the soil for planting and be sure the plot is fertile and smooth. Make rows or wide swaths for the seeds, following the timing and spacing directions on the packets. Straight lines help you discriminate between your plants and the weeds. The classic way to make straight lines is with posts and strings as a guide. Hoe along the string line for the shallow row. Plant seeds at the depth indicated on the packet and cover lightly with soil. Tamp down the soil over the seeds to make sure they are contacting the soil, and water them in. Be sure to mark the rows. Many of the guidelines for indoor planting also apply to outdoor planting, but a main difference is <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/tips-for-preventing-garden-pests-and-diseases.htm">pest</a> control. Tiny plants are vulnerable to everything from aphids to chipmunks, so it's a good idea to plant more than you need and thin the plants later. Once they get past babyhood and are several inches high, thin them; they need space for the fast growth they are about to make.</pre> <h4><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Cuttings from Stems</strong></span></h4> <pre>  </pre> <img src="https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQfWAaDYnn8oOEvGgurROO7D86wIthioA3l44sjS5xrOcbc1lpM2g" alt="" width="207" height="155" /> <pre> <strong>Most <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/tips-for-growing-annuals-and-biennials.htm">annuals</a> are grown from seeds. However, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-impatiens-busy-lizzie-patience.htm">impatiens</a>, fibrous begonias, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-coleus.htm">coleus</a>, and geraniums can be grown from stem cuttings.</strong> To propagate stem cuttings, select a mature plant that is in a stage of active midsummer growth. Prepare a container filled with rooting medium. It should be at least 3 to 4 inches deep, filled with 2 1/2 inches or more of rooting medium. Clean, coarse builder's sand, a mixture of half perlite and half peat moss, or half perlite and half vermiculite are good choices. Fill the container with the moistened medium, then let it settle and drain for a half hour. Take stem cuttings in the morning. Using a sharp knife, cut off growth tips just above the node, or the point where a leaf or side shoot attaches to the main stem. Each of the cuttings should be between 3 and 6 inches in length and have 4 to 6 nodes. The stem tissue should be easy to cut through. Don't spend more than five minutes taking cuttings from the parent plants. To prepare a cutting for rooting, remove the leafless piece of stem at the bottom. Cut it off about 1/8 inch below the first node with a clean knife or razor cut, leaving no torn or angling pieces of tissue hanging from the stem. Remove all of the leaves from the lower half of the cutting. These can be cut off with a knife or manually snapped off. If there are any flower buds on the cutting, cut these off as well. Cut back the tips of any large leaves remaining on the cutting so that one-third to one-half of their surface remains. To help stimulate root formation, it's helpful to coat the lower one-third of each stem cutting with rooting hormone powder. Just dip each stem in the rooting powder and shake off any excess. Poke a hole in the dampened rooting medium, insert the cutting in the hole to one-third of its length, and press the medium firmly around the stem with your fingers. When all of the cuttings are set in the medium, water the surface. Place a plastic bag over the cuttings to form a tent, using bamboo takes or wooden dowels as supports. This will serve as a mini-greenhouse, which should be kept out of direct sunlight. If the bottom edge of the plastic tent is left a bit loose, some fresh outside air will be able to circulate up inside. This will help reduce the possibility of mildew and mold problems. Some growers prefer to hold the plastic tightly against the container with an elastic band. In this case, it's necessary to remove the elastic and lift up the tent sides for a short period each day or else to poke holes in the plastic bag in order to supply the cutting with necessary fresh air. With a plastic tent there will be little need for watering the cuttings. Annual cuttings will root quickly. They should be checked in a week to ten days. Insert a narrow knife blade or a fork beneath one of the cuttings and gently lift it out. When the longest roots are 1/4 inch long, remove the cuttings from the rooting medium and transfer each to a 1 to 1 1/2-inch pot filled with planting mix. <strong>Following are some additional tips for working with stem cuttings:</strong></pre> <ul> <li>Be sure to record when you took stem cuttings from <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/roses.htm">roses</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-lilac.htm">lilacs</a>, geraniums, impatiens,<a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-chrysanthemum.htm">chrysanthemums</a>, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-dahlia.htm">dahlias</a>, and other plants. Rooting success often depends on the season in which the cuttings were taken.</li> <li>Take softwood stem cuttings in late spring or early summer for fast rooting. New spring shoots are vigorous but soft and succulent. They may wilt before they root. But if the shoots are allowed to mature for a month or two, they firm up slightly and are ideal for rooting.</li> <li>Take stem cuttings in the morning when they are fresh and full of water. Once the stem is severed from its root, it will not be able to soak up moisture for several weeks or until new roots develop. If cuttings are started without enough stored moisture, they will simply wilt and die.</li> <li>Use rooting hormone on older or hard-to-root cuttings. Rooting hormones, available in powdered and liquid forms, contain chemicals (called auxins) that allow cut stems to begin to produce roots. They must be applied as soon as the cutting is taken and before the cutting is put into sterile planting mix. Not all stems need extra rooting hormone (mints and willows, for instance) as all plants produce some of their own. Adding rooting hormone can make slow starters much more reliable.</li> <li>Avoid feeding softwood shrub cuttings any additional nitrogen after rooting. A little nitrogen, which is available in nutrient-enriched planting mixes, can help the rooting process proceed. But excess nitrogen can encourage fast, tender new growth that is vulnerable to winter damage. Once the cuttings have survived the winter, transplant them into the garden or a larger pot and fertilize them normally.</li> <li>Set a clear glass jar over cuttings of roses, willows, <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/define-dogwood.htm">dogwoods</a>, or other easily rooted stems put directly in the garden. The jar will maintain high humidity around the cutting and help prevent wilting. But be sure to protect the jar from the hot sun so the cuttings don't get cooked.</li> <li>Test if a cutting has rooted by gently tugging on the stem. If it shows resistance, roots have formed. After first rooting, allow the roots to develop for several more weeks, if possible, before transplanting.</li> </ul> <h1 style="text-align: left;"><span style="color: #ff6600;">5 of the best Tips for Picking the Right Smartphone</span></h1> <div> <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cell-phone-pictures.htm"><img title="Cell Phone Image Gallery" src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/tips-for-picking-right-smartphone-1.jpg" alt="Cell Phone Image Gallery" /></a></div> <div id="Top10Well"> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div><strong>An Apple Store customer looks at the new Apple iPhone 4Gs</strong></div> <div> Smartphones are supposed to make our lives easier. With the right smartphone you can manage e-mails and appointments, get directions, keep track of your workouts and what you eat, shop, share information with friends, listen to music and watch movies. So why is finding the right smartphone so darn confusing?</div> </div> </div> <div> Lots of people feel stupid when picking a smartphone. Which is the best platform, Android or iPhone? How can you find the best deal on the phone you want when not every cell phone carrier sells or works with all models? How can you avoid paying for minutes or data plans you never use? How can you avoid overage charges? Which phones have features worth skipping and which features are must haves? Do you even need a smartphone or will a regular mobile phone do? Smartphones aren't cheap (and neither are the plans they sometimes require), so taking the time to do a little research first and figuring out exactly what you need, want, and can do without, is worth it. We'll show you how to narrow down your options, find the right phone, carrier and plan for you so you end up with the right smartphone -- and maybe even some money left in your pocket. With these five tips for picking the right smartphone, you'll be leaving the cell phone store with the right phone and feeling downright...well, smart. <h4><strong>1: Play Around   <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/tips-for-picking-right-smartphone-3.jpg" alt="" width="140" height="175" /></strong></h4> Once you've decided on your phone budget, operating system, carrier and plan, you've got one task left: deciding on a phone. Take your time on this. You may end having the phone for two years, taking it everywhere with you and using it more than any other appliance. You need to make sure the actual phone suits your life. Check out all the phones the carrier you're going with has in your price range and with the operating system you want. Think about the tasks your planning on using your phone for, and try them out on the demonstration phones in the store. See if the key board is comfortable, and how easy it is to switch between applications. If the phone has a trackball or <a href="http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question716.htm">touchscreen</a>, see if it's easy to use or if you're constantly clicking on the wrong thing. Make sure the phone will fit comfortably in your hand, as well as your pocket or purse. Also make sure you like the look of the phone -- after all, it's going to be your constant accessory. Put the phone to your ear and make sure that's comfortable as well. If you know people who have a phone you're interested in, ask them about it. Also read user reviews online to see if the phone has issues like getting hot after prolonged use, or breaking easily. <strong>Follow these tips and your next smartphone won't be just smart -- it'll be a genius.</strong> <h4><strong>2: Find the Right Operating System   <img src="http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTxDdAZ147rj0E1k_Kj2GrzQBtCkrW9_ev2dAi88dJCC7AMuzdP8w" alt="" width="107" height="170" /></strong></h4> For a lot of people, picking the right smartphone is a matter of picking the right operating system. The smartphone's <a href="http://computer.howstuffworks.com/operating-system.htm">operating system</a> is the platform it uses to run various programs. While they can all pretty much connect you to the Web, <a href="http://computer.howstuffworks.com/e-mail-messaging/email.htm">e-mail</a>, phone calls and texts, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. <strong>Four of the most common operating systems for smartphones today are Apple's iOS, which runs iPhones, Google's Android system, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Research in Motion's Blackberry OS</strong>. Unless you're a technophile, you may not notice differences in how each of these systems operate. What you will notice, however, is the availability of different programs and apps across various platforms. If you plan on using a lot of apps on your smartphone, you might want to avoid getting a Blackberry. The Blackberry OS is great for using e-mail and Web browsing, but it doesn't have as many apps as other browsers. If you want a lot of apps, an iPhone is your best bet. The Apple app store is the largest in the world. The downside of Apple OS is that it's only available on Apple's iPhones. Android-powered phones are quickly making up ground against Apple where apps are concerned, and the Android operating system is available on a range of phones, making it easier to find one that fits your life exactly. A Windows mobile phone is good to get if you plan on doing a lot of work on your phone. Since it runs a mobile version of Windows, which you may already have running on your computer, it can easily let you see and work on spreadsheets and documents right on your phone. <h4><strong>3: Set Your Budget   <img src="http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcShS-1Y_XagD1JtxlcbfPrHpJ7Uwke-d5EqSbXe9m806pkZEzsAHQ" alt="" width="110" height="165" /></strong></h4> When you're deciding how much to spend on a <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/smartphone.htm">smartphone</a> you have two costs to consider: the price of the phone and the price of the plan. The price of the phone is a one-time expense. Cell phone companies also tend to offer lots of promotions and discounts, so the phone you want may be cheaper than you think. In some cases, if you sign up for a certain plan, the phone is free. Before setting your heart on a certain phone, make sure its price is in-line with your budget. In most cases, your smartphone plan will be a bigger expense than your phone. Let's say you had to have a certain phone and you were OK with paying $600 for it with no discounts. The plan for that phone could run for two years, at over $100 a month. You could end up paying four times as much for the plan than the phone. Before shelling out all that cash each month, think about how you want to use your phone. If you plan using mainly it for talking and <a href="http://computer.howstuffworks.com/e-mail-messaging/sms.htm">texting</a>, with only a little bit of e-mail or web surfing, see if you can find a plan with less data. If you're constantly online and want to download apps, games and movies, you'll want to spring for more data. Other parts of the plan to consider include if unused data, text and talking minutes roll over from month to month, or what the penalty for breaking the contract is. If, for example, you move out of the cell phone carrier's coverage area, you don't want to have to pay hundreds of dollars just to get out of your contract. <h4><strong>4: Find the Right Carrier    <img src="http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcReG9Mhqf8zl0kkGWJBG6cPuXIFTyU59UljajOg5kW00XUMwSVa8A" alt="" width="110" height="165" /></strong></h4> <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cell-phone.htm">Cell phone</a> companies are almost as confusing as the phones they offer. They each have different plans, work with different phone manufacturers and have differing levels of service and coverage. You also have to decide if you're willing to pay as you go with a smartphone, or if you want to be locked into a contract. Having a contract can save you some money, but it means sticking with that cell phone company for years. If you choose the wrong company or plan and sign a contract, you're stuck. To find the right cell phone company, check out which company has the best coverage where you live. Having a great <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/smartphone.htm">smartphone</a> is meaningless if you can't connect to the Web or are constantly dropping calls. Look at the coverage maps available at any cell phone carrier's website. In addition to making sure the area you're in has good coverage, make sure the network you want is available in your area. Smartphones tend to work best on the faster 3G and 4G networks. If only a slower network is available in your area, you'll probably want to find another carrier to get the best out of your phone. You should also make sure coverage is good in areas where you frequently travel. Also check out consumer reviews of the coverage offered by various networks in your area. A cell phone company may have a network in place where you live, but the actual users are the ones that will let you know how strong the signal tends to be, and if calls get dropped. If a carrier seems to have great coverage in your area but actual customers say otherwise, take your business somewhere else. You'll also want to compare the various prices and plans offered by the carriers in your area. Finding the best combination of price and plan is critical for our next tip. Keep reading to find out what it is. <address><strong>5: Make Sure You Actually Need a Smartphone </strong></address><address><strong> <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/tips-for-picking-right-smartphone-2.jpg" alt="" width="140" height="175" />  This seems like a pretty silly statement, but the first step in picking the right <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/smartphone.htm">smartphone</a> is to make sure you actually need one. Smartphones are expensive, and so are the coverage plans they require. It's easy to use more data than your plan allows and wind up with expensive overage charges. Even if you don't go over, you could end up paying for a data plan that you barely use.</strong></address> So, how do you know if you need a smartphone? Look at how you use your current cell phone. Maybe you only use your phone for talking and the occasional text message. If you already have a <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/travel/gps.htm">GPS</a>system and an <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/gadgets/high-tech-gadgets/mp3-player-buying-guide.htm">MP3 player</a>, you can make do with a regular phone that doesn't offer music or directions. You might not want e-mail on your phone. Getting a smartphone often means having immediate access to work e-mails, social media and the Web. Not everyone wants to be that connected. One the other hand, think about how you'd like to use your phone. If you hate feeling like you're missing out on the latest tweets, updates from your friends, and news, then a smartphone will probably seem worth it to you. If your job requires you to be connected all the time, providing immediate responses to e-mails and questions, a smartphone makes sense. You may already have an MP3 player and GPS, but having all those features in one handy device can make life easier and less cluttered. Finally, if your lifestyle has a long commute on public transportation, or if you often have a lot of downtime when you're in public, a smartphone can help you pass the time. ###########################################################</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <h1><span style="color: #0000ff;">10 Ways to Make Money on the Internet</span></h1> <pre> Unless you're a freegan and have found a way to live entirely off the grid, you probably need some sort of steady income in order to survive. The traditional way to earn money, of course, is by having a job. You work for a company or start your own, and the work you do earns you money, which you spend on things like a mortgage, rent, food, clothing, utilities and entertainment. Most people typically work from their company's central location, a physical space where everyone from that organization gathers to exchange ideas and organize their efforts. But a few lucky souls have found ways to make money within the comfort of their own home. With the Internet, an ever-changing arena for businesses, some people looking to earn money are finding ways to do so. Some forms are best for part-time endeavors for those looking to make a little extra money on the side, while others can lead to full-time jobs and Internet success stories. We've put together a list of our top 10 ways to make money on the Internet, in no particular order. On the next page, we'll start with an old favorite.</pre> <h4><strong>1: Selling Handmade Goods</strong></h4> <div> <div> <div> <div> <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/make-money-internet-ou-3a.jpg" alt="" /> Earlier, we considered using sites like eBay to sell stuff that you don't need. You can also use Web sites to sell your original creations. Certain Web sites like <a href="http://www.etsy.com/">Etsy.com</a> and<a href="http://www.artfire.com/">ArtFire.com</a> are dedicated to matching the artists who create things by hand with the customers who appreciate and want to purchase their handmade goods. If you're like most people, the word handmade probably brings to mind some traditional crafts like knitting, crochet, needlework, quilting, painting and sculpting. Handmade items don't stop there, though. You can also market woodworking, glasswork, metalwork and anything else you're capable of building at home. Be sure to focus on projects that you're already good at or that you have a<a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/second-career-ideas/5-tips-for-turning-passion-into-career.htm">passion</a> for so you don't burn out producing each new item. Existing Web sites like we mentioned before usually let you set up your own shop for free or for a very small fee for each item you list there. If you have a small home-based operation, this could be a better deal than setting up your own site. For many people, hosting and managing an entire Web site might be a full-time job by itself. The biggest challenge for selling homemade goods is making back the cost of what you put into it. Not only do you want to be reimbursed for materials, but you also want to be paid proportional to the time you put into it. Keep track of your sales and purchases carefully in the first few months, and make adjustments as necessary to maximize your profit. <h4><strong>2: Student Tutoring</strong></h4> <img src="http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQfeMzTNpiEhaot0WCmr47o9i46rwkW_RSCbzoSexgKxTHfP18O" alt="" /> <strong>With each passing year, there seems to be increasing pressure for elementary, middle and College students to make good grades and prepare for a path to higher education. For some kids, this means getting help from a tutor to bridge any gaps in understanding in certain subjects.</strong> Since more families often have reliable high-speed <a href="http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/basics/internet-infrastructure.htm">Internet</a> connections at home, too, Internet-based tutoring services are growing. When you apply for these jobs, you usually have to take tests in your selected subject areas and submit to background checks. Though you could start your own online tutoring service, sites like Tutor.com have already done the legwork for you in terms of marketing. These sites match thousands of kids with tutors each week. While many Internet-based jobs offer flexible hours or multiple shifts, tutoring services might require you to be online during a specific block of time or reward you for doing so. This encourages tutors to be available during the heaviest demand. For example, when Tutor.com has more tutors than tutoring requests, it places tutors on a waitlist and gives preference to tutors who work at least five of hours per week in the 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST time slot Sunday through Thursday. <h4><strong>3: SEO Reviewing</strong></h4> <img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/make-money-internet-ou-2a.jpg" alt="" /> <a href="http://computer.howstuffworks.com/search-engine-optimization.htm">Search engine optimization</a> (SEO) is a growing area for Internet-based employment. SEO is a means of improving the results from a search engine so that they represent the closest matches and most reliable resources for the user's desired results. As a contract SEO reviewer, working through a company like<a href="http://www.leapforceathome.com/">Leapforce</a>, you can aid in this optimization. You start each evaluation task by judging a user's intent based on the key word combinations provided and your own knowledge of popular culture in the user's locale. Then, you use a set of given guidelines to evaluate how particular search results match that user's intent. SEO reviewing can offer a steady income from home, but there are some risks. First, an SEO reviewer has to run reliable antivirus software and have a good, strong defense against malware. That's because viewing certain Web sites during evaluation tasks could introduce malware to the computer. Second, an SEO reviewer must be willing to view potentially offensive material, such as pornography. As a reviewer, you may be asked to check whether a given site contains malware or pornography, so you're putting your computer at risk as part of the job description. <h4><strong>4: Customer Service</strong></h4> <img src="http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS0xHyDawFE4jT7yuPM55dx4tyXju5qSE1kyscMj1Dva0xhwBmi" alt="" width="137" height="180" /> Many businesses support their products through a customer service department. In many cases, this means people who answer phone calls from customers. A growing number of businesses also offer customer service electronically through their Web sites and by <a href="http://communication.howstuffworks.com/email.htm">e-mail</a>. At a Web site, customer service might include live chat sales and support. To use this, a customer clicks a link requesting to chat with a live person, and a customer service representative answers the request and speaks with the customer through a chat window. For e-mail customer service, the customer fills out a form at the Web site or sends e-mail directly to a particular address. Since the live chat and e-mail depends only on having a reliable <a href="http://computer.howstuffworks.com/improving-wireless-connection.htm">Internet connection</a> and Web browser, businesses have looked increasingly at hiring home-based workers for these services. As a result, customer service contracting firms like <a href="http://www.talk2rep.com/">Talk2Rep</a> cover e-mail and live chat support in addition to inbound and outbound phone calls. While the pay rate is often minimal or commission-based, the growing demand for online customer service makes it a reliable source of income if you have a knack for it. <h4><strong>5: Financial Services</strong></h4> <img src="http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTiLbYaW-d42U57FhgHGQc5F1Q_vg6W7DCqbsdvq2BN4qQygOCQ" alt="" width="186" height="174" /> Financial services include accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/payroll-system.htm">payroll</a> processing. Today, you can accomplish most of these services using specialized software. For businesses, this means hiring fewer people to handle these tasks. For individuals, it means doing it on their own and hiring a consultant online when necessary. These cost-saving opportunities for consumers mean money-making opportunities for you. You can create a Web site on your own or work with an existing Web-based services group. Then, you can correspond with clients through that Web site and via <a href="http://communication.howstuffworks.com/email.htm">e-mail</a>. If you want to offer financial services over the Internet, first make sure you're either trained or experienced in the services you're planning to provide. For example, you're probably not an expert on preparing taxes for a small family farm unless you've done so before or had training in farm-related accounting. In addition, make sure you know whether you'll need government licenses to offer certain services, and refrain from misrepresenting yourself or working illegally to avoid getting sued for fraud.</div> </div> </div> </div> <h2><strong>The second  five Top ten tip's of ten ways to make Money</strong></h2> <h4><strong>6: Domain Name Flipping  </strong></h4> <h4><strong> <img src="http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT70ESbtNBhvBPtt0Gu50LiSwcH-AZt9kd2kgVcZnqNXFq27NQf" alt="" width="134" height="118" /></strong></h4> <pre> Based on luck, strategy and business savvy, Domain name flipping can be one of the more lucrative ways to earn a living online. The term comes from the real estate trick that involves buying old, undervalued houses, fixing them up to make them more attractive and modern-looking and selling them for a much higher prices. In this case, the old and outdated place is not a house, but rather a domain name -- the main address for a Web page. With a little bit of searching, dedicated domain flippers locate unused, poorly maintained Web sites that have generic and recognizable identifiers and buy them. They usually pay a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars, but after extensive updates that make the site more business- and user-friendly, the domain name can fetch several times more than it was originally worth. The domain bird-cage.com, for instance, was bought for a mere €1,400 in 2005 -- after a redesign two years later, the site was sold for €134,500 to a bird cage vendor :</pre> <h4><strong>7: Freelancing    <img src="http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT8TeDEz91E28CN2PLFfT3yD4ATwvmKR98mULg3BN0hp0RseGUO" alt="" width="166" height="109" /></strong></h4> <pre> Freelancing is similar in some ways to blogging. For one thing, you get to work from your own home or office most of the time. But there are a few important distinctions. First, if you're thinking about freelance writing, chances are you need to have more experience than the average blogger. Many freelance writing positions cover specialized topics for online publications and many require expert knowledge on the subject. However, if you're passionate about things like travel or food and know how to write, a freelancing job can provide you with a good income. Along a similar line, you might also consider self publishing your original work rather than working on contract-driven tasks. Self-publishing offers many of the same benefits as freelance writing. This additional step is risky, though, because it requires marketing work to your target audience so they'll buy your work. Writing's not the only way to make money freelancing, of course -- anyone with graphic design or programming experience can find contract jobs that pay well and provide challenging work, too.</pre> <h4><strong>8: Designing and Selling T-shirts<img src="http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRjoPnArBqFSgtUWu6tklV9T60dGkie6K9CgCOZdGjovOClxF25uA" alt="" width="232" height="106" /></strong></h4> <pre> A you walk around most high school and college campuses, you're likely to come into contact with lots of words. But it won't be material from textbooks or term papers -- those are probably in backpacks or sitting unfinished at home. Instead, they're the simple phrases or logos -- most of which are ironic or amusing -- printed on the T-shirts on the backs of the students. Usually, the more unique and off-beat the design is, the more desirable the T-shirt is. The growth of the Internet has made it possible for vendors to sell T-shirts all over the world. In fact, sites like  Cafepress.com  and spreadshirt.com allow you to set up your own store, create your own designs and sell them yourself. If you can create your own shirt design with a clever catchphrase or come up with your own unique statement and people like it, you can start making money.</pre> <h4><strong>9: Blogging   <img src="http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS0y9TcO8aaAO_5kfzxVF5qKjT6ffMItm0yC4zsCiMBztGkepTbNA" alt="" width="167" height="109" /></strong></h4> <pre> If you have a particular passion for something, whether it's a hobby or an obsession, and you have something to say about it, blogging could be a profitable way to pour out your endless stream of thought. The key here, as with many other services on the Internet, is in selling advertising. After starting up a personal blog, many writers sign up for ad services like Google AdSense, which post those familiar sponsored links you often see at the top and on the sides of Web sites. The more times your blog readers click on those ads, the more money you'll make through the ad service. This works fine if you're a casual blogger, and you may make some extra spending money. But if the blog is consistently interesting, well-written and really takes off, you may be approached by companies who want to reach your fan base with graphical advertising around your blog. Some of the more successful blogs, like I can has cheeseburger and Boing Boing, have become pop-culture phenomena, and their creators have been able to quit their day jobs and blog full time because of the money they make from advertisers.</pre> <h4><strong>10: Selling Stuff on eBay   </strong><img src="http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/make-money-on-internet-2.jpg" alt="" width="96" height="120" /></h4> <pre> Most people today are familiar with the concept: You have things you don't necessarily need but others are willing to buy, and you can auction off the items on E-bay or other online auction sites. Simply gather your goods, create a seller's profile and start selling. It sounds simple, but it takes some practice to sell successfully. Creating persuasive and legitimate product pages for the goods you're selling will help get buyers interested. It's also important to set reasonable minimum bids to ensure that people will buy. And remember to deliver the kind of customer service that will garner positive feedback ratings and to communicate with buyers to let them know you're reliable. The more positive feedback you receive, the more people will be willing to do business with you. And that, of course, means more money.</pre> <h4 style="text-align: center;"><strong> </strong></h4> <div> <div> <div> <div> <h2><strong>WHAT'S INSIDE THE: </strong><span style="color: #ff0000;">CLIMATE & WEATHER</span></h2> <span style="color: #ff9900;"><strong>Atmospheric sciences help us understand and predict the weather. Learn about topics such as the seasons, why it snows, and how rainbows are formed.</strong></span> <strong>Storms are a meteorological event that can be studied to advance the science of meteorology. The study of storms can potentially save lives as scientists gain a better understanding of their nature. Learn more about storms here.</strong> <div> <div> <div> <div> <h1><span style="color: #0000ff;">What</span> <span style="color: #ff0000;">causes</span> <span style="color: #ffcc00;">a</span> <span style="color: #008000;">rainbow?</span></h1> </div> </div> </div> <div></div> </div> <div id="ArticleWell"> <div> <div> <div> <div> <div><img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/prism.gif" alt="" /> <div></div> </div> </div> <div> Two days ago, the question of the day was "<a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/question39.htm">Why is the sky blue?</a>" For some reason, that triggered a flood of "What causes a rainbow?" questions, so let's walk through the nature of rainbows. You know that <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/light.htm">light</a> is made up of a collection of many colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. That is why a <strong>prism</strong> can take in white light on one side and produce its own mini-rainbow on the other side. To understand rainbows, you have to start by understanding what is happening inside a prism to let it separate white light into its colors. A prism is a <strong>triangular</strong> piece of glass or plastic. To get it to produce a mini-rainbow, you allow a narrow strip of white light to fall on one face of the triangle, like this: (See <a href="http://www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw/java/Rainbow/rainbow.html">this page</a> for a neat java applet that demonstrates the dispersion of a prism.) The dispersion of colors in a prism occurs because of something called the <strong>refractive index</strong> of the glass. Every material has a different refractive index. When light enters a material (for example, when light traveling through the air enters the glass of a prism), the difference in the refractive index of air and glass causes the light to bend. The <strong>angle of bending</strong> is different for different wavelengths of light. As the white light moves through the two faces of the prism, the different colors bend different amounts and in doing so spread out into a rainbow. In a <strong>rainbow</strong>, raindrops in the air act as tiny prisms. Light enters the <strong>raindrop</strong>, reflects off of the side of the drop and exits. In the process, it is broken into a spectrum just like it is in a triangular glass prism, like this: <div><img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/rainbow.gif" alt="" /> <div></div> </div> The angle between the ray of light coming in and the ray coming out of the drops is 42 degrees for red and 40 degrees for violet. You can see in this diagram that the angles cause different colors from different drops to reach your eye, forming a circular rim of color in the sky -- a rainbow! In a <strong>double rainbow</strong>, the second bow is produced because droplets can have two reflections internally and get the same effect. The droplets have to be the right size to get two reflections to work. The next time you spot a rainbow, you will see it in a whole new light. For more information, check out <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/storms/rainbow.htm">How Rainbows Work</a>.</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <h2>(1) Can animals predict the weather?    <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/animals-predict-weather-4.jpg" alt="Storm Image Gallery" /></h2> <h4><span style="color: #0000ff;">Birds, like the albatross, can be greatly affected by changes in the weather. So can they predict when the next storm will hit? See more.    </span></h4> Can your <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/mammals/dog.htm">dog</a> or a passing flock of birds predict an incoming storm? Is there any scientific research to substantiate those claims? And even more interestingly, if animals can predict the weather, do we stop watching the weatherman and start observing the behaviors of animals at the zoo or in our own backyards? The implications of such a revelation would surely have a huge impact on people's day-to-day lives. Even more so, these predictions would be especially valuable during catastrophic events like <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/earthquake.htm">earthquakes</a>, tidal waves, or a one-in-a-million natural disaster, like the <strong>tsunami</strong> that smashed into Southeast Asia on Dec. 26, 2004. One of the things we will examine is a widely observed (though scientifically unproven) phenomenon -- even though the <strong>tidal wave</strong> killed more than 200,000 people, almost no wild animals perished (with the exception of caged or confined animals within the wave's path). Observers report that the animals seemed to have some warning, whether by several hours or just seconds, that allowed them, and the people who heeded those warnings, the chance to find safety. Let's continue on and look closely at this animal phenomenon to see if there's any fact behind the fiction.­ ­ <h1>(2) Do animals have built-in weather detectors?   <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/animals-predict-weather-2.jpg" alt="" /></h1> <strong>Some elephants seemed to sense the December 2004 tsunami was coming. This elephant named Sadat helped in the clean-up efforts by clearing debris in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.</strong> If your <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/mammals/dog.htm">dog</a> always comes inside right before it rains, you may think that animals can predict the weather. It's probably more accurate to say that animals react to certain environmental signals that accompany weather changes, not to the weather itself. A prevalent opinion is that animals can detect certain events, like<a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/earthquake.htm">earthquakes</a>, as soon as they happen, even if the originating event is a great distance away. While this ability wouldn't make much of a difference to people at the scene of the disaster, it could conceivably assist those located farther from the epicenter. A few researchers even believe animals may be able to sense the precursors to these events before they actually strike. However, hard evidence of this is extremely limited; most of the evidence is anecdotal. Another detail worth noting is that the majority of researchers do not claim animals have <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/extrasensory-perceptions/esp.htm">ESP</a> or a sixth sense. What they are saying is that animals make greater use of their existing five senses, especially when compared to humans. Let's take a look at how those five senses can operate differently from ours in certain animals. The most critical sense is hearing. There are some sounds people can't hear. On the low end of the scale are <strong>infrasonics</strong>, low-pitched sound vibrations on the <strong>hertz frequency</strong> <strong>scale</strong> falling below 20 hertz (Hz). On the other end are high-pitched sounds, like dog whistles, which humans also can't hear. People typically hear in a range between 20 and 20,000 Hz (middle-aged adults usually don't hear beyond 12,000 or 14,000 Hz). Elephants, however, generally hear between 16 and 12,000 Hz. Cattle also start hearing sound at 16 Hz, but can continue to hear all the way to 40,000 Hz. And what sort of elements produce sounds in the infrasonic range? The answer includes earthquake shockwaves and ocean waves. See where this is going? Some researchers think certain animals, like elephants, get an early earthquake warning because they can sense shockwaves in the ground through their large feet. They don't hear the sound and think, "Oh no, an earthquake is coming." But they do sense distant, unfamiliar vibrations rolling in that terrify them into fleeing for safety. How animals, not just elephants, sense these vibrations is generally unknown. Researchers are examining different organs, body parts and nerve chains in a variety of species that may be able to pick up sound vibrations that humans just can't sense. This theory could also account for the just-in-time-reactions of other animals with less acute hearing just prior to the tsunami. Researchers note that infrasonic sound produces uneasiness and nausea in people. Animals may perceive these sound vibrations as dangerous and instinctively seek safety. So what about less extreme causes? Can birds let you know when a storm is coming? Can the behavior of bears alert you to the severity or duration of cold winter months ahead? Read the next page to find out about other ways animal behavior relates to the weather. <h1>Will animal behavior become my weather forecast?   <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/animals-predict-weather-3.jpg" alt="" /></h1> <span style="color: #3366ff;"><strong>Seagulls are sensitive to barometric changes. It's thought that they return to land if they feel pressure drop.</strong></span> What happens to animals before storms roll in or at the onset of winter? Infrasonic sounds could still be the culprit because<a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/natural-disasters/hurricane.htm">hurricanes</a> and thunder produce sound waves at those frequencies. But there's also the matter of changes in <strong>barometric</strong> (air) and<strong>hydrostatic</strong> (<a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/h2o.htm">water</a>) <strong>pressure</strong>. Normally, these pressures fluctuate slightly. Animals are highly tuned in to any changes beyond those natural fluctuations, which can signal big changes in the weather. These variations can trigger an animal's survival mechanism. The animals' instinctive reaction is to seek shelter in the face of potentially violent weather. For example, abnormal conditions like hurricanes cause large decreases in air pressure and water pressure (at least in the more shallow depths). Animals exposed and accustomed to certain patterns can quickly sense these changes. And again, similar to the observed behavior of the animals during the tsunami, they flee for safety. Researchers observed this type of behavior among a group of <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/marine-life/shark.htm">sharks</a> as they tracked the sharks' movements during Tropical Storm Gabrielle and Hurricane Charlie. After the barometric pressure dropped just a few millibars -- an occurrence that causes a similar change in hydrostatic pressure -- several sharks swam to deeper waters, where there was more protection from the storm Birds and <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/insects-arachnids/bee.htm">bees</a> also appear to sense this drop in barometric pressure and will instinctively seek the cover of their nests or hives. Birds also use their ability to sense air pressure to determine when it's safe to migrate. And what about long-term predictions, like how harsh winter will be? It seems that groundhogs aren't holding any cards. Hibernation appears to be related to an animal's biological clock and stored-up fat rather than any ability to gauge temperature trends. There have been interesting proposals about the validity of some animal folklore. Some Native Americans believe black bears choose different sleeping spots in their caves depending on how cold the winter will be, or the fur on a hare's feet will grow fluffier if heavy snows approach. While there's a chance these are simply coincidences, some have pointed out that science is based on observation, and folklore is based on centuries of observation -- although the observations haven't been conducted in controlled circumstances. In the end, these animal behaviors may not prove all that useful to humans. Animals frequently exhibit behavior changes, and there's no practical way of deciphering whether a change in behavior is related to an impending natural disaster or just a reaction to something completely unrelated. Also, differences exist between species -- and between individuals of the same species -- in their sensitivity to weather fluctuations. While some animals may be great weather predictors, others within that same species might not get their spidey senses tingling. But, if you ever find yourself in a forest reminiscent of the stampede scene in "Bambi," you still might want to follow the crowd and tag along at top speed.   .................................................................................................................................................
.</strong> <strong>Birds and <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/insects-arachnids/bee.htm">bees</a> also appear to sense this drop in barometric pressure and will instinctively seek the cover of their nests or hives. Birds also use their ability to sense air pressure to determine when it's safe to migrate.</strong> <strong>And what about long-term predictions, like how harsh winter will be? It seems that groundhogs aren't holding any cards. Hibernation appears to be related to an animal's biological clock and stored-up fat rather than any ability to gauge temperature trends.</strong> <strong>There have been interesting proposals about the validity of some animal folklore. Some Native Americans believe black bears choose different sleeping spots in their caves depending on how cold the winter will be, or the fur on a hare's feet will grow fluffier if heavy snows approach. While there's a chance these are simply coincidences, some have pointed out that science is based on observation, and folklore is based on centuries of observation -- although the observations haven't been conducted in controlled circumstances.</strong> <strong>In the end, these animal behaviors may not prove all that useful to humans. Animals frequently exhibit behavior changes, and there's no practical way of deciphering whether a change in behavior is related to an impending natural disaster or just a reaction to something completely unrelated.</strong> <strong>Also, differences exist between species -- and between individuals of the same species -- in their sensitivity to weather fluctuations. While some animals may be great weather predictors, others within that same species might not get their spidey senses tingling.</strong> <strong>But, if you ever find yourself in a forest reminiscent of the stampede scene in "Bambi," you still might want to follow the crowd and tag along at top speed.   ..........................................................................................................................................................</strong> <strong><h1>Some No-brainer Money-Saving Tips that people Forget</h1></strong> <strong><img style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 22px;" src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/no-brainer-money-saver1.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="120" />   <img src="http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRlZvMir5lMPaKWijHZeOT3ov2B2inToSYlBHwHAbtLvao8JHbDHA" alt="" width="128" height="128" />  <img src="http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSowccej2CHhmmcHALfnZIuMWiM9ozrczAmwBBZ83EdT5qs_Icm" alt="" /></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong><div id="Top10Well"></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong><span style="color: #ff0000;"><strong>Everyone likes saving money -- and there are always ways to cut corners.</strong></span></strong> <strong>No one wants to waste money. Therefore, everyone likes to save money, right? Not necessarily. The problem is, saving money is hard work. There are so many small <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/10-painless-ways-to-save-money.htm">ways to save money</a> that it's easy to overlook some of them -- and even the most vigilant budgeteers lapse on some of them from time to time. The bright side, of course, is that with so many opportunities for saving money, there are bound to be a few you've overlooked.</strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong><div></strong> <strong>If you're trying to trim your monthly <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/personal-budget.htm">budget</a>, this article will help by taking a look at some common ways to save money that are often forgotten. We'll figure out the best ways to save the most money with each method and find out exactly how much money you can save with each one.</strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong></div></strong> <strong><h5 style="text-align: left;">(1)    <span style="color: #ff0000;">Ride a Bike   <img src="http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQHQll9myOb57L3-NS25g5J9DjfvSb5UB_JcroXX38DKmjanqd_Hg" alt="" /></span></h5></strong> <strong>If you can rely on a <a href="http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/biking/bicycle.htm">bicycle</a> for most of your day to day traveling, you'll save money in all sorts of unexpected ways. Most obvious: the petrol or diesel  you'd have needed to drive to work or to the store. If your daily driving uses up 10 gallons (38 liters) of petrol each week, you'll save €25 to €30 every week by riding your bike. You can cut out the costs of <a href="http://auto.howstuffworks.com/buying-selling/car-insurance.htm">car insurance</a> and car repairs, not to mention the price of a car itself, if you can rely solely on your bicycle for transport. That's a difficult step to imagine, but you'd save thousands of Euro'ss each year.</strong> <strong>Public transportation is another alternative mode of travel, but riding a bike has advantages over that, too. A monthly bus pass costs between €25 and €65, depending on the city. Wouldn't it be nice to cut that expense out of the budget?</strong> <strong>There's one more potential savings factor if you ride your bike everywhere. You might be able to skip the gym membership, since you'll be getting plenty of exercise just getting around town.</strong> <strong><h5 style="text-align: left;">(2)   <strong><span style="color: #ff0000;">Skip Starbucks</span></strong>   <strong><img style="font-size: 14px; font-weight: normal; line-height: 23px; text-align: 0;" src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/no-brainer-money-saver3.jpg" alt="" width="150" height="150" /></strong>You'd be shocked at how much money this little contraption can save you.</h5></strong> <strong><a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/coffee.htm">Coffee</a> is a product with a large gap between the price at a coffee shop and the per cup price if you make it at home. The least expensive coffees at Starbucks or other coffee chains will cost about $2 for 16 ounces (473 ml). And if you move away from a basic cup of coffee, prices head into the €3 range and higher.</strong> <strong>If you buy a moderately priced package of coffee (€8 to €10 for a 12-ounce, or 453 gram,bag) and brew it yourself, it will cost you between 70 cents to €1.20 per 16 ounce cup, depending on how strong you make your coffee.</strong> <strong>. If you happen to enjoy even cheaper varieties of coffee, you can get that price down even lower. If you usually buy a coffee at Starbucks every day, it won't take long for the <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/coffee-maker.htm">coffee maker</a> to pay for itself, and the savings will start piling up after that.</strong> <strong>As an added benefit, you can make your coffee just how you like it, try different varieties of coffee, and never have to deal with the hassle of trying to order coffee in a coffee shop ever again.</strong> <strong>&nbsp;</strong> <strong><h4><strong>3: Buy Non-Perishable Items in Bulk</strong></h4></strong> <strong>Many goods are cheaper when purchased in large quantities. Obviously, you want to stay away from things that will spoil (In other words, <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/what-should-you-not-buy-in-bulk.htm">don't buy milk in bulk</a>). Some bulk purchases go wrong for reasons you couldn't possibly predict: That pack of 500 blank <a href="http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/dvd.htm">DVDs</a> seemed like a good idea at the time -- until they started collecting dust when everyone switched to flash drives. Win some, lose some.</strong> How can you make sure you win more than you lose? Make an organized space in your house to store your bulk goods. Sturdy basement shelves work well, as long as things stay dry. It can be difficult if you live in a small apartment or a house without a storage area. You might have to repurpose a closet or even buy (or build) a free-standing cabinet. The best items to buy in bulk are paper goods. Toilet paper, paper towels and printer paper never go bad and store easily. It's also sensible to stock up on cleaning supplies, garbage bags, soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent . These are things you'll always need and will certainly use -- and won't go bad. Bulk purchases can account for a wide range of savings, depending on the products. Buying large packs at the grocery store can save you five to 10 percent. You can buy even larger quantities at club stores like Sam's Club or BJ's, but the cost of the membership eats into your savings. Don't forget that you'll save some money and time by making fewer trips to the store, too. <h4><strong>4: Buy Clothing at a Sale <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/no-brainer-money-saver2.jpg" alt="" />Saving money on clothing is easier than you'd think.  </strong></h4> Spending on clothes can be hard to track because it's not something most people do every week or even every month. First, don't focus on brand names. You're usually just paying for the name, and the clothes aren't always nicer than what you'd find in a lesser-known brand. Considering the insane prices for designer jeans, shoes and other apparel, you can rack up massive savings with this step alone, depending on your prior shopping habits. Next, sort your clothes and note what you wear regularly and what hangs in the closet until you forget you even own it. It doesn't matter how little you spend on an article of clothing -- if you never wear it, it's all wasted money. Focus on versatile pieces that can be worn in different situations or that match lots of other things so you can create different outfits. Now, plan ahead. You don't want to be buying winter clothes in November because things are most expensive "in season." Stores cycle through their clothes pretty quickly, though, so head to the clearance rack if you have to buy. You'll find incredible deals on clothes that will be in season in a few months. It takes some digging, since those clearance racks can be poorly organized, but it's worth it. Imagine a $50 pair of jeans on clearance for 75 percent off (not an uncommon sale). They'd cost you less than $15. If you're focused on fashion, you can still save money while shopping for current styles. Take a look at fashion outlet stores and discount Web sites. Also consider store brands that follow fashion trends without the prices of big <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/budgeting/is-it-worth-it-to-splurge-on-name-brands.htm">name brands</a>. <h4><strong>5: Turn Down the Heat</strong></h4> The recommended winter setting for a <a href="http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-thermostat.htm">home thermostat</a> when people are at home is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). If you keep yours above that, reduce it to 68. Once you've gotten used to that daytime temperature (or if you already had it set there), try setting it a few degrees lower. You'll have to experiment to see how low you can stand it -- you don't want to blow the money you saved on heat buying mittens. The exact amount you'll save varies based on heating prices, the size and efficiency of your house and the temperature outside. A rough estimate: 1 to 3 percent savings per degree of thermostat setback [sources:<a href="http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12720">U.S. Dept. of Energy</a> and <a href="http://www.mge.com/home/saving/thermostat.htm">Madison Gas & Electric</a>]. To save even more, crank the temperature down to 60 or 55 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 or 12.8 degrees Celsius) when you're away or in bed. (Some people even go down to 50, or 10 degrees Celsius.). If you work outside the home during the day and <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/human-biology/sleep.htm">sleep</a> eight hours a night, you'll be reducing your energy usage for 16 hours per day. If you turn the heat down from 68 degrees to 55 degrees, you'll save 26 percent on your heating bill . That will translate to hundreds of dollars in savings in just a year or two. If you're home during the day and need the heat, you'll save about half as much by just turning it down at night, which is still a nice savings. By the way, it's a common myth that you'll use so much energy getting the house warm again that you won't save anything by turning it down. When you turn the heat down, the heat doesn't run as the house's temperature falls. You save enough energy then to counteract the energy used to reheat the house, so you break even. The savings come during the time you leave the temperature down, since the heating system isn't working as hard to maintain a differential between the inside and outside temperatures. The longer you leave the thermostat turned down, the more you'll save. <h4> <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong>So how does a homeowner on a budget become more eco-friendly? There are a few key steps that can help.</strong></span></h4> <img src="http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/eco-friendly-budget-1.jpg" alt="Green Living Pictures" />                                                 <strong><a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/green-living-pictures.htm">Green Living Pictures</a> There are plenty of ways to make your home more eco-friendly on a budget, especially if you start small.       See more <a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/green-living-pictures.htm">pictures of green living</a>.</strong> <strong>Judging Cost Effectiveness</strong> The most important step a homeowner can take toward making effective, affordable upgrades is to plan ahead. There's no point in spending money only on added insulation, for example, if your house's windows leak so much air that they render the insulation ineffective. Simple fixes, like sealing air leaks and installing insulation, can be extremely cost effective if they're done properly. The best way to determine where you can earn the most eco-friendly bang for your buck is by conducting a<a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/home-energy-audit.htm">home energy audit</a> 

. Your budget may dictate whether you hire a professional to conduct this thorough inspection or you perform it yourself with guidance from resources like the U.S. Department of Energy. Either way, the audit will allow you to list your home's weakest points, which contribute to the majority of your home's lost energy. Fixing these problems first will generate the most savings in the shortest amount of time.

                                                                                            Sealing air leaks around outlets is an easy eco-friendly improvement that anyone can make.

Creative Fixes for Common Problems

Depending on what you learn from your home energy audit, you may be able to save a significant amount of energy through a combination of DIY creativity and craftiness. If your doors and windows leak air, you may not be able to afford to replace them. But making or buying draft stoppers and sealing your windows can at least reduce the amount of energy you lose [sources: Efficient Windows CollaborativeHoward]. Likewise, you may be able to fix air leaks around electrical outlets and switches with handheld sealing tools and expandable sealant, without hiring a contractor to do the work.

The amount of work you can do yourself depends largely on your home-improvement skills, as with any home-improvement project. If you can install cabinets or build a deck, it's likely you can make a large number of eco-friendly improvements by yourself.

.......................................................................................................................................     30th October 2011.                                
 5 Ways to Make Extra Money from your Home
Especially in a down economy, who couldn't use a little extra cash? You may not have the time to go out and hit the pavement in search of a second job, but you could use the skills you have to get the cash you need.

When you were a kid, you might have dreamed of growing up to become a fashion designer or world-famous architect, but a sagging economy and tight job market have made these kinds of dream jobs hard to come by. Just because your ideal employer isn’t clamoring to hire you doesn’t mean you have to settle for a boring 9-to-5 job you hate.

Nearly 6 million Americans work from home.
It may not be much fun to be isolated from peers and you may find yourself waiting by the mailbox for checks, but being self-employed and working from home have some distinct advantages: There's no more stressful commute. Your office is just steps from your bedroom. You even can go to work every day in your Tweety Bird pajamas, if you like. When you need to take a three-hour lunch or two-week vacation, you don't have to ask your boss for permission, because you don't have one. Best of all, the earning potential is unlimited: The more hours you work, the more you earn!

Sound intriguing? Here are a few ideas to get you started on a work-from-home career, plus some tips on avoiding the scammers who try to prey on home workers.

1: Sales

    Have you knitted an entire collection of sweaters you don't know what to do with? You could earn extra income selling them online.

Here are a few home sales possibilities:
  • Sell your homemade jewelry and other crafts on a Web site like Etsy. You’ll pay a small fee to list each item, plus 3.5 percent of the final sale price, but you’ll have access to people around the world who want to buy exactly what you’re selling. Art Fire is another online artists’ marketplace.
  • Start your own eBay store. You can sell just about anything on eBay, from collectibles to cars. You just need to post the item and ship it once someone buys. When you sell with an online auction like eBay, it’s important to provide excellent customer service. The more positive feedback you receive, the more likely prospective buyers will be to purchase your items.
  • Go to work for a direct marketing company like Mary KayAvonLia SophiaCAbiAmway, or others. These businesses cut out the brick-and-mortar store, letting you sell directly to your friends, neighbors, colleagues and relatives. Direct sales are ideal for people who are motivated, hard-working — and who have an established network of potential buyers.

2: Administrative Assistance

      Can you type and answer phones? Then you’re already qualified for one of the many administrative work-at-home positions available. Here are a few of your options:

  • Transcription — You listen to and transcribe recordings of meetings, telephone calls or personal dictation. To work as a medical transcriptionist, you need some knowledge of medical terms. Legal transcriptionists similarly must be familiar with legal terminology. Depending on the company that hires you, you may need to buy a transcription foot pedal or other equipment.
  • Customer service — Airlines, clothing stores and other companies need representatives to answer customer calls. When they don’t want to staff their own customer service centers, they hire at-home workers.
  • Answering service — Doctor’s offices and other businesses need answering service representatives to pick up calls and take messages when their offices are closed.
  • Virtual administrative assistant — Just like an administrative assistant who works in an office, a virtual assistant handles everything from typing and data entry to answering phones and making travel arrangements.

3: Freelancing

                 Skills that require little more than a computer and telephone offer lots of flexibility. Creative professions like writing, graphic design, translation and public relations all give you the option of working from home.

Freelancing offers consistent opportunities, no matter what the general job outlook. When companies are cash heavy, they have extra work that requires freelance help. When they’re cash-strapped, they can’t afford to hire full-timers with benefits, so they bring on more affordable freelance workers.

Here are a few freelance job options:

  • Writing, editing, and proofreading newspaper and magazine articles, Web content, books, blogs, technical manuals and corporate marketing materials
  • Graphic design — create brochures and other business marketing materials, Web sites, books and video game animations
  • Public relations — write press releases, contact TV stations and other media outlets to get coverage for your clients
  • Translation — translate books, business documents, audio and other materials into English or another language, and interpret for people who speak different languages and are trying to communicate
If you’re going to freelance in a creative profession, be prepared to show samples of your work. Post your articles or graphic designs on a Web site, or put together a portfolio you can quickly send to prospective freelance employers.

4: Personal Services       Everyone is busy these days, and many of us need help with the simplest tasks, like picking up our laundry, shopping for clothes or making dinner reservations. That need creates an opening for anyone with good organizational skills and a willingness to tackle any task — no matter how mundane.

Virtual concierges act much like the concierges you encounter at hotels. They do everything from running errands to making travel reservations for busy executives. A concierge might be asked to pick up dry cleaning one day, and track down 500 white roses for a marriage proposal the next.

As a concierge you can work for yourself, or for a concierge company like VIP Desk. Having your own concierge business is riskier because you need to drum up your own clients, but it also means you can set your own hours rather than working a fixed schedule.

Another type of personal service professional is a personal shopper, who actually gets paid to shop! People with limited time — or fashion sense — hire personal shoppers to create outfits and accessories that match their style. If you love spending time in your mall and local boutiques, this is the perfect job for you. The greatest asset a successful personal shopper can have is good taste. If you are also good at helping people design their makeup and hairstyle, then you can be a personal stylist or image consultant.

5: Cooking/Baking


         Are you a fabulous chef? Do your friends rave every time you host a dinner party? Why not profit from your culinary talents by starting your own cooking business?

You have several options when it comes to starting a home-based cooking business. You can be a personal chef, sell food or baked goods at local farmers' markets and supermarkets, or start your own catering business serving parties and other special events.

Before you fire up your oven, though, you need to find out whether you're allowed to cook out of your own kitchen. Many state health departments require any food that's sold to the public to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. If that's the case in your area, you'll have to either bring your own kitchen up to code or rent one near you. Also check with your state, city, and county to find out whether your business will require a food safety and/or catering license, as well as a permit and inspections.

Once your kitchen is fully legal, it needs to be operational. Decide what type of food you're going to specialize in -- whether you're making cupcakes, barbecue or French haute cuisine. Once you've got a menu, you have to invest in the equipment and supplies you'll need to make it.

You also need to cover yourself with liability insurance, just in case one of your customers winds up with a bad case of food poisoning after eating your famous oyster casserole.           ..................................................................................................................................  Friday 14th October 2011                                                                Top 5 Family Reunion Destinations                                               In today's world, families become scattered far and wide across the globe. People move away to seek job opportunities, more pleasant climates, or simply to indulge their restless wanderlust. As a result of that, family reunions, where we get a chance to see our grandparents, reconnect with distant cousins, and keep family traditions and lore alive, have become increasingly important events. Reunions Magazine, a publication that covers the get-togethers' subculture, estimates that there are more than 200,000 family reunions each year, attended by some 8 million people. Nearly three-quarters of those gatherings have 50 or more participants.

If you're organizing a family reunion, picking the right destination for your event can be a tricky task. You need a travel spot that's accessible and affordable, and it should provide fun activities that everyone can share. For example, if you pick a golf and tennis resort in the Bahamas, that may make your athletic cousins from Minnesota happy. But your cousins from Wisconsin absolutely hate golf. They'd rather go hiking and bird-watching in a national park. And what will Aunt Agnes, whose idea of exercise is turning over Mahjong tiles in a casino, do to keep herself amused?

You get the picture. It's a tough call. But here are some options to choose from.

5: Check in at a Resort                        It’s hard to go wrong when you pick a familiar, popular vacation destination such as one of the Disney resorts, which enables participants to get good prices on travel and hotels. The resorts also often cater to reunion groups with special amenities. For example, California’s Disneyland offers you an opportunity to book its Big Thunder Ranch for a family barbeque or to arrange an appearance by costumed Disney characters at a reunion dinner at its onsite restaurants. The resort even will provide personalized Mickey ears, pins and badges, and photographers are on hand to snap pictures that you can then turn into mugs, T-shirts and other memorabilia.

     4: Take a Cruise                                A short voyage on a cruise liner is one of the easiest options for a family reunion. Brand-name cruise ship lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland America specialize in catering to large groups like reunions with special deals. Carnival, for example, offers perks like private cocktail parties for groups who book at least eight staterooms

. These floating resorts have activities for everybody, ranging from rock-climbing walls and roller-blade tracks to cooking classes and guest lecturers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Cruise ships depart from 22 ports in the United States and Canada, and you can find one within driving distance of many U.S. cities. Costs range depending on the itinerary and the size of the group, but some cruises can be as cheap as several hundred dollars per person. They're a particularly good deal for families because parents and kids can share a single large stateroom.                                                                                                                                                            3: Rent a Rustic Retreat                A rented villa in a picturesque foreign location can be a great place to rekindle family relationships. The languorous luxury setting encourages you to sit around with a glass of wine and chat, which is what most people want to do at reunions.

One great location is Italy’s romantic Tuscany, where you can rent a restored mansion overlooking a lake that sleeps 16, complete with a spacious living room with a fireplace, a pool, a gaming room equipped with a billiard table, a garden, and for those who can’t halt their media addiction, satellite TV and Internet access. Villas are for families with deep pockets, though. A week at the previously-described palace costs from $4,500 to $10,000 per person, depending on the season. And unless you’re accustomed to cooking for large groups, you’ll have to hire a chef as well                                                                                                                              2: Experience Nature                                  National parks are a great place to have a family reunion. Not only is it invigorating to experience nature, but there are usually a variety of activities available, from outdoor sports to sightseeing. And most have ample accommodations in a range of prices for large groups.                                                                                                                                  For a transcendent nature experience that just about everybody is sure to enjoy, try Yosemite National Park in California. Yosemite offers waterfalls, mountains and grand meadows, as well as a chance to look at 400 different wildlife species — from bears to birds. If all else fails, you can marvel at the ancient giant sequoias. The lodging options range from camping to luxury suites at the Ahwahnee Hotel. There are also a variety of restaurants of all price ranges, from pizza to fine dining.

On the East Coast, you might want to visit Acadia National Park, which is situated on Mount Desert Island along the rugged Atlantic coast of Maine. The park features some the most beautiful scenery in the East — granite mountains, sparkling lakes, forests, meadow marshes and a spectacular rocky coastline. For the robust, there are plenty of outdoor activities, from hiking and bicycling to horseback riding and canoeing, while those who prefer less strenuous recreation can tour the wild gardens, take a carriage ride or visit the park’s two museums. Both hotel accommodations and camping are available

1: Get to Know Your Ancestors

If you’re a hardcore genealogy buff, you probably won’t be content with anything less than traipsing around the exact remote village where your forebears lived three or four centuries ago. But good luck in getting everybody else to go there, or finding hotel rooms.

You may have better luck with a slightly broader approach, in which you focus on your regional or national heritage. And chances are that your ancestral homeland is eager to have you. Scotland, for example, extended an open invitation to anyone of Scottish ancestry to attend its Homecoming 2009 celebration, billed as “one of the biggest family reunions the world has ever seen,” which featured hundreds of events designed to cater to returnees.

 If you have Irish roots -- and who doesn't, to some degree? -- you're really in luck because that country has a flourishing family reunion industry. Companies like MyguideIreland will plan an itinerary for your group, and even try to track down some Irish relatives for you to meet.  
If traveling overseas doesn't appeal to your clan, no problem. A family reunion centered upon a visit to historic Ellis Island, where 12 million immigrants entered the United States between 1892 and 1954, might provide a truly moving experience. There's a museum on the island that focuses on the history of immigration, and you can also take in the Statue of Liberty.



                                                                                                  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.>>>>  Thursday 29th September 2011                                             Today I will give my Blog readers 2 more parts of 7  in total on how to plan a Family Re-union. Parts 1, 2 & 3 see below.

Family Reunion Activities

(4) The invitations are sent, the lodgings are booked, the plane tickets are purchased and everything appears to be in order for your big family reunion. Now one question remains: What is everyone going to do when they get there?  

  The three-legged race is almost always a favourite at family reunions.

Obviously, if you’re taking a big theme park family vacation, that won’t be an issue. But for a camping trip, a picnic or simply a get-together at someone’s home, you had better have some ideas about how to keep everyone entertained.

First of all, if you have small kids, you’ll need to find safe and fun ways to keep them occupied. If the kids aren’t having a good time, chances are, no one will be. Consider games, arts and crafts, coloring books, movie time or possibly even an entertainer like a clown. A swimming pool is also a great way for kids to have fun — as long as there’s adult supervision.

Remember, games aren’t just for kids, either. Family reunions can feature three-legged races, softball and volleyball games, or whatever other activities your family is into. Another great idea is story time — this is a great opportunity for the family elders to pass on some time-honored tales to the younger generation. You could even consider putting on a talent show, having a gift exchange, an eating contest or burying a time capsule to be unearthed at the next reunion

  Organise a Talent Show

Perhaps the most important activity you’ll want to do at your reunion involves a camera. Take lots and lots of pictures. You’ll want to document the kids at that stage in their lives, just like you’ll want lots of pictures of your elderly relatives, too. Who knows when everyone will be together next? And technology makes things easier than ever. You can share digital photos with the entire family using a photo sharing Web site, and you may also want to consider taking digital video of the reunion and uploading it to a Web site like YouTube. That way, everyone will be able to enjoy the memories of the reunion, regardless of where they are.

Tips for Planning Family Reunions

( 5 ) We’re hoping that after reading this article, you’ll have at least a few ideas about how to start planning your family reunion. Here are a few points to keep in mind so that everything runs smoothly from start to finish:   

  • Set a budget and stick to it. Everyone wants to have fun at family reunions, but there’s no sense in going bankrupt doing it. Also, make sure everyone in the family can afford to partake in your plans
  • Keep everyone in the communication loop. Send out a “save the date” notice, and keep track of exactly who is planning to attend and who won’t be there.
  • For big events, assign different tasks to your family members. Have someone who’s in charge of games and activities, someone in charge of the cleanup and so on.
  • Offer plenty of things to do, but don’t overdo it. You’ll also want to have some “free time” built into the schedule so relatives can talk to each other and just enjoy one another’s company
  • You can have t-shirts or other gifts specially made up for your reunion as keepsakes from the event. Make sure you have enough for everyone, and get sizes from your guests beforehand.
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page. Create a schedule of events and ensure directions are clear.
  • Bring enough food and drinks for everyone! Remember, it’s always better to have too much than not enough.

These are all good tips. However, don’t forget the most important tip for planning a family reunion: remember to have fun and include everyone! Families are dramatically diverse in ages and interests, but everyone wants to have a good time when they’re together at a reunion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  Friday 16th September 2011                    by ~

How to Plan a Family Reunion

Today I will give all of my Blog readers 3 parts of 7  in total on how to plan a Family Re-union.

Is the local park a perfect place for a family reunion?  Ask yourself is the local public park depending on the weather suitable for such a event?.

(1)  When you get an invitation to a family reunion, your response probably goes one of two ways:

The invitation can be greeted with joy at the prospect of seeing old loved ones and meeting new additions to the family. Or, depending on how you feel about your relatives or in-laws, it can also be met with slumped shoulders and a groan, along with the need to take some ibuprofen.

But let’s say you get tapped to organize the reunion, or decide to throw one on your own. Planning a family reunion takes a lot of work. Who gets invited? Where do you hold it? Will you have food or drinks? Is it going to be a sort of big family vacation? How much do you want to spend?

Obviously, every family is unique in its own way. Sometimes a family reunion can involve hundreds of people from the same clan. Other times, it means getting to see just a few aunts, uncles and cousins that you haven’t seen in a long time.

If you’re in charge of planning the reunion, it’s your call on how big you want to go. Family reunions can involve family vacations to Disney World, cruises, camping trips, barbecues in the backyard and just about everything in between.

In th article, we’ll discuss the logistics of planning family reunions, and offer somise tips on how to decide exactly what to do.

(2) Family Reunion Locations    Middleton Park House. Castletown Geoghegan, IrelandHotel, A great location. I can really recommend this hotel as I was at a wedding reception there. Says Donie 

Consider if it is to include custom family reunion packages with picnic tables, a theater system, playgrounds, pools, volleyball and basketball courts and camping sites. It’s good to find a site that offers something for everyone.

If you have lots of small kids involved, family reunions at a theme park may be a good option. It’s hard to do better than Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and the resort even has tools for family vacation planning that include itinerary management, lodging assistance and personal help for those families traveling with large numbers of children.

The Walt Disney park famously includes lots of on-site hotels at various price levels, so no matter what each family’s individual budget may be, you’ll be able to keep everyone in your group close when you have your celebration.

There are lots of other options depending on what you like to do. Cruises, weekends at fancy hotels, fishing trips and other family vacations all work, too. Just remember that not everyone in your family may like to do those things, and your job as the planner is to attempt to keep everyone happy.

 In this next section, we’ll discuss how to spice up your reunion with different themes.

The family reunion mainstays have always been the picnic or the backyard barbecue. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive and it can be centered on one family member’s home. If you or someone in your family has a big yard or a good park in their community, this may be your best option for entertaining a big crowd.

However, if you’re thinking of making the family reunion into a giant family vacation, picking the right venue is extremely important.

Consider the various members of your family and what they like to do. Is your family outdoorsy? A big camping trip might be the way to go. Just remember, you’ll want a place that has accommodations for everyone. Some camping grounds even specialize in family reunions.

(3) Family Reunion Themes

   

If you’re going to be around huge numbers of relatives, you may as well find ways to make it a fun time for all. Why not add a theme to your family reunion?

 Again, this all depends on your family’s size and what their interests are. If everyone (or mostly everyone, anyway) is of a certain cultural heritage, consider centering the theme on that. You could have lots of Mexican or Italian food, decorations and maybe even play some music from those countries.

The theme can also focus on an important coinciding event, like a 50th wedding anniversary, a graduation, a new baby arrival or maybe an elderly family member’s birthday. You could even do a throwback theme to a certain decade you and your family members remember fondly, like the 1950s or the 1980s, for instance.

If you’re family’s extra fun, encourage costumes that match the event as well. If you’re going on a cruise, consider having everyone dress in pirate garb to spice things up a little. If your group has a sentimental family vacation spot, consider going back and re-living one of your favorite family vacations from years ago.

Basically, think of it as a big party with all your relatives invited. Try to plan something that’s fun and includes everyone. Be creative!

Now that you’ve hopefully picked a theme, what do you do at the family reunion itself? Up next, we’ll talk about reunion activities.  …………………………………………………………………………………………. 

Now available in Ireland, Check out the new Car sharing  Website @ http://www.carsharing.ie/  

 Donie Says. Friday the 19th August 2011.                                          Important stuff to Know:  The top 10 Green Driving Tips                       Car Sharing”  There are lots of ways to stay on a budget. Clipping coupons and waiting for sales are good ways to stretch your Euro, but let’s face it:  Petrol will likely never go on sale. While some stations offer petrol coupons or promotions, they’re usually too small to really make a dent in anyone’s driving budget.    If petrol stations aren’t going to put petrol on sale, you’ll have to.

No, that doesn’t mean you need to start selling petrol at a discount. But by modifying some of your driving habits, you can increase your fuel efficiency and use less petrol, bngriing the cost down. So how much can you save? With the simple green driving tips we’ve compiled here, you could increase your fuel economy  (and savings) by up to 47 percent. And if you want to decrease your fuel consumption even mo­re, you can make some of the lifestyle changes that we’ve also listed here. 

The other benefit of cutting back on petrol? It’s better for the environment.Better fuel economy means less pollution emitted by cars and less dependence on foreign sources of oil. That’s why these driving tips are doubly green: green for the planet and green notes in your wallet. Find out more on the next page.

The last two tips this week,

Green Driving Tip 2: The Four-day Working Week

It’s likely that most of your time driving is spent going to and from work. One way to ease congestion, pollution and the amount of gas you use is to go to work only four days a week. We’re not advocating skipping. The four-day workweek is a movement that’s growing so much that some state governments are considering it for their workers.

Negotiating a Four-day Workweek
So you want to go down to four days a week? How do you get your boss to agree? Before you even talk to your boss, come up with a plan that shows how a four-day week will benefit the company. Talk to your human resources department to see if your company offers flexible schedules. Be prepared to have a trial period. Finally, make sure your productivity doesn’t drop off, and be willing to put in 10-hour days when you’re at work.

In a four-day workweek, instead of working eight hours a day, five days a week, you work ten hours a day, four days a week. The time at work and the amount of work you get done stays the same, but with one day less at the office, your commuting costs and pollution go down 20 percent. Companies could save money by having four-day weeks, too — their energy bills would be lower because their Electricity consumption would be less. Marion County, Fl., switched its workers to a four-day week and expects to save €250,000 this year on energy costs alone                                                                                                                   What’s even better than an extra day of not commuting?    

Green Driving Tip 1: Telecommuting

If taking one day off from commuting per week is a good thing, taking five days off is even better. Telecommuting, or working from home, is growing in popularity. While not every job advocates telecommuting (you probably wouldn’t want your dentist to do it), many workers can do their jobs with just a computer and a high-speed Internet connection.

There are a number of different approaches to working from home. Some workers do it full-time, while others do it a few days a week per month. It’s easy to think of telecommuters goofing off at home in their pajamas while everyone else is hard at work, but a number of companies have found that telecommuters actually are more productive than office workers because they have fewer interruptions and less stress.

The savings of telecommuting are potentially huge. Even if people who are able to telecommute did so less than two days a week, 1.35 billion gallons of fuel could be could be saved   The potential savings to businesses is great too: They would have lower energy costs and happier workers and have to supply less office space. Best of all, because less energy would be used powering offices and less gas would be used commuting, the environmental benefits would be enormous. The benefits of telecommuting show that the best green driving tip is not to drive at all.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  No 3 posting 18th August.

Green Driving Tip 3: Another One Rides the Bus                                   Whether you own a car, use a car sharing service, or don’t drive at all, mass transit is a great way to get around while staying green. If two people car pooling removes one car from the road, the benefits are even greater when 30 people ride a bus and eliminate all their cars from the streets. The benefits really add up when you think of the hundreds of people on one train. Not only does mass transit ease congestion, it reduces pollution. It also encourages green development by promoting greater population density around subway stations and major bus lines.

There’s also an economic benefit to the riders. Take a typical commuter in the Dublin area. Commuting from suburb to suburb, he or she spends roughly €35 a week on petrol, plus an additional €12.50 a week on tolls (not to mention wear and tear on the car). That works out to about €9.50 a day in commuting costs. The local Metro Bus costs only €1 a ride, which means he or she would save €5.50 a day, or €27.50 a week. Plus, the metro bus can use HOV lanes, allowing a commuter to save traffic frustration and glide by, relaxing with a book. The benefits are even greater for workers who have to pay for parking. Look into mass transit options in your area to see how much you could save.

Even Greener: Alternative Fuel Mass TransitWhat’s greener than people riding a bus? People riding a green bus! A number of mass transit systems are trying out alternative fuel buses, including hybrids, buses powered by natural gas, and buses powered by biodiesel. Having buses run on alternative fuels really increases the benefits of mass transit because not only does it reduce the number of cars using petrol, it reduces the need for petrol, period.

Want to save even more? Go green by going to work less. It’s not laziness. Staying home can help the environment.  Green Driving Tip 4: (Car) Sharing is Caring                    Swift commute is a web based service in Dublin.                                  Car sharing is another way to drive green that’s gaining in popularity, especially in urban areas. People who may not drive every day but still want a car to run errands or drive on weekends benefit most from car sharing. Cars are usually available by a service like swift commute Dublin,  Swift Commute aims to alleviate some of that traffic congestion around Ireland (Incl NI) at peak times by creating a community of car sharing commuters.

The Swift Commute car pooling service is unique and offers registered users who are looking to rideshare the opportuntiy to create a travel profile using our interactive maps with simple drag and drop actions.  As a registered commuter with a travel profile you can leave the the matching to Swift Commute. Registered members will automatically be matched together based on demographic preferences and travel profile information.

Car sharing has major environmental benefits because it lessens the number of cars on the road. Members don’t drive just because they have a car. They plan trips, and if they don’t need a car, they don’t use one. Still, a car is available to them if they need to make a big trip for the Grocery shopping, pick someone up at the airport or if they want to go to the beach for the day. Members also benefit by having access to a car without any of the headaches of ownership. They usually don’t have to pay for petrol, insurance or maintenance, and the monthly membership fee is less than a typical car payment. So if you really want to go green but aren’t ready to totally give up a car yet, try car sharing it may be the way to go.

If you still need to get around, but want to go even greener than sharing a car, share a bus! On the next page, you’ll learn about the green benefits of mass transit.                                                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No 2 Posting: 9th August 2011

Green Driving Tip no 7: What alternative fuels are there?    Alternative fuels like biodiesel are often inexpensive.A Alternative fuels like biodiesel are often inexpensive (or even free).

Most people exercise to burn off fat, which is excess energy stored on the body. With obesity rates in the world rising, one thing we have plenty of is fat, and it turns out you can run your car on it.

Now, before you hook up your car to your hips, it’s not that simple. Alternative fuels, like Bio-Diesal, allow an engine to run off of natural, renewable fuel sources like plant or animal oils. These oils, like peanut or vegetable oil, or even leftover french fry grease, have to undergo some processing to turn their fat into energy an engine can use,       but once they do, they can power a regular diesel engine.  One side effect is that as the car runs, it will smell like whatever type of oil was used to power it. Bio-diesel cars can give you a mean french fry craving that way.

Biodiesel has the benefit of being largely free or low-cost (if you have access to large quantities of grease or cooking oil) and renewable, since plant oils can be replenished by growing more plants and animal oils are a by-product of food production. There are downsides, though. There isn’t as much energy in these oils as there is in petroleum-based oils like Petrol or diesel, so mileage is lower. Also, there isn’t a bio-diesel infrastructure in place. If you want this kind of fuel, you’ll often have to make it yourself. There are kits that help you do it, but it’s a lot of work.

A second and more practical gas alternative is ethanol. Ethanol is fuel made from plant material like corn or wood pulp. It’s essentially alcohol with a little bit of Petrol mixed in it. Not every car engine can run on ethanol. General Motors has several models it designates as flex fuel capable. That is, those models can run either on petrol or ethanol. Ethanol is also becoming available at a number of fuel stations across different countries, making it more practical than bio-diesel.

Since ethanol is made from plants, it’s a renewable resource. It can also be produced in the U.S., which protects the economy from global forces. There are a number of downsides to ethanol, however. It takes a lot of energy to produce. Because it picks up impurities when it travels by pipe, ethanol must be transported by truck and barges — which is expensive. Finally, so many farmers have sold their crops to ethanol producers that it has contributed to the rise of food prices across the world.­

Like gas-oline, there are downsides to using ethanol as fuel. But while a large-scale switch to ethanol may not be ideal, ethanol is one way individual drivers can go green and be a part of the overall solution to conserving resources and easing pollution.

Green Driving Tip 6: Time to trade in for a more efficient car?

If you’re really serious about driving greener, you can get a more  fuel-efficient   cars.  Like switching from a large SUV2010 Toyota RAV4 Limited V6 (US)  like the Toyto Rav4, which combined diesel mileage of 35-40 mpg, to a small car like the Honda civic, which has an EPA-estimated combined gas mileage of 45-48 mpg.

  The Toyota Prius is the world’s top selling hybrid car, with cumulative global sales of 2.0 million units by September 2010.
Green-minded consumers might consider buying this petrol-electric hybrid car.

You can also go much greener and consider getting a gas-electric hybrid car. The Toyota Prius has an EPA-estimated combined petrol mileage of 46 mpg. That means switching from the Rab4 to the Prius could save you nearly 5-6 gallons of petrol per week. The Prius’ petrol mileage MPG is so high because its petrol engine can be shut off at low speeds or in stop and go traffic. In those situations, the car is powered by an electric motor, which means no petrol used and no pollutants are emitted.

Not ready to buy a new car? How about sharing the car you have? Keep reading to learn about the green benefits of car pooling.

Now available in Ireland, check out the new car sharing website now @ http://carsharing.ie/

Green Driving Tip 5: Car Pooling

If you really want to cut down on your fuel usage, car pooling is a great way to do it. When two (or more) people buddy up and ride together, the number of cars on the road drops and petrol is saved. It’s that simple.

                 By car pooling, business people get to save petrol and enjoy each others’ company.

A number of cities and towns have car pooling  resources. Some heavily congested areas use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to encourage car pooling. HOV lanes are lanes set aside for cars that carry a certain number of people. Get in the lane with fewer people in your car, and you’ll get a ticket. Since most people drive by themselves, HOV lanes have fewer cars and less traffic. car pooling benefits by saving time, while the cities they’re in benefit by having fewer cars on the road and less pollution.

Ride sharing is another car pooling  resource many areas have. Ride sharing is a formal program that matches interested car poolers together. That can be a big help, since you may not live near anyone you work with. Ride sharing programs also sometimes provide central locations for picking up and dropping off car poolers, so time isn’t spent driving to all the participants’ houses. Some programs also provide help if car pooling plans fall through. For example, if the person you rode into work with gets sick and leaves early (or if you get sick and have to leave early), a ride sharing program will make sure you get home.

Car pooling  is not just a good way to drive green and break up a lonely commute; it’s a good way to save a lot of money. By alternating driving days with another driver, you’ll cut your petrol costs by half. And by not driving your car as much, you’ll save on routine maintenance. Driving only half as much will also slow the rate you put miles on your car, helping its resale value.

Want to spend even less time on the road and less money on owning a car?                                                                                                               Keep reading to learn about the benefits of car sharing.

Green Driving Tip 10: The Junk in Your Trunk  Get rid of it? use only on Hols.  Your car burns petrol for energy. It’s food for the engine, which­ is what makes the car run. The more work the car has to do, the more energy it needs. It’s sort o­f like how a marathoner  needs to eat a lot more than a couch potato (though couch potatoes may beg to differ). This principle is already pretty clear to most people. It’s why large SUVs have worse petrol mileage than small cars. The added weight of the SUV makes the car work harder.­ 

No matter what kind of car you drive, eliminating weight can go a long way toward increasing your car’s fuel efficiency. Now, before you take a chainsaw to the bumper, there are probably less drastic steps you can take. Have a ski or bike rack on your car?  Unless you’re on your way to a ski trip or bike ride, take it off. That unused rack adds weight and wind resistance. And if you’re like most people, you probably have some junk in your trunk. Clean it out. Sports equipment, strollers, gym bags and rock salt left over from winter driving are all hurting your fuel economy. The EPA estimates that for every extra 100 pounds your car caries, it loses 2 percent in fuel economy, so just by cleaning up your act, you can start on the road to saving money.

Read on to find tips that can increase your car’s fuel economy by a lot more than 2 percent.

Green Tip No 9: Your Wallet is hurting & Riding on Your Tires

The weight your car is carrying around isn’t the only thing that can affect your fuel economy. Your tyres can, too. Proper tyre maintenance is an often overlooked way to increase your fuel economy. The easiest way to use your tyres to save money is to make sure they’re properly inflated.

Tyres that are underinflated negatively affect fuel efficiency. Imagine trying to ­roll a bean bag up a hill. It would take a lot of energy because it droops all over everything. In contrast, it’s easy to roll a well-inflated ball up a hill. Like a ball, properly inflated tyres have less contact with the road, which means they encounter less friction, so the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to move the car.

To find out how much air should be in your tyres, check your owners’ manual, or the inside of the driver’s door (where the latch is). Most cars have a sticker there that explains the optimal amount of air for the tires. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that properly inflating your tyres can increase fuel efficiency by 3 percent.

If you want to get even more efficient, you can switch from regular tyres to low rolling resistance tyres. Low rolling resistance tyres are harder than regular tyres, so they encounter even less friction. Treehugger.com  reports that using low rolling resistance tyres can lead to a 6 percent increase in fuel economy [source: Treehugger.com]. There are some downsides to the tyres, however. They’re a lot harder than regular tyres, so your car’s ride and handling may suffer. Also, don’t run out and buy low rolling resistance tyres unless you were planning on replacing your tyres anyway. The savings in fuel won’t offset the cost of new tyres. Wait until you need new tyres before getting them. Finally, work with your mechanic or Tyre shop to find the proper low rolling resistance tyres for your car.

Now that you’ve cleaned out your car and checked the tires, it’s time to hit the road. Read on to find out how you can change the way you drive to save gas.

Green Tip No 8: Limit Your Need for Speed Economy is the name of the game?

One of the best ways to improve your fuel economy is to change the way you drive. Speeding, accelerating and braking hard can deplete efficiency by 33 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [source: fueleconomy.gov]. Why? When you stop, start or accelerate, your car has to overcome inertia. Inertia is the resistance an object has to a change in its state of motion. In order to get moving, or to stop, a car has to overcome inertia. You’ve probably heard that objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and objects that are stopped tend to stay stopped. That’s because of inertia.

Overcoming inertia requires energy. When you’re talking cars and energy, you’re talking petrol. You can use less energy to overcome inertia if you do it slowly. What would make you more tired: pulling a heavy wagon slowly from a stop to an all-out run, or pulling the same wagon immediately to a sprint? Pulling the wagon slowly lets you build momentum to help overcome inertia, using less energy. In your car, you should accelerate slowly from stops, allowing the car’s momentum to help it accelerate.

Once the car is in motion, you should try to preserve that momentum by avoiding situations where it can be lost. Say you’re driving down the road and see lights up ahead turn from yellow to red. Rather than keep your foot on the gas and brake at the last second, you should take your foot off the gas and slowly approach the light. Not only will coasting save petrol, but you might not even have to come to a full stop before the light turns green again, meaning that your car will have to overcome much less inertia to get going.

The speed at which you drive on the highway, where stopping and starting aren’t likely to be a problem, also impacts your fuel efficiency. The EPA says that most cars run at maximum efficiency at 60 miles per hour, and every five mph over 60 mph decreases efficiency by 6 percent. So on your next road trip, slow down. You’ll make up the time by not having to stop for petrol as often.                                                                                                                                                             Read on to find out more next week.

Next week 3 more Green tips to saving Euros and the environment. 

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2 responses to “How it works?

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