Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to become a Google Power User

Ahhhhh the secrets of search. These simple shortcuts can help you step up your Google game tremendously. I Learned almost every one of these hacks during college. 

One of my favorite tricks for finding topical titles is to use the ‘intitle’ option. This search operator enables you to search for general words in the article and at the same time searching for a specific word in the title. Researching specific years of a companies history? Recipe substitutes? It’s so versatile.

As a marketing student during college I ended up researching a lot about local businesses. Using the ‘Location:’ search operator was a god send. Digging through sales history, or company growth was so much easier when unneeded geography was cut out.

Finally, the asterisk. The asterisk helps you when you have what I like to call a ‘brain fart’. Putting an * in place of a word you can’t remember. It’s wonderful when looking up lyrics or any titles. I * you guys learn a few time saving tricks from today’s graphic!FlO1oNs.jpg

 

 

7 Steps to Becoming a Better Traveller

In the course of my travels–and my career as a promoter and practitioner of sustainable tourism–one question comes up again and again: “What can I do to be a more responsible traveler?” So I thought I’d pen a primer.

Here are seven things globetrotters can do to lessen their impact on the planet:

1. Avoid the plane and take the train (when possible).

Become part of the emerging “slow travel” trend by going to fewer places and spending more time in each. Train travel is a good way to do this. Not only will you experience a deeper sense of place, you’ll also decrease your carbon footprint. Some of my favorite travel-by-train destinations include India, Southeast Asia, East Africa, and China.

2. Give, the right way. Many well-intentioned travelers bring sweets, used clothing, books, and pencils to hand out to children and villagers in developing nations. Sadly, this kind giving often has unintended consequences–it can sew community conflict and encourage a culture of dependency and begging. I watched two Maasai women in Africa fight over a T-shirt that a smiling tourist had handed out; in some parts of Asia, the first English words children learn are “Give me sweet.”

It is better to give–be it money or goods–to reputable local organizations that work on social welfare programs, or to international groups that partner with them. A good one is Pack for a Purpose.

3. Understand the following two terms and be part of the new age of intelligent travel: 

The Great Pacific garbage patch is largely composed of small plastic particles suspended at or just below the ocean's surface.  (Photograph by samuelnbarnett, Flickr)

> Ecotourism: Two decades ago, I joined a dozen scientists, conservationists, and modern-day explorers in an old farm house outside of Washington, D.C. It was the first board meeting of the International Ecotourism Society.

Our task? To define what, exactly, ecotourism was. After two days, we agreed on what is now the most widely used definition of ecotourism in the world today: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves nature and sustains the wellbeing of local people.”

> Sustainable Tourism: This movement takes ecotourism’s core principles and applies them across the full spectrum of the travel and tourism industry–from city hotels to cruise lines. The three pillars of sustainable tourism are employing environmentally friendly practices (reduce, reuse, recycle); protecting cultural and natural heritage (e.g., restoring historic buildings or saving endangered species); and providing tangible social and economic benefits for local communities (ranging from upholding the rights of indigenous peoples to supporting fair wages for employees).

4. Say no to plastic. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a swirling mass of human trash stretching across thousands of miles of the ocean, includes gazillions of throw-away plastic bottles and bags that will take hundreds of years, if ever, to break down–all the while wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems.

Be a part of the solution by opting for locally purified water in recyclable glass bottles (in the tropics, I rely mainly on green coconuts to stay hydrated) and carrying tote bags in your luggage that you can use while perusing street markets and shops. Not only will this cut back on plastic waste, it will also reduce your carbon footprint–petroleum-based ingredients are a staple in manufacturing plastic bottles and bags.

Wildlife products--like seashells--are often the result of illegal and harmful activities. Avoid them. (Photograph by jonrake, Flickr)

 

 

5. Do your research when it comes to tour operators. I explore on my own most of the time when I travel, but when I do seek out the services of a tour outfitter, I always ask three questions before signing on: What are some of your tour company’s environmentally friendly practices? Can you give me an example of how your trips help to protect and support wildlife or cultural heritage? Do you employ local guides on your trips?

These days, any outfitter that cannot provide a clear answer is behind the times. Find another one.

6. Support the real local economy. Locally made crafts and souvenirs are not always cheaper, but purchasing them ensures your contribution to the economy will have a more direct and positive impact.

In Cancun, for example, some gift shops sell “traditional” Mexican sombreros that are imported from China because they cost less, while village artisans who make the hats by hand charge more. The difference is not just in the price. Buying the real sombreros supports authentic cultural heritage and provides needed jobs for the locals who make them.

7. Never buy wildlife products–period. On a trip to Vietnam’s Halong Bay, I watched a group of American tourists haggling with villagers who were selling some of the most beautiful sea shells I have come across in my travels.

Similarly, in Mongolia, I witnessed a couple of backpackers bargain in an outdoor market to buy a hand-stitched eagle hunter’s hat made from plush wolf fur. These travelers were inadvertently helping to support a growing marketplace for trafficking rare and endangered wildlife products as souvenirs. Just say no.

Sunshine Solar Charger

If you’re looking for a greener way to power your smartphone, look no further than the Sunshine Solar Charger from XD Design. This eco-friendly charger powers your mobile devices using the power of the sun, so you can feel better about just how much you use your phone.

Sunshine Solar Charger 0 - https://www.facebook.com/diplyofficial

The Sunshine Solar Charger looks just like a hi-tech floral bouquet, so it’s easy on both your eyes and your power needs. This green energy source features a 2600mAh rechargeable lithium battery that stores the energy collected from the sun, and transfers it to your mobile devices via USB. For greater efficiency, it features a set of five integrated solar panels, so you can quickly charge your devices without running out of power.

Whether you’re looking for an eco-friendly charging option, or need a power source for your smartphone while camping, the Sunshine Solar Charger will keep you connected.

Health Benefits of Beer

 

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For years we have heard about wine taking up all the credits for being the healthy alcohol but a new study revealed that wine may not be the only one. Beer too has emerged as a healthy alcoholic drink to opt for. This new study suggested some unexpected health benefits of beer.

While you can now drink your beer and lose the guilt, you should remember the rule of moderation as binge drinking still has its ill effects.

Strengthens bones

Drinking may be known to weaken the bones but a study suggested that drinking two beers a day can actually increase bone density. This bone health was linked to the high levels of silicon present in beer. However the same study also suggested that drinking more than two beers a day was linked to increased risk for fractures.

Heart health
A number of studies have stated the benefits of beer on heart health. One such study reported that a beer or two a day helps raise HDL levels which is also known as the good cholesterol that keeps the arteries from getting clogged.

Healthy kidneys

Another study also suggested that beer helps reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. It was found the as compared to other alcoholic drinks, beer lowered the risk of developing kidney stones by 40 per cent.  This was possible due to its high water content and diuretic effect.

Rich in B vitamins
Beer is also a good source of B vitamins like folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and vitamins B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 and V12 are known to keep the heart healthy by lowering homocysteine levels that can damage arteries and cause blood clots.

Good source of fibre
Beer is made from barley and contains beta-glucans which is a type of soluble fibre. This is known to improve heart health and lover cholesterol levels.  It can also supress your appetite as it lowers the rate at which food leaves your stomach thus preventing you from overeating. Just make sure you don’t overdo the beer.