100 Miles Per Gallon? That’s So “1992”

100 Miles Per Gallon? That’s So “1992”

According to a new survey by JD Power and Associates, approximately one third of consumers in the United States consider fuel economy to be a key factor when purchasing a new car. With fuel economy, dependence on foreign oil, pollution, and global warming weighing heavy on the minds of so many people recently, it may be a surprise to learn that in 1992, General Motors actually produced a vehicle that achieved 100 miles per gallon (MPG).

In order to get a better idea of what General Motors has been doing for the last 25 years, it is important to first learn about another amazing vehicle: The GM TPC. The TPC (which stands for “Two Person Commuter”) was able to obtain 75 miles-per-gallon. It weighed approximately 1000 pounds and resembled a Geo Metro. GM abandoned the project vehicle, which contained a frugal 3-cylinder engine, when they needed to add another 200 pounds of reinforcement. This unfortunate turn of events can be blamed on GM’s need to comply with America’s then lax safety laws.

While the existence of such a vehicle may be shocking to some, what is even more shocking is the existence of other prototypes made by General Motors that met the same demise. These vehicles included the GM Lean Machine (80 MPG) in 1982, along with a number of other fuel efficient vehicles like the GM Aero-X, the GM Aero 2000, and the finally the GM Ultralite (which had achieved 100 miles-per-gallon). While Honda was leading the world with the Civic VX in 1992 (achieving 50 miles-per-gallon) the USA- owned General Motors was producing 100 MPG vehicles behind the scenes, all the while selling 20 MPG vehicles to the public.

100 miles per gallon is not only obtainable, but it already has been obtained.

One obvious question must be asked. Why are these high gas mileage vehicles not available for sale? Why do companies like General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and Ford continue to sell 30 MPG vehicles when something so much better was made before? The answer to that question is, of course, a complex one. Market analyses, surveys, polls, government regulations, and other red tape held back efficiency.

The short answer to this question is simple: While the U.S. continues to sell its traditional vehicles, other vehicles are being bought and sold far from America, by the same companies.

Vehicles that can attain over 70 miles per gallon have been sold in Europe and Japan for many years. Recently, Volkswagen produced a vehicle called the “Lupo” that is a perfect example. This vehicle, which achieves 78 miles per gallon, likely will never be sold in the USA. For the 2007 model year, Honda has introduced the Fit to the US Market (known in other parts of the world as the “Jazz”). In Japan, the Jazz comes standard with a smaller engine and a few fresh ideas to help boost fuel economy. In the USA, the Fit doesn’t have the smaller engine and isn’t even an option.

Americans have always loved big cars, or at least that’s what they tell us. They, of course, are the auto manufacturers. This has nothing to do with conspiracy theories and everything to do with economics. When General Motors sells a giant truck or SUV, they make a lot of money. When they sell a small two-person commuter, they make next-to-nothing. As a consequence of this realization, all that was needed have been broadcasts of a few finely focused commercials to the citizens of the richest country in the world. Manufacturers have persuaded the citizenry that they absolutely need these “Tanks on Wheels”. Profits skyrocket. To remind Americans that there are no options, merely look at the fact that the options heave never been presented.

General Motors had the chance to be the world leader in fuel economy, which it turned down to be the world leader in SUVs. GM is not alone, as every other auto manufacturer has produced similar vehicles over the last 25 years and denied the U.S. access to them.

Americans should not only ask how they can get better gas mileage, but most importantly ask why they have never been given that option in the first place. In a world where wars are waged over oil, more options should be offered to a concerned public. Perhaps blowing the dust off of 25 year old blue prints is a good place to start.

What to look for when thinking about a career change

What to look for when thinking about a career change

If you are someone that is looking to make a career change you may be confused and unsure of yourself. You need to figure out a good plan that will make you a happier and more successful person no matter what you are doing in life. Making a career change will usually man that you are going to invest both your time and your money. With any investment you need to think about the choices that are out there before you make any decision. Before a career move you should think about the following things so that you can take your success to higher levels.

You should decide if you really do need a career move. You are thinking about everything that is associated with this career change? Decide if this is something that you really need at the moment or if you are just trying to fulfill some other need or want that you may have in life. You want to increase your chances of having success and the only way to do this is to give it a good shot and make the right choices that will give you more power in life.

Making a career change may be risky. You should consider all the circumstances and then decide if this is something that will be a good choice for you at the moment. Are you ready to increase your chances of being more successful and taking the time to figure out what is going to make you happy? You need to put everything out in the open so that you can make the best-informed decision that will be perfect for you and your lifestyle.

There are books and articles out there that are related to what you are looking for in a positive career change. You have to be willing to take the chances and make choices that are going to make you happier and more successful no matter what you do. Taking a good look at everything about you and all that you do can make a real difference when you are looking to be a better and more successful person no matter what you are doing.

If you decide that a career change is in store or you then you need to think about your skills, values and your personality. Make sure that your interests are going to work with this new career path as well. Self-assessment is something that you need to use as well. There are tools out there that will help you generate the list of occupation that will be right for you and your decisions in life. Some people will choose to have a career counselor or other career professionals to help them build a better and more suitable career choice for them. There are many free career assessment tests that can be found online to help you better determine what you should be doing.

You should make a list of the opportunities that you want to explore. Finding out what your true potential is and how to make it happen for you is something that you can do on your own. Listing the things that you like and what makes you happy is something that will help you find the better career move that gives you endless choices for your new career.

For each occupation that you have on your list you will want to make sure that you know the job description and the educational requirements that associate with the job. You nee to check out the job profile and what is all going to be needed to go after this potential job.

Set your goals and decide on the course that you want to follow. You want to plan it all out on a piece o paper and find a job that will go with your goals. Make sure that you are goal oriented and putting it all out on paper so that you can see where your potential career change is going.

Write a course of action and decide how to reach them. A career action plan will help you through the long term and the short-term goals of your new decided career move. You need to think about everything when it comes to changing your career and all that goes along with it. You may have to make long term changes in your life that mean you take new and different courses for your career path.

Abstract Art

Abstract Art

Nonrepresentational or nonobjective art is not an invention of the twentieth century. A number of cultures, like the Islamic and Jewish, have developed over the centuries a high standard of decorative or non-figurative art forms. Today, abstract art is generally understood to be the form of art that does not depict objects in the natural world, but instead uses shapes and colors in a nonrepresentational or subjective way.

According to art experts, in its purest form in Western art, an abstract art is one without a recognizable subject, one which does not relate to something external. This type of ornamental art, without figurative representation occurs today in many cultures. As the modern abstract movement in sculpture and paining emerged in Europe and North America between 1910 and 1920, two approaches have been generally accepted to produce different abstract styles: images that have been “abstracted” from nature to the point where they no longer reflect a conventional reality, and nonobjective, or “pure” art forms, which do not share any reference to reality. A further distinction tends to be made between abstract art which is geometric, such as the work of Piet Mondrian, and abstract art that is more fluid, such as in the works of Wassily Kandinsky. It was Kandinsky who once said that “of all arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and of colors, and that you are a true poet; this last is essential.”

Abstract art began in the avant-garde movements of the late 19th century -Impressionism, neo-Impressionism, and post-Impressionism. These painting styles reduced the importance of the original subject matter and began to emphasize the creative process of painting itself. As artists in Europe at the early twentieth century “broke free” from the conventional representational rules art forms had to follow, figurative abstractions, or simplifications of reality, where detail is eliminated from recognizable objects leaving only the essence or some degree of recognizable form, became popular increasing the variations of art forms and view points. With different abstract styles, like Synchronism and Orphism, abstract art emphasized on color over form, on feelings over logic. The action painting of an American Abstract Expressionist, Jackson Pollock, who dripped, dropped, smeared, spattered, or thrown paint on the canvas, is a good example of such a tremendous change in art focus and technique.

After the introduction of technology and the mass utilization of software programs that assisted people “play around” with their own photographs, paintings or other art forms, abstract art has gained more popularity than ever before. But although being able to draw well is not an issue anymore, as Kandinsky pointed out, being a “true” poet is what still separates the amateur attempts to create abstract art from the artifacts of a true talent.

Your car insurance

Your car insurance

Automobile insurance is an increasing expense for almost all Americans. We can’t afford to have it, and we certainly can’t afford to not have it. When researching car insurance companies and comparing policies, it is a good idea to follow these easy guidelines to get the most coverage for your insurance dollars. Get discount car insurance quotes from as many carriers as you can. Automobile insurance rates may vary drastically depending on the model of your car and the type of coverage you need.
Consider as high a deductible as you can reasonably afford, since higher deductibles translate into lower insurance premiums. Review quotes and policies carefully to make sure you are only paying for coverage you really need.

If you have homeowner insurance, ask your agent if you are covered already for certain items you might be charged again for on your auto policy. After you have gotten quotes from different car insurance carriers, it is usually a good idea to create a spreadsheet to help you avoid comparing apples to oranges. Set up a scenario with car repairs and medical expense to best compare the coverage differences under real-life situations. Once you have chosen the two least expensive automobile insurance policies for the coverage you need, contact a reputable body shop in your area for a referral.

Automobile body shops deal with insurance companies every day, and you want to make sure the company you send your premiums to each month will be responsive and fair if you have to make an insurance claim. The body shop probably has a good insider opinion on how the insurance company operates, how long it takes to get an adjuster to view the damaged vehicle, how long it takes to get paid on a claim, how fair the estimate was, were used parts requested versus brand new parts and so on. Trust me, a 10 minute talk with a reputable body shop manager can reveal a lot of great information about an insurance company and how they tend to handle their claims.

A few dollars difference in premium dollars to get coverage from a company that handles their claims properly may save you a world of hassle in the event of an automobile accident.

Skin and Gill Flukes in Tropical Fish

Skin and Gill Flukes in Tropical Fish

While parasites of various types are often responsible for fish rubbing themselves against objects in the tank, sometimes to the point of causing raw skin, it can be difficult to identify which parasite it is, unless you have a very good visual of it.
In the case of skin fluke, which is a parasitic flatworm, they are unlikely to show themselves to the extent where you would be able to remove them manually as you can with leeches or fish lice. One of the common denominators they have with other parasite infections, is they can cause redness of skin, but so can rubbing against stones and wood. However, skin fluke also causes a fading of color, and because the treatment is common to other types of parasites, you are best to go with a general medication, such as Droncit or formalin baths, when unsure whether it is skin fluke or not. Remove severely affected fish to a hospital tank.
The standard treatments of adding 1 tbs. of aquarium salt to a daily change of water in the home aquarium, and raising the tank temperature by four degrees also applies. This is used for most parasites, including gill fluke, which has more obvious and visual symptoms.
Gill fluke is a worm that specifically attacks the gill membranes, causing them to turn red and acquire a coating of slime that makes it difficult to breathe. Fish will hang at the water’s surface, gasp, and lose weight rapidly. The same tank treatments as skin fluke can be used, but with gill fluke, removing to a hospital tank and adding short baths in either formalin, salt or ammonium hydroxide to the regimen will help kill what is on the fish, and you can then treat their environment.

Business Credit Cards Essential for Home Based Businesses

Business Credit Cards Essential for Home Based Businesses

Those who run home-based businesses belong to one of the most dynamic segments of the working world. Technology has revolutionized the way people work and we are witnessing probably the largest sociological shift in generations. If you are a home-based business owner you are part of that revolution.

Working from home gives you two wonderful benefits: you don’t have to pay rent for office space, and you don’t have to commute (no rush, no traffic, less gas). But working from home also entails careful planning especially when it comes to funding the business. This is where business credit cards become very useful.

The most common reason why home-based businesses fail is the mismanagement of finances. Many of those who own home-based business are using their hard-earned savings, home equity loans or lines of credit, and personal credit cards, not business credit cards, as sources of their business funds.

Using your savings may be preferable, if you have reasonable assurance that your home-based business will earn income at a rate higher than the interest rate on your small business credit card. In home equity loans or lines of credit, you will have to pledge the equity of your home. And if your home-based business does not succeed, you could lose your home. On the other hand, unless you use business credit cards for your business, you run the risk of commingling your personal and business expenses, and that makes them harder to manage.

The importance of business credit cards, especially for home-based businesses, cannot be disregarded. Whether the business is home- or office-based, the business needs to keep business finances separate from the owner’s personal finances. Business credit cards give owners the freedom to do just that. You will really appreciate this business credit card benefit when tax season comes and you download your business credit cards transaction history, as well as your monthly and annual reports, from your business credit card company’s website: tax filing becomes a breeze. Keep your personal and business finances separate with your business credit card; it’ll be good for you in the long run.

When you are just starting out your home-based business, you’re likely to incur big purchases. Use a business credit card to pay for office equipment such as computers. You will get some purchase protection, and this is one business credit card benefit that is impossible to overstate.

There are a number of ways to apply for a business credit card. You may be confused about which one of the many business credit cards offers to choose: there are so many flying around. You may want to talk with a friend who is business savvy before making any decision on which business credit card to get.

There may be downsides to using business credit cards, but prudent usage gives you a really effective financial tool. Any business needs credit; and business credit cards help you to establish just that for your home-based business. The best thing to do, if you have doubts on whether you should get a business credit card or not, is to talk to a business consultant about it.

Meet Digital Marketing Now

Meet Digital Marketing Now

With the vast improvements on mobile technology nowadays, digital marketing is definitely trending. This concept is a bit comprehensive so I might as well elaborate on the details. First off, digital marketing also known as “push” marketing, dwells on the process wherein the marketer has to inform the user to establish a receiving of the material. This scenario is a lot different from the passive type which is referred to as “pull” marketing. Well, the latter is the other way around. Consumers are basically responsible for hunting stuff from the internet. Some sources would include blog pages or websites.

Are you getting the picture now? Mobile phone marketing or commonly known as SMS marketing is just one recognized instance. In terms of direct promotion, it is actually advancement. To make this clear, this initiative makes use of digital distribution channels in product promotion and service advertisements. By all means, it gets in touch with clients in a more suitable, and personalized manner. Further, it is very much profitable.

SMS stands for “short message service”. It is basically a medium of communication wherein short messages can be sent to a mobile phone. So I guess this information gives you another hint on the concept of SMS marketing. I think most people can be considered a little bit tech-savvy now with the fast-paced developments in our technology. So it isn’t really surprising that more than a hundred million marketing messages are sent via SMS every month. This merely marks the popularity of digital marketing. SMS is indeed used for reaching out to customers and marketing. Like for example, if I was the consumer, I would be enticed to join a competition of a certain brand which I like, right? So, it’s essentially marketing and brand publicity by means of SMS. It’s being used as the medium for expansion in other parts of the globe. It also facilitates the consumer’s experience with the brand.

Digital marketing comes in various types. Texts with colors, pictures and video are made possible by MMS, which is a multimedia version of SMS. Another one would be the mobile web marketing. This type of digital marketing is done by promoting brands through websites accessed by mobile users. Considering the number of mobile users at the present time, this digital marketing type would probably be a hit.

Now, what are the advantages of this so-called “digital marketing”? Well, the best thing about this method is that it can be modified to the needs of the client or the customer. What’s even better is that it’s not much of “beating-around-the-bush” but rather, it gets to the target consumer with a specific message or it could be publicizing the product to a particular audience. With this marketing strategy, one can expect a high return on investment. Why is this so? This method is more economical due to its specialization. Moreover, digital marketing can track and report its subscribers. Not only that, but it would be able to know details such as the subscriber’s name, age, location, etc.

Does it seem like it’s too good to be true now? Well, just like any scenario, digital marketing may have its perks; however, it has certain downsides, too. Without a mobile phone in the consumers’ hands, this marketing method obviously can’t work. One more thing, it is profoundly standardized or controlled by the telecommunications industry. This has something to do with customers’ concerns regarding data they get shown.

Digital marketing is absolutely something we should watch out for in the years ahead.

Fun & Unique Baby Shower Favors

Fun & Unique Baby Shower Favors

A baby shower is often the highlight of an expectant mother’s pregnancy. Planning a baby shower requires some thought and consideration for the expectant mother’s special event. Baby shower favors are among the items that must be considered when planning a shower.
Baby shower favors do not have to be complicated to make an impressionable impact on visitors. Most people are happy enough to come to the shower just to visit the mom to be in all her pregnant glory. Baby shower favors however can provide a memento of the unique event and offer a simple way to thank guests for visiting and celebrating the mother’s time of joy.
Baby shower favors come in every size, shape and form. Some simple gift ideas include the following:
Miniature boxes of chocolates or candy
Bath and body items
Gift baskets
Lotto tickets
Movie tickets
Keep in mind that to make any party even more fun and eventful, baby shower favors that coincide with the “theme” of the party are even more fun to pass out. For example, if the expectant mother is carrying twins, and the theme of the shower revolves around multiples, it might be possible to offer baby shower gifts that coincide with this idea. Some ideas in this situation might involve the following:
Double Bubble
“Twix” Candy Bars
2 pairs of anything
Identical picture frames
Manicure and pedicure set
Pair of coffee spoons
One neat idea for baby shower favors is to have each guest bring a “white elephant gift”. The idea of white elephant gifts typically surfaces during Christmas time, when guests are invited to bring a “mock” gift to a party for exchange. This may include silly items such as used household appliances, a roll of toilet paper or an open box of Oreo cookies. Guests are encouraged to wrap the gifts, then each member of the party can select a number and draw gifts. Using white elephant gifts as party favors is a great way to share laughter and joy in a shower situation.

How Can Sports Psychology Help Athletes?

How Can Sports Psychology Help Athletes?

The question you need to ask yourself is this: Am I performing up to my capability? I’m sure you know some fellow athletes who have “great talent” or physical skills, but haven’t played up to their potential. One of the myths athletes buy into is that you first must develop “perfect” technique or knowledge about ones sport before you can work on the so-called mental game. But, from my perspective, you cannot separate the mental from the physical when it comes to motor skills. Decisions, thoughts, images, and feelings set up each action you take. Sports psychology helps athletes develop confidence and focusing skills as they master the technical aspects of the game.
Athletes often ask me this question: “How do I know when a poor performance or error is a physical or a mental problem?” From my experience, here are a few hints that it may be a mental breakdown:
You perform much better in practice than during competition
You have a tough time performing well when others are watching you
You maintain many doubts about your sport before or during games
You feel anxious or scared when you perform in competition
You are not sure why you play your sport or what motivates you
You only participate in sports to feel better about yourself as a person
You lose focus or have mental lapses during critical times of the game
You can’t perform the way you did pre-injury, but are physically 100%
Everything is fine, but you just want to improve your mental attitude
Sports psychology sometimes get a bad reputation because of the association of psychology with pathology. That is why I prefer to call what I do mental game coaching or mental training, which athletes understand. Mental game coaching is for athletes who want to improve upon their current performance and take their games to the next level with the help of a mental coach like myself.
But most athletes, unfortunately, seek out my services because of an particular performance barrier or decrease in performance. As a mental game coach, I often become the last resort after athletes have tried other means to get beyond performance slumps. I wish it wasn’t this way, but athletes wait until some needs to be “fixed” and they have exhausted all other resources before they commit to mental game coaching.
How can sport psychology help you perform better? Here is the most obvious list:
Improve focus and deal with distractions.
Grow confidence in athletes who have many doubts.
Develop coping skills to deal with setbacks and errors.
Find the right zone of intensity for your sport.
Help teams develop communication skills and cohesion.
To instill a healthy belief system and weed out irrational thoughts.
Improve and balance motivation for optimal performance.
Get back into competition after an injury is healed fully.
To develop game-specific strategies and game plans.
To identify and enter the “zone” more often.
Sport psychology may not be for every single athlete. Not everyone involved in sport wants to “improve performance.” Sport psychology is probably not for recreation athletes who just like the social component of sport. Most of my students are committed to excellence and seeing how far they can go. They love competition and testing themselves against the best in their sport. They want every possible advantage they can learn including the mental edge over the competition.

Business credit card

Business credit card

Is business credit card helpful?

‘Yes’ –is the answer that’s comes out almost immediately. That is true at least for most businesses (especially small businesses). Before we delve deeper into how business credit cards are helpful, let’s try and understand what a business credit card is.

Put simply, a business credit card is a credit card that is owned by a business and not an individual. To understand this better, you can simply draw an analogy between the business credit cards and business bank accounts, which are in the name of the business as well. Other than that, business credit cards work in pretty much the same fashion as the personal credit cards; with a few exceptions. These exceptions are in the form of flexibility in credit limit, low APRs and some other additional benefits that are available to business credit cards only.

Even from just that, business credit cards seem a good proposition. However, business credit cards would be attractive even without those benefits because the main benefit lies elsewhere. The big-big benefit from a business credit card is realised in terms of business expense accounting. For most small businesses, business expense accounting is a big overhead. With business credit cards, this is handled very easily – you just have to ensure that you make all your business expenses on your business credit card and let the personal expenses be on the personal credit card i.e. segregation of business and personal expenses is all you need to do. So the bill for your business credit card will have all the business expenses on it and you wouldn’t need to collate all the various bills or sort out the items from your personal credit card bill. The key here is to make sure that you use your business credit card for all your business expenses (or as much as you can). Moreover, a lot of business credit card suppliers realise this need of small business and even organise the business credit card bills in a way that meets the accounting requirements of these businesses. So mostly, they will appropriately group the expenses on the business credit card bill so as to facilitate business expense accounting. In fact, some of the business credit card suppliers go to an extent of providing the bills in a format that can be downloaded and exported to an accounting system i.e. you don’t need to enter the data manually in your accounting system. In case the format is not suitable for your accounting system, you can hire a software professional to write a small quick program to convert it into a suitable format.

Thus just one reason – ‘facilitation of business expense accounting’, is enough to support the case of small business credit cards.