On Limiting the Age of Entry to Social Media Sites

It is clear that a social media site is the equivalent of a congested city, where anyone from prison inmates to social predators can lurk. Add in the schoolyard bullies and budding sociopaths and the encounters that a child can have ranged from traumatic to downright deadly.

But the specific age groups that would corral people into particular levels and areas of access would have to be determined by some factors, such as grade in school, age within a range of years and other factors, such as the parent’s or guardian’s determination.

These sites are more than capable of setting up filters that compartmentalize the age groups. It would not be challenging to have age group segregated segments of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites, then to read the computer’s identity and registration information in the same way that spammers and others computers stay banned when the owner violates the terms of understanding.

At a very simplistic level: It seems that the sites could efficiently use algorithms, security certificates and those same intrusive cookies that give information to anyone who buys it to determine the user’s age or grade level in school (one of the first things that children identify with). Advertisers and others can buy data from profiles or other areas. Thus, it should not be difficult to set up blocks to the general site and to put children with children and with their families only.

The sites could efficiently use the same intrusive technology to determine if certain statements that predators make are showing up in age-specific areas and track the individual who is making them. The sites could use the same intrusive technology to easily determine if a child is using a public or other computer to log in or register as an adult for an unsupervised session.

Parents should safeguard their children from social mediaAfter all, social networking sites are notorious for applying algorithms and tags to every intrusive personal detail that is grabbed and put together by a person to sell to advertisers. So why not use such algorithms and technology for corralling children into the parts of the site that are specifically for children, then to look for phrases and statements that violate the terms of use?

The bottom line is that there is the software, hardware, and technology for identifying when a child is online or has logged into a social networking site. There is technology for identifying the age group and for directing the child to the appropriate areas of the site while blocking problematic or adult areas.

But until these technologies become less advertiser-centric and are set free for the blanketed protection and separation of the various age groups, there will be no way to rely upon every parent or guardian to keep control over where their children go and what their children do online.

There is not a lot that a parent or guardian can do to label every problematic site on the web. Parents cannot ensure that their kids will not use a friend’s computer for unsupervised browsing. There is almost nothing that can be done until the social networking sites stop slacking off on creating more child-only areas and start putting more tools in the tool chest for parents to work with.

As long as a significant majority of parents and guardians keep saying that “there is nothing we can do,” then there will be no way to establish age limits for any type access to the web.

When people either begin to demand more tools and resources or when parents indicate that they will pull the plug on all access or membership in social networking sites, then something will happen.

How are Private Chefs Different than Personal Chefs?

A majority of the people think that the private chef and personal chef are two separate names for the same profession. However, their jobs differ in terms of their clientele, style, their wages, and duration of work. Although becoming a personal or a private chef is both a fulfilling choice of professions in the school of culinary.

Personal vs Private ChefBefore understanding the difference between both, it is very important to know the correct definitions as most of the time they are used interchangeably. For example, the private chef of a certain celebrity is often misunderstood as a personal chef.

Personal Chef

A personal chef is one who is appointed by different clients to prepare meals in the kitchen of the client. So, they have the complete liberty to choose their clients on their own. The personal chefs own their own business, and hence they are self-employed. Their job is mainly based on the needs and the preferences of their clients.

The personal chefs tend to create a customized meal plan; they also collect all the groceries needed to prepare the meal and even clean the kitchen themselves. After the meal is prepared a part of the prepared meal is kept for the present use, and the rest is either stored or packed in a container to refrigerate for future use.

Some of the personal chefs are also responsible for arranging and preparing certain dinner parties and other important events. In such occasions they take the full responsibility of shopping, preparing the meal, serving the guests, and clean up space after the party is over.

The menu that is prepared for this occasion is planned in advance with the client, and the whole arrangement is executed according to the guidelines of the health department.

It is often found that the job of a personal chef is somewhat grueling as they have to tackle a lot of clients at the same time. As personal chefs have to prepare different meals at once in a fairly short period, they are generally very fast in their movement.

Private Chef

The private chefs generally work with a single client, family or organizations. They normally prepare meals for a single day. The private chefs are hired by a particular client or organization and work for this client or organization against a fixed salary. They have fairly regular working hours and prepare up to 3 to 4 meals every day.

Private chefs often work with celebrities and high-end families; they are supposed to prepare cuisines for entertaining. The meal prepared by the private chef is mainly done in the employer’s kitchen, using the employer’s utensils. Although, most of the private chefs prefer to bring some of their favorite cooking utensils as well- especially they are very attached to their knives.

Similar to the personal chef, the private chef is also responsible for grocery shopping as well. They are also responsible for clean up space after their cooking is over.

As the private chefs are only attached to a single family, sometimes they become very intimate with the family. Therefore, it is mostly found that the family who hires a private chef tends to pay a full salary to their private chefs.

Differences in their duties – Personal and Private

  • Duties of both these categories of chef depend on their employer(s) choice. The private chefs are responsible for looking after the cooking of their single or limited employers. On the contrary, the personal chef has to take responsibility for a pretty good number of people.
  • It is necessary for a personal chef to present their meals to their clients in a healthy and hygienic way. They are equally responsible for storing the food properly for future use. On the other hand, the duties of a private chef are mainly focused on meal preparation.
  • Wherever and however they work, private chefs become familiar with their employer’s requirement. They even become aware of their employer’s likings and disliking towards certain food in the course of time.

Differences in their job – Personal and Private

The private chef makes a weekly menu after consulting with their employer. But, a personal chef prepares a customized menu with the approval of their client.

A private chef always prepares a fresh meal which is consumed by the client on the same day. Their meals are not stored or refrigerated. Whereas, the personal chefs prepare a meal for a whole week and refrigerate them so that the client can have them to eat all through the week.

Since private chefs are employed by specific employers, they have to present themselves on the demand of their employer. But the personal chefs own their own business, so, they plan their job according to their plan.

The private chefs often travel with their employer in their vacations to provide them with meals at those locations. They often live in the house of their employers. On the other hand, personal chefs usually do not live or to travel with their clients.

Differences in their estimated salary

Private chefs earn moreGenuinely, there is no basic difference between the expected salary of a private chef and a personal chef. Their salaries depend upon the qualification in the culinary school and their years of experience. A private chef can earn an amount of $62,249 annually, whereas the personal chef can earn up to $43, 447 annually depending upon their volume of work.

How are personal chefs trained?

Certified personal chefs should get continuous educational requirements to maintain their certification. The personal chefs are supposed to have an experience of at least one year from a high school or culinary training center. Get in contact with a professional chef and inquire about their services and how different it is from a private chef to understand the difference and benefit of hiring a personal and private chef.

The personal chefs must have sound culinary knowledge so that they can customize menus to meet the needs of some customers. They should know the art of multiple cooking methods. Also, they must have experience of two or more than two years to meet the demand of most of the customers. They can also get certification from (APPCA) or (ACF)

The American Culinary Federation recognizes two certifications for personal chefs – Personal Certified Chef (PCC), and Personal Certified Executive Chef (PCEC)

How are private chefs trained?

The training of a private chef is quite similar to that of a personal chef. The private chef can opt for a certificate after getting an experience of two years from any of the professional kitchens in any hotel (5 Star) or restaurants.

Both the personal and private chefs share one thing in common. They are both responsible and sensitive to their employers. They both have to follow the dietary restrictions of their employers. So, the need for a chef completely depends upon the lifestyle of the client. It is one’s personal decision whether to become a private chef or a personal chef, but both of them share an equally enjoyable and entertaining job.

How to Provide the Best Social Media Customer Support

If you have a business, it is now a must for you to put up a social media account. Having none can amount to having no business at all. You must make sure you are present on at least one social media platform, whichever you think works best for you.

However, putting up a social media account is just one thing. You have to maintain your account and make it relevant to everyone. Like your business, you have to run it like a company and ensure that you get to deliver excellent customer service. You cannot just expect your page to run for you because you have to put in the effort of updating content, putting up exciting photos and videos, and answering customers’ queries.

Leveraging customer service through social media channelsIt is now more critical than ever to provide customer support, even on your social media pages. It is because most people now contact a company’s social media page more often than its official phone and email lines. Many think that when they reach a company on social media, they will receive replies quicker than going the traditional route. A reputable digital marketing team (visit their Buffalo, NY location) also thinks that social media makes posting public, they get the answers that they want, since other people can see the company’s response.

While social media has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Some people put reviews to their advantage by threatening businesses with negative reviews if they don’t get what they ask for. Other people even put negative reviews even if they haven’t experienced a company’s services, so they get freebies. Sadly, there are people like these who think more of themselves more than anything. As a business, you have to find a way to manage people like these. One fool-proof way that you can resort to is to report them to the online administrator.

But do not just focus on these negative people. How about your current and potential customers? How do you address their needs, and ensure that they are kept happy with your products and services?

Here are some tips on how you can provide the best social media customer support:

Hiring staff to man social media queries is crucial1. Answer within 24-48 hours

Promptly answering is crucial when dealing with customers on social media. Since they are contacting you on your official business page, they expect to get results that they want quickly. If you don’t have enough staff to man your social media pages 24/7, you can have a generic reply that can be sent immediately after a post or message. However, be sure to get back to the customer within 24-48 hours. This sense of urgency can do wonders for your business and can add into your brand’s integrity. When you answer promptly, you tell people that you are a company that others can rely on.

2. Be friendly and professional at the same time

There is no use being overly academic and formal when dealing with customers on social media. You want to build a connection with your audience, so having a friendly tone with your replies is crucial. However, do not make it overly casual and forget that you, too, are a business. Therefore, ensure that you have a friendly tone while keeping things professional. Start with a greeting, then your brief response, a Thank You, and a salutation with your name. This formula works every time, so you can start incorporating this into your answers.

Providing social media customer support can be challenging, especially with the response promptness that is expected by customers. Your professional, friendly, and quick replies can go a long way for your company, so make sure that you get to incorporate these into your customer support strategies.

4 Travel Destinations to Visit in Dallas, Texas

Situated in North Central Texas, Dallas is one of the most popular and familiar counties in the whole state because of its place in the US national history. It was along the Dealey Plaza that John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America, was assassinated during a motorcade.

But do not let their bloody history stop you from flying all the way to this beautiful state. Dallas, Texas is as vibrant a county not only because of its past but also because of what it can offer at present and the future. Whether you are a first-time traveler or an experienced tourist, Dallas County has a lot of destinations to deliver depending on your interest.

JFK artifacts at the Sixth Floor Museum of Dealy PlazaFor those who want a taste of the past, visit: The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

As previously mentioned, Dealey Plaza is the place where the most famous assassination of a US president happened. Thus, it is understandable that the American people chose the former Texas School Book Depository as a place to highlight the event.

Tourists who would like to take a visit must make a reservation on their website. At $16, you can have a ticket for a private tour they do inside the museum, plus an audio guide that could further explain where to go and what to see in each step. Unfortunately, you have to return the guide after the tour, so savor the moment and the voice of Pierce Allman as you walk down the hallowed halls.

One of the things you will see in the tour aside from the play-by-play reenactment of the event through the numerous memorabilia, artifacts, and scale model that is related to the crime scene, are private and unreleased photographs of the Kennedy family. Including the infamous First Lady Jackie O. The displays would also exhibit what happened next after the assassination and how the event shaped the next presidencies and the US political climate in general.

You can find the Sixth Floor Museum at the corner of Houston and Elm Street in Dallas, TX. If you hate overcrowding, book a tour at weekday afternoons. Very few people do so. To know more about the tour and the services they offer, you can visit their website here.

For those who yearn to explore the marine life, visit: The Dallas World Aquarium

Dallas, TX houses one of the best aquariums in the country. The 87,000-gallon saltwater tank is home to a vast array of jellyfishes, stingrays, bonnethead sharks, sea turtles, giant groupers, and the rare and endangered leafy seadragons.

The aquarium ensures that the large tank is close to the ocean’s habitat as possible so that the sea creatures under their care would feel as at home as if they are in the sea. Their goal is to preserve a large number of species that are already considered endangered while educating the public about the importance of conservation and of protecting the environment.

To achieve the latter, they provide various talks and lectures about these topics, and they are open to the public. They also offer feeding sessions with the sea creatures to further help their audience understand how precious these creatures are. Schedules for both of these events can be found on their website.

If, however, the sight of a water tank already makes you seasick, The Dallas World Aquarium has other exhibits you can visit as well.

  • The Mundo Maya exhibit shows the grandeur of the Mayan civilization. You can see other terrestrial, aerial, and water animals such as the Ocelot, a close cousin of the leopards, the black-and-white hawk eagle, and the American flamingo once you go through the Cenote exhibit walk-through.
  • The Orinoco exhibit highlights and closely mimics the unique wildlife of the South American rainforests. Watch out for the Saffron toucanet (which is colored-you guess it-saffron yellow), the Hoffman’s two-toed sloth, and the endangered Pied tamarin. Be amazed by the latter’s fluffy yet gargoyle-like appearance.
  • The South African exhibit shows the unique biodiversity of Madagascar right in the middle of Dallas, TX. The outdoor habitat is home to rare amphibians and reptiles such as the tomato frog, panther chameleon, and the endangered radiated tortoise. They also keep a few colorful birds in there, too.
  • The Borneo exhibit features the beauty of the Australasian biodiversity. It has a vast variety of birds (blue penguin, shoebill stork), mammals (Matschie’s tree kangaroo), and fishes (banded archerfish, Asian Arowana) that can only be found in the Wilds of Borneo.

Ticket prices range from $15 to $21 depending on the age range. This does not yet include the tax. Judging from the variety of exhibits they showcase, the small fee is definitely worth the price. You might have to visit early, though (they open at 10 AM), so that you have ample time to explore the whole place.

Walkway at the White Rock Lake ParkFor those who are looking for an adventure, visit: White Rock Lake Park

If you want to escape from the city and enjoy being one with nature even for a short while, you should go and visit White Rock Lake Park. Located 5 miles away from the city proper, the 1,015 acre-slice of nature offers kilometers of hiking and biking trail, picnic areas, pavilions, and boat and kayak rentals for those who want to explore the lake.

One of their primary attractions is the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, a 66-acre land that is home to different seasonal flowers, shrubs, trees, and plants that are exhibited in graphic displays. The canopy of plant collections is undoubtedly Instagram-worthy.

Aside from the flora, there are a lot of fountains and sculptures displayed around the garden to rest and admire. To make your trip to Dallas, TX extra worthwhile, check their schedules for festivals, excursions, and art shows that proudly showcases the area’s plant displays.

And if you want to take your pooch with you, don’t worry, there are designated dog parks around the area that your pet would surely enjoy rolling around. To know more about the services they offer, take a quick look at their website.

For those who are on a journey to find oneself, visit: Thanksgiving Square

Visiting the Thanksgiving Square, regardless if it’s Thanksgiving or not, can bring out the pilgrim in you. Located in downtown Dallas, TX, the place’s main attraction is the Chapel of Thanksgiving.

Aside from its pristine and sacred atmosphere, the chapel also showcases the “Glory Window,” a stained glass masterpiece by Gabriel Loire, features exquisite photos of different biblical events, displayed in an upward spiral at the chapel’s ceiling.

Aside from that, the Thanksgiving Square is home of the Wall of Praise, a Berlin Wall-like structure where the verses from Psalm 100 is inscribed, along with a mosaic of Norman Rockwell’s artwork, “The Golden Rule.”

After meditating inside the sacred halls of the chapel, feel free to take a stride along their Garden which is open to the public for free. Or you can visit the rare art collections they keep within the premises which you can access through their Art and Architecture Online Guide.

Every service they offer is free and open for the public to enjoy. Still, if you can, please donate to their wonderful cause. Visit the Square’s website for more information about their advocacy and organizational goals.

A Flight Problem? Here’s a Solution

To fully enjoy the wonders of these tourist attractions, it is logical to go to Dallas, TX as early as you can. Unfortunately, because of the influx of tourists, you might end up at the bottom of the waiting list. Worse, you might have to wait months before you can take a flight seat.

Luckily, there are private planes and charter jets that can freely accommodate your request to go to Dallas, TX in a jiffy. No need to worry about airline reservations or long waiting lists again.

 

Weird Ingredients Found in Korean Cosmetics

These days, when you browse Korean beauty shops, you see lots of products with new ingredients found in them. Most likely, you will find products with slightly weird ingredients that you’ve never heard of before, including snail extracts, gold, silver, and mushroom extracts among others. Korean cosmetics manufacturers are unafraid to try different ingredients for their products because of the demand for these innovations worldwide. If you have been looking for products with gold flecks, do not be surprised if you find them in Korean beauty products.

More than eyebrow tattoos - there are unusual Korean beauty products that workSouth Korea has enjoyed fame in recent years because of its K-drama and K-pop stars and songs. These models, celebrities, and singers have become the country’s ambassador to showcase what South Korea can offer. Along with these media personalities came the world’s demand for beauty products that these celebrities use. People wonder why both men and women’s skin looks so smooth, and the diet and fitness regimen of these personalities that allow them to remain skinny.

If you happen to visit South Korea and you enter a grocery, drugstore, shopping mall, or beauty store, you will notice that there is a wealth of products to choose from. There are also massive sections for men, women, teenagers, and seniors. If you are familiar with the set-up in many other countries, there is usually just one aisle for beauty products for everyone to choose from. However, in South Korea, the people take beauty seriously. It is a given that what works for men does not work for women, and what works for seniors does not work for teenagers.

South Korean beauty products have proven their strong mark in the market as we now find many copycats of their products. BB and CC creams are now produced by manufacturers from different countries, including the US, France, and Australia.

There are now lots of ingredients that South Korean manufacturers infuse in their K-Beauty products. But what are the most unusual of all these thus far? Have a look at some of them:

1. Snail slime

Holistic medicine has long used snails for treatments. Some ailments touted to be treated by snails include immune system disorders and blood circulation problems. Snails are either used for the cupping technique (where snails are placed on the skin so they can stick to your body) or for ingestion (through pulverizing their shells or extracting the body). It sounds gross, for sure, but many patients and health practitioners swear by the snail treatment’s effects.

Snail slime for smooth skinMany Korean beauty products are now infused with snail slime because this ingredient is said to be excellent for anti-aging treatments. It helps your skin gain moisture and keeps it supple. Don’t worry. Product developers are smart with how they do the infusion so you can’t tell the presence of snail slime at all.

2. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower oil is widely used for cooking in South Korea. It is the preferred oil above all others because many people believe that it contains more nutrients compared to others. If you look at its nutritional value, per 100 grams of this oil contains 36 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 46 grams of monounsaturated fat. It is a healthy oil to use as you can see from its nutritional data, given that other oils have more saturated fat in them.

Sunflower seeds for fabulous hair and skinWhile sunflower oil is commonly used in cosmetics, the use of sunflower seeds is a new phenomenon. Many Korean beauty products have now started infusing these seeds into their products which are touted to help balance your skin’s pH level. If you have dry or oily skin, it is then good for you to use products with sunflower seeds. These seeds also act as a gentle exfoliator; thus, you can get rid of waste build-up in your skin.

These new additions to Korean beauty products prove that the country is willing to explore different ingredients to give you products that are the right fit for you. Try them and see for yourself how they work for you.

Tips to Help Improve Your Singing Right Now

Some people are naturally gifted with singing that they don’t need special in-depth training to improve their performance. Sometimes, all they need is some coaching, and they will be okay. However, for the majority of the population, people need enough training to improve their singing abilities. They are not as musically gifted, so they need some guidance to get to where they want to be.

Vocal improvement comes with a lot of trainingIf you are part of the majority, you need to learn to use your voice to sing. It sounds odd that you have to “learn” it, but you will be surprised that many people often don’t know how to distinguish the right from the wrong keys. All the while, they think that they are singing within the right pitch and rhythm; however, for someone who knows the ins and outs of music, he/she will know immediately that they are singing off-key.

How do you improve your singing if you know you are not naturally gifted in music? Do not fret, because there are many ways by which you can improve your skill. All you have to do is to make sure that you are dedicated enough to want to learn. It is not easy to learn a new skill, so make sure that you are ready to go through the long haul to get to where you want to be.

If you have always wanted to improve your singing, here are some tips to help you reach that goal right now:

1. Learn how to use your diaphragm

There is a common misconception that singing voice comes from our throat. It is a big mistake to think this way, because, in fact, our voice comes from our diaphragm. The reason why singers can belt out high notes, and why theater artists can sustain their loud voices throughout the show, is because these professionals get to harness their diaphragm when singing. The diaphragm is an incredibly powerful muscle, and if you get to discover its power, you will realize how much you do with your singing.

But it takes practice to learn how to use the diaphragm. It sounds simple, but many people don’t get to use it properly. If you are not used to using it, the first thing to do is for you to breathe correctly and consciously. What it means is you must be aware of when you breathe in and breathe out. Just like how it is with yoga practice, you need to be aware of your every breath. By raising your awareness, you get to know your body well and how your breathing works.

You must not only practice this when doing your singing practice. You must make it a habit of raising this awareness on your everyday life. Whether you are eating, talking, walking, or commuting, make sure that you are well-aware of how you breathe in and out. To improve on this awareness, you can even go for yoga or Pilates classes, so you get trained with the right breathing techniques.

2. Know the melodies and lyrics first, then practice your skill

Many times, people sing off-key because they do not know the melodies and lyrics of the song. So, if you are having this problem with the tone and pitch, make sure that you know the melody and lyrics of the song first before you practice belting out the song. It makes a lot of difference when you know the song inside and out because you don’t have to think about the melody and lyrics when you practice.

If you are not good at memorizing the song, keep on practicing until you get better at it. If you get to memorize the lyrics and melodies, you get to practice your technique.

3. Take care of your voice

If you don’t take care of your voice correctly, you can’t expect anything grand from it. You can’t expect your voice to give you the best quality of what you want if you keep on feeding your body sugar, oils, dairy, and cold foods. Sugar, oil, dairy, and cold foods all contribute to voice hoarseness; so, if you keep on eating these foods, your voice’s health will only continue to dwindle down.

Vocal cords often get exhausted and need to get ample restTo take care of your voice, make sure that you are eating high-quality foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Avoid all processed foods and those laden with oil, sugar, and synthetics. Also, sleep is crucial to making sure that you get to take care of your voice. Aim to get seven to eight hours of sleep in a day, and try to sleep before 10 PM. Doing so will ensure that you get to allow for proper rest for your voice, and you allow your body to recharge, ready for next day’s challenges.

These are the simple ways to help improve your singing right now. It is not easy to improve with this skill, but with constant dedication and practice, you can get to where you want to be.

Heirloom Gardening Page

Why Heirloom Vegetables?

You are probably wondering why a page on heirloom vegetables. Well, I didn’t understand it till recently either, but let me tell you the story. Gardening is something that has been a part of my life since my parents moved to the country a couple of years after I was born. Being poor and rural required mom and dad have a large garden to make the few dollars my dad brought home stretch a little farther and gave us a respectable standard of living. Growing our own food made it possible to both have a well-balanced diet and buy the few luxuries that we had. Even so, I think that poor or not; it is likely that we would still have had a large garden every summer with all the planting, weeding, canning, and other labor that comes with it. There was something beyond producing our food than just the economics of it, it was part of a family tradition passed down from our great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents, and we thought there was no other way to live.

Extensive gardens were always a central part of rural living, likely even before my ancestors had immigrated from Europe. I can remember the gardens of both my grandmothers, and my great-grandmother in my childhood years consisting of both vegetables and fruit trees, and rows and rows of flowers. I also remember the vast garden my parents grew, the smell of the soil on a warm spring day as we tilled for planting, weeding, the picking, hours and hours of shelling beans, corn, peas, and other hated tasks. The smell of vinegar to make pickles and ketchup, and plowing under manure from the local farmer in the fall. Most of all, I remember eating all that we had canned and froze in mid-January, while the local stores carried pitiful, limp looking things that sure didn’t look like what you had grown the summer before.

beyond heirloom tomatoesIt wasn’t something that I analyzed too much at the time: you grew up understanding that if you lived in the country, you raised your fruits and vegetables. And what you couldn’t grow yourself, you traded or bought from the family down the road. Buying produce at the grocery store was for city folk. It was just one of those unwritten rules. It went beyond survival: it was a superior way to live. There was nothing like the first tomato or a slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. Or opening a jar of corn cob jelly to put on home-made toasted bread, apple cider from the farmer down the road, or fresh milk from the local dairy. And most of all going downstairs on a cold winter day, with drifts 4 feet deep, to pop open a jar of homemade dill pickles just to munch on. And homemade butter, fresh ground flour, and home killed meat. There was a real sense of pride and satisfaction that came with living the rural lifestyle; you felt like a king even though you barely had shoes on your feet because you could grow and make things that were ten times better than anything you could buy in the store. Even more, you were carrying on the tradition that your great-great-grandparents had begun 150 years before. It was just a part of your heritage. You didn’t question it, and it was who you were.

Value of Self-Sufficiency

Despite my upbringing, I didn’t understand the value of heirlooms though until recently. When I started moving toward self-sufficiency, I quickly learned the importance of seed-saving in maintaining a homestead, because growing and saving seed from any open-pollinated variety allows the grower to produce true-to-type seed year after year With enough skills and experience, anyone can develop a self-sustaining food production system with even a small amount of space. That alone is appealing. But what I didn’t realize until after I had grown my first vegetables from actual heirloom varieties, generally considered to be those developed before 1925, was their value beyond the ability to save their seed and improve them year after year. What amazed me is how much better they were than what we have today. Many newer varieties have been stabilized and are now considered open-pollinated, and even though they are still miles ahead of many of the new hybrids, they still don’t compare to the old heirlooms. Regarding taste and nutrition, that is where the real treasure lies. Those genetic traits weren’t bred out in favor of surviving long-distance shipping and shelf life like they often are in many of those created in the last 50 years. In other words, tomatoes taste like tomatoes. It made me realize what my grandparents were saying when they talked about the old days, and how truly better their food was, even better than what I grew up on, (we raised mostly hybrids) despite all the technological progress we have made since. In fact, the whole experience makes me question a little bit just how much we had come along since that time.

harvesting your produceGrowing up in the 70’s and 80’s, the kids at school looked at anything not bought in a store as inferior in quality and the whole rural thing as generally lame and hick. They couldn’t wait to get out of our backwater and move to the city, and eagerly anticipated for the next technology to make life easier, regardless of the implications. By the time I graduated from high school, I had bought into that thinking too, despite my background, and I set my goals on living in a large city with a big career. That was around the height of the 80’s rural crisis when jobs left for the cities or overseas, small towns died, and many families lost their farms, jobs, and businesses. Eventually though, after teaching myself economics, I began to realize that the American desire for the convenient, high tech, mass produced, white bread suburbanite lifestyle is doing nothing but furthering centralization of our markets and dependence on the technology that sustains it, making us vulnerable to disaster. It is not the solution, but the problem, because our nation is becoming more and more reliant on an ever smaller circle of corporate producers who have survived the merger game to supply the market, and it is killing the rural economy and the culture with it. This is especially true of the produce industry.

Independence from the Centralized System

We are today dependent on two major production areas for the majority of our fresh fruits and vegetables: Florida, and California because they can grow year around. Due to the distances involved to reach their markets, these producers have gone to techniques that allow them to market as much produce to as many people as possible with minimum loss of spoilage. What this has meant is breeding varieties through hybridization that survive more prolonged periods of storage and long shipping distances with little damage. Unfortunately, taste and nutrition often bred out as well. Not to mention the application chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, all of which serve to lower the quality of the food. Many city dwellers think tomatoes in January is a triumph of modern technology, but any person who has had home-grown produce knows the quality and nutrition doesn’t even compare to canned. We have given up a lot for a little convenience.

Furthermore, because our centralized system relies on a small stable of varieties that fit their specific requirements, there is a significant danger of one of their crops being wiped out from a particularly nasty strain of the disease. At the same time, hundreds of varieties are disappearing as they are taken out of catalogs or no longer saved when an old grower dies. Fortunately, several seed saving societies have stepped up to protect some of these from disappearing forever. However, the loss of varieties commercially available to the public is still decreasing rapidly, and as any person with common sense knows, putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea. Abandoning our roots for convenience has made us vulnerable to a significant national calamity, a real possibility because of our massive debt and trade deficits, which I feel will eventually lead to economic collapse. In the old days, even in the cities, people grew vegetables and occasionally even animals on their porches, roofs, and backyard lots, sometimes in substantial quantities. And they would often trade among the neighborhood and purchase local produce at the market. Even there they could be relatively self-sufficient, but that attitude was abandoned a long time ago. It lasted a little longer in the countryside, and fortunately, I was able to experience some of that, but even in rural areas now the few people left only raise enough out of their garden for the summer and don’t can or store much. And very, very few bother to plant open-pollinated varieties and save the seed.

Producing Food Without the Convenience

At this point in our history, we are entirely dependent on food supplied from a few producers thousands of miles away. Like the rest of our centralized, highly interdependent, just-in-time economy, I am not sure our retail food distribution system could survive any real test, like a massive crop failure due to blight or bug, weather, or transportation disruptions. If the stores were to run out of food because of some disaster, 99% of all Americans would starve. Like it or not, the odds are that one day it will happen. A yuppie career, six-figure salary, and a high-rise condo won’t mean much if the shelves are bare.

organic vegetable growingGetting into heirloom gardening has made me realize the value of producing your food. Whether on the back porch or in the back 40, growing your own vegetables and saving the seed means having independence, even if only partially, and growing heirlooms is independence in style. Their superior taste and nutrition give you more bang for your dollar and effort. Because of what may be coming down the road, I believe it is critical that Americans stop their dependence on our convenience-based system and learn to produce food for themselves again, especially with varieties of superior food value. What I have trying to do with this site is pass along what I have learned from books and personal experience on how to raise and store food, and do it with low-tech tricks and techniques that can be done on a limited budget and avoid unnecessary expense. The goal is to give you the information to turn your property into a complete, self-sustaining food production system. Regardless of your opinion of the prospects for the future, heirloom gardening will give you far more nutritious eating than what you can get in the store and will free you from another winter of high priced, low quality produces. Then again, it may also mean, just like when I was growing up, being able to make it when times are rough.

Hovercraft Motorcycle

Hovercraft Motorcycle

Prototype Is Available – see it in action!
hovercraft running
Plans available, contact the inventor by phone at 515-256-2694

hovercraft design planPUBLIC DOMAIN, a new and unique form of transportation that blends the attributes of a hovercraft with that of a motorcycle to provide a new form of transportation for the 21st century. The innovation offers a hovercraft developed for travel over land that uses motorcycle steering and propulsion. This invention, awarded a U.S. patent, is being offered by Joseph Rush.

“Hovercraft with Motorycle” is unique in the world of vehicular travel. As the name implies, it is a hovercraft type of vehicle with motorcycle steering and propulsion. The advantage is that the user has access to all the benefits of hovercraft along with the improved steering and propulsion. Traditional hovercraft devices, because they have no supplementary steering or propulsion system, are difficult to start and stop and are affected with sluggish steering capabilities. In “Hovercraftwith Motorcycle” those problems are virtually nonexistent. Also besides brakes it also has reverse to mke travel easier. This is a form of transportation that is in step with today’s needs.

For More Info: You may contact the inventor at (515)256-2694

U.S. Patent Number: 5,377,775 Patented 1/3/95 – NOW IN PUBLIC DOMAIN

Inventor: Joseph A. Rush 922 S.W. Frazier Ave. Des Moines, IA 50315

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: You may contact the inventor by phone at : (515)256-2694

The Thai Ridgeback Dog

History

The Thai Ridgeback dog is an old breed which can be seen in archeological writings in Thailand. The ancestry of the breed is unknown, but it is believed to have descended from the dingo of Southeast Asia. The Phu Quoc dog, a ridgeback breed is believed to have evolved from the Thai Ridgeback. The relation of this dog to an ancestor of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is uncertain. In the eastern parts the dog was used for hunting, escorting carts and as a watch dog. It has kept its own original type because of poor transportation systems therefore fewer chances of crossbreeding.

Thai Ridgeback is a hunting dogGeneral Appearance

Medium sized dog with short hair forming a ridge along the back. The ridge is formed by the hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the coat, starting from slightly behind the withers and extending to the point of prominence at the hips. It’s unique coat is short and dense but very soft. The coat quality is somewhat reminiscent of the Shar Pei. Their short coat ranges from black, red (ranging from deep mahogany to light chestnut), blue (silver), and fawn. The body is slightly longer than its height at the withers. Muscles are very well developed and its anatomical structure is suitable for activities. The height at the withers for the male is on average 22-24 inches (56-62 cm), for the female an average of 21-23 inches (53-60 cm).

Behavior/Temperament

They are a very primitive by nature and need extensive socialization at an early age. They are very loyal and affectionate to their owners, frequently using their paws like hands to solicit attention. They are also very protective and are generally suspicious of strangers. Litters bred by American breeders and hand raised in households are very good people dogs, bonding closely to their families. They are usually gentle with their families and with people their families introduce them to, but are excellent watch dogs if people they do not know appear or sounds they don’t understand occur around the house. They are extremely intelligent and will respond to obedience training. They are clean dogs by nature and their short coats shed very little. They are a fun loving dog with a “get up and go” attitude that seems to have a great joy for life. They are not high strung but do require periods of exercise.

Utilization

The are keen sight hounds and were used to hunt deer, small game and birds in the dense jungle. They would accompany their owner on their hunting trips in packs of 5 or so dogs. If a wild boar was encountered the owner would face the boar head on and the natural instinct of the dogs to protect their masters would be set off and the Thai Ridgeback would move in for the kill. Today they still exhibit their natural instinct to protect their owners and families against harm. They are very athletic and are renowned for their extraordinary jumping ability (Fairtex Nala Langley can acheive heights of 6 feet!!!). They are alert and aware of their surroundings, and love the thrill of the chase. They are quick and agile and will need a fenced in yard to prevent them from wandering after their prey.

Joe’s Robotic Hand

The following site contains the work Joe Rush who is an inventor specializing in mechanical robot devices and other items. He is available for comment or for quotes to bid on your project here.

Robotics

The newest invention in “Joe’s Shop” is the “MEMORY WIRE ROBOTIC HAND”

joe robot handThe Memory Wire Hand precisely follows the actions of a human hand as dictated by the user. Constructed of inexpensive yet durable plastics, this product will be more apt to become employed in a number of situations from completing daily tasks to assembly line duties. The entire unit is similar to a human hand with fingers completely mobile and able to grasp objects.

joe rush robotic hand diagramWhile implementation of this product may not be as necessary in the lives of regular individuals, those requiring a prosthetic or who perform a repetitive task will especially appreciate the “Memory Wire Hand”.

To improve efficiency and productivity, many companies are implementing robots. “Memory Wire Hand” is an inexpensive yet fully functional robotic arm. This product can be very important to medicine as well as industry. This device may be used as an appendage for individuals requiring a prosthetic limb.

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS: The inventor has indicated a willingness to negotiate the financial arrangements

For further information: You may contact the inventor at 515-256-8074.

US PATENT NUMBER:5,647,723;patented July 15,1997 (14 claims)

Inventor:

Mr. Joseph A. Rush
922 SW Frazier Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50315
515-256-8074