May 31, 2012

Why Parents at Home should Take Care of their Children's Experience Range of Eye Conditions

Vision disorders are a common problem among children in the United States. Based on an estimate, almost 25% of children in the school going age have vision problems.  Despite the rise in medical care and living standards of people, most of the young children, even of pre-school age, are not getting appropriate eye care. Only an estimated 1/3rd of all kids have eye tests or vision screening before joining a school.

Another study conducted recently showed that 11.5% of teenagers face vision difficulties that go unchecked and are not treated at all. That is why, the society as whole should strive towards early detection and treatment of eye and vision disorders. This can become possible by spreading the knowledge about the crucial stages in the development of the human vision. The earlier the vision disordered is discovered and treated, the higher the chance of the child not facing any negative effects on his/her growth and development.

Eye tests and vision examinations such as visual screening, conducted in the school or even pre-school are not sufficient on their own, and they can never be substituted for professional and expert eye care. This is the concern of the American Optometric Association (AOA). Vision screening is a restricted procedure of reviewing some aspects of vision problem areas. However, only professional eye doctors can diagnose eye diseases and prescribe the correct medication and treatment. Even simpler procedures of recommending eye glasses and contact lens (like the 1 day acuvue moist) should be done by an experienced doctor. If this is done before the child enters school, there will a significant reduction in academic failure due to vision problems.

Negligence of taking timely eye tests (and not realizing their flaws) is the major cause of undetected eye problems in children. Many eye problems can be treated simply by using contact lens such as the 1 day acuvue moist, or spectacles.  Several studies also point out the growing need of effective eye examinations for children. As mentioned before, vision screening in public and private schools is necessary, but it is not a one step solution to solving eye problems.

Such tests and programs are designed to detect the children who possibly have vision problem that can affect their learning development at school, along with affecting their physiological and perceptual processes. Screenings, however, are not designed to diagnose eye disease, and they do not direct a person towards treatment. Visual screening is just a first step to indentify whether a person needs future eye care or not.

Coupled with their ineffectiveness is the fact that only 33 states, according with the District of Columbia actually require public and private schools to conduct vision screening! Furthermore, it is also worthy of attention that vision screening programs are not uniform.  Their range and abundance is not the same in all states.

Moving on, it is also noticed that people misunderstand the need for an all-out eye exam program with improved vision screenings.  Enhancing the quality of vision screening programs is good, but is not the same as a comprehensive vision examination. The limitations of vision screenings are not in the knowledge of the masses.  Awareness should be created in the public and it should be communicated that merely passing the eye examination does mean that the person does not have any eye problems.

A weak communication network is also a reason why children experience eye problems that are not treated on time. What this means is that there should be clear communication between the school nurses, doctors and the parents. As soon as any of these groups discover the slightest hint of eye disease in a child, immediate medical attention should be given.

Failure to do so can put a question mark on the credibility and quality of the vision screening attempts at the education institutions. Another problem is that only the visual acuity is considered the benchmark in a screening process. All parties involved, as well as well the society at large should know the immense costs of untreated vision problems, not only to the children’s eyesight, but also to their learning development at school.

Finally, it is also important to know that children who are handicapped physically or mentally have greater chance of developing visional abnormalities than their peers. Moreover, such children are not capable of completing vision screening and other eye tests in an appropriate way. This further demonstrates why many vision problems in children are not undetected and is left untreated.  

Making the Most of Under Desk Office Space

In today’s office environment, there is very little personal workspace in the average cubicle, and it can be even worse if you are working in a home office. Sometimes desks are so small that you need to get creative with what little space you have, in order to keep things tidy and efficient. The following are a few ways that you can use extra space under your desk in an organised way so that you feel less cramped while working.

  1. Bookshelf Desks
A really good design idea for rectangular desks is the bookshelf desk. The general idea is that instead of regular legs for a desk, you use low-rise bookshelves to hold up the table. Square bookshelves that are about 75-centimetres tall serve as a good average height for the desk, and they are great because you can store books, binders or files within reach, but not in your way.

  1. Horizontal Shelving
Another layer of shelving under the desk might be just what you need when it comes to maximising your office space. An unobtrusive shelf, close to the floor, that mimics the shape of your desk – remembering to leave room for your legs – is a great place to stack boxes of files or other odds and ends that won’t inhibit your working space. You can get special storage boxes that stack well for easy access when you need it.

  1. Mobile Pedestals
Mobile pedestals are probably one of the most common storage solutions for underneath the desk. To create more space for various office supplies or files, many people turn to these small drawers or filing cabinets on wheels that can be efficiently stowed underneath the desk. While you are working, you then have the option to roll out the pedestal to have it beside you to make for easy access to the drawers as well as extra table space.

  1. Pegboard
Many workspaces these days require a lot of electronics, such as computers, laptops, CPUs, wireless routers, power bars and phones. You don’t want all these things cluttering up your desk, nor do you want to just have them in a pile on the floor under your desk with cords everywhere. One really interesting solution to the clutter associated with electronics is to install pegboard on the underside of your desk. Now you can secure all your electronics and wires to the underside of your desk using brackets and wires. This is also a great solution because it’s easy to shift things around to make room for new electronics as they come.

  1. Under-Table Mount Rack
Metal mount racks can attach directly to the underside of the table. These racks are mostly used to hold a CPU, however you can use it to hold just about anything else. The great thing about these is that not only is the CPU, or whatever else, out of your way, but it is still at an accessible height and within reach. Many of these mount racks are also retractable and have a swivel feature, which allows for access to the wire ports on the back.

May 30, 2012

Why Not Having a Clear Property Investment Strategy is the Biggest Mistake

Property investment is said to be one of the most crucial ways to expand your wealth. In a stable economy, it can yield high profitability. However, you definitely have to face tough time if you are living in a recessionary economy. The only way to get rid of any financial blunders is to make a sound property investment strategy. Failure to do so can be the biggest mistake of your life. Having an appropriate property investment strategy can save you a lot of money as well as time. The following factors will help you understand how not having a clear strategy on property investment can cost you a lot:

Not Taking Advice from Estate Agents

Most people think that they are qualified enough to research the property themselves and make a final purchase decision. However, they often forget that being their own advisor can lead to an ineffective property investment strategy. Moreover, they prefer to buy properties in those areas that are similar to their own areas of residence. They neglect other residential areas that have a lot of potential growth. Therefore, the best practice in terms of property investment is to consult online estate agents.

Emotional Investment Decisions

A property investment strategy should have nothing to do with emotions. If you make emotional investment decisions, you can end up losing a lot of money on a property that does not promise you any prospects for growth. Although your emotional attachment with your house is important, you should not forget the power of a sound property investment strategy. For instance, if online estate agents advise you to rent out your property, then you should follow the advice.

Purchase of Old Properties

A vague property investment strategy also includes the decision to purchase old properties. When investors buy old apartments, they do not realize that an old property requires a lot of renovation costs. Although these properties are sold at low price, what compensate their low prices are high renovation costs. Therefore, there is no use of buying an old property.

Short-Term Investment Plans

Many people start investing in various properties once they have sufficient money to spend. However, their inappropriate property investment practices can result in a financial disaster. This is because they have not planned for their investments in the long run. Short-term planning, especially in the property industry can never make an ordinary investor successful.

Long-term planning is what makes a property investment strategy worth considering. The main reason behind it is that you will only be able to succeed if you have a clear and long-term goal in your mind for at least ten years.

No Re-Assessments

Once you understand the nature of property investment as a long-term strategy, it is easy to for you to explain it to others as well. Along with long-term property goals, it is important to know that a property requires a periodic review or regular assessments. This is essential for the growth of the property because it requires being updated with real estate market trends.

Limited Financial Literacy

Many property investors take their financial decisions on their limited financial literacy. They think that they have ample knowledge of the real estate market. Therefore, they do not prefer to take help from professionals working in popular estate agencies. As a result, their limited knowledge is the main reason behind the failure of their property investment strategies. The only solution they have is to consult estate agents.

Limited Choice in Buying a Property

Obviously, purchasing a property is a big financial decision. This is because you have to invest thousands of dollars in it. Some people save money all their life and make a wrong decision in terms of property investment. It happens a lot of times that they do not get the yield from their investments.

Although there are various reasons behind this phenomenon, the most visible one is that these investors restrict their choices. They buy properties that they like. It indicates that they do not consider any logical reason behind buying any property. They can earn high returns from their investments only if they do not limit their choice when buying a property. Keeping the above factors in mind, you should always follow the advice of online estate agents in terms of making a property investment strategy.

May 29, 2012

How Can You Search What Devices are Connected to Your Home Wireless Internet Connection

People who have wireless connections often complain that they suspect someone else is using their Wi-Fi because the internet speed connection stays low. They are anxious to know ways to find out if someone is really stealing the bandwidth of their Wi-Fi. So, how can they find it out and what measures can they take to stop it, right away? High speed internet providers in my area also offer the best solution for such problems.  

Unfortunately, if someone is accessing your Wi-Fi, chances are that they might also be able to access some of your folders. However, this depends on the security measures that you use. Moreover, if someone is using your Wi-Fi connection for illegal business, it might be equally dangerous to you as well. In this article, we will help you find if your Wi-Fi is really being stolen and how you can put an end to it.


1. Low Tech Method 

Your wireless router will have indicator lights which show hardwired network connections, internet connectivity, and any wireless activity. Now to know if someone is really using your Wi-Fi connection, shut your all wireless devices and see if the light still blinks. The only issue doing this is that you still might have other Wi-Fi devices such as gaming console or television left to unplug, and also it does not give out much information. This method can mainly be used to confirm your suspicion at a given moment.

 2. Network Admin Method

The administrative console of your router can help you explore more about your wireless network and make changes to security settings. In order to log into the console, simply go to the IP address of your router. This address can be found on Windows by clicking Win+R. Now, type CMD and ipconfig in your window and find “Default Gateway” IP address. If you use Mac, open Network Preference pane and get the IP address mentioned next to Router.

Next, type the IP in the browser window. You will be asked to provide your login details of the router. The router documentation will be having your login details only if you did not change your default settings. This process will typically ask you for admin and password fields. You must change your login information when you enter the router console for security. Hackers always look for such chances to get into the router consoles.

Each router is different. When you log into your router, immediately look out for connected devices. It can be known as “My Network” (Verizon routers) or “Attached devices” (Netgear). It must give you a detailed list of MAC addresses, IP addresses and all device names if they are detectable. Compare all connected devices to the gear and look out for unwanted users.


3. Detective Method: Using Network Monitoring Software Tool

It is extremely beneficial to be able to get into the network admin panel. Here you can easily view logs and change settings; however, you might also want to go through advanced network auditing and this is where MoocherHunter comes handy. MoochHunter is a part of the Organizational Systems Wireless Auditor (OSWA). According to the description of the software, it can easily geo-locate wireless hackers by sending traffic across the network.

This software also does not run in Windows as executable, but rather needs to be burned on to a CD to boot on the computer. This software is quite well known to be able to detect if anyone is using your Wi-Fi network. It is a great way to learn how hackers and other users try to get into your system.


4. Enhance Your Wi-Fi Security

If you use WPA2 or even WPA, your system is secure enough. If you have completed all the required steps, but the browser still seems very slow, you should think about speeding up the browser. If you use WEP or your connection is not encrypted, your system can be easily cracked by anyone looking for connections. If you do not know which encryption is being used in your network, go to wireless connection properties which will recognize it immediately. High speed internet providers in my area provide enhance Wi-Fi security solutions as well.

Remember, you should continue using WPA2 encryption whether you discovered someone using your Wifi connection or not, and manage other router setup essentials. If you still want to continue using open wireless network; get a new, secured wireless network and open the unsecured network only for guests and WEP devices only upon need.

How to Own Your First Home Sooner

 It seems that the dream of buying your own home has gotten further out of reach for most young people over the last ten years. While there are still ways that you can secure your own place, it may take a bit of creativity to be able to get there while you are still young. The following are just some of the ways you can have your own home sooner.

Start Saving Early

The sooner you start saving, the sooner you will be able to move into your own place, no matter what kid of home you are looking for. Once you decide you want a house, start putting aside as much money each week as you can, so that you will have a larger chunk of money to play with. Having some decent savings may mean you won’t have to borrow so much money, if any at all.

Most people think that buying a home has to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, though this isn’t necessarily the case. Whether you are looking for a 2-bedroom place or something a bit larger, kit homes are significantly cheaper than regular houses, making them extremely attractive options. Buying a rel="dofollow" kit home will likely mean you are spending an amount closer to what you can actually afford, and saving lots of money on mortgage repayments too.

Buy With Someone

If you are eager to move into a home of your own though can’t afford it just yet, it may be worth teaming up with a friend who is also looking at buying property. Combining your money will make it far easier to be able to afford a place, and it can be relatively simple sub-dividing a house so that the two of you have your own sections.  This is a great way to have a friend as your immediate neighbour as well as put a stop to the endless paying of rent.

Get Creative

Often people will have enough money for land but not a house, making their first home so close yet so far. If you are willing to get creative, you can turn this situation to your advantage and buy land that is vacant and start building your own structures on it. For example, a lot of people have begun improvising and making homes for themselves out of shipping containers, which while only costing a few thousand dollars, can actually provide quite a decent living space. Windows and doors can be made and for a very small amount of money, a great little liveable space can be created. You will still need approval from the local council to live in it, though this is a fabulous option for people who want to slowly save for a bigger and better place, while living in a cool creation and saving money on rent at the same time.

Win One

It definitely does happen, but the chances of you winning a house are quite slim, though unless you are in the draws, it’s true that you are no chance at all. It’s not the most solid plan for getting a house, though if you want to support the charities anyway, it may be worthwhile getting a ticket in the house lotteries every now and again, as you never know, you might just win it!

May 28, 2012

A Table Lamp

I saw this table lamp at a souvenir store in my city.   A beautiful one that can attract every visitor who comes to the store.


May 27, 2012

Making Better Use of a Spare Room

Is your spare room going to waste? Are you just using it store all your unwanted things? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a place where you store everything from old text books to sporting equipment. It doesn’t take a lot of effort – or money - to turn it into something more useable and practical. Here are some ideas to make better use of it.

Turn it into a home office

If you work from home, need somewhere for the kids to do their homework or just a place to keep your computer and household paperwork, the spare room is just crying out to be converted into a home office.

It doesn’t take much to do and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Look at adding a sturdy desk that can fit a computer while leaving yourself room to work. Get a good chair that is comfortable and supportive. Add a filing cabinet for important documents and some other storage, such as a cupboard or shelving, and you are well on your way to creating the perfect work space.

Just remember to check if there are plenty of powerpoints and other connections, such as a phone point for a modem.

Kids’ playroom
Tired of the kids making a mess in the lounge room and family room? Then take it out of sight by creating a kids’ playroom in the wasted spare bedroom. It also provides the perfect opportunity to take some of the toys out of their bedrooms that contribute to the clutter.

Adding a television (and the inevitable gaming systems that go with them) can also add a solution when it comes to arguments over the TV remote.

Throw in a couple of bean bags, some simple storage for their toys and you have an escape that kids of all ages will love. You can even add a cheap sofa bed which comes in handy when you have visitors stay overnight.

Craft room

If you love to sew, knit, scrapbook or do anything else creative then the spare room can become a haven. Adding a simple table can provide a platform for a sewing machine, while some simple storage solutions such as cupboards provide the perfect place to keep all of your materials.

By keeping the floor clear of clutter you also give yourself plenty of room to spread out while working rather than taking up space in high traffic areas of the home. Using the spare room as a craft room also means you can close the door on a half-finished project and come back to it later without fear of it being disturbed.

Home gym

There is no need to pay expensive gym membership if you have a spare room at home. It is easy to turn into your own personal home gym, especially if you already have some of the equipment. You don’t have to be a gym junkie to make the most of it either – adding an exercise bike and/or a treadmill is more than enough. It gives you a place to exercise in private and whenever you want.

May 26, 2012

A Gorilla's Portrait

Captured by my husband during our visit to the Ragunan Zoo (Jakarta, Indonesia).  Amazing critter indeed.

Building Your Own Mini Green House

Greenhouses are excellent for improving the growth of plants and vegetables. Greenhouses are often too impractical for a small garden, however, and many people simply do not have the space which they need or the money with which to build one. Thankfully, even miniature greenhouses have a positive effect on your vegetable patch and they can be constructed from recycled items or from materials costing as little as $20, with the nothing but the most basic of hand tools.

How a Greenhouse Works
A greenhouse works by allowing light and thus heat into the area and then trapping it there. This is a natural phenomenon that is actually the same reason why the Earth is warm because the atmosphere acts in the same way with sunlight. This ‘greenhouse effect’ can be artificially created with any translucent material and this makes it easy to keep your plants warm.

How to Build a Miniature Greenhouse
The answer to this basically depends upon the size of the plant which you are trying to grow. I have successfully created an array of ‘greenhouses’ for my carrot plants, for example, using empty Coke bottles. By cutting the bottom off of a 2 litre bottle and removing the label this plastic bottle becomes the perfect greenhouse for a single carrot or garlic plant and it couldn’t be easier. It also has the added benefit of keeping slugs and snails away from your plants.

Making a larger miniature greenhouse can be slightly more complex but it is still very easy to do. To start with you should make a frame to the size of your intended area. This just needs to be a base that will rest upon the ground and support the arching braces. From this wooden frame you can then use a basic epoxy glue to hold some copper or plastic piping in place against it, which loops over the plants to the other side of the frame. You will need to make upwards of three loops depending upon the length of your mini greenhouse but this is then simply covered with plastic sheeting. 

Another way to make a mini greenhouse is by utilising panes of glass which may be left over from replacing windows in the past. Creating a wooden frame of a slightly greater height will allow you to simply rest this sheet of glass over the top of the frame and benefit from the heat generated in this simple manner. This will only be suited for plants which grow only to a low level, such as cress or herbs, but this can create an excellent individual habitat for the growth of vegetables.

Caring for a Greenhouse
The extreme heats to which your miniature greenhouse will reach means that you will have to regularly water your plants to ensure that they survive. This is not because the water evaporates faster; rather it is because the plants need to absorb a greater portion of water because they are photosynthesizing at a far greater rate. The plants will also need a greater level of nutrients to fuel their growth.

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