3 Outstanding Benefits of a Home Inspection

Home inspection services are essential for home buyers and sellers. Many people tend to think that it only benefits the buyer. However, there are two sides of every coin, which means the More »

Infrastructure New Zealand: Water System Beyond Its ‘Use-By Date’

Infrastructure New Zealand said that there is a need to upgrade the country’s water infrastructure, as systems are already beyond their use-by date. CEO Stephen Selwood noted that the country’s water systems More »

Experts to Help You Maximize Your Property Insurance Claim After a Disaster

Storms and other unforeseen incidents are always stressful events. If your home or business gets damaged or destroyed, these disasters can be traumatic. If you have sustained an insured loss, you would More »

Care For Your Swimming Pool

Going out for a swim during the hot summer months can be quite refreshing. Individuals in Salt Lake City have gone an extra mile to build their private swimming pools to enjoy More »

How to Detect Furnace Trouble and Save Money

A furnace problem in the winter is a great inconvenience, particularly if the cold is harsh. Such issues may even expose your family to carbon monoxide poisoning. The cold season is still More »

 

Mulching: How It Prevents Weed Growth and Boosts Plant Health

Garden maintenance

Garden maintenanceMany gardeners are becoming interested in controlling weeds naturally. For effective lawn weed control, experts in Salt Lake City like Greenside Landscaping suggest a systematic use of mulch. Mulching is a simple but effective way to prevent and control the growth of these garden bullies.

Organic mulches

There are two types of mulches, and both are effective in discouraging the growth of weeds. How does this happen? The layers of organic matter over the soil intercept sunlight and lower the temperature of the soil. In doing so, they prevent seed germination. Thick mulch also prevents stubborn weeds that germinate and become seedlings from emerging completely.

Organic mulches come in different forms, including compost, decomposed tree leaves and pine needles, wood chips, bark, straw, sawdust, and other crop residues. They decompose and add nutrients to the soil—an additional advantage. They also facilitate a moderation of soil moisture and temperature, which helps plants grow healthy.

Inorganic mulches

Meanwhile, inorganic mulch is composed of geotextiles, black plastic, pebbles, small stones, and gravel. They are ideal for specific plant species and may be preferred by gardeners over organic mulches despite the fact that they do not amend the quality of the soil.

Maximizing the mulch effect

For organic mulching to be effective, pay attention to when and how to lay the mulch. The best time to place mulch over soil is after weeding. Gardeners guarantee a weed-free yard if the annoying plants are completely removed before applying mulch on the soil. 

To lower the chances of weeds growing even more, there must be a four to six-inch layer over the soil. Some people spread the mulch over a layer of newspaper.

Mulching keeps weeds out of the garden. However, if you are dealing with perennials, you must supplement mulching with specific methods that fight against invading species effectively.

Collaborative Study Environments Encourage Better Problem Solving

student taking a testA collaborative study in classroom settings allows students to come together and solve problems amongst themselves. This encourages better problem-solving skills and decision-making. It also helps children become more sociable and learn to work with others, skills that are valuable later on in life.

To encourage collaborative learning, more schools are increasing opportunities for students to discuss school work amongst themselves. Even school desks are evolving, with modular, flexible options becoming increasingly popular. Modern school desks can be pushed together with ease so that students can face each other whilst working in groups.

Student-led Learning

A study released by Richard Anderson of the Illinois College of Education in the U.S., studied 760 fifth grade students to determine the efficacy of collaborative learning.

Students were split into groups and allowed to learn together instead of the standard teacher-led instruction common in most classrooms. They were given a literary project to work on, where they were presented with several moral dilemmas relating to the characters in a story.

After completing the project, the study concluded that the children who worked together tended to make more thoughtful, reasoned decisions compared to those who worked alone. This is because a group environment allows them to consider a range of ideas to support varying view points – the students who worked in groups would often weigh the costs and benefits of each point before making a decision.

Improved Micro-creativity

Collaborative education also allows for the introduction of argumentation – groups that discuss and debate a problem first also tend to have higher levels of micro-creativity. Micro-creativity refers to a person’s ability to come up with new ideas. According to a study conducted by the State University of New York, polite disagreements between students increased micro –creativity by as much as 11 per cent.

There is no doubt that collaborative learning is a highly beneficial teaching method, especially for problem-solving and decision-making.

Making Sense of Conflicting Restaurant Reviews

Feedback on a restaurantA lot of things depend on the internet these days. Even the simple act of choosing where to eat is made more complicated by the conflicting reviews you see online. If one restaurant has good praises, you’ll be inclined to give it a try. But what if the same restaurant has negative reviews? Which one do you believe?

When checking restaurants in Springfield, consider the following factors:

Service

The kind of service you receive has a great impact on the experience when dining out. Whether you’re headed to more casual Mexican restaurants like El Paso Mexican Restaurant or posh French restaurants, the staff should treat you with respect and make you feel welcomed. They should accommodate special requests, such as if you prefer a dish to be mild or spicy, or if you need a booster chair.

Freshness

If a restaurant is boasting of its fresh ingredients, you should be able to tell the difference. The quality should be consistent across the menu, and among different days of the week. There is no excuse for them to not uphold the same high standards just because it’s lunch rush or the weekend. Look for reviews that specifically talk about how the pasta tasted, and whether there is anything said about the spices used. If anyone comments that the dishes tasted stale, that’s a sign to look somewhere else.

Novelty

Staples and specialties stay, but novelties come on go. While they’re on the menu, however, feel free to indulge–if they are of the same quality as the rest of the restaurant’s offerings. There were plenty of Pokemon Go inspired burgers when the game was hyped. Now, meals and beverages inspired by Tide Pods are everywhere. If you’re looking for something like this, a look at the photos posted on Instagram from actual diners can give you an idea of what the novelty offerings look like in real life.

Each person looks for something different in a restaurant. To make sense of conflicting reviews, look for quality and in-depth assessment.

4 Things to Think About When Designing a Granny Flat

Living room with doors going to the front porchEveryone wants what’s best for their loved ones, and all of us will most likely do anything to make them feel comfortable and loved. This is why for those who have their parents or grandparents living with them, getting granny flat kits and building one is an important project and should be given much thought and consideration.

Here’s how you can design granny flats and what to think about when trying to build one.

Extensions

Ask yourself: Do you want a porch connected to it? Do you want to make it look a little more comfortable, modern, and luxurious for your elder ones to enjoy? If so, then go ahead and discuss this with your home renovation team.

Space

You want a place where your loved ones can freely move in, not one that’s scrunched up and crowded. Keep it simple by adding a storage to the bed, installing mounted shelves on their walls, and adding a shelf rack with hooks. Make the most of a small space by being creative and resourceful.

Colours

Bright and neon colours will most likely hurt their eyes, so make sure to stick to basic colours, such as beige and white. This will also make the flat look more dainty, clean, and modern.

Furniture

Furniture is important for the elderly, as a stiff one can make them feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Get a bed that would not make their back hurt, and one where they can easily get up in. Pillows also play a huge part in their comfort, so make sure to get ones that are designed for the elderly. Lastly, if you’re planning on placing a couch, make sure that what you’re getting won’t contribute to their muscle aches.

For more pictures and inspiration, go ahead and search for inspiration. Good luck and enjoy designing!

Is There a Way to Stop Cyberattacks to GPS Satellites?

A satellite dishA South-Carolina-based university seeks to prevent cybercriminals from disrupting GPS satellite signals, which could be costly to different industries.

GPS now serves an important role in military defense, banking and financial, healthcare, transportation, and telecommunications. Clemson University researchers plan to use a $1 million funding grant to eliminate the vulnerabilities in GPS technology.

Digital Time-Keeping

Yongqiang Wang, the project’s lead researcher, said that the project also aims to prevent cyberattacks to digital infrastructure. For instance, a hacked GPS network may allow criminals to access old login information on your financial records.

It can also cut the supply of electricity in hospitals, immobilize train stations and even shut down ATMs. Wang said that the project particularly focused on the private sector, including the electric grid.

While certain vulnerabilities exist, satellite developers normally use a jamming simulator to test the viability of disrupting signals before launching it into space. In California, some lawmakers already understand the need to enhance digital networks.

National Security

California Rep. John Garamendi described interference to GPS networks as a “major national security and economic issue.” He cited a spoofing incident in 2017 when a hacked navigation system led 20 ships in the Black Sea to arrive at the wrong location.

Another case involved airplanes that were unable to land at the Newark International Airport in New Jersey. This occurred as a truck driver, who used a GPS jammer to hide the vehicle’s location from the company boss, passed by the airport.

The advent of GPS helped many industries to develop their services. However, the progress of digital technology also paved the way for more complex cyberattacks.

For this reason, the public and private sector should be proactive in dealing with potential threats, since the consequences of GPS hacking may lead to loss of lives and property.

Making Valentine’s Day Extra Special for Your Significant Other

Man kissing the hands of his date

Man kissing the hands of his dateWith Valentine’s Day just a few days away, many lovebirds are probably feeling the pressure to make the day extra special for their significant others. If you’re one of them, here are some suggestions that can help make this year’s celebration one for the books.

Create something meaningful

Whatever you plan to give your special someone, put a lot of thought, time, and effort into it to make it more meaningful and special. For example, you can create an animation about your love story. If you live in Denver, there are video production companies such as onefloorupdenver.com you can commission to help you do this.

Another good idea is to create a scrapbook of letters, photos, and items that would remind you both of the most significant moments in your relationship.

Plan something unique

This special day for lovers, of course, won’t be complete without the two of you doing something together. However, don’t just plan to do the usual date stuff, such as watching a movie or going to dinner. Take the time to think of something unique.

You can, for instance, surprise your special someone with a hot-air balloon trip. Recreating your very first date – from the place, activity, and down to what you wore if possible – promises to be fun as well.

Do something impulsive

Few things can be more exciting and fun than doing something spontaneous, especially if it’s with your significant other. During your date, go for a stroll and look for ideas for a possible activity.

Maybe there’d be a fun run just about to start down the street, and you’d both be up for an impromptu exercise. Or there’d be a tattoo parlor nearby where the two of you could get matching tattoos!

Come Valentine’s Day, whatever you decide to do, just make the day as memorable as you can by making your special someone feel truly loved by you.

How Can an HRMS Application Help Your Company?

Management team looking at laptop

Management team looking at laptopIn managing your business, one of the most daunting yet important tasks that you need to take care of is to keep track and manage people. As your business grows, the number of people you employ also grows along with it and, after a while, this becomes a cumbersome task.

You can make use of a Human Resource Management System or an HRMS application to make things easier, but it does entail an investment from you. For startups, doing this can be a daunting task because it is untested. If the new technology does not work well for your business, it could be a waste of money and time.

What is an HRMS?

HRMS applications are information systems that manage a company’s human resource processes. It computerises and automates the system and gives you both the hardware and software to handle all of the HR department logic. This provides you with a quick and easy way to manage all employee information, analyse employee reports and info, as well as administrative duties such as status changes, information updates, and enrolment status of employees.

Benefits of an HRMS

One of the key features of using an HRMS for your business is that it is accessible online. This means that it can easily be accessed, files can easily be written and retrieved when needed, and it has its back-up so you can keep track of previous changes. It has add-ons and modules that can be customised to your needs. This automation includes the payroll, taxes, and deductions.

Using an HRMS is a useful tool for applications such as training modules, guidelines, reports, and recruitment options. The idea of automating your company’s processes and investing valuable resources can give you rewards that could free up your time for more important tasks for your company.

4 Easy Ways to Make Sure That You Are Getting Genuine Car Parts

Mechanic looking for car partsEveryone wants to save money on car maintenance, but when it comes to taking care of your Skyline, getting genuine car parts from K.D. Auto Spares during repairs is vital. Many car owners buy car parts without bothering to check their condition, only to regret later when they discover the parts are riddled with flaws. Here are simple ways to make sure that you always buy genuine parts for your ride.

Check whether the part is available on the OEM website

Before snapping up an item, it’s vital to cross-reference it with the original manufacturer’s website. Check whether the item is also available on the OEM site. If you can’t find the part there, then it’s very likely that it’s a fake.

Be wary if the price appears suspiciously low

Some websites have a large collection of car parts that are hugely discounted. Keep in mind that just like in all other items, you always get what you pay for when it comes to car parts. If there’s a huge difference between the price of the car part you are looking at and that of an OEM part, chances are the lesser priced item is a fake.

Use your vehicle identification number

Your VIN gives you all the vital information about your car such as the year of manufacture, its make, and model. This information can help you choose the perfect part for your car, especially when you are thinking of replacing your car’s engine or transmission. Your car’s VIN can be found on your dashboard, hood, trunk, and engine.

Take the time to know your seller

Do not rush to seal a deal before getting to know a little bit more about your seller. Find out whether they are authorized or not. Should you buy from an unauthorized seller, you risk not getting redress should you experience problems with the car part.

With so many auto part dealers out there, it may seem confusing who you can trust to sell you a genuine part for your car. But with a little bit of diligence and patience, you can find just what you are looking for.

Technology: Redesigning Healthcare

a group of happy doctors at hospitalDigital technology. Gadgets. The world wide web. This is the world we live in today, and it’s just warming up. The way technology has changed the world is phenomenal. There are messaging apps, online shopping, and network gaming, which all make connections easier whichever part of the world you’re in.

Healthcare is one industry that’s greatly reaping the benefits of technology. An example of this is telemedicine providers or using 3D printing. As technology continues to develop, so do the industries that rely on it. Here’s a look at some ways technology has improved the world of healthcare.

1. Social Media

Many platforms have now developed into virtual places where industries can connect with their customers easier and faster. They can also launch campaigns or provide awareness on various health issues through posts.

2. The Internet as a Medical Encyclopedia

Because of the endless information available online, patients or their families can now do their own research about diseases and illnesses they might encounter in their lives.

Doctors are more knowledgeable when it comes to different types of practices, making it easier to communicate within the industry.

3. Better Medical Equipment

3D printing and laser treatments are just two examples of equipment upgrades health care now has. This equipment makes diagnosis and treatments less intrusive and less painful. Because results are received faster, treatment can also be done sooner.

4. Electronic Databases

Instead of stacking physical folders filled with patient history and information, providers can now directly input this information on a hand-held device that automatically stores it in an electronic database.

This is only the beginning of how technology will be shaping the world. It is fast-paced and eager to make changes that will make work easier, more efficient, and more effective for consumers, suppliers, providers, and everyone else in between.

3 Go-To Places for Stage Design Inspirations

Performer on stageThe success of the art-focused Netflix series “Abstract: The Art of Design” shone the spotlight on theatre designer Es Devlin, who disrupted the world of stage design when she broke into the niche in the 90s. The popularity of the show clues you in on the growing interest in the field of stage design.

Outside of mass media and the internet, there are other avenues where you can get design inspirations that reflect the aesthetics of artists such as Devlin. These inspirations, coupled with tips from event production experts like Audio Video Services, will come in handy when looking for stage rental options in Washington DC. Here are 3 such places to go for your dose of stage design artistry:

Concerts

Going to a concert is a great way to get started on your research for your next stage design endeavor. While most concerts use your typical video projections, some stage set-ups stand out for their innovative, edgy flair.

Among the best concert stage designs out there include Es Devlin’s work for Kanye West, Beyonce, and U2. Her designs for these artists all make use of giant reflective corrugated boxes and video installations that create out-of-this-world illusions. In an interview with Architecture and Design, she said she places value on geometry as a starting point for all her creations.

Theatres

German-born British stage designer Ralph Koltai, on the other hand, is a pioneer when it comes to creating illusions with stage design. The designer combines disparate elements in his theatre design work, which reflects influences of scenic design and surrealism.

Runways

Runway shows, whether at a hotel, or at larger venues, feature the cream of the crop in fashion, production, and stage design. There’s typically a special synergy between the design and feel of the clothes being modelled, the atmosphere at the show, and the stage design itself.

There are many avenues of inspiration when it comes to putting together all the elements of stage design for your event. But, if time is a constraint, enlist the help of a company that can build you your stage and handle its design, as well.