Thursday, October 26, 2017
October 26, 2017
Source; sunny skyz
Researchers in Hungary say dogs, like many of us, lie awake at night thinking about their problems after a stressful or emotional day.
A study published by The Royal Society scientific journal found that our furry four-legged friends also struggle to fall asleep due to their troubles, meaning that once again we have something in common with them.
The experiment recorded the brain waves of 16 dogs after experiencing either a positive or negative day. Positive days included being pet and playing fetch while the negative days included being separated from their owners or tied to a door for short periods of time.
The researchers found that after a three-hour nap, the dogs subjected to a stressful experience had a worse sleep. They spent an average of 20 more minutes in REM sleep, the active sleep stage characterized by vivid dreaming and an increased heart rate. The stressed out dogs also woke up more quickly than their relaxed counterparts.
The study suggested that one negative experience in your dog's life won't cause a major sleeping problem, but regular stressful experiences could lead to a sleep disorder for your four-legged friend.
So even if you've had a busy and stressful day, don't forget to give your best friend some extra love.
Friday, September 15, 2017
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Our parents and grandparents may shake their heads every time we grab our smart phones to get turn-by-turn directions or calculate the tip. But when it comes to life skills, our great-grandparents have us all beat. Here are some skills our great-grandparents had 90 years ago that most of us don’t.
While your parents and grandparents didn’t have the option to ask someone out on a date via text message, it’s highly likely that your great-grandparents didn’t have the option of dating at all. Until well into the 1920s, modern dating didn’t really exist. A gentleman would court a young lady by asking her or her parents for permission to call on the family. The potential couple would have a formal visit — with at least one parent chaperone present — and the man would leave a calling card. If the parents and young lady were impressed, he’d be invited back again and that would be the start of their romance.
2. Hunting, Fishing, and Foraging
Even city dwellers in your great-grandparents’ generation had experience hunting, fishing, and foraging for food. If your great-grandparents never lived in a rural area or lived off the land, their parents probably did. Being able to kill, catch, or find your own food was considered an essential life skill no matter where one lived, especially during the Great Depression.
In this age of the boneless, skinless chicken breast, it’s unusual to have to chop up a whole chicken at home, let alone a whole cow. Despite the availability of professionally butchered and packaged meats, knowing how to cut up a side of beef or butcher a rabbit from her husband’s hunting trip was an ordinary part of a housewife’s skill set in the early 20th century. This didn’t leave the men off the hook, though. After all, they were most likely the ones who would field dress any animals they killed.
Before the era of shopping malls and convenience stores, it was more common to trade goods and services with neighbors and shop owners. Home-canned foods, hand-made furniture, and other DIY goods were currency your great-grandparents could use in lieu of cash.
Though it’d be futile for you to argue with the barista at Starbucks about the price of a cup of coffee, your great-grandparents were expert hagglers. Back when corporate chains weren’t as ubiquitous, it was a lot easier to bargain with local shop owners and tradesmen. Chances are your great-grandparents bought very few things from a store anyway.
6. Darning and mending
Nowadays if a sock gets a hole in it, you buy a new pair. But your great-grandparents didn’t let anything go to waste, not even a beat-up, old sock. This went for every other article of clothing as well. Darning socks and mending clothes was just par for the course.
7. Corresponding by mail
Obviously, your great-grandparents didn’t text or email. However, even though the telephone existed, it wasn’t the preferred method of staying in touch either, especially long-distance. Hand-written letters were the way they communicated with loved ones and took care of business.
8. Making Lace
Tatting, the art of making lace, was a widely popular activity for young women in your great-grandparents’ generation. Elaborate lace collars, doilies, and other decorative touches were signs of sophistication. However, fashion changed and technology made lace an easy and inexpensive to buy, so their children probably didn’t pick up the skill.
9. Lighting a Fire Without Matches
Sure, matches have been around since the 1600s. But they were dangerous and toxic — sparking wildly out of control and emitting hazardous fumes. A more controllable, non-poisonous match wasn’t invented until 1910. So Great-grandma and Great-grandpa had to know a thing or two about lighting a fire without matches.
10. Diapering With Cloth
Disposable diapers weren’t patented until 1948 and it was another decade or two before they became widely used. Until then, cloth diapers held with safety pins were where babies did their business. Great-grandma had a lot of unpleasant laundry on her hands.
11. Writing With a Fountain Pen
While it’s true that your grandparents were skilled in the lost art of writing in cursive, your grandparents probably were, too. However, the invention of the ballpoint pen in the late 1930s and other advances in pen technology mean that your great-grandparents were the last generation who had to refill their pens with ink.
Monday, September 11, 2017
|Vehicles in Houston sit flooded Aug. 29, 2017, after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas (David J. Phillip / AP)|
Mary Wisniewski Contact Reporter
Cars soaked by floodwaters from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will soon start appearing in the Midwest used car market, so buyers should beware, according to vehicle experts.
"Even brick-and-mortar legitimate dealers can get burned buying flooded vehicles," said Frank Scafidi, spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, a Des Plaines-based nonprofit that fights insurance fraud and crime. "If a professional can get burned, you can too."
Flood damage is easier to conceal from an untrained eye than damage from a wreck, but it can be more devastating to the engine and other key components, said Christopher Basso, spokesman for the used car research firm Carfax. Flooding can destroy a car's electronic system, affecting safety features like air bags and anti-lock brakes, while rust can rot the vehicle from the inside, Basso said.
Scafidi expects the number of flood-damaged cars to be greater for Harvey than it was for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, both because of Harvey's bigger footprint and because in the last 12 years more vehicles rely on computer technology and electronics.
"Beneath the surface, water can permanently damage computers that control everything from the gas pedal to steering," said Cliff Wood, chief operating officer at CarMax, a leading used car dealer.
Katrina damaged about 600,000 vehicles, Basso said. Carfax is still working on an estimate for Harvey.
About half of flood-damaged cars are resold. Some sellers do not have insurance and clean the cars up to try to get what they can from them, Basso said.
It is not illegal to sell or buy a flood-damaged car, as long as both parties are aware, Scafidi said. But some sellers conceal the damage and offer a nice-looking car at a suspiciously low price.
"With flood vehicles, it creates an opportunity for people in that business to scam innocent buyers who may have been researching used car purchases for some time and looking at a make and model and suddenly, there's that make and model that's just terrifically priced — it was $25,000 and now it's $12,000," said Scafidi.
"With vehicles from down south, you can't be too careful right now," said Larry Doll, legal counsel for the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association, a trade group. Besides the ongoing damage from Harvey, Hurricane Irma was hitting Florida on Sunday.
Since Hurricane Katrina, the National Insurance Crime Bureau has offered a free vehicle identification number, or VIN, check service to see if a car has been in a flood. The service is available at www.nicb.org/vincheck. A VIN also can be entered into the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System database at www.vehiclehistory.gov.
Carfax, which charges $39.99 for a report, is offering its flood-damage database for free post-Harvey. Buyers can check if a car is flood-damaged at carfax.com/flood.
A database check is not always enough. Some flood-damaged cars are missed by title and VIN checks, because a car can be bought cheap, cleaned and then taken out of state where a VIN is switched and the car is retitled with no indication that it has been damaged, Scafidi said.
Basso recommends taking a vehicle to a trusted mechanic and going for a test drive. He said buyers should look for water lines and signs of debris or salt in the trunk and engine compartment.
"The biggest giveaway on the inside of the car is you see rust build-up on the seat rails, on the nuts and bolts, and the seat belts," Basso said.
Flooded vehicles also can pose health risks because they sat in water that was not clean, which can penetrate the seats and carpet, causing a build-up of bacteria, Basso said.
Doll recommends giving used cars a "smell test." "Close the windows for a few hours to see if there's a rusty, mildew smell," he said.
Buyers also can protect themselves by buying from a reputable dealer rather than off some ad site like Craigslist, Scafidi said. Even though dealers can get fooled by damaged cars, too, they are more likely to refund your money.
"If it's a fly-by-night and a 'meet me under the shade tree' deal, that money is never coming back," Scafidi said.
If you suspect your own car has been damaged by a storm, don't try to drive it, and be especially careful if the water went above the door opening, said CarMax's Wood. Have the car towed and inspected by a professional, he said.