Thursday, August 30, 2012

Making Your Home More Energy Efficient Easily

It is sometimes said that necessity is the mother of invention, it could also be argued that inventions become a later necessity by design. Energy efficiency in the home belongs to the latter and when you put all the pieces together, the picture is a bright, healthy and green one. Not just for the environment, but also for your wallet.

A few energy efficient light globes is the first step towards cutting down your energy use, and therefore your electricity bill, but there are always many more clever ways to achieve an efficient cut down in energy use. If building a house, build it so that the sun hits the rooms you want it to so it can be warm in winter and cool in summer. This way you are less tempted to use a heater or air conditioner.

Use L.E.D. lights when possible. These have an average life time of 11 years 4 months of continuous usage. Could you imagine waiting over a decade before having to replace your light globes? You might go one step further and install skylights so even the LED lights wont see use until night time.

Set up a solar panel to trickle charge a battery connected to some fans for extra air circulation. A minimal one time investment such as this might even negate the need for an air conditioner, depending on your climate and geographic region.

As you can see, just a few little changes here and there in your home which can be easy to do (except for the house position one, you have to get that one done earlier in the planning) could save you a small fortune on your electrical and heating bill. This means more money in your wallet, an energy efficient home and a fortunate side-effect of helping to keep the planet clean and healthy.

Martin Coleman is a freelance business writer and has over 17 years experience in computing as well as over 5 years in freelance writing. He loves to use words to help businesses gain new customers and increase profits. He can be reached at

Monday, August 27, 2012

Energy Efficient Lighting

Energy efficient lighting has two major benefits - it reduces the impact of our homes and businesses on the environment, and reduces our home energy costs.

Lighting is a big source of energy consumption and in many homes, lighting makes up about 10-15% of the electricity bills. The carbon dioxide created by the generation of this electricity is harmful to the planet so by switching to energy efficient light bulbs, the carbon emission is reduced along with the electricity bills.

The incandescent light bulb traditionally used to provide light in homes and offices are very inefficient and on average convert only 5% of the energy they receive into light. Similarly, fluorescent tubes used in commercial buildings tend to be inefficient also.

Various options exist for energy efficient lighting, including Compact Fluorescent Lights or CFLs. These are mini versions of the full-sized fluorescents and fit standard sockets in the home, giving off lighting that resembles that of incandescent light bulbs. Far more efficient and long-lasting compared to traditional bulbs, CFLs reduce lighting costs too.

LED, or Light Emitting Diode, light bulbs are gaining in popularity because of their small size and durable nature combined with efficiency. LEDs can replace both halogen and traditional bulbs, and manufacturers now "cluster" the small bulbs and include diffuser lenses giving a better spread of light. These energy efficient light bulbs fit most household lighting fixtures and last up to 10 times as long as CFLs and significantly longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs are solid too, making them less susceptible to knocks and breakages; and they remain cool with no heat build-up.

As energy efficient light bulbs use less energy and are a lot more efficient, energy bills for the home and office can be reduced by as much as 80%. A good investment, LED bulbs last a long time and do not need to be replaced often, saving money for the individual and also maintenance costs for companies as the bulbs need to be changed less frequently.

Bradley Electrical are Electricians in Rugby, Leamington Spa and Lutterworth who offer a 24hour call out service.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Features Offered by the Announced Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus

The features offered by the announced Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus include an impressive camera for capturing your own media along with a fast operating system and processor working together, and great entertainment and social capabilities. This is combined with a sleekly designed thin handset with full touch functionally.

Announced in January, and due to be released within the coming months, this handset is a successor to the Samsung Galaxy Ace and features a 5 megapixel camera which allows you to capture home video at up to 30 frames per second with WVGA resolution respectively, while you can also easily snap photos too. To enhance light conditions for a photo there is an LED flash, which also works as a flash light when in video mode. Although user memory is limited to the internal 3 gigabytes offered, the microSD card slot enables you to swap between respective memory cards, which can be up to 32 gigabytes and thus allows you to store much more media on your phone. You can also utilize the integrated USB 2.0 port for syncing files including media to another device, such as your computer.

Sharing media with friends on the Galaxy Ace Plus is also easy, with the social hub included offering multimedia messaging along with email, while social networks such as Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter are also integrated and both easy and great ways to share photos and videos. Additionally, if you are close by to a friend with a Bluetooth handset, you can use the Bluetooth 3.0 on this phone to share wirelessly between devices. Among its many preinstalled applications meanwhile are Google Maps for directions and local points of interest which is aided by the internal A-GPS antenna and Digital compass hardware. Gmail email service is also integrated along with other apps form both Google and Samsung respectively, while Android Market is the place for you to easily download more apps. The handset itself is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is enhanced by the easy to use TouchWiz user interface from the manufacturer, offering simple drag and drop functionality for widgets and onscreen control, along with onscreen keyboards and a vivid display measuring 3.65 inches.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus is a thin design with only 11.2 millimetres thickness and weighing a lightweight 115 grams, it is packed with great features which enable you to do a lot from a little in your pocket. With its camera, entertainment and social networking features among its many attributes, you can go anywhere and have the support of your smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus
Samsung Galaxy Ace

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Spirit is Willing

"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" -St. Paul

"I know what to do, I just can't do it!" This is the cry I hear so frequently. People know that love will serve them the best. They know that arguments, disgruntlement, and yearning for what they don't have serves them poorly. They yearn for peace, contentment, positive engagement, and the desire for what they already have.

But, the flesh is weak, as Paul groaned long before we came along.

Perhaps we are truly "spirits having a human experience," but we are all burdened with an ancient survival mechanism at the top of our brain stem. From it ushers the "fight or flight" response (more of a reaction for most of us!)

It is this survival mechanism that reacts to perceived threat of peril. The fearful, knee-jerk reaction to loss of prestige, possessions or financial security catches most of us on a daily basis. A comment from a spouse, or child, or friends can and does bring about emotional responses all out of proportion with the event itself, often due to the inner triggering of unconscious memories of pain and trauma.

Hence, we are willing to be good and loving people of the Light, but it so often just plain goes wrong.

Henri Nouwen, the beloved monk and teacher, said that "we all have an address with God, but we are so infrequently at that address, to be addressed by God." This is what the survival mechanism does. It takes us away from the "home address" into a far away country called Fear.

As a pastoral counselor I endeavor to help people learn to be at their home address. We call this being "centered" in life, where we can experience Spirit, know God's lively presence, and have the satisfaction of the "peace that passes all understanding."

All our traditions have ways of seeking this path. The Mystics led the way, but all of us can practice behavior that enhances spiritual perspective and leads to security from all those "survival issues" knocking at the door.

The traditional paths are meditation and prayer, worship and adoration, and works of kindness and service.

I hope that you will pursue such ways as habitual practices. However, I'd like to offer a couple of quick start methods right now:

First, go sit in the bathroom (yes, the bathroom! It's a prayer closet available to you multiple times each day.) Then close your eyes and slowly count backwards from 30 to 1. If you don't feel a little more peaceful, then do the counting backwards again, and possibly again. As long as you keep your eyes closed and count backwards, your brain will go to the lower, more centered brain waves you experience when you read a novel. It's a great way to initiate a quiet reflective prayer in the middle of a hectic day.

Second, each evening, just before bed, for 30 days, make a short list of what you are grateful for from that day. It is the rare person that doesn't start feeling better from this ongoing "attitude of gratitude."

Simple stuff, but not exactly easy to get yourself to do it. But it works! So, give it a try, and give that willing spirit a chance to rise above your survival instincts.

Steve Roberts is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist who shares tips and real life relationship secrets from over 20 years of practice.

Married 31 years to Pam, his partner in Life and profession, he has personally known the peaks and valleys of the couple experience.

Get Insight and Wisdom for your Relationships at:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Neander-Thoughts - Ideas In Religion That Just Don't Serve Us Well Anymore

The Neanderthal stage of human development has always fascinated me. What beings these "not quite us" types must have been. Powerful in build and physical abilities. Impervious, compared to modern Homo Sapiens, to pain and injury. When one researcher sought to find a counterpart in our culture to explain the skeletal injuries found in most Neanderthals, the American Rodeo star won. The injuries rodeo riders suffered dealing with large animals were the same as those of the Neanderthal. Massive bones and skulls, amazingly peg like teeth used as tools over a lifetime and probably the attitude to go with it all, a Cro-Magnon, modern man, had better to have outsmarted him before he was broken in two.

Neanderthals existed for several hundred thousand years as a being on this planet. Hard to believe, but it is true. They were in Europe already when modern man entered showed up in the long trek out of Africa. European Neanderthals had no other human competition until about 35,000 years ago, and when it showed up, they lost. A culture that had the same tools and the same way of being simply lost out to creative thinkers, who, while not as physically powerful, were more intelligent and forward looking. A Neanderthal lived day to day in the present and seemed to have no foresite and few insights. This finally proved to be their downfall and the last Neanderthal may have departed the planet trapped in a cave in Southern Spain where they had been driven over thousands of years of losing out to the more "enlightened" Cro-Magnon...Us.

There are no Neanderthals on the earth today, but there are Neander-thoughts. A Neander-thought is an idea, way of thinking or being, that no longer works. Just as Neanderthals seemed incapable of insight and foresight, creative solutions and critical thinking, Neander-thoughts today are holding humans back from making any real progress and actually expose us all to being consigned to some trash heap of history for not recognizing it. Let's take a look a few of the biggies. I am sure you can add many more to the list.

Neander-thoughts fall into endless categories, but for my intended purposes and from where I tend to come from in my experiences, I will deal with Religious Neander-thoughts. There are political, economic, social and pseudo scientific Neander thoughts out there causing no end to problems as well. However, at the present time, it seems that religious Neander-thoughts are the ones tearing the planet apart...again.

There are thousands of Neander-thoughts that no longer serve human beings well, and yet are pumped out day after day and year after year over lifetimes as if they worked. They don't work and aren't true. Perhaps they never did, but the certainly do no longer and it's time we recognized the main ones. Most won't of course. If it was good enough for daddy, it is good enough for me, is a far too common apologetic for why Neander-thoughts still deserve a place in our minds and practices.

Religious Neander-Thoughts that no longer work, and never did well.

1. There is the one true God that is easily found if you just look and believe. Of course with six billion diverse peoples on the planet, the One True God that you find, or finds you will be a different One True God from the one most others find or are found by.

2. Having found the One True God, be it Allah, Jesus or YHVH, there is one easily understood way this God expects you to behave and one true set of discernable beliefs and practices to be adhered to.

3. There are written texts on the planet that have literally been written by God or the gods. These texts are coherent, seamless and inerrant in their content and intent. When read, it is obvious they were not written by men.

4. Those texts that were not literally written by God or the gods, but rather inspired in the minds of chosen men are coherent, seamless and inerrant in their content and intent. There are chosen and inspired by a True God men even if you are not and cannot be one.

5. Women and texts that relate to Goddess worship and Mother Earth perspectives are never correct nor worth knowing about or practicing in fact. The sin of one woman has brought all present day problems upon us all. As a result, she shall say "yes Lord" to men and have babies painfully.

6. When a Holy Book is written over thousands of years by scores of MEN, it is coherent, seamless and inerrant in content and intent.

7. Some men and very few women are more special than the general population of humans. When God tells them build little forts of mud and burn them down, lie on their side for over a year, or cook their food with human dung, lesser called humans should pay close attention to what this man is saying. Mental illness has never been a factor in the behavior of religious men.

8. Men in religion who talk to bushes in the desert, hear voices, see bright lights and receive commands from a Deity that no one else, standing by, can hear, see or perceive, should be paid close attention to and followed in all they say after the encounter.

9. Men who can and do stop the earth from rotating, so the sun appears to stand still, because he needs more daylight to finish the killing of enemies are credible, and it's always a good idea to have more time for killing.

10. Obscure peoples, living in obscure deserts, roaming around obscure mountains in obscure parts of the world, are the chosen people of the One True Deity, always have been and always will be, and you are not.

11. All religious beliefs and practices are inspired directly by the Deity to the chosen ones and spring from the vacuum of surrounding cultures who practice similar things but do so a bit differently and worship different Deities. The True People and Chosen ones, never take their beliefs from the paganism that surrounds them and never evolve the paganism of neighbors into their own form of true paganism as given by the true Deity. In short, true religions don't evolve out of the cultures they are soaking in.

12. There is a True Deity that loves some people much more than others and really hates some with a passion as if they are in someway fundamentally more flawed than the ones he loves.

13. Special humans, mostly men, are very capable of discerning the mind of the True Deity to form the True Synagogue, Mosque or Church, and are easily found and perceived by those that the True Deity calls to do so.

14. There is only one True Synagogue, Mosque or Church that the Deity will accept membership in for humans to receive their true spiritual rewards, both now and in the time after death.

15. The True Deity requires at least ten percent of your gross income to do His work on earth, which will be done through special humans that know the mind of God more than you ever could. They will always spend the money as if the Deity himself were spending it, for things the Deity would himself spend it for.

16. There is a place of eternal damnation, separation or annihilation for the vast majority who just don't get it and refuse the obvious call of the Deity through special men. This damnation, separation or annihilation is done in love and those who go on to some form of glorification would not notice or care that their children were missing from the equation.

17. Women are not to speak in the True Church because the Holy Text says the first woman sinned and not the man. Women in the True Church are also not to have any authority over a man because, in fact, women come from men and men do not come from women. While science would question this conclusion, most non-Christain science is easy dismissed as "science so called."

18. Because, not counting male lions and male bird plummage, nature tells us it a shame for a man to have long hair, the men of the true religion and Deity, will have short hair. Aside from all contemporary pictures of Jesus, the Sioux and the Visigoths, men with long hair are weak, gay and soft.

19. Because long hair is a covering for women, short hair is always out for women. Everyone knows that short haired women are from the Isle of Lesbos.

20. Real women don't wear pants.

21. True Religions need to be inflicted upon the disinterested by force, threat and compliance. Those who do not freely come to the True Deity as defined by the true men of the Deity, shall be driven out, mocked, beaten, threatened or killed if need be. God knows those that are his and can sort them out later.

22. There is one true day of the week where the true Deity is in town and can be worshipped best. Those who miss these true worship days are in big trouble. While Wednesday night is not a favorite of the Deity, it is of His chosen male representative, and salvation also depends a bit on one being in the Temple, Mosque or Church at that time as well, thinking what you are told to think.

23. Matthew actually wrote Matthew. Mark actually wrote Mark. Luke actually wrote Luke and John actually wrote John. And when all of these books give conflicting accounts of the god/man's birth, life and death, the story is still inerrant and true. If you can understand that three persons are one GOD, you can understand that Four Gospels make up one true and harmonious story.

24. There is a harmony of and in the Gospel accounts of Jesus life. They are eyewitness accounts.

25. It should not be a problem that Paul never quotes Jesus, even when it would be to his advantage to do so, but still gets to write most of the New Testament, explain the mind of God and inform the Church of the wishes of the Deity.

26. Paul knew Jesus personally...not.

27. Even though Paul said that Peter, James and John were "so called pillars" in the Church, and that he learned nothing from them, nor cared to, the early True Apostles all got along very well and loved each other, for Jesus sake, all teaching the True Church the same things.

28. The story in Acts of Peter, (who said one thing to Jesus about defending him, but actually did another and denied him), killing two church members (for saying one thing but doing another), is not really meant to make fun of Peter. Just because Paul and John felt Peter was disqualified to lead because he denied Jesus, we know they would never make fun of him. It really is OK to kill church members if they change their minds about giving money and their families won't ask why they did not come home from church.

29. The only way the Deity can get humans to trust and obey, because there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, Allah or YHVH, is to reign death and ecological destruction upon the planet in the form of plagues, fire, boils and having ones eyes melt out of their sockets as various Trumpets blow and vials of wrath are poured out upon humans by the Deity or the Sons of the Deity. Humans respond well to this kind of expression of love and concern and will easily switch from their desire to be authentically themselves and become compliant, obedient, trustful and squishy lovey from henseforth, lo, even unto the end of time. It is the ONLY way a Deity can help humans be all they can be.

30. More religion is what people need to be at peace. More chosen men are what we need to be told what the true Deity wants us to do and believe so we can be happy. There are no lunatics, mentally ill leaders or narcissists running the show. What you see in pushy leadership is always the leading of the Holy Spirit.

These are Neander-thoughts for sure and there are thousands if not millions of others that misguide our every step at times. There was a time for Neanderthals and they served their purpose over a very very long time as we count time. The Neanderthal "failed" when more evolved humans came along, who, while not stronger, were smarter, quicker and more resilient and forward thinking. They were creative and more conscious in some way that the Neanderthal was not and they overcame the stronger, yet weak of options Neanderthals. With some thought, we can also overcome the Neander-thoughts that are keeping good people, who do not wish to be driven like bison over the cliff, from making the personal progress we all crave. We can more freely pursue our meaning without having to comply to the meanings others assign to us to believe based on their own Neander-thoughts and ignorance. We can live in a society and on a planet that is not so freaking scary and not be led by Neander-thinkers.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Add Life and Color to Weddings With a Sparkler Arch

Weddings are considered to be one of a couple's most important moments. It is the day when two people will be tied to the commitment of loving and caring for each other. For this reason, many of us go into great extents just to make weddings more memorable. We exert much effort just so the day can be etched in our hearts and minds for years. If you are planning a wedding soon, then it would only be natural for you to go into the details of your wedding ceremony and reception just so you can end up not just with a memorable event but also a unique one. One way to do so is to use a sparkler arch for your wedding.

The sparklers that we usually know of are those in the short bamboo stick forms that are lighted up to produce sparks and lights. It is usually used for celebrations and festivities like New Years Days, Fourth of July celebrations and other important gatherings. Now, a sparkler arch is simply a two rows of people holding lighted sparklers above their heads so as to create a walkway or arch. The arch can purely be decorative (to highlight a celebration centerpiece, for instance) or it can be created temporarily to create a pathway for someone to walk through. Now, these archways are popular among weddings and there is no reason for you not to try them out on your special day.

Sparklers are used in various celebrations and not just weddings. They are used in New Years Day as part of the tradition that lights and sparks can send away evil spirits and bring good luck to a home. Sparklers are used in Fourth of July celebrations to add life and color to the happy event. While we still use sparklers in the same way and purpose, the present times have led to new types of sparklers. These new sparklers are now longer (36 inches and most ideal for weddings) and can come with metal sticks. The longer and metal-based sparklers of today are ideal for weddings since they can burn and sparkle for as long as four minutes.

Sparkling arches for weddings are the "in" thing these days because they can instantly add life, color and glamour to such events. Yes, we all are familiar with the use of smoke machine, the bubble machine and even the throwing of rice to newlyweds but you can go further with weddings by using sparklers. The sparkler arch is best used after the couple is declared as husband and wife. The couple can walk through the archway as newlyweds and guests or hired sparkler handlers can hold the sparklers high.

When using sparklers for weddings or any other celebrations, it is important to keep safety as one top priority. Kids should never be allowed to light the sparklers to accidents that can ruin the wedding. It is also advisable to keep a pail of water nearby so the sparklers can be doused with water after use.

Weddings can indeed become more special if you iron out all the ceremony and reception details long before special day arrives. By using a sparkler archway for your wedding, you can instantly add life, color and glamour to the special day.

Jameson Daniels is a writer for Skylighter. See his sparkler or his sky lanterns.