Thursday, January 19, 2012

6 Great Places to See on Your Tour of Costa Rica

The Central American country of Costa Rica is a true tropical paradise, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The nation boasts incredible lush jungles, beautiful beaches, vibrant cities and lots of historical landmarks worth a visit. In order to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer, it is recommended that you join a tour of some of the best destinations in the country. When planning your tour itinerary, be sure to include these 6 great places found in Costa Rica. 

1. San Jose: The nation's capital is where many tours begin, thanks to modern amenities and a wide range of activities and attractions. A knowledgeable local tour guide is incredibly helpful when visiting San Jose, as they can share information about the history and heritage of this beautiful capital city. Be sure not to miss places like the National Museum, the Parque Morazan or the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

2. La Fortuna de San Carlos: This small town may be famous, but it is actually so well-known thanks to being in close proximity to the nearby Arenal Volcano. This volcano, which erupts over 40 times each day, is a popular tourism destination in Costa Rica. A tour guide can help you get as close to the action as safely possible.


3. Cahuita National Park: Although Costa Rica has plenty of beautiful beaches, one of the most interesting environments is the lush tropical rainforest. Cahuita National Park boasts dense and diverse rainforests just next to the coast, making it a popular place to enjoy a day tour of this unique ecosystem.

4. Puerta Limon: This coastal city is one of the most interesting places in the country for those with a passion for history. Take a walking tour of the historical city centre and learn about the colonial style buildings and the early churches located there.

Playa Grande Beach, Costa Rica5. Playa Grande: To many tourists, the Playa Grande is simply a beautiful beach destination. However, with the help of a local tour guide it is possible to see the nearby Parque Nacional Marino Laus Baulas located along the beach. It is one of the most important sea turtle nesting sites in the Americas, and if you time it right you can see thousands of baby turtles hatching and heading to the sea.

Vacaciones 2008 - Hotel Bahía del Sol - Playa Potrero Guanacaste - Costa Rica6. Guanacaste: This province is one of the best destinations for those travellers who are interested in nature, hiking or Eco-tourism. A wide variety of tours are available to tour the local area and experience the flora and fauna first hand. Consider paddling in outrigger canoes through pristine territory, snorkelling in a protected national park or just hiking through the lush and tropical rainforests of the region.

Book unique escorted tours and Costa Rica travel with Bales Worldwide to get the best experience of central America. 

Get The Most Out Of Your Coffee With Coffee Machines

Start The Day With A Cup Of Coffee
For many people the day cannot begin unless they have a cup of coffee. This is as necessary as a shower and sunshine to get the day started right. And if this is not there the day goes down hill fast. It does not even matter if they prefer decaf or regular.

Some need the boost that comes with the leaded version while others just like the flavor and the warmth. Even many years after being decaffeinated they still receive comfort from the tasty beverage in the morning. It is not the caffeine they need, just the comfort.

And that is there in so many flavors. Fresh ground made with cold water, you can almost taste it while the pot is brewing. Pour the rich aroma into a cup and then add your choice of flavorings. The purist enjoys the taste by itself so they add nothing to change it.

Adding Sweetners And Milk
More people prefer the habit of adding sweeteners or sugar. And then they also have the choice of cream or milk. But those are not your only choices anymore. Now you can also have hazelnut, vanilla and many other syrup flavors to add to your coffees.

But the syrup is not the only part that can add the taste. Choosing to have mocha, dark roasted or so many other choices could be a crucial decision in your day. When friends get together at a coffee shop it is interesting to see all of the different flavors that are chosen.

And what could be more civilized than sitting around a table with friends sharing a beverage that is uniformly appreciated. Or in a meeting discussing the main topics is simpler after coffees are passed around. After dinner enjoy a relaxing cup of your favorite drink with dessert or brandy. As the perfect way to start and end your day you could not come up with a better choice.

A Machine Can Make Your Brew
So why not make the process easier, and add to your choices by investing in a machine to do the heavy lifting for you. Coffee machines come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. If you are planning to invest in a new model, it is important to check out as many different products as time permits before coming to a decision as to which to purchase. There are multiple considerations that should be explored when drawing up a shortlist of options.

To help you identify models that are excellent value for money, you should take a moment to check out various reviews that are available online. Do not just focus on the ratings given by so called experts, also check out the thoughts and opinions of regular coffee drinkers.

Think about what you want the product to do. Not all designs would be able to make a cup of espresso or a steaming cappuccino. Before you spend your money, be clear on the limitations of the model you are planning to purchase. If you also want to make hot chocolate and tea with the machine, understand that not all machines would have such an ability.

Photo Credit
Cleaning Your Machine
Another important issue that should be explored is how easy it is to clean various models. There are certain designs that are self-cleaning, these are extremely useful if you have a busy schedule and are simply not able to dedicate enough time to removing sediment from the mechanism each day.

Moreover, self-cleaning would ensure that each brew tastes as fresh as theoretically possible.

The brand is also a vital consideration. There are certain manufacturers of coffee machines that have an excellent reputation, whereas there are also hitherto unheard of companies who produce models today. It makes sense to stick with a name that you know and trust. No matter which model and manufacturer you opt for, make sure the product you choose comes with a comprehensive warranty.

Written by Jack Roberts, a regular contributor to a great place to order coffee and coffee machines

A Guide to Top Diamond Jewelry Picks Under $1,000

There are so many different personalities in the world. As such, it makes sense that everyone has various taste preferences, especially when it comes to something as personal as jewelry. Whether you want to buy a present for your favorite woman, the amazing man in your life, or for yourself, scouting out the perfect piece can be difficult. When you are on a strict budget, though, it’s even harder!

No need to fret—here are five of the hottest diamond jewelry pieces at unbeatable prices. Whether your beloved loves chocolate diamond engagement rings or fun pendants, there’s truly something for everyone.

LeVian Chocolate Diamond Ring 1. Chocolate Round Diamond Ring Band
The woman that you buy the chocolate round diamond ring band for is the one that everyone loves; she has impeccable taste that can best be classified as classy with a twist.

This ½ carat ring is 10-karat white gold. It features a medley of gorgeous chocolate brown stones flanked on the top and bottom of the ring by white diamonds.

For a mere $299, this piece of jewelry is affordable enough to make for a fabulous Christmas gift.

Photo Credit
2. Blue Diamond Horseshoe Pendant Necklace
Do you know a girl who is funky and cool, with a rock and roll, downtown vibe? She’s the one that needs the blue diamond horseshoe pendant necklace in her accessories collection. This 14 karat white gold piece is a statement-maker, and it may also bring the wearer good fortune with its lucky symbolism!

The pendant comes on an 18” long beaded chain and features prong-set blue round diamonds throughout. For just $550, this bedazzled talisman won’t break the bank, either.

3. Men’s .90ct Blue Diamond Ring
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Why do women get to have all the fun?” This blue diamond 14-karat white gold ring proves that men can enjoy nice things, too!

This ring has an ample 14mm top, set in gorgeous blue and white diamonds. At $779, it’s an economical but thoughtful gift for a father, husband or brother.

4. Blue Round Diamond Heart Shape Earrings
These 1.6-carat stud earrings are the ideal present when you’ve got a sweet and sentimental girly-girl on your hands. The sparkling earrings are set in 14-karat sold white gold, and they feature a pave set design. They include blue and white diamonds. Best of all, you can get them for $795, yet they’re appraised at more than double that amount.

To Jim, writing is everything. The topic he most enjoys writing about is jewelry. If you'd like more information regarding Chocolate Diamond Engagement Rings, please visit

Stop and Smell the Coconut Palms

Have you ever heard the phrase "Stop and smell the roses." This well-known proverb means just what it says. Sometimes we all need to stop and take a moment to take in our surroundings and appreciate the natural beauty that is all around us. For residents of Phuket City, this probably should be transformed slightly to "Stop and smell the coconut palms."

Coconut Palms And Phuket City
The coconut palm is synonymous with Phuket City, and yet how many times do you actually take the time to appreciate them for what they are? These beautiful specimens spotlight the Phuket City landscape. You can't go anywhere without seeing one. They are so common that we almost can't help but ignore them. However, if you really stop and take a moment to look, they are actually quite beautiful. Just try to imagine Phuket City without them. It would be like an alien world, devoid of that one thing that makes it complete and whole. Coconut palms represent Phuket City majestically, and they deserve to be appreciated.

Fruitfulness of Coconut Palms
One of the greatest things about the coconut palm is that it is not limited to just one variety. Phuket City harbors many types, from the true coconut palm, complete with everyone's favorite island fruit, to the Royal Palms that spotlight the roads of Phuket City, giving it an elegance that only they could provide. They set the tone for the island and act as an instant ambassador to visitors to the city. Anyone that visits Phuket will no doubt remember the palms as the first thing that struck them about it. Then there are others, like the betel nut palm. The fruit of these has a mild narcotic effect on the imbiber, making it popular for other than aesthetic reasons. However, they are quite pretty to look at and will grow just as easily as their other palm tree family members.

The Hidden Beauty of Coconut Palms
From a gardening standpoint, coconut palms are a marvelous creation. These specimens are fighters. They can grow almost anywhere with minimal supervision. Getting a coconut palm going is as simple as finding a coconut with a green shoot pointing out of it. You put it in the ground with the shoot sticking up. Give it a little love by watering it regularly and in a few weeks, you will have a coconut tree of your own. Few trees require less work or are more resilient.

The Palm’s Family
The Royal Palm is the coconut palm's big brother, but it shares its gardener-friendly nature. You can easily grow your own Royal Palm in the ground or in a pot. If you do decide to go the pot route, make sure you choose a big one, because Royal Palms have strong roots and will outgrow smaller pots. If you don't realize it in time and transfer it to a bigger pot, expect the roots to easily snap your pot in two. The ground is probably your best bet if you aren't willing to find new and creative ways to move your Royal Palm to a new potted home. If a potted palm is your wish, you may want to consider a Golden Cane Palm. These are more pot-friendly and only grow to be two or three meters tall. This makes them an excellent choice for a small balcony or terrace.

In Phuket, it's hard to take a few steps without running into a coconut palm or one of its brothers and sisters, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take notice when you do. Don't miss out on one of Phuket City's natural wonders. Always remember to take that extra second from time to time to take a deep breath and stop and smell the coconut palms.

This guest post was brought to you by Bonsai Tree Gardener. Come visit our website for in-depth information on bonsai trees, bonsai tools and accessories. We will be posting weekly content on our website on various bonsai tree types and other related information for you to get started with your own bonsai.

The Music Legends Who Made The Instruments Famous

Its the same with football boots, golf clubs and cars, the right endorsement from a famous expert can propel the brand to success. Nowhere is this more visible than the world of music, where getting a top selling artist associated with your instrument is a potential goldmine. Read on to find out how musical legends have turned ordinary instruments into music icons.

Hofner were already pretty famous in Germany for their range of guitars. However, their products were considered premium, and cutomers needed a good reason to pay the higher prices they were charging. In 1956, Walter Hofner designed a semi-acoustic bass guitar, which he named the 500/1. This violin shaped bass was far more symmetrical than most other guitars, which appealed to a young, left-handed, Paul McCartney.

McCartney adopted the Hofner 500/1 as his primary guitar, owning two versions of the model, both of which appeared in countless music videos, and were used to record some of the Beatles' most successful albums. The 500/1 even became known as the 'Beatle Bass', becoming the ultimate must-have guitar for any Beatles wannabe. Hofner have had similar success with Richie Blackmore, of Deep Purple and Rainbow, who learnt to play on a Hofner Club 50 Guitar, before switching to a Fender Stratocaster.

Photo Credit
The most iconic guitar manufacturer has produced instruments for a huge number of music's greatest ever names. One of Fender's most popular guitars, the Stratocaster has been favoured by musicians such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, George Harrison, John Lennon, Mark Knopfler, Hank Marvin, Ritchie Valens, Ronnie Wood, Kurt Cobain and Pete Townshend. With so many rock legends using their guitars, it's no wonder so many people consider Fender to be the best guitar manufacturer.

Fender has taken advantage of the adoption of their instruments by music's top guitarists by creating signature editions. Those artists who can afford it often choose to have their Fender custom made. Occasionally Fender create replicas of these custom builds as a signature edition. Notable signature editions have been created for Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. This tactic has further built the connection between the company and succesful artists.

Photo Credit
The Banjolele
Sometimes one person can be responsible for the success of an entire instrument. The banjolele has the body of a traditional banjo, but the fretted neck of a ukulele, and was relatively unknown at the start of the 20th century. This was until George Formby, a British comedian began to use the instrument in his comedy songs.

Formby experienced huge success with hits such as 'When I'm Cleaning Windows', 'Leaning on a Lamp Post' and others which were full of double entendre and other comical elements. These hits helped propel the banjolele into its golden era of success in the 1920's and 1930's. In the late 1930's, Formby was Britains most succesful movie star with a huge fan base, many of whom looked to imitate his playing style, causing the instrument to sell in huge numbers.

GJ's Guitars is a UK retailer providing high quality guitars and Mahalo Ukuleles online.

11 Cars For 2012

The year the world might end is shaping up to be a great year for automobiles. One of the cars on this list returns American manufacturing to the U.S. Whatever a driver is looking for, it’s on this list. Here are 11 cars to be excited about buying in 2012.

1 – Kia Rio
Remember those cheap toys that felt like they would break if someone so much as looked at them? That was the Rio. Now, the Rio is nice. It gets 30/40 mpg (city/highway) and has upgraded features and quality. It’s still cheap, one of the cheapest on this list at just over $14,000 base price. The nicest touches are air-condition and iPod compatibility – as standards.

2 – Toyota Prius v
Toyota did wonderful things for the auto industry when it introduced the Prius. However, the Prius lacked in cargo space. The Prius v (yes, lowercase) has more cargo room with additional trunk space. This also means its longer and less fuel efficient. By less fuel efficient, Toyota really means it gets just over 40 mpg.

3 – Ford Focus
The Focus is back. Like Americans, the Focus started off its early stages as trim and European, and slowly ended up fatter, slower, and less efficient. Ford has decided to change that and has brought back the European concept. The Focus will give Americans what they loved about it in the first place and the option of heated leather seats, dual-zone climate control, and a self-parking system.

4 – Honda Civic
The Civic really hasn’t changed much at all, which was the Focus’s problem. Everyone wants change, forward-progress, new features. This one has that, with more options for being more eco-friendly. Other than that, it’s the same. But, the Civic has been wonderful in the past, so why change it now?

5 – Chevrolet Sonic
Chevy is keeping with the true American tradition of building cars by keeping this one built in the U.S. – all of it. It’s a 36 mpg vehicle that runs off 1.8 liters and a six-speed transmission. This little car is the next in line after Chevy’s run with the Aveo. So far, the interior is roomy and the styling has won good reviews. Keeping with the tradition, Chevy plans to offer at a base price friendly to wallets.

6 – Hyundai Veloster
Some might recognize this as the car advertised with three doors, one for the driver and two for the ladies. Granted, it could be done the other way around, but this one shouldn’t be confused for class. Yeah, it looks nice, but it’s really about economical consideration. Either way, it’s entering the market with originality.

7 – Subaru Impreza
For the longest time, Subaru has been different in that it stuck with what worked best for Subaru owners. The interior, the engine, and the driving has been designed around all-purpose driving and hauling. Subaru has taken a step up and worked toward bringing more modern features to the car, such as navigation and leather. Still, it’s the same dependable snow/rain/mud driving machine.

Photo Credit
8 – Volkswagen Jetta GLI

Volkswagen has problems in its earlier models of the Jetta, with engine oil gelling and other maintenance problems. It’s getting better. The GLI is the more powerful version of the Jetta series. Inside, it’s comfortable; outside, it drives better. More trunk room means this family car just made traveling easier, and more fun.

9 – Audi A7
A sedan of the sedans is getting bigger. There are more high-tech devices, including Internet-enabled WiFi hot spots, and night vision. The engine will feature 3 liters and 6 cylinders – all supercharged. The interior has leather and the elegance should be amazing. What’s more: The car is competitive with BMW and Audi, but potentially thousands of dollars cheaper.

Photo Credit
10 – Dodge Charger 300 SRT8
Before, many complained that Dodge was giving them a once-over with all the appeals of a muscle-car engine, and all the inconveniences of a NASCAR interior. Those are done. Here’s a car for the power-enthusiast. It’s 465 hp of HEMI V8 run contained under the hood. The engine revs and it’s enough music to send a person back into the nostalgic era of 89-cent a gallon gasoline. (Note: 89 cents of gas will probably get a driver about 5 miles.)

11 – Ford Mustang Boss 302
Like the Charger 300 SRT8, the Ford Mustang Boss has a great interior and engine. This is a race car for the common person that wants to enjoy long highways and waning summer days. In trial runs, it kept up pace-for-pace with the BMW M3 if that gives any indication of its ability.

While there might be other cars, and certainly many were left off this list, these are just 11 of the vehicles Americans can be excited about parking in their driveway in 2012.

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging in the automotive, technology, and business industries for three years. When Nicole bought her car last year she made sure to check online for auto insurance so she could save money and be well protected. When Nicole has free time she likes to help her families nieces and nephews practice driving. She makes sure to review the dmv drivers handbook with them to make sure they pass there tests.

Putting a Stop to the Vicious Cycle of Dust mite Allergies

Nobody enjoys the constant sneezing, coughing and watery eyes that accompany a dust mite allergy. Besides stuffiness and discomfort allergy symptoms can be disruptive during a work day and deprive you of much needed sleep night after night and day after day.

But allergies don’t have to be miserable and ruin your life!

Regardless if your symptoms are mild, moderate or even severe there are things you can do at home to stop the vicious cycle of dust allergies and start living symptom free.  All it takes is an understanding of what a dust allergy is and ultimately what a dust mite is, how it affects your body and effective methods for eliminating the allergen from your home.

What Is a Dust Mite?
So what are dust mites? They are tiny microscopic creatures that measure about .01 inches, which is the same as about a thousandth of a millimeter requiring a microscope to be able to see them. They are a member of the arachnid class because they are joint-legged invertebrate animals.

They are closest to spiders and tics but they do not actually bite you or feed on your directly. Instead they feed on the dead skin cells that flake off your body on a continual basis. Dust mites start out as an egg and then move onto the larvae stage with 6 legs. The next stage is nymph and finally adult where they develop 8 legs.

From egg to adult is roughly 3 to 4 weeks and can continue to live another 1 to 3 months depending on the living conditions. Under ideal conditions a single female can produce anywhere from 50 to 80 eggs in her lifetime.

What are Ideal Living Conditions?
Dust mites flourish in a warm, humid and dark environment that provides a ready source of food. In your home their preferred living space is actually your bed, where it remains dark, warm and readily plentiful with a food supply.

What Is a Dust Mite Allergy?
Dust mite allergies can be defined as an overreaction by your immune system to the presence of dust mite droppings and decaying body parts.  This “overreaction” leads to the classic respiratory symptoms sufferers know all too well.

How Do Dust Mite Allergies Affect You?
As we breathe normally we inhale these tiny microscopic particles that have become airborne through normal household activities like cleaning, rustling the sheets and blankets on your bed and dusting. Once inhaled these particles gain access to your bloodstream where they travel throughout your body and populate in a variety of locations.

The immune system locates these particles and responds by over producing IgE antibodies.  These antibodies locate mass cells or cells that contain histamine within the blood to attach to. On repeated exposure more antibodies are produced and the mast cells become overloaded and burst, releasing histamine into the bloodstream. As the histamine travels through your body varying symptoms begin to appear.

How to Effectively Eliminate Allergy Symptoms
If you want to effectively eliminate symptoms it is necessary to eliminate the allergen. Anything else is just a temporary cover up until the next overload.  The good news is eliminating dust mite allergens is easier than you might think.

1)      Purchase allergy encasements. Dust mites live in your bed and feed on skin tissue that has flaked away while sleeping. This makes it rather obvious how encasing your mattresses and pillows can eliminate the allergen at its source. Do some research and be sure the encasements you select are designed to trap particles as small as 200 microns and you’ll be set to effectively trap dust mites and their waste.
 2)       Invest in a quality vacuum designed to trap particles of the smallest microns. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a HEPA filter vacuum but it does need to be designed with a powerful suction that has been proven to trap particles instead of letting them slip through the bag surface and back into the air you are breathing.
 3)      Purchase an air purifier with proven effectiveness at eliminating particles as small as 200 microns and place it in your bedroom. You can purchase a whole house purifier if you want to but you will still want a separate unit for your room.
 4)      Finally, clean thoroughly and clean often. By keeping dust to a minimum on hard surfaces you will prevent allergen particles from becoming airborne where they wait for you to inhale!

Nobody enjoys living with bothersome allergy symptoms. The good news is you don’t have to! Just take a moment to understand the dust mite, what an allergy is and how to beat it and you’ll be breathing fresh air and enjoying symptom free days in no time.

Mikki Hogan is a proud wife and mother living in North Carolina with her family. Soon after learning she was suffering from an allergy from dust she set her mind to finding a way to beat her symptoms by beating the disease.  Step one was answering the question, “what are dust mites” in as much detail as possible. The answer led her to practical solutions for relief that she gladly shares here today.

10 Safety Tips for Using a Facebook Site for Kids

There will come a day when children may ask their parents if they can set up a Facebook profile.  Although many parents will be fine with this, there are others that have some concerns.  Facebook is not meant for young kids and there are age restrictions to prevent children under the age of 13 from using this site.  It is possible that there are adults out there that use Facebook with the wrong intentions.  Young children may not understand what is safe and what is not safe to post.  Many times kids give up information too freely.  Facts such as where kids live, where they are going throughout the day, who they are going to be with, and if they are going to have adult supervision will enable someone to track down these kids. 

Even though Facebook may not be the right choice for the entertainment of a child, there are sites that are specifically created for kids under the age of 13 that have the strictest security.  Parents need to do some research and understand how the website works before allowing their child to set up a public profile.

Creating Safe Online Profiles
There are a few things that kids can do to ensure safety while using a social networking site for kids without giving too much information away. 
  1. Do not use real name – Kids can make up a nickname or alias.  That way their friends will know who they are but it will keep their identity private from people trying to find or contact them.
  2. Keep personal information private – Do not reveal information about yourself or family members that would not normally be revealed or information that may be used to find out your location.
  3. Do not post a photo of yourself – Instead upload a picture of something else or use an avatar such as a cartoon character to keep your identity private.
  4. Do not give out an address or phone number – Giving out your address or phone number can give a stranger the ability to find or contact you.
  5. Do not post inappropriate photos or videos – a rule of thumb for deciding which pictures should be posted is to consider if your parents would approve of these pictures. 

Networking Safety
After creating a profile there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure all content stays age appropriate.
  1. Do not talk to strangers – if a stranger approaches you online, tell your parents.  Some friend requests are fine because they are from other children but it is best to let your parents determine who it is safe to network with.
  2. Do not trust that a message is from who it says it is – websites and accounts can be easily hacked to send messages to other people.  Contact that friend to make sure the message is from them.
  3. Type the social networking address into the browser – If you log into a fake site then you are giving your personal information to someone who could potentially steal it.
  4. Be selective about friend requests – Accept friend requests form only people you know.  Identity thieves have been known to create fake profiles in hopes that they might get information from you.
  5. Choose a social network carefully – Determine which Facebook site for kids has a privacy policy and which ones are monitored frequently.  Some sites even allow parents to create a profile to monitor what the child encounters online. 

Enjoy spending time on a social networking site just make sure it is safe and secure for all users.

Kids Social Network is a safe social networking site for kids that is constantly monitored to ensure that it is the safest kids social networking site out there.

Monday, January 16, 2012

GPS Chip Befriend Police Officers to Knock down Crime

As seen on TV, the use of cell phone Global Positioning Systems is becoming a mainstay for many police departments in both their ability to catch criminal and in locating lost or injured citizens. While advocates applaud the benefits of GPS systems, built into most cell phones, privacy experts are not all that enthused about how police can use the same information.

GPS Tracking Devices in Cell Phones Help Greatly in 9-1-1 Events

Thanks to the small GPS tracking devices built into most of the nearly half million cell phones on the market today, their location can be quickly determined and have proven a plus for those who have become lost or injured. When a cell phone is powered on it sends the phone’s registration information, including the phone number to the nearest cellular tower. It sends this same information every few minutes and a GPS locating device can pinpoint the phone’s location within seconds as long as it remains powered on.

In the event a person calls 9-1-1 emergency services, even if they are unable to speak or do not know their location, a GPS locator can find them and dispatch emergency help. Considering that emergency calls are placed to 9-1-1 over a quarter million times every day in the United States, the benefits of this technology should be obvious.

Criminals Disagree

However, those using their cell phones for illegal purposes may not share the same love of the technology since law enforcement can also use their GPS locators to track them, as well as look at their most recent locations. While tracking the movement of criminals may seem a little too easy on the television crime dramas, the technology not only exists, it is used by many police departments as an aid to fighting crime.

Most police agencies are reluctant to give up information about how they use the technology to track and capture criminals, they concede that its use in those crime dramas is not too far off base. A 9-1-1 call center, with the right equipment will display the callers’ phone number as well as the location of the phone at the time of the call. Responders can then be sent out within 75 to 100 feet of the phone’s location at the time the call was placed.

Pre-paid cell phones, often referred to as “burn phones” do not have to provide personal information when purchased and since there is no contract, finding the owner can be more difficult, but it is not impossible for law enforcement agencies to track ownership, as well as location. Even phones without GPS technology can be located by triangulating the signal from three adjacent cell towers. Although pinpointing the phone’s location may not be as exact, it provides a starting point with which to start a search.

Privacy Issues Still in Question

The technology is waging battles with privacy rights advocates, claiming that police are violating their rights when they use GPS tracking to monitor their whereabouts. Even though wireless companies typically will not release information on their subscribers without a court issued warrant, many believe police should not have the right to track their every move. Their opinion however, may change if their phone information is used to help them during an emergency situation.

The Articles is a contribution by John Smith, His interest in technology and gadgets has made him a dedicated writer, He also has great knowledge about computers and the web world, Visit his site Aanbesteding politievoertuigen and politie aanbesteding.

OPPORTUNITY: Vista Print ~ FREE Valentine's Day 1 ~ Tee Shirt

1 FREE custom T-shirt for Valentine’s Day! 

The T-Shirt is Free, pay only shipping and processing! 

This year, try something fun and new by creating a custom T-shirt for your kids or spouse! 

Designing a unique gift is easier than you think. Choose from a variety of designs and add your own personal message to make a truly special gift!  

Order now to receive your gifts in time for Valentine’s Day!

Shipping starts at : $4.41

OPPORTUNITY: Under One Roof - Exclusive online community

The people who bring you HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel invite you to join an exclusive online community where you can share your opinions, thoughts, and ideas about topics related to home, food, travel and more! 

Under One Roof is your opportunity to tell us about your experiences in home improvement, decorating, cooking, shopping, entertaining, traveling, vacations, and much more. 

Your opinions will help shape plans for some of your favorite networks. Plus, you earn points for rewards by participating in surveys and discussion forums. 

Once you've qualified and confirmed your membership in the community, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of three $250 electronic giftcards.

Pros and Cons of Shower Curtains and Bath Shower Screens

Installing a shower over the bath has always proven to be an excellent use of space in smaller bathrooms, especially those with young children who need a bath. Shower curtains have been used for the longest time to prevent shower water from splashing outside the bath and general wet area. Nowadays though there is a wide variety of bath shower screens available but the question is whether they're worth installing. Let's consider the benefits and disadvantages of shower curtains versus bath shower screens.

Shower Curtains
Firstly let's look at the pros and cons of the tried and true shower curtain.

  • Most shower curtains are very affordable, making them a viable option for every household.
  • To install a shower curtain is super easy. It's just a matter of attaching the shower curtain hooks to the curtain and then placing the hooks over the shower rail.
  • These days there are many different shower curtains to choose from. With so many beautiful fabrics and patterns it's easy to find something that will make a lovely style statement in your bathroom.
  • Whenever you grow tired of your shower curtain it's easy to take it down and put up a new one.
  • Shower curtains are effective at keeping shower water from spraying onto the walls and floor of your bathroom.
  • One of the most problematic issues with shower curtains is that they can become grubby quickly and even grow mould before your very eyes. A wet curtain sitting against a bath for long periods is not going to help the grime factor.
  • Many shower curtains can be washed in the machine but taking it down and up often is not likely to be a fun thing to do. All in all, shower curtains are quite problematic when it comes to keeping them clean.
  • Shower curtains can also make a room feel smaller by creating a wall around the bath.
  • Generally, shower curtains make bathrooms look out of date.
    Bath Shower Screens
    Now it's time to consider the pros and cons of bath shower screens.

    • A bath shower screen instantly modernizes the bathroom simply because of the clean lines, sharp edges and up to date shapes.
    • Clear glass screens make the room look larger, giving a feeling of spaciousness. When we don't feel we're in a tight space it's easier to relax and enjoy it.
    • Bath screens are effective at preventing water from splashing onto dry areas.
    • Shower screens are easy to keep clean, and who wouldn't want to start their day in a sparkling clean bathroom.
    • You can choose from many different options including bi-fold or sliding screens, framed or frameless screens and even oval screens should you so desire. With such a wide variety of bath screens available, it's easy to find something that will fit perfectly into your space. 
    • Screens last for a long time and can give an up to date look for years when simple designs are chosen.
    • Bath screens can increase the value of your property.
    • The investment required for some shower screens to be purchased and fitted is certainly more than the cost of a simple shower curtain.

      As you can probably gather, the main advantage of a shower curtain versus a bath shower screen is that the curtain costs a lot less. However, it's important to remember that our bathroom can be a place of respite, a room in our home where we should be able to retreat to and rejuvenate. An impressive oval bath shower screen goes a long way toward adding that touch of luxury we all deserve and will always outshine a shower curtain when it comes to that feeling of pampering and relaxation. Other then the initial investment of a bath screen, there really is no other reason not to invest in one, in fact in our book, bath shower screens win hands down over the old fashioned shower curtain. And remember, we all deserve to indulge regularly and what better place than in a bath shower with a beautiful screen.
        Tauseef Hussain is an interior decorator and social media blogger for Bathroom Suites, the online shop for Bath Shower Screens fixtures (for UK citizens).

        Bridal Party Ideas: A Bridal Shower Planning Guide

        One of the most important tasks of the Maid of Honor is to plan a bridal shower or a bridal tea party for the bride, hopefully the help of the bridesmaids. Although it’s fun, planning a bridal party is no mean feat. You, as the maid of honor or bridesmaid, have to come up with unique bridal shower ideas that will make the party a memorable event. However, planning a bridal shower becomes significantly easier when you know what factors are important and what factors aren’t.

        • Date
        The wedding shower is ideally held anywhere between two months and a few weeks prior to the wedding. Holding the party too close to the wedding can be very stressing to the bride as she is likely to have a lot to attend to. Also, when sending the date, allow enough time for guests who may be coming in from out of town to make travel arrangements.

        • Venue
        The choice of venue will be dictated by the guests whom you wish to invite. If you are only planning to invite a few of the bride’s friends and family, then you can have the bridal tea party at home. Otherwise, you may have to find an external venue which, needless to say, can be costly.

        • Bridal Shower Themes
        This is arguably the most important part of planning a wedding shower. You should take the bride’s likes and dislikes into consideration when picking the theme as it will most likely influence the guests’ choice of gifts. Some popular themes include lingerie, spa and beauty, tea party travel and honeymoon themes. If the bride and groom have a gift registry for the shower, do not forget to mention it in the invitation.

        • Budget
        Since, it is the responsibility of the bridesmaids to throw the bride a shower, each of the maids is supposed contribute to the cost of the party. Determine how much the party is going to cost and decide who pays for what. It’s always best to get all the money in advance.

        • Invitations
        A typical wedding shower guest list includes the bride and groom’s female friends and family members. Find out from the bride whether she prefers an intimate event with 10-20 guests or a much larger party. Also, do not forget to consult the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom when deciding whom to invite.

        • Bridal Party Games
        Games are a popular activity in wedding showers. They break the ice and get everyone into the spirit of the party. Games can be simple such as bridal bingo, words of wisdom, I never or two truths & a lie as long as everyone has fun.

        • Bridals Party Favors
        It is important to appreciate the guests for coming and thank them for making the bride’s day special. The easiest and most reasonable way to do this is to give the guest some bridal party favors. They don’t necessarily have to be expensive; it’s the thought that counts.

        Are you planning a bridal tea party? Get unique, thoughtful bridal tea party favors for your guests with the help of Ashley Nelson, the author of this article.

        The History Of Ink – From The Dark Ages To The Printer Era

        Courtesy of Prisse Payrus Wikipedia page

        There are many academic quibbles over the ultimate origins of ink. Various nationalities, cultures and religions have all claimed credit for its invention at some point in time.

        Since ink derived from cephalopod sacs has been available and usable, for a very long time, it is not really possible to work out when exactly making deliberate marks with ink was “invented”.

        What is possible is to trace at least some of the human history of ink through time: the art, the written records, the political intrigue and upheaval.

        The Ancient World
        Although Chinese philosopher Tien-Lcheu is thought to have invented ink as early as 2697 B.C., the earliest writing on paper is probably the Prisse Papyrus.

        The unassuming scrap of papyrus this text was written on dates back to the twelfth dynasty of Egypt, or around 2000-1800 B.C.E. Unfortunately it doesn’t contain a spell to preserve the possessor from he who is in the water, but only advice on how to live a quiet life of modesty and moderation, obey the law, and maintain strict discipline and self-control.

        This is much less metal, and also has fewer useful practical applications.

        Early writings were frequently used to communicate conservative philosophies, instructions and thinly veiled political treatises.

        Ink’s role as a tool of authority and political influence forms a notable contrast with some of its later incarnations...

        From Dark Age To Renaissance
        There are comparatively few printed records from the period referred to by Petrarch as the time of “darkness and dense gloom”. The art of writing survived, however, in lavish works such as the Book of Kells. Works like these, mostly created by Christian monks, featured lush Celtic knot-work and step patterns alongside elaborately ornamented lettering.

        At about the same time, Muslim scholars were developing their own narratives and traditional histories, especially of the Prophet Mohammed’s life and times. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world from Britain, Japan was enjoying its own golden age or “Heian period”, the source of most Japanese classical literature and arguably the first piece of science fiction.

        The ink used in Europe was mostly iron gall ink, which unfortunately was acidic and must have destroyed many works. The same ink was responsible for severely damaging the original works of JS Bach.

        In terms of culture and writing, then, the Dark Ages seem at first to have been misnamed. However, their gentle glow must have seemed pitch black compared to the blinding light emanating from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.

        Thanks to Gutenberg’s revolutionary printing press, the flow of ideas became far freer, and the dominance of religious thinking in the West began to be challenged. The subsequent birth of Protestantism changed the history of many nations permanently.

        It is also likely that, with the burgeoning middle classes’ exposure to the knowledge which ink could provide, came the learning necessary for the Renaissance. During the Renaissance, ideas became incredibly powerful, with secular humanists beginning to disseminate their opinions widely, and a flurry of pamphlets on politics, philosophy and art being published.

        The Modern Age
        With the advances made possible in the Renaissance, undoubtedly partly due to printing technology, printing became industrialised along with everything else. With the advance of printing technology came the advance of journalism as we know it today, true mass media and mass distribution of literature. Political ideals such as Marxism and Objectivism spread quickly.

        Ink was also reconsidered and re-appropriated as a medium by several Western artists, most notably Van Gogh.

        Left: Tree With Ivy In The Asylum (Van Gogh, 1889). Right: Fountain In The Garden Of The Hospital, St Remy (1889)

        There are still artists working in pen and ink today, mostly drawing  architectural scenes, but with others doing work for extreme metal album art such as Justin Bartlett, grim landscapes, and abstract art. Interestingly, modern abstract art has many ties with early Celtic and Celtic Christian ink-based artworks, bringing the cycle back around.

        The real reason for the Lord Of The Rings-inspired title of this post, though, is the (relatively) recent discovery of a 150 million year old squid, preserved well enough that the scientists were able to extract its ink sac.

        Just as the ancient people of the earth may have done, they used its ink to make marks: a picture of the squid itself, and its name in Latin.

        James MacGregor is a writer of many, possibly too many, blogs and articles. He writes blog posts for Cartridge Shop, a retailer of a range of printer cartridges which includes dell printer cartridges.

        5 Celebrities and Their Dogs

        When it comes to being a bit gaga about pets, celebs are no different, especially when it comes to their dogs. Whether it be a hand bag sized Chihuahua or a faithful old mutt, many of these A-listers are inseparable from their canine buddies.

        Ryan Gosling and George

        Ryan Gosling has owned George for 11 years, and the big ol' mutt is becoming a regular feature when the heart-throb is snapped out and about. George is getting on a bit now though and is beginning to need a little help in and out of the car. Ryan was spotted heaving the fellow into the back of his SUV after a walk around Runyon Canyon recently. This however didn't stop George appearing on The Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon with Gosling where he talked about numerous subjects including George's full body Mohawk. According to Ryan, George insists on the haircut. As it grows out he begins to act more and more unruly, until he's given a punk star trim.

        Paris Hilton and Tinkerbell

        Let's be honest. Paris Hilton pretty much turned the Chihuahua into a fashion accessory and while that sounds really bad, there is no denying that the heiress absolutely adores her teeny pooch Tinkerbell. She recently posted a picture to twitter of the two of them about to take off for the Hilton family holiday in Aspen. Tinkerbell was wearing a rather festive little number in red...

        Jake Gyllenhaal, Atticus and Boo

        Jake Gyllenhall's two dogs are named after characters from To Kill A Mockingbird, which is his favourite book. Atticus is an alsatian and Boo is a puggle. That's a cross between a pug and a beagle. Jake is often seen jogging with both by his side. Atticus actually belonged to Jake and ex-partner Kirsten Dunst, the two now share custody as it were.

        Blake Lively and Penny

        Gossip Girl star Blake Lively owns a Maltipoo, a cross between a Maltese and a Poodle, called Penny who goes absolutely everywhere with her. This led to a modicum of embarrassment in 2008 when Penny had an 'accident' on Blake's dress while out shopping. This wouldn't have been so bad but the entire thing was caught by the paparazzi. They don't miss anything do they? Anyway a large carry bag obscured the wet patch and as far as we know Penny wasn't bothered at all.

        Jessica Biel and Tina

        Jessica Biel's Tina is a serious breed of dog, an American pit bull. The breed is notorious for being aggressive and is actually banned in some countries. However the attention doted on Tina by Jessica seems to have pacified her and quite often the two of them are seen taking a stroll around Brentwood, California.

        If you've a favourite celeb and pooch partnership why not let us know...

        When not monitoring the dogs of the rich and famous Sarah Wilkins seeks out wedding gifts for the online emporium Find Me A Gift.

        The Fast and the Furious – Advanced Driver Training in Style

        The Fast and the Furious – Advanced Driver Training in Style
        The skill of being able to handle a high-powered vehicle under extreme conditions is not just the preserve of F1 or Dakar Rally drivers. You too can lift your driving game to professional status in just a few short lessons.

        1. Down On Skid Row

        If you don’t quite have the nerve, or the points on your license to handle a skid round a corner on the motorway at 120mph then you can do it safely, under supervision and still feel the thrill of a handbrake turn. Skid Pan courses are some of the best fun and advanced driver training you can have legally.

        The value of knowing how to handle yourself and your vehicle in a real life skid situation cannot be overemphasized. With Skid Pan Advanced Driver Training, you learn how to control a vehicle in a clean water skidpan with one-on-one driver instruction. While it might be fun to barrel round the track in a high performance sports car, the real skill is in learning how to control and safely manoeuvre a road car or family saloon in a hazardous situation.

        2. Driving Drifting Days

        Drifting is a term used to describe the direction that a vehicle takes when entering and exiting a turn. Drifting is also known as power sliding, and everybody who has seen any high speed car chase or watched the boys from Top Gear sliding out of a curve will want to learn how to do it with style. Drifting in a car is most easily achieved in a rear-wheel drive vehicle. More than just a great day out, when you experience the feeling of drifting in a car, and learn how you can control a vehicle while it is spinning can give you powerful skills in any inclement weather situations on slippery roads.

        3. Advanced Driver Certification
        If you use your car for work and want to get the lowest insurance premiums on your vehicle, you should consider investing in Advanced Driver Training. Many insurance companies recognise the value of being able to handle a vehicle on the roads and offer reduced premiums on the successful completion of an Advanced Driver Training course.

        4. Stunts Supreme

        If you fancy yourself a bit of a pro behind the wheel, then you have to experience what it is like to be a stunt driver for a day. These daredevil professional drivers risk life and limb to bring the most exciting techniques and driving scenes to the big screen. Screeching handbrake turns, parallel parking in one easy move. If you’ve seen it on film, you can live it at a stunt-driving course for the day.

        Advanced Driver Training courses offer a host of corporate days for companies, as well as private parties and individual courses to suit your budget and your experience level. If you want to set your driving skills against something a little more real than a Granny in Grand Theft Auto, then Advanced Driving Training should be your next pit stop.

        If you're a budding stunt driver, you're going to need some wheels. For great prices on used cars, drift over to

        2012 Mountain Bike World Championships Guide

        When mountain bicycles made the bicycle showrooms nearly three decades ago, no one could have foreseen the popularity and incredible evolution the sport has enjoyed. Mountain biking, like its road cycling cousin, has a world championship. There are several categories for the mountain bike championships, and the 2012 competition has all of them, being presented in the Saalfelden-Leogang region of Austria.

        There are two main categories for the world championships: cross country and gravity. Gravity cycling is comprised of the downhill and slalom style racing, while the cross country races are long and short course.


        For 2012, the UCI - Universal Cycling International - is removing the four-cross downhill race. This is a race that sees four racers line up and head down the course in cut-throat fashion. The UCI decided to remove this and focus more on the downhill courses. Also, the cost of designing a four-cross race course was deemed too much, forcing the UCI to remove it and make the downhill event the premier of the championships. There will be four days of double-elmination downhill races in Leogang starting on August 31.

        Cross Country

        The UCI has decided to keep both the standard cross country events and add the eliminator races for 2012. Eliminator races have cross country racers in criterium fashion. Criterium racing is done on an enclosed short track with breakneck speeds and tight turns. Expect to see mud fly in this event. The 2012 World Championships are the first of the competitive series to see eliminator races as a cup qualifier.

        The cross country races are to be held in the Saalfelden, and take place over three days, with cumulative times being used for the final podium criteria, similar to a grand tour in road cycling.


        Spectators are encouraged to attend the World Championships. Admission gets patrons into the race grounds as well as the show tents, athlete village and bicycle showcase. This is a great place to see world class cycling. Many of the athletes racing at the worlds will be coming off Olympic performances, with the 2012 Summer Olympics taking place in London.

        The lead up to the worlds takes place over two weeks, with smaller races, eliminations and showcases taking place during this tie. This is due to the increasing popularity of mountain bicycling. When the mountain bike worlds began several years ago, they took place over two days, and were thought more of as kitsch than serious events. Today, with mountain biking as a premier sport, the worlds are one of the biggest events on the mountain biking calendar.

        Take advantage of the Mountain Biking World Championship length this year, and head across the Atlantic to Austria to see world class athletes keeping the knobby tires in the mud.

        Josh is a lover of all things mountain bikes and will be participating at this year's world championships. He rides every day, not only for the enjoyment, but the fitness that comes with it.