Nose Rings, Studs And Bones - Which Is For You?

Nose piercings have become very popular among people who are in favour of surface piercings; nose rings, studs and balls are actually second in popularity after ear piercings. Although there are more women who have pierced noses than men, someone who wears a nostril piercing is making a personal statement for him- or herself. A successful piercing means someone followed their nose piercing aftercare instructions.

Nose piercings have a common place among the cultures of India as well as most parts of the middle east. As a matter of fact, in India and in some parts of the middle east, a man gives a woman he is about to marry a nose ring which is the western world's equivalent of a wedding ring. These days, nose bones are quite a bit popular. A woman would only need to turn her head for other people and men in particular to understand that she is already married.

Should you decide that you would like to go and get your nostril pierced, there are actually a couple of nose rings, studs and bones that you can choose from. There is the screw that starts as a straight stud but has hooks as well as curves so you would not be able to easily pull it out regardless of how much you pull at it. This particular stud is put in through the nostril by slowly inserting and is carefully removed through the fleshy part of the nostril. A nose bone on the other hand is a kind of stud that has a large round part at one end that is pushed through the nostril so that the jewelry is kept in its place.

There are a lot of people who advise against using a nose bone when you decide to go ahead and have your nose pierced for the first time. Because of the way a nose bone is designed, there is a distinct possibility that the shaft of the stud will be too short to get completely through a nostril that happens to be a little thicker than the average person. Even if a pierce is accomplished completely through the flesh, does not mean that the subsequent swelling won't swallow the nose bone. If the interior face of the piercing heals over, the nose bone may have to be removed surgically.

When you wear nose bone jewelry, your nose's wound would heal around the stud that is pierced through your nostril, with the egg-shaped end, which is somewhat larger than the shaft, this makes it very difficult to remove and can even slow down or worse - reverse the healing process because if you move it around or try to take it off, you would tear at the healing tissue, causing another wound. Piercers more often than not recommend that you opt for a nose screw instead during the beginning. A nose screw that is made of surgical stainless steel or if you can afford to have one, an eighteen karat gold nose screw.

Either way, a nose bone is still one of the accessories that you can always opt out for when trying to decide between nose rings studs and bones. Make sure that you only use the highest possible material for jewelry and that you consult the advice of professional piercers or doctors, paying special attention to the nose piercing aftercare you receive.

What Is A Scaffold Piercing?

Scaffold piercing has gained a lot of popularity these days among men and women who happen to be body modification enthusiasts. It is their way of expressing themselves as well as delving into body art. Also called industrial piercing, this body modification consists of two piercings along the top of the ear that are connected by a bar that passes through both holes.

In order to make sure that you have a scaffold piercing that would really stand out in a crowd, you have to be sure that the piercing is done by a professional with a lot of experience in the business. This is also to ensure that the piercing is done correctly and that there is no chance of infection at all. Professional body piercers are trained and certified for your protection. Make sure you see a reputable piercer for this job.

Keep in mind that scaffold piercing must be done using only the highest quality of surgical stainless steel that is recommended by professional piercers. Thus, adequate attention must be given to proper after care to avoid infection and skin irritations.

Choose professionals that conduct business under the highest possible sanitary conditions. Pick a piercer who is knowledgeable in scaffold piercing, has a lot of experience and has undergone sufficient training. You would want someone who would be able to put you at ease as the entire procedure can be extremely uncomfortable, even with the use of anesthesia. Do not be afraid to ask to see the piercer's qualifications.

After the work of piercing is done, you have to make sure that your wounds will not get infected. In order to prevent any kind of infection or irritation, be sure to use the best kind of material suited for piercing. Take your pick from surgical stainless steel, titanium or eighteen to twenty four karat gold. Gold is the most expensive so if you are on a somewhat limited budget, opt for the highest quality of surgical stainless steel that is durable, fashionable looking and safe for your ear.

Scaffold piercing can take a little while to be completely healed so you have to be very patient. Depending on the person's after care routines, healing can take anywhere from three months to an entire year. You certainly have to be very careful and make sure your piercings are kept clean and not fiddled around with. Do not be surprised if you experience some swelling, a little pain and throbbing after the piercing. This can take a few days to a week maximum for it to be completely gone.

For the first two weeks after you have had your scaffold piercing, take care to clean it about twice a day to prevent any kind of infection from setting in. Keep your hands away from it when you are not cleaning it so you will not transfer any germs to the wound. Keep your hair away from the wound as much as possible. Be diligent in cleaning it for the first two weeks as per instructions to ensure quick healing.

It usually takes a minimum of three months for a scaffold piercing to heal completely. After three months of making sure that you follow every instruction of your piercer and you have kept your wounds clean, it is time to flaunt those piercings and start having fun with some great body piercing jewelry.

New Orleans: What You Need to See

The catch of New Orleans is its gastronomy. There is a wide variety of fresh seafood that you can enjoy to your heart's content. New Orleans is a quaint city located uniquely 5 feet below sea level. It offers not only splendid cuisines but drinks and dance to keep you partying while you are there.

Of course, there are plenty to see while at New Orleans.

The French Quarter
Do not miss out on this old section of the city as it is the original settlement of the French and Spanish who first stepped onto American soil. They were called the Creoles; their culture and influence are felt everywhere with their unique wrought-iron balconies, magnolia courtyards and tall shutters. You will enjoy a spiff of spicy etouffee in the air while strolling this quarter.

It is the French Quarter which adds essence to New Orleans; there are nightly revelries to keep you awake the whole night. It houses Jackson Square that spawns immaculate lawns and beautiful shrubs, with the breath-taking St. Louis Cathedral as its backdrop.

At the quaint café of Monde, you will sniff scents of tasty chicory-laced beignets to whet your appetite. The French Market makes an interesting stop to check out the community farmer's produce which boasts of being the nation's first outdoor produce market.

For the shopaholic, nothing can drag you away from Royal Street which offers a wide range of products but it would be the antiques and art pieces that will steal your heart; and if not alert, your wallet too.

St. Charles Streetcar
New Orleans' quaint St. Charles Streetcar is an interesting ride that one must try while in this city. It is considered a national historic piece that runs from Canal Street clanging its way through Garden District before passing on Tulane and Loyola Universities, Audubon Park, and beautiful wraparound porch mansions before stopping at Palmer Park. Its 13 mile ride is barely 90 minutes to give you a quick and fascinating sight of New Orleans. This Landmark streetcar would travel back and forth on its route with its bench seats switched to the appropriate travel direction for a good view.

Faulkner House Books
For the book lovers, a big 'thanks' must go to Joe DeSalvo who opened Faulkner House Books. It is situated inside the French Quarter townhouse which was William Faulkner's residence while writing Soldier's Pay, his first novel. There are a wide variety of books for your browsing pleasure such as fiction, poetry and biography with a bit of local lore.

Mid-19th century townhouses on Julia Street
Another amazing sight to behold is the collection of mid-19th century townhouses on Julia Street that takes up 600 blocks although there are only 13 pieces. These are often known as Julia Row; sometimes they are called the Thirteen Sisters. Besides the impressive architecture of these townhouses, it is its art that makes the greater impact. The 'SoHo of the South' houses hundreds of fine art pieces.

Garden District
This is really the 'Yankee' section of New Orleans where there is hardly any French. The residents enjoy vast spacious gardens of magnolia, live oak and palms.

Mississippi River
This great river at New Orleans is famously known as the Mighty Mississippi. From Lake Itasca, it winds down 2,340 miles before touching the Gulf of Mexico. It is famous for the shipping industry at New Orleans with the city being built along its curves. A fun ride on the Mighty Mississippi is a must for visitors.

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When Religions Colide

History is so often written when religions collide. Different faiths and the intolerance of others to conform to the practice of a certain faith has erupted into violent bloody conflicts all through-out history. It can be said that the Crusades started not because of a culture clash between Christianity and the Muslim faith but, because of the thirst for more power, influence, control and wealth of the Catholic Church and by the nations of the Islamic faith. We have to remember that when two religions each so important to the cultures and way of life of nations clash it is because one leader or another seeks more power, control, and wealth. It is this thirst for power that has instantly created a hotbed of hate which has ignited most of the major wars through-out history. Take for instance, more recently, what happened in Ireland when the Catholics and the Protestants religions ignited a total civil war. Violent assaults continued to escalate in Ireland for years before a peace agreement was reached with the Belfast "Good Friday" Agreement of 1998.

Religion, like politics even though today in the United States church and state are supposed to be separate but undoubtedly they are so much intertwined that there is no escaping the fact that one has influence on the other. When we take a close look at all the terrorists attacks that have set the world on fire because of a faith where a leader is seeking more control, power, and wealth from others we should trace back in history to find the root cause. And, from that hopefully find an applicable end to all the carnage that has only continued to escalate today between the Islamic religion and Christianity.

To step back in time and retrace the steps of the Catholic Church in 1090 which was what many historians signal as definitive moment in history that today has manifested into the global terror network we are seeing with the Islamic Extremists. This is when Pope Urban II was gradually losing influence over the rulers of Europe especially Henry VII. Let's not rule out the fact that the Islamic religion where the Muslims were just as thirsty to quench their own thirst for more power, control, and wealth were poised to invade Constantinople. Here we have two distinct entirely different cultures and their own religious beliefs and yet a common denominator of each seeking more power, control, and wealth from the other by any means necessary.

In 1095 Pope, Urban II saw an opportunity to regain more power and authority for himself when the Greek orthodox church in Constantinople implored the Pope to come to their aid. Constantinople at the time was on the verge of being overtaken by the advancing Muslim army. As a result Alexius, the head of the eastern church (the Byzantine Empire) asked for and got military aid from the Pope. It was the Pope in seizing the moment to act to gain more power and influence by soliciting all to come to join forces in a spiritual war against the Muslims. When the Pope offered all those who would join redemption of sins and guaranteed salvation was a major influence for thousands to fight the Islamic nations. When he decreed "as Christ's heralds come to aid those Christians and destroy that vile race those infidels from the lands of our friends, Christ commands it" was a focal point that triggered one of histories most horrific acts of mayhem and bloodshed upon another religious faith and culture. It is said that the term infidel can be traced back to this period in history. Both religions used the term infidel believing that each religion had it's own ideology that theirs was the one true religion and all others who did not practice it were considered an infidel, a non believer. The end result was death and destruction for both Muslims and Christians. The mass carnage when the First Crusade took control of Jerusalem was a testament to the will full disregard for life.

What we are seeing today is a extension and a continuation of what was started over nine hundred years ago. The ideologies of two distinctly different faiths and cultures in a world that has only gotten much closer has made that hotbed of hate and indignation flare up into a firestorm of flames of destruction and death. The intolerance by individuals for other cultures and beliefs have manifested into the horrific carnage we are witness to practically everyday.

It was just recently that the African nations where different religious beliefs are interwoven into societies one religious faction has used violent means to dictate and impose their doctrine upon all others. The recent mass murder of innocent school children in Nigeria is just a continuing assault by extreme religious groups imposing their radical ideology upon unsuspecting victims. A totally barbaric assault that just is another escalation and extension of more terror inflicted upon humanity. When groups especially the Islamic Extremists whose own ideology is so radical use such horrendous hideous acts of wonton terror in slaughtering innocent lives continues to show that the world is still reverting back to the cave of the Neanderthal.

It is these types of violent atrocities which should be a wake up call to all heads of state that rouge insurgents are hell bent on imposing their reshaped ideologies upon who ever doesn't conform to their own radical rule of thought. The cultures of nations have only confounded and complicated the rational of societies. Today, what we are seeing is the Islamic religion and culture is almost the complete opposite of the American society and way of life. The evolution, if you want to call it that, into a society that has relinquished many moral values that the Islamic faith still hold dear has only exasperated the continuing conflicts between nations and existing cultures.

The world is getting to small to handle all the violent will full carnage against one another. When intolerance of different religious beliefs continues to escalate into bloodshed, where nations cannot realize that humanity has the abilities capable of doing extraordinary things for the betterment of mankind, when we don't realize that each human being is a unique individual, and when religious beliefs of individuals don't conform to the rest of a society beliefs all contribute to the on going struggle to find answers to stop individuals from using violent means to impose their will on others.
By Dr. Tim G Williams

Home Phone - Are They More Useful Than Cell Phones?

No too long ago, having a home phone was considered a bare necessity. this service was not only very popular but it was also found very useful both by the commoners and the elite. But, with the advent and prevalence of the mobile phones, the popularity as well as the 'perceived' utility of this service has diminished considerably. A large number of people have dumped their home phones and are using only their mobile phones. While this may really be a question of individual preference, I would emphatically say that even today, home phones are indeed still needed in homes!

I find the undergoing points very pertinent in regard to the above:

1. Calling For Help - Calling to 911 from this type of service instantly gives your exact location so that help arrives immediately in case of an emergency. Any other phone may not be able to do this service, particularly, if you are calling from an apartment. It may also be quite a traumatic experience if you have to hunt around for your mobile phone in an emergency situation. What if you forgot your phone in the car or the battery is low?

2. Voice clarity - A crisp and clear voice is indeed needed.

3. Comfort and convenience - this service provides unmatched comfort and convenience both while making and receiving calls.

4. No power? No problem! - If there's no power at home or your mobile phone battery is low, you can still reach 911 or your friends using a home phone service.

5. Choice of your web-savvy teens - Believe me, the home phone is still the first choice of your web-savvy teens.

6. Home Protection - A number of home security systems work only through landline phones. The reason for this is because the home's burglar and fire alarms are hardwired into the landline phone to automatically alert the concerned authorities. Well, the professional security companies are aware that a home phone system is truly dependable, more so in an emergency situation.

If you still think that the cost you incur on this service is rather high, you will do well to check the new bundled pricing and other incentives being offered by the companies just to retain you as a customer.

Have a balanced view while deciding whether to have a home phone or not. They may be more useful than you thought!

Fortunately for you, there are experts who offer free reports to help those who want to acquire this service.

For more information on saving money on your home phone and get a better quality service, visit Prepaid Phone Cards

When The Greenback Falls

With the post election reality finally hitting home the beguiled public have started to realize what a charlatan Donald Trump really is. Aside from awakening to a new reality that seems like we just entered the Twilight Zone the simple fact is the United States is poised to enter the most sinister financial crisis we have ever faced. An economic catastrophe that is on a collision course aimed directly at these United States and Europe. A disaster of epic proportions signaling the swan song of the US dollar as the worlds first reserve currency.

Today, when you have had the main stream media continually focus all their attention on this years Presidential campaign fail to recognize the economic tremors half a world away signaling a financial earthquake is about to cause the most destructive financial crisis since the Great Depression just shows that the media is all about the money game that's played when Presidential politics are in play. Could it be that history is again about to repeat? With Trump set to assume the Presidency in January and Obama still at the helm the ship of state is in gale force winds of economic instability.

Now, while we have Trump fiddling his way around cabinet posts the United States is poised to be engulfed in ablaze of economic and financial calamity. A calamity that would wipe out practically everyone's financial security leaving this nation paralyzed. Think of the period of the 1930's, soup kitchens and the like. If a financial crisis even on the same level as the Great Depression hits and today it is already knocking on our front door mass hysteria would engulf this nation with monumental violence and horror. Back in the thirties the nation as a whole was much more civil with a basic core morality. Today, the United States has lost much of the civility that prevailed back then and we have seen a moral decay unprecedented in modern times. When this financial crisis hits and it most certainly will if measures are not immediately implemented our way of life would end.

We have to go back to 2008 when the United States was pushed to the brink of financial disaster brought on by the financial institutions themselves through blatant greed to realize it takes teamwork to solve the immediate crisis. The safeguards that were put in place then apparently now the financial world has found new ways to circumvent those same policies that were put in place to safeguard our financial markets. Today, with our national debt looming as another ticking bomb the financial world of the US is about to suffer a shock so horrific equivalent to a magnitude 12 or more earthquake and yet there is no mention of what really is apocalyptic scenario heading straight for us.

History is about to repeat as it so often does. The only difference is the names have changed but the similarities of the past are overwhelming coincidental not to realize that we as a society have failed to heed what history is supposed to teach us in the first place. The frightening fact is that today if the US dollar lost it's status as the world's reserve currency the economic and financial devastation resulting would be unparallel. Already Japan and China are discussing trading the yuan and the yen without using US dollars. Even now the International Monetary Fund has openly campaigned for the US dollar to be replaced by the SDR in the hope to boost Europe's troubled financial markets.

Another factor to consider is that the Chinese yuan has been gaining strength due in large part to the accumulation of gold that they have been diligently acquiring. The United States meanwhile all our currency is back up by nothing more than a good faith that we will pay our debts. In other words our whole financial reality is nothing more than a house of cards ready to fall down. Throw in the fact that Russia, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa are all in discussions about taking the US dollar out of circulation. All this and more has to be a real wake up call that decisive action must be taken to safeguard that the US dollar remains the worlds reserve currency before it really is too late.

We have to realize why this is happening. It should be readily apparent that for the past 25 years or more the foreign policy of the United States has been instrumental in destabilizing much of the world. When we continue to meddle in other nations' affairs for our own greedy purposes what recourse do these nations have but to retaliate in almost the same fashion that the US has imposed on them. Look what we have done in just the past 15 years. More importantly look to the sanctions we have imposed recently on Russia and Iran. What do you think that our sanctions are doing? There not helping the citizens of the United States and certainly not helping the citizens of those countries either. All we have done is antagonize the rest of the world for selfish gains. And, you can bet your bottom dollar it is all about oil and profits.

So what to do? With the United States budget deficit in excess of over $1 trillion a year the consequences of losing the dollars status as the world's reserve currency would be disastrous. The fall out would be that the Fed would not be able to print money to pay its debts. Think about all that Quantitative Easing that the Fed did in 2009. It was more like counter fitting. But, all that money that was supposed to spur small business growth just sat in the Banks vaults and as a result the Banks got bigger and the fat cats on Wall Street got even fatter. How will the US be able to pay it's debts without the ability to print their way out?

The reality of answering that question should send chills down through our society. If the government can't print their own money as we have in the past the US government will seize bank accounts, garnish 401 K's, other retirement accounts, Social Security payments would cease and other disastrous measures to horrific to contemplate would ensue. To safe guard our future and protect the US dollar from ceasing to be the worlds reserve currency it is imperative first the United States must ease the foreign sanctions we have imposed and take the necessary steps to secure our place as the top economic engine in the world. And, that starts with jobs, good paying jobs. We have to remember that ever since NAFTA was implemented back in 1994 the US has lost millions and millions of middle wage jobs. Sadly those jobs have yet to be returned. If the United States fails to recoup millions of middle wage jobs our future as the worlds top economic power will be lost and with it the dollar will surely be replaced as the worlds reserve currency. Our future lies with implementation of National Economic Reform's Ten Articles of Confederation.
By Dr. Tim G Williams

Child Care: A Modern Dilemma

Someone once said life is just a dream. But, for Sarah Jenkins her world is anything but. The days of wine and roses have long since disappeared. From her first marriage which produced two children but ended abruptly to her second which unlike the first ended tragically Sarah is as the expression goes stuck between a rock and a hard place. With two infants in tow and being a single mother Sarah is faced with the fact that her life has turned upside down.

The reality of Sarah's predicament is not unique nor is it unusual in today's society. Single mothers today have become more of the norm compared to a society some 50 years ago. Back then many thought that this nation prided itself as the pinnacle of success in regarding the upbringing of children. It showed because public education at that time the United States was unmatched. This nation had the highest ranking of all the industrial nations in all the major subjects from elementary education on. But, that was back in a period when the norm of society was the two parent family and marriage between a man and women was more sacred than it is today. Times have changed though and today many women like Sarah are faced with many obstacles toward attaining a better quality of life for themselves and their children.

With this past years election brought even more obstacles that not only Sarah has to confront but every single parent across the entire country will be adversely affected if the Republican led Congress has their way. The harsh reality today is that some of the decisions Sarah has made left her with little choice to which direction she took. To work or stay at home, get on government assistance like Food Stamps or live a life of impoverished means all have a very negative impact not only on Sarah but her children as well. Let's remind everyone Sarah is not alone here either. All across the country women and men are forced to make hard choices when raising their children. When Sarah's first child was born there were two choices. Either go back to work or stay at home to raise her child. But, with today's high cost of daycare and a job that really doesn't pay enough the cost of daycare would strip away whatever wages she earned. Daycare today costs like college tuition have skyrocketed.

With proposed cuts to Plan Parenthood and all the other social service agencies that provide a vital and crucial safety net for millions of women and even men single parents today find themselves in financial and economic distress. Compounding this is the fact that all across the country there are so many communities whose tax base is not sufficient to take care of all the public services that were once well funded. The first one is public education. For the past 25 years tax bases have shrunk leaving public education having to do with less revenue like teachers salaries, supplies and the list goes on. All of this has a dramatic negative impact on the quality of education that the United States is experiencing. This does nothing for the well being of our nations youth who are unwitting victims of governmental policies that continually favor the wealthy.

In the state of Florida and by the way Florida still lags behind every state when it comes raising the minimum wage but the cost of living today is one of the highest in the nation is just one obstacle that working parents have to face. The available jobs in the southern states too many their wages don't even come close to cover the cost of child care, housing, and generally the cost of living to maintain a lifestyle free from relying on some sort of government assistance. For Sarah even though she earned a degree in education teachers salaries have yet to keep pace with the ever increasing costs of maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. Were not talking about extravagance but a wage where she is able to fulfill the Williams Theory of Economic Evolution is as elusive as ever here and all across the country.

When her first son was born Sarah left the work force to take care of her infant son. Fortunately her husband at the time was also employed. But, by the time her second child was born Sarah had two infants now to take care of but no other support. A divorced mother of two out of work for more that a year with no income to speak of and by the way this is happening too often all across the country tough choices have to be made. But, when governmental policies, those safety nets, are being reduced and eliminated it is always the children who suffer the most.

Many don't really know the true cost of child care today. Typically, daycare centers will only take infants that are six months or older. For the first six months the mother or father are the sole supporter of that infant. Let's examine the costs of infant care today. Dippers alone will cost over $75 per week or about $1,000 per year not to mention all the other costs like crib, car seat, clothes, food and the list goes on. Day care itself the cost varies. The younger the child is, say at six months starts at $250 per week while older children that are at pre-school age average at about $200 per week and upwards from there.

If Sarah manages to return to teaching her salary would start at $29,000 per year or around $2,400 per month. Now, factor in day care costs. With two infants at $250 per child per week that equates to $2,000 per month. So right now there is no way Sarah can go back to work in a profession she is trained to do and have her children taken care of while she is performing her trade. See the problem here. There are tens of thousands of mothers and parents who would like to contribute to the overall tax base but with the available jobs that don't equate to afford the child care that is so necessary for them to contribute to their community leaves them with having to rely on the governmental safety nets that had they been able to go back to work would support others who are unable to find take care of their children.

Now when you have a Republican led Congress and a newly elected President who doesn't have a clue to what millions of Americans are faced with each day those safety nets that are currently in place will be reduced to a point that millions across the country will be faced with an economic and financial calamity that ultimately will adversely affect to many of our nations youth. It is quite evident that when social services are gutted and the tax base is constantly shrinking communities no longer have the financial means to provide quality education in public schools. Teachers salaries are now most always insufficient, meanwhile programs are always eliminated leaving students with lacking a full educational experience. This all has and is resulting in a decline of our educational standards that were once the gold standard for the world.

We must point out that back in the early 1970's teacher salaries if one had a Bachelors degree that starting salary was around $26,000. If one had a Masters they could command $37,000. Now, when you compare what teachers were making in the period when the United States had the highest educational standards in the world you see a vast discrepancy. Look at what teachers are making today. The cost of living has more than quadrupled while salaries are almost the same as they were back 45 years ago. That is just part of the problem. The educational experience for our nations youth and for the teachers has deteriorated to the point of what we are seeing today. Many employment opportunities are being unfilled because of the lack of continuing the education standards that were in place some 50 years ago. Consequently when people like Sarah who would much rather contribute to the tax base now is left to be the one of millions like her to have to rely on governmental assistance just so that her children will have some sort of stability in their lives.

A modern day dilemma for sure is the reality of today. And when we have the mentality of today's Republican mindset in Washington it looks like for people like Sarah those tough choices will be the ones she and others have to make. Avery sad commentary for our nations youth and for the future of the United States.
By Dr. Tim G Williams

9 Interesting Ways to Enjoy Books More Thoroughly

I was born a book lover. I wanted so badly to read at age 4 that I would rip them to pieces out of frustration. I remember my trips to Friends Bookstore where I would spend pocket change for Choose your Adventures and Nancy Drew. I remember my trips to the local library to check out language learning and craft making books. I smile a mile wide remembering the Scholastic book fair catalog my school sent home, full of the thoughtfully selected Newbery Award Winners and books that came with Stickers.

I was and still am a sponge for knowledge and adventure and I've never found a more conducive way to learn and exercise my imagination. Books unlock entire worlds for people who otherwise don't have the means. How powerful is that? If that alone is not enough motivation to get you reading regularly, I am sharing my fun reading habits with you.

1. Start a collection

An exciting way to interact with your books other than reading them is to hunt them! I currently enjoy collecting books written in the 1800s and books signed by their authors. I shop for them at thrift stores, the Dollar Tree and I buy books written by people I meet. I read them and then visit them to get my copy signed.

2. Have a coffee and read at Barnes & Noble

This is like the Scholastic book fair for adults. Their book selection is thoughtful and so are their customers. You could meet someone special! In fact you are likely to meet someone interesting if you can find opportunity to open dialogue.

3. Spend your credit card reward points or cash back on books

Treat yourself to a good one! What better way to spend these minuscule rewards for carrying debt?

4. Read the book before you watch the movie

You've heard this one before! I haven't done this intentionally, but have accidentally. I'll jump on the next bandwagon.

5. Dog ear, highlight and make notes in the margins

Get even more incredible use and value from these books by using them to their fullest. I once knew a man whose mom passed and his favorite thing of hers was her books. He told me "she touched and read these pages, I wonder what thoughts she had in comparison to mine". He'd know if she made notes and highlighted passages that were significant to her!

6. Gift books to others

Next time you need to purchase a gift for someone make it a thoughtful gift. Even non-readers can appreciate an easy-read, a comedy or a coffee table book.

7. Spread the love

I have a main library, a mini library in my bathroom and I keep one in my car for times I have to wait (like during an oil change). I don't force myself to finish a book I start and I can read up to 3-4 books at once.

8. Enhance your reading experience

Form a ritual. Maybe you read at the same time daily, light a candle or start an essential oil diffuser, have a favorite beverage, etc.

9. Get creative with bookmarks

You can start a collection of beautiful store-bought bookmarks, make your own or repurpose your birthday cards or concert tickets.
By Ivy Brooks

Home Phone Service - Do You Get Ripped-Off In These Ways?

Many of the elderly people around us will, perhaps, recall the times when they had not heard of the mobile phone. The only dependable way of quick communication at that time was the home phone service.

With the huge success and popularity of the mobile phone in the last few decades, a substantial number of home phone service users have got their phone lines disconnected. The ongoing reduction in charges for voice calls by the mobile phone companies along with technological advancements was also responsible for this. Many people also thought that it was pointless to incur dual expenses when they can as well use their mobile phone while at home. This too contributed to the increase in disconnections as far as I am concerned. But, let me hasten to add that a very high number of disconnections were a result of many users feeling ripped off by their home phone service company.

My neighbor Jimmy was ripped off by his provider and he had a long tale of woes to share. I did my own research later to discover that home phone service companies use different tactics to rip off their customers.

Many companies in the insurance, banking and energy sectors have special dedicated phone lines for product questions, renewals and complaints etc. They often use non-geographical numbers so that they can route the incoming calls to any call center which is relatively free to take and answer such calls at that particular moment. Most of these companies rip off their customers in the under-noted ways:

• Old customers are made to pay while new customers get to make free calls to the same numbers - Many banking, insurance and energy companies come out with attractive offers where their new customers can make free calls to their given numbers for any questions etc. Such calls often last as much as 20 minutes. This facility is not extended to the existing customers of the company to rip them off. Even reputed companies were found to be indulging in this unfair practice.

• 2 or even 3 tier system of billing - Many home phone service companies have 2 or even a 3 tier system of billing for numbers starting with similar digits. Since no information on this is shared with the customers, they unknowingly fall prey to such tactics.

Consumer groups all over have been consistently demanding that the home phone service companies have greater transparency so that the consumers can make an informed choice and escape being ripped off.

Prepaid Phone Cards

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