Is Drinking a Pot of Coffee Yourself Bad?


As a coffee lover myself, I was hesitant to begin my research about the adverse affects of coffee. Though I was happy to learn that my two cups every morning are only considered a modest amount of coffee; a moderate amount would be three cups. However, if you are consuming a pot of coffee a day, we are talking about nearly ten cups of coffee. So, yes drinking a pot of coffee by yourself is bad. Here’s why:

The caffeine in coffee is a central nervous system stimulant. While it can increase alertness, reduce fatigue, improve mood, enhance reaction time, and improve performance, consuming too much can do more harm than good. The unpleasant side effects of a caffeine overdose include:

  • Jitters and trembling
  • Difficulties falling and staying asleep at night
  • Nervousness, dizziness; especially profound in those with panic or anxiety
  • Stomach discomfort and digestive upset
  • Extreme fatigue upon waking in the morning

Most likely, you did not wake up one day and drink a whole pot of coffee yourself. As your coffee habit took hold so did your body’s dependence on it, resulting in nothing short of an addiction. Caffeine mimics your body’s natural neurotransmitters which are responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses. Too much caffeine sends your nervous system into overdrive and your body responds by reducing its own production of neurotransmitters. The result is that your brain and nerves now depend on this external neurotransmitter source just to function normally.

Another theory suggests that caffeine becomes habit forming when your body crashes after its temporary heightened state of awareness and alertness. You may end up feeling more sluggish or fatigued than you did before you starting drinking your coffee, causing you to go back for more; and the cycle continues.

Ironically, your friend who enjoys one or two cups of coffee a day reaps the same benefits from coffee as your full pot provides you. Your body has built up a tolerance so you can handle more but you also require more. The good news is that with some work, you can cut back on your consumption. When you do, the moderate amount of three cups a day will satisfy you completely and your body will once again operate properly under its own steam.


New Fleck 5800 SXT and LXT


Fleck’s new 5800 SXT & LXT seems to be the new hype in the industry. These valves are great whether it’s a softener or filter valve you are looking for. The 5800 LXT particularly has a much greater ease of programming then before. The valve is much more straight forward then any of its predecessors.

The LXT valve has such a great improvement to the programming. There is no hidden language or no calculations needed to figure out. The valve is smart enough to figure out all the calculations of dissolved salts, times required for backwash and even calculate the daily reserve capacity. The 5800 LXT and SXT learns your daily water usage after 4 weeks and calculates your reserve capacity according to that data. You’ll never have to run out of soft water again!

The average person can easily change the settings without any professional help. Programming has been very simplified where the person programming doesn’t even need to calculate times required for dissolving salt, uptake of brine, and even required backwash times.

Fleck still maintains their 5 year warranty on their new 5800 valves and so far… no complaints. When compared to off brand or cheap knockoffs, Fleck water softeners have no comparison. Fleck valves have been proven to withstand the test of time. Most of these valves typically last easily 15-20 years without any real issues. Even if you had to service a Fleck 5800 valve, the servicing of the unit is actually quite easy as well. The valve has all snap off locks which do not require any special tools so you can easily change any parts if necessary.

Compared to the Fleck 5600 SXT, the Fleck 5800 LXT could be a new standard in the future. The greatest part about this valve is the DC powered motor. The 5600 and 7000 valves have a much slower piston change during the regeneration/backwash cycle. Each time a 5600 or 7000 valve has a piston change, it takes about 30 seconds to a minute for the piston to move into position. However, the 5800 series only takes a one to two seconds to move into position.

Another great feature is the diagnostic analysis. The diagnostics on the 5800 are much easier to read for the average person so troubleshooting will be more of a breeze.

Overall, this valve is a great valve to have and this is a valve for the future. I highly recommend looking at this valve in the future if you plan to ever change your water softener. So when you get a chance, check out the whole house Fleck water softeners.


7 Top Reasons Why Music is So Important


Everyone loves music. Music is everywhere, it pervades our world. Everyone knows music has power and importance. But have you ever stopped to consider why? What it is about music that gives it so much power and importance?

Here are seven top reasons:

  1. Music is a universal language. It inspires common human feelings and bridges gaps between cultures that spoken languages cannot. It brings people together and creates universal community.
  2. Music inspires and evokes emotion in a healthy way. It touches our emotional being and evokes moods and feelings that are sometimes difficult to express. It can change a difficult mood and make it happy or excited; it can change a light mood and take it deeper and more profound.
  3. Music enhances learning and makes it more enjoyable. It is scientifically proven that music enhances brain functioning. Playing music uses many brain functions simultaneously: motor control, imagination, hearing, sight, memory, etc.
  4. Music creates ambiance. You can use music in any environment to enhance and augment what is already there. Consider the difference between a party with music and one without, or a sporting event, or a movie, or a romantic restaurant, or driving in your car…
  5. Music is spiritual. Music is of the spirit and inspirational to the spirit. All religions use music to help express spiritual values, and all religions use music to uplift the spirit.
  6. Music sparks the imagination. It invokes mental imagery and inner scenery that opens the mind to amazing insight and spans the distance between the stars.
  7. Music is a simple pleasure. All it takes is your ears and your imagination.

I believe that at the center of the phenomenon of the magic that music creates is the spiritual aspect. Music is a gift from God, a sacred expression of the Universal Life Force Energy that creates us all.


1st Birthday Party Importance to Your Little Ones


The 1st birthday is very important to most new families. It marks the completion of one whole year of existence. Parents probably have noticed quite a bit of change in their baby during the first year as well. In the first year a baby will often triple his birth weight and make millions of important neural connections in the brain as he or she learns about their surroundings.

Decorations for the 1st birthday celebration should be bright or shiny. Young babies are stimulated by primary colors and it helps even more to form those important neural connections in their brains so you can add a boost to the 1st birthday by picking up some brightly colored plates, balloons and streamers. You may also be able to find educationally themed party supplies for the celebration such as Sesame Street decorations or Baby Einstein supplies.

Gifts for the first year old can be items that are symbolic of their growth and development. They’ll soon, if not all ready, be moving up to sipping cups. Pick up a few brightly colored sippers for the birthday boy or girl. Little felt hats make a practical gift to help keep them warm in colder months. Parents can have professional photos taken of their little ones and put in themed frames as party favors for the guests.

Around the time of your little ones first birthday, he or she will probably be very adept at crawling around and may even be attempting to walk a little. Be sure to allow plenty of room in a safe area for your baby to crawl around as they do their own meet and greet of the guests. This means putting a baby guard at the bottoms of any stairs you may have in the house, putting outlet protectors on each of the outlets in the rooms and making sure to cover all of the sharp corners on your furniture with a rubber guard.


Difference Between Firewall Throughput and IPS Throughput


Most vendors talk of firewall throughput even when they are advertising UTMs (Unified Threat Management Systems). There’s a fundamental difference between a firewall and a UTM. A firewall merely does stateful inspection of the traffic whereas a UTM proactively stops attacks even on allowed ports because it contains the all important IPS (Intrusion Prevention System). This means that even if traffic is allowed to certain services, that traffic is continuously examined to detect malicious attacks. In other words, the IPS stops hacker attacks even on open ports.

A UTM is installed with the specific purpose of providing greater security to the network. Which means that the IPS should be always on and functioning. But, by default, the IPS is turned off and vendors only talk of firewall throughput on a UTM. Of what practical use is the firewall throughput on a UTM if the IPS is not turned on? A much more realistic measure of UTM throughput is firewall+IPS throughput. This is the most important criteria when measuring UTM throughput. Because it effectively relays how fast the device functios while providing maximum security.

But sadly, most vendors are still stuck in the pre UTM days. All they did was take an existing firewall and slap an IPS on top of it. But as the IPS was almost an afterthought, there’s a tremendous loss in throughput when IPS is enabled. Reluctant to advertise that, they just highlight the firewall throughput, which is totally irrelevant on a UTM. In fact some vendors, like Fortinet, have 90 % loss in throughput when IPS is enabled (eg: Fortigate 310B – throughput falls from 8 Gbps to 800 Mbps when IPS is enabled).

Contrast this with the NetASQ approach. UTM throughput on Netasq is always firewall + IPS throughput, never firewall alone. The IPS is always on, ensuring greater network protection, and significantly, there’s 0 % performance loss on NETASQ with IPS on. NetASQ always measures the firewall + IPS throughput when talking about its UTM devices.

NetASQ is able to offer this revloutionary appraoch to IPS because of the simple fact that its IPS engine (ASQ – Active Security Qualification) is embedded within the kernel of the UTM operating system. This gives it twin advantages-first, the IPS engibe is always on and second, there is no fall in throughput with IPS on. Which means 100% performance is maintained with IPS on. With other vendors, the IPS engine is a separate module which sits on top of the operating system, thereby consuming more resources and contributing to lower speed and lesser throughput.


Billing for Services and Record Keeping As an Expert Witness


As a consultant or an entrepreneur, you probably now invoice for services and do not require any help with preparing invoices to submit to clients. If you do need a new or more efficient method, QuickBooks is useful software that can manage your finances as well as prepare invoices for clients. It also keeps track of how much money individual clients owe you for legal services.

Clients frequently write checks to attorneys for their services, and payments for your invoices then come from client accounts at the law firm. In these cases, the attorney or his law firm will pay your bills when you submit them. sometimes the clients will pay your invoices directly. Either way, however, take time to document your work and prepare invoices for submission. To keep everyone apprised of your progress, it is best to submit a copy of your invoice to both the client and the attorney. As your work progresses, keep records of what you do, the dates on which you do it, how much time you spend, who you have met, and with whom you have spoken. These records will help you to prepare your invoices.

You should always provide minimal details on an invoice, and should never contain any confidential facts. For example, you should not include details of private conversations. You can write that you spoke to or met with an individual, read something, or done a series of tests. Put dates and a brief summary but no further details on the invoice. Submit your invoices regularly, based on how much work or time you spend.

Maintain a record in your file folder of your time and your expenses. Allocate one or more lines each day that you work on the case. Note the date and the hours you spent and what you did. If you have different billing fees for different activities, then keep track of those activities separately.

You should keep a log of each telephone call from the attorney about the case. When you receive a call from an attorney, note the start time of the call, the date and the end time of the call. You should contain these phone conversations as part of your regular billings, but again, do not write any confidential data in your notes or on the invoice.

Additionally, keep track of any out-of-pocket expenses for which you might charge as well. This includes copying, binding, or printing. It also includes third-party services for graphics and exhibit preparation, shipping, and travel expenses for hotels, food, taxis, and rental cars.

You can take the approach that you obtain such a high wage for your time as an expert that it’s petty to charge for minor expenses. That is reasonable, but you will still have additional non-trivial expenses and should charge for them.

There is one final note about charging for anything, trivial or not. Once you have established yourself as an expert witness, you may occasionally be asked to offer your services for no cost (‘pro bono’ work) or for discounted fees. This usually only happens after you’ve established a reputation. People who cannot otherwise afford an expert witness may approach you for help, and will hope to obtain your help at no charge. At other times, foundations or charitable organizations may ask you to offer your services at discounted fees because of the good works that they undertake. In both cases, you have an opportunity to do a wonderful deed at nominal cost to yourself, other than the time you might expend doing it. Let your morals and ethics, and hopefully a willingness to contribute back to the community, be your guide. As a side benefit, however, all such cases add to the overall experience that you can claim and also bring to bear on future case work.


A Comparison Of Video Editing Software


Hi there! Are you new to video editing? If you are, you’re probably confused by the vast array of video editing software programs out there in the market.

When I started out in video editing, nobody gave me a proper comparison of video editing software programs. So I experimented on my own.

I tried using Microsoft Movie Maker and other free software. Over time, as I gained confidence in the editing process, I moved on to commercial software like Adobe Premiere and Corel VideoStudio.

In this article, I’d like to give you a comparison of the better video editing software programs out there so you can get more creative with your productions.

1. Beginner Level

Let’s start from the basics. If you’re a beginner and have not done much video editing, I recommend you that you start with a free video editing package like Microsoft Movie Maker. This allows you to understand the video timeline, splitting, cutting and how to add basic effects into your production.

Once you’ve some basic knowledge, get a good beginner video editor like MovAVI. I use MovAVI a lot these days to quickly edit and burn / upload my videos to YouTube.

MovAVI automates most of the post-production process for me. I simply import my video, select a default theme and the software does the rest. This saves me a lot of time, especially if I have a ton of say, vacation videos where I’m too lazy to do in-depth editing.

2. Intermediate Level

OK, moving on to the intermediate level software. These programs have basic video editing features for beginners but also contain advanced functionalities for those who want to be more creative.

In this category, my personal preference is Corel VideoStudio. I’ve used its competitor products like Adobe Premiere Elements and Pinnacle Studio before, but I still come back to VideoStudio because of the rich set of templates it has and the intuitive application interface.

Corel VideoStudio lets me do stuff like chroma key (removing green screens from a video so I can overlay another background), add titles, transactions and manipulate audio. I also like that I can export my video in a huge variety of formats, including uploading them online to YouTube seamlessly. This is the software I use most often for editing selected video projects where I need a fast basic workflow but have some room for creative work.

Advanced Level

There are more advanced level video editing software packages like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas and Final Cut Pro. While I do like their features (and these are industrial-grade features used by movie makers) – I find them overly expensive. Something like the full Adobe Premiere suite will easily set you back by almost $1000. I’m not paying that much money for a video application unless I’m doing this full-time.

For hobbyists, I strongly suggest using intermediate level software. The advanced features in pro-level packages like Adobe Premiere tend to be rarely used. Once you have done many video projects and want to go pro, then these packages make sense.

4. Online Applications

OK, so far we’ve done comparison of desktop video editing software. But you should know there are also other online video editing applications popping up all over the shop.

One that particularly caught my attention is Animoto, which is a great online application.

This is a solid, intuitive online video editor which allows you to just upload your work and apply a series of automatic edits and effects. Again, very useful stuff for those requiring a quick workflow without a lot of fuss.

5. Mobile Applications

Finally, if you’re on a mobile device like the iPhone or have an Android device, you’ll be aware of a slew of video editing applications appearing in your app store.

I particularly like Game Your Video for the iOS. This little app allows you to import videos from your phone library, then spice them up with effects like slow motion, Charlie Chaplin comic effects, as well as a variety of other cool stuff. Do try it out.

If you do a comparison of mobile video editing software with their desktop competitors, you’ll find them lacking in features. But they make up for that in terms of portability. Just whip out your phone, shoot the video and edit. It’s very quick and simple compared to a desktop approach.

Also, there are, of course, other video editing apps out there. You can try browsing under the “Featured” or “Top Charts” categories on your iPhone or iPad to see which are the best apps at the moment.

Wrapping Up…

I hope the above has given you a good comparison of video editing software packages in the market. Remember, try to select a package that meets your needs. If you’re just beginner, don’t buy something expensive like Adobe Premiere. Get your feet wet first with simple video editors like VideoStudio, then move on to more advanced stuff when you’re ready.

The other point is to just practice. I remember I went through at least 20 projects on Corel VideoStudio before I decided I’d try Adobe Premiere. Once you practice, you’ll start to understand the basic elements of the video editing workflow – and those skills can be applied to any video editing application you own in the future.

Until next time, have fun editing your videos!


Oster Professional Hair Clippers Review


The company put down its roots in 1924, and today, Oster still supplies the professional hair market with extraordinary hair clippers, hair trimmers, and other hair grooming essentials. With powerful motors, heavy duty construction, and cutting-edge features, meant to simplify and improve the hair cutting process, Oster has much to offer the professional hair stylist and barber. They are best known for the professional hair clippers and trimmers. Oster Hair Clippers have long since been the standard in the industry, because they are innovative and the fact that they specifically built to handle the strenuous demand of the salon professional.

These are some of the most popular Oster Clipper models on the market.

The Oster Classic 76 Hair Clipper 76076-010: Possibly the most popular clipper among barbers, the Classic 76 is build for power, performance and longevity. A quick change blade system, enables the user to instantly change out the blade, which is my favorite feature.

The Oster Fast Feed Hair Clipper 76023-510: A super compact-jet powerful clipper, the Fast Feed, is a great option for a professional stylist. It is very-quite, and capable of cutting through long, short, dry and even wet hair.

The Oster Free Rider Professional Clipper 76030-010: This hair clipper is capable of cutting from a close (size000) to a medium length, and a ergonomically designed to reduce wrist fatigue and increase control and comfort.

The Oster Power Line Hair Clipper 76076-040: A very versatile, power plant of a clipper, the Power Line is able to cut through all hair types, textures, lengths, wet or dry. This clipper also has the quick blade system for convenience, and comes with 2 different blades, a size 00000, and a size 1.

The Oster Azteq 11 Piece & 15 Piece Clipper Kits: Perfect for use at the home, the Azteq Clipper Kits, come with everything needed to cut the family’s hair. The 11 Piece contains a clipper, 6 attachment combs, a blade guard, cleaning brush, and clipper oil. The 15 Piece has everything included in the 11 Piece plus a client cape, hair cutting shears, a styling comb and a barber comb.

Osters professional clippers are available for home use and professional salon use. They are virtually unbreakable, are constructed with the finest components and are designed to cut and clip through every hair type and texture quickly and efficiently. They offer versatile options and ease of use to the professional stylist looking for quality, durability and innovation.


A Brief History Of Drafting Tables


Good drafting tables are an indispensable aid to many art, architecture and drafting students and professionals. They are specialized tables having a hinged top that can be raised from flat to upright and at any angle in between. There is a lip or edge running along the stationery edge that allows one to rest pencils, pens and other drawing or drafting implements. The lip also keeps the artwork, designs or blueprints in place when the table top is at an angle. Parallel rulers may also be incorporated into the table top.

This type of table has been around for a long time. Before the Industrial Revolution, they were part of a gentleman’s study. He would use it for drawing, painting and for reading large volumes and newspapers. This early table was usually very heavy and made of oak. The raising and lowering apparatus used a lead weight to keep the table top at the desired angle and height.

Drawing, painting and design became less the province of the gentleman during the Industrial Revolution. The drafting table became more of an office or shop fixture. It was designed to be less heavy and cumbersome and made of less costly materials. The function was unchanged but the distribution and popularity of these essential tables greatly increased.

Forms of them are found in courthouses and county clerks offices. They are ideal for perusing the bulky and cumbersome index books and legal ledgers. This method of displaying heavy books for reading or display is still popular. Libraries sometimes use them for displaying open newspapers and magazines.

Mostly, though, the modern drafting table is used by artists, designers, architects and some engineers. They still perform the basic functions but there are a wide range of styles and types available.

Student models are widely available in art supply stores. They are lightweight and the lid is held upright by wing nuts and simple assemblies. The table top is usually plywood covered with a durable coating that resists scratches and cuts. The tops are easily removed to allow for portability. Student models run the gamut of prices, depending on the quality of the product.

There’s also a full range of professional models available. The pulley system is still an intrinsic part of many professional tables. Often, however, more expensive tables will have the raising and lowering capabilities performed by machinery. Accuracy is paramount in architecture and the more sophisticated models are designed to assist in that exacting work.

If you are an artist, you can check online at the many art supply stores to see the range of student and artist models available. Make sure that the size and design of the model you are interested in is appropriate to the desired use. Consider how and where you will be using it and whether it will be used in a fixed place or moved around. Then check to see the shipping rates. The weight of the table and whether it is assembled or shipped in one piece could make a big difference in the final purchase price. Architects and other professionals may find their best choices are to be found in specialty stores catering to these professions.


Rich Brother by Tobias Wolff


The Rich Brothers is a story of two brothers, their sibling rivalry and their contrast in everything including worldly success and failure. While Pete is rich and Donald is poor by the end of the story we are left wondering who among the two is actually rich in the real sense of the term.

Pete, the older among the sibling is rich and successful. He exemplifies the American middle class dream – nice family life with a wife and two daughters, a house, a sailboat, and every other thing that money can buy you – of success that his hard work in real estate business could attain for him. Donald, the younger brother is just his opposite. He lives alone and survives out of painting houses. At times, he lives in a Berkeley ashram and lives in financial debt.

Pete comes to rescue Donald out of his difficulties and donates him money right in the beginning of this story. The two are driving in a car when Pete gifts him $100. However, there is a subtle sub-text of sibling rivalry in the background during their childhood as also when they grow up. Donald for instance, reminds Pete how as a kid he wanted to kill him, to which Pete replies, “children always do such things”.

Pete doesn’t bother to or perhaps doesn’t like to discuss his personal life with Donald, yet Donald asks him if he ever dreams of his younger brother. Pete, in fact has a recurring dream that he is blind and needs his brother’s assistance. Perhaps, the author has metaphorically hinted at the blindness inherent in material success and in need of genuine spiritual assistance from people like Donald.

The story moves further even as we discover more contrasting characteristics of the two brothers. In comes a character Webster that tells them a mythic tale of his own dream experience involving goldmine and greed. Donald gives away $100 gifted to him by Pete. But Pete throws him out of the car on learning what he has done.

Meanwhile, Pete ponders what would he answer his wife when she would ask him about his brother? Perhaps, he is not worried. Material wealth has blind his conscience; his sensitivity: “And in this way, smiling, nodding to the music, he went another mile or so and pretended that he was not already slowing down, that he was not going to turn back, that he would be able to drive on like this alone, and have the right answer when his wife stood before him in the doorway of his home and asked, Where is he? Where is your brother?”(Wolff 269)

Wolff’s story parallels the biblical story of Cain and Abel. One brother is spiritual, God-oriented, helping and reaching out to others, while the other is materialistic, has least concern with God and can even go to the extent of trying to kill or hurt his brother. The contrast in the character of the two brother compels us to ask who is the rich brother? The one that has money or the one who lacks material wealth, but is endowed with human virtues? Who really needs whom? Does Donald really need money? If he really needed money, why would he give it away to Webster without a second thought? Pete can only pretend that he doesn’t need Donald. He can only pretend that he can go alone and will answer his acts toward his brother.

The author through contradictory characters of the two brothers has tried to dig the real meaning of wealth. A person can remain unfulfilled despite all his wealth as shown through the metaphor of dream where Pete is blind and in need for assistance. Donald is pious, happy and harbors no grudge against Pete, and therefore, is quite capable of helping Pete learn how to be a good person.