(NewsUSA) - Growing old gracefully can be a challenge, and rarely is it kind. It can be made more difficult if you need to be tethered to an oxygen tank just to breathe. For those who suffer from respiratory problems, every step is an effort and living life independently is nearly impossible.
According to the American Lung Association, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in America (heart disease and cancer take the top spots, respectively) and affect more than 12.7 million adults aged 18 and over. A 2011 study found that of the 4.7 million Americans ever diagnosed with emphysema, 92 percent are 45 or older.
While portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) have come a long way from the cumbersome nuisances they once were, seniors say there is still a stigma attached to carrying one around in public.
"Freedom is my life," says Carol Holland, a woman who relies on oxygen just to get through her day. "So being tethered to an oxygen machine is not my favorite thing. It's an unpleasant reminder of your disability."
One company is helping people like Holland live as independently as possible, even with the need for supplemental oxygen or oxygen therapy.
Inogen, a home health care provider, has created the Inogen One G3, a lightweight POC that is easy to use and can be taken anywhere. The Inogen One G3 continuously purifies the air from the atmosphere by removing nitrogen to deliver oxygen-rich air through a nasal cannula. The system is powered by a rechargeable battery or an AC or DC source. The Inogen One does not require oxygen refills or heavy tanks, can travel easily in a pack or on wheels and requires only minor maintenance.
Why should seniors spend another day feeling trapped by their oxygen therapy devices? All it takes is a simple phone call to 1-800-496-8120 to find out more. For more details about Inogen One, visit www.inogen.com.
(NewsUSA) - The answer is: Yes, it's expected.
But it's also a chance for all you brides out there to truly show you know that not everything is about you on your wedding day. That there really is another person involved (that would be the groom) who deserves a bit of recognition, too.
We're talking wedding presents -- specifically, yours to your husband-to-be.
Tradition does, indeed, hold that both you and he exchange gifts. And while it's true that some guys are initially shocked to learn your engagement ring doesn't also count as a "present," that's no excuse for you to waver.
"Giving him something that's just for him will make him feel really special," advises BrideBox.com.
Here's what you need to know now that it's prime time for weddings:
* When to exchange them. Etiquette dictates that the hand-off occurs at one of three times: the night before the wedding, the morning of the ceremony, or right before leaving on your honeymoon. Think it's bad luck to see the groom before the nuptials? "Many couples choose to courier gifts via bridesmaids or groomsmen just before the ceremony," says Brides.com.
* There's a thin line between "romantic" and "mushy." Some of you may be tempted to compile a "love notes" journal of every bit of correspondence you've ever sent your groom. Even assuming he's the type who wouldn't consider that a bit "over the top," there's always the chance he might be left wondering, "Okay, where's my real present?"-- especially if his gift to you is a serious piece of jewelry.
* The consensus choice. There's a reason a watch invariably makes everyone's short list: It's the perfect statement of who he is or aspires to be. (It's also a lot more impressive than a flask, which for some reason also gets a few votes).
No less a taste arbiter than MarthaStewartWeddings.com favors Baume & Mercier's Clifton line -- as elegant as the original 1950s model that inspired it -- for the way it "easily transitions from big day to every day." Like the Swiss watchmaker's timelessly charming (and affordably luxurious) Classima line, it comes with a choice of straps, dial faces and a variety of what's known as "small complications" that go way beyong just telling the hour. You can shop them at the Baume & Mercier e-boutique or by calling 1-800-MERCIER, where free engraving and wrapping are available.
* Fun fact. One writer at AskMen.com says he's "heard of women giving their husbands watches in the ceremony instead of a wedding ring." If so, the answer is: No, just like your engagement ring, that wouldn't also qualify as a wedding present.
(NewsUSA) - Tornado season has already taken its toll in human life and property -- especially gut-wrenching was the death of a young Arkansas couple trying to shield their 18-month-old daughter from the twister that destroyed their home -- and history tells us we're looking at more of the same, at least through June, at which point we'll be at the start of prime time for hurricanes.
And for those who need reminding, 2012's Hurricane Sandy taught even New Yorkers that "the unexpected can and does happen," as Radley M. Horton, a climate scientist at Columbia University's Earth Institute, has said.
So, how should homeowners prepare before the next storm hits? Read on.
* Clean your gutters. Even in perfect weather, we're talking fire hazard if they're clogged with mounds of leaves, sticks and other debris. Factor in a hurricane-strength rainstorm, though, and the very roofing system component meant to control the flow of all that water -- thereby protecting your roof, walls, foundation and landscape from flooding -- can suddenly wind up being about as useful as a drugged guard dog.
"Gutter prevention is measured in pennies; repairs are measured in dollars," to quote Angie's List.
*Trim weak tree branches. Seriously, you don't even want Santa Claus crashing into your house at 74 m.p.h.
*Storm-proof your roof. Before there was Hurricane Sandy, there was 2011's Hurricane Irene. And the months that followed that $15.6-billion disaster -- Sandy caused more than four times that in damage -- was about when experts started noticing what they called "an upsurge" in storm-proofing upgrades like wind-resistant roofing.
"If you're going to upgrade, look for shingles that have passed UL 2218 Class-4 rating impact tests, which is the highest possible," says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence. He likes either the Timberline ArmorShield II or Grand Sequoia IR lines of shingles from GAF (www.gaf.com), North America's largest roofing manufacturer, both of which offer numerous designer shingle options that have also met rigorous AC438 performance testing requirements.
*Don't leave yourself open to con artists. "When the flood waters recede, that's when fraud comes to the surface," Neal Buccino of New Jersey's Division of Consumer Affairs has warned. Meaning, now's the time to prepare a list of reputable contractors in your area.
Why? The hucksters who invariably show up in rubble-strewn neighborhoods are more interested in turning a quick buck than making sure any repairs last longer than the time it takes them to beat it out of town. If you've done your homework, you'll send them packing and avoid being fleeced.
(NewsUSA) - Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Demi Moore on the cover of Vanity Fair, naked in a painted-on suit? Since then, body painting has become a growing art form, as more artists become adept at using skin as their canvas, and more people have put getting body painted on their bucket lists.
To understand how this unusual take on art has made its way into the 21st century, it is important to know the history behind it. Experts believe that body painting was the first form of art used by humans, and archeological evidence is close to supporting it, according to historyofcosmetics.net. Tribes from Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia have all used natural pigments from plants and fruits as a way to celebrate their spirituality, showcase images of gods or war, or prepare for life events such as weddings, death or adulthood.
Fast-forward to the early 1900s, and the first appearance of full body paint occurred when make-up guru Max Factor Sr. exhibited a naked model Sally Rand (in full body paint) at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. Suffice to say that Mr. Factor was a man ahead of his time. His art did not make the splash he had intended (or perhaps it did), but body paint as an art form in the West did not become widespread until the 1960s, when the hippie movement brought it to life.
Now, body painting has become so popular and in style that there is a new TV show where artists compete and showcase their talents.
Due to premiere its second season on June 10, GSN's Skin Wars is a one-hour competition show that seeks to find the most skilled, accomplished and innovative body artists from across the country. At stake is a $100,000 prize, an all-expense-paid trip for two to the World Body Painting Festival in Austria, and a nationally distributed Royal and Langnickel custom brush collection with their name on it.
The show is hosted by actress Rebecca Romijn, who is known both as the first-ever body painted model in Sports Illustrated's iconic swimsuit issue and as Mystique from the X-Men films. She is joined by judges RuPaul Charles and award-winning body painting icons Craig Tracy and Robin Slonina.
In this series, imagination and creativity are the only things holding contestants back, so let the games begin.
For more information, visit www.gsntv.com.
(NewsUSA) - People who worry about financing a college education for children or grandchildren have got plenty of company. More than 70 percent of parents with children under 18 say that paying for college is their top financial concern, according to Gallup's 2001-2015 Economic and Personal Finance survey.
Young adults are worried too. Asked by Gallup to identify the top financial problem facing their families, more than one in five respondents aged 18 to 29 said it was paying tuition or college loans.
Fortunately, there's a way to put money aside for education in an investment account where the savings can grow over the years, free from federal income taxes. What's more, the student doesn't have to pay federal income taxes on withdrawals from the account, as long as the money is used for qualified higher education expenses, which include tuition, books, fees, supplies and other approved expenses at accredited institutions.
"With the costs of higher education continuing to rise, knowledgeable families are taking advantage of 529 college savings plans," says Kris Spazafumo, Vice President, Investment Services, at Los Angeles-based American Funds, which manages CollegeAmerica. It's the country's largest 529 plan, with nearly $50 billion in assets, as of March 31, 2015. "More than 1.2 million families nationwide are now saving for college with CollegeAmerica on behalf of 2.1 million future college students, and we expect that number to grow as more people become aware of the many benefits that 529 plans offer."
Flexibility is a key feature of 529 plans. Parents and grandparents maintain control of the account, decide when and if to disburse the proceeds and retain the ability to change the beneficiaries. For example, if the child originally named as beneficiary doesn't need the money or doesn't go to college, the account beneficiary can be changed to another family member who might benefit. Account owners can even use the money for their own qualifying educational expenses to obtain a graduate degree, for instance, or specialized career training.
Anyone can open a 529 college savings plan, regardless of income, and can contribute up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) annually without gift-tax consequences, and that money isn't considered part of the account owner's estate.
Since 529 plans are long-term investment vehicles, it's important to choose a plan that offers a wide range of investment options and proven management expertise, says Spazafumo, who notes that CollegeAmerica offers a number of choices from the highly rated American Funds mutual fund family.
Financing higher education requires saving consistently over the long term, but it's not impossible.
"A college education is a great investment, resulting in an estimated 70 percent more lifetime income and a 50 percent lower chance of being unemployed," Spazafumo says, adding that saving for college is a much less costly approach than borrowing. "Earning an 8 percent return, rather than paying 8 percent interest, a family with a goal of $10,000 in college savings can attain that by saving a total of $7,000 over 10 years, as opposed to repaying a total of $14,000 over 10 years if they had borrowed the $10,000."
Not only is borrowing more costly than saving your way to college, Spazafumo points out that there's evidence many students aren't able to keep up with their loan obligations. According to the Department of Education, borrowers who were due to start repaying their student loans in 2011 had a 13.7 percent default rate last year, thus damaging their credit ratings just as they were beginning their working lives.
Education has always been the pathway to higher incomes and job satisfaction, and that's likely to be truer than ever in the years to come. Combining a disciplined savings program with the right 529 college savings plan can help make your family member's dreams of college a reality.
CollegeAmerica is sponsored by Virginia529 and is distributed by American Funds Distributors, Inc. Interests in CollegeAmerica are sold through unaffiliated intermediaries.
Depending on your state of residence, there may be an in-state plan that provides tax and other benefits not available through CollegeAmerica. If withdrawals are used for purposes other than higher education, the earnings will be subject to a 10 percent federal tax penalty in addition to federal and, if applicable, state income tax.
Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. This and other important information is contained in the fund prospectus, summary prospectus and CollegeAmerica Program Description, which can be obtained from a financial professional and should be read carefully before investing.
(NewsUSA) - Plumbing projects can seem daunting to many homeowners, and when done incorrectly, they can be messy and disastrous to your property. In addition, poorly performed plumbing repairs can be expensive. You may spend more money on a plumber who has to fix your mistakes in addition to repairing the initial problem.
Most homeowners are capable of fixing a simple leak, at least enough to prevent further damage until a plumber arrives. Early detection is the key, and several products are available that are designed to help identify small leaks before they become big problems. One such product is the FloLogic System, which monitors the water supply in your house from a single location in the main. If the water flow exceeds a preset limit, indicating a possible leak, the system acts like a circuit breaker, shuts off the water, and sounds an alarm.
There are several other plumbing projects that an energetic do-it-yourself homeowner can tackle, including:
* Hoses and shower heads. Replacing shower heads and washing machine hoses isn't difficult, but make sure you know which replacement parts to buy before getting started. If you need to replace the shut-off valves in a shower or tub, however, it's best to call a professional plumber, because an incorrectly installed valve can lead to a flooded bathroom.
* Pipe insulation. If you have the time and inclination, seek advice from the experts at your local home repair store so you have the right jackets, boards, moldings, mats and tapes. Once you have the right items, and if you are prepared for cramped spaces, you can take on insulating your own pipes.
For a major installation, such as a water heater, don't try it yourself. It's an expensive project, but once it's in place, it should last for 15 to 20 years, so it's worth having it done by a professional.
And, of course, small leaks can turn into big problems, so once you have identified and temporarily contained a leak, call your plumber to have the leak evaluated and fixed.
To learn more about FloLogic, visit www.flologic.com.
(NewsUSA) - Summer months are quickly approaching, and many homeowners are getting lawns prepared for cookouts, family gatherings and entertaining late-night porch hangouts.
According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), proper outdoor lighting is just as essential for a beautiful landscape as are a lush lawn, bright flowerbeds and manicured shrubs.
Jeff Dross, corporate director of lighting education and industry trends for Kichler Lighting, recently explained that homeowners are opening up to new ideas with landscape lighting.
Use Indirect Light
Dross says homeowners have begun to shift toward indirect light for their landscaping, which essentially uses a source to reflect the light emitted by the light fixture. This creates more of an atmospheric tone, allowing the light to spread across a wall off the side of a house more effectively. Indirect lighting will illuminate flower beds, gardens, bushes or other decorative landscaping art. Additionally, the light will bounce off the ground and create a nicely lit walkway around flowerbeds.
The Shift Toward LEDs
LED light bulbs are beginning to dominate the landscape lighting industry. For the majority of homeowners, outdoor lights and landscape lighting are typically left on longer than other home lighting, which makes LEDs the more affordable and logical option.
Additionally, LEDs can be manufactured in much smaller sizes, which give homeowners more options to use them in unique spaces. Dross explains that LEDs are so small, they can be used as application lighting, as well as for aesthetic purposes. Hardscape designs are easy to mesh with LEDs, because the style creates both a passageway lighting source and indirect lighting for stone or brick landscapes.
One significant trend in landscape lighting is simplicity and cleanliness. What this means is more homeowners are choosing to go with fewer ground fixtures to illuminate their entire home. According to Dross, residents who simply align their light fixtures along a walkway in a very orderly and organized fashion are providing a lot of unnecessary light and wasting energy.
Going for a more simplistic design can still highlight plants and flower beds while giving just enough light to illuminate a backyard or around a patio. Also, homeowners are moving toward fewer lumens in light fixtures. This allows the light beam to spread more efficiently and even out the overall light sources.
To learn more about landscape lighting, visit a nearby ALA showroom, or go to www.americanlightingassoc.com.
(NewsUSA) - Water problems top the list of many homeowners' woes, especially water leaks. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that repairing a faucet dripping at two ounces a minute can save 11,000 gallons of water a year.
Catching a small leak immediately and identifying its source are the keys to preventing water waste and water damage, and a few simple tips can help keep a leak under control.
The FloLogic System, developed by FloLogic, Inc., is one way to help identify leaks early. The FloLogic System works by monitoring the water supply in the home, and when the flow through the system exceeds a limit that is set when the system is installed, the system shuts off and alerts the homeowner via an alarm system. This early warning means that homeowners can take some do-it-yourself action as soon as possible and control problems from leaks until a professional arrives.
When a plumbing emergency strikes, don't panic. Follow these steps to help contain your plumbing problem.
* Location, location, location. Find the source of the leak. Sometimes the source is obvious; in other cases it is necessary to trace the water flow to find the problem.
* Selective shut-off. A system such as FloLogic will automatically shut off the water in the event of a leak, and turning off valves for the specific fixture may be enough.
* Drain and dry. Drain out any excess water and dry the pipe once it is empty.
Then, try these quick fixes:
* Go for glue. If a leak is located at a joint between two pipes, pressing flexible epoxy into the hole might do the trick until a plumber can assess the problem. Work the epoxy in your hands, press it into the hole, and allow it to set.
* Pencil tip. If the hole is small, stick a sharpened pencil into the hole, break off the tip so the tip plugs the hole, and wrap the hole with duct tape or electrical tape.
* Screw and washer. For larger holes, try placing a washer around the hole, then drive the screw through the hole.
Visit www.flologic.com for more details about the FloLogic water monitoring system and more information about water management in the home.
(NewsUSA) - With the arrival of long, sunny days, people and pets alike are eager to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors. However, pet owners must be especially vigilant during the warmer months of the dangers fleas and ticks can pose to their four-legged friends.
Flea bites can cause pets to scratch excessively, and their saliva can transfer tapeworms, while ticks can spread Lyme disease in pets and cause tick paralysis, a condition that can result in death from respiratory failure as chest muscles become paralyzed.
The following tips from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) can help protect pets from fleas and ticks this summer:
1: After walks or playtime outside, inspect your pet thoroughly. Brush their coat to remove any debris or insects, especially if your pet has been in wooded areas or high grasses.
2: Bathe dogs regularly, using a shampoo that can kill pests.
3: Be on the lookout for skin irritations on your pet, such as bite marks, red, itchy skin, or excessive scratching.
4: If your pet has long hair, consider having him/her groomed in the spring and summer to help to prevent insects from latching onto the long hair and help you to spot any that do.
5: Consult with a veterinarian to determine if a preventative medicine is recommended for your pet.
6: If you notice a change in your animal's behavior, such as lack of appetite or decrease in energy, take your pet to the veterinarian ASAP. This could be a sign of Lyme disease or other health issue caused by pests.
7: Wash your pet's bedding, crate, toys, food bowls and sleeping areas on a regular basis.
8: Keep your home clean and clutter-free to deter pest infestations and make it easy to spot any pests that do find their way indoors. Vacuum frequently and wash linens on a regular basis.
9: Keep your lawn cut short, and gardens well maintained, to prevent breeding grounds for pests. Fleas and ticks often hide out in tall grasses.
10: If you find a tick on your pet, remove it immediately, being careful to extract the head and mouthparts completely. If your pet has fleas, bathe them and seek the advice of a veterinarian.
For more information on fleas and ticks, or to find a pest control professional in your area, visit www.pestworld.org.
(NewsUSA) - While the spring season might be synonymous with cleaning your home, it doesn't mean that you're tackling it in the right way. So, if you're concerned about the allergens in your home, getting rid of a dust bunny (or two) and Fido's ferocious dander may not be enough.
In fact, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) supports this claim, stating, "When it comes to cleaning, many people may actually be doing it wrong, stirring up the very allergens they are trying to remove from their homes."
However, while keeping up with cleaning is vital for controlling indoor allergens, there is such a thing as being too diligent.
Take Jesse Tyler Ferguson, an actor on the hit show "Modern Family," who lives with allergies himself. Ferguson thought that obsessively cleaning his space was the way to go.
"Everyone knows I'm a neat freak, [but] I learned from AAFA that, like most of America, I was actually doing some things wrong and stirring up allergens instead of removing them," he said. "Now I look for Certified asthma and allergy-friendly products like Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer (Unscented) and Swiffer Dry Dusters and Sweepers (Unscented) to help me clean the right way and reduce common allergens in my home."
The asthma- and allergy-friendly Certification Program was created by AAFA and the international research organization, Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), as the first program of its kind in the U.S. in order to reduce confusion about product claims targeting the asthma and allergy market, raise standards for these products, encourage innovation in the production of these products and raise issue awareness about asthma and
With these things in mind, Laura Dellutri, cleaning expert and author of "White Couch with Kids?" and "Speed Cleaning 101," offers the following tips revealing the places inanimate allergens -- from pollen, pet dander and dust mite matter -- may be accumulating and some cleaning advice that can help you remove them:
* Window dressing. Everyone cleans their windows, but few remember to dust window blinds and drapes -- places that can be havens for dust mite matter and other inanimate allergens. Using a Swiffer Duster (unscented, of course) can trap inanimate allergens two times more than a typical dusting cloth and three times more than a feather duster because it picks up dust and locks it away with thousands of flexible, fluffy fibers, designed to reach into nooks and crannies.
* Favor your fabrics. You may clean your couches, decorative pillows, upholstered furniture and carpets with a quick vacuum, fluff of a pillow or dusting. But spraying these hard-to-wash fabrics with something like Febreze Fabric Refresher Allergen Reducer (unscented) can help reduce inanimate allergens that can become airborne from fabrics as well. This nifty product reduces up to 95 percent of inanimate allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust mite matter that can become trapped in fabrics and soft surfaces.
* Clean smarter, not harder. Technology can be a beautiful thing, and it has revolutionized household cleaning with lots of gadgets and tools that make cleaning easier, faster and more effective. For instance, when it comes to removing inanimate allergens from your wood floors, using a Swiffer Dry Sweeper to trap and lock the dirt and dust, is two times more effective than a typical dusting cloth.
For more information, visit febreze.com and swiffer.com.
(NewsUSA) - As the weather warms and schedules become packed with summer sports and activities, it can be easy to let your heart healthy diet slide to the bottom of the priority list. With a dash of planning and a spoonful of creativity, summer meals can taste as good as they are nutritious and give you the fuel you need to take advantage of the wonderful weather.
Here are some tips for keeping your meals and snacks heart healthy in the summer months:
Go Lean with Protein
Being on the go doesn't mean you need to sacrifice muscle-building protein in the summer. For dinner options, choose lean meats, poultry or fish. Select lean proteins for refreshing and easy-to-make sandwiches such as Simply Delicious sandwich meats from Land O' Frost. The entire line of Simply Delicious products meets the American Heart Association's nutrition requirements for heart healthy foods.
Become a Fruit Fanatic
Summer is the season for fresh fruits that are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They make a great substitute for traditional desserts that are high in fat and calories. Wash and slice any combination of juicy melons, berries, or other fruits and add them to your favorite yogurt or sorbet and blend for a cooling and healthy treat. Larger fruits such as peaches or pineapple also pair nicely with grilled items.
Salads are also a go-to for the summer months but accompanying oily dressing and cheese can load them down with fat and calories. Choose low-fat or light dressing options and steer clear from cream-based diet spoilers. Minimize added sodium and fat by sprinkling low-fat varieties such as Swiss, Mozzarella, Parmesan or cottage cheese.
With these guidelines in mind, your summer meals will be every bit as heart healthy as they are tasty! For coupons and more information about Simply Delicious products from Land O'Frost, visit www.landofrost.com.
(NewsUSA) - Smokeless tobacco is as much a part of baseball as the Cubs' disappointing run at the World Series year after year.
While Major League Baseball is urging its players to reconsider a habit as old as the sport itself, there is also a history to think about -- one that has linked the two together in the hearts and minds of Americans.
This begs the question: Is there life to baseball without smokeless tobacco?
To come to a conclusion, we have to look at the history of smokeless tobacco and how the two have become inextricably linked together.
In the mid-1800s, when baseball was first getting its footing in America, chewing tobacco was extremely popular, and baseball players used it for the same reasons other men did -- pure pleasure. Soon, however, players found added benefits to using smokeless tobacco products, such as, creating more saliva in the mouth in a dusty environment. This, in turn, helped players to moisten their gloves with spit.
It also helped the smokeless tobacco industry when cigarettes -- which threatened smokeless tobacco companies in the early 20th century -- were attributed to fatigue and bad luck among players. In this way, snuff and chew, continued to gain ground.
"Chewing tobacco is a tradition in baseball," says Everett Dickson, CEO of FLASR, a company that has created accoutrements for the smokeless tobacco user. "It's a part of the game, seeing a pitcher or hitter at bat with a small piece of tobacco tucked into his cheek. Having said that, we also understand the concerns of the general public, and support any decision by policymakers and Major League Baseball."
Until then, however, FLASR wants those who do use smokeless tobacco (players included) to know there are products that are discreet and help with the more inconvenient and messy aspects for users.
One such product is FLASR's pocket-sized, portable spittoon, which has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays closed when not in use. This eliminates the risk of spills and leaks often seen with cups and bottles. FLASR reusable spittoons also feature the exclusive Thumb-Lok Twist Cap for one-handed ease of use making it an ideal solution for taking snuff, dip or chew into the bullpen or on long road trips.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com. Market listing: FLASR (OTCQB: FLSR).
(NewsUSA) - It's scary to imagine a life without proper plumbing. In fact, most people seem to take modern-day plumbing for granted. But the plumbing industry has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the years.
Before the introduction of modern-day plumbing luxuries such as sewage drainage and disposal systems, flushing toilets and water treatment systems, diseases ran rampant due to the lack of clean water. Diseases such as polio, cholera, and even the black plague took the lives of far too many people before modern plumbing was introduced as we know it today.
There was a time when waste was dumped onto streets, or even into rivers, instead of being properly disposed. This unfortunately contaminated drinking water, which helped spread those killer diseases. However, that's a thing of the past. In today's world, clean water is easily accessible thanks to modern-day plumbing luxuries.
Although the plumbing industry has grown by leaps and bounds throughout the years, the industry continues to look for new ways to improve. The industry is now focusing on improving efficiency, conserving water and reducing costs for homeowners. And the way to accomplish those goals may involve a greater focus on "green" technology.
Mr. Rooter Plumbing is an example of a company dedicated to improving the plumbing industry.
"Mr. Rooter Plumbing is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of customers and the nation, through sanitation and continuously seeking ways to improve through industry innovation," says Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Plumbing. "We are working to be recognized as the world's leading company in the plumbing and drainage service industry."
The future of plumbing will look to find new ways to reduce water usage without sacrificing performance or aesthetic appeal. With a great deal of home technologies turning to solar power, the plumbing industry may follow suit. For example, traditional water heaters may eventually be replaced by solar-powered water heaters, which would use free energy from the sun to heat water for showers, dishwashers and washing machines. In addition, other plumbing fixtures such as flush valves could also incorporate solar power technology someday.
Without the benefits of modern plumbing, the world would not be able to sustain life as it is today. Thankfully, the plumbing industry is continuing to find new ways to improve, and new ways to save homeowners money by conserving water.
For more information, visit MrRooter.com/45th-anniversary.
(NewsUSA) - Looking to spend more time out on your boat than stuck at the dock? Well, a new web app, which you can access from any mobile device and makes maintaining your boat a (summer's) breeze, may help you do just that.
The app, called MyTaskit, connects boat owners with service techs, offering a convenient way to communicate directly with boat yards about service appointments, repair jobs or routine maintenance -- all of which means more time on the water and less on dry land.
"There's transparency around which tasks have been assigned to which people," says Kevin Hutchinson, founder and CEO of MyTaskit. Whether the MyTaskit app is used on a mobile device or accessed via a desktop computer, "boaters can see the status of projects that are open, in progress, waiting authorization or estimate approval, or completed. The last thing you want to realize is that something needs fixing and you're five miles off shore."
When users post an online task on MyTaskit, they can explain any issue to a service pro; they can attach photos or videos to describe the problem, too.
"Boats are complex possessions, with multiple moving parts that need frequent service and attention," Hutchinson says.
And even if your boat just needs a little TLC or maintenance, the app can come to the rescue. It conveniently stores manuals for everything on a boat, from its icemakers to its engines. Once you enter the specific type of engine your boat has, for instance, MyTaskit will automatically send a service reminder at manufacturer-recommended intervals.
The app is free of charge to boat owners, captains and their crews, and includes up to 1GB of storage (owners can purchase more storage as needed).
What's more, the app is making waves in other ways. Got a problem with your plumbing or electricity at home? MyTaskit will soon be able to connect with those service providers for your home or even RV.
"Because it's highly task-oriented, MyTaskit can help people stay coordinated with all their service providers," Hutchinson says.
The ease-of-use extends beyond consumers to service professionals, who say the MyTaskit "Pro" side of the app helps them to coordinate business with their existing customers online in a manner that strengthens the bond and fosters greater customer loyalty.
For more information, visit www.mytaskit.com.
(NewsUSA) - Experts say communication is key when dealing with prescription medicine.
Research has shown that a gap in communication between health care providers (HCPs) and patients about the potential risks of prescription medicines can result in adverse drug events. Increasing communication about prescriptions can help ensure that patients avoid such events, improve adherence to their medicine regimen(s) and live healthier lives.
The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) launched a campaign earlier this year called "Talk Before You Take," aiming to spark this necessary patient/HCP engagement and encourage more conversations between patients and HCPs.
"It's imperative that health care providers and patients keep the lines of communication flowing," says Ray Bullman, NCPIE executive vice president.
Bullman and his colleagues' research for the campaign was developed by Johns Hopkins University and Ipsos Healthcare, with support from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly half of Americans take prescription medicines, and over 20 percent of Americans take at least three. However, the research found that approximately 62 percent of patients were not aware of any safety warnings about their medicines. Ten percent of patients unaware of the possibility of a severe side effect actually experience a serious reaction.
"It is important for patients to understand how to take their medicines safely so they experience all the benefits and minimize the potential risks," said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Talk Before You Take encourages more discussion about medications between patients and their health care providers and pharmacists, which can improve the health of patients and our health care system."
In addition, the campaign offers four tips for patients and caregivers to guide conversations with HCPs:
* Talk to your health care provider and ask questions about the benefits and potential risks of prescription medicines you take.
* Tell your health care provider about all of the medicines you are taking -- including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and dietary supplements.
* Tell your health care provider about any allergies or sensitivities that you may have.
* Read and follow the medicine label and directions.
For more information, visit www.talkbeforeyoutake.org. This work is supported by FDA grant number 5U18FD004653-03.
(NewsUSA) - What is it about Father's Day that can hang up the savviest gift giver? For Mother's Day, the presents are easy and unfailing: perfume, Godiva chocolate, dinner, flowers or a gift certificate for a massage. Dads, however, seem to always end up with the short end of the stick.
"This is the time you can indulge Dad and get him those things he's ogled, but hasn't gone to buy on his own," says Byon Penn, a manager at Jerry's Home Improvement Center in Eugene, Ore. "But the ole, traditional necktie doesn't quite cut it these days."
Eric Garland, a father of two, agrees.
"There's less of an emotional hoopla around Father's Day traditionally, because men were considered more self-reliant," Garland told USA Today in an interview. "We don't expect a lot, frankly. We don't ask for it ? that goes to the image of men as the strong, silent provider who don't need the open emotional support and affirmation of even those who are closest to them, which are their families. But I think that's changing."
To help you find the perfect gift for the perfect man, the following tips might help:
* The Stylish Dad. A bottle of his favorite Scotch, some cufflinks made from the wood of his favorite baseball park, or if you must get a tie, perhaps a silk tie from Brioni or Turn-bull & Asser will be sure to please.
* The Tobacco-Loving Dad. Cigars or pipes, will do for the gentleman who appreciates a good smoke now and again.
And for those dads who would rather indulge in smokeless tobacco, consider accoutrements like a portable spittoon. FLASR (www.flasr.com), an Atlanta-based tobacco accessory producer, has created a one-of-a-kind, pocket-sized spittoon that allows dads to take snuff, dip or chew anywhere they are. It's perfect for everyday use or while hunting, fishing or any other outdoor sporting or leisure event. FLASR reusable spittoons feature the exclusive Thumb-Lok Twist Cap for one-handed ease of use. This innovative closing mechanism ensures that it stays securely closed when not in use, eliminating the risk of spill and leaks often seen with cups and bottles.
* The Outdoor Dad. Barbecues are a classic gift for those who fashion themselves Master of the Grill. Anything hobby- and leisure-related, such as a tackle box or digital fishing scale for the fisherman, or a 10-in-one tool that will saw tree limbs or open a bottle of wine for the rugged outdoorsman are also great ideas.
(NewsUSA) - Running a community association can be a rewarding but difficult task -- a minefield for even the most savvy, seasoned and well-intentioned arbiter.
Federal, state and local laws are changed, passed, or modified; buildings age; interest rates are as solid as a two-celebrity marriage; budgets, insurance companies and community elections present their own challenges.
If you are one of the more than 66 million Americans who live in a homeowners association or condominium, you might be thinking of becoming a board member, or perhaps you already serve on an association board. Either way, educating yourself is of paramount importance to you, your neighbors and community.
Which is why Community Associations Institute (CAI), a national education and advocacy group, is offering a new, comprehensive education course that will help community association board members better understand association operations, management and governance.
"We know from national surveys that association board members are dedicated volunteers doing their very best to serve their communities and neighbors," says CAI Chief Executive Officer Thomas Skiba, CAE. "But that doesn't mean they know everything they need to know. Many boards get in trouble because they don't know what they don't know. That's why this course can be helpful."
A Big Commitment
Although board members certainly go in with eyes wide open about the amount of time they will be volunteering and devoting to the association, Skiba points out that the role also requires a commitment to understand the legal, leadership and operational obligations of the position.
"The information and insights conveyed in the workshop can save association leaders time, money and unnecessary headaches, perhaps even help them avoid costly, divisive lawsuits," says Skiba. "Even with a skilled community manager or attorney, board members can find themselves facing the unanticipated surprises and traps that association boards inevitably encounter."
CAI has tapped experts in the community association business to develop a workshop that is available both as an online course and a classroom workshop by CAI chapters. The curriculum, Skiba says, is for both self-managed communities and those association boards that rely on a professional community manager or an association management company.
Highlights of the Workshop
The Board Leadership Development Workshop provides association board members with information and perspective on the critical elements of community association operations. So whether you're a first-time board member or a tenured officer, there's something for everyone. Here is just a sampling of what the program includes:
* The functions of president, secretary and treasurer.
* Governing documents.
* Finances and reserve funding.
* Board and annual meetings.
* Rules compliance and enforcement.
Visit www.caionline.org or call 888-224-4321 to learn more.
(NewsUSA) - Biotech companies are making a big splash in 2015, offering potential investors a compelling roster of options. Among those to watch: Propanc Health Group Corporation (PPCH). Propanc is a developmental-stage health care company that is currently focusing its efforts in the field of new treatments for chronic diseases, particularly solid tumor cancers. The company was established in 2007 and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
Propanc recently announced early data from animal studies using its patented formulas. Propanc's in-development proteolytic proenzyme products (described by the company as inactive precursors of enzymes) were not associated with any adverse events in the early studies, and the company is prepared to take the next steps in research. According to the company's website, Propanc "intends to undertake Phase I, II and III clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of our product in specific patient populations."
Propanc's proenzyme products, known as PRP and PRP-DCM, have the potential to be game-changers for cancer care by offering an effective option for long-term therapy without the excessive toxicity associated with many current cancer treatments. The research is preliminary, and the findings must be confirmed in clinical trials. However the company's stated development goals focus on the targeting of solid tumors, conditions for which most currently available treatments are limited to stabilizing the tumors or extending patients' lives for only a few months. Solid tumor cancer types include lung cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and liver cancer.
As the company states, "In each of these indications, there is a large market opportunity to capitalize on the limitations of current therapies."
Scientists don't yet fully understand how proenzyme products can fight cancer, but early research results suggest that they may contribute to an inhibition of growth factors that cause cancer. In addition, Propanc is exploring a method to shrink tumor masses by targeting the tumor directly with an injectable form of PRP.
Propanc also is working with research collaborators to explore how Propanc's proenzyme products impact cancer cells. The goal of this research is to provide an opportunity for new, patentable drug development by the company.
For more information on PPCH, visit www.propanc.com.
(NewsUSA) - Maybe you're finally updating your 1970s kitchen to one that's more sleek and modern. Perhaps it's as simple as remodeling a bathroom. Whatever the room, home renovations can be pretty hectic and messy.
To get through your renovation, home organization is the key. The following tips should help you stay on top of the chaos.
* Have files for everything. Paperwork should be kept in one place. Inexpensive file folders that are portable can help you stay structured. Create a file for all receipts, and as you post them to a budget, move them to another file labeled "posted." Permits and papers from the city should be kept together. Just for fun, create a folder of design ideas and pictures from magazines to keep you inspired.
* Cover it up. One word: plastic. No, not credit cards. Use it to cover all heavy furniture that can't be moved from the room. This will prevent dust and debris from getting into the cracks and crevices and keep the finish on the furniture looking shiny.
* Keep a list. No matter how good your memory, things are going to fall through the cracks. Hanging a clipboard on a nail in the area you are working in will help you to stay on task about people you need to contact, or things you need to do or buy for the next day.
* Have a place for everything. If you're doing the remodel yourself, there is going to be a certain amount of chaos and upheaval. One thing that will help reduce your stress level is keeping your tools in one place. Create a space, such as a table, where all small tools are kept. The larger tools can sit on the floor under the table. Every time you're finished with a tool, put it back.
* Contain your stress. If you're a person who turns to cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in times of stress, try your best to keep things clean by going outside to smoke or by carrying a portable spittoon. After all, you don't want a fresh burn mark or stain from a spill to end up on your brand new floors. FLASR has created a one-of-a-kind pocket-sized spittoon that allows users to open and shut it with just one hand, making it an ideal solution for taking your snuff, dip or chew into any room that's being renovated. In addition, the Atlanta-based company's spittoon, has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, eliminating the risk of spill and leaks often seen with cups and bottles. For more information, visit www.flasr.com. Market listing: FLASR (OTCQB: FLSR).
(NewsUSA) - Imagine going into cataract surgery with poor vision and coming out with outstanding vision. Well, thanks to breakthrough intraocular lenses (IOLs), this may not be so far-fetched. [An IOL is an artificial lens placed in a person's eye to restore vision after cataract surgery.]
Today, medicine is moving beyond a one-size-fits-all model and is entering an age of more personalized treatment. An example of this growing trend is that doctors can now offer customized lens treatment options to improve people's vision after cataract surgery. Even those who have worn glasses their entire lives -- or are just starting to use readers -- have the potential to be free of glasses post cataract surgery.
Developed by Abbott and recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Tecnis Multifocal 1-Piece IOLs (+2.75D and +3.25D) provide individualized options to the more than 20 million people estimated to undergo cataract surgery. These lenses allow people to have a full range of outstanding near, intermediate and far vision that can be customized based on a person's own vision needs and lifestyle.
"Many of my cataract patients are of working age and have very active lifestyles," said Tal Raviv, MD, FACS, Medical Director of the Eye Center of New York in Manhattan. "The ability to see all distances -- from looking at a smartphone to watching a movie on the big screen -- without the need for corrective wear is not only a benefit but a necessity." Overall, people may not need to wear their glasses for daily tasks.
Cataracts cloud the natural crystalline lens in the eye, and typically progress slowly causing vision loss, and can be potentially blinding if left untreated. Cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest procedures in the U.S. with more than 3 million surgeries expected to be done each year from 2014 to 2016 -- and that number is expected to grow as the population ages. In fact, as new technologies become available that can significantly improve vision, today's boomers are even opting to have the procedure done earlier in life (40's, 50's and 60's) so they can maintain their healthy, active lifestyles.
"I am constantly on my phone or computer and my vision was definitely becoming blurry," said Vivian Gemelos, Dr. Raviv's patient. "When I was told I had the option to have my vision corrected at all distances without glasses when my cataract was removed and replaced with this new lens, I jumped at the opportunity. I had one eye done and immediately saw the difference. Even colors are brighter. Now, I can't wait to have my other eye done."
For more information, visit www.abbott.com.
INDICATIONS: The TECNIS® Multifocal 1-Piece intraocular lenses are indicated for primary implantation for the visual correction of aphakia in adult patients with and without presbyopia in whom a cataractous lens has been removed by phacoemulsification and who desire near, intermediate, and distance vision with increased spectacle independence. The intraocular lenses are intended to be placed in the capsular bag. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: No matter what lens you choose, there are risks or problems that can happen with cataract surgery. The problems could be minor, temporary, or affect your vision permanently. Whereas your use of glasses may decrease, it may come at the cost of some sharpness of your vision. Even with glasses, this loss of sharpness may become worse under poor visibility conditions such as dim light or fog. If your eye is not healthy (including glaucoma), your vision may not be good even after your cataract is removed. In this case, you may not get the full benefit of the multifocal IOL. . There is a chance that your vision with a multifocal IOL may not be good enough to perform very near or detailed "up-close" work without glasses. Multifocal IOL implants may be inadvisable in patients with conditions such macular degeneration, retinal pigment epithelium changes, and glaucoma. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.