Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Thousand-Mile Blessing That is the Colorado River

Colorado River

Colorado RiverYou have to give it to the Colorado River. Few rivers stretch as long and are as useful. For one, it connects the most powerful nation in the world to Mexico, a valuable economic and social partner.

Just like other bodies of water that built civilizations, the Colorado River served the same purpose on this side of the world. Countless crops have grown because of the river, and lives continue to flourish. To top it all off, the mighty river is also the source of unequalled adventure.

Purveyor of Unmatched Fun

Many, however, has associated the Colorado with one thing: white-water rafting.

The rapids suit each individual’s needs, from the beginner adventurer to professional thrill-seekers. Colorado rafting has become a top tourist attraction, as per tour company American Adventure Expeditions. All you need is the right team to make your ride is as smooth as possible, if you’re just starting. Water has its inherent risks, so team rafting is more fun and safer.

Water of Life

Imagine a train that stretches a thousand miles and you would have catch a glimpse of how big the Colorado River is. Beyond its size, its economic value is unparalleled.

For starters, more than 30 million people depend on the Colorado for their water needs. Add 4 million acres of farmland dependent on it and you have one of the most important water bodies in the United States.

Because of all the fishing and increasing tourism activity generated because of the mighty Colorado, the economy benefits to the tune of 10 billion dollars annually. Imagine what happens if the river closes even for a day. That’s millions of dollars down the drain, not to mention an army of millions grumbling.

Colorado isn’t just the Mile-High state just because of its geographically high placing. It’s because the people and the state offers so much to the economy and all kinds of activities.

Tourism 2020: The Advantage of Australia

summer and beach

summer and beachAustralia is a country with infinite possibilities. With its secure and stable economy, it is not surprising to see businesses booming in its vast cities. It is possible to bring in growth by investing in the industry and choosing the right sector to support.

What makes investment in the country so attractive is the support of the Australian Government in the growth of tourism under a new policy called Tourism 2020. This is a joint industry-government strategy to increase the country’s overnight visitor expenditure. Because of this, the Australian Government is encouraging investment in the industry as a priority under the policy program.

Increase Competitiveness

The Government, along with the Australian Trade Commission and Tourism Australia, will offer advice and facilitation services to local and global investors. The main aim of the policy is to enhance competitiveness of the tourism industry by focusing on strategic areas to grow demand from Asia, increase supply of labour, build competitive digital capability and build industry resilience.

Making the Right Move

Investors from the country and around the globe should see this as an opportunity to make a move. There are many tourism investment opportunities to choose from such as accommodations, casinos, luxury resorts and theme parks. Motel brokers from resortbrokers.com.au suggest choosing the right property that the investor is passionate about or is interested in handling.

Support in the Industry

A world-class training and education sector, skilled workforce and highly efficient tourism infrastructure support the country’s advantages as a tourist destination. Tourism 2020 also supports the investment by working to increase the supply of labour, enhance the skill of the existing workforce, provide quality products and services, and expand aviation capacity.

Investing in Australia makes good sense not just because of its economic strength. Its social and technological advantages, along with a new tourism policy, are what make it one of best investment destinations in the world.  The country, furthermore, is located in the world’s strongest performing tourism region.

Move Out, Move in: Settle into Your New Home without Delays

Moving

MovingMoving into a new home takes a lot of work. You need to leave the place you called home for years, pack everything you own, settle into your new house, and arrange everything again. However, this also gives you an opportunity to enjoy a fresh start. But first, deal with all your things.

List Everything Down

Having a simple record system helps keep track of everything you own. This will also give you an idea of whether you need to get rid of some things or hold a garage sale. You should also plot a schedule to follow to be more organized throughout the move.

Label the Boxes

Don’t just store random things in random boxes. Instead, think of a certain category and label the boxes accordingly to know where to unpack them. Use color-coordinated boxes when packing the room to make it easier.

Contact a Mover

Contact different moving companies in Denver to ask for a free quote. Inquire if they have special offers or deals to minimize moving costs. Do this two weeks in advance to give them a notice and reserve the date of your move early.

Let them know of any special requests. As Light Speed Delivery, Inc. mentions, moving companies aim for 100% customer satisfaction, so they will accommodate your requests if they can.

Keep Important Things

Secure your valuables separately and don’t put them in regular boxes because they might get lost in the shuffle. Learn to pack jewelry, antiques, paper records, receipts, and contact lists for the move. Keep these boxes close to you. Leave them in your bedroom when you finally arrive at your new home.

Remember these things to avoid problems. Always plan ahead to have more time to organize every aspect of the move.

GECA — Saving Mother Earth One Product at a Time

GECA

GECAThe Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) operates the only multi-sector, non-profit and independent ecolabelling program in Australia. It is the country’s only Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) member.

An ecolabel from GECA indicates that a service or product passed the environmental impact evaluation process. This means it has been tested and proven safe for human health. In ecolabelling, GECA considers a product’s environmental impact throughout its lifespan, from the selection of raw materials to its disposal.

Many businesses like Gyprock.com.au and other companies using GECA-certified product have now realised the gravity of their role in taking care of the environment.  When you purchase GECA-certified products or services, you are assured of the following:

  • You create a positive impact on the environment. These products have been thoroughly evaluated and guaranteed to be eco friendly and will not have a damaging effect on the environment.
  • All products with the ecolabel undergo extensive testing for toxic chemicals, which includes carcinogens and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Ecolabeled products are carcinogen-free and do not pose a health risk to humans. GECA employs specific standards of testing to evaluate a broad range of products and services. This includes construction materials, paint, cleaning products and furniture.
  • The ecolabel also indicates that the manufacturing processes have positive social impact. The workers involved in the process work in safe environments and are under the most ethical conditions.
  • Using ecolabeled products for businesses offers a sustainable and healthy working environment which can improve staff’s productivity, efficiency and safety. It makes businesses eco friendly, creating a positive impact on the staff and on the clients in the process.
  • The use of eco friendly product also offers businesses a more cost-effective solution.

The use of products and services with the GECA ecolabel lowers your carbon footprint. It also supports businesses that deserve your patronage.

Too Much Stuff for Too Little? Organising a Small Home

small home

small homeToo much stuff but too little space?

Some might resort to searching for new homes online or adding an extra room for their extra clutter. Fortunately, the answer need not lie with buying a bigger home. Truth is, even small houses can look as organised and welcoming as larger homes.

Urbanhomes.com.au, provider of small lot house plans in Brisbane, believes that small homes are capable of holding much. It might seem impossible but the answer lies with proper storage techniques. Here are cost-effective ways to maximise storage at home:

Say Goodbye to Old Things

The best way to start maximising storage is by getting rid of broken or old things that you no longer use at home. This will give you more room to store other possessions while cleaning your home in the process. No need to make your guests uncomfortable with all that clutter during house parties.

The Necessity of Ceiling- or Wall-Mounted Hooks

Mounting hooks on the walls or ceiling will make an area more functional and space-efficient. For example, an entry way with wall-mounted hooks will give you an area to hang your coat or bag right away when you need to rush to the toilet. The same technique can be used to hang pots and pans in the kitchen and save space.

Yes to Cabinets and Drawers

Cabinets and drawers serve two purposes: storage and room decor. In fact, by using the right design, size, and paint colour, you can find furniture that matches your interiors. Wall-mounted cabinets are a popular choice today because they can be placed just about anywhere. In addition to drawers and kitchen counters, centre and side also provide space for storage.

Using Storage Containers and Baskets

Storage containers and baskets come in all shapes and sizes that they are more than just plain storage but also nice decorative pieces. Get small storage containers to keep food, accessories, medications, and other small items at home organised. Other everyday items like scissors and pens can be kept in baskets. Big storage boxes are great for keeping your kids’ toys, books, and other larger items.

There should be no problems with storage in small homes when things are properly organised. Consider using cabinets and drawers, hooks, and even multi-purpose furniture to maximise space at home. Get help from contractors of small lot house plans in Brisbane for storage ideas to make the most of your small home.

MediShield and Integrated Shield Plan: The Perfect Health Insurance Combo

Whiplash

Health InsuranceA MediShield Integrated Shield Plan (IP) is a comprehensive health insurance plan that covers major incidents related to surgery and hospitalisation. People do not usually use it to cover minor hospital costs and general doctor visits.

How Does an Integrated Shield Plan Work?

MediShield is your basic health insurance that covers as much as 80% of your hospital bills at government-subsidised wards in public hospitals. This Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board-operated is available to all Singaporeans and permanent residents.

The MediShield Integrated Shield Plan, as per BeHeartStrong.com.sg, on the other hand, is your private health insurance. This usually covers hospital fees in class A and B1 wards in private or public hospitals. You can, however, still choose to stay in a public hospital and in a subsidised ward when you use your IP. A private IP sits atop your MediShield and offers more comprehensive coverage.

Private IPs sits atop your MediShield and offers more comprehensive coverage. Think of your MediShield as a house. When you purchase an IP, you are simply upgrading your house to a bigger one. In addition, MediShield does not allow riders or add-ons, while IPs do.

Is an Integrated Shield Plan Really Needed?

Procure private insurance if you can afford its premiums. MediShield is as basic as a standard health insurance, while an IP supplements and covers more major hospitalisation requirements. Government actually recommended having IPs because they know that the basic coverage MediShield offers may not be adequate to cover more costly hospitalisation bills.

While both MediShield and IPs strictly impose co-insurance and deductibles, MediShield has sub-limits and IPs functions on the ‘As Charged’ basis. In addition, MediShield can only offer coverage until you are 85 years old, while IPs offers lifetime coverage.

Furthermore, if you have an IP but you still want to save more money, then you may also try qualifying for MediShield subsidies — Premium for individuals with low to middle incomes, Transitional Subsidies, and Pioneer Generation Subsidies — as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.+

Overcoming Drug Abuse Problems: Getting the Right Treatment

Drugs

DrugsDrug rehabilitation centers aim to promote successful recovery of patients through ongoing support. Unfortunately, treatment centers are not created equal. This is why choosing a rehab center is crucial to the success and speed of recovery. All of this, however, is often a difficult decision because of the many options available out there.

Unique Needs of Patients

All patients are unique and have varying needs, which is why there are many types of treatment centers. This is one of the things you must realize when deciding which treatment program is right for you or your loved one suffering addiction.

One type of treatment center offers inpatient care. Trained personnel from StepsRC.com say that in these drug rehab facilities, detox is one crucial phase of the treatment, allowing patients to properly wean off substance abuse. The next phase of treatment involves dealing with pscyhological addiction. Medical and social support is necessary for this.

Another type of treatment you may choose is outpatient. The programs introduced in these settings differ depending on the needs of patients. Rehabilitation involves individual therapy, peer discussions, and workshops.

There are also programs that provide long-term follow-up and support. Counseling and classes are designed to teach patients how to live a sober life outside the rehab facility.

As you know your options, recognize you or your loved one’s unique needs. A program will only be effective for you if it addresses not only the substance abuse problem, but also the emotional needs and other life issues that triggered the addiction in the first place.

The Right Treatment Program

Many advertisements for rehab facilities feature tranquil settings with breathtaking views. While these amenities are beneficial, you should focus on what’s really important: quality of care, appropriate licensing, staff credentials, and follow-up services.

  • Licensing and Accreditation – The treatment program should be accredited by state authorities. Licensed, well-trained addiction and mental health professionals should be the ones facilitating treatment.
  • Effectiveness of the Treatment Methods – The drug rehab center should have available documents and statistics on their success rates from an objective outside agency.
  • Type of aftercare services – This is important to prevent a relapse. The program should provide referrals to other recovery services and available support groups in the community. The staff should collaborate with you to come up with a discharge plan after the program.

Choose rehab facilities wisely. This is one crucial step to ensure the success of recovery.

Presence, Power and Lack of Women in the Legal Industry

Woman

WomanWithout agenda except for a simple statement of a fundamental fact: women have long been under-represented in the top ranks of law firms. Not to say that nothing has been done and not to say that women are close to giving up; it’s just the case at the moment.

This, however, might not be the case for very long. New data presents a slight glimmer of hope and suggests that progress may be on its way. Women are slowly rising into power equipped with experience and degrees earned from universities and online schools, like The Center for Legal Studies.

Women on Top

New studies identify several independent law firms and associations putting notable women into positions of power. One of which is the Women in Law Empowerment Forum (WILEF), a group that aims to hold law firms accountable for putting women in top roles.

This year alone, they honored 44 law firms that notably stepped up in the patriarchal industry during their fifth annual Gold Standard Certification. With this recognition comes a form of encouragement women rarely witness.

Power Play

The average percentage of women on governance committees of the honored firms was 27% and on compensation committees was 25%. According to WILEF, these positions are crucial to helping the rest of the women in the organization or firm advance.

Despite the apparent progress in the Big Boys league, which in itself is already commendable, women are still lagging behind. Of the 44 law firms WILEF honored, none of them are New York based firms or firms with the highest profits per partner.

What is apparent is the struggle of sexes surrounding probably one of the most fundamental sectors of the society. In 2014, women lawyers earned approximately 83% of what their male legal counterparts earned. What is astounding is not the number, but that this still needed to be stated.

Earth and Iron: Recreational Projects to Keep you Busy

welding

weldingIn the daily bustle and hustle in Brisbane, one should always still find time for one’s self. That is what hobbies are for – it breaks the monotonous grind of school or work, and lets you devote time for yourself. If you love making DIY or household projects, you would know that they are an excellent source of relaxation and leisure. It can even help ease your mind if you have anxiety issues.

That said, good projects are those that trace their roots back to the more humble origins of man. Case in point: agriculture and industry. That is, working the earth, and working iron.

Here are a few good stuff to do to help reconnect you with both.

Agriculture

The birth of agriculture ushered great changes in the direction of human civilisation. The day man learned how to grow crops and feed himself was the day man stopped becoming a nomadic animal and started to put in roots. Pay homage to this by starting a garden, right by your house.

You can start a simple herb garden for culinary use. Or if you want something more productive and really handy, a vegetable garden. What you need is a good patch of soil, some good quality compost, and the seeds to sow. And patience. Different crops grow at different rates. Just make sure to do your research what grows best at the current time of the year. This august, cabbage, potatoes and tomatoes are good.

Industry

If ploughing soil and sowing seeds are not in your current list of interest, perhaps metalwork is. Man is characterised by their unique ability to use tools, and fashion the materials of nature to their advantage. Enjoy this quality by going back to the basics of mechanical workmanship. Pay a visit to the many local scrap metal yards in the city, and observe what they do.

If you have the materials, which you can procure from said merchants, you can build anything from a barbeque grill, to a complete playground. Says Raw Metal Corp, for welding and basic mechanical work, you can fashion iron into monkey bars, fences and even furniture. You can create a lot of things with a workbench, scrap metal, tools and a bit of ingenuity. If you’ve grown to be a good craftsman, you can even sell this for additional profit.

And there you have it. If you feel the need to create, you don’t have to look far. These two-way projects can help free you from the everyday grind of the busy city, while making you productive.

Management of Depleted Uranium: From Storage to Disposal

nuclear power plants

nuclear power plantsMost nuclear power plants today operate through low-enriched uranium. The by-product of this enrichment process is called depleted uranium, an element that has a  lower content of the fissile isotope U-235 than natural uranium.

Depleted uranium has adverse effects on health and the environment. Studies show that exposure to the material may cause severe impairment to the body, particularly the kidney and lungs. In terms of environmental impact, the chemical can contaminate the ground surface, which may severely affect safety of food and ground water.

Because of these risks associated with depleted uranium to the public and the environment, there’s a need for industries to responsibly manage radioactive wastes. This includes proper depleted uranium disposal; Utah and other strategic sites have approved disposal facilities for such needs.

Storage of Depleted Uranium

The primary storage of depleted uranium is enrichment facilities; the chemical is in the form of uranium hexafluoride (DUF6). DUF6 is usually stored in 14-ton cylinders near enrichment facilities. When processed, they may serve commercial purposes. They may be used for counterweights in aircrafts, shielding in radiation therapy or containers used in shipping radioactive elements.

Disposal of Depleted Uranium

The process of disposal, on the other hand, involves a method called “deconversion.” The process chemically extracts the fluoride from depleted uranium kept in the cylinders. The result is stable compounds known as uranium oxides, chemicals suitable for disposing radioactive wastes.

There are many disposal facility options; organizations may transport the material to the U.S. Department of Energy or to commercial disposal sites, as long as the depleted uranium satisfies the requirements of the facility.

Deconversion carries many risks, which is why it is important to work with experts on these endeavors. Uranium is a heavy metal, which, when ingested, may cause severe damage to the kidneys. Fluoride compounds involved in the deconversion process are also corrosive, especially hydrogen fluoride. When inhaled, the chemical will greatly affect health.

The risks associated with depleted uranium present the need for proper management of wastes. It is important to work with experts to ensure safe storage and disposal.