Why would you need an air humidifier in your house?

During the long and cold winter months and also during the summer days when you put the air conditioning on, you may feel the air in the house dry. Just as humid air can be bad for your health, the dry air may have the same unwanted effects. In this context, it is important to keep the humidity of the house at the right level which is suited for you.

Dry air can be easily solved with a humidifier. These are devices that make water vapors to maintain the humidity on a room. When they are used correctly, they can improve the air in the interior of the house.

What is an air humidifier?

When the air is too humid, it can help the forming of mold, resulting into health problems and damages for your house. When the air is too dry, the ideal environment for respiratory problems such as allergies, asthma or skin problems is created. A humidifier can be successfully used during the winter in areas with warm weather, where the heating systems are used constantly in houses. Dry air can affect not only people, but also the floor if it is made of wood, and the wooden frames of windows.

Types of humidifiers

Mainly, humidifiers classify in two categories

  • Humidifier that forces air through water pulverizing it in the room
  • The atomizer type, which ‘breaks’ water into particles to create a fog

Humidifiers are recommended for people that live in areas where houses must be heated for a long period of the year, and for people living in areas with a dry climate. These devices can help people suffering from throat pains, headaches and coughs. Generally, a humid house is more comfortable as long as humidity is kept in optimal levels.

Things to consider

All the humidifiers need cleaning. Otherwise, they will be contaminated with mold and become dangerous in the long term. Make sure to follow the instructions of the manufacturer to clean it and don’t use it unless you are sure it is maintained properly.

Ideal humidity

Ideal humidity level in a house must be between 30%-55%. It is why you might want to buy a humidifier which can measure this level, so you can adjust it to the one required by your family.

This level is different in office buildings, where the spaces are wider and it has to be adjusted for tens of hundreds of people’s needs. It is why a home humidifier is smaller and cheaper, but you have to check the maximum surface it can cover.

If you want to buy a humidifier for a newborn, make sure to check with his or hers doctor before buying it. Only this way, you can be sure of the ideal humidity required in the room of your new child, so you could buy the right humidifier. In case your child has health problems are requires an exact level, there are devices with adjustable level of humidity and even with a timer that could set it on and off at different times of the day or night.…

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Book Review: Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

Book Review: Story of a Girl

They made us clean our lockers on the last day of sophomore year. I tore down the class schedule I’d taped to the inside of the door at the beginning of the semester and tossed it into the pile of recycling that already included ninety-five percent of the crap I’d busted my ass to do all year. What was the point of all that so-called learning if, in the end, it was going to the trash?

After reading a particularly interesting review at Maw Books Blog, I went to look for a copy of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl. This is the hard, bittersweet story of a sixteen-year-old girl named Deanna.

Deanna made a mistake when she was thirteen: she had sex with a seventeen-year-old boy, and was discovered by her father. Now that she’s entered high school, she’s still branded as the school slut, and her father can’t look at her in the eye. It doesn’t matter that Deanna hasn’t touched a boy since Tommy: her mistake seems to have defined her forever.

Deanna has a lot to deal with. Things at home aren’t going well for her: her father’s angry and distant, her mother is tired, and her big brother is a young parent living with his girlfriend and their baby girl in his parents’ basement. Deanna also has two best friends, Jason and Lee. Too bad she has a crush on Jason, while he’s dating Lee.

When Deanna gets a job for the summer, she happens to be working at a pizza place with Tommy, the boy she once was with and who still teases and provokes her. Can she manage to leave her past behind and go on with her life?

I really liked this book. The reader’s made to feel for the main character, a girl who once made a mistake and who can’t let this get past her. A girl who’s made remembering her sorry past every single day of her life. Deanna’s only outlet for her feelings is dreaming that one day she will be able to move in with her brother and his girlfriend, and writing stories in her journal.

Deanna’s story is a search for her own identity, a quest to find out that she is who she wants to be, and not what others think that she is. I’d definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait to try out some other novel by Sara Zarr.…

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Five Ways to Put an End to Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block is an Occupational Hazard for Authors, but it Can Be Remedied!

Writer’s block occurs when writers are stuck in the middle of their manuscripts or can’t find inspiration to write about new ideas. Writer’s block generates the feeling of being mired in creative quicksand. Writer’s block is one of the biggest crosses that virtually all writers have to endure in varying degrees of fashion at least once during their careers. This condition can be remedied if you will apply the tips I have implemented to navigate myself out of this:

Research Markets: I strive to follow this rule: “If I am not writing, then I need to be researching markets, and if I am not researching markets, then I had better be writing.” Oftentimes, I come across new ideas to write about because I spend some time daily checking the market listings of newsletters and databases. The way editors craft their market listings varies from publication to publication, so you will eventually come upon a market listing that will reignite your creativity. In addition, you may find a new place to submit one of your unpublished or published works to.

Write at a College Library: If you normally write at home, seek out your closest college library to put an end to that writer’s block. There is an ambiance of creativity and intellectual pursuit in these places of higher learning. Most college libraries allow any local resident the opportunity to use many of their facilities for free. And a writer also gets the benefit of being out and about rather than being all cooped up alone. Being in the midst of others can spawn new ideas just by people-watching.

Listen to Your Favorite Music: Get works from your personal collection and crank it up to your desired decibel level. Don’t listen to the radio, unless you have commercial-free type, because with traditional radio flare, you often have to wait for your favorite tunes to come on while being barraged with endless advertisements and the same current hits being played every two hours. A flow of quality music has this special way of bringing deep emotions to the surface. It is when we tap into our feelings that new ideas and our best writing will emerge.

Take Some Time Off from Writing: Give yourself a break from attempting to produce something. Take a day, weekend, or a longer amount of time off. If you can, leave town for awhile. I come back from my journeys ready to write with a new sense of purpose. One’s writing is best when it is done with interest and from the heart. The writing profession should not imitate the role of Inspector #48 on some assembly line. If it gets to that point, ask yourself why you aren’t solely working in a factory, where the paychecks come a lot easier! Furthermore, apply for all the press trips you can which are in your area or beyond. Going to these events will result in more writing ideas, as well as networking opportunities with other scribes who may even help you find some good tonics for treating writer’s block.

Watch Writing-Themed Movies: When I see my profession showcased on the silver screen, I’m able to identify with the characters portraying writers because they are often going through the positive and not-so positive issues onscreen that I go through in reality. Two of my favorite movies about writing are “Reds”, a three hour-plus epic about writers during the time of the Russian Revolution in the early 1900’s. My other favorite movie with a writing theme is called “The Shining”. This movie, if nothing else, will scare you out of your writer’s block! I mean, you’ll realize what real writer’s block is after you witness Wendy Torrance peeking at her husband’s manuscript that chillingly reads “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, typed over and over, page after page!

When you really think about it, writer’s block has some messages for you: It’s to let go of having to have a new idea in every waking moment; to go out and explore the world around you; and to get into touch with your …

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Five Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Downtown Seattle

If you’re planning to visit Seattle with the kids, you won’t be disappointed as there are numerous things that are sure to keep the entire family entertained no matter what time of year you arrive.

Pike Place Market 

This market is not only one of the most popular attractions in the city; it’s the oldest continually operating farmers’ market in the U.S., founded over 100 years ago in 1907. It’s also one of the most lively markets, with not only the fresh produce, seafood and flowers you might expect, but a wide range of vendors that sell specialty foods, handcrafted and vintage goods, rare comics and collectibles, and all types of entertainment.

It’s always fun to watch the fishmongers toss their fresh catch of the day, but you’ll find many performers throughout the market including talented musicians (along with the not-so-talented), magicians, balloon-makers, and even a colorful and comedic costumed gorilla playing buckets rather skillfully.

The Great Wheel

One of Seattle’s newest attractions can be found by taking the steep steps down to the waterfront. The Seattle Great Wheel is one of the largest Ferris wheels in the country and offers amazing views of the Puget Sound as well as the Olympic Mountains on the other side. If you happen to arrive on a clear day, towering Mount Rainier may even make an appearance.

Seattle Aquarium

Also along the waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium is home to playful sea otters, adorable harbor seals, fur seals, and the always fascinating Giant Pacific Octopus. Kids will love the chance to get their hands wait and even touch some of the creatures that live in the tide pools along the state’s coastline as well as Puget Sound’s inland sea.

Get out on the water

Getting out on the water is a must while you’re here. A variety of cruises are available right from the Seattle waterfront, including sight-seeing tours of the harbor a well as sunset sails to take in breathtaking views of the city skyline. If you’re on a tight budget, just hopping on the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge Island is a great way to get some of the same views and maybe even spot a dolphin or whale along the way.

Pacific Science Center 

Just below Seattle’s famed landmark, the Space Needle, the Pacific Science Center provides an opportunity to journey back to the days of the dinosaurs or stroll through lush gardens and brilliantly blooming flowers at the Tropical Butterfly House to watch the colorful insects fly and feed. You can even learn about the universe we live in and delve into unsolved mysteries at the Planetarium.…

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American Idol Mariah Carey Week: Kristy Lee Cook Says Goodbye

The results are in on American Idol and it looks like Kristy Lee Cook is headed back home to Oregon. American Idol producers tried to throw the audience for a loop by making Kristy Lee Cook and Brooke White stand in the same group as David Cook, well known Idol fan favorite. When he was asked to switch places with Syesha is was apparent that Kristy Lee Cook or Brooke White would be headed home this week. Brooke White caught a lucky break as she continues on American Idol. Kristy Lee Cook in the meantime bid a tearful farewell.

American Idol voters have finally gotten it right this week. While I believe that Brooke White’s performance was the worst of the night I am not complaining over the voter’s choice to send Kristy Lee Cook home instead. Kristy Lee Cook has overstayed her welcome on American Idol and she was due to leave the show, as Simon predicted before the final results. Brooke White seemed to know that she wouldn’t go home by her signature “feel sorry for poor innocent me” sad puppy dog face. So just what happened to make Kristy Lee Cook the least voted for American Idol contestant this week?

While Kristy Lee Cook can do a fair enough job singing country she lacks that “wow” factor. Tuesday night on American Idol her performance lacked any character and appeared more like a performance you would expect at a karaoke bar. But, talent isn’t the only thing that did her in. Personality is everything when you are involved with any type of reality show. When Kristy Lee Cook spoke after her performances on American Idol she was often disrespectful towards Simon and she has a weird annoying, well laugh I guess you’d call it, which grated on my nerves and I am sure on other viewers as well.

It’s the end of the road for Kristy Lee Cook as far as American Idol is concerned and it couldn’t have come soon enough. American Idol is a show based on singing talent and personality both of which Kristy Lee ultimately lacked. Be sure to stay tuned next week as Brooke White will likely give her last performance on American Idol.…

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Writer Gets Seven Million Dollar Windfall!

I Just Got an Email

Don’t expect to see me online for a while since I will be driving my new RV to the home I purchased in California.

Yes, it is true. I have come into quite a bit of money recently. Dr. Sabo Rabo of the Bank of Africa has found several abandoned bank accounts, and one of them is worth $7million. Because we are such good friends, he wants to work with me to get that money. I haven’t waited for his response back to start buying those luxury items, like the mansion in California. I sent him all my bank information and my address and social security number, so I should be all set to go.

What is that you say? You don’t think it is real? But it has to be. He sent me a copy of his employee identification, with his picture on it! It must be real if I have his picture. It’s not like the other ones that I have received where a barrister in England wants to break the law and make me a beneficiary of the massive estate of one of his clients that didn’t have a will. I knew that one couldn’t be true, first there was no picture, but also any good money-sucking attorney would have charged a client for a will while the client was alive. Better yet, he would have put in a trust.

It isn’t like the letter I got about the International lottery where I won, even though I never bought a ticket. I still haven’t figured out how that worked. I wrote and asked, but no one ever sent me anything back.

It really isn’t like the plea for help. I was afraid to help that poor woman out that wanted to sneak her husband’s money from the country. It sounded way too scary to get involved in international affairs. I am after all just a humble writer and do not know Jiu-jitsu, Taekwondo or anything else involving the oriental art of self-defense.

I was certain that the IRS hadn’t really written me about the huge tax refund that I forgot to send for, since I would remember something like that. I haven’t moved in years and daily check out the site to find lost money. (I still have found none. I wonder if they would know what purse I left that $20 in?) I did wonder about that since the word you in the letter was spelled U. I don’t think the IRS gets cutesy about anything.

I felt badly that I couldn’t help that young man out that wanted me to retrieve his money so that his greedy uncles wouldn’t take it. I was going to be busy that week and it seemed like it would take a lot longer than the few minutes I had.

This letter was real. It even had a place for me to click to send my information. So, I’m waiting for the money to be transferred into my checking account as we speak. NOT!

Are you tired of getting the ridiculous, poorly worded and spelled letters about the fortunes that you will receive if you help someone pull off a scam to extract money, have won a lottery you never bought a ticket to, or just are helping a poor widow that somehow got your name and knew she could trust you?

Once I sent something back. I took the last name from the movie, “Meet the Fockers” and used the first name of Modder. After it was sent I decided that perhaps sending my email address back was not a good idea. I have received a multitude of mail since.

There is no one to complain to about the ridiculous emails that we receive. I guess the only thing to do is write an article about it and plan for the luxury item that I will purchase from the sale of the article.…

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Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth

It’s a very basic accounting equation. Take what you have, subtract what you owe and see what’s left. In this human world, where money seems to be so vitally important, my fiscal worth is floating in the negative realm. Basically, I owe more in debt than I can repay with the assets I currently have.

But in the spiritual world, the world that lasts for infinity, it is comforting to know that here; at least, my worth is and will stay on the positive side. This is because of the actions taken by God’s greatest gift, Jesus Christ, when He died on the cross for me.

You see, when we are born in this sin-cursed earth, we are born owing more than we can ever repay. The debt I speak of is sin. Sin enslaved us to a lifetime of begging for forgiveness from our most Holy God. In the time before Christ was born, the people were obligated to provide an animal sacrifice every year to cover the sins that they had surely committed. It had to be an animal sacrifice because only the shedding of innocent and pure blood would cancel sin’s debt.

But when Christ came to this earth and shed His blood on the cross, His blood sacrifice was sufficient to cover the sins of every person on the entire planet from that moment forward. Animal sacrifice was no longer required because God saw to it that we could be free from the indebtedness of sin through His son’s ultimate sacrifice. All we have to do is accept this gift.

When I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, believing that He died on the cross for me; Jesus took my sin debts and wrote on them in His shed blood “PAID IN FULL.”

In this world, we will have troubles and pain, the vast majority of which come at our own hand. The fiscal indebtedness that I now have comes from my poor choices early on. Because of these choices, I am forced to work to try to repay a debt that I owe; a debt of my own making. However, this earthly home is temporary and finite. The real debt that matters is the one that will bind us to eternal condemnation. No matter how hard you try, how much work that you do or how good you try to be, this sin debt cannot be paid by human hands.

Christ paid this debt that He did not owe so that you and I could be free. As you ponder balancing your earthly equation, don’t neglect the one that matters most.

Having Christ in your asset column will insure that you always have a positive outcome!…

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NBA Playoff Schedule All Set in the East

The NBA playoff schedule 2011 won’t be official until tomorrow night. Yet while the exact schedule isn’t set for the playoff teams in the East, they now all know who they’re facing. Most of the postseason picture is already set, as every division title, top seed and berth was locked up days ago. Now all that’s left is to set the official matchups; the East got a head start, yet the West still has work to do.

The Bulls and Pacers have been locked into the 1-8 matchup for days, with the Magic and Hawks settled in the 4-5 battle. The only suspense left was whether the Heat or Celtics would get the No. 2 slot, and whether the Sixers or Knicks would be No. 6. Yet Miami all but locked up the No. 2 spot by beating Boston Sunday, then sealed the deal last night.

The Heat kept up its momentum by beating the Hawks on the road to clinch at least a tie for the second seed. Meanwhile, the Celtics had bigger things to worry about, as they rested their stars against the Wizards. It looked like it would pay off at first, but Washington’s starters finally defeated Boston’s backups in overtime.

This officially gave Miami the No. 2 position, and home court if they face Boston in round two. But they have to start their schedule in round one, and their first playoff opponent was also determined last night for good measure. Their in-state rivals actually helped them out there, as the Magic defeated the struggling Sixers.

The Sixers’ defeat dropped them into the seventh slot for good after they held the No. 6 position for a few weeks. Now Philadelphia has to face Miami, while Boston is facing a sure-to-be heavily hyped series with New York.

Although one side of the NBA postseason bracket is completely settled, the other side is still in flux. In the West, the top-seeded Spurs and the fifth-seeded Nuggets are the only teams to have their position set. Thanks to a late Lakers slide, Los Angeles is now in danger of being third or fourth, and slipped into third when the Mavericks won last night.

However, the Lakers still hold a tiebreaker over the Mavericks and Thunder, and still just need to win out for the No. 2 position. Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers, Grizzlies and Hornets are fighting over the sixth, seventh and eighth slots in a “pick your poison” proposition.

But the Western Conference holds the only intrigue left in the regular season, as the playoff schedule in the East is pretty much in place. Yet although the Eastern matchups are set, they won’t get the times and dates of their games until tomorrow night, like every other postseason team.…

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David Cook Gives Another Outstanding Performance on American Idol

I was very interested to know how David Cook would do on Andrew Lloyd Webber night. I was interested in how all of the performances would turn out. I was thinking, is it going to sound like I’m at an opera. Also I was thinking how they were going to do with making these well known songs their own. Andrew Lloyd Webber is the guy who is famous for writing songs for Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. I know that there is a lot of talent left on American Idol so I figured that most of the performances would be good.

David Cook came up and I was excited to see what he would do with the song he picked. He picked the song, “Music of the Night” and I know that was a powerful song. I was very interested in how he was going to sing. I think that David Cook did an outstanding job singing that song. He was really good. I think that David Cook was the best one on American Idol Tuesday night. David Archuletta and Jason Castro were not far behind though. They were all excellent. They are stepping it up week after week. David Cook has a lot of talent but I already knew that from the beginning, as you probably knew also. He is doing a great job of keeping his uniqueness on American Idol.

I don’t need to say that David Cook needs to step it up because he really doesn’t need to. I think that he is doing exactly what he should be doing. Keep in mind that he is doing all of this with a very sick brother at home. He has a lot to deal with. David Cook has the talent to go far and I know he will. I think that the final two are going to be David Cook versus Jason Castro. What do you all think?…

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Top 10 Philharmonic Orchestras Worldwide

Definitively ranking philharmonic orchestras (or any other type of musical group, for that matter) is an impossible task. Each and every listener will have a unique experience while listening to a particular performance from any given philharmonic orchestra, and therefore each listener will have a different opinion. Personal musical and aesthetic taste also plays a role. However, there are certainly some philharmonic orchestras that stand out from the pack, whose excellence no one can deny. Here are ten, in no particular order, that are more than worth listening to.

NY Philharmonic – This orchestra has been wowing audiences for the past 6 years under the baton of Lorin Maazel. This is my hometown philharmonic, and they seem to get better every time I hear them. Alan Gilbert takes the reins in 2009 – will the orchestra continue to impress?

Cleveland Orchestra – George Szell brought this orchestra to the forefront during his 24 year tenure (1946-1970). Though Cleveland is not one of the biggest cities in the US, the orchestra attracts some of the finest players and conductors from all over the world.

Berliner Philharmoniker – This award winning philharmonic orchestra was led by the legendary Herbert von Karajan for an astonishing 35 years, from 1954-1989. The current conductor, Sir Simon Rattle, is also held in high regard. However, the orchestra will be replacing Artistic Director Pamela Rosenberg in 2010.

Wiener Philharmoniker – Since 1933, this philharmonic orchestra has relied solely on guest conductors rather than employing a single chief conductor, which makes its consistent high quality all the more remarkable. It has often been cited as Europe’s finest.

National Symphony Orchestra, Washington DC – Though this orchestra may not make anyone else’s top 10 list, it’s a personal favorite, due largely to conductor Leonard Slatkin. I’ve never seen anyone fire up an orchestra the way he can. He will be sorely missed when he retires at the end of this year.

Boston Symphony Orchestra – Another personal favorite, although Boston is widely regarded as one of the finest symphonies in the world. It was led by the incredible Seiji Ozawa until 2002, at which time the incomparable James Levine took over – who could ask for anything more?

Philadelphia Orchestra – This American powerhouse is well known for recordings and has always managed to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. Charles Dutoit will be taking over in 2008.

Israel Philharmonic – With legends like Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta at the helm, how could this NOT be one of the great philharmonic orchestras of the world?

Chicago Symphony – Recordings by the Chicago Symphony have won 58 Grammy awards – need I say more?

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam – Since its inception in 1888, this philharmonic orchestra has had only 6 chief conductors, which contributes to its consistent, distinctive sound.…

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