Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Ups and Downs of Selling a Home in 2013

Posted in People and Society by nadines | Tags:

KEY IN DOOR The Ups and Downs of Selling a Home in 2013

Home sellers have been disheartened by the housing market over the past few years with home values continuing to drop and inventory at an all-time high. However, in recent months, the housing market has seen a dramatic change, and here are several reasons why this may be the year you want to make a move in the real estate market:

Low Inventory

Sellers who are looking to sell their home for relocation purposes, downsizing or just moving to another neighborhood should be elated with the drought in housing inventory at present. In almost every city across the United States, you’ll find that there is a significant lack of homes for sale and buyers are scooping up what immediately comes on the market. Fortunately, this is advantageous to the seller, and the forecast for this trend is expected to continue.

Employment Opportunities

The employment outlook is on the rise and this is great news for sellers. As the economy improves and job growth expands, people are in a better position to purchase a home. This especially bodes well for first time buyers and those who are looking to locate to a larger home.

Mortgage Rates

The average rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage is below 4 percent and mortgage rates are expected to continue to stay low for the remainder of the year. This makes it affordable for buyers to test the waters and experience home ownership. There are also an assortment of other options with low rates such as an ARM, conventional and FHA mortgage.

Home Prices on the Rise

As the market continues to show signs of improvement, home prices are slowly increasing. The number of days to sell a home is also getting better, but it’s not quick enough for some. Sellers who are in desperate need to relocate or get rid of a home due to financial hardship may be frustrated with the lack of quick activity and a reputable cash for homes buyer can aid in this type of transaction.

Bank Guidelines

Not everything is rosy in the real estate market and banks and lending institutions can be a primary drawback in obtaining a loan. Guidelines and stringent regulations are still in place and mortgage lenders are extremely strict about rules pertaining to loans. Buyers with poor credit history are still unable to qualify at a reasonable interest rate, if at all. For those unable to obtain a loan, it’s recommended that you pay down any debt and polish up your credit history before you try re-applying.


Homes that are foreclosed and bank owned are still on the rise, making the housing values difficult to climb to where they once were. Homeowners at risk for losing their home should seek the help of a bank or real estate attorney to see if there is anything that can be done to salvage their residence.

1) Help from a real estate attorney – make sure all your rights are intact, and that the bank or mortgage company isn’t just harassing you unduly.

2) Sell home through a cash buyer/renovator – the upside is that it will keep the neighbors happy as these companies generally will improve the property substantially before reselling.

3) Try to renegotiate your existing loan with the bank – usually they won’t even consider it until you are near foreclosure, but it’s worth a shot.

The year ahead may prove more favorable than not for most sellers. If these same current trends and improved economic forecast continue throughout the year, the forecast for 2014 could seem even brighter.

As a former real estate brokerage owner, Molly Sherman has seen the market both soar and plummet throughout the United States over the past 10 years. After several years of economic devastation in the housing market, it’s good to see the upward trend of being able to sell your home as well as the relief from neighborhoods with multiple foreclosure signs.


Top Tips For Home Buying In Chicago

Posted in People and Society, Places by nadines | Tags: ,

CHICAGO Top Tips For Home Buying In Chicago

Top Tips For Home Buying In Chicago

The road to home ownership can be a challenging endeavor and finding the ideal location in the city of Chicago can seem overwhelming. The Chicago area has a host of offerings for those residing in the area, from restaurants and shopping boutiques to museums and sporting venues. Whether you favor living in the hub of the city or you choose to set roots in a suburban neighborhood, you’ll find a variety of options at your fingertips.

Online Real Estate Site

An online research site for homes can aid in the process by giving you a variety of buying opportunities without ever leaving your home. This allows interested buyers to check out the listings and prices, and take a virtual tour of the homes, without ever setting foot in them. As you make a list of your top favorites, you can choose a real estate agent to help you in your transaction. This online real estate source can also show you closing prices of homes in the neighborhood, so you can determine if they are within your means. You can also view school test scores, crime rates and other pertinent information that can aid in your search.


Before starting the home buying process, you’ll find it helpful to get pre-approved for a loan when looking for homes for sale in Chicago. Knowing how much home you can afford will help you save valuable time by avoiding homes that are out of your price range. It can also be helpful when you decide to make an offer on a home and a seller can see that you are already pre-approved for the amount that you’ve just negotiated.

Take A Tour Of The City

The Chicago area has a wide array of options to suit most any lifestyle and taking a tour of the city can help you decipher where you would like to live. For those interested in art and culture, you’re sure to find the Chicago Historical Society, Art Institute and Field Museum rich in history. Chicago also is home to some of the hottest sporting teams such as the Chicago Blackhawks, White Sox, Cubs and Bulls. No matter what season, you’re sure to find the city alive with an array of activities and festivals that will include food tasting, fireworks displays and charitable events. Chicago is also the dining mecca and you’ll find a cultural blend of delectable tastes. Michigan Avenue is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to shopping, and residents to the area will enjoy an assortment of boutiques, specialty shops and malls to choose from.

Home Inspection

Once you’ve decided on a property, a home inspector can investigate the home for overall flaws both inside and out. A licensed inspector can determine if the home is structurally sound and if the seller is failing to disclose hidden issues.

The Chicago area is a diverse city with a host of opportunities to choose from. Familiarizing yourself with the homes for sale and doing a bit of research can help ensure a smooth transition for you and your family.

Nadine Swayne knows the importance of being an educated consumer when purchasing a home. Visiting sites online, can help you when researching for homes for sale in Chicago. Since 2005, their goal has been to make real estate transactions simple for everyone.

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Pet Insurance: Why It’s Important To The Family Budget

Posted in Animals, People and Society by nadines | Tags: , ,

PUPPY IN FLOWERS1 Pet Insurance: Why Its Important To The Family Budget

Pet Insurance: Why It’s Important To The Family Budget

Over the past year, pet owners have spent close to $26.5 billion for both cats and dogs and only 10 percent of pet owners actually carry pet insurance for their beloved animals. Unfortunately, many individuals learn the expensive lesson on the importance of pet health insurance after they’ve incurred such a large amount of debt.

Routine Exams

Routine exams and vaccinations are imperative for the health and wellness of your pet. By implementing regular check-ups, and the necessary vaccinations for rabies, distemper and other important diseases, you can save money with unnecessary costs down the road. Preventive health care can even catch an illness at the cusp and a vet can prescribe treatment immediately. However, some pet owners fail to provide their pet with a routine exam because of the cost. With pet health insurance, these basic costs can be covered for providing your pet with the highest level of commitment and care. Pet insurance can also provide coverage for spaying, neutering and blood work.


Surgeries, x-rays and other types of lab work can be quite expensive, making some pet owners left with the only option to euthanize their best friend because of the cost. As noted by UK-based Monkey Insurance,”Sadly, with vets’ fees rising far faster than inflation – as much as 12% a year – it’s strongly advisable to have insurance to avoid needing to make any upsetting choices about your pet’s life if you can’t afford treatment.”

Fortunately, pet insurance can help you deal with unexpected issues such as diseases, sickness, bowel obstructions and more. With a monthly plan and a reasonable deductible, you no longer have to worry about providing your pet with the ultimate in comfort and care. Sometimes a pet’s problem can be difficult to ascertain and a vet will have to put them through a series of tests to diagnose the problem. You can now enjoy peace of mind knowing that you no longer have to pick and choose the tests because your pet insurance will cover the costs incurred until their issue has been determined.

Better Than Savings

Many pet owners put away money in a savings account each month in case their pet needs some sort of medical attention throughout the year. However, it could take over 20 years to save the annual coverage provided by most pet insurance plans for both illnesses and accidents. Some insurance plans provide basic coverage for injuries and sickness and can cost as little as $10 per month. Medium coverage can run between $15 and $30 per month, while upper end plans are closer to $100.

It’s important to research the type of plan that is right for you and your pet. Some pet insurance companies will not cover exotic animals such as birds, snakes, mice and rats. Other providers will cover everything, but they may charge more for a specific breed or pet. Doing your research can save you lots of money in the long run, so you should get estimates from a few companies first.

It’s hard to predict the health and wellness of your pet throughout the years and gambling with their safety can be expensive in the end. With pet health insurance, you and your family can offer your pet the best level of care, while staying within your budget for any unexpected costs that you may incur from an illness or accident.

Coming from a family of pet owners gives Nadine Swayne the knowledge to present this article. At Monkey Insurance, a UK-based company, they offer pet insurance policies with various levels of coverage to fit your budget.

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Easy Fixes to Common Beauty Mistakes

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We all try to take the best care of our hair, skin and nails; but sometimes we can actually be causing more damage than good without realising it. Here we highlight some of the most common beauty mistakes and how to avoid them, by amending our bad habits.

Do You Wash Your Hair Too Often?

beauty mistakes Easy Fixes to Common Beauty Mistakes

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Many people wash their hair on a daily basis, which is fine if you use a regular shampoo and conditioner and if you have fine hair. But if you have coarse hair you can be doing more damage than good because too much washing will wash away all the essential oils that naturally exist in your hair, potentially leaving it dull. Try using a moisturizing shampoo and wash every second day and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Conditioning Your Hair

We all want healthy hair, and as a result most of us use conditioner after we have shampooed. However we tend to use conditioner in the same way in which we use shampoo, which, ironically, is more detrimental to our hair. Our roots are the healthiest part of our hair; it’s the ends we should be concentrating on. Gently massage your conditioner into the tips of your hair, avoiding your scalp. This will ensure your hair stays grease free for longer.

Tooth Care

beauty mistakes1 Easy Fixes to Common Beauty Mistakes

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The first mistake many of us make when we are brushing our teeth is to do it in a hurry. Ideally we should all be brushing our teeth for at least two minutes each time to ensure you tackle all the plaque build-up. You need to use circular movements and not side to side motions, which can damage your teeth by scrubbing away your teeth’s natural protection, enamel. It’s important not to brush too hard, especially after you’ve consumed something citrusy. For example don’t brush your teeth right after breakfast if you’ve had a glass of orange juice, as your enamel will be weaker, and more likely to be brushed away.

Is Your Face Dry?

Do you moisturize daily and find your face is still dry? Often, when your face is dry, oils build up in your T zone in an attempt to compensate for the dryness. A great way to combat this is to exfoliate before applying you moisturizer. This empties your pores of dirt and opens them up to absorb the moisturizer, leaving you with softer and more hydrated skin.

Perfume Blunders

beauty mistakes2 Easy Fixes to Common Beauty Mistakes

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Many of us spritz our perfume after we’ve dressed, meaning most of it absorbs into our clothes. Perfume is designed for skin, and can in fact smell very different when applied to clothes, rather than skin. The best areas to concentrate your perfume are behind your knees, wrists, the base of your throat, and a small dab behind your earlobes.

Sun Cream Application

Sun cream is essential for reducing the effects of sun exposure, and ideally should be worn on a daily basis, which is not too hard a task considering many moisturizers come with some degree SPF. However the mistake most of make is applying it before our makeup. Concealer and foundation can actually counteract the effects of sun cream, leaving your skin vulnerable to sun exposure. Ideally you should apply sun cream over your makeup, using a non-greasy spray bottle, to avoid loosening your makeup.

Eyebrow Plucking

The biggest beauty mistake you can make when plucking your eyebrows is doing it in a darkened room and standing too close to the mirror. Many of us stand too close to the mirror to ensure that we don’t miss any hairs, but the mistake with this is that we end up concentrating on individual hairs rather than the overall shape of our eyebrow.

Don’t Shake Your Nail Polish

beauty mistakes3 Easy Fixes to Common Beauty Mistakes

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Most nail polish bottles encourage you to shake them before use, but this can often create air bubbles in the polish, which can detract from the overall finish of your painted nails. Instead of shaking, try rolling the bottle gently between your hands. This mixes the polish and warms it up to ensure quick and easy application and a smooth finish.

Katherine Shedden writes with SpaceNK. She loves sharing reviews, tips and general beauty gossip.

What The West Could Learn from The East

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east west What The West Could Learn from The East

Tucked away at the very bottom of mainland China, yet still retaining strong cultural and trading links with the West, Hong Kong is the archetypal borderland between two civilizations. Amidst spiralling skyscrapers and crumbling pagodas, the values of East and West intermingle – mixing up a heady concoction of cultures that’s neither truly alien nor totally familiar. Within this unique system, there’s a perfect chance for both sides to observe what the other has to offer – and the East has plenty of advice to offer us Westerners in terms of how we live our lives. Here we round up just a small slice of the wisdom we’ve gleaned on Hong Kong’s bustling streets, and tell you how best to apply it to your own life:

Mental Wellbeing

It’s no secret: modern life can be hard, and nowhere typifies this better than the dizzying vortex of efficiency that is Hong Kong. Long work hours, an ingrained work ethic and a rigid nine-to-five structure all contribute to a world most of us would feel is only all-too familiar. But while we in the West would vent our frustrations at our psychoanalyst or by chomping down Prozac, some parts of HK society still prefer the more-traditional approach. As in mainland China, acupuncture is often used here to treat a whole range of psychic illnesses; along with herbs and teas. Bizarrely enough, another big ‘de-stressor’ is thought to be foot massages – another practice imported from the mainland.

east west1 What The West Could Learn from The East

Tai Pan reflexology& spa (Hong Kong 2011)

Bizarre as it seems to us, the thinking behind this last one makes perfect sense: our feet are connected to the Earth, and the conduit through which the Earth’s energy enters into our bodies. A problem with our feet can translate into mental disaster, and a foot massage can be the perfect antidote to stress. A full-body Tui Na massage is recommended as well – by opening up the meridian channels in our bodies, our Qi is allowed to circulate more freely; translating to better mental wellbeing. And that’s before we even get onto the proven therapeutic benefits of meditation.

Keeping Fit and Looking Good

It’s a secret the mainland has had trouble keeping from its Westernised cousin: tea is good for you. As in, really good; as in it’s practically a wonder tonic. White tea, green tea and oolong tea are all known to help with weight loss and to have anti-ageing properties. Can such claims possibly be true? Well, scientists agree that green tea has some rather wonderful side-effects; such as reducing cancer rates, as well as helping those of us on an exercise-based diet burn off up to an extra 200 calories a day! What about the supposed anti-ageing benefits though? Well, that claim may need to be taken with a pinch of salt – but if you’re looking for a long life, Hong Kong has imported a tradition even more-helpful than tea: Japanese food.

Yes, simple, delicious Japanese food – as found in plenty of HK restaurants–may be the key to long life. According to the Guardian Japan has more centenarians than any other country on Earth – and it’s all down to their seafood, whole grain and vegetable-based diet. Luckily, good Japanese restaurants are two a penny in Hong Kong; so long-term visitors may yet live to see 100!

Beauty Secrets

east west2 What The West Could Learn from The East

Camellia Sasanqua

While some Hong Kong women prefer to go the Western beauty route, shelling out a small fortune on lotions and tonics; some of them still haven’t forgotten the old Chinese methods. Camellia nut oil, for example, is used almost-religiously in some parts as facial conditioning oil – and it works even better than moisturiser. It’s a classic example of the Eastern beauty method: plenty of natural products, applied with almost ritualised precision – and the results speak for themselves. Perhaps it’s time we in the West lost some of our fascination with chemicals, no?

Have you picked up any interesting tips on Hong Kong’s winding streets? Tell us about them in the comments below!

If this article has inspired you why don’t why not visit HotelClub’s Hong Kong Hotels section and start planning your journey of enlightenment!

Ally is a freelance writer with an interest in travel, beauty and well-being. If you have any tips I would love to hear them!

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Most Satisfying After-Work Hobbies

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The simple act of getting out of the car and walking into the comfort of your own home is immensely relaxing in its own right, but it’s not always enough. Whether you had a long day or you simply have trouble purging the everyday stresses and worries of the workplace from your mind, a soothing after-work hobby is a must.

gardening Most Satisfying After Work Hobbies

Here are a few of the most soothing after-work hobbies we’ve experienced and how they can help you get out of work-mode and into me-mode.

Tending to the Lawn and Garden

Gardening isn’t for everyone, but for those that enjoy it, there is nothing more soothing than digging into the dirt of your garden and bringing flowers and vegetables to life. From trimming the lawn to pruning roses and tending to a fruit tree, gardening is a great way to slowly release the tension that builds up throughout the day.

Working on Your Classic Truck

There is nothing like taking the rusted frame of a 75 year old truck and turning it into a sleek, like-new truck that you can cruise down your town’s streets Saturday morning to the stares and gawks of every man, woman and child that sees you.

Working on a car or truck restoration project also happens to be an immensely relaxing hobby. It doesn’t have to be a classic either – if you have a few goals for your current truck, whether it’s an upgrade to the wiring harness or a new hood scoop, then this is a great way to unwind every night.

Building Crafts to Sell

Crafting can encompass so many different activities, and can lead to a new source of income too. From crafting coat racks and end tables to painting figurines and model trains, sitting down at the end of the day at a craft table and working on something you make your own is immensely rewarding.

Better yet, you can take those items and sell them – either online through a marketplace like eBay or Etsy or in person at a flea market in your area. While the money isn’t necessary for this to be a soothing hobby, it can certainly help you feel better about the time spent doing it.

Joining a Rec Sports League

Not eager to go home and sit when work is done? Consider joining a recreational sporting league. Recreational sports like soccer, softball or basketball are a great way to get exercise, release tension, and feel better after a long day of work. It’s also a chance to make new friends outside of your normal work and social circles.

If you’re not a team sports kind of person, the gym offers the same release, with the added benefit of helping you get fit, which in turn combats stress and helps you feel immensely better on a daily basis. Whether you join a group fitness class or lift weights, you’ll find that a gym routine can become an important part of your lifestyle, with both physical and emotional benefits.

Community Theater

Expand your literary horizons and satisfy a need to be center stage by joining a production of a play or musical in your hometown community theater. Playhouses typically produce Broadway musicals, classic plays, and Shakespeare, with different titles each season. If you don’t like to sing or act, you can participate by sewing costumes or building sets. Community theater offers many opportunities for people with different talents, and it’s a great way to meet new people in your area.

Whether you want to feel productive at the end of the day or are simply exhausted and need something to take your mind off of a long day of work, the five hobbies above are a great way to take back your day and feel at peace.

Article credit: Carolina Classic Trucks

Photo Credit: Steven Olmstead (CC BY-ND 2.0)

All The Worlds A Stage: Street Theatre Across The Globe

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The world of street performers is one of the oldest professions in the world with the medieval court jester being one of the very first to entertain crowds. Now, there is a vibrant performer on every street corner and the majority are extremely talented and fantastic to watch. Here are our top performers from around the world.

The Naked Cowboy

This famous street performer stands in New York City’s Time Square and plays the guitar dressed in nothing but cowboy boots, hat and underpants. However, he places his guitar over his torso in such a way that from some angles he looks as though he is completely nude. He is so famous that he even has his own Wikipedia entry now.

Las Ramblas Human Statues

You may have seen ’human statues’ in city centres already but you can’t get better than the ones found on Barcelona’s main street. They put a huge amount of effort into their costumes and are extremely clever at what they do – the kids love them! From performers dressed as angels to famous historic characters to baskets of fruit, you’ll see everything in Las Ramblas!

human statue All The Worlds A Stage: Street Theatre Across The Globe

The Coconut Smasher

You can always count on Malaysia to give the public something a bit different and this is certainly not something many people will have seen before. Local Ho Eng Hui is so strong that he can smash whole coconut shells using just his index finger. He is now so famous that he has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records and has appeared on television several times. The kung fu fighter managed to break a finger nearly twenty years ago while performing but it mended well enough for him to carry on smashing coconuts! He did retire a few years ago but he still comes out for special occasions.

The Bush Man

If you are ever in San Francisco, the bush man is a must see performance. No one really knows his name, or where he comes from but he has been performing for over twenty years and has made a name for himself around the globe. His ‘show’ is very simple, he hides behind a bush and jumps out at unsuspecting tourists who naturally jump out of their skins upon seeing the moving bush. Rumour has it his simple little street act has actually netted him rather a lot of money so far and people come from far and wide to see him especially.

The Still Man

German showman Johan Lorbeer has been performing his ‘still life’ acts all over Europe for decades and can still wow the crowds. His act consists of apparently leaning on the side of a building, but there is a catch – he is over ten feet above the ground. He appears to be almost levitated but standing up straight and can stay there for minutes on end seemingly minding his own business as crowds form below him. Of course, it is all an optical illusion which he does reveal at the end, but he still stops people dead in their tracks.

Roller Blading Musician

Harry Perry has been arguably named the worlds most famous street performer by some and certainly lives up to the title. He frequents Venice Beach boardwalk and is usually dressed up in full sikh clothing. He plays an electric guitar while rollerblading down the pavement and has become very popular with tourists and locals alike. Although he is now pushing sixty, you can still find him there most days, skating along as though he doesn’t have a care in the world!

Bob Hannelle is a writer on the road who’s currently galavanting around Barcelona, and staying in some fancy apartments found through HouseTrip.

Photo Credit: Eva Rinaldi (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Optimize Your Education: 5(ish) College Degrees For The Budding SEO Specialist

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When it comes to entering the field of Search Engine Optimization there’s no degree that encompasses all the skills you’re going to need on the job. After all, there’s no such thing as “majoring in Search Engine Optimization” at your state university. (At least, not yet!) So, what do you as a college student look to study in order to prepare yourself for a career in the rapidly growing field of SEO? Well, look no further as here are five great choices you can make to jump start your career in this burgeoning industry.

seo Optimize Your Education: 5(ish) College Degrees For The Budding SEO Specialist

1. Marketing

If you’re looking to work in the field of marketing (as most potential SEO specialists are), then it makes a lot of sense to look into a degree in marketing. A degree in marketing will give you the overall textbook knowledge to enter the industry on the whole. Though the information learned through “textbook marketing” doesn’t always apply to “real world marketing,” a basic grasp of how the marketing world works can be a great way to get your food in the door for potential employers. Just be sure to brush up on your SEO skills.

2. Statistics

Perhaps a strange degree choice for SEOs on the surface, the skills learned by obtaining a Statistics degree offer a wide variety of important skills necessary for the potential SEO specialist. Among these is statistical analysis; as an SEO specialist your job will regularly entail looking at web statistics and perusing through Google’s Analytics services. Because of this, being able to effectively understand the trends and data analysis and linking it to your marketing and search engine optimization strategies is key, and a Statistics degree and equip you with many of the tools to complete these objectives.

3. Business

In most cases, a business degree is a good generic degree to enter a variety of efficiency and profit-oriented enterprises in the world. Obviously, there are a variety of different sub-degrees within the field of business. A degree in business administration will give you a broad range of skills that will allow you to understand the fundamentals of business. More useful perhaps is a degree in Business Information Systems if offered by the institution you plan on attending. These degrees teach you skills in software and data analysis with an emphasis on the business side of things, but more of a technical slant than your average business degree.

4. English

Though it may come as a surprise, a liberal arts degree can come in handy when it comes to the field of Search Engine Optimization. Though certainly less technical and “business-focused” than our prior degrees, English can offer some other important skills value to the potential SEO specialist. For one, English majors typically know how to research and write well. With content development often being a sizable portion of the SEO field these days, having someone used to writing and developing well thought out and quality thought can be invaluable for your clients. They understand language use (which can be useful for keyword analysis,) and English majors also tend to have a varied broad academic background which gives them good insight into how people (and thus consumers) think, especially when it comes to search engine use. Even Google is now hiring humanities PhDs in droves, likely in order to better understand how their users use their systems and language in search queries. If Google’s using English majors, why shouldn’t you?

5. Computer Science

Though most Computer Science students opt for fields of web design or software programming, the understanding of computer software can be a critical tool for an SEO specialist. With Google and other search engines boasting complex algorithms to find search results, someone who can make sense of it all can be a valuable asset to your team. Computer scientists often have great insight into how software systems (and thus search engines) work and can help shift marketing strategies to help counteract the rapidly changing algorithms of the search engine giants.

…Or Maybe No Degree?

Full disclosure: you’re probably less likely to be hired without a college degree. Though no degree leads directly to a career in SEO, many degrees teach skills that can be valuable for understanding the profession. That being said, search engine optimization is a field based upon results. If you can produce fantastic results that rocket your client’s sites to the top spot in the PageRanks and have proven to do so in the past, then a smart employer will grab you regardless of whether you’ve got a PhD or didn’t graduate college. SEO is, after all, a rapidly changing field within marketing. With its constant shifts and the ever-updating search algorithms, you can’t learn SEO from a textbook (it would need to be updated all the time thanks to the changes engineers make to search engines every day!). Likewise, many sites such as SEOMoz now offer valuable knowledge that allow you to learn the skills necessary to becoming a great SEO specialist.

Ricardo Casas if the CEO and founder of Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin, TX based Internet Marketing company with practices SEO. With over a decade of experience in the field, Casas has intimate knowledge of the rapidly changing field of SEO and the skills necessary to be successful in the burgeoning industry.

Photo Credit: Emanuele Tolomei (CC BY-ND 2.0)

How Big A Problem Is Designer Drug Use?

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How Big A Problem Is Designer Drug Use  How Big A Problem Is Designer Drug Use?

How Big A Problem Is Designer Drug Use?

Designer drugs are a part of the legal netherworld of substances used to alter the senses; they are not entirely legal, but then they are not exactly illegal either. How can something be both legal and illegal? Simple: these drugs are often an admixture of easily obtainable and completely legal substances, making them “legal.”  Yet they often contain chemicals that are derived from controlled substances [translation: narcotics]. That, and their dangerous side effects, make them ”illegal” as well.

Among The Most Prevalent Designer Drugs Of Choice Are:

Bath Salts – This is the street name for an hallucinogenic combination of many different “natural” substances. They are often sold in shops as potpourri or marketed as air freshener.

Purple Drank – This is a combination of codeine cough syrup and Sprite. This drink is the theme of many hip hop songs.

Synthetic THC – Known as fake pot, this is a chemical brew that mimics the effects of marijuana.

Another alarming fact: there are new concoctions just like these making their public debut every day in America and Europe.

Understanding DUI And Designer Drugs

Designer drugs, which combine legal and illegal substances, are just as effective as alcohol in impairing a motorist, and their use can lead to a DUI arrest just as readily as can excessive use of alcohol. Yet many people believe that “Driving Under the Influence” refers exclusively to the influence of alcohol. They assume that because they’re imbibing non-alcoholic substances, they’ll never need the services of a Gainesville DUI attorney or similar legal counsel.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Whether it’s designer drugs, prescription medications, medical marijuana, or alcohol, driving under the influence of anything that can impair your ability to properly operate a vehicle is illegal, and you may be arrested on a DUI charge.

If you are arrested for DUI while using one of these designer drugs you could face other charges, such as possession of a controlled substance, or–depending on your location–possession of an illegal substance. Charges of this nature could mean automatic jail time.

In some states, DUI charges caused by drug use will result in automatic suspension of your driver’s license, and you will be required to seek substance abuse counseling before you can apply for a license again. Additionally, if there is a minor in the car, you could have your license permanently revoked! That’s a life sentence few of us can afford.

The Misconception About Designer Drugs

Young people in particular have been lulled into a false sense of security regarding designer drugs. They think these substances are safe to use because so many of their components are legal and easily accessible. Laboring under this misconception, hundreds of young people have been stunned by their subsequent DUI arrest, and worse, many have become the victims of a drug overdose and lost their lives.

The CDC has recently released a report showing that more young people are being permanently harmed from designer drug use than any other type of recreational drug. This is a scary statistic which is even more alarming when you consider that many of these people are still driving, putting themselves and the rest of us at risk.  Education and prevention may be the only hope of a resolution to this dangerous trend.

Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell hopes this article will alert people to the perils of designer drug use and the long term impact such drug abuse can have. Gainesville DUI attorney, Katz & Phillips, P.A., are a legal team with years of success in dealing with substance abuse driving arrests.

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