Getting Self-Published Books in Libraries

Many authors have misconceptions about libraries. I have spoken to several authors who are resistant to have their books in libraries and will not donate copies. The resistance comes from a fear that people will check out their books for free and thereby hurt their book sales. Other authors do not bother with libraries because they believe self-published books are not accepted by libraries and they don’t want to argue with stereotypically snooty librarians.
Not acting based upon these misconceptions actually results in a loss of book sales for authors. Having a book in the library’s collection is one of the best things an author can do. Numerous advantages result from being in the library, but before authors can take advantage of those benefits, they need to get libraries to put their books on the shelves.
Working with Public Libraries
So how do you get your book in the library? The easiest way is to donate a book to your local public library. I have yet to meet a public library that would not add a donated book to its collection, provided the donation was done through the proper channels. Granted, there may be some exceptions because libraries, big as they often are, do have limited shelf space, so they need to make sure the books they carry will be read by their patrons. That said, if you can get your book on the shelf, you will have made a big step toward marketing your book to potential customers.
The key to donating your book is finding the right librarian to accept it. Do not just go to the circulation desk and say, “Here’s a book for the collection.” The person at the circulation desk is usually not the person who makes decisions about what books go on the shelves. He or she might just add the book to the stack of donated books, many of which end up in the library’s book sales to raise money for the library. Instead, call the library and ask to speak to the librarian in charge of collections. That person is the one in charge of buying books and deciding what books get to be on the shelves. Be prepared to give the person information about your book and offer to stop by or email the person with the book cover image. If you are polite and professional, this librarian may be your foot into the library door. Ask other local authors who the appropriate librarian is and what their dealings have been with that librarian so you are prepared for the reception you might get.
Without being pushy, ask for a little publicity once the librarian agrees to accept your book. If the library is in a smaller town, it may have good connections with the local media. I know one library that even takes photos of authors who donate books and sends them to the local newspaper for publication; this gives you expanded publicity and lets people know the book is at the library. At the very least, libraries will often publish in their newsletters, on their websites, in the local newspaper, or on a local access television channel, books recently added to their collections. Remember, everyone can’t read the same copy of your book at the same time. If a waiting list for your book starts, the library will want to buy more books. (Don’t hesitate to ask all your friends to go to the library and request your book so that waiting list does grow). And the longer that waiting list is, the more likely people won’t wait but just go out to buy your book.
Once your book is in the library, it will be catalogued, and once catalogued, it may end up being listed on WorldCat.org. WorldCat is the world’s largest network of library content and services. Libraries belonging to WorldCat provide access to their resources at which allows people around the world to find your book online. These books are also available for inter-library loan, so if your library is in New Hampshire, someone in Texas might request the book and be able to read it.
So beginning with your own local public library, you can make your book accessible nationwide and even worldwide. But getting your book in the library is not the end result. Now that it is in the library, let people know it’s there. This is your chance to do a little guerrilla marketing. I know one author who, whenever he goes to the library, looks up his book on the library’s computer, then leaves the screen up with his book on it so the next user will see it. He also will look for his book on the shelf, and if it’s not checked out, he will pull it out an inch or two on the shelf so it stands out, or even face it outward so people will see it.
At book signings or book fairs, if people ask whether your book is in the library, go ahead and tell them it is. I know many authors who have had people buy their books after reading them in the library just because they loved a book so much they wanted to own it, or they wanted to give copies as gifts.
Also, now that you have your foot in the door at the library, you can continue to network. Eventually, all the librarians may get to know you. When you go to check out books at the circulation desk, they will be pleased to meet you and they might say, “Oh, so you’re the author. We have a lot of people check out your book.” It’s a good way to find out how popular your book is and to make the librarians remember you.
Be sure to get involved with the library. Libraries today are turning into community centers. They are always doing special programming for their patrons. Offer to give a talk. Help with a conference. Donate your time helping with a book sale. Whatever you can do to get to know the library staff will benefit you. I know many authors whom the library continually calls to do events, give advice, or help them with programming. By assisting with library events, authors become known in the community. Being a volunteer also might make the library willing to repay you by hosting a book release party for your second book. Even if you hold events in other venues, the library will often be willing to put up posters for the event-think how many hundreds or thousands of people visit the library each day who may see those posters.
Beyond your local library, branch out to other libraries in your state. First you might visit libraries in neighboring towns, then work your radius out to the next county. You can drop names of your local librarians with librarians in other towns. Most librarians know each other within their own county or state, so if you have library references, other libraries will be more likely to want to host you for a book signing or talk-and buy your book for their own collections.
Special Interest Libraries
Beyond the public library, many other types of libraries exist whose shelves would be a good home for an author’s book.
Most states have their own state libraries. For example, I know one author who sent copies of his book to the Library of Michigan. The result was, without his asking, he ended up being listed on a brochure the Library of Michigan distributed to libraries statewide featuring Upper Michigan authors.
Your town might have a library for the visually impaired that would be interested in your books-even if you don’t have an actual audio book, many of the new readers, such as Kindle, will read books out loud to people, so let such libraries know your book is available in electronic or audio form.
University libraries might be more particular than local libraries when it comes to taking self-published books, but if you went through that university’s English degree program, or you worked as an assistant at the library when you were in college, or you worked at the local newspaper-whatever you did as a student-see if you have connections that can help you. Wherever you were an alumni, use it to your advantage to get your book in the university library, and also to do events on campus.
If your book is age appropriate, talk to librarians at the local school libraries, either elementary, middle, or high school. Many schools love to have author visits, and depending on your book’s topic, they might have you come in to talk to the students about being an author or about your book’s subject.
Is there a local history museum near you? Then donate a copy of your book to its research library-generations from now, people may be interested in the local author who lived in the town, and if you’ve written a local history book, all the better. I know one author whose local history book is regularly used by the research librarians as a resource they show to their patrons, and many of those patrons then go out and buy the book since they can only use it otherwise in the research library.
Many organizations and centers have libraries-from the local senior center to churches. They are all opportunities to get your book included in their collections as well. Think of places you are involved with and ask other people you know about organizations with library collections and who to talk to in those organizations.
Libraries are Your Best Friends
In short, having your book in a library is one of the best things you can do to promote it and to sell books. Be friends with your local librarians and you will get local community recognition that in time can become national and then worldwide. And remember, every library is different and has different policies and different staff. Just because one library says “No” to you doesn’t mean another library will. Keep at it and you’ll find your book on more library shelves than you anticipated when you began.

Green Construction – What and Why?

“Green construction” is the hottest term in construction right now, but what does it exactly mean? “The practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition” is how the Environmental Protection Agency defines it. Experts say that green construction is not only environment friendly but also has the additional perks of being healthier for ourselves and is highly cost effective as well. The term ‘sustainable development’ is also used for green construction meaning our use of the environment’s resources without jeopardizing its use for the future generations.
At the commercial and industrial level green construction may include anything ranging from water free urinals to making own electricity, but small home owners who would like to follow the path of green construction are often stumped about how to go about it. What can be installed and how much can it save? Who defines green anyway? These are the questions that we must provide answers to, to spread awareness about it.
This new concept has helped attend to one of the gravest threat that modern humanity is facing. The increasing population is consuming more and more resources which are bound to run out- and soon too if some check and balance is not maintained. There is only so much recycling and waste management that one can do. Bigger steps need to be taken and eliminating waste production during construction will be one such step. Green construction can be one step for man but it will be one giant leap for humanity. It is a powerful solution to our problems, but is still not being used to its full potential.
The green revolution is slowly but surely nesting itself in the construction industry like in all other areas of modern life. Today world awareness of global warming and environmental issues becoming common knowledge has made it mandatory for each and every individual to make an effort at his own level. Perhaps the easiest way to fulfill that responsibility is to adapt the habit of green construction at our homes. We do not need to go out there and fight a war against the big bad bullies of the petroleum industry; we can do the same quite effectively by starting with green construction in our own homes. More than ever the old saying, “charity begins at home” proves to be right, though nowadays this saying has more serious ramifications if not implemented.
Apart from personal responsibility, as awareness spreads green construction will become the convention as more and more rules and regulations supervising the protection of the environment are being implemented. The world of the future will be completely self-sustainable if the objectives of green construction are implemented in their true sense. To be precise the technology for it already exists, it is just a matter of implementing it which will be not only beneficial for the environment but will also help you economically as well as for your health.

Top 12 Blogs For Travel Bloggers

This is a list of creative travel blogs that I read and follow. They are written by independent travel writers, the list include those that I consider as heavy-weights in travel blogging. These bloggers are associated with large travel sites/blogs but their focus is on living a unique life (getting to see the world around them) and be an insightful writers. All of them are fun and inspirational to read.
Blog: Everything-Everywhere
Writer: Gary Arndt
Gary has been on the road since 2007 as a professional traveler. On the blog you’ll find interviews with leading figures in the industry like Laura Bly from BlyOnTheFly. The posts are factual yet personal as they include Gary’s insights and reasons for visiting each of the destinations. Everything-Everywhere is the top travel blogger on Twitter according to its Klout score.
Most recent post: This Week In Travel – Episode 152
Blog: Nomadic Matt
Writer: Matt Kepness
Matt offers practical and tactical advice about how to travel better, cheaper and longer. The blog gives down-to-earth details about the best ways to explore the world. The blog is more of a collection of useful tips rather than a chronicle of Matt’s adventures although there is a travel guide section with info gathered from Matt’s travels since 2004. The site includes videos and a list of resources.
Most recent post: How To Travel Anywhere For Free
Blog: Go-See-Write
Writer: Michael Hodson
Traveling since 2008 he circumvented the globe without getting on a plane. The blog includes Michael’s adventures and experiences as he goes through each of the travel destinations. Dubai travel is included in the long list of destinations you can read about and there is a section of travel destination tips. The blog is a personal journey of a solo adventurer exploring the world.
Most recent post: Visiting One of the World’s Highest Lakes
Blog: Fox Nomad
Writer: Anil Polat
Chosen by the Huffington Post as one of the top travel writers to watch Anil is a full time traveler but a gadget geek as well, so the focus of the blog is often on the technical aspect of travel. He often visits countries which are off-the-beaten-track and gives practical advice about how to cope in places like Yemen and Iraq. On the blog you’ll find destination tips, tech posts, resources and insights into green travel and culture.
Most recent post: The Landmarks To Look Out For When Flying Into Istanbul
Blog: Legal Nomads
Writer: Jodi – A former Lawyer from Montreal
She has been traveling and eating her way around the world since 2008 and the blog focuses on food, culture and her adventures. One of the plus points about this travel writer’s blog is that it is ad-free (except for Amazon links) which makes it a very clean-cut blog to look at. This is a good blog to watch if you’re into food related travel, the blog is on the MSN list of top travel blogs.
Most recent post: Thrillable Hours: Doug Barber, Co-Founder of Minaa
Blog: Almost Fearless
Writer: Christine Gilbert
One of the top ranking travel & leisure blogs written by a mother traveling with her family since 2008, this blog has beautiful photography and the blend of family, self and travel. The family travel focus can be seen by the blog sections – life, kitchen, photos and kids. You’ll find some useful destination tips but more general life insights.
Most recent post: How I Spent 10 Years To Get Where I Started
Blog: Camels and Chocolates
Writer: Kristin Luna
One of the top travel writer blogs according to Elliott.org and other “top” lists due to the well written text. The writer is a professional journalist, has interviewed the stars and in addition is a travel addict. She covers a long list of travel destinations recording her adventures with the occasional travel destination tip thrown in. The blog boasts many photos of the travel writer in the various travel destinations.
Most recent post: Photo Friday: Columbus, Ohio
Blog: Johnny Vagabond
Writer: Wes
Another of the Huffington Post picks for best travel writer blogs, the charm of this blog is in the well written descriptions of the writer’s adventures. Wes is traveling around the world on a tight budget and taking brilliant pictures as he goes. The writing is engaging, intelligent and entertaining as well as giving you plenty of info about the travel destinations.
Most recent post: A Love Letter from the Philippines
Blog: 48 Hour Adventure
Writer: Justin Morris
A very useful and highly practical blog where each post is dedicated to a 48 hour plan of what to see and do in various travel destinations. What makes this travel & leisure blog standout is its no-nonsense usable quality. You’ll find a “48 hours in Dubai” post if you’re interested in Dubai travel, listing sites, how to get around, orientation and plenty of large photos.
Most recent post: 48 Hours in Reykjavik
Blog: Global Grasshopper
Writer: A team of travel writers Gary and Becky
Unlike many of the blogs on this list it is not a chronicle of any one person’s travels but rather a collection of inspirational travel stories and travel destination tips written by travel writers. For example you’ll find “top 10” lists, cool hotels and beautiful places as well as the section for travel snobs!
Most recent post: 10 of the Best Travel Destinations
Blog: Travel Business Success
Writer: Tourism Tim Warren
Since 1994 Tourism Tim Warren works to inspire, guide & connect tourism pros’ to realize their dreams. From Michigan to Mongolia, Baja to Bolivia, “Tourism Tim” Warren has helped 1000’s of small start-up tour operators to international business development agencies increase sales, arrivals and profits via his book, online courses and webinars. An entrepreneur at heart, he enjoys helping current & future travel entrepreneurs succeed financially following their passion of a profession in tourism.
Most recent post: 5 Travel Website Sales Tips
Blog: Y Travel Blog
Writer: Caz & Craig Make-peace
Caz & Craig originally from Central Coast of Australia alongside their daughters have been traveling round the world. Y Travel Blog was started in April 2010 as a way to share personal travel tips and stories to help others live their travel dreams. There consistency, dedication and global travel knowledge makes their travel site one of the best.
Most recent post: What a Day at Famous Hyams Beach Looks Like

Fashion Styles to Avoid

When you are out buying clothes for yourself not only do you want to know about what kind of clothing is in style, but you also need to find out about what is not in style. Avoiding the clothing that is not in style is easy to do, if you know what to avoid. What you need to remember is that it is not just an article of clothing that needs to be avoided in general, sometimes the piece of clothing can be worn fashionably, but there are certain things you want to avoid wearing it with.
One thing that you need to avoid is wearing high waisted jeans or any kind of high waisted pants. One of the reasons that you want to avoid these types of pants is because of how high up they go, if your belly button is pierced, it can rub against the piercing that can become very uncomfortable. Another problem is if you have any kind of bloating going on this style of pants can make the bloating seem even worse than it is, which is not very flattering at all.
Something else that you need to avoid doing is wearing a white bra with a white shirt. This needs to be avoided because you can clearly see the white bra under the white shirt; in fact, the white bra really stands out under the white shirt because the lines of the bra show directly through the shirt. When wearing a white shirt you will want to wear a nude colored bra so that the bra does not show as easily.
Not only do you need to think about the color bra you are wearing but you also need to think about the type of panties that you are wearing. With jeans you can wear just about any style of panties that you want, but stay away from thongs that stick up from the back of your jeans because it does not look very attractive. If you are wearing white pants you want to avoid wearing dark colored panties or even panties with designs on them because they will show directly through the pants. Your best choice is to wear a nude color rather than white because it will blend in better than the white will.
What you wear on your feet is also important. The worst thing you can do is wear any kind of socks with sandals, and depending on the style of sandal, you might want to avoid nylons. Thong-toed sandals or shoes should be worn without socks or nylons, while open toed and closed toed should be worn with nylons or socks. White socks with black shoes also need to be avoided.

Fast Food and Fat Food

There are two sides of the same coin. You may have heard arguments on both sides regarding healthy foods and fast foods. You may have asked yourself one time or another, are all fast food fat foods? Can you binge on fast food without worrying about your health? How can you eat fast food and still stay healthy?
The United States is the leading country when it comes to obesity. The country is top three in the world in terms of existing fast food chains. When you put two and two together, you get to the conclusion that the popularity of fast food restaurants is affecting the health of the consumers.
McDonald’, one of the famous fast food chains in the world, faced a lawsuit in 2003 when parents of a teenage girl claimed that the fast food restaurant is responsible for their daughter’s health problems. Although the case was dismissed, it started the battle of fast food restaurants against health experts.
Obesity is not something to laugh about. It can lead to all sorts of complications such as diabetes mellitus type 2, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and, of course, cardiovascular diseases. Aside from that, being on the heavy side can make a person the butt of jokes which ultimately results to social outcasts and suicidal attempts. Sedentary lifestyle and overeating are the main reasons why there are people who are considered obese.
You should be familiar with the daily calorie intake. Your calorie intake highly depends on your weight and lifestyle. On average, health specialists stated that the daily calorie intake for women is 1200 calories while it is 1800 for men. Generally, one fast food meal has around 1000 calories.
Most of the food offered by fast food restaurants are deep-fried or heated up in the microwave. These processes of food preparation take minimum time unlike home cooked meals. As a result, most fast food products have high calories and are practically swimming in trans-fat.
If you take all of these into consideration, then yes, fast food is fat food. Health experts have grounds why they are against eating fast food products. On the other hand, it does not mean that you have to forego fast food altogether to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fast food restaurants were a hit because they serve food in minimum time, in good taste, and in lesser price. So how are you going to make the two ends meet?
When health issues were raised, fast food restaurants come up with possible solutions to make their menu appealing to health buffs. They added salads, fresh fruit, and white meat to widen the selection of their consumers. Also, nutritional facts are made available so that people would have an idea how many calories are in their orders. These restaurants are doing their part but why is it that they are still being blamed?
It all boils down to you as a consumer. If you want to live a long life, you should know when to stop eating fast food. Moderation is the key. You cannot have burgers and fries all the time. If you can’t stay away from fast food, check out the other side of the menu. Instead of a Big Mac, why don’t you order a regular burger? If a regular burger is not good enough for you, just avoid add-ons like cheese, bacon, or mayonnaise sauce. Other add-ons can be tasty without the fat like onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mustard. Skip additional toppings in your pizza. Even though a slice of chocolate cake makes your mouth water, better order a low-fat yogurt or ice cream for dessert. Lastly, forget about the up-size promo. It will save you from calories and save a few pennies too.
Balanced diet is pretty elementary. As long as you know how to balance your intake, you’re good to go. The next time you crave for some fast food, indulge yourself. Just make it a point not to have the urge every day of the week.

Taxi Insurance – Understanding The Nuances

Those of you who own a vehicle or taxi need to purchase the right type of insurance, so that you are adequately covered in the event of an accident or untoward happening. Irrespective of whether you own a taxi or a fleet of taxis, it is imperative that you buy it and make sure that it meets your budget as well as requirements. There are a number of taxi insurance providers who offer discounts, if you purchase the insurance online. The best way to identify taxi insurance is to browse the internet. There are online insurance directories that will direct you to the respective insurance provider and within minutes, you will have complete information at your finger tips.
Check out for insurance comparison websites as they will be able to guide you choose the right policy for your requirements. To begin with, you may want to invite insurance of taxi quotes from three to four providers and based on these, take a call on the right policy. Fill in the insurance of taxi quote form and email it to the sites. Within minutes, you will have the filled quotes or quotations. The quote form will ask for some basic information and based on the data provided by you, the insurance provider will tailor-make the policy.
There are many ways of attracting good discounts on your taxi insurance premium. Having a clean driving record will help you achieve this. The lesser the number of accidents, the greater are the benefits. Similarly, over fifty drivers also get the benefit and good discounts on their insurance of taxi. Above fifty drivers are considered as matured and are less accident prone.
The taxi insurance premium may vary from one location to another. The type and model of the taxi also have a bearing on the insurance premium. Insurance providers encourage taxi owners to purchase the policy online as they can also get the benefit of good discounts. Once you have bought online insurance of taxi, you will be sent proof of the policy. You only have to take a print out of this copy which is a valid and legal document.
Depending on the number of taxis or vehicles you own, the insurance premium would vary. You may want to go in for group taxi insurance if you are running a fleet of taxis. The experience and age of the taxi drivers may also be taken into consideration by the authorities before extending the policy. The lesser the risk, the lesser will be the premium and vice versa. It is important to understand that a basic insurance of taxi policy may not always be enough. You may have to check out for a policy that extends other advanced features. In the event of an accident or damage to your taxi, both the parties do not have to bear the brunt of the accident.
It is advised to take adequate medical cover for the driver along with the taxi insurance, so that the coverage is spread accordingly and claiming compensation becomes simpler and easier.

Planning Vacations With Free California Travel Guides

Pick up some free California travel guides today to start planning your vacation to the land of sun and fun. No matter what time of year it is, you will find something in California to entertain you. In the winter, California still boasts warm temperatures and year round theme parks for your entire family. In higher elevations, you can find great places for skiing, so plan to hit the slopes for your next holiday vacation.
In the summer, California is particularly dynamic, as you will see when you visit the multiple beaches and enjoy the perfect temperature. When you look at free California travel guides, one thing they might not mention is that you should plan ahead.
Especially during the summer, you might find many hotels are booked, especially those hotels that are around public attractions. Expect longer lines during these summer months, and know that you might have to go exploring to find a spot of beach to keep to yourself.
If you want to avoid the crowds, fall is a great time to do that, and you can explore the many wine regions. Many free California travel guides can point you to the best ones in the area you plan on visiting.
Look through your free California guides to find the places worth visiting. Of course, you have the main, well-known tourist attractions, like Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. You have most likely heard of the Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, where you can be amazed at the immensity of the redwood trees. Take a trip to SeaWorld and Mission Bay, which are perfect locations for the entire family.
If you are looking for great family vacation spots, find free California travel guides that highlight these attractions. For example, there is the National Yo-Yo Museum, which is always a favorite with kids. There is Universal Studios, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom or Birch Aquarium, all of which are great locations to bring those with short attention spans. Free California travel guides should help you find places that interest you.
Alternatively, if you are traveling to California for a romantic getaway, one free of children, then choose free California travel guides that capitalize on that fact. Have a fun day out parasailing and walking around the heart of San Francisco before cozying up in one of the many romantic dining options available in California.
No matter which city you visit, you will find relaxation in the surrounding spas, culture in multiple museums and fun with all the different recreation places and parks. Using the various free California travel guides, you can set up the perfect vacation in no time, so get started and put it off no longer!

Traditional Home Furniture

The different elements of traditional furniture
When you first hear references to the Captain’s bed you immediately think of sailors that have been through the rough seas. However there are practical uses for this piece of furniture in the home. In fact it can help the home owner to increase the enjoyment that they get from their living spaces. All this is achieved with the use of minimalist principles and materials that are actually sustainable. It is a pity that not many people are completely used to the idea that this piece of furniture can make great furnishings for the home.

    1. The Modern bed is great for storage purposes. You have an item of furniture that is used for a variety of functions including storage. If you have security needs you can even put a lock onto the furniture to ensure that it is not easily accessible. The people that run with such a course of action can look for other discreet ways of securing the storage space. The needs of the individual customers will vary and therefore the solutions to their problems cannot be generic. However we can conclude that this piece of furniture is very useful when it comes to protecting your property in storage. The delicate items will not be shifting from side to side and that is a definite advantage.
    1. Depending on the brand that you buy the Usable bed can be very comfortable. You can use the mattresses and other cushions to ensure that you have a very comfortable stay. This will be nothing like the conditions that you can expect in a cramped ship. Instead you will have great flexibility in terms of the way that you can arrange your home yet at the same time you will be living in relative comfort. It is the thing that is making this piece of furniture very popular with the public. Even children might be able to use if you take the necessary safety precautions. In using the item you are really just getting the benefits that the manufacturers planned all along.
    2. You can use sustainable materials for the Captain’s bed. This means that you do not have to restrict yourself to wood. It is possible to look at the other alternatives and see whether they can do the job effectively. At the same time you will be playing your role in securing the environment. This is the dual role that you can look to in order to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefits from the purchases that you make for your home in terms of furniture.
  1. Space is utilized responsibly when you buy the Captain’s bed. If you live in the modern homes where the space that is available to you is at a premium, this can be a great solution to your problems. You will be able to fit in well and yet you will have the extra room to store your property as well. This is a complete furniture piece.

How to Pick Out Home Furniture for a Busy Lifestyle

Leading a busy lifestyle means having less time to enjoy the comforts of home. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon comfort altogether. In fact, when you’ve got no other choice but to be busy, your home furniture should help you get the most of what little time you have to feel comfortable.
Furniture that will fit a busy lifestyle should have certain qualities above other considerations. First, it has to be low maintenance. The less you have to do to keep it spic and span, the more time you’ll have to simply lay back and relax. Next, it will need to be space-efficient. After all, when you’re trying to get from point A to point B on a tight schedule, being forced to go through a long path or to squeeze between sofas and tables will definitely make your temper rise.
Here are some suggestions to create a comfortable, low-maintenance home for a busy bee:
The More Functions, The Better. Aside from the novelty factor, multi-functional furniture can help you reduce clutter and make it easier to move around. Some ideas you can consider include using a storage chest or ottoman for your coffee table in the living room, or choosing a sectional that extends into a chaise-like section instead of buying a separate chaise lounge to pair with your sofa.
Plan The Room To Make The Most Of The Furniture. Speaking of multi-functional home furniture, instead of buying a single desk for a single function, try to envision a space-efficient room and select furniture to follow that idea. This is especially important if your home tends to double as your second office. By being wise with how you arrange the room and position everything you need for certain tasks, you can spend less time searching for documents or designs and finish work faster.
Whether To Go Leather. When it comes to upholstery for your home furniture, investing in leather will definitely matter in short run. Cloth-upholstered sofas get dirty and dusty easily and will have you taking the covers to the washers every so often. Leather upholstery will also help greatly if you keep a pet at home. Fur is much easier to deal with and leather is more resistant to stains. Split liquids will often just need a wipe-down to keep clean.
On the other hand, leather tends to fade over time, especially when humidity varies. If you use an air-conditioner, but leave it off when you’re not in, then leather may not be the best option to you. Leather also scratches relatively easier and these may be harder to repair.
While all of these ideas will help you pick out the best home furniture to suit your lifestyle, remember that above all, you must prioritize comfort. This is most important for the places you plan to spend the most time in, such as your home office and your bed.

The Fast Food Industry – You Pay Them to Kill You, While Still Making Hefty Profits

The power of advertising has made the public rethink their unhealthy habits. After the September 11th terrorist attack, the marketing department of the Department of Health used this angle to decrease the desire in young adults to use drugs. We’ve all seen these public service announcements from time to time, and I have mentioned them previously: “My drug habit lead to the ruination of lives far from where I live, I am directly helping organized crime… In other words, my drug use has financed murder…”
This chapter is using another angle to get the right point across. “Today, I built up the plaques in my arteries, I increased my triglyceride level by 30%.” I guess this is a blunt way to make a point. By eating fast food, you literally finance your death.
While several worthwhile books have been written in recent years about the broader social implications of a meat-centered diet (Erik Marcus’ “Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating”, Gail Eisnitz’s “Slaughterhouse”, and Howard Lyman’s “Mad Cowboy”, to name a few), none has been greeted more warmly by the mainstream press than Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation”. They all make one point in common: the dangers of eating fast food. In spite of this bad press, we haven’t seen many fast food corporate giants go under. Actually, some are doing very well, indeed. How can we comprehend the fact that despite everything that health magazines, newspapers, and television documentaries say about the dangers in the food we eat, such as hamburgers, fries, soft drinks, etc., people still find themselves filling the seats of these restaurants without thinking about the consequences of their actions? We are talking about your health here. A well-researched and trenchant expose of the fast food industry has caused some people to sit up, take notice, and perhaps even rethink their unhealthy eating habits.
It is obvious that a book talking about the causes of obesity talks about the fast food industry as well. Eric Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation” has enabled many to understand how fast food is being processed. Today McDonald’s is the country’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes, and it’s the second biggest purchaser of chicken – which should seem obvious to us all. With their restaurants in every corner of America and beyond, millions of tons of meat and poultry are being processed in the slaughterhouses that supply meat to McDonald’s.
They can only offer their promotions, 2 burgers for $2.22, if their expenses are low. The point here is to make you realize that each time you enter their restaurants, order food, and pay the cashier to eat their food, you are signing your death warrant. Some statistics are truly staggering: In the early 1970’s, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they shelled out more than $110 billion, more than they spent on higher education, computers, or new cars. McDonald’s operates about 28,000 restaurants worldwide and opens 2,000 more every year. That equals six McDonald’s/day. If they follow the same trend for the next decade, they might reach the 50,000 franchises mark. In real life, opening more franchises will mostly send more Americans to their doctors or the emergency room to get diagnosed with several diseases, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. There is at least one positive outlook of these corporate giants. They keep our labor force working by creating many jobs in America and abroad. The 3.5 million fast food workers are by far the largest group of minimum-wage workers in the world; not too bad for the fast food industry.
However, creating jobs should not be used as an excuse, though. They are still convincing people to eat their food by using the media and other sources of advertising. Fast food chains collectively spend about $3 billion annually on television advertising, most of it directed at children-talk about creative marketing. By reaching out to kids, they (the fast food giants) assure themselves a future. What is the point in reaching the older crowd since they are already hooked to their food? They need to reach a virgin market. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, they are targeting your kids. While you are trying your best to teach your kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making their lunch everyday, making them participate in after school sports activities, encouraging them to avoid unhealthy temptation, the industry is spending several millions dollars to brainwash them about what food to eat. I guess you agree with me that these are counter-productive measures. Can this ever end? I don’t think so. Unless Congress confronts one of the underlying factors in health costs for the country, we might never see any progress.
There is some good news, though. We’ve seen some changes in this industry in the past few years. McDonald’s and other fast food chains have tried to implement some healthy items in their menus. Americans are finally seeing some choices offered to them: salad in a cup accompanied by low fat salad dressings is one positive result. Although, most consumers are still not ordering these healthier items, they do have the choice anytime they desire.
Diners can now order salads, baked potatoes and grilled chicken sandwiches, some of which weren’t on restaurants’ original menus. Jeff Bonasia, Burger King’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, says customer surveys revealed that 41 percent of Burger King’s “heavy users”, the beef eaters, wanted a vegetarian burger on their menu.
“We’re not necessarily going out to appeal to people who are strict vegans or vegetarians,” Mr. Bonasia says. “It’s meant to provide more choice and variety for the people who love burgers.” When the BK Veggie Burger idea came up, Burger King officials envisioned it as anchoring a nutritious meal combination, possibly paired with a side salad and bottled water. That didn’t register with customers, Mr. Bonasia says. “Their reaction was, ‘I’ll get the Veggie Burger, and I’ll have my fries’,” he says. Most fast-food chains supply customers with the nutritional content of their menu items, either through Web postings or handout guides.
Fast-food restaurants may have consistent menus, but items typically can be customized on request. Often, Ms. Gensler, a Chevy Chase Maryland Dietician, says, “the delivery time of such meals is the same as with a standard order”. “Today’s consumers appreciate a flexible, heart-friendly menu,” says Wendy’s company spokesman Bob Bertini. The burger chain just went nationwide with four new entree salads after successfully test-marketing them last year in five cities. The Garden Sensations salad lineup offers “ingredients that consumers are not used to seeing [in a fast food restaurant],” Mr. Bertini says, from Mandarin Chicken Salad to crispy rice noodles and roasted almonds. Condiments are included separately.
“The whole approach now is not as much on strict diet regimes … it’s more now about balance and choices,” he says.
“For too many, those choices involve super-, mega- or ultra-sizing the meal in question,” says Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian in New York and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. Super-sized meals also contain excess fat, salt, and sugar, the three main items people crave. The chains (fast foods giants, that is) “know exactly what they’re doing,” Mr. Ayoob says.
Too much fast food leaves diners susceptible to weight gain and all its risks, including diabetes and high blood pressure, not to mention the strain on the heart. Moreover, fast food tends to offer small amounts of fruits, vegetables and fiber, three components that counteract obesity and other health woes. Mr. Ayoob says: “Americans won’t stop eating fast food, but if they eat it wisely, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that”. “Go eat it, but eat smart,” he says. “Find the food there you like the most and have it in a more modest portion. As long as your weight is being maintained and you eat a low-fat, balanced diet,” he says, “An occasional journey into a fast-food restaurant should present no problem.