Power Outage

We live in a high-tech world, no matter where we reside; and thus we have resources at our beck and call. Take power for example. Electricity is almost universal (and the hallmark of progress), but power can sometimes go out in the most modern places. It is surprising how often it does when there is an overload on the system such as a hot day in New York City, or during a hurricane in Florida. If so, we resort to the latest technology such as a backup generator. It is odd that so few people own them. They are very affordable unless you want a whole-house size and then it can run up to a thousand dollars or more. But if you want ultimate protection during an outage, with all bases covered, this is the way to go. You can buy a generator to run your basic appliances or one that can run the AC as well. It all comes down to comfort level. What can’t you live without? The toaster, the coffeemaker, your hair dryer or electric razor?

I speak from experience having had one or more such outages in the last few years. It can be mighty inconvenient if you are in the middle of something important, like watching your favorite movie on TV. What if you are cooking dinner or snuggled under that cozy electric blanket on a cold winter’s night. Even the best utility company can run into trouble. Then there are the times when the power lines go down because of a windstorm or someone has crashed into a pole. Since you can’t count 100% on uninterrupted power, it is best to be prepared with a good portable generator at the very least.

If I had to select one for you, I would vote for the Ariens 7500 Watt Electric Start Portable Generator w/ Honda GX Engine that runs about $1,000. As emergency generators go, this is a good, reliable choice to back up essentials in a home during an outage. It has a reliable commercial grade engine so you get plenty of power. It has an easy-to use battery operated starting system with recoil backup. You push a button and it is in operational mode in a flash. A nice feature is that it alerts you when oil is running low at an unsafe level. But not to worry, with its 9-gallon metal fuel tank, you get up to 12 hours of run time. Finally, it has a brush-type alternator with auto voltage regulation to prevent damaging voltage spikes that can harm your electronics. I might add that it has easily connect extension cords and a manual transfer switch.

My personal portable backup generator has seen me through some rather hard times and I am sure one of these marvels will do the same for you. If you live in an area vulnerable to outages, by all means have a look at the Honda engine model and others of a similar ilk. You never know when you will need it.

Fair and Unbiased Reviews

As a student at the University of Zagreb studying Information and Communication Technology, I am in the thick of things in this current round of the digital revolution; and it is a pretty exciting place to be. The Internet has changed the world more than we ever predicted, and it keeps moving on, dragging even the most reluctant with it. No generation is untouched by its blessings. Most everyone uses it liberally on a regular basis, saying, “we could never live without it.”

What you can learn goes from the deepest and most profound to the simplest practical matter. Let’s just look at the kitchen sink. If you use a search engine, you will find ample reviews, one more comprehensive than the other. In minutes, you are in the know on any subject on earth—including products with fair and unbiased reviews. To demonstrate how the resources available, let me offer a humble review. You will see that the Internet is the most important tool in your life if you know how to use it properly.

The kitchen sink 

Apart from appliances, the kitchen sink is indeed the heart of the kitchen, adjacent to where most food prep takes place. They come in many sizes and materials from a one basin farm sink to a double stainless steel undermount sink. If quality is there, it comes down to décor and style. Then there is the practical matter of the faucet style and what is best for optimal operation. Let’s review the Moen. Known for great looks, a faucet by this manufacturer is a head-turning centerpiece for the kitchen, combining the latest innovation with design sophistication. This succinctly describes the Nori chrome one-handle high arc pulldown kitchen faucet. You get a plethora of features to accompany its bold modern statement. This beauty is hard to overlook.

  • Highly-reflective chrome finish
  • employs the Reflex™ system for smooth operation, easy movement and secure docking of the pulldown/pullout spray head
  • features Duralock™ quick connect system for easy installation
  • the clever pulldown design offers instant water delivery
  • one–handle lever handles make it easy to adjust the flow
  • aerated stream for everyday cleaning; more powerful rinse for heavy–duty jobs
  • convenient soap/lotion dispenser
  • standard design mounts on the sink or countertop
  • Power Clean™ spray technology provides 50% more spray power versus most pulldown and pullout faucets.

A thorough review of a product isn’t complete without testimonials to help buyers assess real life responses. Here is a sampling for this Nori faucet:

Very stylish and functional. It has all the features we were looking for!!

A beautiful, very functional faucet. This is easy to operate and a huge upgrade for our kitchen.

Was amazed how easy it was to install. Like the soap dispenser.

From this sample, you can see that a typical review includes an overview of a product, basic features and/or specifications, and consumer testimonials. There should be a suggestion of why you would choose this particular product, such as superior design or functionality. Buying online is quick and easy given that most websites use a similar format for easy perusing.

Inspiration Boards

You can find home gym equipment using Pinterest, the world’s catalogue of ideas. Just check out the inspiration boards. I found Bowflex and their Power Rod system in the Xtreme model 2 SE. It’s a good thing I was looking to spend a bundle as this one runs well over $1,000. But you get your money’s worth. You can change exercises quickly and easily with no cable changes. I love that. It has a ton of things to do and has added an ab crunch shoulder harness and ergonomically designed adjustable seat. Once you land on a reputable site like Fitness Select, you learn all the basic features and benefits.

210 lbs. of Power Rod® Resistance Standard
The Bowflex® Power Rod® gives you resistance, or weight, that feels as good as or better than free weights but without the inertia or risk of joint pain usually associated with free weights. The Bowflex Xtreme® 2 SE comes standard with 210 lbs. / 95 kg and is upgradeable up to 310 lbs. / 140 kg or 410 lbs. / 186 kg!

Revolutionary No-Change Cable Pulley System
This feature lets you move from squats to lats to leg workouts without ever changing cables. That means you’ll save time and keep your heart rate up as you progress through your workout. Athletes love this advantage.

Lat Tower with Angled Lat Bar
Build back and shoulder muscles quickly with this integrated tower.

4-Position Lower Pulley/Squat Station
Use this station to do squats and build your glutes, hamstrings and quads.

Leg Extension
Use for exercises to develop strong, muscular legs.

Abdominal Crunch Shoulder Harness
All new ab harness and ab pulley bar help you build strong, defined abs.

Ergonomic Adjustable Seat with Polyurethane Cushion
New design provides added back support for leg exercises and knee support for lat exercises.

Compact Size for Smaller Workout Space
Gym-style vertical workout position. Reinforced “X”-shaped base for maximum stability.

5-Way Hand-Grip/Ankle Cuffs

The unique handgrip is designed to add flexibility and performance to any workout. Functions include a Regular Grip, Non-Grip Cuff, Ankle Cuff, Foot Cuff and a Shoulder Cuff.

Multiple Cable/Pulley Positions
Designed to change your angle of resistance so you can increase the effectiveness of many exercises.

Owner’s Manual/Fitness Guide
Complete with detailed instructions for each exercise.

This Bowflex complete home gym is an all-in-one concept for people like me who want it easy but effective. I kept coming back to it online after searching wildly for hours for home gyms. I like the known brand name and solid reputation. That counts for a lot. When querying people on social media, I didn’t hear anything bad about it. It is nice you can confirm your choices so easily with the public. Ah, the wonders of the digital revolution. You can post photos and get feedback, use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube to find out info and more. Thanks to the inspiration boards on Pinterest, I am happily working out on my own time and getting more toned every day. I don’t regret considering some other systems since all is going so well so far.

How-To Help

I am not embarrassed to say that sometimes I feel glued to my laptop screen. It’s not that I play games—I could do that on my cell phone. It’s not that I have 500 Facebook friends and send out 300 Tweets a day. It is that I am a true information junkie. Someone mentions a subject, and I go and look it up. What a great way to get educated! It’s the modern way of life. In a relatively short period of time, you get to know a lot of stuff. For example, recently I wanted to learn how to use a stand up paddle board since I was going out on the water with friends. Where else to go but YouTube for a how-to-help video.

First I searched for paddle boards and got an overview of these devices. I read about the ones for sale and assessed their different features and appearance. Many websites have embedded explainer videos so you can envision yourself using the product. There is a certain amount of fantasy with water sports as with any land sports. Man against nature! It is a kind of alternate existence to be outdoors fighting the elements and winning. It is all about confidence, fun, camaraderie, and cool equipment.

From YouTube I found I like the Jimmy Styks’ Scout Paradise Stand-Up Paddleboard because of its great stability and buoyancy. You get a smooth, comfortable ride in most conditions. Who knew you could learn to ride the waves from a video without placing a toe in the water. The video talked about the materials: the expanded polystyrene blank core with a ¼ inch stringer, a 3-layer fiberglass/epoxy glass schedule applied to the deck for standing support and a lighter 2-layer fiberglass/epoxy glass schedule applied to the bottom for minimized board wait. Wow! And a final clear coat is applied for a polished, lasting luster.

It helps you understand why these boards work the way they do with such finesse. They explain that adequate volume will help you glide more smoothly across the surface of the water. It is all about rider weight and skill level. Then there is something called “rocker” which refers to the shape of the board and the upward bend of the nose and tail when it is lying flat. Boards have varying degrees of rocker: the one in question—the Scout Paradise– has a 5.5 inch nose rocker that keeps the board above the water surface for planning wind-chopped water, and a 3 inch tail rocker that allows for pivoting during turns. As the video states it, even beginners can’t go wrong with this construction for flatwater cruising to ocean paddling.

Apparently, I learned a lot about my preferred paddleboard from the YouTube video, but not so much that I didn’t check out a dozen more. You get hooked on them. No wonder they go viral. Some are compelling. With the paddleboard instructions, I came to respect the sport and can’t wait to get out on the water.

Safety First

There are numerous sites on the Internet that deal with industrial safety equipment. If you work in construction, for example, it is always safety first. I don’t have to emphasize this importance: it goes without saying. You want good information about equipment that has been tested before it is recommended for sale. You can’t be too cautious when it comes to your personal safety. It is your life and limbs at stake. Take the Jackson Safety 24736 Welding Helmet Lens Type Fixed Shade. First you want to know the basic features and benefits to see if it meets your criteria for purchase. Then you want to know who has tested it and the results. You can always contact OSHA if you want an additional opinion.

  • Fixed shades are designed with one permanent lens.
  • Thermoplastic is a lightweight polymer that is resistant to chemicals, heat and scratches. Thermoplastic is used for several welding helmets.

Then you want detailed Specs

Welding Helmets; Type: Welding Helmet; Lens Type: Fixed Shade; Window Style: Fixed Front; Lens Shade: 10; Window Height (mm): 133.35; Window Height (Inch): 5-1/4

Type Welding Helmet

Lens Type Fixed Shade

Window Style Fixed Front

Lens Shade 10

Window Height (mm) 133.35

Window Height (Inch) 5-1/4

Window Height (Decimal Inch) 5.2500

Window Width (mm) 114.30

Window Width (Inch) 4-1/2

Window Width (Decimal Inch) 4.5000

Helmet Material Thermoplastic

Helmet Color Graphics on Helmet

Helmet Graphics Renegade

Approval Listing/Regulations ANSI Z87.1-2010; CSA

Lens Color Green

Field of View Width (Decimal Inch) 4.50

Field of View Height (Decimal Inch) 5.25

Window Thickness (Decimal Inch) 0.0600

Data is important but meaningless unless you know that the product works under normal conditions. You can search for “top ten welding helmets” or “best welding helmets” or “tested welding helmets” to get to sites that will go beyond mere descriptions. A site called Welding Helmets Cheap is not likely to yield the test results you desire. It is all about price, not quality. While reviews are never the definitive answer to a product’s functionality and safety rating, they do help in weeding out the truly inferior ones. For the most part, there is a lot of truth in most testimonials unless you suspect that they are faked. This is happening more and more these days, so try to find a product with at least a half dozen reviews so you can assess good and bad aspects at a glance. If you still question the information before you, ask for recommendations from professionals in your industry—people who actually use the products on a regular basis for similar jobs. This is the best place to start before you go and look up these recommendations on line. If you are still insecure, you can go to a brick and mortar supplier with a showroom so you can talk to a consultant and compare various models. It takes more time and effort to keep safety first and foremost on your platter, but in the long run, it is the only viable approach when personal injury is a distinct possibility.

Don’t Believe the Hype

When I need something—I am talking about information or perhaps a new product or service—I rush to my laptop and start searching. The Internet is the great modern font of knowledge, and one that is beyond comprehension. I have never been disappointed with what I have found, perhaps until now. When looking to acquire a pressure washer for the exterior of my home, the garage, and the yard, I started surveying the reviews. On some sites, while doing my due diligence, I suspected false testimonials. They sounded canned and overly positive. Most real reviews of electric pressure washers, or any product for that matter, are mixed. This is especially true when you get into the budget price range, where quality is not always ensured. You get some pros and cons. Everything can’t be just perfect. How does one know if the reviews are fake?

I think it comes down to your sixth sense. Having read hundreds, I have a general feeling when I am conned. I think you have to look at the entire site as a whole: how the product, for example, is presented objectively and if all information is openly given. An inexperienced web content writer can make the mistake of overhyping something, thus generating considerable suspicion. I would hate to buy something online, only later to find that it is defective in some fundamental way. If it is because the reviews did not include caveats, it speaks ill of that vendor. When you read reviews, you want to know the truth—good and bad. You might still buy a product because it is a good price, but you have a warning about possible problems so you can make an informed decision.

When I see words like “the best ever,” “perfect in every way,” or “you can’t go wrong…” my antenna goes up. I want to know what is on the other side of the coin. There has to be something! Maybe there are several positive reviews in a row, but you want to scroll down and find at least one that gives you the heads up on problems. It is really an issue of business ethics to fake product reviews. I know people who write them for a living for money; and they never got near the product in the first place. This is like the fake reviews of books on Amazon. It is time to call attention to the matter and stop this bogus practice. The consumer is the victim, without even knowing it.

If the Internet is to stay the great information machine that it has become, we have to be able to rely on accuracy and veracity. We have to come together as a digital community and demand quality content. Sure, e-commerce is all about making money; and when that happens, standards often go. Most everyone has read one or two of these fake reviews so there are enough of us out there in the know about this problem to band together and take action. Let the bloggers have their say. I am the first in line today.

Is Wikipedia the Bane of Internet Research?

nternet research

Wikipedia is a divisive source when it comes to Internet research. Many colleges and universities will not let students cite Wikipedia as a source regardless of the quality of the source page. Lots of people will use Wikipedia as a byword for Internet sources that are widely used but terrible. However, Wikipedia is not necessarily deserving of all of the criticism that it attracts. It is a website that has some utility, even in the modern Internet.

It is important to see if the Wikipedia page in question has any notices in the headers that say that the website needs more work or that there are citations needed. These problems can weaken the overall page. However, many other pages on Wikipedia actually are going to be full of accurate information in spite of the reputation that Wikipedia has attracted. Plenty of people get personal fulfillment from editing Wikipedia, including individuals who are genuine experts in a particular topic. It is possible to get useful information from the Wikipedia website.

For one thing, Wikipedia doesn’t have to be the only source that people consult in order to be useful. It is rarely a good idea to consult only one source on any research adventure. Wikipedia can sometimes give people the informative background that they need in order to consult with other sources. Wikipedia pages are also equipped with the sort of external links at the bottom of pages that actually can serve as important starting points for the individuals who are interested in learning as much as possible about a particular topic. In that regard, Wikipedia pages almost act as specialized search engines. People can take advantage of the research that other people did when it came to crafting the original Wikipedia page.

It is true that anyone can edit Wikipedia. However, it is also generally true that vandalism is going to be reported quickly and the research errors that remain unreported on the majority of other websites are almost always going to attract immediate attention on Wikipedia. The crowd-sourced nature of Wikipedia constitutes its greatest strength and weakness in many cases. However, it is still possible for people to be able to get something out of a reading of a Wikipedia page, even though it is still important for them to avoid relying on something that is subject to change and will not always have the barriers of a more professional website.

How to Determine Whether Given Sources of Information Are Good or Bad


The Internet is the gateway to so much information that many people have a very difficult time separating the good information from the bad information, which is unfortunate and which can make it seem like the whole purpose of the Internet has been defeated. The content available on the Internet is almost unfathomably broad and diverse. No one could read all of the content available on even one topic if he or she tried, so Internet research is largely a matter of prioritizing specific sources over others. The question then becomes: how do you separate the useful sources from the useless ones.

There are a few simple keys to narrowing down search results and potential sources. For one thing, ‘.org,’ ‘.gov,’ and ‘.edu’ websites are sometimes more reliable than ‘.com’ websites because of the increased difficulty of getting that distinction and the fact that the majority of web users are going to use the ‘.com’ distinction for their fairly generic websites. Government websites and college websites have to uphold a certain standard when it comes to the accuracy of their information, and they are usually going to employ paid researchers to do all of the fact checking for them, making everything contained on their platforms that much more reliable. Some private citizens who create websites are going to do their own research and check their facts, but checking up on them to make sure that they did this is just going to create more research for people who are already struggling to narrow down all of their potential sources.

However, there is more to narrowing down sources than just looking at their designation. People who are doing in depth research are going to need to make sure that they look for signs that the people that they are consulting have done their own research. No one is born an expert on anything. The people who have written anything about any topic have theoretically received some sort of education on the subject. That education need not have been formal education, particularly in this day and age. However, the people who write about these topics should know what they’re talking about, and the people who don’t know very much about a given topic may not really be able to tell the difference between someone who is an expert and someone who is just very skilled at sounding like one.

One thing that can help narrow things down is to look for the presence of links. Content that has a lot of research behind it is going to be full of links back to the original research in many cases. Researchers can look at the quality of the websites that people consulted in order to create given pieces of web content. They can also look at the web content itself. From there, they will be able to get a sense of whether or not the web content is actually good. Many of the most dedicated individuals are actually going to show their work so the people who they are trying to educate can actually follow the research process that they created in an effort to educate themselves.

Some aspects of the content itself might help. For instance, content that is full of facts and figures is probably more likely to actually be valuable for the people who are trying to learn the truth of important matters. However, the facts and figures might be inaccurate, so the people who are researching a subject should be wary of the possibility of simply passing on biases and errors. It is also true that facts that seem to be presented in a clear and well-written way could also be inaccurate. Gifted writers can make even the most false information look completely accurate just through the power of their words, particularly in a medium as intimate as the Internet.

There is no easy solution to the problem of the fact that the Internet is so vast and that it is full of great information and information that could not be less accurate. Often times, researchers are just going to have to do their own fact checking and they’re going to have to chase and follow links themselves in order to figure out the information that is actually good and useful. There are no guarantees when it comes to better online searches. It is a skill that people are going to have to learn rather than a protocol for them to follow.


Using Different Search Engines

Different Search Engines

A lot of people are going to use Google as their search engine, and they may not even consider using other models. However, it is important to remember that there are other search engines out there, and that they may have indexed information that is not available on Google. Google may be the most prominent search engine in the world, but it is not the only tool for people to use to access information.

It is also important to realize that even Google can be streamlined. Lots of people will conduct straight Google searches. They might be better off trying to look on Google Scholar if they are interested in academic documents. Going on Google Books can help people get a sense of the published literature on a particular field. Google is going to link people to so much information that it is often better to try to limit a good portion of the information that is going to be made available.

People who are trying to do in-depth research should consider the possibility of consulting with other search engines if they really find themselves unable to find all of the information that they need. Some people use other sources when it comes to indexing pages, especially because there has been something of an ideological backlash against Google in recent years. Internet research is all about knowing where to look and how to narrow the endless supply of information down to the most useful pieces of data. In other cases, people will have to widen the search.


Getting Better Internet Search Results

Internet Search Results

It is difficult to get the best Internet search results in many cases. People are frequently going to find themselves with all sorts of sources that have little to do with a topic at hand, largely because the topic that they are trying to research is obscure or difficult to articulate in some way or another. However, there is actually a skill to conducting Internet searches, even though the process seems incredibly straightforward to anyone who has never really had to do an Internet search in depth.

For one thing, it is important not to make extremely vague search queries. The people who do this are going to end up with a lot of extremely generalized information that probably isn’t going to help them very much with whatever it is that they’re researching. Adding anything to make the searches more specific can make all the difference in the world when it comes to generating the most reliable search results.

For instance, people who are researching a particular industrial process should not just mention it by name. They should mention that they are looking for the process behind it or the applications for the industrial process. If they are trying to learn about the importance of the industrial process, they can conduct searches that relate to the benefits of the process. In some cases, doing searches about the benefits of a particular product or industrial process can tell a person more about that product or industrial process than almost any other search on the subject.

When people are looking for information about a medical procedure that they need, for instance, it is a good idea to mention specific details about the location. They can narrow down a lot of the potential results that way and get the outlets that are local enough for them. SEO experts will usually use location details in order to narrow down people’s search results anyway, so the people who conduct searches in this way are already taking advantage of everything that a lot of marketers are already doing.

People who find Internet searches frustrating should not feel embarrassed. There is a huge amount of content on the Internet and it is only expanding each and every day. It is getting easier and easier for people to find themselves with a lot of useless information that isn’t going to get them where they want to go. When faced with an abundance of choice, people are going to have to set specific standards in order to really narrow the results, which is what people are doing when they learn how to conduct a detailed Internet search.

Influence on Available Information


SEO makes all the difference in the world in terms of the websites that are actually going to show up in the first ten results of an Internet search, and those are usually the first ten results that even the most diligent person will see. Lots of people will figure that those sources have to be the best sources, since they managed to show up in the search results first. In lots of cases, those results made it to the top of the proverbial pile just because the people in charge of the websites had excellent SEO.

In some cases, the best and most informative sources on a topic are going to be wallowing in obscurity at some point in the fifth or sixth search page, which is already far back enough to constitute obscurity in the competitive nature of Internet searches. However, lots of people fail to appreciate the extent to which the mechanics of SEO are going to be limiting them in terms of the research that they’re trying to perform.

For one thing, SEO does not select for accurate information or high-quality information. A website will appear at the top of the pile or close to the top of the pile largely because of the creative use of the right keywords. The very characteristics that make a piece of writing perfect for SEO can also make it decidedly imperfect when it comes to being actually informative and useful for the people who are trying to learn more about a particular topic.

Websites like eHow are going to show up in the top of the majority of search threads on almost any topic. These websites are notorious for being written by individuals who have only a passing familiarity with the subject. However, these pieces of content are going to be passed around on the Internet more often than the most informative pieces of content specifically because of the superior marketing techniques that eHow is able to use.

However, it should be noted that plenty of good websites with great information do use great SEO. It is also true that some of the people who write with good SEO in mind are going to put effort into making their content as informative as possible, particularly in the modern age. It is harder and harder to just toss around uninformative content that is stuffed with keywords. Google has gotten better at recognizing this sort of content. The SEO experts of today try to give people the best of both worlds, offering them informative content that has been marketed in such a way that they are sure to find it.

However, it is still important for people doing research to keep in mind the nature of SEO when they are evaluating the top search results that they’ve found. They should be more willing to delve further into their search results compared to the people who are just casually browsing through the Internet and looking for basic information on a topic. The best sources may be found much deeper in the search results. The first ten results may not be the worst, but there’s no reason to believe that they’re the best either.