Topics to Talk About – Environmental Issues

There is an old saying that we only are renting the world for a little while from its true owners – our children. This can help remind us that the choices we make today about our lifestyles and our consumer habits can directly impact many future generations. We can help our children by not only bringing up topics to talk about in environmental issues, but also lead by example.

Easy Green Tips for Protecting Groundwater

Although the average human being can last up to three months without food, it can only last three days without water. Climate change and unwise uses of water supplies have lead to massive droughts in Australia, Europe and North America. For example, Spain decided to cater to the tourist industry by building many golf courses. Unfortunately, grass golf courses require lots of water in order to maintain. Spain now is in the midst of its worst drought in recorded history.

Certainly by now you know about conserving water as much as possible. But you also need to protect the water we have left. Much of the drinking water supply comes from groundwater, which (as its name implies) means that it is located just underneath the ground. Because it is just under the ground means that it is very easy to contaminate.

The best thing you can do to protect groundwater is not to dump harmful chemicals into it. But you don’t do that, you say. Oh, do you really Do you add fertilizers and insecticides to your lawn. Those wash off easily and sink into the groundwater. And what about the cleaners and washing detergents you use. Many of these harsh chemicals are destroying groundwater.

Use only a fraction of the recommended amount of laundry detergent. You will still get the clothes clean but without dumping so many chemicals in the groundwater. Better yet, use environmentally safe cleaning products made of botanical oils, bleach or vinegar. Look for a label showing the word with the words Design for the Environment U. S. EPA on it.

Instead of using chemical foam drain cleaners, use a couple of cups of baking soda and a kettle full of boiling water. It may take longer to work than a foam or liquid commercially made pipe cleaner, but it won’t harm your pipes, the groundwater or your kids.

Polluting Yourself

There is no sense talking to your kids about environmental issues if you do not treat your own body with respect. You may not think that your body has anything to do with the environment, but it does. The way you treat yourself is often subconsciously reflected in the way we treat the environment.

Kids can easily recognize hypocrites. They will nod in agreement with you only to please you but then ignore all of your advice and teachings if they think you are a hypocrite. There is no sense preaching green tips if you drink, abuse drugs or smoke. Abusing alcohol, drugs and tobacco not only harms your body but also harms the environment.

How does smoking affect the environment Guess what the most prominently kind of trash is found on beaches all over the world Lighters, cigarettes, matches and tobacco pouches. Tobacco is poisonous to many creatures such as small dogs that can die from eating a few cigarettes.

Every little bit we consciously choose to do, is in some small way either helping or destroying our planet. Now is up to you to go the right way.

Source by Anna Hugi

Overcoming Performance Anxieties

Performance anxieties are like fire alarms that signal danger. They appear to exist outside of us but, in truth, are projections of fear inspired recollections and/or apprehensions of what could’ve, should’ve or would’ve happened to us during childhood. These recollections or fantasies are pulled to a level of consciousness by associations between what is going on now and what we recall happened or dreaded happening long ago. Dangers of this sort must be defended against. It is our human nature to unconsciously defend against these nameless and faceless phantoms by assigning them dimensions in the outside world of the present. This way we can track these enemies and develop strategies to cope with the threats they pose to us.

Now you may better understand why some of us tow the starting line at road races and feel extremely nervous. The race becomes emotionally charged in ways that leave us biting our nails in tense frustration. Our abilities to perform at our best may be compromised. In our efforts to instinctively protect ourselves from these threats and avoid being burned by them, we may lose sight of why we are running in the first place. We lose our focus often without even realizing it.

Your “inner child,” to borrow a time worn pop psychology phrase from the 80’s may become scared stiff of success as measured by running fast and/or scared stiff of failure as measured by running slowly. Or perhaps, we may become frightened of losing control of our bodies when fatigued. What we are not aware of may control us. This is best exemplified by self-defeating behaviors designed to defend against our apprehensions of danger. Such behaviors may include: Inadequate or excessive warm ups, poor pacing, and inattentiveness to running form. What we aren’t aware of will control us and what we aren’t aware of may be little more than a variation on the theme of “the monsters that lurk under our beds.” When performance anxieties swallow us up we are reconnecting to archaic fears of disapproval, rejection, envy, abandonment and annihilation, etc.

The key to managing performance anxieties is to demonstrate to ourselves that we can modulate our anxieties, gain insights into them and disarm the fire alarms. By controlling our emotional thermostats we preclude the need to defend against them in self defeating ways. We are able to then, maintain boundaries between what is inside ourselves and outside ourselves and what has already happened versus what may occur. The effective management of anxiety provoking material is a bulwark against losing perspective on the potential consequences of our race performances. If we can protect our focus on running from being sabotaged by performance anxieties then, the risks of giving our best efforts are perceived as worth taking.

Two effective vehicles for managing performance anxieties are meditation and guided imagery; both elements of mental rehearsal. If our imaginations help shape our realities then, we need to learn to harness our imaginations to serve our needs. Jack Nicklaus, arguably the greatest golfer who ever lived as measured by his performances in Grand Slam events, was never the best ball striker among his peers. Still, golf immortal Bobby Jones once remarked: “He plays a game I am not familiar with.” Nicklaus’s mental game was incomparable. Before he swung his golf club he visualized a positive result. Then, he offered himself positive suggestions and tuned out negative thoughts. Finally, he went on automatic pilot and made a pass at the golf ball with has much trust in his muscle memory as we’ve ever seen from any professional athlete.

You too can develop your mental game to the point of taming your performance anxieties by developing the following routines a few weeks before an important race. Every other day try sitting for 15-20 minutes alone in a room in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed. Sit with legs and arms uncrossed. Begin to visualize your stomach as a brightly colored balloon. Slowly and deeply breathe in and out and visualize your stomach inflating and deflating. Use your breathing as a point of concentration. Patiently bring your attention back to your breathing when your mind wanders all the while taking note of its flights of fancy. Notice how your anxiety level rises and falls depending on what your mind attends to.

During these exercises begin to imagine race day situations. Visualize yourself going through your race day rituals as well as every stage of your anticipated race and write a positive script.

Observe the shifts in your anxiety level and the variables that impact it. Use the meditative technique discussed previously to empty your mind when self defeating messages or images enter your mind. Challenge and/or replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.

For instance if you begin to hear yourself saying: “I’m too tired to keep this pace,” then, you can replace this message with: “Relax and trust your training to push through the mental fatigue.” Experiment with a manageable number of high priority cues to ensure quality control of your running form. For example, my cues focus on relaxation of facial muscles, driving my arms around a “still” torso and, letting the arm swing determine my leg lift and stride length.

The more you experience and gain insight into your internal obstacles to optimal performances on race day, the greater will be your ability to contain and manage your anxieties so that you don’t blur boundaries between inside and outside, past and present. Once practiced, the replication of a meditative state of relaxation even at the starting line or in the middle of a race is not beyond your capabilities.

Meditative relaxation techniques combined with mental rehearsal/guided imagery techniques may help you get more mileage out of your training and coaching than you ever imagined. See you at the starting line.

Source by Mitchell H. Milch

Scott Tidal Fly Rod Review

2015 seems like the year of the mid priced rod. Every rod maker seems to be saying "out with the old and in with the new" when it comes to mid range rods this season. I will be taking you through the world of these new mid ranged rods one by one, starting with the Scott Tidal.

Scott has long been known as a leader in fly rod technology, and they prove it with the Tidal series of rods. These rods are offered in 7 through 12 weight models, all 9'0 "in length. They're built with the same X-Core and Multi Modulus technology that are found in their higher priced rods, and at $ 475 these rods will not break the bank.

For my testing purposes I paired a 9wt Scott Tidal rod with an Orvis Hydros V reel spooled with Hatch Tropical 9wt line. This rod is definitely a fast action rod but has a softer tip than the S4s or Radian.With all anodized hardware and premium cork, this rod is saltwater ready and built to last a lifetime. They feature Scott's sleeve ferrule and are proudly made in the USA.

The rod casts like a dream in every sense of the word. Normally I prefer a medium action rod, but boy does this baby sling! I was able to launch an easy 80 foot double haul with very little effort. This rod is a little heavier than other mid range offerings from other companies, but the softer tip and ease of cast more than makes up for the heavier weight. I was able to pick up to 80 feet of line and accurately cast it back out with a single over hand cast, something that every saltwater fisherman knows is a great ability for a rod to have. Not only does this rod truly sling, it's accurate from 20 feet up to 60 and beyond. I set targets at 20, 30, 50, and 60 feet, taking 15 casts at each I only missed my target twice, and only by an inch at that.

I'll give this rod 9/10. If they brought the weight down a tad it would be a perfect 10 in my mind. Sturdy, salt ready hardware, a light enough tip for delicate presentations, and enough backbone to toss out the entirety of the line make this rod one of the best in it's price range I've yet to test this year. Once again, Scott delivers a premium rod at a price the laymen can afford. Go test one yourself, I'm sure you'll be itching to take one home with you.

Source by Ben Boyce

Gunite Basement Repair And When To Use It

Gunite is often used in basement construction and repair. The versatility of gunite makes it a good choice for repairs, and it adds strength while leaving a smooth surface. Gunite can be sprayed into foundation cracks with little or no prep work and it not only adheres to previous applications of gunite, it can also be applied to most surfaces including cracked concrete and crumbling rock walls.

Gunite (occasionally called dry gunned concrete) is a form of sprayed concrete, and is similar to shotcrete but with gunite the water is mixed with the dry mixture of cement and aggregate at the nozzle as it is being applied. The nozzle man adjusts the amount of water that is added to the mix and has total control of the cement to water ratio. The mixture is sprayed at high velocity to create a smooth concrete surface. Gunite is often sprayed over rebar or steel mesh in new construction for added strength, and can be sprayed into basements, pools, retaining walls, water gardens, and even overhead.

The interior walls of the gunite basement construction are often covered with a plaster coating to waterproof the basement. The plaster is similar to what you would find on the surface of a swimming pool. This plaster covering will occasionally crack and chip making the wall look bad and leaving an area unprotected as far as waterproofing goes. To repair these cracks you need to chip away all loose material and remove debris from the surface. Once the area is prepared you can make the repair by simply replacing the plaster coating.

Changes in temperature and settling of the ground can cause larger cracks to appear in your basement walls and floor. If you have a crack in your basement that goes beyond the surface coating and into the gunite it can be repaired a few different ways. First you can choose to repair using an epoxy compound by filling in the crack. Kits are available for the do-it-yourselfer to repair small cracks in foundation and basement walls.

A second way of repairing your basement wall is to fill it in using a concrete stitching system that places staples across the crack. These staples are made to keep the crack from opening any further. To place the staples you would need to drill holes for the staples and remove the surface coating in the area where the staples are going to be installed. Once you have the staples in place you can fill in the crack using any type of non-shrinking fast setting cement.

If the damage to the basement is extensive enough you may choose to repair it using gunite. This can be done even if the original basement was not constructed of gunite. Gunite will adhere to most surfaces. It is best to have a trained professional blow the gunite into your basement because if the wet to dry mix ratio isn’t correct or if the gunite isn’t blown in correctly (and evenly) you can have some structural problems.

Repairing an existing basement with gunite requires that you put an even coating of gunite over the surface. Shooting the gunite over the surface will fill cracks in and strengthen the surface. Applying gunite to your basement repairs any cracks and chips you may have and it will make your basement look like new.

Source by Christopher W Smith

Benefits of a Plug and Play Hot Tub

Plug and play hot tubs are portable tubs that can plug into a standard wall outlet. They typically run on either 110 V or 220 V. As energy efficiency technologies improve, these tubs are increasingly becoming the norm.

A plug and play hot tub has several benefits over a standard model.

1. This does not require a new electrical circuit. This can actually be a colossal cost saver for many homeowners. While most homes were originally built with circuit boards and main breakers that could handle a few more connections, these extra slots have often already been taken up by new electrical wiring. A surprising number of homes cannot support an additional electrical circuit for a standard spa tub without replacing the main breaker and circuit board. This can cost hundreds of dollars. However, with a plug and play tub, you can use your existing electrical circuits.

2. It does not require buried cable. Most municipal and county electrical conduits will demand that any full electrical circuits be buried at least 18″ deep. To install most standard tubs, you will need to install a new electrical conduit by drilling a large hole in the side of your house, installing a breaker box, and digging a trench. With a plug and play, all you need to do is plug it in and tell guests to mind the cord.

3. This is mobile. Most standard spa tubs are still called “portable” tubs, because, unlike wooden or in-ground tubs, their plumbing is all self-contained. However, they are certainly not “portable” in any usual sense of the word! Because standard ones are hardwired to underground electrical circuits, moving them even a foot from side to side means calling an electrician and a municipal or county electrical inspector. It means more digging, more wiring, and more money. However, by contrast, a plug and play spa tub is extremely easy to move around. This can be a huge advantage for homeowners who are planning to redo their backyard or deck in the near future.

That said, it’s not all rosy. Even when these are fitted with the most modern energy-saving technologies, they still heat up slower and have weaker or fewer jets than standard ones. It is not the worst thing in the world, but it’s still something worth considering before you buy.

The discrepancy in performance is more noticeable in larger spa tubs than in smaller tub models and standard models is pretty minor. If you are planning to buy a tub built to seat six or more, it is unlikely that even state-of-the-art energy efficiency technology will allow the tub to stay warm using only a standard electrical outlet.

Plug and play hot tubs aren’t for everyone, but for homeowners who want a small, affordable hot tub that can be installed and moved easily, they are an excellent choice.

Source by Deon Kacy

Stylish Women of the Zodiac


These bold, arrogant and confident creatures are not afraid to flash a little leg or boast a low-cut top. When it comes to fashion, female Rams are self-styled leaders who love flashy, glamorous and sexy clothes. They are also the first to parade around in the latest trends.

They are also perfectionists who are hesitant to debut a new outfit until it has been outfitted with all the right accessories. They love expensive designer clothes but their thrifty side will settle for a decent imitation of Prada or Gucci. Plush velvets and vivid silks in colors such as red, yellow and gold suit the female ram’s conception of herself as “royalty.”

At work, the Ariesian female likes to stand out in a crowed by adding a pair of high-heels or sexy stocking to an otherwise straight looking skit. They love the style of the forties and details such as piping, kick-pleats and rounded collars. They also adore pea coats and long wool coats paired with a pair of high heel leather boots.

This demanding fire sign loves the flash of rubies and diamonds and is fond of wearing watches that display two time zones, even if they are not jetsetters.


Female bulls are homebodies so they don’t tend to splurge their family budget on family. Their closet is often packed with clothing that reflects their love of practical activities such as gardening, cooking and home renovation. They are fond of inexpensive and utilitarian clothing such as khakis, jeans and sweatshirts and by easy-to-care for fabrics that can just are thrown in the wash. As they spend a lot of time outdoors, their closets are usually jammed with ski-jackets, pack-pats and work-boots.

Taurus Females dress more casually than most people at the office and are the type to wear the same thing to work every day. A cozy sweater worn over a ruffled blouse with a knee-length skirt is a typical outfit. As they tend to be heavier than most women in the Zodiac, they tend to wear a lot of “slimming black”.

They have simple tastes in lingerie and consider a long white cotton nightgown to be just a sexy as any item bought from Victoria’s secret. For more elegant affairs, bulls look best in empire style gowns that emphasize their busts and conceal their tummies.

Taureans tend to dislike wearing a lot of jewelery, as it gets lost or dirty, however one item loyal Bulls will never take off is their wedding ring.


These smart, sexy and cerebral women change their mind about what they want to wear every day. Their closets are well stocked with the appropriate outfits for any occasion. This curious sign faithfully studies fashion magazines and is always up on the latest trends in fashion. For casual wear, they prefer clothes with subtle, yet unusual touches – velvet cuffs on shirt, an unexpected ruffle or a bit of antique lace on a collar.

Gemini females have a keen sense of style, and when they are in business mode, they prefer to dress up as the office “queens” complete with power suit, pearls and expensive watch. Their favorite colors are navy blue, pink, lavender, silver and gold.

They love to dance so they prefer loose fluid clothing in silks, cottons and satins that flow with them as they move. They also like cheap street chic of a red vinyl mini-skirt or the surprise offered by the wearing of a bright yellow sari to a garden party.

Turquoises, rubies, pearls and citrines are their favorite stones. These free spirits also like natural jewelry are not beyond tucking a few blossoms behind their ears.


Cancer females dress according to their mood. They can be very insecure when it comes to their bodies and often buy outfits on impulse that are never seen outside the change-room doors. As they are so driven by their emotions, Cancer females are not the most practical of shoppers. Although they maintain a people-pleasing conservative exterior most of the time they secretly lust for risqué lingerie, platform heels, plunging necklines and showers of chiffon and sequins. They also collect scores of designer shoes that they are too insecure to wear out in public,

These charming, but shy individuals like to play by the rules at work by wearing traditional suit with below the knee hemlines. They love the military works and prefer navy suits with gold buttons Many of the are secret fetishists who hide kinky costumes in their closets

Cancers are fond of loose comfortable casual wear and often hide their bodies behind overly large men’s shirts and black tights. For fancy events, they tend to rely on that old stand-by such as the little black cocktail dress.

They love to collect costume jewelry and their ears, wrists and fingers will often boasts ‘bling blings such as stacks of Indian bangles, large pearl rings, charm bracelets, and cubic zirconias.


This vain drama queens love to dress up for the purpose of being admired by all. They have exquisite and expensive tastes in clothing and lust after items created by Prada, Chanel, and Ungaro. Their desire to “not be a sheep” compels them to add a personal twist to an outfit to make it their own. It is a Lioness who dares to pair a diamond tiara with jeans and a T-shirt.

These unconventional, confident females often ignore dress codes and wear what they want to work. They spice up their power suits by shortening the hem or wearing fishnet stockings and high heels.

The sexy Leo often prefer mini-skirts to any kind of trousers. For more formal events they like to wear long flowing robes in colors such as of gold, silver red and orange that make them look like the resident goddesses. Their closets are often filled with designer sportswear, including the latest walking, golf and tennis shoes.

Being a very materialistic sign, a Tiger female considers diamonds to be a girl’s best friend along with rubies, emeralds and sapphires set in sunny hunks of solid gold.


Blessed with an excellent fashion sense, Virgos are adept at mixing individual pieces together to create a strong, attractive personal statement. Energetic Virgins tend to store their large wardrobe in perfectly organized closets that are full of classic items such as open-toed sling backs, patent leather kitten-heels, crisp white blouses, navy suits, black cocktail dresses, tennis skirts, khaki shorts, kilts, flowing gowns and well fitting jeans.

At work they prefer well-tailored, conservative suits in shades of silver, white, pink, grey or lavender Finicky Virgins would also never be caught dead with a missing button or a hole in their stocking. Although female Virgins are killer sharks when it comes to business, they like to soften the image of their power suits by adding delicate feminine touches such as a lace hankie, a flower or a chiffon scarf.

They also like to collect state of the art accessories such as tortoise shell clips for their hair, diamond earrings, pearl studs, black leather belts with distinctive buckles, silver conch belts, silver clutch purses, gold lame clutches and functional back-packs.

They consider displays of wealth to be tacky and tend to wear watches with thin gold straps, tiny chains and demure diamond tennis bracelets.


Venus rules sensual Libra natives, so they are very tactile. Their sense of touch has a lot to do with how they choose clothing, and they prefer silks and cottons to scratchy wools. Librans can be surprisingly finicky about clothing, and they are the first to visit a tailor if the cut of a suit or a dress is not quite right. This sign loves balance and beauty and believe that clothing should perfectly compliment the figure.

At work, power-dressing Librans will choose sleek, tailored suits in jewel-tones or slimming black. They are not much for frills or an excess of jewelery and prefer to sport gold hoops or simple pearl studs as earrings.

For relaxing, they prefer well-fitting casual clothing in their favorite colors, pink and black. Librans love Capri pants and similar items that are sexy as well as practical.

For an evening out, simplicity is the key to the Libran style. They either prefer tight clothing, such as the little black Lycra dress or they will dress in a theme that subtly reminds you of another era, such as the 1970s or the 1950s. Librans have a delicate sense of balance so they prefer flat heels to high heels. When it comes to looking fashionable, they definitely believe, like Jackie O, Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn that “less is more.”


When it comes to style Scorpio women they are ruled by their moods. If they are depressed they are the sign voted most likely to dress head-toe in black to let others know their state of mind. However, despite the fact that their hearts often rule their heads, these females also believe that one should be poised at all time.

At the office they like to “dress to intimidate” in strong primary colors. Many of them will add a sexy touch to a conservative outfit, by unbuttoning a blouse to expose cleavage or a donning sexy high-heels.

Scorpio women live to socialize and their closets are stacked with scores of little black dresses, chiffon blouses, cashmere sweaters and sequined tops. They also love the sweeping drama of a velvet cape for formal occasions. Red and black leather is a favorite and many own stylish jackets; tight pants and long coats made from the finest bovines. As they are very sexual, they also like to dress provocatively, yet tastefully.

As the mystical matters entrance them they will often also adorn themselves with, healing gems and protective amulets such as ankhs, crucifixes and five-pointed stars.


Fashion plays a role in the charming Archer’s plan to always present a youthful, and carefree appearance. Female Archers pick items that make them feel sexy and comfortable. They prefer loose clothing to tightly tailored outfits and the hunter inside them is also fond of real and faux fur.

At the office the Sagittarian is likely to be dresses a in her favorite shades of brown, dark blue red and emerald green. As they are usually very busy, they prefer a fuzzy sweater with a shirtdress or a pantsuit that features many pockets so they have many places to stash their “stuff”.

For casual wear, easy-going Archers prefer versatile cotton pieces in bright colors that are as sunny as their positive disposition. Many of them are also very eccentric and love to collect vintage clothes such as Russian fur muffs, high-collared satin Mandarin jackets and retro-50s cocktail dresses. For more formal events they prefer sleek cocktail dresses and bias cut ball gowns that are reminiscent of the style of Audrey Hepburn.

They love precious gems, but are more inclined to wear a precious gift or a family memento as opposed to a flashy rock. They also emphasize their individuality by hosting a cupboard full of hats perfect for any occasion.


Capricorns are blessed them with natural good taste and an eye for quality and durability. They tend to purchase timeless individual pieces and prefer well-tailored, conservative items in colors such as rose, grey, navy blue, sky blue and camel. This sometimes self-conscious sing prefers long sleeves to short sleeves and high collars to plunging cleavages. They also like vintage clothing, as long as it is in pristine condition.

Capable Capricorns like to add delicate feminine touches to power suits such as diamond earrings or an antique pin.

Female Cappies, often boast perfectly organized closets filled with classic items such as open-toed slingbacks, patent leather purses, crisp white blouses, navy suits, black cocktail dresses and well fitting jeans. They also treasure hair accessories such as tortoise shell clips and satin bows.

They love gemstones, in all colors of the rainbow, but would most value a classic piece such as a diamond tennis bracelet, an antique cameo or a pendant that sports their initials


These graceful, thoughtful and sensitive creatures are very concerned about what others think of them. They tend to choose clothes that make a strong, expressive personal statement. They love brilliant tones of purple, gold, sky-blue, ruby-red and emerald green.

At work Aquarian females tend to dress slightly more eccentrically than their colleagues. They are fond of patterns, plaids and pinstripes as well as unusual fabrics such as herringbone, tweed, seersucker and poplin. They have a jaunty sense of style, and often perk up an outfit by sporting a beret, a bright hair band or a large and funky piece of costume jewelry.

They detest extravagance and love to shop for clothes at flea markets, vintage shops and retail outlets. They are attracted to one-of-a-kind items such as hand-knit sweaters and caps and crocheted ponchos and shawls. Yet, at the same time they love the feel and tight-fit of Lycra and futuristic polyester blends. Sometimes they can seem very “space-age” in their streamlined, zippered black suits. For a night out, a female Aquarian will choose unusual pieces, such as a white sequined skirt, purple cowboy or a top made of a glittering mesh of gold chains.

Aquarians love jewelry that has an antique or futuristic look and tend to purchase unusual or one of a kind pieces to compliment their eccentric outfits.


These very feminine, delicate and sensitive creatures tend to choose sensuous items that appeal to their idealistic sense of romance. They love the “girlyness” of the pastel colors and the tactile allure of silk, velvet and satin fabrics.

At the office they will often sport higher hemlines and lower cut blouses. For casual wear, blouses boasting voluminous ruffles, tight-fitting shirts with lace trim and sensuous cashmere sweaters. They are also very athletic and like to go camping, fishing and hiking, so their closets often overflowing with sports gear, tennis shoes, golf shoes and equestrian wear. They also like long flowing chiffon gowns that make them appear like a goddess at formal events.

As the sea rules this sign they are partial to jewelry made from coral, seashell, pearl and mother-of-pearl. However, as they are very nostalgic and often religious, they are more likely to wear a gift from a lover or a family heirloom as a favored peace of jewelry. As Pisces is the sign that represents the 2000-year epoch of the rule of the Christians, they are also fond of wearing religious jewelry such as antique Roman coins, and medallions of the Saints.

Source by Samantha Stevens

Sports and Hobbies in Portugal

Called The Beautiful Game, the Portuguese are ardent futebol fans. From club matches to the national team, everyone has a favorite player and team that they follow with great devotion.


The game requires speed, dexterity, endurance and strategy. Portugal’s Cristiano Renaldo is arguably the best player in the world and José Marinho is widely recognized as a gifted manager.

For pro players, making the national team is the pinnacle of success. Many professional footballers play internationally for other teams; for example Renaldo plays for Real Madrid. As qualifying for the quadrennial World Cup approaches, players are named for the national team. Below the national team is club play. Premeira Liga, with 14 teams, is the premier league and the Segunda Ligafields 22 teams.

Every town and region has a host of amateur leagues, as well as college and school teams ranging from five-a-side to full teams. Naturally you can find a group of kids (or adults) kicking the ball around wherever there’s a bit of open space.


Futsal, 5-a-side indoor football, is played on a hard surface. There are several leagues divided into divisions. 1a Divisão is the top league.

All the rest

  • Athletics: Portugal has a number of top long-distance runners and has done well at recent Olympic Games in London and Beijing; there are also a number of top cross-country runners from Portugal
  • Canoeing: Portugal has many top Olympians in this sport; kayaking and canoeing are popular sports for tourists and locals alike
  • Cycling: Volta a Portugal is the annual professional long-distance race; cycling tours and mountain bike trails are widely available in all regions
  • Martial arts: Jogo do Pau is a traditional stick fighting martial art dating from the Middle Ages (fencing and judo are also popular)
  • Motorsports: Rallying, motorcycle racing and A1 Grand Prix are popular spectator sports with some races (Rally Madeira and Lisboa-Dakar) receiving international attention
  • Bullfights: Portuguese bullfights differ in style from the Spanish customs, notably the bull is not killed in the ring; running with the bulls, as in Pamplona, Spain, is popular in the Azores
  • Golf: the Algarve has great courses and many of Portugal’s top pros play in the region
  • Airsoft: known as paint ball in the U.S., the game is popular around the country
  • Watersports: surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing are all popular, especially in the Algarve
  • Portugal is considered to have some of the best waves in Europe, most notably around the central coastal town of Peniche. Recently, the largest wave ever surfed was recorded in Nazaré, about 30 minutes north of Peniche.



Portugal’s traditional needlework and fiber arts began in nunneries and as cottage industries. The fine linens, rugs, lacework provided a livelihood for many families and grew to be celebrated for craftsmanship. Portuguese textiles are well known the world over.

  • Embroidery: Portuguese embroidery is highly sought after with its intricate stiches and rich colors; styles vary by region, with the best known examples coming from Madeira and Castelo Branco; white embroidery (white thread on white cloth) is also popular with modern needle workers
  • Rug making/tapestry: Arraiolos in southern Portugal is famous for its pure wool carpets; designs are similar in motif and style to Persian rugs; Portalegre is well known for its finely detailed tapestry with as many as 25,000 stitches per square meter
  • Knitting: Portuguese knitting is popular with knitters everywhere; also known as continental knitting
  • Crocheting/lacemaking: fine thread crochet lace and bobbin lace making developed as another way to make ends meet in poorer families; well known styles include secret, love secret and Loulé lace
  • Weaving: the region of Serra da Estrela is well known for its thick, dense waterproof blankets (mantas); 100% wool, the blankets are dye and chemical free

Folk dancing

Traditional Portuguese folk dances, typically slower-paced than those of their Spanish neighbors, reflect the courtship and marriage customs of their native regions. Well-known dances include: fandango, vira, corrinhdo, chula and viranda. To dance well, time, practice, stamina and instruction are needed.

Source by James E Harrison

Swimming and Candida

Whether you have a vaginal yeast infection, a problem with oral thrush or a general feeling of malaise due to a suspected overgrowth of candida albicans, you can benefit from the knowledge of natural ways to fight candida.

Many things do positive things for your body and in terms of yeast infection; swimming might be thought of as a gray area. While we know exercise is something that can help fight candida and that being sedentary can help them thrive, you might be wondering about yeast and swimming and specifically swimming in a public or chlorinated pool. This article addresses that issue.

Swimming and Candida

You might think that having a yeast infection means you cannot do certain things you enjoy such as exercising and swimming. If you’re feeling lousy with the symptoms of this illness you might not feel like doing anything but resting until it passes but activity can not only help you recover but it can help you reduce the likelihood of getting yeast infections at all. Exercise can actually help you by putting your body in a better position to fight off the candida.

While some are concerned about being submerged in chlorine and how that throws off the balance in the vaginal area, if you are doing all the right things with respect to following a candida diet, the benefits of exercise with swimming can be helpful.

Is Candida Contagious?

Some people are concerned that if they go swimming, they’ll either aggravate their infection or pass it on to others. You cannot catch candida infections from another person by swimming in the same water and if you are suffering from it, swimming in a public pool will not pass your infection onto someone else swimming in that pool.

Swimming and various exercises can actually be helpful in fighting candida. Not only does the bacteria not thrive in a healthy body but they can’t populate well in the presence of an alkaline state and by swimming and doing other exercises, you will be oxygenating your body and increasing your immune system’s functions to fight off bacteria overgrowth.

Caution Regarding Yeast and Swimsuits

It’s important to be aware that there is an aspect of swimming that you should be careful of beyond the fact that chlorine can alter the pH of the vaginal area. It’s well known that keeping the area moist and damp can increase candida populations. When swimming, be sure to dry the body well promptly afterwards. Excessive moisture can aggravate symptoms and create a great breeding ground for yeast.

In terms of naturally fighting yeast, beyond exercising, you need the right food in your diet. There are candida based diet and lifestyle plans that help to create a harmonious level of bacteria in the body. Our bodies has many types of flora that have distinct jobs and the right nutrition, the right amount of rest and a healthy body will all contribute to a scenario that lets the good bacteria flourish and keep the harmful ones at bay.

Source by Matthew Bredel

5 Reasons to Avoid Algaecides in Your Pond

Here’s a situation that pond owners run into time and time again-we’ll use Dan as our example. Dan loves the pond on his property; he loves to look out over the fish swimming around, frogs leaping into the water from the edge, and birds fly in to rest.

With the best interests of his pond in mind, and hoping to get rid of a little excess algae, he contracts a ‘pond company’ manage his pond. When the company arrives for their first ‘treatment, ‘ Dan walks out to observe and is surprised by what he sees-two men wearing protective suits, gloves, and a mask are navigating a boat around his pond, spraying an unnaturally deep blue liquid all across the surface.

When Dan inquires about what they’re spraying, they respond with “copper sulfate, it’s a chemical algaecide.” Concerned about his pond and the wildlife living in it, Dan then asks if it’s safe, prompting the pond company to respond, “uhh sure, it’s perfectly safe…”

Dan then asks the next logical question, “then why are you both wearing hazmat suits?”

Encounters like this are leading pond owners nationwide to give up use of harsh chemicals to manage their pond. Just like Dan, they are gaining the awareness that chemical treatments are not really ‘treating’ at all-they are actually devastating your pond’s natural ecosystem. And this is only one of many reasons why pond owners are avoiding algaecides:

1. Algaecides Cost You a Bunch of Money:

a. Algaecides themselves are costly, costing as much as 80% more than safe, environmentally friendly alternatives. Not only are they expensive, but many states also require algaecides to be applied by a licensed technician because they are so dangerous.

So, in addition to paying for expensive chemicals, you also have to pay for a professional to apply them roughly every two weeks. Pond owners sometimes pay thousands and thousands of dollars to control algae, unaware that cheaper, more environmentally friendly options exist.

2. You Can Never Stop Using Algaecides:

a. In order for algaecide to be effective, it must be in your pond in a specific concentration that is tough to maintain. Algaecides are weakened as water flows in and out of your pond, and they also leach into and accumulate in the soil.

If you want to maintain algae prevention, you can never stop applying the chemical. Unless you use a eco-friendly pond management alternative, quitting use of algaecides will lead to much larger algae blooms than you began with, because:

3. Algaecides Don’t Treat the Causes of Algae in Your Pond:

a. Algae require nutrients to grow, just like we need food, and these nutrients are constantly flowing into your pond from the surrounding environment. If you take care of these nutrients, you get rid of the algae. Algaecides do nothing to affect the nutrient, as they only treat the visible symptoms of the overall problem by killing the algae itself.

This algae, in turn, sinks to the bottom of your pond and decays, releasing its nutrient to fuel even larger algae blooms in the future. The more algae you kill with chemicals, the more decaying matter will build up in your pond-sometimes leading to the need to dredge (remove sludge) at a huge expense. Not only that, but as the algae decays it sucks the oxygen out of the water, potentially leading to severe fish kills.

4. Algaecides are Extremely Toxic to Your Health:

a. Copper sulfate is readily absorbed through the skin, and has been classified by the EPA as being in toxicity class I – highly toxic -requiring the signal words “DANGER – POISON” on its container. According to the Extension Toxicology Network, accidental ingestion just gram quantities of copper sulfate can lead to some very nasty and deadly effects. Having such hazardous chemicals sprayed onto your property is an absolutely unnecessary risk.

5. Algaecides Damage Both Your Pond and its Surrounding Environment:

a. Algaecides upset the natural balance of the water body: phytoplankton, the base of the food chain, are greatly reduced and no longer support small aquatic life; sediment-dwelling insects are killed by the accumulating poison; and plants, serving as both fish food and habitat, are killed by algaecide’s photosynthesis disruption.

After your pond’s ecosystem has been debilitated, the highly water-soluble algaecide is flushed out during a rain event, becoming a hazard for downstream organisms. This can stress and sometimes be lethal to many types of fish, and can negatively affect animals that drink the water by bioaccumulating in their heart, liver, brain, kidneys, and muscles.

These terrible consequences are leading governmental bodies to consider banning on algaecide use. The City of Naples, Florida has banned copper sulfate because it heavily pollutes Naples Bay, and the European Union has considered prohibiting its use because it is “not compatible with sustainable ecosystems.”

Source by Braden Galbreath-O’Leary

Betta Fish Swollen Eye – Causes and Cures For Betta Fish Swollen Eye Syndrome

A common bacterial infection that afflicts betta fish, swollen eye syndrome, also commonly referred to as “pop-eye”, can be a symptom of a more serious internal problem. Basically, it is caused by the accumulation of fluid either in the eye or behind the eye, in the socket, which cause the eye to bulge out. Among the many causes of betta fish swollen eye include:

– Bacterial infections

– Viruses

– Parasites

– Water nitrogen supersaturation (gas bubble disease)

– Poor water quality

– Tumors

– Internal (metabolic) disorders

– Nutritional deficiencies

To cure the infection:

1. Isolate your fish if in a community tank.

2. Thoroughly clean out your fish’s tank, replace the plants and rocks if they are deteriorating.

3. Raise the water temperature to 82 degrees. This helps your fish’s immune system.

4. Try giving your fish antibiotics. Two you can try include Kanacyn by Aquatronics and Maracyn 2 by Mardel.

5. Make sure you are using a good quality aquarium salt as this helps “wash” the eyes.

Fortunately, betta fish swollen eye is curable with a little bit of effort, within a few days.

The worst mistake would be to simply “wait it out” to see if the problem goes away by itself. If you see obvious signs of a swollen eye, make sure you take action right away.

If left untreated, your betta fish could go blind. Worse yet, the infected eye could bulge out to the point where it literally falls out of its socket completely!

Source by Erica Bowman