Monday, 21 July 2014

Review Of The Ultimate World Of Warcraft Strategy Guide



If you become involved in the World of Warcraft, you will soon realize how much there is to learn. The game offers so many quests that it can become difficult to remain on the right path. This ultimate World of Warcraft strategy guide will allow you to move through the levels very easily and quickly.
All that you need to do is follow the instructions provided and you will soon be at the maximum level. It is unnecessary for you to figure out the quests on your own. Some users of the guide have managed to move up to the maximum level within five days, but that of course depends on how many hours you spend on the game.

How does it Work?
The ultimate World of Warcraft strategy guide is an in-game guide. All you need to do is use the easy installation process to get the software on to your computer. Once this is completed, the guide takes over and will direct you through your game with ease. This is a wonderful facility to have because it is no longer necessary for you to tab in and out of your game to read the instructions.

What does it Offer?
The guide gives you information on how to complete your quests successfully, but it also offers you other facilities, such as:
· Directing you to the exact zone based on your level of play
· Showing you who you need to speak to next during the task
· Revealing the quickest route to level up once you are ready to get started
· Updating, in the event that you want to change your zones, play with your friends or if you want to jump over quests
The guide abounds in content. It does not only offer you ways to level up, but allows you to view the game from a different angle. It also offers the brand new Loremaster Guide, along with the usual leveling guide. This gives you the chance to complete all the quests in the game which ultimately unlocks the rare achievement of Loremaster.
If you activate the 'dungeon mode', you will be able to level up from one to 85 by doing dungeons only. The program will show you how you can collect all the quests for a particular dungeon on the outside, which will allow you to increase your experience points.
You will still have plenty to do with this guide even after you reach level 85.
The ultimate World of Warcraft strategy guide will allow you a swift ride to level 85, while dominating your opponents.

Tim Pitts writes for his website http://www.wowguideworld.com which has lot's more helpful and fantastic insights for avid World of Warcraft fans.

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Game Review: Madden 25



Madden 25 is a new addition to the franchise of entertaining sports in the electronic arts entity. It is a game that gives sports enthusiasts a chance to immerse themselves in a world that allows them to be NFL stars. It ushers in the next generation of sports games that have the ability to deliver ten times more detail compared to any other game in the franchise's 25 year history. Every step of the game is calculated in order to showcase the most realistic player movement ever. It also features sidelines that are rich in commentary and thunderous crowds.

Madden 25 has been designed to deliver a real-time physics to make sure that no two players will ever be exactly the same. This is made possible by a powerful new infinity engine that was also in the development of Madden 13, but it has been equipped with improvements in gameplay as well as social functionality. You will not just get a chance to play as an NFL star, but you can also play as coach. You can also build your own franchise. Another thing you will like about this game is that the roaster includes retired players as well as coaches. NLF fans are able to invoke nostalgia by bringing stars that used to play in the past.

Where tactics are concerned in the game, there is a bit of diversity. Players are not subject to a specific subject of rules. They are allowed to mix things up a bit. The game is also available on all current generation consoles as well as PCs. The Xbox 360 Version of the game is compatible with Kinect. The presentation that has been used in this game is more similar to that used in natural television broadcasts. The commentary audio is quite realistic as well as lively as it can be.
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Friday, 18 July 2014

Game Review: Need for Speed Rivals




NFS Rivals is a game that was developed by Ghost games. It features a combination of hot pursuit's cops-versus-racer and the Most Wanted's freeform gameplay. Rivals' setting is in the fictional Redview County that has the most diverse geography one can imagine of. It allows you to take the car in lurched vineyards and parched deserts, snowy mountain passes as well as upmarket seaside promenades. It is a game that provides you with a different pace if you had a chance to experience the Most Wanted's urban sprawl.

NFS Rivals is without doubt a very addictive game. Every career is divided into chapters and every chapter allows you to move through the cop or racer ranks by completing several to do list of objectives. But it is also a tradeoff since the Redview's winding roads allow you to have some truly operatic chases that go on for many miles. The roads are best suited for drifting as well as pushing fast cars to their limits, for instance Hot Pursuit, rather than hiding like it is done in the Most Wanted.
Every stretch of the road has its own challenges, including time trials and standard races, different cars to shut down as well as records to smash. It is a fantastically pretty game that can be played on your PC or next-gen console. The cars look really brilliant, close to photorealistic. Weather effects are also impressive. Sun, rain, snow and the time of the day usually have an effect on the look of the game. The game will be more fun once you get master its weapons, unlock more of its cars and also become well acquainted with the map. The garage has many high-powered cars ranging from Ferraris to Aston Martins. Handling them is fun, accessible and responsive. Even if you are a newcomer, you can still be able to slide tight corners with just a little practice.

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Infamous: Second Son



Infamous Second Son is an open world adventure game released exclusively for the PlayStation 4. Developed by the long time Sony exclusive studio Sucker Punch Productions, Second Son is the third game in the Infamous series. The first two games focused on Cole MacGrath, a super powered human called a Conduit that had the ability to wield electricity as a weapon. If you played Cole as a hero (which Second Son assumes that you did), the climax of Infamous 2 culminated in MacGrath sacrificing himself, laying down his life for the greater good. Set seven years after those fateful events, Infamous: Second Son introduces new protagonist Delsin Rowe, along with all new power sets, and a Seattle that's under siege by a government agency called the Department of Unified Protection, or the DUP, an agency tasked with controlling Conduits in an effort to protect the rest of humanity.

Having essentially established martial law in the city of Seattle, the DUP's influence can be seen everywhere from the unmanned drones and numerous cameras watching over the population, to the constant APC patrols and frequent biometric checkpoints ferreting out Conduits (or bio-terrorists, as the DUP's propaganda labels them) that are trying to blend in with the general population. The Department is run by Brooke Augustine, herself a Conduit with the ability to control concrete, a power she uses to ruthlessly and efficiently hunt down her fellow Conduits and incarcerate them. Delsin Rowe, the resident black sheep of a nearby Akomish Native American reservation, discovers that he too is a Conduit when he comes into physical contact with a DUP prison escapee that has the power to control smoke. Now on the run himself, Delsin is propelled into a struggle to free his city and heal his tribe, most of whom have been mortally wounded by Augustine in her effort to locate and bring down Rowe.

Thinking the best defense is a good offense, Rowe decides to stand up to the DUP and the megalomaniac Augustine. Using his newfound powers, and his knack for inflammatory anti-DUP graffiti, Delsin chips away at the Department's hold on the city's districts by any means possible. As he liberates Seattle's neighborhoods one by one, Delsin's path leads him inexorably on towards an ultimate confrontation with the DUP and Augustine herself. Luckily he is not alone, and with the help of his long-suffering brother Reggie, and perhaps a couple new Conduit powers borrowed from other 'bio-terrorists' rumored to be hiding out within the Seattle city limits, Delsin Rowe just might stand a chance against the overwhelming odds stacked against him.
Infamous Second Son is a truly gorgeous game, and while I haven't had extensive experience with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One consoles, I can say Second Son is one of the first games on the new hardware that truly shouts 'next-gen' to me. It truly looks and feels like something the PS3 or Xbox 360 would not be able to duplicate. While this is in part due to the game's graphics, leaving it at that would not tell the whole story. Sure, the cutscenes are beautifully rendered, but the voice acting is also spot on. The controls are tight and responsive, making use of the Dualshock 4 controller's touch pad frequently, but without making it feel overly awkward or forced. The game's script itself is also strong, with only a few predictable moments and bits of hokey dialog peppered throughout. The city itself is likely not as detailed as what we'll be seeing on the PS4 in a year or two, but it is beautifully lit with some outstanding lighting effects that take full advantage of Seattle's generally damp conditions and the numerous neon signs scattered throughout Sucker Punch Productions' iteration of the city.

All in all Infamous Second Son is a great game, and feels like a thoroughly play tested, high quality experience. Likely it will be looked back upon as one of the first titles to push the envelope of this most recent hardware cycle. If you're a fan of third person adventure games with open world's to explore a la Assassin's Creed III, and Saint's Row IV, you owe it to yourself to check out Infamous Second Son today. It is a solid gaming experience overall, and one of the first truly outstanding games to reveal itself here in the infancy of the PlayStation 4. Look for it at your local Slackers today!
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Thursday, 17 July 2014

E3 2014 Sony Highlights



E3 2014 was a big year for Nintendo, Microsoft but especially Sony. This year like last year Sony outdid Microsoft by a slight margin. While the main focus of Sony was games, they also debut some interesting new services such as PlayStation TV and PlayStation Now. PlayStation TV is a cross between a gaming console and media streaming console. It allows gamers to not have to buy another console to stream and play on another TV, as well as stream amazon Instant Video and Netflix.
PlayStation Now was shown off at E3 and is a game streaming service allowing gamers to play PlayStation 3 and other PlayStation titles on their PlayStation 4. This is to cater to the gamers that want to play older PlayStation titles since PlayStation 4 can't play PlayStation 3 or past generation games.
Project Morpheus was also shown off and playable at the E3 event. Although it was still in the prototype phase, it looks like a serious console exclusive that might rival the Oculus Rift. Project Morpheus allows you to put yourself inside the game, with Project Morpheus tracking your every head movement and changing the perspective accordingly.
Of course the big part of Sony's showing at E3 2014 were the games. Little Big Planet was shown off with cooperative play being a big part of the experience. Little Big Planet is an interesting side scrolling, puzzle solving, platformer in which you play as little sock people essentially and the past two titles have been big hits.

DLC from past games as well as levels created in past games are playable on the latest Little Big Planet as well.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was also shown off, being set several years after the last one. After retiring as a fortunate hunter, Nathan Drake will embark on his biggest adventure yet. He sets out on a globe spanning journey, looking to find fabled pirate treasure. The game is set around a historical conspiracy and is his greatest adventure yet which will test Nathan Drake's limits.
Bloodborne is another exciting game being developed by the creators of Dark Souls I and II, and coming to PlayStation 4 exclusively. Bloodborne is set in an ancient city of Yharnam, which many travelers take a pilgrimage to for a remedy to cure their afflictions. The protagonist you play is an adventurer in search of this cure but upon coming to the city finds that a curse has fallen upon the city and driven the city's population violent and insane. You must look for the cure while fighting off the insane population of the city of Yharnam.
A remastered release of The Last of Us is also coming to the PlayStation 4, with all DLC included.
Check out my HubPage on the best games of E3 2014 here at: http://jheldt.hubpages.com/hub/Best-Games-of-2014s-E3-Expo Also check out my blog on entertainment and gaming at: http://www.razrgaming.blogspot.com



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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Why 3D Games Have Become Increasingly Popular


Many people today are trying to look for ways to entertain themselves through games. The recent rise in popularity of online 3D games is overwhelming. Many people are using their spare time engaging in these games, which are highly entertaining. As a result, many developers are creating different varieties to curb the overgrowing worldwide population venturing into 3D gaming every single day. Some of the reasons why these games are becoming increasingly popular are as follows:
Great graphics and sound effects
Thanks to the development in the field of technology, many developers are able to make great ones that have great visual display. Some of them look very real and the sound quality and flow has been greatly been improved when compared to the previous games. The three-dimensional effect makes them more appealing and attractive to the players. This enables one to enjoy them, thanks to the great graphics and sound effects.
Accessibility
Simply by owning a personal computer or visiting a cyber café, you can indulge in these games. Many companies are also creating great ones that are compatible with the wide range of smartphones hence easily accessible. Furthermore, many companies are not selling theirs, but you may have to make a few online purchases on some instances.

Variety
The wide variety of the games has been a dominant factor in the overwhelming indulgence of the game. From football, car-racing, farming and games fit for the female gender, the plate is big enough for anyone no matter the preference and taste.
Various opponents
Since these games are readily available in many countries, throughout your playing time, you can be able to meet opponents from many parts of the world with various strengths and experience. With time, the players are motivated to meet various opponents and judge how well they can play the games.
Affordable
Since most of these games are freely offered online by the various manufacturers, they are easily available to many people who are interested without having to pay huge amounts of money to acquire them.
Playability
The fact that most of these games are easy to play and learning may take very little time has influenced their wide popularity. Many people learn how to play the games every single day and love the experience.
Hence, some of the reasons why 3D games are popular are their accessibility, their availability and the ease with which people learn to play the game.
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Amazing Spider-Man 2


If you knew anything about me, you would probably note that I'm a massive Spider-Man fan. I have various posters around my room, multiple ticket stubs from the Marvel movies and heck, I'm even drinking out of a Spider-Man cup right now. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to play Beenox's latest Spider-Man game, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the Xbox One. Usually, I'm apprehensive about playing a movie tie-in game, but he's my favorite hero. Even if it's an average game I should be able to look past its faults, right? After playing the fairly short campaign, I have to say this Xbox One iteration of the web-slinger should have been squashed.
When you first stumble into the game world, the opening sequence is a recap of Uncle Ben's death from the first film. Of course, it may be hard to recognize who the characters are just because of how different they look to the source material. Here, Peter Parker looks more like Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, especially with the jacket they've got him wearing. The opening scene is total filler and doesn't add anything to the overall story.

Speaking of the story, it's a complete mess. I understand that it's a movie tie-in, and the developers might not get the full script from the accompanying film, but at the end of the day the plot here is just too hard to follow. The movie itself is already busy, but when the game adds their own villains from the comics into the movie, the main antagonists from the film get put on the back-burner.

My main beef with the primary storyline followed by the game, is that it completely omits Gwen Stacy from the entire experience. Gwen is Peter Parker's greatest ally, and in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 film she plays a massive role. I don't understand why we needed Uncle Ben, who isn't even in the movie, more than we needed Gwen Stacy. Just a bit of a head scratcher there, but one of the many problems with the convoluted story.
Once you get use to the scrambled plot, you'll take notice how funny the dialogue is. This isn't a good thing unfortunately. What I mean is that the dialogue could have been written by a four year old. My favorite exchange is when Peter Parker first meets the dangerous hunter Kraven in his swank New York apartment. Kraven explains how he wrestled a grown tiger and how much it angers him to see the endangered animals hunted and killed. All the while, directly behind Kraven there is a tiger pelt adorning his couch.

Thankfully, the gameplay itself isn't as hopeless. Spider-Man moves with incredible agility and web-slinging is now mapped to both the left and right triggers. There are minor issues such as the need to be pin-point accurate while traveling, but the game's 'Web Rush' mode helps with that. The city feels more alive than in the previous Spidey games but it's still ultimately a poor man's GTA. Honestly, the most fun I had with the game wasn't the combat, it was simply just swinging from one side of the city to another.

When the fisticuffs finally start happening, you'll notice just how clunky the entire combat system actually is. With Amazing Spider-Man 2, Beenox tries to copy the outstanding melee combat of Rocksteady's Batman titles. What you'll get here is sloppy, broken, glitch-filled anarchy. I was fighting the camera harder than I fought any of the bad guys. Even with the clunky viewpoints and the floaty combat, the game was never challenging. Throughout the short six hour campaign, I managed to die only once and that's because the batteries in my controller died.
When you're not busy fighting random gang members on the street, you'll have some of the web-slinger's most famous adversaries to contend with. During the boss fights, you'll rarely have anything to worry about with their mechanics. It boils down to mostly dodge the incoming assault, then mash on the attack button until you win. Granted, like Arkham City, once you defeat a boss you'll unlock new equipment for your hero. Ionic webbing and seismic blasts to be exact, both skills are just ways to defeat the cannon fodder later in the game and both are incredibly lame.
If the story and the combat wasn't enough to make you turn off your console, the atrocious visuals within the game might. While playing through the game on the Xbox One, I felt that this game was more on par with a PlayStation 2 launch title. Mouths move out of sync, clothes have less pixels than Pong and the environment looks something out of Rampage on the Nintendo 64. Visuals usually won't make a game great, but when the other aspects of this title are so bad, the muddled graphics pile onto the rest of the problems and the result is a game that is, in a word, garbage. The first Amazing Spider-Man game that came out in 2012 looks better than this game running on Xbox One!

As I previously stated before, this game is a movie tie-in and we can't expect GOTY material from it, but with an asking price of 60 dollars, I can't find any reason to justify the price. The only positive thing I could say about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is that the game does include a bunch of unlockable costumes for Spider-Man and there is quite the diverse selection. With developer Beenox only making one actual serviceable Spider-Man game, it may be time for someone else to take the helm. Stay away from this Xbox One title.

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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze





Nintendo has quite the selection of marquee characters from Mario, Link, Yoshi, and Samus but most people forget about poor Donkey Kong. Even Luigi had his own year in 2013! It's a shame because the Donkey Kong franchise has had some of the best Nintendo titles in the past 20 years. With Nintendo's new title in the DK Country series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, we have one of the best titles for the Wii U to date.

When the action first hits, Donkey Kong and his other gorilla family members are celebrating the big guy's birthday. Like any good action game, nothing goes according to plan. Poor Donkey Kong's birthday festivities are ruined by the Snowmads who make the tropical island freeze over. Not exactly thrilling by any sort of the imagination, but the reactions of the Kong family are priceless.

Donkey Kong and his family try to reclaim their home island and fix the icy escalation and bring their tropical paradise back to normal. Throughout the game, Donkey Kong travels to all the areas of the world and from my experience all the worlds are refreshing and unique from one another. You might be playing on an island on one stage then hop to a desert in another. The classic level variety in Mario games is present in 'Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze". The game makes the player want to see the next adventure.

While you're trying to bumble and thrash you way through the story, you'll notice how simple but exceedingly challenging this game really is. Just like the Mario franchise, Donkey Kong has a limited number of moves available to him. You're allowed to jump on enemies like the famous plumber and partake in thrilling platforming challenges, there's a roll-attack that will finish off enemies, and the lovely brute is surprisingly nimble once he climbs on branches and vines. They all sound simple but the game provides a brutal way of forcing you to master Donkey Kong's abilities.


The huge difficulty spike could really dampen skilled platformer player's spirits along with younger gamers. The game forces you to have pin-point accuracy no matter what you're doing. Whether it's jumping on a baddies head to extinguish him or timing your vine swings perfectly to avoid an obstacle. The game never lets up, but when you do manage to complete the task that's been giving yourself trouble, there's hardly a more rewarding experience in gaming. It's not Dark Souls II level of frustration but its close.

Along with the difficult jumping, swinging and rolling gameplay of Donkey Kong, you'll have opportunities to call in his family members. Just like the SNES classic Donkey Kong Country, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong and even the wise Cranky Kong will join the adventure. Diddy Kong will assist your vertical hang time with his jetpack, Dixie will allow you to stay in the air longer with her pigtails. My personal favorite is Cranky Kong, who will allow you to bounce higher and longer with his Ducktales style cane maneuvers. They will only assist Donkey Kong during certain portions of the game and you'll have to free them from their barrels, but the opportunities are frequent.

You'll need your allies for the game's outstanding boss fights too. Just like any classic Nintendo first party game, you'll have multiple stages of the encounter. For example, one that gave me tremendous trouble was the gigantic owl, who would send razor sharp feathers down on Donkey Kong and his family. There was just so much going on during the fight that every button press was a matter of life and death. I haven't had this much trouble (or fun) in a game in quite some time. The sense of accomplishment was better than any achievement or trophy unlock from other systems.

One aspect of this game that didn't quite shine as well as other Nintendo platformers was the co-op. My friends and I just didn't see eye to eye when it came to jumping, fighting or simple puzzle solving. When we were in a boss encounter, it was more successful to just shut off one of the controllers and let one person handle it. There's just too much action on-screen and the game simply plays better with one person. Still though, the multiplayer option is always there in case you have a curious on-looker who wants to see what the fuss is about.

Games from this generation are too easy, it's great to see a game like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze actually challenge players. Even for younger gamers, once they beat a portion by themselves, there won't be a greater reward. Though, it would've been nice to have actual unlockable characters to work for. The Wii U is in desperate need of great games and with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze it's found one. This is one of those most own games for any type of gamer, and if you can resist breaking the controller you're in for one rewarding experience.

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How To Handle Your Spouse's Facebook Game Addiction



There is no denying that social media is a boon. Right from keeping in touch with long- lost friends and relatives to doing business in a better and brisker way, it's all possible on Facebook today. But the biggest thing that makes this social media platform so popular today is that it offers many games. The games on Facebook are just so addictive that people are making big money on just promoting games on this platform. The gaming experience for people is getting more and more exciting by the day!
Playing games on social media platforms may be a great way to kill time, but what do you do if you find that you have a gaming addict in a spouse who can think of nothing better than fiddling with his phone and playing the likes of Candy Crush, Farmville, Dragon City and even spending precious family time playing Facebook games instead of attending a family dinner or your daughter's ballet recital?
Gaming addiction on Facebook is as much a social problem as any other, and as a spouse,you are quite justified in being concerned about it. But you know it as well as any other that nagging or fighting about it, will worsen things. Here are things you can do to handle a gaming addiction-
Question yourself first
Before you make up your mind that your spouse indeed has a gaming addiction, watch him closely and honestly answer the question whether his playing games is affecting your marriage and family time, or do you detest it, because it simply irritates you. If he is still attentive to you and the family's needs and is chilling out on Facebook once in a while, maybe you should not hold it against him in the first place.
Keep track of his gaming hours
If you think that he is way past the "just chilling out" mark, begin by keeping track of the hours he plays. Make note of it as discreetly as possible. If you make a big song and dance about it, he will start erasing evidence.
Watch out for any physical or behavioral changes
Most of the times people who get truly addicted to gaming tend to develop some physical discomforts such as muscle aches or back pain or headaches. He may even develop behavioral changes and may be found snapping at you or the children much too often.
Time for an intervention
Once you have made careful notes about how his gaming is affecting your personal life, it's time for the intervention. Make sure you send the kids away or have a sitter take care of them while you and your better half settle down for a quiet dinner. During the dinner approach the topic as gently as possible and explain to him with all the evidence as to how it's affecting his health and your personal lives. But do remember not to sound judgmental or accusatory during this exercise.
The point is to make him see that you love him and want what is best for him and the family. Sometimes just doing these things will help him get over his addiction of Facebook games. If it's more serious than that, you may have to seek professional help.
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Tips For Purchasing Motion Control Shoes



There are basically three different classes of shoes you might consider if you are walking for fitness.
Some are cushioned, some are for more stability and others focus on motion control. If you have a higher arch than most people, you most likely would require a "cushioned" shoe. If you look at the bottom of a cushioned shoe you will find that it is more narrow in the mid-foot area. It will also be lighter than most shoes. They would not be a great choice if you have knee problems or tend to point your toes outward.
Around 80 percent of walkers may prefer a shoe that has more stability. It's not as narrow as a cushioned shoe, but is more stable and is built in such a way to provide more arch support. If you tend to be on the heavy side, have lower arches or flat feet, your best choice may be "motion-control" shoes.
Motion-control shoes are the widest of the three classes of shoes and will give you maximum stability. These shoes are best for walking and not running and will help you get the most out of those days when you are walking for fitness.
The following a few tips tips to help you right the right pair of motion-control shoes. If you have your own inserts (which is possible if you have flat feet) bring them when you go shoe-shopping.
Remove the inserts in the shoe and try them on with your own.
Be sure to wear the same socks as ones you will use for walking.
Shop late in the day. Your feet will naturally swell and this will provide a better fit.
If a motion-control shoe is what you are after, be sure it is on the wide side, but has a snug heel. You don't want your heel to move up and down inside the shoe as you walk because this will lead to blisters.
It would be bring along an old, worn pair of shoes. A knowledgeable salesperson will be able to tell from the wear pattern what shoe will best suit you.
Most of all, take your time. Walk around in the shoes and be sure they feel good. Remember, most shoes that are made these days hold their original shape and do not expand that much with wear. If they feel tight, don't count on them becoming less constricting over time.
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Monday, 14 July 2014

What Makes a Student Athlete?



Most people can agree that when a person is in school, school needs to be their first priority. Sure there are friends, jobs, sports and other distractions, but getting the best education you can while you are still in school should probably be the highest goal.
That being said, there are ways to find a balance where a good student can enjoy other things without them affecting their education. In fact, having extracurricular activities may actually help some students with their education and all-around health and growth.
Being a good student athlete is something many people can pull off and some can even make it look easy. But it does require a lot of discipline to both academics and athletics. Here are some tips on how to be a good student athlete while (hopefully) enjoying both your schoolwork and your sport.
Like mentioned before, prioritization will help keep a good balance between schoolwork and sports. Go to practice when it is scheduled, but then go home right afterwards to you can get your homework done and get to bed at a decent hour so you can still get your all-important sleep.
Make sure that even though you have organized practices and training associated with your sport, you can also practice and train on your own to make the most out of your athletic season.
Eating healthy not only fuels your body, but it also fuels your mind. Make sure you are getting a good start to the day with a breakfast that contains food from all the food groups so you have the right balance of vitamins. Instead of junk food snacks plan to eat fruits and vegetables to keep your body energized without the sugar rush.
Getting plenty of sleep as a student athlete means getting between seven and ten hours each night. Because both your body and your mind are being used so heavily as a student athlete, you need plenty of physical and mental rest. Staying up late or going out are still OK to do once in a while, but don't make a habit of it.
Drinking alcohol, smoking and any kind of drugs are off the table. This really shouldn't have to be mentioned, but remember to keep your commitment to your health and your sport and make smart choices.
Work hard at both school and sport. Push yourself to do your best both in the classroom and on the field (or whatever venue applies to your sport). If you don't understand something don't be afraid to ask questions. And always be ready to work hard; don't allow yourself any excuses to blow off school or practice.
Qualities that are learned by student athletes will come in handy when you're looking to get into the "real" world in life after school. Many student athletes are great communicators, especially if they've had a background in team sports. They also know how to receive and provide feedback since they've been held accountable to not only their teammates for many years, but also probably had a strong desire to prove themselves to their coach.
This means a student athlete is also a team-oriented person, which will most likely serve them well in the professional world. Time management is something a student athlete has been doing for many years, as they've had to juggle school, homework, sports, friends, and sometimes jobs.
Possibly most important of all, a student athlete is achievement-oriented. This is a person who not only feels the need to excel in their preferred sport, but also wants to be a leader in the classroom. They want to win their games and matches, but they also know it's important to keep their grades up. They know what it takes to be successful, and they've been doing it a long time. Their work ethic is superior and they can multi-task to get things done.
Student athletes are well-rounded, responsible people; but they also work hard for everything they have, from their grades to their sporting wins (and losses).
By Christopher Douglas Donohue
http://www.unique-sports.com/
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Sunday, 13 July 2014

Could Solar Roads Reduce Pollution?



Scientists have spent a good part of the decade trying to improve solar-powered panels which are used in harvesting energy from the sun. While modular panels are widely being used in houses and commercial spaces, the idea of installing them on roadways is picking up steam fast. But the latest idea to hit the streets (literally) is that of paving the roads with solar panels made of ruggedized glass in place of the usual asphalt.
Roads that Pay for Themselves
As far as solar technology news goes, while this plan seems a bit crazy and unorthodox, it's the idea of Scott and Julie Brusaw who are residents of Idaho. The husband and wife team developed their modular pavement system back in 2009. Today the couple claims that solar panels that will be used in their project can withstand a load of over 250,000 pounds (which happens to be four times the legal weight of a semi truck) and can last for up to twenty years. The robust panels will also be able to melt both snow and ice on contact along with providing warm light via LED bulbs so that drivers can see debris along the road.
The solar panels are basically the same as those which are used in normal solar panels which are used in houses. The solar panels are then encased in specially designed version of bullet proof glass, which has been developed and tested at the top materials and research institutes at Penn State and University of Dayton. The base layers of the solar panels which will be used in the project will be made of 10% recycled glass, which from a manufacturing point of view is the most cost effective way of churning up the material for this monumental undertaking.
After building and testing the prototype courtesy of funding from the FHA (Federal Highway Administration) the couple plans to install their solar panels throughout the U.S. which will be a pretty big project considering the amount of highways and motorways that are in the U.S already.
Co2 Reduction
A grid of using solar roads will not only help generate electricity for street lights and quite possibly surrounding homes, but could also significantly reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere by providing a means of clean reusable energy. The long term aspiration of the couple is to replace the power grid with a smart grid, which will not only help the environment, but also the economy as well.
The Latest Update
According to the latest in solar technology news regarding Solar Roadways, the project is already the highest grossing campaign in the history of IndieGogo, and while its run on the crowd funding website still has a few days until it ends, the Solar Roadways campaign has gone way passed its initial goal of one million dollars. What made all this possible was the contributions that have been made by more than thirty-five thousand people from over forty countries. Way to go Scott and Julie!
Moe Tarhini is the Senior Technical Writer at @Technogigs. Technogigs is an online news and information portal dedicated to people who wish to keep pace with the fast-paced tech world. For more information, please visit: http://www.Technogigs.com
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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Tips of Buying a Used Car: Ensuring That You Don't Make the Wrong Choice




With the global economic scenario still unable to break the spell of recession, there are several people across the globe finding it profitable to buy a used car instead of investing a big amount of money in the new model. However, the inventory of used cars is not brimming with the best of models. Instead, most of the automobiles entering the used car category are either damaged or worn out goods that can rarely serve any purpose.
So, for those of you who are planning to buy a new vehicle, here are a few tips that can help you make the right choice:
Get the vehicle registration number
When you are planning to buy a pre-owned vehicle, start by procuring the basic registration number. This vehicle registration number comes in extremely handy when it comes to procuring details about the model and the usage that it has been through. In fact, you can use the registration number to get the complete history of the vehicle that you are planning to buy. The process has to be done through a private company and involves nominal charges. However, the end results make it worth the effort.
Strictly avoid buying flood damaged vehicles
Water is bad for the engine. Apart from causing the rusting of internal components, the water tends to cause permanent damage by reducing the longevity of the engine. Therefore, you should strictly avoid buying pre-owned vehicles that come from flood affected zones or have a history of being damaged by flooding.
Get it checked by a mechanic
Even if you are a die-hard automobile fan, we recommend you to get the car checked by an expert mechanic. Preferably, choose an experienced person who has a reputation of performing a thorough inspection. This will ensure that you get accurate results along with making it possible for you to take the purchase decision. The professional check comes at an extra price but it is totally worth the effort.
Check the service records
Wherever possible, do a detailed check on the service records of the pre-owned vehicle that you are considering. This will help you get a better idea about the type of repairs and replacements that the car was subjected to. Accordingly, you can analyze the present condition of the vehicle as well as predict its ability to withstand the routine wear and tear to quite an extent. In this way, you can solve your many problems.
To know more about used cars Costa Mesa, please check our website.
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Friday, 11 July 2014

First Time Car Lease - How to Get a Good Deal



A large number of car buyers are opting to lease a vehicle than to buy it. Their preference is primarily due to their lack of confidence in the automobile market. Over the years, buyers have become more informed, more aware and wiser; therefore, they make their purchase decisions in high involvement items such as cars, very carefully.
If you're planning to lease a car for the first time, here are some things that you need to consider to get a good lease deal and avoid financial loss:
1. Confirm your credit
It is essential to know your credit score as it is one of the key factors in a lease. A good credit will get you a good deal at a better rate. It is recommended to check your credit 4 to 6 weeks before you plan to head out in the automobile market. Find out the types of credit scores you need to know to be eligible for a lease. Your credit score will also depend on the type of vehicle you choose for a lease.
2. Check Your cash flow
Leasing is a great way to own a car over a period of time with reasonably low monthly payments. When you want to lease a livery vehicle, it is important to check your cash flow so you know where you stand in terms of cash; you will need to make monthly payments for 2 to 3 years or until the lease term is over. When the lease term is over, you can either own the vehicle or give it back to the leasing company. It is important to note that monthly payments for used cars is lower than that for new or luxury cars.
3. Negotiate the deal
Most buyers think that since they are not buying the car, they are not in a position to negotiate the deal. However, it is completely acceptable to negotiate the offer. Remember, the final point that you reach with the negotiation will determine the amount of monthly payments you will have to make throughout the lease term.
4. Know the deal in detail
Before you make any final decisions, make sure you know all the necessary details regarding the deal. Find out if there are any extra or hidden payments other than the monthly payments and also whether the stated monthly payments are inclusive of taxes or otherwise. Also, make sure that your lease term is not more than 3.5 years. Any term near 5 years is not worthwhile, it is as bad as paying for a car that is decades old.
Make sure you do a thorough research and ask around people in your circle who have leased a livery vehicle before so you end up with a good deal with low monthly payments.
This article written on behalf of TLC Auto Leasing. For more details feels free to visit our website.
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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Do Lottery Systems Really Work?



Most people who play the lottery have no idea how to use a lottery system. Winners will tell you that lottery systems do work because that's how they play their numbers. There's very little luck involved.
It takes some skill to put one together. Anyone can do it, if they know how. Most lottery players pick random numbers making the odds high. If you were to win the lottery on random numbers, it would be luck, but it rarely happens. Winners handicap their numbers and they play at certain times on certain days
Picking Numbers
  • Use the past 10 games of the lottery you want to play. Look at the pattern for hot numbers (the most drawn) and the cold numbers (seldom drawn or not at all).
  • Write down how many times each number has come up. Use the ones that have hit the most and two cold numbers that have seldom come up. Only if they came up close together. Never use cold numbers that haven't come up in the past 10 draws.
Random Numbers Or Sequence
  • Never use random numbers, such as birthdays, holidays or anniversaries. Many people play these numbers, and if you were lucky enough to win on these numbers, you'd split a prize with several other people.
  • Never use numbers in sequence such as 34-35-36-37 or 5-7-9-11. Those seldom come up but it takes a lifetime.
Patterns
  • People make patterns on their card thinking it's a good way to win such as diagonal, across or down the card. The odds are against you playing numbers this way.
  • Never use quick pick ( computer-generated numbers) Every lottery winner will tell you they didn't win use quick pick.
Stick With The Same Numbers
  • Some people will play the same numbers for a while and then change them. About the time they do, their numbers come up. Once you've handicapped your numbers and picked them, don't change them.
  • Stick to a budget. If you can only play three cards, don't play more. If you can only play once a week, don't play twice. Some people put their system together spending $200 but can't play any more because they exhausted their paycheck. Only play what you can afford, but play consistently.
Wheeling Numbers
  • Don't make a mistake when wheeling your numbers. If you do, the system won't work. You've got to be precise and play the numbers you've chosen which is your wheel. There are free wheeling systems online.
  • Don't use a wheeling system that covers many numbers. Only use one when other players are involved. Make sure it's one you can play consistently.
Lottery systems really work once you follow the steps above. Play smart and consistent and the system will work for you. It probably won't happen overnight, but with patience and a positive mind, it will work.
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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Why Gaming Is Harmful To Children



Gaming is an attractive and exciting pastime for children, but it is harmful to children since it poses dangers of addiction, low academic performance and lifestyle disease. Contemporary society is replete with multifarious activities that children can engage in during leisure. To parents, gaming is important because it preoccupies the minds of children, and keeps them away from trouble. It is common, therefore, for parents to buy various types of games for their children to play. In fact, other toys are losing relevance, as young children embrace more exciting activities. However, it is crucial for parents to critically analyze and review the significance of these games in the lives of their children, vis-à-vis other recreational activities like sports.
To begin with, video games and other types of games played by children are addictive and harmful to children. Young people can become so dependent that they cannot resist the allure of games. The problem with addiction is that it dominates the mind and negates other useful activities. Children addicted to gaming lose interest in personal responsibilities like hygiene. They are also less willing to help their parents with household chores, owing to the compulsive behavior. Eventually, they become robot-like, with their minds being preoccupied by the games they are attracted to.
Closely related to addiction is poor academic performance - another harmful effect of gaming. This activity takes away the time the child should spend in study. Many children prefer to play instead of doing their homework. Some even hide favorite games, and play while in bed. It is also common to find games in children's bags in school. In addition, such children lose focus during lessons as they think about their favorite games. They cannot wait for the day to end, for them to rush elsewhere and continue with the activity. In the midst of all this, the child's performance suffers.
Finally, since children play games indoors, they remain in a sedentary state most of the time, thus becoming vulnerable to lifestyle complications like obesity and diabetes. The body lacks exercise, compared to a child involved in physical sports outside the house. Moreover, such children tend to eat a lot of junk food, thus aggravating illnesses such as hypertension. Lack of clean air inside the house and the neglect of fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables, also contribute to the lateral expansion of the body. In essence, gaming is exciting, but its harmful effects far outweigh its benefits to children.
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

How to Survive In Elder Scrolls Online


Elder scrolls online is one of the best games that you can play. For you to survive in the game you need to know a number of survival tactics. Some of the survival tactics that you need to know are:

Learn how to fight

You can't survive elder scrolls online (ESO) if you don't know how to fight. The best way of doing this is choosing a character with good fighting skills. This means that you should use a character with good blocking, dodging and interrupting skills.
The other thing that you need to know is how to operate your characters. The good side is that knowing how to operate your characters is easy.
For example, when you see your enemy winding-up for a killer blow you only need to double-tap a movement in order to dodge the blow. You can also right-click in order to take the sting out of the incoming attack then left-click to interrupt the next attack.

Keep questing

For you to level fast you need to quest. Quests tend to dish out more points and you are able to survive in the game. This means that if you want to survive you need to take as many quests as you can. The good side is that there are many tutorials that will teach you on how to quest effectively and within a very short time.

Enchant your weapons and morph your abilities

Once you are experienced in a given skill, you can morph your skill so that you can become more powerful and useful. You should note that although morphing is very good and plays a huge role in making you better, it costs you a skill point that you could have used to gain a whole new spell or ability.
In addition to morphing your skills, you should also consider enchanting your weapons. Using glyphs is the best way of enchanting your weapons and armor. If you can't get ready made glyphs, you should consider crafting your own glyphs. You can do this by gathering and combining runes.

Get ultimate ability as soon as possible

For you to be able to easily defeat your enemies you need to get ultimate abilities. To be on the safe side you should ensure that you gain the ultimate abilities very early in the game. You can earn the abilities by using unlocking spells and abilities that you meet in your journey.
Visit us at http://www.esostar.com/tag/teso-addons/ to learn about ESO Addons
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Monday, 7 July 2014

Be The Boss In Minecraft Gaming



For the experienced gamers who have been playing Minecraft for some time now, it is imperative that you have further control of the whole gaming experience. In this case, you should get yourself a Minecraft server. With a server at your disposal, you actually call the shots in the game. Other advantages of investing in a Minecraft server include being able to edit players, build back ups and carry out several other things that contribute to the overall exciting game experience both for you and fellow players.
The view of investing in your own Minecraft server might look as if it is costly and daunting. Don't be worried though because there are myriad alternatives as far as servers are concerned and majority of the alternatives are actually very reasonably priced. Based on how large your network of gamers is, you will be surprised to find out that a Minecraft server can very well be absolutely cheap. Of course, there are endless benefits associated with owning a Minecraft Server and there are no notable complications to stop you from getting started.
For do-it-yourself enthusiasts, the thought of creating your own server rather than buying it might appear interesting. Although such an idea is commendable, the truth of the matter is that the process is complex and tiresome. Therefore, selecting from a selection of Minecraft Hosting firms is the best option for majority of players. This option is further reinforced if you're PC or internet connectivity lacks the capacity to manage its own server.
Additionally, when you purchase your server from a reliable Minecraft hosting firm, you are guaranteed plenty of user support to assist you takes full advantage of your gaming experience. After all, would you not rather utilize your precious time on an exciting adventure with your buddies instead of tackling the technical difficulties on your own server?
Creating a Minecraft server is quite easy with the help of a competent Minecraft host company. There are many server hosting companies out there that specialize in Minecraft host services. Working with a competent Minecraft hosting company will enable you take only a few minutes to come up with a good built Control Panel that affords you absolute control over your own server plus your gaming.
Some of the benefits of quality Minecraft host services include enabling you to initiate your own server, reboot or manage users in the network with just a few clicks. What's more, you will also benefit from faster and easy access of your server from any location. In essence, you will have absolute control to play Minecraft when you feel like and based on your own demands.
For more information about Minecraft server games, visit our site here: https://exileservers.com
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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Return of Space Simulation Games




In this time of mundane games, repetitive gameplay and overly exploited genres, it feels good to have some fresh air with some of the old genres resurfacing once again. The credit, of course, goes to the chivalrous indie developers who, still in this world of capitalist gaming industry, light up our hearts with their spirit of creativity. One such genre that is gaining momentum by leaps and bounds is the 'space simulation' genre. This time alone in E3 2014, there were a few groundbreaking titles that truly inspired awe - quite an achievement given the nature of mediocre games these days.
Although it was a delight for me to experience all the latest games that are going to hit the market eventually, the one that truly turned my head and left me speechless was 'No Man's Sky'. This game literally beggars all description as no one has ever attempted to build or even conceive a game of such scale. This is basically a procedurally generated massive game, which may sound simple, but, as the saying goes, you got to see it to believe. The mesmerizing vistas and the bizarre environment teeming with unique flora and fauna on a seemingly alien planet are just the beginning of the story. This vast exploration game takes you on the journey to explore countless planets, and the best part is: you get to have your own space ship to fly off into space and back into different planets. How big is the size of the world you ask? Well, would it impress you if I were to tell you that every single player will be starting off on a different planet of his/her own? Can you now imagine the scale of this game? Besides the expansive universe, the vibrant visuals and dynamic environments are just sight of sore eyes.
What happens when you marry the genre of space simulation with first person shooter? You get a game called 'Dreadnought'. This free-to-play action space simulation game is just what the E3 had been missing all along. We have all played fast paced action games where little thinking and more reflexes are required. We have also seen previous space simulation games where your little pea sized craft sometimes gets into a pathetic situation with a gigantic mother-ship of some kind, and you die wishing that only if you had one of those humongous ships at your command. To fill this void in your little world of gaming, 'Dreadnought' fills right in. This free-to-play massively online game puts you in a team battle where you fight off against the enemy ships using skills and tactics (not reflexes). Ever played 'World of Tanks'? If so, then you will know exactly what I am talking about.
These are just a few titles of space simulation games that are going to leave a good long lasting mark on this genre; however, a game that will not only revitalize the genre to the backbone, but also revolutionize the gaming industry itself is 'Star Citizen'. Star Citizen is the largest crowd funded Kickstarter project to date. With Chris Roberts, the chief developer of ever green titles such as Freelancer and Starlancer, at the helms, Star Citizen is on its way to becoming one of the largest PC exclusive game in the industry. The reason why this game is PC exclusive is quite simple: the consoles just cannot handle the demand of the graphics that are being run on this game. Using modified Cry Engine 3, this game is set in an open universe with tons of exploration to be done, battles to be fought and places to be conquered.
There are many other games from this genre that are in development and very few in market such as EVE Online, Kerbal Space Program, Elite: Dangerous and Limit Theory and it all just goes to show the rebirth of the long lost genre. It is high time that the developers put on their creative hats and the gamers open up their mind to new stuff. Only then will genres like these truly flourish, proliferate and prosper.
I like to write about technology and games. I love reviewing computers, games and laptops.
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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Pokemon MMO Gaming: 3 Of The Best Free Pokemon Games



If you are a Pokemon MMO game enthusiast, here are three games that you can enjoy for free:

Pokemon3D

This is a re-invention of the classic Pokemon gold and silver games created by Nintendo. For you to be successful you need to be the best Pokemon trainer of all times.
When playing you have to go around the grasslands and capture, battle, and defeat wild Pokemon. You also have the benefit of going around town collecting items and Pokemon.
The good side is that the game is free and you can play against friends from all parts of the world. In addition to this the game also has other great features such as: resizable game window, many languages, daycare system, great moves, and auto save option.

Pokemon volcano

This is another great pokemon MMO game that comes with a number of advantages. One of the main advantages is that you don't have to download anything. This is because the game runs in a browser window thus you only need to register at the site and you can start playing immediately.
Unlike other games that require you to wait for the screen to refresh before you can play, this game allows you to start playing immediately without waiting for it to refresh.
To play you start with one starter Pokeman and you try capturing new Pokemon. You also have the benefit of training so that you can win Gym medals. Once you have won the medals you can try to defeat the gym leader.
For you to be successful in this game you need to do a few things:
• Get all the gym badges and then go in the grass or water for a while until you find manaphy.
• First go to Renato then search for Pokemon near grain and you will fight a Diglet that has a very low life

Pokemon-area

This is a great game that has all the components that should be in a Pokemon MMO game. The good side is that you don't have to download anything and you can play against thousands of players around the world.
Playing it is easy because you play it just like any other Pokemon game. This means if you have played any other Pokemon game before, you will find it very easy to play this one.
Due to its ease of play, the game has attracted a lot of people thus you will have very many people to play against.
Visit us at http://pokemonmmorpg.net to know more about Pokemon MMO
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Friday, 4 July 2014

Sport Banners! FIFA Art Printing



Soccer is a craze among people of all ages in many societies. Onset of FIFA world cup fires the excitement of soccer fans throughout the world. Where hundreds of lucky ones manage to reach the host country for cherishing the game live, thousands of others satiate their passion by throwing soccer parties, organizing massive screenings, buying sports gear and decorating their premises with soccer banners.
Banners in general are widely used in adding color and charm to many occasions. Mega sports events are no exception. Sport banners are widely used for adorning screening sights and sports parties. When most soccer matches have an electric atmosphere with crazy fans chanting in favor of their respective teams, everyone wants to show loyalty and support whilst being counted. Though many fans get hostile and violent in display of their passion, you can express your support and allegiance to your favorite teams and players in a civilized manner through art banners.
FIFA world cup is one of the most passionately followed international events. Many soccer fans spend their savings to enjoy the tournament live. Imagine the pleasure of flaunting your FIFA sports pennant sitting among the keen audiences in the stadium. It is evident that players derive a lot of inspiration and strength from their supporters in the crowds. This is why fans often use to design banners and pennants to boost the morale of the team they support. If you are lucky enough to avail such a chance, make sure to get your well designed soccer banners, besides other preparatory measures.
Sports banners, pennants and burgees can enhance the pleasure of a game many folds even if you are not sitting in the stadium. Many a times, friends, families and colleagues gather together to watch the matches during world cup tournament. Such gatherings can equally use sports banners to give an air of festivity to the event. If you are attending a soccer party in the midst of the tournament, it is the most apt event to use all your sports gear and hoist soccer banners and pennants.
Local and regional soccer teams and associations also get energized during FIFA world cup. Many players playing in the local teams dream of playing the FIFA world cup one day. Several school and college soccer teams schedule their matches around FIFA world cup. Grad school teams also print banners to brighten their inter school soccer matches. If you are a member or supporter of any such team, make sure to make an impression with well designed and printed sports banners.
Besides crazy soccer fans, many businesses can also benefit by printing sports banners. For instance, if you deal in sports fan gear, you have to make a maximum business during soccer season. You can print large eye catchy fan gear sports banners to entice soccer fans into buying T-shirts, helmets, badges and other sports gear with FIFA insignia printed on them.
Soccer banners can be designed in different sizes and colors. The sizes of banners are mostly decided depending upon the location. Backdrop banners are generally large and are designed in bright colors to enhance the visibility. Most fans, however, prefer to print their banners in their team colors. Team's insignia along with FIFA's insignia are also printed on soccer banners. Sports banners can be generic so that they can be used over and over again. On the other hand, more enthusiastic fans design more personalized banners that feature names and photos of their favorite players besides dates, slogans and personalized quotes. More personalized banners often grab more attention than generic ones, but they cannot be repeatedly used.
Sports banners are cheap and easy to print. They can be printed on either vinyl stock or fabric material - both of which are fairly inexpensive. With the increasing popularity of soccer, many companies are offering online services for custom designed sport banner printing. You can design your soccer banners down to the small details yourself and seek the services of any reliable printing company that can give the best treatment to your designs. Refined printing and finishing techniques can make your banners worth noticing.
Being a writer, Josh Makkaveli always prefer to write on different topics but marketing, technical promotional tools and publications are the subjects that make me love my work. Because all of these are the most valued types of discussions in which all businessmen can participate openly and put their views as well as experiences. Here at this writing portal I have shared some of them and want to get feedback from my followers because only the readers are the real asset of a writer and help him writing more efficiently. Topic in hand is soccer banner printing for FIFA world cup because soccer craze is at peak. For more details visit my profile http://joshmakkaveli.svbtle.com
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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Plan An Event You Won't Forget




Successful Planning

What makes an event successful? Successful events are characterized by consummate planning and coordination, and they are organized to the very core Organization, essentially, is the hallmark of spectacular event planning. Event planners are tasked with a substantial responsibility, in terms of the vast considerations that they must make in the process. Not only must they consider the number of guests to attend, but they must also select a venue, commodities, facilities and much more. There is much more that goes into event planning than merely counting the number of guests to attend, or the number of seats to order in preparation for it. Every good event requires the right amenities in the right quantities in order to thrive. Based on this information, every adept event planner must possess the capacity to multitask and to maintain an apt understanding of what goes into the entire event planning process. Planning an event implies a systematic coordination of many different things.
What considerations are first made by an event planner? First, they select the most appropriate venue for the event. Events can transpire in either indoor settings or outdoor settings. Therefore, the type of setting you choose will impact the type of amenities that you rent out, as well. Furthermore, every venue is distinguished by its size, characteristics, construction and much more. Venues also differ according to their cost, and there are a range of different costs accompanying venues. The prices hinges on the size of the setting, the amenities that are already built into the venue, and the relative location of it. The more pleasant the location is, the more that the venue will cost in the long run.
How do you know if an indoor or outdoor venue is appropriate for you? If you are throwing a very large event, then perhaps an outdoor setting would be best. However, if you are throwing a small, sophisticated event, then perhaps an indoor setting would better suit you?

The Perfect Setting

After choosing the perfect venue to suit your event, the next viable step will be to measure the dimensions so that you can accommodate all of the guests that will show up to it. In essence, the size of the venue that you choose will depend not only on the type of event that you are running, but by the type of audience you will have and by the size of the audience, as well. Of course, you must select quality amenities, such as luxury bathrooms. Do not resort to the typical, unsightly-port a potties that most people dread at large events. By renting out luxury restrooms, not only can you grant your guests the comfort that they desire, but you will give them the accessibility that they need in order to feel at home at the event. The more at home they feel at an event, the longer that they will stay and the more they will fund the event.

Concluding Thoughts

Planning an event requires a complex integration of many different factors and skills. Additionally, every event planner must conduct critical research in order to purchase the right amenities in the right quantities, according to the type of audience they will have.
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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Building a Bicycle Sound System



Bicycle Sound Systems (BSS) are growing in popularity. Anyone who has gone to a festival, seen or participated in a Critical Mass ride or watched the Skyride events in the UK will have seen a BSS in operation. The following is a description of what I have learnt over the years in the art of building a sound system attached to a bicycle.
Please note that all this is just my opinion; there are no rules. If it works and you or someone else is happy with the result then that is great. Duke Ellington once said, "There are two types of music, good and bad. If you like it, it's good music."
The first consideration before building a bicycle sound system is to ask yourself exactly what is it for? Now this may sound like a stupid question but consider:
  1. Is the music for your own enjoyment, other cyclists riding with you, or members of the public watching?
  2. Will you be riding the bike whilst the music is playing? (probably answered in the first question)
  3. Would you like to play just your own music or have facilities, i.e. mixing desk, microphones, to make the system more flexible?
  4. Would you wish to hire out the system at festivals and other events?
  5. Where would the system be stored when not in use?
  6. How would you get the system to the events?
Hopefully you can see the reason for asking these questions first. Once you know what the BSS is for, there are now a few more questions.
  1. What is the budget?
  2. How loud is the system to be?
  3. Will you want to operate it in the rain?
  4. Is it to be self-powered?
  5. Would you want to use a trailer?
I am going to presume that the BSS is designed to have the music playing whilst being ridden. I have seen 'static' systems but I feel the whole idea of a BSS is that we have mobile music.
A top of the range BSS could run into thousands of pounds, especially if everything needed was bought new.
The volume of the system is probably the key to everything. The amount of power needed outside is far, far more than is needed inside; most of the sound from speakers inside a building is actually reflected sound. Take the walls away and the volume drops massively.
There has to be a balance between what is audible, the fidelity of the reproduction, what can be afforded, and what is practical. A super loud system can not only annoy the neighbourhood and attract the police but it becomes really heavy and is impossible to move. Remember there is not just the weight of the speakers, there are also batteries and amplifiers that have to be carried.
Again, how loud depends on the use, if it is just yourself and a cyclist next to you, 50 - 100 watts could be enough. In my opinion, 100 watts would be the absolute minimum. If you want many people to hear you and you want a proper bass response, the wattage must increase. I believe 600 watts is somewhere around the maximum, for both volume and weight.
Critically the amplifier must not be overdriven. This usually happens when the output of the amplifier is not enough for the situation. Everything is turned to max to compensate and there is distortion. We have all heard it, in cars, clueless DJ's, PA systems... The crazy thing is that turning it down just a bit will reduce the volume very slightly but everything can now be heard properly without distortion.
The question of waterproofing has to be considered from the outset. Placing plastic bags or sheeting over speakers, amps and players does not work; not only does it look terrible, water WILL get in. Another issue is at what point do the covers go on? In case it looks like rain or when it starts raining? The latter means carrying covers to hopefully quickly throw over the system (whilst it is running!) in the hope that nothing gets damaged. Although there are waterproof players out there, the connections are not waterproof. Waterproof speakers do not sound that good, they are small and low powered. I have never seen a waterproof amplifier.
Self -powered or not? This will come down to the volume of the system. An average cyclist can develop 100-200 watts for an hour. Moving the bike and sound system is going to use a certain amount of that power. There are losses involved in converting that power to usable electricity. Taking these factors into account, never mind the engineering problems in generating the electricity, we do not have much left for powering the amplifier. It can and has been done, the systems are not that loud and, in my opinion, are not that good.
Whether or not to use a trailer is again down to what the BSS is for. We have all seen the ghetto-blaster strapped to the side of a bicycle. It works but the sound is not too good and cannot be heard from more than a few metres away.
The main problem with getting a decent sound without a trailer is one of weight. That is why all the good sound systems I have seen use a trailer.
If it is decided that batteries will power the system, we then consider the amplifier. Although the best amplifiers, in terms of fidelity are the domestic, Hi-Fi amps, they run on mains, 110v or 240v AC. This means the battery voltage, most likely 12v DC, must be converted.
This causes all sorts of problems. The worst is that cheaper converters, or inverters, convert the DC into a square wave AC, this makes an amplifier hum. The other problem is the idea of having high voltages running around the system.
Even if these considerations were overcome, the next, probably terminal issue is that a domestic or PA amplifier would probably fall apart in a short time due to the battering bicycle sound systems get. And they do get a battering; cobbles, pot holes, kerbs, speed humps, all give these rigs a hard life.
These reasons are why every BSS I have seen use 12v automotive amplifiers; they are relatively cheap, easy to bolt down and provided a reputable make is used, are very reliable.
The fidelity of an amplifier on a BSS is not that critical. What is discernable inside a quiet living room will be lost outside. As long as there is no distortion, the most critical component of a bicycle sound system is the speaker(s)
The most important consideration when building any music system, whether a domestic Hi-Fi, car audio system, or public address (PA) is the choice of speakers. Over half your budget should go on the speakers. If top quality speakers are used, you can get away, to a certain extent, with cheaper amplifiers. Do it the other way round and there will always be a poor sound.
Speakers are difficult to get right. The different drivers, e.g. woofer, tweeter, must be matched with each other and they also must be matched with the correct crossover (the device that splits the signal into high and low frequencies). Not only that, the cabinet, or enclosure must also be matched to the drivers and the crossover.
A sound engineer told me that he once worked for a top speaker manufacturer in the UK. His first project was to discover why their latest speaker did not work as well as their previous model. In theory it should have sounded better but mysteriously sounded worse. After a week of messing about he discovered that the screws holding the rear cover on were slightly shorter in the new speaker. Changing the screws for the longer ones magically brought the speaker to life.
It is that story alone that makes the idea of building a speaker from DIY plans very much hit or miss. Yes, the speaker will work but will it sound fantastic, just OK or dreadful? The only advantage of building a speaker cabinet is that it could be made to fit a trailer, or be an integral part of the trailer.
The choice of speakers is massive. Generally, speakers can be divided into three types, Hi-Fi, car audio and PA.
Car speakers can be a popular choice for BSS as they are cheap. The biggest problem with them is that they have to be fitted into a cabinet. Often seen is the 'sub' bass, a 15" speaker already fitted into a cabinet. The problem is that a 'sub' bass is just that, subsonic, or very low frequencies only. Great for certain types of music and a cinema surround sound system but not good enough on its own for a sound system. There will be a need for proper bass drivers as well as a sub. Generally a sub is not needed, not only does it require huge amounts of power to drive it, most music sounds good without one.
Hi-Fi speakers can and are used. The disadvantages with them are:
  1. To mount them properly they must either be strapped or screwed down. Screwing them means introducing screws into the cabinet, the cabinets are not designed for this and the material can be weakened. Also see above for the effect of the 'wrong' screws.
  2. They are meant to be used in static situations. The electronic crossovers in them are not rugged enough for mobile use and can fail.
  3. They are vunerable to damage.
  4. The connections are unreliable for a mobile application.
I believe the best speaker for a BSS are professional PA speakers for the following reasons:
  1. They are very robust, built for a life on the road. The cabinets are usually made from tough ABS plastic and the speakers have protective grills over them.
  2. They often have handles built into them which makes assembling and transporting the system easier.
  3. The crossovers are built in and are made for rough use and to handle high power.
  4. They have professional Speakon connectors, these are very quick to connect and cannot work loose.
  5. A speaker from a quality manufacturer will have designed the drivers to work well together at high wattages reliably
  6. The cabinets usually have threaded inserts making it easy to fix them to a trailer. (remember the story about the wrong screws; start screwing into a domestic Hi-Fi speaker at your peril. That is why speaker wall brackets just clamp onto the speaker).
Another aspect of speaker choice comes back to the intended use. Stereo or mono? Stereo only works when the speakers are in the correct position in front of the listener. This is not going to happen with a BSS. Another consideration is placement. Front, side or rear facing?
An advantage of a mono sound is that the amplifier can be bridged. Most car amplifiers can be bridged. Bridging an amplifier has the effect of increasing the output of the amplifier. When bridging an amplifier into two speaker cabinets, extreme care must be taken to ensure the impedance of the combined speakers does not go below the minimum rated impedance of the amplifier otherwise a sorry mess of blue smoke will ensue.
Having carefully chosen the amplifier and speakers. The question of getting it all to fit together must be considered.
There is the choice of trailer and battery. The trailer often comes down to budget and availability. Just make sure it is strong enough to support the combined weight of everything.
Do not use 12v car batteries. They are designed to give a large current in a short burst to operate the starter motor. They are not designed to go flat - a flat battery is anything less than about 12.5 volts. Once they have gone flat they will never recover. Each re-charge will result in a lower and lower final voltage until the battery will fail.
The cheapest form of usable battery is the lead acid 'leisure battery'. These are designed for caravans and wind charger and photo-voltaic systems; they can be re-cycled (recharged) many times before failure.
Always use a fuse after the battery!
Use proper crimped connectors, battery terminals etc. Try to avoid jamming wire under bolts. The vast majority of failures in all electrical systems are loose or bad connections.
Try to use locking compound on screws and other fittings.
Large output amplifiers that are bridged running in an enclosed space can be prone to overheating. A good amplifier will have an automatic shut-down if this happens. Overheating can be easily avoided by using computer cooling fans blowing across the amplifier. Stick-on heat sinks can help. Computer fans operate at 12v and can be found very cheaply on eBay.
Put all the electrics into an enclosure that is waterproof. Have an air inlet at the bottom to let cool air in and an outlet at the top for the warm air to escape.
The speakers can be protected by a cover over the top and some sort of material (printed fabrics are cheap and look good) across the front of them. As long as the material is a few inches from the front of the speakers they will remain dry.
The music player for simplicity and water protection can be mounted near the amplifier. The obvious disadvantage is that it cannot be controlled from the bike. One solution is to mount it in a small box on the handle bars. We have found the best way is to use a plastic lidded box turned upside down with the box attached to the lid with a hinge. As long as the player is mounted above the base (lid) it will remain dry. Obviously if it is raining hard try to avoid opening the box!
Finally, appearance. Briefly, if the system is just to please you and your friends probably the last thing to worry about is its appearance. After all, there is something to be said about the aesthetics of a functional device. However, if you want to hire the system out or use it on paid-for events, the appearance can be a more important consideration than its performance.
So there you have it. I hope you have found this interesting and informative.
Thanks for reading this!
We at Bicycle Sound Systems have been making bike sound systems for about six years. We were originally asked to make one for the Skyrides in the UK and have gone on to make systems for other people and ourselves.
If you would like to see details about our latest 600 watt rig or would like to hire one of our systems or even like us to make a sound system to your specifications, visit us at http://www.BikeSoundSystems.com
If you would like add your own thoughts about bicycle sound systems, visit our blog at http://newbie-online.com/money/?p=8. We would love to hear from you!
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