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The Internet Is My Doctor

Posted By: on December 23, 2014

With the advent of the Internet, people have grown accustomed to having quick, easy access to the latest medical information. This state of affairs has encouraged doctors to use their own websites to educate the general public about a variety of health-related topics. Unfortunately, the Internet is filled with websites that offer a lot of questionable medical advice. Sometimes this results from the website author simply lacking an education in medicine and health. In other situations, the information being offered up is clearly outdated. New research and findings are often overturning older medical views. Unfortunately, it is difficult for the average person to determine if they are getting their hands on good ideas or just a bunch of bunk.

Does Peer Review Help

One of the ways the scientific community tries to ensure that the good medical science makes it into the prestigious medical journals is to subject new findings to the peer review process. Unfortunately, no one putting up a website with medical advice online is required to be subjected to peer review. This means that anyone can write anything they want on a website, and they might even believe what they are saying, but this does not ensure that it is sound medical advice. According to an article on webMD, around 59-percent of all adults search for medical information online. However, it is still trendy for people to ask their doctor’s advice in most cases, before proceeding with questionable medical advice. Though it is true that doctors do not always provide the best medical advice themselves, they will usually serve a good function as a second opinion. Often, even a mediocre doctor will be able to explain why certain treatments are risky or dangerous.

Improving Online Searches for Medical Advice

While it is certain that people will always turn to the Internet for medical advice, there are definitely ways to improve their search efforts. For starters, it is a good idea to look to see if the author providing the medical advice has any type of credentials. Though anyone can claim to be an MD, it is usually the case that such credentials are possible to verify. It can also help if the author on a medical advice blog or website lists a physical location. Many physicians and clinicians are happy to state the location of their medical practice, which makes it easier to determine if they are legitimate or not. An article’s date is also useful information to check out, because advice that is older than ten-years may be significantly out-dated. It is also a good idea to search to see if other contradictory information exists on the same medical topic. Contradictory information generally exposes that something is amiss and that deeper research is warranted to reach a proper understanding of what is truly the case. Using a little caution and common sense, you should be able to weed out the good advice from the bad. If not, your doctor is only a phone call away.


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Why Art is the Perfect Gift

Posted By: on December 22, 2014

Gift shopping can be a stressful, exasperating and time-consuming endeavor, even for someone you know well. Choosing a birthday, anniversary or holiday gift, especially for those people who have everything, can be difficult. Even for people who seem easy to buy for, you want to choose something that is different than what everyone else gives them. Original art is one of the best options to be sure you are giving someone a gift no one else will give them.

Demonstrates Effort

Choosing an original piece of art for someone as a gift shows that you spent a little extra time and effort choosing a particular item for them. It is easy to purchase a box of candles or grab a gift card at the checkout counter, but original art shows that you took the time to not only find a unique, individual gift, but that you had them in mind when you searched for the piece. Art also excites the person who receives it. When was the last time someone said “Where on earth did you find this?” when a friend or relative opened a gift you gave them? With original art, that is something you are almost guaranteed to hear.

Unique and Long-Lasting

Purchasing a piece of original artwork as a gift is unique – no one else will be able to purchase the same item. Keep in mind, original art is not one of those framed prints you find at your local department store, but a one-of-a-kind work normally found in locations like a fine arts gallery. The artwork you give will be unlike any other piece of art in the world. Art is also something that can be owned forever, even passed down through generations. Giving art can actually create family heirlooms.

Support the Local Economy

When you purchase art from local artists, you are supporting your local economy. Purchasing a gift from one of those big department or box stores, even in your hometown, is technically not supporting the local economy as they are owned by huge conglomerates that may not even be located in your state. By visiting a small, local gallery in your hometown, you are helping a local artist advance their craft while also building the economy in your area. In addition to helping the economy, art can be inspiring and boost morale as surrounding yourself with beauty improves mood. A study at University College in London found that looking at artwork causes blood flow to parts of the brain that elevated mood.

Not Always Expensive

Many people believe that original art is expensive, but it does not have to be. Of course, an original Van Gogh or Monet is out of the price range for the average shopper, but the works of an up-and-coming artists is well within the budget of even the average gift giver. In some cases, original artwork can be purchased for less than $50. It is also important to remember that art doesn’t become obsolete. Although styles may change, art itself never goes out of style. It will always be personal, beautiful and inspirational, even generations later.

Purchasing original art as a gift is one of the best ways to be sure that the person receiving the gift gets a unique, one-of-a-kind item that cannot be purchased anywhere else. It helps boost local economies and could give a young artist the boost they need to continue creating.

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TopCultured Legends

Home Decor for Beginners

Posted By: on February 12, 2013

Every house should be a home. Everyone deserves to have a place that is safe, familiar, and comforting. Achieving that level with a new space can take some time (and probably a little money), but Read On »

The 1% May Have All the Money, But the 2% Have All the Intelligence

Posted By: on October 25, 2011

Or, perhaps not.

5 Comedy Podcasts You Should Be Listening To

Posted By: on September 11, 2010

Let’s face it, any asshole with a MacBook, a mic, and an opinion can have a podcast At least I hope so, considering I’d like to have one. Seeing as how terrestrial radio is dying Read On »

What are the Best New Automobile Technologies?

Posted By: on December 21, 2014

Hands Free Driving

Every year it seems different manufacturers make advancements in automobile technologies to the point we will eventually not even have to get behind the wheel to drive. With that reality still a ways off (even though Google has created a self-driving car) many of the different and new technologies are made to help the driver offer a safer ride, make driving much easier and to give those riding along in the vehicle more features to enjoy.

Keeping this thought in mind here are some of the best new automobile technologies:

Pedestrian Detection – This feature gives the vehicle the ability to detect pedestrians or cyclists in or around the impact area. This technology which has been developed by Volvo helps avoid accidents in urban areas where there is denser amount of pedestrians.

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Four SEO Tips That Lead to Surefire Success

Posted By: on December 20, 2014

There is so much conflicting advice out on the web about how to create a successful search engine optimization campaign. Content producers feel conflicted as they sort through a plethora of SEO blogs, trying to determine which advice is sage and which should be tossed by the wayside. Before going any further on their journey of researching which SEO advice to follow, content producers need to take note of four search engine optimization tips that will enable surefire success as recommended by top experts.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Some people believe that if they stuff their content with as many keywords as possible, they will obtain an increased search engine ranking. What they fail to realize is that keyword stuffing can actually cause their content to be flagged by search engine bots, and their rankings will plummet considerably. A good rule of thumb is to make keyword density no more than five percent. For instance, if a piece of content is 100 words, then each keyword or phrase must not be repeated any more than five times.

Make Sure Content is Human Readable

Another critical mistake that content producers often make is that they write for the search engine bots. Even though these writers may stick to the five percent keyword density rule, they may choose 20 different keywords or phrases to use throughout their content, essentially stuffing as many as possible. While it is perfectly fine to use a wide variety of keywords and key phrases, it is important to make sure what is produced can actually make sense to human readers and is enjoyable and informative. Search Engine companies are actually tightening their policies to get rid of content that is merely written for machines and not people as rankings are now only being given to producers who bother to make quality part of their content production equation.

Make Sure All Content is Unique

When submitting articles to a variety of directories, it is important to make sure each piece of content is unique. Submitting the same article to several different directories is actually grounds for being flagged by search engines and receiving a low ranking. Search engine companies now not only want quality content, they also want a variety. It is best for content producers to write about five different subjects and submit to five different directories each week for starters and work their way up to doing more.

Be Regular

In order to maintain a search engine ranking, it is crucial to produce content regularly. Many well-known experts recommend that producers create and submit content on a weekly basis. Failure to be regular with content creation and submission will cause audiences to lose interest as nothing new is being created, and rankings will eventually drop.

Many who have put these tips into practice report that their SEO campaigns have been fruitful. Within a month of following this advice to the letter, there have been positive results. Some content producers say that they have noticed a significant increase in their website traffic as well as their sales.

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How to Make Your Beach Getaway the Best Ever

Posted By: on December 20, 2014

When the snow starts falling and temperatures start dropping, it’s no surprise that that’s the time we all long to escape to a tropical island. We start fantasizing about exchange the blanket of snow and ice outside our windows for a view of crystal blue ocean waves washing onto the hot sandy shore. Soon, you just can’t resist the urge anymore, and you jump on a plane to head to Bermuda or the Bahamas — but before you do that, check out this list to find out how to make that trip the dream vacation you deserve.

  1. Suit Up!

Your midwinter escape just wouldn’t be complete without a brand new swimsuit to show off your body as you lounge in the sun. Search for something that really shows off your own style, like a few different choices from TeenyB’s B.Classic collection that you can then mix and match both to suit your mood and your ‘tude that day. The best way to feel great about yourself and about your life is to buy clothes that reflect what you feel about yourself, and a daring, bold new bikini is just the way to do it.

  1. Avoid the Burn

When you take your beach vacation in February, it may be quite some time since you’ve been tanning outside, but if you want to just feel the sun on your back all day, it’s essential to pack — and use — plenty of sunscreen. There’s nothing worse than getting a horrific burn on the first day and spending the rest of the week unable to touch anything because it hurts so badly. That’s no way to spend a vacation! Don’t skimp on the sunscreen; keep yourself looking and feeling amazing!

  1. Do Everything

Well, maybe not everything, but make some memories you’ll be able to hold onto as you wait out the winter. You can spend a day or two just on the sand, but get out there and take advantage of some other resort activities! Snorkel or boat in the ocean, go sightseeing in nearby towns, or check out evening entertainment and mixers at local restaurants or clubs. When all you do is relax on the beach, those memories all blur together, so go do something memorable to make your vacation the best ever!

  1. Get Adventurous With Food

You can get plain old hamburgers, pasta, and steak anywhere, so when you’re traveling somewhere new, why not try something you can’t find anywhere else? For example, the Bahamas are well known for their use of conch, a mollusk that you can try in many forms, including deep fried, in a salad, or as a fritter. Since these beach resorts are right by the ocean, you have a chance to try some extremely fresh seafood that you may not have ever tasted before. Whether you love it or hate it, you’ll remember it forever!

Now all you have to do is choose your destination, book your flight and hotel, and you can enjoy vacation in paradise while your friends are shivering in the cold back home. This may just become a wintertime tradition!


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Tips for Winter Clothes Shopping Without Breaking the Bank

Posted By: on December 16, 2014

While holiday shopping can consume hours of your time in early winter, you shouldn’t neglect opportunities to snap up the latest fashions to round out your own wardrobe. If money is tight, there are strategies you can employ to find the best deals on winter clothing and still have plenty left for the holidays. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Know What You Need

Before you even begin looking for new clothes, pull out your entire winter wardrobe and look it over carefully. If you’ve gained or lost weight since last winter, try them on to make sure they still fit and hang nicely. Inspect everything for stains, moth holes and missing buttons. Set aside items you don’t want to keep, and take a hard look at what is left. Make a list of what you’re lacking. This will help guide you while shopping and will also ensue that you know exactly what you have at home. The last thing you need to do on a shoestring budget is waste money on duplicate items.

Consider Secondhand

The thrifty folks at Bankrate advise checking out thrift shops and consignment stores. This strategy can allow you to find timeless, classic pieces at deep discounts, as well as snapping up fashions that were hot last year and still quite on-trend for the next few years. Everything from name-brand bags to wardrobe staples like tights and peacoats can be had second-hand, and no one needs to know.

Check Closeout Websites

Online shopping can net you some huge savings, if you check out the discount sites first. NoMoreRack and Zulilly both offer closeout items at deep discounts. Huge retailers such as Sears, Macys and Kohls also offer discounts on some wares via their websites as well. What’s more, you can often find online coupon codes to stretch your dollars even further. Some sites offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, too.

Scan the Sales Racks

If you’re still not finding what you want, go to your favorite retailers and dig through the sales racks. As spring gets closer and closer, more items will be marked down and shifted over to discount racks in order to make way for warm-weather apparel. Give yourself plenty of time to peruse the racks by checking the store hours of operation before you leave the house.

Play the Loyalty Game

You can save big by cultivating loyalty to one or two stores. Sign up for their in-house credit cards. Sometimes you will get a huge percentage off by using the store card, even if you pay off the balance as soon as you step in your door. Sign up for the catalog and you may start to receive coupons and invitations to exclusive, members-only sales. If you love a particular retailer, take advantage of their loyalty programs.

Saving big on winter fashions can be a hassle. By using these tips, you can find the absolute best deals without draining your bank account. This will leave you with more money for the holidays and a fashionable wardrobe to wear while celebrating with your loved ones.

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Three Ways to Look Fashionable While Wearing Winter White

Posted By: on December 16, 2014

Winter white is one of the hottest fashion trends for the winter of 2014 – 2015. Even though this color is showing up everywhere from sweaters for men to women’s blouses, you have to plan your outfits carefully in order to pull this trend off right. According to this article by Emily Sher on Today.com, the old rule of not wearing white after Labor Day is outdated and out of touch with today’s reality. These three ways to look fashionable while wearing winter white will put you in the holiday spirit and help you pull off one of the hottest looks of the season.

Create a Monochromatic Look for Daytime

To wear winter white in the workplace or out to brunch or lunch with friends, consider a monochromatic look. A winter white blouse could be paired with a white pencil skirt or a pair of tailored pants and a cardigan for a put-together look. Wearing all one color helps petite women appear taller and puts the focus on the detailing of each garment. To finish off this type of monochromatic outfit, wear a pair of ballet flats or chunky heels with a bit of sparkle. Accessories such as a purse or statement necklace finish off this simple look.

Select Garments with Interesting Textures

Men who are interested in wearing winter white might consider selecting garments with interesting textures to pair with the white. For a relaxed look, men could try pairing a winter white button-down shirt with dark wash denim jeans and a military-inspired jacket, suggests Tiffany Raiford on this blog. The crisp look of winter white sets a nice backdrop to the visually appealing textures and bright colors of the trendy military jacket style. If you get too hot with the jacket on, you’ll still look great with the button-down shirt and stylish denim pants. Pair this ensemble with a well-shined pair of black or brown shoes. A simple watch sets this outfit off nicely.

Go Wild with Accessories at Holiday Parties

Instead of wearing the usual and boring little black dress to the workplace holiday party or other galas you need to attend, go for a winter white dress instead. Whether you choose a simple silk A-line dress or a fancier dress with a lace or chiffon overlay, you’ll be able to go a little wild with the accessories. Winter white provides a great background to colorful necklaces, bracelets or earrings. If you choose a statement or showy necklace, wear it with small stud earrings and forgo the bracelet. Chandelier earrings are still popular as accessories for this winter season and make a great pairing for your holiday outfit. If the weather is chilly the night of the party, select a glittering shawl, shrug or wrap also in winter white. Pick one with flecks of silver or gold woven into the fabric to coordinate with your other accessories. A pair of shiny and strappy heels is a great finish.


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The Difference Women Make in Business

Posted By: on November 17, 2014

The overall misconception about business is that only men are fit to start and operate companies, but the truth is that women are becoming a major force in the global economy. Every corner of the world features women starting businesses in distinct industries. While there is still a level of imbalance between the two genders, women are definitely spearheading a major upswing in entrepreneurship.

Numbers and Industries

Women are starting more businesses than ever before. There are over 120 million women starting new businesses right now, and at least 98 million women are operating established businesses that are over three years old.

From manufacturing and service-based enterprises to city businesses of all sizes, women are starting businesses in all industries. In fact, over 35 percent of global businesses have a female owner. While their growth has been lagging in large businesses and manufacturing companies, there has been a major surge of female owners in all other niches.

Better Business Owners

This might be a surprise to some, but some experts believe that women are better business owners than males. One compelling reason for female owners is that successful businesses tend to have more women on the founding team. Women also tend to have fewer write-offs and risks, which makes it easier for them to secure loans.

Though there isn’t much research yet, some studies are showing that women-owned firms often outperform male-owned firms in terms of growth and profit. Women also tend to be more trusted in the community, which can lead to more sales and better business loyalty.

Effects of Female Owners

What is the major difference between female and male business owners? Female owners tend to reinvest more money into education, nutrition and health. Male owners spend money on the same resources for themselves and their families, but the ratio of investment is different. Females invest 90 percent of their money in these resources, but men only invest 30 to 40 percent into the same resources.

Women have also shown higher levels of innovation. In a strict sense, innovation is defined as offering new products or services. This is especially true in America and Europe, but it’s also been shown in other nations.

Reasons for Entrepreneurship

Why are so many women becoming entrepreneurs? The surprising reason is the continued lack of opportunity for women in the formal sector. While most of the world is slowly accepting women into the professional workforce, this sluggish pace has frustrated many women because they want to show their talents and capabilities.

Instead of waiting for a business to hire them, they use their abilities to create their own business. By carving out their own niche, women have had a major impact on the economy and the workforce in general.


Though men are still the most common business owners and entrepreneurs, women are quickly starting to stabilize the equation. Not only are females starting a number of businesses and generating a lot of income, they have higher levels of innovation and personal reinvestment. If this pace continues, then it won’t be long before an equal number of men and women are starting businesses and participating in the professional workforce.

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How Companies Can Prevent Cyber Crime from Within

Posted By: on November 12, 2014


Cyber security has dominated the news in recent years. Headlines often draw attention to the cyber risk American companies face from terrorists or outsiders in foreign countries. However, “Bloomberg” suggests a greater threat that is much closer to home: workers who become hackers.

“U.S. companies and organizations suffered $40 billion in losses from unauthorized use of computers by employees last year,” wrote Chris Strohm and Jordan Robertson. While outsiders likely attacked companies like Home Depot, the worst data breaches are often created by vindictive insiders. Employees can access sensitive data that outsiders can’t get their hands on.

The Rise of Cyber Crime

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) cyber crime division issued a warning about the rise of computer hacking by current and past employees. Workers can pose the greatest threat to corporations. Not only can they access confidential personal data and passwords, but they can also transfer the information through personal email accounts and cloud storage.

Most companies work hard to protect themselves from cyber threats from the outside. However, they must also guard against internal threats. Cyber crime is a quickly emerging field of law, and good cyber security can help companies avoid costly financial and legal hassles.

Cyber Crime and Business Litigation

The complexities of cyber crime and business litigation require the expertise of a qualified attorney. Business lawyers guide companies through the litigation process. They can also help companies protect themselves from internal cyber crimes and other criminal threats.

How can companies guard against internal hackers and still allow their workers to access sensitive data? Business attorneys say it’s a delicate balance that requires serious attention. Here are four suggestions.

  1. Identify Who Can Access Computer Data

It’s essential that companies identify who can access sensitive data. They must also evaluate the genuine need for this information. Access to company data should be on a “need to know” basis, and workers who require temporary access should get no more than that.

  1. Change Computer Passwords Often

Cyber crime prevention is often as simple as a new password. Online criminals look for quick and easy ways to hack into computers. Companies can avoid cyber attacks by changing their passwords on a regular basis. Only workers who need to know the passwords should receive them.

  1. Establish Computer Use Policies

Restricting access to personal email on company devices is another smart idea. This minimizes cyber threats by employees. Companies should also consider restricting the use of personal devices since they are an easy way to transfer data.

  1. Terminate the Rights of Former Workers

Disgruntled employees who are fired or leave the company often pose the greatest cyber risk. When a worker leaves a company, that company should terminate their access rights. Changing the necessary passwords adds another layer of protection.

Employees must have access to certain data in order to perform their jobs. It is not productive to restrict all access to confidential or sensitive data. However, in an era of growing cyber crime, wise companies closely monitor how their workers use, share and transfer data.


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Medical Assistants and Physician Assistants: What is the Difference?

Posted By: on November 12, 2014


Some allied health professionals who earn a medical assistant (MA) degree stay in this field throughout their careers. Others see this position as a stepping stone to another allied health role: physician assistant (PA). While the names may sound alike, these health professions are different in many ways. They have different education requirements, job duties and salaries.

What Are Medical Assistants?

Medical assistants handle entry-level administrative duties such as updating medical records and scheduling laboratory tests. They perform routine clinical tasks like recording medical histories and vital signs. Most of these allied health professionals work directly with patients in primary care settings.

What Are Physician Assistants?

Physician assistants practice medicine under a doctor’s supervision. Their everyday duties include medical diagnosis and treatment. They often serve as chief health care providers in rural or urban clinics.

Educational Requirements

In addition to their job descriptions and duties, there are other key differences between the MA and PA professions. Medical assistants usually start their careers with a certificate or an associate’s degree. Certificate programs take about a year to complete, while associate’s degrees are generally two-year programs.

Physician assistants usually earn a master’s degree that includes two years of classroom study and clinical rotation. A four-year bachelor’s degree is another option. Most of these allied health professionals have combined degrees that include an associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Certification and Licensing

While medical assistants can find work without certification, their employment opportunities improve when they are certified by the state. To become certified, they must complete an accredited medical assistant training program and pass an examination.

Physician assistants must be licensed by a state board. They must also pass a national certifying exam after graduating from an accredited physician assistant training program.

Salaries and Job Growth

Salaries differ greatly for medical assistants and physician assistants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), $29,370 is the median annual salary for medical assistants in the United States. Physician assistants earn a higher median salary of $90,930.

Jobs in both fields are growing much faster than average for most other employment. Medical assistants can expect a 29 percent increase in employment opportunities through 2022. The projected job growth for physician assistants is 38 percent. A team approach to health care and an aging population are the main reasons for this job growth.

Medical Assistant to Physician Assistant

Since medical assistants and physician assistants are such different professions, why would health professionals use one position to jump-start the other? Skills and experience are the answers. Allied health workers are needed in all medical settings, and MA to PA programs are a good way to earn them.

Because medical assistants develop skills that other health workers lack, they are often the backbone of the medical field. Medical assistant jobs enable workers to polish their people skills and hone their bedside manners. This can be very beneficial to future physician assistants.

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