How to find the best vacuum cleaner for your home

All homes, just like all individuals, are different. They have different particularities and need different maintenance activities in different doses. And with household maintenance tools it’s  always a question of the biggest and the strongest, but rather the most appropriate.


Vacuum cleaners are in a continuous improvement process, and with the wide variety of models and features you find on the market deciding which one is better for your home might be difficult. Here are some tips on what certain features you can find in a modern vacuum cleaner good for.

When you’re thinking about a vacuum cleaner to suit your house you’re referring to the area to be covered and the type of surfaces the vacuum will have to clean. This is why the first question you should ask yourself is what type of vacuum would do the job. A canister vacuum has the best suction power, but it might be a little more difficult to maneuver on large areas. An upright vacuum lose a little of the power suction, but works much better on carpets thanks to the standard motorized brush roll. Cordless vacuum cleaners are great for difficult to reach crevices and in-between cleanings swipes, but have the disadvantage of running out of battery very fast if they’re used on large surfaces, and their suction power isn’t spectacular.


After you’ve chosen the right type of vacuum, consider the stretches that a short hose would put you through. If you have stairs, or tall ceilings in your house, a long hose will save you from a lot of back pain and help you get your job done easily and fast. In the same manner, a cordless or handheld unit will make cleaning corners and upholstery a piece of cake.


Last on our list is the type of disposal the vacuum offers. Bags are great for avoiding messy canister emptying procedures, but you need to always have refills at hand. Canisters can cause a lot of mess if the mechanism isn’t sharply executed, or cause you serious problems if you’re allergic to dust particles. This could also happen if the vacuum uses poor filtration or if instead of sucking in all the debris, the machine scatters it – as it happens when using a brush roll on flat surfaces.

In conclusion, choosing a vacuum cleaner requires to carefully consider all the details regarding the carpeting, upholstery, and surface area of your home.

Using a radar detector for the first time



Using a radar detector for the first time may be fruitless if you’ve never worked with such a device before or if you have no idea about how it works. There are a few tips that any beginner should know to get the most out of their investment.


ol5First of all, the radar detector should be mounted correctly, so that it can detect a radar beam but not impair the driving. As many states have laws that prohibit attaching devices to the windshield, make sure you’re following the legal prescriptions. Most of the time, having a radar detector set that high won’t let it detect anything relevant, since the police usually targets the license plate and the headlights. Also, just like any other device that calls for your attention, having a radar detector in front of your eyes might lead to more serious consequences than a speeding ticket. There are different ways and accessories that allow you to mount the radar detector low, on the dashboard or the lower part of the windshield.


ol6As some radar detectors have high sensitivity, you may end up being falsely alarmed quite a lot, especially if you’re driving in the city. To minimize these, use city mode when you’re in the city, and highway mode when it’s the case. Each of these modes has a preset sensitivity that will manage the bands with a high rate of false alarms. However, don’t get to comfortable with the idea that low intensity chirps are not relevant. It is best that you pay attention to the band and signal strength displayed by you device and consider the possibility that the alert is real. While the X band is known for the high rate of false alarms, the KA and laser bands are almost always accurate.


Another tip is that you set your mind to be fast in reaction. If you decided to spend money on a device that warns you about the danger of being caught speeding, you might as well hit the brakes or reduce your speed as soon as it tells you to. Overconfidence can always hurt a driver, and you should never forget that.


As a last advice, if you’ve been tipped by you detector and you want to push the brakes, make sure the road conditions and the traffic situation allows you to do that without having the car behind you leave its print on the back of your car.

Safety considerations when using a flat iron



Heat-inducing hair tools can be as damaging as efficient if used in the wrong manner. In order to protect the hair as much as possible and reduce the risk of burning or severe dehydration, one can apply a few safety measures.


First of all, one must understand the ways in which the action of a flat iron can damage the hair or post danger to its health. Of course, most of the risks come from exposing the hair to the heat, so in order to protect it, we need to reduce the potential damages that heat may cause. The main way to do so is to make sure the hair is hydrated enough so that it will put up its own resistance. A prior washing and the use of conditioner will give your hair and scalp a hydration boost, and will keep the dirt and sebum from being fried into the hair when using the flat iron.


Some people take the “keep the hair hydrated” advice a little too serious and they end up making everything worse. While prior washing is necessary, having your hair wet and even damp, will cause massive damage to it, and might send you directly to the hairdresser’s for a dramatic cut. Always have your hair dry when using the flat iron, otherwise you will simply be boiling it.


Another important thing you must remember when you’re using the straightener is that the temperature should match your type of hair. Thin, frail hair will get burnt in seconds if you’re using the highest level of temperature. In the same way, using a low temperature level on thick, coarse hair will make you go over a strand over and over again, which will end up with the same damaging result.


While your hair being damp will do a lot of damage, not having anything to help protect it will take its toll in the long run. They might seem more like a money-consuming caprice, but heat protectant sprays will give your hair the protection needed by creating a cover that will spread the heat evenly – you know how that’s what makes ceramic plates the best.


However, neither the conditioner, nor the hair protectant form an unbreakable armour against heat damage, so always be careful on the level of temperature you’re using and how often you expose your hair to this treatment.

The best point-and-shoot cameras of 2016



Looking a few years back, point and shoot cameras seemed to be facing obsolescence, with smartphones, Iphones and Ipads integrating better and better photo and video technology. However, the manufacturers have managed to open new doors to progress for the once dying breed, and now we’re witnessing a new comeback wave on the market. This year has seen many powerful arrivals on this niche, and here are some of the most appreciated point and shoot cameras in 2016.


ol4Panasonic Lumix DMC LX-100 is one versatile tool, with a 12.8 MP Micro 4/3” MOS sensor that does wonders in combination with the 24-75mm Leica lens. A manual focus ring offers you more creative freedom than auto focus cameras. 4K video and photo resolution makes it a powerful contender, and is also a big selling-point that not only adds to the richness of the image, but also allows depth of detail and great colour reproduction.


Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is a high-end compact camera that also features 4K resolution, the famous Sony Optical Steadyshot and a performant 24-600mm equivalent F2.4 -4 lens and 20MP 1”-type stacked CMOS sensor. Together with the BIONZ X image processor, they offer great ISO performance and noise reduction. Overall, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is an appraised camera that efficiently combines a great zoom range and fast lens speed.


Another point and shoot camera that everyone admired this year is the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4, a perfect companion for the adventurous photographers. Waterproof, shockproof ( very good for landscapes), freezeproof, what more proof do you need? Combining a 16MP live MOS sensor of 1/2:3 and an F2.0 wide angle lens, this camera is as sharp as it is tough. Built-in wi-fi connectivity even lets you share your experiences in no-time.


ol5Canon Powershot G16 may seem an odd choice for those of you who cherish portability the most, but as far as performance goes, you will quickly understand why the manufacturer decided to sacrifice a little space. Similar to the RX100 III, the G7 from Canon has a 20 MP, 1”-type sensor, it works with 24-100mm equivalent F1.8-2.8 lens and allures us even more with its flip-up rear touchscreen. Moreover, the G7 renders great physical control features such as clicking control dials and exposure compensation dial.


As you can see, the point and shoot cameras industry has been really busy with finding new features and combinations to woe the consumer and we may well admit we are looking forward for more.

Which mattresses are good for the elderly?

With age, our bodies require more and more attention and care. A good night’s sleep is difficult to obtain and sore mornings can turn into days of back pain and achy joints. This is why buying an appropriate mattress is crucial if you want to preserve a certain level of comfort during the night.


While innerspring mattresses seem to still hold the monopoly on the market thanks to the extra support they offer, seniors have different needs that may not be well fulfilled by a firm sleeping surface. On the contrary, sleeping on a firm mattress, such as an orthopedic one may cause joint pain and back problems, as these areas are more sensitive on elderly persons. A soft sleeping surface will offer more protection, as it gives more relief to pressure points.

If you are looking for the best mattresses, memory foam mattresses seem to be the better choice. Not only that they are soft and embrace the shape of the body, but they also are non-allergenic. However, because some support is needed for a good spinal alignment, hybrid mattresses  or memory foam with a high-density foam base will fit into this combination of features much better. The firm core or base is also recommended as memory foam tends to make it difficult to move, and because of its heat retention capacity, movement should be the only way to cool off.


Another feature that needs to be considered when purchasing a mattress for seniors is its height. Not everyone enjoys the “falling”out of the bed” that a high mattress causes, and for some seniors it is an impossibility and a risk of serious injury. This is why you should consider a maximum height of 10 inches for your new mattress.

If you’re buying a mattress for two, think about getting a zipp-and-link combination, that will allow you to respect the needs of both individuals, without having to have separate beds. You can then combine an orthopaedic or other medically required type of mattress with a regular, innerspring, or a soft, memory foam mattress.

Using the right temperatures with your blow dryer so you can get great styling results


There are two big aspects of using a blow dryer that need to be considered before plugging it. The first one is to what purpose you are using the appliance in that particular moment, and the second one is what setting is appropriate for that purpose.


If you’re simply using the blow dryer to dry the hair, the setting should only provide as much heat as your type of hair can withstand without sustaining damages. It’s only logical that thin hair will be less resistant to high heat than thick, strong hair, so your first job is making sure your blow dryer has a low temperature setting.


Furthermore, the recommended temperature is different for dripping-wet hair and damp hair. The first category can be dried using a higher level of heat, provided that you move the flow of the dryer constantly, to spread that heat as evenly as possible. On the other hand, the later category requires a lower setting for the temperature because once the water has already begun to disappear from the hair, the object of the heat flow will become the hair itself and the water in the very fiber.


in order to avoid complete dehydration. As true as it is that hot air should generally be avoided, you can still use it for styling as long as you know your limits. If you’re trying to straighten your hair with the use of the hair dryer, going downwards the strand of hair with a medium to high temperature setting will get you the desired result. However, because, as we pointed out before, not every hair type supports high heat, using a heat-protection spray or other product is mandatory.


In order to get your curls shiny and defined, use your round brush to fix the curl, and move the blow dryer across the length of the brush first with medium-high heat, and then use the cool temperature setting to seal in the curl. Cold air can also be used for giving your hair a special shine at the end of the drying cycle, as it seals the cuticles of the hair. Plus, if you’re been overusing the hot air flow, this trick will help your hair cool down faster, and minimize the damage of overheating.


In conclusion, in order to achieve a good look and keep your hair healthy and safe at the same time, you need to understand what are the limits of your hair and how to set your dryer to respect them.



How to keep your children safe during car journeys

Whenever we hear about the statistics of car-related children deaths or injuries, we ask ourselves if we are doing every possible thing to keep them out of harm’s way. Many of us have gone through articles, dedicated sites and recommendations from institutions of authority, but maybe we need a recap every now and then, just to keep it all fresh i our minds.

The first rule of driving with children is that they have to be well buckled down, be it by seat belt, or by tucking and buckling them into a properly-installed car seat. This will minimize their movements and help suppress some of the shock from an impact. However, a seat belt left in the hands of a toddler might turn into a halter if you’re not careful, so it is recommended to buckle and lock it away if you’re not using it.


Secondly, children should always be seated in the back, as front seats are more open to damage, and air bags being a possible choking object once it’s triggered. This applies even if you’re using an extra safety measure such as a booster or the best convertible seat.

Another important recommendation comes from the horrifying number of deaths in infants caused by heat stroke: never leave your child in the vehicle unattended, even if the windows are open, or the sky is cloudy, since cars tend to overheat very quickly.

Leaving the child unattended may also give him/her ideas about personally driving the car, so one should always remember to take the keys out of the ignition and turn the ignition off.

Power-windows also constitute a real threat to the integrity and even life of children, according to the NHTSA. Close the windows and lock them to prevent your kid from sticking his fingers, hands or any other body parts through the window while it’s closing.


If you’re the only adult in the car, keeping a close eye both on your kids and on the road at all times will be impossible. This is why you should remove all the objects that can become projectiles in case of an accident, as well as those a toddler can use to hurt himself when you’re not looking. Try to keep them occupied with little games, stories, or music so they have less time on their hands to think about tricks and larks that might unfold dramatically.

Why you should buy lifetime updates for your GPS unit

Most GPS units manufacturers offer the possibility to add lifetime updates for you unit, but is it really worth spending the money? To answer this question, let us consider the disadvantages of not updating the maps on your GPS.


As you can see everyday around you, infrastructure is in continuous growth and change. Streets, bridges, buildings are constantly being built and demolished to make room for more constructions. If you live in a small town, it may be easy to find your way without a GPS or a map, but large cities can be something of a mousetrap once you’ve taken the wrong turn. Long trips with your car across the state are even more chancy if you’re not abreast with the latest changes, and the risk of driving for hours before hitting a dead end is higher.


The GPS unit functions based on the signals sent by an orbiting satellite system that delivers an accurate position of the GPS on the globe, but it also needs a mapping system. With all the changes in infrastructure we mentioned above, owning a GPS unit that hasn’t got its maps updated is just like using a several years-old map. An outdated mapping system will possibly lead to wrong routes, traffic jams, and even speed tickets.

The market today offers two ways of updating the maps on your GPS- there is a third one you can find on this website. One is purchasing the updates individually every year, and another one is getting a lifetime updates package along with your unit from the manufacturer. The first option might prove to be better if you change your vehicles and your gear often, and for the short run, it will cost you less money.


However, with the immense amount of errands and the general speed of our modern lifestyles, remembering something as small as getting an update for your GPS can be easily neglected, getting you in undesirable situations when you most rely on its accuracy.

Furthermore, a lifetime update package will save you the trouble of remembering and making the purchase every year, and will cost you less that a yearly update in the course of several years.

In conclusion, sometimes, the commitment might be the best choice, but it all depends on your way of living, and the way you use your vehicle.

Here’s a short video on how you can update maps for a Garmin device:

The advantages of camcorders over smartphone cameras

With the smartphones industry developing at such a fast pace, and manufacturers trying to integrate the best technologies into the smallest packages, many of you might wonder if buying an individual camera is still worth the trouble, and especially the money.

At a first glamp, a smartphone seems to hold all the advantages, being smaller, cheaper, and being able to offer the same Full HD resolutions as an expensive camcorder. However, there are a few reasons why people still turn to the classic handheld camera.


While it’s not the first thing experts will bring up in such a discussion, we will begin by referring to the sensibility of a smartphone when it comes to filming outside of the comfort-zone. Camcorders offer you the possibility of housing them into water and shock-proof cases that can get you filming in rough weather conditions and even under water without the risk of ruining hundreds of dollars worth equipment.

As for the quality of the videos and the image in general, smartphones have come a long way, being now capable of high resolution, some of them even offering 4K. However, the resolution is not everything when it comes to the quality of the image. Camcorders still hold the first place when talking about viewfinder, optical zoom and visual settings. While the viewfinder on a camcorder gives you much more control over the composition and framing of the image, the optical zoom lets you target your details without the trembling and blurr that the digital zoom on smartphones cause.

White balance, appropriate exposure and aperture are crucial to obtaining quality footage, and they are in your control with a camcorder.


Storage is another feature that gives camcorders the upper hand. Some models including both an internal, non removable flash memory chip and Micro-SD slots that allow you to store an immense quantity of footage. Smartphones can also house a lot of data, but they also serve many more purposes than just filming and storing videos. Apps, music, games, all of these need memory space, and you’re probably not going to still want them at hand even if you’ve decided to become a filmmaker.

This leads us to our last point of discussion. Just like memory space, video shooting requires power. While dedicated camcorders have their own rechargeable battery that can ensure several hours of continuous filming while you’re using your phone for urgent calls and texting, the smartphone dies altogether when it runs out of juice, especially if you’re recording in full HD.

Why drop-side cribs have been banned from sale?

As of the middle of 2011, the manufacture of drop-side cribs has been prohibited in the US, as well as the sale, resale and distribution of these items. This was a decision made after a long series of infant and toddler deaths caused by this model of crib, which proved to maintain a deadly risk in spite of standard safety tests.

To understand how these tragedies occurred and why ( more details here), instead of just toughening the standards, the government decided an absolute ban, let us understand what a drop-side crib is and how it was managed.

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This infamous type of crib is different on only one aspect from a common crib: it has a side that is placed on two rails that make it come down and back up in order to give the parent more freedom of movement. The whole problem that got these cribs prohibited and recalled by the millions lies with this mobile side. The main argument that the government gave was that because of certain manufacture and usage practices, the cribs can for a gap between the mattress and the mobile part, where an infant can be trapped and suffocated.

So what are these practices that can lead to such terrible consequences? Just as in car seat related-accidents, some of the times it is about assembling the crib in a faulty way. As the mobile parts are placed upside-down, they create more wear than the crib is capable to handle and the rails turn loose with times. Other problems are related to the materials used in the construction of the cribs. Plastic and soft wood wear off and break easily and this leads to the same deadly gap, or to a partial disassembly of the crib, which opens the way to head and limbs injuries and so on.


Many people raised their voices in defending the concept, saying that banning is less effective than improving the invention, and that some thought should be given to simply resolving the issues, instead of causing such a heavy financial loss for so many businesses. However, the force of the new established safety standards has reached further than just this product, making manufacturers everywhere reconsider their product features and set the safety of children at the top of their priority list.