How Much do You Spend: “Developing Your Inner World” vs “Enhancing Your External Appearance”?

Most of us fear the declination or deterioration of our physical appearance (our body) and will do anything to prevent it from happening, even if it means sacrificing our inner world which is a major pillar in our life.

How pathetic: we care much more about the state and level of perfection of our physical bodies but don’t care a bit or as much for our inner world, a great gift that can guide our soul, our eternal spirit.

Although both reality and experience prove that, without the spirit, the body would be dead and remain dead, a good number of us behave as if the spirit would be dead without the body. In fact, we treat the body as if it is the beginning and end of life. Well, reality proves the direct opposite.

Our spending habits—which include the energy, time, and money we invest in certain activities—reveal our true priorities and show where the bulk of our allegiance clearly lies.

Make a quick comparison between how much (time, money, and concentration) you spend on your external appearance, and how much you also expend on developing your inner world. Is the ratio or proportion between them healthy?

Or, is the ratio between the two so unhealthy that you find it difficult to justify spending on personal growth (developing your inner world) but find it easy to invest everything in your superficial external appearance?

How would it help in the long run if you successfully work on your external appearance, perfect it and become full of it, but you—on the other hand—remain shallow or empty on the inside (the inner world) because you were complacent or didn’t work on it a bit or nearly as much?

Considering how much weight our inner world actually holds in the scheme of life, it sounds odd, but not surprising, that many people around the world spend countless amounts of time, money, and concentration on improving their external appearance through the use of cosmetics, supplements, expensive clothes, plastic surgery, and other procedures.

On the other hand, the same people spend little to nothing of their time, money, and concentration on improving their inner world, talents, and abilities which can greatly direct and define their destinies.

To avoid blips in destiny, it’s important to spend your time, money, and concentration on developing your inner world as much as or more than you would on your external appearance or physical body.

Isn’t it wiser to spend time more developing self-restraint against unnecessary spending, than to spend it on feeding or excesses without restraint, only to later end up struggling to fix all issues that are products of unnecessary spending?

In many instances, instead of buying another expensive pair of jeans, is it not more intelligent and more profitable to spend time and money on an inexpensive book that can lighten up your path and drastically change your inner world and life.

Nobody may even notice how well you are developing internally, but it doesn’t matter because, in the long run, everyone who really takes notice will eventually realize that you’re more valuable than someone who is always noticed and praised for buying new clothes, even though they are deteriorating on the inside as they continue on the path of inner complacency, instead of following the path of self-growth.

Potential Challenges Faced by Self-driving or Driverless Cars

As it is with most man-made products, so also it is with self-driving cars: they have benefits or advantages and also have disadvantages or challenges as well. Traditionally, cars have influenced the design of major cities, construction of roads, and design and sizes of parking lots.

But, these may likely change as self-driving cars continue to become increasingly popular and available. Self-driving, driverless, or autonomous cars have many benefits, including the potential to reduce health costs and make roads easier and safer to use.

However, as we continue to move forward into a dim or unknown future that hardly speaks in the present, it is important for us to bear in mind some potentially daunting challenges that would require the attention of scientists and governments. They include the following:

1. Ethical issues & information/data security breach

Because self-driving cars rely a lot on collected data that can be used to optimize their performance, concerns regarding the privacy and security of collected data will continue to arise or exist and need to be addressed.

Imagine scenarios where the “who, what, where, and when” of our activities and lives are captured and saved. What if such important information falls into the hands of immoral or mischievous people? Imagine situations whereby the sensory inputs that need to be created, have to be tied or linked to our smartphones, our credit cards, and personal security and biometrics.

Companies that produce self-driving cars may face possible backlash if they cannot set up effective rigorous data security measures and vigilance systems or networks. While driverless car technologies are still relatively new, it is crucial for national and regional governments to start considering guidelines that can ensure self-driving cars are utilized in ways that protect consumer privacy.

2. Unforeseen circumstances

Life is as unpredictable as the variety and possible circumstances a self-driving car could get into. It may be a challenging or even daunting task to program self-driving cars to accurately know or anticipate and respond effectively to every potential situation, such as: detecting unknown or unfamiliar objects are blocking the roadway; detecting when or whether a pedestrian is suddenly coming into the roadway; detecting when or whether an unidentified object or plane is falling on the roadway from the sky; etc.

3. Adjusting to weather conditions and climate change

In the midst of the unpredictable and deteriorating weather patterns of the present-day and likely future, self-driving cars may face an uphill task of changing from the way they operate, and adapting how they operate in response to changing weather patterns (heavy rain, falling hailstones, slippery roads, etc.). Self-driving car sensors may find it difficult to recognize some difficult weather conditions, such as the conditions that involve snow.

Concluding remarks

The challenges discussed in the preceding paragraphs may just be a few that people, companies, and governments would have to address as self-driving cars are becoming increasingly popular and widely available. A potentially tougher challenge may be: proving to the public that self-driving cars are and will continue to be safer than traditional cars.

It will be the duty of national leaders to cooperate with self-driving car industries and educate the masses on the benefits and challenges of self-driving cars and begin to think constructively in order to be better prepared to lead legislatively and find solutions for potential problems before self-driving cars enter the market on large scale.

Honesty is the Best Policy Over the Long term Where Truth Always Emerges and Stands Tall

Imagine what a world of honesty would mean for everyone, including the world itself. Unfortunately, one of the greatest challenges for the self-discipline of many people is to stop lying—it is difficult to abide by the resolution to be honest and stop lying.

Many of us lie whenever we encounter opportunities to do so, wherever we go, and in whatever we do. Lying is so common that it seems it’s socially allowable to lie a little (telling a white lie) in order to make one’s self, resume, finances, height, or shape look different—or even better—than it really is, especially on the internet (personal blogs, dating sites, job sites, etc.), and even offline—in person.

Truth hardly shows up over the short term. Even when it has not yet shown up, of what benefit is it gain the whole world by being dishonest in the short term, but eventually lose everything valuable over the long term where the truth always emerges and finds out dishonesty?

History has lots of tales about it: the trails of dishonesty that have been causing so many problems and ills in the beautiful garden called society. Honesty and truth—strong ingredients of integrity—have always resided predominantly in virtuous people; on the other hand, both have been seriously lacking in people who are the opposite—immoral, mischievous, etc.

If you’re under the temptation to sacrifice honesty on the plate of short-term gains, recall and activate and radiate the old saying: “honesty is the best policy” over the long-term, the permanent, and eternal.

Honesty is one of the best pillars that can strengthen or establish your integrity, especially over the long term where the truth always emerges and stands tall in a manner that might not always be possible over the short term.

It is one thing to be honest and deny yourself of something valuable; it is a completely different thing to be dishonest when you think that dishonesty would make you look better, only to eventually find out over the long term that it has destroyed you or your relationship with someone whom you cherish deeply.

So, when the truth emerges and stands tall at the end of the day—over the long term—will you have any sense of honesty left in you? If you won’t, then unfortunately, whatever you have left will likely eat away at your conscience.

Advice

Not only should honesty be exhibited because it is the right thing to do; but it should also be exhibited because the truth will eventually find a way out. Where will you stand when the truth shows up and beams for the whole world to see?

Lastly: being honest doesn’t mean you should turn your life into an open book and allow everyone to know everything about you. As honest as any society would like and expect us to be, we have the right to keep some things to ourselves in a wise manner.

The Merits of Using Surface Models

One outstanding quality of surface models is the improved appearance of their surfaces and the ability to use its [appearance] complicated definitions for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).

Evidence proves that customers purchase products, not only based on how they function, but also on their styling or how aesthetically pleasing they are, with or without visually expressing how their back edges actually appear.

By using lighting and different materials in most surface modeling softwares to create and present a realistically shaded model of a product to potential customers, you can actually evaluate their [customers’] reaction—pleasure, displeasure, or otherwise—to seeing it.

Many real-life consumer products often start out as a surface model and their interior parts are engineered to accommodate or somewhat conform to the shape of the exterior part(s).

Using surface models is cost-effective and could increase savings when used in place of physical prototypes or in place of actual products for promotional purposes. The cost-effectiveness of surface modeling depends on the complexity or difficulty of the surface, the level of accuracy it requires, and the potential purpose of the modeling.

The surface definitions of surface models eliminate the ambiguity that is inherent in some wireframe models: they make it possible for you to view the front edges or surfaces and holes by hiding the “invisible” parts of the model.

It is true that complex surfaces can be difficult to model, but it is possible to manufacture irregular shapes that are difficult to document systematically in 2D views if their complex surfaces, which are defined by a surface model, can be exported to numerically controlled machines.

Surface models (and solid models too) can be used to assess interference and fitness before a product is eventually manufactured. Oftentimes, solid models can be changed into surface models and vice versa.

Although surface models define surfaces and often provide information about the surface area of a part of a product, such information can save time, especially when a complex surface is involved. However, the accuracy of calculations in surface models may depend on the method employed by the software to store product surface data.

Optimism can Improve Your Ability to See the World in Brighter Colors

Oftentimes, life is very difficult, with no roller coaster and no fun. I mean it! The adversities of life sap lots of energy out of people, steal their destinies, and leave them in hopeless situations that can’t support optimism, no matter how much it [optimism] may be.

In the midst of it all, where does your allegiance lie? Where do you focus when the chips are down, when you hit low? Does your allegiance lie on positives or negatives—in optimism or pessimism? It might not be wrong to assume that you’re quite unfortunate if your allegiance lies in pessimism, in negativity.

But it might also not be wrong to assume that you have the right to place your allegiance on negatives. Why? Because optimism is not for everybody. Again, why? Because it doesn’t work for everybody.

But, despite the fact that it doesn’t work for everybody, it is equally true that a healthy dose or practice of optimism can make can you see the world in brighter colors, very brilliant colors, even when the going gets tough and the world turns upside down.

The Bible and history have proven again and again that, “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is”. The same is applicable to optimism: as a man thinks about optimism, he actually tends to become optimistic, until he actually lives optimistically and in surprising abundance.

It’s our duty to keep our hearts optimistic and guard them against all forms of pessimism

Proverbs 4: 23 says, “keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it [are] the issues of life. I now say something similar to you: keep your heart optimistic, for out of it comes abundance and scarcity which are two of the many pair of opposites of life.

It’s our duty to feed our minds with positive or optimistic information and experiences and build a mentality that expects the best from life, regardless of how and where the tide is turning for good or bad, better or worse. It’s our duty to focus on the invincibility of GOD our Creator and the great powers He has placed in His universe, in life.

It is true that being optimistic or practicing optimism won’t necessarily make you become completely invulnerable to negative feelings or pessimism—far from it. For, as long as we remain alive, we will likely continue to be at war with negative dark forces which easily influence most people’s minds, tricking and training them to always think negatively.

The good news is that we are at liberty to stop or protect ourselves from this trend by meditating on or practicing optimism and always opening up or surrounding ourselves with positive input by reading inspirational, motivational, or positive books, watching positive visuals, listening to positive audios, etc. Feed your mind every day, and a sip of optimism a day will slowly drive away bits and bits of pessimism every day.

No matter how bad your situation is, you can start from somewhere, and if you are self-disciplined enough to guard or keep your heart diligently, after some time period you will come to realize that you have been gradually and increasingly igniting optimism and the strong positive feeling that, regardless of what is happening around you, things will eventually turn out well and the best will come your way.

By gradually strengthening this feeling, you can actually draw in a larger-than-life reality of it. Even before becoming an expert at honing and radiating optimism, sipping optimism each day can greatly improve the way you see the world and eventually make you see it in much brighter colors than you ever expected.

Optimism can have a long-term positive impact on your emotions, mentality, faith, and destiny. An optimistic or positive attitude is essential for people who want to build self-discipline and establish a culture or brand that stands out. What’s the point of being self-disciplined enough to deny yourself instant gratification if you are not optimistic that you’ll achieve your goals in the future?

Whenever the tide is rough and everywhere looks gloomy and negative and all hope seems to be lost, that’s the time we—especially those who suffer from pessimism—really need inspiration or positive input to see the world in the brighter colors of our inner vision.

The brighter colors may be hidden, but they are there, waiting to be turned on. That’s what they were made for: to be turned on at will. Unfortunately, many of us are not aware of, haven’t discovered, or have lost our ability to be optimistic enough to save our emotions, nerves, faith, future, and destiny.

Easy steps to become optimistic—and even more optimistic

1. Thank GOD or Life for all the things you have received since the day you were born empty-handed. Be content with what you have and aspire higher, but learn to express gratitude for what you already have.

If you are not content or happy with what you have at the moment, it will be difficult or impossible for you to be satisfied with what you will receive tomorrow.

2. Practice and make it a habit not to entertain negative experiences and thoughts. Only entertain them if you are looking for opportunities and lessons. It’s actually possible to turn some negative experiences around and achieve greatness from them.

An experience may be bad for you only if view it as such. As we tend to look more at negatives for problems, we should learn to also look at negatives for lessons or opportunities to become better, change our lives, and give them positive meanings.

3. Open up or surround yourself with positive input. We cannot over-stress this point enough. The truth is that if you only entertain negative thoughts, read fear-mongering news, and hang out with pessimistic people from any background, you’ll likely have a hard time practicing or exhibiting optimism.

I encourage you to read inspirational, motivational, or positive books, watch positive visuals, listen to positive audios, etc. And always remember that a sip of optimism a day will slowly continue to drive away bits and bits of pessimism every day.

Characteristics of a Valid Real Estate Contract

Usually, transactions that involve buying and selling real estate properties are always expressed in writing. The most vital document in/part of any transaction is the sales contract which, in the real estate field, is also known as the purchase agreement. Although contracts can be oral instead of written, it is advisable to avoid going into oral contracts.

After investing time and finding a property that is in line with your investment dreams, you need to prepare a real estate contract that should have at least a minimum number of characteristics, features, or elements to make it valid enough for presentation to the seller (of the property).

A valid real estate contract is a written agreement between two or more individuals, entities, or corporations; it is legally binding between them in regard to an exchange of property and money or services of any kind.

Any valid real estate contract is no joke: it contains a legally enforceable set of assurances that must be executed because it (the contract) is anchored on the basics of contract law.

We’ve now known what a valid real estate contract is, but what makes a real estate contract valid? A legally binding real estate contract on any activity is valid because it has all the most important and necessary characteristics, features, or elements that empower it and make it legally enforceable on a certain activity (or activities).

The following are nine main characteristics you have to be familiar with and ensure that your valid, enforceable, or legally binding real estate contract possesses them:

1. It (valid real estate contract) consists of individuals or entities that are legally competent

Each individual who is involved in a real estate transaction must be legally competent or have some legal capacity: in most countries and states, the legal capacity is defined as being at least the legal age (usually, 18 years) and mentally matured enough to understand the consequences of taking actions.

Some of the people who are mentally ill and criminals may not be legally competent or have the required legal capacity to engage in a contract. It may even be wise to avoid dealing with people, especially older persons if they appear to have difficulty in communicating or understanding terms or things that a contract has to be founded on.

In some cases, it is important to inquire (from the person you are dealing with) whether they have a representative or someone who can act legally on their behalf.

2. It consists of an offer

The individual or entity who is interested in a property has to make an offer in writing or through written communication to the current owner or seller of the property. The offer has to clearly express the buyer’s interest and willingness to purchase the property according to specific terms.

Nearly all offers have an expiry date or time. Except an expiry date or time is included, the seller may accept an offer at any time before it is revoked or canceled officially by the interested individual (or potential buyer). On the other hand, the seller is at liberty to continue considering the offer or continue to wait or look for a better offer.

3. It consists of information that proves acceptance (of the offer)

Not all offers are accepted. If an offer is accepted, it is expressed as a positive written response that is in agreement with the exact terms stated by the buyer/potential buyer. In cases where the seller proposes changes to the terms or conditions, he may make a counteroffer and notify the buyer.

4. It may consist of a counteroffer

A counteroffer can also be referred to as a “legally new offer”; it only comes into existence when the original offer is rejected or becomes void. Sometimes, counteroffers can go back and forth between seller and buyer until both (seller and buyer) come to an agreement. At this point, the final accepted offer becomes the binding agreement between the individuals or entities.

5. It consists of an exchange

The exchange part of a real estate deal is very important to most individuals or entities; the exchange aspect of a deal involved the substitution or transfer of property and money or services of any kind, between seller and buyer.

Usually, buyers offer money, services, or something of great value to sellers who, in return, hand over ownership of property to buyers. A real estate contract would not be enforceable if each individual or entity doesn’t offer at least some form of exchange to the other individual or entity.

6. It consists of information that clearly identifies a property

All property must be clearly and unambiguously identified in order to leave no surface scratched. Usually, a legal description is used for each property. Clear identification is necessary so as to erase any uncertainty about a property that is being exchanged, sold, or transferred from seller to buyer.

7. It has a legal purpose

Most countries support legal acts and ban acts that are regarded as illegal. Your real estate contract must have a legal purpose and should not be used for illegal and immoral purposes that are against public policy. Some properties are used to carry out certain activities that violate the local prohibitions that are against operating businesses; for example, some people operate factories or similar types of businesses in residentially zoned areas that prohibit such actions.

8. Its information is stated in writing: it’s a written contract

A valid real estate contract has to be a written contract because that’s the requirement for all legally binding exchanges in real estate. All the conditions or terms surrounding the sales or purchase agreement must be done in writing, even if the contract contains minor items that don’t seem to be important.

Written contracts help to prevent or erase confusion surrounding the content that is used to describe its components or constituents. It is crucial that all relevant and consequential details be written or clearly specified in writing, and whatever is not for exchange or sale must be clearly written as well. In fact, if anything is not in writing, don’t regard it as part of the contract.

9. It is signed

A valid real estate contract must be signed by the individuals involved and have statements that describe all dates and times which are important and should not be ignored by any involved individual or entity without the written consent of the (individual or entity).

Whenever one individual’s consent is ignored or overlooked by the other individual, then the latter has breached the contract or contract terms. Once a breach of contract has occurred, the other individual or entity may be entitled to sue, claim monetary damages, or use the law to force the seller to agree to the contract terms.

Advice

Ensure that all agreements (for real estate sales) made between you and other individuals or entities are done in writing. Unless they are done in writing, do not regard them as being valid, legally binding, or enforceable real estate contracts. Without being written, they aren’t!

No matter how reasonable or convenient it may seem at the moment, never make an oral agreement of any kind on any real estate property. Most countries and laws require all exchanges in real estate to be in writing and enforceable in a court of law. They must include purchase agreements or sales contracts, and leases, and may include loans secured by mortgages or notes, commission agreements with agents, listing contracts, etc.

A contract can be declared invalid or void if it fails to possess the essential elements of a valid real estate contract. An invalid contract has no legal power and is thus unenforceable in a court of law.

Often, the Line Between Failure & Success is so Thin that We Hardly Know When We’re Right There

In a world of difficulties, hardships, challenges, and hustles, being a genius or achieving success often comes by making consistent efforts. But while making those consistent efforts, many people fail or fall off the cliff when they get to the tipping point which, if they could just add a bit more effort, would produce large effects and great success.

The thing is that, after giving their all, so many people fail to recognize when they’ve reached the tipping point or line between failure and success. The next time you feel like giving up, even though you’ve invested a ton of time, patience, money, and whatnot, persuade yourself to push a little bit longer because you might just be on the thin line between failure and success.

Every time we’ve tried and tried and tried and gone some distance, chances are that success is just around the corner, but we fail to recognize it because of a few or countless reasons: the line between failure and success is so thin that we barely realize that we’ve reached it or even passed it.

It’s unfortunate how lots of people have thrown up their hands or given up at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, and a little more hustle would achieve the success they’ve been craving for since forever.

If we are not careful, the more the tide of challenges clears out, the more our impatience would wear thin, and we may hardly know when we’re just an inch away from success: sometimes, our prospects may seem darkest when they’re right there at the turning point to success—a point where many fail to recognize that a little more effort and persistence could turn hopeless failure into glorious success.

Failure only arrives eventually when we give up and decide not to continue trying any longer. Whenever you reach a point where start believing that you can no longer go on, then your self-discipline has begun to run out of gas; rather than throwing up your hands in defeat, move the opposite direction and persist just a little bit longer because success could just be around the corner.

Importance of Seasonal Keywords & Tools for Conducting Research on Seasonal Keyword Trends

Some keywords always remain relevant and popular all year long and will benefit you immensely, year after year, especially if your goal is to create evergreen content; other keywords undergo spikes and rises in popularity during different parts of the year—i.e., they trend seasonally and are thus referred to as “seasonal keywords” because people search for them mostly during certain times of the year.

Holidays are good examples: more people purchase Christmas trees or ornaments in December than any other part of the year; more people look for bathing garments during the months that precede summer, and they look for snowboards during winter; the majority of costume sales occur before Halloween.

Other good examples are the seasons for different sports: many people search for information about the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl early in the year; many people search for information about the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals in April and May of each year.

Generally, many people search for some keywords and phrases at certain times of the year than they do at other times of the year. So, when looking for keywords for your internet business, always remember that certain keywords are more capable of supporting a brand or niche and result in more sales than other keywords. It’s crucial to consider seasonal traffic when building your website.

Importance of using seasonal keywords

Although seasonal keywords and seasonal keyword trends are highly relevant and popular for short time periods, they can help your business strategy to reach new audiences, boost or attract high seasonal traffic, and receive a lot of revenue from seasonal purchases.

In addition, since it’s not every business that uses seasonal keywords, there tends to be less competition among businesses that use them. Using seasonal keywords can really be worth it, but this depends on both your long-term and short-term goals. Ensure that when using seasonal keywords in the short term, it won’t distract you from achieving your long-term SEO goals.

Important advice to consider before using seasonal keywords

  • use Google Insights or other tools to discover the seasonal keyword terms that are highly relevant.
  • shortly before the season you are targeting, create and publish original content that shall consist of seasonal keywords: certain keywords and keyword phrases (Christmas tree, jewelry, honeymoon, etc.) should be considered before or during a given holiday (Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day). Take note that they will likely spike or rise in popularity around or during holiday periods.
  • look for many keywords that can give conversions: if possible, look for hundreds of good seasonal keywords, instead of a few—but this depends on your goals and the size of your site.
  • be wary of selecting and using a bunch of irrelevant or low-traffic keywords: get rid of them and focus on the relevant medium- and high-traffic keywords that are capable of converting visitors to customers or making visitors open their wallets.
  • don’t discard or neglect your long-term SEO goals when producing seasonal content.

Tools for conducting research on seasonal keywords

When figuring out how often seasonal keywords are being searched for, you can use various tools to monitor them and make your evaluation. Some tools have to be paid for, while others are free. Two examples of free tools include:

1. Free search engine keyword planners (Google, Bing, etc.)

You need a Google AdWords account to gain access to the Keyword Planner keyword research tool which is located at https://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner. You can make use of the end‐of‐the‐year reports of Google Trends www.google.com/trends which provides information on how often a seasonal keyword is used during a given day and when spikes occur.

Bing’s tool page can be accessed at www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords. Even Microsoft has a keyword tool that can be accessed if a user should have an account.

Each individual keyword planner provides additional suggestions based on seed keywords, the level of competitiveness of keywords, and the average number of searches for keywords. Keyword planners go a long way in revealing keyword popularity by mobile devices and the location of search engine visitors or users.

2. Free KSP tool for search engine optimization

Bruce Clay Inc. provides a free keyword tool that can be accessed at https://www.bruceclay.com/blog/free-keyword-research-tool/. You need to simply enter or type seasonal keywords into the “Please Enter Keywords” box and click the “Run KSP” button to get results about keyword counts and demographic information.

When the results appear, you can place your mouse over each seasonal keyword or keyword phrase to view demographic information concerning the type of individuals that are searching for seasonal keywords or keyword phrases.

You can run the free KSP tool as many times and with as many keywords as you wish. There is actually no limit, and you can enter 12 seasonal keywords at the same time.

On the other hand, if you wish, you can go for the following paid tools or services—but you would have to pay at least a bit of cash to use them:

3. SEOToolSet

In addition to the free tools offered by Bruce Clay Inc., you can subscribe for paid fully-integrated SEO tools which are far more equipped than the free version or tool. The paid pro version of SEOToolSet is available at a certain price per month and for up to two domains: www.bruceclay.com/seo/tools.htm.

4. Wordtracker (www.wordtracker.com)

Wordtracker is a keyword tracking service that people usually pay for when selecting either the monthly or annual pricing plans. But before paying to use it, you can test the free trial that is on offer.

5. Keyword Discovery (www.keyworddiscovery.com)

Keyword Discovery is a paid keyword tracking tool or service that was created by Trellian and can be subscribed for at a price that is quite higher price than the price for subscribing on Wordtracker.

Humility Helps to Maintain Self-control

Humility or humbleness goes a considerable or long way in helping to keep our self-control or self-discipline in check! To have better control over our urges, it’s important not to take our self-discipline for granted.

Humility can be easily decimated by arrogance, and vice-versa: assuming an invincible lifestyle or filling up the heart with arrogance or false pride on one end, could gradually reduce or completely erase any humility or humbleness we might have on the other end.

Arrogant people and those who think they are invincible would, more often than not, want to test themselves and their willpower unnecessarily in order to prove how unbeatable they are. In many cases, testing some waters unnecessarily, eventually leads to downfall.

History and research show that arrogant leaders and successful people who are filled with self-pride had:

  • the tendency to overestimate their capabilities
  • an inflated belief in their self-control, and
  • exhibited controlling impulsive behaviors on the people and activities under their control.

By ramping up their egos, they overexposed themselves to temptations and failures: warmongering leaders put themselves in situations that ousted them from power; recovering smokers put themselves in situations that tempted them to smoke; recovering patients put themselves in situations that made them lose their health; etc.

Lack of humility and overinflating the ego increased the risk of a relapse and led to decline and ultimate ruin. Actually, pride goes before a fall. So, one really needs to be aware of pride.

Our self-discipline is like prosperity. It’s possible for it to stay with us for a long time, but it’s equally possible for it to disappear if we don’t keep our humility in check or tweak it the right way!

10 Major Types of Hazardous or Toxic Air Pollutants

Hazardous air pollutants, also called “toxic air pollutants”, are the type of pollutants that are known to cause asthma, birth defects, reproductive effects, respiratory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, damage to the health and immune system, irritation in vital parts of the body, and other dangerous health and environmental effects.

Most hazardous or toxic air pollutants originate from the following anthropogenic sources: stationary sources such as gas stations, chemical plants, power plants, hazardous waste incinerators, factories, steel mills, and refineries; mobile sources such as buses, cars, and trucks; cleaning and dissolving agents/solvents, and building materials; oil leaks and spills, etc.

Hazardous air pollutants or contaminants could accumulate in the body, and they mix up more frequently than remain as individual substances after they are discharged. When pollutants mix, it complicates the problems of diagnosis and prevention of short-term and long-term illnesses.

These are the major hazardous air pollutants:

1. Benzene

Benzene is a chemical that is widely used in industries for manufacturing detergents, shoes, medicines, dies, explosives, etc. It is mostly discharged from gasoline fugitive emissions and gasoline motor vehicle exhaust, and also from stationary industry sources, but to a much lesser extent.

Tobacco smoke, cooking and heating systems, and various products used in homes may contain or release benzene which could increase the risk of cancer and cause drowsiness, nausea, tremors, depression of the central nervous system, intoxication, and even unconsciousness.

2. Diesel fuel and emissions

Diesel fuel and emissions cause a reported 80% of the total estimated cancer risk due to all types of hazardous air pollutants. Diesel exhaust is a complex mixture of vapors, gases, nickel, benzene, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, and fine particles that contain arsenic, etc. People who consistently inhale diesel fumes often experience lung cancer; diesel fuel and emissions increase cardiovascular and respiratory diseases which can cause death.

3. 1,3-Butadiene

1,3-Butadiene is a hazardous air pollutant that is discharged when diesel fuels and gasoline undergo incomplete combustion. It is used in the production of synthetic materials, can be found in tobacco smoke, and may be emitted from petroleum refineries, combustion of wood and agricultural products, wearing of vehicle tires, and burning forest. It irritates the eyes and mucous membranes and can cause headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, and dizziness.

4. Acrolein

Acrolein is emitted in industrial plants whenever it is being manufactured as an intermediate for other chemicals. Like 1,3-Butadiene, acrolein is also found in gasoline and diesel exhaust, tobacco smoke, wood products, forest fire smoke, paper mills, and other non-metallic mineral products. It causes irritation of the throat, nose, eyes, respiratory tract, and pulmonary edema.

5. Carbon tetrachloride

Although the wide use of carbon tetrachloride has been discontinued, because it has an estimated lifetime (remaining present in the atmosphere) of 50 years, its presence can still be discovered or felt upon testing. It irritates the respiratory tract, can poison various cell components, and affects the central nervous system.

6. Coke oven emissions

Coke is used to extract iron/metals from ores, create calcium carbide during manufacture of electrodes and graphite, and helps to convert coal into coke. Coke oven emissions contain benzene, which may cause severe dermatitis, cancer, conjunctivitis, and lesions of the digestive and respiratory systems.

7. Formaldehyde

Although formaldehyde is used to produce useful products such as embalming fluid, textiles, plywood, dies, and particle board, it is hazardous to the skin and respiratory system of animals. As an extremely toxic substance, it can cause cancer.

8. Chromium

Chromium is very important because, when used to coat metal parts and tools, it protects them corrosion and wear. But, hexavalent chromium, which is discharged during anodizing and electroplating operations/processes, causes cancer and complexities during pregnancy and childbirth.

9. Polycyclic organic matter

Polycyclic organic matter is produced when vegetable materials and fossil fuels undergo combustion; its compounds can be found in petroleum refineries, coal tar, motor vehicles exhaust, cigarette smoke, asphalt roads, paper mills, hazardous waste sites, smoke from wood burned in homes, and fly ash from electric power plants that use coal. Polycyclic organic matter can cause health problems in the skin, gastrointestinal tract, eyes, etc.

10. Mercury

Mercury is discharged into the atmosphere, remains active for a long time period, and can easily travel over great distances. It bio-accumulates in the food chain and oxidizes to produce a reactive gaseous form which enables it to increase its rate of deposition in various ecosystems. The downside is that mercury can increase the risk of lung cancer and affect reproduction.

21 Major Specific Types of Air Pollution Sources

All pollutants are generated from a variety of sources—some general, others specific—and can be influenced or affected by weather and local topographical conditions. The 21 major-specific types of air pollution sources in this article are as follows:

1. Agricultural activities

The agricultural activities that are air pollution sources and cause air pollution problems, include but are not limited to: animal feeding operations; production and decomposition of animal manure; improper fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide application; soil erosion, use of agricultural equipment, and handling of bulk materials.

2. Evaporative sources

Evaporative air pollution sources include all volatile liquids that are not confined in a container/tank and are able to evaporate or discharge vapors into the air. Evaporative sources can be found in many areas and may include aerosol sprays, paints, pesticides, solvents, pesticides, hair sprays, gasoline, etc.

3. Activities in the aluminium industry

The primary aluminium industry produces aluminium metal and molten aluminium from ore, for use in creating a variety of products. Substantial amounts of electricity are used in the production processes and air pollution problems are created from the fuels that are being consumed.

The secondary aluminium industry recovers aluminium cans, scraps, and foundry returns; however, it releases toxics during production processes which usually involve melting, shredding, and removal of coating on materials. The toxics include organic compounds, metals, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, chlorinated benzenes, fluorine compounds, dioxins, and furans.

4. Fires and wildfires

Smoke from fires and wildfires (burning grasses, trees, bushes, and houses) consists of gases, fine particles, and contaminants such as greenhouse gases, the six criteria pollutants, and hazardous air pollutants (furans, PAHs, dioxins, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, heavy metals including lead, mercury, and arsenic, etc.).

5. Cement kilns and cement production

The production of Portland cement takes up substantial amounts of electricity and contributes substantially to local air pollution whenever cement is being produced by grinding and heating a mixture of materials such as marl, limestone, clay, iron ore, fly ash, slag from blast furnaces used in rotary kilns which are powered by energy sources such as gas, coal, oil, coke, etc.

6. Activities in the chemical industry

The chemical manufacturing activities that are major air pollution sources and contaminate the air, water, and land, include: purification of raw materials; chemical reactions that occur when raw materials are being converted into other products; finishing operations, including the purification of products; handling, storing, transporting, and cleaning of equipment; disposal of unusable waste; manufacturing of artificial fibers, resin, basic chemicals, synthetic rubber, pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, paint, adhesives, coating, and soap, along with other cleaning compounds.

7. Controlled burns

Although controlled burns are used in forestry and agriculture to efficiently remove undesirable materials, factors such as weather conditions and the time of the day (when a burn is occurring), contribute to increasing air pollution problems. Controlled burns can cause forest fires if required conditions can no longer be controlled appropriately.

8. Erosion

Erosion (the removal and dispersion of rock and soil fragments by water, rain, flooding, wind, snowmelt, gravity, and organisms) can be caused by nature or humans (through construction, agriculture, etc.) and lead to tree removal and drought, thereby creating, propagating, and increasing pollution in many instances.

9. External combustion sources

External combustion sources are major air pollution sources that are formed from fossil fuel (coal, natural gas, oil, residual oil, and distillate oil as their major source of fuel); they include: process heaters or heating systems; coal-fired power plants; electric power plants that use steam; industrial and commercial solid waste incinerators; commercial, industrial, and institutional boilers; and combustion systems for domestic and commercial uses.

10. Hazardous waste

Waste from used oil, drain and oven cleaners, antifreeze (liquids that lower the freezing point in cooling systems), preservatives, batteries, pesticides, solvents used in home improvement, paints, and building materials could consist of hazardous waste which is any type of waste that is toxic, reactive, corrosive, or ignitable, and can even create more air pollution than the original products they originate from.

11. Internal combustion engines

The internal combustion engines of motor or movable vehicles use fossil fuels as a means of transportation and account for approximately 28% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Internal combustion engines are a major part of cars, buses, motorcycles, dirt bikes, heavy-duty vehicles, light-duty vehicles, recreational vehicles, commercial aircraft, semi-trailers, minivans, SUVs, construction and agricultural equipment, a variety of boats and ships, lawn and garden equipment, snowmobiles, etc. All the mobile sources listed above are major specific air pollution sources that pollute the air through combustion of fuel and fuel evaporation.

12. Activities in the iron and steel manufacturing industry

Iron and steel production consists of various processes and activities that generate criteria air pollutants and numerous other types of pollutants. The processes in the industry include: handling and treatment of raw materials, waste materials, and intermediate materials; iron preparation and sulfur removal; steel production; sintering (recovering of raw materials from waste materials); iron production from original ore; steel pickling (using acid solution to remove oxides); production of semi-finished products; and preparation of finished products.

13. Activities in the natural gas and crude oil extraction industry

Petroleum and natural gas production from oil wells, along with activities such as drilling, processing, storage, transmission or transportation and distribution, consists of processes that release emissions and pollute the atmosphere.

14. Building construction and land development

Land development and building construction activities produce significant amounts of air pollution over short periods of time within and around an area; the activities include: excavation and hauling of materials; site preparation; paving of surfaces; erection or construction of new structures and buildings; demolition of old or existing structures and buildings and structures; tarring of roofs; waterproofing of materials; and painting of structures and buildings.

15. Natural sources

Natural sources of air pollution vary in terms of the type, intensity, and quantity of pollutants they consist of, individually, and they include: the digestive processes in cattle, marine life, and other animals; forest fires caused by any self-generated or induced combustion that produces nitrogen oxides, smoke, ash, carbon dioxide, and other air pollutants; lightning that converts atmospheric nitrogen into nitrogen oxides; dust from areas that have little or no vegetation; geysers that produce arsenic, hydrogen sulfide, other types of heavy metals, etc.; sea salt which releases NaCl and other particles into the atmosphere from the action of wind over salt water; trees and plants which release VOCs into the atmosphere; radioactive materials which discharge radon gas from the Earth’s crust; soil microbial action which forms and discharges nitrogen oxides; volcanoes which produce ash, smoke, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and other air pollutants; wetlands which, through microbial action, produce and release significant amounts of methane into the air.

16. Petroleum refining: refineries

Refineries process crude oil to produce lubricants, diesel fuel, automobile gasoline, and other petroleum-based products. Air toxics are emitted during production, storage, transportation, separation, and upgrading; leaks occur from pumps, valves, compressors, flanges, and other equipment used in natural gas and oil production. Toxic air pollutants are discharged from petroleum storage tanks, process vents, equipment leaks, wastewater collection, and treatment systems in refinery facilities.

17. Public sewage treatment plants/works

Wastewater from industrial, commercial, and residential sources is treated in sewage treatment plants, and usually, the following are released: methylene chloride, VOCs, chloroform, xylene, toluene, ethylbenzene, tetrachloroethylene, and naphthalene.

18. Paper and pulp and mills

When using chemicals and mechanical grinding to convert wood and non-wood sources of fiber into pulp, process gases are emitted along with other types of emissions that are discharged during the heating of materials and energy-producing processes.

19. Solid waste landfills

The waste in solid waste landfills contains microorganisms which, along with chemical reactions, contribute to discharge of landfill gas including ammonia, sulfides, methane, and carbon dioxide into the ambient air.

20. Solid waste incinerators

Solid waste incinerators are used to reduce the quantity of waste generated from municipal, commercial, institutional, and industrial areas. A number of pollutants are discharged during incineration; they include: lead, dioxin, sulfur dioxide, cadmium, mercury, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen chloride, and particulate matter.

21. Spills and runoff from stored chemicals and storage tanks

Spills could occur and chemicals or substances could leak into the ground, contaminate it, and cause long-term air pollution after people mishandle certain products, and storage tanks corrode, leak, don’t undergo proper maintenance, and are overfilled with substances that end up being a waste and polluting the air.

The chemicals that seep into the ground become part of water runoff and surface bodies of water. A single leakage or spill can seep into the ground and groundwater and cause air and environmental pollution for many years.

Moderation Shouldn’t Serve as an Excuse Not to Do or Be Your Best

Whenever we make firm resolutions to develop ourselves or achieve our goals, we might have the tendency or be tempted to push ourselves way beyond our limit which is the maximum we are capable of doing or producing around a particular time.

Although it is true that our ambitiousness is a virtue we must use to the maximum or extreme, it is equally true that there is some danger involved in doing things to the extreme and going from one extreme to another.

Therefore, we must be prudent on how we handle or use moderation: if you’ve been struggling to work for one or two hours per day, suddenly forcing yourself to work for sixteen hours per day will likely not end with the desired outcome. In fact, it could end in a breakdown or wear out.

If you’re struggling to restrict your appetite by eating once a day or per two days, then suddenly imposing a 7-day fast on yourself would e stressful and likely not end with the desired outcome.

Find somewhere between the extremes—“the middle way”. Stick to it and work on continuously increasing it over time and when you look back, you will see progress. In fact, based on the results you achieve, you could decide whether to still stretch your maximum, your extreme, or your limit!

As much as it is advisable for everybody to push their limit and explore greater boundaries, we don’t need to put our lives, health, emotions, or environment at risk just because we want to achieve good or great results.

Subjecting yourself to extreme hardships could have some merits, but it may not always bring the desired sustainability we’d like to have over the long term. In fact, it could be downright dangerous to subject ourselves to certain extremes!

Using the extreme approach over the long term could wear you and your life out without allowing you to get close to your goals. In whatever you do, don’t waste time hanging around; at the same time, don’t become busy to such an extent that you’re literally sucking the life out of your own life!

Remember to apply moderation in all things—including moderation itself. And if you need to apply a more extreme approach, do so for a fair or short period of time, and in a way that could be beneficial to your goals.

Now let’s take a look at moderation from a different perspective: whenever people use it as an excuse to not do their best: whenever people make mediocrity out of moderation and deprive themselves of doing or being at their best.

Moderation is key but it can go bad if one forgets that going for little or much less can be a bad thing, and going to the extreme can also be a bad thing. Always remember that you can find somewhere between the extremes—“the middle way”—if you really wish to.

For instance, some moderation would be good if you’re trying to lift a heavy weight that you can barely lift off the floor. But what good does it serve you when you let moderation make you become comfortable with consistently lifting something that’s as light as a feather?

If you really want to work on your muscles, what’s valuable in bragging about lifting something that’s almost weightless? Why make mediocrity out of moderation and allow certain levels of moderation to limit your growth?

Beware of any type of moderation that allows you to stick to easy things that are well within grasp and, by so doing, doesn’t allow you to really grow. Furthermore, beware of any type of moderation that forces you to do something that you can barely do.

Generally, any moderation that lowers your standards could end up covering you with mediocrity: a male athlete who thinks that exercising once a week is great—because most of his friends exercise only once a month—will most likely stop challenging himself and become mediocre because of his misuse of moderation.

Although it can be important to inspire yourself by making comparisons with other people, it may be even more important to compare the state of your present self with that of your past self.

For instance, if today you’re still making the same output you were making a year ago when you started producing something, then perhaps you’ve not used moderation in a good or right way. It may be that you have even substituted moderation with self-congratulation.

The Main Features of Ripple Cryptocurrency

The idea behind Ripple (XRP) was initiated way back in 2004 when Ryan Fugger founded a company called “RipplePay”, almost half a decade before Satoshi launched Bitcoin. Now, Ripple is among the most valuable blockchain-based tokens by market capitalization.

According to The Ripple Story, the plan for the protocol behind Ripple cryptocurrency was to create a “peer-to-peer trust network of financial relations that would replace banks”, while working in the same fashion as blockchain technology works.

However, it is important to note that the Ripple crypto platform has its own features or characteristics that make it different from established traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Also important to note is the fact that the Ripple company and Ripple cryptocurrency are two different things, but they are connected to each other: some of the company’s (Ripple’s) payment systems are used with the Ripple crypto or coin which trades as “XRP”.

In 2011, Ripple’s target demographic started paying more attention to Bitcoin which was gradually becoming popular and performing much better than Ripple as a peer-to-peer payment network.

According to Ripple XRP Website, the XRP crypto functions on the basis of the cryptographic signatures inherent in a public chain.

Eventually, Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency was launched in 2012 to serve as a digital payment network for financial institutions. Fast forward to more than half a decade later: between the end of 2017 and the beginning of January 2018, Ripple crypto temporarily ranked higher than Ethereum for ten days.

In fact, for the most part of 2018, in terms of market cap Ripple was the third largest cryptocurrency at approximately $19 billion.

Ripple versus Bitcoin

These are the main differences between Ripple crypto and Bitcoin crypto:

  • Bitcoin is an open-source platform that is owned by a community: no particular person or entity controls or owns Bitcoin. On the other hand, Ripple is owned by a private company called Ripple Labs which has offices all over the world and brings a consensus into effect if it receives 80% support from users and partners within two weeks. Basically, although Ripple is owned by a company, it employs a democratic process to please at least the majority.
  • Bitcoin’s transaction speed can take up to an hour, and the transaction fees can go as high as $40, depending on demand. On the other hand, Ripple transactions can take as little as four seconds. And even during times of high demand, Ripple’s transaction fees are relatively low or much less, as was the case in 2017 when transaction fees averaged $0.007 which is just a fraction of Bitcoin’s transaction fees.
  • Around ten Bitcoin transactions can be made per second. For Ripple, the number of transactions could go as high as 1,500.
  • Bitcoin and a number of other minable cryptocurrencies have a supply limit—the maximum number of coins that would ever be mined/minted or in circulation. The supply limit of Bitcoin is 21 million finite numbers of coins, while Ripple (XRP) is limited to the 100 billion coins currently in circulation.

The main features or characteristics of Ripple are as follows

  • Ripple is not a fully decentralized platform.
  • Transactions on the platform can be made anonymous.
  • The token symbol for Ripple is XRP.
  • Ripple is not minable or cannot be mined, and thus has no miners on its platform.
  • Algorithm processing and coin creation occur by consensus mechanism—not by proof-of-work (PoW) or proof-of-stake (PoS)—to validate transactions and account balances on the system.
  • Transactions times are small: transactions can occur within as little as four seconds.
  • Ripple uses less energy than bitcoin and transactions costs are very small.

Because Ripple’s unique features are very different from Bitcoin’s features, some people believe that Ripple XRP is not a cryptocurrency. Actually, Ripple is a hybrid of a traditional or fiat currency (a currency that is backed by a government, such as the U.S. dollar) and a traditional cryptocurrency.

The Earlier You Act, the Sooner You’ll be Through

Procrastination only stacks loads and even loads upon loads on us. Procrastination gives some people fewer loads to carry and some other people more, depending on their choices and actions.

Generally, many people have truckloads upon truckloads to carry and never seem to make headway with their duties and realize their dreams.

Only a few people are organized enough to act early or earlier on their stuff and get things done sooner—or even much sooner than usual! Yes, when it comes to getting stuff done on time, it is not compulsory or even advisable to copy exactly what other people are doing; however, it is admirable to imitate people in order to avoid procrastination at home, work, or anywhere in any endeavor.

If you really want to tackle procrastination effectively, the moment you realize you’re wasting time avoiding work or doing nothing, especially when you have a ton to do, immediately stop whatever unproductive thing you’re doing and just start acting or working.

“Thoughts” and the process of thinking usually get the most out of the people who lose to procrastination because, as they allow themselves to ponder over “starting” or “not starting” something, their resistance to “starting” increases, and sooner or later, this resistance to starting overwhelms and overcomes them, and they end up achieving nothing valuable or productive for a whole day, week, month, or significant period of time!

The trick of acting—instead of thinking (pondering)—works better than thinking

Acting early or earlier beats all unforeseen or hidden blocks. On the other hand, thinking or pondering sets us up for potential challenges that may overwhelm us, even when we’ve made a strong resolution to act on stuff earlier and get it done sooner.

“Acting early” is a trick that works because it ensures you maximum resistance against procrastination “at the onset”. It is crucial to make use of such a level of maximum resistance at the onset because the more we think about getting started and don’t act early enough, the more we become sluggish, allow time to pass by, and make it easier to procrastinate instead of actually getting started.

Once you always resist that urge or temptation “not to start” and you actually start performing a task—no matter how unpleasant it is—then you stand to gain some momentum and make it easier to start tasks and get them done instead of giving up and procrastinating.

Whenever you find yourself resisting or hesitating instead of acting early enough or earlier, then act immediately and deal with stuff early and “once and for all”. The earlier you act, the sooner you’ll be done with whatever stuff you act on.

An added advantage of acting early is that it creates more time to focus on new/other stuff and prevents thoughts of “unfinished business” from creeping up and rolling up and down the back of your mind.

Each little act of acting early can help you develop or establish and maintain a habit of choosing to start stuff early instead of allowing all types of stuff—easy, hard, etc.—to accumulate over the passage of time, as cobwebs do in a beautiful house.

If you adopt a habit or work ethic of acting early on stuff, you’ll eliminate or greatly reduce the impact of procrastination on your activities, goals, dreams, and life, and have more time and tranquillity at your fingertips.

8 Potential Benefits of Self-driving or Driverless Cars

Among all the latest and promising advancements in artificial intelligence, one of the technologies that stand out and has the potential to make a great impact on our daily lives and the world economy and societies, is that of self-driving cars which are also known as driverless or autonomous (automated) cars.

But, what is an autonomous, self-driving, or driverless vehicle?

Self-driving cars or vehicles are designed to act independently and be capable of moving from one place to another without input or interference from a human being or operator. Autonomous vehicles can include planes, cars, and ships.

Presently, all the cars that are designed to exhibit some level of self-driving ability still depend on humans to control the car steering wheel, whenever it becomes necessary to do so.

But from what we are witnessing from present-day technological advancements, the future would be different: self-driving cars will not likely have or need steering wheels to turn vehicles’ around during any ride.

Although it may sound absurd to imagine someone “driving” without ever needing to control their car, some vast minds have already been turning this thought into reality. The reality would also attract enormous implications for our day-to-day activities and lives.

There will likely be even more benefits of self-driving cars in the future than we can ever imagine, presently. For now, these are some potential benefits we can expect:

1. More safety and reduced cases of accidents on the streets

With self-driving cars’ computers constantly monitoring their respective surroundings, the traffic and streets would be safer for passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians; in addition, people would have to worry less about likely accidents caused by drunk-driving and cell phone distractions because the probability that self-driving cars would be “under the influence” is zero or next to zero.

2. Reduced hospital expenses

Consequently, as a result of fewer car accidents, there would be safer traffic and streets which, in turn, would reduce hospital expenses that stem from injuries caused by typical car accidents.

3. Improved traffic efficiency

Because self-driving cars are not like many human drivers who usually have unreliable or improper driving habits, their presence will pave way for less traffic congestion and better traffic flow. This will enable police officers to save time and focus on more serious issues instead of wasting time on traffic-related incidences or accidents and tickets.

4. Increased output or productivity

With self-driving cars that are tasked with driving and navigating, the human occupants’ respective levels of output or productivity could be positively and even greatly impacted because they wouldn’t need to spend time on driving. As a result, they would have more time to focus on improving other important aspects of their job.

5. Faster expansion of businesses

With self-driving navigational systems that can evaluate the shortest and quickest routes and also traverse them, deliveries can be made more efficiently, and businesses and economies can expand much faster than has usually been the case.

6. Reduced cases of parking problems

Large areas of space are often allocated for parking in many countries and people usually park improperly, especially in countries where traffic and parking are not so organized. But with self-driving cars that are programmed to park properly, fewer areas of space and fewer parking lots would be needed. The implication is that more space would be allocated for other purposes such as residential and commercial buildings, and agriculture.

7. More options for cheaper mobility

With self-driving cars in place, taxi or human drivers wouldn’t be necessary. As has already been estimated—if all related factors remain balanced or equal—self-driving taxis would be roughly 60% less expensive than current taxi fares.

The competition between different self-driving car services could create more options for cheaper mobility and make self-driving taxis more affordable for people to get to where they want.

8. Reduced negative environmental impact

If self-driving cars are programmed to move more efficiently and through short routes, less fuel would be consumed, thereby further resulting in much less overall energy consumption and negative environmental impact.

With the world’s focus on environmental sustainability, which is presently much higher than at any other time in recorded history, many self-driving cars will be fuelled or propelled by renewable energy sources or electricity.

This would result in even much less emission of climate- and health-damaging gases such as nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.

The Hidden Value in Your Difficulties

Nowadays, people like dodging difficulties! In fact, it seems dodging difficulties or “looking for a way out” is the fastest growing norm of our time, especially as technology, AI, robots, and countless applications are always around the corner, waiting to be summoned and used to achieve results, quickly and effortlessly.

Although it may be pleasant to desire and experience only easy successes, if easy successes are the only successes you want, you’ll end up generally expecting quick, effortless results. This develops or strengthens a mentality that is weak against difficulties, and it can’t support resilience, patience, and some other important qualities that are crucial to survival.

A mentality that expects quick results—but is weak against the difficulties and the uncertainties of life—would also be unreliable when life hits you hard with challenges or difficulties; in addition, you’ll likely not have the mental toughness to withstand and overcome future difficulties, maybe even the small ones!

Although there is a big difference in value between easy successes and tough successes—which may even require sweat, tears, and blood—does it mean you should accomplish your goals by using only the most difficult successes, and neglecting or rejecting the easier or easiest ones?

Of course not! However, it’s important to note that you won’t stand much to benefit in the school of life if you deliberately avoid all difficulties without at least giving a thought or more about the potential values they may possess.

And yes, it may feel like a smart move to evade difficulties all the time. But the long term impact could end up limiting your potential and making you less potent enough to handle all possible scenarios of life, which include all positive and negative experiences of life.

Life contains a ton of load that we must carry, and the load can take a toll on anyone who is not fit enough to withstand its difficulties—not only its ease which, as we all know, can never be a problem!

Because we all most likely have big, ambitious, and demanding long term goals where our level and power of self-discipline grows strong and shines more in difficulties than in ease—this instills the greatest feeling of having accomplished something worth doing.

Basic Methods Used to Create Surface Models

Most surface modeling softwares are programmed with a matrix/list of an object’s or a part’s vertices and how they are linked to one another to form edges in the CAD database which can mathematically generate surfaces (from points, lines, and curves) between an object’s vertices.

During the process of creating surface models, some surface modelers save additional information that defines and indicates the inner/inside and outer/outside parts of a surface.

This is often accomplished by saving a “surface normal”—a leading or directional line that is normal or perpendicular to the outer part of the surface. This feature makes it easy to shade and render the model.

The basic methods used to create surface models, are as follows:

  • Extrusion and revolution
  • Mesh surfaces or meshes
  • NURBS-based surfaces, or spline approximations

1. Extrusion and revolution

It’s possible to define a surface by using a 2D shape or profile and the axis or course about which it revolves (circles around or moves about in an orbit) or extrudes (forms or takes shape by forcing through an opening).

Figures 1 and 2 below show a surface model that is created by revolution, and the axis of revolution and profile used to create it. Surface primitives (such as cylinders, planes, and cones) are sometimes used as building blocks and can be created from the revolution or extrusion of regular geometric entities.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

The surface model (figure 1) above was created by revolving the profile (figure 2) about the axis (same figure 2). (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

2. Mesh surfaces or meshes

In the CAD database, vertices or matrix of vertices are used to define flat plane surfaces, and the 3D location of each vertex defines each individual mesh surface. Below, figure 5 shows the matrix/list of a mesh’s vertices, while figures 3 and 4 show the wireframe view and rendered view, respectively.

Mesh surfaces are very important in modeling uneven surfaces in which it isn’t necessary to use completely smooth surfaces. Instead of producing a mesh surface with a slightly bumpy appearance, some CAD modeling packages allow users to define surfaces by a smoothed representation.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4

592,6177,5596

593, 6177,5594

594, 6177,5596

595, 6177,6601

596, 6177,6611

597, 6177,6621

598, 6177,6621

599, 6177,6616

600, 6177, 6611

601, 6177,6606

602, 6177, 6611

603, 6177, 6631

604, 6177,6641

Figure 5

A Mesh Surface: A mesh surface comprises a series of planar surfaces that are defined by a matrix or list of vertices (figure 5), a wireframe view (figure 3), and a rendered view (figure 4). (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

3. NURBS-based surfaces, or spline approximations

The mathematics that is behind and guides non-uniform rational B-spline curves also forms the basis for the method which is used to create surface models and surfaces in most surface modelling systems.

A set of vertices (in 3D) that are used to mathematically define smooth surfaces, are also used to define non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) surfaces.

The advantage that the surface modelers who use NURBS have is that, because rational curves and surfaces can be used to generate both free-form curves and analytical forms (such as cylinders, planes, lines, and arcs), the CAD database doesn’t necessarily have to be equipped with different techniques for creating surfaces by using a surface primitive, revolution, extrusion, or mesh.

Some extruded and revolved surfaces can be “lofted” or “swept”, and spline curves can be used as program or input for extruded and revolved surfaces.

“Lofting” is a term used to define any surface that fits into a series of curves that don’t intersect or meet at any point with each other. On the other hand, “sweeping” is a process whereby a surface is created by sweeping a cross section or curve along one or more “paths”.

In both cases—lofting or sweeping—the overall surface merges from the shape of one curve to the shape of the next curve, as shown in figures 6 and 7 below.

Figure 6

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 7

A lofted surface (figure 6) merges a series of curves that don’t intersect into a smooth surface, while a swept surface (figure 7) sweeps a cross section or curve along a curved path and merges the characteristics of both into a smooth surface model (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

Figure 8

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 9

NURBS surfaces can also be created by meshing curves that are perpendicular or cut across each other, as shown in figure 8 and 9 above. (Source: Technical Drawing with Engineering Graphics, 15th edition.)

Note

If you want to create a surface model, you don’t have to create an entire surface at once. Only entities (technically referred to as “patches”) would be enough, but you have to combine the entities or patches into a continuous model and to create complex surfaces.

Each patch can be approximated or interpolated just like a spline curve can, and surface patches are connected together by employing mathematical methods to merge the approximated edges of the patches and eventually create smooth joints.

It is important to note that sometimes or where necessary, trimming is used to create complex surface patches. For instance, a modeler might start out with a circular patch but trim it to a triangular patch and eventually merge it with other surface patches.

Some surface modeling systems use Boolean operations, while others don’t. It can be difficult to use the systems that don’t employ Boolean operations (or proficient tools for trimming surfaces) to create a feature such as a rectangular hole through a curved surface because the exact shape of the surface and hole has to be defined by assigning or fixing its edges.

Without Patience, Even Millions of Resources & Sacrifices Would Take You Nowhere

Generally, no matter how urgently any pregnant woman wants a child, she has to be patient for nine months to have one. No matter how brilliant a college student is, he or she must spend at least the duration of their course before receiving a certificate and exiting school.

Patience is a great virtue we need most times in combination with self-discipline. For without patience, even millions of resources and sacrifices won’t help us achieve certain goals, especially long-term ones.

If you really want to accomplish long-term goals, be ready to subdue any feelings of instant expectation—exercise patience! Self-discipline might be a necessary additive to keep patience in check as you wait for days, weeks, months, or years to achieve a big result.

Although sometimes you can force results more quickly—by working harder or being more diligent—in many instances, great or impactful results take time and there is just no way on Earth to cut corners or rush to completion.

No matter how many resources you invest or sacrifices you make, without patience and probably self-discipline, you’ll just end up getting nowhere. Like undergoing necessary stages of development or growing from a teenager to an adult, some things only follow a natural order that we can’t control.

If you fail to recognize this and the things that need patience and cannot be rushed, you might not be able to muster and exert enough patience; even when you apply some patience, you might end up misapplying the self-discipline needed to keep your patience in check.

As a result, you might end up achieving nothing instead of eventually achieving something or anything. For example, there is a natural limit to the quantity of fat our bodies can burn per week without breaking down our muscles.

But if we try to rush the natural process by starving ourselves, then the most likely outcome is that we would end up not only going back to square one—or the land of nowhere—but we would put on some additional body fat or weight.

Even with immaterial things such as developing and controlling our minds to eventually radiate optimism, we can’t force ourselves to achieve results overnight.

Transforming or rewiring your mind and brain takes time, and no matter how much sacrifice, time, and resources you spend practicing meditation or reading books about mind or emotional control, you can’t evade a process that requires time.

Lack of sufficient patience might even cause you to lose faith in something that other people have tried and achieved results by remaining steadfast and applying patience.

Generally, people who have taken years or decades to develop a certain habit or trait shouldn’t expect to reverse it completely within a few days, weeks, months, or years.

Approach life with the belief and mentality that there is a process and time for everything and you will always do your best; but in so doing, you won’t allow impatience and its children—discouragement, frustration, etc.—to wear you down if the process is slow or moves slowly.

It would be as meaningless as a pregnant woman who is complaining that she hasn’t conceived a child, even when she is fully aware that her pregnancy hasn’t lasted up to nine months.

Major Sources of Real Estate Property Valuation Information

Adequate and dependable real estate property and market information is crucial in the practice of professional and ethical real estate property valuation.

On the other hand, inadequate and flaky property market data or info has a high tendency to carry its users astray and produce inaccurate property valuations that can instigate worrying trends.

Incorrect or improper valuations can have a negative impact on investor confidence, property market performance, the economy, and generally derail investments in real properties.

For this reason, the availability of correct and reliable property market information should be taken seriously and consistently used to maintain or improve property valuation practices in:

  • the purchase, sale, and letting of properties
  • real estate insurance and taxation and insurance
  • real estate investment and management
  • real estate inheritance and settlement
  • asset allocation, re-allocation, and sharing, and
  • government privatization and divestiture programs

As an interested individual, investor, or prospective buyer, you may find that the following sources or practitioners have the kind of property market information that can be used to conduct proper property valuation and evaluate the worth of various kinds of properties:

1. Property sellers               

Sellers may have their own property market database, or they may represent property owners, public institutions, estate agents, estate developers, or even their own professional colleagues.

Many sellers actually go the extra mile to conduct their own “informal” research and obtain information concerning recent sales of properties that they are personally aware of in a locality or an area.

Good sellers are knowledgeable enough to evaluate properties and make critical decisions concerning the asking prices for properties. It’s important to point out that because property valuation has many variables, the pricing of income properties might not always be as highly precise or accurate as it could be.

2. Real estate brokers and agents

Brokers and agents can also have their own database. On the other hand, they may represent property owners, public institutions, or their professional colleagues.

Good brokers and agents have access to highly valuable competitive market analysis (CMA) or the “broker price opinion” (BPO) which is more in-depth; both represent estimates of market value for properties that exist in local areas.

Because brokers and agents periodically monitor the listing and sale of corresponding properties, they provide information about CMA and BPO to property owners with the aim of acquiring listings on various properties.

Based on property valuation information, brokers’ and agents’ property valuations can be reasonable or fair; however, it’s important for a buyer to note that valuations can rise higher if an agent or broker is aware that they would personally be given higher compensation if their valuation attracts a higher sales price.

3. Professional property appraisers

Like sellers, brokers, and agents, professional property appraisers can also have their own database, or they may represent property owners, public institutions, or their professional colleagues during property valuations.

In many instances, lenders and property owners hire professional property appraisers or valuation specialists to estimate the value of properties at/around a particular time.

Appraisers are rarely consulted by sellers who may only establish contact when the sale of a property is caused by litigation or probate will, or when the government is either the buyer or seller of a property.

Concluding remarks

Accurate property market information is not always easy to come by. As a result, over the years, countries—especially Western developed ones—have been assembling relevant information, formulating institutions, and creating and improving access to reliable property market information.

Quite a lot has been achieved because of the interest, concern, and care that some practitioners have shown towards property information/data collection and the administration of a property market databank to help provide reliable property market data.

Their unwavering dedication could suggest a need for property valuers or evaluators and estate agents to undergo regular and applicable training which can develop and enhance their valuation knowledge, capabilities, and skills.

How do You Garden Your Own Self-Control?

Self-control is very crucial in many areas of life. Without it, we can become slaves to the things that are around us or the things that control us: we can find ourselves controlled and overwhelmed by food, money, lust, our words, material and immaterial excesses, etc.

Being able to control ourselves empowers us to control potential and actual material and immaterial excesses or overindulgences. But it’s not so easy for a lot of people to exert sufficient self-control, the type that can put more power in their hands and even make them unshakeable.

The way we handle our respective self-control meters determines our individual results in many areas of life. There is an innate and sensible reason why people agree with this popular saying: “The way you make your bed is the way you sleep in it”. It is rightly so when it comes to self-control.

The Christian Bible (New Living Translation version) even stresses the point much better: Proverbs 25:28 states that “a person without self-control is like a city with broken down walls”.

How many times have we thrown our self-control under the bus and exposed ourselves to negligence, failure, and losses that were not necessary? How many times have we failed to refrain from doing things that are obviously killing us or hindering our chances?

Generally speaking, what type of gardener are you for your own self-control? How do you garden it? In other words, if your self-control was a plant, how well or badly is your self-control performing based on how you’ve been cultivating it over the past years—or since forever?

If it were possible to cultivate self-control without putting in some resolve or effort, then everybody would possess it. Unfortunately or fortunately—depending on your point of view—self-control is more like a plant that needs to be consistently cared for and cultivated, if not, it would wither away and leave you defenseless.

The people who have strong self-control are attentive to their “self-control”. They make sure that they take care of it properly and it acquires everything it needs to flourish and remain healthy.

Think about growing or sustaining your self-control in the same way: you must be prepared to “will” yourself and, in any situation that could lead to great results, prioritize long-term results over instant gratification.

When it comes to self-control, many people have the tendency to evade all kinds of things that can create discomfort and require our maximum effort.

Many people aren’t successful in their personal growth because they don’t exert enough self-control over their love for food, laziness, wasting countless hours in front of television, spending money on things that are unnecessary, and cutting corners anywhere possible.

If you want to acquire sufficient self-control or strengthen it much further, then get ready to neglect or put away many things; this may result in people ridiculing you, frowning upon you, misunderstanding you, and even calling you “weird”.

It can be discouraging and difficult to face adversity from people, family, and friends as you strive to improve yourself by exerting self-control. Whenever you face such adversity and feel out of sync with the rest of the world, remember that there are other people going through the same situation like you. Some will succeed and set the tone, while others won’t!

Forging a path is a responsibility that the vast majority of people would like to avoid. Remember that whenever you’re stumbling, failing, and need to straighten things out by exerting self-control, you’re forging your own path which will never be the same as that of other people.

How to Choose Relevant Keywords for SEO or Your Website

Many folks, especially owners of blogs/sites on wordpress.com, either underestimate the importance of keywords and applying them, or they don’t just know how to use keywords.

In many instances, this is quite unfortunate because the simple act of not using keywords can cut you off from a world of unlimited potential and valuable organic search engine traffic from Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.

As the spiders of search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) crawl the content of web pages, they look for keywords that closely relate to or match with visitors’ search queries.

Why it’s important to research, choose, and use keywords for SEO or your website

If you have a website that specializes in a niche(s) or subject(s), if you don’t use some particular keywords/related keywords or “pointers” to your content, it would be difficult if not almost impossible to receive traffic or visitors from search engines which are usually drawn to keywords that are typed and searched by visitors!

It’s important to use keywords for your SEO or website because they can actually make a big difference in terms of increasing the potential or chances of attracting higher traffic from search engines, even long after publication.

Using keywords is crucial for a site’s success: people use keywords a lot to make search queries on search engines. Nine out of ten times, people are looking for information on/about their typed keywords. 

First, figure out your website’s theme before choosing keywords

The first thing to do before choosing keywords is figure out your website’s theme. Your theme is the main idea, thing, niche, or vision your site would represent.

Your website’s theme is the central concept of your web content and activities on the Internet. Figuring out a theme may sound simple, but it’s very important to think things through and discover or understand exactly what your site is about.

Assuming you have a site that specializes in the “best cryptocurrencies”, you need to figure out exactly what the “best cryptocurrencies” means or entails.

In addition to the site theme, also evaluate the direction you’d possibly be going with this site in the future. Would you like to continue focussing only on the best oldest cryptocurrencies, or would you like to broaden your scope and include the best new cryptocurrencies too?

It isn’t a bad idea to broaden your scope because doing it could broaden your market or reach and place you on a more profitable and popular level—money and even internet fame!

Decide whether you’ll concentrate on only the best new cryptocurrencies, or both the best new and old cryptocurrencies, or even add the unborn cryptocurrencies that are presently undergoing development.

Write down every imaginable thing you believe your site should represent or be about—and maybe also add what it should NOT represent or be about. So, for instance, if you’re creating a site about the “best cryptocurrencies”, you may like to write down things like:

  • We focus on only cryptocurrencies that were created between 2008 and 2016.
  • We don’t deal with cryptocurrencies that are pegged to traditional currencies.
  • “Focus on” or “deal with” means we sell, buy, or allow trading.
  • We allow people to swap cryptocurrencies whenever they deem it necessary.
  • Etc.

Second, brainstorm for keywords

After figuring out your theme and clearly understanding what your business is precisely about, you’d be in the best position to set up a strong foundation for brainstorming relevant keywords.

In the absence of the theme, brainstorming keywords is the first and most important action required for choosing productive keywords. While brainstorming keywords, compile a list of all possibilities. Write down every potential and major keyword you think visitors will likely be using on search engines.

Here are some questions you may need to ask yourself:

  • If I am a visitor, what word(s) would I type and search for to get information concerning the best cryptocurrencies?
  • What do search engine keyword search results say about visitors’ search terms? Which words do regular people use when discussing or referring to the best cryptocurrencies?
  • What terms do professionals or experts use when talking about the best old or new cryptocurrencies?

Third, create an outline for your keywords

After brainstorming and creating a large list of keywords that you’d potentially use, your next step would be to draft an outline using those keywords. You can start with the most general or broadest keywords at the top and break down, categorize, or subcategorize more specific subjects or areas as you go deeper.

A keyword outline for the best cryptocurrencies could look like the following list (Notice how the main keywords break down as the niche is delved into much deeper.):

     Best cryptocurrencies

     Best cryptocurrencies to mine

     Best cryptocurrencies to buy

     Best cryptocurrencies to invest

              Best cryptocurrencies to invest in 2021

                      Best cryptocurrencies to invest in March 2021

                      Best cryptocurrencies to invest in July 2021

              Best cryptocurrencies to invest in February 2022

     Best cryptocurrencies for day trading

              Best cryptocurrencies for day trading in 2021

              Best cryptocurrencies for day trading today

     Best cryptocurrencies 2017

     Best cryptocurrencies 2018

     Best cryptocurrencies 2019

     Best cryptocurrencies 2020

              Best cryptocurrencies 2021 under $1

              Best cryptocurrencies 2021 under $50

              Best cryptocurrencies 2021 under $200

              Best cryptocurrencies 2021 under $500

              Best cryptocurrencies 2021 under $1,000

The keyword in the figures below represent the above outline—a breakdown from very broad keywords/terms to more specific keywords/terms:

best crptocurrencies 1

best crptocurrencies 2

Figure 1: Breakdown of the keyword (best cryptocurrencies) from a broad term into more specific terms (Source: Ahrefs keyword generator)

best crypto 3

Figure 2: Breakdown of the keyword (best cryptocurrencies) into more specific terms (Source: Google search engine)

In regard to the main keyword “best cryptocurrencies”, the keyword in the figures above represents a lot of possibilities: they represent a variety of things that people may be searching for when they’re looking for the best cryptocurrencies.

As much as you can, list as many keywords that relate to your theme and write posts or content with the keywords used appropriately and adequately within them.

The broader the keywords you choose and work with, the better your web pages would stand a chance of getting on and on top of the search results pages of search engines.

Advice: Assess your competition by conducting keyword search on search engines

After creating an outline for your keywords, it’s time to check and evaluate your competition in order to get a feel for your market(s) or niche(s) and know what you’re up against.

One of the easiest ways to know your competition is by visiting search engines, typing your brainstormed keywords, and looking up their individual search results from the first position (on top) downwards towards lesser positions. The top ten results on search engines results pages are worth evaluating for keyword ideas and content quality.

The competition for your brainstormed keywords are those websites that are occupying the top positions on search engines’ results pages. The fact that they’re topping search engines implies that they’re doing something right—creating good content and using keywords appropriately.

After identifying your competition and reading their content which is related to your brainstormed keywords, conduct thorough internet search and create quality content that is at least as good as—if not better than—that of your competition. 

When looking for information to create content, don’t search only blogs; extend your research to Google Scholar and many other publications until you find ideas to create original content that can fulfill the desires of all search queries.

Acting a Fool to Fool Your Way to Success

During the search for success, one aspect that many people frequently overlook or undervalue is the fact that if we wish to move higher up in life and rise above mediocrity, then we must be ready to learn and grow by making a fool out of ourselves every now and then.

It’s difficult or almost impossible to accurately predict the future. Regardless, we need to make decisions—the results which we may either live to be happy with, live to be okay with, or live to regret.

Even when everything convinces us that our decisions would work out well, not all of them actually end up working well. Once anybody is ready to step outside their comfort zone and fool around to acquire more knowledge and develop, they will develop an intuitive understanding of the difference between what works and what doesn’t work.

This would lead to discovery of answers people don’t have or know. Time always proves that we may need to act a fool—not purposely or intentionally—before we become wise and successful in life. Yes, we may need to fool our way to success.

No one said it better than Dan Waldschmidt: “You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have”.

You’ve probably gotten into a new environment and told everyone about your plan to build a big business, but unfortunately—despite your level of education, intelligence, effort, enthusiasm, and the professionals at your disposal—you couldn’t get the job done.

You couldn’t realize your aspirations. You couldn’t deliver the impressive performance you dreamed of and promised people. Why? Because you quit after eventually losing all your money and savings.

Notwithstanding, despite investing in a business and foolishly or unintentionally losing all your money, you may have learned some priceless lessons and gained great wisdom alongside the obvious disappointment.

In a world where we are born as infants destined to act a fool or make mistakes and grow or mature, it is natural and quite normal to fool or fail our way to success.

Those who think otherwise tend to do anything possible to avoid opportunities for learning and growth, especially when the opportunities have the potential to become riddled by errors and mistakes or susceptible to somewhat foolish or naive decisions and failures.

Although acting a fool, humiliation, failure, and rejection are anything but pleasant, in a world of challenges, growth, and development, such negatives end up making some people become successful and everything but failure itself.

The ability to act a fool and withstand failure and rejection—while continuously pressing on without giving up—is one of the major differences between successful people and people who fail to realize their dreams.

As disagreeable as it sounds, occasionally acting a fool can be part of the process of becoming successful. Fortunately, the more you expose yourself to failure, foolhardiness, rejection, or humiliation, the more comfortable you will feel when handling the issues they create.

Best Environmental Practices for the Main Sources of Air Pollution

Before we state each of the main sources of air pollution and list the respective best environmental practices for managing each of them, it is important to point out that prevention has to be pursued at all costs and with as much effort as possible, instead of allowing things to get out of hand and to such a point that we would have to employ best environmental practices to get things a bit or totally under control.

What is pollution prevention?

Pollution prevention is any practical method used to prevent or reduce the production or creation of wastes and eventually cut down air pollutants, solid wastes, hazardous wastes, and water pollutants.

Pollution prevention increases efficiency and enhances environmental protection; in addition, it helps reduce the toxicity and quantity of pollutants when:

  • spills and leakages are prevented from occurring.
  • reusable material is substituted for single-use material, where practicable.
  • less hazardous materials are substituted for more hazardous materials.
  • pollutants from leakages are captured, recycled, and treated before discharge into water or air.
  • solvents are cleaned and reused.
  • raw materials are efficiently utilized in a timely manner in order to avoid and reduce waste.
  • people and society are taught, properly trained, or directed on how to effectively tackle pollution.
  • materials are periodically inspected, serviced, or maintained, and unusable raw materials are rejected or returned.

The main sources of air pollution and the best environmental practices appropriate for each are as follows:

1. General pollutant sources of air pollution

The six criteria pollutants, hazardous air pollutants, and greenhouse gases originate from stationary sources, area sources, and mobile sources which are all different types of sources of air pollution.

Best environmental practices would be needed to manage the sources of air pollution and their respective pollutants which may mix or interact with each other and form completely new or complex pollutants that can be highly toxic at low concentrations and linger around for long periods of time.

The pollutants categorized under general pollutant sources may include the six criteria air pollutants, greenhouse gases, acid rain sources, and hazardous air pollutants.

Best environmental practices for general pollutant sources of air pollution

The best environmental practices for general pollutant sources—which are the same as the best environmental practices for all sources of air pollution—include the following:

  • Cleaning up all spills as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
  • Conducting surveillance on any part of the environment to determine where pollutants are being released into the air, the number and quantity of pollutants being released, and the exact times of their release.
  • Cleaning all HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) systems on rooftops and replacing all essential filters if they are incorporated to help prevent the growth and spread of Legionella organisms which cause Legionnaires disease.
  • Regularly replacing carbon absorbent materials and filters.
  • Searching for leaks using leak detectors, especially around vents, valves, sampling points, trainers, gaskets, ductwork, lint bags, seals, condensing coils, exhaust dampers, and pipe fittings.
  • Reusing and recycling substances, wherever or whenever possible.
  • Substituting less hazardous materials and chemicals for more hazardous materials and chemicals, whenever possible or appropriate.
  • Ensuring that general housekeeping, all operating equipment, sampling equipment, control devices, and storage vessels operate the right way and are maintained in a well-timed manner.
  • Keeping written records of all maintenance works carried out on facilities and equipment, and highlighting notable problems and the solutions that have been used to solve them.
  • Training employees to do their jobs properly, test their proficiency, continuously build their knowledge or education, and upgrade their skills on a periodic basis.

2. Stationary sources of air pollution

Stationary sources are point sources of air pollution, and some of the important information about them also applies to many aspects such as electric power plants, chemical plants, wastewater treatment plants, and a variety of industries.

Other examples of stationary sources of air pollution include areas or locations for mining of raw materials, storage points of raw materials, positions where fuel is stored for heating at industrial sites, etc.

Best environmental practices for stationary sources of air pollution

  • Ensuring that industrial operations are more efficient. Higher efficiency also generates greater profits.
  • Removing the sources of problems caused by the air pollution that is generated by industrial processes.
  • Altering industrial operations in order to reduce the number and quantity of air pollutants.
  • Ensuring that the industrial boilers that use fossil fuels are properly maintained and all leaks are eliminated and pipes are thoroughly insulated.
  • Adjusting various parts of equipment such as boiler doors and burners in order to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides they discharge.
  • Controlling and properly handling gaseous emissions and employing the use of equipment such as absorbers, bio-filters, thermal oxidizers, boilers and process heaters, flares, catalytic reactors, flares, carbon absorbers, and condensers.
  • Using generated heat and power to distil much of the energy available in fuel.
  • Producing electric motors that are more efficient in various industrial applications: utilizing modern flat belts instead of V belts, and properly adjusting the components of motors—or replacing them with energy-efficient motors.
  • Using less-polluting materials in place of more-polluting materials.
  • Preventing pollutants from being carried downwind to other areas that may be easily affected by them, and using smokestacks that have appropriate sizes to dilute small quantities of pollutants.
  • Pre-treating raw materials before using them to reduce the concentrations of potential pollutants released during industrial processes.
  • Using fabric filters, cyclones, wet and dry electrostatic precipitators, venture scrubbers, and settling chambers to collect and control particulate matter.

3. Mobile sources of air pollution

Mobile sources of air pollution are categorized into on-road sources and off-road sources which discharge pollutants into the atmosphere after fuel evaporation and fuel combustion take place and produce hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter along with greenhouse gases and air toxics.

The mobile sources of air pollution that are regulated by the environmental protection agency (EPA) include: buses, cars, heavy-duty vehicles, commercial aircraft, recreational vehicles, minivans, semi-trailers, light-duty vehicles, SUVs, motorcycles, diesel-powered engines on locomotives, agricultural and construction equipment, lawn and garden equipment, propane and gasoline industrial equipment, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, a variety of boats and ships, etc.

Best environmental practices for mobile sources of air pollution

  • Using redeveloped gasoline to cut down emissions of toluene, benzene, and other toxic pollutants.
  • Ensuring that people who sell engines and vehicles prove they comply with any environmental laws that govern limits on emissions from fuel combustion.
  • Establishing standards for certain types of air pollutants emitted by mobile sources of air pollution, and combustible products such as on-road diesel fuel, off-road diesel fuel, and gasoline which are used to power mobile sources.
  • Ensuring that manufacturers design and implement efficient vapor recovery systems, combustion systems, and use computer technology to observe the performance of catalytic converters, engines, and use filters to efficiently remove pollutants from exhausts.
  • Establishing and enforcing limits for emissions from the tailpipe located at the rear end of cars.

4. Acid rain sources of air pollution

The wet forms of acid deposition/deposit such as acid rain, acid fog, acid snow, and acid mist, and the dry forms of acid deposition are all produced up in the atmosphere and fall down to the earth.

The wet and dry forms of acid deposition can change the chemistry of the soil and bodies of water, destroy or change alter ecosystems, cause health problems, create misty or foggy skies, damage property and goods, and affect the natural functioning of agricultural crops.

Acid precipitation is formed when nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide are discharged into the atmosphere and react with water vapor and other chemicals to form acids.

Best environmental practices for acid rain sources of air pollution

  • Carrying out adequate and appropriate maintenance on all motor vehicles and the diverse range of motorized tools and equipment.
  • Cutting down the quantity of emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide from automobiles and power plants.
  • Reducing thermostat usage during winter and economizing its usage during the summer. This helps to reduce fuel consumption and save money as well.
  • Purchasing and using only energy-efficient appliances and discarding those that aren’t energy-efficient.
  • Reducing the quantity of wasted electricity by switching off televisions, lights, computers, and appliances that aren’t being used or won’t be used for a certain time period.

Best Environmental Practices for the 6 Criteria Air Pollutants

Six of the most common air pollutants are popularly regarded as “the criteria air pollutants” or “the six criteria air pollutants”. By definition, the criteria air pollutants are air pollutants that are:

  • widely distributed across regions or countries and massively pollute the air in many cities around the world
  • regulated by environmental protection or regulatory bodies to control health and environmental effects or impacts of pollutants
  • useful indexes or indicators of the overall air quality.

Nations that are concerned about the atmosphere and environment have a set of standards in place for the following (six) criteria air pollutants—when they are in outdoor (or ambient) air:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Ozone (ground-level)
  • Lead
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Particulate matter or “particles”, and
  • Sulfur dioxide

The six air pollutants listed above are identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “criteria air pollutants” because the EPA itself regulates and uses them to formulate useful science-based guidelines and best environmental practices (BEPs).

The term “best environmental practice(s)” (BEP[s]) refers to the current most suitable professional environmental control or protection strategy/practical procedure that attracts the best or most effective results.

Because criteria air pollutants originate from various types of sources, the discussions concerning them put more emphasis on the criteria air pollutants themselves, instead of their sources. As a result, the best environmental practices for each criteria air pollutant are more general.

Research and experience have shown that the best environmental practices or procedures bring optimal results that can serve as standards appropriate for widespread adoption and application.

The BEPs, techniques, actions, or measures enable people and organizations to reduce the impact of waste generation on the environment which is under the direct control and influence of humans.

The following are the six criteria air pollutants and their respective best environmental practices:

1. Carbon Monoxide

Naturally, carbon monoxide is produced from the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels in homes, vehicular traffic, chemical plants, refineries, coke oven plants, power plants that use coal and gas, farming equipment, heavy equipment, etc.

People can knowingly or unknowingly become exposed to combustion or pollutants generated from the sources stated in the previous paragraph. Carbon monoxide can exasperate heart disease and cause headaches and chest pain and even result in death.

The best environmental practices for carbon monoxide are as follows:

  • Publicizing or calling attention to areas or regions that have or produce high concentrations of carbon monoxide, and encouraging people to live away from such areas.
  • Ensuring that gasoline power engines and tools are not operated in confined spaces.
  • Using motor vehicle inspection programs to assess whether or not fuel combustion is done thoroughly.
  • Employing motor vehicle inspection programs to achieve proper and maximum fuel combustion.
  • Halting the use of cold and rapid starts of motor vehicles in order to cut down carbon monoxide levels.
  • Innovating, initiating, adopting, and establishing programs to examine the level of efficiency of people in charge of fire-fighting and other types of emergency response, and providing efficient medical care when necessary.
  • Innovating, initiating, adopting, and establishing programs to supervise how wood-burning heaters and fireplaces are used and maintained while ensuring that fuel combustion is done properly.
  • Reducing the quantity of inhaled carbon monoxide by enforcing “no smoking” rules in public buildings or places that provide a more general or specific service.
  • Substituting less hazardous chemicals, products, or compounds for more hazardous ones.
  • Formulating or inventing programs that can use fuel more efficiently to reduce carbon monoxide, other pollutants, and pollution.
  • Utilizing continuous emission monitoring systems to record, report, and disseminate information about carbon monoxide emissions from stationary sources.

2. Ozone (ground-level)

Ozone is produced whenever a chemical reaction occurs in the atmosphere between a volatile organic compound (VOC) and nitrogen oxides and in the presence of sunlight.

Volatile organic compounds may be generated from fuel combustion, petroleum refineries, chemical manufacturing plants, cars that burn gasoline, and during use and storage of hydrocarbons, petroleum, and solvents, as well as landfills.

Children are at risk during summer when ozone levels in open/unconfined air are at their highest. Ozone can destroy agricultural crops, some types of plastic, rubber, and forests, especially in depressed/low-lying areas such as valleys or streets that exist between tall buildings. These types of topography could help pave a way for high concentrations of ground-level ozone.

The best environmental practices for ozone are as follows:

  • Using cleaner gasoline, adopting the use of low-emission cars and trucks, and increasing the efficiency of gasoline in order to increase the mileage covered per gallon of gasoline burned.
  • Reducing the amount of nitrogen oxide discharged from industrial combustion sources and power plants.
  • Using nuclear, solar, hydroelectric, and wind power—whenever or wherever possible—in place of fossil fuels.
  • Reclaiming or recovering vapor at service stations during refuelling of automobiles.
  • Reducing dependence on/use of automobiles by employing mass transit and carpooling, and making less use of automobiles for little trips or distances.
  • Using low-evaporation VOC solvents and paints instead of high-evaporation VOC solvents and paints.
  • Employing special gas cans to prevent spillage during refuelling of lawn equipment.
  • Inspecting emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and sulfur oxides from automobiles on a yearly basis.

3. Lead

The most common sources of lead include industrial processes, mobile sources of pollution (buses, locomotives, trucks, passenger cars, construction equipment, etc.), resource recovery areas, battery manufacturing, waste incineration, piston-engine aircraft operation, and the deterioration of lead-based paint (indoors and outdoors).

Exposure (inhalation and ingestion) to lead in both indoor and outdoor environments can damage a children’s nervous system and the renal and cardiovascular systems in adults.

The best environmental practices for lead are as follows:

  • Employing bag-house filters during secondary lead production to get rid of debris from emissions that contain lead.
  • Using electrostatic filters, fabric filters, or wet scrubbers during the primary lead production process in order to remove dust that contains lead.
  • Efficiently controlling smelting operations and transportation of fugitive lead dust to and from a smelter.

4. Nitrogen oxides

Nitrogen oxides are mainly generated from fuel combustion, particularly in industrial boilers, electric utilities, and every kind of wood-burning appliance and fireplace.

Nitrogen oxides can lower one’s immunity or resistance to respiratory infections, induce irritation and damage in the lungs, and increase acute respiratory sickness in children; in addition, it can undergo reactions in the atmosphere to form acid rain and ozone.

The best environmental practices for nitrogen oxides are as follows:

  • Utilizing low nitrogen burners which can maintain high-efficiency combustion and recirculate combustion gases through flue pipes.
  • Recirculating the exhaust gases in automotive vehicles in order to reduce nitrogen oxides.
  • Modifying combustion systems to minimize peak temperatures and combustion time (i.e., time for complete fuel combustion) at peak temperatures in industrial processes.
  • Using catalytic converters to convert hydrocarbons into water and carbon dioxide, reduce nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and oxygen, and also convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide.
  • Employing energy conservation techniques in buildings in order to economize or use less fuel and save energy.
  • Properly maintaining automotive vehicles to ensure that gas compression ratios, spark timing, and air-fuel ratios are suitable.
  • Utilizing continuous emission monitoring systems to record, report, and disseminate information about nitrogen oxides emissions from stationary sources.

5. Particulate matter

Both the fine and respirable (breathable) types of particulate matter can increase lung damage and respiratory problems/diseases and may cause cancer, reduced visibility, surface soiling, and premature death.

Particulate matter causes various kinds of illnesses, especially in children, elderly people, and people who have asthma, lung diseases, and heart diseases.

The best environmental practices for particulate matter are as follows:

  • Applying water or chemical dust suppressants to dry bare soil and unpaved roads, especially in places that have high traffic and many ongoing construction activities.
  • Choosing and using cleaner fuels—for example, natural gas—which discharge little to no particulate matter—for example, natural gas.
  • Utilizing low-ash fossil fuels for burning or combustion.
  • Cleaning coal before burning it, in order to reduce ash.
  • Employing more effective technologies in industrial processes.
  • Using gasification products of coal as fuel, instead of using coal.
  • Using scrubbers, filters, electrostatic precipitators, and dust collectors to remove particulate matter (such as dust particles) from gas streams.
  • Applying appropriate dust collection systems to air emitted from industrial processes/production in order to reduce the quantity of dust generated in the cement industry.
  • Using a wet suppression system or dust collection system along with the principles of ventilation to reduce dust in coal processing.
  • Consistently utilizing appropriate pollution control tools and equipment.
  • Cutting down fuel combustion by upgrading various technologies tied to fuel products.
  • Using continuous emission monitoring systems to record, report, and disseminate information about particulate matter emissions from stationary sources.

6. Sulfur Dioxide

Ninety percent of all sulfur dioxide emissions originate from the activities of paper mills, iron and steel mills, power plants, fertilizer manufacturers, petroleum refineries, and copper smelters: sulfur dioxide is usually produced from and during fuel combustion in oil- or coal-burning industries, diesel engines, refineries, and electrical utilities.

But it comes with a problem: sulfur dioxide increases respiratory problems, exacerbates asthma, and reacts in air to produce acid rain which is also produced when nitrogen oxides combine with water.

The best environmental practices for sulfur dioxide are as follows:

  • Scouring sulfur dioxide from exhaust gases before discharging the gases into the atmosphere.
  • Using only low-sulfur coal as fuel.
  • Prewashing coal before using it as fuel.
  • Using natural gas in place of high sulfur coal.
  • Applying reactive lime in the removal of sulfur or sulfates.
  • Modifying industrial processes when possible in order to get rid of sulfur and sulfur compounds.
  • Using continuous emission monitoring systems to record, report, and disseminate information about sulfur dioxide emissions from stationary sources.

The Benefits of Preventing Luxuries from Becoming Necessities

Yes, it may be important to have luxuries, but it’s certainly not a necessity or as important as air, food, water, and some other elements of life. Simply put: any luxury is not a necessity.

Any luxury is not part of the basic foundation for living—but any necessity surely is! So why have so many of us consciously or subconsciously allowed luxuries to become necessities in our individual lives?

What’s the fuss about luxuries or “unessential things” when we can live perfectly well without them? Why have we become slaves to different types of luxuries when we can actually do without most or all of them?

Like a fresh newborn baby, the absence of luxuries or unessential things cannot take a toll on you except you allow it or become enslaved by it.

Deep down, we all know those unessential things: we all know the things we can certainly live without, even though we mistakenly or wrongly believe that we can’t live without them.

On one hand, lies unessential things; on the other lies the essential things or “necessities” of life—the basics which we can’t do or live without, such as air, water, and food. But surely, we can live without many of the luxuries and excesses in our lives.

Many of our emotional and financial problems stem from the obvious: we’ve allowed luxuries to become necessities in our individual lives, instead of preventing and controlling them along with the negative impact they could have on us.

The downside of allowing luxuries to become necessities

The problem with allowing luxuries to become necessities—or mistaking luxuries for necessities—is that it can rob you of developing or maintaining some required amount of self-discipline which you need to maintain a healthy state of equilibrium in various aspects of life.

How would a person eventually succeed in losing weight when they aren’t able to muster enough self-discipline and resolve to heed their doctor’s advice and actually retire from eating specific foods—say, burger, pizza, etc.

Why wouldn’t it be difficult for a person to prevent luxuries from becoming necessities when they spend every day looking for chances to make unessential or unnecessary luxuries the foundation of their life?

Why not prevent luxuries from becoming necessities?

Every now and then try to live or do without the luxuries or unessential things that many people erroneously or intentionally regard as necessities, and you’ll stand to gain valuable benefits in several ways.

Firstly it can push you beyond your comfort zone and help you develop higher levels of mental resilience which can enable you to recover more easily and readily from cases of depression and adversity that are linked to certain levels of dependence on luxuries or unessential things.

Secondly, it can serve as an eye-opener and help you discover the things you really need in your life as opposed to the things that you don’t need as much: it will provide food for thought as to the exact things that are not as important as you’ve been thinking they are.

This insight can inspire you to eradicate unessential things from your life and create more time and space to focus on essential or important things which are the necessities of life and general to all human beings regardless of their age, race, social status, etc.

Lastly, preventing luxuries from becoming necessities can help to enhance your ability to be more contented and feel happier with less—i.e., when you live only on necessities—in the absence of luxuries.

The Main Features of Ethereum

Ethereum was first conceived, described, and proposed by Vitalik Buterin in November 2013; it is a young cryptocurrency that’s almost 5 years younger than Bitcoin which was invented in 2008 and launched in 2009 on the backdrop of the then prevailing economic recession.

Additional founders of Ethereum included Charles Hoskinson, Gavin Wood, Joseph Lubin, and Anthony Di Iorio. Ethereum development work and crowdfunding commenced in 2014, and on July 30, 2015, its network went live and has remained so since then.

According to the Ethereum website, www.ethereum.org or https://ethereum.org/en/, “Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts.” Smart contracts are a major feature in Ethereum and enable people to make agreements without the need for a middleman to do so on their behalf.

Ethereum creates its smart contracts by applying the same decentralized blockchain technology principles that Bitcoin utilizes. In the same vein that Bitcoin’s blockchain network validates Bitcoin ownership, so does Ethereum’s blockchain also validate its smart contracts which are executed by encoded rules.

Ethereum versus Bitcoin

In terms of market capitalization, Ethereum or Ether coin comes second only to Bitcoin: as of February 10, 2022, it hit a market cap value of $367.85 billion and exchanged at a rate of $3,077 per 1 Ether or Ethereum coin.

Bitcoin is regarded as “digital gold” because it was the first cryptocurrency to be invented and is the strongest to have reached a market cap of more than $1 trillion, while its limited supply which is capped at 21 million Bitcoins—the maximum number that would likely ever be mined—may guarantee that it continues to remain highly valuable.

Because people are also attracted to the features of Ethereum which is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, it is regarded as “digital silver”: like the precious metal known as silver, Ethereum has great features and a wide variety of applications.

Although the principle of cryptography and distributed ledgers powers both the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks, the two respective networks have features that differ technically in a number of ways.

For instance, the feature of executable codes in smart contracts helps to process Ethereum network transactions, while the data appended to Bitcoin network transactions are usually for keeping records or digital notes.

Another difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin networks is the block time: each Ethereum transaction is confirmed in a matter of seconds, while each Bitcoin transaction takes minutes. Bitcoin network runs on the SHA-256, while the Ethereum network runs on the Ethash algorithm.

Ethereum blockchain provides a platform for users to employ smart contracts and perform or run their decentralized applications. This is the reason why many other cryptocurrencies can operate on the Ethereum platform.

Although Bitcoin and Ethereum networks are both currently using the proof of work (PoW) consensus protocol which allows the nodes of members in each network to validate or verify information and prevent anybody from manipulating the system, in 2022 Ethereum network plans to upgrade its features and move to another consensus protocol called proof of stake (PoS) which would make Ethereum more secure, scalable, and sustainable.

Generally, the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks differ in regard to their respective aims: While Bitcoin was invented to serve as an alternative to traditional or national currencies and a medium of exchange, Ethereum was invented to facilitate changeless step-by-step instructions in computer programs or contracts and applications through its own cryptocurrency. 

The main features of Ethereum are as follows

  • Its network is decentralized—but it is more decentralized than Bitcoin
  • It uses and allows the development and deployment of smart contracts in its virtual machine
  • It allows users to create DApps (Decentralized applications) also known as consolidated applications
  • It allows users to create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) for use in democratic decision-making
  • Its token or trading symbol is “ETH” or “Ether”
  • It is minable
  • Ethereum mining wastes less energy than Bitcoin mining does
  • For now, creation or mining of Ethereum occurs through proof-of-work (PoW)
  • The transaction time can occur within seconds—as little as 14 seconds—although in some cases it can increase depending on confirmation requirements
  • Transactions are not entirely or completely anonymous

 

Behind the Scenes, Everybody Struggles in Some Areas of Life

Everyone’s life would appear to be a bit more equal if we view life in a much broader scope and come to this simple conclusion/fact: every man-made creation that exists around us was made by people who had experienced their own struggles behind the scenes while doing what they love and do best.

In all seriousness and reality, despite the carefree lifestyles shown in many movies and magazines, a carefree lifestyle just doesn’t exist. Dear soul, a life that’s void of struggles just doesn’t exist!

Nobody is superhuman enough to rid themselves of struggles in all areas of life, even if they portray or would like to portray a life of carefreeness to the whole wide world. Actually, everyone struggles in life—in fact, more often behind the scenes—emotionally, financially, materially, etc.

This might sound shocking, but nobody—including the world’s most brilliant and greatest geniuses—was, is, or will ever be as godlike or superhuman to the point of completely evading or making themselves immune from struggles.

In one way or another, everyone struggles. It’s not easy to notice that everyone struggles if you focus only on the successes or accomplishments of the people who are majorly changing the world around you.

We wrongly assume that successful or accomplished people usually don’t have struggles to contend with because they appear to be perfect, too intelligent, extremely productive, tremendously persistent, highly creative, enormously popular, so zealous, exceedingly beautiful, very strong, etc.

Even if you’ve authored many books on a subject and taught people how to handle struggles, that doesn’t mean you don’t or won’t ever have a load or truckload of struggles to deal or compete with.

The people behind the scenes of success or accomplishments have had to deal with the same types of problems as people who haven’t yet succeeded; the only difference is that they know how to cover their problems from the public and handle them a bit more effectively.

While achieving success, many great men and women had their own fair share of struggles and failures, found themselves unable to avoid or resist some temptations, succumbed to the allure of instant gratification, and even jeopardized some of their long-term goals. This is just part of being human—not superhuman or godlike!

As a matter of fact, the people whom we consider to be extremely successful aren’t that much different from us or anybody. Many of them struggled in the past: some had less willpower than we currently have, while others were less disciplined than us. However, they contended with and overcame their struggles.

Becoming intelligent, extremely productive, tremendously persistent, highly creative, and enormously popular is within everybody’s grasp—even if there’s some struggling to hustle with behind the scenes.

Neither you nor anybody else will ever live without having at least an ounce of struggle in one or more aspects of life: nobody will ever permanently distance themselves from the unpredictable struggles of life. Learn to accept and adapt to that, but keep your head up high as you come to terms with your conditions.

Tech Industries that Would Potentially Offer the Best Job Opportunities in the Future

As many tech industries continue to grow and expand by applying new and innovative methods, a multitude of jobs and business opportunities will continue increasing.

While it is evident that emerging tech industries would create new opportunities for humans to work on different types of jobs and tasks, and undoubtedly create significant impacts on our world’s workforce, it is important to note that not all changes will be negative even if AI eventually takes over certain and many types of white-collar jobs.

Yes. self-driving vehicles could take over cabbies and truck drivers, and robots could take over many factory jobs. Even drones could likely render the jobs of snail mail carriers and messengers obsolete.

So, what tech industry jobs will be available in the future—in say 5, 10, 15, or 20 years’ time? According to Koetsier (2017), precisely 13 tech-related fields would potentially offer the best new/innovative jobs and opportunities in the future.

The 13 fields, which it is believed would likely be occupied mainly by human workers instead of delegated AI or automated technologies, are as follows:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented or Mixed Reality
  • Blockchain
  • Brain-machine Interfaces
  • Data Science
  • Drones
  • Genomics
  • Internet of Things
  • Nanotechnology and Swarm Intelligence
  • Quantum Computing
  • Robotics and Automation
  • 3D Printing
  • Virtual Reality

Some extra but more specific fields outside Koetsier’s list may include:

  • Advanced robotics
  • Biometric technology
  • Cloud computing technology
  • Cyber security
  • Mobile Internet
  • Virtual reality

A study conducted by Forrester Research suggests that due to developments in automation and AI, over the next 10 years roughly 15 million new jobs—which equals 10% of today’s American workforce—will be created in the USA alone.

The healthcare industry is one of the industries that will continue creating numerous jobs opportunities—especially when there is more need in the present time than at any other time in history—to employ people who can assist in providing treatments for symptoms that arise from addictions to technological devices and applications.

Generally, the fields that would be valuable and potentially offer the best job opportunities in the future would also have something in common with what is known or referred to as “soft human skills” which includes creativity, emotional intelligence, and social skills. People who have these skills will find it easier to occupy new and interesting job positions.

Stop Enslaving Yourself and Nobody Would Have Power to Enslave You

Self-enslavement is the bane of our world today. It’s so easy and normal to knowingly or unknowingly be a slave of our passions and fears and blame other people, situations, or things for our personal lapses and weaknesses that emanate from self-enslavement.

Each one of us really needs to look within ourselves before throwing blames outside, on other people or external factors: before pointing the finger at others and complaining that they’ve enslaved you, search within yourself and ascertain whether you have enslaved yourself or not.

Yes, look within. Take a cold hard stare at the best mirror which is your own soul—it honestly knows right and wrong—and you may find there slavish desires, submissive thoughts, and subservient habits that are enslaving your everyday life.

Conquer these entities so you can be in a better position to stop enslaving yourself. If you can put a halt to self-enslavement, then nobody would have the power to enslave you or compel you to sell your soul or life responsibilities and choices to other people.

Although external circumstances exert some influence, at the end of the day, the control of crucial aspects of your life depends on you

Conquer that lust which breaks your diet, instead of blaming your friends for constantly tempting you to get hold of something to eat, and in so doing, effortlessly break your diet. 

Work on your self-discipline which enslaves and wastes your finances, instead of faulting politicians and evil corporations who don’t spend an ounce of your money with you.

If you master or have power over your self-discipline, lust, patience, and the host of other inner attributes, then you achieve self-mastery and nobody would be able to enslave you or sway you from your earnest desires or volition.

Whenever your heart tells you to blame someone or an external factor for your lack of patience, self-discipline, or other inner quality, think about it again, and maybe again. Do we always have to point the finger and blame other people for our inability to be resolute or firm? Hell no!

Types of 3D Models Used in Technical & Engineering Drawings and Designs

There are three main types of 3D models or modeling methods integrated into CAD systems for a single software package, and each has its own strength and weakness: wireframe models/modeling, surface models/modeling, and solid models/modeling.

Although there are other types of 3D models that can be used in CAD systems for technical & engineering drawings/graphics and designs, most of them exist as a subset of the three main types of models, or they can be used individually for specific purposes.

1. Wireframe model

The Wireframe model/modeling method was the first 3D modeling method to be established. Wireframe models are often used as a starting point in 3D modeling since they eventually create a “frame” for 3D structures.

A wireframe is a three-dimensional model that only includes vertices and lines; it doesn’t contain surfaces, textures, or lighting like a 3D mesh. Instead, a wireframe model is a 3D image comprised of only “wires” that represent three-dimensional shapes.

Generally, “wireframe model/modeling” refers to any computer screen display of a model in regard to only the edges and contours of the object or artifact it represents.

Wireframes provide the most basic representation of a three-dimensional scene or object: using simple lines and curves, a wireframe model can represent a “skeleton” for building a 3D object.

Wireframe models express the contours and edges of objects by using circles, lines, and arcs orientated in 3D. The portrayal of contours and edges in the wireframe model was developed from 2D modeling practices.

The wireframe modeling method derived its name from the process of mentally or visually representing objects, sculptures, or carvings with wires as shown in Figures 1, 2, and 3 below.

Fig 1

Figure 1: The Wireframe model (lines, arcs, and curves in 3D) of an artefact (Source: Quora)

Fig 2

Figure 2: The Wireframe model of a car (Source: DepositPhotos)

Fig 3

Figure 3: The Wireframe model of the world (Source: PngEgg)

A wireframe model can be created in the same way a 2D CAD drawing is created. Simple geometric tools (such as circles, lines, and arcs) are drawn in 3D to express each edge where the surfaces on an object intersect.

Wireframe models don’t look as realistic or “close to reality” as some other models because they incorporate surfaces or boundaries that are often shaded.

A wireframe model can help to visualize 3D equipment which is more difficult to visualize when represented or expressed in 2D. In many cases, it is advisable not to overlook wireframe during the design of an object.

The major advantage of wireframe 3D models is that they provide a single and clear understanding of some shapes and make it possible for objects not to be represented unambiguously, especially when expressed using multi-views.

2. Surface model

CAD surface modeling/models specify limits and define an artifact or shape by using the stored information about its surface to create a realistic visual or mental picture or impression.

However, surface models do not assign any material thickness to surfaces, and the outer surfaces of objects (balls, boxes, cubes, etc.) can be shaded between or around the limits specified and defined by surface models.

Generally, surface models focus on modeling the outer/outside parts of objects, artefacts, shapes, or products, instead of the inner and mechanical parts within.

Fig 4

Figure 4: Surface modeling for Audi car (Source: GrabCAD)

The information (or definitions) about an artefact is stored in the CAD database. This information represents the outer or external boundaries of surfaces that could form part of the 3D model. (The process of storing the definitions of surfaces in the database is called “boundary representation” [BREP].)

To create a surface model, an entire surface doesn’t need to be created at once: only pieces or “patches” are combined into a continuous model. In summary, surfaces can be created from bits or pieces technically referred to as “patches”.

Each patch can be interpolated or approximated like a spline curve. A patch can be regarded as a “coon’s patch”—this refers to an interpolated surface that is defined by four boundary curves which have points that can be interpolated using mathematical methods.

The surface models employed in computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) need to operate at a high level of accuracy to produce really good and smooth surfaces that may require fewer control points to make their curves more fluid.

3. Solid model

The term “solid models or modeling” is a technique used by solid modelers or designers to create a representation (called a solid) of a solid object. Unlike surface and wireframe models, solid models ensure that objects are geometrically correct and all surfaces meet precisely. 

Solid models not only represent the edges, vertices, and surfaces of the part, they also help determine the locations of points in space within an object or outside it.

In terms of storing information concerning the volume occupied by an object of artifact, solid models go way beyond surface models. In fact, solid models record information about the vertex and edge of the 3D wireframe modeler, the surface modeler’s surface definitions, and volume.

Because many solid modelers store the operations used to produce features, it is possible to quickly edit features of objects and easily test, define, and refine the designs that solid models represent.

Fig 5

Figure 5: Three technical/engineering drawing projections and their corresponding solid (shaded) model (Source: ResearchGate)

Solid models are easy to understand and highly accurate and visual if modelled accurately. Some 3D solid models are often more capable of replacing physical models.

However, 3D solid models work better with analysis packages and contain all the information about the volumes of objects which are very important in many calculations.

During the refinement process of designs, the solid model can be used as a foundation from which centroid, mass properties, moments of inertia, and weight can be estimated as many times as may be needed.

Fig 6

Figure 6: Difference between Wireframe model and Solid Model (Source: LearnMech)

The behavior of an object or its system can be simulated from the information stored in the solid model which can further provide useful information that may be required for other analyses.

Because solid models define entire objects, their information can be used by finite element analysis (FEA) softwares to automatically generate FEA meshes and break up complex objects into smaller objects, thereby making it easier to even calculate material properties such strain, stress, and heat transfer.

Some solid modeling softwares and FEA are structured to provide this and similar types of analysis. Other modeling softwares even permit direct model optimization based on results from FEA, and could be used to produce a new version of the model which the modeler can review further.

The Best Way to Protect Yourself from Temptation is to Avoid It

Each person has one or more things that draw or try to draw them down into the mire. “Has” implies a certain type of craving or affection on our own part: in a way, our attraction to certain things contributes to our own downfall.

By not avoiding certain things or temptations altogether, we leave a gap or weakness which opens up a chance for certain things or temptations to take us down, tear us apart, or even destroy us completely.

Why go to the theaters at late hours when it causes you to wake up late and arrive at work late? Even if you’re highly self-disciplined, prevention is better than cure: avoiding theaters at late hours would protect your self-discipline from fighting against urges and help you wake up early and arrive at work early.

Sometimes we make it more difficult or get it entirely wrong: we think being self-disciplined is the best option and implies we should deliberately look for the things that can expose our weakness and lead us astray or into problems or complications.

We think because we have self-discipline, we can/should put ourselves to the test: we think we are strong enough to set ourselves up for possible failure.

It may be difficult to resist temptations but not difficult enough to avoid them—at least some of them: the best way to defend or protect yourself against temptations is to avoid them from the onset—completely.

Avoidance is better than exerting self-control

If you go to the bar every day or week, your chances of getting high or drunk would be higher than those of a person who avoids the bar and spends their time at home reading or doing something else.

The probability of cheating on your diet would be higher if you keep some forbidden foods at home. Keeping forbidden foods away from home will defend or protect you better from struggling with the urge to eat after taking forbidden foods home.

Your chances of consuming or selling hard drugs would be low or nil if you keep away from those bad boys in your neighborhood. You’d likely be more inclined to focus on your writing or online work if you could just close all those distracting websites or web pages.

Why not avoid those temptations in the first place, instead of exposing yourself and having to struggle, having to rely on your self-discipline or willpower to protect you from things you could have easily evaded at the best time—from the onset.

The bottom line: temptations are not worth it. Avoid them at all cost, instead of setting yourself up for an uphill battle that could really test your resolve and put you under possible immense pressure which may subdue you.

Economic Concepts to Consider When Evaluating Real Estate Properties

It’s important to acknowledge and understand certain economic concepts when you are evaluating the present or future potential value of any real estate property or investment.

For various reasons, the demand for and value of different types of real estate properties is either low, medium, or high: a property can be relatively accessible or inaccessible, regardless of its location, the surrounding weather, and the complexity of local, national, or regional government requirements for ownership of properties.

So what leads to the differences or disparities in the values or prices of real estate properties? To be in a good position to answer this question, you have to consider various important economic concepts when evaluating the potential value or price of any property.

The basis for evaluating the value of any piece of real estate is anchored on the following economic concepts:

1. Demand

Demand is an economic concept that is influenced by the need or desire to possess or own a property or properties. People who have sufficient financial means or purchasing power also have the ability to satisfy their needs. Having both the desire and ability to purchase real estate is known as “effective demand”.

2. Scarcity

Scarcity is an economic concept that expresses the level of deficiency or inadequacy of the quantity or number of a specific type of property in comparison with the demand for the same type of property. In other words, scarcity refers to “the relative demand for” versus “the relative supply of” a specific type of property.

For instance, there could be high demand for and low supply of a specific type of property in one region; yet, in another region, there could be low demand for and abundant supply of the same type of property. Therefore, properties are scarce in regions that have high demand and low supply.

3. Substitution

The economic concept known as “substitution” refers to situations whereby investors decide not to pay more money for a property that is similar to another property which has a known price. Generally, properties are unique and limited and the economic concept of substitution only applies when another property can meet the same needs or desires of the investor who is linked to the property.

4. Utility

The economic concept known as utility refers to the ability of a property to be maximally used or utilized for an intended purpose; it can be defined as the ability of property to be put to practical use.

Various factors that influence utility are aesthetics (physical looks or attributes), location, government regulations, environmental limitations, etc. For instance, a location that is very inaccessible or difficult to access won’t be suitable for retail (selling of goods or services) purposes.

5. Transferability

This term/economic concept refers to comparative ease of transferring or exchanging ownership rights and control of a property from one person or party to another.

Transferability makes it possible for people or parties to acquire, own, and control real estate property. Transferability and the value of a property can be affected by constraints or restrictions, conditions, and formal agreements.

6. Conformity

Conformity is an economic concept that can guide against any form of waste created by over-improving a property. The value of a property is optimized if it “at least” conforms to the attributes of its surrounding or location.

On the other hand, the value of a property can be negatively impacted if it doesn’t conform to the attributes of its surrounding or location.

Optimized value or high value is what real estate investors seek when they purchase properties, especially distressed properties which need to be renovated to enhance their utility and appearance to such an extent that they can conform to the attributes of their surroundings or locations.

7. Regression

It’s important to consider regression when investing in properties: the value of a property can be negatively impacted if the attributes of its surrounding is of a substandard value, inferior value, low value, or in a worse or terrible condition.

In other words, it is advisable not to waste your time and money investing in good properties if they are located in deteriorating or bad neighborhoods.

8. Progression

This concept is very important—if not the most important—for people who wish to achieve long-term success. Progression is about constantly moving forward in terms of increasing the value of any property and making high profits which can both be accomplished by investing in and improving poorly maintained or neglected properties that are located in good neighborhoods.

The value of many types of properties can be significantly increased by maintaining, upgrading, and repairing them in order to raise their level to at least that of other properties in the same surrounding or vicinity.

Note

Most (if not all) real estate investors would like to invest in properties that are maximally productive or have the potential to be maximally productive. Maximum productivity is synonymous with the “highest and best use” (HBU) analysis.

The economic concepts of utility and substitution are the drivers of HBU analysis or assessment which is a concept in real estate appraisal that establishes how the highest value for a property is attained.

The highest and best use is always that purpose that would generate the highest value for a property, regardless of how it is currently being used.

The highest and best use of a property might not remain constant over time. In fact, zoning of a property can rule out some potential uses of a property during evaluation—i.e., when it is being evaluated.

At the end of the day, determining the possible, likely, or “fair market” value (the price that a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept for a property at a given time) of a property is often baffling because—as they say—“beauty is in the eye of the beholder”!

Some Choices We Make Have Consequences of a Lifetime

Newton’s third law states that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. We would like to buttress the point much more and give a broader or more complete picture by stating that every “action” and “inaction” has consequences.

A choice is what you decide to do or not do. Some of the choices we make—actions or inactions—have consequences that can be effective or exert an influence throughout or beyond the duration of a lifetime.

Although the consequences of some of our choices are not always clear-cut or predictable, they can create more impact than other consequences.

The actions of Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Jefferson, and many individuals have had and still have consequences that transcend a lifetime or an uncountable number of lifetimes.

We need to be careful how and where we tread because the choices (including the somewhat insignificant decisions) we make today can have a great and lasting consequence which can impact our future.

It may take only a second, a minute, or a moment to make the wrong choice and put your future in jeopardy. The choices we make in a second, minute, or moment can and do often create consequences that reverberate for many years, decades, or even lifetimes into the future.

Each choice you make sets up a consequence. If you make wrong choices consistently, like several times in a row, it becomes your standard or habitual method or procedure. This could set you up for problems.

Underestimating the consequences of your actions, inactions, and the possible impacts of repeatedly making wrong choices can profoundly affect the rest of your life.

What do you think may happen in the future if you make a particular choice now or tomorrow?

Whenever you’re faced with a choice or decision to make, remind yourself that any choice you make at the moment can create consequences that would not only affect the present moment but also the future.

The choices we make affect our future in many ways

It’s crucial and good to make the right choices. However, it is important to note that accidentally or unintentionally making a bad decision in life is part of being human. In fact, we can learn from it and become wiser.

To a certain degree, we all make mistakes and mess up from time to time, but what matters more than making a bad choice is how we learn from or deal with the mistakes or bad choices we make.

Are you going to continue making bad decisions or will you reassess your bad decisions and start moving in a different or more beneficial direction?

Many people make wrong choices, even though they think positively. If you think positive thoughts all day long, your life can still be a mess if you make bad decisions.

Fortunately, even when we make bad decisions, there’s still hope: with GOD on your side, it’s always possible to get your life back on the right track and clean up the mess created from bad choices.

Examples of choices and their possible consequences or outcomes which could even stretch over a lifetime

  • If you choose to prepare very well for an exam, the possible consequence or outcome is that you could get a high score or grade.
  • If you choose to stop attending classes and not prepare well for an exam, the possible consequence is that you could perform poorly or fail.
  • If you choose to play games during working hours, instead of working for your boss, you could get fired or sacked from work.
  • If you choose to spend the night partying and drinking with friends instead of preparing for your flight the next day, the possible consequence is that you could end up missing the flight and any opportunity that is linked with the flight.
  • If you choose to buy things that are “outside of your league”, the possible consequence is that you could run out of budget and end up being broke or owing a huge debt.
  • If you choose to continue applying for jobs, the possible consequence is that you could increase your chances of getting interviewed and landing a job.
  • But if you don’t prepare well for a job interview, the possible consequence is that you may not be given the job that is linked with the interview.
  • If you choose to put up a wrong or disgraceful attitude, the possible consequence is that you may ruffle some feathers and keep people away from you.
  • If you choose to be in an unhealthy or troublesome relationship, then the possible consequence is that you would hardly experience true love.
  • Etc.

The SEO Code of Ethics’ Important Principles You Should Practice

Each individual, society, or social group has a code of conduct or ethics which they live by. Like most societies, working places, organizations, or social groups, practitioners of the search engine optimization (SEO) part of the Internet also has a code of ethics, known in a number of quarters as “SEO code of ethics”.

Code of ethics is a spoken or unspoken principle of right or wrong, or both (right and wrong) that is practiced by an individual or a group of people; it is also known as a system of rules or principles that govern morality and acceptable forms of conduct—more like a political party or religion.

To some extent, some site owners, bloggers, and SEO practitioners understand what the SEO code of ethics entails; however, not all site owner, bloggers, and SEO practitioners actually practice safe SEO which can be enforced by adhering to the SEO code of ethics.

It’s unfortunate that in an attempt to achieve a goal by any means necessary, some site owners, bloggers, and SEO practitioners use “whatever-it-takes” or unethical approaches that are biased toward surfers, search engines, or even their clients.

Although the whole Internet industry likely doesn’t have an official or somewhat unified SEO code of ethics, the following principles or rules of SEO practice should be strictly adhered to in order to make internet surfers, search engines, and clients feel safe and valued on the Internet:

1. Don’t take other people’s work without their consent and publish or present it as yours.

2. Create clean and understandable content for internet surfers; ensure that any information crawled by search engines must correspond with the visible content of each page.

3. Ensure that your site content is not misleading and offensive and visitors are protected when surfing your site. Any user’s search phrase should be able to match the site content or search result displayed after a query.

4. Be honest with your visitors or client and don’t intentionally use methods, systems, or technologies to trick search engines. Tricking search engines could get your site removed from their indexes and results pages.

5. Be fair and unbiased to all clients and treat them equally.

6. Keep your visitors’ or clients’ information confidential and away from public view, except if your visitors or clients give you permission.

7. Always look for an amicable solution for any disputes that may arise between you and your visitors or between visitors or clients themselves.

8. Don’t deceive people by lying about your skills and making false promises or guarantees to teach or provide so-called “guaranteed methods” that don’t work.

9. Don’t deliberately disregard the laws or rules and contract agreements that bind you and search engines or web directories. Simply put: don’t violate search engine laws which are the law of the Internet land!

Conclusion

The SEO code of ethics, which can be regarded as “the good principles of SEO practice”, is a way of SEO practice that aims to promote peace and erase all forms of evil, spamming, deception, scamming, and cheating on the internet. Learn to abide by SEO code of ethics and always remember that, whatever anyone does to harm surfers or search engines would only last in the short term. It wouldn’t last for long, longer, or indefinitely.

Overcoming One Obstacle Simply Means You Can Overcome More

The great law of nature allows many things to have their way, including obstacles. Life on Earth is a life of obstacles and constraints. However, as negative as the word “obstacle” sounds, each obstacle is the way to growth and development!

Just think for a moment about how you successfully overcame some obstacles in the past. Those experiences made you to become better and stronger—however, only better and stronger enough to meet an even bigger obstacle later on!

It’s important to point out that obstacles keep life continuously developing, evolving, and interesting, especially when they are unexpectedly discovered to be the sure way to hidden treasures. It can be surprising to find out the number of opportunities that are sometimes clothed and disguised in obstacles.

Run away from every obstacle and you may be running away from a ton of opportunities that life wants us to access by breaking through those fortified lines called “obstacles”.

Obstacles have potential! Each time you come across an obstacle, you learn something and develop wisdom, strength, or gain a new perspective of life or an endeavor. Each time you’re done, you become a better version of yourself.

As long as the world keeps spinning, we’ll keep encountering obstacles in one form or another

The more you accomplish in life and move forward, the more things and obstacles you’d find standing in your way, even if those obstacles are actually the way to your true destiny or life calling.

There’s a popular Haitian proverb that states, “Behind mountains are more mountains”. Although you may have an obstacle, if you take a good look, you’d find an even greater one around the corner.

According to an Elysium myth, nobody overcomes an obstacle to enter a land of no obstacles. In other words, nobody stops encountering an obstacle after overcoming an obstacle. Obstacles are part of life, but they are the way to a higher life.

Each obstacle brings in its train a battle that can be used to eventually stand taller, make better progress, and evolve in harmony with the laws of nature which are fitted with obstacles.

There are and will always be more obstacles and bigger challenges along our way, but how we approach and handle them would be crucial in our quest to become better or the best version of our respective selves.

Overcoming one obstacle simply means you can overcome more obstacles which Mother Nature and her world seem to enjoy throwing at you because they are for your good and you have what it takes to handle them.

Therefore, be hopeful and cheerful while handling an obstacle or waiting for the next one. 

Best Practices for Managing Air Pollution Sources

They say “prevention is better than cure”. Definitely, it’s better and safer to prevent a problem, than allow it to grow and waste your time and effort which may end up not attracting any cure.

Before stating the best practices for managing air pollution, it is important to note that prevention should be pursued at all cost and with as much effort as one can exert.

Once the atmosphere/air is polluted beyond permissible limits, attention has to focus on reducing or managing pollutant or air pollution sources. However, pollution prevention in the environment (air, land, and water) should be the first goal.

What is pollution prevention?

Pollution prevention is any practical method used to prevent or reduce the production or creation of wastes and eventually cut down air pollutants, solid wastes, hazardous wastes, and water pollutants.

Pollution prevention increases efficiency and enhances environmental protection; in addition, it helps reduce the toxicity and quantity of pollutants when:

  • less hazardous materials are substituted for more hazardous materials.
  • reusable material is substituted for single-use material, where practicable.
  • spills and leakages are prevented from occurring.
  • pollutants from leakages are captured, recycled, and treated before discharge into water or air.
  • raw materials are efficiently utilized in a timely manner in order to avoid and reduce waste.
  • solvents are cleaned and reused.
  • materials are periodically inspected, serviced, or maintained, and unusable raw materials are rejected or returned.
  • people and society are taught, properly trained, or directed on how to effectively tackle pollution.

Best practices for managing air pollution sources

The following best practices can be used to manage air pollution sources, regardless of whether they are mobile sources, area sources, criteria pollutants, greenhouse gas sources, or major point sources of criteria pollutants and/or toxic air pollutants:

(1) Conducting surveillance on any part of the environment to determine where pollutants are being released into the air, the quantity of pollutants being released, and the exact times of their release.

(2) Searching or checking for leaks using leak detectors, especially around vents, valves, sampling points, trainers, gaskets, ductwork, lint bags, seals, condensing coils, exhaust dampers, and pipe fittings.

(3) Cleaning up all spills, as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

(4) Cleaning of all HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) systems on rooftops and replacing all essential filters if they have been incorporated to help prevent growth and spread of Legionella organisms which cause Legionnaires disease.

(5) Replacing carbon absorbent materials and filters, regularly.

(6) Substituting less hazardous materials and chemicals for more hazardous materials and chemicals, when possible or appropriate.

(7) Reusing and recycling substances, where or when possible.

(8) Ensuring that general housekeeping, all operating equipment, sampling equipment, control devices, and storage vessels operate the right way and are maintained in a well-timed manner.

(9) Training employees to do their jobs properly, test their proficiency, continuously build their knowledge or education, and upgrade their skills on a periodic basis.

(10) Keeping written records of all maintenance works carried out on facilities and equipment, and highlighting notable problems and the solutions that were used to solve them.

Components of Air pollution

Ambient (outdoor) air pollution consists of a complicated mix of particulate matter (a.k.a. particle pollution), liquids, and gases.

The pollutants that immensely pollute air in many of the world’s cities include the six “criteria” air pollutants (1. particulate matter, 2. ozone [ground level ozone], 3. carbon monoxide, 4. nitrogen oxides, 5. lead, and 6. sulfur dioxide), toxic (hazardous) air pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions which affect the health of living (human, animals, and plants) and non-living (the environment) things, including the stratospheric ozone layer and various ecosystems.

In particular, the six criteria pollutants listed in the preceding paragraph have been identified by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as “criteria” pollutants because the EPA, itself, regulates them by formulating useful science-based guidelines for setting allowable levels of air pollutants or pollution.

All pollutants are generated from a variety of sources—some general, others specific—and can be influenced or affected by weather and local topographical conditions. The components of air pollution, especially the type in heavily polluted urban air, consist of the following:

Particulate Matter

Particulate matter can be defined as any small discrete mass of solid or liquid matter that remains dispersed in liquid or gas emissions. Particulate matter is usually regarded as an atmospheric pollutant.

Different types of particulate matter come from different sources and vary in composition and size, and may consist of a large number of chemicals. The variety of particulate matter can cause major visibility problems and be detrimental to the health and growth of agricultural products, depending on the quantities of the particulate matter, and weather conditions.

Liquids

The liquid components of air pollution come from a variety of chemicals and water and may evaporate into the atmosphere or air in different shapes and sizes of droplets.

The droplets, which have been unknowingly taken deep into the human lungs and body, can cling to particulate matter, reduce visibility, and partake in the formation of acid rain.

Gases

The gas component of air pollution (air pollution constituents) come from a variety of different sources and consists of gases such as ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and various metals that can exist in gaseous form, etc.

Other air pollutants

  • Total petroleum hydrocarbons
  • Fuel oils and kerosene
  • Asbestos
  • Carbon disulfide
  • Benzene
  • Synthetic vitreous fibers
  • Creosote
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Acrolein

We Hardly Consider How Much Worse Things Could Have Been

No matter the situation you’re in, things could have been much worse than they have been. If you unfortunately lose money, take note that you could have lost all your property. If you unfortunately lose your job, take note that you could have lost your life.

That’s just the way it is: generally, we’re not in charge of many things in life and in our lives. So, even if we get into a seriously challenging and trying situation—worst case scenario—we have to hope for the best outcome while being thankful that the trying situation isn’t much worse.

Accepting the challenges posed by your worst obstacles or unfortunate circumstances—rather than rejecting or resenting them—can help you become a different and stronger person who is better adjusted to the reality of the constraints or challenges from terrible situations.

The constraints in life can still lead us to our desired destination

Oftentimes, it doesn’t seem as if obstacles and constraints would work to our advantage—but they can and sometimes do, especially if we accept them and allow them to dictate things a bit or completely.

Constraints force us to go places we’d never want or think of; they push us to develop skills we’d otherwise leave undeveloped. Everybody would like to have developed or many developed skills or virtues, but that isn’t up to us. It is up to Life—to GOD.

Life pushes us: It tells us to go here and there. It places constraints or limitations around us. In the midst of it all, we’d be unwise to argue with or yell at Life. We’d be better off accepting some so-called “unacceptable situations” and forging ahead with optimism, while understanding that situations could have been worse than they are.

If you aren’t the cause of your problem, accept your situation and move on

Moving on from a problem or defeat doesn’t mean you’ve given up. What it means is that you’ve accepted a challenge and—if you are the courageous type—would try to turn it upside down and use it to your advantage.

Appreciate the situation of your problem. Accept what you have. Learn to be at peace with it. Instead of wasting time, wailing, and complaining, accept that failure or constraint and move on. To stress the point further, even if the inconceivable becomes conceivable or presents itself, be ready to accept it and move on.

Many life lessons teach us that anything can happen. Many fortunate and unfortunate events are controlled by fate or better “the Will of GOD”. Fate or the Will of GOD is the unseen power or greatest force that shapes our lives and destinies.

We definitely had nothing to do with being born black, white, or any other color—none of us had any influence on it. The constraints in life make certain things that happen, to happen, and no one else but GOD would ever change them.

In many aspects of life, it could be helpful to consider how much worse things could have been. We should be humble and flexible enough to acknowledge that certain things are just way beyond us, and both the known and unknown could change our initial plans at any time.

The Main Characteristics of Bitcoin

By now, almost everybody in the world may have likely heard about the cryptocurrency that started it all in “cryptodom”: Bitcoin. But presently, Bitcoin is not the only famous or investment-worthy cryptocurrency that exists. There are a number of others too, but they aren’t quite like Bitcoin.

About nine years after Satoshi published Bitcoin’s white paper, its market cap has increased from as much as $320.58 billion in December 2017 to $1.091 trillion on December 1, 2021, and dropped to $822.31 billion on January 16, 2022, at an exchange rate of $43,436.81 to 1 bitcoin.

Anybody who had invested $100 in Bitcoin and bought one Bitcoin at the then rate of a Bitcoin to a dollar (i.e., 1BTC = $1) in February 2011 would have had approximately $4.34 million worth of Bitcoin by January 16, 2022.

Many people who invested in Bitcoin during its early days and purchased and saved as much as 1000 Bitcoins (equivalent to $1,000) in February 2011, would have about $43.44 million at the time of writing.

So far, Bitcoin has been indomitable and is the talk of the crypto world, even though it is not perfect in every regard. Its age and position as a pacesetter among cryptocurrencies definitely gives it an advantage and has helped it to occupy and maintain the number one spot in the league of cryptocurrencies.

Another advantage Bitcoin has is its popularity: the obvious fact that most people have heard so much about Bitcoin, but not so much about other cryptocurrencies, has given it a big edge over the rest.

As a result, even though people could choose from thousands of other cryptocurrencies and altcoins—which may be better long-term alternatives to Bitcoin—most cryptocurrency newbies would prefer to start with Bitcoin.

But despite its age and certain characteristics that place it on top of other cryptocurrencies, surprisingly, some people still think that Bitcoin could be the worst cryptocurrency to own or to invest in.

Because the age, characteristics, and popularity of Bitcoin have made it the top superstar of all cryptocurrencies, it is clearly the frontrunner every year and pulls the entire crypto market along with its volatility.

There are actually a ton of other digital coins or cryptos that are in the financial market and have improved on the characteristics of Bitcoin, in order to highlight their own pros and somewhat expose Bitcoin’s cons.

The main characteristics of Bitcoin are as follows

  • Bitcoin network is decentralized
  • Bitcoin is minable
  • Creation or mining of Bitcoin occurs through proof-of-work
  • Bitcoin’s trading symbol is “BTC”
  • Bitcoin transactions are anonymous—but not completely anonymous
  • Bitcoin transaction time is usually between 30 minutes and 24 hours
  • Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy.

While Hoping for the Best, Also Prepare for the Worst

Your plans may look all set up and geared for success until, out of nowhere, things suddenly go wrong. In fact, on the eve of launching a major initiative, things may go wrong and your project may even fail entirely.

As you hope for the best, prepare for the worst because the worst can show up at any moment; not to hurt you, but teach you how to envision in advance that anything could or may go wrong; it could help you understand why you shouldn’t put all your hopes or eggs in one porous basket.

Many plans fail for preventable reasons, and many people don’t have a second or backup plan because they don’t consider or refuse to acknowledge that something may go wrong out of nowhere.

What we think we deserve is rarely what we get precisely

While hoping for the best, what we mostly end up getting only resembles what we actually planned for or set our minds on in the beginning. Although we know this fact, we still act as if we’re ignorant of it, and we’re repeatedly surprised when misfortune unfolds on the run to the future.

Mike Tyson, a famous boxer, who pondered on the collapse of his fortune and fame, once stated that “If you’re not humble. Life will visit humbleness upon you”.

If we learn how to consider worst-case scenarios while we hope for the best, we won’t get into an emotional mess or catastrophe at critical and disastrous points in our lifetimes.

As we think and work on a plan, it is also important to consider the things that may go wrong, or that things may go wrong and block that plan: storms could arise, and the person we depend on the most may become sick; we may even be visited by the misfortunes of Mother Nature herself—oh, what a world of uncertainty we live in!

Always be prepared to get disrupted; in fact, consider every possible disruption in your plans

The best way to be balanced in a world of uncertainty is to be fit for both defeat and victory—we have to be prepared for the best and worst and consider disruptions as part of life.

Prepare that whenever life sucks, you’ll better manage the situation and be okay. Prepare that, even if you’re dependent on other people, not everyone can always be counted on. Unfortunately, sometimes we’re the ones who are our own worst enemy, not other people.

We and everyone could make mistakes and destroy our personal plans—not every time, but likely some or most of the time. If you assume that everything will always work out, you may become surprised, miserable, and have a difficult time accepting misfortune and moving on with life when disruptions set in.

Contrary to most people’s expectations, things could actually become worse before they become better

Even if people would call you a pessimist, learn to expect the worst and be calm before a storm arises. It’s better to be a pessimist who believes that all terrible things will work for your good, than to be caught off guard by hoping for the best and never preparing for the worst when it eventually arrives. 

In a world of misfortune, put yourself in the best position possible by preparing your mind in advance for adversity. Get prepared for adversity to be as hard as possible and as hard as it can oftentimes actually be.

The fact that the worst thing can happen doesn’t mean the worst thing will permanently remain worse. Expected failure is easier to manage than unexpected failure. If you think that things may go wrong, nothing that eventually goes wrong will catch you by surprise.

The person who is prepared to be disappointed won’t actually become disappointed when the wheels fall off; in fact, they would have the strength to bear disappointment.

While we always hope for the best during times of peace, it is advisable to prepare for the worst; doing so would give us time to raise our inner or emotional defenses and also help us resist breaking into pieces when things don’t go according to our plans.

Be ready for success but also prepare for failure!

Jobs that Would be More Difficult for AI and Robots to Replace or Perform

As discussed in the article titled “Jobs that May Increasingly Continue to be Replaced by AI and Robots”, it is likely that AI technologies and robots will increasingly continue to replace human workers in the future.

However, as can be clearly sensed and seen today, there are still many types of jobs—occupied by humans—that AI technologies and robots are not intelligent enough or well suited to perform.

A study carried out by Oxford Martin School grouped the jobs that can’t be automated—and are thus unlikely to be replaced by AI technologies and robots—into three major classes or groups:

1. Jobs that require active or hands-on participation or manipulation and occupied by:

  • Firefighters
  • Oral surgeons
  • Chiropractors
  • Makeup artists

2. Jobs that require at least a considerable degree of creativity and occupied by:

  • Art directors
  • Choreographers
  • Curators

3. Jobs that require social or societal perception, sensing, or awareness and occupied by:

  • Clergy (clergymen and clergywomen)
  • Coaches and scouts
  • Mental health workers
  • Nurses

The study also determined the probability (in %) of each of the above listed workers’ jobs becoming automated—which is low; the estimates indicate how unlikely it would be for the jobs—occupied by humans—to be replaced by AI technologies and robots:

  • Firefighters: 17%
  • Oral surgeons: 0.36%
  • Chiropractors: 2.7%
  • Makeup artists: 1%
  • Art directors: 2.3%
  • Choreographers: 0.4%
  • Curators: 0.7%
  • Clergy (clergymen and clergywomen): 0.8%
  • Coaches and scouts: 1.3%
  • Mental health workers: 0.3%
  • Nurses: 0.9%

A number of other occupations and skills aren’t mentioned in each of the three major classes or groups listed above. The study by Oxford Martin School is just one case of a research on the types of workers/jobs that would be difficult for AI technologies and robots to replace.

The study by Oxford Martin School provided me with insight which I used to identify various factors that make it more difficult for some jobs to be automated/replaced by AI technologies and robots. The factors include the following:

1. The absence of large quantities of data

None of the workers/jobs under the three major classes listed above deal with the collection and analysis of large quantities of data. In direct contrast, if you consider the types of jobs performed by workers in the financial sector, where trends and figures are a major part of everyday tasks, you would easily understand why most or all the jobs in the financial sector would likely be lost to AI technologies and robots. People who occupy jobs in the financial sector will be easier to replace than people who occupy jobs in sectors that don’t deal with large quantities of data.

2. The need for/presence of human interaction

The jobs that are associated with the types of workers listed above require some degree of interpersonal or human communication. Human beings will always be superior to AI systems and robots when it comes to interpersonal or human communication, and people who have strong communication skills will likely have stronger job security if they’re handling jobs that require human interaction.

3. The need for/presence of minimal repetition or routine

Because AI technologies and robots excel at repetitive tasks, jobs that require minimal/minimum degree of repetition everyday are less likely to be easily replaced by AI technologies and robots.

4. The need to apply intuition or learn through simple observation

AI technologies and robots rely greatly on monitors and cameras to gather data and learn, in order to function according to design or expectation. Therefore, the type of jobs that require a high degree of intuition or flexibility in reasoning/thinking will be more difficult for AI technologies and robots to replace.

Concluding remarks

If you consider the four factors briefly discussed above and think about several occupations that are easier or more difficult for AI technologies and robots to replace, you’d be better placed to understand the skills and jobs that humans would continue to thrive with in the future without facing serious threats from AI technologies and robots.

It has to be noted that jobs that are unpredictable and require intuition, planning, and deep thinking are ill-suited for/not compatible with AI technologies and robots, and can therefore be adequately handled or occupied by competent humans. Such jobs exist in universities and other educational institutions where AI technologies and robots will take the back seat.

Be Ready in Case None of Your Best Efforts Work

At times, no matter how much faith we have, things might not just work out the way we wish. However, this doesn’t mean we should give up trying—or more importantly, our future—when things don’t work out according to our desire.

Each one of us has the ability to always think clearly and do things creatively, and nothing in the world can ever stop us from trying our best or putting in our best efforts.

Despite all our creativity, efforts, and dedication, fortune can misbehave at any moment and create obstacles that may be impossible for us to overcome.

One obvious truth is that we can’t always be in control of the world around us: we can’t always run things the way or manner like. 

Even if we have the greatest faith in the world and act rightly, we may still end up falling short or failing anyway. Therefore, it’s important for us to be prepared at all times in case anything goes wrong!

Some things are or will be bigger than us, but we can still continue to advance or evolve for the better

Yes, some things are and will be bigger than us, but nothing can ever prevent us from trying one thing or another. Some paths may be impassable and some of our actions may be rendered impossible.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are completely unfortunate. Why? Because we can use such circumstances as opportunities to acquire some virtues, abilities, or skills—even if it involves learning to be humble and accept that unfortunate things could happen.

In every situation that helps or hinders our progress—whether it’s fortunate or unfortunate—we are presented with a new path that can open a new or better part of us.

If you love someone, but the person hurt you, a new path could open for you to practice forgiveness. If you lost all you have, a new path could unfold for you to buckle up, face reality, and hustle to gain more than all you lost or ever had in your life.

Problems present chances or opportunities for us to try, do the best that we possibly can, or even become better. But we must be willing to play our part and roll the dice, even if we will end up losing.

At times, no amount of thinking, planning, zeal, effort, and dedication—no matter how hard we try—will change the fact that certain things won’t work at the end of the day.

Therefore, be prepared that at the end of the day, even your best efforts may not work. Anyone who pursues a goal comes face-to-face with this reality, again and again.

Try all you can to get things done, be ready to accept whatever verdict comes, and move on instantly to whatever is next on the path to your future and your destiny.

Types of Models Used in Technical & Engineering Drawings and Designs

Generally speaking, a model is a representation or hypothetical description of a complex process, entity, system, device, or theory that helps to predict its behavior.

A model can also be defined as a small-scale object that is usually built to scale to represent the details of a much larger object.

Models are used in technical and engineering drawings and designs and also preliminary works or construction, as plans from which final products are created; for example a clay model can be created for a real or an eventual casting process.

Models in technical and engineering drawings and designs and preliminary works can be used in testing, perfecting, or honing a final product after understanding and being satisfied with how it behaves; for example, a test model can be created for a solar-powered vehicle.

This article discusses the following types of models used in technical & engineering drawings and designs:

1. Descriptive models

Descriptive models are used in technical and engineering drawings and designs to represent an object, system, entity, device, or process, in either words or pictures.

A descriptive model is a group of written specifications for a design, an object, a system, an entity, a device, or a process.

The major aim of a descriptive model is to describe and provide enough details that can express the image of the final design, object, system, entity, device, process, or product.

Sometimes, descriptive models use representations that are simplified, similar, or equivalent to something that can be more easily understood.

If all the specifications in a descriptive model are adhered to, the final design, object, system, entity, device, process, or product will perform as correctly as expected.

Sketching is another type of descriptive model for the design ideas that are expressed on paper. Two-dimensional (2D) and 3D computer-aided design (CAD) drawings are also descriptive models.

Although, in certain cases, a physical model or prototype is created to be smaller in scale, they are still regarded as another type of descriptive model.

2. Analytical models

Analytical models in technical and engineering drawings and designs help to mathematically or diagrammatically (schematically) represent and predict the future behavior of an object, system, entity, device, process, or product.

For example, an electrical circuit model or simple circuit design model can help to simulate or reproduce the behavior of an actual electrical circuit, or how it would function; therefore, an electrical circuit model is an example of an analytical model.

An effective analytical model helps to determine the best aspects of a system’s, an object’s, an entity’s, a device’s, a process’, or a product’s behavior that should be modelled.

A finite element analysis (FEA) model—such as that used to calculate important properties (for e.g., stresses, temperature, etc.) during the design of a real object, system, entity, device, process, or product—helps to simplify CAD models in a similar way.

A FEA model breaks a model into smaller elements and reduces a complex or complicated system into a series of smaller systems which helps to solve a problem, or understand and estimate certain properties more easily.

Understanding and applying an analytical model requires a good understanding of the difference between the model and the actual system, entity, device, process, or product, in order to be able to interpret any results correctly.

3. Two-dimensional (2D) models

Traditional paper drawings

Two-dimensional (2D) sketches and multi-view paper drawings represent designs for technical and engineering drawings and designs.

All the information that defines an object can be shown on paper drawing through sketch details, but may require many orthographic views which could take a long or longer time to create than CAD drawings would.

Because paper drawings are difficult to modify, the labor costs involved in producing them usually outbalance or outweigh equipment savings.

Paper drawings are not always highly accurate: their accuracy is approximately plus or minus one fortieth (1/40) of the drawing scale and makes paper drawings not particularly measurable.

2D CAD Models

Although two-dimensional (2D) CAD models share the visual characteristics of paper drawings, they are much more accurate than paper drawings and easier to modify.

CAD models represent the full size of objects, unlike paper drawings which usually don’t. Also, in CAD models you can “snap” to exact locations on objects, so as to be able to determine sizes and distances.

CAD systems have standard symbols which are easy to add and change; in addition, they have many editing tools that enable users to quickly edit and reuse drawing geometry.

Two-dimensional 2D CAD drawings can be easily and quickly printed to any desired scale, and different types of information can be singled onto several layers; this gives the model an advantage and makes it more flexible than paper drawing.

Computer-aided design accurately defines the positions of lines, arcs, and other geometry. If you query the AutoCAD database, it accurately returns information to you in the form it was originally created.

2D constraint-based modelling

Constraint-based modeling was originally started as a method to create 3D models. Constraint-based 2D models provide users with technical aspects that can help them define 2D shapes based on their individual geometry.

Users can add relationships like tangency and concentricity between entities in a drawing, and once a tangential or concentric constraint is added between two shapes or drawings (for e.g., circles), they will be constrained to remain tangential or concentric, and a user will be alerted if they attempt to make a change that will violate a selected geometric constraint.

The dimensions used in drawings constrain the sizes of the features of the drawings, and the relationships defined between components of the 2D model are retained by the software that is used when making changes to any drawing.

Geometric constraints are highly valuable tools, but must be applied with a proper understanding of basic drawing geometry if any benefit is to be derived from them.

Examples of constraints in AutoCAD 2016

The following are the constraints that define 2D objects’ respective geometry in AutoCAD:

  • “Vertical”: This constrains lines or pairs of points on objects to remain parallel to only the y-axis
  • “Horizontal”: This constrains lines or pairs of points on objects to remain parallel to only the x-axis
  • “Parallel”: This constrains two selected lines to remain parallel to each other
  • “Perpendicular”: This constrains two selected lines to be at an angle of 90° to each other
  • “Tangent”: This constrains two curves to be tangent to each other or to their extensions
  • “Smooth”: This constrains a spline to be contiguous and maintain G2 curvature continuity with another entity
  • “Concentric”: This constrains two arcs, circles, or ellipses to retain or maintain the same center point
  • “Coincident”: This constrains two points to stay connected to each other
  • “Collinear”: This constrains two or more line segments to remain along the same line
  • “Symmetric”: This constrains two selected objects to remain symmetrical about a specified line
  • “Equal”: This constrains selected entities to retain or maintain the same size
  • “Fix”: This constrains points, curve points, or line endpoints to stay in fixed position on the coordinate system
  • “Angular”: This constrains the angle between two lines to be retained
  • “Linear”: This constrains the distance between two points along the x- or y-axis to be retained
  • “Aligned”: This constrains a distance between two points to be retained
  • “Diameter”: This constrains the diameter of a circle to be retained
  • “Radius”: This constrains the radius for a curve to be retained

Icons for constraints in AutoCAD 2016

4. Three-dimensional (3D) models

Two dimensional (2D) models must be interpreted in order to correctly visualize 3D objects. Three-dimensional (3D) models are used to convey technical and engineering and designs to people who are unfamiliar with orthographic projection; in addition, they (3D models) are used to evaluate properties of drawings and designs that are undefined in 2D representations.

Physical models

Physical models serve as a source of visual reference and are also called “prototypes” whenever they are created in “full-size” or used to validate a nearly last or final design for production.

Physical models are good visual representations of designs; however, if they are not created from materials that would be used in a design, their weight and other features won’t match the final product.

Physical prototypes help to discover and correct many problems in designs and enable people to interact with physical models and understand how designs would eventually look like, and how they would function.

In certain cases, due to the size of a project, a physical model is created to be smaller in scale than how the final design would be. However, physical prototypes lack flexibility, and once they have been created, it is usually difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to modify or change them.

Therefore, it is advisable to use full-sized physical prototypes late in the design process, when major design changes are less likely to be made.

3D CAD models

Three-dimensional CAD models combine the characteristics of both descriptive models and analytical models and provide the benefits of both a 2D model and a physical (prototype) model.

Three-dimensional CAD models can generate standard 2D multiview drawings for visual representation, as well as rendered and shaded views.

Because 3D CAD models accurately depict the geometry of objects or devices, they can completely describe the shape, size, and appearance of objects or devices in the same way as a physical or scaled model would.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (also called “VR”) refers to the process of interacting with a 3D CAD model as if it were real. In virtual reality, the model simulates how a user would interact with a real object, device, or system.

The term “virtual prototype” refers to 3D CAD systems that represent objects that are adequately enough to enable people, manufacturers, or designers to acquire the same type of information they would be able to acquire from creating and studying a physical model or prototype.

When a virtual reality display is used, users can be able to immerse themselves in the model and move about or through it and view it from several points of view.

If the conditions of a virtual object are altered, it would react in a certain way and provide feedback, or a sensation of its reaction would be provided to the user or person immersed in the virtual reality they subjected themselves to.

Don’t Wait for Chances—Look for Chances and Seize Them by the Horn

The most successful people are not those who have waited for chances, but those who have searched for chances, besieged chances, conquered chances, taken over chances, and used chances to achieve greatness, even when the chances were seriously challenging.

In case you look for a chance and find one that is a negative situation or leads to failure, you can still use that failure as a teachable moment and later on apply any lessons you learn from it.

It is true that while looking for chances, we may run into negative situations. But we have to learn how to absorb the power of negative situations and infuse ourselves with energy that can propel us to success.

If you think it’s enough to only take advantage of the chances or opportunities that come to you, instead of looking for them, you may likely fall short of greatness which is mostly attained by looking for chances, and besieging and seizing them.

One effective thing you must do is learn how to press your buttons and move forward even when everybody around you or everyone in a negative situation sees only disaster.

Never forget that during apparently negative moments, when most people or everyone is besieged and seized by discouragement, you can still act unexpectedly and swiftly and seize chances in a way that can pull off a great victory.

We shouldn’t always ignore every negative situation and allow the crises they contain to become a waste. Crises could provide opportunities for us to achieve things we couldn’t achieve before or without crises.

If you observe the great successes or achievements of the past and present, you will clearly notice that, while looking for chances, some people stumbled across negative events which they seized and used to achieve success or push through much-needed reforms. We all can still do the same in our lives.

If you plan to use the chances you’ve found, but run into accidents or failures, you can still use them to your advantage

Have you become sick and are tied to your bed? Well, you now have time to write or think and develop more or better plans for your future.

Have you lost your relationship? Well, you now have time to look for a better one or even the best one out there.

Learn to look for chances in negative situations, seize their moments, and bring life to the plans that have been latent or sitting dormant in your mind.

While other people are shying away from every negative situation, and avoiding every trouble in a world that’s designed to be full of troubles, do the opposite: become your best version in seemingly difficult circumstances; turn tragedies or misfortunes to your advantage.

Don’t always focus on the negatives in some of the chances you seek for. Stop feeling disappointed and sorry for yourself. And never forget that life always moves on and favors the bold and brave who are able to seize chances even when they contain a ton of negativity.

We complain that we haven’t been given chances or opportunities, but we have—chances always exist, even in seemingly negative situations

At certain moments during our brief existence in this physical life, when we look for chances but run into frustrating or unfair challenges or trials, are we fond of running away from the adversity they throw at us or do we use the adversity to mount an offense that can lead us to success?

More precisely, do we look deeper into our problems and challenges in order to find opportunities or solutions that we’ve long been waiting for? If we don’t do so—in order to look for chances and take them—then it’s on us, and no one else.

When other people are waiting for chances, don’t wait; go out and look for them until you find them. And if eventually, you end up finding them but they are negative or challenging, instead of focusing on the negativity and disaster radiating from them, look further for positives and any opportunities.

The Importance of Evaluating a Lease: What You Should Watch Out For

Successful real estate investors know how important it is to sink into the depths of leases in order to assess the extent of opportunity and potential for higher income and/or stability of tenancy.

Researching, analyzing, and evaluating the leases of specific properties can help you to size up the properties and decide whether to investigate them further or move on to other properties.

But what is a lease? A lease is a binding legal agreement between a landlord and tenant or buyer, in which payment is made and rights are granted for the exclusive use or possession of a particular real property during a specified time.

Although a verbal lease can be used by the parties that are bound by a lease, it’s much more appropriate and even safer to have a written lease which clearly defines the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant or buyer.

It’s important to investigate leases even if you are so excited and overwhelmed by the possibility of owning an attractive or well-maintained rental property or building.

Regardless of the type of real estate property you are interested in buying or investing in, ensure that the seller provides the lease and it contains detailed and all relevant information pertaining to the property.

Don’t just accept a lease based only on a brief summary of it or what you see on the first page of the lease; insist on getting full and complete details along with any guarantees or modifications and written certification regarding the accuracy and validity of the lease/document.

Since you would be legally bound by all terms and conditions of a lease if you buy a property that it is associated with, make sure that you thoroughly understand all aspects of the lease.

A lease could contain a ton of opportunity which, on the other hand, may be detrimental to the property it is linked with and actually bring down its current and future value if it isn’t properly evaluated.

The most common examples of leases that could be detrimental are long-term leases that have below-market rental rates. Some leases could be far above current market conditions; it is advisable to consider or even discount the likelihood that such leases would be in place and legally enforceable in the future.

Also important to take note of is the fact that leases may or may not comply with current laws or issues relevant for specific tenants (or property buyers). In regard to tenants, if one is not careful enough to notice, there could even be charges for late payments, returned checks, or administrative fees; such terms, if present in a lease, may not be clearly defined, or may even be legally unenforceable.

Generally speaking, some leases may be associated with rules and regulations that aren’t be clearly defined, comprehensive, or enforceable. Therefore, in certain cases, one may need to change the onerous terms in a lease, especially upon its renewal in the future.

Tenants or buyers should ensure that they are dealing with property sellers who are honest and can easily disclose every material fact about the property they are interested in renting or buying.

The expiration dates of leases should be noted because leases that are about to expire may have to be evaluated on the basis of current market conditions. Future leases may not be at the same current rent level, and considerations for concessions or tenant improvements may be necessary in order to get leases renewed.

Even if a brief evaluation or analysis of any residential property lease may be fairly straightforward or clear enough, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dig a bit deeper and do your homework!

Therefore, review every lease, especially residential leases, to ensure that you understand each term it contains and there aren’t any hidden surprises that could spring up in the future.

Because some mischievous sellers of properties are aware that certain buyers don’t thoroughly review leases, they include future rent concessions in leases in exchange for higher rents upfront in order to make the financial statements of properties look more suitable.

Even if you have a broker, sales agent, or property investigation team that is assisting you to inspect a property and review its lease during a transaction, remember that you are the one who needs to show the most concern for your best interests.

Overcoming Obstacles by Using Obstacles Against Themselves

Overcoming an obstacle surely requires taking action. Action has many definitions…taking action does not necessarily require force or motion for it to be effective—implying that we can take firm action by not acting as the average person would.

Sometimes, the best or easiest way to overcome an obstacle is by halting, stepping aside, remaining a bit laid back, and even letting the obstacle advance towards you, instead of attacking it when the opportunity arises.

In many regards, inaction or dormancy is enough action. Everything doesn’t need to be as active or forceful as people or society would expect. We are at liberty to act in ways that would make any obstacle absorb its own power and destroy itself, but still work for us on the other hand.

Perhaps, your obstacle or enemy looks really insurmountable, as it did against Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and many others who concentrated on overcoming obstacles by pitching love against hatred, and peace against violence, injustice, and intimidation. 

Some obstacles may be impossible to defeat, regardless of the action you take or the amount of effort you put in. Instead of using your own unlimited resources to attack, why not find a way to use your obstacle’s resources and adversity against its totality—against itself.

It hardly ever occurs to us that, in some cases, standing still or moving backward is the best way to advance

Actually, sometimes we need to take action. But we also have to acknowledge that inaction—restraining ourselves or “holding back”—might be the best action to eliminate the blocks on our respective paths.

Sometimes, each person needs to have patience or a bit more patience than the patience they have cultivated in their life: sometimes, we just need to wait for obstacles to dry up or fizzle out.

Sometimes, an obstacle might not require anything or much from you. As a result, taking any or too much action could become your own worst enemy and get you consumed when moving forward.

We wrongly assume that the only way we can progress, the only way we can win, is by attacking or moving forward, instead of pausing or standing—in fact, doing virtually nothing!

At the end of the day, what matters is whether the approach you use gets you to the place you desire. Although pausing, slowing down, or using obstacles against themselves may seem ineffective, it is different from doing nothing, and can often help to achieve a great deal.

Look closely and you may be surprised to find out that the bigness of your obstacles can, in fact, be an advantage for you and a disadvantage for your obstacles. It can help you push the tide against your obstacles.

Yes, we can use the things that seriously challenge us to our advantage and make them do the hard work for us. Sometimes, this would require us to calm down, leave our obstacles the way they are, instead of stressing ourselves to take every conceivable action.

7 Types of Spam that Can Get Your Site Penalized by Search Engines

When the word spam is mentioned, what usually comes to mind are the annoying and poorly worded emails people receive in their respective inboxes on a daily basis. Although it’s true that that is spam, it’s important to point out that there are other types of spam—spam or deceptive tactics that are generated from websites/web content and designed to trick search engines.

The types of spam discussed in this article can be categorized under “search engine spam”. Search engine spam—also known as “spamdexing”—is any tactic, act, or misleading content/web page that is used to deceive a search engine and give it a false understanding or interpretation of its real intention.

Most technologies used to create and design websites can also be used to deceive search engines. Search engine spammers use a number of spam methods and advanced techniques that modern search engines are often able to detect.

Because search engines are very intuitive and can easily detect what constitutes a spam, it’s somewhat risky and unnecessary to make an attempt to trick search engines which, in modern times, are far much more intelligent.

Search engine companies work hard to bring relevant results to internet users, and they discard spam-filled content because it can damage their reputation.

Because any search engine could lose users/patronizers if its results pages generate spammy results, search engines penalize websites that use one or more search engine spam techniques; in extreme cases, search engines completely remove sites from their index (list of websites used to create a search engine results pages).

It’s important for bloggers and site owners to be aware of the type of spam or deceptive tactics that can get their sites penalized by search engines. If you’re a blogger or site owner who isn’t aware of what search engine spam activity is, or you’re aware but still want to deceive search engines in order to achieve higher rankings, then you’d better think twice because the types of spam, discussed a bit further, can get your site penalized and forever removed from the view of internet users.

Google, Bing, and other search engines are always improving and fishing out the different types of search engine spam. The penalties can be harsh if a search engine finds out that you’ve attempted to beat its spam detection capabilities.

Keep in mind the following types of spam and resist any urge to use them (Unfortunately, using them could put your site at risk and get it penalized or dropped from search engines and internet users’ browsers and sights.):

1. Hidden texts/links

One direct way to make a web page spammy is by inserting hidden texts and links in its content which is usually published for users to see and click, albeit for morally wrong or ethically wrong reasons.

Hidden texts can appear in the form of a long list of keywords; along with hidden links, both are placed in web page content, unknowingly to users, to increase traffic and site popularity—but not by merit!

To avoid wrong attention from search engines, ensure that all texts in your content are visible to visitors or internet users. The following are some examples of hidden texts and links:

  • Texts (content) and links that are somewhat “placed under web pages, veiled or concealed by a layer, in ways that make them invisible to the naked eye or invisible when content (texts, links) is highlighted.
  • White-colored text and links that are placed on a white background, thereby rendering the text invisible to users or visitors, except when the text is highlighted by right‐clicking the mouse and selecting text.
  • Visible links that have no anchor, and thus don’t appear clickable to users, even if search engines can follow such links.
  • Using cascading style sheets (CSS) to place or position content away from or off the web page’s view. This is a major programming trick that is widely used by spammers.

A site that uses veiled, invisible, or hidden text/links can be easily spotted and banned by search engines, and its content would no longer show up on search engines’ results pages. Therefore, all web content should be visible to users, and no hidden texts/links should be allowed to remain in content.

2. Misleading/deceptive redirections

A misleading or deceptive redirection is a link that redirects a user to a location that is off point or different from what they had initially expected when they were clicking the link for the first time.

Imagine searching for an item whose location (web address) you know very well, but after clicking one of the links on the results page, you are unfortunately redirected or taken to some very questionable location and content, somewhere you never expected—for example, shady sites that often deal with betting/gambling, porn, drugs, or have content that is not related to your search query.

3. Keyword stuffing (stuffing content with keywords)

Keyword stuffing is the act of overusing any keyword in a piece of content, with the intention of getting its web page ranked high due to excess or high keyword use.

Keyword stuffing can occur within a piece of content, and also in the Alt attribute text where repeated typing/entry of a keyword, over and over again, wouldn’t help to increase content/page ranking; also, the content/page would likely be dropped from search engine results pages if keyword stuffing spam is detected.

Other ways keyword stuffing is used, include: hiding keywords text in a content/page; hiding long-tail keywords or large groups of repeated keywords by using HTML instructions that hide blocks of texts from user sight, usually placing them at the bottom, away from the average viewer’s sight.

4. Uncorrelated or unrelated keywords

Whenever a keyword is not related to the content (text, video, or image) which it is supposed to logically connect or relate to, the keyword is uncorrelated with or unrelated to the content. Using a keyword that is unrelated to content constitutes spam.

Other practices include: placing unrelated keywords in the meta tags of a content/page, in the metadata of a video, or into the Alt attribute text of an image. Doing any of the following is not only unnecessary, but could get your site pulled off from search engines results pages.

5. Link farms

A link farm is a group of domains or websites that are individually connected by their respective hyperlinks to the other domains or websites in the group.

Because Google encourages the use of links and hyperlinks, and its algorithm uses them to assess how popular websites are on the internet, some people use automated programs and services to create link farms which search engines can detect by identifying particular attributes that link farms use.

Search engines even go as far as filtering link farms from index and search results and removing entire domains/sites in order to prevent them from influencing results pages. Note that not all links or hyperlinks are part of a link farm or spam, especially when individual websites that are selectively connected with other relevant websites are not often regarded as spam.

6. Doorway pages

A doorway page (a.k.a. gateway page, bridge page, jump page, or portal page) is a technique in which several look-alike content/pages are created slightly different from each other, but are generally stuffed with keywords and phrases that tricks users by redirecting content/pages with a fast meta refresh command.

Doorway pages are deceptive tactics that use JavaScript to automatically redirect users to another site or page—the site or page the website wants them to visit—in an attempt to spam search engine index rankings and rank high without earning it.

7. Cloaking

The intention of using cloaking is to trick search engines to display content/a page even when, ordinarily, it wouldn’t display it. Cloaking is a technique used to make the content appearing on a search engine different from the one appearing on the internet user’s browser.

This implies that the search engine and user are not having the same/actual information and both are being deceived by the spammer/website which is presenting both the user’s browser and the search engine with different content for the same web page.

Everyday, Life Asks Us Questions; Our Daily Actions are the Answers

As we continue climbing the ladder of life each day, life itself silently asks us questions by creating conditions through siblings, friends, parents, pets, the environment, and almost everything conceivable.

Life may even ask us questions through non-living things. Sometimes, on the road to success or what we want to become, life would even ask us to do certain things that, usually, we’d rather not want to do or entertain.

In any case, and regardless of our decisions, our actions are always answers which can be right or wrong or anything in between the two.

Regardless of any expected outcome, we need to take actions to progress and keep moving ahead. Therefore, it is appropriate or necessary that whenever we need do something that is necessary, and especially good, we have to do it well, bearing in mind that the value of our actions is as real as life’s conditions and demands which are like serious questions.

At any junction, life may ask us to become so low by introducing us to the broom—yes, so that we can get down there and do some real sweeping. Fortunately, but unknown to many people who throw certain opportunities away, whenever life wants to humble you, it also provides an opportunity for you to excel—and learn.

Many people climbed from humbleness and poverty to power by putting in their best—by wholeheartedly doing what life asked and expected them to do. And they did it the right way, with the right sense of pride. In fact, they even did it better than everyone else.

The quality of our actions matter; they are answers to life’s serious questions which also matter as much

Everything we do matters! It is thus important to concentrate as best as we can on the tasks of the moment, noting fully well that everything that life presents is an opportunity to exhibit our best while still chasing after perfection.

Chasing after perfection is our primary obligation or duty. (This might not be wrong or far from the truth.) In other words, what this means is that whatever we are doing, we owe it to life, the world, our profession, and ourselves to do it as best as we possibly can—do it well.

All vanity will fall away if taking high-value actions becomes a priority

We all are given different sets or types of conditions during our respective lives; it doesn’t matter whether they are glamorous or not glamorous. What matters most is how we treat each condition. Do we treat them with utmost seriousness and as a priority?

Therefore, each action we take on the path to our destination matters; hence, we should be careful not to give less than we are actually capable of giving. Whatever we are facing, we should respond with honesty, hard work, and by helping people as best as we possibly can.

Whether we are paid or not, or whether anyone notices our best efforts or not, it doesn’t matter as much as giving our best—regardless of the positives or negatives!

Life is a serious business and the questions that life asks us, along with the actions it expects and prompts us to take, require us to give our best—our all!

No matter what we are doing—whether we are facing bankruptcy or making money, rich or poor, here in hell or there in heaven—we are taking action and making something serious out of life, and this something requires at least some level of seriousness, attention, and dedication.

Health and Environmental Effects of Air Pollution

Air pollution might have been known for ages, but concerns about its effects on the health of living things and the environment were first voiced by the citizens of ancient Rome and Athens.

In modern times, different governments, leaders, organizations, and stakeholders across the world have been voicing concerns about air quality, especially urban air quality, which became worse during the Industrial Revolution.

Mosley (2014) stated that an “age of smoke” has been ushered because of excessive production of coal and widespread discharge of air pollutants from factories in Britain, Germany, the USA, and other countries whose urban areas have witnessed increasing numbers of pollution sources, chimneys, and industrial processes which cause air pollution and air pollution effects on human health, animal health, and the environment.

Health effects of air pollution

Epidemiological and clinical studies and evidence have helped a great deal in assessing the health effects of criteria air pollutants and non-criteria air pollutants (which are similar to air toxics, hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), or toxic air pollutants (TAPs) on human beings.

Air pollution can cause new health conditions or worsen existing health conditions such as: cancer, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, birth defects, eye diseases, cardiovascular disease, genetic mutations, impaired immune systems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), etc. The particles present in air, when absorbed by the body, may reduce lung function and increase incidences of respiratory illness.

Various air pollutants often test or challenge the strength and immunity of important body systems (brain, liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, skin, nerves) on short- and long-term bases. Living things and their components are always surrounded by environmental exposures including the type of air pollution and concentration/absence of air pollution or pollutants during the day and night.

Severe air pollution leads to increased cases of hospitalization and deaths due to cardiovascular disease linked to air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ozone, tobacco smoke (which is a major contributor to indoor air pollution), and particulate matter, especially fine particles.

Heart disease and strokes are examples that show the relationship between ambient air pollution and its own hurtful health effects on humans over short- and long-term air pollution (exposure to air pollutants), especially the by-products of automobile combustion.

Environmental effects of air pollution

The Industrial Revolution has emitted and an incalculable amount of hazardous air pollutants, toxic air pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and greenhouse gases into the air.

The environmental effects of the air pollution include—but may not be limited to: ozone depletion which damages crops and reduces crop yields; eutrophication (caused by nutrient deposits found in air pollutants) which causes the growth of algae, fish kills, and destroys plant and animal diversity; acid precipitation which damages bodies of water, soils, and eventually trees; and global warming.

Of serious concern is acid precipitation. It is produced when the sulfur that is discharged into the air, combines with oxygen to form sulfur oxide which, in the presence of hydrogen peroxide or ozone, turns into sulfur trioxide. Sulfur trioxide dissolves in water to produce sulphuric acid.

Acid precipitation can also occur when atmospheric nitrogen is heated to the type of temperatures possessed by steam boilers, and it combines with oxygen to form both nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide which dissolves in water to form nitrous and nitric acids.

Air pollution creates haze (light scattered by air particles) in the environment and often affects people’s visibility which is very important in their lives.

Brief History of Global Environmental Sustainability

Although different environments in the past and distant past were not affected by the severe types of environmental problems affecting our present-day world, they would have still attracted the attention of people who had a desire to protect or sustain the environment.

Outside of Athens, the Greeks developed the first refuse dumps around the year 500 B.C. Because the Greeks understood how solid waste and human waste could spread diseases in the environment, they invented sewers, toilets, and placed waste yards or refuse dumps outside the city.

Within the boundaries of other ancient cities such as Rome, poor disposal of human waste increased the already-existing displeasing level of air pollution due to burning of solid waste, wood, and odors from garbage and runoff from household and industrial sewage.

Pollution of rivers is nothing new. To prevent the river Thames from being polluted, King Edward III of England passed a law in 1357 prohibiting pollution of the river. Nine years later (1366) in Paris, slaughterers were forced to discard animal waste outside the city.

And after about a further two decades more, in 1388, laws were passed in England to forbid/disallow disposal of garbage and refuse into trenches, rivers, and bodies of water.

By responding to numerous outbreaks of diseases and environmental problems, and creating laws to protect the environment, the foundations of environmental sustainability were further strengthened and many improvements were being increasingly made in the centuries that followed.

Even now (in modern times), governments, organizations, and people from across the world still show consistent concern for the environment and environmental sustainability. The need to sustain the environment exists globally, and the United Nations has been a major vehicle driving and promoting environmental sustainability.

In preparation for the Stockholm Conference (The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment), which was held in 1972 in Stockholm (Sweden), a meeting was held in 1971: the developed nations expressed more concern about environmental consequences of global development, while the less developed nations, on the other hand, expressed more concern about economic development.

Sustainable development ensued as a compromise between two major conflicting choices: environmental concerns and economic concerns. The Stockholm Conference led to the birth of the United Nations Environmental Programme with a mandate to handle issues tied to both sound development practices and environmental practices.

The International Environmental Education Programme took off in 1975 and was followed by the World Conservation Strategy in 1980.

Then in 1983, the Secretary-General of the United Nations asked the Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, to constitute and lead a special independent World Commission on Environment and Development.

The purpose was to enhance global cooperation on environmental and developmental matters, review and suggest how to handle critical global environmental and developmental problems, and raise different citizens’, governments’, businesses’, and industries’ understanding of and commitment to environmental sustainability and sustainable development.

After many meetings took place, the independent World Commission on Environment and Development produced a report which led to the establishment of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, and Agenda 21 instituted at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and was accepted by more than 178 governments.

Agenda 21 report was created with different sections that targeted different aspects of environmental sustainability. Section I of Agenda 21 report contained discourses on eating/consumption patterns, poverty, demographic dynamics, sustainable development in developing countries, how to encourage sustainable human settlements, how to protect and promote human health, how to protect and integrate the environment into development decisions, and how to take care of needs while developing land and resources.

Section II re-examined the methods of protecting air, water, land, vulnerable or destroyed ecosystems, and sustainable agriculture, and discussed environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, illegal international trading  of hazardous wastes, toxic and dangerous products, solid wastes, and radioactive wastes.

Section III discussed the role of different native peoples, women, children, youths, workers, non-governmental organizations, trade unions, businesses, industries, and the scientific and technological community in sustainable development.

While Section IV discussed implementation of Agenda 21 which is the design pattern or blueprint for environmental sustainability and sustainable development in the 21st century.

Since global climate change started becoming an issue, all countries saw an immediate need to take necessary actions to tackle the major environmental problems affecting the world as a community.

The original “Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer” was signed by 197 countries on September 16, 1987, and became effective on January 1, 1989. Its provisions seek to protect the stratosphere ozone layer which is important and contributes to the sustenance of biodiversity and life on Earth.

Based on new scientific information at the time, adjustments were effected on March 7, 1991, September 23, 1993, August 5, 1996, June 4, 1998, July 28, 2000, and May 14, 2008.

Meanwhile, in December 1997, more than 150 countries established the Kyoto Protocol to sustain and protect the atmosphere and the climate, and support research on climate change.

To propel actions that can increase the availability of clean air, clean energy, and safe water, and protect people and the environment from diseases and injuries, various nations, NGOs, financial institutions, UN agencies, and groups from around the world convened at the World Summit on Sustainable Development between August 26 and September 4, 2002, and discussed major issues of biodiversity, water, agriculture, energy, and health.

Once again, the countries of the world convened at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development between June 20 and 22, 2012, and reaffirmed their commitment to take necessary actions to achieve a sustainable future for present and future generations.

The most important concerns discussed were about how to eradicate hunger, poverty, and diseases, and develop natural resources in ways that are environmentally friendly.

The conference re-emphasized that people were the focal point of sustainable development, while governments, industries, businesses, and organizations were partners, and decisions on sustainable development should be based on scientific research.