Thursday, May 26, 2011

Six Tips for a Pet-Safe Summer

The last days of May signal the unofficial start of summer for most folks, young and old, across the country. But with these carefree months of no homework and summer Fridays comes an increased risk for illness or injury for our furry pals.

From unpredictable weather to unusual routines, our animals are exposed to all sorts of hazards during June, July and August, and your pet is counting on you to keep him safe. Check out the ASPCA’s top six tips for keeping your animal secure all summer long.

  1. Give your pet access to plenty of fresh water at all times. Even the healthiest pets can suffer from dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn if overexposed to the heat.

  2. Avoid lathering your pet with any insect repellent or sunscreen not intended for the four-legged kind.

  3. Keep your pet away from matches, citronella candles and lighter fluid, which if eaten can irritate the stomach, lungs and central nervous system.

  4. Be cool near the pool. Don't leave pets unsupervised around a pool, lake or high waters—not all dogs are expert swimmers!

  5. Never leave your dog, cat or any other animal friend alone in a car! The inside of a car can heat up very quickly—even with a window open.

  6. Be prepared! From tornadoes to floods, we've seen the devastation severe weather has brought to pets and their families these past few weeks. Develop an evacuation plan well ahead of time in case you're forced from your home in an emergency.

Have a pet-safe summer!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Strap Yourself In...Airlines To Load On More Fees

In recent years, airlines have found new ways to boost their profits and at the same time annoy fliers. They are charging fees for checked bags, selecting choice seats, consuming snacks among other services that once were included in their ticket prices. Since 2008, their hands have been outstretched, snatching money out of our purses in the form of fees to the tune of $22 billion in 2010 alone ,which is about 5% of the global industry revenue.

Carriers are looking to tap into billions and billions of potential revenue and right now are only scratching the surface with baggage and seat fees. Some airlines are already charging fees for early boarding since overhead bin space has become a premium due to an increase in carry-on luggage. So be on the lookout for advanced seat assignment fees, fees to watch movies, fees for WiFi access, fees to purchase food in Coach, fees for transporting minors and pets, fees for having reservations agents book a ticket and perhaps even fees to use the lavatories. As carriers continue to feel the pinch of higher fuel prices, they will get more and more creative with the ways they seek to create new revenue sources.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Great Video Game Debate

I recently read an article in the Phildelphia Inquirer that said there are mixed conclusions about video games and their effects on the people who play them for many years. You may be surprised that hundreds of studies on the link between violent video games and aggressive behavior have shown not that these games cause children to become violent themselves, but that aggressive people like playing aggressive video games.

A study from Yale University released in November 2010 suggests that most teens who play video games do not develop unhealthy behaviors, but a small minority of teens who play video games and already have addicitve traits may be more likely to smoke, use drugs, fight or become depressed.

The same study found that the boys who played video games (about 76% of male respondents) typically earned a higher grade average, were less likely to smoke and were more likely to say they'd never used alcohol or marijuana. Among girls, just 29% of those surveyed said they played video games, and those that did were more likely than the girls who didn't play video games to get into serious fights or carry weapons to school. These findings were interpreted to mean that for boys, playing video games is normal but for girls who play - they tend to be more aggressive.

Other research suggested that playing video games is socially isolating, but different studies showed that almost 60% of frequent gamers play with friends or siblings. In any case, if your child spends most of their time sitting on the couch, staring at a screen rather than running around outside, playing sports or engaging in an educational activity, you have rightful cause for concern.


Thursday, November 11, 2010


I read an article by Katherine Rosman in the Wall Street Journal last month that basically stated how we want to reach others, but do not want to be interrupted. According to the Nielsen Company, for anyone who doubts that the texting revolution is upon us, ponder over the fact that the average 13 - 17 year old sends and receives 3,339 texts per month. Can you believe that's roughly 100 per day? And hold on to your hats because adults are catching up...ages 45 - 54 sent and received 323 texts a month in the 2nd Quarter of 2010. That was up 75% from a year ago.

Behind the texting explosion there seems to be a fundamental shift in how we view our mobile devices. The fact that they are phones has become a moot point. Popular social media sites like Twitter are part of this catalyst because it allows postings of no more than 140 characters that create and reinforce the habit of communicating in microbursts. In addition, texting actually costs less than making phone calls since text messages - also known as SMS (Short Message Service) take up less bandwidth than phone calls.

Since purchasing my first iPhone over a year ago, I am now included in these statistics. I'm guilty of no longer picking up the phone to chat because I allow my fingers to do my talking. But please don't ask me about texting while driving because I will have to "Plead the 5th". LOL



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mark Your Calendars – Register for the Collaborate & Share Alerts Complimentary Session!

Widgets, those self-contained applications that can be embedded anywhere, are becoming an important way to visually consume news and obtain information. The appeal of widgets is its portability. They can be placed virtually anywhere the readers are.

Have you explored using Factiva Alert Widgets as a way of personally consuming the latest information from your Alert, or considered using it as a way of sharing your Alert with colleagues?

Register now to join us on 26 October, for a one-hour complimentary session on how the various tools in enable the sharing of Alerts and facilitate collaboration amongst teams.

Follow the steps below to find the session that best fits your schedule:
1. Select a Region
2. Choose Advanced (Inside-Out)
3. Select October
4. Find a session that fits your schedule and click Register.
5. Complete the short registration form.

The one-hour online sessions are conducted via an online interactive meeting facility, Microsoft® Live Meeting. If you have never used this web-conferencing tool before, we recommend that before attending a session you perform a one-time set up.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to Handle Four Driving Emergencies

As most of us enter the busy Holiday Season and the driving hazards associated with it, I thought I’d share this information I recently came across on how to handle four driving emergencies:

Almost all blowouts happen when you’re traveling in a straight line at high speeds with an underinflated tire. So to help avoid a blowout, check your tire pressure frequently. If you experience a tire blowout, gently squeeze the gas pedal for just a couple of seconds to give you control over the vehicle and put on your hazards while directing the car in a straight line. After a couple seconds of gently squeezing the accelerator, smoothly release the gas pedal. By this time the tire is most likely to be void of air and pushing the accelerator further won’t allow the vehicle to go any faster. Coast the vehicle to a slow speed, turn on your turn signal, and gently turn toward the shoulder of the road – preferably the same side as your blowout to make changing the tire safer.

While driving, if you hear a consistent thumping noise and/or a slapping sound, pull over and check your tires. This process can take days or often only seconds. So if you see damage prior to driving, put on the spare tire before proceeding. If your tire tread does comes off while you are driving, squeeze the gas pedal for just an instant and then gently release it. As with a blowout, drive straight on the road and put on your hazards. Allow your vehicle to coast, and then apply the brakes only slightly, just enough to help you reach a safe turning speed. Put on your turn signal and smoothly turn the car toward the shoulder of the road, ideally on the same side as the damaged tire.

Let’s say you’re driving along a highway and you swerve to avoid hitting something in the road, and your two right or left tires drop off the blacktop. Gently remove pressure from the accelerator, but don’t touch the brakes unless you absolutely must (ie. Headed down a hill or you’ll hit an obstacle in front of you). Drive parallel with the road until you coast to about 35mph. Smoothly turn the wheel a very slight amount – no more than say 5 degrees – to get back on the road. If you must turn the wheel more than that to avoid an obstacle, then brake. Don’t try to reenter the road with more than 15 degrees of steering because if you have to turn the wheel let’s say 45 or 60 degrees to get back on the pavement, the front tires will most likely regain traction before the rears causing you to spin out. If this is the case, you could end up hitting what you were trying to avoid or even shoot across the road into other traffic. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) come in handy in this situation.

Most of us have experienced skidding whether it has been in the rain, on ice or in snow and it’s no fun at all. If you have ABS and are starting to skid in rain, ice or snow, “stomp” on your brake, after which you will feel the pulses in the pedal and/or hear ABS kick in. You can then ease up slightly on the brake pedal until the pulsing occurs only once a second. However, if you’re skidding in a vehicle without ABS, push the brake hard until your wheels stop. Then immediately release the brake enough to allow the wheels to begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly which is NOT the same thing as pumping the brakes.

Safe Travels,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mark Your Calendars – Register for the Build a Newsletter Complimentary Session!

News and information is what drives the activities and transactions of the global economy. Getting access to the right information at the right time is what creates success and competitive advantage. Newsletter is a tool that can help you deliver:

*the right information
*to the right audience
*in the right format
*at the right time

This value-add feature to subscribers can take you beyond researching and finding the news and intelligence your organization needs. More importantly, it can help you design and deliver this information in a professionally packaged newsletter.

Register now to join us on 28 September, for a one-hour complimentary session on creating and deploying newsletters in Follow the steps below to find the session that best fits your schedule:

1. Select a Region
2. Choose Advanced (Inside-Out)
3. Select September
4. Find a session that fits your schedule and click Register.
5. Complete the short registration form.

This one-hour online sessions is conducted via an online interactive meeting facility, Microsoft® Live Meeting. If you have never used this web-conferencing tool before, we recommend that before attending a session you perform a one-time set up.