Mt. St. Helens: Is It Going to Blow?

Volcanoes are cracks and holes in the surface of the earth, created by debris, gases, and molten rock that escape from the earth's center. Most of the world's 1900 active volcanoes are located around the Ring of Fire, a long circle of vents located on the Pacific Rim. On an average day, the volcanic mounds lie quiet, while gases and lava steam deep inside. But when tectonic plates shift, the gases can erupt suddenly, spraying hardened lava and stone hundreds of miles, causing sudden snow melts and mudslides, and polluting the air with acidic ash. The mudslides and lava flows can burn and bury entire towns. Breathing the ash can cause severe lung problems, especially for children and the elderly. According to National Geographic, "Scientists estimate that more than 260,000 people have died in the past 300 years from volcanic eruptions and their aftermath."
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How Are Hurricanes Named?

If you have ever watched an episode of the Hurricane Chasers show, you may have heard phrases like “And look at that, Alberto just took down a house.” You may be wondering: Why did they name this hurricane Alberto? Or Roxanne? Or Rita? Shouldn’t these destructive acts of nature be given names like the Hulk or Hellbringer? Hurricane naming has gone through some twists and turns over the years to get to where we are today.
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Doctor - Teen Patient Confidentiality: What You Should Know

From the time babies are born, new parents are present in the room while children are seen by pediatricians. As children reach their teenage years, either the child or the doctor will ask the parents to remain in the waiting room during the examination. For many parents, this transition can feel unsettling. There is a good reason for this separation, however. Once children have reached the teen years, they are old enough to be afforded a degree of doctor-patient confidentiality. The only way this can be achieved is through private consultations and examinations.
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Posted in Teens

Is Fear of Lightning Normal?

Many people have a fear of severe weather, and lightning tops the list. The fear of lightning and thunderstorms has two names: “Brontophobia” and the more specific “Astraphobia.” The fear of thunderstorms is not only normal, but is increasingly common. Thunderstorms are unpredictable, loud, and destructive – all reasons to have a healthy respect for lightning and thunder. When it comes to overcoming a fear of lightning, it’s important to educate yourself on the facts behind electric storms, and how to keep you and your loved ones safe when they happen. Statistics show that lightning hits the earth more than 8 million times a day. The NOAA estimates that 400 people are hit by lightning every year, and 55 to 60 of these events are fatal. While this may be a shocking number, it is statistically lower than the number of individuals who get hit by cars, shot by guns or killed by hippos.
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8 Expensive Things My Dog Ate

Dogs are weird. You never know what they'll get into next. Aside from the traditional homework consumption, man's best friend has been known to gobble up some pricey merchandise. These are a few high-ticket items owners have sacrificed for the love of a dog. Zeppelin Breed: English Sheep Dog - Pit Bull Worst Crime: Consumed entire ball of black twine, plus a stick Bill: $1,000 in veterinary expenses Zeppie has a long history of eating dog toys, beds, walls, and furniture. But the real kicker was a ball of black twine wrapped around a stick, which she consumed entirely. It got so tangled in her intestines that the vet had to do emergency surgery to remove it. She made a full recovery, and went on to swallow many more toys.
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Posted in Pets

Hurricane Checklist: 5 Ways to Prepare for an Incoming Hurricane

The end of summer signals hurricane season. And, if Hurricane Sandy has taught Americans one thing, it’s that you can never be too sure that you’re safely out of a hurricane’s path. Sandy affected 24 states, raging across the Eastern Seaboard and beyond the Appalachians, as far West as Wisconsin. If you live on the East Coast you can’t afford to lay back and hope for the best, unless you can afford to risk losing your home, your possessions, or worse. A little pre-planning might help you and your family weather the storm - and these tips can show you how to get ready when a hurricane strikes.
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The 7 Hidden Costs of Having a Baby

Having a baby is a life changing event. Not only are you adding a person into your family, but that little mini-you needs things like diapers, food, and furniture - which all adds up very quickly. CNN Money estimates that raising a child to the age of 18 costs over $225,000. We will be outlining seven items that may include some unexpected sticker shock, along with some tips on how to save. Diapers may be the single most expensive item you invest in for your baby. From birth to their second birthday, you will spend an average of $2,500 on disposable diapers - not including wipes or diaper rash cream. What’s worse is that as of October 2013, diaper companies are now “downsizing” their product packages, but keeping prices consistent-which means that parents are paying the same amount for fewer diapers.
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Posted in Parents

Top 10 Most Expensive Disasters in U.S. History

Improvements in early warning systems over the last few decades have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. We can now predict events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards with incredible accuracy, hours or days before disaster strikes. But no matter how advanced our technology becomes, we still lack the power to prevent bad weather from wreaking havoc on our businesses and homes. These are the top ten most costly disasters of U.S. history. They took lives, leveled homes, and caused billions of dollars in damages. The dollar amounts in the following statistics have been adjusted for inflation, and reflect 2012 equivalents.
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How Accurate is the Farmer's Almanac?

Americans have relied on the Old Farmer’s Almanac since 1793, when George Washington served as President of the United States. There have been many other almanacs before and since that first publication, but the unique weather prediction system popularized by founder Robert B. Thomas proved more accurate and more useful than the competition. According to the publication itself, the Almanac uses "a secret mathematical and astronomical formula," developed by David Young, who served as the Almanac's first editor. This secret prediction method involves observation of sun spots, tidal patterns, moon phases, and more. To this day, the formula has been revealed to no one but the publication's editors.
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Posted in Farm Bundle

What Is a Flood Zone?

People love to be near the water. Whether it’s a river, lake, or the sea, a body of water makes for a beautiful landscape and many fun activities. Unfortunately, these bodies of water can also cause flooding. Flooding can happen at any time no matter where you live, so it is important to get educated about floods and flood zones. Read on to learn more about these natural disasters and your risk.
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Live Long and Prosper: 10 Tips for Leading a Healthy Life

Living a healthy life can be a complicated goal to achieve. There are many different facets of healthy living to tackle, from weight management to mental health. You can find an overwhelming amount of information on the internet, self-help guides, gyms, schools, and doctor's offices, but what tips do they all have in common? We've compiled a list of the ten tips to living a healthy lifestyle that are widely accepted by many sources as "easy wins" for any person. 1. Exercise - The benefits of exercise reach far beyond the physical. Research shows that getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day can help your mental well-being, your stress levels, and even lengthen your life. Unfortunately, less than 21% of adults get the recommended amount of exercise. Even low-impact exercise, such as walking or dancing can be beneficial.
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Posted in Health

10 Best Cardio Activities

Maintaining your cardiovascular fitness is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your health, longevity and overall mood. Exercise has been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression and can even help curb an excessive appetite. Weight training and yoga are great for your body, but you need to include cardiovascular workouts into your exercise routine to keep your heart healthy. To get the most out of your cardiovascular workout, determine your target heart rate. Once you have elevated your heart rate to your target level, you will want to be sure to keep it at that level for a minimum of 10 minutes.
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Posted in Health

How Much Does a Night in the Hospital Cost?

Nobody expects a medical emergency or a diagnosis of a serious disease, but the fact remains that over 18 million people end up in America’s hospitals every year. Many of these patients are caught in a difficult place: having to decide between their personal health and financial well-being. Medical care can be costly. Over 60% of all bankruptcies are due to medical expenses. In 2010, data was collected on the national average and state average cost to stay in a hospital. Check and see where your state ranks:
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Stress Relief Tips for the Workplace

Stress is something that every person deals with. For most, however, the workplace is the point of origin for stress. According to a study conducted by the APA in 2011, 80% of employed individuals reported being under some type of work related stress on a regular basis. 40% of respondents admitted that they were under extreme levels of stress, and 40% said they were often burned out or stressed by their work. 25% of those surveyed said that their jobs were the number one cause of stress in their lives. Whether it’s due to workload, job security, pay rates or personal issues, chances are that work related stress affects you and your family. There are a few things you can do in order to lower your stress levels and maintain a cool head at the workplace. Here are a few tips to reduce stress at the workplace.
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Hire the Talent Your Company Needs

Finding the right talent for your business can be the difference between profit and loss. Many industry experts agree that the deciding factor in business success is not technology, or thoughtful leadership, or brilliant marketing, but talent. According to a study by the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, as of 2012, the U.S. lacks enough young workers to replace those who retire. That makes the battle to find and keep the most qualified individuals fiercer than ever. Let’s take a look at what some of the most healthy brands in the country are doing to keep their talent pool fresh.
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5 Common Tax Breaks for Business Owners

Many people today are enjoying the benefits of being their own boss and running their own company. According to the U.S. Census, there are currently more than 5 million companies with fewer than 20 people actively operating in this country. Whether you freelance or you have created a company that employs others, you can take advantage of a variety of tax deductions on your business income. Owners of large corporations have accountants and tax experts working for them, but many small-business owners and freelancers cannot afford that added expense. If you complete your tax returns on your own each year, make sure that you are aware of the tax deductions you can use to save. Some of the most common business deductions are listed below.
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Posted in Business Owners

10 Most Common Workers Compensation Claims

Workers compensation is a form of insurance designed to help employees recover from injuries sustained in the workplace. Every state has different laws pertaining to workers compensation programs. Benefits provided to workers may include medical expenses, death benefits, lost wages and rehabilitation services. In most states, any business with at least one paid employee (even if that employee is temporary) is required to carry workers compensation insurance. Nobody expects to be injured on the job. In fact, many employers dedicate a large portion of their budget to educating employees on safe practices, in addition to re-vamping facilities to meet safety codes. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 1.1 million injuries happened in the workplace in 2011, with an average recuperation time of eight days.
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Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuits: Can It Happen to You?

Chances are, you or someone you know has been sued. With over 350,000 cases filed in 2012, lawyers are seeing a huge upsurge in civil suits. From bodily harm to libel, these lawsuits can cost you and your family millions. There are things you can do to protect yourself from these legal battles. Whether your net worth is average, below average, or high, multi-million dollar lawsuits can happen to you. Cases are heard in court every day pertaining to automobile accidents, slip-and-fall claims, and even dog bite suits. While most individuals carry automobile insurance, if the accident requires lifelong care or results in a fatality, the expenses may very well extend over the insurance limits. Here are just a few examples of how a lawsuit can happen to you:
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5 Steps to Starting Your Own Business

You’ve decided to start your own business. Congratulations! When you work for yourself, you have the opportunity to do what you most enjoy and are more likely to have a high level of job satisfaction. Make sure that when you set your business up, you are doing so properly so that you are not surprised by unexpected expenses or problems in the future. By taking the following steps you can be best prepared.
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8 Ridiculous Celebrity Insurance Policies

Celebrity insurance can get just plain weird. Specialized cars, exclusive homes, private planes are not things the "average Joe" has to worry about, and the average insurance company has to cover. But the real weirdness happens when actors, actresses, and sports heroes start to get specific with their coverage. Really specific. Down to the finger, in fact. Some of these policies are taken out by the celebrity to insure future income after an injury or illness. Some are taken out by the companies that profit from celebrity endorsements. All are worth a laugh or two.
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The Top 10 Insurance Myths

Insurance is something that nearly everyone purchases. Whether you own a car or carry health insurance through your company, it’s likely you’ve interacted with an underwriting agency at one time or another. Insurance is sometimes misunderstood, and it can be a complicated topic. It is important to be educated about the different types of insurance out there, but sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish the truth from myths.
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6 Everyday Things More Dangerous Than Sharks

Sharks are creatures that incite fear in many people.Their sharp teeth and the legendary tales of shark attacks give most people the jitters. If you are like the millions who think of sharks as vicious man-eaters who are lurking beneath the surf to get a good chomp on your leg, it may interest you to know that there is a lot more danger to be found in your other everyday activities.Your daily work commute, backyard fireworks and even bees are all more likely to cause you severe injury than a shark. Read on to learn which everyday activities are more dangerous than shark attacks.
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Does My Home Insurance Cover My Sports Collection?

Sports fans – how safe are your collectables? Would your treasured baseball card collection survive a flood? What might happen to your Michael Jordan autographed basketball in a house fire? What if burglars swipe your signed Wayne Gretzky jersey? These questions are not designed to make you paranoid about your sports memorabilia collection, but they do bring up an important concern that all too many sports fans overlook. What would happen to your collection in a tragic event? Does your home insurance cover the value of your memorabilia?
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13 Safest Cars on the Road Today

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety helps insurance companies and consumers evaluate vehicles based on their safety features. The organization is on a mission to reduce accidents, fatalities, and injuries by rewarding auto manufacturers with high marks for outstanding innovations in driver and passenger safety. Unlike the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the IIHS tests for offset crashes, rather than broad frontal crashes. This better displays the weaknesses in a car's impact capabilities. The five types of crashes tested by the IIHS include:
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America's 10 Most Stolen Cars

By the time you read this article, 5 cars will have been stolen. Auto theft is one of the most common crimes, taking place every 24.6 seconds. The list below details the 10 most stolen cars, the reasons why they are stolen, and what you can do to protect yourself. 10. Nissan Maxima – 6,947 stolen in 2012. This car, even with the alarm, is a target for thieves. They are prized for their powerful engines and sleek looks. Nissan offers an immobilizing security system, which leaves the car immobile without the registered key, but that does nothing to stop thieves from loading the car onto a tow truck - or simply dragging it away - and stripping it for parts. MSN.com notes that black market has a huge demand for Maxima parts, leaving many Maxima owners in jeopardy.
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How to Pick Out a Car for Your Teen Driver

The only thing more stressful than giving your teen-aged child the keys to your car for the first time is giving them the keys to their own car. Teenagers lead busy lives. Whether your child needs to be able to drive directly from school to a part-time job or needs transportation to sports practice sessions and other activities, sometimes it is necessary that they have a car of their own. So how do you, as a parent, make the best decision about which car to buy? The following are some frequently asked questions posed by people in your situation.
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Top 20 Defensive Driving Tips to Keep You Safe

Getting behind the wheel of your car may seem like a commonplace event, but it is likely to be the most dangerous thing you will do all day long. In the U.S., car accidents are the fifth leading cause of death. Your odds may be even higher depending on where you live and what you drive. Although you can't control the actions of other motorists, you have a great deal of control over how you operate your vehicle. That means you can increase your chances for a safe trip by following a few simple precautions. Here are twenty helpful tips to keep you driving happy.
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What Do Chop Shops Do and Why?

A car seemingly vanishes, leaving the owner wondering where it may have gone and who might be driving it now. More often than not, the answer is no one. Instead, a chop shop has taken the car apart, piece by piece, and has already begun selling the parts. What Are Chop Shops? Chop shops are illegal garages that buy stolen cars, disassemble them, and sell their individual parts for profit. To avoid being caught, criminals disassemble a car within hours of stealing it. That way, the owner and the police will never be able to find it.
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Are Crash Test Dummies Really Like People?

What are crash test dummies, really? What are they made of and how long have researchers been using them to make our cars safer on the road? These high tech mannequins have a rich and somewhat sordid history. In fact, the first crash test dummies were not mannequins at all - so how did this technology develop? We wondered, too, so we've put together a little overview of the crash test dummy and how it came to be. What Are Crash Test Dummies? A crash test dummy is an anthropomorphic testing device (ATD). This is a fancy way to say that the dummies closely imitate the size, shape, mass, stiffness and energy absorption of an actual human being.
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Tips for Studying Overseas

Each year, thousands of college students pack their bags and embark on a journey to study in a foreign country. Studying abroad allows students to experience foreign cultures and traditions during their college years while continuing their studies. In 2009, over 250,000 college students traveled abroad. Whether you are contemplating such a journey, or have decided to take the plunge and travel abroad, there are a few things to do in order to remain safe and healthy and get the most from your trip.
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Posted in Students

Can You Afford Not to Insure Your Exotic Pet?

Once there was a time when parrots and tortoises were considered to be the exotic pets, but now people are adopting the most uncommon animals like pythons, boas, rats, birds of prey, iguanas, pot-bellied pigs, alligators, zebras, monkeys, and reptiles. These days, even insects can be counted as members of a typical American family.
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9 Babyproofing Tips for Your Home

Making your home safe for your baby is an important step in becoming a parent. Many homes contain hazards that are well within reach of babies and toddlers. When preparing your home for your baby, be sure to take a tally of each room - make a map if possible, and figure out where to move things to make each room safe for your child. We’ve compiled an article detailing the top baby safety tips you need to know, and how to modify your home to be the safest for children.
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The Complete Guide to Finding the Best Home Security System

Home security is an important topic these days. Unfortunately, a home burglary happens once every 15 seconds in the United States. This translates to a staggering 2.2 billion burglaries each year. Burglars targeting residences will mainly strike during daytime hours when they assume most homeowners are at work. Many people are surprised to learn that the main point of entry for burglars is through the front door. Deadbolt locks help a lot, but they are not enough to deter a determined burglar. A home security system can be a crucial defense against thieves. The best security system for you might take some research - but we hope this guide will help you make the right decision for your family.
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