Keeping Clean with Modern Tech

Keeping Clean with Modern TechI’m one of those guys who obsess over technology – always looking for the next cool gadget or useful doodad that I didn’t know I could live without until I finally saw it for myself. Usually that’s stuff like gaming equipment, or maybe gear for my profession like cameras, word processors, that sort of stuff. Recently I tried something totally new though and I’ve got to say I was pretty impressed with what I got. You probably won’t be able to guess what it was either; this particular item was so far outside my usual scope that it surprised me too. I actually got the idea from my cat, Tom.

I take really good care of my little guy and that means doing things like giving him regular baths, haircuts and even some microdermabrasion. That’s a process by which you scrape away old, dead skin cells from the surface layers so the fresh, live skin underneath can get more exposure to the air. Oxygen is good for skin or so I hear, and this is a great way to help the two make better contact. After scraping what must have been the 20th callus from Tom’s feet, I finally got the idea to try doing it for myself too. No, I didn’t use the same machine for me.

I got some good information from and a few other websites before I purchased my own personal microdermabrasion machine. I decided to really give it a try and be thorough with it, then see if I felt any different. I’m not going to gross any of you out with the gritty details, but I will give one good tip. It helps quite a bit to soak for a while first and let your skin drink up some water to get it softer and make the bits of your body which could use the cleaning the most really pop visually. They will look gross and white and puffy, all thick patches of dead skin.

Keeping Clean with Modern TechAfter scraping away an amount of old skin that was surprisingly large, I could immediately feel a difference. It was like the way you feel after a shower where all your pores have been cleaned up and can finally breathe again, except maybe3 or 4 times better. I felt really clean for the first time in a long time and that actually kind of grossed me out once I started thinking about all the other times in my life I was confident I was clean. I used the ULTRARADIANCE system for my testing.

Modern technology has tools to help us with everything, from performing complicated mathematical processes to simply getting a cleaner body. If you don’t own one of these devices, I would highly recommend getting one for yourself. After reading around about the subject, I’ve found that most problem areas are around joints or in other places where there is a lot of friction, like the soles of the feet. If you’re like me, you’re going to be surprised and maybe even disgusted once you realize you haven’t been as clean as you thought all of this time.

Fun Things To Do During Your Free Time

Fun Things To Do During Your Free TimeAt one point in my life, I found myself with too much free time. The need to fill your free time with fun activities is one that is often overlooked with the introduction of new technology that simply requires the touch of a button to get things done. Most people belonging to the older generation have a tendency of talking about how things have changed over the years with today’s youth more prone to staying indoors than going outside for fun time activities.

The introduction of computer and video games has led to a culture of in-house activities that rarely require any amount of energy during participation. I don’t know about you, but I kind of prefer outdoorsy stuff. As great as these tech things may sound to a number of people there is a need to reinforce the objective of actual activities that require a level of face to face interaction to achieve so as to maintain the social culture that is slowly dwindling around the globe.

Most people know each other or know of each other via the various social media that they use and rarely get a chance to meet in person. Sadly, this is not due to any physical barriers but the development of a mentality that has made the concept of going outside to have a good time foreign to a majority of people. Even one leaves the house, it is usually to head to another location where they intend to spend their time and thus can still be considered to be an in-house activity. Couples may consider going out for dinner as one fun activity that does not require a regular supply of quality protein powder for women but still ranks as an “outside activity”.

Individuals rarely get the chance to commune with nature on a daily basis and it is essential to promote activities that still offer such opportunities for those who participate in them. Going outside may seem like a primordial means of operation but it holds its advantages as well. One major advantage is the practical lessons that an individual is able to learn from their time outside. Very few people for example nowadays are able to identify the different types of plants found in their environment, nor rank them according to their danger levels. A person can unknowingly walk into a shrub of poison ivy which was previously one of the more easily identified plants by children in areas where the plant was rampant. People are more interested in looking up subjects online or interacting with one another on a virtual platform that leaves no room for a personal connection.

I would like to note that activities held outside hold more health benefits than staring at a screen the whole day and one should try and go out for an event every now and then in a bid to improve their overall fitness. Some other fun things that one can take part in also include:

  • Hiking – This is a fun way to explore the environment around an individual as well as get a little bit of exercise done in the process as well.
  • Camping – This is one of the best ways to commune with nature as well as learn practical solutions that may come in handy at one point in time such as lighting a camp fire.
  • Cycling – This can be an alternative option for those who may not prefer hiking but would still like to traverse their environment.

Playing with My Fat Cat Tom

Playing with My Fat Cat TomHave you ever used a laser pointer to get a cat’s attention and maybe get them active for a little while? I’ve recently been using lights to encourage my fat cat Tom to get more exercise, and they seem to be working well enough despite the fact he’s so extremely very large. I don’t know what it is about bright beams of light that so incurs the wrath of cats, dogs and other critters, but I know for a fact that when I turn on the light, Tom responds, just about every time. It’s kind of sad in a way – he’s never going to catch that little beam and I don’t think he realizes it yet.

He’s probably going to be pissed when he finally understands I’ve just been playing tricks on him all this time, so nobody tell him or anything, eh? Recently I’ve been trying to think of ways to make our old game new and fresh again for the both of us, and I think I’ve figured out something. What could be better than a single beam getting Tom’s attention and making him run all over the place? How about dozens of beams all right next to each other in a sort of array? I’m talking about LED light bars if you don’t understand.

They may not be laser pointers, but some of these LED systems are so intense they make beams of light all the same. It’s kind of cool to see when using a bar which features many different colored lights since they’re all coming from the same source but don’t block each other out or cause the shades to mingle together into different colors. So far I can’t say for sure which color of light gets Tom the most excited, but I can say without a doubt that he gets kind of overwhelmed trying to lunge at dozens of different lights, rather than the single one we’re both used to using.

It’s a shame, really. I thought we would have a lot more fun after I got my Vision X LED Light Bar and tweaked it a bit to get the different colors I was looking for, but Tom didn’t really go for it. I’m just going to stick with laser pointers in the future. However, the need to get some value out of the items I purchase drove me to repurpose my light bar and find another use for it. This was actually kind of easy since there’s a closet in my house with no light sockets inside. I just plastered this bar to the ceiling in there and things are more than bright enough now, not to mention all the colors and everything.

Well, if you take anything away from this babbling, it should be that sometimes simple solutions really are the best. Or maybe what I mean is, if you have something that works, you don’t necessarily need to fix it? I’m not really sure. Tom and I are back to using the simple laser pointer and we’re both much happier though, so I guess it’s kind of both.

Pranks with Musical Instruments

Pranks with Musical InstrumentsMusical instruments and the people who play them are kind of linked after a while, you know? It’s like the fisherman who gets used to using his particular fishing pole, or the dancer who learns to be nimble on her feet while wearing a specific set of shoes. The tools of the trade are often as important to the trade as the experience of the person using those tools. I think this is why it’s so very easy to play pranks on musicians, both of the professional and amateur level. In fact, I’ve come up with a few good ones that will get any brass player mad, pranks that are sure to make any guitarist produce a grunt.

One of the easiest ways to frustrate a guitarist is to spin all his strings out of tune while he isn’t looking. Just wait until your friend or whoever gets up to go to the bathroom or something – any break where you’ve got a minute without them around will do the trick. Just grab at the tabs up by the guitar’s neck and start turning them in either direction. While you can make the next song your buddy plays sound like garbage, do be sure not to make the strings too tight, as they could snap and cause some injury. Pranks are supposed to be funny, not cause harm.

If you know someone who happens to play brass, there’s a great way to get them miffed. By simply changing the valves on a horn, you can cause it to make all kinds of unwanted noises instead of the music the user is looking to play when they blow into it. The information over at is actually very useful for this since the site outlines a number of facts for many different kinds of trumpets. Once you know how to switch those valves, you can do the same thing with tubas, trombones and other horns, too.

Speaking of brass instruments, there’s a kind of mean thing you can do with any instrument which requires air to be blown by the user. Woodwinds will also work here, so if anyone has been annoying you with a flute lately, this is how you get back at them. By smearing the mouth piece with something super-hot, like maybe habanero pepper juice, you can totally throw somebody off their game. Just make sure you don’t slip anyone something they’re allergic to when you do this. That would be bad.

These are just a few ways to fool with musicians. They were the few I could think of right off the top of my head, so I’m sure there are lots of other pranks I just haven’t considered – or maybe I just don’t feel like sharing my best ideas out in the open like this. Anyhow, if you manage to get a good laugh using one of the techniques I’ve outlined here, be a dear and come back here to share it with the rest of us. What good is a great prank if nobody sees it, am I right?

Tips for boxing photography

Tips for boxing photographyI’d been on an interesting photoshoot recently. I was invited to shoot a boxing match. It was quite a challenging one, as shooting a boxing match is not like your average sporting event. Since this was my first one, I researched a lot on the things I would need to consider and prepare. To start with there is the venue, which can range from as simple a place as a tent to a well-constructed auditorium.


There are variations in the lighting too.  Since using flash is not an option, you have to manage with the existing light conditions. It is difficult to shoot up into the lights. The lights present above the ring usually don’t follow any fixed pattern. In case the arena is steep, the lights are set up higher. Regardless of the setup, you would have to waste quite a few frames before you get the lighting right. I had to work on the existing frames to get rid of lens flare. Removing the filters and using a hood for the lens helps in avoiding the flares.


If boxers are using protective headgear, you should be careful about the exposure as their face disappears in the headgear’s shadow or behind their arms, when they look down or cover up.  And depending on your height and that of the ring, you may have to contend with irate fans who resent your intrusion.

You need to be prepared and of course be thick skinned, if you have to get good shots. I for one am not worried, as I practice daily with the grappling dummy I bought at . The bjj training I do with it makes me flexible and fit, so I can put up an equally good fight, if I come up against an enraged fan.

Proper equipment

Now this is a no brainer. You have to be equipped with the right gear. While travelling light is better, it helps if you have two cameras- one for ringside with f/2.8 and 24-70 mm and another for taking shots of the fighters, when they are in the corner or enter into the ring. In some places, the rings have space under them for storage, which you can use.


It is best if you keep using zooms and prime focus alternatively. For, fast prime f/1.8 or f/1.2 gives you better contrast and less flare. A wide-angle view is better. Zooms are versatile so both the two can be used to tackle the flare.  While you may think that being above the ring is the right place to be in, the photographs look similar. The best and intimate ones are those taken ringside.

Decide between loose body shots or waist up shots. For a record photograph that tells about the knock down using the loose body shots is best. If you want to have impact, a close up shot is best. But this needs right timing and focus, which are difficult to achieve. To get real close up shots where glove hits face with distorted facial expressions, which are the most popular, you need to be ready as these needing timing of nanosecond range. You have to get the right timing and some luck to get such shots.

Gadgets You Could Live Without (But Why Would You)

Gadgets You Could Live Without (But Why Would You)As you probably know, I have a thing for technology. My home is swarming with all kinds of gadgets and doodads. Most of them I need for my work or a hobby, but some are just – fun. Here I have compiled for you a list of the top gadgets that you certainly don’t need, but you will find a reason to get them anyway. Sometimes they’re small and inconspicuous, and sometimes huge and bulky (like one of these). Sometimes you don’t use them at all, but you just have to have them for some reason. So here they are:

  1. A wristwatch that counts your steps

Yes, I know these types of watches are great for people who exercise or want to keep an eye on their weight, but for me it’s just fun wearing one around my wrist from time to time and looking at how many steps I made that day.  It also functions as a real watch, as well as a mile counter, and it can be used to count the calories you burn. But then again – how many steps did you take today?

  1. Smart bulb

This is a gadget that’s both cool and useful. I have a smart bulb in my living room that’s connected with my mobile phone. I can control it and make it change colours, and it detects my movements so it powers down when I leave my house. I can also control it with my PC or tablet. I can set it up to turn on at a certain hour (like an alarm clock), and I can make it flash in a certain colour when I get an email or notification. It can also let you know when it’s raining outside, so you don’t have to tire yourself out by looking out the window. It’s really handy – and awesomely cool!

  1. Beer-cap counter

The beer cap counter is a gadget which serves as a bottle opener, and it counts how many bottles have been opened by it. I won’t disclose the number I’m on here, but believe me, when you have this you can come to certain realizations about your drinking habits!

  1. Karaoke machine

I have the most awesome karaoke machine – this one. I absolutely love it, and you’d be surprised how many people love to sing their favourite tune after you get a couple of beers in them (see item above). I really didn’t think a karaoke machine would be the life of all my parties, but it turned out to be precisely that. I got so used to having one around, I’m not sure what my parties would look like without it anymore.

So there you are – the top four gadgets in my home that I could easily live without – but why would I? I highly recommend all of these for all of you who have a few extra bucks and don’t know what to do with them, especially if you want to make your life a bit more fun and interesting.

5 Inventions That Make Life Easier

5 Inventions That Make Life EasierRecently I thought about how I was born at a lucky time in history. We – people that live in this time – have so many small luxuries that we don’t perhaps even notice, but which make our lives so much easier that they were before.

While my grandmother didn’t even have running water back in Ireland, today I bask in the glow of my 4-mode hydro massage shower with a built-in radio and a never-ending stream of hot water.  OS, I made a short list of the stupid but useful things that popped into my mind. I hope you have fun reading!

  • The Ice-Maker

I used to not have an ice maker. And I can’t really say that I suffered, but I have it extremely easy now! I can’t even anymore imagine the times when I had to freeze water for ice – now I just press a button and fresh and wonderful ice comes raining down. What a delight!

  • The hand drill

How did people even drill stuff before the invention of the electric drill? I know – by hand. But still! I can’t imagine trying to drill a hole in my wall by hand! You know that one guy you call when you need to install new shelves or whatnot at your apartment? Well, I’m that guy in my circle of friends, so I absolutely make use of my drill – and thank God I have it!

  • The pool heater

Modern-day inventions such as pool heaters like those at PoolHeaterWorld just make life easier. I have an outdoor pool and I would hate not being able to take a dip until it’s naturally heated – imagine how long that would take! I try to cherish the simple things in life, and my pool heater is one of them.

  • The bicycle

Just imagine a world without bicycles! I almost can’t. I am so glad that somewhere in history someone got the idea for a two-wheeled death trap (it must have seemed like that back then) that we today get to enjoy. Do you know that they still aren’t sure how bikes work – what keeps them upright? Well, they don’t, but it doesn’t stop the bicycle from being one of the best inventions in the history of mankind (according to me!).

  • Toilet that flushes

Back in Ireland, my grandmother still had one of those toilets in the field – by which I mean a big hole with a shed over it. She used to talk about how foul it smelled, and she accidentally fell in one time. Awful. That’s why I’m grateful for my toilet that I can flush – it’s the little everyday things that make you happy to live in this time and place.

That’s it folks – the top 5 inventions that make my life easier, and probably yours too. Now excuse me while I get a big glass of juice full of ice and turn on my awesome pool heater (this one – Man, I just love my life!

Musical Instrument And IQ

Musical Instrument And IQ

Last week I met a friend of mine, while I was attending an awards ceremony. No, I was not being conferred an award instead, I was doing a photograph session of the awards for a news website. While I was clicking away, to my great surprise I saw my friend being awarded for excelling in his research work. I was stunned. He was not much of a learning geek during our school days, so seeing him winning an award certainly surprised me.

I said so to him. He said that his concentration had improved a lot since he had taken up learning the trumpet. He had bought it at and advised me to try it too. After hearing from him about his recent accomplishments, I thought of giving it a try. But before that I wanted to know what exactly a musical instrument could do to make you smart. Here is what I found out.

Research on playing musical instrument and its effect on brain suggest that the power and shape of our brain can be changed. This change helps in improving the cognitive skills largely. Studies suggest that the IQ in kids as well as adults had increased to about seven points more.  The studies done on brains of musicians reveal that the structure and function of their brain is different from those who were not acquainted with a musical instrument.

What surprised me most was that people who were 65 years old could experience the impact of learning to play afresh for just five or six months. Since the memory and hearing control spots in our brain are related to the part that controls movements, we become active and our brain structure too changes.

For instance, a kid-learning piano could become more disciplined, attentive and even excel in planning. These qualities are essential for academic excellence. So the kid becomes brighter. And I guess this is what happened in my friend’s case.

But I also found out that there are other things that music can do besides spark the intelligent streak in you and make you smarter and accomplish greater things in life. Learning foreign languages easily is another benefit that you get. While you get your memory improved, as you learn to play a musical instrument like a trumpet, you also learn to grasp new languages by the increased verbal memory.

Musicians are also able to pick up emotions like disappointment, empathy and other such feelings more readily than the rest.  It is said that music enhances memory power, language skills and much more on which research is being done consistently. The researchers believe that the new revelations would help in rehabilitation of neuropsychological issues in a better way.

I was definitely impressed by these findings and it renewed my resolve to learn the trumpet. When I said so to my friend, he advised me to know about the right devices to buy as he had suggested earlier and other details. He even volunteered to help me out with the initial steps, so I could learn it better.

Photographing in the wild

Photographing-in-the-wildMany of you may be aware that I am a photography enthusiast. Recently, I had gone on an expedition with a couple of my friends. The wildlife photography experience was a lot of fun for all of us and I considered putting together a brief guide to help beginners start off with wildlife photography.

Different types of photography need specific types of treatment and this holds true for wildlife photography as well. You cannot simply jump into wildlife photography and hope to capture a stunning shot. You will first need to consider getting yourself some decent equipment and you will need to understand the nuances of wildlife photography.

Here, I will present to you some useful and handy tips, which will help you photograph better in the wild:

  • Equipment and gear

Wildlife photographers must invest in a telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses allow photographers to zoom across incredible distances and must be used to accurately capture shots out in the wild. Teleconverter lenses may also be used for the same purpose.

A tripod will also be needed for supporting the camera as the lenses make it quite heavy. With longer lens lengths, the camera becomes even more susceptible to movement. As such, use of a tripod is a must.

Finally, the camera will need to be a high quality one. Today, there is a broad range of DSLR cameras specifically suited for wildlife photography.

One other thing to think about is equipment for yourself, such as a pair of good boots. The best equipment for traipsing around the wood can be found at hunting shops.  You can find some great hunting tools at EdgeHunting.

  • The environment

The environment of the wildlife, where the picture is being captured greatly determines how well the photo turns out to be. There are different aspects to photographing small birds than there are to photographing land animals and all of these will only be learnt through experience.

The character of a wildlife picture clicked greatly depends on the environment and on the visual setting. Users will need a little experimentation here in order to come up with the best shots.

  • Including elements of nature

While the subject of the photograph may be a large land animal, care must be provided to include certain elements of nature. For instance, leaving out the ground in a picture can produce a dramatically contrasting effect than including it along with the animal.

I take a number of different shots before I make up my mind as to what works best. I would recommend all beginner photographers to do the same as it immensely helps in understanding the nuances of wildlife photography.

  • Pay attention to all types of animals

The wildlife is full not only with large animals, but a lot of vegetation and smaller animals as well. Even when an animal is not spotted nearby, a photographer has tons of subjects to turn his attention to.

I have gathered a large number of pictures of butterflies and moths as part of my photography while waiting for other subjects.  You can try doing the same when you are out photographing in the wild.

Wildlife photography can prove to be a lot of fun and it can be quite rewarding as well. I hope the tips that I have presented will enable enthusiasts to try out their hand at wildlife photography as well.

Making your own cat food

Making-your-own-cat-foodOne of the best ways to keep your pet cat healthy is to provide it with homemade cat food. I do the same for my cat Tom and he thoroughly enjoys his meals. I am not a cook – in fact you can consider me to be a natural disaster in the kitchen. However, when it comes to making cat food, I can sure whip up delicious meals for Tom.

I make food for Tom once every two months. While the food typically lasts longer, up to about 10 weeks or so, doing this ensures that Tom always has a steady supply of good food, even in cases of emergency. The time spent in preparing food is significantly lesser than the time spent on caring for a cat and as such, it does make sense for pet owners to make their own cat food.

You will need some equipment and tools in order to make your own cat food. I have a meat grinder, which allows me to grind bones, meat, liver and skin all in one go. After the meat is ground completely, I add to it some supplemental nutrients and store it in the freezer.

Here are the basic steps that are required in order to make your own cat food:

  • Determine the dietary requirements of your pet cat

Every cat will have its own dietary requirement and you will need to determine the same for your cat. Cats will need adequate amounts of protein, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, water and fatty acids and you will need to find out the requirements for your cat. Once this is done, you can proceed to making the cat food.

  • Understand the feeding habits of cats

Cats can seem like they are hungry all of the time and if food is offered, they do not hesitate in consuming it. You will need to ensure to never over feed your cat. I provide Tom with three meals daily and offer him nothing but titbits in between.

  • Grinding meat

I grind organic raw meat in my grinder (click here to see it) as the main staple food for Tom. Typically, the meat I use is chicken and I grind the bones, skin and the fat all into pulp. Today, there are different types of meat available which are hormone free and antibiotic free and they serve great as cat food.

  • Adding nutritional supplements

While the meat is the staple food for Tom, it does not contain all of the essential nutritional ingredients that a cat requires. As such, I add a solution of fish oil, vitamins B12 and E and salt to water and mix this in with the ground meat.

  • Storing the food

After the meat mixture has been prepared, I store Tom’s food in the freezer in small containers. Food will last for months in the freezer, but it is recommended that you do not keep food beyond 10 weeks.

Tom enjoys his meals and he is quite healthy as well. Given that preparation of homemade cat food is so simple, I would recommend every pet owner to try it out.