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April 19, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Smart TV

Shopping for TV used to be so simple since there were not a lot of options before, just brand preferences then sizes. And the factors that make an awesome TV mostly just included sound and picture quality. For as long as our TV choice gives us ability to show us our favourite, that’s good enough for us.

Today, homeowners we’re presented with another factor to consider, brought on by the growing necessity to adapt to the Internet and the rise of streaming sites. A smart TV has now become an inevitable part of any home. If you don’t have one yet, go on and check out the available Sony Smart TV range at Harvey Norman.

In this article, we’ll talk about smart TVs — what they are, how it works, and the benefits from getting one.

What is a Smart TV?

In simple English, Smart TV provides an operating system that allows you to access both network content and online content without the need to install an external box.

Let’s say you don’t have a Smart TV but you want to access Netflix. You won’t be able to do it without the help of an additional console, like an Xbox or an Apple TV, which you will then have to constantly plug in and take out from your TV.

How does a Smart TV work?

Accessing online content through the Smart TV is as easy as connecting it to your broadband router. It’s recommended that you connect the TV to the Ethernet to get a much more stable connection. However, if the broadband and the TV are in different rooms, connecting it the Wi-Fi will do.

Once you’re connected, it’s only a matter of signing in and choosing the Internet channels that you want to download. Internet channels are basically like apps that you have on your phone. Some Smart TVs come with preloaded apps like Netflix or Youtube, but you may add any preferred streaming channel like Hulu or TED.

There are different app platforms that can help you manage and navigate your Smart TV menu, depending on the brand you’ve chosen. These include Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and SmartCast.

What are the benefits of getting a Smart TV?

The main appeal of Smart TV is giving its users access to a lot of media channels that are otherwise unavailable on a normal cable satellite service. This includes TV shows, films, music, and even games. You can even use the Smart TV for normal web browsing or accessing PC files (as long as it’s compatible to the TV).

A Smart TV also has the capability to cast content from your mobile device to the TV, and vice versa; just use the appropriate app. So if you want to show everyone a video you’ve taken using your phone, open the app and cast the video on your Smart TV.

If this is going to be your first Smart TV purchase, the best option would be a Sony Smart TV. It uses the Android TV platform, which means that you have a wider net of media channels to choose from, other than the usual, Netflix, Youtube, and Hulu. It also has a built-in Chromecast which means that you can seamlessly cast your content from mobile to TV with just one tap of a button.

Are Smart Thermostats Worthy Of All The Hype?

Smart thermostats are becoming more popular alternatives to traditional air and heating systems. Are they worth it, though? Read on to find out for yourself.

Current Trends in Smart Thermostat Design

Image via Flickr by Dept of Solar Energy Decathlon

Smart thermostats are controlled by Wi-Fi enabled devices so that you can control the temperature in your home from your smartphone. For example, the Nest thermostat is now onto its third version. These thermostats light up and show the current indoor temperature when it detects that someone is nearby. Some versions also display outside weather and time.

Initial Cost of Equipment

The initial cost of a smart thermostat is fairly low, considering how much you can possibly save verses using a traditional HVAC. Smart thermostats can cost $50 to several hundred dollars, depending on what brand name you go with and the features that come with it. Make sure you do some research to find out what you want and need before you purchase your smart thermostat. Even if you need a repair or service done on your smart thermostat, the savings are still worth the initial cost.

Installation Process

It’s fairly easy to install a smart thermostat, but you can always contact a specialist or electrician to do the work for you. Based on the wires used on your current HVAC, you may or may not be able to install a smart thermostat in your home. If you’re not sure of what type of wires to look for, call in a specialist to help.

Different Types of Thermostats Available

Even though smart thermostats are fairly new, there are several different types available on the market. The Nest thermostats were one of the first smart thermostats available on the market. Installation is pretty easy, and once it’s up and running, the Nest can learn your temperature preferences and plan accordingly. The Ecobee3 is another smart thermostat that uses Wi-Fi capabilities. Energy can be saved with this device since the Ecobee3 can detect where you are and adjust the temperature accordingly.

The Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat comes with a large screen with plenty of options. You can plan out seven days on the Honeywell and even change settings throughout the week. The Sensi Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Thermostat is another user-friendly product that is easy to install. Another Honeywell thermostat is the Z-Wave Programmable Thermostat. You can use it to control lighting and other home appliances, and the Z-Wave monitors your thermostat. Once you choose which smart thermostat is right for you, it will feel natural to walk into your home at the perfect temperature.

Energy Benefits

Smart thermostats can save money on your energy bill. These thermostats are designed to run only when someone is home, saving unnecessary energy and costs. Because of this, your HVAC won’t have to run constantly. Smart thermostats can save money in the long run on your home due to their many high-tech capabilities.

With so many benefits to having a smart thermostat, it’s worth your time to check them out and see if they’ll suit your lifestyle.

April 11, 2018

The Essence Of Tirupati

When most people visit India, Tirupati escapes their notice. This quaint little city located to the south of India, is one of the most religious places you will be able to find throughout the world.

Why is that special?

Thousands of Indians flock to the Tirupati temple every single day in an effort to find peace with themselves. It is said that anyone visiting the temple is granted all their wishes. Now, you might not believe in God, but, there’s something about Tirupati that does pull you in.

History and Context

One of the heroes of Hindu mythology, Lord Rama apparently resided here on his return from an epic quest which he undertook to save his wife. However, the place has seen a lot of religious sects through the ages.

Earlier, Tirupati used to be a town crowded by the pacifist Vaishnavas. They are the people who erectedd the famous Venkateshwara temple. Some of the saints back then had described Tirupati as heaven on Earth.

Heaven on Earth?

Unless you are in one of the hotels in Tirupati, eating out of a banana leaf, you would understand the peace that this place offers. With its own texture, and with people from all cultures coming in with hopes in their eyes, Tirupati offers something of a cultural extravaganza.

Plus, because of the various Indian histories mingling at this place, you get a feeling that you are a part of something larger, something far more epic than you have seen.

Tirupati is also peaceful. Despite, all the accusations of dirt about Indian religious places, Tirupati is very clean. It gets quiet in the evenings so when you get out of one of the hotels in Tirupati, you can just go around and visit the places all around you to gain perspective on what is there to see.

The stories of boon

Look, I don’t believe in it either. However, the three days spent at Tirupati was strangely enticing. Maybe, its the hope surrounding you with everyone looing for something out of this experience, but, it seemed that this town was a corner of hope in a bleak world.

Maybe, that is all we need in the high-paced life we lead today. Some hope and some time with our loved ones. Tirupati offered me both.

About the revisit

I do not know what it is about Tirupati, but, the moment I was out from one of the hotels in Tirupati, I knew I would be back again to visit. I wished for all that hope around me, and the sweets coming to me from all the Indian people.

April 9, 2018

Thinking Beyond Medication: 3 Natural Ways To Ease Asthma Symptoms

Asthma affects about 25 million Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medication is necessary to control asthma symptoms and ease attacks, but sufferers have other options and techniques to lessen the effects of the chronic respiratory disease. The good news is that these methods benefit all family members.

Keep Your Air Clean

Image via Flickr by NIAID

Your first line of defense is your HVAC system. Common asthma triggers are airborne particles and allergens. The air in many homes is worse than the air outside because of dust, dander, mold, and other particles trapped indoors. Make sure the air in your home is as clean as possible.

Have your HVAC unit serviced regularly by a professional, who can also make sure it is working properly. The technician may suggest other accessories that could help limit asthma attacks, such as a UV lamp that kills microbes that grow within the HVAC system. An air purifier can also help. It uses an electrical charge to kill tiny microbes and fungi that pass through.

It’s essential to have a good HVAC air filter that removes pollen and dust from the air. They should be replaced about every month to ensure they are working at peak efficiency.

If you have an asthma sufferer in your home, choose a filter with a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The scale is 1-16. Filters with a MERV rating of 1-4 trap less than 20 percent of pollen and dust mites. Filters with MERV ratings of 13-16 trap more than 90 percent of pollen and smaller particles, such as those in smoke and bacteria.

Improve Your Diet and Exercise

Exercise helps to improve your overall respiratory condition. One type of exercise to consider is swimming. It greatly increases lung capacity. Plus, the moister air in a pool can help ward off exercise-induced asthma attacks.

A healthy diet that includes items high in protein plus many fruits and vegetables can help. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that may aid your lungs.

Scientists in Italy found that people with asthma who exercised regularly and ate a healthy diet had a 50 percent improvement in their asthma symptoms compared with those who did neither. Those who either exercised or improved their diet improved about 30 percent.

Stay Ahead of Triggers

Another way to help control asthma symptoms is to know what triggers attacks. According to WebMD, common triggers include cigarette smoke, air pollution, allergies, and a cold or flu.

Do your best to avoid smoke, including tobacco smoke. Exposure to cigarette smoke will make your asthma much worse. Also limit your exposure to colds and flu. Stay away from those who are sick, and wash your hands thoroughly. In addition, consider a flu vaccine. People with asthma generally struggle with the flu and are hospitalized more often.

There is no cure for asthma, but precautions like these will help you feel better. Make sure the air in your house is a clean as possible, eat right, exercise, and avoid smoke and other triggers.


April 9, 2018

Top Five Fitness Experiences In The United States

Heading away on holiday can mean our fitness regime is neglected, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Regular gym goers can miss out on their fitness activities when travelling abroad, but the United States has lots of unique workout experiences available across the country.

Dance cardio, yoga and cycling are amongst the activities you can take part in, so read on to discover our top five recommendations for fitness on the move in the USA.

Red Rocks Fitness, Denver

This iconic live music venue also offers sessions that allow fitness fanatics to admire the breathtaking surroundings while doing their workouts.

With music blasting through the natural amphitheatre as you exercise, it’s like your own personal concert where you are the star of the show.

Yoga on the Rocks is also worth checking out during the summer, so use the Borgata casino bonus code to boost your budget and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Daybreaker, various cities

Daybreaker parties are advertised across various social media platforms and give you the opportunity to dance your way to a brilliant early morning workout.

Vigorously moving and shaking body to your favourite tunes can use the same amount of energy as a treadmill session, but you get the bonus of it being far more enjoyable!

Hiking Yoga, various cities

Founded in 2009 by Eric Kipp, Hiking Yoga fuses his passion for exploring new places with a deep love of yoga.

Instructors lead hikers over three miles of scenic nature trails, taking breaks along the way for demonstrating your yoga skills.

The cardio benefits of hiking plus the mental positivity of yoga provides a unique outdoor fitness experience for both novice and experienced practitioners of the art.

Unplug Meditation, Los Angeles

Whether you enjoy a relaxing break or full on adventure, a holiday should take us away from the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

Unplug, a meditation studio in Los Angeles, offers classes where customers can learn to meditate or enhance their practice, and simply breathe.

Founder Suze Yalof Schwartz has created a calming space featuring qualified meditation leaders that are suitable for beginners and experts alike.

Paddle Into Fitness, San Diego

Paddle Into Fitness has been offering stand-up paddleboard yoga classes for nearly a decade in the San Diego Bay.

Undertake a warm-up on the beach, before heading to the water for a variety of cardio drills and body weight training on the board.

The instability of the board makes this a fun way to workout ñ and if you do lose your balance you’ll only get wet!

4 Home Automation Upgrades That Are More Than Just Convenient

The world moves fast, and you have to move fast if you want to keep up. Keeping up can mean replacing some of your old habits with new ones. One of the easiest steps you can take to make your life easy is to automate your home. While not all home automation devices on the market are worth your money, the four home automation upgrades below prove to be more than just convenient.

Smart Home Security Systems

Image via Flickr by Theron Towbridge

One of the popular home automation upgrades today is the smart home security system. Smart home security systems allow you to remotely monitor your house using your smartphone. Many systems allow you to see who is at the door and choose whether or not to let the person in using your phone. This type of monitoring is not only convenient, but it also adds a much-needed layer of security for you and your family.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are one of the best investments you can make to automate your home. They offer maximum comfort while also allowing you to save money by setting a schedule for your home heating and cooling. You can program your thermostat to turn off the heating or air conditioning while you’re at work or turn the air conditioning or heating on 10 minutes before you get home from work, thus saving energy and money.

Smart thermostats have much to offer, such as alerting you when something is wrong with your HVAC system. The alert lets you know you need to get your system repaired as soon as possible.

Smart Light Bulbs

Smart light bulbs will take your lighting game to a new level. Instead of boring, white lights, you can have any color lights you want on demand to create the ideal atmosphere for any occasion. Smart light bulbs can be controlled using your phone, and you don’t have to get up to change the ambience of the room. Still not convinced? Consider five reasons to switch your light bulbs.

Smart Coffee Makers

Image via Flickr by

Finally, consider the humble coffee maker. With a few tweaks and some innovation, we now have smart coffee makers that make your morning routine simpler than you thought possible. Although nothing may completely cure the Monday blues, these coffee makers get close. Smart coffee makers allow you to brew a hot cup of coffee at the press of a button. Using your smartphone, you can get your coffee brewing before you rise out of bed. They also allow you to save money and energy by turning off when not in use or running on a schedule.

Smart devices are making our lives easier at every turn. We can have seemingly limitless power at our fingertips if we allow it. Instead of being scared of change, you can take the time to embrace home automation. Of course, this list is not an exhaustive one for home automation upgrades, but they are ones that are worth the investment.

April 5, 2018

Improve Your Business Travel With Fellow Corporate Executives Through These Tips

Having business trips is both fun and difficult. You are used to working from your main business location and travel can be a bit of a pain if you are not organised. You do however, have fun because you go to a different place with people you are working with, but you do not just go there for fun. You also have goals to achieve. At some point, this can be a tiring trip. Of course, you can’t just cancel the trip given that you have another party to consider. You can make the actual trip better and more comfortable though.

Opt for other travel modes

You don’t have to fly all the time if this makes you wait for a long time at the airport. You may also decide to use trains or buses if the location is near and those options are safe. This is true especially if you are planning a business trip to a place like Cannes. There are a lot of wonderful views to see. Therefore, moving around by land would be more relaxing.

Avoid layovers

If you are flying to another place, plan the trip really well. The goal must not be to make the trip cheaper, but more convenient. After all, you are not going on holiday. You are going for business. You deserve to at least have a comfortable flight. Having to wait at the airport for hours would be really tiring.

Be picky when it comes to accommodation

When you choose corporate accommodation in Cannes, you should just go all out. After all, you are paying a huge amount of money anyway. Don’t go cheap especially if you are travelling with other top executives. Besides, if early booking is done, it is easier to find

Find ways to cut costs elsewhere

You might feel a bit worried about the idea that if you choose expensive hotels and flights, this will make everyone question the choices. There are ways to justify the cost though. For instance, you have booked an expensive hotel, but it includes airport transfer and local transportation. You have spent more for the accommodation, but you have saved money on transportation.

Do as many things as you can

You only have a few days for this trip, so you might as well make the most of it. Visit different places, especially in Cannes, where almost every spot is worth visiting. Again, you can only do this when you have achieved your goals and you are done with the business meetings. You also deserve a break, and this is a good way to pat yourself on the back.

Hopefully, these tips will drastically change your experience when having a corporate trip. It should be a wonderful experience for you and everyone else who is travelling with you.

March 29, 2018

The Best Vegan Pancakes Recipes

Recently, the world celebrated the pancake day, and of course, we all know what pancakes are! Without any doubts, the basic ingredients are eggs, butter and milk! But, did you know that there are vegan pancakes as well? We have rounded up the top vegan pancakes recipes for you! Next time, you’re having vegan friends over, you can impress them with your delicious pancakes!

Super Simple Vegan Pancakes


  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almond milk / dairy-free milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil /melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup /sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Oil to grease pan

Start by mixing the flour, baking powder and salt in a big bowl. In another bowl, you can whisk the milk, oil and maple syrup. Stir both mixtures in one bowl and mix thoroughly until there are no lumps. After the batter rests for 5 minutes, cook your pancakes on a 350 degrees heated pan.

Fermented Pancakes


  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup garbanzo flour (chickpea flour)
  • 2 cups water

*Optional ingredients: 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, a sprinkling of cinnamon, berries, shredded apple

Add the well-rinses quinoa with ½ water in a saucepan. Let it boil slowly and simmer for around 10 minutes. As the quinoa boils, cut and mash the bananas using a fork. Then mix the crushed bananas to 1 tablespoon of oil and non-dairy milk, in a bowl. Once the quinoa is, add it to a bowl and toss the flour, baking powder, oats, stevia and cinnamon powder. Slowly pour the banana mixture as well, and mix until there are no lumps. Add the mixture on a heated pan which has been greased with oil. Once all the pancakes are ready, add your favourite toppings and serve! Not feeling inspired about how to add the toppings? You might get some ideas at Lucky VIP Casino by playing games under the hungry for slots category! Slot games featuring symbols like cherries, blueberries, chocolates and strawberries will surely let your mind wander. . . and get creative about the best toppings!

Banana Oatmeal Quinoa Pancakes


  • ¼ cup raw quinoa- rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil/ canola oil
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ tablespoon pure stevia extract powder

Combine the water and flours in a bowl; mix these two well until they form a lump-less mixture. Cover the bowl with a plastic foil and let it rest overnight at room temperature. The next day, use a heated non-stick skillet to cook it. You can spray the pan with oil. Then, cook the pancakes on medium heat, until fluffy and golden. You can serve with maple or fruit syrup.

If you have some vegan friends, you better save these recipes! Moreover, these recipes produce the best pancakes. . . so vegan or not, these will surely will be a great start to your day and melt into the mouth of anyone!

March 29, 2018

2018 Top Travelling Games

Do you love travelling around the world? You can of course do so by plane or by ship, however with travel-themed games online, you can also explore different places from the comfort of your home! Let us discover some of the top travelling games of 2018.

Travel-themed Slots Games

Around the World Slot

Discover the amazing places in the world with Around the World video slot, a creation of Microgaming Systems. With this 5 reels 20 paylines slot, get ready for a great adventure and visit the popular landmarks around the world like the Eiffel Tower. Join Phileas Fogg and Passepartout in their trip around the world in 80 days and increase your winning potential. Also, revisit the famous book by Jules Verne, “Around the World in Eighty Days” through this game.

Vacation Station Slot

Enjoy some well-deserved holidays with Vacation Station Slot created by Playtech. With this simple 3 reels, 8 paylines slot, pack your bags and sunglasses to head off to a nice sunny beach for your vacation. The game is conveniently set in the lobby of an airport and you can see planes, wagons and air balloons on the reels. So, get ready for holidays, wearing a nice t-shirt and don’t forget your camera around your neck!

In the online gaming world, there many slots based on travel, holidays or adventure. For example, at Ted Bingo, you can enjoy travel-themed games, such as: Thai Flower Slot, Jewel Journey Slot or Aloha! Cluster Pays Slot. These amazing games will make you discover new places where you can enjoy fun holidays.

King of Macedonia Slot

In 2018, revisit the story of Alexander the Great with King of Macedonia Slot, a creation of IGT. Set in a kingdom, this game has a medieval feel to it. Goblets, scrolls, violins, vases, warrior helmets and treasure chests are some of the symbols you will come across on the reels of this 5-reel 40 paylines slot. This game is also packed with special features that will definitely make you want to go on a great adventure.

Travel-themed Online Games

The Crew 2

If you love games full of speed, you will certainly want to try The Crew 2. You can enjoy this great game on PC, Xbox One and PS4. Although it is a racing game on which you can speed around in a Porsche 911, a Maserati GrandTurismo or a Mazda RX7, it also makes you enjoy road, boat and air trips around USA. Visit San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Hudson River in New York or the busy streets of Manhattan. Enjoy these trips in full speed!

Knights and Bikes

Join a puzzle adventure with Knights and Bikes, which you can enjoy on Windows PC and PlayStation 4. Created by Foam Sword Games, it comes with a vivid art style which reminds you of The Goonies. Play as Nessa and Demelza, two imaginative girls, and explore the British island. Join this great adventure, seeking out treasures and solving ancient mysteries.

Sea of Thieves

If you love adventures, Sea of Thieves is the perfect game for you. Try this game on either Xbox One or Windows PC. This squad-based adventure happens on the high seas, where you co-operate as pirates, that is steering, shooting, pillaging and looting. Watch out for this game set to be released on the 20th of March 2018.

So, with such travel-themed games in 2018, you can expect great fun, adventure and entertainment while exploring the amazing places around the world. Happy long-term travels or quick adventure!

March 29, 2018

Economic & Environmental Impacts Of Disposable Bags

While many people have made steps in the right direction by reusing bags they accumulate from regular shopping trips, free plastic shopping bags are still ubiquitous around the world. Using these thin plastic bags when shopping is not only harmful to the environment, it has negative economic effects as well. Let’s take a closer look at some of those impacts.

Disposal of Plastic Bags

Once a disposable plastic bag has served its purpose, most people throw them away, where they eventually end up in a landfill or waste processing plant where they are burned. Burning plastic waste is harmful to the environment because toxic gases are released into the atmosphere. This only contributes to the growing global plastic waste epidemic impacting air quality and water purity.

Environmental Impact

Even when plastic waste is managed responsibly, bags that have been disposed of are likely to be blown away by storms or gusts of wind. Since these bags are not biodegradable, they tend to remain where they’ve been displaced for an extensive amount of time.

While recycling these bags seems like a viable option, most recycling facilities typically burn them or send them to a landfill after sorting. This is due to the high cost and difficulty of recycling plastic bags. Studies have shown that less than 1% of all bags sent are actually recycled.

Economic Impacts

As well as having a notable negative impact on the environment, plastic bags are proving to be an economic liability. Plastic bags are relatively cheap to produce, but manufacturers make very little profit and, since polyethylene bags are produced from fossil fuels, production contributes to an annual decrease in the fossil fuel supply, affecting gasoline prices, heating oil and other necessary products.

The fishing and tourism industries are particularly hard it by plastic waste. As bags decompose, they release toxic chemicals which harm the marine life that the fishing industry is built on. And, areas that rely on tourism spend an enormous amount of money on litter control – a lot of it plastic bags. A recent study showed that more than $130 million was spent annually on litter cleanup in just one Australian state.

Possible Alternatives

There are multiple alternatives to plastic bags that are less harmful overall, like paper bags. Although paper bags are not much more preferable than their plastic counterparts since production requires lumber.

There are regions that have introduced reusable plastic bags that are more durable, therefore less are thrown away. The most preferable substitute is reusable cloth bags that considerably cut down on waste. With companies such as, it’s easy to start making the right decisions when it comes to the grocery bags you use.

How to Help

Taking necessary steps to decrease youruse of disposable plastic bags can make a noticeable change in your community and quality of life. With all of the organizations and efforts being made to reduce the use of disposable plastic bags, it’s never been easier to start making a positive impact.