New Year – New Truck? Top Four Best Pickups

Ford boasts that the top seller for 2017 and the past 39 years is the F-150. The 2017 F-150’s are claimed to be the best ever in their lineup with a starting MSRP of $26,730 for the XL pickup only having 4 x 2 drive train, with estimated MPG at 18-24. The attributes are impressive torque, capability and good fuel economy.  Ford is now offering tailgate and box side steps making access to the cargo box a breeze. Keep in mind everything you add jacks the price up, and if you have your heart set on these amenities right out of the gate, that gives your sales person room to work their magic by dancing you through higher priced add-on items to the basic bare bones MSRP making that monthly payment skyrocket. Make sure you know what comes standard and what does not, including the total prices of all the options tacked on. Tonneau covers, running boards etc. are usually not included in the price of even higher end models like the King Ranch, Platinum and Raptor.

Chevrolet claims fame in their proven power and performance full size pickup trucks like the Colorado and Silverado. Chevy has made some bold muscular changes to their front end on the Silverado, a more sculpted hood and signature LED lighting accents. They boast about their world class EcoTec3 engines that offer impressive V8 fuel economy. However, I believe it was noted that their claims regarding their steel truck beds vs. the Ford aluminum beds weren’t exactly tested fairly. Anyone observing their video of the competition product testing would have to see this for themselves. I personally can’t imagine any truck owner having cement cinder blocks dumped into their unprotected/unlined pickup bed. Landscape blocks such as those are usually loaded on a pallet.

All Chevy Silverado lines have phased out 6-speed transmissions and been upgraded to 8-speed automatic. They have added some new cool colors in the premium finish line like deep ocean blue and Siren red.  MSRP for the 2017 Silverado 1500 is $27,585 and would obviously cost much more if you purchased it with any other options other than the bare bones items included. The estimated MPG on this Chevy mirrors the stats of the Ford F-150.

Dodge Ram 1500 Express Quad Cab 4 x 4 is very popular but has a higher MSRP of $35,795 for a V-8 automatic. Anything that is not included as standard in whatever model you are looking at will drive that price up higher than you may want to pay for what should be included for a $35,000 truck and is not. Obviously whatever you use your truck for dictates what you have to have as opposed to what you want to have. Be wise and prudent in the choices on your wish list and don’t be talked into pretty stuff you could add later at your own pace. If you plan to tow with your truck, the GVW rate on the 1500 Express is 6,800 lbs. If you want 4-corner air suspension, it will cost you another $1715 while tacking on another $27/month to your truck payment.  These are all examples of things to consider.

Let’s explore a bit higher on the truck lineup.  The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali premium pickup has a starting MSRP of $52,155. It’s considered a light duty truck with a full size pickup design, signature Denali accents, distinctive lighting and a sculpted front end with bold lines. It’s a beauty for sure. The maximum GVW on this one is  9,300 lbs.  Price hikers include the 3.23 rear axle ratio, bed steps and tonneau cover. Obviously the larger the truck bed, the larger the price tag, so be careful not to get a huge truck bed if you won’t be hauling large amounts of cargo. All weather floor mats are a really good investment and I am pro-floor protection all the way, but are they necessary the day you drive out of the dealership? No, especially if you won’t be adding passengers right away.

Buying a new truck can be an exciting venture and so worth all the confusion and information. Do your homework and trust your salesperson if you have had successful transactions with that person or dealership in the past. I welcome your comments below, or feel free to cruise on over to truckworldaccessories.com and check out the add-ons we have to help you personalize your new or older ride. I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and I value all opinions of truck enthusiasts. Got a birthday coming? Your loved one can get you a Gift Certificate from Truck World for the things you wanted on that new pickup, but wisely waited to add later.

25 Amazing Things about Mumbai


The sea breaks against the shore in rhythmic waves. The froth scatters, and somewhere, someone is nursing a dream. A dream that they wish to see to fruition. Amidst the huge imposing skyscrapers and long roads, millions of dreams like these materialise, and many don’t. The unsuccessful one’s sometimes let go, or persevere. Most of the time, they just keep working towards their dream. They say its because of Mumbai’s spirit.

India’s financial capital, a teeming bustling metropolis is home to many. People come to Mumbai to chase their dreams. They are attracted by the seemingly lucrative prospects in the film industry based here, or in the financial sector, or in any other sphere. For Mumbai is truly the land of dreams.

A city that has been in the limelight often, it is a jewel in India’s crown. A city where the one of the richest men in the world lives juxtaposed against one of the largest slums in South East Asia.

True to the much cliched adage, Mumbai never sleeps. Step out at any time, and you will be greeted by a flurry of sights sounds and smells. You may choose to follow the aroma of sumptuous Pav Bhaji, a Mumbai favourite, or you may choose to follow the sea breeze. Whichever direction you choose to head to, and there are multiple, you will be pleasantly surprised, because this city always manages to throw something new at you in terms of experiences.

Despite being one of the more expensive cities of the nation, Mumbai attracts a sizeable amount of the country and globe’s populace, both for work and leisure, for short duration or long.

India’s most revered cricketer, most prolific businessmen, and most loved film-stars. It is also the place which has spawned the most wanted of India’s underworld.

Such a vivid picture and such a multi-faceted experience is provided, you won’t know where to begin. Here are 25 of the most unique things that are inherently Mumbai.

  1. Mumbai was originally an island. 7 closely located islands, erstwhile Portuguese territories belonged to England, who, in the period from 1784-1845, combined these 7 islands to form a coastal city.
  2. It is the location of India’s most expensive home. Currently estimated to be around $ 1 billion in net worth, Antilla stands out amongst Mumbai’s skyscrapers. 27 floors make up this huge residential tower.
  3. In perfect contrast to Antilla stands Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia, also infamous since building a house here costs more than a whopping 3 lakhs. Slumdog Millionaire shot this slum into the limelight.
  4. Bagheera, Sher Khan, and Mowgli. These characters are etched into our memories. Rudyard Kipling was born in Mumbai, as was the controversial author of “The Satanic Verses”, Salman Rushdie.
  5. Harvard published a number of articles about these unsung heroes. Come rain or shine, they make sure that home made food is made available to the teeming working class, every day. The 5000 odd dabbawalas in Mumbai transport more than 130,000 lunch boxes every day. Nothing stops them. Not even Mumbai’s infamous rains.
  6. They walk in the shadows, equipped with nothing more than a crude hand held bag, and a long stick. Stalking out their prey, they strike with purpose, ridding the city of an ancient nuisance. Surviving on very meagre salaries, the Night Rat Killers of Mumbai, are employed by the city’s Municipal Corporation. They go about at night, stalking and killing vermin. The irony? If they catch less than 30 rats a night, they’re not entitled to their days wages.
  7. Mumbai is home to India’s largest Parsi population. This small community escaped persecution, and landed in Gujrat, spreading across the country. Their numbers are small, and their majority lives in Mumbai.
  8. Mumbai is home to Bollywood, India’s primary film industry. Crores of rupees are transacted, due to Bollywood. People love their movie stars, often giving them cult like status. Most of India’s most famous actors and actresses reside here.
  9. Picture this. A leopard stalking a feral pig, follows it into the dense undergrowth. It waits in the bushes, perfectly still. When the time comes to stalk, it starts following its prey. Like a scene straight out of Animal Planet, the leopard advances. Placing its hind foot exactly where the front foot was, it steadies itself. With one powerful leap, it launches itself, deftly lifting up a hapless piglet and disappearing into the undergrowth again. This isn’t a scene out of Africa. Leopards, often hunting outside the boundaries of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in the heart of Mumbai, co-exist peacefully, with the residents of the neighbourhoods surrounding the parks.
  10. The Bandra-Worli sea link is an architectural wonder.Officially known as the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link, the 5.6 km stretch is an amazing drive. Made of 90,000 tons of cement and steel wire, it is truly a marvel.
  11. India’s first car owner, Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, lived here. He was at his time, India’s apex business tycoon and founder of the Tata Group, the first person to own a car in India, in 1901.
  12. Festivals are celebrated with great pomp and splendour in Mumbai. Ganesh Chathurthi, the most popular 10 day festival here, brings the entire city to the streets, dancing and rejoicing and making merry.
  13. A large number of flamingos, migrating from Afro-Eurasia parts, travel to Mumbai, between October and March. Birdwatchers will truly appreciate this phenomenon. It is quite unique, a bunch of migratory birds in an urban setting.
  14. India’s most advanced theme-park, Adlabs Imagica, located near Khopoli on the Mumbai-Pune highway, is India’s largest theme park spread over an area of 300 acres. Boasting of state of the art rides, adults and children are guaranteed fun here.
  15. The date 16th April 1853, is special. This day saw the first train movement in India. Comprising of 14 carriages and 400 passengers, the train left Bori Bunder (now CST), and reached Thane.
  16. Mumba Devi Mandir, is the temple at Bori Bunde, Mumbai, from which this city got its famous name.
  17. Marine Drive, India’s most famous beach, is located here. Vendors with various food items line this populous beach, where people converge, every evening, to spend a few hours in the sea-breeze.
  18. One of the oldest elevators in the city can be found in Navsarri Building in Fort. The wood panelled and crankshaft operated elevator, is a delight for those who love the vintage.
  19. The country’s only heritage toilet can be found at Bombay Dockyard. Allowing visitors in on a tour on the first Sunday of every month, this place houses the country’s only heritage toilet. In use since 1750, it was frequented by sailors of that era!
  20. The Bombay Electric Supply and Transport, the BEST bus, is India’s first bus service, started in 1905. Now operating a number of buses within city limits, it remains a popular mode of transport for the city’s residents.
  21. The 3rd best international airport in the world, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, is truly a wonder. Equipped with advanced facilities, this airport is also one of the busiest in the world.
  22. India’s first 5 star hotel, the Taj Mahal Hotel, was founded here in 1903. Despite being the centre of a terrorist attack, it has risen to be an icon amongst India’s architectural and cultural marvels.
  23. The first inter-city railway, established between Mumbai and Surat, started operations in 1864, post its completion.
  24. 25% of the domestic, and 38% of the international air passenger traffic is handled by Mumbai!
  25. In the year 1832, at the residence of the junior magistrate of police at Byculla, the city’s first post office was opened.

Mumbai presents a unique experience for both novice and seasoned travellers. Tourist places in Mumbai are well maintained by the city’s civic body, and attract hordes of tourists every year. Those looking for luxury hotels in Mumbai will be pleasantly surprised at the sheer variety of accommodation and cuisines that this city offers. Mumbai Hotels are known for their hospitality and provide travellers with more than just a place to stay when they land in the Maximum City.

Why Sports Marketing? Interview with the Managing Director of RTR Sports


How did the idea for a sports marketing company appear? And how did you decide to focus on such a specific field?

Sport is one of the most appealing, exciting and transversal forms of interaction not only of our culture, but of every culture in the world. It transcends geographical boundaries, it goes beyond religion, traditions, class and money. Give two young kids a bicycle and they’ll start racing. Now take a businessman from Spain, a street performer from Argentina, a bricklayer from Africa and a student from Sweden: they have nothing in common, but give them a ball and they’ll play some football. The power of these little things cannot be unseen, and I do believe sport is one of the most powerful means of communication in the world, both for companies and individuals. And that’s what we love to do at RTR: we help companies wishing to use sports as a communication tool.

Can you tell us how you would go about creating a promotional campaign for one of your customers?

It all starts with the client’s marketing and commercial goals. We kick it off with several meetings in order to understand the company’s target, vision and objectives. Is it brand awareness, is it positioning, is it B2B? There’s no such things as “packages” here: everything is tailor made and the right questions must be asked to draw the perfect strategy. Then we put together all these data and start putting forward hypothesis: this series, this team, this athlete, these activations. We discuss them with the company and start our journey together.

In your opinion, what are the ingredients for a successful online presence (when it comes to sports)?

One of the main reasons that companies should choose sport is because it’s so powerful, social-media-wise. When you sign a sponsorship deal you basically buy a story to tell: pictures, behind-the-scenes and details of the most-loved athletes and series around the world. So, appealing content is not a problem. 

The best two ingredients for a successful online presence are always the same: passion and resilience. You have the be consistent in what you do and you must have fun while doing it. 

How does a Sports Sponsorship program work?

It’s a rather complex process, so let me try and narrow it down a bit. The most important thing to understand is that sponsorship are beneficial to both parties, so it’s a win-win situation. When a company teams up, say, with an athlete it is because this athlete can be beneficial in their marketing strategy. That’s why setting goals and milestones in the beginning is so important. 

When the deal is signed, the sponsor gets a number of benefits (visibility, communication rights, hospitality opportunities, PR and so on) and the marketing office must come up with some smart activations in order to get the most out of it.

However, if things are taken care of nicely, sponsorship is capable of producing unbelievable returns on investment not only during the program, but also in the years to come.

Please tell us more about your clients and your portfolio. What are your biggest achievements?

We have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s major companies: from Procter and Gamble to Campari, from Acer to Red Bull. Every client has its own story and good memories and we’re proud of every single deal we signed. However, our best achievements have nothing to do with deals, but with the great relationships we have built with people within the companies and the teams we have been working with. Some weeks ago an old client of ours called our office: we worked together more than 15 years ago and yet he still had good memories of that experience. That’s our goal: producing great, long lasting value.

What type of content and issues do you address on your blog?

We have several types of content, all related to motorsports and sports marketing. They range from sponsorship analysis to marketing tips, but also feature small editorials on riders, drivers or specific races and events. 

Where do you see your company headed in the future?

First of all, we want to be the reference point in the MotoGP sponsorship arena: that’s our core business and our main mission. Simultaneously, we will more and more steer towards a more effective, digital-oriented vision of the sports marketing industry. We are already working with some of Europe’s coolest start-ups and software houses to build cutting-edge technologies to more effectively link sport sponsors and properties. That, in our opinion, is where the true value is for the upcoming years

Can an Online Payroll Software Increase Payroll Effectiveness for Small Business?


Payroll processing is one of the most complex tasks for any organization. Payroll administrators spend quite a few hours each month to manage tax regulations, employee benefits and compliance processes. The complications associated withmanual payroll calculations and tax withholdingsreduce accuracy of payroll processing.

Correct payroll process is essential for any business as it significantly impacts employee satisfaction. Employees expect their account to be credited withcorrect salary at the right time. Having anunpredictable payroll process, that is prone to errors, not only consumes a lot of time but also develops a stressful relationship between employees and employer.

Payroll Software For Small Business

In any small business, there are typically 1 or 2 members available inthe payroll processing team. Managing hundreds of data entries, processing employee salaries, getting approvals, and making several changes in tax codes on month-to-month basis can become challenging with limited staff and resources. Small business owners are continuously looking for innovative ways to reduce their costs and increase payroll efficiency.

Procuring a reliable online payroll management software supports payroll staff to keep on top of the payroll processes effectively.

An automated payroll software for small business helps in prioritizing weekly, monthly or daily payroll tasks .It also supports various HR operations including –

–  Calculation of employee wages and taxes

–  Creation and distribution of payslips

–  Providing automatic signatures & direct deposits

–  Managing employees’ overtime, paid time off & sick leave

–  Filling important payroll related forms

–  Filing necessary reports to avoid compliance issues

–  Managing benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans and flexible spending accounts

Most of the small and midsize businesses outsource their payroll functions to third-party service providers due to scarcity of in-house resources. Though it may work well for them in the short-term, it may not be a cost-effective approach and takes a toll on a company’soverall budgets.Outsourcing payroll helps companies to avoid penalties, but increasesthe threat of security and confidentiality of a company’s payroll information. It also does not give the capability to run analytics on your payroll data – which is so very important for any small business.

Integrate Payroll Processing System with other HR Tools

The costs of managing payroll for small businessesare higher. Streamlining payroll processes in a well-structured workflow can surely save a lot of money and time for a payroll administrator.An automated payroll softwaremanages small business payroll more easily, accurately, and in timely manner.

If you have been worrying about tracking employee time, their paid time off or hours worked, integration of a payroll software with attendance & shift management tool can put your worries at rest.

Integrating payroll and attendance on a single platform, if done properly, gives higher accuracy to the people involved in managing these processes.

The volume of paperwork done during administration of payroll process and human resource operation is massive and time-consuming. For instance, there are 250 employees in an organization who work in multiple shifts, at different pay scales. Tracking work hours of each employee and calculating their salaries requiremany hours if done manually. Integration of leave, attendance and payroll tools simplifies the process and save HR department time that can be put towards employee engagement and development activities.

The number of hours can be further reduced when employees have an online self-help mechanism (such as view payslips, attendance, accrued vacation hours, paid time off, resource requests etc.). They will not call HR with these queries on a periodic basis.

Takeaways For You

  • Investing in an automated payroll management software for small business is money well spent. Avoid data entry errors and make payroll process more efficient. Also, eliminate the need to re-enter payroll data.

  • Not paying attention to compliance issues can be more painful for a small business owner. Streamline all the compliance processes and avoid risks.

  • Adding and updating benefits information is not a big task when your company has automated payroll processing system.

  • When employees can view their data online, the query load on HR reduces allowing them to focus on employee development and engagement initiatives.

6 reasons why businesses in Northern Ireland should be online and have a website


There is apathy from some small business owners as to having a website and putting their business online. Especially in Northern Ireland, where business owners have been slower to embrace the digital world than in other parts of United Kingdom. We list a few of the key reasons why all businesses should have a website.

1) People are searching for you and you’re not there: Consumers use the internet to search for products and services and find information to help them choose which products and services they need. Almost 80% of people are now searching online for information on a product or service before purchase. Your competitors are putting their goods in front of these consumers. 

2) Digital marketing levels the playing field with larger competitors: With an optimised website to send traffic to which shows off your products and services, and gives the consumer what they need you can compete. It requires a bit more thought, innovation and creativity but a digital marketing plan that uses these principles will send high quality traffic your way

3) Digital marketing is completely trackable: Smaller businesses tend to have smaller budgets which need to be managed a bit more tightly. With digital marketing you can start by investing small amounts and measuring the results from this. If it doesn’t work there are other digital channels to test and if it does work you can increase the spend slowly making sure you always have a return on investment that works for you.

4) Optimising mid campaign is possible with digital: Because digital marketing is trackable from day 1 it means you can measure which channel or message is getting you better results and return on investment. This means you can increase your budget on this channel and decrease on another that maybe isn’t performing as well. Compared to traditional marketing, where you pay for 1 message to be put across a variety of channels, digital is much more accountable. For example, you don’t know which newspaper is performing for you and you also won’t know if you would have got a better response from a different message.

5) With a website for your business, you will have increased conversion rates: People will search for your business, or a product or service and go to your website. This is much easier for consumers in today’s world than going to the Yellow Pages for example. From a retail perspective, someone can go to your website and make a purchase, instead of having to get into their car and go to your premises. In terms of leads, someone can quickly fill out a contact form and send you exactly what they need instead of having to ring you. Websites offer a much lower barrier to entry.

6) Reach a global audience from here: With the advertising tools available it is easy to run a campaign in various locations across the globe. If there is an audience type that performs really well and the Northern Ireland audience size is small, you could spread this campaign out to the rest of the UK, the rest of Ireland, Europe etc. Compared to traditional marketing this is a massive benefit of digital marketing. With traditional marketing you would have to use untested radio stations, newspapers, TV channels etc to spread your message.

Getting a website built for your business is the first step. You can have this website built using a popular content management system (CMS for short) such as WordPress, Joomla, Venda, Wix, Demandware etc for a relatively low cost. Or you can have your website custom built. This will allow you a lot more flexibility with the design and functionality of your website but it will cost more.

WordPress is a really popular back, they are on version 4.7.1 of that backend.

Once the website is complete you can build your brand digitally using a variety of digital techniques e.g. SEO, social media, pay per click (PPC), online display advertising and via content marketing. All of this will increase trust in your brand and ultimately increase sales and conversions.

Visit digital88.co.uk to find out more about website development and digital marketing in Northern Ireland.

What is the Workers' Compensation Claims Process?


They say there is nothing like perspective, and if you’ve sustained an on-the-job injury, you will probably relearn the value of this truism.

While I can speak only about my experience – a fractured wrist, resulting from a fall – I learned early on that many injured employees feel rattled and apprehensive, unsure of what to expect from one day to the next as the claims process unfolds. These emotions underscore the wisdom in securing the services of the most experienced workers’ comp lawyer in Orlando; wise, reassuring counsel is exactly what many injured workers – myself included – need most to guide them through the claims process.

Now that I have that all-important perspective, I clearly see that filing a workers’ compensation claim is exactly that: a process. You must keep organized records, you cannot skip a step and you certainly cannot rush the process along. It unfolds at its own pace. And with perspective, the process seems both sensible and logical.

Don’t Confuse “No Fault” with “Sure Thing”

First, a caveat on workers’ compensation claims in general. Many injured employees seem to understand that workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that employers secure to literally compensate employees who become injured or contract an illness or disease on the job.

Petitioners do not have to prove fault to file a claim. The fault is what you might call a “non-issue.” Petitioners must prove only that their injury, illness, or disease occurred in the course of performing a job-related task. They do not have to prove that the employer or co-workers were somehow complicit or did something to cause the injury, illness, or disease. What’s more, even if the petitioner’s negligence contributed to the injury, the petitioner is still entitled to the payment of workers’ comp benefits.

From this perspective, a workers’ compensation claim looks like a sure thing. But the payment of the benefits is not automatic – another reason why the claims process should be followed to the letter. A thorough workers’ comp attorney will insist on it.

Follow the Process One Step at a Time

  • Seek medical treatment. I nearly bypassed this step because I thought I was dealing with a mere sprain that would improve with regular ice pack treatments. When it didn’t and I saw a physician of my choosing, he informed me that this is a crucial first step in the claims process. His report formed the basis of the “official record” that outlined the nature of my injury, the prognosis, and the recommended treatment plan.
  • Inform your employer of the injury. My work-related injury occurred on a Friday; I notified my company’s human resources department on the following Monday. Then came a deluge of paperwork, asking for the basic information you would expect: when and how my injury occurred, the specific nature of my injury and the medical treatment I had received thus far.
  • See a physician designated by the company. I had sustained a complex break and wasn’t entirely confident about my physician’s treatment plan. So I have actually gratified that my employer said I also would have to make an appointment with a company-designated physician. I viewed this step as a sort of “ the second opinion,” though I wasn’t sure how I would reconcile competing treatment plans.
  • Ensure that the claim is officially opened, usually after the proper paperwork has been received from the employer and the company’s designated physician. The good news: the insurer faces a time limit – usually within 30 days – to issue a “determination of compensability.”
  • Seek legal help from a top workers’ comp lawyer in Orlando. I learned that there is a “right” time in the claims process to seek legal help. I understand that some people do so before they notify their employer of their injury while other people consult a lawyer only if their claim is denied. Since I had to wait for the insurer to evaluate my claim anyway, I began looking for the most competent workers’ comp attorney. I was motivated partially by fear, though not that the insurer would deny my claim. I knew that employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation – and they face stiff fines and criminal charges if they withhold it. So while I wasn’t worried about my claim being rejected, I was worried about the treatment plan, which would directly affect the compensation I would receive. I thought another pair of eyes on this process – expert, legal eyes – would be in my best interest.
  • Wait for the final word from human resources. Fortunately, my claim was accepted, and my medical and physical therapy expenses were covered. In fact, my compensation package was higher than what I probably would have received if I had not seen the company-designated physician, who recommended a more thorough and rigorous physical therapy plan than the original physician.
  • Pursue a hearing if your claim is denied. This is the juncture that many people reach out to a workers’ comp attorney.

I will never regret hiring a lawyer when I did. After going through the workers’ compensation process, I believe it’s true that there is nothing like perspective. Now that I have it, I see that hiring a savvy attorney was one of the best steps I took.

Do you Really Need to Take Supplements?


Feel a cold coming on? Take Vitamin C. Have a cold? Take zinc. Want to boost your energy? Take CLA. Want to build muscles? Take protein-powder shakes…

Sound familiar?

It seems like for every ailment or fitness goal, there is a supplement to help get you there faster and with less work. It started with daily multivitamins, and now it has expanded to pill-popping for every supposed “glitch” the body presents.

We live in a society where pill-popping has become the norm. Even when we were children, our parents made sure we took our daily Flintstones vitamin, and as we grew older the variety and number of vitamins, minerals, and powers that promised to prevent illness, make us healthier or fitter, or even cure illness.

In this article, I will start to examine some of the most common questions surrounding supplements.

Do I need supplements to stay healthy?

In general, if you are a healthy person who eats a balanced diet, you can get all the nutrients (protein, vitamins, minerals and trace elements) you need from the food you eat. Yes, even if you do exercise.

Consume a variety of foods from all food groups and you will not have a problem meeting your nutrient needs.

The exceptions are:

  • If you have a special health condition. These include:
    1. A nutrient deficiency, or are at risk of having one. If you have a nutrient deficiency it is important that you take supplements. For this, talk to an RD beforehand to make sure that you choose the right kind, and to discuss your options.
    2. Have a chronic or acute disease, where a supplement may help alleviate symptoms, or are part of your treatment. Talk to your doctor to make sure there aren’t any devastating side effects.
    3. Allergies. Some food allergies may lead to be vulnerable to certain deficiencies, in which supplements might help.
  • Have increased or special nutrient needs due to lifestyle choices. Some examples are:
    1.  Professional athletes
    2. Vegetarians and vegans
    3. People with specialized diets
    4. You dislike certain key foods

How true are these supplement’s health claims?

We can’t make general claims about all supplements, because there is such a wide variety. The range from pure vitamins produced in a laboratory to fruit and herb extracts.

To determine the safety of a supplement, first check the bottle for the following:

  • Look for “USP,” “NSF,” or “Consumer Lab” on the bottle
  • Check the ingredients for the part of the plant, vitamin or mineral you are looking for
  • Look for asterisks on claims – they have to say whether they have been approved by the FDA or an equivalent institution where they were made. Keep in mind that supplements do not have to have FDA approval for effectiveness before getting into the market, but the claims about helping to improve a certain condition (health claims) on packaging do need to be approved.
  • Check for potential side-effects. If there are none on the bottle, you may have to do your own research.

Also,

  • Do your research. Find scientific articles that demonstrate the beneficial effects of the supplement you are considering taking.
  • Don’t believe the hype. Some supplement companies may find a poorly done study that may indicate that it could have benefits, and base their whole marketing scheme on that.
  • Talk to your Registered Dietician or Physician if you are looking to take a supplement for treating a certain condition. Ask them about safety and side effects.

How about multivitamins?

Many people take multivitamins as a form of “nutritional insurance”, in case they didn’t get enough of some vitamin or mineral. Studies are conflicting when it comes to the long and short-term benefits of taking a multivitamin.

In general, if you eat a balanced diet and are a healthy person, there is no need to take a multivitamin.

Note that taking too much of some vitamins and minerals could make you sick, since not all of it is excrete from your body if you have had too much, rather it is stored. For this reason, you should always take supplements with caution.

If you want to take a multivitamin daily, make sure to avoid fortified foods (especially cereals) since these often contain almost as much of some vitamins and minerals in one serving as one multivitamin pill. Don’t overdose on multivitamins.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many supplements that could really improve certain health conditions. Before you pop that pill, however, be sure it won´t cause any harm in the process.

Before looking to pills, why not first see how you can increase your intake of the substance you are looking for through food? If that isn’t possible for some reason, do your research, and feel free to talk to your RD about starting a supplement regimen.

Sources:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm111447.htm

http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/375357

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199708073370601#t=article

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673695927786

Here's why deploying an agile project management software helps


More and more organizations are adopting agile methodology these days to execute their projects successfully and on time. This methodology is especially useful when it comes to handling complex projects in an organization.

As per a report by Pulse of Profession, 75% of organizations that use agile methodology achieved their goals successfully. The report also reveals that 65% of such organizations completed their projects in time and 67% within their budget. Whereas for other organizations (not using agile methodology), these percentages were 56%, 40% and 45% respectively.  The report proves the success of agile project management at work.

With popularity of agile methodology, a number of agile project management software have hit the market in recent years. If you also have plans to use agile methodology at work, it is a wise idea to invest in agile project management software. In this article, I am going to discuss how the software will prove helpful for your organization –

  • Helps to deliver high-quality product

An agile project management tool has excellent safeguards that assist in coming up with better products. While using agile methodology, testing of a product is done on regular basis in different cycles. So, you get to know about any problem with the product while it is being developed. Since the methodology uses proactive approach, problems are addressed right away, thereby preventing any product-related issues in future.

In addition, agile methodology gives you the option of continuously adding value to your product. This way, the product can be improved with time and you get the final product with higher quality and fewer errors/issues.

  • Reduces risks in projects

With an agile project management tool, a project is less likely to fail. In fact, the tool almost eliminates the chance of complete project failure. While following agile methodology, a product is developed in sprints. As a result, you can check if the product development process is going fine or needs to be changed. You are able to use both your time and money effectively.

During each sprint, you can predict any risks and immediately take appropriate measures to protect your project right from the beginning. With agile methodology, you can also take care of your client’s requirements by getting his/her feedback throughout the product development phase. 

  • Enables to adapt to changes

Most of the projects undergo changes during the execution phase. Such changes can occur at any point of a project, but become a headache for people working in it. One of the biggest advantages of using an agile project management software is that your team can easily adapt to these changes.

This is because of shorter planning cycles in agile methodology. Changes are made quickly and  implemented right away unlike traditional methods of project management. You can bring changes into a project anytime according to changing requirements, without having major impact on workflow.

  • Increases customer satisfaction

With agile project management, you are able to keep your customers more satisfied than earlier. One of the differences between traditional and agile project management is the involvement of customers while carrying out a project. You can connect them to your product even before its launch and give regular updates on it.

This can be done by demonstrating your product’s functions in review of every sprint. In case any change is required in the product as per customers’ needs, agile methodology lets you bring it without consuming much time. So, your product hits the market quickly and has high chances of becoming successful.

  • Improves productivity at work

An agile project management tool requires project teams to work closely. Right from development to testing teams, everyone works together to achieve project goals. It helps to make the team members more productive than ever before. This is why they are able to complete work before deadlines.

You can also efficiently prioritize your tasks with agile methodology. So, you don’t get confused regarding what is needed to be done in the first place even when changes are made in a project plan.

To conclude, I would say an agile project management software will help a lot in overcoming the fear of failure in a project. Besides, you will be able to deliver better product/service for your customers. So, if it fits within your work culture, just go for it without giving it a second thought.

A Beginner's Guide to Installation of Custom Wheel Spacers and Tires


The biggest problem with motorcycles is that their tyres often get punctured, and you can do very little about it. Roads are littered with so many prickly things and the tyre does get eroded with time. So, you have to change your bike tyre, and it is going to be a big job for you if you don’t know how to do it yourself. You can get into deep trouble if you have to do it in the middle of nowhere because your bike may be punctured anywhere, and you are going to do it yourself. For this, you need some amount of instructions.

Every bike or motorcycle has its unique way of getting its tyre changed or installed, and it is best to consult the instruction manual that accompanied your bike or two-wheeler for the best help. It is sure to give you a detailed account of all the nitty-grittes involved in getting tyres replaced or installed. Be sure to collect all the different parts of your bike in a single place, so you have all of them in one place when you need to put them back. It is going to reduce the confusion.

Here are a few steps you are going to find helpful. Let us begin with the rear-wheel.

1. It is going to be best to use a centre-stand to get the bike off the ground. The point is to get the rear wheel off the ground, but you should always be sure to keep the bike firmly balanced. It shouldn’t tip over and fall.

2. Bikes with caliper brakes need a removal of the disk brakes before everything. Be sure to use caliper bolts for this.

3. Be sure to get the axle-nut in a comfortable position. It shouldn’t be tight. Remove all accessories that come into the way of loosening the nut. Make sure you mark the exact position of the axle properly because you are going to have to position it in exactly the position it was before you tried anything on it.

4. Be sure you keep all the spare parts you remove from the bike like nuts and washers in a clean and safe place.  You are going to put them back in the same position after a while.

4. Shift the wheel a way ahead.

5. Remove the motorcycle-axis from its position by gliding it out.

Now let us tackle the front wheel.

1. Position your bike in such a position that it becomes easy to handle the nuance of tyre changing. Lift the front wheel in order to have a perfect working plateau. This should allow access to parts of the bike that need to be changed.

2. Make sure you can spin the wheel comfortably and easily. Use the jack to get the bike into such a position if it is not already in one. At the end of the day, the front wheel of the bike or two-wheeler should be able to spin.

3. Be sure to remove calipers fastening the brake before you attempt the operation. You should move in a logical way, removing bolts at the bottom before those in the upper part. Don’t let the caliper fall in any case.  The axle of the bike needs to be removed. You are going to have to get rid of the mount bolt first.

A removal of calipers is going to leave the field empty for a thorough inspection of brake discs. Any form of damage or chances of damage should be addressed in the best manner possible. Attention should be given to the condition of brake pads, for they are very crucial for proper functioning of brakes. Ensure a replacement of brake pads if you find them to be deficient in thickness. They should be at least 1/8-inch thick. They wear off when they are regularly used.

4.  Axle pinch bolts need to be loosened for a safe removal of the axle. You must use an adjustable wrench for the purpose. But before sliding it out, keep an eye on the wheel spacers. It is best to use some custom wheel spacers. They shouldn’t be allowed to touch the ground.

5. The wheel of your bike is now going to come off like butter.

Understanding the Perils of Anesthesia Errors


An anesthesiologist has one of the most crucial jobs in any operating room. If he or she makes an error, the repercussions could be deadly. Learn more.

When it comes to surgery, anesthesia errors are one of the biggest concerns any patient would have, and rightly so. 

According to a 2009 study, in the United States, anesthetics were the underlying cause of around 34 deaths and a contributory cause of 281 deaths in each year between 1999 and 2005. In total, there was an average of 315 anesthesia-related deaths every year in that seven-year period. 

This is an alarming statistic. Further, almost half of all anesthesia-related deaths occurred due to overdose, closely followed by errors in therapeutic use. The mortality rate is higher among senior citizens. 

Common Anesthesia Errors 

Many people associate anesthesia only with surgery. However, anesthetics are used in other areas including the urgent care center, the doctor’s office and at the dentist’s as well. They may not always refer to the drug that put you “under,” but could only be used to numb only a small part. These are called local anesthetics. General anesthesia injuries occur as a result of complications arising from: 

  • An overdose 

  • An under-dose 

  • Allergic reactions 

  • Interaction with other drugs 

  • Defective anesthetic or medical equipment 

  • Negligence in monitoring the patient’s vitals 

  • Failure to intubate the patient 

  • Failure to check medical history 

  • Failure to identify or recognize complications  

  • Delayed delivery 

Injuries Caused by Anesthesia Errors  

Injuries that arise out of anesthesia errors are often catastrophic and will depend on the kind of anesthesia used, the nature of its use and the patient. The effects of anesthesia malpractice include: 

  • Permanent nerve damage 

  • Traumatic brain injury 

  • Comatose state 

  • Cardiac arrest 

  • Stroke 

  • Respiratory failure 

  • Asphyxia 

  • Death 

Any of the above injuries could occur as a result of the errors listed previously. However, an under-dose often has long-term psychological damage instead of physical harm. Administering too little anesthesia could lead to waking up or regained consciousness during the surgery which causes: 

In a 2004 study, researchers found a 0.13% occurrence of awareness during surgery in seven medical centers. This roughly amounts to 1 to 2 people out of 1,000 patients and around 26,000 cases per year in the United States. Most patients who regained awareness during surgery suffer from severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder including flashbacks, nightmares and chronic anxiety. 

Adverse Effects of Local Anesthesia 

Anesthetic-related deaths occur mostly due to general anesthesia. However, in rare cases, local anesthesia errors have been proven to be dangerous as well. This occurs due to adverse effects or toxicity causing: 

While such negative effects are rare, if an excessively negligent or malicious anesthesia administrator provides an extremely high dose of local anesthesia, then it could lead to loss of consciousness, a fall in blood pressure, respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.  

Further, a local anesthetic fatality could occur if doctors or anesthesiologists were not aware of relevant past medical history or other crucial details that determine the type and quantity of anesthesia to be administered. From a legal point of view, proving liability is a challenge. 

  • Prolonged numbness 

  • Nerve damage 

  • Infections  

  • Allergic reactions 

  • Hematoma 

  • Abscesses 

  • Depressed CNS Syndrome 

  • Involuntary twitching 

Anesthesia Errors and Legal Action 

It is the duty of the anesthesiologist to make sure that you are given the correct dose, and to continue monitoring your vitals during and after the surgery. A failure to provide a reasonable standard of care could lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit if that failure resulted in the patient’s injury or death. 

Between 1990 and 2002, the median amount paid to anesthesia error claims was near a hundred thousand dollars in the United States. Such an injury causes not just overwhelming financial costs but immense psychological distress as well.  

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury because of an anesthesia error, you could recover the compensation you need by filing a malpractice lawsuit. Connect with our medical malpractice attorneys to learn more.