More Homeowners Are Rejecting Large Houses in Favor of New

Jul 31, 14 More Homeowners Are Rejecting Large Houses in Favor of New

Posted by in Featured, Home Living

It’s almost surprising that it took over six years of living in a recession for many American families to reject cookie-cutter homes in expansive housing developments; nevertheless, the “tiny home” movement seems to be picking up and gaining popularity among many middle-class American individuals and families. An avid TV watcher may already be aware of A&E’s new series Tiny House Nation, and a Netflix subscriber may have already noticed the documentary Tiny: A Story About Living Small being listed on recommended viewing lists. But is this trend likely to reach the everyday American household and begin to dictate how we live, or is it just another ephemeral reality show fad? Aesthetically, these tiny houses may look like a mobile trailer that drove through a craft store having a DIY sale, while the finances behind them seem a lot like living in an apartment: there’s no mortgage, it’s easy to move around, and residents are forced to focus less on material items (since there’s no room for them, anyway). Homeowners who chose to invest in smaller homes have noted that, ironically, smaller homes have allowed for more liberated living styles. Residents also note that the recent economic stress on the housing market made owning a home even more difficult and stressful than usual. But living small really isn’t a “revolution” in housing. Finance & Commerce notes that historically, homes under and around 500 square feet were never considered to be tiny, and it is only the explosion of a “bigger is better” mentality in the U.S. which encouraged the growth of huge, mansion-like homes. Whether it is an effect of the recent recession or just a natural trend in interior and exterior designs, it appears that homeowners are becoming more attracted to simpler styles and smaller living. A similar style trend occurred in the 1920s and 1930s when traditional Amish furniture became popular — coincidentally, exactly when the country was suffering from the Great Depression. Could a weaker economy encourage more frugal lifestyles — not just during a recession, but afterward as well? It certainly...

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Women Using Nicotine Patches During Pregnancy More Likely to Have Children With ADHD

Jul 30, 14 Women Using Nicotine Patches During Pregnancy More Likely to Have Children With ADHD

Posted by in Featured, Health

Could quitting smoking during pregnancy increase the risk of a child developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? According to a new study from the Aarhus University of Denmark, there is a link between women using nicotine replacements during pregnancy, and children developing ADHD. Previous studies have indicated that smoking during pregnancy leads to a higher risk of children developing ADHD. However, this was the first study to definitively say anything about nicotine alone. The authors are quick to note, though, that the study does not definitively say that nicotine causes ADHD, though it is certainly a possibility. It’s also possible that it’s a case of correlation, rather than causation. Women who are more likely to have ADHD themselves, for example, might be more likely to smoke as a result of their symptoms. For this reason, it is not possible to determine yet whether the children of women who use nicotine replacement products are more likely to develop ADHD because of their environment, or because of genetics. The study’s researchers analyzed data from over 80,000 Danish children and their mothers in order to come to their conclusion. They talked to the mothers while they were pregnant, and then followed the children over the next 10 years to see whether they ended up with a diagnosis of ADHD. Though 2% of the children in the study ended up with ADHD, children with two smoking parents were 83% more likely to develop it, and the risk was about the same even if the mother was using nicotine replacement products. It’s worth noting, though, that mothers who used nicotine products had babies with healthier birth weights than smokers did, so even if quitting smoking doesn’t lower the risk of ADHD development, it is positive in other ways for the developing baby. In the U.S., more and more children have been diagnosed with ADHD over the past decade. Today, about 5% of all children are said to suffer from the disorder. For this reason, many parents are interested in any studies that can...

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Airline Fees Are Racking Up, and Your Cargo Could Still be in Danger

Jul 22, 14 Airline Fees Are Racking Up, and Your Cargo Could Still be in Danger

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

Airfare costs always seem to be increasing, but the rising prices are not just ticket prices. Airports are raking in money hand over fist in ancillary fees charged to passengers for a variety of reasons.According to a survey conducted by CarTrawler and IdeaWorksCompany, airlines took in $31.5 billion last year from extra fees, up nearly 1200 percent since 2007. These fees are growing even faster than ticket prices, allowing airlines to keep profits up in otherwise economically-challenging times. So where is this $31.5 billion coming from? The majority of this revenue, about $18.6 billion, comes from the sale of frequent flier miles. Baggage fees account for 25%, while the remainder of these fees come from travel retail (hotel, car, trip insurance), onboard retail (food, duty-free purchases), and other a la carte services.Though they only account for 25 percent of the $31.5 billion total, baggage fees are the most well-known and most maligned of airline fees. There are fees for each checked bag, and sometimes even carry-on bags can be checked at the pilot’s request, leading to additional costs for you. Then there are those overweight baggage fees, which are often impossible to avoid, particularly after a long trip, and are very quick to add up. But paying these fees in no way ensures that your baggage is going to be safely handled. Baggage handlers handle thousands of containers a day, and accidents do happen. Every year, roughly 2 million pieces of luggage disappear, arrive late, become damaged, or experience theft. Personal baggage, like that kept in a suitcase, is one matter, but many people also must travel with important business materials, such as computer or media equipment, and these can be incredibly difficult, incredibly expensive, sometimes even impossible to replace. For more valuable and irreplaceable cargo, there are more secure options available. Aluminum cases will safely and easily protect any product as it travels to its destination. They typically have cushioning and padding for the products held inside, and a rugged construction on the outside that protects...

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North Carolina Tops Nationwide Rankings for Car Repair Costs

Jul 22, 14 North Carolina Tops Nationwide Rankings for Car Repair Costs

Posted by in Featured, Home Living

For North Carolina residents, taking their car to the mechanic puts a little more strain on the budget than anywhere else in the country.According to a recent CarMD study, the average cost for car parts and labor in North Carolina amounted to $426.45 in 2013. The national average for the year was $392.49, according to a June 21 WGHP 8 article. Massachusetts came in second on the list at $424.55, with New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia rounding out the top five. CarMD’s study suggested repair costs are higher in North Carolina because its residents take better care of their vehicles and address car problems quickly, lessening demand for auto repairs across the state and driving prices up, according to article. “While we are not able to control weather, gas prices and hard goods costs like car parts, as consumers we can minimize overall car ownership costs with preventative maintenance and swift attention to dashboard warnings like the check engine light,” Doug Sobieski, CarMD’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. As drivers plan their summer road trips and year-round vehicle maintenance, we encourage them to make car maintenance and repairs a top priority to reduce costs and maximize safety, regardless of where they reside or travel.” “Lack of public transportation in North Carolina is part of the reason we spend so much on car repair costs,” says Stan from Creech Import. “Virtually everyone has a car and uses it daily to commute, so miles are racked up quicker than in many other areas. More miles mean more maintenance and repairs will be needed.”On the opposite end of CarMD’s study, Nebraska had the lowest auto repair costs in the country, paying $323.57 on average for parts and...

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Germany’s Pounding of Brazil Makes Anti-Gambling Ad Look Like a Joke Among Soccer Fans

Jul 18, 14 Germany’s Pounding of Brazil Makes Anti-Gambling Ad Look Like a Joke Among Soccer Fans

Posted by in Featured, Legal

After a poorly timed anti-gambling ad from Singapore’s National Council on Problem Gambling, the country received an outcry of heckling and humorous flack from fans of soccer around the world. No one is arguing that gambling, when not kept in check, can cause considerable problems to individuals and families; however, the last line of the TV spot proved to have exceptionally poor timing. “I hope Germany will win,” a little boy says. “My dad bet all my savings on them.” The commercial aired during the half-time break of Germany and Brazil’s July 9th semifinal World Cup match. At that point, the German steam was already steamrolling their way to a 5-0 victory over a Brazil team that had apparently neglected to eat its Wheaties that morning. By the end of the match, Germany had scored two more goals, putting the final nail in the coffin of a 7-1 victory. Soccer fans took to social media to deride the National Council on Problem Gambling’s ad, most noting that the little boy’s father from the ad would be screaming for joy at the end of the match. As The Guardian reports, many brokers were made to pay out £2,500 for a small bet of only £5. World Cup Soccer Among the Most Popular Times to Bet on Sports While betting on National Football League games is the big thing to do in the United States, with over 50% of the population doing so throughout the season, the big international sports betting event is the World Cup. William Hill, one of the leading sports betting agencies, had already pulled in its goal of £200 million by the time the Germany-Argentina championship match rolled around on July 11. In the United Kingdom alone, upwards of £40 million was placed on the match. Did you have any money riding on the World Cup? Let us know how it worked out for you in the comment section...

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