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Top Story: The Best Advice You’ve Ever Heard About Long Distance Relationships

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There’s no doubt that finding love is a tough task.  It seems as though everyone around you has settled in nicely with seemingly good partners.  You know … partners who have stable jobs, come from good families and have mainstream interests like movie-watching and crochet.  But maybe your love story has played out differently.  Perhaps your hectic work hours keep you from hitting the social scene.  Or maybe you’re having a hard time getting over your ex.  Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve fallen devastatingly in love with someone who lives in another part of the country.  Or a different country, for that matter.

A long distance lover puts a wrench in the entire concept of romance, doesn’t it?  In the beginning, your feelings are so profound.  In your mind, it’s like a Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lovers kind-of situation, isn’t it?  Two people who just can’t be together because earthly circumstances have screwed with their destinies.  But then, the whole thing starts to become kind of a chore.  Keeping the romance alive with a long distance lover is tough.  Spontaneous date nights, surprise lunches at the office or a midnight massage are what great romances are made of.  But when sweet gestures are riddled with expensive phone bills and the need to buy airline tickets, it’s hard to stay interested in your long distance lover over the long haul.

But there are ways to endure a long distance relationship until the day the two of you are actually together forever …

Lay out your expectations right from the beginning

Unless you’re happy living the rest of your life without your long distance partner full-time, there is no point in sticking things out.  Relationship experts say long distance romances only work if there is an “end date” in sight.  Keep that in mind when laying out your expectations.  And be sure to lay out your wants and needs right from the beginning before things get too deep.

If you want to be monogamous, let your partner know.  If you want to date each other casually as you explore romantic options “closer to home”, state these preferences clearly to your partner.  Heartbreak is painful in any capacity.  But these feelings are magnified in long distance relationships, since reading facial expressions and being part of someone’s day-to-day life are not an option.

And be sure to state your end goal when laying out your expectations.  One person must be willing to move eventually if this romance is to have long-term potential.

Take advantage of modern technology

There was once a time when long distance relationships were restricted to old-fashioned telephone calls.  But with today’s technological advances, you can speak for hours on end at a fraction of the cost.  Phone calls used to take place over traditional phone lines.  But Wifi now lets you make calls for free through mobile apps like Comwave’s ephone. TheePhone App by Comwave is relatively new, but can save you hundreds of dollars in a long distance relationship.  The free VoIP app like the ePhone can be used to make and receive free calls to Canada and the United States.  As long as you’ve got an internet connection, you can speak to your long distance partner as much as you please.  For free!

Experiment and exploit all of your technological options to keep this long distance relationship alive.  Phone calls and video chats make up the bulk of your relationship when face-to-face visits are not always an option.

Pursue common interests

Perhaps the both of you like foreign films but can’t get to the theatre together to enjoy them.  That shouldn’t stop you from watching your favourite movies and analyzing them together afterwards.  Set up long distance book clubs, stargaze as you chat on the phone, or watch an episode of your favourite TV show and call each other afterwards to discuss.  Just because you two live in different cities doesn’t mean that sharing hobbies should be left in the dust.  Explore each other’s emotions via common pursuits and get creative when expressing your thoughts about various subject matter.  You may be surprised to find that your long distance relationship lacks more depth than your friends’ same-city romances!

Make an effort for frequent in-person visits

In-person visits should be considered a romantic treat as opposed to a chore.  Be on the lookout for sales when it comes to train and airline tickets and make the trek out to see your partner.  Plan vacations together or agree to meet each other in a city that is considered “half-way”.  And make the most of your time together.  Don’t waste precious hours re-hashing the technicalities and logistics of your relationship.  But rather, take this time to pursue your common interests and enjoy each other’s companies face-to-face.

Relationship experts say successful long distance arrangements consist of frequent in-person visits, which bring about the feeling of normalcy and much-needed intimacy.  Also, inject some spontaneity by surprising your long distance partner with impromptu visits.  After all, that spontaneity is what great romances are often made of.

Try to speak once a day, every day

If frequent visits are not possible at this time, settle on daily phone conversations instead.  Hearing your partner’s voice each day will give you reassurance that this relationship is on the right path.  As mentioned earlier, long distance phone calls are so cheap (and sometimes free!) that maintaining frequent communication shouldn’t be a difficult task.  When looking for a phone carrier, opt for smaller Canadian firms that are able to provide lower rates.  Telecom companies like Comwave are well-known for competitive pricing and have residential apps like Comwave’s ePhone app.  Apps like this allow you to speak to your long distance partner via an incoming phone call as opposed to an outbound line.  The end result is cheaper phone bills, which means you can spend those saved dollars on an airline ticket to visit your long distance partner instead!

Talk about your future together

Fantasize and discuss your end goals, assuming you want to live together one day.  At some point, the long distance romance must come to a close.  One person must relocate to where the other lives.  Otherwise, you’ll be in a perpetual state of longing with no end in sight.  Talking about how you’re going to get there will reassure each other that all your efforts are not in vain.  You must keep an eye on the bigger picture if you don’t want to be discouraged by the day-to-day hardships that long distance relationships entail.

As mentioned earlier, finding true love is a difficult task.  But some romances are worth the effort and the wait.  Modern technology has allowed us to feel closer to one another, even though we may be oceans or continents away.  If you happen to meet that special person on vacation or you hit it off with someone just passing through on a business trip, keep an open mind to the possibility of finding your soul-mate under the most unlikeliest of circumstances.

A long distance relationship doesn’t have to be a grueling journey.  As long as there’s trust, honesty and hope for a brighter future, love can prevail between two partners no matter the distance between them!

Michael Nelson is a blogger, who has got great concern for family and personal life. He lives in Toronto and you can contact him at Google or Facebook.

 

How To Keep Your Car Connected To The Internet

connected-car

Staying connected to the Internet and each other has gotten easier with every passing year. Pagers let people talk when it was too inconvenient to speak on the phone. Smartphones let professionals check their e-mail around-the-clock. Tablets allow us to get online even when we’re away from a laptop. It’s no wonder that the latest advances in technology can even keep your car plugged in. These advances don’t just bridge the gap between you and the rest of the world, but they also help you stay more in tune with your vehicle.

What is an Internet-connected Vehicle?

The Internet-connected car is different than you’re probably imagining. It’s not necessarily about getting onto Google as you navigate sharp turns – that technology sort of exists already, and distracting drivers more than they already are isn’t a great goal. Instead, Internet-connected cars are all about making your driving experience better and more customized than before by being able to communicate with your vehicle when you’re away from it.

Ever-Changing Technology

There are two technological conundrums that go hand-in-hand with Internet-connected cars: how do people who haven’t bought a new car in several years get up-to-date and will today’s car technology still work as smartphones become more advanced? For some car owners, figuring out how to create some type of Internet account and pair their phone with their car is a tall order. The more embedded the technology is in the car, the easier it will be for consumers to use. The second problem is a little more difficult to solve – in the fifteen years that a driver may have their car, they could go through seven different phones, all with better and better apps and integration options. The car’s technology won’t be updating so frequently, though, which means customers won’t remain happy as time goes on. A solution hasn’t been found for this issue yet, but the car company that figures it out will likely dominate the market.

Two Phone Apps for Your Car

Viper SmartStart 3.0

The Viper SmartStart 3.0 is a smartphone app that can be installed on Android, iPhone and Blackberry phones. The app connects to the Cloud and is able to start and warm up your car on a schedule. The app can also tell you your vehicle’s status, including GPS location; if it’s running, armed or locked; and if there’s engine trouble. With auxiliary channels, the app can interact with your car to roll down the windows, open the sunroof and turn on the radio.

Con-verse Automotive Bluetooth Handsfree System

The Con-verse Automotive Bluetooth Handsfree System works with your iPhone’s Siri voice application so that you don’t even have to take your phone out of your pocket (or purse) to get online while driving. The Con-verse connects to your iPhone to give you call and text notifications and to let you update your social media accounts.

Working Out the Details

There are a few areas of connecting cars to the Internet that even the biggest car companies are struggling with. One is how to make every person in the car comfortable, from the driver to the passengers. After all, the person who’s operating the car has very different technological needs than the person who’s just along for the ride. Another is how to figure out what drivers want and how to deliver that – or something close to it – without making driving dangerous. Lastly, there’s a major question of privacy – just because so much information can be obtained from a car, that doesn’t necessarily mean that detailed vehicle information should be transferred across the Cloud.

San Antonio native Brenton Nallie is a car enthusiast who enjoys writing for Bullring USA about different truck gadgets.

 

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10 Free Music Apps For Your SmartPhone

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Music is the one thing which truly rules the apps in your smart phone irrespective of whether you own an Android or an Apple OS. All the top notch smart phone manufacturers make sure that they provide plenty of free music apps in their app world to keep the users interested always. So if you’re one such user who’s on the lookout for some cool, happening music apps, then read on for some of the options available in the market today (all free of course).

1. Pandora:
The first free music app available on all smart phones is the Pandora app which lets users bookmark their favorite radio stations. The best part is that you can shortlist the various artists, genres and songs according to your mood and let Pandora do the rest for you.

2. SoundCloud:
SoundCloud is an enhanced version of YouTube available on the smart phones these days. It provides upcoming artists to upload their videos and songs for others to download. Guess what? Even celebrities like Beyonce use it to upload their songs and clips so that the listeners get to hear the music first hand, without any interruptions.

3. Spotify:
Like Pandora, Spotify is another music app which lets people listen to their favorite radio station, totally free of cost. Although, this is a free version, interested people can upgrade their player by paying $10 to get some additional features. Though, even the free version allows you to listen plenty of songs in an offline mode.

4. GrooveShark:
GrooverShark’s working is pretty much based on its counterparts in the app industry. Accessing the app is extremely easy and it allows you to listen to music absolutely free of cost. So simply login, choose your favorite song and you are all set to rock and roll.

5. Google Music:
Tired of storing all those peppy numbers on your smart phone memory? Well, how does the idea of storing your music on a Cloud sound to you? If you think I’m talking through my hat, then you’re mistaken. Google Music, the uber cool music app, lets you store all your favorite music numbers in their dedicated Cloud Service, totally free of cost. You can store up to 20000 songs, absolutely free of cost.

6. Last .FM
As the name pretty much suggests, the radio app streams music from its online counterpart, channeling it into your smart phone. No more hassles of sitting and downloading music when you can hear music on your phone, absolutely free of cost. The free app is available for Android, Apple and Windows users.

7. Uberhype:
The name itself has a very tingling ring to it. It’s the mobile version of The Hype Machine and is based loosely on the concept of the parent website. Being a music discovery app, it ranks the various songs on their availability and their popularity. The more number of times the song is played, the higher the rank it gets on the music app’s charts.

8. Jango:
Like its parent website, the mobile version is also pretty trendy. Functioning on the lines of Pandora and Spotify, it provides users great utility in terms of the music options available and people can tune into their favorite stations any time of the day.

9. Audiogalaxy
It incorporates the streaming capacity well within the app. Available for Apple users only, Audiogalaxy resembles the iPod layout and provides the user with an ease of access and utility. The music is not stored on your device and you need to upload all your songs via a web interface. All in all, it’s an excellent music app.

10. mSpot Music:
An extended version of iTunes available for all the Apple users out there. It streams the music onto your device, allowing you the play your favorite songs as and when you want it. It’s free and it makes ripples in the app world.

So which app are you choosing today?

This article was written by Kristen Hamilton, apart from contributing to information on African music and entertainment, she loves singing and listening to music.

Why Books Will Always Be Better Than Kindles

Image by: Ian Wilson

It’s impossible to keep up with technology. Every month, ever week, practically every day ushers in a new gizmo or gadget that immediately makes last week’s innovation dated and passé. The goal posts are always moving.

But surely there has to a line that’s drawn when technology goes too far –  a point when it tries to supercede everything before it that it becomes irrelevant, pointless and unnecessary. Should technology try to go one better just because it can?

The kindle is a perfect example. Books have existed for hundreds of years and done very well, thank you. If you want the latest Stephen King or a back-issue of Bukowski all you have to do is pop to your nearest bookshop and the tome of choice is yours.

Not anymore. Now you can use the miracles of modern technology to read from a book that really isn’t a book. You can recreate the experience of reading a book without actually picking one up. Which, to my mind, begs the question – why bother? Why not stick to the real thing?

It’s not that I’m a technophobe or Luddite; it’s just that technology should have a place, a purpose, a function, but Kindle’s are trying to reinvent the wheel.

It’s  A Physical Thing

You just can’t beat the physical sensation of reading a paperback. Holding it, flicking through it, the physical manifestation of the pages and the smell of the ink. And I used the word sensation deliberately – to me it is a sensual experience. The pleasure of the pages in your hand.

Memories

For many people books have a long association with memory. A book you read when you were young, when you broke up, when you made up, when you were going through a good time or bad time, when you were on a particular holiday. Whatever the connection, a book can be a very personal, private, emotional thing. It’s not just an object; it’s a window to the past, a physical link to times, places and circumstances.

Personal Touch

Despite the proliferation of technological advances, the cumulative effect seems to be that it increasingly detracts for a more intimate, personal experience. Holding a piece of plastic can never compete to holding a book. A piece of plastic is so cold, detached and impersonal; a book is none of those things.

A Book Doesn’t Need a Battery

The latest Jilly Cooper won’t require four AA batteries no matter how many times you read it. So Kindles brag about one month battery life. So what? A physical book will last a lifetime without ever needing a charger.

Bookshelf Aesthetics

No matter how much the advertisers boast about how many hundreds or thousands of books a Kindle can hold, there is nothing that can replicate the look, the feel, the comforting warmth a good bookshelf can evoke. A bookshelf is a representation of a personal reading history, a reminder of recollections, of moments, of years.

Not An Authentic Experience  

Consider the following, designed by advertisers to tantalize you in to buying one: the screens “look and read just like real paper” and “have no glare”, it replicates the “characteristics of ink to appear clear and sharp”, “15% faster page turns”, and – perhaps most ridiculously of all – “you can read in any position”.  It all begs the question: why not get the real thing? Books give you all those things as an authentic experience, not a technological, gimmicky one.

To me, it doesn’t matter how they try and sell it in any commercial, lights, bells, whistles and any amount of techno-hyperbole, there’s nothing more reassuring and comforting than a paperback.

Do you think that Kindles are the future of reading or a passing fad? 

 

Author Byline: Gavin Harvey is a self-confessed fitness fanatic whose serious case of itchy feet has taken him all over the world. Now he prefers a quieter life watching classic movies and reading a good book. He blogs regularly for Litecraft Commercial.

4 Things Women Need To Know About Online Dating

Some women dismiss the idea of online dating, thinking that it is confusing or frustrating. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Online dating is one of the best ways to find a date or start a serious relationship but you have to know a few things before you jump into searching for love online. The more you know, the better your results will be!

Here are 4 Things Women Need To Know About Online Dating

There is no such thing as being too cautious. When you’re meeting people online, it’s important to keep your guard up and protect yourself. No matter how long you speak to someone on the phone, or how many emails you’ve traded back and forth, you will never really know who they are until you meet in person. Protect any personal information such as addresses, where you work, and identifying details about your life. When planning a date, tell your date that you will meet him at the agreed location. Sure, we all have dreams of a guy knocking at our door with a huge bouquet of flowers, but save that for when you know he’s not a weirdo!

It’s ok to make the first move. If you see a profile of a man who looks interesting or handsome, there is nothing stopping you from sending out a first email. Some women are conditioned to wait for a man to ask them out or show interest first, but in the fast paced world of online dating, you’ll soon find yourself missing out on meeting many great men. The best way to get the most out of your online dating experience is to be as engaged and active on the site as possible. So send winks, messages and instant message a cutie you see is online. It might be intimidating at first, but it’s a lot easier than walking up to a man in a bar and saying hello.

It can get overwhelming. One of the most heard complaints from women regarding online dating is that they simply can’t keep up with the amount of messages they receive on a daily basis. Sounds like a great problem to have, right? Well, not always. There are more men than women who use online dating, which makes the odds great that you’ll find someone special. It also means that women receive quite a bit of attention online. At the beginning, it’s a wonderful feeling to log in to your online dating inbox and see message after message. But soon, sorting through the emails, responding and interacting with so many guys can begin to feel like a full time job. The best way to combat this is to be selective in deciding which emails to respond to. Some women feel like the nice thing to do is to respond to every single email they receive, but this takes up so much time. Prioritize. Also, make sure you allow yourself time to enjoy your life outside of online dating. The emails will still be there when you get back online!

Finally, don’t take online dating too seriously. Don’t get caught up in a cycle of expectations and disappointments. Enjoy the process and be proud of yourself for taking control of your love life. You never know what (or who!) you’re going to find in your inbox on any given day, so keep being surprised. That is what online dating is all about.

Article Provided By: We Love Dates is a worldwide online dating site. For more dating advice and tips, check out their We Love Dates blog.

Infographic: Then vs. Now – How Much Have Kids Changed in a Generation?

It is difficult to predict what the trends will be in the future, but an in-depth look at the past can aid in evaluating where we have been and where we may be headed. Interesting statistical data shown in this graphic show how teens’ and young adults’ habits, pursuits, and aspirations have changed over the space of approximately 30 years, from 1982 to 2012.

The reader’s lifespan likely fits within the time span indicated and as he studies the data, he will begin to recognize just how all-encompassing these changes are that have taken place in such a relatively short time. What type of movies will our children like in the future? Will they have the opportunity to attend college? The answers to these and other related questions may be easier to predict after a close look at these facts, providing factors such as political and economic conditions remain comparable. In any case, it is interesting to study the past.

From: besteducationdegrees.com

Rid Yourself of Negative Energy – Be Happy, Now!

Where Negative Energy Comes From

Negative energy primarily stems from destructive thought patterns and bad feelings that weigh you down.  When you have strong feelings of guilt, lack, pessimism, greed, dissatisfaction, and other negative feelings, your mind perpetuates the negative energy and allows it to drag you down even further.   Sometimes negative energy comes from other people – people who criticize and belittle others, and people who seem to suck all the joy from a place spread negative energy.   Negative energy can also be caused through things, such as television and movies that spread negative messages, books and magazines that spread hateful messages, and even places where people who tend to be negative congregate can cause negative energy to spread.

How Different Sources of Negative Energy Can Impact You

Negative energy can make you feel dull and tired, lackadaisical and full of doubt or even dread.  It can make you feel lazy and hold you back from doing the things you need to do.  Different sources of negative energy can impact you in different ways.

Self-perpetuating negative energy – This is the kind of negative energy that backs up when your mindset is less than healthy.  Negativity within yourself can cause feelings of failure, which in turn, lead to failure itself.  If you think you can’t succeed at something, you are probably right!  This kind of negative energy often surfaces when you really want to make a change but you are afraid to do it or you think you can’t for some reason.  If you catch yourself holding negative thoughts like this, replace them with better, more positive thoughts:  “I can do that, I know I can.” 

Expecting Catastrophes – Many people who live in a constant state of worry and fear tend to fantasize about the worst-case-scenario coming to life.  They worry about it so much, that they work to block the worst from happening – but since they’re only focusing on the worst, they block the optimum outcome from happening, too.  If you constantly expect catastrophes, ask yourself why.  Work to replace your catastrophic mindset with one that consistently expects favorable outcomes,  and you’ll find that life is happier and more abundant.

Other People – When you surround yourself with people who are negative thinkers, they have an impact on your energy level.  Any positive feelings you have will be sucked dry, and replaced with feelings of negativity that match those of the people around you.  Most people do not intentionally attempt to create negative energy – it just happens to spread like wildfire.  Keep in mind, positive energy spreads just as well as negative energy does.  When you surround yourself with people who tend to think positive thoughts, you set  yourself up for success in the luck and happiness department!

How to Block Negative Energy and Allow More Positive Energy into Your Life

The first step toward blocking negative energy is to locate the source of the negative energy.  There may be only one source, but in most cases, there are several sources.  Just as people who are happy normally have several sources of joy within their lives, so negativity spreads as well. 

Once you have determined the source or sources of the negative energy, you are ready to get to work.  Don’t be afraid!  Allowing positive energy to take over is much easier than you may imagine.

Attitude – The attitude you approach erasing negative energy with has a lot to do with how successful you will be.  Rather than taking a negative, doubtful approach, give it all you’ve got.  Listen to music that uplifts you, read books that inspire you, and stay away from things that drag you down.  If you can make small changes every day, you’ll find that your attitude changes for the better and you’ll feel much more positive as time passes by.

Expectations – Your expectations have a direct impact on the amount of positive energy that enters your life!  When you expect good things to happen, they will.  The more intention and emotional feelings of joy and love you can put forth with your expectations, the more good will come your way.  There is no limit to the amount of joy and abundance in the universe – these things are limitless!  They are simply waiting to arrive for you – so expect them, and they will show up in your life sooner than you might think.

People and Situations – Perhaps you have plenty of positive places to go and a number of wonderful people in your life who can be a good influence on your energy level.  If not, it’s time to be creative. 

First, take stock of your daily life.  Who do you spend time with, and how do they affect you?  Do they make you happy, or do they bring the worst in you out into the open?  Can you limit the amount of time you spend with people who fill you with negative energy, or stop seeing them altogether?  

Second, where do you spend the majority of your time?  Is your work space cluttered and unappealing, or is it tastefully decorated in a way that helps motivate you toward greater creativity in your daily work?  Is your home clean and inviting, or is it a place you would rather not be?  Even the most humble office cubicle or the smallest, most basic apartment can be transformed into a place that is full of positive energy.  Decorate with the things that make you happy, and clear out anything that doesn’t quite do the trick. 

Finally, how do you spend your time?  Do you spend all your free time in front of the TV or surfing the internet looking at things that really have no meaning in your life?  Do you pay attention to the people you are with, and look for the value in each experience?  By making the most of each and every day, you can transform negative energy into something more fresh and positive – and live a life that is much happier, and more rewarding. 

 

Question I Asked As A Child – Does Space Have a Floor?

DOES SPACE HAVE A FLOOR?

As a kid I wanted to know if outer space had a floor. At the time I had no concept of infancy and I thought there was a beginning and an end to all that “space” out there. When I learned that outer space was infinite I became amazed, astonished, and bewildered.

I’ve wondered as an adult what would happen if we shot all of the garbage that plagues our planet into outer space. If space is infinite it cannot become cluttered or polluted, right? My more mature self of today knows that is something that will never happen.

As a child, I also wanted to be an astronaut until the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in January of 1986 killing everyone on board. I was only 10 years old at the time. Just thinking about that event evokes very sad emotions and haunts me to this day. I had not seen any footage of the explosion since I was a child, so as I watched the video below I became a scared 10 year old all over again.

 

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