Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

How To Make Society Healthier

A society that has the essentials of life in shape is one that can reach its full potential. So what are the essentials in life? They include having clean water, plentiful food, shelter, and, of course, health. Alas, while we’ve more or less eradicated the issues of food, water, and shelter, the health aspect of society remains an issue. It always will, because there are always new health concerns popping up with each generation, usually as a reaction to the lifestyles of the time. For example, in recent years, there has been a huge rise in childhood obesity, which is a result of, among other things, the rise in usage of personal devices and video games.

So how can we overcome these problems? It’s all about education. When it comes to our health, public health officials play an incredibly vital role in helping to educate the public so that serious conditions can be prevented from occurring in the first place. While there is an endless number of health matters in society, health professionals tend to focus on the main dangers, the ones that cause death or severely impair quality of life. Examples of these conditions would be diabetes, heart disease, and strokes, as well as lifestyle conditions such as drug and alcohol abuse. 

It’s the public health officials that help to get the vital information about positive health actions into the public sphere. They also implement policies at a government level, and plan the future of healthcare, among other duties. You can learn more by checking out the infographic below. 


Infographic design by University of Nevada-Reno University of Nevada-Reno

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What Would You Change About Health Care

When it comes to health care, there always always going to be different changes that you may wish you could be able to make. While you may not be able to have any direct impact on the health care system yourself, it’s always a good idea for you to understand where the changes you would make are. Then, you may be able to make a difference combined with other people and over time.

The Availability Of Treatments

To start with, you may find that the availability of treatments is very important to you. Do you have access to what you need? Are reliable and revolutionary treatments available near to you? Are there other options you wish were available? It all matters.

The Access & Cost

Maybe you are concerned about the access to health care in your local area? It may not even be for you, but for others. And when this is the case, it could be that you’re also concerned about the cost and wish you could make changes about that. So keep that in mind.

The Delivery & Service

It could even be down to the service that you get and how health care is delivered. When that’s the case, you may want to understand more about technology is advancing and how it can help. If you’d like to know more about AI and how nurses can integrate this technology, just take a look at the infographic below.


Infographic Design By Regis College

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Why Smart Grid Technology Is the Future

We‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌talk‌ ‌about‌ ‌energy‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌these‌ ‌days.‌ ‌If‌ ‌we’re‌ ‌going‌ ‌to‌ ‌have‌ ‌a‌ ‌world‌ ‌that‌ ‌can‌ ‌give‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌a‌ ‌high‌ ‌quality‌ ‌of‌ ‌life‌ ‌without‌ ‌harming‌ ‌the‌ ‌natural‌ ‌world,‌ ‌then‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌important‌ ‌that‌ ‌we‌ ‌transition‌ ‌towards‌ ‌using‌ ‌our‌ ‌energy‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌efficient‌ ‌way‌ ‌possible.‌ ‌Though‌ ‌we‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌always‌ ‌think‌ ‌about‌ ‌where‌ ‌or‌ ‌how‌ ‌the‌ ‌energy‌ ‌we‌ ‌consume‌ ‌in‌ ‌our‌ ‌home‌ ‌was‌ ‌produced, if we did look into it, we’d see that the infrastructure that is serving the energy is outdated and inefficient. 

There have been moves to make energy-production and usage more efficient, which has given rise to smart grid technologies. This can help correct the issues faced by traditional energy production sources. Aside from helping consumers to get a better handle on their energy consumption, smart grids can also help to drastically reduce the number of greenhouse gases that are produced through energy production. 

The exciting thing about this technology is that it’s still in its infancy. The early signs are promising, and it’s likely that the benefits will be even wider ranging in the coming years, when the technology is perfected and more readily available. Every year, the value of the smart grid industry grows by some 8%. With plenty of benefits, there’s no surprise that this is an industry that is soon to be valued at around $400 billion. To learn more about smart technology and all the benefits it can bring, take a look at the infographic below. 


Infographic design by University of California University of California RIverside

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Tesla Motors Is Going To Dominate In The 2020s. Get Ready

Just a couple of years ago, short-sellers like Jim Chanos were announcing that it was the end of Tesla. There hadn’t been a new, successful car company in the US for nearly one hundred years. And there certainly wasn’t going to be one based on the laughable concept of electric vehicles. 

Now though, it is Tesla founder Elon Musk who is rubbing his hands together with glee, with the short-sellers running from their positions with their tails between their legs. The enigmatic entrepreneur seems to have pulled off the impossible: create a profitable car company that people love. 

Pixabay – CC0 License

The story of Tesla, however, doesn’t end with the company’s current $500-plus share price. Many analysts, including those who focus on disruptive change, think it could go to $5000 by the end of the 2020s, maybe more. 

Why is this? How can a “car company” increase in value so much over a decade? 

Elon Musk Holds All The Cards

The critical thing to understand about Tesla is that the company holds all the cards that it needs to create the most compelling automotive product that the world has ever seen. 

Consider first, the fact that Tesla makes all its own batteries. It’s not going to some third-party vendor who also sells cells to the rest of the automotive world. Instead, it makes them all itself, using proprietary technology that nobody else can access. It’s why the California-based firm can build cars that will drive more than 350 miles on a single charge while its competitors are struggling to get about 150. When it comes to batteries, it’s miles ahead of the game. 

Pixabay – CC0 License

Now consider the company’s over-the-air updates. Teslas are the only cars in the world that get BETTER the longer you own them. All Tesla needs to do is create a new software package that adds features and drivers can immediately feel the benefits.

These updates can be practically anything. Most of the time, they’re improved driving assist features, but nothing is stopping Tesla from adding entertainment options, voice control, and other stuff that adds to drivers’ quality of life. 

Tesla is also a monopoly. It sounds strange to say given how many car companies that there are in the world, but bear with me. The company is the only firm in the world, producing luxury electric vehicles for the western market at scale. Traditional automakers aren’t there yet. More importantly, Tesla is a transportation solutions firm, not a car company in the old-fashioned sense. It’s more akin to Uber or Lyft, but with manufacturing facilities to make its own vehicles. 

If you find that hard to swallow, your perceptions will change over the coming decades. The best Tesla trip planner app won’t be the traditional rideshare companies; it’ll be for the company’s electric vehicles. And these won’t have human pilots. Tesla will create software that allows its cars to drive themselves, collect passengers, and form part of a massive fleet of vehicles, providing low-cost rides across the world. 

This feature of Tesla’s business model is the real genius of their entire operation. If they can perfect autonomous taxi technology, they don’t need customers willing to put $60,000 down on a vehicle. Instead, they just need people willing to pay $5 for a ride across town. Tesla will then be in a race to get cars on the road. If customers want to rent out their Teslas to the public and to share an income with Tesla, they can do that. If they’re not willing to use their cars while they’re idle, then Tesla will sell cars to itself and create an in-house fleet. This group of vehicles will then serve the general public, just as Uber and Lyft do today, but at a much lower cost. 

Autonomy Is The Real Game-Changer

Autonomous technology is the real game-changer for Tesla. Forget the engineering, battery tech, and electric drivetrain – the thing that is really going to make the difference to the company’s business model over the next ten years is the rise of cars that drive themselves. Tesla will be able to use this technology to produce vehicles that have intrinsic value before it even sells them to customers. Each car, the company estimates, will be able to generate a lifetime revenue of $300,000 in today’s terms. For the first time in history, a company will sell a vehicle that adds to its customers’ wealth. 

Think for a second, too, about how this will change the lending side of the equation. In typical situations, a person has to work to recoup the money that they borrow when they purchase a vehicle. Firms providing loans take on substantial risk. They need to ensure that the borrower pays back the loan faster than their car is depreciating to make sure that they don’t lose money if they have to repossess. 

The same is not true of a Tesla of the future. A lender knows that the car will continue to generate money as it goes forward. Even if the borrower can’t pay, the lender can take back ownership of the vehicle and use it to make money. 

Pixabay – CC0 License

When you think about this fact, the economics of buying a Tesla starts to look a bit crazy. We could see a situation where people who hold capital buy as many Teslas as they can so they can benefit from the returns. Lenders could pay people to own Teslas, so long as they rent them out to the public. The possibilities are truly bizarre!

The Space Factor

The final part of the equation is Elon Musk’s other pet project: Spacex. SpaceX is going to become the biggest private company in the world over the next couple of decades, thanks to its Starlink effort. Global internet satellites will change communications across the globe. 

Tesla, however, will benefit from Spacex because vehicles will be able to get internet wherever they go on the planet, including rural locations. 

The electric car maker, therefore, is positioned to become the most valuable firm in the world — what a turnaround from a couple of years ago. 

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Improve Collaboration Among Your Staff

Collaboration between your employees is vital if you want your business to operate well. You need everyone to be capable of working together, whether they’re members of the same team or they’re in different departments that need to coordinate with each other. Although your staff members might already collaborate with each other, improving their collaboration can deliver a variety of benefits to your company. When everyone works better together, you can produce better results, reduce conflicts, and perhaps even keep your employees around for longer. Take a look at these top ways to improve collaboration among your staff to enjoy these benefits.

Image from Pexels – Pexels License

Update Your Technology

Technology is key to helping your employees to collaborate. When they have the right tools, they are able to work together much more easily. In fact, with cloud computing, they don’t even need to be in the same location to work together. When you use cloud technology, your employees can collaborate whether they are in the same office or in completely different countries. You can use cloud-based systems and software that allow people to access the same information and files and work together to achieve their goals. It’s easy to get started with some cloud-based tools, but you can also switch to an entirely cloud-based system for your business.

Try Team Building Activities

Team building activities don’t always appeal to your staff, but they don’t have to be how many people imagine them. There are many ways to carry out team building activities to help bring your employees closer together. You can choose to do office-based activities, but there are also plenty of other ways to get out of the office and do something interesting. From team building at climbing centers to outdoor adventure activities, you can use fun and interesting things to get your employees to really engage.

Image from Pexels – CC0 License

Improve Communication

Good communication is essential for your team to be able to collaborate with each other. Having the tools to work together is a good start, but everyone also needs to be able to communicate well so that they all know what they’re doing, who should be doing what, and how each project or task is progressing. You should consider the different ways that your employees communicate with each other and perhaps consider the tools that are available to change the way they communicate. For example, Slack can be used to create different “channels” to discuss different topics.

Build Trust and Engagement

It’s also important that people within a team are able to trust each other and that they are engaged with their work. Trust and engagement are two things to work on building if you want to improve collaboration and productivity among your employees. You can try to create a community and company culture that encourages people to trust each other and to care about their work and the results they produce. Ensuring you look after your employees can ensure they are more engaged in their work.

Better collaboration is a must if you want your company to be productive and produce great results.

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Your 2020 Cancer Research Update

The last decade was a remarkable one in the scientific effort to overcome cancer, with investigators making a series of high-profile breakthroughs. Not only are we now looking at the prospect of cancer survivors living longer, but also healthier too. New techniques that make use of the body’s immune system can fight off cancer without the need for potentially harmful radiation therapies. 

Pixabay – CC0 License

It’s not all good news, though. While researchers have made tremendous advances, the depth of the technologies they have developed are immense. Things like immunotherapy and CRISPR have a long way to run before we exhaust their potential. 

Here are some updates on cancer to take with you into 2020. 

The Microbiome Plays A More Important Role

Researchers are coming to learn that the state of a person’s gut health is fundamental to their overall wellbeing. We’re not just humans, but rather vessels for colonies of trillions of microbes that live in the gastrointestinal tract. The health of those microbes can determine overall health outcomes, including cancer. 

Research, for instance, shows that the microbiome can influence the response of several chemotherapy drugs. Animal orthotopic models and human trials both reveal that certain bacterial strains living in the gut are powerful immune signals. The higher the concentration of beneficial bacteria, the more likely the body is to sweep away dysfunctional cells that could turn cancerous. 

Already researchers, for instance, have identified a strain of bacteria that could alter the makeup of the human gut microbiome and promote the spread of a type of blood cancer. In the future, they hope to target these microbes with selective antibiotics, wipe them out, and then wait for the body to return to health. 

CAR T Doesn’t Work In Everyone

While CAR T-cells have proven effective in small scale trials and on individual patients, the data from larger studies is less dramatic. While a segment of cancer patients see a total reversal of symptoms on the CAR T protocol, many do not show any improvement at all. 

Researchers believe that the problem here is subtle. They think that the principle of CAR T therapy is correct and that altering the immune system to go after cancer cells is a powerful tool. But they are increasingly coming to realize that they need to tweak the immune system in different ways, depending on the type of cancer the patient has. 

Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy, for instance, is another approach that managed to kill all tumors in a woman with metastatic breast cancer. However, we’re still waiting for more extensive trials to see whether doctors can repeat the performance of the therapy en masse. 

Liquid Biopsies Are On The Way

Traditional cancer biopsies are invasive and, in some cases, dangerous. The hope is that with liquid biopsies, doctors will be able to improve patient safety.

For those of you who don’t know, a liquid biopsy would essentially be the same as a blood test. Doctors would send a sample to the lab, and then technicians would look for the telltale genetic and chemical markers of cancer.

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Turn Your Home Into a Money-Making Property

If you are a homeowner or a land owner, then you will know that there are so many costs associated with owning a property. Utilities. Mortgage payments. Property Taxes. Not to mention the other costs that come with everyday living; there are all kinds of different ways that our homes can end up costing us some money. Many of us know that owning a property is an investment, and it can pay off in the end when you move onto a bigger home, or sell your home. But there is no need to make yourself wait that long in order to see the financial benefit from your home. So why not look to make some money from your home, and start doing it right now? Here are some side-hustle and business ideas to inspire. Which do you think will work best for you? 

image

Add a Rental Suite

If you live in an area where it is legal to do so, then how about adding a rental suite to your home? If you don’t have room inside to do just that, or would rather have something a little more separate, then you could think about converting the space that you have. It could be a garage conversion, for example, to make a bedroom (and it could have its own entrance door). If you have some money to invest in it, then if there is space, and regulations allow, then how about building a separate free-standing structure? 

Of course, you need to make sure that you research the regulations for building or creating a suite to rent out that is completely legal. It is common to require some legal rental suites to have their own kitchen and bathroom, for example, so that is something to consider. If you are needing to invest a lot of money into this, then you need to think about how long this will all take to get the money back. Make sure that you can do this in a relatively short time, in order to make it worth it. 

Rent out Storage Space

If you don’t want to be a landlord or a bed and breakfast host, but you still have some space available to use for an income, have you thought about renting out the storage space? If you have a sizable space, then you could rent it out as storage each month. Where you live could depend on the demand, but there will be a lot of people that will want to store things like boats, motorbikes, and RVs, and they’ll want to keep them sheltered rather than being out in the open. If you want to let someone else store their car or bike in your garage or barn shed, then it could bring in a monthly income quite easily, without having to do too much. The only costs for you would be making sure that you have a secure space, so CCTV and an advanced locking system could be a good idea. Heating the space could work well too, in order to make sure that things are taken care of.

Hold Events

If you have a bit of land with your property, or have a large barn that isn’t used for storage or for animals, then you could look to make some money from events. It doesn’t have to be a large festival or anything along those lines, but it could be something like setting up a seasonal event with hayrides and mazes. You could rent the space out for weddings, or perhaps host things like special dinners or petting zoo events. The key thing with this is to make sure that you have the right legal permits in place (for example, a licence to sell alcohol and so on). 

Start a Home-Based Business

The ideas so far have been all about using what you have to make money on the side, without you having to do too much. But if you want to do something a little more proactive, and even want to get a business started that means you can work for yourself, then launching a home-based business could be the thing to do instead. If you run a business out of your home, then it does help to keep overheads down, and it will also have some tax advantages. You can also use a certain percentage of your household bills (like the internet and heating, that you use when working on the business), and use that as a business expense. If you have an idea to run with, then go for it. If you’re looking for ideas, then there are a few to choose from online.

Run a Bed and Breakfast

If you have a few spare rooms in the house or are empty-nesters and have a home that is now really quiet, then you could look to maximize your rental income, then you could make your home into a bed and breakfast. If you can rent out a few rooms at once, then it can make a big difference, and be much more lucrative than just having one room rented out. If you travel a lot with work, then you could even use home swap sites or sites like Airbnb to rent out the whole property during the times that you are away.

Rent out Parking or Driveway

If you live in a commuter area or near a place where big events take place (like a stadium), then renting out your driveway or parking space could be a good way to make money. If you don’t drive, but have a car parking space in your apartment close to a train station, for example, then it could be something really simple to do, and there is likely to be a lot of demand for it. If you live close to a football stadium, for example, then when there are events, people will pay to be close to where it is. So that is definitely something to bear in mind, depending on where you live. 

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