ss_blog_claim=6cd73fab0d1dd89407889b31eb885dd3 ss_blog_claim=6cd73fab0d1dd89407889b31eb885dd3 Blog Directory Things I Did Not Know Before: November 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

45 Cooking & Baking Tips I Have Just Learned

I started to learn cooking and baking only when my hubby and I used to still be boyfriends, I knew how he loved home cooking. I used to hate kitchen, you can ask me to wash and iron clothes, clean the whole house but never inside the kitchen! I used to say to myself, I would never be a kitchen lover woman, which every woman normally does especially if you get married. Moreover, preparing and slicing all the spices, phew I hated it but now, I love it!!

But I know I still have a lot to learn in a cooking and baking profession, though you don't have to be genius to be able to understand all the basics, but here are some tips which are very helpful in our daily cooking activities. You may know all these things already, but as for me, I DEFINITELY DON'T. Only some...hehehehehe

45 Cooking & Baking Tips - A Collection Of Timeless Wisdom

  1. When boiling milk, first stir in a pinch of baking soda. This will help keep the milk from curdling.
  2. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to each quart of water when cooking rice, this will keep rice fluffy.
  3. First rinse raisins, dates and figs in very cold water before putting them through the food chopper. They will not form such a gummy mass.
  4. For crisper salads: Place a saucer upside down in the bottom of the salad bowl before filling with salad. Excess moisture will run underneath the saucer and this will help keep the salad crisp and fresh.
  5. Tasty flavored whipped cream: First whip cream then add 2 tablespoons of flavored jello and continue beating on slow until the whipped cream is right consistency. Here’s a tip for leftover whipped cream and a recipe for homemade whipped cream.
  6. Leftover ham: Lay ham slices in a baking dish then cover with maple syrup. Refrigerate overnight then fry the ham in butter the next morning. A couple more ideas for leftover ham.
  7. Add a dash of lemon juice into meatballs before cooking them.
  8. You can substitute crumbled cornflakes for bread crumbs when making meatloaf. You’ll find more Tasty Meatloaf Tips & Tricks (including more filler ideas) Here.
  9. When a recipe calls for butter the size of an egg, use four tablespoons.
  10. Cookie & Cake Decoration: Keep a small amount of sugar in small glass jars, add a few drops of food coloring and shake jar. Keep several colors on hand. You can also use this technique on shredded coconut.
  11. Pickle Juice uses: Use sweet pickle juice to thin salad dressing or make French dressing with instead of vinegar, more delicious.
  12. Cook vegetables with one or more bouillon cubes instead of salt–improves flavor. Tossing in a few garlic cloves when boiling vegetables makes things tastier too.
  13. Salt added to flour used for thickening gravies, etc., will help to prevent lumping.
  14. Chilled evaporated milk, whipped until fluffy, may be used as the base for several frozen desserts by the addition of different flavors, fruits, nuts, instant coffee, cocoa, jello, and other flavorings. Then add coconut, drained fruits, etc., as desired. Use easy crusts such as crushed cereal or crackers such as graham.
  15. After crimping the edge of the pie crust, lift the edge of the crust gently all around with your fingers. This keeps the dough from sticking to the dish while baking and makes it easier to take out the pieces of pie.
  16. Place crackers, dried bread, cookies or sugar which has lumps in a sturdy plastic bag (make sure it has no holes). Roll with a rolling pin or fruit jar as coarse or as fine as you like then pour into a measuring container. If you have more than you need at the time, just tie the bag and place in a pantry or freezer for later use.
  17. A teaspoon of sugar mixed with your yeast and water makes it raise better. Even if you are making bread you can use some sugar. Never mix salt directly with the yeast and water mixture as the salt kills the raising action.
  18. Keep brown sugar in a closed container with an apple in it, the brown sugar will stay soft and moist. Here are more ways to soften brown sugar.
  19. Grate orange and lemon peel before peeling. Dry and add to spice cake or any cookies or puddings. The dried grated peel will keep well in a covered jar.
  20. Wrap parsley in foil first, then freeze. Shave off as much as needed, rewrap and return to the freezer. It will retain its flavor and freshness.
  21. For fried foods that require flouring, try pancake flour for a change, it’s quite nice.
  22. To keep peeled potatoes from turning dark without putting them in water, wrap in paper towel and wet under the faucet.
  23. Baking bread? Do not preheat. When you light your oven, pop in the bread pans immediately and you’ll be amazed at the resulting lightness of the bread. Here’s how to make bread (with a recipe) and More Tips on Baking Breads.
  24. Toast oatmeal in the oven before adding to other ingredients when making oatmeal cookies-–delicious!
  25. Add two teaspoons of vinegar to jello and it will keep the jello from melting when you serve it.
  26. If you scorch milk by accident, put the pan in cold water and add a pinch of salt. Takes away the burned taste.
  27. Add a few sprigs of fresh peppermint to leftover tea while it is still warm, then refrigerate. Serve over ice.
  28. Roll pastry on waxed paper. Before placing paper on work surface, wipe surface with a damp cloth to prevent slipping. Flour paper lightly, and with forefinger draw a circle an inch and a half larger than the pan you intend to use. You’ve seen pastry cloths with guidelines…and they really do help. When pastry has been rolled out, pick up paper pastry and all. Fit into pan, paper side up and then pull paper away from crust. Prevents tearing or stretching twist paper and pan.
  29. If it is a meringue pie you are making…add four or five marshmallows cut into pieces or 1/2 cup miniature ones, to meringue just before spreading. These marshmallows give both flavor and body to the meringue. The latter is important if pie is to stand for sometime before serving.
  30. Lemon juice or vinegar in water where cauliflower is cooked makes it keep its white color.
  31. To pare pineapple easily cut into rings and peel each slice separately.
  32. Add a slice of lemon to peeled sweet potatoes while cooking. The lemon will help them clear and free of discoloration.
  33. A tablespoon of minute tapioca sprinkled in apple pie will absorb excess juice while baking.
  34. Add one teaspoon baking powder to mashed potatoes to make them fluffy.. Here’s a helpful way to keep mashed potatoes warm while the rest of the meal is still cooking - Mashed Potato Warmer.
  35. Dip the blades of shears in hot water before cutting marshmallows, they won’t stick.
  36. Have a small bowl of melted butter and just brush on corn on the cob with a pastry brush. If you have a metal bowl you can put a chunk of butter in the bowl and set on grill to melt while meal is grilling.
  37. For bananas that are ripe and ready to eat but you have too many, peel the bananas and freeze them then dip in melted chocolate and freeze again, these make a nice treat!
  38. Fill a large hole or sugar shaker with flour and use that when needing to dust surfaces with flour or just pour out a tablespoon as you need it, this is handy way to keep a bit of flour on hand instead of digging in the flour bin.
  39. Use pastry wheel to cut rolled cookie dough in squares or diamonds, much less rolling and very pretty.
  40. Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup.
  41. Canned fruit is much better if opened and removed from the can an hour or two before using to restore the oxygen.
  42. When making popcorn balls, slip plastic bags on your hands when shaping them, won’t stick or burn your hands.
  43. A wire cheese cutter is ideal for cutting chilled refrigerator cookie dough.
  44. To liven up day old bread or rolls you can put the bread in a large bowl and place in a pot with a shallow level of boiling water. Remove from heat and cover the pot to steam the bread briefly. The bread will be warm and soft in a couple minutes.
  45. An ordinary funnel makes the best cooling rack for your tube cake pans.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How To Make Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent

Wanted to save a little bit of extra money for something else? I have never tried it yet but I will as soon as I could be able to get all the ingredients I need. Making your own laundry detergent is a discipline and it’s not for everyone. But it definitely saves money. Why not trying right?


For the bar soaps required in the recipes, you could try Fels-Naptha, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.

Washing Soda and Borax can normally be found in the laundry and cleaning aisles.

Some people with really hard water or well water may have to adjust the recipes if the clothes look dingy.

Although several of the recipes have the same ingredients, the measurements are different–some contain a higher soap to water ratio. Test and see which works best for your laundry needs.

You can make huge pails of this at once, or smaller quantities. Also if you can get your hands on a few empty liquid laundry detergent bottles they work great for storing the detergent. Just make a big batch and pour in bottles, cap then use as needed–shake before use.

Some of the recipes call for large amounts of water. Check with a local restaurant to see if they have any empty large pails from deep fryer oil–that’s how many restaurants buy the oil. See if you can have one or two of the pails after they’ve emptied it–just wash them out really well before using. They’re big, heavy plastic and very sturdy when stirring the soap and hot water.

10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes

Recipe #1

1 quart Water (boiling)
2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Borax
2 cups Washing Soda

  • Add finely grated bar soap to the boiling water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted.
  • Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax and Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved.
  • Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
  • Cover pail and use 1/4 cup for each load of laundry. Stir the soap each time you use it (will gel).

Recipe #2

Hot water
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 Soap bar

  • Grate the bar soap and add to a large saucepan with hot water. Stir over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
  • Fill a 10 gallon pail half full of hot water. Add the melted soap, Borax and Washing soda, stir well until all powder is dissolved. Top the pail up with more hot water.
  • Use 1 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

Recipe #3

Hot water
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax
1/3 bar Soap (grated)

  • In a large pot, heat 3 pints of water. Add the grated bar soap and stir until melted. Then add the washing soda and borax. Stir until powder is dissolved, then remove from heat.
  • In a 2 gallon clean pail, pour 1 quart of hot water and add the heated soap mixture. Top pail with cold water and stir well.
  • Use 1/2 cup per load, stirring soap before each use (will gel).

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Recipe #4

2 cups Fels Naptha Soap (finely grated - you could also try the other bar soaps listed at the top)
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax

  • Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.
  • Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

Recipe #5

Hot water
1 bar (4.5 oz) Ivory Soap - grated
1 cup Washing Soda

  • In a large saucepan add grated soap and enough hot water to cover. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is melted.
  • Fill a large pail with 2.5 gallons of hot water, add hot soap mixture. Stir until well mixed.
  • Then add the washing soda, again stirring until well mixed.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Use 1/2 cup per full load, stirring well before each use (will gel)

Recipe #6

2.5 gallons Water (hot)
1 Bar soap (grated)
3/4 cup Washing Soda
3/4 cup Borax
2 TBS Glycerin

  • Melt bar soap over medium-low heat topped with water, stir until soap is melted.
  • In a large pail, pour 2.5 gallons of hot water, add melted soap mixture, washing soda, borax and glycerin. Mix well.
  • Use 1/2 cup per full load.

Recipe #7

2 cups Bar soap (grated)
2 cups Washing Soda
2 - 2.5 gallons hot water

  • Melt grated soap in saucepan with water to cover. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is dissolved.
  • Pour hot water in large pail, add hot soap and washing soda. Stir very well.
  • Use 1 cup per full load.

Recipe #8

2 gallons Water (hot)
1 bar Soap (grated)
2 cups Baking soda (yes baking soda this time–not washing soda)

  • Melt grated soap in a saucepan with enough hot water to cover. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until soap is melted.
  • In a large pail, pour 2 gallons hot water. Add melted soap, stir well.
  • Then add the baking soda, stir well again.
  • Use 1/2 cup per full load, 1 cup per very soiled load.

Powdered Laundry Detergent - Recipe #9

12 cups Borax
8 cups Baking Soda
8 cups Washing Soda
8 cups Bar soap (grated)

  • Mix all ingredients well and store in a sealed tub.
  • Use 1/8 cup of powder per full load.

Recipe #10 - (Powdered)

1 cup Vinegar (white)
1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Washing Soda
1/4 cup liquid castile soap

  • Mix well and store in sealed container.
  • I find it easiest to pour the liquid soap into the bowl first, stirred in the washing soda, then baking soda, then added the vinegar in small batches at a time (the recipe foams up at first). The mixture is a thick paste at first that will break down into a heavy powdered detergent, just keep stirring. There may be some hard lumps, try to break them down when stirring (it really helps to make sure the baking soda isn’t clumpy when first adding). I used 1/2 cup per full load with great results.

Liquid Detergents Note:

Soap will be lumpy, goopy and gel-like. This is normal. Just give it a good stir before using. Make sure soap is covered with a lid when not in use. You could also pour the homemade soap in old (and cleaned) laundry detergent bottles and shake well before each use.

*If you can’t find Fels-Naptha locally, you can buy it online (check Amazon).


You can add between 10 to 15 drops of essential oil (per 2 gallons) to your homemade laundry detergent. Add once the soap has cooled to room temperature. Stir well and cover.

Essential oil ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil

How To Prevent Mosquito Bites

In almost 8 years of staying here in a malaria country, I only have made aware of two things in preventing mosquito bites. First, don't stay outside at night times and eat regularly, because the moment you feel low energy Malaria attacks. I never used to know these things I would going to share. But I must admit, its never gonna be too late to know things, it is about time to know these things I should say. I was shocked and stunned upon knowing this: A BIG ATTRACTOR FOR MOSQUITOS IS THE CARBON DIOXIDE FROM OUR BREATHING. It also seems they’re attracted by scents like perfumes, sweat, body odor as well as body heat. Unless you stop using shampoos, soaps, deodorants and detergents–it’s hard to be scent free.

From what I understand, DEET has proven to be the most effective mosquito repellent. DEET is pretty crazy stuff though, so if you’d like to try less harsh solutions, there are plenty of tips below for you to give a shot.

Something to keep in mind: Since some people seem to be a mosquito magnet while others around them don’t get a single bite, I have the suspicion that there could be a personal body chemistry factor involved. And that could explain why a remedy that works for one person, may not work for another.

I suspect that’s why some people swear by the Bounce sheet method, or the Avon Skin So Soft solution, while others have a different experience. Bounce nor the Avon SSS did a thing for me btw, but I did include them in the list below. I know a few people who SWEAR by them.

Basics for Mosquito Bite Prevention:

  • Wear light colored clothing, mosquitoes are attracted to dark clothes
  • Keep your body covered as much as possible (including wearing a hat), although mosquitoes can find their way through the fabric–it does cut down on bites

Mosquito Bite Prevention Home Remedies & Tips

Vanilla Extract: A few different recommendations for this one, each contradicting the other. Some say to dab Vanilla Extract on your pulse points, others say to rub it all over your skin & dab your clothes. Some say the cheap stuff is what you have to use, others say the real, pure Vanilla is the only thing that will work. Some say to apply it full strength, others say you can dilute it with water and spray it on. Play around with Vanilla to see what gives you best results–there are plenty of believers for this one as a mosquito deterrent so I think there’s something to it.

Garlic: This isn’t a favorite thing to do day-to-day, but if you’re going camping or hiking through heavily mosquito infested areas, try a garlic powder and water paste. Apply to pulse points, behind knees, on shoes and ankles and a dab or two on your cheeks or somewhere on your face and kneck. Remember–keep out of eyes. And maybe stay out of public places too ;).

Essential Oils: Mix choice of essential oils with rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel, or distilled water and spritz on body or directly on cloth to rub on body (shake before each use). Or add a few drops in baby oil or olive oil then rub on skin. You can also apply drops along a strip of fabric (cotton) and tie around wrist. *Make sure to avoid mouth and eye areas when using essential oils.

  • Citronella oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Catnip oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • *Seems to be strongly recommended

  • Tansy oil
  • *Seems to be strongly recommended

  • Basil oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Lemongrass oil

Plants: Break off leaves and crush them roughly, rub them all over your clothes and skin. Toss the bruised leaves around the perimeter of your deck or patio. Also plant these in pots and arrange them around the patio. You could also infuse these in water and then use that as a spray.

  • Citronella
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Pennyroyal
  • Tansy
  • Marigolds

Commercial Products (other than DEET items)

  • Avon’s Skin So Soft (straight or mix 50/50 with rubbing alcohol)
  • Bounce Sheets (hanging out of a pocket or waistband)
  • Listerine (mixed 50/50 with household vinegar then sprayed all over body)
  • Vicks VapoRub

Household Hack:

Spray garlic powder and water all over the yard and bushes. Use a fertilizer hose attachment. Will need to be done bi-weekly (approx) or after a heavy rain.

Items to Eat (daily): Apparently the smell that comes out of your pores from a steady diet of the below deters mosquitoes. The items aren’t meant to be combined, they’re just different suggestions.

  • Garlic
  • B1 Vitamins
  • Brewers Yeast
  • Lemons

Proven False:

Lemon Fresh Joy & Dish of Water

Microsoft and Facebook: In an open relationship with your data

I have never been aware that Microsoft and Facebook can actually use sensitive datas of registered users, though we have signed and made us aware that they are going to keep our informations private, that's why we have our own unique passwords. So what's the use of keeping our private passwords while they can actually access our accounts right? Which third parties can access sensitive data that users post on Facebook, such as email addresses? It depends on the partner, according to Facebook. So here’s the latest tidbit about how this policy is being implemented.
Earlier today, Michael Arrington at Techcrunch spotted a way for Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger instant message service to access your Facebook friends’ email addresses, using its Invite2Messenger feature for importing contacts from other sites. Invite2Messenger has been live for eight months. It lets you pick which Facebook friends you want to add to the service, and apparently until today showed you their email addresses within its interface. While it’s supposed to work with a variety of social networks, only Facebook is currently available. See the screenshot Arrington took, above.

Email is a great way for companies to communicate with users about their services, and Facebook has always kept a very tight lid on who could access the addresses in its possession. Now Facebook has removed the ability to see email addresses in Live2Messenger, telling me that what Arrington saw must have been a bug.

Arrington interprets Facebook’s data-sharing relationship with Microsoft to be a contradiction of its policy about sharing user data.

But the issue isn’t so much that Facebook is breaking its own policy by sharing email addresses with Microsoft. The issue is the policy itself. Facebook wants to maintain control over the sharing process. Its rationale: This is sensitive data that not just anyone should have access to, and there’s no technical and legally permissible way to share it in a generally open manner.

So user email addresses are not available to companies using its developer platform. Nor are email addresses available to third-party sites that access Facebook user profile information from their own sites using the forthcoming Facebook Connect service.

The problem here, to many people, is that the data they put into Facebook belongs to them. Why should Facebook decide which partners — like Microsoft — should be the ones getting access to it?

The policy in question:

We do not provide contact information to third party marketers without your permission. We share your information with third parties only in limited circumstances where we believe such sharing is 1) reasonably necessary to offer the service, 2) legally required or, 3) permitted by you.

Facebook “Chief Privacy Officer” Chris Kelly says the company reserves the right to share email addresses with “trusted partners” like Microsoft. Facebook’s data-sharing relationship with Microsoft doesn’t contradict this policy, he says.

The email-sharing issue has come up before, as many of our readers may remember. Facebook lets users publish their own email addresses on their personal profiles, to share with friends. But, to protect against things like automated third-party scripts scraping these addresses out of the site, the company makes each email address into an image. Typically, scripts can’t easily scrape images. Plaxo, a company that aggregates contact information from other web services, built a script in January designed to scan these images and set it loose on Facebook — then, got banned. Aside: Facebook was very interested in buying Plaxo, at one point, before Comcast finally did last May.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PALAU Island

It never came to our interest to visit PALAU island, though my husband loves staying by the beach, spend at least a week in every places we like to visit. I heard about it when I learned that one of my college classmates actually worked there for almost 3 yeas, she first chatted with me and told me her stories, the island and the people in this island. Sounds interesting, I should say.. I have searched about it and found out the story behind.

The island is eight miles around and full of bicycle paths that enable easy exploring of pristine coves, hidden valleys, and white sandy beaches. Only 80 people live here and all are very friendly. English is spoken by all and the US dollar is used. There are no stores, hotels, or restaurants on the island but nor with crimes, poisonous snakes, or tropical storms. In short, it has everything you could want in a remote Pacific island.

Gorgeous isn't it?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Men's Lives Are Shorter Than Women's

I was shocked when I came to read this, I didn't know this before! Well probably because I never used to do some research for my blogs. I really thought that we women die early because of too much stress in raising kids, stress in budgeting small amount of money, for mothers - feeding the family first before them, etc.

Listen up, guys. It may be time to drop the bravado and consider these sobering statistics:

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD) is three times higher among men who are clinically depressed.
  • Male suicides outnumber female suicides in every age group.
  • Homicide and suicide are among the top three causes for death among males between the ages of 15 and 34.
  • By the age of 85, women outnumber men in the U.S. 2.2 to 1; this rises to 3 to 1 if they reach their 90s.

These are just a few of the realities examined in Why Men Die First: How to Lengthen Your Lifespan, a new book by Marianne J. Legato, MD, that focuses on the biological, cultural, and personal reasons that men's life span in the U.S. lasts an average of six years less than women's.

Male mortality is shorter in part, Legato says, because males are more fragile and inherently vulnerable than females from birth. And unlike women, who have fought hard to have their specific health needs validated and addressed, men haven't demanded equal treatment.

"It is a need that has never been addressed," Legato says. "Men have been tremendously neglected and it doesn't have to be that way."

Men's medical challenges owe a great deal to cultural conditioning. The rules are set shortly after birth, Legato says: Suck up the pain, don't be a wimp, show no weakness, and "man up." Many men only seek medical counsel when under duress from a spouse or when their condition has deteriorated to a severe state.

"Women are able to logically ask for help," says Legato, who has long promoted the concept of gender-specific medicine. "They're hardwired in the brain and very motivated."

"The cultural reasons for not going to the doctor are killing men," she says.

How Men Can Live Longer

In her book, Legato examines and champions an end to the lack of awareness among men -- and even the medical community -- regarding the specific health needs of a male that could help prevent male deaths. Men, she says, deserve better and should insist on higher standards.

"Don't tolerate the current situation where men die six years before women," Legato says. "If we can conquer breast cancer and AIDS to the extent we have, we can certainly save our men."

Legato highlights the following leading factors of death in men in which men can begin to make a significant difference in their health and improve male life expectancy:

1.Speak frankly with a doctor: Leave embarrassment in the waiting room. Women are taught at an early age to be candid and open with their doctors. Symptoms that can be uncomfortable to talk about -- such as erectile dysfunction -- can be tied to more serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease. Men, despite cultural tradition, should also request breast checks.

"It's a part of the body and should be examined," Legato says.

She encourages men to perform testicular self-exams in the way women are taught to check their breasts for irregularities. Although men may cringe at getting a prostate check, they are far less uncomfortable than experiencing the pain of cancer treatment.

2. Check testosterone levels: Beginning at age 30, testosterone begins to dip by 1% each year, says Legato. Lowered testosterone levels can lead to a decrease in vitality, muscle mass, ability to perform prolonged exercise, memory, concentration, and libido. Not only does this impair quality of life, it can contribute to depression, which can have a significant effect on male health, potentially increasing the risk of coronary disease. There are several treatments available -- including gels, patches, and injections -- that can help restore this vital hormone to proper levels.

Robert Ruxin, MD, an endocrinologist from Ridgefield, Conn., says normal testosterone loss has little correlative effect on vitality or sexuality. But there are instances when dramatic loss -- more likely between the ages between of 60 and 80 -- can impede quality of life.

"When it drops normally, probably not, but very low, yes," Ruxin says. "A level that drops from 800 to 500 has not been shown to have a clinical effect. Maybe from 800 to 400 can be too low."

Diabetes patients, for example, may have a greater risk of significant testosterone loss. Conversely, pituitary hormones, he says, can balance out the effects of the difference in individuals who are losing testosterone at a typical rate.

"There's a wide variation of normal."

3. Immune systems: The male immune system is not as vigorous as those of females, and men die from seven of the 10 most common infections at a higher rate, Legato says, particularly tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases. Sanitary sexual practices are essential, beginning with use of a condom. Men should check for updated vaccinations with their doctor when traveling to foreign countries. A tetanus shot should be administered every 10 years.

"Immunization is not finished after the second year of life," Legato says.

Proper nutrition and supplementation can also be beneficial. Despite the gender-focused attention it receives, osteoporosis also strikes men.

4.Recognize and treat depression: Male depression may be much more common than has been previously estimated. Symptoms aren't always obvious.

"We glibly state that women are twice as often depressed as men throughout the world," she says. "What they do is turn to behaviors that are semi-socially acceptable: drinking alcohol, TV watching, greater sexual exploits."

Legato is convinced the vulnerability of depression can compromise men's health in other ways, leading to increased instance of disease and greater male mortality from such conditions. It's also a common symptom of "andropause," which is marked by a decrease of testosterone in males that is similar, if less dramatic, than the effect of menopause in females. Indeed, males are also susceptible to the notorious hot flashes that have often marked the change of life for women, albeit years later.

Legato says the current medical system often prevents doctors from obtaining a proper understanding of a patient's personality and life structure. Make time to discuss any such issues with a doctor and be open to treatment. "A pill is not always the cure," Legato says. "Structured conversations can be very helpful."

While Ruxin is not convinced that andropause is a genuine male concern, others are in sync with Legato's insights on male depression.

James Korman, PsyD, ACT, director of the Behavioral Health and Cognitive Therapy Center at Summit Medical Group in New Jersey, agrees that depression in men occurs far more often than reported. He also points to cultural factors as often influencing men's reluctance to get treatment.

"Men tend to express depression differently than women," Korman says. "This can result in sleep disturbances, mood change, and sexual disinterest."

Left untreated, depression can have catastrophic results.

Regarding suicide, Korman says that while women typically make more attempts, "men are much better at completing it."

Men need to realize, Legato says, how destructive depression can be to their health and openly discuss their concerns with a doctor.

"To enjoy the day and be as viable as possible in the present is the best attitude," she says.

5. Keep a close eye on young males: The reckless nature and lifestyle of adolescents make them prime targets for injury or death. Females develop a more evolved sense of judgment and decision making at an earlier age then males. Add to that the cocktail of testosterone and other hormones and, biologically, males possess a potentially lethal internal recipe. Monitoring their activities and setting careful limits is vital. "Boys have been compared to a Porsche without brakes," Legato says. "They take risks, are idealistic, intense, and believe they're invulnerable."

6. Assess your risk for coronary disease: Coronary disease, Legato says, "takes a toll on men in their prime and leaves families bereft." It's imperative to sit down and assess the risks along with any predisposed genetic tendency and discuss these with a doctor. Have any relatives died of heart disease before the age of 60? What are your cholesterol levels? Have you experienced fainting episodes, loss of consciousness, or shortness of breath?

"We downplay this tremendously," Legato says.

Again, men aren't genetically blessed compared to women in this area. The female hormone estrogen provides women with a layer of protection that men don't naturally possess, asserts Legato. Further illustrating this: Men can begin developing signs of coronary artery disease at the age of 35, Legato says, while women don't present a risk of a heart attack similar to men until much later. Men with a family history of heart disease should alert their doctor and take proper precautions beginning in their 30s.

"It doesn't have to be that way," Legato says. "We should be turning a very critical eye on why coronary disease starts in the mid-30s."

Now I know... :)

10 Facts About Malaria

I have been working here in Angola for nearly 8 years now, and I can remember that I've only had 2 series of severe malaria so far, but with various mild ones! What I am trying to say is, anytime we can be lying in bed having very poorly condition if we don't take care, as we all believed that we have malaria parasite in our blood. I remember when I was dieting, I was down for 3 days because of malaria, since I didn't eat much and was in the end I was feeling fatigue, that's it, it was malaria.

I never used to know these facts about malaria, I only knew the basics.

Alternative Names: Quartan malaria; Falciparum malaria; Biduoterian fever; Blackwater fever; Tertian malaria; Plasmodium

Fact 1: Malaria is a disease which can be transmitted to people of all ages. It is caused by parasites of the species plasmodium that are spread from person to person through the bites of infected mosquitoes. If not treated promptly with effective medicines, malaria can often be fatal.

Fact 2: About 40% of the world’s population, mostly those living in the poorest countries, are at risk of malaria. Of these 2.5 billion people at risk, more than 500 million people become severely ill with malaria every year and more than 1 million people die from the effects of the disease.

Fact 3: One in five (20%) of all childhood deaths in Africa are due to malaria. It is estimated that an African child has on average between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever each year. Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria in Africa.

Fact 4: Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are two basic elements of malaria control. Early and effective treatment of malaria can shorten the duration of the infection and prevent further complications including the great majority of deaths. Access to disease management should be seen not only as a component of malaria control but a fundamental right of all populations at risk.

Fact 5: Inappropriate use of antimalarial drugs in the past century contributed to widespread resistance in the malaria parasite to drugs such as chloroquine, leading to rising rates of sickness and death. Over the past decade, a new group of antimalarials – known as artemisinin-based combination therapies – has brought new hope in the fight against malaria.

Fact 6: The main objective of malaria vector control is to significantly reduce the rate and number of cases of both parasite infection and clinical malaria. This is achieved by controlling the malaria-bearing mosquito and thereby reducing or interrupting transmission.

Fact 7: Long-lasting insecticidal nets can be used to provide protection to risk groups, especially young children and pregnant women in high transmission areas. This provides personal protection. The nets can also protect communities when coverage is high enough (more than 80% of people in a target community sleeping inside them). The nets are effective for a number of years (3 to 5 years, depending on models and conditions of use).

Fact 8: Indoor residual spraying is the most effective means of rapidly reducing mosquito density. Its full potential is obtained when at least 80 % of premises with malaria vectors are sprayed. Indoor spraying is effective for 3 to 6 months, depending on the insecticide used and the type of surface on which it is sprayed. (DDT is effective for longer periods, up to 12 months in some cases).

Fact 9: Pregnant women are at high risk not only of dying from the complications of severe malaria, but also spontaneous abortion, premature delivery or stillbirth. Malaria is also a cause of severe maternal anaemia and is responsible for about one third of preventable low birth weight babies. It contributes to the deaths of an estimated 10 000 pregnant women and up to
200 000 infants each year in Africa alone.

Fact 10: Malaria causes an average loss of 1.3% of annual economic growth in countries with intense transmission. It traps families and communities in a downward spiral of poverty, disproportionately affecting marginalized and poor people who cannot afford treatment or who have limited access to health care. Malaria has lifelong effects through increased poverty and impaired learning. It cuts attendance at schools and workplaces. However, it is preventable and curable.

This is what we get in working here, earning more than what we get in our own country, aside from working away from family.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Affiliate Marketing - Among Which I Became Aware

I have been an affiliate marketer since last month, for the thought of earning some money (not a lot though), for the sake of blogging. I don't really take it seriously! Before I started blogging, I used to wonder how do websites get ads from other companies and if they earn money out of putting their ads! Now I have fully understood the theory behind. To those who haven't encountered or made themselves aware about this type of marketing, I will give you some insights about this.
Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate's marketing efforts. It is also the name of the industry where a number of different types of companies and individuals are performing this form of Internet marketing, including affiliate networks, affiliate management companies, and in-house affiliate managers, specialized third party vendors, and various types of affiliates/publishers who promote the products and services of their partners.

Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, and in some sense display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.

Affiliate marketing—using one website to drive traffic to another—is a form of online marketing, which is frequently overlooked by advertisers. While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication capture much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile. Still, affiliates continue to play a significant role in e-retailer's marketing strategies.

Here are some of them that I took the opportunity to be part of:

Dream Template
DreamTemplate is a premium template subscription provider with over 1800 professionally designed templates available for members. We serve Website Templates, Flash Templates, Office Templates, Word Templates, Powerpoint Templates, Corporate Identity packages and logo designs. Every month, we're adding over a hundred new designs. Unlike most template sites that charge per template, DreamTemplate works differently. We charge a one-time fee and then give members full download access to our premium template collection. Now, here's your chance to refer one of the largest Internet template membership sites. Our site is unique and our templates are affordable and designed extremely well! Start earning great conversion rates.

Earn an incredible 30% commission for every member you refer to originating from your website.

ProStores, an eBay Company, is pleased to announce the successful launch of its new affiliate program. They are an award-winning ecommerce solution that enables small and medium sized businesses to sell products and services online through a fully customized Web store. It has made creating a Web store easy for your visitors to subscribe to and use, with built-in, step-by-step wizards that help them design the look of their store, upload products, and set up shipping and sales tax information.

They offer a full suite of functionality to your audience:

  • Domain registration and hosting
  • Shopping cart
  • Secure, SSL-encrypted credit card processing
  • Integration with eBay and PayPal
  • Marketing and Merchandising Tools
  • Product catalog

Just as ProStores offers four tiers of service to its clients - Express, Business, Advanced, and Enterprise - we offer different commission terms for each service you promote and sell.

Payment Structure:

  • Express Tier: up to $20
  • Business Tier: up to $75
  • Advanced Tier: up to $108
  • Enterprise Tier: up to $150

ProStores offers its affiliates a helpful set of links for promotion as well as healthy guidelines for paid search marketers. *Store Bonus accelerator is based on total leads but will only accelerate the Business, Advanced, and Enterprise Stores.

Yahoo! Affiliate Program

Yahoo! Affiliate Program Partner with Yahoo!, the most recognized brand on the Internet.

New! Some of Yahoo!’s hottest products and services are now available to you in a single affiliate program. Join today and start promoting any of the Yahoo! Properties listed below. Each Yahoo! user you refer means multiple opportunities for you to earn commission.

You can promote just one, or all of these Yahoo! services:

Consumer Products

  • Personals - New subscription
  • Autos - New car quote
  • Games - Completed purchase
  • HotJobs - Job application submission
  • Mail Plus - Mail Plus account purchase
  • Toolbar - Completed US (IE) Install

Business Products

  • Search Marketing - Search Marketing account purchase
  • Web Hosting - Web Hosting purchase
  • Ecommerce - Merchant Solution purchase
  • HotJobs - Employer new job listing submission

For more information, check out the Yahoo! Affiliate Program Website ... and stay tuned because more Yahoo! properties are coming soon!

Start earning today with Yahoo! Join Now!


As a leader in public records since 2003, sells background checks, criminal records searches, reverse phone look ups and a variety of other public data.

Our commissions start at 55% (up to $26 per sale) and our conversion rates, which lead the industry, range from 3% to 10% depending on the relevance of the traffic. They also offer generous bonuses to our affiliates that prove that they can deliver consistent quality traffic.

They re dedicated to making our affiliates as successful as they possibly can be by providing the following tools and support

  • Custom Banners, Search Boxes and Landing Pages
  • Content-Rich Articles and Keyword Lists
  • Flexible Payout Schedule / No Payment Thresholds
  • Dedicated Managers for Every Affiliate

  • Search 123

    Looking for the ability to provide a valuable service to internet merchants and create some additional revenue for yourself? The Search 123 advertiser referral program may be just the answer. Search123, a top platform in the pay per click search market, has a simple proposition. If you refer an advertiser to our service, who deposits at least $50.00, you get $25.00. As an added incentive for the advertiser to give us a try we will give them $20.00. Simple. No tiered payout. No large deposit amount. No skimpy publisher payout. If this sounds good, please apply to the program and upon approval you can grab a banner or text link and start promoting a program where everybody wins!

    Key Compete

    Link to from your website and receive a 20-40% commission on all orders that originate from your site. Our affiliate program is your opportunity to grow with, the most comprehensive database of Keywords to track the competition. With multiple ways for your customers to buy information, that is more ways for you to earn commissions. As a member of our affiliate network, that adds up to great commissions for you. Our new Affiliates will earn 20% on every sale. Our top performers are earning 40%.

    Team up with, the world’s #1 domain name registrar, and see just how easy it is to make money as an affiliate!

    Earn 35% commission on SSL certificates, and 20% on domain names, hosting plans of less than 12 months, Web site builders, ecommerce solutions, email accounts and more! Plus, earn even more with special flat-rate commissions on specific sales referred through your site, including:

  • Up to $105 for each new 12 month hosting plan
  • Up to $70 for each Wild West Domains reseller plan

    And to help you increase your sales and commissions, we provide you with seasonal promotions, performance incentives and constantly updated marketing campaigns. Plus, we back our high-powered affiliate program with live, 24/7 customer support and a dedicated account manager.

    As the world’s #1 domain name registrar, has the visibility and name recognition to attract and inspire your visitors. Add the fact that’s domain registration fees are lower than many in Commission Junction and you WILL see more conversions – and that means more money in your pocket!

    Start earning money with Join Now!

  • Isango
    Isango! is one of the largest providers of destination experiences – city tours, sightseeing trips, romantic activities, family excursions, adventure getaways, cultural trails, theme park visits, guided historical attractions and much more. We have 4500+ such exciting things to do from more than 60 countries across the world tagged across 50+ different activity theme categories like family, wildlife, romance, seniors, luxury, culture and adventure

    Some of our most popular product categories include:
    -> Attraction tickets
    -> Guided tours to popular destinations
    -> Hop on – Hop off tours
    -> Airport transfers
    -> Cruises and Safaris

    A great opportunity for our affiliates: With Isango!, you start earning handsome returns on every sale. We offer: -> Low price guarantee on all our products -> 24*7 customer care support -> Payment acceptance in 5 currencies – GBP, USD, EUR, CAD, AUD -> Vibrant website in multiple languages – English, German, French (coming soon) -> Liberal PPC policy – Except the word “isango” and its variants, we allow bidding on all our products. -> The best commission structure going upto 10% of sales.


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