How to Get The Best Portable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Available

Portable Vacuum CleanerA portable hand vacuum cleaner offers you convenience because it can be carried around, which allows you to clean different sections of your home with ease. It is also compact enough that it easily cleans spaces that other cleaning devices can’t reach.

When it comes to securing the BEST Handheld Vacuum, however, you may find it difficult due to the fact that there are numerous makes and models in the market. It is, therefore, necessary to use the tips below in order to make an informed selection.

Charge Time

Majority of these devices are powered by batteries, which makes it necessary to choose one that has a long battery life, and takes minimal time charging. This is to avoid inconveniences related to drops in suction power or the powering off during operation. These details can be obtained from customer reviews on the model you intend to purchase or from the product’s manufacturer.

Weight

When it comes to ergonomics, the weight of the device should be considered because it will affect the level of comfort you will receive from its use. The weight of these devices also determines how maneuverable they are, especially when it comes to cleaning certain areas like stairs.

Suction Power

This is, arguably, the most important factor you need to consider because it is directly related to the effectiveness of the device. It is, therefore, important to ensure the following.

  • The device should be fitted with a powerful motor that can easily pick up particles of any size without difficulties.
  • The voltage required to power the motor should be high since it determines the power of the device. Experts recommend choosing a device of between 15 and 18 volts.
  • Suction power is also dependent on the motor. The top rated vacuums have been found to feature motors of between 4 and 7.5 amps.
  • The design of this gadget also affects its suction power. Online reviews will allow you to get the most reliable information in this respect.

Portability

These types of devices are primarily meant to be used where their alternatives cannot be used, making it important to consider this factor. This requires you to select between those that are cordless and their corded counterparts. When making this choice, it is advisable to consider the distance of your cleaning area from the power source and the length of power cable that accompanies the device.

Type of Filter in Use

This consideration is useful because it determines your indoor air quality. Make sure you select innovative and advanced designs in this respect, such as cyclonic filters because they are effective in trapping particles that can cause respiratory problems effectively. A device with multiple filters is the best since particles are trapped in various stages.

Maintenance

The ideal vacuum is one that is easy to clean after using. The process of emptying its contents should be fast to ensure that you are not inconvenienced. It should also have a mechanism to prevent the trapped particles from escaping when emptying the device so that you don’t accidentally or unknowingly inhale them.

Warranty

Make sure that your purchase is accompanied by a warranty of at least two years. This is the number one indication of the product’s quality, and is a show of confidence from its manufacturer that you will get the proper service from its use.

Top Rated Handheld Vacuum Cleaners: Best Cordless/Corded Models Of 2013-2014

Handheld vacuum cleaners are perfect accessories for folks who can’t get their furniture, vehicles and other knick knack closer to the power outlet. Based on power-savvy technology, these vacuums are viable options for homes and offices. Here is a simplified list of the Best Handheld Vacuum cleaners from 2013-2014. If you’re planning to buy a brand new machine this year, just check out the specifications mentioned below.

Cordless Handheld Vacuums

Cordless Handheld VacuumThese swift, compact and portable gadgets are made for quick-pickup jobs.

Owning to their small size, they can efficiently remove fine particles like food crumbs, pet hair and dust from different surfaces but there are certain disadvantages of owning these machines.

They offer limited battery backups and take several hours to recharge.

Top 5 Picks

  1. Black & Decker Platinum BDH200FL20: The widget features a unique cylindrical design. Powered by 18-vold batteries, BDH200FL20 offers smooth motor performance and a long crevice tool that reaches difficult corners.
  2. Black & Decker BDH20000L20: This lightweight device lasts for 30 minutes on full suction. Blessed with 20-stage filtration, competent crevice tools and rotating brush=head, this lightweight vacuum is a blessing in disguise for busy office goers.
  3. Black & Decker Pivot: With its amazing range of products, the brand occupies top 3 spots on the list. Ranking third from the top is B&D Pivot vacuum that features foldable nozzle, LED battery indicators and powerful motor suction. With a large, easy-to-use, transparent and easily detachable dirt cup, it’s meant for spot cleanups.
  4. Dyson D44 Animal Vac: High-quality, long extensions, effective motors and special pet cleaning accessories speak volumes regarding its high quality.
  5. Hoover Linx Pet Hand Vac: This thingamabob works efficiently on flat surfaces like furniture, car seats, staircases, walls and doors. The motorized, rotating brushes pick up pet hair and fine particles from different surfaces. Quick charge time, interchangeable, long-lasting batteries and cyclonic dirt-repellant technology are its key features.

Messy Vacuum CordsCorded Handheld Vacuum

Short run times, delicate batteries and weak suction power of cordless vacuums tend to irritate us.

Nevertheless, you can avoid these issues with a powerful and long-lasting corded vacuum. Large is great, large is back in fashion!

Best 5 Models

  1. BISSELL Clean-View Deluxe 47R51: This wonderful thingy is furnished with powerful suction, wide range of attachments for carpets, floor, upholstery and staircase and HEPA media filters that capture noxious fumes, allergens and dust mites present in air.
  2. BISSELL Spot-Lifter 1716B PowerBush Deep Cleaner: Twin motorized brush rolls, handy brush cartridge removes and continuous suction make it one of the hottest models in the market. The widget sprays, cleans, blows and dries in one step!
  3. Dirt Devil 2.0 SD12000: 20-foot long cord helps you reach tricky spot and corners whereas motor-driven, high-performing brush=rolls, quick rinse filters and one-touch release dirt containers make it more efficient.
  4. Eureka EasyClean 71B: With double motors, innovative Riser Visor cleaning and innovative tools, the vacuum ranks forth on the list of best domestic cleaners.
  5. Black & Decker Pet Retriever Series (HV9010P): This amazing machine includes a fine turbo brush which is especially designed for pet hair. Cyclonic action, flexible crevice hose, blower hose and a 24-ounce translucent bowl take it one step ahead.

Conclusion

Considering the type of job you perform on a daily basis, Dirt & Devil, Hoover’s Platinum and BISSELL CleanView are solid contenders. Contrary to this, if you’re looking for a versatile and easy-to-use gadget, you should opt for Eureka products. Remember to read their reviews before you make the final decision.

Tips For Cleaning Wood Floors Depending on Your Finish

The quality of your floor especially in the kitchen says a lot about you as a person. If it has been neglected, you will come off as lazy and irresponsible. Wood floors need great responsibility when it comes to cleaning and maintaining them.

Before we discuss how to clean wood floors, you should note that the use of vinegar (as most people commonly believe) to clean them is a no-no. Vinegar being acidic, corrodes the poly coating or whatever material your floor is coated with. It is also noteworthy that the use of anything other than what has been recommended by your manufacturer will make null and void your warranty.

clean-wood-floor

Also, do not use furniture sprays or oil when cleaning wooden floors. This is because oil leaves a residue on them while furniture spray causes the floors to become slippery.

Establish Your Finish

Without a clear idea of what the finish of your floor is, you should confirm what it has been coated with. This is because the finish used on it will greatly determine how and what you use to clean it.

Here is a list of the different types of floor sealing:

  1. Surface-sealed floors: These are usually the easiest to clean. This is because they have been sealed by compounds such as poly-acrylic which are moisture, water and damage resistant. These are generally the easiest to clean.
  2. Oil treated floors: Here a penetrating oil finish is absorbed into the wood grain where it hardens. For this type of floor, you must treat it with either paste wax or the liquid type to ensure that it maintains its quality.

Factors to consider when cleaning your floor include:

  • Cleaning the floor routinely; there are places in the house which involve high activities. These are areas such the dining room, the kitchen and the bathroom. These ones can be swept on a daily basis and mopped at least after every fortnight. Areas such as the store where there’s little activity can be cleaned on a monthly basis.
  • The technique for mopping; you don’t want to clean a wood floor with water even if it has been coated. Always use a damp mop instead of using a wet one. Insert the mop in bucket full of the prepared cleaning solution, squeeze it completely then mop towards the direction the wood grain is facing.

Basic Care For Your Floor

You can ease the cleaning process for your floors through dusting it with a mop treated in a dusting agent of your choice. Also remember to pick up any particles on the floor that might lead to it being scratched.

Intense Cleaning

Apart from the light cleaning, you should do a deeper cleaning at least once every month to remove things like oil which could have missed during the light cleaning. This involves the use cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer. If you use the tips given above, cleaning your wood floor will be a lot faster and even enjoyable. All the best with keeping yours sparkling clean!

Source: http://www.hardwoodchamp.com/

How To Make Wood Floors Look New Again

Hardwood floors add value to your home and they are easy to clean and to care for than carpet. However, they can become dull, scarred, or water damaged over a period of time. You can use some simple, cheap and easy ways to make your hardwood look new again, starting with cleaning and extend it to a refinishing.

New Looking Wood Floor

Here are easy steps to follow in order to make your floors appear like new again.

Step 1: Empty the room

You cannot complete this project by moving furniture around your work area. The room has to be emptied. Don’t wait until the time you bring the floor buffer home. You will be paying for it by the hour; you need empty the room first.

Step 2: Make any necessary repairs

This is the right time to fill any exposed nail heads, to touch up any deep scratches with a stain marker, or to plug holes left from phone lines or old television and other accessories

Step 3: Clean it

Any contaminants on the finish must be removed in order for a new finish to cling to an existing finish. Such dirt include: ordinary dirt, grease, grime, dust, cleaning residue, soap film, aerosols, furniture polish, and wax.

Do not clean with hot and soapy water or any kind of homemade recipes. Such chemicals may cause damages to the finish on your floor a, soap can leave a residue and excessive water can cause the wood to swell. Use a commercial floor cleaner which is designed to dissolve such contaminants without dissolving the already existing finish. Find the best vacuum for wood floors that you can afford and vacuum over the floor to make sure there are no leftover dust/debris lodged anywhere.

Step 4: Allow it to dry

Wipe the floor with a soft cloth. Give any remaining hardwood floor cleaner enough time to evaporate before going on. You can set up a fan to blow air across the floor.

Step 5: Gently scuff the old finish

Since water based and oil based finishes cannot form a bond with a previous layer of finish, we need to create a bond between the two finishes. This is achieved by adding many tiny scratches to the existing finish.

Use a floor polisher and a large synthetic pad or a hand polisher with a synthetic pad to lightly scuff the surface of the old or existing finish.

Step 6: Vacuum the dust

Use a vacuum to remove the dust that has been created by scuffing. Avoid sweeping the floor, as a broom only pushes the grit into cracks between the boards.

Step 7: Apply your finish

Follow manufactures advice to apply your chosen finish. However, choosing an appropriate finish is very critical. There is a big difference between “cure time.” and “dry time”. A finish may dry in just a matter of minutes, but it may achieve its absolute hardness in a period of time-generally about a week.

Once the finish has dried, you can walk on the floor on feet; keep off shoes for an additional day. Wait for about three days before you bring in furniture.

Here are tips on the whole furnishing process:

  1. Do not use a recoat on floors with wax finishes since it will not bond, and it will result into a blotchy, peeling, ugly looking floor.
  2. Make sure that the room is well ventilated while working with chemical finishes and floor buffers.
  3. Never slide furniture across the floor regardless of how long the finish has cured. A worn furniture glide leaves an unsightly scratch in the finish.

This simple guide will help you make your damaged wood floor look new again.

How to Make Wood Floors Shiny Again

 

How to Make a Delicious Fruit Smoothie in a Blender

Fruit smoothies are an excellent way to get much of your daily intake of fruits, vitamins, and antioxidants. Making a delicious fruit smoothie in a blender sounds kind of simple… and it actually is! But there are a few tips to make it easier and smoother. (Pun definitely intended!)

  1. Use the right fruit. Not all fruits are meant to be in a smoothie. Grapes and cherries are yummy but also have too much pulp to work well in a smoothie. Oranges have a similar problem but orange juice gives you the great citrus flavor without all the pulp. Berries are a favorite in fruit smoothies. They are easy to blend and are full of vitamins. Tropical fruit like pineapple and mangoes are also good.
  2. Half of your smoothie ingredients should be liquid. Trying to blend a bunch of frozen fruit without enough liquid in your blender will be difficult especially if you are using a standard low budget blender. You can use fruit and vegetable juices, milk, or even plain water if you are trying to manage calories. Almond and soy milk are a great source of protein and taste great in smoothies. You can try a combination of liquids to see which you like best.
  3. Use frozen fruit. It is cheaper than fresh and in many ways is healthier. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of freshness so the vitamins and minerals are preserved better. They will also give your smoothie a delicious chill without needing ice.
  4. Bananas are one of my favorite smoothie ingredients because of their wonderful texture. Adding a frozen banana to your smoothies will give a great creamy texture. Buy the bananas when they are ripe and on sale. More brown spots means they will be sweeter. Peel them and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer.
  5. Assemble your smoothie the night before. The next morning, the fruits will have thawed a bit and will be the perfect consistency for blending. It will also save you time and cut down on your morning routine.
  6. Start at a low speed and increase the blender speed slowly. Wait until you see what looks like a tornado or a whirlpool at the top of the smoothie before you turn up the blender. If you blend your smoothie too quickly, the contents will make an air pocket and they will stop mixing properly. If this happens, simply wait until the air bubble rises to the top and try again.
  7. Make sure to blend your smoothie long enough. Just because the smoothie looks like liquid doesn’t mean it’s quite done. If you blend your smoothie for at least a full minute after everything looks mixed, it will be nice and blended and even more tasty.

Making great smoothies is really easy and very fun. Follow these simple steps and you will be on your way to a delicious healthy treat.

Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum Under $300

A good hardwood floor vacuum is essential to proper maintenance of your floor. If dust, dirt and other particles aren’t addressed, they can not only make for a dull, dirty look, they can actually slowly erode your finish, which over time will wear your floor unevenly and unattractively.

Best Hardwood Floor VacuumRecommended Types of Vacuums for Hardwood

You’ll want to limit your choices to either upright or tube-style vacuum cleaners. Which is best for you depends on what you’re looking for.

1. Upright: An upright vacuum is a good multi-purpose machine. As long as it is designed to also work on hardwood floors, it’s a good choice that you can also use for your carpeted rooms. Just make sure that the brushes are off -you don’t want them scratching up your floor!

2. Canister: So-called because of the cylindrical or tube look, these are probably the best to use, as they are specifically designed to include brush-less cleaning to cover a wide range of surface types. They also tend to offer a greater amount of actual vacuum, which means it will probably pick up more particulate matter.

Since this list is for the best vacuum for hardwood floors under $300, they will all be of the second (canister) type.

The Kenmore Progressive Canister Cleaner

Kenmore sells more canister cleaners than anyone out there and there is a reason why. At around $280, this feature-packed model includes adjustable vacuum speed to customize cleaning to the amount of dirt and dust on the floor, filtration that traps dust and pollen down to 0.3 microns, a crevice tool attachment, and even a horsehair tool specifically designed for bare floors.

The Hoover Anniversary WindTunnel

Hoover has to be included in any vacuum cleaner list. They’ve been making them for over 100 years, and provide quality that needs no description. At $299, this model is at the high-end of the affordability list, but the quality and effectiveness are pretty much without equal.

The filtration system traps 99.97% of all dust and pollens down to 0.3 microns. The patented “WindTunnel technology” will remove more difficult particles such as embedded dirt. Add to this a ton of features and put it into a mere 24 pound package and you have a vacuum that will not disappoint.

The Panasonic MC-CG937 Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Panasonic may not be the first name you think of when it comes to vacuums, but they provide some of the best quality on the market. They also offer and extremely wide range of models to ensure something is available at any price range. At $299, this is at the top of the list. A convenient switch allows for easy transition to bare floor vacuuming, and a powerful 12-amp motor provides more than enough vacuum for your cleaning needs. This model provides an excellent vacuum package to take care of the whole house.

The Dirt Devil Jaguar Power Pack

Dirt Devil is widely known for making quality vacuum cleaners at affordable prices. At just around $180, this model still has the same high-quality HEPA filtration system as more expensive models, variable vacuum speeds, and an impressive list of accessories make this model great for cleaning the whole house.

Reference:

http://www.homestadna.net/

Vitiligo Treatment – Get Back Your Normal Skin

Vitiligo is a skin condition where it loses the pigment that determines the color of the skin, eyes and hair. This pigment is called melanin. Vitiligo occurs when the cell producing melanin no longer forms, or when melanin die; causing gradually enlarging white patches of uneven shapes to appear on the skin.

The main goal of a vitiligo treatment is to improve appearance. The treatment completely depends on the number of white patches, their sizes, location and how widespread they are. Therapy for Vitiligo can take from 6 to 18 months. Current Vitiligo treatments include surgery, medication and therapies.

Vitiligo Treatment Via Medical Therapies

A medical therapy can reduce the appearance of white patches. Here are some commonly used medical therapies.

Topical Steroid Therapy

Steroid cream can re-pigment white patches if started in the initial stage of Vitiligo. Doctors may prescribe mild topical corticosteroid for the children and stronger one for adults. The cream is applied on the white patches. It may take at least three months before seeing any results.

Corticosteroid creams are the safest and simplest Vitiligo treatment. Doctors will monitor the patients closely for any side effect.

Psoralen Photo-chemotherapy

It is also known as (PUVA) Psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy which is the most effective Vitiligo treatment. In this therapy, Psoralen contains a chemical that react with ultraviolet light to cause re-pigmentation or darkening of the skin.

The treatment involves taking it orally or topically which is applying it on the skin. It is explained below.

Topical Psoralen Photo-chemotherapy is the treatment which is done once a week under artificial ultraviolet light in doctor’s office. This treatment is effective for patients with small number of white patches in a limited part of the body.

The doctor applies a coat of Psoralen on the De-pigmentation patch for 30 minutes and expose it to the UVA light. The UVA dose is increased slowly over many weeks and eventually the normal skin color appears.

Oral use if for people who have not responded to topical treatment. It is appropriate for extensive Vitiligo who has the affecting area more than 20 percent on the body.

For oral therapy, patient take the medication by mouth. After two hours of taking prescribed dose patient is exposed to artificial UVA light or sunlight. This treatment is used at least two times in a week.

De-pigmentation

De-pigmentation treatment is used for people who have white patches on more than 50 percent of the body. In this treatment rest of the skin on the body area is faded to match the white patch area. People use monobenzone twice a day to pigmented area until they match the affected areas.

De-pigmentation is permanent and people who undergo this treatment will be sensitive to sunlight.

5 Benefits of Having a Smoothie Blender at Home

Smoothie has undoubtedly emerged as a new age beverage, already becoming equally popular with the little ones and the seniors, the young and the moving, the style divas and the gym enthusiasts. This daily dose of fresh and energetic drink is a thick blend of fresh or frozen fruits, raw vegetables, milk, juices-fruit/and vegetable, yogurt and the ice cubes.

Good Smoothie BlenderA velvety drink, relished by the young and the seasoned alike, with its infinite advantages is definitely a must for every home so lets understand the benefits of having a smoothie blender at home:

  1. High in nutrition – Now, no need to waste precious time in reading catalogs of products in grocery stores!Be in command!Just add what you think is the healthiest option with a handful of ice cubes to your blender and your favorite snack is ready. Your homemade smoothie gives the advantage of eating fruits and vegetable raw, deriving the maximum nutrition as cooking destroys some vitamins on heating. It is not processed so no loss of nutrients. You can always add the recommended vitamins and powders for protein supplements.
  2. Quick snack – You need only 10 minutes to make a quick, healthy, wholesome snack that will not let you dehydrate even if you forget to drink water for sometime. A treat that only your own blender allows to be served in just 10 minutes.
  3. Weight loss – Custom made smoothies allow you to add the good fats, stimulants like coffee or green tea, more fiber with zero sugar to soak in the goodness without sacrificing taste. So, more taste without disturbing your diet regime with your own blender!
  4. Increases your immunity – Fruits and vegetables are eaten completely with their skin, pulp and seeds so an additional supply of roughage is going to be a boost for your digestion. A large variety and quantity of fresh and natural supplements improving your immunity levels immensely with you being the boss!
  5. Children love it – No arguing, no compromising, no haggling!Your children will love this complete package with a new flavor, in a new color each day with no extra burden on your wallet!Try unique combinations with ice creams and syrups to lure your children towards healthy habits with your very own smoothie blender!

A smoothie blender is indispensable not only for a health conscious family but also for the taste brigade who will happily embark on this path for a fit and toned physique.

In order to obtain the best blender for smoothies, go for the one that will last for years and proves to be worth the money invested. A blender with a high range of horsepower, with a minimum of 500W would be good in crushing solid ice cubes. The size is also a factor as a large family needs a large sized jar to pack it to the maximum capacity. It should also be easy to clean, easy to operate and occupy less space.

If it comes with a warranty period of 2-7 years, the breakdown is just taken care of as you would not have to spend additional money on serviceable parts or a replacement. For so many benefits, one should not think about money being the only criteria for deciding the brand. So, don’t wait for someone else, set an example and be the first to buy a smoothie blender for your home.

How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Training Online

Phlebotomy, in the simplest sense, is an ancient medical practice carried out to collect blood samples by sectioning the vein of a human or animal body. However, Phlebotomists (people who carry out phlebotomy) are professionally trained technicians. Just like diploma holders, they are also trained under a certification with some accreditation of practical hours.

Why You Should Practice it

The simplest answer to the question is that Phlebotomists are in high-demand and their demand is expected to be ever-growing in the near future due to the accretion of a number of newly-borne diseases. The more the people fall prey, the greater the call for Technicians.

The other factor that some of you may find appealing is that Phlebotomy Technicians are paid quite good, and Phlebotomy training doesn’t have to take a very long time. The average hourly income of a Phlebotomists ranges from $12.50 to $13 but normally it depends upon the person’s experience and professionalism.

Want to try it out?

You don’t have to walk the roads for the quest of this training; it’s all at your home. A lot of online courses are being offered by universities and waiting for you to try them out. Mentioned for your reference below are some of the professional universities that are bidding an online course of Phlebotomy.

Loyola University-Chicago is offering the course by the name of “Arterial Puncture”

  • Des Moines University offers “Medical Terminology”
  • University Of Utah with “Phlebotomy Tutorial” certification.
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Keiser University
  • University of Phoenix

What these Institutes really offer?

From online brochures to illustrative videos, these universities provide all the necessary material to deliver the complete idea to your mind. They provide all the necessary training such as the procedure of drawing blood, care, potential threats and testing blood samples with many others to follow.

What about finding the best online course?

The answer is very simple. The best lies in you. Although the course presented by all institutes is somewhat the same, but as provided previously, the best skills demand confidential and challenging communication. You will find a lot of websites offering the course for free. But even if you have the time to go through more than one ‘em, you will find not that much difference between them.

Some guidelines to memorize

First of all, not all the online courses are legit. You will find a whole lot of websites marked as “SCAM”. But even if you find the free ones or those mentioned above, you will have to pay one way or the other. Despite the online courses, you will definitely have to acquire some knowledge about its practical application plus in order to get certified, you will require some bucks.

Move Aside Bratz And Barbie – These New Monster High Dolls Are The “New Kids” On The Block!

Perhaps you haven’t heard of the new Monster High Dolls yet, BUT you surely will. After all, it is Mattel’s BIGGEST product launch since Hot Wheels came out in 1968, and it’s almost a guarantee that this relatively new line of toys (and other products) will reach popularity of epic proportions!

It was in 2010 when Monster High first came to the scene. For those of you who have no idea whatsoever what Monster High is about, it’s the undead version Bratz / Barbie that’s geared towards grown-up girls (aged 12 and below).

To be honest, their target audience wasn’t quick on the uptake and Mattel’s newest line of toys had a slow start. Despite that however, the marketing and promotion geniuses behind Monster High turned it into one of the most popular lines of toys that grown-up girls from left, right, and center go crazy for! It got so popular that Monster High now has their own web show for kids (with webisodes lasting from 1.5 to 2 minutes); clothing and accessories; topped off with a full-feature film.

But knowing how they pushed Hot Wheels, Bratz, and Barbie to the top of toy industry, it’s almost guaranteed that Mattel will come up with exciting additions and updates to the current roster of Monster High Dolls. Matter of fact, here’s a glimpse of what Monster High Doll fans were treated to in 2013:

Catty Noir Unleashed: This is the FIRST big news – the release of a completely new character and doll that goes by the name of Catty Noir. As the5thwerecat added to the product line, Catty Noir showcases beautiful dark skin. Oh! She’s also a singing superstar that never forgets to wear glamorous outfits and accessories wherever she goes.

catty-noirThe Weaving Of Webarella (Wydowna Spider) –Dubbed as the ‘daughter of Arachne,’ Webarella was first introduced to the roster of new Monster High Dolls at San Diego Comic-Con International 2011 where attendees voted for the next new character.She landed at second place…only a few votes shy of bagging the first place. However, she was made part of Monster High anyway in July 17, 2013.

webarella

Showcasing magnificent arms and legs, Webarella is as spectacular as any Monster High character could get. Mind you however, that she’s a Comic-Con exclusive, which means you won’t find her within the shelves of your favorite toy store. Having said that, BIG and devoted fans of Monster High Dolls are looking forward to the bigger release and many of them are speculating that Webarella will hit the stores before 2013 ends.

MORE Power Ghoul Dolls – Who says monsters and ghouls can’t have super powers!? January and August of 2013 marked the release of Power Ghouls – transforming regular Monster High Dolls to super-heroines that somewhat resemble famous comic book heroes.

power-ghouls

Tasked of stopping the evil plans and designs of Cat Tastrophe, Mattel finds it necessary to introduce another Power Ghoul to keep the world safe. The new Power Ghoul’s name would be Ghoulia Yelps, but everyone is still clueless as to how she will look like. One thing is for sure though: She’ll be just as fantastic as the Power Ghouls before her!

NEW Scarah Screams Doll –Last year, Monster High Doll fans and aficionados were wowed by the BIG release of Scarah Screams’ doll. But Mattel won’t be Mattel if they won’t follow up their last year’s big release with another bigger and better Monster High Doll.

scarah-screams

In late July 2013, they unleashed a NEW Scarah Screams doll, which is included in the “I <;;;;;;;;;3 Fashion” range. Along with Abbey Bominable, Frankie Stein, Clawdeen Wolf, and Draculaura, Scarah Screams’ doll showcases three fashionable outfits; three pairs of shoes; and an assortment of accessories.

Monster High Dolls – What Made These Toys Stand Out?

If you’ve never really loved cute, fashionable dolls before, you will after you’ve laid your eyes and hands on a Monster High Doll. Many have succumbed to these Monster High Dolls for very good reasons, and here are some of them:

Monstrous Size: Bratz dolls look like dwarves when placed side by side with Monster High dolls! Standing at 10.5 inches and showcasing skinny figures, these dolls will be a perfect fit whether you have a younger daughter (about 6-7 years old) who loves to play with dolls all day long or an older girl (8-10 years) who loves collecting, dressing, and posing dolls.

Nice Packaging:  Every Monster High figure has:

  • A plastic stand
  • An adjustable waist holder included in the package
  • Accessories and clothes
  • A personal pet
  • And even a “diary” that has a code for unlocking new and exciting stuff on the official Monster High website!

Packaging-wise, Monster High beats other lines of dolls (including Bratz and Barbie)…PERIOD!

VERY ‘Poseable’: What’s the use of a fashion doll that’s not able to pose the way you like!? Well, the good news is that these new Monster High dolls are jointed at the wrist, elbows, and knees – allowing you or your daughter to easily change their poses. PLUS, with hands and forearms that pop out at the elbow, re-dressing your Monster High doll is ABC-easy!

Click Here to Shop For Monster High Dolls Now

Supreme Master Via Satellite

Now that I have seen the ads for Supreme Master TV in the back of both the Economist and Businessweek(near the ads for offshore bank accounts), I decided that it is time I write about it.

The ad I first saw was the one in the Economist. It had the headline “What’s New and Exciting On The Internet” next to a picture of a blond Asian woman looking skyward. The ad was promoting a satellite channel that provided spiritual, and uplifting programming.

After doing a little searching around, I found out about Supreme Master Ching Hai – who Time magazine describes as the Buddhist Martha Stewart. An apt description.

Not only is Ching Hai enlightened, but a marketing maven who runs a chain of vegetarian restaurants, a clothing line, sells paintings and has a satellite TV network.

By all accounts, quite the character.

Also: is there a lot of weird stuff on satellite TV?

World War Z

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks is ostensibly about zombies but it could be interpreted in many different ways. One could say it is a book about environmental collapse, globalization or terrorism.

Your call. But really it is about the human response to a truly global and transnational crisis. First it demonstrates how modern systems and technology have the possibility of catastrophic failure in the face overwhelming odds, and then goes on to show the strong survival instincts of mankind in a sort of “Lord of the Flies” style anarchy. And then how humanity can adapt.

It is a series of oral histories, all connected via the central thread of a worldwide zombie plague(I know…I was skeptical at first since I never understood the current fascination with zombies), which threatens the entire world population with gruesome, anonymous death.

The reason why I read this book in the first place is because I wanted to read a speculative history of the 21st century. Not like something about high technology, but more about how human beings would behave in the future. And how a major disruption to the world system could change the geopolitical landscape: for instance, Cuba becomes the world’s foremost economy.

It’s a good book, and a fast read and I recommend it.

A Clay Statue For El Chile

Clay Woman of El ChileIt was the second day of construction. We were supposed to be building, but the supplies still hadn’t arrived. We were hanging out near the half constructed bodega that we were working on and started noticing the clay.

Natural inclination is to make little balls of clay. My soon to be sculpting collaborator Saelee mentioned Hikaru Dorodango, the Japanese art of polishing balls of mud until they are shiny. Tried that, and it did not really work out. Plus, I think you have to do it for a long time.

The mud balls – er clay – turned into an attempt to make a basketball out of clay for a quick game.

Also was not successful, but that basketball became the base for our “snowman”, which grew more elaborate as Steve – another esteemed colleague – began to gather small bits from around the construction site: roasted corn husks, flower petals, coffee beans, sticks, wood shavings. Really much of the natural detritus of the village.

It started to form. Eyes, ears, mouth, hair, lips, eyebrows, nose and arms. Then some clothes.

As we worked on this figure, more and more people from the town coming to watch. Absorbed, we did not notice that we had a huge audience until we were almost finished and at one point I remember Saelee asking, “there are a lot of people watching, aren’t there?”. I don’t really know if the people were thinking that we were just crazy gringos or some wayward santeros. Probably the former, right?

The end result is what you see in the accompanying picture: a fully formed clay woman.

Does Anyone Like Larry Mantle?

And I don’t mean any disrespect towards Mr. Mantle, who is a Southern California mainstay.

I want to like Airtalk, as sometimes I fancy myself as being civic minded like he is, and being more aware of local issues, but the program seriously bores me. And he is on during my morning drive time, so I am stuck with him(not really into Morning Becomes Eclectic either)

I know that he must be popular, and I am not advocating that he be removed from the air(sh*t he is a million times better than a room full of AM talk radio guys or Tom Leykis…which is not really saying much). On the other hand there are folks out there who hate him with a passion:

I hate Larry Mantle . Like, seriously. He’s the host of Air Talk on KPPC 89.3 from 10:00 – 12:00 every weekday morning…The above opinion on callers stemmed from my realization Larry Mantle conducts himself on air like a caller. He’s inarticulate, amateurish, rudimentarily informed, and utters as many “umms” and “aahs” as he does real words. Plus, his voice sounds like that of a deer-in-the-headlights 14 year old who just found himself at a senior party. Oh, and he takes callers, which makes his show suck to high heaven.

So what am I missing? What do I not know that would allow me to appreciate his show? How does everyone else out there feel?

Decompress

I spent last week drinking beer and riding my bike around the Black Rock Desert. Exactly what the doctor ordered to clear all the BS outta my psyche(for the time being I guess) and to return to life and work much refreshed.

There is a lot I could say about Burning Man, and risk being a “Burning Man Bore” but to me the real kicker, and the real reason that I love going out there is to spend quality time with friends that I don’t often get to see. I love the aspect of a coordinated vacation.

But yeah. You can expect hundreds of picture from me and them over the next couple of weeks.

And if you emailed me in the last week – I will be getting to you soon. I really should have set an auto-responder, but OK, I didn’t.