WORLDS SCARIEST SPIDERS

Spiders to a majority of people except arachnid lovers, are not only scary but also creepy and their webs irritating. It is very okay feeling this way because some spider species are vicious and deadly. There are about 40,000 different spider species in the world and more than half this number have a fatal bite enough to kill a human. Here is my list of spiders that make my stomach turn.

Brazilian Wandering Spider

Also known as the banana spider, the Brazilian spider belongs to the genus Phoneutria which is Greek for “murderess.” Its has been ranked in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most venomous spider in the world. The banana spider has a body stretching as long as 48mm and leg length of 15cm. It has a brownish color with black spots on its belly. Its name comes from the fact that the spider does not built webs but rather wanders off during the night to look for prey and during the day it hides under rocks, fallen logs, termite mounds and banana plants.

When it feels threatened the spider lifts its body upwards raising its two front legs in a defensive position revealing its red haired fangs. Men particularly need to stay off this arachnid because its bite causes a painful four hour erection then death if untreated. In 1996 fourteen people died from the banana spider bite before an antidote was found. The venom causes loss of muscle control which leads to paralysis and finally asphyxiation. The venom also increases blood-flow because of a chemical called nitric oxide and some pharmacists have considered using the venom as an erectile dysfunction drug.

The wandering spider is widely found in Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay. These are mostly the South American, Central American and Amazon areas. There are however reports of the spider spreading into other areas like Britain and United States through banana imports from Brazil. In my books, this is the world’s scariest spider but there are however other hair raising spider species that we might encounter and they are;

Black Widow

It’s shiny black with an hourglass shaped body and a red spot on the abdomen. They are called black widows because females are known for eating the males after mating. A black widow’s bite can also be fatal. They are found in any continent of the world except Antarctica.

Funnel Web Spider

The Australian Funnel spider may look small but its bite can be deadly especially to children. It’s black or brown with a shiny spot on its abdomen. They love humid conditions hence make burrows under rocks, rotting logs or in rough barked trees.

Interesting facts and myths about wines

So much is said about wines everyday; when and how to take it, what to take it with, who to take it with etc. So much information and guidelines, some wrong, some right. Well, this article provides a clear distinction between the facts and myths revolving around wines.

Myths about wine

  • Temperature of wine doesn’t matter

This is a common misconception when it comes to wine but fact is, white wines are better served chilled and red wines at room temperature. Cool temperatures allows the white wine to bring out their fruity taste while red wines contains components like tannins that accentuates the mouth feel of the wine. This can be best felt when the wine is warm to room temperature.

  • Boxed wines are for lower class people

Don’t judge a wine by its cover rather than its content. Many people align themselves with the thought that boxed wines are cheap and 2nd rate. There are box wines like the white chardonnay that are of high quality and can be used to entertain guests especially during festive seasons. Other advantages include they last for longer as they can be used upto two weeks after opening, easily measurable when one wants to drink and due to the box aspect of it, chances of it been broken after getting knocked over and breaking are minimal.

  • Champagne is enjoyed on special occasions only

In movies and most households, special occasions often prompt popping of champagne for celebration. This link has led to the limited use of champagne whereas there are numerous ways that one can use it on a regular basis. Hint* it is an excellent companion to finger foods like fish and chips.

  • Price of wine and quality goes hand in hand

Reputation in the wines business plays a major role when pricing wines. Example, a well-established and reputable grower will have much higher pricing as compared to counterpart that isn’t well known no matter the quality of wine. Much less like the most known brands of mobile phones, you will find that a phone with similar specification from a much lesser known mobile phone brand will cost almost half of that of a well-known brand.

Now it’s clear that not everything you hear about wines is true so always look for the truth by doing your own research. Common myths disputed! Now here are fun facts about wine that you probably didn’t know about wine

i. People who fear small enclosed spaces with no room to escape have a fear known as claustrophobia same as people who fear wines, they have oenophobia.

ii. Type 2 diabetes and stroke can be avoided by taking red wine occasionally. It brings positive health benefits.

iii. The four largest producers of wine include France, Spain, Italy and California.

iv. A man was at liberty to kill his wife if he ever found her taking wine during the early roman times as it was forbidden for women to drink.

How to Store Coffee Beans

In pursuit of ‘the perfect cup of coffee’, most coffee connoisseurs prefer buying their coffee whole bean and grinding it themselves before brewing. But just like any other food or beverage, there are certain conditions that could compromise the freshness – and the taste – of your coffee. Superior coffee beans stored correctly will make a quality cup of coffee. It would be a shame ending up with anything short of quality after shelling out a good amount of money on a bag of coffee beans, just because the beans were stored incorrectly. This article will give you some insight on how best to your coffee beans, for prolonged freshness and maximum flavor.

In order for you to know how best to store your coffee beans, you must first know the conditions that compromise their freshness and taste. These are air, heat, light, and moisture. To longer preserve the fresh, roasted flavor of your beans, they should be stored in an opaque and air-tight container. Clear storage containers are a no-no, as they allow light to pass through thus compromising the taste. It is also important to note that the packaging the coffee comes in is almost always impractical in terms of long-term storage.

The container itself should be kept in a cool, dark location in your kitchen. The location of storage is brought into play because some places in the kitchen are warmer and/or more exposed to heat and direct sunlight than others. For example, a spot on the kitchen counter could be directly exposed to sunlight and heat. This it is not ideal for the storage of coffee beans.

Another good tip storage tip for coffee beans is; it is better to buy it in smaller batches as needed. Probably enough to last you for a week or two. We have already established that exposure to air is not good for your beans. So if you buy it in big batches to store it, frequent access to the container could do damage to the beans. However, should you spot a great savings deal on a bulk buy of your favorite brand of coffee beans, this does not mean that you should shun it completely. You can still purchase in bulk and divide the beans into smaller portions for storage. The large, unused portion can be put in an air-tight container and stored away in a cool, dark place. Also, grind the amount of coffee beans you need immediately before you brew to limit exposure to air.

Refrigeration is the most convenient way of storing food and drinks in almost every household. There has been a long-standing debate on whether coffee beans can be refrigerated or not. For starters, coffee beans are naturally hygroscopic, meaning they tend to absorb moisture from the air around them. If the storage container is not completely air-tight, the coffee beans will absorb odors from foods in the refrigerator. Condensation can also form on the coffee beans when you open the container to take out the amount you need. However, if you must store them in the freezer, make sure that the container is completely air-tight and sealed shut. Then, before grinding, you should let it thaw till room temperature.

Why Cats Have Whiskers

Here is why you should never touch the whiskers of your cat!

Cats are very adorable domestic animals hence the reason why most people keep them as pests. Their elegance coupled with a unique fur of variant colours gives them a beautiful physique. These animals are very agile though with a high sense of tranquility. For some reasons, cats have whiskers that contribute to their impressive athletic abilities. But why do cats have whiskers?

What are whiskers?

Most people confuse them to be similar to human hair. However, unlike the moustache of a man, they are not to be associated with fashion. Whiskers are tactile hair like projections from the muzzle of a cat. They can also grow behind the front legs, in the ears, jaws and above the eyes.

Are cats the only animals with whiskers?

Of course not! Some species of mammals also have whiskers. A very good example is the primates. Scientists believe that these animals developed whiskers particularly as a nocturnal sensory adaptation. Some other animals like the dog also have whiskers.

Why do cats have whiskers?

The whiskers of a cat are very important for a variety of reasons. The following reasons summarizes what a cat uses its whiskers for.

Hunting

Whiskers enable cats to understand their environment. They are useful in detecting the location and size of an object. They can also detect texture. Usually, the cat achieves this by brushing its whiskers against an object, or feeling the air currents. Hence, the cat is also capable of detecting approaching objects even with the eyes closed.

Means of communication

When a cat feels threatened, it will retract its whiskers and make them stout. This clearly warns the intruder to stay away lest they experience the true opposite of mercy. However, when the whiskers of a cat are relaxed, it indicates that the cat is peaceful and satisfied.

For navigation

The length of the whiskers of a cat is equally as long as the breadth of a cat. This not only helps the cat to move around but also enable the cat to figure out if it can fit in a certain space.

Athletic abilities

The acrobatics of a cat do not just come easy. It takes accurate calculation of location and acute sense of touch to help the cat manoeuvre through the almost impossible angles.

Here is what you should not do

  1. You should not shave the whiskers of your cat

Cutting, shaving or trimming the whiskers of your cat will interfere with the sensory mechanisms of your cat. Your cat will then cease to perform any awesome manoeuvres. Besides, it will be difficult for them to locate prey or find their way in the dark.

  1. You should not pull the whiskers of your cat

This is very dangerous. The whiskers are very sensitive. You can agitate your cat and it can bite you or you can escape with minor scratches and bruises if you are lucky. Additionally, those whiskers are deeply rooted in the skin of a cat close to the nerve endings. Therefore, you can not only unnecessary pain your cat but also cause damage to the skin of your cat.

It is important that you take good care of your cat. Feed them well and always ensure that they are clean. Above all, thou shall not shave the whiskers of your cat! Because you now know why cats have whisker, right?

Grow Your Own Herbs

Growing your own herbs is more convenient than buying readily available herbs. Start small by maintaining a simple vegetable garden in your backyard. If you don’t enjoy working in the garden, try keeping plants (herbs) indoors. Generally, herbs do well in any environment. Most herbs require minimal light, sun, and water except a few types like rosemary which needs extra care after planting.

Plant in Pots or in the garden?

A number of factors come into play when deciding whether to grow herbs in the garden or in pots. If you opt to grow herbs indoors, consider whether the place where you plan to put your herbs get enough light during the day. Does it get enough moisture? How about temperature? How many windows does the space have?

Most herbs like basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, and sage do well planted in pots. Potted herbs need more watering and feeding because they won’t get the same nutrients that herbs planted in the ground will. Water is their number one killer –either too much water or little water will affect how your plants grow. There are exceptions like mint that need frequent watering. When watering, allow water to soak for about an hour, and then throw excess water away.

Herbs grown on the ground seem to be less demanding than potted herbs. They get enough moisture, temperature, and light. Temperature is crucial here, especially for flowering plants. They need a regular change in temperature in order to bloom.

Which Compost Should You use?

Most herbs like any other plant do well in loam-based compost. You can boost your plants by adding compost to the soil mixture especially when planting in pots.

Conclusion

It’s easy to have your own supply of herbs at home. To get the most out of herbs, pick them regularly to encourage a good supply of fresh, young shoots.

Effects of UK exit from EU

The United Kingdom exit from the European Union has been a move termed as Brexit. A move which has come to pass after a referendum conducted in less than 72 hours had the majority vote for her exit from the union. This came amid a raised concern by some of the Britons of the uncontrollable immigration to their borders that had happened.

Hence prompting the outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron to promise of a referendum that was meant to address this issue and other related matters that the Britons felt were not okay. All this was to happen after his re-election back to serve the country, a promise indeed he has kept. However now that the referendum has been conducted, and the “exist vote” has carried the day the following are the likely effects of this;

Trade

The European Union has been a single market with no tariffs on imports or exports between the member countries. This has facilitated smooth movement of goods and services from one country to another. Being a member to the union member, the member countries have had the chance of having a say in the drawing up of the trading rules. Therefore the exit of the UK will have the nation lose its bargaining power in the drawing of trade rules. It will have to make its independent trade rules with other countries, a process which will be time-consuming and with no surety of better trading partnerships. Its currency, the pound, is expected to lose value in relation to other trading currencies.

Immigration

A critical issue that the Brexit referendum was to address is affected with the given results seen. For some time now citizens of the member states of EU have had the freedom to move and work freely in any country. The UK has been a host and same to its citizens who are national elsewhere. Therefore its exit from the EU will have some of its citizens worry about residential rules and passport issues, as their free movement and working in and out of Britain will be limited. With the other possible result that those immigrants in the UK will lose their residential rights and working rights a situation forcing them to be deported.

For the international students those that the UK hosts and those Briton students in other countries, will have no option but clear up their studies in those respective countries and go back home. This is because they won’t have that priority in job selection and absorption that they always had.

In conclusion, the move made by the UK will not be felt at the moment, but its effects will be seen and felt in few years to come.

How to Save Money on Energy Bills this summer

In this summer, you can cut your energy bills almost in half without having to sit home in the dark or purchasing extra gadgets. You may already have heavy curtains on the window to keep heat out, ceiling fans, and you may have sealed all cracks to ensure that warm air stay outside but this will not be enough to cut down the energy bills. Below are some extra low-cost things you can do to cut energy bills during this summer.

Unplug Electronics which are not in Use.

You might be wasting energy without realizing it mostly by leaving electronics and other appliances plugged in when not in use. Markedly, there are some appliances which can drain power even when they are turned off. Any device with a light or clock will consume power 24 hours a day even when it is turned off. A case example is leaving a charger plugged in when it is not charging your phone. However, this does not mean that you have to unplug all your electronics and electrical appliances whenever they are not in use. Instead, you should plug them in surge protectors or wall switches, and upon turning the main switch off, there will be no power drain.

Program the Thermostat

If you have a thermostat, you should consider programming it to match your needs. This way you will realize the maximum benefits of having a thermostat this summer. A programmable thermostat will save you up to 10 percent of your energy bills every year. If you don’t know how to program it, you can seek the services of a technician who will set it according to your specifications.

Load up your Washing Machine

Regardless of whether your washing machine is full, you will use the same amount of energy and power As such, it is advisable to ensure that you always do full loads which will save you the extra energy you would have used if you did two half loads. Also, you can do laundry using cold water which will save you the heating costs. You can also skip the dry cycle on the washing machine and instead hang them out in a solar clothes dryer.

Avoid Frigid Air-Conditioner Temperatures

Considering the hot temperatures during this summer, you will be tempted the set the air conditioner to very low temperatures. However, this can be very expensive considering that the temperatures will still rise upon switching off the air conditioner. You should set your air conditioner reasonably or look for other ways to cool the body off such as taking a cold shower.

Go Wireless

It always pays when you get away from 2D electronics for a while. You can ditch your Facebook friends for a while and instead socialize with friends from the real world. Organizing a pool party, or a game night will distract you from using energy consuming gadgets by giving you the same amount of entertainment.

How to go about Buying your First Car

At some point in everyone’s life, and particularly at the college level, the dream of owning a car is as disturbing as a growing tooth. Scrolling through webpages and magazines, as well as ogling at flashy rides in traffic, become the norm. When it is, however, time to actualize the dream and own a vehicle, reality kicks in. Unlike the flashy rides that once marked their dreams; they now have to choose one based on their budget, priorities, family size or social class.

Lest more people are caught unawares when this happens, here are some actionable tips for first-time car owners to simplify the process.

First, establishing a realistic budget determines what kind of car to buy. This is done by calculating the necessary expenditures and then directing the remainder to the purchase of the car. In this way, you can tell whether you are in a comfortable position to buy the car all by yourself or not. If not so, car purchase financing is a viable option.

Second, knowing the purpose of purchasing the vehicle determines what to buy. For instance, buying a two-seater car when one has a family of six is unrealistic. You do not have to buy something that does not satisfy all your needs.

Third, finding out the proper price for the vehicle safeguards first-time car buyers from exploitation. Each car has an average price when new or refurbished. If the price is too high, that is exploitation. Again, there is a ground for doubt if the price seems too good to be true. To be safe, make sure you conduct sufficient research on your preferred model lest you fall for junk.

Fourth, ensure that you are conducting business with a legit dealer that is unlikely to lie to you about the car. Rogue dealers will know that the car you intend to purchase has a particular fault but will not tell you. It is also important that you agree on terms such as contacting them if the vehicle develops problems soon after you purchase it.

Finally, before completing the purchase, test driving the potential buy is a must: not an option! Test drives ensure that one buys a car that runs smoothly, has the right height, control layout, wheel alignment and favorable outward visibility. Never accept a car that does not impress you on this very crucial (first) drive.

Top 8 Google Chrome Extensions That Everyone Should Be Using

While extensions are not required on Google Chrome, they drastically improve functionality over the stock browser. There is a limit on how many extensions you run before you will start to notice a performance hit on your computer, which will vary from system to system. Just pay attention to your system and if you start to notice a slowdown, the culprit very well may be the last Chrome extension you added to your system.

Typio Form Recovery

Have you ever written something and then your browser crashes and you lose everything you had just written? There is an extension called Typio Form Recovery that will remember your last entries for a customizable number of days into any place you enter text with the exception of password fields. If you would like to save your passwords as well, you can toggle it on in the settings. Typio Form Recovery stores everything locally on the machine, meaning someone won’t be able to hack a central server to retrieve whatever they might be seeking from you writing history.

Pushbullet

Pushbullet makes it easy to share content from one device to another. An example of this is if you are reading recommendations for a restaurants food online on your desktop. When you are ready to head out and try them out, you might want to send the recommendation to your phone. With Pushbullet this is seamless, once installed, just press the Pushbullet icon on Chrome, choose the devices section and choose the device you would like to send it to. And it works both ways, so if you are viewing something on your phone, you can send it just as easily to your desktop from iOS or Android devices.

Adblock Plus

Some advertisements are created to be very intrusive and potentially contain malware which can harm your computer, and by extension, you. Adblock Plus empowers you to block annoying ads that don’t meet Adblock Plus’s requirements, e.g. are extremely intrusive, contains malware etc. This way you don’t need to feel bad about blockings websites that you love and are ad supported.

Session Buddy

Managing tabs can be tough. You might end up with several windows, all full of tabs that you know you need to reference for one reason or another. When this happens and you want to close everything, or to close just a few specific windows without losing anything, you can use Session Buddy. It stores all of your browsing sessions separately. You can choose to save an entire session at any time and it also stores your previous sessions automatically when you close Chrome. When you are ready to bring a previous session back, all you have to do is locate the session time and choose specific tabs from your session, choose to open your previous session in their respective windows, in one window (which is separate from your current window) or in the current window.

Google Dictionary

When browsing online you will inevitably come across a word that you don’t know. With Google dictionary installed you can simply double click on a word and a little popup will show the definition along with an audio option so you can listen to how the word is pronounced.

Pocket

When you come across an article that you would like to read later you can save it to your Pocket reading list. Pocket will then generally strip out ads and displays it on a book-like page in order to improve its readability. With Pocket’s chrome extension installed you can right-click on any webpage to bring up the context and save it to your Pocket.

Visual Ping

Visual Ping will allow you to monitor any web page for changes. You can even set it to alert you depending on the amount of change made on the page and the specific location on the page. If you are looking for a job that is currently filled, you can set an alert so as soon as the job listing page changes, it will send you an email. This also provides you the advantage of potentially being first to apply for the job.

Dashlane

The Dashlane extension, coupled with the their desktop client are great for boosting your security. You can randomly generate passwords, save your current ones, automatically fill in forms and enter payment information with this extension.

Google Chrome’s own built-in password manager stores your passwords in plain text. So anyone who is able to gain access to your browser can bring up your passwords and use them, unlike Dashlane. With Dashlane you have to enter your master password before you can view your passwords. If you are logging into a new browser or haven’t logged in for a long time, Dashlane will verify it is really you by requiring two factor authentication.

Subliminal Language Learning. Fact or Myth ?

Travelling enthusiasts have always had special linguistic curiosities. How often have you wanted to learn more about a certain language during a cruise or trip towards an exotic place? Some people say that the simplest way to learn the basics of a language is to interact with the natives. While that is true, wouldn’t it be great if we could learn a language by simply diving among its speakers, without any conscious effort from our side?

What is subliminal learning?

Generally speaking, subliminal learning means learning the complex rules of a foreign language without actively pursuing it. This process is displayed best and most often in children, who can learn the basics of multiple languages easily and without having any idea of concepts like grammar or pronunciation.

In the case of an adult who wants to learn a language, this process is usually more complicated and success is not guaranteed. The general question still remain, though – are adults still capable of subliminal learning?

Learning while sleeping

One of the most popular ideas behind subliminal learning techniques is learning in your sleep. The idea is to fall asleep with headphones in your ears in which you constantly hear phrases of a language, but not loud enough that they actually interfere with your sleep.

Although this technique does not work for learning a language at a fluent level, those who have also participated in active learning throughout the day have discovered that night-time repetitions help them remember words better.

This approach was subject to extensive testing, which has proven that the technique is useful for remembering phrases and words. Groups of students who have slept for a few hours with headphones in their ears have performed much better in testing that those who did not do this exercise.

Learning a foreign language without conscious effort is possible – although only up to a certain level, at least while using the technologies and methods available at this time. Adults should also actively participate in the learning process in order to follow up on grammar and vocabulary lessons from during the night. Studies have shown that nocturnal repetitions can greatly aid in refining your knowledge and are very recommended. So, if you want to learn a new language while traveling, focus on active learning during the day and let your subconscious help you during the night.