(NewsUSA) - Engineers have given the world many of the great innovations we live by today -- Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, the Wright Brothers and Henry Ford, just to mention some household names.
But did you know what else each of those great engineers did to realize success? They founded great enterprises to support the potential of their engineering innovations.
The great American tradition of engineers-as-entrepreneurs continues today. Young, ambitious visionaries are still coming forward, stoked with ideas and the savvy to bring these ideas to life by bringing them to market. Sometimes they've conceived a previously undreamt-of way to improve some aspect of life we all face every day. Sometimes they've dreamed of making life just a little bit easier for people in far-flung or disadvantaged parts of the world. Sometimes they're figuring out how to make modern life greener and cleaner for everyone.
Ecovative Design LLC, Green Island, N.Y., is a great example of this tradition in operation today. Ecovative was founded by Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre in 2006. They met at an Inventor's Studio course at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy N.Y., where they created and eventually patented a mushroom-based insulation then called Greensulate, using agricultural waste and the growth properties of mushrooms to grow packing material that functions like traditional Styrofoam but biodegrades harmlessly.
Another leading engineer-entrepreneur today is Amos Winter, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Winter is the creator of the Leveraged Freedom Chair, an ingenious improvement on traditional wheelchair design that takes advantage of levers and easily sourced bike parts to overcome the problems that have prevented traditional wheelchairs from succeeding in the unpaved, hilly and muddy regions of the developing world.
Besides obvious brilliance, ambition and drive, what unites young visionaries like Bayer, McIntyre and Winter?
One thing they all have in common is that they received an early boost by bringing their visions and plans to the Innovation Showcase, or iShow. Sponsored by ASME, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, the iShow is a competition for early-career engineer-entrepreneurs from all over the world. Bayer, McIntyre and Winter are not just brilliant -- they're iShow Winners.
For more information, visit www.asme.org.
(NewsUSA) - The commitment to get to the gym on a regular basis may have come and gone for many by now -- and understandably so.
While most people may have the desire, busy lives usually trump resolutions. Before you know it, your fitness goals have fallen by the wayside. Worse yet, maybe you've been able to get to the gym, but injuries and soreness are threatening to derail you. If this is the case, the answer may not lie in your local fitness center, but rather in a more alternative approach to health and wellness -- in the privacy of your own home.
Infrared saunas are now being championed by doctors and other medical professionals as a way to relieve joint pain, facilitate weight loss, reduce stress and boost the immune system.
This new wave of saunas is different in that the heat from an infrared sauna can penetrate up to 3 inches into your body, heating muscle tissue and even internal organs without heating the surrounding air. This lower heat range allows users to stay in the sauna for a longer period of time, while discharging toxins stored in your cells, and purging it out of the body by turning it into sweat.
The advantage of the longer session is that you sweat more and for a longer time so you burn added calories. Depending on your metabolism, half an hour in an infrared sauna could utilize 500-700 calories or the equivalent of a two-mile jog.
For David Floyd, founder of the Hi-Q Fitness center, creating a product that would serve as a complete home health spa seemed a natural progression for users who wanted to lose weight, shed toxins, alleviate joint and muscle pain while at the same time reversing the aging process.
"Most of us are far too busy, and frankly no longer enjoy the gym experience. I designed the Hi-Q because I, like millions of others, crave the feeling of (and aspire to be) being at or near the conditioning level that we were in our late 20s and 30s," he says.
To this end, the new patent-pending Hi-Q Fitness center can be used as an at-home gym by anyone, regardless of age or physical limitations. You can perform exercise routines using bands in the sauna, or simply enjoy its healing properties of loosening stiff muscles, ligaments and tendons, all while burning calories and purging your body of toxins.
For more information, visit www.fitnesshiq.com.
(NewsUSA) - Running a small business can be tough, and keeping the money you earn in your pocket can be a challenge, especially at tax time. Check out these tips to help ensure you don't give more money to the government than you must:
1. Deduct everything you can. The IRS has a variety of ways it helps small businesses, but many owners don't take full advantage of all of the deductions they can claim. For example, if there's a place in your home that you use exclusively for business, you can deduct some of your housing costs. For your 2013 return, you can claim $5 per sq. ft. of your office up to 300 sq. ft.
Mileage is another overlooked expense. You can deduct the miles you drive for business, such as driving to see a client or pick up supplies. Every trip counts, even the short ones, so it pays to keep track of your business mileage. Small businesses can deduct 56 cents for each mile travelled.
Other deductions small businesses are eligible for include travel expenses like tolls and parking, 50 percent of meals with clients, as well as supplies and furniture for your office.
2. Use the right business structure. Small businesses can be structured in various ways, and choosing the right structure for your particular business can affect how much or how little you pay in taxes. Most small businesses choose to operate as a sole proprietor, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation. A tax specialist can advise you which structure is best for you, but as a general rule of thumb, if your business generates more than $50,000 in profit, you can save taxes by incorporating.
3. Don't get penalized. Many small business owners end up paying more to the government because they file late, resulting in the IRS charging interest, late fees and penalty fees. Missing deadlines is often the result of not being organized, which is all too common for owners focused on generating sales and servicing clients, rather than maintaining their books.
To keep organized, many owners are taking advantage of technology and turning to cloud-based systems like FreshBooks (www.freshbooks.com), which makes it easy to stay on top of accounting tasks like invoicing and expense tracking. Such systems also allow the owner to send their accountant all the reports and information they need with one click.
(NewsUSA) - While it may not be a cure-all, the benefits of drinking water are numerous. So, why do Americans find it so difficult to sip from what is arguably the fountain of youth?
Answers vary, but the fact is, one in 10 Americans drink zero cups of water per day, according to a study by Dr. Alyson Goodman, a medical epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Zero.
"Water is vital for life," she says. "Many health risks decrease when you drink plain water."
Which is why, she says, the results are "mind-boggling."
Robert Eakle, CEO of Alkame Water, agrees. "Without water, no living thing can survive," he says. "It affects every area of our life and is an essential part to maintaining proper health."
The following reasons should help you discern why choosing water over any other drink is the better option:
* It balances body fluids. Your body is composed of about 60 percent water and performs vital functions such as protecting your organs and tissues, regulating your body temperature and carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells -- essentially it keeps your body running like a well-oiled machine.
* It keeps skin looking good. Water moisturizes your skin and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss (think free anti-aging cream). In addition, it can keep your skin fresh and smooth.
* It boosts the immune system. Those who guzzle water are less likely to get sick. This crystal-clear concoction helps fight against flu, cancer and other ailments -- especially if your water has mild alkaline properties such as those found in Alkame Water. Including ionized water in your daily intake can give your immune system a boost through added antioxidants, improve aerobic capacity, enhance energy levels and, through a patented technology that alters the molecular structure of water, hydrate your body more fully.
* It can help control calories. While drinking water may not be a weight-loss strategy per se, substituting it for higher-calorie or sugar-filled beverages can help by removing byproducts of fat, filling you up so you're not noshing. It also acts as a natural appetite suppressant and raises your metabolism.
Alkame Water, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alkame Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: ALKM). For more information about Alkame Water and its health benefits, visit www.alkamewater.com.
(NewsUSA) - With the economy still so tepid that about 75 percent of all new jobs created this year were part-time, guess which occupation is expected to see an employment growth rate that's faster than the average of all others?
(Hint: It's not coffeehouse baristas, all those recent college grads working shifts notwithstanding.)
Give up? Chiropractors -- with employment projected to rise 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Here's what helps explain why Careercast.com ranks these specialists in spinal health and overall well-being No. 11 (out of 200) on its 2013 annual "Jobs Rated" report:
* Personal Satisfaction. How cool is it knowing you're providing patients relief from debilitating headaches, back, neck and joint pain? Well, the American Journal of Public Health reported that "chiropractic patients were found to be more satisfied with their back care providers after four weeks of treatment than were medical patients."
* Market Demand. You've got a general public increasingly interested in nonsurgical and drug-free based treatments -- chiropractic care's essence -- plus all those baby boomers desperate to maintain their active lifestyles. "Time and again, we've seen patients spared surgery through chiropractic care," says David O'Bryon, JD, CAE, executive director of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, who recently launched a strategic partnership with the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (www.yes2chiropractic.org). "Chiropractic's whole-patient approach enlists the body's own healing processes, naturally."
* Career Flexibility. Owning your practice means you're the boss. But other options include associating with an established chiropractor, teaching, conducting research, working within an on-site corporate health clinic and specializing in budding fields like sports performance.
For more information about a career in chiropractic, visit: www.discoverchiropractic.org.
(NewsUSA) - If Uncle Sam's generosity to offer extensions on filing your tax returns sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, what's the catch?
When an extension is filed, it is just an extension on the time to file; it is not an extension on the time to pay. If a taxpayer owes $1,000 on a personal return and files an extension, he or she has until October 15 to file the return. But, if the $1,000 is still owed on April 15, interest and penalties start to accrue.
To avoid paying a penalty, make as accurate an estimate of your tax liability as possible, based on the information you have. If it appears you will have a balance due, make a payment before April 15. If your information changes between the extension and the actual filing of your return, at least you will have minimized your penalty.
"If filing your return by April 15 of this year just isn't going to happen, there are actually several ways you can request an automatic extension of time to file an individual return," says Betsey Buckingham, EA, an enrolled agent with David C. Murray and Company, Inc. of Troy, Ohio, and president of the National Association of Enrolled Agents.
"You can e-file the 'Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Tax Return,' which can be found on the IRS website (Form 4868), or you can print that application out and mail it to the IRS," she says. "All or part of your estimate of the income tax due can be paid with a credit or debit card, or by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System."
You can find a list of service providers on Form 4868 through which you can pay your tax debt by phone or Internet. Just make sure to hang onto the confirmation number, in case the IRS comes calling later.
If the IRS does come calling this year, get in touch with a licensed tax professional. Only enrolled agents (EAs), CPAs and attorneys have unlimited rights to represent you before the IRS. The term "enrolled agent" reflects that an EA can act as your agent before administrative levels of the IRS -- meaning he or she can talk to or meet with IRS in your stead.
To find an enrolled agent in your area, visit the searchable "Find an EA" directory at www.naea.org.
(NewsUSA) - Para las familias que buscan ahorrar dinero, reducir los gastos domésticos es una forma de generar dinero extra y maximizar el ahorro. Un gasto en el que tal vez no ha notado que puede haber un ahorro importante es en su factura de telefonía móvil.
Según el informe de Nielsen "El Estado del Consumidor Hispano: El Imperativo del Mercado Hispano", la factura promedio de telefonía móvil de los hispanos es un 8 por ciento superior a la del mercado en general. Al tomar las medidas adecuadas, podría reducir su factura mensual y ver que los ahorros aumentan con el tiempo mientras permanece en contacto con sus familiares y amigos.
Para sacar el máximo provecho de su servicio móvil y quedarse con más dinero en su bolsillo, tenga en cuenta estos consejos de GoSmart Mobile para reducir costos:
1. No pague por lo que no necesita. No se deje engañar pensando que los planes ilimitados son la mejor opción. Elegir un plan que se adapta a sus necesidades puede ayudarle a ahorrar dinero en su factura de telefonía móvil anualmente. Si no usa su teléfono para navegar por Internet, adquiera un plan económico que ofrece llamadas ilimitadas o llamadas y mensajes de texto ilimitados. O si es un usuario poco frecuente de Internet, considere los planes de prepago de bajo precio con velocidades 2G/3G.
2. Considere los planes de telefonía móvil "sin contrato" o prepagados. Los planes de telefonía móvil "sin contrato" son opciones excelentes para los consumidores que cuidan su presupuesto. Por ejemplo, GoSmart ofrece planes sin contrato anual utilizando una red confiable a nivel nacional a partir de $ 25 al mes (más impuestos). O usted puede elegir planes de llamadas, texto e Internet desde $ 35 al mes. Además, todos los planes ahora vienen con acceso ilimitado a Facebook para que se mantenga en contacto con sus amigos y familiares sin costo adicional, incluso si no cuenta con un plan de datos. Visite www.GoSmartMobile.com para obtener más detalles.
3. Use su propio dispositivo (USPD). A los proveedores de servicios móviles les encanta vender teléfonos inteligentes con sus planes, lo que generalmente significa que deberá pagar algo por adelantado y luego más para cubrir el costo de ese dispositivo cada mes. Pero las cosas están cambiando. Algunos proveedores, incluyendo GoSmart, le permiten usar su propio teléfono compatible con el servicio en sus redes. Usted paga una pequeña cuota inicial para comprar un kit de SIM (normalmente alrededor de $10), pero ese es el único costo relacionado con el dispositivo que usted incurrirá. Para los consumidores que cuidan su presupuesto, USPD puede ser una excelente forma de controlar los costos de los servicios móviles.
4. Controle el uso y evite excesos. Existe una serie de aplicaciones gratuitas que pueden ayudarle a controlar su consumo mensual y que envían actualizaciones o alertas cuando se está aproximando a su límite. Utilice un motor de búsqueda popular para encontrar la que le convenga más. O simplemente revise usted mismo el consumo a través de la aplicación de ajustes en los dispositivos con sistemas operativos iOS y Android.
(NewsUSA) - If you're reading this story, you're probably one of the approximately 825,000 couples who've just gotten engaged since Thanksgiving and are now planning your wedding. So here's perhaps the single most important reminder -- and grooms do seem to need more reminding than brides -- anyone will offer: Tradition holds that you both exchange wedding presents.
(Yes, grooms, even though you just bought her an engagement ring.)
But what to get?
"Gifts should come from the heart," says WeddingChannel.com.
Well, yeah. But that still leaves a lot of room for error. So here's some tips to keep in mind whether you two opt for some type of jewelry -- the traditional and most popular choice -- or something else.
* Practicality can wait. Etiquette dictates that gifts be exchanged at one of three times: the night before the wedding, the morning of the ceremony, or right before you leave on your honeymoon. So you could see where this has the potential for becoming a bigger disaster than Chernobyl if the groom's idea of "practical" is, say, a toaster.
* Being uniquely personal is appreciated. One of the best examples we've heard of is a guy who had a photographer secretly capture the moment he proposed in New York's Central Park, and then presented the results to his bride on the day of their wedding.
"So cute!" read a typical blog post.
The downside, of course, is that pulling it off requires imagination and -- in this instance -- a lot of advance planning.
* Jewelry can be "traditional" without being boring. Case in point: the very hot Argyle diamonds trend (www.diamondswithastory.com), which fulfills the quest of even the most eco-minded couples for diamond fashion jewelry since the stones are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way from the Argyle mine in Australia. And the diamonds, themselves, come in gorgeous neutral shades like champagne, cognac, silver and gray.
"If your bride likes something different from what all her friends have," says jewelry and style expert Michael O'Connor, "then the Argyle diamond bracelets, necklaces and earrings are perfect and available at many retailers across the country -- I've even spotted women at gyms wearing the diamond pendants. And the cufflinks for men are truly elegant."
Perhaps because prices start at as little as a few hundred dollars for some pieces, O'Connor calls them "the ideal gateway gift." Meaning, you can use other occasions -- think birthdays and anniversaries -- to add to your collection through the years.
Yes, brides and grooms, you'll soon have to start planning your next milestone together.
(NewsUSA) - Named after a small town in her home state of Idaho, Picabo Street gained fame as an Olympic gold medalist and World Cup ski champion. But her career might've literally gone downhill had she not turned to chiropractic care.
"Chiropractic has been a life saver for me," says Street. "I can say that [without it] I do not think that I would be able to ski today, recreationally or otherwise."
Street won a gold medal in the 1998 Winter Olympics. Later that year, she slammed into a fence and broke her leg in multiple places. Despite this setback, she refused to give up -- and after her recovery, committed herself to getting back on the slopes.
She returned in 2000, but was unable to train without the help of medication. After meeting her chiropractor, she was training prescription-free after two treatments.
"After I had met with Dr. Craig Buhler, I can honestly say it's made a profound impact on my life," she says. "It has allowed me to chase my dreams and make them come true."
Street retired from competitive sports after the 2002 Olympic games. Movie-goers can see her in the documentary "Doctored," where she talks about the benefits of chiropractic care and can be seen receiving care. For more information, visit www.yes2chiropractic.org.
(NewsUSA) - Don't you just hate food scolds? Especially when they're as certain they're right as all those tech geniuses were about iPhones never replacing Blackberries.
Well, in some cases, people are actually basing their assumptions on either pure myth or the latest diet fad. You know, as in: Gluten is bad for you. And listening to them can actually be risky.
"Food myths are dangerous because they can deprive you of the benefits of a healthy diet," says Tara Gidus, MS, R.D., who's the team dietician for basketball's Orlando Magic.
Here's a few myths that deserve to be debunked.
MYTH: All yogurt is good for you. C'mon, if you smother anything with enough sugary fruits and toppings, it becomes dessert.
MYTH: Fresh veggies are more nutritious than frozen or canned. Lived on a farm lately? We didn't think so or you'd know, as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics's Melissa Joy Dobbins explains, that veggies (and fruits) "are canned as soon as they're picked so they're at peak nutrition."
There's also been research showing that canned tomatoes, in particular, contain more of the heart disease-protective carotenoid pigment lycopene than fresh ones. And since statistics indicate that, for some reason, adding tomatoes to your diet is related to increased consumption of healthy vegetables of all kinds -- hey, ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture why -- maybe we should all consider stocking up on cans of, say, Hunt's tomatoes (www.hunts.com).
MYTH: Gluten-free diets are healthier. Chalk this one up to the hottest new diet fad. Without even really knowing what gluten is -- it's a protein found in wheat, barley and rye -- people have somehow gotten it into their heads that the 99 percent of Americans who don't have celiac disease should also avoid it.
Problem is, such whole-grain foods happen to be rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and fiber, and may even help lower the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. That explains why no less than Peter H.R. Green, the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, told WebMD that going gluten-free "isn't something that anyone should do casually."
MYTH: Eggs are bad for your heart. According to the Harvard Medical School, the only large study that addressed the issue found "no connection between the two." However, egg yolks do contain a lot of cholesterol, calories and fat. So for a lean and healthier option, discard the yolk or switch to pourable egg whites-only Egg Beaters (www.eggbeaters.com).