Viewer Automotive Questions ~ Podcast Episode 126

Today on the Automotive Podcast, I will be taking your car related questions. The “Viewer Automotive Question” shows are done every Monday. If you have a car question for a show like this, email me Charles(at)Humblemechanic(DOT)com.  Be sure to put the phrase “Question for Charles” in the subject. That is the best way to avoid…

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Science Says Eating Whole Fresh Lemons Make You Stronger

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“When life gives you lemons, you don’t make lemonade. You use the seeds to plant a whole orchard—an entire franchise!”

—Anthon St. Maarten

 

Lemon is one of the most commonly used ingredients when it comes to the culinary arts. It has the ability to bring its own tangy flavor and enhance the dish’s other flavors. The lemon is said to be a “flavor catalyst,” meaning it opens the taste buds so the flavors that follow it are more prominent.

 

Aside from their culinary advantages, lemons have many health benefits. They contain large amounts of vitamin C, as well as riboflavin, thiamine, iron, magnesium, pantothenic acid, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, calcium and folate.

 

Here are 11 ways that fresh lemons will make you stronger. As Kelly Clarkson sings, “What lemon doesn’t make you stronger? Stand a little taller.”

 

1. They fight free radicals.

 

Free radicals are microscopic annoyance that are responsible for damaging cells and cellular membranes. They can cause inflammation, chronic diseases and accelerated aging.

 

The large amounts of vitamin C in a lemon neutralizes the free radicals. It also helps prevent the buildup of free radicals and can aid in stopping the progression of atherosclerosis and heart disease in diabetics.

 

2. They boost your immune system.

 

Punch your flu in the face by boosting your immune system. The citric acid, bioflavonoids, vitamin C, calcium and pectin are your immune system’s sidekick—they will boost your immune system and keep infections at bay.

 

3. They protect your cells from cancer.

 

Lemons contain limonene which has been shown to halt the growth of cancer tumors in animals. The limonoids in citrus fruits can protect the cells from damage that can lead to cancer according to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

 

4. They neutralize chemicals in your body.

 

Our bodies are naturally acidic and lemons, when metabolized, become alkaline. This reduces our body’s overall acidity, which draws uric acid from the joints. This can reduce the pain and inflammation which many people feel in their joints.

 

5. They increase your energy and alertness.

 

The success of climbing Mount Everest, according to Sir Edmund Hillary, is because of the lemon. Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owner Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research, says “[lemons] increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness and more mental energy.”

 

6. They keep your intestines running smooth.

 

Lemons are a good addition to help you intake enough fiber. The fiber in lemons will help you avoid becoming constipated or developing hemorrhoids. Fiber has also been shown to decrease the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and diverticulitis.

 

7. They improve your mood.

 

Turns out lemons do not make sour people. Lemons contain more negatively charged ions that when reacted with positively charged ions create a positive reaction. This reaction will boost improve your mood and elevate your energy levels. They promote clearer thinking and help reduce anxiety and depression.

 

8. They remove toxins and waste.

 

Lemon juice is similar in atomic composition to the digestive juices and saliva found in your body. This allows lemons to do a great job at breaking down material, encouraging the liver to produce bile, and helps you flush away unwanted materials and toxins from the digestive process.

 

9. They make your skin clearer.

 

Lemons help to push toxins from the body and support healthier liver functions. This results in skin that is clear and supple. The vitamin C in lemons can decrease wrinkles and blemishes. The way to clearer skin starts with good nutrition.

 

10. They reduce the chance of kidney stones.

 

Kidney stones develop from an inadequate amount of citrate in your urine. Lemons raise the levels of citrate in your body, helping to prevent kidney stones from developing or being enlarged.

 

11. They decrease your blood pressure.

 

Lemons are also high in potassium which helps to keep blood vessels soft and flexible. This will reduce your blood pressure. The vitamin B found in lemons is also beneficial to your heart.

 

How to Eat a Lemon

 

A lemon has three distinct parts that can be consumed: the juice, the carpels, and the zest.

 

The juice can be squeezed on your meals, mixed in with drinks, or used to make pure lemon juice. Mixing lemon with water is a good way to give your water some flavor so that you drink adequate amounts of water in a day.

 

The carpels are the inside segments that you can eat. You can eat them raw, but many people find the juice too strong. A good way around this is to squeeze the juice into a separate container for different use and then eat the carpels.

 

The zest is the outer colored part of the peel that is often used to flavor foods. To make zest, place your lemon peels in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then take the peels and grate them.

Featured photo credit: Lemons/ Liz West via flickr.com

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What Is Vehicle Bulb Monitoring ~ Video

Today I am joined by Paul from ShopDAP.com. We are talking about bulb monitoring. This is not a new technology for cars. Even back in 2004 the VW Touareg had a system that would alert the driver when a bulb was out. But this feature is not reserved for high end cars today. I would…

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Study Finds Sarcastic Comments Boost Creativity

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Sarcasm is best known as the lowest form of wit, often by those who are frequently burned by it. Most people encourage you to avoid using it in daily speech. This is especially true when talking to people you do not know.

Sarcasm gets a bad rap and not without just cause. Too much sarcasm can lead to contempt, hurt and the inability to get anyone to take you seriously. Yet, sarcasm is not all bad. In fact, there is some evidence that from greater sarcasm comes greater creativity.

According to recent research, people who use sarcasm tend to be more creative. Those who have sarcasm directed at them are also more creative by extension. Thus, instead of disowning sarcasm altogether, it can be used to spark creativity in certain scenarios.

What Is Sarcasm?

Sarcasm is a form of speech known as irony. It is the most common form of irony. It is often used as a humorous way to show thinly veiled disapproval or contempt.

Sarcasm is like mockery. Unlike mockery, sarcasm is most often detected in a person’s tone and vocal inflections. This is part of the reason why some people struggle to understand sarcasm between two cultures.

Sarcasm Is Often Misinterpreted

Some people interpret sarcasm as being rude. Others distinguish it as a valuable way to express your discontent without sounding like a complete jerk. Only one thing is certain: it is often misinterpreted.

In a recent study, two people were asked to read different scenarios. In the scenarios, one person was doing something deemed as negative and a second person was commenting on the action. The second person would either comment saying something with a literal meaning or something sarcastic.

Not surprisingly, people saw the sarcastic statements as being more negative than the literal statements.

In another study, researchers noted that sarcasm is often misunderstood. This is particularly true when sarcasm is in writing. This is not a surprise considering that sarcasm relies on intonation and inflections.

What is surprising was that people who deemed written sarcasm as being negative, thought they correctly interpreted the message 90 percent of the time. Yet, their confidence waned when it was time to interpret voice messages.

Sarcastic People = Creative People?

Sarcasm is a difficult tool to use correctly. However, this is what makes it force people to be creative when using and interpreting speech.

Because sarcasm relies on inflections and is so often misunderstood, it requires people to think more creatively to be able to understand the comment. If the comment does not resonate with the person right away, such as trying to sell them payday loans, they have to spend more time analyzing the comment to figure out what it is about.

This process is an abstract one which relies on and promotes creative thinking. With so many meanings possible, the listener has to switch on their brain to process the information if they want to understand the real meaning.

Of course, sarcasm does not always require creative thought. Used in the wrong situation, it can shut down a conversation or a relationship. Thus, sarcasm is best used in relationships where the two people know each other well and have a strong relationship built on trust.

The need for a solid foundation is why you are able to respond in a creative and sarcastic manner to your best friend. However, if your boss makes a sarcastic comment, you are more likely to take it seriously and have a difficult time interpreting it. It’s hard to know if your boss means that you did a good job or if they mean that you actually did a terrible job when they used a sarcastic tone.

The word sarcasm comes from the Greek and Latin words “to tear flesh.” Even if it is tempting to use your more creative side, you should always think before unleashing that humorous hostility on another person.

Featured photo credit: Nirvana Melo via flickr.com

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Three Powerful Mindfulness Tips That Can Change Your Life

Three Powerful Mindfulness Tips That Can Change Your Life

how to be mindful

  1. Be the master of every moment

You are the master of your mind and only you can decide what you’re feeling. Don’t let other people put you down with their words and actions. You have the decision to give in to their misery or to remain unaffected and pleasant.

Think of them as giving you a present; inside of it is a little misery. Your mind has a choice to accept it or not. Without accepting the present, what happens to the present? It remains with the owner and they have to deal with it. People often receive one present of misery and give ten presents back. This just feeds the cycle of misery and it’ll keep going. People who feed the cycle want to receive your attention and get a reaction; don’t give into this. By understanding how this cycle works, you should remain unaffected and stop the cycle.

As humans we crave social interaction, and when we are desperate for attention we say things or do things we don’t mean. It’s a really petty way of getting attention, but that’s okay because that’s what makes us human.

Whether it be for their ego or for their misery – accept that the people you’re dealing with just want to be desperately heard. Don’t feed their ego or misery and remain unaffected; we aren’t cavemen anymore. You have a choice to let things go!

  1. Respect the law of impermanence

We have all heard the saying “what comes up must come down”, and that applies to life as well. People give insufficient attention to this little detail in life. No matter how happy you are in life, there will be a time when that happiness goes away. Same goes with pain, no matter how painful you feel that pain would thankfully go away.

Individuals who get attached to outcomes and material objects suffer a lot more than those who understand the impermanence of everything. Let your attachments to material objects go and you will feel more tranquil and have a lighter mind.

Take for example two people who bought the same pair of shoes. One is attached to the shoe and worries about it getting dirty even though eventually it would get dirty and replaced. The other understands that this is only one of many shoes that he would wear in his lifetime and wears it without worry. Who suffers more?

When you feel attached to an outcome or feel aversion towards one, remind yourself about the law of impermanence. Correct understanding will help you let go of these feelings and have a calmer mind. It is a hard habit to master and may take a long time, but keep at it!

  1. Accept that everything is changing all damn the time

You aren’t the same person you were a year ago or even 5 years ago. Everyday you change a bit, for the better, or for the worse. It’s just the law of nature that things change over time. Accept that life changes and let things go. Don’t get attached to what had previously happened or worry about the future; it’s a waste of mental energy and focus. Focus on the present instead, and use what you had learned from previous experiences to improve yourself. Forge yourself to be unaffected by sudden or gradual changes, and when the time comes to let past outcomes go – you will be ready.

Your body is the best example of this. You can experience the change and apply the knowledge. The surface of your body is going through countless biochemical reactions at any given point of time. If you focus hard enough you can even feel the changes. A change in temperature, a sudden itch, the feeling of touch, the vibrations caused by blood flow, etc. Just like your body the world is changing a countless number of times at any given point of time.

These changes happen relatively fast compared to your lifetime. Each experience that you have gone through is comparable to a second of small vibrations on your body. You went through it and you’re here now. Why give so much attention and mental energy to something that’s so fast and insignificant? Let go of those thoughts and free your mind from the suffering that they cause.

As grim as it sounds, life is short – your body is changing and degrading all the time. You want to focus on things that matter and not give your focus away like charity. If something is bothering you, let it go because it does not deserve your focus. Realise that it’s a little blimp in your journey called life and you would live more happily and freely!

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Enjoy more tips at my blog ‘The Anxiolytic’ (www.theanxiolytic.com) which aims to help those with anxiety and share techniques for stress reduction.

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Useful Tips When You Travel With Your Dog.

Dog Vacation

Are you planning a trip and you want to bring your best friend on board? Dogs are essential members of our family and sometimes also our best friends. Have you ever felt a little guilty or sad while you’re packing and your dog is looking at you with those sad eyes? Keep reading to discover how you can travel with your buddy and share all the trip experiences with him without a problem.

First of all, you need to start planning everything with anticipation; consulting preventive medications with your vet or in a case of sickness during the trip; you also should check the vaccination records. Determine if you will be traveling by airplane or if you will make a road trip, accommodation places options, places you will visit etc.

So, here are some useful tips you must follow if you want to make a unique and special trip with your dog.

Use Doggy Seats

If you’re about to make a road trip you must use dog car seats or a waterproof hammock dog seat cover. Dogs must be safe inside your car. You can find it here .

Use secure and well-ventilated crates

Whatever your travel transportation option is (traveling by car or airplane), using crates is a safe way to keep your dogs locked and controlled. Dogs spend a lot of time alone and waiting, so, they also feel safer inside this space.

Don’t leave your dog alone inside your car

It doesn’t matter if it’s a hot or a cold day, avoid it. You also need to make sure that during your road trip your dog keeps itself inside, no head or paws out of the window.

Make a pet’s traveling kit

You need to bring some paper, food, spill-proof bowl, leash, plastic bags, preventive and special medication and you can include its favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity. Here’s a good option for a Pet Airline Kit.

Your dog needs always to be locatable

If you can’t get a microchip, you should buy an identification collar and tag. Besides you can grab your dog and control it better with its collar and leash, it will definitely look sweet and elegant.

Bring your dog’s favorite things to make him feel comfortable

As we said before, you can include and pack your pups favorite things like home blankets, toys, snacks, etc. This way, dogs feel safer and calmed. This is also a good tip when you’re about to travel by airplane because dogs spend much time alone in their crates. Ask for transportation services that allow dogs on-board.

Ask for transportation services that allow dogs on-board

It is hard to find a taxi cab which allows to bring your dog along, so private transportation services like ShuttleWizard are an excellent option. You just need to tell them that you’re going to travel with your dog when making your reservation. This way you won’t be worried about allowance, space needed or safety issues.

Search for the nearest vets or animal hospitals.

You may not need it, but it is better to know where to go or call in case of an emergency. Remember to always have your personal vet’s phone number on hand.

Consult pet regulations and requirements

If you’re going to fly, check pet regulations and airline requirements in advance. Some airlines require special kettles and crates or medical licenses for dogs. You can ask your vet about medical dog licenses.

Find pet-friendly accommodations and places

If you consult special accommodation websites like booking.com, you can find many hotels that allow dogs with you for an extra charge or for free. There are also many pet-friendly places like restaurants, parks, stores where you can go and have great moments with your best friend without any problem.

Please remember that you shouldn’t take out or leave your dog alone if it’s sick, pregnant or injured. If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable traveling and gets stressed easily, don’t make a trip with them, leave dogs in their most comfortable area. There are many pet hotels where your dog can stay, play and maybe get a little training. This is an alternative way for you and your best friend to be happy and enjoy some quality vacation time.

Featured photo credit: Dog Vacations via google.com.mx

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10 Resolutions For Your Home In the New Year

Kitchen Renovation

Every year, the New Year arrives, brimming with possibilities. Promises and resolutions are abundant. You feel this time, it’s really going to be different and nothing will stop you from accomplishing your goals.

Now that January has rolled around, you must be really looking forward to a great 2016. You might have vowed to quit smoking, lose some weight, travel new places or spend some more time with your family. But what about your home – the place where you’ll spend most of your year? Below we present to you ten resolutions for your home this year, in the perfect spirit of new beginnings. They say home is where your heart is but a lovelier, better organized, and more comfortable place to live will surely work wonders.

1. Cut down the use of energy.

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How about trying to improve the planet as well while you’re improving yourself? Going green could be a great way to make this year truly remarkable. You could start with solar panels or a hybrid car but those are not the only things that can make a difference.

Learn to properly recycle, remember to turn off lights while you’re not using them and turn the taps off when you’re brushing your teeth. This way, you’ll not only contribute towards a better planet but also cut down your bills significantly.

You can trim energy use by sealing and insulating your ductwork. This increases the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by almost 20%. It will make your home more comfortable and also extend the life of your furnace, heat pump and air conditioner.

2. Create a healthy and family-friendly kitchen

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The kitchen is the place where families gather together in the midst of all of the hassles of everyday life. While each of us are busy in our work and studies throughout the day, the kitchen is what brings us together.

So why not make as healthy and family-together kitchen as possible? Make your kitchen clean and organized and keep it full of healthy and nutritious ingredients. Look out for some healthy recipes in cookbooks or online. Throw out anything that has overstayed in your kitchen by checking out their expiry dates. And also, transform your kitchen into a place that’s not just about cooking but also about connecting. Make the kitchen more accessible. You could also create a zone for kids in the kitchen. Try to make it multi-purpose and also elegant.

3. Keep indoor air uncontaminated

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Indoor air quality is one of the most important indicators of the quality of the environment you are living in. Prolonged exposure to polluted air can lead to complications like chronic respiratory disease, heart disease and lung cancer.

Indoor air can be full of contaminants like dust, pollen and mold spores. The problem can be even more severe during winter when we prefer to keep our doors and windows shut all the time.

The harmful irritants in your home can be eliminated by maintaining your HVAC system and changing furnace filters regularly, using low-VOC paints during remodeling of rooms and using localized ventilation in your bathrooms and kitchens to get rid of smoke, cooking fumes and surplus humidity.

4. Install low-maintenance and durable materials

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This year, shift your focus towards materials that are low-maintenance and durable. They will provide you a trouble-free service for a long time and since you have to spend minimal time maintaining them, they will spare you from worrying about looking after them. You could use fiber-cement siding which is weather-proof, exceptionally stable and resistant to fire, dents and rot and lasts for as long as 50 years. LED bulbs meanwhile last a phenomenal 18 to 46 years even when they are used for 3 hours every day.

Seasonal artificial plants can be used to decorate your home if you don’t have time to spend hours every week tending to your flowers and trees in the garden. Ceramic tiles which look extremely good on floors and walls meanwhile also last for decades.

5. Make your house safe and sound

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Your home may look wonderful and it’s properly organized also. How about putting some efforts into making it safe as well? You should ensure you’re not living with a potential fire, health or security risk. Besides installing fire detectors, check your house for gases like radon and carbon monoxide also. The hardware that perform these tests are not particularly expensive either. And, also watch out for dryer lint.

Make sure your house is properly ventilated. You could also install door and window alarms, that don’t cost much these days. And also, ensure that your house is up to date with latest safety standards.

6. Get your space organized

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Getting rid of clutter is a must. In fact, it’s probably the best and cheapest way to feel better about your home. Of course, the act itself however can be quite overwhelming but can you think of a better way to start the year than with a clear and organized home? Keeping your space organized basically comes down to two things if you stick to them. One is to periodically get rid of whatever things you don’t use often or don’t like at all. The other is to only bring in things that you actually need.

Creating extra space for storage is another way to keep your home organized. With added space, you can store your possessions easily without your room looking untidy. So this year, how about making use of your imagination at creating a little more space in the most unimaginable places?

7. Spend some time on home improvement projects together

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How about trying your hand on some cool home improvement projects this year with your family? Such projects will not only improve your living place but you will also get to spend lots of quality time together as a family. You could try out some DIY projects. They are a fun and creative way to spend time and when finished, you’ll have something elegant to decorate your house with. They come in at all sorts of different budgets. Some of them don’t require much time to complete either.

You could also try something organic. Plant a tree in your backyard or spend some time in the garden together with your family. Preparing home emergency preparedness kit or making your entrance more inviting is also a great idea.

8. Get your finances right

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This probably could be the year you finally get your finances right. Creating a yearly budget will help you a lot. That way, you know how much you’ll need to spend this year and will also help to avoid overspending.

Do not forget to allocate some budget for improvement and maintenance of your house. Cutting down the use of energy will also help a lot. So turn off your air conditioner when you are not at home and dial your heater down to a lower temperature at night. Sound financial health is assured when you make enough money and when you do not overspend the money that you have worked hard to earn. So think of the ways to make enough money this year and also try to cut down costs as much as possible.

9. Work out a system to keep your house clean

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Everybody loves to live in a clean house but almost everyone dreads the act of cleaning itself. Coming up with a solid plan to keep your house clean could be the best thing you did this year. Devise a daily, weekly as well as monthly plan to keep your entire house clean.

It’s best to focus on one particular type of cleaning at a time. You can wipe windows and mirrors first and then move on to sweeping the floors. And also, keep the cleansing utensils like sponge, scraper, cleaning cloths, plastic bags and apron in a place where you can easily find them.

You could also divide the cleaning job among the members of your family. Some of them can do dusting and vacuuming while the others can clean up the bathroom. This way, you can clean the entire house in no time.

10. Make your place more welcoming

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Every year, we vow to spend more time with family and friends. So why not make your house friendlier to increase the odds of real conversation and connection this year? All it takes is a little bit of rearrangement and a couple of updates.

You could start with your living room – the place where you welcome your family and friends. It doesn’t need to be very complicated either. Even adding a few bright cushions or placing down a new rug can make a huge difference. Guest bedrooms constitute the other essential part of the friendly experience. The experience of the guests in the places where they sleep can create lasting memories. So try to make them cozy and comfortable.

Featured photo credit: Kitchen Renovation by leyla.a via flickr.com

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