Diabetic Food List – Foods a Diabetic Can Eat

If you or those you love are affected by diabetes, healthy foods are so vital in sustaining your sugar level. Yes, it is true that you will need enormous self-control to comply with what a Registered Dietitian instructed you to eat but in the event you want a healthy living and quality life, sticking with diabetic food list is a must.

What’s the recommended daily food percentage?

Carbohydrates – about 50% to 60%

Carbs are divided into the simplest forms of sugar and glycemic index throughout the digestive procedure. If glycemic index turned out to be high this will cause blood sugar degree to rise quickly and will develop insulin resistant, diabetes and hypertension.

Checklist of Carbs Food Diabetic Can Eat

– Wheat bran, Barley, oats porridge.

– Fruits – apple, berries, citrus, pears, peaches, rubard, and plum.

– Vegetables – avocados, broccoli, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, celery, lettuce, onions, mushrooms, peas, olives, pepper, tomatoes and spinach.

Checklist of Carbs Food Diabetic Should Avoid.

– Breakfast cereals -such as sugar coated cereals and cornflakes, white bread, biscuits, cakes, bagels, pancakes, doughnuts, bun muffins, white and brown rice.

– Fruit – Prunes, dates, watermelon.

– Vegetables – potatoes, broad beans, parsnip, Swede

Protein – about 12% to 20%

Protein is made up of compounds known as amino acids, the building blocks of all body tissue.

List of protein food that diabetic can eat

– Vegetables – millet, beans, lentils, soybeans

– Nuts – pine nuts, peanuts and Brazil

– Free range chicken and turkey (skin to be removed)

– Non-intensively reared – beef lamb, pork and veal

– Chicken eggs (NOT goose and duck eggs)

Fat – If you are diabetic, type of fat is important to control cholesterol level.

Fatty food that diabetic can eat

– Vegetables oils – sesame, pure olive, sunflower, soybean, Avocados

– Oily Fish – Tuna, salmon, mackerel, herrings

– Nuts and seed

– Spreadable Unsaturated Margarine

Fatty food list that you can consume sparingly

– Whole fat milk but skimmed milk is preferable

– Butter, cheese, cream, full fat yoghurt, frozen goodies

– Meat – pork and beef lamb

– Poultry – battery-framed chicken, goose, duck and turkey

– Eggs – particularly from battery farmed chickens

– Coconut oil.

Fatty food diabetic ought to avoid

– All processed foods like scotch eggs, sausage pies, and the likes

– Commercial foods that are fried like crisps, chips and battered fish

– Margarine especially the tough one

– Ready-made commercial foods such as biscuits, cakes and snack foods.

Fiber Our bodies cannot absorb a few of the food we eat if dietary fiber is absent in our system. Diabetic should also improve their intake of fiber rich foods. Fiber is a great defense from intestines disorders as well as colon cancer as well as for better bowel function. It’s usually recommended to have five portions of fiber-rich fruit and veggies a day.

Fiber food diebetic ought to eat

– Oats, oat bran, oatmeal, peas, fruit and beans barley

Diabetic food list can eat and by no means exhaustive. They are here to help you to decide what and just how much you can consume to manage your diabetes condition.

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The Power of Planning

I am surprised how few sales professionals, independent consultants, and small business owners take the time to plan the strategy for their business. Most people spend more time writing out a grocery list or planning a vacation than they do planning the direction or exit of their business. Many will determine a vague or general idea of ​​what they want to accomplish but very few actually identify the specific action steps that they will need to take in order to achieve their goals. I'm not suggesting you create a 25-30 page business plan like a good friend of mine writes every year, but I do recommend that you start outlining the goals you want to accomplish and how you plan to get there.

It is one thing to set a target for yourself, it is quite another to actually plan how you will achieve it. When I establish my annual goals (which get more challenging every year), I ask myself, "How will I accomplish these goals?" This forces me to plan the tactics, strategies, and actions I need to undertake in order to achieve my targets. For example, if your business relates primarily on referrals, identify what you can do to increase the number of referrals you receive.

In her book, Get Clients Now !, author CJ Hayden suggests using a monthly tracking sheet. This means setting specific monthly goals, planning what action you will take to generate new business, and tracking your progress. She suggests that you engage in a minimum of ten different marketing activities each week. This can include; networking, prospecting, cold calling, sending mailers, speaking, etc. A speaker I know spends most of his Monday planning and strategizing his week, determining exactly what activities he will execute in the upcoming few days.

How should you plan your business? It all depends on what you want to accomplish and what is important to you. I know I could probably increase my revenue significantly in the next 12 months, but it would require spending less time with my family. Only you can determine what is important. And this will change depending on what stage of life you are in. What is important to you now may be completely insignificant six months from now. Here are five key areas to plan.

Revenue. If you are like most businesses, you probably have more than one product or service. Therefore, breaking down your sales into specific categories makes sense. This allows you to track your progress in each area and see where you can improve year over year. Plus, I can also determine the products or services I should stop selling because they do not generate very good sales.

Profit. Obviously, determining your gross sales is important. More importantly, though, is the amount of money you have left over at the end of the day. In other words, what profit are you going to generate? A professional speaker I know plans his business by deciding what profit he wants to earn by each year. He then creates his plan backwards to determine how he will achieve this. Remember, you can incredible sales but still go out of business.

Expenses. Controlling expenses is a critical aspect of running a profitable and successful business regardless of the size. All large organizations budget expenses but most independent business owners "wing it" and pay the bills as they come in. If you want to increase your revenues, you need to know how much it will cost you to generate your targeted sales. I remember talking to another trainer a few years ago who had learned this lesson. She began analyzing all of her expenses and found several areas she could trim. This freed up cash which she used to market her business. The result was more revenue with no additional out-of-pocket expense.

Vacation or Personal Time. How much free time do you want for yourself in the next year? I have learned that it is very easy to get sucked into the vortex of running a business and forget to take a vacation or personal time to recharge my batteries. Block those days in your calendar early in the year. This signifies a commitment and allows you to plan your business around these personal days. A friend of mine spends most of his summer scuba diving so he plans the rest of year accordingly. He works extremely hard but this frees up almost 3 months for him to partake in his favorite past-time.

Personal Development. I have found that the people who invest in themselves consistently outperform those who do not. Identify the skills that will help you become more successful. Determine what books, programs, courses, or people can help you learn these skills and take action.

Planning does take time. However, it is time well invested. Make the time in your hectic life to create a plan for next year's business. Review it regularly and make the necessary changes as you progress forward. You'll be glad you did.

Copyright 2004 Kelley Robertson. All rights reserved

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What Are Solar Christmas Lights – Why Use Them?

Christmas lights are very in demand this Christmas season. Why not? After all, they make houses come alive with their sparkle and twinkle. They make everything so attractive and beautiful that you can not help but buy your own to decorate your place. There are different kinds of lights available in your local stores. There are lights that change colors, others twinkle, and some even play music. They are indeed a colorful addition to your Christmas decorations.

However, Christmas lights can also be very expensive. They can cost you a lot especially since they need electricity in order to function. If you really want to have them but do not want all your Christmas bonuses to go to the electricity bill, then you must try using solar lights. They are like your regular lights only they are using the sun's energy in order to function.

The benefits of using solar Christmas lights:

• They are cheaper
Unlike with other lights, solar lights are more affordable. They can definitely fit your budget plus you no longer have to worry about paying too much on your electrical consumption this December. Solar power does not cost anything. All you have to do is place your solar lights under the sun so it can absorb enough energy to light up at night.

• They are more practical
The reason why we love to put lights is because they make our house more attractive a night. Solar lights can serve this purpose too. Just like other lights, they are available in department stores and are easy to set up.

• Child-friendly
The best thing about solar lights is that they are so child-friendly. Since it is run by solar power, you will not worry about your child getting electrocuted. We all know how curios kids can be and they will definitely touch your sparkling Christmas lights. With solar lights, they can touch them anytime they want and as long as they want since they are safe.

The nest time you shop, include solar lights in your list. Rest assured you will get your money's worth since they are cheaper, more practical, and child-friendly compared with other lights out there.

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Movie Review – "The Big Lonely" – Surviving in Isolation

“The Big Lonely” is a captivating film telling the story of Michael Nelms, a persecuted man beaten down by an uncaring bureaucracy and left penniless to live on the streets. Having been a successful car dealer, a real estate broker and the victim of several bad marriages, retreating to a remote forest hideout seems a logical choice. Living under a bridge as a homeless person has no appeal for this man.

As he talks into the camera we discover he has built this small cabin on federal land and justifies his right to be there by calling it a mining claim, a bogus one he confesses. One of his daily tasks is to collect water from a nearby stream. The winter has been harsh and he has to chip through a foot of ice. Leading the way is his dog Tic, a mix of wolf and Malamute. Food is a constant need in this wilderness and obtaining fresh meat is a demanding challenge. In the winter, elk and deer go to lower elevations where food is more plentiful and the snow is not so deep. Snow pack levels have reached as high as ten feet in past years

As such, meat sources are limited to rabbits, coyotes, and rats. Dressing out of such animals and cooking them is a major part of the film. Michael shares his fixings with his dog Tic and their relationship is one of equal partners in their quest to survive.

However, the survival issues are not what make this film unique, it’s the positive attitude of the participants, both Michael and his dog, Tic. They accept the hardships as a part of life and work together to overcome them. When a bear attacks Michael and pins him on the ground, he stabs the animal in the windpipe. He describes this ordeal in detail, down to the whizzing sounds as the bear gasps for air. It’s a horrendous moment in his life and he displays the resulting scars with some trepidation. While the bear meat did get them through another winter, the attack left him with repeated nightmares. Michael recounts, “Dreams are where you take you mind. Nightmares are where your mind takes you.”

It’s philosophies like these that give weight to this film, that this man has learned from his time in the wilderness, and openly shares his thoughts with us. He talks about dying and wanting his body to replenish the land that fed him for so many years. With supplies running low in the midst to winter, the two journey some fifty-miles to restock. Michael sets up camp outside the town and finds various jobs to buy supplies that will get them through the next winter.

You may be asking how could he videotape this much footage without an electrical source to recharge the camera batteries. While not covered in the film I did notice a couple of solar power devices mounted on a tree, which likely allowed for the battery recharging.

The film is a stunning self-shot account as we eavesdrop on a man finding peace and understanding in the Oregon wilderness. It is one man’s inspiring story of resilience and the durability of the human spirit. A heartwarming film, “The Big Lonely” imparts prophetic wisdom about the sins of the past and hopes for the future..

CREDITS: Cast: Michael Nelms; Director – David Manougian; Producer – Troy Gamble & David Kamens; Executive Producer – David Monougian; Editor – Kerribeth Elliot Camera Setup & Consulting – J.P. Morgan; Camera & Sound – Michael Nelms; Composer & Performer of Original Music- Robin Zimmermann; Sound Editor – Reed Harvey; On-line Editor – William Schultz; A Juicebox Production Presentation; Unrated; 82 Minutes.

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How to Estimate the Age of Furniture Using Castor Wheels?

Castors are attached to home furnishings in order to make housekeeping and rearranging easier. But apart from these, do you know that castor wheels help antique collectors in estimating the age of furniture? By simply examining the type and characteristics of the castors, experts are able to identify the time range in which they are manufactured. This allows antique dealers and collectors to price the furniture appropriately.

Nonetheless, even non-experts like you can also date furniture using this same method. This article will show you how to do it. Just follow the simple instructions listed below:

Step 1: Look for a Leathern Roller or Bowl

The earliest kinds of castor wheels are made of leathern rollers or bowls. These castors are attached to furniture manufacture in the early 1700’s during the time of Queen Anne.

Step 2: Inspect if the Castor is made of Wood

During the great Georgian period (1720 to 1760), furniture manufacturers began to make furniture with wooden wheels. The wheels are attached to an iron frame that is mounted at the foot of the furniture.

Step 3: Examine if the Castors is made of Cast Iron

For almost a decade after the Georgian period, manufacturers started to produce furniture with castors made from cast iron. Although wooden castors are still manufactured, most of the surviving furniture made during this era which is available in antique stores nowadays has cast iron wheels instead of wood.

Step 4: Check if the Castor is made of solid Brass

The furniture may still indicate that it is manufactured during the Georgian period, however, if it has solid brass castor wheels, then it means that it is manufactured anywhere between 1780 and 1790. The entire Georgian period (starting from 1750 to 1830) is in fact called the “Golden Age of Furniture” because it is during this era that majority of the innovation on furniture had been introduced to the public.

Step 5: See if the Castor is made of Rubber or Polyurethane

These castor wheels are manufactured in modern times. Thus, it is possible that the wheels of the antique furniture that you are eyeing on have already been replaced.

Warnings and Tips

Be reminded that castors are easily replaceable. This means that you should not base your assessment of the furniture’s age on the castors alone since it is possible that the wheels are only replaced so as to give the impression that the furniture are as old as it is. If you are not confident or if you do not trust your antique dealer, might as well get a second or third opinion from someone who you think is trustworthy. Do not forget that the antique industry is filled with scammers and opportunists who are only waiting for you to fall into their traps.

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Common Mistakes Businesses Make With Their Social Media Strategies

Social Media has revolutionized marketing. It gives brands direct access to engage with a diverse audience, but it comes with certain pitfalls. If your business has a frail, half-baked strategy, it’ll reflect negatively on your brand sooner or later. Here are few common mistakes that businesses make with their social media strategies.

1. Failure to set clear goals

A social media strategy should have clear and quantifiable objectives. Before executing anything, a brand must ask themselves the following questions.

· What message does the brand want to promote in social?

· Who is their target audience?

· Why would the target audience listen to the brand?

· What action does the brand want the viewers to take post engagement?

· What are the various measurability criteria?

Once answers to these questions are defined, a clear and concise action plan must be formalized. The measurability factors need to be put in place that will measure conversations, conversions much more and beyond increase in Twitter followers.

2. Failure to collaborate internally

Success is always a team effort. At times brands fail to understand this which leads to the digital media wing and related activities of the brand being operated in silos. The idea is for the sales, marketing, HR and all other departments to work together for a larger share of voice online.

3. Failure to collaborate with other brands/initiatives

Collaboration with competitors is an absolute No-No in the mainline advertising industry and hence the same extended itself to digital when it all started. But digital is changing. Brands should go bold and fresh in their approach and embrace the concept of collaborative ecosystem. They should create a shared industry database to identify such content.

4. Lack of long-term commitment

It often happens that we begin a new project with much enthusiasm but gradually slow down our efforts until the project comes to complete halt. Even when it comes to social media marketing (creation and maintenance of blogs, creatives, other content pieces), same behaviour is observed. Brands forget that social media marketing is unlikely to yield immediate results. Social media is basically relationship building. Every relationship suffers fatally when one part disappears suddenly. That’s why companies need to make sure that they have the stamina and the budgets for long term gains. Stopping a social media engagement suddenly and abruptly is much worse than having no engagement at all.

5. Lack of online-offline consistency

Customers don’t think in terms of PR, marketing, customer service, product development etc. They just see the ‘brand’. So, if a brand communicates with different content in TV, print and social media, consumers will get confused. Brands must ensure that their messaging is consistent across platforms.

In nutshell, success on social media requires a great amount of strategic thinking, a deep understanding of the brand and a thoughtful customer engagement route. A brand must take out time to develop the right strategy before going social.

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Privacy Issues Surrounding Biometric Technology

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have provoked in-depth discussion and study of existing security measures, their deficiencies, and how to enhance security to prevent similar terrorist attacks from occurring in the future. Biometric technology has risen to the top of the list as a possible solution. The government is not the only entity exploring biometric security systems. The financial services industry see biometrics as a way to curb identity theft. Biometrics are intrinsic physical characteristics used to identify individuals. The most commonly used biometric is fingerprints but others include, handprints, facial features, iris & retinal scans, and voice recognition.

Soon after 9/11 there were calls for the issuance of national ID cards containing biometric information on an RFID chip implanted on the card. The argument is that national ID cards will increase security by identifying individuals with their unique fingerprints which are much more difficult to counterfeit than standard photo ID cards. There is also a movement toward biometric passports. It looks like biometric passports are coming soon. National ID cards may follow.

Biometric identification is nothing new. Humans have been identifying other humans biometrically since the beginning of time. You recognize people you know by their facial features, their voice, and other biometric features. What’s new is introducing technology into the mix that compares a given biometric with a stored database of biometrics to verify the identity of an individual. An individual place their finger on a fingerprint scanner and the image is compared with the database to verify the person’s identity. Promising as it is, biometric technology has not been without hiccups but biometrics are advancing quickly and becoming more and more prevalent in security systems.

Fingerprints are the most commonly used biometric identifiers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted a study that showed single fingerprint biometric systems had a 98.6 percent accuracy rate. The accuracy rate rose to 99.6 percent when 2 fingerprints were used and an almost perfect 99.9 percent when 4 or more fingerprints were used. The study results show that biometric identification is nearly perfect which is not surprising given the uniqueness of human fingerprints.

The US-VISIT program, which is an acronym for United States Visitor & Immigrant Status Indicator Technology, currently requires foreign visitors to the US to present a biometric passport containing 2 fingerprints and a digital photo for identification purposes before being granted admission to the U.S. Of course the biometrics are compared against a vast network of government databases full of known and suspected terrorists and other criminals.

On the surface biometric technology may sound like a panacea but it’s use has raised significant privacy concerns that need to be addressed. Here are six major privacy concerns: storage, vulnerability, confidence, authenticity, linking, and ubiquity.

Critics wonder how the data will be stored and how vulnerable it will be to theft or abuse. Confidence issues center around the implications of false positives and false negatives. Can the biometric data be used to link to other information about the individual such as marital status, religion, employment status, etc.? And finally ubiquity. What are the implications of leaving electronic “bread crumbs” to mark a trail detailing every movement an individual makes?

Until these issues are addressed, privacy advocates will lead a charge to resist biometric technology claiming it as a way for the government to assume a “Big Brother” type of rule as described in George Orwell’s novel 1984. But protest as they may, it’s likely national security concerns and the ability of biometric systems to enhance the security of US border and possibly prevent another major terrorist attack will win out over privacy concerns.

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A Thorough Survey Before Buying Computer and Accessories Online

Computers are more than just needs, nowadays. We have become so much tech-savvy & dependable, that we need to take the help of the computers in our every single action. But only a buyer knows that a computer alone is not enough. You need to obtain other stuff which are necessary to conjoin with your computer.

The size, shape & price of the accessories of the computer vary depending on their functions. Each of them executes an additional feature that optimizes your computer usage. But as money is related to it, as a buyer, acquiring the accessories on the basis of your immediate requirements needs you to keep some factors in your mind before purchasing any one of them.

Printers: Gone are the days when you had to Xerox your documents out or copy them by yourself. The printer is one of the technical blessings that facilitates this problem. Now you can easily design the layout your valuable documents and make a print out whenever you want. A simple purchase of a good cartridge can save your time & money and helps you to avoid going out to a cyber café each time making the process more hassle-free.

Keyboard: When it comes to computer & accessories, this is the one you can’t avoid. Laptops have by default keyboards, but those who use desktops, know that keyboards are essential. From searching ‘best boots in the world’ to writing your novel, keyboards are the ones you need to click a lot many times. Keyboards have many versions and a keyboard with flexible keys helps you to get accustomed to using it.

Mouse: This tailed stuff is a big ‘yes’ for the desktop users. Mouse adds flexibility to your computer usage and net-surfing and helps to locate your cursor on the screen. However, though most of the users have shifted to laptops for the ease of usage, they still look out for the mouse to make it handy & comfortable.

Scanner: In this age of ‘paperless revolution’, few people opt for printing documents. Most of them go for scanning and sending them through mail or some other wireless service. Students & servicemen are the major users of the scanning machines, who need to scan a huge number of documents. Today, you can find scanner, printer & Xerox in one machine altogether that facilitates the usage and saves time.

Speakers: Nonetheless, speakers are as important as other computer and accessories. With a huge amount of videos, songs & audio files to listen to, speakers are the ones you should need. A speaker with a good sound quality & amenities can help you to get a serene audible experience. A home theater is the extended version of the speakers which fills your home with sound. Speakers give your computers an additional essence and make them loud.

Headphones: With speakers, headphones are needed too. Headphones help to listen to anything individually. They separate your personal experience and prevent them to be shared with others. A headphone with great audible facilities can be proved healthy for your ears.

With the upgrading & experimenting in this field, every day some new accessories are coming up which facilitates the usage day by day.

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Tracking Gorillas in the Wilderness

Deep in Uganda’s south-west lies the forested region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There are numerous ways to access the nearby town of Kisoro but the most popular option is an adventure on its own.

I make the ten-hour journey from Entebbe in a four-wheel drive. The road is long, dry and bumpy, my driver jokes about the free African massage. There is no air conditioning and with the windows wound down a film of orange dust settles on my bare arms.

Uganda’s climate is perfect for growing fresh food and there is an abundance being sold at kiosks along the dusty road. Whilst the food bowl is full, there is still a lack of access to fresh water and therefore women and children in the searing heat walk for kilometres balancing plastic yellow containers above their head.

I spend the night in Kisoro but I am anxious as I can’t wait to head into the jungle to search for a Silverback Gorilla.

The morning begins with an education session. The essential number one rule is “whatever you do, do not run” – okay that sounds easy enough.

After leaving the education room, a guide explains the topography that consists of three volcanoes nicknamed “the guide,” “old man’s teeth” and “small pile of stones.” I umm and ahh in agreeance. Our self appointed guide discusses re-forestation and the lack of education about soil and regeneration within local villages. As interesting as it is I have one thing on my mind. He weighs over two hundred and fifty pounds and an arm span of about two point three metres.

The weather conditions are fine and our guide is confident that the trackers know the general area of the gorilla’s whereabouts.

We begin our trek through the dense forest. Our guide uses a machete to help us weave through the thick growth of vines, stinging nettles and harshness of overgrown vegetation. Heading uphill it’s quite an exhausting walk but fortunately after only an hour and a half we hear rustling in the distance. I can barely breath at the distinct sound of an animal. A resonating roar and the crushing of leaves echoes through the mountain.

My heart is pounding under the pressure of excitement and fear. I pause to see what is happening. By standing still I have unintentionally broken the group into two and exposed myself to the path of a wild male silverback gorilla. His monstrous knuckles thump the ground. Barking and pounding he seems irate.

Without warning the giant silverback leaps directly in front of me. Arms poised in defence, standing still in my tracks I recall the number one rule ‘whatever you do don’t run.’

At the pinnacle of my fear I turn my back towards him. The ape swings his 2 metre arms at me. With only a camera bag strapped over my back for protection, the gorilla raises his enormous hairy hand and I feel the wrath of his anger on my tush!

My saving grace, gorillas are easily distracted. My good fortune is another’s terror. A training guide who has accompanied us on the trek dashes down the side of the hill, the Silverback turns towards her. Fortunately she slips and again he loses interest. Phew we’re all still alive.

Shaking, I struggle to gain my breath. I am standing next to a German who appears strong and tough. I show him my trembling hands and he replies with “I think I pooed my pants, seriously” I nervously laugh, scared but yearning to see more.

With an air of in trepidation we slowly, quietly walk through the jungle observing these incredible creatures in the wild, they’re human like faces are filled with emotion. All up we see a family of 9 including a few playful youngsters eating and playing they are mostly unfazed by our presence.

But that doesn’t last for long as again we hear the rustle and roars of the tussle of gorillas. Nearing the commotion we realise that two of the gorillas are engaged in a scuffle. The commotion is right in front of us. At first it appears they are play fighting but I am reminded by how fierce these creatures can be. Once the silverback notices us he stands at full height. This time the guide tells us to stop and back away.

Instead of running away I slowly walk backwards until I am safely nestled against a tree. Breathless but intrigued I watch as the silverback mimics a scene out of King Kong. With nostrils flared he displays his long fangs, the roars are spine chilling. With fists clenched he raises his elongated, muscle-clad arms high above his head. Fists clenched he beats his chest. I don’t know if it’s through fear, astonishment or pure entertainment but nobody moves, not even to reach for camera. Just like the previous encounter the gorilla loses interest, lowers his body and with knuckles clenched bounds back into the jungle on all fours.

Still reeling in the close encounters we move away from the gorillas and trek along another unspoilt path until we are safely out of the jungle.

At the end of our tour our guide assures us that we have not upset or aggravated them in anyway. They are usually happy for tourists to observe and take photos, and it’s not uncommon especially for the babies to be quite playful. On our visit a silverback was protecting his family from an intruding male who was rummaging on his turf.

To spend just an hour or in our case and hour and a half observing and seeing these amazing creatures in the wild is one of the most incredible experiences you can have. It also made me appreciate how important it is for them to remain in a protected environment, out of the harmful way of their biggest predator – humans.

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Solar Energy In The Home

I was going to call this article "solar heating in the home" but then I realized that I would be perpetuating the myth that heating is a primary use for solar energy and so I changed my mind. The reason solar energy is not hugely useful for heating the home is common sense really. In the winter, when you need your heating on, the sun is lower in the sky and there are fewer daylight hours. In the other seasons when solar energy would be more effective you do not need it. At best, solar heating can support your central heating a little in colder climates whilst in places such as Australia and California it can be worthwhile, but then it's not needed so often.

Solar Technologies

A number of technologies have been developed to make use of solar radiation. Some of these make direct use of solar energy for lighting and heating etc., while others produce electricity. They are:

1. Solar thermal energy collection systems which generate electricity through mirrors and a system of tubes filled with fluid.

2. Solar thermal collectors which are used to produce heat.

3. Photovoltaic panels which generate electricity direct from sunlight. However, they generate DC current, which if you want to use it in the home, has to be converted to AC This would require a very big surface area to meet the needs of just one home which is why solar panels are rarely used for domestic Heating. However, in a sunny climate, you can produce enough power to run a 100W light bulb from one square meter of solar panel.

4. Solar hot water panels which are often used in the home to heat water.

Solar Panel Efficiency

Although solar panels are used all year round they are only efficient when they receive direct sunshine. They produce very little power in cloudy conditions or in the shade. However, it is the light that produces electricity. Heat actually interferees with electricity production so solar panels used in very hot climates are less efficient than those used in sunny but cold climates. When the panel's temperature is above 50 degree centigrade its efficiency will decrease. Also, at different times of the day, as the sun angle to the panel varies, the amount of energy produced is different. Usually it is better if the panel is inclined but on cloudy days horizontal mounted panels are more efficient. Most energy is generated when the panel is pointed directly towards the sun.

The use of solar power has fallen in and out of favor since the 1970's depending on the potential savings when compared with other energy costs. The equipment needed nowdays is 90% cheaper than it was thirty years ago and homes with solar roof tiles can often generate more electricity than is needed at certain times of day. Depending where you are in the world this execess energy can sometimes be sold to local electricity companies.

In Japan and the USA, billions has been spent on developing Photovoltaic systems and Germany has now joined in the research. As is often the case with renewable energy systems, the initial costs of setting up solar energy for the home is quite expensive. However, savings on electricity bills in the long term should make up for this and as time passes, the costs are falling making it more widespread.

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