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Monday, April 23, 2018

How to Grow Culinary Herbs Inside

Having fresh herbs throughout the year is a huge advantage when it comes to cooking. However, if you live in an area with long or cold winters, you may not have the option of growing herbs outside.

You can choose to grow your own fresh herbs inside though, throughout the year. Here are a few tips on how to grow your own herbs easily.

Have a Light Source

Light is essential to plant growth, so you'll need an abundant and intense source. Commercial fluorescent lights are a reasonable option and fluorescent grow lights have been shown to improve plant growth. More serious gardeners who want a high output use T5 lamps, which are a type of fluorescent light system.

You can also choose High Intensity Discharge lights which work well for leafy herbs, although they will need to be tailored well to the area of the plants. Finally, LED grow lights have become more popular although they are expensive for a casual grower.

Soil Vs. Hydroponics

Although beginning gardeners often do best with growing in soil, modern hydroponics take away much room for error. They also produce more abundant results, making them a better choice for serious gardeners. Growing plants without soil can be done with coconut coir, soil conditioners, or soilless mixes, based on personal preference since all produce good results.

Herbs grow well in specific conditions which is why you may want to try hydroponics. If you have extra space, you could use a grow tent. It may be easier to control the temperature and humidity levels of herbs in a tent and most of them are easy to set up and use. Check a few 4X8 Grow Tent 
Reviews to see how other gardeners have fared with these systems. A temperature of 70-75 degrees is ideal with a 40-60% humidity level. You'll also need to ensure that ventilation is adequate, as hydroponic gardening requires this for success.

Know Your Herbs

If you're not familiar with how well herbs grow, you'll want to brush up a little before going further. Annuals like cilantro and basil can be started from seed and that's probably your best option. Some gardeners will dig up basil from their garden in the fall before the first frost. However, new plants are best to keep your harvests ongoing.

Other fast-growing herbs like cilantro won't regenerate when they've been picked so you'll need fresh seeding to keep up with your supply. Also, digging up cilantro from outside to transplant won’t produce the best results. Perennial herbs such as oregano, rosemary, and marjoram are challenging to grow from seed and are best purchased as starts. Read about each type of herb you intend to grow for the best results.

Growing your own herbs throughout the year with a hydroponic system is a great choice and can be done with a little work and research. Even if you're not familiar with gardening, you can pick up the basics and learn with experience, so use these tips to start growing herbs inside.

This is a guest blog entry.

Recovering From A Crash In The Empire State

There is no more universally unpleasant experience than a car accident. Nobody wants to have their vehicle damaged and end up with injuries to themselves or their family members.

Yet as widespread as our dislike for car accidents is, there are differences from one state to another in terms of how the aftermath is handled. The work done by a personal injury law firm in New York is different from what's done in any other state because New York's laws are as unique as those of the other 49 states.

This is of particular concern in areas like the Northeast, where people often work in one state, live in another, and even do business in a third. The attorney they know at home in Connecticut won't be prepared to handle the case if they are injured on the way to work in New Jersey or while shopping in Manhattan.

One element of New York law is that it's a "no-fault" state. That means that a certain amount of your vehicle damage and your medical bills will be paid by your own insurance, even if the accident is clearly the fault of the other driver. How exactly the outcome is structured is not something to handle without a lawyer who practices in New York on a daily basis.

It is important to understand that your attorney can do more for you than simply represent you in court should your case go to trial. Lawyers are experts in the process known as discovery, which is the effort put into gathering all the facts about what happened in a situation.

There are many examples of what goes on in discovery for a car accident case. A capable attorney can gather a lot of information from the cars themselves, and that includes more than just the type and location of damage. Cars have extensive data logging capabilities in their computers, and a good attorney will get access to that data to establish everything from speed to headlight usage for every vehicle.

Information from outside the cars can come into play as well. Eyewitnesses can be helpful, and a good attorney will locate them, but they can sometimes be unreliable. A better option is the technology that makes it possible for attorneys to do even more, allowing them to track down active video surveillance systems in the area and analyze what they have captured. Attorneys may even be able to access cell phone records to determine if drivers may have been distracted at the time of the collision.

After discovery comes the process of determining the true cost of your accident. It is vital that you have an attorney who can capture all the costs, which may include things you would have never thought of. It could be child care for your kids while you make doctor visits or your travel expenses to those appointments. You may be due money for your meals as you seek treatment, and of course, you'll have the medical bills themselves. Those are compounded by lost wages, which you should also be compensated for, and potentially even things like loss of companionship by your spouse while you are injured.

With so many different factors involved in the process of litigating a car accident claim, it's clear that your choice of an attorney is essential. Without the right representation, there could be facts missed during discovery and considerations missed in terms of your claim, either of which can jeopardize your ability to recover the full and true costs of the accident.

We all want to avoid accidents and injuries, but when they do befall us, we want the fullest and most rapid recovery possible. A good attorney with local experience and skill will give you the best possible chance to bounce back on a quick time frame.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Reversing the Effects of Forward Head Syndrome

When it comes to communicating, shopping, reading the news, and even dating, smartphones beat just about every other device out there. In fact, the Pew Research Center shares that 77% of US adults own a smartphone which is over twice as many as were reported in 2011. While these digital devices offer convenience and accessibility to people, they are also proving to be the source of a problematic musculoskeletal condition that is affecting more and more people each year.

What is Text Neck?
Forward Head Syndrome, more commonly referred to as “text neck”, is the biomechanical phenomenon that occurs after prolonged periods of craning the neck forward past the shoulders and tilting the head down when using a smartphone (or another device like a laptop). Think about it - when you text, surf Facebook, check twitter, and so forth, are you holding the phone up in front of your face or down by your waist? It’s this seemingly harmless action that can have long-term effects on your body.

Researchers at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine found that the text neck posture can contribute to increased pressure on the spine as well as muscle strain and tension. How exactly? Based on the force of gravity and the average weight of the human head, they calculated the increase in pull on the spine as it compensates for the neck flexing and moving the center of mass forward.

At a 15° tilt forward, the head feels more like 27 lbs than its usual 10. At a 30° tilt forward that number grows to 40 lbs. And up to 60° angling down, the spine is fighting against a whopping 60 lbs of force.

What Does This Do to The Spine?
Experts believe that not only do your back and neck muscles have to work overtime to keep the spine stabilized and support the head, but the natural outward curve of the cervical spine (neck) can become compromised and degenerate faster.

Symptoms ranging from stiffness, pain, and pinched nerves can become commonplace in people with poor text neck postures. Symptoms may begin in the neck and back, but over time can cascade into issues with the hips, knees, and even your feet.

How Can You Reverse the Signs of Text Neck?
Luckily, you’re not doomed to a life of permanent spinal damage due to smartphone use. On the contrary, you can both reverse and prevent further damage with simple posture adjustments and minor lifestyle changes:

Soothe muscles - take care of the connective tissues like your muscles, tendons, and ligaments that are strained, pulled, and inflamed from text neck. Apply an ice pack daily to numb spasming nerve endings and reduce swelling, and then alternate with a heating pad that relaxes and loosens them back up.

Spinal manipulation/massage - trained and knowledgeable chiropractors or massage therapists can help provide adjustments and manual massage techniques to help realign the spine, knead damaged tissues, and relieve muscle tension.

Strengthening/stabilizing - dedicated stretching and strengthening exercises for your neck, back, and core can help you regain flexibility and strength in key muscle groups that reinforce good postures and spinal alignment. A neck brace you wear at night while you’re sleeping can also help stabilize your neck to relieve pressure on the spine and alleviate pain.

Proper phone use - altering the way you use your phone will make the biggest difference in reversing your text neck. Use a headset or speakerphone when talking on the phone, hold the phone in front of your face (not at your waist) when texting or browsing on it, make calls instead of texting, or use talk-to-text features to send messages instead of typing them out.

Update laptop use - if you work all day on a computer, make sure the screen or monitor you’re viewing is raised up enough so the top rim is level with your eyes; you may need to use an external monitor or monitor stand. And if you spend most of the day sitting at a desk, look into using a standing desk instead or alternating your frequent sitting time with regular movement, stretching, and neck rolls.

Years of poor text neck postures do have the potential to warrant surgery down the line to correct permanent spine deformities or damage. Don’t let smartphone use make you a victim. Practice smart body positions when using mobile devices!

This is a guest blog entry.