Funny Pictures

My cousin Dave is a total Photoshop nerd. He loves to edit family photos to make them funny or weird—stuff like adding cool captions or just messing around with effects and things like that.

I wanted to do the same but Photoshop is so freaking expensive. It was always that way but now Adobe wants you to pay a monthly subscription and I’m not going to pay that kind of money just to make some silly photos. So I started hunting around for some Photoshop alternatives and stumbled upon Photoscape, which is a Windows program that lets you do a lot of cool things with images.

It’s not really as powerful as Photoshop, but it lets you do a lot of things that Photoshop does and as far as I can tell, it’s completely free. I read up on some tips and tricks for Photoscape and got the program going. Here are some of the first images that I edited with the program. What do you think? I don’t think Cousin Dave has to worry about the competition just yet, but I’m getting there!


OK, that’s not really one of my own funny family photos, but it’s so bad it’s good!

Some good Low-Carb Veggies

I’m trying to be healthy and eat less sugar and carbs. It’s not easy, because I’ve never met a Twix bar I didn’t like. I’m trying to eat more veggies at all of my meals, and lately I’ve been choosing what to eat from this list of low-carbohydrate vegetables.

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Celery

Cucumber is my favorite. I can’t say that I’m really a big fan of Kale, even though many people swear by it. It just tastes like eating paper.

Speedy Planets

I remember learning in grade school how the closer a planet is to the sun, the faster it travels. That’s due to the gravitational pull of the sun, which makes objects nearby travel at a faster rate.

That’s why Mercury moves so quickly at nearly 50 kilometers per second, while Neptune orbits at a much more sloth-like pace of just over 5 kilometers per second through our solar system.

Basically, Mercury is almost 10 times as fast as Neptune in terms of orbital speed around the sun.

Here’s how fast each of the planets travels:

  • Mercury – 47.4 km/s
  • Venus – 35 km/s
  • Earth – 29.8 km/s
  • Mars – 24.1 km/s
  • Jupiter – 13 km/s
  • Saturn – 9.64 km/s
  • Uranus – 6.8 km/s
  • Neptune – 5.43 km/s

Here’s an interesting fact: the average  speed of our planets is 18.6 km/s. No matter how you look at it, that’s fast. To give you some comparison, the fastest speed of the Space Shuttle was 17,500 miles per hour, which works out to about 7.8 km/s. That means that all but two of our planets move faster than our fastest spaceship.


Some Great Treadmill Exercise Tips

Spend a lot of time in the gym running on the treadmill? I think running outside, preferably on the beach, is a lot more fun. But sometimes that’s not possible due to the weather or your schedule, and therefore running on a treadmill is your best bet. Here are some tips and tricks to make it more efficient.

Running on a Treadmill

Turn up your speed

First, place the incline to one percent of simple running for 10 minutes and do a warmup. Subsequently adjust the tempo to two minutes, that’s faster than your rate of simple jogging. This is only 8 minutes per-mile that’s if you typically take 10 minutes per-mile to get a long and simple run. Maintain that rate for three or four minutes and switch to strolling for Three or Four minutes. It is possible to duplicate this Three to Five times. Astonishingly, this maximum aerobic effort will help you increase your easy pace.

The sprint away

Set yourself at a comfortable pace and warmup for 3 minutes. For 30 seconds, sprint as quickly as you possibly can and expand your pace in the treadmill dramatically. Recover by bringing the tempo back into a comfy jog pace for about 1 to 3 minutes although first timers will require more recovery based on your own level of fitness. Perform repeats until you cool off. This treadmill workout is interesting since you try to surpass the preceding amount of sprints done therefore do not lose count of quantity of sprints completed.

Progressive run

Execute a warmup of simple running for 5 to 10 minutes. Subsequently place the incline at one percent and commence running in a rate of 5 miles-per hour. Increase the rate by 0.2 mph every minute before you feel quite exhausted. Apart from this treadmill exercise developing mental patience and boosting maximal oxygen consumption, it’ll additionally incrementally and systematically expand your lactate threshold.

The straight run

Everyone is familiar with this one. All that’s necessary to do is warmup and you’re set to go. It may be old-school, but it does wonders. Your workout time will probably be based on your rate. Always keep the rate consistent through the workout. It is more fun doing it outdoor. For better outcomes must be achieved to get a long haul of 4-5 minutes to a hour. It’s better to choose a flat earth for the workout.

Progressive times

Set the treadmill at 7 miles-per hour in an one percent incline and then run at a pace of 60 seconds. Afterwards, reduce the tempo to an easy jogging pace and grab an one-minute break. Increase the rate to 7.5 mph and redo the 60 seconds running with a-one-minute break at the same time as you expand the rate by 0.5 mph after each break. When you get to a point where you cannot provide down the jogging time to 30 seconds together with 60 seconds of break until you’re overtired, keep that more rapid pace for the whole 60 seconds and can-not do anymore. As the workout improvements, you can carry forward the debilitation to the next time.

Indoor Treadmill CloseUp

The alternator

This workout needs to be switched between sprints and hills and it’s interesting to do for approximately 30 to 4 5 minutes. At a pace, which will be comfy, begin by warming-up for 3 minutes? Recover by bringing back the velocity into a comfy jog pace of both 2, a Few minutes. Your choice is going to be determined by how healthy you might be. Switching to the hill, expand the treadmill’s incline to your height that can still offer you a comfy jogging pace for 3 minutes. For retrieval, lower the incline to the beginning level of 1.0 and jog in a comfortable pace. Redo until the finish. The thought is sprint, subsequently recovery, subsequently hill, subsequently recovery and you also begin again in a sprint.

Mount Everest

This treadmill workout is typically about how high it is possible to go. It is ideal for the day that you simply feel like burning a great deal of fat and you’re willing to work harder for it. As usual, start by warming-up for 3 minutes in a rate that is comfortable. Increase the rate to a measure of 6 to 7 utilizing a scale of 1 to 10. For example, rate of around 6.5 at a ramp of 1.0 sets of 3 minutes. When 5 minutes are up, lift the incline by 2 positioning you at an incline of 3 while maintaining precisely the same rate. Keep expaning the incline from Three to Five to 7 while nevertheless maintaining the exact same rate and time interval. Nonetheless, after 5 minutes lift the incline by 2, putting you at a ramp of 7 and then decrease your rate by 5.

Mount Everest

The Mount Everest workout on your treadmill deserves its intimidating name.

The principal notion of the Mount Everest would be to keep a steady jog. However, should you feel the requirement adjust the rate in compliance with the incline, go ahead and do thus. Remember your intention is to maintain it elevating towards the hill till you complete your designated workout time. Continue by adding 2 to the incline until you hit your treadmill’s maximal capacity incline and regulate the speed or you have finished your designated time. Mount Everest is more than sweat; you’ll actually want mental toughness in order to handle this workout. It is actually an excellent challenge worth trying. Lastly, it’s necessary to obtain more knowledge about any form of treadmill workout. In that aspect, the web is the best place to study various evaluations and comments, consequently getting enough knowledge.

Can Your Injured Back be Cured by Bikram Yoga?

Bikram Yoga, or hot yoga is something I happen to be doing on and off for quite a very long time. Actually I started before my continual back pain began. Before I get into discussion has had a curative effect I will describe this specific type for the advantage of those who may not have come across it before.

Bikram Yoga was created by a chap called Bikram Choudhury in Los Angeles in the 1970s but it is so or only in the last ten years that it has exploded in popularity. He was a weight lifter who had some sort of accident that crushed his knees. Told he would not walk again, Bikram determined to turn to fix his problems.

He’d been practicing Yoga since a young age so he returned to formulate a number of yoga poses to fix his knee. The result was the 26-posture series that’s instructed in exactly the same way in every 90 minute Bikram Yoga class all around the world.

Yoga Sunset at the Beach

Bikram Yoga is performed in a room heated to 105 degrees F (42 degrees C) and it is the heat that and others truly separate this yoga. It is maintained the heat warms up the fascia in the body enabling one thereby reap larger benefits and to get deeper into the positions.

I immediately became addicted to it and first tried Bikram Yoga about a decade. Although the ninety minute courses are incredibly demanding (this can not be over stated) the feeling you’ve got after a class are truly amazing in the days. You do indeed feel stronger, more attentive and full of vigor. Bikram asserts that by practicing his series you will live a longer, more healthy life and that his Yoga show is a holy grail. Bikram seems to be fairly a bombastic nature who maintains a tight grip on his yoga franchises around the world, apparently suing those studio owners who deviate from his teaching or open competitive “hot yoga” studios. Despite all this anti-yogi behavior, I have seen many instances of folks transforming their bodies over the course of regular practice. The goal of this post though is to reply if my chronic back pain was cured by Bikram Yoga.

During the next few months I did as instructed and worked really hard on the back bend poses in the class. This was, at first fairly chilling because as you’re bending back you keep expecting to hear a horrible cracking noise and discover yourself lying in a heap with a slipped disc. The reality is this doesn’t happen, really I have never seen anyone injured in a Bikram Yoga class (I have seen a few people run out to be ill but the usual problem is that they’ve not drunk enough water prior to class – you sweat an enormous quantity over the ninety minutes so pre-hydration is essential). The following are the bearings that I focussed on for several months and are outstanding for the back.

  1. Half Moon Pose. In this posture you extend up with you arms bend to the right and locked behind your ears, hold it for a minute and then reverse. As part of this bearing in addition, you lean back in that same secured position. This creates an incredibly deep (and initially quite chilling) back bend.
  2. Standing Bow. In this bearing you kick back and hold a foot, at exactly the same time reaching forward with the opposite hand and bringing the body down into a flat position. This creates a deep back stretch in the spine.
  3. Triangle Pose. This posture is billed as the “master posture of the standing string” (half the class are standing positions and half are lying down bearings).
  4. Cobra Pose. This posture is performed lying in your stomach with your hands palm-down with the tops in line. The objective is to arch your upper body off the floor using only your lower back strength (not your arms).
  5. Locust Pose. This posture is performed lying in your front with your arms palm down underneath your own body. You first raise your right leg behind you, then finally both and in that case your left leg (!) legs together. At first you may only have the capacity to lift your feet an inch off the ground, but as your back gets stronger, you may have the capacity to lift them higher. I am able to get my legs nearly vertical these days but patience is key with this posture.
  6. Complete Locust Pose. In this posture you’re again lying in your front but this time your arms are outside (like aeroplane wings). The objective is to lift your legs and your arms giving a huge stretch to your middle back.
  7. Flooring Bow. In this posture, again lying in your front you kick and grasp your ankles you appear somewhat like a rain drop from the side. Again this can be quite a deep back bend.
  8. Camel Pose. This really is the deepest back bend you will do in the group. You stand in your knees and clasp your heels while bending deeply back. It’s possible for you to feel really odd after releasing from this one – it will stir up some emotions!

These are the eight bearings out of the twenty-six in the chain that I paid the most attention to. The other positions are a mix of forward bends, balancing poses and breathing exercises. The forward bends shouldn’t be dismissed as they complement the back bends but in case you have back problems you constantly suck in your abs as closely as possible and should take care with them during each set. Your instructor will have a way to show you how to adjust things as required to protect your back.

So did Bikram Yoga heal my chronic lower back pain?

The short reply is not yet.

However, things have been greatly enhanced by it. I think the key to success with this yoga is routine practice. I tend to go in 3 month bursts take a rest. One difficulty for me is that it’s a ninety minute class so you need and a half hours in total depending on how far away you live from the studio. This may be difficult to fit into a busy program. I do understand that after I have been going consistently for several weeks, my back feels much better; pain free and freer. Nevertheless after i cease going, the pain does tend to creep back. I do know plenty of people at my local studio who’ve reported dramatic changes for their well-being that is back after standard practice but I think this yoga is something you only have to incorporate to get the maximum benefits.


Tips and Tricks for Running on the Beach this Summer

I love spending time at the beach and sail around the world to find as many beaches as I can, no matter what time of year it is. But for most people, beach life is synonymous with summertime and for those of us who like to go running, the beach is a great place.

It doesn’t require science to figure out that running on sand is more demanding than running on pavement. Simply ask anyone who’s ever been on sand.

But science can tell us just how a lot more challenging it actually is.

In 1998, three researchers in Belgium published “Mechanics and energetics of human locomotion on sand,” and their conclusions on beach-related exercise was intriguing: jogging on the sand takes one point six times more energy than jogging on a hard surface, mainly because:

  • The mechanical work required to get through the sand.
  • The inefficiency of the work done by tendons and muscles as a result of sand’s unpredictable surface.

Needless to say, the research workers in Belgium did this testing in soft, dry sand. Thanks to the ocean soft sand, and its dynamic tides is often not the sole choice for beach jogging.

In case you live near the beach, or you’re heading out for a holiday this summer, you may be interested in taking your love of running to the coastline. Many runners in coastal regions do this to get a change of pace work out in one of the very most serene places on the planet.

For runners, not all beaches are created equal. The truth is, there are a few major variables which could make for running on a whole dud to certain areas.

Run on the Proper Shore

  • Length. A jetty, a cliff, a river mouth…so many things can shorten the span of a shore– and turn your anticipated run into a huge disappointment. Look for a shore that’s a mile of coastline that is uninterrupted.
  • Slant. Some beaches are not suitable because they’re cambered, or crowned. Depending on how cambered the beach is, this could cause you to run on a slanted surface for an extended interval, which can result in injury. The flatter, the better.
  • Surface. For the bunch that was barefoot, some beaches are littered with broken seashells which can be distressing to run on and rocks. Choose your shoes with you just in case.

Pick the Right Kind of Sand

Determined by the tide cycle, you may have multiple surfaces to pick from. And they’re day and night when it comes to difficulty.

The soft sand is the surface that’s completely dry. It has plenty of give, which makes running on it hard (thus, why it takes 1.6 times more energy than paving.)

The wet sand, or sand that is packed, is what’s left behind as the tide recedes. It is a lot more solid than soft sand. Visit the wet sand, if you’re new to beach jogging. In case you’d like to do a soft-sand run, get ready for a fantastic work out.

Watch the Tide

To get the most wet sand to run on (or the most area to run on, if your shore is narrow), ensure that you go at low tide, or at least when the tide is receding. Tide graphs are simple to discover on the Internet.

You will not have any wet sand to run on, if you head out during high tide or when the tide is rising –or at some spots, you may not have any beach at all.

Choose to Run With or Without Shoes

The wet sand is strong enough you could run with shoes and not be worried about sinking in. But of course, the sand is a soft enough surface to make barefoot jogging possible, maybe preferable.

If you decide to really go without shoes, do so with caution. Your feet are used to the support, and at the end of even a brief shore run, you might observe that your ankles, achilles, calf muscles or the top of your feet are fatigued or hurting.

Running Shoes on the Boardwalk

You can run barefoot on the beach, but shoes will help if your route takes you along a boardwalk or on rocks.

Check Your Knees

Some beaches have more slanted surfaces than many others, but even the most level seashores, at the best tides, have some slant to them. And generally speaking, the higher the tide, the more angled the sand. Running on an angled surface can wreak havoc on your knees and hips, especially if you’re doing beach running as part of a longer running training program. Make sure you run out and back. The unevenness isn’t good for either leg, but it is better to put both legs through the strides than only one (for instance, running down a beach in one direction, then back on the road). But if you feel knee or hip pain, stick to the roads or amount trails.

Deep Sand Work Outs

Even though you can not get down to the beach at low tide for the hard-packed sand , running in deep sand once in a while is a terrific kick in the butt. Sand, like soft snow, gives with each step, so your leg muscles (hello, burning calves) will feel the burn. This can not be really inconvenient, though, should you not have much time for a run. Doing a quick work out in deep sand will seldom leave you wishing you had more time for a longer run.

Gear Up

Sunscreen is essential, as from directly overhead in addition to running next to the water will provide you with the reflective beams. A hat or visor along with Sunglasses are also useful in keeping you focused and comfortable on your run, instead of that fireball in the sky blinding you. And when you do a lot of shore jogging, look for shoes that have tight mesh over open mesh. A closed mesh can keep your shoes from filling up with sand when you’re running on the soft material. And since it is sometimes unavoidable to get just a little sand in, wear socks that ward off blisters. If your sock and shoe combo still isn’t abating the rub, consider a lubricant like Sportslick or BodyGlide for long jogs, particularly long runs where your feet might get wet and sandy.

Use Sunscreen

Take Advantage of Your Environment

Nothing caps off a fantastic beach run much better than a jump in the ocean (and thank goodness for quick drying run clothes). A soak in the sea will not give you the same retrieval benefits as an ice bath, unless you’re running on a beach in Canada in the winter–but it’ll certainly leave you refreshed. And to make the most of more setting, jump over other obstacles for agility training or heaps of seaweed, and race the sun as it sets into the water for speedwork.

Does Anyone Really Use Twitter?

Twitter Tweet Tweet

Tweet! Tweet! I think I have a Twitter account but I almost never use it. Do you? I know that a lot of celebrities use it to update fans and some die-hards love to chat back and forth on different topics, but I always thought the 140-character limit made it kind of pointless. Plus now celebs have Instagram so why use Twitter at all?

Smash Land Looks Fun

Supercell, the makers of Boom Beach, Hay Day, and Clash of Clans, have a new game called Smash Land, which I read about on CheatsPulse. I don’t live in Canada or Australia so I can’t play it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

There’s not much information on the game yet besides what you can dig up in the Supercell forum. It looks like the game will be an easily accessible adventure/battle game with a very cartoony look and feel. You will guide up to three heroes at a time through different lands and battle monsters and other players along the way.

I’m really looking forward to this game coming out soon in the US!

Smash Land

Playing Boom Beach from Supercell

Boom Beach

My friend Dave showed me his latest obsession: Boom Beach, which is a game from Supercell. They are the folks that made Clash of Clans and Hay Day, which are always in the top 10 charts on the App Store.

I’m usually not a big fan of war games, but Boom Beach was fun to play. It’s very cartoonish (not gruesome at all) and loosely based on World War II.

The basic idea is you build up an island base in an archipelago and then try to conquer all the neighboring islands with an invading force that you assemble. Some of the islands are defended by computer-controlled opponents, but most are other players in the game. It’s that competitive aspect of player vs. player that really keeps it interesting.

You can assemble your army with a wide variety of troops–everything from simple riflemen to powerful tanks. There are lots of different strategies that you can employ, and I got some great ideas at a site called Boom Beach Secrets. There are also lots of tips in the Supercell forums and plenty of other places on the Web.

I don’t know if I’ll play this game as much as Dave, but it’s been fun for the past few days!

Ashtanga Yoga – A Beginner’s Journey

Ashtanga Yoga

I’ve been practicing Ashtanga Yoga recently and attending classes as well as watching videos at home. Here are a few good tips and techniques I have picked up while learning the basics.

Beginner Suggestions

There are a number of vital tips you should be aware of, prior to getting into the various asanas of Ashtanga Yoga.

Patience and practice have become significant. First read on it, before you starting practicing the poses. Subsequently start out slowly, perhaps a few times weekly. Tend not to drive yourself to adore it. With time, you practice it frequently and will be dependent on it.

Master your respiration. The respiration should be relaxed and heavy as it enables more profound thinking. For the whole respiration sequence called ujjayi breath consult with your teacher.

The web is filled with materials. It is also possible to locate DVDs and publications in library or the local shop.

This fundamental position is nearly just like the one. This one is yet held for a longer duration of time. You begin with the posture that is samasthitih where you stand erect on a mat. It calls for bringing the palms and lifting your arms above your head. It’s also called the tree posture that is up.

It is extended position or the uttanasana a. Without transferring hands and your feet from where they’ve been on the mat, straighten your arms fully. The human body makes in what’s called the uttanasana b location a triangle shape.

From the uttanasana b position yourself onto the mat into a pushup position where just toes and your hands are in connection with the mat. In Ashtanga Yoga, this can be called the four-limbed chaturanga dandasana or stick posture. Lift your torso up. As you lift your torso up, it also needs to bend back. This is called the up-facing urdhva mukha shvanasana or dog.

It is the down-facing dog place or adho mukha shvanasan. Be sure your head looks at your legs and the ground and arms are right.

Transfer your legs nearer to the torso while your head continues to be in a lowered position and put your hands. To take the body back to the start position, lift your hands and just stand up straight. The palms should be jointly above you. This finishes the cycle that is complete.

Where to Find Equilibrium

All the described positions above demand an excellent deal of physical equilibrium without which it is not possible to perform them. Additionally, before it is possible to proceed to complicated and more sophisticated poses, it’s vital to find out how to balance the human body.

Equilibrium begins in the head. With internal equilibrium, its actual symptom comes naturally. To attain an ideal equilibrium, practice often. With time, you may find a way to harmonize body and the mind so achieving coordination that is perfect.

In addition, you need to have the appropriate shoes and clothing. Tight wear poses and can lower circulation and influence your equilibrium. What you wear should be quite comfortable but still let you completely participate in your places. It’s possible for you to start with an one legged position before moving into other asanas to work off the pressure and anxiety.

You will find really lots of instruction manuals which are being extensively bought now only so they are able to learn to perform the Ashtanga correctly. The truth is, specialists say that in their expertise, the Ashtanga helped them feel relaxed and relax the wind.

Many also practiced this special type because it supplied a ground-breaking exercise session to them.

Ashtanga is really a difficult job. For this reason those who want to know more about performing it should check with their physicians if they will have any health conditions which may hamper the way in which the Ashtanga is performed by them. Their doctor will be advised to not perform anything strenuous, particularly the Ashtanga type of yoga, if they finds anything wrong. The Ashtanga yoga is really regarded among the most strenuous exercise procedures to have been found.

They are able to find out about Ashtanga by listening to what yoga specialists say as well as by buying the instruction manuals. According to today’s bestselling Ashtanga guides, the finest shops to buy yoga merchandises are and eBay.

Since the Ashtanga moves are not rather easy to do, whoever desires to practice this special type follow the guides right and should listen carefully to the pros. Yoga Experts should always warm up when they’re done before they begin and cool down. Warming up and cooling down can mainly reduce the potential for obtaining harms that getting into the yoga postures too fast causes. Since the poses related to Ashtanga Yoga are challenging, the professionals should gradually and slowly enter the posture rather than rushing.

It’s a good idea to find out about the Ashtanga Yoga before determining to practice it as they need this kind of yoga to be because if the understand nothing about it, then their expertise isn’t going to be as successful.