Thursday, January 30, 2014

Can Sports Stars Expect Privacy?

Dating back over 100 years to the days of Jack Dempsey and Ty Cobb, sports stars have always been big celebrities. However, much has changed in the world since then. The advent of TV and the Internet have made professional athletes every bit as famous as movie stars and musicians. Every major city now has at least one 24-hour sports talk station, creating a forum for fans to immediately voice their displeasure if a player has a bad game. The fact is that pro athletes are under more scrutiny now than they ever have been before.

Under the microscope

As is the case with other people in the public eye, the more successful you are at what you do, the more attention you will get from fans and the media. Therefore, if you are the fourth outfielder or a middle relief pitcher for a baseball team, you do not have to worry about TMZ following you and reporting on your every move. The same goes for pro soccer players who are defenders. The fans and media tend to focus their attention on the players who score the goals. So in that sense, it is possible for a pro athlete to have a private life. However, this is not the case if you are an elite level player.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Deniece Cornejo Meme

Vhong Navarro’s recent misfortune has been trending as of late. Along with this, formerly under the radar model, Deniece Milinette Cornejo has also gained notoriety. It’s nasty business, with either side telling a different story. On one end, we hear of the girl inviting the boy over to her place at 11pm. On another, we hear of how the girl was s**ually assaulted prompting her guy friends to pounce and defend her supposedly purloined dignity.

Since this news has erupted, people have voiced out different opinions, majority of which tend to lean on Navarro’s side. What is most amusing however is how netizens have chosen to react. Apart from choice words, several memes have popped out online, ranging from laugh out loud funny to roll all over the floor hilarious.

Three Hot Books Make Exceptional Films For 2014

Whether a member of a book club, movie club, or book-to-movie club, terrific book titles are being released as films in 2014. While some clubs may have already read a few of these titles to appear on the big screen, some may not. What better way to jump-start the 2014 film season than to read the book first then see your favorite stars in the film version. Better yet, clubs can buy books in bulk cheap through popular book wholesalers that offer bulk books for sale to retail outlets and educational institutions. Some book wholesalers offer discounts on orders even as low as 25 books. But first, a sneak peak at books-to-movies being released this year. Each recap includes basic storyline and major actors to appear. Brief descriptions may help determine if a particular bulk books for sale title is right for your club.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Maintaining Your Automobile

Every automobile should be equipped with the proper lights as mandated by law. First and foremost, lights are used for road safety. Proper light bulbs should provide sufficient illumination on the road as dictated by the department of motor vehicle in each state of the United States. For example, headlights at high beam should illuminate the road for at least several hundred feet in dark conditions. For safety reasons, all of the lights of a car need to be regularly checked and replaced when not working properly. For example, one single burnt headlight can cause dangerous situations by making the other headlight appear as it the turn signal is on.

Tail lights and license plate lights should also be working properly for safety reasons. When braking or parking, the lights in the rear of a vehicle should emit a mandatory illumination that goes through amber colored housings. Improper brake lights can send the wrong messages on the road and lead to some serious accidents and other unpleasant traffic situations.

Drivers should replace the headlights of their vehicles every few years. It is easy to shop for High Intensity Discharge, Halogen and Xenon headlights that are available at online auto shops. When selecting light bulbs for headlights, it is important to understand the different wattage ratings. A headlight that is too powerful for a vehicle can burn out some of the electrical fuses under the hood. Modern headlights are also available in a variety of color temperatures such as deep blue.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Budget Tips Keep Cars Tip-Top

Too often, car buyers fail to recognize the hidden costs of staying on the road, leading to debt problems for consumers who cannot keep pace with car costs.  Before you buy a car, or make other long-term financial commitments, it is important to capture all the potential expenses tied to your purchase, so you can accurately determine what you can afford.

The original purchase price of your car is a significant starting point for determining its overall cost, but it is only the beginning of a series of expenses associated with buying cars.  Financing, for example, requires interest payments and fees beyond the price of your car, adding to its overall cost.

Insurance adds to motoring expenses too, issued to protect against personal injury and property damage.  Even petrol is cause for consideration, adding substantial sums to the total cost of staying on the road.

Accounting for all of your projected driving costs is hard enough when all things remain equal, but there are also unknown wild-card expenses on the horizon for car owners, since it is hard to value repair and maintenance costs ahead of time.  A payday loan could allow you to keep your car on the road by providing additional funds to cover the cost of unexpected repairs etc.

One thing is sure though:  Staying ahead of your car's upkeep is a more cost effective approach in the long run than letting things get away from you - only to take on high repair bills later.

Basic Recommendations from Car Makers
Cars require the same basic treatment to operate efficiently, though some car makers add specific care and maintenance instructions to the standard protocol.  No matter which make you drive, cars rely on precise tolerances to run well, so following upkeep schedules is the best way to ensure trouble-free operation.

Combustion engines use strictly tuned parts to fire properly, many times creating metal on metal junctions where car parts wear.  In order to protect against abrasion and friction causing premature failure, cars required lubricants, which act as buffers between parts, greasing them in functional unity. Pistons and rings, for example, rely on motor oil to keep them firing in sequence and creating the highest levels of horsepower possible.

Motor Oil is Life Blood of Cars
One of the most important regular maintenance actions you can take is to change your motor oil according to manufacturer recommendations.  To save on costly car repairs, change oil according to the information found in your car's owner's manual.

The way you drive, and the ambient conditions you motor in most frequently each influence the proper type of oil to use in your car motor, as well as its size and performance features.  Short trips, for example, wear engine parts more readily than over the road driving, calling for more frequent oil changes among drivers making shorter runs.  Temperature too, comes to bear on the proper motor oil selection, with oils of higher viscosity recommended for cold weather driving.

Newly engineered synthetic motor oils and versions that blend synthetic products into petroleum based oils, present additional options for modern motorists.  Special enhancements allow synthetic products to grab-on to engine components, protecting them more completely than petroleum oil.

In addition to engine components, chassis and suspension parts also require lubrication at critical junction points.  Thick grease is pumped in to special fittings, pushing the heavy lubricants throughout suspension joints.  Since they rely on a full range of motion, and take a great deal of punishment on your car's undercarriage, suspension and handling repairs are fewer when ball joints are kept greased.  Other parts, like door locks and bonnet latches should also be lubricated with white lithium grease from time to time, to ensure proper function - even at cold temperatures.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How to Save Money When Buying a Car

The main thing a buyer has to remember when buying a car in 2014 is that the dealer definitely has the advantage. In the automobile market, the seller has the upper hand. That is why the potential buyer needs to come to the dealership prepared with as much information as possible. In this case, knowledge is power.

Naturally, the first step is establishing a fair and accurate price for the car you want to buy. For used cars, the search begins by consulting a Kelly Blue Book or N.A.D.A., both well-trusted references. The prices listed on these sites may not be the price that will be offered on a lot. Seasons of the year can effect pricing (convertibles, for example sell better in the summer), or scheduled part replacement, or lack thereof, can make a difference in what is offered. Also available online are special downloadable “Packages” for specific vehicle purchases that allege to make available all the information for pricing specific types and models of cars.

The next thing a smart car buyer will do is to get as many quotes as possible on the car in which he is interested. Once again, the more information received the better the chances of getting a majorly lower price. This can be done by visiting local car dealers’ lots, or by using the internet on sites such as and There are others sites as well, just search “get a free automobile price quote”. There is no need to inform on the questionnaire whether you are trading in a car, or what type of financing you will be using. You will need to give your correct contact information, however, or you will not get an answer from the site. In specific cases it also makes sense to contact auto brokers, who specialize in negotiating fair deals on cars one such company is Interstate Auto Buyers, but searching online will reveal several similar companies.

Learning the art of negotiating is fundamental to getting the best price on your vehicle. Simple as it may be, the experts say that the one most important factor in dealing with car salesmen is to be confident. If the buyer cannot be confident, he needs to take someone who can. Another tip is to only raise the bid $100 at a time. Also, use the invoice price as your starting point, not the sticker price. Don’t fall into the trap of negotiating on the monthly payment. The salesperson can configure the loan for low monthly payments, but ratchet up the price of the car by extending the length of the loan. When you negotiate your trade-in price, if you are trading in, make sure it is close to the Blue Book price. If not, negotiations should be over.

An outstanding negotiating factor is buying a car for cash. When that is done, there is plenty of wiggle room for the buyer. If there are rebates available on the car, the buyer can then tell the seller that he will take the car seller’s loan, receive the rebate, then pay the loan off with the cash he had for the purchase in a few days. As long as there are no early pay-off penalties, the purchaser wins all the way.

Listen to a word from the wise. Folks who have been taken advantage of in the car buying process want potential buyers to read and do the math on all the final paperwork. It is up to the buyer to make sure that there are no add-ins (i.e., rustproofing), and verify the payment price and the trade-in value you were quoted. All of these safety procedures will be worth the time and effort.

Most of all, be willing to leave the dealership without a car. If you are married to having one certain car, and you want it that very day, stop. There is an art to buying a car, and most dealerships and salesmen are very good artists. The human emotion element can be the downfall of any potential buyer. Leave, take a breath, get calm, and start another day. Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer beware.) is never more applicable than when purchasing a new automobile.

About the author:

John has been involved with the automotive industry for over a decade, if you're interested in learning more about him visit his webpage.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Critics Choice Awards 2014

The recently concluded Critic’s Choice Awards hugely follows, for the most part, the list of winners from the Golden Globes. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto still bagged the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor (Drama) respectively. Frozen is still Best Animated Feature Film both Amy Adams and Leonardo di Caprio are still Best Actor and Actress for the Comedy or Musical category.

There are actually a slew of similarities between the two awards night but the most significant win for the season was for ’12 Years a Slave’. The movie garnered several awards including Best Picture (the most prominent for the night), Best Supporting Actress for newcomer, Lupita Nyong’o and Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley. Not a bad turnout considering the film had a total of breathtaking 13 nominations.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Asia's Next Top Model 2

The Philippines was one step away from the coveted title of Asia’s Next Top Model in the first season. Stephanie Retuya was runner up to Thailand but now that the reality show is back, will the Philippines win this time? This season has no less than two Filipina contestants, so there are double chances of winning. I wonder if our recent lucky streak will continue when it comes to beauty shows.

Jodilly Pendre and Katarina Rodriguez are the Philippine bets to the Tyra Banks franchise, Asia’s Next Top Model or AsNTM. Dubbed by the local press as ‘the morena’ and ‘the mestiza’, each candidate brings a unique quality to the table. Jodilly Pendre, is younger between the two but at 20 years old, she already has had several modeling gigs under her belt. Katarina Rodriguez, on the other hand is a Filipina American who moved to the Philippines barely a year ago. She is a year older than Jodilly but has had no modeling experience yet – which unfortunately shows – based on the recent episode that was aired last January 8.

4 Mini Video Cameras that can make you Feel like a Real Spy

Everyone loves a good action movie, and there is nothing better than the cool spy gadgets the main character gets to use to stay under the radar. While many people only dream of using these cool spy-gear devices, others have found that the technology exists, and not too far off from the movies. If you or your child is highly intrigued by spy gear and mini security cameras, a mini video camera may be the perfect gift to help them feel like a real spy.

Finger-Sized Camcorder

A miniature camcorder is one of the coolest gadgets spies in the movies ever carry. This real-life technology can be both fun, and useful for security purposes. A finger-sized video camera is easy to carry around, allowing you to film and capture audio and video very inconspicuously. These mini video camera devices also often come equipped with adjustable lenses allowing you to pivot the view finder at any number of angles, and allowing you to film events or people without being noticed. The viewing screens on these devices now make it easier to play-back footage, while conserving the battery life of the camera itself. With the ability to add a timer to the camera, or turn on motion-sensing features, you or your child will feel even more stealthy and spy-like as they capture video at specific times and locations.

Mini Snake Camera

A miniature snake camera is pretty similar to what it sounds like. The device is often attached to a bendable wire, giving the lens a 360 degree range. These bendable mini cameras can be hidden easily, or even attached to the individual who is filming. The wires can be tucked away discreetly giving the wearer the feeling that they are just like a real spy or a spy in all of the famous movies. The miniature snake camera is often quite affordable and offers features like high resolution video and the option of recording in color with audio capturing. This camera is a favorite of the want-to-be spy, and can also be very helpful in capturing audio and video for security purposes.

Miniature Night Vision Camera

What can be more fun to a spy-in-training than capturing video using a night vision camera? These devices are often used as security cameras, and can be mounted to a structure like a home, fence, mailbox, or other solid fixture. The built-in sensors automatically select light settings that are optimum for filming in dark areas. Not only will you feel like a real spy as you watch back the footage that was captured over night, but the videos may come in handy if real crimes or suspicious activities took place in the area the camera captured.

Mountable Mini Cam

A mountable miniature camera is a very useful device that can be used in a number of places. From mounting them in your car to putting them in your home, these easy to use cameras are often chosen for their quality recording abilities and their affordable costs. Some mountable mini cams can be purchased for less than 50 dollars, and give you the ability to record at the touch of the button. Whether you child wants to pretend to be a spy, or you need an affordable option for securing your vehicle, these security cameras serve a number of both practical and fun purposes.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Golden Globes 2014

Last year, I wrote about the shocking weight loss Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto had to undergo for the movie, Dallas Buyers Club. Movie fans were quick to pile one negative feedback after another, concerned about the drastic weight loss. It seems now that the award season is upon us, these two Hollywood heavyweights have the last laugh. Just a few hours ago during the Golden Globe awards, McConaughey and Leto each won Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama and Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture respectively. This spells sweet success for each actor who spent countless hours to look gaunt – just to look the part.

Other big winners that night which will certainly grab the Filipino’s attention is the Holiday-themed, animation hit, ‘Frozen’. Prior to bagging the Best Animated Feature Film, ‘Frozen’ had already captured hearts with its adorable characters, Olaf and Hans and sisters Elsa and Anna. ‘Frozen’ was also nominated for Best Original Song but lost to a movie on the late Nelson Mandela. ‘American Hustle’ is also on top of the list with Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Supporting Actress, Amy Adams as Best Actress and the movie itself as Best Picture.

Movie Review: Captain Phillips

Only a few movies can succeed while revolving around a small cast but Captain Phillips is pulling it off well. You don’t even have to know someone from the Marine industry to understand and relate to the story. The build-up of suspense is enough and the tension is very real.

Tom Hanks, once again, shines in this movie. The A-lister is very effective as a stoic, calm and collected leader of the ship, Maersk Alabama. The rest of the ship’s crew, the Somali hijackers and the NAVY seal provide excellent backdrops to the drama as it unfolds. Capt. Phillips is a true to life documentary of the hijacking that happened in 2009. The Maersk Alabama was commandeered by Somali pirates despite valiant efforts to keep it from happening. The quick thinking crew, the small maneuvers and even the covert advice of

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Important Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping Online

It has never been easier to shop, but remember, just as you don't need to leave your home to go shopping, cyber thieves don't need to leave theirs either. Stay one step ahead with these tips on how to reduce the risks while online shopping.

Check the website looks like the real deal.

Fake websites are one of the main dangers to falling prey to identity theft.  Some criminals will go to great lengths to steal your hard earned cash, even designing look-a-like websites teasing you to make a purchase and hand over your vital identity and banking digits. For this reason, if you are at all unsure about the website you are visiting, it's best to avoid making a purchase. Also you should be especially suspicious about links you receive within emails, which can lead you to fake websites.

Only shop from a secured connection

Typing in your credit card details while using a public Wi-Fi connection exposes you to the risk of your details being stolen. To reduce the risk, by all means use unsecured connections to window shop, but leave the actual transaction until you get home where you can be sure the connection is secured.

Only buy from an SSL secured website
If a website is secured it means that information that is stored is far less likely to be stolen or intercepted by unwanted eavesdroppers. You can usually tell if a website is secured because the beginning of its URL in the address browser is highlighted as green.  You may also see a padlock icon which is another reassuring sign. Websites secure themselves by acquiring an SSL certificate which encrypts them to a recognized industry standard.  There are several providers and products, with many online stores choosing to install Thawte SSL Certificates which provide the most visible package so that shoppers know immediately that their site is a safe place to shop.  If you are curious on how this software works you can check on line for an SSL product overview.

Shop with your credit card

It is advisable to shop with your credit card rather than your debit card if you can avoid it. This is mainly because if you are the unfortunate victim of identity theft, you have a higher chance of getting your money back with a credit card. With a debit card, the money comes straight out of your account so it is far harder to remedy the situation. Many credit cards provide insurance of some kind against identity theft as well which helps. But if you report a theft after more than a day or two, you are unlikely to see your money again even if you used a credit card.

Check your statements

Lastly, make it regular practice to check your online bank account. This will help you to keep track of what purchases are being made and when. If you see large amounts of money being used on expensive items that you or another card holder is unlikely to have made, contact your credit or debit card company immediately and cancel the card without delay.