Anthony Noland
Linked In
 
Anthony Noland

Noland's Notes

Noland Knows

Too Much Calcium Can Be Bad for Your Heart

February 21, 2013 2:44 am

In a new study from the National Institutes of Health, startling results showed that men who took calcium supplements were more apt to die of heart disease than those who didn't get extra calcium in supplement form.

Between 1995 and 1996, 388,229 middle-aged Americans ages of 50 to 71 were asked to answer questions about their lifestyle, general health and diet, including use of supplements. Over the next 12 years, scientists tracked how many of them died, and from what causes.

About half of men and more than two-thirds of women said they took calcium supplements or multivitamins containing calcium at the beginning of the study.

During the study period, almost 12,000 people—or about three percent—died of cardiovascular disease.
Lead researcher Qian Xiao, from the National Cancer Institute, and her colleagues found men who took 1,000 milligrams or more of calcium per day were 20 percent more likely to die of heart-related causes than those who did not supplement with calcium.

"It's possible that calcium build-up in the arteries and veins may affect cardiovascular risks in some people," said Xiao.

These findings confirm what Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, magnesium expert and Medical Advisory Board member of the nonprofit Nutritional Magnesium Association has been saying for years: "Magnesium is the key to the body's proper assimilation and use of calcium, as well as Vitamin D. If we consume too much calcium without sufficient magnesium, the excess calcium is not utilized correctly and may actually become toxic, causing calcification of the arteries, leading to heart attack and cardiovascular disease."

Studies on women and calcium supplementation have found similar results. In a 2009 study entitled Use of Calcium Supplements and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in 52–62-Year-Old Women, Finnish scientists found "Calcium or calcium+D supplementation appears to increase the risk of coronary heart disease among women before old age."

Michael F. Roizen , MD, Chief Wellness Officer for Cleveland Clinic and New York Times best-selling author adds, "It has been known for some time that heart attacks are less common in areas where the water supplies are rich in magnesium. Magnesium is also known to lower blood pressure, dilate the arteries, and, when given after a heart attack, restore normal heart rhythms. Magnesium is especially important in the regulation of calcium. Because we do know that taking calcium helps reduce RealAge (physiologic age), it is also vital to get enough magnesium to allow for the proper absorption of calcium."

"Many people, especially those consuming dairy products, have high-calcium diets. This can lead to a greater amount of unabsorbed calcium," says Dean.

Dr. Dean recommends getting the minimum daily requirement of magnesium, and aiming for an even calcium-magnesium balance.

Source: Nutritional Magnesium Association

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

World Demand for Lighting to Exceed 78 Billion Dollars in 2016

February 21, 2013 2:44 am

World demand for lighting is projected to climb more than 12 percent annually through 2016 to $78.3 billion. Sales will be driven in general by acceleration in economic activity, personal income, global motor vehicle output, and construction spending. However, a more important factor will be the ongoing shift to higher value, more efficient lighting technologies, particularly as many countries phase out the sale of conventional incandescent lamps for general use applications. This shift is being propelled by the rising availability of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and other high efficiency light sources at more affordable prices and with improved light quality. Prices for key light sources such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LEDs are expected to fall significantly. These and other trends, including market share and product segmentation, are presented in World Lighting: Lamps & LEDs, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Market gains in developing countries will outpace sales in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan, fueled by ongoing industrialization efforts, increased manufacturing output, and rising standards of living. China alone will account for 49 percent of all additional product demand through 2016, strengthening its position as the largest national market for lamps and LEDs. Above average growth is also expected in countries such as Russia, Mexico, and Brazil. Sales of lighting in many of these developing areas will be aided by subsidies for consumer purchases of high efficiency lighting, sometimes with support from international organizations.

LED (or solid-state) lighting devices will record by far the fastest global market gains of any major product segment through 2016. The rapid rate of technological advances has dramatically improved their performance capabilities and resulted in substantial reductions in cost, leading to LED use in a growing number of lighting applications. Sales of fluorescent lamps will continue to expand, spurred in the near term by government-led efforts to phase out use of energy inefficient, general service, conventional incandescent lamps in many areas. While CFLs have generally been the replacement product of choice, sales are expected to be more limited going forward partly because of growing concern for safe disposal of spent CFLs and the increasing price and performance competition from LEDs.

Source: The Freedonia Group

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

How to Design Your Own Personal Home Office

February 20, 2013 2:42 am

For those who work on the run, a home office is a perfect asset to consider. When designed carefully, a home office can offer you flexibility, convenience and saved time as you crunch to meet deadlines or carry on your business day. If you are thinking about creating your own home office, take these tips into consideration.

Always remember that privacy is important. Choose a location in your house that is far from the living room, kitchen, television areas and children’s bedrooms or play areas. Your house most likely will not shut down simply because you are working there. Family activity is to be expected, so carefully choose your home office location with these things in mind.

Is proximity to the front door important? It is if you are expecting to receive clients at home or have home office meetings with fellow co-workers. If either of these is the case, make sure your home office is only a short distance from the main door of your house. Avoid having clients, prospects or co-workers walk up stairs or past bedrooms. Even though you are at home, you can still provide and ensure a level of professionalism, organization and accommodation.

How much space you need will also determine the location of your office. Measure desks, cabinets, bookshelves and any other furniture you want to move in before doing so. Make a tentative plan of where you want to put things, and keep in mind you’ll need electrical outlets for many of your electronics. If your chosen location seems too small, you may want to think again.

Getting electrical assistance is highly recommended. Your home office will probably need more outlets than it had before it was an office. Power strips can be unreliable and sometimes can lead to power outages. Get expert advice and assistance. Have a professional add more outlets if you require them. Electrical issues are always better left for the pros.

Adding some soundproofing can certainly be a source of sanity. By replacing the drywall with a special soundproofing variety, you can be well on your way to minimizing auditory distractions. If that isn’t good enough, you can also replace the door with a new solid-core one. Both of these efforts will ensure that you hear less of your family or any other possible distraction. Concentration is key.

Don’t forget to decorate. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your home office, and especially if you’re planning to have clients or co-workers drop by, take the time to choose a nice décor. A little bit of decorating goes a long way, and by adding color to the room, it will provide a cozy feel—a nice blend of work and home.

Your home office could be a fantastic personal decision for you, so do it right. By spending the time planning and setting up, you can be assured that your office will be a positive haven and work environment.

Source: Gannett News Service

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

The Most Popular Real Estate Listing Keywords

February 20, 2013 2:42 am

A new study released by real estate listings and property portal Point2Homes reveals what words agents use the most to market a home.

A sample of 300,000 U.S. property listings were mined for this analysis and the results show there is a tight competition between descriptive buzzwords such as "beautiful" or "spacious" and words referring to home attributes or upgrades like "hardwood floors" and "stainless steel appliances."

Moreover, the study offers insight into words that are particular to certain segments, e.g. time on the market, geographical regions, and pricing.

The Most Popular Keywords in 2012

The highest-ranking keyword advertising average U.S. homes (under $1 million) is "beautiful." However, other price segments reveal different favorites:

• Luxury homes ($1-$5 million) are commonly marketed as having a "pool," "hardwood floors" or "stainless steel appliances";
• The very top-end segment ($5 million and over) has an increased appeal when advertised as "private," "having a guest house" or a "wall of windows."

The study identified a list of specific keywords agents use to market homes in all four U.S. regions. The results may be used to understand the profile of homebuyers in these regions.

• East Coast homebuyers are particularly attracted to homes that are "move-in ready," and "renovated";
• On the West Coast, preferences go to "beautiful" homes with "mountain or ocean views."

Words that Sell NYC Homes Fast

There were 1,500 property listings analyzed for this part of the study. The results show that if you advertise properties with the things NYC homebuyers have the most trouble finding, such as light, space and city views, they are more likely to sell faster than the average time on the market (180 days).
Here are the top word choices agents used to sell NYC homes faster:

• Closet space
• City views
• Soaking tub
• Sunny
• Open kitchen
• Oversized windows

Brand Names Used in Luxury Home Ads

Wealthy homebuyers care about the style and quality of their home fixtures. As a result, they react positively to brands like Sub Zero, Viking and Miele.

Source: Point2Homes

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

HARP Refinances Reach Two Million

February 20, 2013 2:42 am

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has released its November 2012 Refinance Report, which shows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have reached a new milestone and refinanced more than two million loans through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). In November alone, nearly 130,000 homeowners refinanced their mortgage through HARP, making it the second biggest month in 2012. Between January and November of 2012, nearly one million loans were refinanced through HARP, more than in any single year since the program began. The continued high volume of HARP refinances is attributed to record-low mortgage rates and program enhancements implemented in 2012.

Also in the report:

• HARP volume represented 23 percent of total refinance volume in November 2012.

• In November, 46 percent of the loans refinanced through HARP had loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent and 24 percent had LTVs greater than 125 percent.

• In November, HARP refinances represented 68 percent of total refinances in Nevada, nearly triple the 23 percent of total refinances nationwide. And in Florida, HARP refinances represented 56 percent of total refinances, more than double the HARP volume nationwide.

• In November, 17 percent of HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages, which build equity faster than traditional 30-year mortgages.

• A data reporting change to provide consistency between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac results was incorporated, which added approximately 160,000 loans to the total HARP volume.

Source: FHFA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Don't Eat Away Your Retirement

February 19, 2013 2:42 am

Saving is tough, and every now and then, it’s nice to splurge—especially on a meal out. Or maybe grabbing a mid-day meal is your preferred way of easing the stress of the workday. But if you go out for lunch four days a week, over the course of a 40-year working life, you've eaten away nearly $60,000!

Still not convinced that bringing lunch to work is a smart decision?

• It's healthier. Packing your own lunch gives you complete command over exactly what you eat and how much you eat. Think portion control.
• It's cheaper than eating out. A typical sit-down lunch at a restaurant can run you anywhere from $8-15. Add tax and tip on top of that, and you could be spending as much as $350 per month on lunch.
• You can make new friends. Since everyone shares the employee lunchroom, eating your lunch there (and not at your desk) may provide you the opportunity to have conversations with others that you may not typically interact with.
• Leftovers. Leftovers aren't just for dinner. The next time you make one of your favorite meals, prepare at least one extra, smaller, portion to take to work. Pasta typically heats up easily.
• Time is your friend. You aren't wasting precious minutes getting to your lunch destination, standing in line, or waiting for your order to be prepared.

Can't see yourself going cold turkey and bringing your lunch every day? Then start out small. Even taking it to the office twice a week will help build your savings.

You can save hundreds of dollars each year if you simply cut back on that morning latte or lunch trip. You'll be amazed how quickly the savings add up.

Source: BMO Harris

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Simple Tips for Winter Concrete Care

February 19, 2013 2:42 am

With harsh temperatures on the inevitable horizon, a few hours of work now could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars later down the road.

Freezing rain, snow, ice and raw temperatures have been known to weaken concrete surfaces if left unattended. Saturation and freezing of concrete surfaces can lead to cracking and surface deterioration, but the spreading of various salts on the surface can also lead to larger structural issues and unprotected concrete.

Repairing and sealing cracks as they occur is a cost-effective way to prevent pricey projects in the future. According to Quikrete, waterproofing sealers are a great way to make these repairs, offering durable finishes for a variety of surfaces including concrete, masonry, stucco and brick. Acrylic sealers are highly water resistant and provide a coating that protects the surface from cold weather freezing and thawing - a common cause of cracking over time.

If properly maintained, concrete has the ability to last for generations, but homeowners should know what to look for around the home. Look for cracks and missing concrete in the driveway, garage and exterior walkways. Though cracks can be unobtrusively small to start, these eventual problem areas can spread and worse over time.

Concrete Treat recommends checking for spalling, which occurs when too much freezing and thawing causes water to erode the surface layer of the concrete. Salts cause further erosion of this surface area and can really compromise the structural integrity. The longer this problem is neglected, the bigger of a repair it will be. Visible water leaks on concrete walls are other signs that water is seeping in from the outside. If left unfixed, this water can cause extensive damage to interior surfaces. Be sure to check around your home for any potential concrete leaks.

By being aware of possible concrete issues, you may be able to prevent catastrophic damage to your property in the future.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Airline Mergers Not Always Great News for Consumers

February 19, 2013 2:42 am

With recent news of a merger between American Airlines and US Airways, the airline industry seems to be headed toward four "super-airlines" dominating the market. Recent mergers have consolidated brands and routes across the country, but passengers do not benefit.

For the past three years of reports, US Airways has consistently ranked higher than American Airlines, based on the annual Airline Quality Rating conducted by Dr. Brent Bowen of Purdue University and Dr. Dean Headley of Wichita State University.

Recent airline mergers may jeopardize gains in industry performance because it can take years for two airlines to successfully synchronize their systems and culture the researchers confirm.

American Airlines' planned merger with US Airways will create an oversized bastion of mediocrity that will serve the public in far poorer fashion, according to Bowen.

Bowen says every merger over the past 25 years has resulted in each of the two airlines significantly declining across the board in key performance benchmarks such as late flights, lost luggage and reduced customer satisfaction.

"There will be no benefits to performance and consumers will not see better quality," Bowen said. "Employees of both airlines will be unhappy and destabilized for an extended period."

US Airways has consistently outscored American over the past five years in the AQR, but the smaller partner will not have the heft to bring up the performance of the larger company during the inevitable clash of corporate cultures and technology, Bowen said.

In the 2008 AQR report, American placed ninth overall. Since then, their performance in the rankings has steadily worsened, while US Airways' ranking has improved.

Following the United-Continental merger, the DOT reported that customer complaints increased, as did lost baggage. Headley suspects that the company's $3 billion merger with Continental Airlines is to blame. "Anytime you have two airlines trying to combine, one of those airlines is going to have a period of decline."

Along with performance fluctuations, mergers can have severe consequences for employees. Concerns about layoffs, future salaries, seniority, and pension plans can drive tension that damages employee morale and lowers the quality of customer service.

Source: Dr. Brent Bowen

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Tax Preparer

February 18, 2013 2:38 am

Approximately 60 percent of Americans enlist the help of a paid tax professional to file their income tax returns, as stated by the Internal Revenue Service. According to Jackson Hewitt Tax Service®, one of the nation's largest privately held tax preparation firms, even more consumers may turn to a tax preparer this year to determine how the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 impacts their individual situations. But what are the advantages of working with a paid preparer, and what credentials should consumers look for when selecting a tax professional?

"With the sweeping last-minute tax law changes, even taxpayers who have filed their own returns in past years with do-it-yourself software should think twice this time around," says Mark Steber, chief tax officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "Many taxpayers may benefit from engaging a paid professional to ensure their returns are accurate, but need to know what questions to ask and what to look for in a tax preparer. A skilled preparer who understands your tax situation, including all the tax deductions and credits available to you, can provide you with the best possible outcome, because if you miss claiming certain tax benefits on a return, they are off the table - the IRS doesn't claim them for you."

When choosing a paid tax preparer, Steber encourages consumers to consider these five tips:

Engage now — The IRS began accepting 2012 tax returns on January 30. You may need some time to find a tax preparer who best meets your needs, so you'll want to start your search as soon as possible. It is important to ensure that your tax preparer is well-versed in all of the recent tax law changes and tax codes. The sooner you find the right preparer, the sooner you can start the filing process and ultimately get your refund, if you are owed one.

Check the preparer's background — Make sure to go with someone who is qualified and credible, so check your tax preparer's history. You can conduct your own research through various sources such as the Better Business Bureau and state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants. You can also ask friends, family or co-workers for references to get a first-hand account of their experiences.

Make sure the preparer is knowledgeable — Make sure your preparer understands how tax law changes may affect you. Jackson Hewitt offers a comprehensive tax preparer training curriculum, including basic, intermediate and advanced courses, as well as ethics and ongoing update training.

Avoid preparers who ask you to sign a blank return — It is important to review your tax return completely and ask questions before signing it. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for what is reported on your tax return. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return. Check for errors such as incorrect social security numbers and addresses; these common mistakes can delay IRS processing of your return.

Use tax preparers who e-file — The majority of taxpayers today electronically file (e-file) their tax returns. E-filing is safer than filing a paper return, offers faster processing time, greater accuracy and confirmation the IRS has received your return.

"Taxpayers who have purchased off-the-shelf tax software and plan to prepare their own returns should confirm that these products are up-to-date, as many late-breaking changes have occurred that may not have been integrated by the time of purchase. Similarly, if you are using a trained tax professional, confirm that their software is current and up-to-date as well," adds Steber.

Source: www.jacksonhewitt.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags:

Spring Cleaning Shortcuts

February 18, 2013 2:38 am

(Family Features) Spring brings a sense of fresh beginnings, and for many, that includes the annual ritual of spring cleaning. A survey conducted by the American Cleaning Institute found that 62 percent of people engage in spring cleaning each year, and their top three priorities are the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

This year, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a long, dreaded process. Follow these quick tips to not only get your house clean in no time, but keep it clean in the long run.

Dealing with Dust
Dust buildup not only looks bad, but it can also be bad for allergies.
—Skip the feather duster - it just spreads dust around. For fast dusting, use multi-surface cleaning wipes to pick up dust from furniture and electronics. When you dust, work from the top down.
—Cut back on dust by making sure your vacuum cleaner bags and filters are clean and in good working order. This will keep dust and debris from being blown out into the air as you vacuum.
—Change your furnace filter regularly and dust or vacuum vents to keep buildup to a minimum.

Kitchen
—Use steam to clean the inside of the microwave. Bring two cups of water to a boil in the microwave, keep the door closed and let the water sit for a few minutes. The steam loosens dried-on food particles, making it easier to wipe them away. For a fresh scent, drop a slice or two of lemon in the water before boiling. Keep it clean by using food covers to prevent food splatters.
—Keeping the sink, counters and appliances clean and sanitized is fast and easy with a multi-purpose cleaner. A quick pump onto a paper towel, rag or sponge and you can wipe away messes and kill 99.9 percent of common household bacteria in no time. Use a cleaner that works on a variety of hard, non-porous surfaces.
—Don’t forget to clean the outside of the refrigerator and freezer. Clear off the clutter of notes, coupons and photos, and then clean the doors, handles and seals.

Bathroom
—To keep the counter clean of little messes and smudges, use an antibacterial product. Dab the cleaner onto a rag or tissue and wipe down the counter, faucet and any other hard, non-porous surfaces to clean and sanitize quickly.
—To get rid of soap scum, clean the tub and shower with a foaming cleanser that does most of the work for you, and simply rinse it off. Wash shower curtains and liners according to label instructions.
—To help prevent soap scum buildup in the future, try switching to a liquid shower gel. Bar soaps have binders that are a primary cause of soapy residue. You can also use a towel to quickly wipe down the tub and faucets after each shower.

Floors
—If you have the time and money to rent and use a carpet cleaner, now’s the time to do it. If not, target stains with a carpet cleaner and give all your carpets a good vacuuming. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and rugs to absorb odors.
—Steam mops are a great way to quickly clean multiple flooring surfaces without a mop and bucket. You can do a whole room in just a few minutes.
—A lot of the dirt and dust in a home is brought inside on the soles of your shoes. To keep carpets and flooring clean, place doormats inside and outside each entrance and always take your shoes off when entering.

Source: Windex

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Tags: