For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Goodsearch Lets You Easily Donate to or Register Charities

April 30th, 2008

good-search.jpgOver the past few months, I have been receiving a significant amount of traffic from GoodSearch.com, one of those “minor” search engines whose actual queries never display in my FireStats. I know that I am receiving traffic from the site because their URL regularly displays in my referrer stats, and I can usually tell what the search query was by looking its parameters.

By coincidence, as I was browsing through Constant Content this morning, I happened to run across this article by Sarah Borroum that describes what GoodSearch actually is and how it operates. Apparently it is a search engine that is designed to help various nonprofit and charitable organizations by donating a portion of its revenues to the cause of your choice. The actual search results are ported over from Yahoo, so in terms of SEO considerations, the strategies for ranking with either engine would be the same.

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Inside Barack Obama’s Iowa Victory

April 29th, 2008

democrat-donkey-logo.jpgThis article by Dominic Nanni provides a political science style analysis of the election results from the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential primary. As you can tell by reading the article, this was written during the early stages of the primaries before the vote in New Hampshire had concluded. However, the information about the Iowa results still seems relevant because the current race between Obama and Clinton is still very close. For reference, according to the ABC News election results, Clinton wound up narrowly winning New Hampshire in the popular vote count but the delegate race was actually a tie; each candidate received 12 delegates. John Edwards received four delegates in NH but has since withdrawn from the race.

Well, after staying up all night counting votes, 100% of precincts are reporting and Barack Obama has harvested 37.6% of the caucus vote and thus has won the first contest in Iowa. In what seemed an allusion to Howard Dean in the 2004 Election, Hillary Clinton conceded the contest and congratulated Barack Obama. This victory is huge for Barack Obama and his supporters as they steam ahead towards the next contest — New Hampshire. Tackling Hillary Clinton on fourth down days before the Iowa caucus, Barack Obama’s message succeeded in the areas of change, electability, likability, and inspiration.

Upon entering the 2008 Election, Hillary Clinton sold herself as the “change agent”, as Bill Clinton described her. She vowed that, if elected, she would bring the necessary change to Washington and debunk the corruption that has plagued our capital. The only problem is that she was not seen as a change agent and if you look at history she is not a change agent. The last three presidents have been Bush and Clinton. Having another Clinton would not be change; it would be the status quo. Barack Obama took his message of change and cultivated his substantial victory over Hillary Clinton. “We are one nation. We are one people. And our time for change has come”, he said in his victory speech.

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Amazon Kindle Review

April 28th, 2008

amazon-kindle-review.jpgAmazon Kindle is an electronic book reader service that was launched by Amazon.com back in November 2007. It is a convenient, portable reading device with the ability to download books, magazines, newspapers, and website content by a wireless broadband method that does not require connection to a PC. It uses an “electronic paper” display that provides an experience similar to that of reading a newspaper without using any sort of background lighting. Kindle uses a proprietary AZW format and downloads content using Amazon’s Whispernet, which accesses data through the Sprint EVDO network.

Amazon Kindle is also easy on the fingers because it is relatively lightweight (10.3 ounces) and easy to handle. It does not generate any significant amount of heat and is designed for ambidextrous use so that both left-handed and right-handed people can easily operate it. Overall, the device is designed to be lighter and thinner than most paperback books.

The Kindle represents Amazon’s entry into the ebook reader market. Although the basic concept is not particularly new (companies like Sony and Microsoft have already produced dedicated ebook readers), Amazon brings a large marketing presence to the table that may be able to increase the popularity of these devices through its advertising and associates networks. It also has the important advantage of being the first such reader that allows users to download books and other content via wireless broadband as opposed to a electrical power or PC connection. This makes it very convenient for business travelers and vacationers.

It comes equipped with a 6-inch 800 x 600 display, 256MB of internal memory storage, a small two-thumb keyboard cursor bar, a scrolling wheel, a standard USB port and cable, 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SD slot. Although it primarily uses its own Kindle file format (a structured HTML variant), it also accepts other common formats such as Word, Adobe PDF, Mobi, HTML, plaintext, and image files like JPEG, GIF, and PNG.

Authors can upload documents in several different formats for delivery via Whispernet and set their own prices anywhere between 99 cents and $200 per download. They can receive commissions equal to 35% of revenues based on list price, regardless of any discounts offered by Amazon. Writers who take advantage of the new ebook format may also include hyperlinks for curious readers to follow, thus integrating their books with other content on the web. In this way, reading a book does not need to end with the final chapter.

For downloading newly published content to the Kindle, books from the New York Times Best Sellers list as well as new releases can be purchased for a flat rate of $9.99 apiece. Newspaper subscriptions cost $5.99 to $14.99 per month, and magazine subscriptions run from $1.25 to $3.49 per month. Content is available for purchase straight from the Kindle Store, and according to Amazon, delivery is done wirelessly in less than one minute. Major newspapers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post as well as magazines like Time and Forbes are all delivered automatically as soon as they are published.

In addition to its benefits and features, the Kindle also has a few disadvantages that may be annoying to some people. For example, converting images to Amazon’s proprietary format can be a little slow because the files must be emailed first. Also, although it is possible to download mp3 files with the Kindle, it is not an effective replacement for the iPod because users do not really have control over what music is being played. It seems that certain features such as the ability to pause a song and continue where you left off are sorely lacking.

Perhaps the largest drawback for some folks is the $399 price tag, which may put the initial purchase of a Kindle out of reach. Fortunately, most people who have a real use for it (such as the business travelers mentioned above) seem to think that the convenience and portability are ultimately worth the price.

UPDATE 05/03/08: According to an email I received this morning, Amazon Kindle is now officially in stock:

Amazon is excited to announce that Kindle is now in stock and available for shipment. Customers can order today and receive free two-day shipping on Kindle.

UPDATE 06/05/08: Amazon has now lowered its price on the Kindle to $359. I wouldn’t be surprised if the price drops some more due to increased supply and competition from similar electronic reader devices as we move forward in time.

UPDATE 7/29/10: It seems that due to competition from other brands of e-book readers and advances in technology, the Kindle has become substantially less expensive over the past couple of years. It’s now selling for $189, with a Wi-Fi version priced somewhat lower at $139. Here is the announcement from Amazon that I received by email earlier today:

We’re excited to announce that Kindle, Amazon’s #1 bestselling item for two years running and the best e-reader on the market, is now even better.

Let your readers know that the all new Kindle is smaller, lighter, and faster. The new Kindle features built-in Wi-Fi, 50% better contrast for sharper fonts and clearer text, more than double the storage capacity, a new graphite color option and more—all for just $189, and still with free global 3G wireless—no monthly bills or annual contracts.

Amazon has also introduced a new addition to the Kindle family of reading devices — Kindle Wi-Fi, a Wi-Fi only model for just $139. The new Kindle and Kindle Wi-Fi are now available for pre-order at Amazon.com and they will ship to customers in late August.

The Kindle Store now has over 630,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including 109 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases from $9.99. Since its release, Kindle has been the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items sold on Amazon.

Meanwhile, if you cannot yet afford the Kindle or simply want to shop for other products through Amazon.com, you can use this handy little search function in the box below:

Search Query Sunday, 10th Edition

April 27th, 2008

search-query-share.jpgSearch engine traffic here at Karlonia continues to move along nicely, with queries related to rejection letters and flash flash revolution topping the list. The topics of “Fair Tax”, cell phones, theraflu, funny quotes, and crude oil have also done quite well this week. Regarding the surge in traffic to the rejection letter page, I am looking for some samples of actual rejection letters that can be used as templates for other people to use. Specifically, most of the searchers are looking for ways to reject job applicants in a positive or neutral way that “buffers the bad news” so as not to alienate future clients or employees. If any of you happen to have something that fits this description, please send it to me through the contact page. If the content looks usable, I will give you credit for the submission when I publish it in the relevant section. Now for some of the other queries:

causes of technophobia — There are various reasons for technophobia, a condition that generally encompasses the fear of computers and technology. They range from simple skepticism and resistance to change all the way to extreme environmentalism or political motives. One thing that remains constant is that technophobia must be overcome at some point if one is to make money from blogging or other online endeavors.

funny words of wisdom — Back in November I finally put together some of my favorite quotes into a post and even included a funny video of classic “Bushisms”. The page is finally starting to pick up some significant traffic, although I really need to aim a few more backlinks at it to keep its position consistent in the rankings.

history of scurvy — This is another topic that has been surprisingly popular recently. A few days ago, there was a small rush of people searching on keywords specifically related to scurvy cures in 1600. I am also still receiving queries suggesting that there are many people who need a significant amount of education about this classic disease.

how to rank well on ask.com — To some extent, ranking on Ask is pretty much the same as ranking for the other search engines; most of the standard SEO conventions still apply. However, Ask does have a few peculiarities that you can read about in my article on How to Optimize Your Site for Ask.com. The two “biggies” to remember are to use a sitemap (Ask’s crawler tends to be slow, so this will usually get more of your pages indexed) and not to worry about nofollow links. Fortunately, Ask does not recognize the rel=’nofollow’ attribute, so all of those links from nofollow blogs should still count.

preparation of thyme infusion — I’m glad that someone finally searched on this one. My short, outsourced article on thyme preparation and usage could really use a fresh crawling and probably some additional content as well.

reason for leap year 29 feb — This is another one that has been receiving a surprising number of searches lately, especially considering that this year’s leap day occurred almost two months ago. Nevertheless, if you want to read up on the actual reasons for leap year, my article contains some interesting facts and trivia on this particular topic.

how should i start off a argumentative paper — There are some tips for writing argumentative papers here. I might as well point out that it should be an (not a) argumentative paper because the article is being placed before a word that begins with a vowel sound. Come to think of it, this would be another good topic for an English usage post.

google simple explanation of oil refinery — I have a fairly simple explanation of the refining process at my article on How Gasoline is Made from Crude Oil. Interestingly, this query was made on MSN, not Google.

English Lesson 7: Correct Use of Lie and Lay

April 26th, 2008

Correct use of the words lie and lay has been a confusing topic for many readers, especially people who are not native English speakers and may never have learned the proper usage rules. It has become very common for most people to mix up the usage of these two words in informal speech; even I have done this on occasion. However, it is important to know what these words actually mean and be able to use them correctly in any type of formal or written work.


Depending on which dictionary is used, one can find many different definitions listed for the word lie, but most of these represent very minor nuances and can be grouped together into two basic meanings. To begin with, lie can be used as an intransitive verb that means “to recline, rest, or remain in position”, as in the following examples:

  1. After feeling sick, I needed to lie down and get some rest.
  2. My political loyalties lie with the Libertarians and the third party movement, not with Republicans or Democrats.
  3. Our coastal property lies adjacent to the ocean.

The other major, well-known meaning of lie is to say something that is not true or provide false information. The word may be used in both noun and verb forms. This meaning is usually not confused with lay, but should be mentioned here for reasons of general knowledge and clarification. Politicians are infamous for their ability to lie without remorse and still persuade large numbers of people to vote for them anyway, as referenced in the following statements:

  1. Bill Clinton was probably lying when he said that he had smoked marijuana but did not inhale.
  2. In an attempt to justify the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration claimed that Saddam Hussein possessed “weapons of mass destruction” that posed a significant threat to the United States. Much to the chagrin of many American voters, this has turned out to be a lie.
  3. In view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big. — Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (1925).

Meanwhile, the most common meaning of lay is “to put, place, or bring something into a particular position”. It is used as a transitive verb in this case, meaning that it requires a direct object of some sort. Note that this object does not necessarily need to be a physical, tangible item. It is possible to correctly use lay in reference to intangible things as long as the general idea of being put or placed is still there. For example, we can lay down a rule, law, or even a course (as in a navigational heading), but we cannot simply lay down on a bed. In the latter case, we must use lie. Here are some example sentences for correct usage of this form of lay:

  1. After our pirates had completed their voyage, they were eager to lay all of the treasure on the table so that we could properly divide the plunder.
  2. When the old king died, his successor was able to lay claim to the estate.
  3. The ship’s captain said, “let’s lay a course for Belize so that we can avoid these storms.”

Perhaps contributing to the confusion about proper usage, lay also happens to be the past tense form of lie when used in reference to resting or reclining. So while we must lie down to take a nap in the present, last night we lay on the bed before going to sleep. Again, here are some examples of correct usage:

  1. Yesterday we lay in the sun too long, and some of us now have sunburn.
  2. Last night I lay awake for hours wondering if there was really a dog. — Agnostic Dyslexic Insomniac

Finally, there is a third meaning of lay that is somewhat less common than the others, but still sees significant usage in modern English. This is the notion of a lay person as opposed to a professional or an expert in a particular field. This form of lay is always used as an adjective. For example:

  1. In late medieval societies, guilds were formed in which professional craft workers could be trained, obtain special privileges, and separated from the masses of lay people.
  2. It is a relatively rare occurrence for a lay person to represent himself or herself in court without retaining the services of an attorney.

Since it has become a customary feature for me to give examples of both correct and incorrect usage, I will provide two examples of these below. However, in practice the only mistake that I see being made is people using lay when they really mean lie (as in rest or recline). I cannot recall any instances where I have seen or heard anyone make the opposite mistake (using lie in place of lay).

Incorrect: When the attorney asked, “Are you sexually active?”, the woman replied, “No, not really. I just kind of lay there.”

Correct: When the attorney asked, “Are you sexually active?”, the woman replied, “No, not really. I just kind of lie there.”

Incorrect: My cat lied down three hours ago.

Correct: My cat lay down three hours ago.

For next week, I have not yet decided on exactly which issue I will cover, but there are still plenty of topics available. So far, we have had one vote for coverage of commas, one for coverage of quotation marks, and one for “could of” vs. “could have”, so there are no clear consensus winners at this point. As usual, anyone who wants to suggest a particular topic may do so in the comment section. If there are still no clear favorites by the end of next week, I will simply choose an English usage topic at random from my ongoing list of ideas that I have already compiled.

ShareAdSpace Lowers Advertising, Upgrade Prices

April 25th, 2008

share-ad-space.gif For the first time in approximately two months, ShareAdSpace.com has released an important program update. Probably the most significant news is that advertising credit and upgrade prices have been reduced by 20 percent, bringing the cost of 100,000 credits down to $16. Although manual traffic exchange hits are usually not considered particularly high quality, this still looks like a pretty good deal for those of us who have affiliate or lead capture pages to promote.

In the past, I have usually been able to make one sale at Clickbank for every 10,000 to 12,000 credits. This actually represents a favorable conversion rate in this scenario considering the fact that an average sale for me nets $23.50, which is more than the cost of the entire 100,000 credit package. Therefore, the risks with this program are still relatively low even though the traffic does not convert as well as the visitors coming from search engines. Here is the actual text of the latest update:

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The Basics of Choosing a Credit Card

April 24th, 2008

credit-cards.jpgAlthough I have never been very fond of credit cards due to my traditional opposition to deficit spending, these ubiquitous pieces of plastic have become such a fundamental component of American economic behavior that it is difficult to ignore them completely. This article by Mary White explains some of the basic issues that we should be aware of when considering which card we should use to begin establishing a reliable credit history.

When you’re thinking about getting a credit card, it’s a good idea to shop around to make sure you are getting the best possible terms. All credit cards are not created equal. Many of the charge cards that promise very low interest rates look terrific at face value, but aren’t as good as they seem when you read the fine print.

Interest Rates

Choosing a charge card with a low interest rate is a very important consideration, particularly if there is any chance that you will carry a balance on your revolving credit account. If you carry balances on high interest rate credit cards, you can very quickly find yourself sinking into debt that you may have a hard time eliminating.

It’s important to keep in mind that many credit card companies offer very low interest rates to attract new customers, but raise the rate after a certain period of time. To avoid finding yourself dealing with an exorbitant interest rate a few months after opening a new account, you have to find out the details about interest rate terms and increases before you choose a card.

Annual Fees

Some credit card programs charge annual membership fees. Such fees are often waived for the first year a new cardholder has an account with the company. Unless you read the fine print of your new account, you might not realize that an annual fee will be charged to your account each year on your anniversary date. If you don’t want to be surprised by an unexpected membership fee on your statement, find out the details of annual fees before getting new cards.

Rewards Programs

Many credit card providers offer rewards programs as a means of attracting and keeping customers. When selecting a credit card, it is a good idea to pick one that has a rewards program from which you can benefit. Common rewards programs include: airline miles, points toward hotel stays, gift card rebates, cash back, credit for gasoline purchases, and more.

Provider Reputation

Make sure that you select a credit card from a reputable lending company. Thoroughly read the application form before you fill it out and submit it. Make sure you understand all terms and conditions, and pay very close attention to interest rates and all associated fees. Avoid any lender that requests payment of a credit card application fee.

Making Your Decision

By doing your homework before you select a credit card provider, you can be assured of selecting the option that works best for you. A low interest credit card with favorable terms can be an excellent tool for building a strong credit history.

Costly Card Shuffler: History of Windows Solitaire

April 23rd, 2008

windows-solitaire.JPGThis article by Ron Doyle proposes an interesting theory that attempts to explain the reasons behind the development of Windows solitaire and why it is still included in modern versions of Microsoft’s operating system. Having never been a Microsoft insider, I am unsure of the veracity of the author’s claim; however, if any of you happen to have additional information on this topic, such content can be posted in the comment section below.

Occasionally you may have had one of your friends comment, “My computer has become one of the most expensive card shufflers in the world!” She was referring to her husband’s and probably even her own ability to while away the hours with solitaire. Why has solitaire been in every version of Microsoft Windows since the amoeba came about?

The answer is really quite remarkable. It turns out that the beginning of the familiar solitaire game most of us have played with is not only a game, but an involved training tool. It all started in 1990 with Windows 3.0.

It is basically a computerized version of the card game that you may have learned to play as a kid. It has all of the standard rules of the card game with several options for different ways to play and score, including even the ability to change the backs of the deck of cards.

Also you should watch the “draw deck” as you play the game. Some versions of the game have a sneaky little “extra” that the programmers at Microsoft made for you. The backs of the cards are animated — just enough to make you think you may be losing your mind. For instance, if you watch the palm tree deck you will occasionally see the sun stick his tongue out at you…maybe.

OK, on to the training part and why solitaire has been in each version of Windows for all of its many variations. When Windows first came onto the market, few people had any experience with a mouse. Guess what? To play solitaire properly you have to learn and use most functions of a mouse. You have to point to the cards you wish to use. You have to click to turn over new cards. Clicking and dragging is needed to move cards to a new location. And in case you didn’t realize it, you can double click on any card that you want to go onto an Ace pile.

This was the main reason that solitaire was created for use in Windows. This is also the reason you will most likely continue to see it in Windows for the foreseeable future.

Some people who are new to computers are advised by their technologically experienced managers to actually play solitaire at work…occasionally for very short periods of time. This will improve their ability to use the mouse more efficiently in the workplace.

How would you like to learn a way to draw the cards one at a time while playing the three card draw version? Hold down the CTRL, ALT and SHIFT keys and click on the deck to draw a single card, just like you played as a kid.

Adobe PDF Overview

April 22nd, 2008

adobe-pdf-logo.jpgIn the Internet marketing world, PDF files are commonly used for packaging and transmitting digital information products such as ebooks. This article by Dario Borghino provides a brief summary of the advantages and disadvantages of this particular file format.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a widespread file format developed by Adobe Systems in 1993 whose main feature is the independence over a particular hardware, software, or operating system. Its format specifications are released by Adobe under the Public Domain, effectively making it a convenient choice for cross-platform document exchange.

This format can include formatted text, images, bitmap images and even two-dimensional vector graphics, while further possibilities exist to embed 3D graphics and documents. A PDF file usually has a very distinctive, elegant look, and is therefore often the preferred file format for official documents, press releases, and research papers that had previously been written and compiled using the (La)Tex formatting language.

The file structure of a PDF file is object-based. There are several kinds of objects, which include:

  1. Boolean variables, which can be assigned either the value ‘true’ or ‘false’;
  2. Arrays, a set of different objects which are often ordered;
  3. Maps, which are similar to databases in which a list of key values (titles) maps other objects (contents);
  4. Data Streams, containing bulks of data;
  5. Names, numbers, etc.

The PDF format lays its foundations on the PostScript page description language in order to generate document layouts and manage complex graphics issues. However, the main advantages of PDF over PostScript are the possibility of including transparency effects and, in a more technical context, the fact that unlike PostScript, PDF does not adopt a so-called ‘imperative programming style’ making use of global variables that are deprecated because of efficiency issues. In order to determine the appearance of a given page, it is necessary to process all the previous ones. To some extent, we may say that PostScript is slowly becoming a subset of the Portable Document Format family.

The impossibility of editing a PDF file is often seen as the main drawback of this format. Software exists to apply minor modifications such as removing an entire page or inserting a new one. However, in order to obtain a greater level of flexibility you would have to own the original document from which the PDF was created, as modifications such as changing the font size, layout or editing the text body are normally not permitted directly on the PDF file. However, other publishers see this as an extremely useful feature when they have to make sure their documents won’t get manipulated and redistributed by competitors or third parties.

Many computer programs, and most notably the OpenOffice open source, cross-platform software suite developed by Sun Microsystems, embed a PDF converter which will transform many of the most common rich-formatted file extensions (be it DOC, RTF or ODT) into a PDF unmodifiable file, but not vice versa. Tools exist on Linux and Apple platforms to convert PDF into plain .txt text files (pdf2txt) in a straightforward way, but tools attempting more complex conversions (such as PDF to DOC) will often yield unsatisfactory results in the page layout and will usually require further manual intervention.

Simple Interest Amortization Schedule

April 21st, 2008

The idea of creating a simple interest amortization schedule usually arises when someone needs to make a relatively large purchase and must borrow money, usually in the form of a home mortgage or auto loan. The concept of amortizing a loan simply means to pay it off and decrease its amount over time. In fact the word amortize was originally derived from the French word amortir, which means “to bring death”. This is presumably what we want to do with our debts.

An amortization schedule is simply a table or chart that shows the amount of each payment on a loan, along with other relevant data such as the principal (the original amount of the loan), periodic interest paid, cumulative interest, and the remaining balance. It is useful for figuring out what your monthly payments are going to be for different interest rates and loan amounts, as well as how much interest you will wind up paying over the life of the loan.

In order to make a simple interest amortization schedule manually, you can use the following formula to determine your periodic (usually monthly) payment represented by the letter A:


P is the principal, i is the periodic interest rate, and n is the total number of periods or payments that will be made before the loan is fully paid.

However, almost no one except for a small number of mathematical purists or people afflicted with severe cases of technophobia would want to go through the rigorous process of creating an amortization table manually. Fortunately in the 21st century computer age, we have handy little things like Excel spreadsheets that will do the computations automatically and present the relevant data in an easily readable form without having to crunch the numbers by hand or even use a calculator. You can download a spreadsheet program such as this for free at Vertex42.com. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like:


This program is pretty easy to use; all you have to do in order to create a new table is to click on one of the cells beside the phrases “Loan Amount”, “Interest rate”, or “Total # of Periods” and change the number in the fx bar at the top to your preferred value. Then click on any other cell and all of the numbers in the table will be recalculated. This can be fun to play around with by trying out different figures for the principal amount, interest rate, and loan term.

By using a simple interest amortization schedule, we can see how important it is to get a favorable interest rate as well as the benefits of making a substantial down payment in the beginning, thus reducing the amount that would need to be financed. For example, on a $20,000 car loan that is financed at 10% and amortized over a 60-month (5 year) time frame, we would wind up paying a total of $5,496.45 in interest with a monthly payment of $424.94.

However, if we were able to control our impulsive buying urges long enough to save up $10,000 first and then finance the remainder over a shorter 36-month period, we could reduce the monthly payment to $322.67 but more importantly, the total interest paid would be only $1,616.19. This adds up to a significant difference in our long term cash flow because we can reduce our recurring expenses and eliminate them more quickly, thus freeing up more of our income for business building activities and investments.

Search Query Sunday, Ninth Edition

April 20th, 2008

search-query-share.jpgNow that the infamous tax date of April 15 has passed, search traffic to my national sales tax page has leveled off, but it looks like various food-related queries are on the rise. Meanwhile, there has been a significant increase in the number of people who are trying to get rid of ants, and many of you are still dropping your cell phones in the water and wondering if rice or cat litter will fix it. Strangely, my article on how to write an argumentative paper does not seem to be receiving much traffic anymore; perhaps a well-placed internal link will prompt the search engine spiders to re-crawl it and restore its rightful place in the rankings.

firefox alexa rank extension — You’re looking for the Search Status extension, which will display a site’s Alexa rank and provide lots of other useful information. You can find a link to it on my useful Firefox extensions page.

19th century sailors ate this to prevent scurvy — Sailors mostly ate citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, or limes to prevent scurvy once they found out that these actually had an effect, although any food that contains vitamin C will do the trick.

can i put my cell phone in rice if it gets wet — Yes, you certainly can, and if you look at my article on how to fix your cell phone, there is even a short video demonstration of how to place the phone in the rice and dry it out properly. I have also included some product suggestions under the “Cell Phone Accessories” subheading.

there’s a difference between ignorance and stupidity — Yes, this is correct! Check out my article on ignorance vs. stupidity to find out exactly what those differences are.

can you make vinegar? — Yes, it is pretty easy actually, especially if you already have some vinegar to use as a starter culture. Probably the most difficult part is the waiting time required to complete the fermentation process. See the how to make vinegar article for details.

can cayenne pepper be used for ants — Yes, it can be used as a repellent for ants, along with other strong or aromatic spices and plants. My page on how to get rid of ants describes some other methods that will work as well.

what to do when your computer slows down — This is usually a matter of routine computer maintenance; things like running antivirus scans, disk defragmentation, and cleaning out your registry will often fix most slowdown problems. Detailed suggestions can be found at Fix the Computer CPU Speed.

does Globaltestmarket have something on their website to check to see if your check has been sent — Although I could not find a “Payment History” page from my account area, I did notice that GlobalTestMarket now has a blog where they often mention sending out checks, including the relevant geographical region and redemption periods.

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