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How to Prevent Water Pollution

Posted by on July 31, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

How to Prevent Water Pollution

Water pollution, especially in the era of global warming, is an important thing to avoid. In the landscaping and agricultural world, there are a few different methods that can be used to eliminate, or at least minimize, the amount of pollution that gets into the local water supply. This post will detail the ways that erosion controls such as dirt bags and silt fences are used to mitigate water pollution. These methods are most commonly used as preventative measures during bad storms, but they can also be used for agricultural or construction purposes. First, let’s discuss erosion control. Erosion control is essentially the practice of using various methods to prevent erosion. This is particularly important during storms, as storm runoff can cause significant water pollution when running over poorly managed land. There is a plethora of different methods for erosion control that depend on the climate that they are being used in. For instance, wetter regions use terracing and storm drains, whereas, drier regions may employ windbreaks. These methods keep pollutants from the ground or soil from entering the water supply during inclement weather. Dirt bag walls and silt fences are two of the most common methods of water pollution control. These erosion controls are used often because they are economical and can be constructed quickly, which is critical in an emergency. Another way to prevent water pollution is the dirt bag or sandbag method. This is a primitive method that has likely been used to divert floodwaters and decrease water pollution for a millennia. Canvas or nylon bags filled with sand or dirt take a long time to become saturated with water. Due to this, they can effectively act as a wall. Filling and moving a dirt bag is a low-cost alternative to other forms of water pollution mitigation methods, making it a top choice in economically depressed areas. They are also extremely easy to build and fill; this is ideal during a flood or bad storm when time is of the essence. Finally, a silt fence is another method used to prevent water pollution. Silt fences are used as temporary, stop-gap measures to prevent water sources from being polluted with various forms of sediment or runoff. A silt fence is only as effective as its installation and upkeep, but it works well when used properly and in conjunction with other preventative measures. To create these fences, several wooden or metal poles are staked into the ground. They are then connected with the ‘fence,’ which is usually made from a synthetic fabric. These must be constructed in strategic locations, otherwise their use is relatively limited. If we all work together, we can prevent water pollution.          ...

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We’d Love to Hear the Stories Behind These Strange Laws

Posted by on February 26, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

We’d Love to Hear the Stories Behind These Strange Laws

We all know that legal systems differ from country to country and, in the US, from state to state. This is nothing new. There are some fundamental things that are considered bad in pretty much every society on our planet and are, thus, forbidden by law – murder, theft, and such. But sometimes, you stumble upon some of  the weirdest laws in the world, perhaps in the entire universe. Laws that regulate, ban, and forbid acts so specific that there must be a story behind them – and a damn funny one, too. A story we here at Golden Twist would love to hear. In Paulding, Ohio, there is a law allowing policemen to bite dogs if they think doing so will calm the pooches down. On one hand, this law goes against basic logic – who in their right mind (except maybe for some kinkier individuals) would be calmed by being bitten? When dogs fight, they do immobilize their opponents by placing their jaws around their throats, but I truly don’t see a man, not even a policeman, pulling off such a trick. There are right ways to calm down aggressive dogs, but biting them is clearly not one of them. So, if anyone knows the story behind this weird law, please share. Another bizarre – but understandable – state law comes from Indiana, where it is illegal to make a monkey smoke cigarettes. For this one, we actually found a story that apparently convinced legislators to sign this into law. In the mid-1920s, a chimpanzee was used as a performer in a show near South Bend. As part of the show, the chimp took out a cigarette, lit it, and inhaled the fumes. But little did the chimp know that public smoking was against the law in this particular jurisdiction. The chimp was quickly arrested and fined five dollars, and its owner/trainer was forced to pay the fine to avoid his companion ending up behind bars. If this story is true, it’s one of the few weird laws in the US that make a lot of sense. Last but not least, here’s a tale that involves an out-of-towner, an odd rule, and fried chicken. In the summer of 2009, Louisiana elder Ginny Dietrick was celebrating her 91st birthday in Gainesville by treating herself to Longstreet Cafe’s finest fried chicken. Her lunch was interrupted, though, by local Police Chief Frank Hooper, who “arrested” the senior citizen for eating fried chicken with a fork. Apparently, the Gainesville city ordinance contains a regulation that the municipality — the “poultry capital of the world” — would rather see people arrested than eat fried chicken with anything but their hands. While this event was little more than a practical joke, Dietrick was sentenced to “coming back to Gainesville and enjoying fried chicken as often as possible.” We hope she made it...

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Cogsworth Smart Scheduling: A Hands On Review

Posted by on January 17, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

Cogsworth Smart Scheduling: A Hands On Review

Recently, I had an opportunity to test drive a top-notch product that makes scheduling meetings at least three hundred times easier: Cogsworth. Based in Sydney, Australia, Cogsworth was created to take the pain and friction out of scheduling meetings. When you schedule meetings with folks via email, how many emails do you usually exchange? Three or four, right? Well, on average, people email each other at least three times in order to nail down a meeting time. Cogsworth cuts out the email middleman and replaces it with a simple booking page. According to the company’s website, it takes a person less than 50 seconds to fill out this simple booking form. I can believe that because when I played around with the form, I filled it out in about 20 seconds. The form is mobile friendly and customizable, and you can embed it on your website or in your email. After you fill out the form to setup a meeting time, you can easily add the appointment to Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, or download it as an ICS file. Once you fill out the form, Cogsworth sends you an email with the meeting’s details and a link in case you need to reschedule or cancel the meeting. Cogsworth also automatically detects timezones and works on every device. Thanks to this software, you’ll only need to spend a few minutes building a bookable service that clients and future clients will love. You can even use it to facilitate video conferences, and eventually, you’ll be able to accept payments through the form. The customizability of Cogsworth really blows me away. Overall, I give the software 25 big Golden Twist thumbs up! The company is operating in a crowded space, but I think it just might rise to the top of the stack. You can give Cogsworth a whirl here: https://get.cogsworth.com...

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Meet Michael Tatom, Animal Sculptor Extraordinaire

Posted by on September 12, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Meet Michael Tatom, Animal Sculptor Extraordinaire

Meet Michael Tatom. He’s one of the most inventive and talented animal sculpture artists in the world. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mr. Tatom has been crafting animal sculptures and jewelry for over twenty-five years. To give you an example of the scope of Tatom’s work, he has constructed over 2,000 fox rings. Golden Twist is delighted to present some of Tatom’s awe-inspiring art, below. The majority of Tatom’s small sculptures and jewelry are carved with hard wax, and his larger sculptures are created with hard oil clay. They are then cast in various metals. Tatom has sold 4,675 items on Etsy and, at the time of this writing, has accumulated 1,494 five star reviews. We trust you’ll agree that Mr. Tatom is a truly gifted man. You can find Tatom on Etsy, here: michaeltatom.etsy.com  And here’s a treat for you: take 15% off any any item you see on Tatom’s Etsy page with the coupon code golden15. You can also find Tatom at...

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10 Reasons That Playing The Ukulele Will Help You Find Love

Posted by on September 1, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

10 Reasons That Playing The Ukulele Will Help You Find Love

Is it possible to travel to Hawaii instantaneously, without even buying a plane ticket? Yes! Just play an amazing musical instrument called a ukulele and the magic sounds from the very first chords will take you to the seashore, right to the sunny Hawaiian Islands. A ukulele is a Hawaiian version of a guitar with four strings. This instrument was invented by a Portuguese man named Manuel Nuñez in the 1880s. Nunez developed the instrument by borrowing elements of the braguinha (a miniature guitar from the island of Madeira) and the cavaquinho (a Portuguese miniature guitar). The last Queen of Hawaii, Liliuokalani, said that “ukulele” means “a gift that came here”: uku (gift) and lele (to come). According to another version, the word translates to “jumping fleas.” That’s because the finger movements that someone makes when he plays the instrument are similar to the movements of jumping fleas. There’s a reason that this wonderful instrument has an army of fans around the world. Do you fancy becoming a master ukulele player? I certainly hope so, but if you don’t, here are ten reasons why you should: 1. Playing the ukulele helps develop your personality Ukulele lessons train your memory and help you focus. You creatively develop yourself and begin to better understand the surrounding world. You soak in everything around you and begin to understand that sound and music are everywhere.  2. It’s easy to learn how to play Anyone can start playing this four-string guitar. You can learn a few simple songs in a couple of days or even hours. 3. The Ukulele has a small size and weight This musical instrument is different from its larger “friends.” It’s the smallest guitar in the world. You can easily hide it in a compact case, bag, suitcase, backpack or oversized fanny pack. 4. It helps develop concentration You learn to think spatially, remember chords, and combine your own voice into your ukulele playing. In addition, music helps to pick you up when you’re emotionally exhausted and return you to your previous level of productivity. 5. It improves fine motor skills As you play, you will develop fine motor skills and strengthen the muscles of your hands. Playing the ukulele also requires an upright posture; improving your posture will do wonders for your physical health in the long run.  6. Playing a ukulele helps fight anxiety Scientists say that music therapy helps you learn how to control your emotions and stick to positive thinking. And over time, a ukulele brings more and more joy because you start to play better and understand the essence of music. 7. You can increase your music vocabulary As you learn about the instrument and its history, you will learn a lot of new terms and historical facts; ergo, you’ll find it easier to start and maintain a conversation about the intricacies of music.  8. It’s the first step toward mastering the guitar Many people dream of mastering some musical instrument (guitar, piano, saxophone, drums, etc.), but not all are ready to put in the work that mastering an instrument actually requires. You should pursue your ambition gradually and carefully. Once you master the elements and principles of ukulele sound production, you’ll find that it’s much easier to pick up a guitar and play it....

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Fun Things To Do on Saint Patrick’s Day

Posted by on March 26, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Fun Things To Do on Saint Patrick’s Day

Every year on March 17, we celebrate Irish culture and observe the death of St. Patrick, who was the patron saint of Ireland. We imbibe Saint Patrick’s Day drinks of all varieties. We line the walls of our living rooms with green garlands and set up our leprechaun figurines on the coffee table. Our homes are showing Irish pride, but now what? There are many ways to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. Make Dinner Host a special Saint Patrick’s Day dinner, featuring a plethora of Irish food for your friends and family to enjoy. There are many traditional options you can explore. Corned beef and cabbage is a classic, and comes with many variations. Bangers and mash, or sausage and mashed potatoes, is also a crowd-pleasing classic. In addition to entrees, you could prepare Irish soda bread or purple cabbage and pecan salad as side dishes. If you have kids, you may want to explore some colorful ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. For example, festive green gelatin or pistachio cupcakes for dessert. If there are no kids involved, why not enjoy some festive Irish spirits? Start off your Saint Patrick’s Day with some Irish coffee by adding a shot of Irish cream into your cup of joe, or indulge in a specialty recipe for Irish coffees. Later in the day, you may feel like cracking open a Guinness or pouring a shot of Jameson. You can even bake with Guinness to give your meal a touch of Irish flavor. Go to a Parade Without a doubt, there is a St. Paddy’s Day parade near you. Take advantage of it. Grab a lawn chair or a blanket — or nothing if you prefer to stand — and wait along the road where floats and performers will make their way toward you. Music will waft through the air and trinkets will be thrown from floats for you to catch. Enjoy the breezy weather and bask in the energy from the crowd around you. Go to a Party Many Irish pubs have special offers on Saint Patrick’s Day. Most of the time, Irish food is involved and discounted. If for no other reason, go out for dinner so you don’t have to prepare it yourself! Most Irish pubs promise loud music, discounted Irish beer and whiskey, deals on meals, and dancing space in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Immerse Yourself in Irish Culture Cooking and finding local entertainment can be fun, but immersing yourself in the Irish culture will truly get you in the mood to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. Start with turning up some Irish tunes. Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys are amazing Irish bands to start with. Then, learn some Irish phrases (and practice them with an accent) to impress people you meet. If pronunciation isn’t your forte, but you can dance, try step dancing. Irish step dancing classes can be difficult to find, but YouTube has a way of connecting people and interests. Try teaching yourself and see what happens! Go to Ireland Lastly, and possibly the most extreme depending on where you live, you could always jump on a plane and visit Ireland in the flesh. It’s beautiful, and the best way to immerse yourself in Irish culture is to be there for the authentic celebrations. Plane tickets...

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Finger Monkeys: The Planet’s Smallest and Most Amazing Primate

Posted by on December 5, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Finger Monkeys: The Planet’s Smallest and Most Amazing Primate

Finger monkeys, or pygmy marmosets, are all the rage now. People who like to have exotic pets want to adopt these little critters and keep them under their care, and this has caused a sudden explosion in their popularity. Like piranhas and pythons before them, finger monkeys are becoming increasingly easy to find in the cities and in people’s homes. Pygmy Marmoset Facts They are the smallest animals of the primate family. Marmosets are part of the five monkey family that form a part of the New World Monkey classification. They are native to the South American rain forests and live in the western Amazon basin. They are under no threat of extinction and are classified as animals of ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN. Their lifespan is between 15 to 20 years. Their primary diet is tree gum. Families of marmosets have been known to strip trees dry of gum and moving on to other groups of trees, ousting families that already live there. They can be quite vicious when fighting over turf. They are, however, too small to hurt humans. They prefer living in groups and are known to be intelligent and speak differently among their peers. They grow to about 6 inches, around 127mm and weigh only about 3.5 ounces, 100 gm. Living in the forests, they can jump about 15 feet in the air, between branches.   Habitats The finger monkey is native to South America. They are found in the western part of the Amazon forest. They are found all over Bolivia, Peru, Columbia, and Western Brazil. They stick to the undercover of mature forests and live among the lower branches of trees. Their spread is limited only by the rivers that cut through the forests and are not known to be strong swimmers. Their main area of activity is between the ground and about 60 feet in the trees. Since they need water to survive, they are found around the areas that are able to sustain water during the dry months. So small ponds and lakes are where finger monkeys usually congregate around. Food habits Finger monkeys are avid hunters and are often seen hunting down insects and butterflies. Moths, beetles and such cretins make up a good part of its diet. While they do hunt, its main source of sustenance is tree sap. They love to suckle on sap to such an extent that they have found ways to make the job of extracting the sap also easy. They bite, scratch and peel back the bark of trees and eat the gum that oozes out. After doing this repeatedly, the trees develop scar tissues that resemble circular, pimple-like structures. By keeping these bumps open and soft, they are able to draw as much sap as they need. Eventually, the trees will run out of sap and so they will leave it and find other trees nearby to harvest. The removal of sap from trees do not damage them, rather, the sap will eventually come back. Till that happens, finger monkeys will keep moving from tree to tree.   Characteristics They are social creatures, so they travel and live in groups. Turf wars can get nasty and they are known to be savagely territorial. A family of finger monkeys usually have about 6 to...

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How To Create a Dashboard With Excel

Posted by on October 23, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

How To Create a Dashboard With Excel

Buckle up. This is one of the more technical videos you’ll find here on The Twist. And this probably isn’t a topic for everyone. But for those of you who are into creating dashboards with Microsoft Excel, we think you’ll find the video above quite intriguing and informative. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you: creating dashboards in Excel is no walk in the park. Even for power users of the software, creating dashboards isn’t easy by any stretch of the brain. So, if you’ve been on the hunt for information about how to create a dashboard, you’ve finally found the perfect set of videos. Start by watching the one above. Then go to this Youtube channel and watch the ten part dashboard design series. After you watch them all, you’ll be a bona fide expert. Crystal Dashboard design works on top of Microsoft Excel to turn it into visualization components. Mike Taylor, your mentor in the video series, suggests you this software. Enjoy his videos, and be sure to comment on...

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5 Reasons to Try Scuba Diving on Your Next Vacation

Posted by on August 8, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

5 Reasons to Try Scuba Diving on Your Next Vacation

Everyone’s idea of an adventure is different. Traveling and going on excursions can be the highlight of any trip. But if you’re any kind of a fan of sea life, the ocean, or water in general, scuba diving just might be for you. Why? Because the world of scuba diving can be as involved as you want it to be. This is a sport that can be tailored to fit exactly what you’re looking for. Want a deep sea experience or something with a little more depth? There are programs for that. Perhaps there’s a certain kind of sea animal you’re dying to see? Yes, you’ve guessed it! There are programs for that. Whatever you want out of your scuba diving experiences, you can have, and so much more besides. Sounds too good to be true? It really isn’t! So, the next time you’re near the ocean, maybe you should give scuba diving a try? In this article, we’re sharing the top 5 reasons why. 1. Dolphins, Hammerheads, and Whales, Oh My! We can easily forget what is below the beautiful waters that surround us. We get so fixated on the essentials of survival that we forget how much more there is to explore. But imagine for a second, what it would be like if we could connect with our water mates. Would you like a caged-in experience to see a great white? Or perhaps a free dive and swim in southern Brazil to meet some dolphins is more your cup of tea? Experiencing what’s below allows you to meet creatures that will leave you in awe. The under water world can introduce you to magnificent sea creatures that will remind you of just how small we are, both literally and figuratively. Yes! The underwater schools of sea life that you’ll experience, may just rock your world, in the best way possible. 2. World of Color The colors beneath the ocean floor are like nothing you’ve ever seen. The corals and reefs reflecting off one another will offer you shades of your favorite colors that you didn’t know existed. The structural reefs of calcium carbonate will give you a colony experience that you won’t forget. The marine waters offer many nutrients that keep the reefs alive. And, as long as you’re respectful of them, you can swim in and out of the many nooks, the reefs have to offer. 3. You’ll Get Outside Yourself Sometimes all it takes for us to get outside our heads is to get outside of our routine and comfort zones. Suffering from anxiety or PTSD? Recent studies show that someone suffering from PTSD can experience 80% relief from symptoms through scuba diving. Spinal injuries and certain forms of paralysis have been healed and improved through therapies that involve walking on the bottom of the ocean. Perhaps it’s all about connecting to a time many millions of years ago when we were much more familiar with ocean waters? Submerging yourself into something so vast, and so much bigger than yourself can be an awakening experience. Many scuba divers claim to experience complete euphoria while below waters. Scuba diving allows us to connect with our planet in one of the deepest ways possible. You’ll let go of yourself and move freely in a new space. When you’re...

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How to Scuba Dive With Sharks (& Not Get Eaten)

Posted by on July 4, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

How to Scuba Dive With Sharks (& Not Get Eaten)

As kids, we all went snorkeling once or twice. Flippers on our feet, life vests, and funny masks kept us safe and near the surface of the water. There were beautiful coral reefs and schools of fish, but that is where the excitement ended. If snorkeling wasn’t thrilling enough for you, what if you could go swimming with top of the food chain predators? Shark diving is definitely a step up from snorkeling in skill and excitement level. But is it safe? In this article, I’ve put together a guide on how to scuba dive with sharks, its safety, and where to do it. Thrill seekers read on! Is Shark Diving Safe? The short answer to this question is yes, generally. As with any other situation that has a chance to be dangerous, your safety can’t be guaranteed. When you are near sharks, especially if you aren’t accompanied by a professional, there is a chance of an attack. But how common is it? Contrary to what Shark Week & online videos may have you believe, sharks are not the man-eating machines that media has made them out to be. You have more chances of being struck by lightening than you do by being bitten by a shark. In 2015, there were only six fatalities from shark attacks. That is less than a .001% chance when you compare the 2015 attacks to the world population. Yearly, sharks bite less than 100 people and most of those people (92 in 2015) survive and live to tell the tale. This data is for unprovoked shark attacks. As you can imagine, a shark will be much more inclined to bite someone who is poking, prodding, or baiting it. If you’re looking at learning how to scuba dive with sharks, make sure the company you use doesn’t use shark baiting methods. How to Scuba Dive with Sharks Now that you know the rarity of shark attacks, hopefully, you’re considering diving with these majestic ocean predators. Before you go under water, there are some things you’ll need to do first. Get Licensed Learning how to scuba dive is not a do it yourself type of thing and you won’t be allowed to dive if you’re not licensed. There are many programs, even in landlocked places, that have scuba diving lessons that can be completed in an intensive weekend or over the course of a month. The local dive center in your area will tell you what options it offers. It’s also an option to get certified while you’re on vacation, but it takes up precious free time.   Pick the Right Spot When planning out how to scuba dive with sharks, you’ll need to pick a location that sharks are known to frequent. For those living in North American, those include the Bahamas, Mexico, and the waters around Cuba. If you have a little more vacation cash to play with and want to go diving somewhere exotic, Fiji, South Africa, and the Maldives are all beautiful shark diving locations. Pick the Right Time Important but not usually mentioned in how to scuba dive articles is the time of the year you plan your vacation. The best time to see sharks is after their pups are born since the adults will be more active. Try to plan your...

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