Posted by Doug
on February 22, 2011
The availability of fresh, clean water is a luxury in most parts of the world. Some populations struggle to find water at all, especially during times of drought. Even in the United States it wasn’t until the last century that cities began providing clean water for drinking in to most of the population. Prior to that water was generally used for crops, livestock, and cleaning, but not so much for drinking, unless boiled in coffee or tea first.
Today Americans rely on city or county water departments to provide drinking water throughout the country. Some people on farms or in rural communities may have their own well , but the majority of the population drinks water that has been filtered and purified at a treatment plant. These plants use the same basic filtering process as the home filters that are becoming more and more common.
One of the first things that people learn when camping or taking survival skills training is how to clean water obtained from lakes, streams, and rivers. They know to carry portable water filters or purification tablets to use in the wilderness. Others choose to bring water with them from home, especially when hiking or camping for a short period of time.
Posted by Doug
on February 16, 2011
Drug and alcohol addiction seems to be a never ending problem in American society. In spite of the ongoing “War on Drugs,” use and abuse of narcotics , non-prescription drugs, and alcohol, continues to grow.
Addiction has far reaching effects on society. The addict faces medical, financial, and relationship problems. Impaired driving and working leads to accidents, injuries, and even deaths. Crime rates go up, which translates to higher costs to maintain the criminal justice and penal systems which makes taxes go up.
There is never an easy to solution to something as complex as the problems associated with drug abuse. However, it is possible to do things to affect individual addicts. Getting an addict to end their habit and seek treatment is the purpose of interventions.
Effective intervention programs bring together the addict with his family, co-workers, and friends. These are the people who are most directly effected by the addiction and who care about the addict’s health and well-being. A good intervention is going to be overseen by a qualified professional, usually associated with a rehab center or program. They will facilitate the intervention so that each participate gets the chance to speak about how the addiction has impacted their relationship with the addict and how concerned they are for his health. As the addict begins to accept responsibility for the consequences of his actions on their friends, he should become willing to seek treatment. The effective intervention ends with the addict enrolling in a rehab program.
Posted by Doug
on February 08, 2011
Buying a home is a dream for most people. They want to put down roots and secure a place for their family to grow and thrive. Investing in a house is also a risk. In most cases, the buyer is betting that they will be able to make regular payments on the property for twenty or thirty years and that the value of the home will remain stable or increase over that time. Otherwise they end up paying more for the house than they can later sell it for or they end up losing the house in foreclosure when they are unable to afford the payments.
This latter situation is at the root of the recent economic recession. Lenders took heavy risks during the real estate boom market and ended up with homeowners who could no longer afford their mortgage payments. The result is that most lenders now have much stricter guidelines for mortgage loans, including better Debt To Income Ratio s and higher minimum credit ratings in order to qualify for the best mortgage rates.
Any loan is going to take into account an individual’s debt to income ratio. This tells the lender how much debt the person will have (including the new loan) in relation to how much income they receive. A good guideline for calculating debt to income for a mortgage is that the costs associated with home ownership should be 28% or less of the gross income of the household and the total debt of a household should be less than 36% — including the mortgage, car loans, credit cards, and other forms of debt.
Using debt to income calculations along with mortgage interest rates and mortgage payment calculators, a potential homeowner will be able to see exactly how expensive of a home loan they can easily afford as well as how much of a loan a lender is likely to grant them.
Jonathan Kerner is a financial advisor and blogger who contributes to sites like http://www.moneymutual.net.