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Solar Power- How Does It Save The Environment

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 02:23:00 +0000

You've probably heard a lot about solar energy and how efficient it is. Moreover, over the last few years, there have been several moves to see how effectively we can use solar power in an attempt to alleviate the energy crisis that the world faces. So, how does using solar energy fit into the bigger picture of protecting our environment? The point is that even small changes in the way we do things go a long way in terms of saving our environment.Solar energy is a renewable energy sourceThe sun offers us a great source of renewable energy; it's been around for over four billion years and is likely to stay around for another five billion years, during its life it will supply us with a steady stream of energy. So, apart from the obvious fact of solar energy is in abundance, people who are environmentally conscious find that using solar energy is an excellent way to help protect the environment.But what makes solar energy an attractive option is the fact that unlike polluting fossil fuels, its availability is not governed by the oil industry, an industry that is riddled with capitalistic individuals, and influenced heavily by several geographic and political factors that invariably affect the supply.Solar Energy on the other hand is a clean environmentally friendly energy resource and a very viable alternative to existing fossil fuels that pollute our lands, water and air, threaten our health, and contribute substantially to global warming.Solar energy transformed into thermal (or heat) energy can be used to: * Cook food – Using Solar Cookers * Heat water – in Houses, Office Buildings, or Swimming Pools. * Heat closed spaces – a Greenhouse, a House or even other Buildings.Solar energy can also be converted to electricity by using: * Photovoltaic devices or "solar cells" that transforms sunlight into electricity. These systems are often used in areas with no regular electricity supply. Some common devices that are sometimes powered by these solar cells include, street lights, road signs and some gadgets like watches and even calculators. * Solar Power Plants are electricity generating plants that use thermal energy obtained from the suns radiation to super heat liquids that in turn become steam and rotate the turbines of a generator to generate electricity.How can solar power rescue the environment?For starters, switching over to solar power would help cut back our dependence on organic fuels. This in itself is a huge saving, reduced hydrocarbons and emissions in the air, mean fresh cleaner air. Some ripple down effects would be, controlling the global warming, less acid rain, no smog the list can go on and on, however, let me elaborate some of the better know environmental benefits.Decrease air pollutionThe most commonly obvious benefit is the fact that by using solar energy we are able to reduce the levels of pollution. As we reduce the amount of fossil fuels being burnt and switch over instead to solar power from our needs there is a corresponding decrease in the amount of pollution produced. Solar electrification in some rural areas also decreases the dependence of the electricity grid and generators that run on petrol or diesel.Offsets greenhouse gasesSolar Cell (PV systems) generates electricity with absolutely no carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. This in turn plays a significant step in reducing the overall greenhouse effect that we face. Apparently studies show that approximately six tons of carbon emissions are offset through the use of a single Solar cell over a period of twenty five years.Conserve energyThe world over, and especially the third world countries have begun to embrace the conservation and use of solar electricity through several conservations programs to help conserve power for urban areas, city lighting as well as commercial and industrial needs. While solar plants and other forms of decentralized solar generated energy is used to serve the basic power consumption needs in the majority of the developing areas. Reduces discarding dry cell batteriesPeople in several countries around the world [...]

Solar Panels

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 02:22:00 +0000

A solar panel is basically a device that enables the collection of and conversion of solar energy into electrical energy or even heat.

The Concept of Solar Panels

Solar panels are also known as photovoltaic panels and the atoms that are present in these panels are excited by the action of the sun's energy. These atoms are present in a silicon layer that lies between two panels known as protector panels.

A formation of electric current takes place as a result of the action of the electrons from the aforementioned, excited atoms, and these are then used by a myriad of external devices. The history of solar panels dates back by hundreds of years, when their sole purpose was to heat the water for use in homes. Many-a-times specially shaped mirror is used for the concentration of light onto a tube of oil. Due to this action, there is a heating up of oil and as these heated oil travels through a vat of water, it instantly results in the boiling of this water. The steam that is a resultant of this process of boiling is used to turn a turbine for the generation of electricity.

The History of Solar Panels

It was in the year 1839 that the photovoltaic effect was discovered by Antoine – Cesar – Becquerel, a French physicist. His experiment in this regard involved the placement of an electrolyte cell in an electrolyte solution; two metal electrodes made up the electrolyte cell.

When this device was exposed to sunlight, Becquerel found that the generation of electricity saw a marked increase. It was in 1883 that Charles Fritts coated sheets of selenium with a thin layer of gold and built the first genuine solar cell. Over a period of time many experiment were conducted and discoveries were made when it came to solar cells. Albert Einstein also published his thesis on the photoelectric effect, during this time and also won the Nobel Prize for his research.

It was space satellites that made large scale use of solar electrical energy for the first time. By 1980, the United States of America, produced a solar cell which provided an efficiency of nearly twenty percent, this efficiency was increased to around twenty four percent in the next two decades and currently there are a few companies that are manufacturing solar cells that offer efficiency levels of nearly twenty eight percent

The Working of Solar Panels

Pure silicon forms the basic element of all solar panels as its makes for an ideal platform that aids transmission of electrons. This material is used on the plates that form a solar panel. Solar panels are also created by combining silicon panels with other elements, with negative or positive charges.

The Silicon atoms are exposed to the bombardment of photons when negative plates of solar cells are faced towards the sunlight. Once all free electrons are drawn away from the plates, enough electricity is generated to power various electronic appliances that do not require too much electricity to power them.

Features and Types of Solar Panels

Basically there are three types of solar panels, namely mono-crystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and amorphous solar panels. The life expectancy of solar panels depends on the type of solar panels selected by you; generally it’s around twenty years or so.

Solar panels do not require sustained maintenance for their upkeep although; if lead acid batteries are used then they must be checked every six months and topped up with distilled water if required. If you are looking for a solar panel for your needs and do not know what size to go for, then the best way would be to calculate your average consumption of electricity on a daily basis. This would give you a fair idea of what kind of solar panel to go for. In the long run, solar panels will reduce your electricity bill by a long way, and hence the option of using solar energy must be explored in a positive manner.

Bio-Fuels: The Fuel Of The Future

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 02:21:00 +0000

Biomass burning has an overall impact on the atmospheric chemistry as well as the climate. When there is a fire in the savannas, or tropical forests, or like the recent California fire, large quantities of particulate matter and trace gases are released.Biomass fuel is also known as Bio-fuel. Bio-fuel is defined as liquid, solid or gaseous fuel that consists of biomass. Biomass fuels can be used for generating power and also for heating purposes.Biomass fuels can help greatly in reducing the various greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time can increase energy security by being an alternative to fossil fuels. Today, you will find expansion of bio-fuel industries in Asia, Europe, and America.Bio-fuels are most commonly used in automotive transport like the E10 fuel. They can easily be produced from any source containing carbon like plants. Biomass is mostly derived from living organisms, which includes animals, plants, and their by-products. Manure, crop residues and garden waste are some of the different sources of biomass. This is a renewable energy source that is associated to the carbon cycle as compared to various natural resources like coal, petroleum, and nuclear energy.Some of the most popular agricultural products that are grown for the purpose of creating Bio-fuel in the United States are soybeans and corn while Europe uses wheat, rapeseed and sugar beet; sugar cane is grown in Brazil, Jatropha in India and palm oil in South-East Asia.In the early part of 2007, Diversified Energy Corporation with the help of North Carolina State University (NCSU) geared itself for a breakthrough in biofuel technology, which has been named Centia. Centia has been positioned for producing military and commercial jet fuel and can even act as a biodiesel additive in cold or freezing weather. The process of developing Centia looks promising and is expected to deliver a high energy efficiency level that can be in excess of 85%.There are a wide variety of scientific experiments being conducted, globally, to produce a viable bio-fuel that will be efficient and environmentally friendly. Scientists have started to look beyond the bio-fuels and started to work on the various byproducts of bio-fuel that can be used and even consumed as food in our daily lives.Considered as an integral part of the green revolution, bio-fuels offer quite a few advantages over other fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Bio fuels have the ability to recycle carbon dioxide with every growing season by getting it from the air to convert it into biomass. So unlike coal, which upon burning releases carbon, biomass in a way traps all the carbon that is in the air. This is an important aspect from the point of view of global warming because it doesn’t release any carbon components into the air. The biggest advantage over conventional fuel is that bio-fuel is renewable and hence they will not deplete the limited natural resources of our planet.Common Biomass FuelsHere is a list of some of the most common first generation Biomass fuels:Vegetable oilVegetable oil is used for cooking food and also as a fuel. Vegetable oil is not high quality oil for fuel use but it is still used in older diesel engines, which are equipped with an indirect injection system.In most of the cases, vegetable oil is used for manufacturing bio-diesel that is compatible with most of the diesel engines. It is normally blended with conventional diesel fuel for optimum efficiency.Bio-dieselBio-diesel is one of the most common Bio-fuels in Europe. It is produced mainly from fats or oils using the process of trans-esterification. It is a liquid that has a similar composition like that of mineral diesel. The chemical name for bio-diesel is fatty acid methyl ester (FAME).The oil is mixed with methanol or ethanol and sodium hydroxide, which initiates a chemical reaction to produce glycerol and bio-diesel (FAME). The process produces 1 part of glycerol per 10 parts of bio-diesel.Bio-diesel is extensively used in diesel engines after it is blen[...]

Why Use Solar Power. Some Great Reasons

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 14:01:00 +0000

Water runs dark, trees are dying and the air we breathe gets thicker and thinker by the moment. There are several solutions to these problems, but oddly, the source that got the whole thing going may actually be the answer to solving the poor choices made for the planet. Solar power got the entire process going and may be the solution to getting it back on track.In its intentional use, solar power gave us heat and light. As evolution worked its magic solar power was not an alternative source of power, it was –the- source of power as it warmed the earth and moved the air. Now, our “modern” technology has evolved to a point where we can once again use solar power to warm and move our air. But why should we use solar power when the same planet that gave us the sun gave us the coal to accomplish the same task? There are many reasons, and most of them are of the kind that people can identify with; they are self serving and entirely hedonistic.Solar leads to cost savingsAll one has to do these days is open up an electric and heat bill to see how much it costs to heat and light your home. Solar power is a great way to just about eliminate the costs associated with lighting and heating your home. For those that are using solar powered heating and lighting equipment today there is little if any cost associated with heating and lighting their homes. Yes, there is an up-front cost to installing these units but pay back times through cost savings and tax credits are getting shorter and shorter due to better technology and awareness. These current users report that they actually make money from using solar power systems just by paying a little closer attention to how they use the power that they have. For the most part, they indicate that a 30 second glance at back-up batteries for piece of mind is all the extra time required to start saving money.Money makerSome may say that piece of mind doesn't go very far when it comes to a series of cloudy days. Batteries, they say, can run out or get low. From all reports, however, cloudy day issues, in a majority of the world’s climates, are not an issue. In fact, a majority of users find that they have an excess of electricity that ends up just going to waste. Or so most people- once - thought. Although the entire US is not quite there yet most sates require that utilities buy back excess power generated from those desiring to remain on the power grid. Although it may sound a bit odd, solar power users find that their electric meters actually run backward quite a bit of the time when solar power systems are in use. God forbid there were a few weeks of nothing but clouds and cold, but if there are the owner is free to use the power that they sold back to the utility. Past the home front, add a water wheel and a wind mill and you have a nice little income generator with the electric utility paying you.Off the gridThere is a certain segment of the population that just does not want to be connected to the “grid”, as the power and information society calls it. For these people solar power is a great option. Solar units are fairly low cost and getting lower cost every day. They can also withstand a 1” hailstone traveling at 50mph. For survivalists or even for a farmer that needs to irrigate his crops in the middle of nowhere, solar is the way to go.Develop a new technologyMan at his basic is a curious being. What if? Is always being thought about whether it’s just a casual thought during the day or figuring out how to get to Mars. Advancing technology is just who man is. Using solar may satisfy our current environmental issues but it also satisfies our intellectual needs. If solar power isn’t used it won’t advance and our need to know won’t be satisfied. Intellectually, solar is a great idea.Leave the world a better placeThroughout time man has found a way to screw up the planet in one way or another. Most of the time, man has screwed up because of ignorance or with good intentions. Using sola[...]

Wind Power Advantages

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 14:00:00 +0000

Sometimes when the electricity supply goes off unexpectedly due to a power cut it can last for several days. Having no hot water, no cooking facilities, a lack of refrigeration and no form of heating or lighting are just some of the inconveniences incurred. Power grid independence is only one of the many reasons to consider installing wind power preventing you from becoming solely reliant on the electricity companies.

Installing wind power will allow you to be in charge or your own environment. The problems experienced by others through the failure of mainstream electricity supplies will not affect you. In fact, you may not even be aware that anyone else is having difficulties until they contact you asking for your assistance as they are suffering in either hot or freezing conditions!

Another great benefit of wind power is the rebate offered by many states for people who are willing to install wind generators in their homes. In overall terms it is likely to take up to ten years or maybe a little more to see the monetary benefits of having the original installation carried out, but from that time onwards the best part of your power will be free. Just imagine the fact that the running costs of your home or business, or even both, can be reduced to practically nothing. This is because your meter will slow down considerably as your wind power equipment kicks in, thereby reducing your supply from the grid.

This low usage from the grid will be maintained until such a time that the wind is not strong enough to produce power and you will then notice your meter speed up again whilst power is being drawn from the grid supply. In California, if you have wind power within your home, it can in reality replace power back into the grid, so your meter will go backwards; in effect giving you credited power to use in the future. This or similar systems may be introduced in other states in the near future, thus expanding the advantages of wind power more widely.

Although wind power is not perfect, it is a safe and honest cost effective plan for the time ahead of your family and country. Take a minute to sit down and work out just how much you expect your power bills to cost you for the rest of you and your children’s lives. Make a comparison with that of a wind power supply and the benefits will be clear to you. Even if you feel having wind power installed is an expense you just cannot afford at the minute, it may be worth considering taking out a loan as the savings you are likely to make will be more than adequate to repay the amount you have borrowed. Make sure you check out the information available about which schemes are on offer to you.

Wind Farm Efficiency

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:15:00 +0000

Wind power is the process by which wind is used to generate power or electricity. The power of the wind is actually a form of solar power – wind change and variability is caused by uneven heating of the ground by the sun. In order to fully use the power that the wind is capable of generating, many countries have set up wind farms. In a wind farm, many different wind turbines (a structure that uses a propeller-like blade to take in the wind's power) are set up in an area. With all the wind turbines working at the same time, it's thought that these farms are a great way to produce large amounts of electricity.

To determine the efficiency of wind farms, you need to know how a wind farm works. The wind turbines collect the power of the wind in two steps: the propeller blades are turned by the gusts of wind, and the propeller then turns a shaft. This turning shaft is connected to a generator. The spinning action cranks the generator, which then produces electricity. The process is exactly like hydropower, but with wind acting as the energy source instead of flowing water. Just one wind turbine set up in an area will not produce very much electricity, and is not very good for powering large areas - these small turbines are usually used to power just one farm or house or occasionally to pump water.

Wind farms, on the other hand, are more powerful because there is a large grouping of the wind turbines in one area, all working in unison to produce electricity. The energy can then be run to whole communities through existing utility grids or stored in battery-like storage cells. Wind turbines can be set up to face the wind or face away from the wind. Modern wind turbines can also turn to catch the wind as it gusts from different angles, a factor which makes them far more efficient than before. The larger the turbine's blades and the taller the turbine's height will increase the efficiency as well.

The exact efficiency of wind farms is nearly impossible to pinpoint. The problem is found in the factors that go into the analysis. The terrain, amount of wind, size of turbines and so on varies from wind farm to farm. There is no constant, which makes it difficult to nail down general efficiency ratings. In general, a single wind turbine will convert about 20 percent of the energy in wind to electricity. The most efficient production occurs between five and 20 miles an hour of wind speed. This general 20 percent efficiency rating is roughly seven to five percent more efficient than solar power, but sunlight is constant whereas wind is not.

While wind technology has not yet progressed to a point where no energy is lost while harnessing it, it is fair to say that the platform is favorable compared to other renewable sources. It may take a while for the whole world to catch on to using the power of the wind, but it's definitely fast becoming an important alternative energy source. Countries such as Germany are certainly investing a lot into the platform.

For more information on wind energy, check out Wind Tech Research.

LEDs ...The Technology That Will Soon Light Our Planet

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:14:00 +0000

With energy waste on the minds of many Americans these days, high gasoline prices to run the inefficient engines that power our vehicles help move the majority of us to cut energy costs in as many areas as possible, some of us are even beginning to ration our lighting usage. Is there an answer to our increasing lighting costs ? Granted, much of the cost is being passed on by the utility suppliers and with recent increases in oil prices, this amount is being noticeably felt in each of our monthly utility budgets. Energy costs are governed by the varying costs of fuel and with our major source of lighting today being the incandescent light, our lighting bill is much too high. Is there a developing technology today that shows a promising hope for our immediate future ?

We must roll back about 35 years and refresh ourselves some history when a small pea size lamp was introduced to the America's. It was the Light Emitting Diode, more popularly known as the LED, a lighting source that emitted light through a clear molded plastic housing using a small current flow between two solid state junctions that were extended to facilitate an electrical connection. At the time of its introduction, the LED did not emit very much light, as a matter of fact in normal daylight, some were barely visible. At the time of its release to the world, the LED efficiency to produce light was very low. In the early days of the LED development, their use was fairly limited and sold for use on instrument panels where light intensity was not an issue. It would take the better of 20 years of gradual development before they began to find their way into the main stream of use in areas where contemporary lighting was truly dominant. The LED would eventually begin to show its uniqueness for applications in our lighting world.

The LED found its prime application in our traffic lighting system in the late 1990's, where it began to replace the totally dominant use of the incandescent lamp that had been used for decades and since the inception of the system. Soon, LEDs were replacing the original incandescent lamps in many parts of the world. The electric power energy savings have been extremely a few cases an average of 90 %. We must also keep in mind that there is also the ongoing savings from a much lower upkeep because the LEDs will last as much as ten years(when running 24/7). LEDs will not shatter under high vibration as do the incandescent lamps, negating their need for replacement from these causes of failure. With much of the world looking for ways to save our remaining fossil fuels, this lighting source has the definite ability to show us the way. We could say, "what about the CFL(fluorescent) lamp ?" Couldn't they become our knight in shining armor? The question ? Can the CFL emit an infinite number of colors ? Negative...and they are far from shatterproof. Their longevity is also several times less than the LED.

Having praised the LED for just a few of its merits, it can be seen that it is totally practical for the world's present needs and many believe all our needs in this field in the years to come. Even in its present stage of development, It is well suited to lessen our present energy consumption overload. At the present time, the nations of the world must adopt methods of lighting which are the most efficient to lower energy use, but unless the consumer follows this same trend, our nation and the world's efforts will be in vain.

Future Energy Concepts – The Fuel Cell

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:11:00 +0000

Future Energy Concepts – The Fuel Cell

A fuel cell is a fairly vague phrase thrown around by those in the know and those that know relatively little. Regardless of the particular design, a fuel cell is essentially a cell similar to a battery in which a chemical process occurs to produce electricity. In this case, however, the fuel is hydrogen. The basic idea is to combine hydrogen with oxygen in a process that produces electricity. This electricity is then used as we would normally use it in our lives.

If you read the paper or watch the news, one would think the concept of hydrogen fuels in a new one. In fact, it is not. The first one was created in 1839. The problem, of course, was it was inefficient and there wasn’t much interest since fossil fuels were plentiful and our energy needs were tiny compared to today. It wasn’t until the 1960s that much interest was shown in the energy platform. As with many advances, NASA decided to use fuel cells to power the Gemini and Apollo spacecrafts. Unfortunately, the trick has been translating this limited use to wide spread applications in daily life.

A common misconception is a fuel cell represents renewable energy. Very clearly, it does not. It is a device, not an energy platform. It is like saying a hydroelectric dam is a renewable energy. The dam is a machine to harness a renewable energy resource, but not an energy source in and of itself. The fuel cell works much the same way. It is a methodology for harnessing energy from hydrogen. The particular method can be clean or dirty, to wit, one can use water or coal for the base material. Obviously, coal is not much help.

Fuel cells can be run, in theory, on any material containing hydrogen. This means renewable energy sources such as hydrogen, biogas, and so on. The primary goal is to focus on water and other renewable sources because of their inherent clean advantages. When hydrogen is used, for instance, it produces no tangible pollution or greenhouse gases. The byproduct, instead, is simply water.

There are a few hurdles that must be overcome before hydrogen fuel cells really become a viable energy platform. First, the technology is such that the fuel cells are far too large and heavy to be used for practical purposes. The infamous hydrogen car is not currently viable because of this, although test cars from primarily German manufacturers are being evaluated. The second problem is efficiency, which is to say fuel cells are not. Currently, fuel cells produce energy at a cost of about 10 times that of fossil fuels, and that is a positive estimate. Again, not a viable option.

While these may seem like significant hurdles, they actually point to the viability of hydrogen fuel cells as a power source. These problems are focused on technical aspects of delivery, not on whether the process works. If there is anything we are good at as a species, it is making technological breakthroughs. If we can build a hydrogen nuclear weapon, surely we can build a hydrogen fuel cell.

For lots more information on an exciting new fuel cell technology, check out Bloom Box News.

Environmental Benefits of LED Lighting

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:09:00 +0000

LED lights are a wonderful invention that has changed the way the world is lit. Not only are they long lasting, they have many environmental benefits. LED lights are four times more efficient than a regular incandescent light bulb and last 10 times as long. LED lights also use between 50 and 80 percent less energy than an incandescent bulb.

LED lights are considerably less expensive to operate, however are a little more expensive to purchase. LED home lighting requires only one third of the energy that an incandescent bulb will use. A single 18-watt LED light can replace a 75-watt incandescent and in the lifetime of the LED light, will save 570 kWh of energy. At a basic eight cents per kilowatt rate, that equals $45 dollars in energy bill savings.

By switching to low energy LED home lighting in your home, even one bulb will keep one half of a ton of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere through the lifetime of the bulb instead of using incandescent bulbs. Switching also keeps sulfur oxide and nuclear waste out of the atmosphere as well, leading to a cleaner world and one that will last much longer. By simply switching, our environment could easily revitalize itself without having to deal with the excess carbon dioxide, sulfur oxide and nuclear waste emissions that are currently being released into the atmosphere every day. Even changing one lonely bulb in every home to LED home lighting would make a significant impact on the environment.

If every home in the United States were to switch to LED home lighting, 90 power plants could be retired, a potentially powerful impact to the long-term health of the environment. Being energy efficient and environmentally conscious doesn’t have to disrupt your entire life. The switch is as difficult as changing one light bulb in your home, the results of which would save you money on your electricity bill each month. Just one home lighting fixture, one light bulb can be a positive step forward for your household. Take a look around your home and count how many bulbs you use and consider how often you change them. Say, for example that you change a bulb every two months. Now, consider that by changing them all to LED lighting for your home, you could leave them and not have to replace them for 20 months. The slightly higher upfront costs of LED lights make sense.

LED lighting is finding its way into many niche markets. You can get a LED flashlight that also uses less battery energy, ensuring that the next time the power goes out in your home, you can be confident that your batteries will last. There are also LED lanterns that you can choose from that are ideal for camping or hunting. They last for considerably longer than other lanterns because they use 10 times less energy to run than standard incandescent bulbs and even less energy than a kerosene lantern.

For LED home lighting, there are many options available other than just bulbs. You can find LED light fixtures for your home, indoor and out, that will provide low energy, environmentally-friendly lighting that can save you money on your energy bill.

We all are challenged to do our part to conserve energy. By making small adjustments to the way we live, we can begin to make an impact on our world. One small change we all can make is to switch our home and outdoor light fixtures to LED light options. There are a large number of options for LED home lighting and LED camping and hunting outdoor equipment available on the market, all of which provide the energy efficiency benefits inherent in LED products. The benefits can become apparent very quickly as we begin to see our energy bill costs reduce over a period of a few months.

MMOG Currency Revolution

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:08:00 +0000

MMOG currencies was first introduced from the popular game EverQuest (EQ) with their currency "platinum", also known as "plat". Since the first pioneers of selling plats on Ebay, many have argued and frowned upon those that have ever purchased plats online. I recall many players harassing others with foul names such as "newb" and "ebayer". It has been over 5 years that everyone has been arguing whether the secondary market of trading MMOG money would ever be accepted.

Since the introduction of EverQuest platinum, there were probably more than 70% of players that wouldn’t even consider purchasing plats and discriminated against those who did. As of today, the numbers have been reduced extraordinarily. About 40% of the players now purchase currencies, 30% still disliking the idea and 30% of the other players probably does not care too much and may purchase some them selves in the near future.

Although online game currency is still a new trend to the online gaming community, it is getting popular at a very hasty rate. Within the end of 2010, I believe even the publishers themselves will support the foundation of the secondary market. Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) have now begun their own EverQuest 2 gold auction system and planning to start a new MMORPG in which they intend to sell currencies and items themselves. With their support, I’m sure the secondary market will be accepted over a period of time.

The secondary market is only as successful as the primary. With the release of World of Warcraft (WoW), there are now more than 4.5 million subscribers. A vast majority of those players are probably new to the MMORPG world. A large increase of subscribers means alot more potential for the secondary market. So far, WoW gold has been the hottest seller of the year and perhaps a few more years down the road.

With the huge demand on, many players have even started a career in which they collect money, items and other virutal assets and sell them to players or to stores who may buy them at wholesale price and resell it back to individuals.

The secondary market one day may even be bigger than the primary. Many gamers of today probably spend more on buying currencies, items and equipments than their subscription fee. The publishers themselves can't even deny the fact that there are lots of money to be made in the secondary market that over a vast period of time I'm sure they will be selling their virtual assets themselves. As for whether the players will support it or not, I believe is just a matter of time before acceptance, of course there will always be a few who will dislike the idea.

An Insider Look At MMORPG

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:06:00 +0000

MMORPG stands for Massive(ly) Mutliplayer Online Role Play(ing) Game and an MMORPG is simply a genre of computer game in which there are hundreds (usually thousands or even millions) of players from all across the world.

In most MMORPGs the player takes the role of his or her own character and must navigate some sort of world or realm in order to complete quests and tasks. Usually these worlds will be persistent, hosted on a permanent server, and actions taken by the players will have an affect on the realm or world. Thus making it interactive, even when the player is not playing the game. This is known as being "real time" and is how MMORPGs emulate the real world. In one particular instance in World of Warcraft, an event occurred where a spell effect which lowered the players health slowly over time was spread from player to player. The disease effect got out of hand and as players ran back to towns and cities the virus spread and became an epidemic. Later, a patch was released to remedy the problem, but the community was shocked at how closely the behaviour seen in the game resembled real life.

Most MMORPGs, such as World of Warcraft and Guildwars, are based in fantasy and myth and involve magic and spells. Some are based in space, where you must command a spacecraft or your own planet. Some are even based on the real world, and with the invention of Google maps it may well be possible to have an MMORPG world which closely emulates the real world, perhaps even being able to visit your own home!

MUDs, or Multi-User Dungeons, were the first MMORPGs. They are usually simple text based programs where the players use commands to control and interact with their character, the world, and other players. Although simple 2D graphical versions and even 3D MUDs do exist. Similar to MUDs are browser based MMORPGs, like RuneScape, which are played entirely in the users browser. They can be simple pages of text or complex 3D renderings and offer similar functionality of more developed MMORPGs, usually for free.

MMORPGs were virtually unknown a few years ago and now they are commonplace for most gamers. In fact worldwide revenues for MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005, and Western revenues exceeded one billion USD in 2006.

All You Need To Know About The Cheats Of Video Games

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:05:00 +0000

Terms, definitions and other information about cheats and their usePlaying with video games is one of the most widespread forms of entertainment nowadays. Children from the age of 5 or 8 and even the older generations can find a video game to their taste that can help them escape to another world for a few hours. You can experience virtual adventures, wonder in the worlds of long forgotten empires, lead space battles, play the last week’s game with your favourite basketball team, control airplanes and submarines with the help of simulators and you can also be a part of the most blood dripping scenes in a matter of minutes.There are limitless opportunities that are only bounded by the minds of the video game developers. Fortunately, nowadays PC’s are not the only possibilities to enjoy video games but you can also enjoy the benefits of other game systems like Sony PSP, PS2, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo which operate with the help of a digital disk and can be plugged into your TV set providing you with the special experience of playing your game on a huge TV screen.Not only are there an immense variety of video games on the market but they have also become more and more difficult and time consuming recently. Many game enthusiasts do not have enough patience and time for such games because they are only playing for the sheer enjoyment of the game and for killing some time. It is also often the case that during your playing you get stuck at an unsolvable point of the game with which you end up in losing your interest in the continuation of the game.But what can be the solution in the above-mentioned cases?The answer is very simple: cheat or the use of some other kind of help. Many people, in general, consider cheating a sinful act but cheating in a videogame is not considered illegal, at all. Of course when you play online with the multiplayer mode on, it is not ethical to cheat because it spoils the fun of other players. Consequently, cheaters will not only be excluded from the particular game but they will also receive strong resentment from the online players’ community.But when sitting alone at home in front of one’s favourite video game, after many unsuccessful attempts, who on earth would not like to see the next level of the game? And who would not like to skip the most challenging parts of a game when someone wants to play their favourite games again?Let’s not worry about certain moral issues and if you feel like it then just try to make use of those cheats or loopholes that are even built in the game. Since game developers has built most of the cheats in the game software for test purposes.All this sounds nice, but how can you cheat?Video game cheats has many different forms and many of them are freely available on the Internet. You will find a detailed description of the different cheat types and their use below.Cheats, cheat codes:These are the simplest ones of all cheat types. These are sometimes available from the menu options or you can simply type in a certain combination of keyboard or a gamepad buttons and with the help of these secret codes you can reach some hidden features that make the game easier for you. These cheats can give eternal life, invulnerability, the constant restoring of someone’s health, unlimited ammunition, money codes, etc.Game developers used to hide these features, but nowadays they offer these cheats as extras of video games.Command line cheats:In case of some games you can only initiate cheats if you give so-called command line parameters. When you use command line parameter cheats you start the game with a special command. Click on the start menu and find the starting icon of the installed video game. Click on the game’s icon with the right mouse button and select the features [...]

Do Search Engines Care About Valid HTML?

Wed, 10 Mar 2010 05:14:00 +0000

Like most web developers, I’ve heard a lot about the importance of valid html recently. I’ve read about how it makes it easier for people with disabilities to access your site, how it’s more stable for browsers, and how it will make your site easier to be indexed by the search engines.

So when I set out to design my most recent site, I made sure that I validated each and every page of the site. But then I got to thinking – while it may make my site easier to index, does that mean that it will improve my search engine rankings? How many of the top sites have valid html?

To get a feel for how much value the search engines place on being html validated, I decided to do a little experiment. I started by downloading the handy Firefox HTML Validator Extension ( that shows in the corner of the browser whether or not the current page you are on is valid html. It shows a green check when the page is valid, an exclamation point when there are warnings, and a red x when there are serious errors.

I decided to use Yahoo! Buzz Index to determine the top 5 most searched terms for the day, which happened to be “World Cup 2006”, “WWE”, “FIFA”, “Shakira”, and “Paris Hilton”. I then searched each term in the big three search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and MSN) and checked the top 10 results for each with the validator. That gave me 150 of the most important data points on the web for that day.

The results were particularly shocking to me – only 7 of the 150 resulting pages had valid html (4.7%). 97 of the 150 had warnings (64.7%) while 46 of the 150 received the red x (30.7%). The results were pretty much independent of search engine or term. Google had only 4 out of 50 results validate (8%), MSN had 3 of 50 (6%), and Yahoo! had none. The term with the most valid results was “Paris Hilton” which turned up 3 of the 7 valid pages. Now I realize that this isn’t a completely exhaustive study, but it at least shows that valid html doesn’t seem to be much of a factor for the top searches on the top search engines.

Even more surprising was that none of the three search engines home pages validated! How important is valid html if Google, Yahoo!, and MSN don’t even practice it themselves? It should be noted, however, that MSN’s results page was valid html. Yahoo’s homepage had 154 warnings, MSN’s had 65, and Google’s had 22. Google’s search results page not only didn’t validate, it had 6 errors!

In perusing the web I also noticed that immensely popular sites like, IMDB, and MySpace don’t validate. So what is one to conclude from all of this?

It’s reasonable to conclude that at this time valid html isn’t going to help you improve your search position. If it has any impact on results, it is minimal compared to other factors. The other reasons to use valid html are strong and I would still recommend all developers begin validating their sites; just don’t expect that doing it will catapult you up the search rankings right now.

Decreasing Web Traffic

Wed, 10 Mar 2010 05:13:00 +0000

The process of controlling web traffic can be at times complex and sometimes even impossible to manage. If a site is to be successful then it is necessary that the owner knows how to not only interpret the web traffic their site receives but also restrict or encourage it. Through interpretation of the traffic one can determine which parts of their site are the most popular and which parts require a little work. If the site receives too little traffic then it is likely that the website will become extinct. On the other hand if a website receives too much web traffic then it may have to temporarily shut down. This temporary shut down can consequently cause the website owner to lose out on a substantial amount of potential profit. As such, the monitoring and controlling of web traffic is essential.

While a shortage of web traffic can be fixed with relative ease and in a number of ways, an abundance of traffic presents a slightly more complicated problem. There is certainly a great deal of methods through which one can limit access to their site yet none of which is overly simple. Protecting various sections of your website via a password is one means of limiting access and restricting viewing to merely those with passwords. This method is not exceedingly complicated yet it does involve a little work when it comes to implementation and supervision. For sites that are bound to receive a wealth of traffic this method is of particular effectiveness and value. Along with this, a site administrator can also choose to restrict access to their site geographically. That is, limiting access to those within a specific geographic region, such as your host country. This is a particularly useful means of limitation if your website has sustained attacks from users outside your country.

Article Writing: Can It Help My Online Store?

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 04:05:00 +0000

Question: My online store can’t make money unless I get traffic, but I can’t afford to keep buying advertising. What can I do? I feel so discouraged.
Signed, Lonely in my Store

Dear Lonely in my Store,
First of all, you are NOT doing anything wrong. Online businesses take time and can get frustrating, especially in the first year.

If your online store is lonely, and you’re watching the dust balls collect, waiting for traffic to come and buy, it’s easy to get discouraged. As soon as the advertising ends, so does your traffic – if you’re even getting any results from your advertising at all.

What if you could get visitors to your website – free? And, not only that, but the visitors keep coming for years? One of the best methods of generating traffic to your website is by writing and sharing articles. This is not ‘get rich quick’ and it’s not a scam. It’s just plain old fashioned marketing with a twist.

Now, even if you aren’t a writer, you can use this method of getting traffic. It doesn’t take a degree in Literature to succeed in article marketing. All it takes is a little time and energy. If you have that – you can get traffic to your website.

So, how does it work? Well, it’s working right now. Look at the bottom of this article and you’ll see … me. I didn’t pay for this advertising, but you’ll see a link to my website right there, plain as day, just for writing and sharing this article with website publishers.

It’s actually quite simple, and it is underused, especially in work at home mom businesses.

All you need to do is write a short, simple, helpful article about something related to your online store. If you sell makeup, then write an article about how to choose a foundation color, or how to care for your skin during the winter. Then, after you’ve written your article, you submit it to the article directories.

Article directories are libraries of free articles. They are collections of articles that website and blog owners can use on their sites for free. The only stipulation is that everyone who publishes your article must include your author bio at the end which is where you include your website URL and some fascinating information about your wonderful online store.

So, now that you see how simple this free method of generating traffic is, I hope you give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose and much to gain.

Article Math: A Multiplying Effect!

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 04:03:00 +0000

Writing for the internet requires that you create a large number of articles in order to get yourself noticed. You may think, "who has the time?" Well, you do if you follow a few of the simple rules I have outlined here.1. Divide and conquer. Chances are you have a few excellent articles in your portfolio which, by themselves, are worthy reads. Still, take a second look at these articles as they may have much more "to speak" to readers than what you currently have to say.Exactly what am saying to you? Here is an example: One of my favorite and most read articles discusses the premium topic of business aviation. The article describes five leading private jet aircraft and compares and contrasts these particular makes and models. My readers say that the article is very informative and engaging, but I know that there are another five articles contained within that one article. How so? Each aircraft can and should be a story in and of itself.I plan on taking the original article and dividing out the various aircraft and writing stories on each one. Where I previously had one solid article, of just over 1200 words, I will have an additional five articles of approximately 500-600 words each. Basically, I am "fleshing out" some of the verbiage previously written by expounding on several key points. In essence, the one article will be divided up to become six articles in total.2. Point/Counterpoint. In the earlier days of the news show, 60 Minutes, the show featured a segment called Point/Counterpoint whereby two members of the staff argued back and forth about a certain topic. Each person took the view diametrically opposed to the other's viewpoint and the fireworks began.I am not suggesting you have an argument with yourself, but I would guess that you have already written a highly slanted opinion piece in the past. If so, why not counterpoint your previous point? Gasp! Isn't that odd? No, as it shows that you can objectively look at two sides of an issue, even if you don't agree with one side. Debaters do this all the time as they learn what their opponents view is and immerse themselves accordingly. The benefit to you is that your initial article serves as a terrific springboard for the second article.3. One in a series. Newspapers often spread top stories out over 3 or 4 days. Usually beginning with the Sunday paper and running through the following Tuesday or Wednesday a feature story grabs readers attention one day and brings them back the ensuing days. Call this for what it is -- a smart marketing ploy -- as it is a way for newspapers to boost their circulation.How can you apply this formula to writing articles? Well, much like the newspapers do you can do the same: the four days of feature stories is, in fact, one story. Because of article length and the desire to bring readers back, the editors take the one story and divide it up. The reporters create the single big story, the editors turn it into four, and the publishers love it as they can hit up the advertisers for more money.Guess what? If you apply this same methodology to your one colossal article -- which few people will take the time to read because of its length -- you will now possess four manageable articles that stand a better chance of capturing readership.In summation, by incorporating these rules into your article development plan, you will soon be writing more articles than you had written previously. More articles equals more attention for what you do which should mean more demand for your services and, hopefully, more money in your pocket. This is simply Article Math at its finest.[...]

Article Marketing is a Digital Cash Cow

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 04:00:00 +0000

One of the newest ways to draw traffic to a website is by an internet marketing technique known as Article Marketing.There are three things that assist a website in being successful, popularity, navigation, and content. Navigation is in the hands of the Webmaster. Whereas popularity and content is the responsibility of the website owner. Article marketing helps these last to two to excel. The internet is controlled by search engines and they are information junkies. And like any junkie they are forever in pursuit of a new fix. Knowing how to take an article and distribute it to your advantage is a present day necessity. Because when a search engine gets high on some content it rewards its owner by promoting a site's ranking which generates the ever welcome organic (free) traffic. And traffic is the life supporting blood of internet prosperity.Article marketing needs obviously articles to operate. Unlike articles one might find in newsstands and magazines internet content has specific requirements to have any real value. Since search engines locate information requests from internet users by using a system utilizing keywords internet articles must incorporate keywords into the body of written content.Understanding how to create articles with the proper amount of keyword density is not accidental. If one has not taken the time to research this needed article marketing requirement they should seriously consider hiring professional writers to accumulate needed content. Placing articles void of this keyword density necessity on their websites or to Article directory's do so in vain.One key components of article marketing is the submitting of content to Article Directories. There are hundreds if not thousands of these type of directories on the internet. These directories act as a source for website owners to find fresh content for their own websites or newsletter. The more directories one submits there articles to the more exposure a website gets. Search engines favor large sites when indexing. By having an article in directories the search engines will visit your website more frequently. And if the content pleases the expectations of the search engines it will improve where you rank with other websites promoting the same services or products.When submitting to Article Directory's each article is usually allowed to include an author’s resource box. This resource box is another important area to understand to make article marketing meaningful. The resource box allows the reader to know who wrote the article and how to find them if so desired. Because of copy write laws it must be included anywhere the article is placed on the internet. In this resource box an anchor texted URL is placed in it which not only makes it easy for the reader to click to your site but when placed on another website creates a back link. As the article is used more and more on the internet these back links start to increase the popularity of a website. At least thats how the search engines will register these numerous locations. When submitting articles to directories be sure to use different formats.Experiment to see which type of format is generating clicks. Good article marketing requires intelligent labor. To run a successful article marketing campaign one must be consistent and quality conscious. When you first start a campaign consider submitting at least one article a day. This will quickly increase back links. After the first month you can slow down a bit but never stop. Article marketing succeeds because of its creating a viral effect. It behaves like the well known pyramid game. An article once it spreads start[...]

Article Marketing: How To Write Great Articles

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 03:58:00 +0000

All the hype nowadays in web-based industries is the pioneering concept called article marketing. Article marketing is one type of Internet advertising that has proven to be both instructive and effective, because Internet users are being given useful information on their related searches, through short but helpful articles with an accompanying link to the author's site at the bottom part of the article. Website owners are now given a new way to market their goods and services, where they can post their articles in a number of directories in exchange for potential views and increased website traffic.So how do you write such articles? Article writing encompasses initially mass print media like magazines, newspapers, and the like. The articles written in these media are usually long winded and detailed, and very often command longer attention spans from the readers. Newspapers and magazines pay their writers to write such long articles because their readership depend on how wide range the topics are, and how up to trend the issues are. But the articles employed in Internet article marketing should not be in parallel with the articles written in print. The web is a never-ending source of research material and if the readers do not get what they want instantly by reading the articles published in directories, they could turn to other sources because the choices are endless. Therefore the articles have to be written in such a way that the attentions of the Internet users are utilized to the fullest degree.Short articles of about 600-800 words are most ideal. This way, all the important elements of a subject matter is tightly woven into the article, thus creating less risk of boring the readers with unnecessary matters. Imagine an article that has too much introduction, an incoherent body, and a hanging conclusion- no one would take the effort to have to analyze what is written, because people want straight up facts. They want to read and to understand each sentence, and ideally to be more informed about the given issue, period.For example, an article that deals with the benefits of water therapy would want to consider including highlights on how the consumption of water could help in eradicating toxins built up by faulty eating. And then this could be explained further by noting specific studies that have dealt with natural remedies alongside the use of conventional commercial medicine. The advantages of utilizing natural therapies would be that there are less possibilities of side effects and a less overworked liver, as this essential body organ is primarily responsible in the flushing out of unwanted toxins from overeating, unnatural diets, and of course modern pills and medicines.The article has to be persuasive, too. Persuasive, yes, but not in the obvious way of trying to sell something, credible in the sense that straight facts, and not just mere opinions, are being presented. Statistical studies that can be verified are helpful tools in persuasive delivery because there are quite a number of surveys over the Internet that provides clear facts. A persuasive article would also want to consider using quotes from reliable personalities on the subject matter. This adds credibility to the written article and considerably increases general interest. Anyone who would read something that was verified by an expert, and can be traced back to historical truths would most likely begin to form certain positive beliefs.Then there is the issue about the target market. And in this case, since the articles can be read by many, it would be more appropriate to say target audien[...]

Article Marketing: Head Start Your Business

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 03:57:00 +0000

It is easy to win a race and be on top but the same saying does not go with keeping yourself at the top. Having a head start in the business of Article Marketing would require dedication and skill. Aside from persevering in the market, you must be in the know of what makes other article marketers fail and devise of ways to avoid it.Failure in article marketing is not new. Many have tried and many were beat. Where did they go wrong? Perhaps, they had the wrong audiences targeted. Maybe they didn’t make articles that were good enough. There are a lot of reasons. However, when businesses fail in Article Marketing, several crucial factors can be pinpointed.The greatest evil in Article Marketing is plagiarism. The issue has long been addressed but hasn’t been avoided as well as it should have been. Let it be known that plagiarism is illegal worldwide and several technologies have been created to quickly identify plagiarized work. Subsequently, if your article is found to be plagiarized, search engines would give you a low rank, hence traffic to your site will be minimized. To some extent, your articles and other entries may be deleted and you will not benefit as much from your endeavor, or worse, not benefit at all.There are surefire ways to avoid plagiarism. If you want to write an article about a certain topic, you start of by researching for common contents. The most favored site for research is of course, through the Internet. Once you have found the articles you want to use, instead of copying and pasting them on your empty document right away, take time to read the article first. Make sure you understand what the articles say, highlight point s you agree with and want to address in your own article. You may also want to bullet or summarize the article you have read. In this way, it is ensured that you won’t have a plagiarized product. The next step would be to write in your own words, what you have understood from the research you’ve done. Do incorporate the important facts you’ve discovered in the articles that you’ve read but make sure that they are still written in your own words.In Article Marketing, originality may just very well lead you to success. This is because search engines that analyze your work and find no discrepancies with regards to plagiarism or duplication then the rank they will give you would be higher. What is the advantage of a higher rank? Not only will it generate traffic, it would also lower the cost of the pay-per-click of your article or website.Another factor that usually leads to failure in the domain of Article Marketing is the failure to write enough articles of interest. Many of those who start out in Article Marketing usually begin with just a few articles and think that that is it. But it is not it, because a few articles would not accomplish a name or even a reputation for your business. You have to write as many articles as you can. Though tiring, it is very well worth it.The job of having to write articles may be made easy by writing topics of your own interest. Choose products to advertise whose interests are similar to your own and who you know so much about. The greater the interest and the greater the body of knowledge you hold for one particular topic, and then there will be no limit to what you can write.Failure of your articles to be exposed would also result to the failure of your business. If you do not expose your articles to as many consumers as possible, your bank account would not change a cent. The lesser consumers you have, the lesser your rank will be and you will be lost [...]

Article Marketing - A Powerful Tool

Tue, 09 Mar 2010 03:57:00 +0000

Article marketing has many benefits which may include establishing yourself as an Author, lead generation, more traffic to your web site, improved search engine position and is becoming a necessary tool for doing business on the World Wide Web. Article marketing has become a proven strategy for raising your link popularity. It can also be a cheap way to compete with larger companies in your field.

It's best to write on topics that are closely related to your business type, while making sure that the article provides good content for the reader, no one wants to read a sales page. Every article that you write will need a resource box section that will contain your sales info including an (anchor text) link or two pointing to your Web site. You could have a terrific product and a wonderful sales strategy, but without the targeted traffic your online business could be going no-where.

You can take advantage of a ton of free article submission sites on the internet, where you can submit your articles for free, some also offer software and services to help in the process. Once approved, the sites will make your articles available for distribution and publication to ezines, webmasters etc... Now there is no more need to beg for reciprocal link exchanges, pay for text links, or spend hours posting free ads to link farms that no one will read anyway. Articles, written yourself, are becoming the fastest and cheapest way to see results from your efforts.

When done properly, article marketing can be a very powerful tool to drive loads of targeted traffic to your web site. Whether your business is brand new or you have been in business for a while, you can gain new customers from marketing your own articles. To be the most effective, article marketing should just be part of a larger, more comprehensive SEO strategy. Remember, the goal of successful marketing is increased business and most importantly profit and this can be achieved with the help of article marketing.

Dream About A Marathon

Fri, 05 Mar 2010 16:19:00 +0000

A marathon is the ultimate dream for many runners. People who have been running for years and some that have never run a day in their life love the idea of finishing a marathon. There seems to be something magical about the concept of a marathon, almost as if it seems super-human to compete in one or even to complete one.

Have you been pondering the idea of running a marathon for fun or for competition? If so, you must know that it takes months of hard and consistent preparation before the dream can become a reality because a marathon is no walk in the park.

One of the best strategies for making the dream of a marathon possible for you is to find a partner. Talk to your friends and find someone who is willing to begin the journey of marathon training with you. Figure out a way to mesh your schedules so that you can train together, at least on your long runs. You've heard it said that 'no man is an island,' and that concept it certainly true when it comes to preparing for your first marathon. Most people last a few weeks at best when they have no one to train with and no one to hold them accountable as the training schedule becomes more intense.

Once you've found the perfect marathon partner you should also take time to research the best training schedule for your time, needs and running goals. Getting on a specific schedule for marathon training will prevent you from overworking yourself or underworking yourself. It is no easy thing to get your body in shape for a twenty-six mile run, so make it a priority to find a schedule and then stick to it.

Talk to your physician about your dream of running a marathon. It is never a bad idea to check with a healthcare professional for any warnings or advice. See if your physician has any suggestions for ways to supplement your training with adjustments to your eating or sleeping habits. Proper eating and sleeping will only benefit the physical training you do to prepare for the marathon.

Running a marathon is something that many people dream about but far fewer people actually accomplish it. With some careful planning and a lot of dedication you can be one of the few that makes the dream of running a marathon a reality.

Running Indoors has its advantages

Thu, 04 Mar 2010 04:38:00 +0000

Treadmills have many advantages over real running and walking. Sure, you don’t get to go outdoors in the nature, but you can also avoid bad weather and all the other hazards that come with going out of your house, such as cars and passers-by. It’s much more relaxing to not have to keep your mind and one eye on the potential problems, and just concentrate on your running.

Apart from that, though, there are many more serious benefits. The ground remains at the same level for the whole run, which avoids you having to constantly adjust the way you’re running – you can build up a pace and then keep going. Also, the run is always at the speed you’re most comfortable with, and you can change it whenever you like. If you do want to run uphill, though, you can simulate that too, by adjusting the gradient of the machine.

Another advantage is in all the statistics you can collect about your running: because the machine is setting the pace of the run, it can calculate all sorts of things automatically, such as the amount of energy (calories) you have burned. You can also hook yourself to various monitors – heart rate monitors, breathing monitors, and so on – to check all the different aspects of your health when you run.

One of the best things about running indoors is that you don’t have to be bored while you’re doing it – you can watch TV or read a book while you’re using it. Even though it can be quite relaxing, though, treadmills are still a more effective form of exercise than some complex cardiovascular exercises. Faced with a choice between getting into all sorts of strange positions and contorting my body into odd shapes or just running on a treadmill, I know which one I’d choose.

Choosing the Right Running Shoe

Thu, 04 Mar 2010 04:37:00 +0000

Purchasing anything new can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very frustrating. Purchasing a pair of Running shoes is no different, and do the nature of our bodies I wouldn’t recommend rushing into a pair of shoes just because they are cheap or convenient.

No two people have exactly the same foot; however manufactures have divided shoes into three different categories: Cushioning, Stability, and Motion Control. Within these three categories their can be a lot of variation, but it is a good base guide to start with.

Cushioning - Cushioning shoes are shoes that have little to no lateral support. These shoes are good for runners who do not need this support, and have neutral feet. Generally this type of shoe will be for the runner with a high arch. Instances where this type of shoe is not right is in a case where you are a pronator or an overpronator.

Stability - Stability shoes are a mid range shoe category which offer a balance between cushioning and motion control. This shoe is for a runner who has a normal arch, lands on the outside of the foot and rolls forward. If you are unsure of where else to be this category is a good place to start.

Motion Control - The motion control category is for runners who really need support in a running shoe. Extreme pronators and overpronators can take advantage of a Motion control shoe, as well as a runner with weak ankles and other foot problems that would benefit from a shoe with a lot of stability.

Of course with only three categories like I mentioned above, there is a lot of room for variation. This is only meant to be used as a quick guide for things to look for in running shoes. I would recommend visiting a running store and having an employee look at your feet to give you a good idea of what category your feet fit in. If you have serious foot complications like extreme pronation, fallen arches, etc I would recommend visiting a foot doctor, as running shoes by themselves might not be enough. You could require orthotics, or even just simple strengthening exercises to get and keep you on your feet.

Benefits of a good training journal

Thu, 04 Mar 2010 04:36:00 +0000

Most of us have trained at one part in our lives. Chances are if you’ve ever taken your training seriously you’ve used a training journal or a training log.

The main difference between training journals and training logs, is what you document in them after each workout or day, etc. Training journals are just that. They are more of a journal rather than a log. They will normally include things like mental health and how you felt during the day or your workout. They can reach a bit into some statistical information but this is normally saved for a training log.

Training logs are generally created of off some kind of a template. For example. Everyday you fill out a form that has the same fields. Things like current weight, daily workout, diet information, are all things that can be put in a training Log on a day to day basis.

I wouldn’t recommend going all one route or all the other, both journaling and logging are important to keep an effective history of your past. I’ve found out through experience and that for convenience sake it’s nice to have two combined together in some way. This way it’s always easy to remember to do both.

Benefits of recording your training
The number one benefit of recoding your training is to have a detailed history to look back on. This can be very useful in times of planning. For example to figure out what has worked for you and what hasn’t. It’s very useful for figuring out reasons for injuries or for times of burnout.

Have you ever sat down and tried to plan out training with nothing to work with? If you have something to look back upon a detailed account of what you’ve done over the past few weeks it’s easy to plan ahead, and to effectively increase your workout intensity, etc to improve for the future.

A detailed journal is also really nice to have just for personal use, and to be able to look back on past months and years, to remember different accounts.

Feel free to reprint this article as long as you keep the following caption and author biography in tact with all hyperlinks.

La Flèche Wallonne Results

Thu, 04 Mar 2010 04:35:00 +0000

The Spaniard rider for the Caisse d'Epargne team: Alejandro Valverde has won La Flèche Wallonne. At the end of the race at Le Mur de Huy, Valverde left behind his compatriot from the Euskaltel-Euskadi team Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez who finished second. Karsten Kroon and his teammate Frank Schleck from the Team CSC finished third and fourth. T- Mobile’s rider Patrik Sinkewitz ended the run in the fifth place.

Two riders left the group early in the cycling race: Frédéric Finot from Française des Jeux and Ag2R's José Luis Arrieta but around 80 Km to go the pack reached them. Conditions for the race were fine but the hard wind didn’t let some of the riders get ahead from the group.

The next important gap took place when Phonak’s Alexandre Moss and Rabobank’s Oscar Freire gained some distance from the other riders when they were at 63 Km from the end but they got caught by a group of almost 30 competitors on the penultimate climb of the day: Côte de Ahin with 12 km to go.

The circuit consisted of 202 Km from Charleroi to Huy and at the end, riders climb the Mur de Huy. The Flèche Wallonne is traditionally one of the most open of the spring classics, where as 2005 champion Danilo Di Luca says: “you need the power to explode in that grueling final ascent to the finish.”

The group of riders climbs the Huy three times during the race, including the summit finish. While stragglers have time to rejoin the leaders after the first two ascents, it is power what it takes at the end and that’s what Valverde proved when winning the race.