Wednesday, July 1, 2009

MUST HAVE PHONE #'s TO PUT IN YOUR CELL!



Got a cell phone? Then consider putting these must-have phone numbers on speed dial. I found these thanks to Rodale Publishing.


Put your family on ICE. That stands for ‘In Case of Emergency.’ Paramedics recommend programming ANY emergency contact in your cell phone after the word ICE, as in “ICE-wife” or “ICE-dad.” The idea is that if you get into an accident, police can use your phone to quickly notify someone.


Another must-have number to put on speed dial is: 1-800-GOOG-411. That’s 466-4411. It’s a Google service that lets you request information just as you would on a web browser. Ask for ‘Italian Restaurants,’ and you’ll get a list of spaghetti and meatball joints within the area code you’re calling from! The best part is that Google won’t charge you – unlike some other 411 services.


The next number to program on speed dial is: 866-411-SONG. Ever been driving around, and you hear a song on the radio that you’re dying to know the name of? Call this number, and hold your phone up to the speaker for 15 seconds. The service will I.D. any song within it’s database of 2-and-a-half MILLION tunes. Then you’ll be sent a text message listing the title and artist. It’ll even give you an option to download the song onto your phone!


Next, if you’re always trying to hail a cab, then program this number on speed dial: 800-TAXI-CAB. This is a free referral service that connects you with the closest taxi company within any metro area in North America. They’ll also hook you up with a shuttle service if you’re stranded at the airport.


If you’re traveling overseas, you must have this number on speed dial: 800-752-6096. That’s a language service that will connect you to one of 170 different translators. Want to know what “la personne la plus futée dans le chambre” means? Then get a French translator on the phone to tell you it means you’re the smartest person in the room! Beware, they’ll charge you $3.95 per minute for that privilege.

WHOSE THE GREENEST OF THEM ALL?

Although the EPA has not established official criteria for ranking the greenness of a city, there are several key areas to measure for effectiveness in carbon footprint reduction. These include air and water quality, efficient recycling and management of waste, percentage of LEED-certified buildings, acres of land devoted to greenspace, use of renewable energy sources, and easy access to products and services that make green lifestyle choices (organic products, buying local, clean transportation methods) easy.
Mother Nature Network's editorial team rounded up their top 10:

10. Austin, Texas
Carbon neutral by 2020 - it's an ambitious goal, but according to the U.S. Department of Energy, Austin Energy is the nation's largest provider of renewable energy, which makes its goal to power the city solely on renewable energy within reach. As the gateway to the scenic Texas Hill Country, acreage in Austin that's devoted to green space includes 206 parks, 12 preserves, 26 greenbelts and more than 50 miles of trails.
9. Chicago
The Windy City has embraced land sustainability far longer than you may think. In 1909, pioneering city planner Daniel Hudson Burnham created a long-range plan for the lakefront that balanced urban growth, and created a permanent greenbelt around the metropolitan area. This greening of the city continues through the Chicago Green Roof Program. More than 2.5 million square feet of city roofs support plant life - including Willis Tower (formerly called Sears Tower) and the city hall building. Also, about 500,000 new trees have been planted.
8. Seattle
The unofficial coffee klatch capital of the country is also sustainable-living savvy. More than 20 public buildings in Seattle are LEED-certified or under construction for LEED certification. Through an incentive program, residents are encouraged to install solar panels on their homes for energy conservation. Sustainable Ballard, a green neighborhood group and sustainability festival host, offers ongoing workshops about how to live in harmony with the environment.
7. Berkeley, Calif.
A great place to find an abundance of organic and vegetarian restaurants is also on the cutting edge of sustainability. Berkeley is recognized as a leader in the incubation of clean technology for wind power, solar power, biofuels and hydropower.
6. Cambridge, Mass.
In 2008, Prevention Magazine named Cambridge "the best walking city." Thoreau's Walden Pond can be found in nearby Concord, and education powerhouses Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are located here. In 2002, city officials implemented a major climate protection plan and today most city vehicles are fueled by B20 biodiesel or electricity. All new construction or major renovations must meet LEED standards. And a project called "Compost that Stuff" collects and processes organic waste from residents, restaurants, bars and hotels.
5. Eugene, Ore.
Known as the Emerald City for its natural green beauty, this baby boomer haven and second largest city in the state has been doing the "green" thing since the 1960s. In 2008, after only one year of service, the Emerald Express, a hybrid public transit system, won a Sustainable Transport award. Cycling is the preferred mode of transportation, made possible by the 30 miles of off-street bike paths and 29 dedicated bike routes, which total a whopping 150 miles of smog-free travel throughout the metro area.
4. Oakland, Calif.
Residents of this port city have access to an abundance of fresh, organic food, much of which is locally sourced. It's also home to the nation's cleanest tap water, hydrogen-powered public transit and the country's oldest wildlife refuge. Oakland also plans to have zero waste and be oil-independent by 2020, and already gets 17 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
3. Boston
It's hard to think of this city without also thinking of tea - as a commodity, not a drink. Boston ranks high among the urban green elite. Sustainability efforts include a "Green by 2015" goal to replace traditional taxi cabs with hybrid vehicles, recycle trash to power homes, use more solar panels and use more electric motorbikes for transportation. The city's first annual Down2Earth conference was held in 2008. It's designed to educate residents about how to live the most sustainable lifestyle.
2. San Francisco
Declared by Mayor Gavin Newsom to be America's solar energy leader, this vibrant city of cultural tolerance was a 1960s icon and epicenter for the Summer of Love. But in addition to peace, love and solar power, there's also an innovative recycling program with an artist-in-residence at the recycling facility. The artist uses his work to inspire residents to recycle and conserve. San Francisco is also the first U.S. city to ban plastic grocery bags, a concept that supports its effort to divert 75 percent of landfill waste by 2010.

THE WINNER!

1. Portland, Ore.
The city of microbrewery mania and home to megastore Powell's Books - one of the few remaining independent booksellers in the country - is No. 1 in sustainability. Declared the most bikeable city in the United States for its 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes, Portland certainly makes forgoing gas-powered travel easy. And for lessons in DIY sustainable food sources, classes are available for container gardening and cheese making, or beekeeping and chicken-keeping.

4 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR SELF-ESTEEM!


If you've recently been dumped or fired, then your self-esteem probably took a serious hit. Self-worth is a fragile thing, but repairing it can be easier than you think. Here are four ways to boost your self-esteem . . .

#1.) DO A GOOD DEED. It can be something big like helping a friend move, or something small like giving directions to someone who looks lost. The more you help out, the more helpful you'll feel.

#2.) MAKE A RESOLUTION . . . AND KEEP IT. If you resolve to clean out the bedroom closet, you'll get organized . . . which will boost your self-esteem . . . AND you'll get a boost just from making a commitment and sticking to it.
But make sure you resolve to do something that's realistic. If you end up starting something you can't finish, it won't do your self-esteem ANY good.

#3.) BECOME AN EXPERT. Pick something you're interested in . . . it can literally be ANYTHING . . . then dig in. Whether you read up on cooking, Photoshop, or the American Revolution, becoming an "expert" on something will really boost your ego.

#4.) GET PHYSICAL. It's not for everyone, but some people get a real boost in self-esteem by doing things that are physically challenging . . . like training for a 10K or going white-water rafting. If you're less daring, try a bike ride or a brisk walk instead.


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