The Best Practices For Photoshop CS6

There are several graphical software presently in existence. Adobe Photoshop CS6 is however, arguably the best among them, as it comes with a lot of features that make it interesting for both experts and beginners alike. Experts and beginners have access to a lot of tools they can utilize to carry out their photo-editing and graphical tasks on Adobe Photoshop CS6 compared to other graphical software. Here are some best practices on Adobe Photoshop, which at least one or more is lacking in other graphics software.


Simple Naming And Colored Conventions For Changed States

When you are working with a PSD with many states (for example, hover or active state of a button), you can use a convention that can be understood easily to indicate it so that you can quickly remember. You can change the name of the active state of a red button to “ACTIVE red button”. Adobe Photoshop CS6 also allows you to use different color labels for different groups and layers of specific objects. For instance, you could use green labels for hover states and blue labels for active states.

Utilization Of Groups

The most efficient way of organizing your PSD is to group the layers. Elements at the higher level such as footer groups, section groups and header groups, or elements group that are related such as graphical, elements, banner or buttons. When you group your elements in this way, it becomes convenient and easy to move around your PSD. Another advantage of utilizing groups is that Adobe Photoshop CS6 allows you to carry out clipping of masks and adding layer styles to a group.

Naming Every Object

If you are familiar with all the enhancements in the Adobe Photoshop CS6, you should have noticed that a new feature has been added which gives you the ability to search for layers. With this important new feature, you can name all your layers and easily locate them by searching for them. This best practice would make it easier to work on the different layers in your work, without getting confused or finding it difficult to locate a particular layer.


Using Ordering Groups And Hierarchical Orders

You should endeavor to group your layers in a particular hierarchy. This allows you to easily trace your layers. The 2 hierarchical orders you could choose from include “top to bottom” or “bottom to top” hierarchical orders. You would get to see the importance of this when you have a page with a header, footer and 4 body sections. It would not be in the best practice to put your header in between your footer and body sections or at the bottom, or leave your footer at the top or middle of the hierarchy. The correct hierarchical order should be header, the 4 body sections in the order they appeared on the web page and then the footer. This will make it easy for you or any other person who would have to work on the PSD or view it to move through your file.

Grouping Related Layers Together

One frustrating experience that always occurs when working with graphical software is trying to find and salvage layers that are scattered. To prevent this, you can ensure that related layers are close together when you are working on your PSD. If you are not mindful of it, you could easily allow one or more layer to separate from other layers that are related to it. You should thus ensure that while working and after every working session, you trace all your layers and ensure that layers that are related to each other are close together.

Using A Vector To Rule Or Mask Every Object

There are times when you want to apply specific effects or edit more than one element at the same time on your PSD. Adobe Photoshop allows you to achieve this by using one vector mask on the several objects. It is even possible to use a big vector mask on all the elements in your PSD, making it possible for you to edit all the objects at once. The challenge you can sometimes encounter while doing this however, is moving around layers with different shape. You can overcome this challenge by right clicking on a particular part to get a drop down menu. Proper planning can help you avoid difficulties with vector masks that are too big.

Using Smart Objects

There are cases where you decide to maintain the actual object’s EPS. There are also other cases where you want to merge several instances of an element so that it is simpler for you to edit them on a .PSB format. You can achieve this by using the smart objects. You should thus look out for places where smart object would enhance your workflow and apply them appropriately.

Clipping Masks

If you are working on graphics or images in a placeholder that is located inside a particular section or shape, clipping masks could come in handy in this situation. Instead of transferring and editing vector and layer masks, clipping masks allow you to put any graphic or image into any particular space of pixel. In addition, you can identify them easily, easily edit them in a flexible manner and always ensure your elements in layers that are related, are always close to each other.

Quick Style And Color Editing

One action you will need to carry out regularly, while working on your PSD, is to change the style or color of an element in your design. You can make it easier to do this by using clipping masks, layer style effects with color overlay and shape layers to conveniently and easily edit your job. Furthermore, you can use grey colored gradients to pick the type of gradient effects you want to apply to the object as opposed to using the actual colored gradient.

Locking Of Elements You Do Not Want To Change

Perhaps, you might have been in a position where you, either through a sudden inspiration or masterfully, achieve a particular design on a particular element of your work. You know at that moment, that the element’s current look is perfect for your work and you are scared you could mistakenly change it, so you created a copy. After you invested several more hours of work on the file, you feel you have completed the job and in the process of deleting the old and redundant file, you deleted the new one instead. You were now forced to rework on the old file and probably was not able to replicate the quality of your initial final work you deleted in addition to the extra hours and stress. You could however save yourself from this condition, by locking elements you are already comfortable with instead of creating redundant and confusing copies of your work. Once the elements are locked, you would not be able to change them mistakenly. It is however worthy of note that you can easily unlock such elements if you want to and re-lock them. You thus have a high range of flexibility and best practices on Adobe Photoshop CS6.


Confirming If A Layer Is Empty Or Not

Layers with a high percentage of transparency can be difficult to select. Sometimes, you might be tempted to think such layers are empty. You can however check if a layer is empty or not by using the ‘Ctrl + T’ command. This will help you to make decisions such as deleting such layers if they are really empty or not.

Selecting Multi-Layer Selection

There are cases whereby it gets difficult for you to active and select a specific group or layer. You can use the multi-layer select capability of Adobe CS6 to easily select these elements, groups or layer.


When you want to use backgrounds that are styled on a web page, there is the probability of the background being full bleed on some screen resolutions while it will not be full bleed on other screen resolutions. You can thus decide to make your styled background to change into solid colors, so that solid colors display on screen resolutions that are not compatible with your styled background. You should also ensure your background is seamless and tileable if you are using a textured background. You can also use images for your background, which you should set as full bleed so that it can easily adjust on different monitor resolutions.


A best practice you should apply on Adobe Photoshop CS6 is to ensure that you save your file with file names that are descriptive of the name. You should name the about us page of IJK company as IJK_about_us. Furthermore, if you have different copies of the file, you could save successive versions as IJK_about_us_1, IJK_about_us_2, IJK_about_us_3 and so on. This will make it easier to trace the most recent version of the file or go back to a particular version. When you also want to delete redundant files, it will be easier to know what versions to delete and what versions to leave.


Leave the Treadmill Turned Off for a Better Interval Workout

Getting in shape these days seems to be a challenge for some of us, and with some pressure from the environment, like jogging under the scorching heat of the sun makes exercising more of a bother than a benefit, that’s why we turn to alternatives like jogging indoors with the help of treadmills. But is exercising with treadmills enough to give us better workout intervals? We normally do our exercise of sprint intervals on a moving treadmill by switching between break and running at its fastest mode, but undertake this complex twist: put down the treadmill and switch it off, and use your own two legs to muscle the belt for a unbelievable sprint workout Interval.


This method is called “deadmill sprints”, this is a praiseworthy workout challenge since you have to counteract the drag of a motionless treadmill belt from a full stop (for teaching me this, shout out goes to the Vice President of Marketing, Kandace Hudspeth at


To start, be sure that the treadmill is off and rest both hands on the handle or in the bar in front of you. You don’t need a death grip—you just want to maintain your arms and shoulders free yet have a little something to support against. Using the handle for support, press on and start moving your toes as if you’re running while pushing an imaginary object. It’ll take some effort to get the belt moving, but once actually do the actual challenge is in keeping it moving while keeping decent speed.


Bu you’ll almost immediately understand why you can’t maintain this up for very long, but don’t you worry this is just normal. Like high-intensity interval training, the method is to outline your work-to-rest ratio and stick with it. High intensity interval training (or HIIT, for short) sounds easy enough: the process includes go as tough as you can for a little period, relax, repeat, and collect the benefits. HIIT is great, for sure, with the exception of what most people consider HIIT isn’t really HIIT. Your maximum effort makes all the difference. Your old Buddy Zeal Howen here did this a few days ago, and all I can say is that doing this exercise 4-5 times is more than enough to keep you in shape! Thanks to a video by Fitness Mentality, I was able to learn how to do the exercise correctly.


There are a small number of different kinds of interval training, which is the more all-purpose term to describe stages of intense, close-to anaerobic movement interspersed with break periods. HIIT is one kind, and the others consist of fartlek and Tabata. However not all interval exercise is HIIT. A chief trainer at Melbourne Strength & Conditioning, Will Levy, said to me in a little interview about interval workouts:


“Where countless people tend to botch HIIT is by pursuing cardiovascular fatigue. The main distinction is that HIIT is actually focused on increasing maximal effort—power, pace, power—properties, while other more “in-between” structure of training are intended to develop cardiovascular conditioning.”


So with this we can conclude that there are two places where people went wrong with HIIT exercise:


According to Will, They don’t go tough enough: naturally, a large amount people may try going “hard” for a moment and then relieve up by going slower to keenly rest. That’s in fact a form of fartlek exercise. True HIIT is painful. It needs your, lay-it-all-out maximal effort and nothing-held-back on a bike or run for on average 6 to 15 seconds. Will adds that now and again as diminutive as 3 to 4 seconds are sufficient, and by 20 seconds would be the threshold since it’s not likely anyone—even a world-class athlete—can maintain true 100% force any longer than that.


Finally, they don’t really rest during the break periods: Will also notes that slow down during HIIT is not just going slower, or easier, but actual rest and cool down.



Kodi Gets a Brand New Default Skin That You Can Try Out Now

A free and open source software media center that can be used for playing and organizing your videos, music, pictures and games such as Kodi serves as a great alternative to the widely known Netflix with its own pricing system. Apps like these can enhance your home theater experience in various ways; one of which through its interactive interface with a skin that makes viewing convenient.


Kodi’s last skin was the Confluence, which appeared from 21 November 2009 when Kodi was still known as Xbox Media Center or XBMC. The Confluence skin has helped to create a fresh and convenient Kodi viewing experience as a default, where the majority of people do not even bother to switch to Kodi’s other available skins. During its time of service from 2009 until 2016, the Confluence skins only received minor tweaks and updates here and there, where the most significant change that viewers would definitely have noticed was the change from a vertical menu to a horizontal main menu.

The year of 2016 seems to be a major milestone for Kodi’s history mentioning that two skins called Estuary and Estouchy were announced after many months of Kodi team’s hard work and effort in its creation. To learn more about these two skins, here are some explanations about the Estuary and Estouchy skins as provided by the Kodi team:

The Estuary Skin

The Estuary skin’s major eye catcher would be a whole new completely different home screen which you can use to go through all the available main sections in your library. Not only that, some powerful widgets like the recently added, in progress as well as random tabs for movies and TV shows are also incorporated into this Estuary skin. Once you enter into your library, you will immediately notice that even the viewing interface has also undergone some major change. The new library design in the Estuary skin is designed to be more functional while balancing information as well as images. The overall themes and colors in the Estuary skin also emphasize the change a bit more. Despite the fact that it is hardly a new feature, but in the latest Estuary skin once you have selected a certain theme, you will still be able to change certain highlights through changing the color option that is provided below the theme settings.

The Estouchy Skin

The Estouchy skin, just like the name suggests, is really a touch friendly skin that provides a nice appearance even in small screen touch gadgets. Even though some of the features that are available in the Estuary skin are not made available in the Estouchy skin, this skin provides a simple and convenient touching experience in a small size, hence eliminating complicated and huge sized features that would not fit in such a small given area. Different from the Estuary skin that is designed for the 10 foot media center experience, Estouchy will mainly cater people who are keen on watching movies with their touchscreen gadgets. Even though most people will still use the Estuary skin, the Estouchy skin will definitely keep a lot of people who are watching movies from their phones happy and content.


What’s Your Favorite Budget Action Cam?

Action cams made a huge hit in the world of Instagram and perhaps Snapchat because of its ability of being able to capture real life candid moments instead of the traditional posey photo session. It can also record a wide array of adventure and sports videos, since these cameras can be strapped to a bike, the car dashboard, helmet (for riding motorcycle) and any moving objects.


When it comes to determining the best budget action camera, there is no doubt that the market still favors heavily towards GoPro with an overall revenue of more than 400 million US Dollars in the second quarter of 2015, proving its prominence and domination especially in the Asian market for the most hype and trendy action camera of 2015 and still in 2016. However, a large group of people is also mentioning how the price of a GoPro camera is deemed too high and expensive, making it less appealing for the lower medium class. Understanding the market demands of these groups, cheaper alternatives to GoPro with pretty much the same quality are being produced and here is the list of some of them:

Xiaomi YiCamera

Chinese gadget producer Xiaomi had shown a pretty tight competition since it successfully provided a really similar alternative to GoPro with only half the price that you would need to pay when you buy a GoPro camera. The Xiaomi YiCamera quickly rose to popularity with its many features. It allows a slow-motion video with 60 frames per second with the quality of 1080p HD, which is pretty smooth when it comes to producing a slow-motion action video. Weighing only around 72 grams (lighter than the GoPro Hero cameras), it allows storing up to 64 GB of memory space with no further requiring of adding up any accessories even a microSD card. Allowing 155 degree viewing angle, one of the drawbacks of Xiaomi YiCamera is said to be the lack of stabilization whenever movement is fast or extreme. However, at only around 63 dollars, Xiaomi YiCamera will suffice for a 3 day trip to the beach with your friends and loved ones.


Despite the fact that HTC smartphones are not really popular right now, the Taiwanese company HTC tries to provide a cheaper alternative for the market’s action camera demand by its HTC Re camera. Weighing only 66 grams (even lighter than the Xiaomi YiCamera), it is a small, compact and simple point-and-shoot camera that is straightforward and convenient. It provides slow motion video in the 720p quality although it provides a full 1080p video quality for regular videos, but it is superb when it comes to portability. Further supported with its periscope-like shape, it is easily gripped with one hand which allows use even when riding a bike and hence, it provides good image stabilization. Now sold at around 80 dollars, it allows storage of up to 128 GB with the use of a microSD card and you will initially get an 8 GB microSD card with the package.

Polaroid XS100 HD

Not really a budget action cam per se since it is sold at around 129 US Dollars each, but the Polaroid XS100 HD serves as a decent alternative to GoPro due to its high definition recording and out-of-case waterproof features. A solid 170 degree view (the widest that you can get in an action cam), it enables slow-motion video recording at 720p HD although offering 1080p HD at full. It can store up to 32 GB, although it can be a little bit heavy since its total weight is 136 grams where other competitors weigh less than 75 grams.




2016 Predictions: Insights From Small Business Experts

“The future is sure enough a dark and scary place”, while this notion is true for some business entrepreneurs because none of us actually knows what the future holds and what lies ahead this 2016. But of course we all hope we did. Gaining some insight into what lies ahead would be a big help for us to plan, manage and strategize with additional confidence without heed for what’s to come.


Well that’s not to speak; we don’t need to start 2016 sightless. Zeal Howen here, To well again plan you for what’s to come, I requested a variety of the most well-informed business professionals and leaders I know to share with you their 2016 predictions in the different fields of commerce.

2016 Predictions:

Data Analytics

Arijit Sengupta, CEO, BeyondCore

According to Sengupta a full-size data and business aptitude/analytics have turn out to be the newest topics in small business companies, raising as yet an added great equalizer that can rank the playing field amidst the giants and the rising entrepreneurs. Credits to the ever-widening admission to incredibly dominant, yet simple to use, equipment, even the nominal businesses can influence advanced analytics to improve their sales and advertising with laser-like accuracy, optimize record and allocation, and develop a overall operations in traditions they never dreamed feasible.


Director for Entrepreneurship Education, Jack Bienko, Small Business Administration (SBA)

Entrepreneurs hold on to guide us towards a “smaller world” where modernization is directly related to consumer benefits and communal gains. This continues to encourage me as we address grave issues and seek to influence solutions from all other sectors.


Director for Entrepreneurship Education, Jack Bienko, Small Business Administration (SBA)

The “Mobile everything trend” keeps on growing—mobile device custom and associated tools, mobile labor force to employ and entrée new talent, mobile perks that reach patrons with dedicated services, mobile advertising to presents direct localized transactions, mobile education at hand engaging in content to an enormous market of lifelong learners—did I mention “mobile” yet?


CEO and cofounder, Jared Hecht, Fundera

According to him, 2016 is going to be concerning in small business loans transforming into a consumers market. With countless online lenders out there, and new information than always, small industry owners will have extra power to shop for improved rates and have a genuine understanding of what’s accessible to them.


Head of U.S. Communications, Hunter Hoffmann, Hiscox

An advice, Recharge and relax: Just for the reason that you’re in charge of a company doesn’t signify you can’t include work/life equilibrium, too. Hiscox establish that 20 percent of U.S. diminutive business holders presently take zero rest days. Take an instant away from the workplace to reduce stress so that you can be a constant and enhanced boss and work wiser, and not harder, when you come back.


Vice President of Worldwide SMB, David Smith, Microsoft

The Personal assistants will be more personal: As what Lili Cheng talked about in the previous predictions blog, in 2016 our discussions will increasingly be arbitrated by conversation assistants who will assist us to be more industrious. For SMBs, in this way tools like Cortana, accessible on all Windows 10-enabled plans, will carry on to become more prophetic in bringing noteworthy productivity settlement to business proprietor.


Small Business Expert, Cindy Yang, NerdWallet

For example the present growth pace of women-owned company carry on, more women will turn into small business owners, 43 percent of little businesses will be managed by women in 2016 and on 50 percent by the time it hits 2020. That’s up as of 36 percent in the year 2012. Rising industries for women entrepreneurs consist of agriculture, forestry and fishing; lodging and food delivery services; and development.


Vice President Marketing, Yaniv Masjedi, Nextiva

Undersized business proprietors will grow to be even more hooked-up in employee commitment issues in 2016. The job marketplace is very lively at this moment, which means every manager wishes to make a case for why top passers ought to decide to work at his or her company. Successful employee appointment is the key to maintenance, and I believe that we will see improved interest in this sphere next year.


What Actually Happens When You Sign Up for One of Those “Work from Home” Scams

Who doesn’t want to be making money while lounging around in front of the TV? Possibly everyone will be enthused by the sole possibility that they can make some money while staying in their pajamas. However, just like everything that seems to be too good to be true, a lot of very delicious sounding “work from home” scheme which promises thousands and thousands of dollars of income may very well be a scam.


How do these pretentious scam happen is further categorized to different types of scams, which include:

Data Entry

Regardless of the fact that there are a lot of data entry job offers that are legitimate, there are also people who pretend to be employers which offer data entry jobs which at the end of the day they will leech on their “employees” for thousands of dollars. The first thing that a data entry scammer does would be posting a job opportunity offer for work-from-home data processors. They will then arrange an interview and then proceed to formalize the job offer.

The fraud does not come until later, where the “employees” are told to pay for a specific software to work on their system. They cannot find it anywhere else because the company is the one who produce it, and as a result they will have no other options than buying it. Since the “employees” are still on cloud nine due to their very recent employed status, they will buy the software almost immediately. Once the payment has been completed, they will found out that there is no data entry job from the first place and this is only a fraud.

Forwarding Services

A lot of scam job offers include forwarding various things to the scammer, which amongst other things include money, packages and emails. In money forwarding scam such as the famous Nigerian 419 scam, a message will arrive in your e-mail or perhaps mailbox letting you know that some very rich foreigner is looking for someone to deposit millions of their wealth for safe-keeping while they are dealing with various conditions in their home country.

This may sound harmless especially when someone is sending you a lot of money for you to keep, but there is a catch to this. You will be required to pay for a certain deposit in order to be able to “release” it or to “have a stake” in it, and even worse your billionaire foreign friend will ask you to transfer additional funds to help them get out from whatever situation they are claiming to be in.

Setting Up A Business

Another type of working from home scam includes a “help” for starting your own business. You are promised to be able to get a lot of money by selling things on the Internet without having to take a shower or do your hair. Once you respond to it there’s going to be regular formalities which you will need to do, such as giving them your name and contact number. Once you give it to them, there is someone from the “company” who is going to ask you relevant questions such as how much time that you are going to invest into the business or what assets that you have right now which you will need to protect, and afterwards slew in a forceful tone saying that you need to let them know about your credit card number and its expiration date as well as the CVV number or else you will be in a huge trouble.

The “company” may also offer to give you assistance with all the things that you may need. Whether it is a website, the basic knowledge on running a business, all the legal paperwork as well as accounting, they can do it for you for a “small” sum of money. It is also possible that they will brainwash you into thinking that you will not survive with all these things that are required for your business, and you will need it right here right now immediately. Nevertheless, once you pay they will deliver nothing that has been promised, and even worse they can even extract your credit card number.



Quickly Clean Snow Off Your Car By Putting a Tarp Down Before the Storm


Nobody wants to dig out their car after a long storm. Thus, if you are the kind of person whose house is located in an area which normally experiences snow storm, what you need to do in order to avoid all those digging is to start putting a car cover or tarpaulin over your car before the snow storm begins. When the storm stops, you can just easily pull the tarp or car cover off your car and have a ride snow-free and clean. You should also need to remember to place a waterproof tarp or car cover so that the snow will not enter or pass through the tarp. If your tarpaulin or car cover is wide enough that it reaches the ground, you can weigh it down by using or placing some rocks or you can just tie it. It is also important that you can have access on the anchors you have made after the snow storm. Things will even be harder if you don’t have any idea where you have anchored your tarp or car cover.


Once the snow storm is over and you are planning to use your car, you just have to pull the tarp or car cover slowly so that you will not create a mess or scatter all those snow around your place. Bear in mind to remove or shake the tarp or car cover in places where it will not block the drive way or any area of your neighbor. Aside from placing tarpaulins or car covers, here are some of the ways which you can use to quickly clean the snow off your car.


Clear The Driveway


If you discover that the snow is deep enough after the snow storm, it is possible that your car will be stuck where it was before the storm began. You can just shovel a path for your car leading to the road for easy access. You have to remember that you should clean your driveway before you are going to move your car. Once you have driven your car on the snow, the normal tendency is that it will pack the snow down wherein it will even be harder for you to shovel it out of your driveway. Also, you need to clear away all those snow which creates a deep drift around your tires.


Clean The Snow Off


Brush every snow that is found on your car after you have removed the tarp or car cover. You don’t want anything blocking your vision when you are already on the go. You should know by now that once your car is carrying wet snow, your car will probably use extra snow because it gives more weight to your car.


Snow Brush


You should buy and use a good quality snow brush, especially when you are in a place which always experiences snow storm. A snow brush with good quality will clean off the snow from your car without damaging your car’s paint. In using a snow brush, you should start at the top of your car by brushing it off of your car’s roof, then proceed to the windows until you fully cleaned the front and rear lights of your car.


Defoggers And Defrosters


Aside from those mentioned above, turning or making use of your defoggers and defrosters will ease the removal of snow from your car. It will even clear the window fog of your car. Although defoggers and defrosters are not intended to melt the ice or snow off your car, there is nothing wrong in using it just to help you in removing that stubborn snow.


Spray It Away


There will be a time when you will forget to place a tarp or car cover or you forgot to secure and anchor it around your car. Once you experience this mishap, you can make use of De-icer windshield sprays.



Turn a Broken Umbrella into a DIY Waterproof Tote Bag

Rainy seasons can last for more than 3 months in some parts of the world. As if the wetness itself is not enough, sometimes strong wind can actually worsen it up where it will leave our umbrellas fragile and broken. In this kind of season, you will often see broken umbrellas being thrown away in trash cans or even on the roadsides. If your umbrella is broken and you do not want to buy a new one, you do not need to throw it away because fixing a broken umbrella is relatively easy. If the little rivets which hold the stretchers together got damaged, you can always fix the stretcher with some wires, a pair of scissors and a strong sailing knot.


Nevertheless, if your umbrella is beyond any possibility of repair, you can still turn it into something useful. There are more than 30 ways in which you can reuse and recycle your umbrella which include turning it into a skirt, a purse, a grocery bag, a pillow, a piece of home decor or art decoration, a magazine rack and a chandelier. You can even donate it to a designer which turns broken umbrellas into dog rain coats or winter coats as well as modern day babushkas. Having mentioned this, one of the greatest features of an umbrella regardless of it working well or being broken would be its waterproof ability. Created to keep people dry from the falling raindrops, a broken umbrella can also be turned into a waterproof bag by a few simple steps.

The first thing that you will need to do for turning a broken umbrella into a waterproof bag would be preparing the project materials. The materials consist of the broken umbrella’s fabric, an iron, a pair of scissors, a sewing machine, a smooth surface to cut on as well as another bag which will be used as a template. To obtain the umbrella’s fabric you need to carefully remove the fabric from its metal frame. After that, you will need to remove the little velco strap that you usually use for closing your umbrella after it is done being used. You can do this with the help of your scissors.

Moving on to the next set of steps, you probably will need to grab another bag which you want to use as a template. Once you have retrieved it, put it underneath your umbrella fabric and then fold the umbrella fabric in half to match the template bag’s height. Subsequently, you will have to fold the umbrella fabric’s sides to make a somewhat rectangular shape which matches your template bag exactly (length and height). After the folding process is done, get your iron and start ironing the creases. Once the creased lines have formed, sew it down and then cut the extra fabrics off. It will be recommended for you to have it stitched zigzag or to add a second line of stitching along its edges to make the stitch stronger. This will be especially useful if you plan to use your bag to carry heavy stuffs, such as your school books.

Now your waterproof bag should look like a normal bag, however without the necessary straps. To make the straps, take the extra fabrics which you cut off after the ironing process and sew it in the shape of two long rectangles. Stitch these long rectangles on top of the bag and voila, your umbrella-turned-into-a-bag project will be done. As for the velcro strap that you have put aside earlier, it will be useful to roll up your bag neatly into a smaller tidy package for you to carry everywhere.

The Secret to Amazing Tomato-Based Sauce: Roasting It In the Oven

Tomato sauce is pretty much everywhere. It is on top of your pasta, pizza and perhaps in the majority of any Italian dish. Mexican dish also incorporates quite a huge percentage of tomato sauce in its dishes, because it can be found almost everywhere mixed with spicy and mole sauces. Tomato sauce is also used as a condiment in a similar use to ketchup, giving taste to French fries, sausages, savory pies and even potato chips. It is also known as the marinara sauce, and it is simple, easy and tasty for almost any kind of savory foods.


Cooking your own tomato sauce with the traditional method is relatively easy. You will begin with simmering the tomatoes over medium heat for around 60 to 90 minutes with occasional stir. The length of time and how much you should stir really depends on your desired taste and consistency, because the more you stir it and the longer you leave it in the stove your tomato sauce will become less thick. You can also add additional ingredients such as lemon juice, vinegar or salt. If you want to go the extra miles, you can always stir the tomato puree in a large saucepan together with garlic and onions.

Nevertheless, having to check up on the sauce while stirring it for once every few minutes can be tiring and ineffective. Lucky for you, there is a food article posted online which suggests an unorthodox way of making your own tomato sauce: by roasting it. In order to do this, you will need to sauté onion and garlic first (possibly with a drizzle of olive oil) and then add some chili flakes, a dash of vodka and then the tomatoes. Put a lid on top of the saucepan, and roast it in an oven for about an hour and a half. You will see that the tomatoes will start caramelize and turn into a jammy texture. This helps blending all other flavors more than the usual simmering on a stove would do.

Furthermore, contrary to popular belief that alcohol used for cooking will extract aromas and flavors from food, the vodka used in this process on the other hand actually helped to provide a chemical reaction with the acids contained in the foods, and as a result a fragrant, fruity compound called ester will be produced. Ultimately, you will need to blend the reduced tomato sauce (which is now darker in color) and add a bit of cream and oregano if you want to. If you do not want to use alcohol or if you are forbidden from using alcohol in your food, you can apply this oven-roasting strategy to almost any kind of tomato sauce like the marinara, amatriciana, and puttanesca. You will definitely get a better more enhanced flavor if you cook the tomato sauce this way, and as an added bonus you will be able to leave it cooking in the oven while you do your house chores or enjoy your favorite TV show without having to go back and forth.


Airline Ratings Lists Everything You Need to Know About an Airline and Its Safety Record

With a very tight competition between airlines nowadays, customers are provided with various deals and promotions. Traveling has been made easy and convenient, but people should bear in mind that sometimes they risk their safety upon buying really cheap airplane tickets. Aside from looking for the cheapest price, customers should also look into the airline’s safety record because if it has terrible rating it may not worth the cheap price. Airline ratings in general consist of five criteria that are used to score each airline’s safety, where you can also check on the individual criteria written in the following list to make sure that the airline that you want to book is perfectly safe:


European Union Blacklist

With regards to keeping its aviation safety records to be the best in the world, the European Union implements high standards and cooperates closely with safety authorities to create a list of airlines which are banned from flying in their airspace. Several reasons which cause an airline to be banned from flying over European Union’s airspace may include poor aircraft maintenance, regulatory oversight or potentially risky passenger safety.

Fatality Record

Once an airline managed to be free of fatalities in the last ten years, a star will be added to their rating. Fatality in this case however, only refers to accident on board of a plane whereas acts of terrorism or hijackings are not included. So if your favorite airline seems to be very nice and decent but it does not get a perfect 7 out of 7 stars, you should find out why.

Federal Aviation Authority Endorsement

The Federal Aviation Authority Endorsement is a list issued in the United States which consists of countries (yes, countries and not airlines) which are banned from flying into the United States airspace. The ban resulted from basically one reason: seemingly lack of capability to comply with the standards of international aviation for aircraft operations as well as maintenance. As a result, an airline which has a flawless safety record may still be banned from operating in the American airspace if it originates from a prohibited country which is deemed to impose potential risk to airline safety record.

IATA Operational Safety Audit Certification

The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) is an evaluation system created to examine the operational management and control systems of a certain airline. This audit is internationally recognized and accepted, where all members of the IATA must be registered to the IOSA in which they should remain registered to maintain their IATA memberships. The audit itself is conducted once every two years for each airline, and two stars will be awarded to an airline rating once they have passed this evaluation.

International Civil Aviation Organization Safety Parameters

The International Civil Aviation (ICAO) Safety Parameters consist of 8 criteria namely accident investigation, airworthiness, aerodromes, legislation, licensing, operations and organizations which airlines should fulfill as a whole if they want to be awarded with two stars to their rating. One star will still be given if 5 to 7 criteria are fulfilled. This parameter was designed to promote safety and orderly development to the world’s international civil aviation by setting standards and regulations that are necessary for the safety, security, efficiency and regularity for aviation operations. Not only that, the ICAO safety parameters also take into account aviation environmental protection.

In addition to the five given criteria above, airline ratings also take into account several other things. Another thing that is looked upon would be whether the airline has been grounded by their own country’s governing aviation safety authority. Furthermore, the types of planes, age of fleet, common routes, and history are also being examined although it may not directly affect the airline rating.