ISPMB – Some Truly Fascinating Facts About Donkeys

When it comes to animals there are some in the kingdom which are way more exciting than others. For example if you ask most kids they will probably talk to you about lions and tigers, perhaps even sharks and crocs, but there are some animals which are much more interesting than we may have given them credit for. For this reason we are bring you some truly fascinating facts today, directly from our friends at the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros or ISPMB, about the humble donkey.

This animal has been used as a work animal for a number of centuries, and here are some pretty cool facts about this simple-looking animal.

Memories

When it comes to the memory we often talk about how elephants are the ones that never forget. This may be true but did you know that donkeys have been proven to have memories which last for over 25 years? Evidence has been seen that donkeys are able to remember places and sounds from as long ago as 27 years.

Big Ears

Donkeys have fantastic hearing and in the right conditions they can actually hear for up to 60 kilometers away. That is a phenomenal hearing range, and it must be because of those big and floppy ears right? Wrong. The truth is that those ears are in place for temperature control, and that is why they are made so long, to keep their head cool in the desert heat. The hearing which they have is because of a huge network of tiny hair sensors inside their ear canals.

Very Inquisitive

A mule is a mixture between a female horse and a male donkey, but the term stubborn as a mule can in fact be used for any kind of donkey. This phrase comes from the fact that donkeys appear to be against the idea of doing something when they are asked. The reality here however is that these are not disobedient animals at all, they do in fact just prefer to check everything out before they take action.

Using It All Up

Traditionally donkeys have lived in hot and arid conditions, and that means that there is usually a lack of food, or at least not exactly an abundance. For this reason the donkey has evolved so that it is able to actually use up 95% of the nutritional value of every single bite that it takes. This is a phenomenal way of consuming food and it leads to very little waste, and maximum energy.

Boys and Girls

The phrase ‘ass’ comes from the latin name for donkey ‘equinus asinus’ and that is why you may have heard the phrase Jackass before. What you may not be aware of however is that jackass is used for the male donkey. Females are in fact known as Jennets, yet you never hear any mention of Jennettass.

There you have it, all you ever wanted to know about the donkey.

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3 Tips from Shiftsmart to Work Better as a Freelancer

Freelancers and independent contractors work within what is often described as the gig economy, and there is virtually no limit to who can freelance. There are freelance professionals working in every sector from coding and web designing to security and retail these days. Unfortunately, the main problem faced by freelancers is that they have trouble finding gigs on a continuous basis.

This, in turn, makes it difficult for freelancers to enjoy financial stability. On the other hand, those that have learned to work the gig economy to its full extent may disagree. Let’s take a look at some of the tips for working smarter as a part-time and full-time freelancer.

Stay Updated with Shiftsmart Job Alerts

Apps are very helpful for freelancers searching for work opportunities. The Shiftsmart Partner app, for example, has been developed for temp workers to find new jobs relevant to their field of work. Part-timers can moonlight by adding extra shifts to their current work schedule, while full-time freelancers can rely on the app to find a steady stream of temp jobs. Simply open an account in the app to start receiving timely alerts about freelance opportunities that are relevant to you.

Improve Your Resume

The average fast-food worker earns about $9 – $10 per hour in the United States, leaving very little hope for any significant, per-hour pay boost for them in the future. Anyone can add more shifts to supplement their meagre income, but they will still get paid in accordance with their qualifications, experience, and field of work. Even with tips, it can make it hard to earn a living wage.

Therefore, if you can expand your resume to include new skills that are relevant to your present field of work, you should be able to increase both your employability and income potential. Understand that if you really wish to boost your income well beyond the minimum or average wage, you might have to switch careers altogether.

Learn an In-Demand Skill

People can do much better by changing lanes and starting their freelance career on a more profitable route. Next, we have a list of better paid freelance occupations available to people who have an adequate resume to take on the respective roles:

  • Cement Masonry – $15 – $20 per hour.
  • Tool and die maker – $20 – $25 per hour.
  • Audio/video technician – $20 – $25 per hour.
  • Analytics (market research and operations research) – $30 – $50.
  • Mobile application development – $60 – $80+ hour.

If you have any special job skills such as the ones mentioned above, or even just experience in one of the several in-demand sectors, moonlighting can augment your present income quite well. In case you do not have a special set of skills, that is not necessarily the end of the road either. Sure, you will have to take jobs that don’t pay as well, but those low-mid wage jobs actually have a much higher rate of temp openings than the higher-paid ones.

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Josh Melick – Why Three Dimensional SaaS Pricing is So Important

When people discuss just how important technology is in the world today, they are mainly focusing non the improved hardware which has been created, and the important software which knits it all together. In fact without software packages and suites so many businesses would find themselves in difficulties. We use software for HR, accounting, machine management, customer management and thousands of other functions within the world of business.

Whilst the customer understands the importance of this software, author Josh Melick believes that those selling the software are missing a beat when it comes to their pricing structure. Josh’s article on his own personal blog lays this out completely, and teaches us why the three dimensional structure is so important when it comes to these pricing plans.

All-Inclusive

Josh first alludes to the dangers of an all-inclusive sales approach, something which many startups rely on in order to get their product out there as quickly as possible. The reason why this poses a problem is that it is a single sale which all-but closes down the relationship with the customer. This prevents any opportunities for upselling in the future and it also means that they are selling a product which is then not able to generate revenue as business costs rise.

One Dimensional

Most SaaS companies will use a structure which features a number of packages such as bronze, silver and gold option. Each of these packages will be broken down based on features offered, yet so many focus on one dimension as being the differential. Josh talks about how the dimension of usage on its own is simply not enough, and it doesn’t allow for the provider to value its products and their true worth.

Two Dimension

The two dimensional approach is that which follows the same structure yet will offer different plans for each based on usage and number of users. This does bring things closer to an optimum level yet in Josh’s view it still doesn’t quite get the right amount of pricing for the product which is sold.

The Importance of Time

Josh talks about the fact that with one and two dimensions, it becomes much more difficult to raise pricing in order to match the rise in costs for the business to keep offering the product going forward. Price hikes are an essential part of SaaS and this is why Josh discusses the third dimension of time. Buying a software package for a single year, means that the provider is able to slightly adjust the price each year to match costs. This is something which doesn’t put customers off renewing and it is something which enables the provider to offer deals to the customer too. If a 10% increase is optimal, the provider could for example offer an 8% increase only, if the customer upgrades their package.

Ultimately this is the best way for SaaS providers to ensure that they can offer a great product and still get paid well for it.

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Yasith Weerasuriya – Things to Beware of When Organizing a Dinner Party

A good friend of mine Yasith Weerasuriya was one of the first people to have ever told me about celiac disease, what it is and how many people suffered from it. This conversation came up because I was organizing a dinner party and one of the potential guests actually had celiac disease. This of course forced me to change the menu somewhat and it is another one of those key considerations to make when you are organizing a dinner party. There are lots of little details which we have to consider about our guests of course, and these are the key factors to keep in mind.

Food Preferences

Naturally the food which they are going to eat is the most important aspect here, and this is why you need to know as much about your guests as you possibly can. For example it may be that they have illness like celiacs, or perhaps they have peanut allergies or an allergy to seafood. The most important thing when finding out about people’s dietary requirements is that you are not preparing anything with will cause them an issue medically. Of course you also want to prepare food which people are actually going to enjoy, but the medical side is the most important. To ensure you have food that people like, the best course of action is to offer up a couple of options.

Friends and Enemies

When it comes to seating people close to each other this is something else we have to think about, especially if they already know each other. I have in fact made the mistake before of inviting people to a dinner party and sitting them next two each other, because I knew that they used to work together. What I failed to realize however is that whilst they did used to work together, they left things on very bad terms indeed. This of course meant that there was a certain mood at dinner which no host wants to have, and I have made sure to always do a little research on people before I set out the seating plan.

Your Time

Another mistake which I have made before is preparing a meal which required far too much attention from me in the kitchen. Whilst the food went down very well indeed, the problem was that I couldn’t really host very well at all because I was in the kitchen the whole time. This is something that I have certainly learned from and I now make sure that I prepare as much as I can ahead of time, and also that I make dishes which can are cooked very quickly indeed. The balance between hosting and preparing food is a tough one to make, but it is possible if you plan well and if you make the right choices.

These are some very important watch outs if you want to have the perfect dinner party, without any hitches.

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How to Store Wine Correctly – A Guide from Underground Cellar

Is there anything more pleasurable than enjoying a glass of your favorite wine at home, peacefully relaxing, and just living in that moment? Wine is one of those things that many people look forward to, not just for those peaceful evenings at home, but to enjoy with food, share with friends and family, and even as a “treat” after a busy day. What this means is that you probably have at least a few bottles on hand at all times. But here’s the thing, if you’re not storing your wine properly, you’re not going to get the true flavor and enjoyment out of it.

This guide from Underground Cellar discusses exactly how you can store wine correctly so that its integrity is never at risk.

You Want to Keep the Temperature Just Right

The first rule of thumb is that wine does best when stored in a cool area. That doesn’t mean it should be cold, but it should be cool. In most cases, anything over 70° F will cause issues and can make the wine age much faster. So, what’s the ideal temperature? You want to aim for a storage area that is as close to 55° F as possible. That is often considered the “perfect temperature”. Should the temperature be 10 degrees higher or lower, it won’t matter too much.

Humidity Is the Enemy

Not only does the storage location need to be cool, but you also want to be sure it’s free from humidity. If it gets too humid mold can actually start growing, which will ruin your wine. On the flip side if it’s too dry the cork in the bottle will dry out, which then spoils your wine. Just like with the temperature it’s about finding that exact right level of humidity. Generally speaking, you want to hover around the 70% humidity level, but really anything between 50%-80% is usually okay.

Choose Solid and Stable Racks or Shelving

Because you want the bottles to be stable in how they sit, you want to be sure you’re choosing a racking or shelving system that is solid and will keep the bottles secure. Rather than standing them right side up, wine should always be stored on its side. Storing the wine on the side means it keeps the cork wet and you don’t risk it drying. Many find that storing the bottles on their side also tends to be a space-saver, which is perfect when you don’t have a lot of space to work with.

Keep the Sun Away

The final tip is to make sure the bottles aren’t stored in an area where the sun is shining on them. The best light conditions are no light at all, and to have it be dark. The UV rays in the sun will damage the quality and integrity of the wine rather quickly.

Enjoy a Perfect Bottle of Wine Each Time

These tips will ensure that you’re able to store your wine properly so that you can enjoy a perfect bottle, and a perfect glass every time.

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Javier Burillo – Reasons to Shop At Markets in Mexico

One of my favorite things about living in Mexico, and something which you will find in just about every city and town that you go to here, is shopping in markets. In some cases this will be a permanent market such as you will find throughout Mexico City, in others it will be markets that pop-up once a week, on certain streets and at certain times.

Regardless of what kind of market you end up in however, there are some very compelling reasons as to why you should make sure that you shop in this way, for all of your needs.

Supporting Independent

The single biggest reason for shopping in a market is to make sure that you are supporting the locals who are running their stalls as their only source of income. If you go to the grocery store then all you are doing is taking money out of the pockets of local vendors in favor of the larger corporations. In most cases you will find that the products and the food which is sold in the markets come from the same place as the grocery store get theirs, making it nonsensical to go with the big store.

Haggling

The markets here are run in the same way that they always have been, and that means that haggling is something which you are pretty much expected to do. Make sure that you get the very best price for your goods when you are in the market, and try your hand at negotiating prices. Not only is this something which helps you to get a better price, it is also something which adds a bit of fun to your shopping trip.

Everything You Need

When I first got to Mexico I figured the markets were all about fruit and vegetables, and little else. My friend and chef Javier Burillo however was able to show me that there was in fact more, much more about these markets. In truth no matter what it is that you are looking for you will find it in these markets. This goes for every food that you can imagine, as well as household items and even clothes and accessories. The market truly is the perfect place for all of your needs.

Closer

There are markets literally everywhere and that means that you don’t have to travel very far at all before you are inside a place where you can get everything that you need. Traditionally speaking grocery stores are placed much further outside of the center of things, which means that you have a trek on your hands to get there. Make your life easier by simply heading to a market and grabbing everything that you need for you daily life.

You won’t have to look far at all for a market in Mexico and they are by far and away the best option when it comes to buying your goods and food items.

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Robert Testagrossa – Why NFTs Work So Well

NFTs are a hot topic at the moment and we are seeing many companies set up by experts like Robert Testagrossa which are focused towards the rising success of NFTs. This isn’t necessarily a new idea, it is in fact one that has existed for a number of years now, but in recent months we have see an enormous focus on this aspect of the blockchain.

Today then we are going to take a look into what NFTs are and why they work so well for all parties involved.

Breaking Down an NFT

To those of you who aren’t sure what an NFT is, this stands for ‘non-fungible token’ in layman’s terms this means that it is a digital product which is not fungible, or transferrable across the blockchain. We can use NFTs in artwork, music, event tickets and many other forms of token. Those who buy an NFT, in whatever capacity it takes, will be the sole owner of that token. This can be resold by the owner, but the address for the NFT will always remain the same.

Security

One of the biggest reasons as to why NFTs work so well is that they are an incredibly secure way of passing on and storing information. Back in the European Championships in 2016 we saw tickets being delivered as NFTs, which made them much more secure that paper tickets or even emailed tickets. This can also greatly help with concert tickets, which are often bought and sold by scalpers who drive the ticket prices up, and restrict people from having tickets. NFTs is a great way to solve this problem.

Control For Artists

In the world of art and music we are seeing time and time again that artists are not making the money that they should do from the work which they are completing. There are so many record companies for example who rake a huge cut from the artist’s work, as well as art houses who take a slice of artwork created. Using NFTs mean that the artists no longer need that third party in order to get their work out there. This gives them the power to release as many NFTs as they like, and it means that they will end up with an overwhelming proportion of the money which is made from sales.

Increased Demand

And finally, as more and more people learn about what NFTs are, and more and more professionals jump onto the possibilities of NFTs, we are going to see a huge increase in demand. This has already started of course and many NFT artworks are being snapped up each and every day, by people who perhaps usually wouldn’t. This increase in demand is great for everyone involved with NFTs.

The possibilities for this technology really are endless and in the coming years we are certainly going to be seeing big changes within the world of NFTs. What do you make of this new technology?

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Adam Seger – What Makes Tapas The Perfect Dinner Party Food

I have always loved hosting dinner parties and no mater what the reason is behind it, getting things together and then hosting is just something that I enjoy. What I particularly enjoy is trying out new meals and new ways of eating for each dinner party that I have. For this reason I have been avidly reading the brilliant book from TV chef Adam Seger, which breaks down a range of options which you can create if you are hosting your own dinner party. So far the best meal option that I have found has been tapas, which has gone down a storm at just about every party that I have thrown. Here is exactly why this makes for the perfect dinner party option.

Something For Everyone

We live in a world whereby everyone wants something different and there are more dietary requirements that people have, than ever before. This of course will pose a challenge to most dinner parties, but not if you are creating tapas. The reason of course is that tapas is a collection of many dishes and that means that you can create something for everyone. No matter whether you have meat eaters, vegetarians or any other kind of eater in your midst, you will be able to create something delicious for them which they are going to love.

Little and Often

The problem which I have with a formal dinner party is that there is very rarely time to have a proper conversation. Everyone is sat down and waiting on courses to be served, the host or hostess is going back and forth from kitchen to table and the whole affair is frustrating. When it comes to tapas however the party simply rolls on all evening and everyone will pick and eat as and when they choose. This rips away all of the formality of the event and it means that people are just so much more relaxed. Not only this however, people are also more inclined to have lengthy conversations throughout the night.

Ahead of Time

From a hosting point of view something else that I really love about tapas is the fact that you can prepare so much of it ahead of time. This means that it takes the pressure off you having to cook everything fresh once the guests arrive and it also means that you will have plenty of time to get ready, greet the guests and actually host rather than just cook. There are some meals which will need to be cooked fresh, but in the main you can prepare these and then quickly fry them off before you serve them up. The key to hosting a dinner party is making things as easy as possible and this is exactly what you will find when you create tapas.

If you have a dinner party coming up, this is the perfect option for the food, tapas really is the way forward.

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What Do You Need in Your Next Automobile?

Buying another car or truck does not have to be a stressful and costly proposition if you know what you are doing.

That said what steps are you going to take to find the right auto? That is you do not have to make buying another car or truck such a challenge?

Can You Rely on Past Experiences?

As you inch closer to getting your next automobile, here are a few pointers to help you along the way:

1. Be knowledgeable – One key to finding a good auto is being as knowledgeable on the market as possible. With that thought in mind, take the time to study and see what is available when it comes to makes and models. If you’ve been happy with the make and model you have driven for a while now, are you likely to stay with the same brand? You may be at a point and time where you want something different. If so, be sure to do your research on what is out there. You can also turn to family and friends you know who’ve bought vehicles as of late. Their two cents could have a positive impact on your decision of what to buy. Last, if leaning to a used vehicle, research is even more crucial. You can use the Internet to conduct a free car title search. Finding out the history of a vehicle that has a past is key. Without that history, you may end up buying a vehicle not up to the task of serving you.

2. Finding a vehicle to meet your needs – From long commutes to your job to road trips and more, you want an auto to serve you. So, do as much homework and take as many test drives as possible to find the right set of wheels for your life. Meeting your daily needs is something you have to get from a vehicle. If it fails you all too often, you may well end up regretting your decision.

3. Take care of what you buy – Even if you buy something brand new and feel it will last you many years; you still have work to do. That is because vehicles can’t service themselves. As such, you need to be sure you stick to the owner’s manual for one. Do your best to cover things such as regular oil changes, tire and brake checks and more. Even if you choose not to go back to the dealer for service, have a reliable mechanic. This would be one that can take care of your car or truck. By meeting the needs of your vehicle on a regular basis, there is less chance it will let you down when you most need it.

4. Protecting you and those you love – Finally, one can’t put a price on safety. As a result, be sure your vehicle of choice comes with high safety ratings. The last thing you want or need would be a serious accident where your vehicle let you down.

As you go about buying your next automobile, the hope is it meets all your needs from start to finish.

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Ali Ata – Common Mistakes People Make When Buying a New Home

Buying a new home is something incredibly exciting yet there are many who do make mistakes when they begin their search. Many in the real estate community at the moment are predicting a big rise in the number of people moving home this year and next, following the great shift which the pandemic has brought about. It is for this reason that real estate experts like Ali Ata are warning people of the importance of avoiding some of these common mistakes, so that everyone can get the right house for them, at the right prices.

Here are just some of the common mistakes which people make.

Not Getting Pre-Approved

There are few things worse than finding a property which fits your needs and your requirements, only to get refused a mortgage at the crucial time. It is for this reason that it makes much more sense for you to ensure that you have been approved a certain amount which you are able to borrow, before you start your search. Knowing how much you are actually able to borrow will make a huge difference in the way that you search for your new property.

Failure To Look At Big Picture

There is much more that you should be looking at than just the property. Whilst this is of course the most important aspect to think about, once you have found the property that you are dreaming of, there are some additional checks to make. You have to think about the big picture here, with regards to life in general away from the property. Considering crime rates for example, the quality of schools, the proximity to hospitals and other services, all of this is highly important.

Looking Beyond Appearances

It can of course be very easy to get swept away in the idea of a property and how it looks, but there should be much more behind finding the right property than just this. The appearances will be the first aspect that captures the imagination but to make the right move you have to think about the nuts and bolts of the property. The intricacies around plumbing, electrics and structural integrity are all important, far more important in fact than just looking at how the property appears.

Not Thinking About The Future

Unless you are intentionally thinking short term, it is important that you have a clear idea of what this property means to you, both now and in the future. This means that you should take into consideration the family plans which you may have in the coming years. The property looks great now, but what will it mean to you in the next 5 years, or 10? Considering what will happen to your family will make a big difference in terms of the property that you eventual decide upon.

These are just some of the common mistakes which are made when people go out looking for a new home.

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