Packing Light Without Leaving Behind The Essentials

Traveling for fun or business is exciting. However, it is easy to forget about what you need to do in order to have the best trip possible. Knowing how to properly plan your travel experiences takes the right knowledge. Read on for advice you can use in planning your next trip. Silver Star resort has something for everyone, from perfect intermediate up to their best package in skiing.

Whenever you travel, only bring what you need and travel light. The fewer things you bring, the less likely you are to forget something. Try not to pack too many shoes, as this tends to be the heaviest item.

Sign up with a travel price monitor. You can find this handy feature online at many travel-related websites that will alert you to different prices. You will receive a notification if a hotel or airline reduces the price to your desired amount. This way, you won’t have to constantly check the site.

Always research before booking travel. Seek websites that offer actual traveler reviews of your desired destinations. Chat with those who have previously visited the destination. Doing your own research will help you decide.

It’s important to tip the housekeeper and bell station well. You should tip the bell hop around one dollar per bag that they carry. This will keep your relationship with the employees a cordial one and your stay pleasant.

Stores tend to overcharge for these items, and the space saved is minimal, so save the money. Try different techniques for folding that save space when you’re packing your clothes. These techniques will help you create additional space in your bag.

Find social websites that talk about travel often. Having an online community of travelers with whom to socialize and share experiences is a great way to get prepared for your trip. You can make new friends, while avoiding costly mistakes many travellers make on vacation, but most importantly you can find information that will make your trip pleasurable.

Plan your trip around rush hour. If it’s not possible to avoid rush hour, stop for a restaurant break during rush hour. You can get a bite to eat or allow the the kids play for a minute.

If you enjoy visiting the gorgeous National Parks and plan to do so often, consider investing in an affordable National Park Pass. They only cost $50 and remain good for use that year at any national park.

If you are going to travel with a young child, make sure you take breaks at least every two to three hours. This will allow your little one to go potty and get a little bit of exercise. This will also help prevent motion sickness in children. Your trip may take longer, but reducing the stress can be worth that delay.

If you are forgetful, write reminders with marker for dry erase boards on a mirror. Small pieces of paper are easily lost, but you won’t miss that note you left on the mirror. Dry-erase markers are great things to use when doing this.

Look for local hotel rates all the time to save money. Most hotels will offer a discount if they want their rooms booked. If you know a friend that lives in the city you will be traveling to, ask your friend to call the hotel and see if it offers a local rate. This approach can help you save a lot of money.

Talk to other passengers if you are on a cruise. On many ships, you will be seated at a large table near people you haven’t met. Relax and have fun interacting with others. You’ll be seeing them every day, and you may learn a few things about the ship in the process.

Before heading off on a lengthy road trip, know where to stop to have your vehicle serviced. On road trips, often you find yourself on long stretches of road that may not have many services if an issue arises with your vehicle. Therefore, it is essential to plan your exact route to ensure you can find a gas station. Make sure you keep the numbers for a few different service stations along the way just in case you need to be towed.

Weather can play a huge part in the amount of enjoyment you get out of traveling. Use the Internet to see what the weather will be for the area you plan to visit. Nothing can ruin the best travel plans quicker than ending up on a freezing beach in Florida or a sweltering ski slope in Colorado.

If you are traveling and wear glasses, remember to take an extra pair with you in your luggage. If something happens to your glasses, you will have another pair on hand. You may not want to keep them in your carry on bag, in case something happens to that bag while traveling.

Long, international plane flights can become strenuous, especially if you get jet lag. In order to avoid this, look for a flight arriving around the same time you would wake in the morning. A good way to relax and fall asleep quick is to take a Tylenol PM which will have you asleep quickly. ) and sleep easier on the flight. You should awaken refresh and ready to begin you day!

Put all of your contact information on a clearly visible label inside all of your luggage. So, if your luggage were to get lost, the person who finds it can call you. Losing your luggage can happen any time that you can not see it.

Before getting into the car with your dogs, take a few minutes to thoroughly brush their coats. This will get the extra hair off and cut down on the hair that gets left behind in your car. Don’t forget to pack the daily necessities for your dog, including water and food bowls and bags for picking up waste.

Don’t become overwhelmed when planning a trip. Use what you learned in this article. Allow yourself the time to learn all about your travel destination and needs. This will pay off for you in the end.

Checkers & Rally’s Signs on 40 New Franchisees and Grows Pipeline to 118 Approved Sites in First Half of 2016

Tampa, FL. (PRWEB) September 02, 2016

Many franchises like to throw the word “growth” around, but few can actually produce the hard numbers to back it up—Checkers & Rally’s is one of those few. For 30 years and counting, the iconic brand’s proven track record for success has helped carry it to national dominance. 2015 was no different—Checkers & Rally’s opened 37 new restaurants. Today, the brand boasts more than 800 restaurants throughout the country, and while plenty of companies might take a moment to coast on its accomplishments, Checkers & Rally’s is just getting started. Vehicle signage Sydney is an integral part of branding your own business.

In the first eight months of 2016, the brand inked deals with 45 new franchisees to date in addition to 42 new franchisees in 2015. The new franchisees are approved for 200 new sites on top of the already 139 approved sites in the restaurant pipeline. This pipeline represents a significant 40 percent growth of the Checkers & Rally’s franchise system. Additionally, Checkers & Rally’s is celebrating its fifth consecutive year of same-store sales growth system wide —an achievement that has consistently beat out the average for the hamburger quick-service restaurant category.

“With hundreds of locations available in new and major markets across the United States, there are countless opportunities for our brand to continue this momentum. Checkers & Rally’s is primed for significant expansion, but our number one objective remains restaurant and franchisee profitability,” said Jennifer Durham, Chief Development Officer for Checkers & Rally’s. “The time is right to make our brand bigger and better in the years to come. Our ‘Fast Foodie’ guests love our craveable, bold flavors, and we’re intent on developing locations that are more convenient than ever before.”

In early 2016, Checkers & Rally’s promoted Adam Noyes to Chief Administrative Officer with greater focus on systems innovation and technology. The brand also created a new role, Vice President of Franchise Operations, and promoted longtime leader Marc Mediate to this post.

“We realized that in order to continue to propel the growth of our two great brands, we needed to make sure we had the right resources in place to help us focus on profitability, while simultaneously developing the innovations that will fuel our sales and profit growth in the future,” said Rick Silva, President & CEO of Checkers & Rally’s. “These are exciting times, and we’re looking forward to working with this expanded leadership team to deliver exciting innovation and increased profitability to the system in the years ahead.”

In addition to the corporate support team, updating the brand’s image and remodeling locations to maximize franchisee profitability have also been a source of success in 2016. One recent example is the remodel of a Rally’s location in Adrian, Michigan, by longtime franchisees Phil and Sharon Servoss. The store opened in 2002, and was remodeled late in 2015 with new signing, exterior tiles and exterior seating. Since the facelift, the store has seen a 20 percent increase in sales.

Another source of growth for Checkers & Rally’s is product and promotional innovation. In 2016, the brand launched its “Fast Foodies Know the Deal” advertising campaign. The campaign is geared toward discerning guests who are passionate and outspoken about their love for fast food and in particular the big, bold flavors of Checkers & Rally’s. In February, when Burger King announced its hot dog launch at $1.99, Checkers & Rally’s decided to smack down Burger King’s overpriced, late-to-the game idea. After officially declaring a “Wiener War,” Checkers & Rally’s threw down the gauntlet by offering its hot dogs at just $0.79 to remind the world that the brand had been cooking up hand-grilled dogs made with 100 percent beef for more than 30 years. As the frontrunner in the Wiener War, Checkers & Rally’s ignited the battle with a full-page advertisement in USA Today and enjoyed a 200 percent increase in hot dog sales compared to the previous week.

The company also recently added smoothies and Kool-Aid® Slushies to the menu in 2016, both created to appeal to the evolving tastes of the Millennial demographic and to fit into the brand’s “portable and poppable” snack offerings. The smoothies come in orange cream, mango and strawberry flavors and the Kool-Aid Slushies are blended with ice, Sprite and the classic flavors of Kool-Aid, Tropical Punch and Blue Raspberry. And true to form, Checkers & Rally’s locations will offer these indulgent products at an incredible value. Most recently, the system is running a new limited-time offer of 4 items for $3 which goes head to head with Wendy’s 4 for $4 promotion and offers guests who “know the deal” an even better value. It’s this dedication to creative, bold flavor at an unbelievable value that has long put Checkers & Rally’s a cut above the quick-service restaurant competition.

Now, as Checkers & Rally’s continues to build on its current momentum throughout the rest of 2016, the goal is to spur even more growth by adding additional franchisees to its ever-expanding family. After being named one of QSR Magazine’s Top 10 Franchise Deals and a Top Food and Beverage Franchise by the Franchise Business Review, the brand’s philosophy of owning and operating restaurants alongside its franchisees makes Checkers & Rally’s a desirable and rewarding choice for many hopeful business owners. And with more than 3,500 locations available in new and existing markets across the U.S., plenty of opportunities remain for forward-thinking entrepreneurs to find out what current franchisees already know—the magnetic culture and exciting growth potential at Checkers & Rally’s has given the brand a head start in outpacing the competition.

“At Checkers & Rally’s, we’re focused on a continued effort to always improve—to always be a better version of ourselves. The impact of this dedication is seen in our numbers, as more and more franchisees are lining up to join our great brands,” Durham said. “Watch out, we’re just getting started!”


Based in Tampa, Fla., Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants, Inc., an iconic and innovative drive-thru restaurant chain known for its “Crazy Good Food,” exceptional value, and people-first attitude, operates and franchises both Checkers® and Rally’s® restaurants. With more than 800 restaurants and room to grow, Checkers & Rally’s is a proven brand with flexible building formats that is aggressively expanding across the country. Checkers & Rally’s is dedicated to being a place where franchisees and employees who work hard can create opportunity for themselves, their families, and their communities. In recent years, the brand has been awarded several of the industry’s most prestigious awards including: Top Food and Beverage Franchise by Franchise Business Review; Top 500 by Entrepreneur Magazine; Top 10 Best Franchise Deals and “Best Drive-Thru in America” by QSR Magazine; and the “Hot! Again” award from Nation’s Restaurant News. For more information about franchise opportunities with Checkers & Rally’s, please visit

Yellowfin enhances Collaborative BI feature set with Storyboard: EMA

Leading enterprise IT analyst firm, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), has released an Impact Brief identifying global Business Intelligence (BI) vendor, Yellowfin, as an innovator in mid-market BI, with an emphasis on Collaborative BI. Concept artist use paint, pencils or software programs to create illustrations where the main goal is to convey a visual representation of a design or idea.

To obtain a copy of the brief, entitled “Yellowfin Enhances Collaborative Features Set with ‘Storyboard’ in Version 6.2 Release”, simply contact EMA here:

The report details Yellowfin’s commitment to widespread BI user adoption, by making reporting and analytics as consumable as possible, noting the continued addition of significant collaborative capabilities since its release of version 5.1 in 2010.

“Collaborative BI functionality, particularly when integrated with data presentation capabilities, is gaining popularity and Yellowfin’s Storyboard has the potential to meet these needs,” stated the report. “Its collaborative functionality fills a gap found in most BI platforms. This is a step in the right direction, and with this latest release and the addition of Storyboard, EMA considers Yellowfin to be a leader in the mid-market BI domain, and a strongly positioned innovator. EMA views Yellowfin and Storyboard, as a company and technology worth watching.”

Yellowfin CEO, Glen Rabie, said that EMA’s Impact Brief was the most recent of a string of analyst and media recognition of Yellowfin’s pioneering efforts in Self-Service BI and Collaborative BI.

“This latest piece of research is a clear indication that industry experts now acknowledge Yellowfin as a leader in consumer-oriented Business Intelligence,” said Rabie. “Yellowfin and Storyboard support collaborative data-based decision-making, and the communication of BI content, in a truly accessible, unique manner.”

For further details on the EMA brief, contact EMA here:

For more on Yellowfin’s collaborative features and functionality, go here:

About Yellowfin
Yellowfin is a global Business Intelligence (BI) software vendor passionate about making BI easy. Yellowfin is headquartered and developed in Melbourne, Australia, offering a highly intuitive 100 percent Web-based reporting and analytics solution. Founded in 2003 in response to the complexity and costs associated with implementing and using traditional BI tools, Yellowfin is a leader in mobile, collaborative and embeddable BI as well as Location Intelligence and data visualization. For more information, visit

Travel Secrets To Make Your Voyages Exciting

Plan your trip ahead of time for the best results. The following tips will help. a dedicated team of Ski travel specialists, committed to providing you with the “ultimate” vacation experience and special ski Canada deals.

Once you know where you are going, put in some time to learn your destination. Choose a good map of the area, and pore over the museums, sightseeing destinations and the general region. Memorizing a bit about your environment will make it that much easier to navigate when you arrive.

When traveling in strange cities, be alert for criminals posing as police officers or other government officials. Show officials your passport, but do not give it to them. Walk with them if they want to transport you to a nearby office. Never, under any circumstances, get in a car with an unknown local.

Only pack things that are necessary. The less stuff you have, the better your chances of being able to keep an eye on everything. Pay attention to the number of shoes you bring, they tend to be large and heavy.

Before booking, do some research. Find websites that have reviews of the locations you plan to go. If you know someone who has already visited this destination, ask them about their experiences. Doing all the research you can will help you learn what to expect and what things to do after you arrive.

Pack a door stopper when you are planning to stay in a hotel. Many countries do not offer the security you need when staying in a hotel room. For example, the door to your hotel room may not have secure locks. In this case, you should have a rubber doorstop on hand to shove under the door.

When you’re traveling, know where your most important belongings are at all times. If you’ve got a purse, keep it tucked under your arm neatly. Avoid choosing bags that have zippered pockets on the outside. These are easily accessible in crowded areas, so if your bag does have one, it is best to leave it empty. These are all points to be considered when selecting the bag you wish to take on your travels.

Share your travel itinerary with a family member or a trusted friend. Thus, there is always someone who knows where you are supposed to be. For the sake of your safety, always keep in touch with this person too. If for some reason your messages stop, they will be able to alert the proper authorities.

Never panic during the packing stage as this will simply lead to forgetfulness and important items left behind. Do not waste time scouring you home for all of the items you need. You want to get yourself a plastic bin so that you can organize all your travel stuff. If it can fit under your bed, that it is even better.

Travel can be a great way to educate your family members. Even taking a trip to a developing nation can be a safe way to teach kids about the lives of people outside their home country. You can gain a better knowledge and understanding of other cultures if you spend time traveling abroad.

Pack a raincoat that has a soft lining when packing lightly for your extended trip. It is impossible to predict the weather perfectly. You can also use it as a robe or windbreaker.

When traveling abroad, prepare for emergencies ahead of time, such as losing your U.S. passport. You can visit different websites to safeguard against this. You can find this at the United States Department of State which has useful information in case you need to know what to do for a lost passport or some other emergency. Carry this information while traveling. Usually, you can get your passport replaced within a couple of days.

While you need to be 18 to rent most cars, some companies have an age minimum of 25. If you aren’t 25, the rate you pay may be higher, and you may be required to use a credit card. There are certain areas where seniors are not permitted to rent cars. Inquire about age limits when renting a car.

Jet lag is an all too common complaint for travelers who cross time zones. You can lessen the impact by sleeping more than usual a few days before you take off. You should also make an effort to sleep during the flight.

The Internet has become an awesome resource when it comes to planning your next vacation. Using travel sites will greatly assist you in planning your travel destinations without using a lot of unwanted effort on your part. Make the most of your travel budget by booking air travel, rental cars and hotels online. Many of these sites offer package deals that can save you a lot of money. These websites also include special deals when your flight and hotel are booked together in a single package. They also offer discounts when vacancy is high or when you are traveling at the last minute.

Pack a couple of travel candles for your hotel stay. You can make a generic hotel room smell more like home with use of scented candles. They can be relaxing, comforting and even romantic. There are small candles that do not drip wax.

Your vacation can turn into a nightmare if not carefully planned. Look online for reviews from travelers that have been to the location. Their experience can help you avoid bad places.

Get insurance to cover emergencies if you’re traveling to a remote or exotic location. This kind of insurance could be a real lifesaver if civilization is not nearby.

One good travel tip is having luggage that stands out from the typical luggage people have. Decorating it with stickers, drawings and/or paint will do the trick. You don’t need others taking your luggage, by mistake.

When traveling abroad, make sure to have a small amount of local currency on hand when you arrive. You may not be able to exchange currency immediately after arriving, especially if you don’t arrive during business hours. Plan ahead by finding a bank that can exchange money prior to getting on a plane headed abroad. This will save you time when you get to your destination.

Once you’ve decided to travel, your trip is dependent on how well you plan. You will feel less anxious and have an easier time enjoying yourself once you arrive at your destination.

Advice That Can Help New And Old Travelers

Seeing a new continent, country or city can be overwhelming and exciting, even for regular travelers. Read this selection of tips for travel advice before starting your next travel adventure. Usually is the cheapest ski Canada deals to the ski resorts of Canada including Whistler, Fernie, Lake Louise and Banff.

When traveling with young children, pack things to keep your child occupied. Consider taking along some of his favorite play things. It is also a good idea to buy a new toy just for the trip, as it will provide a little novelty and help keep a small child’s attention.

Give a copy of your itinerary to a family member. This assures that someone will know how to contact you, if necessary. Also, make sure to keep in constant contact with that person to ensure safety. If for some reason your messages stop, they will be able to alert the proper authorities.

When you are traveling in an airplane, it’s a good idea to wear slip on shoes that are light and comfortable. Most of the time, airport security will ask you to briefly remove them. Your comfort is the most important factor here. You are not going to have to do as much walking as you will sitting in most cases, so the heavy-duty support isn’t really that necessary. The best shoes for flying might well be sandals or flip-flops.

Traveling is a great way to educate your family. With the right choices and precautions, there are many places in the world you can go and educate your children by opening the world to them. Time abroad is one of the best ways to learn to tolerate and understand other cultures.

If you are taking a long trip and you’re packing light, pack a rain coat that has a soft lining. You can never be certain about weather changes. Additionally, the raincoat can be used as a windbreaker or bathrobe as needed.

You can find great vistas and unique vegetation in the desert. Visiting the desert for the first time can be an especially exciting adventure; it’s something you should do at least once during your lifetime, just to experience the awe and wonder of the desert.

Jet lag can cause problems during long flights. You can’t completely avoid jet lag, but extra sleep on the days before you travel can minimize the effects. If possible take a nap on the airplane.

Try to get the rate that a hotel gives the “locals”. Many hotels offer local deals in order to fill empty rooms. If you have a friend in that area, call him up and ask if he can help you get the special deal. You can save a lot this way.

If you go on a cruise, use formal dinners to chat with fellow passengers. Many cruises will place you at tables with strangers. Enjoy yourself and speak to everyone you meet. Making new friends can be great on cruises, since you will be seeing them everyday during your trip.

Try thinking about different transportation methods. Buses are not like they used to be. Buses are often inexpensive, clean and convenient methods of travel. Some companies offer package deals, making traveling very easy.

Whenever you travel, bring along a small pillow and blanket. Whether traveling by plane, train, car or bus, a pillow and blanket will make your trip a lot more comfortable. Though most airlines do provide these items, they may not have enough of them. If you have your own, you’ll know it’s clean and sanitary.

Don’t forget your medications. It can be easy to forget important things, and your medication can be one of the most important. It’s hard to get prescriptions filled in foreign countries.

Try to get a hotel room on one of the upper floors. As trivial as this may seem, thieves have easier access to your room if it is on the bottom or ground floor. You should also opt for a room without sliding doors whenever possible. Rooms with these are much easier for thieves to break into.

When traveling abroad, avoid exchanging the currency in the airport. Many airports take advantage of travellers by charging very high exchange rates. Look for a local bank that will give you a much better exchange rate for your money.

One travel nugget is to ensure that the alarm clock in your room is set to the right time before you go to sleep. It might be set to wake you at some ungodly hour.

Before traveling to a foreign country, see what type of power they use and purchase a plug adapter or a voltage converter so you will be able to use your electrical appliances. If you wait to buy one until you arrive at the airport or your destination, they will be much more expensive.

If you plan to travel with your dogs, you should always brush them before putting them in the car. This reduces shedding and protects your seats and upholstery. Don’t forget your dog’s items; they will need food and water bowls and bags for cleanup.

Find out about local customs and laws before you reach your destination. It’s possible to be frowned upon or even arrested for doing something you didn’t even know was impolite or illegal! Whenever you travel, it is always important to treat authority figures with respect, and follow the rules.

By remembering the tips in this guide, you will surely be able to discover new and exciting things on your vacation. You will find that if you follow these tips it will be the best vacation you have ever had.

5 Must See Movies for Artists and Art Lovers!

Sometimes artistic vision can be illusive. It’s not that your creative well has run dry or that the world’s stockpiles of inspiration have been depleted. It’s just that sometimes you have to travel a bit further than your front door to find it. Most company that are looking for a storyboard artist for hire has a skill set of Adobe Photoshop.

Fortunately, for those who don’t have an endless supply of money and time, these five documentary films do a fantastic job of taking you on an artistically inspiring journey around the world and through time.

Whether you find your muse in the beauties of nature, or your motivation comes from the stories of other artists, these five films are sure to pique your interest in the world and expand your creative horizons.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi


Rated PG

You don’t have to like sushi to appreciate this heartfelt biopic. Jiro Dreams of Sushi tells the story of 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, whose small, basement restaurant has become one of the most sought-after destinations by sushi connoisseurs from around the world. His lifelong love affair with the art form, passion for beauty, and all encompassing quest for perfection are inspiration to the artist and art lover alike.

The lowdown:

Perhaps you’re thinking, “Come on, it’s sushi-how beautiful can it be?” I have to admit, I asked the same question when I first heard about this film; but I quickly realized that we aren’t talking about sushi rolls from your neighborhood grocery store. Jiro’s creations are true art in every sense of the word. His discipline, focus, and passion for creating beauty are inspiring and become a great model for artists striving to improve their process.

(available on Netflix in the United States)



Rated PG-13

This visual masterpiece was shot on five continents over nearly five years. Samsara showcases the beauty and interconnectivity of nature as well as cultures from around the globe. A blend of breathtaking cinematography and powerful visual storytelling grants the viewers access into a world they might otherwise never experience.

The lowdown:

Let’s face it, although our world seems to have shrunk thanks to advances in technology, it’s not uncommon to spend most of your life in the town where you live and work. Samsara grants the artist a chance to “travel” the world, taking in the sights, sounds, and excitement of places and people far different from those around you. Since so much of what you create comes from experiences, this film is a great opportunity to broaden your repertoire and encourage fresh creativity.

(available on Netflix in the United States)

Cave of Forgotten Dreams


Rated G

An unlikely museum in the south of France contains the earliest known human artworks. Unlike the lavish galleries of Paris, this display is located deep within a cave discovered by three locals in 1994. Inside, scientists found paintings and etchings preserved so well, and of such cultural significance, that the French government immediately restricted access to the cave. Cave of Forgotten Dreams is the first “public” view of the Chauvet cave and the artwork preserved so long within.

The lowdown:

I knew that art was nothing new, but to realize just how deeply ingrained it is into humanity was kind of a jolt. Many thousands of years ago, someone who was probably a bit hairier and clothed a bit differently than myself-but with the same desire to create art-painted scenes from day-to-day life onto the walls of this prehistoric cave. Watching this film, I couldn’t help but wonder who the artists were. Are we talking a band of rogue graffiti artists? Or was it just a couple of creative do-it-yourselfers sprucing up their first home? I’ll never know, but I sure appreciated this inside look at art from ages past.

(available on Netflix in the United States)

Born into Brothels


Rated R

This provocative documentary begs the question, Can art change the world? In the impoverished backstreets of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, many women are forced to turn to prostitution for survival-both for themselves and their children. Born into brothels is the story of their kids; unfortunate victims of circumstance who seem destined to inherit the misfortunes of their parents.

However, when documentary filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman present a group of kids from the red light district with cameras, film, a crash course in photography, and the mission to photograph life from their point of view, the power of the art they create offers them a glimpse of something more.

The lowdown:

Born into Brothels is a beautiful and humbling look at the healing power of art. No matter your artistic medium of choice or your reason for creating, this film is proof that the art you create and the encouragement you give to others does leave a lasting impression.

The Rape of Europa



As the Nazis swept across Europe during the Second World War, they took more than just human lives. A significant part of their reign of terror included the theft of thousands of rare and precious works of art by history’s masters. Both during and after the war, heroic individuals and groups sacrificed their safety and often their lives in order to hide and protect these priceless artworks. The Rape of Europa is their story.

The lowdown:

Often we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone, but the men and women who sought to protect works threatened by the Nazis realized their value and did all within their power to protect them for the enjoyment of future generations. The Rape of Europa is full of mystery, intrigue, and incredible stories of sacrifice. The film brings to light the important role that art has played in human history and the influence it will undoubtedly have on our future. Well worth the watch!

(available on Netflix in the United States)

by Jeremy Rowland

Find more great articles and resources for artists and art lovers alike at Plus sign up to receive the free weekly online magazine!

Enlightening Findings About Home Inspections

Let’s face it: For most people, the subject of home inspections is anything but a fun subject. However, it is an important subject. Increasingly, new home-buyers are required to make sure that their homes are up to a certain standard. Furthermore, it’s in your own health interests to make sure that the new house comes up to those standards. So while it might not be terribly exciting, you would be well-advised to learn about this subject.

Back in 2001, a study was conducted by the Market Enhancement Group (or MEG) about home inspections. While that was seven years ago, it’s the most exhaustive examination of the subject that has been conducted, before or since. The results of the study were enlightening.

First let’s discuss the methodology of the study. It was done through MEG’s omnibus poll. This poll consisted of 1,000 phone interviews which were divided equally among four regions of the United States, with 250 persons in each of these regions: the Northeast, the Midwest, the South, and the West. Those who responded to the survey were all U.S. consumers who had bought a house within the 18 months prior to the survey. There was a margin of error in the study of plus or minus 3.4 percent.

Now let’s look at who the study found obtained an inspection. According to the study, 77 percent of recent house buyers had gotten a house inspection before they bought their homes. Seventy-nine percent had attended this inspection and participated in it. An astounding 97 percent said they felt the inspection was worth what they paid for it.

Only a tiny fraction — 23 percent — of home-buyers said they’d bought a new house without getting an inspection. Of those who did buy one, most selected their inspectors after receiving a recommendation for him or her from their real estate agent (69 percent).

Of those who hired an inspector, 43 percent did so only after their real estate agent suggested they do so; however, the majority, 57 percent, did so of their own volition.

Now let’s consider the differences that the survey found according to geographical location. Those buying a new home in the Western region had the highest incidence of hiring a home inspector, at 81 percent. The South follows closely at 80 percent, with the Midwest next at 77 percent and he Northeast Region at 70 percent.

Just at those in the West had the highest incidence of hiring inspector, they also had te highest rate of selecting a home inspector after a real estate agent recommended the person.

However, home-buyers in the South

o For home buyers getting a home inspection, the percentage of inspections conducted at their personal request was highest in the South Region (65%) and the West Region (60%), followed by the Midwest Region (53%) and the Northeast Region (47%).

o For home buyers getting a home inspection, the percentage of inspections conducted at the real estate agent’s request was highest in the Northwest Region (53%).
What this study shows us is that there are a whole lot of people who choose not to have their houses inspected–and of those who do hire an inspector, many do so only after a real estate agent suggests one. This means that many home-buyers are not yet independently convinced of the need for such an inspection. But here are some reasons–and areas of your house–that call for an inspection.

1) A home needs the exterior inspected. If a roof is just now starting to age, then the subtle defects and damages are probably not going to be readily apparent to you, a novice on the subject. They can be found by a qualified inspector, though. Keep in mind that you’ll spend several thousand dollars resurfacing a roof if you wait too long. The same holds true for the siding. Finding problems while they’re still minor can save you big bucks.

2) A home just as urgently needs the interior inspected. For instance, you don’t want to wait until after you’ve moved in all your furniture to discover that your basement floods easily. It’s important to have an inspector check the basement for any clues of possible water intrusion, like a damp odor, mildew, water stains, etc.

Also on the interior, the house should be checked for proper ventilation and insulation. What many people don’t understand is that inferior ventilation, particularly in the attic, can actually accelerate the deterioration of your roof deck. This can cost a lot of money to fix, if you wait too long.

The interior inspection would also include a check of the paint surface, to make sure it does not contain lead paint.

3) And finally, a house needs to have its electrical work and plumbing inspected. You need a qualified inspector to check for problems such as over fused circuits, burned wiring, poor wiring connections, amateur-installed wiring, openings in the wall where a young one could put his or her fingers, and dead-ended / exposed wiring.

As for plumbing, you need an inspector who can look for old lead pipes or galvanized steel ones. Replacing bad ones could be costly. Naturally, he’ll also look for leaks and, using a moisture meter, he’ll evaluate plaster or wall board suspected of having damage caused by leaks. Many plumbing issues are not clearly visible to the average house-owner, which is why it’s so essential to have a professional–one who knows where to look and what to look for — do it for you.

There are many other responsibilities for a professional inspector. However, these are some of the crucial issues, and they are ones that any knowledgeable expert will be able to investigate. Most importantly, they are issues that, if left to an amateur, could result in expensive repairs in the not-too-distant future. Sure, hiring an inspector will cost money–but it’s quite likely that it will save you more than it costs.

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