Saturday, April 26, 2014

How to Get Rid of Ants Cheaply and Naturally

  • How to get rid of ants naturally

  • Vinegar -  I have already written in the past on how to use vinegar for maintaining your health,
    but did you that vinegar is a natural ant repellant? Put a little white
    vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray at all entry points you can find and
    along the pheromone trail, a chemical factor secreted by the ants, which
    is recognized by the others and followed. Once the vinegar dries,
    repeat the process for a couple of days. This will discourage the ants
    and they will move on.
  • Soapy water – This is one of the most popular and easiest
    ways to get rid of ants. Simply fill a spray bottle with some
    dish-washing soap and hot water. It kills the ants and obliterates the
    familiar trail. It only works when wet so you will have to reapply for a
    few days.
  • Chalk – Amazingly, ants will not cross chalk lines! Nobody
    seems to know why, but it an excellent way to put an end to ant trails
    heading for your home. All you need is some ordinary white chalk, so if
    you don’t mind chalk lines all over the place, go ahead and draw!
  • Baby powder – has the same effect. Sprinkle some at any entrance points to block the trails.
  • Lemon juice - Lemon can be used in many ways to enhance your health 
    but it also works well as natural ant repellant with an added of adding
    nice, fresh smell to your home. Just spray pure lemon juice around the
    openings. You will be surprised how the acid in the juice seems to mess
    up their sense of tracking.
  • Diatomaceous earth. This is something of a mouthful so
    let’s refer to it as DE! DE is an amazing, multi-purpose remedy that
    helps us get rid of ants as well as all sorts of other unwelcome creepy
    crawly guests! You can use it outside by sprinkling it around the
    perimeter of your house, and also use quite safely inside wherever you
    see ants. DE does not kill instantly, but it should solve the problem
    within a few days. Remember not to wet the DE, or it will not work. So
    if it rains, it would be a good idea to redo the outside area. Always
    use the food-grade DE as it is completely safe should one of your pets
    decides to eat some of it.
  • Coffee grounds – For some reason ants don’t like the smell of
    coffee. If you sprinkle used coffee grounds around the edge of your
    home, and at any entry points you find, the ants will not venture any
    further. Coffee grounds sprinkled in the garden will also keep ants away
    from the plants.
  • Corn meal – Put some corn meal out for the ants to feast on.
    They love corn meal and carry it back to the nest to eat. But because
    they are unable to digest it, it eventually kills them, as their
    stomachs expand and burst, resulting in a rather unpleasant death. This
    seems something of an unusual way to deal with ants, and the popularity
    of the method has not been documented.
  • Salt – I have already written at the past on how to use sea salt for you skin but if you only want to get rid of ants you can use a normal salt. Salt
    does not kill ants. This is contrary to the belief many people have
    that it does. A salt solution is used as a deterrent to stop ants coming
    into the house through cracks, holes, over windowsills etc. They will
    not walk over or through any area sprayed with a salt solution. You can
    also sprinkle salt along cracks in the driveway or along the sides of
    the house where ants are present. Make sure that areas are dry before
    applying the salt.
  • As a last resort – you can squash ants with your hands and
    fingers! This is only applicable if you are really desperate, but is
    does work and is very cost effective. It is important to remember to
    wash your hands after using this method, as it is well-known that some
    ants have a very unpleasant smell!
Keeping ants on the back foot

In spite of measures you may take to make you home ant-proof,
somewhere along the line they are bound to get in. You will have to
outsmart them by keeping all your food sealed, such as the honey and jam
jars. Stand each one in a saucer of water and they will be safe from
any invading pests. Ants are very partial to pet’s food, so keep the
bowls in the fridge overnight, or place each one in a larger bowl
containing a little water.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Incredible places that I would love to go!

40 Incredible Secret Places Most Travelers Don't Know About. The Last One Blew Me Away...

People Sharing

The Eiffel tower, Golden Gate Bridge and the Colosseum may be
amazing in their own right, but there's something special about going
to a spectacular location that few travelers venture to. Take a virtual
journey with me to these secretly underrated places...

Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Italy

Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Italy
Grotta Palazzese, nestled in the caves of Polignano a Mare beach, is
one of the greatest places to eat in all of Italy, if not the world.

Chichilianne, Rhone Alpes, France

Chichilianne, Rhone Alpes, France
The breathtaking Mont Aiguille is nearly 7,000 foot tall and offers amazing views of the French Prealps.

Nauru, Micronesia

Nauru, Micronesia
heard of Nauru? Neither had we. This tiny island nation has a
population of less than 10,000 and because of its obscurity is the least
visited country in the world. With miles of untouched beaches and
forests, you’d better pay a visit quickly before more people learn about
this island paradise.

Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro Valley, Bhutan

Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Paro Valley, Bhutan
17th century temple sits on the edge of a cliff 3,000 feet above the
Paro valley. The holy site was built to protect the cave in which Guru
Padmasambhava, a leader of Buddhism, meditated for three years, three
months, three weeks, three days and three hours.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia
is a medieval city is still largely intact. So much so, that parts of
the city are used as King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. The city is
brimming with amazing architecture and surrounded by the Mediterranean
on one side and walls on the other.

Albarracín, Aragon, Spain

Albarracín, Aragon, Spain

is a beautifully preserved medieval village in Northern Spain. The rock
paintings in the cliff-foot caves of the Albarracin Cultural Park (some
of the most important evidences of the Levantine prehistoric art of
Spain) and the "Picaportes" (door knobs) are something to marvel at!

Bagan, Burma

Bagan, Burma
is an ancient city hidden deep inside Burma. At the height of the
Kingdom of Pagan, the city had over 10,000 Buddhist temples. Today, over
2200 of these are still standing, making it an amazing place to visit.

Aescher, Switzerland

Aescher, Switzerland
hotel is so high up on the Appenzellerland mountains that you have to
hike or get a cable car to reach it. Amenities are intentionally basic
but the food is hearty and the nearby trails lead to exhilarating

Haiku Stairs, Hawaii

Haiku Stairs, Hawaii
as the Stairway to Heaven, this fairly unknown hiking trail can be
found on the island of O’ahu. The trail is steep and ends at a peak
2,800 feet above the sea, which offers amazing views of the island.

Þingvallavatn Lake, Iceland

Þingvallavatn Lake, Iceland
deep within this huge National Park is the boundary between North
America and Europe. Lucky divers can swim in between the tectonic plates
of these two continents, which is getting 2 centimeters wider every

Chefchaouen, Northwest Morocco

Chefchaouen, Northwest Morocco

is best known for its blue buildings, painted in a spectrum of soothing
hues. If you want to escape the city, make sure to check out the nearby
Rif mountains and the Cascades d'Akchour!

Lord Howe Island, Australia

Lord Howe Island, Australia
beautiful island is mostly untouched by man, with a tiny native
population and only 400 tourists being allowed to visit each year. The
limit is in place to protect the amazing natural landscape of Howe
Island, which is home to a beautiful crystal lagoon and coral reef.

Bishop Castle, San Isabel National Forest, Rye, Colorado

Bishop Castle, San Isabel National Forest, Rye, Colorado
Castle is undoubtedly one of the craziest castles in the world, created
by the one-man castle builder Jim Bishop. It's an incredible place to
get married or just to visit for inspiration. 

Huacachina, Peruvian desert

Huacachina, Peruvian desert
is a tiny village of just over 100 people built around a lush oasis in
an otherwise barren desert. For a few bucks, you can rent sandboarding
equipment and try one of the locals' favorite thrills.

The Bastei Bridge in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Germany

The Bastei Bridge in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, Germany
Visit also Lilienstein, one of several small mesas in Saxony - it's surreal to watch the fog roll over.

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey
is a historical region in Central Anatolia, best known for its unique
moon-like landscape, underground cities and cave towns.  All of which is
best seen from the sky, with dozens of hot air balloons offering
amazing bird eye views.  

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, Austria
is a medieval village which is home to less than 1,000 people. High in
the mountains of Hallstat, you can explore prehistoric mines that were
some of the first in the entire world.

Leptis Magna, Tripoli, Libya

Leptis Magna, Tripoli, Libya
Magna was once a major city of the Roman Empire. Now, its ruins act as
an adventurer's playground. If you want to experience the amazing sights
of ancient Rome, but avoid competing with the crowds, this is the place
to go.

The Alcázar of Segovia, Spain

The Alcázar of Segovia, Spain
Alcázar of Segovia is a stone fortification, located in the old part of
the city. It's one of the most distinctive castles in Spain by the
virtue of its shape – like the bow of a ship.

Alter do Chao, Brazil

Alter do Chao, Brazil
town straddles the Amazon rainforest and an amazing beach known as the
Island of Love. Only a few meters from the beach is a huge lagoon, Lago,
Verde, which is home to myriad animals and can only be explored by

Hotel Moulin de Roc, France

Hotel Moulin de Roc, France
in the province of Dordogne, you'll find an old mill transformed into
an amazingly quaint hotel on the banks of a peaceful river, with nothing
around for miles. It's also home to the renowned Michelin Star
restaurant, with plenty of outdoor seating.

The peacock room in Castello di Sammezzano, Tuscany

The peacock room in Castello di Sammezzano,  Tuscany
the abadonded castle Castello di Sammezzano you can find the Peacock
Room. A hidden jewel features intricate Moorish designs and a
breathtaking assortment of patterns and colors. The beauty of the
memorizing interiors is simply beyond comparison.

Deception Island, Antarctica

Deception Island, Antarctica

ring shaped island is so remote that it can only be accessed by tour
boats. The inside of the island offers sanctuary from storms and
icebergs for a host of creatures, including hundreds of penguins. If you
want to escape the cold, the island is situated on an active volcano
and home to hot springs galore.

Melissani Cave, Kefalonia, Greece

Melissani Cave, Kefalonia, Greece
Greek mythology, nymphs (female nature deities) inhabited this
breathtaking cave and lured men in with their beauty. Under a high sun,
the amazingly blue is illuminated for any lucky swimmers.

Meghalaya, India

Meghalaya, India
hills of Meghalaya receive nearly 40 feet of rain every year, meaning
that the valley floors of this beautiful but remote forest are often
transformed into rivers. Complex series of skybridges help you to
navigate the environment.

Craco, Matera, Basilicata

Craco, Matera, Basilicata
medieval village of Craco is part of an incredible region with
undulating shapes and vast farmland. Since the sudden abandonment of the
village, rumour has it that the ruins have become inhabited by ghosts.

Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal

Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal

da Regaleira is an estate located near the historic center of Sintra,
classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Make sure to check out
the Gruta do Labirinto (the Labyrinthic Grotto) and it's mysterious
wishing well! This 27 meter deep well resembles an inverted tower.
Depending on the direction you choose, either a journey down into the
depths of the earth, or a climb out of the darkness into the light

Weißgerbergasse, Nuremberg, Germany

Weißgerbergasse, Nuremberg, Germany
sure to also visit the small town of Bamberg and the Altenburg castle,
which sits on the tallest of the seven hills, overlooking the city!

Procida, Italy

Procida, Italy
Procida is a beautiful Mediterranean island paradise. Terra Murata is the highest point on the Island aswell as its heart.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands, Norway
Lofoten Islands are a group of islands found in Northern Norway, within
the arctic circle. The islands are home to seductively quaint fishing
villages, the world’s deepest coral reef and amazing views of the
Northern lights.

Cocos Island, Costa Rica

Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Island is an uninhabited island located 300 miles off the shore of
Costa Rica. As a national park, the island is untouched by civilization
and acts as one of the best scuba diving spots in the entire world
because of its spectacular marine fauna.

Rock tombs in Myra, Lycia, Turkey

Rock tombs in Myra, Lycia, Turkey
visiting the tombs you can go to the real Saint Nicholas Church. The
perfect place to go to ask Santa why he got you the wrong gift last

Herrenchiemsee New Palace, Lake Chiemsee, Germany

Herrenchiemsee New Palace, Lake Chiemsee, Germany
1873 King Ludwig II of Bavaria acquired the Herreninsel as the location
for his new Royal Palace. Modelled on Versailles, this palace was built
as a "Temple of Fame" for King Louis XIV of France, whom the Bavarian
monarch fervently admired. And trust me - Ludwig II was absolutely crazy
- the "mad king" even had a “magic table” inspired by the Grimm’s Fairy
Tale in his dining room!

Fès, Morocco

Fès, Morocco
looking at the Leather Souq, the oldest leather tannery in the world.
Don't miss the marvelous Bab Boujloud (the blue gate) as well!

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovin

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovin
Blagaj stands at the edge of the beautiful Buna river.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
town was first founded in the 13th century and little has changed since
then. Stepping into the castle grounds is like going back in time,
specially if you go during the Renaissance festival which is held every

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Saint Petersburg, Russia

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Saint Petersburg, Russia
should go inside, I have never seen such a colorful church in my whole
life! The city has so much more to offer, like the State Hermitage
Museum or the inaugurated Amber Room in the Catherine Palace!

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland
pronouncing and getting to Ittoqqortoormiit can be difficult, but it’s
totally worth the effort. From the capital of Iceland, you’ll need to
get on a once-weekly plane to Greenland and then get a helicopter ride
to this small, colorful town which sits by the longest glacial river
system in the world.

Mount Ai-Petry, Crimea, Ukraine

Mount Ai-Petry, Crimea, Ukraine
on the Kastron mountain, the fortress of Cembalo is also nice to visit.
It's a facade of spectacular views overlooking the sea off the Bay of

Marsaxlokk, Malta

Marsaxlokk, Malta
Home to Marsaxlokk fish market, a sprawling and endless market held each Sunday in town!

Monument Valley, Utah

Monument Valley, Utah
you think this valley seems familiar, it’s because the area was
commonly used as a filming location in the heyday of Western movies. The
vast sandstone structures dominate the landscape of this vast valley
which is far quieter than similar sights like the Grand Canyon.

Friday, April 18, 2014

To Catch a Liar, Ask the Right Question

Let Their Words Do the Talking

Verbal cues to detect deception.
A sophisticated technique, with some risks.
I wanted to believe my kids when they told me what they did or who they were with. But sometimes I suspected that they were not being completely honest. Like many adults, teenagers tell the truth when they know people would approve of their activities, and become evasive or even outright lie when they know people would disapprove.
Fortunately, most of the time, most if us tell the truth. The time to worry is when people become evasive or deceptive, because they know they have done something wrong.
A Volatile Conundrum is a sophisticated technique that puts liars in a position wherein they are forced to make snap decisions. Truthful people have little difficulty handling Volatile Conundrums. But the technique allows parents, for example, to test the truthfulness of teens without their kids knowing their veracity is being tested. The beauty is that the questioner is not put in the awkward position of calling someone a liar or even suggesting that they are suspected of being less that truthful. Accusing people of lying, or even suggesting that they've been deceptive, can damage a relationship, especially if the person actually did tell the truth.
I typically used this technique with my kids when I lacked sufficient indicators of deception to make direct accusations, but had a gut feeling that they were not telling me the whole truth. Here's an example:
I wanted to know what my son did the previous evening. But when I asked him, his answer was tentative and evasive, so I presented him with a Volatile Conundrum.
Me: Where did you go last night?
Him: I just hung out with the guys.
Me: What did you guys do?
Him: Ah…we went to see a James Bond movie and then we just hung out at Mark’s house.
Me: What time did the movie start?
Him: Around 7.
Me: That’s interesting. I was listening to the police scanner at about 8 o’clock last night and heard that someone pulled the fire alarm at the theater. The police and firefighters evacuated the theater and when they discovered that there was no fire, they let everyone back in, I would have been pretty angry if I were watching a movie and had to leave half-way through.
If my son did not go to the movie as he claimed, he faced a Volatile Conundrum, and had to make a snap decision. Does he acknowledge that the fire alarm went off, or does he dispute the fact? If he acknowledges that the fire alarm went off and, in reality, it did not, he will be caught in a lie. If he disputes the fact that the alarm went off and, in reality, it did, he will be caught in a lie. Only the truthful person would know for sure if the fire alarm went off. This is quite a Volatile Conundrum for a teen to face. Let’s return to my conversation and see if he was lying or not:
Me: . . . I would have been pretty angry if I were watching a movie and had to leave half-way through.
Him: What? (Inquisitive Look) There was no fire alarm.
Me: Oh, maybe I heard it wrong. I wasn’t really paying attention. So, what are you up to today? (Escape clause)
Escape Clause
Based on my son’s response and nonverbal cues, I determined that he was telling the truth. Since I did not want him to know that I doubted his veracity, I employed the Escape Clause, “Oh, maybe I heard it wrong,” to refocus the conversation. Then, unless I told my son what I had done, he would never have known that I had tested his veracity.
The following exchange illustrates how my son might have responded had he been lying.
Me: . . . I would have been pretty angry if I were watching a movie and had to leave half-way through.
Him: Ah…it didn’t bother me. I had to go to the bathroom anyway.
His acknowledgement that the fire alarm went off and the theater was evacuated clearly demonstrated that my son was lying about his night out. At his point, I would be faced with a dilemma of my own: Do I immediately confront him about his deception or do I let some time pass first?
My first reaction would have been to call him a liar on the spot. This would have been personally satisfying but nonproductive, for several reasons:
  1. I would have revealed the Volatile Conundrum technique making it difficult to use it on future occasions.
  2. My son could have gone on the offensive and accused me of having used deception to trick him.
  3. My son would have probably engaged his defense mechanisms making the truth more difficult to discover.
The best option is to call the liar out at a later time. At least, I would have known that he was lying and was probably doing something that I would not have approved. From that point on, I would have begun monitoring his activities very closely to learn what he was really up to.
The Volatile Conundrum is a powerful technique to test veracity and should be used sparingly so as not to alert others to the technique. Volatile Conundrums should be carefully designed to ensure the possible deceiver faces a true dilemmas if they are lying. More important, all Volatile Conundrums should have escape clauses in the event the person did tell the truth. Escape clauses allow you hopefully to use this technique undetected and prevent a potential loss of trust.

Additional techniques to test the veracity of your kids can be found in Fibs to Facts: A Parental Guide to Effective Communication.