Subcompact Crossover SUVs: A New Family Favourite

The data is in, and it is official: the compact SUV is the king of the domestic automotive market. While car sales in Canada continue to fall, overall automobile sales rose in 2017, fuelled by rising SUV and light-duty truck sales, and analysis of the most popular SUVs in the country shows that drivers have overwhelmingly come to favour the compact SUV over its larger siblings. And within compact SUV sales, perhaps no model is rising as quickly as the subcompact.

Subcompact SUVs are distinguished from their peers by their small frame (the subcompact category includes any SUV less than 165.5 inches long) and fuel efficient engines, and in many ways provide a natural bridge for sedan-drivers who want to enter the SUV market but don’t want to take on the added fuel costs that often comes with upgrading to an SUV. Subcompacts tend to be more sporty and powerful than sedans, and their streamlined profiles and can-do energy have drawn rave reviews from the automotive press and from consumers alike.

The history of the subcompact SUV is an interesting one, and speaks to the wide range of pressures drive automobile design. The first subcompacts were billed as Mini SUVs, and saw much greater popularity outside of North America. In fact, Ford’s new subcompact, the EcoSport, has been in production since 2000 — just not in North America. Instead, the EcoSport was a favourite in Latin America and Europe, where its small size and fuel economy made it more appealing to urban drivers. But with the success of rival subcompact SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Mazda CX-3 in the early 2010s, Ford made the decision in 2017 to start marketing the EcoSport in North America, making it only the most recent automaker to try to cash in on the lucrative subcompact market in Canada and the United States.

Ultimately, this trend is driven by a generation of consumers who grew up with SUVs and who appreciate the versatility and durability they bring to the road, but who want a family-car-sized-vehicle. Instead of going back to sedans, however, they are turning in large numbers to smaller-sized SUVs. These facts are borne out on popular car-shopping websites like KijijiAutos.ca where subcompact crossover SUVs are some of the most sought-after options due to their ability to combine economy, power, size, functionality, and enjoyable driving.

It has long been observed that automotive fashions and trends often correspond directly with fuel prices: the rising cost of oil in the 1970s led to a revolution in small car design, the low fuel costs of the 1990s gave us the SUV, and the shortages of the mid-2000s spurred new innovations in SUV design. The fact that in this time of stubbornly high fuel prices more and more Canadian shoppers are turning to efficient options like the compact SUV, therefore, is no surprise.

Whether or not these trends will continue should prices drop again — or electric cars live up to their promise and come to dominate the market — is anyone’s guess. In the meantime, the surest bet an automotive brand can make in 2018 is on a well-designed subcompact crossover that can carve out a slice of this lucrative market.

So You Won The Lottery… What’s The Next Step?

It’s a normal day like any other, and you’re looking at your Powerball lottery ticket, watching the live draw. Oh, you’ve matched one number – that’s pretty cool, right off the bat. What’s that, you’ve got two in a row now? Three… Four… This can’t be happening! Surely the last couple numbers will come up differently. Oh my gosh, you’ve just hit five in a row – that at least means you’re walking away with a million dollars. Honestly, you’d be more than happy just to take the million dollars!

Then it happens: that Powerball number is announced. You look down at your card in total disbelief as it finally sinks in. You’ve just hit all six numbers. Your mind is racing and your palms are sweaty; just this morning you were thinking to yourself, imagine if you won the Powerball lottery today, and now it’s actually happening. Paralyzed by excitement, flushed with disbelief, you realize that your whole life is about to change. So what are your next steps?

Relax

The first thing you want to do is take a deep breath. You are going to need your composure to deal with the next steps properly, so, as excited as you are, you need to just relax a bit. Don’t phone every relative to tell them the good news, don’t go honking your car horn around the neighbourhood, and certainly don’t post anything on social media… at least not yet.

How Do You Want Your Money?

Once you handed your ticket in and have been confirmed a winner, you have a simple but impactful choice to make: do you want your jackpot as a lump sum of cash or as an annuity, paid to you yearly. You might intuitively, instinctively want to choose the former, because, after all, it’s your money and you want it all now. But according to this Investopedia article by a certified financial planner, the annuity is the better choice, since it’s ultimately subject to less tax, and can help your avoid overspending.

Have A Media Strategy

Should you talk to the media or keep a low profile? Ultimately, the choice is yours and all depends on whether you like the whole fame aspect of winning. Beware, however, that with the media spotlight will come hundreds of people that you know, including relatives, friends and casual acquaintances, all looking for a handout. Keeping a low profile allows you to choose who knows about your recent windfall, which can be a good thing.

Don’t Too Anything Too Rash, Too Quickly

It’s awfully tempting to want to call your boss and quit your job, but you have to wonder if that’s really the best step. For many, work can be a source of fulfillment, and without it they feel like they can’t lead a regular life anymore. Also, don’t go buying that jumbo jet just yet. Sit down with some trusted financial experts (not some opportunistic “finance guy” who contacts you after he’s heard about your winnings) and have a frank discussion about how to proceed with your newfound wealth.

Winning the Powerball is going to change your life forever. That’s for certain. If you find out you’ve won, make sure to take the right steps and make the right decisions so that you can enjoy your jackpot to the fullest extent.

5 Things To Remember When Shopping For A Used CMM

Coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) are one of the most important parts of any production line. Not only do they monitor quality to ensure that all produced parts match blueprint specifications, they can also provide reverse engineered blueprints from existing parts and fulfill a wide range of other important functions, from monitoring the overall wear on a production line to helping create accurate prototypes.

If you are in the market for a CMM, one of the best ways to save money is by buying used, and to make sure you get the best possible deal, here are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Do Your Research

As with any major addition to a production line or change in equipment, it is important to find out what you should be looking for. Metrology is a complex field, and even within the world of tactile probe CMMs there is a huge range of different options. Doing some preliminary research will give you a sense for what is available and what it costs, and when it comes to actually shopping for a used machine, knowing which questions to ask will help you know whether you’re getting a good deal or a bad one.

  1. Consider Your Needs

CMMs are specialized pieces of equipment, so when considering which used CMM to buy, it is important to find out what the needs of your production line are. Is a bridge CMM best, or will you need a cantilever model? Does it need to be a tactile probe, or would a laser scanner suit your needs just as well? Before you start shopping for a used CMM, make sure you understand exactly what you’re looking for.

  1. Only Buy From Experienced Dealers

Buying used equipment is one of the best ways of saving money when setting up a new production line, but purchasing sub-par equipment is never worth it in the long run. This is especially true when it comes to CMMs, because if you buy a used CMM equipment that doesn’t work as it should, you could seriously compromise your quality control.

  1. Have All Machines Professionally Installed

By their very nature, CMMs are sensitive, and changes in temperature and humidity can have a measurable effect on their accuracy. Hiring metrology professionals to install your used CMM once you’ve purchased it is the best way to guarantee that it is positioned for optimal performance.

  1. Calibrate Before Using

Even if you’ve taken care at every step of the way to ensure the machine you are purchasing is in good condition and has been properly installed, it is still extremely important to make sure it is calibrated by metrology professionals before you start using it.

There is no shortage of high quality used CMMs of all kinds on the market today, and with a little research it is possible to find a truly great deal. But it doesn’t pay to take chances with such an important piece of equipment, which is why you should make sure to know what you are buying, purchase it from a trustworthy dealer, and have it professionally installed and calibrated.

Taking And Printing Photos Using HDR Mode

You may have noticed but never used HDR mode on your phone or camera. It stands for High Dynamic Range and has its roots in traditional film photography. It’s a technique or mode that captures a wide range of light and dark – the “dynamic range” – in a photo. Digitally, it’s an easy way to create detailed photos with complex tones by combining multiple exposures in one image. HDR takes a bit longer to process once you’ve clicked the shutter because the program is combining three different images into one. The end result is an effect that goes a long way to replicate what your eyes and brain are processing instead of what your camera normally shows.

Scenes with low light or backlighting benefit greatly from HDR. It brightens the foreground or your focal object without negatively affecting the well-lit areas. Landscapes that are brightly sunlit have a lot of light and shadow to work with, so large outdoor scenes offer great contrast for HDR. Outdoor portraits are often taken in the shade because harsh sunlight creates unattractive shadows and glare on faces. But HDR mode takes care of this by mitigating the unflattering effects.

HDR effects can become too extreme, making an image look surreal and strange under certain circumstances. Photos with too much contrast from the combined exposures and colour details can get overwhelming and create an uncanny feel.Images with movement – people, vehicles, wind effects, etc. – can become blurry due to the time it takes for your camera to take three pictures. You might, however, want to capture the movement of water. It’s good to experiment to see for yourself how it operates.Scenes that already have a nice contrast to them can be weakened by HDR mode because of the middling effect of the other images. It can wash out that nice natural shadow or outline. Same with colours – naturally brilliant and deep colours can be weakened or washed out.

When you’re ready to print your HDR photo, it’s important to find good quality printing services that use high-end materials. A boutique, professional printing shop like Printpartner.ca creates archival quality finished products by using the best techniques and equipment in the industry, combined with skilled handcrafted service. They can help you select the best medium to enhance your image and custom fit everything with ready-to-display mounts.

A range of mediums suit the vivid detail and colours of an HDR image. Professional printing services know how to achieve and present a full, accurate spectrum of colour, dynamic range, and detail with little noise or other disruptive effects. Print Partner hires artists and photographers who know how to translate a digital image to canvas, metal, or acrylicfor maximum quality. Lower quality papers and finishes reduce the character of HDR, making it pointless; so, choosing the best and proper medium is just as important as a great photo.

Metallic and acrylic surfaces allow for bold, complex, and vivid colours. Metal prints have superior HD quality and acrylic refracts light for a beautiful shine. Both mediums look spectacular with no frame or border for a contemporary feel. Glossy, satin, or lustre finishes also heighten the dynamic atmosphere and tone of the images, adding depth and even iridescence with a pearl finish. Gloss intensifies blacks and highlights. Satin or lustre adds a nice texture and durability and harkens back to darkroom printing.

Test out your HDR mode next time you’re shooting photos and discover what works for you.

4 Signs That It’s Time To Call A Plumber

It’s infinitely easier for you to solve a home maintenance problem if you detect it at an early stage, because oftentimes once you realize that you have a plumbing emergency, it has already become a large and costly issue.

All kinds of emergencies occur unexpectedly, including plumbing emergencies, which is why it’s advisable for residents of the GTA to keep in contact with a round-the-clock plumber in Toronto to make sure you’re taking proper preventative measures to avoid an emergency. Failing to promptly address a plumbing emergency might result in additional repair costs and excessive property damage. Here are four signs that should alert you when its time to call for the services of a plumber.

Failure Of A Bathtub To Drain, Or A Clogged Toilet
You might think that using clog-removing products can solve the problem of a slowly draining bathtub, and a good plunging job can cure the problem of a clogged toilet. To some extent, this might help but it isn’t a long lasting solution to the problems. You might still experience the clogging even after trying to work with several home methods. You should therefore assume that there might be a large obstruction in the pipes, thus requiring you to seek the services of an experienced plumber.

Water Running In Your Pipes Or Toilet
If you hear water running in your pipes when you are not using it in your house, there definitely might be a leakage somewhere. Clear evidence of this is the appearance of brown spots on the ceilings, floors and even walls. This can happen at anytime, hence the need for you to have a round-the-clock plumber to service your pipe network at any time of the day. To be sure that there is a leakage somewhere, you should check whether the meter is spinning while no water is in use.

Gurgling
If you hear gurgling noises while either running your laundry machine, flushing your toilet, or when running your dishwasher, it indicates the presence of a clogged drain. If this occurs, you should immediately switch off the appliance in use to avoid backup, then contact a plumber. If gurgling occurs while the toilet is not running, you should definitely know that the system is clogged. This might lead to backup, which could result in extreme damages.

Faucets Continuous Dripping
You can easily ignore a dripping faucet until your utility bill comes, and that’s when you understand the amount of water that goes into waste but you still pay for it. If you are unable to tighten the joints by yourself, call a professional plumber to fix it for you.

If you’re worried about the costly or deleterious effects a plumbing emergency might have on your home and family, contact a round-the-clock plumber in Toronto today. A professional plumber will resolve your plumbing issues in no time, and offer you tips and tricks to help prevent further emergencies from happening in the future. Keep the number of a trusted round-the-clock plumber on your fridge or in your wallet – better safe than sorry!

A Guide To Choosing The Right Freestanding Bath

Freestanding baths are among the modern, stylish and luxurious baths you can have in your bathroom. After a long day of work, this is the best place to relax and unwind your day-to-day stress. Most people are remodelling their bathrooms by installing the latest types of freestanding baths. It is, however, important to note that these baths are available in different designs and sizes. Here are great tips to guide you in finding the best freestanding baths.

Choose the right type

There are different types of freestanding baths. The best type for you depends on your bathroom size, needs and preference. Here are some of the available types of freestanding baths you should know about.

Floor set model – this freestanding bath is firmly installed on the floor. Floor set models are available in oval, round, free-form and rectangular shapes.

Footed bath – this is probably the most popular bath on the market today. These freestanding baths have unique feet in different designs. They are mostly preferred for their antique and elegant look.

Slipper bath – this is an oblong-shaped bath with a reclined end where you can rest your head while the rest of the body is submerged in the water.

Japanese soaking – this is the deepest of all types. It is the best bath to relax in after a tiring day. These are made of copper, wood or steel.

Consider the bath material

Freestanding baths are made from different materials. The material used highly determines the quality of the bath. Among the materials you can choose from are:

Steel – this type of bath is an improvement on the traditional cast iron bath. It is lighter in weight and ideal for an upstairs bathroom.

Composite – these baths are mainly made from a mixture of ground stone and resin. They usually consist of either quartz or granite. Composite baths are available in different designs and colours.

Acrylic – these are the most sought-after baths. These freestanding baths are affordable and easy to clean. They are also easy to repair when scratched. Acrylic is the best material as it absorbs and retains heat.

Choose the right size

Before you order any type of freestanding bath, make sure that it is the right size. Where do you intend to install it? What are the dimensions of your bathroom? Choose a bath that will perfectly fit in your bathroom. You may also consider the positioning of the bath before choosing the right shape.

Finally, look at your budget. Find a bath that is within your budget. You can request several quotes and compare the options before finally making your selection of the most suitable and affordable freestanding bath for your bathroom.

4 Top Tips For Successful Social Media Management

Social media is one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools a business can use to market its goods or services.

Many industries now rely heavily on digital marketing, with plenty of consumers regularly influenced by the information they find online.

Read on for our top four tips for successfully promoting your business on social media.

Use the platforms that suit your business

There’s an ever-increasing list of social media platforms to use, but you don’t have to be on every single one of them.

Facebook and Twitter remain hugely popular with business, but LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram are others worth considering.

Doing selected ones well rather than all of them badly will pay dividends in the long run, and it’s certainly worth asking your customers which ones they use the most.

Test out different platforms and publish various types of content. Once you know what works keep doing it on a consistent basis and you will reap the rewards.

Create a content calendar

Spend time creating a content calendar that is in line with your organisational and marketing goals.

Gambling companies like Mohegan Sun Casino could use this method to plan out when it posts exciting offers or promotions.

Make sure that you include staff and customer focused content to ensure that the people at the core of your business feel valued and worthwhile.

Once you have the framework laid out, use social media management tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule the content.

Social media management tools are your friend

Tools such like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Sprout Social are invaluable when it comes to managing your social media pages.

These allow you to save time by scheduling posts, and include content calendar functions to plan a weekly strategy that is timely and relevant to your business’ audience.

This allows you to focus on real-time moments that happen in your company and gives your social media the ideal mix of content to keep people engaged.

Utilise your staff

Companies can produce vibrant social media marketing without needing to invest huge amounts of` money or employ an external agency.

Your staff and customers are an unlimited resource you can utilise – they can provide huge amounts of content you can use on social media.

They have informative success stories and valuable insights you can use to retain existing customers and help attract new business.

Recent Advancements in Medical Technology

If you have an interest in medical developments and advancements in medical technology, Life Medical Technologies believes it’s well worth continuing reading to discover some of the most fascinating breakthroughs in medical technology.

Recent advancements in medical technology:

1. The rise of less invasive screening innovations

While in the past being screened for diseases would often involve painful or uncomfortable, embarrassing experiences, in the near future expect to see invasive forms of screening for diseases made obsolete by new developments in technology.

As an example, the medical company Life Medical Technologies specializes in developing and selling diagnostic solutions which will identify breast diseases such as breast cancer. While women who are looking to be screened for breast diseases currently have to undergo an uncomfortable mammogram, in the future Life Medical Technologies plans on releasing diagnostic solutions which will allow women to be screened for breast diseases without any pain or discomfort.

In fact, Life Medical Technologies had already developed and released a diagnostic tool, which is less invasive than mammograms which is currently marketed under the name BreastCare DTS.

2. The rise of laser surgery as a popular surgical option

Laser surgery is becoming an increasingly popular option for patients who are required to undergo intricate surgical procedures. As an example, individuals who are required to undergo a surgical procedure in order to treat cataracts, which causes a loss of vision in individuals over the age of 40, are now able to opt for laser eye surgery. Which allows individuals to fix their cataracts in one appointment.

Better yet, as laser surgery isn’t as invasive as other forms of surgery, most individuals who undergo laser surgery of one form or another, are able to go home, 30 minutes after their procedure.

You may also be surprised to read that laser surgery is also used in dentistry in order to cut away gum, in order to work on the base of a tooth.

3. The rise in popularity of laparoscopic surgery

What is laparoscopic surgery and why has it become such a popular option, within such a short period of time? Instead of having to create large cuts in order to complete surgical procedures, modern-day surgeons now try and use laparoscopic procedures which involve using a series of tiny keyhole-sized incisions, to access their patients’ organs.

Some of the benefits of laparoscopic surgery include a much shorter recovery period for patients and less prominent scarring. Which means that individuals will be able to confidently continue on with their life without having to worry about covering up large, unsightly scars.

4. More technologically advanced prosthetic limbs

In the past, the prosthetic limbs which were available were cumbersome and could not simulate the feel of a real limb. However, in recent years the medical field has begun to produce prosthetic limbs which allow their users to walk as naturally as their friends and family members!

If the advancements in medical technology listed above are anything to go by, you can expect to see the medical industry grow in the near future!

GPS Tracker: The Hiker’s New Best Friend

There’s no doubt that hiking has come into a league of its own over recent years. Once upon a time it might have been seen as unfashionable and perhaps more suited to elderly people. Now, the situation is completely different, and the era of the Great Outdoors really has endorsed itself to the popularity of hiking.

While there are countless reasons behind the above, with governmental initiatives being one of these, something else which has aided its plight is the modern-day GPS tracker. Initially, these may have been reserved for logistics companies, but they have been adapted into wearable products and this has allowed a hiker to really reap the rewards.

Bearing this in mind, let’s now take a look at some of the ways in which these products have helped carry hiking to the next level.

They have made everyone love (or hate) statistics

One of the main reasons these products are so popular is because of their impact on statistics. Now, it’s possible to venture off on a hike and receive immediate feedback on how it has impacted your body. You will find how many calories you have burned, what your average heart rate is as well as countless other stats.

As we all know, we are now living in an era where our levels of fitness are scrutinized at every level. For those of us who really want to develop our bodies, finding out this immediate feedback on our hikes is invaluable for our progress.

Routes have now become more adventurous

One of the big risks for some hikers was that routes were starting to become boring. This wasn’t because these hikers lacked imagination; it was because they didn’t want to venture out into the wilderness where getting lost was a possibility, or even wandering into a somewhat dangerous area.

This is where the GPS tracker has come in and almost rescued the situation on its own. The fact that a person’s location can be immediately relayed to loved ones means that a greater degree of security is felt during these works, and this should not be understated.

On a slightly different note, any new routes that are attempted are documented on the tracker. This means that it’s easy to revisit them and ultimately, enjoy your walks a little more.

They have made life much safer

The previous point touched on this, but there’s no doubt that a GPS tracker really has made life safer for hikers.

We’re not necessarily talking about the risks of wandering into dangerous areas here either. Instead, it’s all about incurring an injury and being stuck in the middle of nowhere. Particularly for those hikers that ventured out alone, this was a significant risk factor.

Some might suggest that these people could just tap into their mobile phone to contact the emergency services. However, with most “adventurous” walks in remote areas, there’s every chance that the phone would be without any signal. As the GPS runs on different frequencies, this isn’t a problem and a person can be located regardless of their phone’s signal quality.

5 Tech Gadgets For Kids

Whether your child’s birthday is coming up or you’re simply interested in treating your child to a brand new tech gadget, continue reading to discover 5 high-tech gadgets, which your child is sure to love!

5 Tech Gadgets for Kids:
1. AmbyGear Smartwatch
The AmbyGear Smartwatch is packed full of educational games, which will keep your child entertained. Better yet, while your child is wearing their smartwatch, you’ll be able to track their every move using GPS. However, what makes the AmbyGear Smartwatch unique is that you’ll be able to ring your child at any time. As an added benefit, your child will also be able to contact you, if they get lost or feel scared.

If there are areas such as a local park by your school which you let your child explore on their own, you can set such an area as a safe zone, which means that you’ll be contacted the minute your child leaves the safe zone, which you left them to play in.

2. The Kano Computer Kit
The Kano Computer Kit allows kids to build their very own computer. Once your child has built their Kano Computer they’ll be able to learn how to create their own apps and can play a variety of games, which will teach them valuable coding skills.
3. Littlebits Star Wars Droids Inventor Kit
If your child is a huge Star Wars fan, they’ll love the opportunity to build their very own R2D2 android. Thankfully putting R2D2 together is child’s play as the Littlebits Star Wars Droids Inventor Kit comes with child-friendly, step by step instructions. Once your child has successfully built their new friend, they’ll be able to control R2D2 via a smartphone app.
4. Vivo Fit Jr
The Vivo Fit Jr is a child-specific activity tracker which tracks children’s sleep quality as well as how many steps they take per day and how many minutes they spend playing. If you purchase a Vivo Fit Jr device for your child, they’ll be encouraged to play for at least 60 minutes per day and will be rewarded if they meet this realistic target. Better yet the Vivo Fit Jr allows you to set up personalized activity goals and chores, which your child will be rewarded for fulfilling.
Lastly, the Vivo Fit Jr is waterproof and offers a wide variety of interchangeable wristbands. Examples of which include Disney themed wristbands, which your child will love.
5. Monqi Kids Smartphone
If you’re looking to purchase your child’s first smartphone, you may want to consider purchasing a child-specific Monqi Kids Smartphone. The Monqi smartphone allows you to control your child’s smartphone using an app on your own smartphone. As an example, you’ll have the option of turning your child’s internet access of at night or restricting the times of day which they are allowed to play their favorite smartphone game.

So if you’re looking to treat your child to a brand new gadget, it’s well worth considering purchasing one of the 5 highly rated kid specific tech gadgets listed above.