Archives for August 2018

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 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.

Stunning Islands of the South East Asia

If out love white beaches and crystal clear waters, then head straight for Southeast Asia!

With an extensive collection of islands, you are sure to remain spoilt for choices here. There are thousands and thousands of remote and unspoiled island paradises to browse from in Southeast Asia. Get ready for an incredible experience as you laze on those soft sandy beaches fringed by palm trees and green hills. Take up a Southeast Asian Island touring and explore endless opportunities for the tourists. Southeast Asia is blessed in abundance of some of the best Islands in the world that are sure to fit in your budget and expectations.

Hotels in Redang Island are high in popularity not just because of the excellent services and amenities, but also the beautiful island. The hotel is really lovely and just minutes away from the beach. The views are great, and the best part is that you enjoy luxurious services well within your budget.

Here is an overview of some of the most stunning Islands of South East Asia.


  • Koh Kradan – The tiny Thai island of Koh Kradan is just perfect for relaxing as well as enjoying adventurous water sports like snorkeling and swimming. Relax on the soft sands or watch a romantic sunset together. It is a peaceful setting within the beautiful tropical setting.
  • Similan Islands – Comprising of 11 archipelagos located along the west coast of the Andaman Sea, the Similan Islands are protected by the Thai government. The marine nature reserve with crystal-clear waters is indeed a paradise for snorkelers and divers.


  • Perhentian Islands – These islands are the perfect spot to relax and listen to music. Enjoy your cocktail as you sip on a cocktail, or you can go and explore the hidden coves and sandy beaches of the island. You can also go diving and snorkeling.
  • Pom Pom Island – Located off the east coast of Malaysia, this is another stunning island. The turquoise waters and coral reefs plus the vast number of fish species are sure to impress you. Do not be surprised to come across hawksbill marine turtles who come here to nest.
  • Redang Island – It is one of the largest islands and famous for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Tourists look forward to the opportunity of snorkeling and diving. Redang Island Resort is immensely popular among the tourists and locals for its fantastic services and comfortable stay.


  • Raja Ampat Islands- The island is a group of 1000 Islands, and it is a joy to visit the sparsely populated Island. Enjoy the sublime sceneries and the best jungles and more. Swim in the luminous turquoise waters and go for Snorkelling and diving which are a big attraction for the adventurous, active tourists.
  • The Mentawai Islands- These islands are located in the western side of Sumatra and is well known for its sharp waves. The mesmerizing sea is impeccable for Surfing. You can drive in a fast boat or go trekking and camping.


  • Palawan Island – The Island is the famous green Island of Philippines and is covered with greeneries. You will love the fantastic picturesque of the island with the blue sea and the very renowned waterfall here. Hiking is a favorite activity here, and one can explore the 22000 years old Tabon Cave.
  • Cebu Island – The Cebu Island is well known for its stunning view of the seas and mountains. This is just the perfect island for adventure seekers as there is plenty to and see. One can explore the outstanding natural beauty, relax at the resorts, trial to the mountains or go fishing in the nearby villages.

The above are just a couple of islands that should be on your list. However, there are many more beautiful islands in South East Asia

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?


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.

3 Timeless Hairstyles And How To Achieve Them

There’s an old saying that goes: “Your hair is 90% of your selfie.” Okay, so, it’s not that old. But it’s true, and every year sees new styles and old classics that return. Some recent showings were the centre part craze, the bevelled bob, the tousled topknot, and the French twist revival. And while some hairstyles achieve timelessness, others are too trendy and become dated when attempted years or decades later. Here are three solid hair looks that are fabulous for now and have the versatility and flexibility for adaptations to last for a long time to come.

The Long, Straight, And Super-Sleek

With the end of summer comes the end of tousled, messy, beachy locks, too. A sophisticated autumn is all about sleek, straight hair with a centre or off-centre part, emphasizing the angles of your face and – when worn over one shoulder – the lines of your neck. To achieve this style, you’ll have to first grow your hair out to a healthy length for you. Use a high-quality bristle brush, like Mason Pearson brushes, and use in tandem with a blow dryer. Pair that with Oribe’s Straight Away Smoothing Blowout Cream, which is great at straightening hair, and make sure you set your blow dryer to a cool setting to get that super-sleek look and prevent frying. This exquisite style pairs perfectly with a fresh face and dramatic lip achieved with By Terry foundation and make up like the Twist-On Lip, a dual shade lip colour that achieves the popular ombre effect.

The Blunt, Short Bob

This style looks good in literally any colour – light brown, black, icy blonde, or even blue – and with a number of different textures, like messy, wavy or straight. The blunt line looks great on the back of your neck, creating a mod-style, peppy, sophisticated appearance. Since this style looks so good with a lot of shine, try regularly using Gloss Moderne’s vegan Clean Luxury Masque which de-frizzes, and adds shine with keratin and Panthenol. From its prominent appearance in Alexander Wang’s Fall 2017 show, to Kelly Rowland’s stunning signature centre-part version, the blunt bob is proving that it has major stamina.

The Mock-Perm

The final one is an ode to the 80s, but without the expensive, permanent prospect of having to actually get a perm. Either use your curling iron to make tight, bouncy curls, or, if you want to go heatless, start with damp hair and follow this video tutorial, which shows you how to use strips of fabric to create strong, bouncing curls. The mock-perm or faux-perm is as hot in 2018 as the real deal was thirty years ago – except this time, there’s no frizzing, scent, or weakening of the hair with harsh chemicals.

Whatever style you go for, just make sure that you stock up on products that are good for your hair, and don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a top salon visit every now and again for a professional haircut. You don’t need a lot of extra help to get that perfect, chic style, though – with just a few choice instruments and a little determination, you can own that selfie 100%.

You Can Have A Delightful Picnic When You Plan Ahead Of Time

An impromptu picnic sounds like a good idea, until you arrive at a clearing, sit down on the grassy lawn and realize that you forgot to bring key items — it could be napkins, cutlery, blankets, or even enough food to eat. While it’s possible to pack your bags and head to the park on a whim, you will definitely have a better picnic if you take some time to plan and prepare.

The first step to planning the perfect picnic is to set aside a moment to make a checklist of items that you will need for the day because you won’t want to drive all the way to the park, unpack your items, realize something is missing and then hurry back home to pick it up. It’s easy to underestimate the number of items that you will need since they are readily available in your kitchen. To make sure that you have a pleasant experience, here are some essentials that you could use:

  • Picnic baskets, canvas bags and coolers with ice packs
  • Disposable or reusable plates, bowls, cups and cutlery
  • Napkins or wet wipes for messes
  • Blankets and pillows for comfortable sitting
  • Appetizers, main courses, desserts and condiments
  • Refreshing drinks in cans, bottles or tightly sealed thermoses

You will want to have blankets and cushions to feel comfortable throughout the picnic and to protect your clothes from unwanted stains. If you like knitting and crocheting, you can go to the website Yarnspirations to find their Pic-Knit lookbook and follow the patterns for their convenient summer accessories that will make your family cozy and clean for the entire afternoon. The lookbook will let you know what materials work best with the patterns, like Patons Canadiana yarn or Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton yarn — these materials can be easily found in the website’s massive yarn selection. You can make items like square knit cushions, spiral crochet pillows, gingham picnic blankets and crochet placemats.

The food that you make for your picnic should be easy for you to transport, set up and eat — you don’t want to put something in a picnic basket that will spill everywhere, that will quickly melt in the sunshine or spoil. Sandwiches, wraps and stuffed pitas are great ideas for hearty dishes that won’t be too fussy for outdoor dining. There are also plenty of filling make-ahead salad recipes that you can bring in Tupperware or individual mason jars like potato salad, crunchy cabbage slaw, quinoa and sugar snap peas, barley with parsley or couscous. If you are the type of person who feels like a meal is incomplete without a sweet finale, you should consider baking a batch of portable desserts like crisp cookies, hand pies, lemon bars, brownies or turnovers.

When you do some planning ahead of time, your clothes won’t get dirty, your food won’t get soggy and you won’t need to go back home to get forgotten items. Your act of foresight will make sure that you and your family have a delightful and delicious picnic under the sunshine.


5 Reason Why You Should Travel To Uganda

Known as the pearl of Africa, Uganda safari is undoubtedly one of the best safari destinations in this beautiful continent. Millions of tourists all over the world travel to this country each year to see and enjoy its unmatched nature, diverse wildlife, and unique culture. However, there are still many exciting things that are still mysterious and appeals to those people who love adventurous trips. In this post, we’ll give you some reasons why you should travel to Uganda.

1. Gorillas tracking in safaris

Uganda is amongst the only 3 countries on Earth where mountain gorillas are still existing. In fact, up to 50% of the population is currently living in dozens of safaris around the country. Whether you have 3 days or 10 days, it is recommended to have a gorilla tracking tour to discover the life of these species. Booking a safari trip in Uganda is really simple with many discounted programs available. With so many national parks, natural reserves, and jungle forests, you can actually experience and learn more about the habituation of our close cousins.

2. Stunning national parks

There are 11 national parks in Uganda, and each of them is quite distinctive and has different features from the others. If you love boat cruises, then the Queen Elizabeth National Park can be a perfect destination with a trip between 2 rift valley lakes of Edward and George. This route accommodates the largest number of hippos in the world, but you can also see so many other species during 2 hours of the journey. The Murchison National Park located in the north of Uganda is another great place for bird lovers. Here you can see and record more than 600 bird species while taking a game drive in the ishasha or visiting the crater lakes.

3. Rwenzori mountain

When it comes to mountains in Africa, many people often think of Kilimanjaro. However, if you don’t like a destination with so many travelers, it is a good idea to visit the Rwenzori, which is one of the highest un-tapped mountains in Africa. It has an altitude of up to 5090 meters above the sea level and covered with snow capes all year round. Climbing the Rwenzori mountain isn’t only adventurous but also more challenging than Kilimanjaro. So if you are searching for the next climbing trip, then Uganda can be a great destination to consider.

4. Hospitable and friendly people

The local people in Uganda are wildly known for being very friendly and nice, especially to the foreigners. No matter who you are and where you come from, every Ugandan is always welcoming, happy and willing to help. With a lot of support, you can enjoy the best experience and cultural diversities here. From the east to the west, from the north to the south, you would find many interesting things to visit and do in Uganda, making it a relaxing and peaceful destination to visit.

  1. Conducive climate

Though Uganda is located near the equator, its climate isn’t actually the same as other equatorial regions because of several factors, including vegetation, relief, and water bodies. This means that you can visit this beautiful country all year round without worrying about boiling hot days or heavy rains.

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.

Back To School? Get To Know Your Fellow Students!

Heading back to school for the 2018 year? Maybe you finished up at high school and you’re headed into your first year of University? Whatever the case may be, it is not uncommon for students to be entering a new situation or starting at a new school where they are not well acquainted with the other students. Whether you’re shy, or simply new on campus it can be overwhelming to socialize with strangers in loud bars or in the socially intimidating ecosystem of the cafeteria. In this post, we’ll explore some strategies for getting to know your fellow students.

Throw a Party!

Typically, two good ways to initiate a good conversation is to (1) find a common interest to discuss or (2) create a common goal to work towards. For example, if you major in Biology, you could organize a party for your department with drinks and live music or a DJ. Starting a conversation will be easy, since everyone studies the same thing, has the same professors and very likely have similar career ambitions. Usually University departments have a bit of a budget set aside if you express the desire to plan a party. Why not put those tuition dollars to good use on a funk band and some sangria! You could even order high quality custom sweaters with biology puns on them, after all, nothing brings people together like a good dad joke!

Start a Hobby Group/ Fundraising Initiative

You could also propose a project where students would have to work together towards a common goal, so whether it’s fundraising for a good cause, starting a Led Zeppelin cover band to play the campus bar, or a slam poetry group, you can all bond over a shared sense of accomplishment. It’s easy to feel isolated and overwhelmed at college, pursuing personal expression and befriending people through project-based work is much healthier than smoking tons of pot and playing video games, or binge drinking at the bar.

Start a Study Group

A study group is an easy, helpful, low stakes excuse to stage a social gathering. Everyone in your class has to suffer through hours and hours of studying through mid-terms, so you may as well suffer together. Working in solitude can be extremely draining, if you’re working with classmates, you can help keep each other’s energy up by chatting and encouraging each other between spurts of making and memorizing notes. If you’re studying Spanish or Latin, there may be people who are more advanced than others in the group, who can help slower learning pick up the pace while refining their own skills. Some people learn better in a social setting.

Intramural Sports

Another great excuse for printing cool, custom athletic wear, getting together a game of soccer, ultimate Frisbee or basketball at the school gym is a great way to get those endorphins flowing while making friends. Most universities have amazing athletic facilities, why not take advantage? A steady university diet of ramen noodles, beer and pizza demands the occasional bout of exercise for damage control!