Old Habits Die Hard With Trump As His Campaign Utilizes Signage, Real Estate Style

It seems that real estate methods, and habits, die hard with Donald Trump in his race for the Republican ticket this year.

A detailed document, which was distributed to volunteers and staff members in South Carolina, lays out exactly where large “Trump” signs can and cannot be staked into the ground, reports The New York Times.

Interstate highways are off limits, because the signs would be removed by the Department of Transportation, and the “railroad side” of some small town main streets is also a no, “as this land belongs to the railroad company.”

Also off limits are university or government property, since it would suggest allegiance where there might not be any.

Approved locations are intersections (without blocking visibility), the outside curve of a road, and across the street from exits of malls and schools.

Signage, a low cost form of advertising that Trump had excelled in during his career as a real estate magnate, is being fully embraced by Trump supporters. A Greenville campaign staff member bragged that their office had just received a shipment of 12,000 yard signs.

Authors of the memo urge, “Use a series of three signs, spaced 10-15 feet apart. This catches the eye.”

The Trump campaign’s emphasis on yard sign designs may not be for naught, as an eye-catching design could help a candidate get noticed.

Trump is undoubtedly an aggressive and often effective advertiser. Earlier this week, Trump bought the domain rights to www.JebBush.com, which one would expect to lead to the site of his competitor for the Republican nomination. However, now the site automatically redirects to DonaldJTrump.com, his official campaign website.

Indiana County Considers Ordinance Allowing Golf Cart Travel

People use all sorts of modes of transportation to get around — from driving cars and trucks to riding bicycles and hoofing it with their own two feet. In Elkhart County of Indiana, however, residents might soon be legally allowed to add golf carts to the list of vehicles they can take on the road.

According to local NBC affiliate WNDU, Elkhart County Commissioners are in the process of examining an ordinance that would allow limited access to golf carts on certain roadways.

“We’ve actually had some discussion on and off for the last year, year and a half,” said Tom Byers, Elkhart County Administrator.

The main reason they’ve been having those discussions stems from the fact that many locals have taken a liking to traveling around their neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs on the motorized carts.

“Technically that is not legal,” Byers said. “I think because of that and the growing interest is why we wanted to take a look at it and say, okay, if this is a growing trend and this is what people want to do, let’s at least try to accommodate it.”

The proposed ordinance would essentially restrict the golf carts to slower traveling subdivision streets in order for safety and to keep traffic flowing smoothly. Most golf carts travel at top speeds of 15 to 25 miles per hour.

“You can cross a county road to get to another subdivision but you can’t drive along another numbered county road,” explained Elkhart County Commissioner Frank Lucchese.

The idea of such an ordinance is not unique and has, in fact, been initiated in towns and counties across the the United States.

There would, of course, be other restrictions besides where the golf carts are allowed, including the presence of mirrors, driving hours, and keeping them off of sidewalks. The commissioners will open the topic up for public debate on March 7.

Why Hiring a Professional for PPC Advertising is Key to Success

The world of business has changed dramatically over recent years, and one of the biggest areas in which it has is in advertising and marketing approaches. It used to be things like newspaper ads and billboards ruled the market. Television commercials are still important, but increasingly expensive and starting to lose a lot of its pull with the rise of cord-cutters and TiVo-type capabilities.

According to a recent piece from Everything-PR.com, one of the best new ways of generating traffic and ultimately purchases on your website is through pay per click (PPC) advertising campaigns. This style of marketing can be tricky for the amateur entrepreneur, though, and should probably be handled by the professionals.

PPC advertising, for those that don’t already know, is when a business pays a site, typically a search engine like Google, to include their advertisement on the pages that come up related to their industry. Whenever a person clicks on the advertising link, the company buying the PPC ad is charged an amount previously agreed upon to that hosting website.

Google, and their PPC system known as Google AdWords, is far and away the most popular service when it comes to this venue. Setting up a PPC campaign can be a great way to drum up interest and business, but it can also be a potential money pit if you don’t know what you’re doing.

It might sound like something easy enough that anyone can set up, but there is actually a lot of science that goes into creating a successful campaign. Selecting the right keywords, placing them in the right context and content, establishing quality landing pages, and monitoring click-through rate are all things professionals in the industry know how to do well.

The fact of the matter is studies have found PPC advertising can yield a return of 300% or more if done correctly. You might be able to do this yourself, but chances are you’ll have a lot more success with a professional helping you out.

Pet First Aid Course Being Offered by Vet University Hospital In Australia

People love their pets. It’s a simple fact of life — and one that a veterinary hospital in Australia apparently banked on when they decided to create a first aid class dedicated to teaching owners how to properly care for their pets.

According to the science and news information site ScienceWA.net.au, the Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital (MUVH) decided to start offering the first aid class in an effort to provide owners with valuable life-saving information and techniques when it comes to their furry companions.

The classes will ultimately be some combination of actual life-saving techniques and care tips to give owners the ability to identify what might be ailing their pet.

“We explain to pet owners how they can recognize early signs of illness before their pets reach a critical stage,” said Dr. Jill Griffiths of MUVH. “That allows us to treat them in a better condition which increases the chance of survival.”

The first aid course will cover everything from learning proper pet cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR) to applying splints for broken bones and bandaging a wound that results in arterial bleeding.

One of the most common issues when it comes to taking care of human wounds is an allergic reaction to bandage adhesive and skin rash, which can develop in up to 50% of people after prolonged contact it. That’s certainly not something that most pets deal with, but such risks are helpful for people to know about when taking care of any of their loved ones.

While do-it-yourself treatment will be an important part of the classes, officials involved believe the ability to recognize potentially serious conditions before they have time to develop might be the best thing the course will offer.

“We spend a lot of time explaining how to recognize an acute or emergency problem and appropriately assess the urgency of the situation. Animals, of course, can’t tell us how much pain they’re in,” said Griffiths.

This includes things like how to thoroughly examine a pet, how to check pulse and heart rate, and how to spot other factors that indicate something is wrong.

According to Griffiths, their clinic sees at least two pet deaths a week that could have been prevented with early intervention.

Judges in Norway Can Now Sentence Convicted Drug Users to Rehab

Although the U.S. is finally starting to lower its weapons in The War on Drugs, perhaps it could learn some lessons from Norway, which just updated the way judges are allowed to sentence convicted drug users for non-violent drug offenses. Instead of sentencing these people to prison — which is what the U.S. does so often that almost half of its federal prison population is connected to drugs — Norway now allows judges to sentence convicted drug users to rehabilitation programs.

As reported by Quartz and the Independent, the novel narkotikaprogram actually isn’t very new at all. It began back in 2006 in the cities of Oslo and Bergen, giving convicted drug users the option of signing up for drug treatment programs instead of going to prison.

The expanded program does have its restrictions; Norway’s new regulations have made it clear that judges are not required to give drug users the option of going to rehab and the court can decide which conditions each individual must abide by while in rehabilitation. Failure to follow these conditions would result in jail time, and any individual who is convicted, completes the rehabilitation program, and then returns to the drug scene will be required to serve his/her sentence in jail as usual.

Norway’s decision to change the way it handles drug-related crimes has received both praise and criticism. On one hand, it’s clear that Norway needs to take action and make changes in this sector; it has the highest number of people dying from overdoses than any other country in the European Union.

On the other hand — and this is what many Americans argue when they hear about prisoners being pardoned for non-violent drug-related crimes — it’s hard for a government to enforce rules that limit illicit drug use without enacting some sort of punishment.

“I would say that Norway’s decision is a step in the right direction. Many governments worldwide have decriminalized drug use for personal amounts,” said Arnold Hesnod, Clinical Outreach at Clear Sky Recovery. “The United States has an incarceration problem. While we account for only 5% of the world’s population, we house a staggering 25% of the world’s prison population. Many individuals behind bars are there due to non-violent, drug-related offenses.”

“The paradigm of criminalizing a medical condition (drug dependence) has produced absolutely no positive results. Better medically-based drug treatments are necessary, and “just say no” or “attend a 12-step meeting” hasn’t exactly worked out for the vast majority. Fortunately, there are new treatment options available such as ibogaine.”

Norway isn’t the first country to change the way it approaches the issue of drug use. Portugal decriminalized all drugs back in 2001 because its drug problem was so out of control that public officials didn’t know what else to do. It ended up working out pretty well.

Ireland announced last year that certain hospitals in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Limerick would have “supervised injecting rooms” for the treatment of drug addicts, and that the country would continue to look for more ways to improve how it handles drug use.

Perhaps none of these policies are 100% perfect, but they seem to be headed in the right direction.

Judge Approves Berkeley’s Cell Phone Radiation Warning Law With One Stipulation

In a legal dispute that started last year and will continue despite the most recent ruling, a California judge determined a cell phone radiation warning ordinance that was proposed last year in the city of Berkeley is allowable. A subtle tweak made to the original language of the ordinance helped to achieve this result, but as ArsTechnica.com reported, it won’t stop an appeal from the other side.

Last year, the city of Berkeley passed an ordinance that would require cell phone retailers to display a written warning on the potential dangers of radiation on a mounted poster or printed handouts. The original warning approved by the city council read as follows:

“To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. This potential risk is greater for children. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.”

The law was quickly challenged by CTIA, the international wireless trade group, on the basis that it violated a company’s First Amendment rights. While the First Amendment protects the right to freedom of speech, lawyers for the CTIA argued that the government was in fact forcing specific speech upon unwilling company’s.

United States District Judge Edward Chen was the ultimate adjudicator in the case and decided that the law should be upheld, with the stipulation that one line be struck from the ordinance: “This potential risk is greater for children.”

There are arguments on both sides of the debate when it comes to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiation from personal devices like cell phones and laptops. Proponents of EMF protection were certainly happy about the results in Berkeley.

Naturally, the CTIA is refuting claims that there are any tangible dangers and released a statement indicating that they will be appealing Judge Chen’s decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Digital Marketing Experts Predict New Trends in Web Design for 2016

Web design is one of the most fluid components of digital marketing, and experts are now trying to predict how (and if) the industry will see any changes during 2016.

According to Business2Community, web designers are weighing the pros and cons of several web design trends that emerged in 2015 to develop a proactive strategy for the coming year.

Several trends are expected to change drastically, while others may be completely phased out due to poor response from web users. One trend in particular that many expect to become obsolete is long-form scrolling.

Long-form scrolling essentially eliminates one step (creating different homepage menus) from the web design process, making it popular among web designers. However, consumers have been known to grow weary of scrolling for more than a few drags of the thumb, which makes this practice something to avoid in 2016.

Another popular web design trend that is expected to disappear is photos with built-in text that bring users to other pages on the website. While this also helps to consolidate pages on a website, it often confuses users who expect to find all of their information via navigation menus, as opposed to embedded links.

Website design trends are constantly evolving, and there is no single “correct way” to design a web page. Professional web design companies constantly upgrade their practices to best serve clients, which is why so many major companies utilize their services.

“The opportunities for people to do their own web design are more plentiful than ever. However, it is important for people and brands to consider the tremendous value added by professional web designers,” said Colby Richards, Managing Partner with Brown Box Branding Seattle. “Doing the work on a daily basis and having the ability to measure the effectiveness of various designs puts the pros in a strong position to help avoid costly pitfalls that may actually harm a brand.”

It seems as though 2016 will bring about widespread change in the world of web design, but experts also believe that some trends will remain unchanged this year.

According to FastCoDesign, web users will continue to see a heavier emphasis on mobile optimization in 2016. It seems as if everyone now has a smartphone, and companies have been making changes to accommodate mobile users for the past several years.

Additionally, experts also predict that the recent trend of creating eye-catching illustrations for websites will hold strong this year. Instead of using stock photos, more web designers are using their artistic chops to give websites a more unique appeal.

It remains to be seen how different web design will look towards the end of 2016, but it’s safe to say that some distinct changes are on the horizon for many web designers.

Could You Plan a Home’s Construction By Yourself?

Building house on blueprintsBuilding a home is a very complex, and not to mention expensive, endeavor for anyone.

This was the harsh realization that brought Vineet Singh, co-­founder and CEO of Buildzar, to invent the Beztimate home building tool, according to Tech 2 of FirstPost.

“After going through a bad experience during my home building journey, I figured out that there is a lot of information asymmetry prevailing in the domain. Hours of online research and fumbling through many home design magazines gives you nothing more than just theory,” explained Singh.

Buildzar, India’s online marketplace for home construction and improvement needs, designed the Beztimate to calculate quick cost estimates for any individual project.

The estimate includes detailed information about the required building materials and even the construction schedule.

“Building a new home might take between 6-12 months to complete, so if you’re considering building your home always check out your builder and make sure he is a legitimate contractor and has experience building homes in the city of your choice. On your list of things to check should be: local building codes, subcontractors your builder is using, materials used to build and finish your home. Don’t settle for the cheap stuff when it comes down to windows, roofing or siding. Use premium materials; builder grade exterior cladding will not last long,” said Peter Kiwior, owner of Pro-Home Services.

“Moreover, there is no price sanctity. Each service provider will give you a different ‘number’ and your entire home construction budget will go haywire,” said Singh.

The Beztimate’s estimations are based off input of commercial construction industry standards and the construction location, which includes the construction laws and bylaws in place in the region, such as floor area ratio (FAR), setbacks, and height restrictions.

The calculations encompass the costs of design, labor, and material.

With the United States housing market on the rise, the Beztimate could be an extremely useful tool in America.

As ABC News reports, construction spending in the U.S. rose to the highest level in eight years by the end of 2015.

Home construction peaked back in 2006, before continuously falling for the better part of the next five years. Come 2012, construction spending finally began to ramp up once again.

Overall, construction spending increased 0.1% in December, driven mainly by gains in home construction and government projects. In total, construction jumped 10.5%, up to $1.1 trillion this past year.

Home construction on its own rose a total of 12.6% over 2015.

New Research Reveals That Bed Sheets and Pillows May Be Dirtier Than Most People Think

There is no concrete rule regarding when to wash bed sheets, but scientists are now claiming that bedding may need to be cleaned much more often than most people think.
Tech Insider recently spoke to Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and pathologist at the New York University School of Medicine. He gave them some insight into the germs and debris that are lurking in every set of bed sheets at any given moment.
“You have spores of fungi, bacteria, animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, finishing agents of whatever the sheets are made from, coloring material, all sorts of excrements from the body including sweat, sputum, vaginal, and anal excretions, urine milieu, and skin cells,” said Tierno.
While most of these germs are naturally occurring, Tierno also pointed out a few other ways that people tend to accidentally infest their beds with contaminants.
“…There are cosmetics that people use — they put oils and creams on their body, all of that is in that milieu, including food by the way, people eat in the bed. That of course provides a nice environment for these organisms,” said Tierno.
Tierno added that bed sheets “should be washed probably on the average of once a week,” but some bed owners wait much longer to wash their sheets because they’re afraid the bedding won’t last as long that way.
To combat this early wear and tear, most bedding experts recommend linen sheets. Organic linen stands up to constant washing better than cotton or other materials, allowing bed owners to keep their sheets clean without needing to buy new ones.
Tech Insider also performed a survey of 523 adults to find out how often they wash their bed sheets, and the results were surprising. They claim that 46% of respondents wash their sheets at least once a week.
In a similar survey, The Mirror, an English publication, found that the average adult in the UK only washes their bed sheets once every two weeks. Even worse, about 45% of respondents in that same survey said they have never even washed their pillows or duvets.
While the stark contrast between these two surveys could be indicative of cultural differences between the UK and the U.S., there’s also a good chance that some Americans fudged their responses to sound more clean than they actually are.

Every Presidential Candidate Has to Get Around the Country Somehow and They’re Spending a Lot to Do it

Not only is he currently leading in many national polls, despite his recent second place finish in the Iowa Caucus, but it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump leads the pack when it comes to expenditures on air travel.

According to the travel industry news site RoadWarriorVoices.com, the Uber-style private jet charter service JetSmarter recently released an infographic detailing just how much each of the top presidential candidates is spending on airfare to travel the United States kissing babies and pandering to audiences.

As you would have expected, Trump is far and away the leader in this category, as he reportedly paid $100 million for his very own Boeing 757 in 2011. He bought the jumbo airliner from Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder and previous owner of the plane.

One could argue that Trump — ever the savvy businessman, as he’s sure to tell you himself — actually made one of the more financially sound decisions with this exorbitant purchase.

It might seem counterintuitive, but at least he owns his giant personal aircraft carrier and has some real equity. All the other candidates are shelling out big stacks of cash for their temporary rental services. Well, with the exception of maybe the People’s Champion, a.k.a. Bernie Sanders, who was spotted still flying commercial as recently this past fall.

But take Hilary Clinton, for example. She spends about $5,850 an hour to travel around in a Dassault Falcon 900B. Ben Carson has spent over $60,000 on private charter jet services, while Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz reportedly spend about $5,000 and $3,000 an hour respectively on their travel.

Regardless of what you think of their spending habits, most business travelers seem to be happy the candidates at the top are choosing to spend their money flying solo. According to a survey of 500 business travelers from the black car service Groundlink, Donald Trump was voted as the worst political candidate to sit next to on a flight, with Hilary Clinton taking second.