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The Importance of Proper Weaning of Your Dog

Puppies bring exciting times to any home. However, you need to make sure you wean the puppy from the mother in the right way so that you can rear the puppy the right way. The right weaning also makes it easy to train the puppies when the right time comes. You also give the mother dog the right environment to rear her puppies.

Purchasing a Puppy

As a new owner of a puppy, it is vital that you are careful not to purchase a puppy that the seller has taken away from the mother dog too soon. Getting the puppy from its mother earlier than required will be detrimental to the health of the puppy. You need to know that the puppy acquires life lessons and antibodies that fight against diseases from its mother. You need a puppy that has been weaned the right way.

Basic Doggy Skills

The mother dog is responsible when it comes to teaching her puppies doggy manners. This happens between 3 and 7 weeks of age. The mother dog teaches the puppy what is right and what is wrong. For example, after the puppy is done teething, the mother dog teaches the puppy how to go easy on feeding. The mother dog will show her disapproval in various ways including baring its teeth to snarling.

The mother dog will continue with the behavior until the moment she desires the puppies go off on their own. In summary, the puppies learn all there is about lip reading, bite inhibition and basic dog language.

The Importance of the Litter

Puppies also learn a lot from other puppies present in the litter. Playtime at this stage is vital for the proper growth of the puppies. While they play, one of the puppies might become temperamental when one puppy bites another too hard. Puppies that haven’t had the lessons learned in a litter will find it hard to accept discipline during training.

Early separation Problems

One of the issues that pet owners face when it comes to training is the threat of being bitten by the puppy. This happens especially when handling dogs that were separated from their family at the right time. These animals tend to identify much more with their handlers than other animals.

These dogs don’t know that they are animals and will associate with humans more than animals. The dogs will be aggressive towards other pets, bark excessively, be hard to train and be nervous.

What Should You Do?

When you are faced with a puppy that was separated from its mother dog at the right time, you need to use different tools and accessories to make sure you train them the right way. A long time ago, you had to scour the internet and pet stores to get what you need. Times have changed, and imagine you can now get all the tools, ranging from whelping boxes to kennels from PetNap!

The Bottom-line

Finding the right puppy isn’t all about going and buying one from the seller. You need to make sure it is the right kind of puppy that will give you an easy time when it comes to training.

Lack of IDs Can Ruin an Institution

Lack of IDs Can Ruin an Institution

Everyone is aware of how crucial IDs are in the modern society. But, has anyone ever imagined what would happen to an institution that does not utilize an ID? Well, it is clear that there will be negative consequences, but to be more specific, here they are:

Difficulty of Identifying Personnel

One clear issue is that it will be difficult to identify personnel without IDs. After all, people rely too much on documents, as these are actual proof of identity. Now, without them, there would be less order in an institution since supervisors would have to rely on their memory to distinguish individuals.

Lack of Security

Since there is no actual evidence of one’s identity, people have to resort to memorizing faces as well as verbal statements. However, these are not reliable, and it is easier for unauthorized personnel to get inside the institution. Furthermore, there is an increased likelihood of theft and property damage since culprits can get away with them.

Segregating Personnel from Visitors

Without IDs, it is difficult to distinguish the personnel of the institutions from visitors. As such, it would lead to confusion during instances in which other companies would come to visit. Anyway, lack of segregation can be somewhat detrimental since it can disrupt the order in the workplace.

Inefficient Workflow

Since people need to spend time figuring out who is who, the workflow is inefficient. At work, every second does count, and each moment spent trying to recall the identity of a person subtracts the productivity. Also, the wrong roles can be assigned to someone, which further disrupts the flow of work.

Lack of Unity

When there is no common identity, it is only natural to assume a lack of unity. When nothing binds people together, cooperation becomes less smooth. And for an institution who wishes to be competitive, they will fail their goals since its workers lack an identity.

Also, some studies indicate that people cooperate better when others call them by their name. And without IDs, it becomes difficult to identify someone right away. As such, there would be minimal camaraderie among the workers of the institution.

No Additional Features

IDs tend to have additional features, such as magnetic stripes and such. Even access to certain parts of a facility can be done via ID scans. However, without them, it is difficult to provide extra benefits to employees.

Creating IDs is Easy

Now that you are aware of the importance of IDs, you should implement their use. You can print IDs either locally or by choosing an online service. If you would prefer a suggestion, have a look at https://www.easyidcard.com/ as they offer quality services.

Conclusion

Without IDs, institutions would go on the path to ruin, since the modern society requires them. Your institution would have a difficulty of identifying personnel, lack of security and segregation, inefficient workflow, lack of unity, and there will be no additional features. Thus, you should choose to implement an ID program in your workplace, if you still have not.

Being an Ethical and Environmentally Conscious Company Works for Nespresso.

Coffee. It fuels a nation of students, office workers, truck drivers and sleep-deprived parents.

Coffee beans are traded on the stock market in much the same way gold is. From Africa to South America, Europe to Asia, no matter where you go in the world, you will find coffee.

With people to the world over drinking coffee, have you ever stopped to consider the environmental impacts of your coffee addiction? From the water used to grow the coffee beans, to the land usage, transportation and production of the final grind, what does it take to get it to your mug?

Nespresso is one of the biggest names in the market. With great fame comes great responsibility. Nespresso has made some big commitments to being an Ethical and Environmentally conscious company. We’ve taken a look at some of them here.

Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a certification that coffee producers and manufacturers can get if their methods hold up to certain standards. These standards include ensuring that the farmers receive a fair price for their Coffee beans. The coffee farmers are encouraged to use sustainable farming practices and are prohibited from using slave labor or child labor.

Nespresso has publicly announced that they aim to support independent farmers by collaborating the fair-trade program. This has been great for their public image and is a positive step towards encouraging healthy microeconomics in several typically low-income regions.

Recycling

One of the biggest issues Nespresso has faced is the environmental impact of the one-use, disposable coffee pods used by their machines. As of 2012, Nespresso sold more than 27 Billion dollars’ worth of coffee capsules across 62 countries. That’s a lot of coffee and a lot of disposable pods. An initiative to become more Environmentally responsible has seen the introduction of a coffee pod recycling scheme.

Nespresso® Pods are collected by the company and recycled into new pods, Nespresso Machines, and other recycled products. Today Nespresso has over 14,000 dedicated Nespresso® Pods collection points around the world. If you don’t live within close proximity to a collection point you can take advantage of using one of 19,000 Australian Post boxes in Australia or one of 80,000 UPS points in the US.

Saving the Rainforest

In 2013 Nespresso rolled out its AAA Sustainable Quality Program which teams up with The Rain Forest Alliance. Part of the aim behind this alliance is to stop farmers from clearing land encroaching into rainforest areas. Another is to ensure that farmers that do the right thing receive fair compensation for their products.

Carbon Footprint

The Nespresso Web site boasts that Nespresso has 100% Carbon efficient operations. Impressive, right? Well if that’s not enough to impress you, they also plan to reduce their carbon footprint by a further 10%. For a global company of this size, that really does make a difference. If only all the multinationals could get on board with their own environmental initiatives, in such a positive way.

The Positive Cup

Branded as ‘The Positive Cup’, Nespresso’s goals for 2020 are clear.

“The Positive Cup program incorporates ambitious goals in the areas of coffee sourcing and social welfare; aluminum sourcing, use and disposal and resilience to climate change.”-Nespresso

They aim to reach 100% Sustainably sourced coffee by 2020, through their AAA Sustainability Program.  Part of this includes investing over $15 Million into Kenya, South Sudan, and Ethiopia over the next 6 years. This program aims to educate farmers in biodiversity, fair worker treatment, and water management.

Currently, Nespresso’s AAA Sustainable Quality Program, which was launched in 2003, has had over 70,000 farmers, across 12 countries join their program. This figure represents more than 80% of their total coffee supply.

So, the next time you order your coffee pods online, consider what you are purchasing. Are you buying your coffee from an ethical and environmentally conscious source? You may have an aromatic, indulgent brew at the push of a button, but what did it take to get to your kitchen?

And when you are finished that life-giving elixir on a dreary Monday morning, please consider the environment before you carelessly drop your empty pods into the trash. With literally thousands of convenient places where you can deposit your used pods to be recycled, you really have no excuse not to!

Laser Marking Machines – What Can They Do?

Laser marking is the process of labeling or ‘marking’ on certain materials using a laser machine. How the materials are marked depends on the application and the programming you use. Laser marking is the broad term used in this industry.

Categories of laser marking include removing, cutting, staining, foaming, annealing, etching, or engraving. Each process has its upsides and downsides, but they are used according to the material being marked on.

Three Benefits of Laser Marking

  1. Consistent Quality with High Precision – Highly precise marking with consistent quality are earmarks of laser marking. Even with the most delicate of projects, lasers mark with amazing clarity that is has yet to be matched. Even if you must use the 1-point font size, the image or text will be clearly legible. Besides this unmatched clarity, laser marking is also known for its constant and consistent quality results.
  2. High-Speed Marking – The marking and coding industry deals in many fast-paced applications, which is one reason laser marking is so desired. Laser marking machines are capable of some of the fastest marking abilities in the market today. High-speed marking results in optimal productivity across industries where marking is important. Depending on what materials are being marked, laser marking machines can be programmed with increased speed.
  3. Marking Durability – Laser etching, a form of marking, is a permanent process that is resistant to abrasion, acids, and heat. Lasers can be programmed to etch on surfaces without causing damage to the material.

Materials that Can Be Marked with Laser Technology

  • Metals like stainless steel, alloy steels, anodized aluminum, brass, precious metals, coated metals, gold, silver, aluminum, copper, platinum, bronze, and titanium can be marked or engraved with batch numbers, traceability codes, product numbers, serial numbers, and more
  • Plastics like PMMA, polyamide, plastics with laser additives, polyester, PET, silicone, polyethylene, POM, PSU, PPSU, PS, polycarbonate, and ABS can be marked with the non-contact method for fast, damage-free marking
  • Miscellaneous materials such as laminates, paints, films, and foils can be marked to create things like nameplates, labels, and membrane keyboards

Types of Processes of Laser Marking

  • Annealing Marking is a special kind of laser etching used for metals. The heat from the annealing process creates oxidation under the material’s surface, which produces a color change on the metal’s surface.
  • Staininguses a heating effect that creates a chemical reaction in the material being marked. This process results in different shades of color. For instance, if light plastic substrate becomes discolored during the laser etching process, some soot particles can be produced, resulting in a darker marking.
  • Engraving is when the material’s surface is melted and then evaporated via the laser. The laser beam actually removes the material, leaving an impression on the surface.
  • Removing is where the laser removes top coats that are on the material. There is a contrast produced as a result. Coated metals, foils, films, laminates, and aluminums are the most common materials for this process.
  • Foaming is when the laser beam melts the substrate, creating gas bubbles that reflect/diffuse light. This kind of marking comes out lighter than the areas left untouched.
  • Carbonizing allows vivid contrasts on bright surfaces. The laser heats up the material’s surface, allowing hydrogen, oxygen, or a combination of these gases to emit from it. A darkened area is left behind due to carbon concentration.

This covered the primary benefits, materials, and types of processes used in laser marking. As this market continues to grow, more uses will be discovered, which will widen the industry as a whole.

For the latest in laser marking machines, you can contact Needham Coding.

Finding the Best Pet Hair Vacuums

If you’re a pet lover, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the frustration of finding pet hair sticking to everything–furniture, drapes, bed skirt’s, cupboards, carpets, wallboards and corners, and of course any warm pile of clean laundry. Even kitchen pots and pans. A good vacuum is an absolute necessity–but where do you start?

What is my pet hair situation?

Before you begin shopping for a pet hair vacuum, nail down the problem (or problems) that you are facing.

    • Do you have a persistent problem with dog or cat hair floating all over the floor?
    • Is pet hair not obvious, but guests and family are having allergic reactions?
    • Is your current home vac simply not picking up the hair, or is it clogging the attachments and hose?
    • Is pet hair difficult to remove from carpets and rugs?

Narrowing down the problem(s) will help you define the type of vacuum you want or need.

What do I want it to do?

If the hair situation would be manageable with a better or newer home vac, you might consider simply shopping for an upgraded or newer model. You could save money and be happier overall with one powerful model than buying one vacuum for the home and one specifically for pet hair. Some home models offer specific ‘pet hair’ attachments.

On the other hand, some of the best home vacs are pretty heavy. Maybe you’d like to have a lighter weight model or a handheld model that you quickly grab to go after all those floaty hairs. A handheld would make it easy to do a quick suck up before guests arrive, or after your pet has had a major grooming moment on your favorite chair.

If you’re frustrated with hair all over carpets and rugs, well, what can I say? Carpets are like Velcro for fur. Pet owners would be wise to pull up wall-to-wall carpets or restrict their pets to areas of the house with hard flooring. If that’s not an option, consider placing smoothly-textured or washable outdoor rugs over your wall-to-wall carpets. There are some extremely attractive outdoor rugs available that you can either vacuum easily, or simply roll up, take outside and hose off.

If your problem is dander and allergens, you should try using search phrases like ‘pet vacuum allergen’ or ‘pet vacuum allergen’. Keep in mind that just because you or someone you know has pets, that might not be the only thing setting off allergic reactions. If a vacuum isn’t sufficiently picking up pet hair, then it is probably also missing dust, mites, and spores.

How do I know which model is best for me?

One of the first steps is to look for vacuum review sites like VacuumSeek and other product review websites to see what other people are saying.

Amazon reviews of vacuums and pet hair vacuums are helpful, but keep in mind that some companies give out free products to testers in exchange for reviews. Look for products that have a large number of reviews, and a high percentage of 4 to 5-star reviews.

If you still have questions after reading the product specifications and reviews, post your question on the product page. Most questions are answered within hours by people who have actually used the product.

ConsumerSearch.com does not provide onsite reviews, but if you type ‘pet hair vacuums’ into their search bar, you’ll get an impressive list of review articles and comparisons. Consumer Reports provides professional reviews of vacuums, including vacuums for allergies and “pet-friendly” vacuums. You might also find advice on cleaning products, filters and the best vacuums on sites like Health.com.

Any number of discussion forums include threads where people are discussing pet hair and vacuum choices. If you register on the site, you can pop in and ask questions of the other members. Try Bogleheads.org, GermanShepherds.com, Positively.com, or visit your own favorite forums.

Maintaining your pet hair vacuum

Whatever model you choose, empty your vac canister frequently, preferably after every use. Do this outside, to avoid releasing dust, dander and hair back into the house. Empty the hair blob into a lined wastebasket or garbage bag, immediately tie it closed, and deposit it in the outside garbage bin. Carrying the wastebasket back into the house will simply bring a trail of floating debris and hair back in.

Clean your brushes and hose frequently with the tools by provided by the manufacturer. Another trick is to occasionally vacuum up some sugar or cornstarch. The grains help rub away some of the hair oils that tend to accumulate on the vac accessories and hose.

Transform Any Room Into a Stylish Paradise

Sometimes, it can be difficult to make a room feel warm and welcoming. We have all had that unsightly floor, leaky radiator, or disorganized shelf that makes us feel uncomfortable whenever we enter a room. While completely transforming your home can be an expensive renovation, there are many small things we can do to help improve the space.

Choose a Decorating Theme and Stick with It

Before you start fixing all of the problems you have with a room, you need to select a good theme. This will make the room look more polished when all of your renovations are done. Choose a few colors that go well together. If you choose a theme, such as modern or tropical, get rid of the items that don’t fit that theme or have a purpose.

Selecting the theme first will make it easier to transform the room one item at a time. You’ll have more focus when selecting upgrades and you’ll have a clearer understanding of the work that needs to be done.

Transform Your Floor

The floor is one of the first things people notice when they enter a room. Not only does floor color affect the style of the room, it has the power to make us feel different things. For example, a gross, stained carpet may make a guest feel uncomfortable or stressed. A lightly colored wooden floor may help brighten the mood.

Completely replacing a floor can be very expensive. If you don’t have the money to make the switch, try investing in a large rug instead. Oversized rugs that cover the majority of the room can cover the flaws we don’t want to see every day. For a tropical, relaxing look, try using a subtle low pile rug. 

Hide Your Unsightly Radiator

Modern radiators are huge and often take up a whole wall. They are hard to ignore, even if you have a stunning new floor or furniture. Rather than stare at rusty metal pipes or outdated control panels, invest in a cover. Stylish bespoke radiator covers instantly transform your heating source into a work of art. Radiator cabinets with smooth, flat surfaces can provide you with extra table space for heat-resistant decorations.

If you want to really make an impression, choose an eye-catching, luxury design with a glossy finish. White radiator covers are the easiest to work with, as they can blend in with almost any existing décor. For those creating a home paradise with greens and other rich colors, the bright white will add a nice contrast. 

Update the Furniture

Buying new furniture for a home can be expensive. If you are on a budget, you might not have much left after buying a large rug and new designer radiator cabinets. While updating your theme may require new furniture, you should work with what you have. Here are a few low-cost ways to transform your furniture:

    • Paint the furniture – use white paint to match your new radiator cover.
    • Move shelves – adjust shelves and features for better storage.
    • Repurpose furniture – use the furniture for something new, such as placing your television on a bookshelf.
    • Add storage – find unique areas to add extra drawers or shelves.

Get Organized

The organization is the hardest problem for a modern home to overcome. While you can invest in shelving units, these won’t keep you from leaving paperwork out or having too many books. If you truly want to transform a space, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want in the room. You will need to get rid of everything that doesn’t suit your goals. Every item in your room should have a purpose and make you feel good. 

Add the Finishing Touches

While this article addressed some of the most common issues with rooms, these issues shouldn’t be your only focus. If you truly want to create a paradise in your own home, details matter. Try finding photo frames that match the design of your bespoke radiator cover or add live plants in hanging pots. These small, but subtle details can have a huge impact on how you and your guests see the space.

Create your own slice of paradise one change at a time. Upgrading the floor, radiator cover, and other furniture can completely change the way you feel about your home.

Juice Your Way to Health

Juicing is a trend that is taking the health world by storm. In fact, it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure the daily recommended fruit and vegetable servings are met. For those who are just starting this new trend in health, it may be daunting to get started. Finding the proper juicer, and figuring out what to juice are just some of the obstacles new juicers may face. Thankfully, there is tons of information that can be helpful in answering these questions, and the most common are addressed below.

What are the Benefits?

It goes without saying that juicing is a great way to get in fruits and vegetables into a diet without having to stress about making sure those guidelines are met each and every day. Aside from the convenience of juicing, it is also healthy! In just one juice almost the whole day’s daily serving recommendations for fruits and vegetables can be met!

Juicing is also beneficial for weight loss and overall health– it allows a person to intake less calories without losing nutritional properties. Ingesting fresh produce can help improve healthy eating habits as well, and by doing it through juice it’s a delicious and easy way to do so.

Making juice also helps by flooding the body with micronutrients. Juicing allows the body to access enzymes in the digestive system that are typically not accessed through whole fruits and vegetables. Freshly juiced produce is chock full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. What could be better than that?

Which Juicer Works Best?

Like any other appliance, there are countless options for consumers to choose from, and it can be entirely overwhelming at first. When looking for a juicer, it may be a good idea to first think of price. Juicers can range in price from $20 to $400 depending on the quality and what types of juice is going to be made. It’s helpful to know what is going to be juiced in order to choose the best juicer that will work for the type of food that is going to be processed. The best way to narrow them down would be to look at product review online or read up on interesting tips that may help a future juicer make their decision. Ultimately, finding a juicer will be a personal preference – not all juicers will work well for everyone. It’s all up to the consumer.

What Can Be Juiced?

In short, anything can be juiced. Of course, a kale, banana, and kidney bean juice may not be as delicious as say, a kale, banana and strawberry juice – again, it’s up to personal preference! However, it is recommended that a person not juice strictly all vegetables or all fruits in one juice. Like anything else, it’s great to mix things up to prevent getting burnt out on one particular type of flavor.

Aside from fruits and vegetables, things like chicken stock or chia seeds can be added to juices in order to fortify them even more. Playing around with different foods can result in some interesting (or really tasty!) new juices.

What Should Be Avoided?

Like any other new trend, it is advised that someone who juices does not use juice to replace daily meals. Juices can be a great snack or breakfast replacement, but should not be a substitute for regular meals. While juicing can be a healthy alternative to eating whole fruits, replacing real food with juice can result in a lack of protein. A lack of protein, an essential element of any healthy diet, results in loss of muscle mass, as well as rebellion (i.e., becoming so hungry a candy bar or bag of potato chips is then eaten). Restricting to a juice only diet for weight loss or cleansing would be a health risk, and is not supported by any scientific date. Of course, with any new diet change it is advised that a person consult with their primary care physician to make sure juicing will work for them.

Overall

Juicing can be a great alternative to eating whole fruits and vegetables – whether someone doesn’t like them, or finds it too difficult to make sure they are getting all the necessary servings in one day. There are tons of juicing resources for new juicers, and plenty of recipes that can be tried. Juicing is definitely something everyone should try!

Are you really taking care of yourself?

These days there’s no excuse for not knowing how to take care of yourself. We are bombarded with health information and warnings. Food is sold in packets with nutritional information on the side, computers are sold with ergonomic instructions. Nonetheless, knowing and doing are not the same thing. It is not likely that you will be able to find many smokers who believe that it is good for their health. Most people who drink too much are in denial about the amounts they drink, not its effects on the liver, circulatory and central nervous systems.

Just like the heavy smoker and the heavy drinker, we know that a lot of our behavior is unhealthy, and yet we don’t make any real effort to change it. This can generally be blamed on the unrealistic pressures put on us by life in today’s economy. There was a time when a working-class salary could provide shelter, clothing and food for two adults and two children, with something left to spare. Things couldn’t be more different in the modern day. Parents often hold down two jobs each to provide for their kids, yet still struggle to hold on to any money by the end of the month. We spend much more time at work and have much less to show for it.

All of this means we are much likelier to compromise on nutrition, miss out on sleep, and use drugs – especially caffeine, alcohol and nicotine – to influence our moods. These are all techniques we use, rightly or wrongly, to cope with excess stress. Therefore, before eliminating our coping mechanisms, it’s important to reduce the stress we face.

One of the most important words we can use is ‘no’. As it turns out, we should be using this word a lot more than we do. Bosses, coworkers, partners, children and even strangers ask so much of us every day, that it’s important to learn to prioritize what is essential and what is not. We don’t want to be unkind or uncooperative, or make a bad impression, and so we get used to reluctantly saying ‘yes’. This goes on to become a problem – once you have agreed to do something once, it is expected that you will do so again. Learning to say ‘no’ is an important part of protecting ourselves from unnecessary stress.

Good oral hygiene is also something that many people overlook. We all know to clean our teeth after each meal, but many people don’t brush at work, or fall asleep at night without brushing. Even people who religiously brush three times a day, are often in a rush and don’t do such a thorough job. To make it easier, make sure you have at least two electric toothbrushes – one at home and one at work. Dentists agree that electric toothbrushes do a better job of cleaning our teeth than manual toothbrushes. You can find out all about the best of them by looking at the Toothbrush Best top pick.

It’s important to make sure that you get some sunshine every day. Time outdoors gives you energy, fresh air and Vitamin B. In the winter in northern areas such as Canada, Ireland, the UK and Scandinavia, this isn’t always easy to do. You might leave home when the sky is still dark, sit in a windowless office all day and then drive home after sunset. If that sounds like your job, at least try to get outside for a break – perhaps even bring a hot flask of soup or broth to work and drink it with your lunch outside. The fresh air, sunlight and blue sky not only make a different to your physical state of health, but also serve to lift your mood.

The other things to remember are, as mentioned earlier, to make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night and eating well throughout the day. In a sedentary job, it is essential to make sure you get some exercise. Drink plenty of water. Talk with others, share your problems and try to laugh and smile. It’s easy to sink into a bad mood and become disengaged. Force a smile and see how it actually does make a positive difference.

The importance of posture

The position your body adopts when you’re sitting, standing or lying down is called posture. At certain times we exert conscious control over our posture, such as when standing to attention, preparing to play the piano or when exercising. Most of the time, however, we do not pay attention to the way we hold ourselves, and this is why it is so easy to gain what is thought of as bad posture.

Bad posture means that your body is being held in a certain way that puts unnecessary and sometime harmful pressure on muscles, joints and ligaments. As we adopt these positions out of habit, and that habit becomes comfortable, bad posture can be a vicious cycle which takes considerable effort to break. If you don’t do regular exercise and you don’t hold yourself properly, it’s likely that you have weak core muscles. This can make holding a healthy posture feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, even if you do take regular exercise, but you happen to have a job in which you sit down on an unsuitable chair all day, you may still not be able to align your torso and hips comfortably. In this case it would be a good idea to have your boss look for a better, more ergonomic chair for you to use at work, such as the ones on this interesting list.

The dangers of poor posture are now well-known. At the most superficial level, it gives others a slovenly impression – you look tired, unfit, disinterested and lazy. You probably feel tired and unfit, too, as your bad posture causes you to suffer from sore muscles, which are having to work harder to protect your spine, and can end up fatigued. This can lead to chronic muscle fatigue which can severely affect your ability to work and go about simple tasks effectively. You may see some older people struggling to bend over and lift things from the ground. There is a good chance that this is a result of poor posture earlier in life. If the spine actually changes its shape, this can result in chronic pain and mobility problems for life.

At the serious end of the effects of bad posture are problems such as restricting the flow of blood through capillaries and even minor arteries. If this happens, muscle and organ tissue can die, and potentially life-threatening blood clots can form.

Being able to switch from being a slouch to someone with good posture is more difficult than it sounds. It is simple enough to ensure that your neck, shoulders, torso and hips are aligned – you can check your own posture in the mirror. The difficult part is maintaining that position. When you’re in a meeting that is entering its third hour, you’re waiting for a bus, or you’re at home watching your favorite shows, it’s very easy to return to bad posture. One way to help remind yourself to straighten up is to ask other people to tell you. Have your partner or coworker act as a drill sergeant, reminding you with a quick bark “shoulders back!” whenever they catch you slipping. Even better than that, set yourself a periodic alarm to check your posture, or little notes as reminders. Getting into the habit of adopting good posture by habit takes practice, but it can be done. Think of the teenage kid who walks around, shoulders forward, staring at his toes. Then compare the same person after going through basic training – chin up, shoulders back, and good all-round posture. If a kid can perfect their posture in ten weeks of military training, you can do it as a civilian, too.

Not only will you feel healthier, you will look better and more confident. Your breathing will become deeper and easier overall as you cease restricting the volume of your lungs by slouching forward. As we have seen, your circulation will improve, as will your digestive functions – bad posture is thought to be a major factor in the development of acid reflux and constipation. Your state of mind will improve – not only will you look confident, but you will feel less anxious, and mentally stronger. All of this will convey a positive image on others, making you more attractive, something which will help you keep up your new, good posture.

Progress isn’t made by early risers

it’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something. So said the influential writer, thinker and inventor, Robert A. Heinlein, from whom we learned to separate the terms science fiction and speculative fiction. And so we have found innumerable ways to make our lives easier, which is the reason we own cars, washing machines and other devices.

The problem is that these devices are often used against us. Owning a car so you get go for long drives in the country whenever you want sounds great. But the reality of cars is that you spend a large proportion of your life in them, sitting in traffic, breathing in toxic fumes, making your way, isolated in your little box, against the clock, to get to work before it’s too late. The car hasn’t in fact made our lives easier, but it has opened up new possibilities for our masters in terms of what they can demand from us.

Another technological contraption that has become ubiquitous is the television. TVs can be found in almost every bedroom, living room and kitchen across the country. The reason is that people think that TV delivers cheap, quality entertainment, saving them from having to read long books or pay for theater tickets. While there is occasionally quality content on TV, the majority of what we sit through is just straight-up advertising. Sometimes it’s disguised as a mildly entertaining show or film, more often than not we don’t even enjoy it, but we keep watching because we don’t know what else to do or we’re just too lazy to move and hope that by flicking through the channels we’ll find something more bearable. TV actually makes most people more stupid. They stop reading and debating, participating in conversations and learning. It becomes a tool to sell us junk that we don’t need and to convince us of the benevolence of our government and corporate masters and to despise their enemies.

The Luddites out there might realize all of this and conclude that technological advances are bad. They decide that the only way to get around this is to go back to living in caves, eating berries and chasing each other around semi-naked. Some of them might even turn their noses up at some delicious, fresh roadkill as its demise came about as a result of a collision with a technological monstrosity.

Such people are, of course, wrong. Their boomerang turned out to be a straight plank of wood which flew off the cliff and crashed into the sea, sinking to depths where sunlight does not penetrate.