Williams Sisters To Lead Us In Fed Cup

williams sisSisters Venus and Serena Williams will lead the US Fed Cup against Sweden at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on April 20-21.

The team’s line up will also include No. 16 Sloan Stephens and No. 27 Varvara Lepchenko.

The winner of the match will advance to the 2014 world group and have a chance to grab the Fed Cup title next year. The non-winning team will be moved to world group II in 2014.

The US team will face No. 54 Sofia Arvidsson, No. 65 Johanna Larsson, No. 425 Hilda Melander and No. 489 Sandra Roma of Sweden.

Currently, Serena is ranked No.1 in the world while Venus is ranked No. 22.

Do you think the Williams sisters will help the US advance to the next round? Find out more about this news in this report from Associated Press.

How To Keep Your Children Unspoiled

child with toyConsumerism is a large part of society; companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing in order to convince people that they will not be happy without a specific product. Children are particularly susceptible to this, and often end up demanding the latest toy that is in fashion. But as Parents discusses in “Too Many Toys? Ideas to Avoid Toy Overload,” giving in to your children’s demands can lead to too much of a good thing.

Don’t Waste Space On Unused Toys

Children generally want to keep all their toys, even when they only really play with a few of them. Parents can compound the problem by coming up with reasons to keep old or unused toys, such as wanting to keep them as memorabilia or in case a friend or relative wants them. But this only leads to having the toys sit unused in storage; rather than wasting space on things that will never be used, make your children’s old toys useful by donating them to a suitable organization.

Use Toys To Teach Lessons

While you are in the process of getting rid of old and unused toys, you can use this time to instill important values in your children. Although they will want to keep the toys, you can teach them the importance of sharing, and how they will be able to make another child happy by giving away what they don’t need. In addition, this teaches your children a practical attitude that will serve them better than if they attach sentimental value to everything. When you are done going through everything, you will be rewarded with a cleaner house and children who appreciate what they have.

Is Now The Right Time To Invest In Housing?

invest housingAccording to the newest Case-Shiller reports, home sales have increased, with the existing market values increasing more than 7% since a year ago. This bodes well if you are looking to sell your home or invest in real estate. Financial analysts, however, advise caution due to the uncertain nature of the current home market price trends.

Robert Shiller, co-author of the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, says that the ‘housing market is becoming more of a speculative asset.’ Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles are three examples of cities which have badly performed in the housing sector. Their housing markets may have enjoyed a seemingly continuous growth spurt, but these cities have become three of the worst performing markets since the last bubble burst.

It is still risky to buy a new house or a bulk of residential properties, Shiller continues. The housing market prices are still behaving in an abnormal way, because the government accepts liability under insurance. Shiller advises investors to rent instead, and build up their portfolio with other investments instead.

Investing in today’s housing market can make you witness a turnaround when the prices decrease again. This is why it would be better if you invest your money in more stable commitments. This will help you earn more money rather than see your home’s value decline over time.

Google Maps Conquer World’s Tallest Mountains

Google, with its famous feature Google Maps, is taking the Street View option to new heights after it announced Monday, March 18, that it will start offering interactive galleries of some of the world’s highest peaks.

google mapsThe new gallery features four famous mountains from around the world: the snowy Base Camp at Mt. Everest in the Himalayas in Asia, the dormant African Volcano Mount Kilimanjaro, Europe’s Mount Elbrus, and Argentina’s Mt. Aconcagua.

Google Maps users can drop by the various base camps or the sights along the mountain trails. There is also a feature that, with just a few clicks, lets individuals explore 360-degree panoramas and trace the path of several mountain trails.

“It feels like you’re walking through the gates of hell because there are mule skeletons sticking out of the ground,” said Dan Fredinburg on Mt. Aconcagua. Fredinburg is a member of the Google team that photographed all four mountains.

“It was this out-of-this-world experience of entering into an environment where not many people go and knowing we were going to bring back that experience for others to see.”

Fredinburg is actually a technical program manager for Google’s privacy and security team, but is regarded as a Google Adventurer. He and other colleagues express their love for the extreme outdoors by organizing visits to the world’s highest mountains that started more than a year ago. During the planning of one of their expeditions, a colleague suggested they use the trip as an opportunity to work with the Google Maps team.

“The goal as a team is to make sure we had the opportunity to provide users with maps that are more accurate and usable,” says Fredinburg. “Different adventurers and people who want to explore from the comfort of their homes have the opportunity to explore and see these different corners of the world.”

Smartphone Wars: The Pressure Is On For Blackberry To Innovate

blackberry_ceo_thorsten_heinsThorsten Heins, current CEO of BlackBerry, delivers both praise and criticism for iPhone while promoting its newest line, the BlackBerry Z10, in Australia. Mobile tech analysts like Roger Entner of Recon Analytics reacts, saying that BlackBerry needs to live up to its promise to innovate and be better than ever.

Heins gives where credit is due to Apple. He says, “Apple did a fantastic job in bringing touch devices to market… They did a fantastic job with the user interface. They are a design icon.” He further adds, “There is a reason why they were so successful, and we actually have to admit this and respect that.”

The BlackBerry CEO then reminds Apple about its lack of innovation these days. “The rate of innovation is so high in our industry that if you don’t innovate at that speed you can be replaced pretty quickly. The user interface on the iPhone… is now five years old.”

Entner defends Apple and declares that the BlackBerry is just using Apple as a convenient target to make his product look good. “What else is he supposed to say? Apple is a very big target,” Entner retorts. He then adds that the BlackBerry must do better. It needs to innovate further than just offer a multitasking functionality in its Z10 phone.

Telecommunication analysts also contribute to the comparison between the two phones. Jeff Kagan, an expert in this industry, comments that the iPhone commands a larger presence in the market than BlackBerry does today. He, however, says that the BlackBerry 10 has showed remarkable improvement. He awaits what BlackBerry will produce in the coming months to continue enticing its fan base with a fine phone with newer and better features.

“Will these BlackBerry changes matter?” Kagan raises. “Bottom line is the marketplace will be better with more, not fewer operating systems.”

How To Get A Job After Graduation

The job market is difficult, especially for new graduates. The number of other job applicants that are out there is intimidating, and explains why it will take a good deal of time and effort after graduation to find a job. But as Ask Men details in “Job Hunting Tips: 7 Job-Hunting Tips For New Graduates,” perseverance will help you reap your rewards in the end.

searching for a jobBe Prepared To Sell Yourself

One of the most difficult things that you must learn as a new graduate is that you are a product. Companies are essentially buying your time, and they want to be sure they are getting a good deal. Although you may find it distasteful, you must be prepared to sell yourself: be ready and willing to talk about your strengths and how you would make a good employee. Whether you have the opportunity to divulge a little information or a lot, having your business cards available to hand out will help ensure people remember you.

Network With Friends And Companies

Social networks such as Facebook are an easy way to access some of a company’s public information, but don’t be fooled into thinking that contacting them online is enough. Establishing a personal connection makes all the difference when it comes to networking; try and get a personal meeting with someone in the company, even if it just to meet for a drink and get acquainted.

Look For Opportunities

Many people know what their ideal job is, but getting that job is often not easy. If you are not having any luck, be open to other positions and activities that will add to your portfolio. Even if it is not exactly what you want, having related experience in the field will be invaluable and will make your resume look much better. The job market can be tricky to navigate, but these tips will lead you to success.

How To Keep Your Pet Safe During A Trip

pet in travelEveryone looks forward to a vacation, and it can be exciting to plan for. But those who have pets have the added complication of having to figure out arrangements for the duration of their trip. One solution is to simply take your pet with you; but as Prevention describes in “How to Take Your Pet on a Road Trip,” there are still precautions you should take.

Before The Trip
Check with your veterinarian whether your pet should get any vaccinations before you go. If your pet also takes medicine regularly, this is the perfect time to ensure you have enough to last for the duration of the trip. In addition, before you leave you should make sure your pet has an ID tag with your contact information, in case the worst happens and your pet can’t be found.

In The Car
There are several ways to secure your pet in your car; although many pet owners choose to let their pets sit freely in the car, that is dangerous for both you and your pet in the event of a crash. Instead, use a harness or a crate to keep your pet secure. In addition, keep your pet somewhere in the back seat; even if they are in a crate, any accident which causes the front seat airbags to hit them may end up harming them.

At Your Destination
Pets are often nervous and uncomfortable at a new location, so make the transition easier for them by bringing some familiar items from home. Having their own familiar toys, blankets, and bed will make them much more comfortable, and they will be able to relax and enjoy the vacation with you.

Secrets To Great Abs

exerciseWeight gain is common at many times in life, and whether you are a college student looking to lose the “freshman 15” or just finding out how easily weight accumulates as you age, you will likely have the most difficulty losing stomach fat. You may have tried dieting to get rid of the flab, but dieting only gets you so far. In order to really tone up your abs you will have to start exercising, and Fitness Magazine shows you how in “9 Moves To Beat Belly Fat For Good.”

Getting Started

Starting out can be the hardest challenge to shaping up your abs, and this is partly because most people start off with high-intensity exercises. These exercises are known to work, but their difficulty can be a major deterrent to anyone just getting into the habit of exercising. Exercises like Lunge Twists and Step Hops are great for beginners because they are not as hard on the body. The Lunge Twist involves turning your torso as you step forward and lower your body to do a lunge. The Step Hop involves lifting one leg high while you hop on the other leg.

Exercises For People In Moderate Shape

Those exercises are great to start strengthening your stomach muscles, but after a few sessions you will be ready for more difficult exercises. Lunge Reaches and Hands-Up Hops are modifications on the starter exercises. The Lunge Reach involves reaching down while doing a lunge, forcing your stomach muscles to get more exercise than before. The Hands-Up Hop involves doing the same exercise as the Step Hop, but with your hands raised.

Advanced Exercise Techniques

Once you have mastered the intermediate workouts, it is time to really build your core. Advanced techniques like Squat Jumps, which involve jumping while doing a squat, burn more calories by combining exercises, which makes for a more difficult and intensive workout. Following this guide will help you safely lose weight, even on difficult parts of the body.