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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Taking Care of Our Pets in Tough Economic Times

News of tough economic times is everywhere, every day. People are spending less on themselves and on their pets. What have you sacrificed in terms of pet food or pet care? See how others are coping, and learn some money-saving tips to use at the food store and the veterinary office.

. Ways to Save Money on Pet Care and Vet Bills

 Pets not only require our time and attention, they require our money, too. Food, vaccinations, and veterinary medical care all add up. In today's tough economy, people are rethinking their personal expenses and cutting the budget where they can. Here are some tips to keep your pet in good health while saving money.

2. Pet Supplies and Food: Save Money with eCoupons

My mom is a coupon clipper. I try to be, but inevitably lose the little paper coupon before I even get to the store. Internet coupons are different though. You can use then online with just a couple mouse-clicks or print them out on my printer. It must be that full size paper that I also use as my list, because I rarely lose these "online" coupons, and have saved quite a bit of money on pet food using them.

3. Pet Heath Insurance - Is It Worth It?

Insurance for pets has been available for 20-plus years, but for most pet owners, the concept of pet health insurance is still relatively new. The variety of coverage plans, while encouraging, are often viewed with confusion and even suspicion as far as actually reducing the costs of pet care. Here are some perspectives from the viewers of this site and their experiences with pet health insurance.

4. Compare Pet Health Insurance and Wellness Plans

This is a growing series interviews with pet health insurance companies. The interview consists of the same 10-questions. Each insurance company participant answers the same questions so viewers can directly compare what is available and what may be best for their pet and lifestyle.

5. Does Your Pet Have Health Insurance?

People are curious about pet health insurance, but cautious about signing up. Do you have pet insurance for your pet(s)? Vote in the poll and add in your experiences in the comments section.

6. My pet is sick, and I can't afford to go to the vet

To some people, it is obvious that if times are tough financially, it is not the best time to adopt or buy a pet. The old adage seems to be: if you can't afford a pet (or pets) don't have them! However, as most pet lovers know, it isn't always that simple. Here are some tips to prepare for emergencies and unexpected costs, as well as ideas for helping pay for emergencies when they do occur.

7. Vaccinating Pets at Home: A Good Idea?

In today's economy, everyone is looking for ways to save money whenever possible, which is completely understandable. As far as untrained pet owners giving vaccinations at home after reading a how-to pamphlet, you can probably bet that my answer to this question is a "no." Here's why.

8. Are Pets Too Expensive?

In today's tough economy, people are rethinking where they shop, what they eat, and what car they drive. What about our pets? Costs for pet health care, food and other supplies has risen just as human health care and food costs have. Do you think that pet's are too expensive? A luxury item? Cast your vote in the poll and add your thoughts in the comments section.

নোয়াখালীতে যুবলীগকর্মী গুলিবিদ্ধ

শেখ হাসিনার প্রতিশ্রুতি

Grow Bismuth Crystals

Are you looking for a gorgeous crystal to grow? Try bismuth crystals. Bismuth is a metal that forms interesting geometrical 'hopper' crystals that are rainbow-colored from the thin oxide layer that forms on them. You can get bismuth at a sporting goods store or you can order it online. The crystals only take a matter of seconds to grow, so give it a try!
Bismuth Crystal Materials
  • bismuth
  • 2 stainless steel measuring cups or aluminum cans that you have cut in half to make shallow bowls
  • a stovetop, hot plate, or propane torch
You have a few different options for obtaining bismuth. You can use non-lead fishing sinkers (for example, Eagle Claw makes non-lead sinkers using bismuth), you can use non-lead ammunition (the shot will say it is made from bismuth on the label), or you can buy bismuth metal. The quality of crystals you obtain depends in part on the purity of the metal, so make sure you are using bismuth and not an alloy.

Grow Bismuth Crystals
Bismuth has a low melting point (271°C or 520°F), so it is easy to melt over high cooking heating. You are going to grow the crystals by melting the bismuth in a metal 'dish' (which will have a higher melting point than the bismuth), separate the pure bismuth from its impurities, allow the bismuth to crystallize, and pour away the remaining liquid bismuth from the crystals before it freezes around the crystals. None of this is difficult, but it takes some practice to get the cooling time just right. Don't worry -- if your bismuth freezes you can remelt it and try again. Here are the steps in detail:
  • Place the bismuth in one of your metal 'dishes' and heat it over high heat until it melts. It's a good idea to wear gloves since you are producing a molten metal, which is not going to do you any favors if it splashes onto your skin. You'll see a skin on the surface of the bismuth, which is normal.
  • Preheat the other metal container. Carefully pour the melted bismuth into the heated clean container. You want to pour the clean bismuth out from under the gray skin, which contains impurities which would negatively affect your crystals.
  • Set the clean bismuth in its new container on a heat-insulated surface. The cooling rate of the bismuth affects the size and structure of the resulting crystals, so you can play with this factor. Generally, slower cooling produces larger crystals. You do not want to cool the bismuth until it is solid!
  • When the bismuth has started to solidify, you want to pour the remaining liquid bismuth away from the solid crystals. This happens after about 30 seconds of cooling. You can tell it is about the right time to pour the liquid away from your crystals when the bismuth is set, but has just a little jiggle to it when jarred. Sounds scientific, right?
  • Once the crystals have cooled, you can snap them out of the metal container. If you are not satisfied with the appearance of your crystals, remelt and cool the metal until it is just right.
If you try this project and would like to share your tips and tricks, please feel free to post a reply.

Colored Flame Spray Bottles

Colored flame spray bottles are one of the easiest and most memorable chemistry demonstrations you can perform! The demo also makes a great chemistry "magic" trick, although of course it is based on the emission spectra seen in flame tests. Chemist Mitch at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago shows how to perform this demonstration safely and effectively:.
    • Wear protective clothing. Lab coats look cool, plus they protect your clothes. You can't see this, but Mitch is wearing long pants and shoes that cover his feet.
    • Wear your safety goggles. Modern safety goggles are comfortable, fashionable and safe.
    • Direct the spray away from the audience. When the alcohol hits the flame, it produces a fairly dramatic plume of flame. You don't need to scare anyone or ignite any hair.
    • If you have one, use a clear blast shield. In this demonstration, droplets of liquid can splash harmlessly on the inside of the shield, controlling the flame.
    • Have fun with it! Excitement about science is contagious.
    • Explain the chemistry behind the demonstration. This hot pink color comes from lithium. Hot pink is the perfect color for a cool fire demonstration. Of course, you can make any color of the rainbow

On This Day in Science History - December 29 - Charles Goodyear

December 29th is the birthday of the man who discovered the process to vulcanize rubber. Charles Goodyear spent several years trying to find a method to convert rubber into a substance that would not turn brittle in the cold or turn to goo in the heat. His early attempts found rubber that would rot after time or still turn sticky in heat. He ultimately found the answer by accident. He spilled a mixture of rubber mixed with sulfur on a hot stove and cured the rubber into a solid mass.

After he patented his process, he started a small company to find uses for his rubber. Unfortunately, he spent most of his efforts on defending his patents and in lawsuits and his business failed. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company had nothing to do with Charles Goodyear and was formed 38 years after his death in 1860.

নেপালের প্রধানমন্ত্রী খাদগা প্রসাদ শর্মাকে ফোন দিয়েছেন প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা

নেপালে বিমান বিধ্বস্ত হওয়ার ঘটনায় দেশটির প্রধানমন্ত্রী খাদগা প্রসাদ শর্মাকে ফোন দিয়েছেন প্রধানমন্ত্রী শেখ হাসিনা। নেপালের প্রধানমন্ত্রী গ...

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