Showing posts from July, 2008

Manage Your Diabetic Life with

Diabetic Days is a site that helps diabetics maintain their personal health records and data, as well as participate in a community of peers managing the same disease. This site eliminates the necessity of keeping track of medicines and dosages by hand, and centralizes all of the data into one online source. After creating their own account, users may submit their records either via web, email, or even mobile phone. Information may be quickly accessed by users, as well as instantly shared with doctors and specialists. Extra bonuses, such as graphs, averages, and exports, add even more information to the site, further helping users to regulate and manage their diabetic lives.

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Listen to Nature: Counting Cricket Chirps and Thunder

When I first heard about being able to tell the temperature by crickets I really thought people were trying to pull my leg. I grew up around plenty of crickets and plenty of high temperatures and had never heard of this. It turns out this chirp counting is not only true, but has been around since 1837. It's called Dolbear's Law after the scientist who figured out that the air temperature influenced the rate of cricket chirps. To experiment with this, count the number of cricket chirps in 15 seconds and then add 40. The number that you get will be a rough estimate of the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a thermometer handy you can check and see how accurately this works for your family and your backyard crickets. Kids might also be interested to learn that crickets don't chirp with their mouths, but use their wings to make the sound. Only the male crickets chirp, usually to attract and court females, but also to sound a danger alert. My father taught me to…

When to Replace Pillows, Mattresses and More

MSNBC has recommendations on when to replace forteen common household items. I have reposted the list for your convenience. The ritual of deep cleaning doesn't just clear the cobwebs from your ceilings (and your head) it's essential for great health, too. Knowing when to pitch everything from medication to your smoke alarm helps you and your family sleep better, stay safer, heal faster, and more. Our room by room guide outlines some surprising expiration dates. Replace pillows every year. Hair and body oils will have soaked into a pillow's fabric and stuffing after a year of nightly use, making it a breeding ground for odor causing bacteria and allergy triggering dust mites. Using protectors can double the life of your pillows.
Toss your mattress after five to ten years. A good mattress lasts nine to ten years, according to the National Sleep Foundation, but consider replacing yours every five to seven years if you don't sleep well. A study at Oklahoma State Universit…

The Windows Narrator

All of the later computers with Windows on them have a speech program called " Windows Narrator." This is a very, very simple screen reading program that can be used in emergencies when your regular speech program is not working or unavailable. It will absolutely not take the place of a much more sophisticated screen reading program such as JAWS or WindowEyes, nevertheless, it can be useful in some very limited situations. Here are the basic keyboard controls to navigate the Windows Narrator Program. Windows Narrator Hot KeysOpening and Closing NarratorTo open Narrator from the Start Menu, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Accessibility, and then click Narrator.
To open Narrator using the keyboard, press the Windows Key or CTRL+ESC, press R, type narrator, and then press ENTER.
To exit Narrator, go to the Narrator menu, arrow down to exit and press the space bar; it will ask you if you want to exit out of Narrator, yes or no, press enter on…

Talking Cash Register for the Blind

We have had many requests and questions about talking cash registers. Questions range from does one exist to why don't more blind and visually impaired people use them? I'm not sure why they aren't used more by rehab agencies to assist people with employment, but I can tell you that yes, they do exist and here's the description: Basic Register. 20 departments standard. Inventory control through PLU's and journal reports. Includes discrete keys, voice on/off switch, talking journals, and computer interface capability. Distributed by CAPTEK/Science Products, 800-888-7400. Manufacturer's Suggested Price $2240.00 plus shipping. Maintenance/Technical Support by the SHARP nationwide dealer network.

Article Source:
American Foundation for the Blind

Portable Digital Magnifier from ThinkGeek

I've mentioned before that products that benefit the blind or visually impaired are often originally not made for us, and I have found another perfect example from ThinkGeek. Here's the description they have for a Portable Digital Magnifier: You'll be magnifying everything around you! "When this item arrived at ThinkGeek headquarters we found it to be very fun and, quite honestly, pretty addictive. With the ability to zoom in on objects with various levels of magnification, it's amazing how many ordinary items suddenly become much more intriguing when enlarged. Getting a closer look often can illuminate many new details and a whole new level of understanding about the composition of an object. Magnification can reveal both flaws and unexpected complexities". The Portable Digital Magnifier outputs the magnification to a crystal clear 2" LCD screen and with the push of a button the image can be frozen on the screen, for closer inspection. A convenientl…

Ten Disgusting Smells and How to Get Rid of Them

Some smells simply hang around no matter what you do. Aerosol sprays just cover them up and make things worse. Natural ways of dealing with them are far more effective. Here are ten of the most disgusting smells that can invade a home and how to get rid of them: Fishy Smells: Cooking fresh fish always creates an awful smell and it's hard to get rid of, even after several days. There is a natural and effective way to get fresh air back in the kitchen. Cut a lemon in half and boil it in a little water. The steam disperses the aroma and neutralises the fish smell.
Pet Puddles: White vinegar in warm water will help to get rid of the smell left behind by pet accidents. It is also good for washing away skunk smells.
Damp Cupboard: If you have a cupboard that smells musty and damp put a box of cat litter in there. The cat litter will absorb the damp smell and leave the room/cupboard smelling fresh.
Smelly Microwave: Squeeze half a lemon into some water and place the dish into the microwav…

A Treasure Trove of Free Streaming Videos and Movies

This has to be one of the greatest finds I have come across on the web as of late. OVguide is an aggregator that lists every video streaming site on the web for your viewing pleasure. On their very easy to navigate site, you will find links to feature length films, TV shows, and different genre videos to tickle your fancy. YouTube is, of course, on the top of the list but there are many obscure sites listed as well that feature a variety of programming for kids and adults. I checked out a few streaming movies and the quality may not be all that great, but it gets the job done. You can rate the best sites or add comments. Either way, you may never leave your computer again.

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Resources For Teaching A Blind Student with Learning Disabilities

Message: Where can I find activities for visually impaired preschool children with learning disabilities? Here are some online resources that should be of assistance:

Parent/Child Activities from the Iowa Braille School: has several links that may be of interest. Our Favorite Toys from the Overbrook School for the Blind: is a list of toys for the blind and other disabilities. The Blind Children's Fund: provides parents and professionals information, materials, and resources that will help them successfully teach and nurture infants and children who are blind, visually, and multi-impaired. This website has lots of articles, activities and links for parents. Blindness and Low Vision Resources Page from The University of South Carolina: has books on activities for children with multiple disabilities. KidSource O…

Send Text Messages to Your Blind Friends

As a sighted person, you love having the convenience of sending text messages to your sighted friends, but what about your friends who are blind? Is there a way to send them a text message without them purchasing an expensive cell phone with speech? It is possible for certain cellular phone customers to send a text message to a landline phone. The recipient of such a text message does not need a modified telephone. The text message is automatically converted to an automated voice message through "text to speech" technology. All the recipient must do is listen to the message and respond with a recorded voice message of his or her own. When a cellular phone customer sends a text message to a landline, he or she must first compose the message using a Short Message Service (SMS) format and then input the ten digit phone number of the recipient's landline phone. The cellular phone service provider will attempt to send the text message to a landline at least three times. If …