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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Seven surprising facts about left-handedness

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Lefties make up an estimated 5 to 15 percent of the global population. Are you one of them? Here are seven interesting facts about being left-handed.

1. Certain disorders, including alcoholism and schizophrenia, may be more prevalent among left-handed people.

2. Left-handed people are at a slight advantage in certain sports, such as fencing, boxing and tennis, because most players are accustomed to facing right-handed opponents.

3. International Left-Handers Day is celebrated annually on August 13.

4. Evidence suggests that left-handed people are better at remembering events, whereas right-handed people are better at remembering facts.

5. Communication between the left and right sides of the brain occurs more quickly in left-handed people.

6. Nearly all kangaroos are left-handed, according to recent research.

7. Famous left-handers past and present include Babe Ruth, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Leonardo da Vinci.

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Helpful apps for seniors with disabilities

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Mobile apps aren’t just for gamers, daters and Instagrammers. In fact, downloadable apps for smartphones, tablets and other devices now serve many different types of users, including those with disabilities. Here are some of the best apps out there.

For those with a hearing impairment
RogerVoice transcribes phone calls in real time, allowing you to read conversations on the screen of your phone as they’re happening. There’s also P3 Mobile, which allows you to make video-based calls and has features tailored to those who have difficulties hearing.

For those with a visual impairment

TapTapSee uses your device’s speakers to verbally identify what you’re pointing at with your device’s camera lens. Be My Eyes serves a similar function; with this app you’re connected in real time with volunteers around the world who tell you what you’re pointing at.

For those who use a wheelchair
Wheelmap is a digital map (like Google Maps) that shows users which businesses in their area are wheelchair accessible. It’s a crowdsourcing platform, meaning that users themselves add information for businesses that haven’t already been identified, so the map becomes more detailed every day.

All these apps are free and compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Did you know?
Your device has built-in features oriented to those with both hearing impairments and visual impairments. On iPhones and iPads, find and activate these features by going to: Settings > General > Accessibility. On Android devices look under: Settings > Accessibility.

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A brief guide to selling your car quickly

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Generally, spring is a good time to sell a car. As winter winds down, highways, byways and country lanes beckon. The result? A spike in car sales! But this doesn’t mean that propping up a “for sale” sign in your window will suffice. To the contrary, you can count on facing a fair bit of competition, making it essential that you present your car in the best possible light. If you wish to lay the groundwork for a speedy sale, you’ll definitely need to give your vehicle a bit of TLC.

A clean and fresh interior
Dirt, stains, odors and general untidiness detract considerable value from your car and can put off potential buyers. Even an hour or two of cleaning goes a long way. Tidying the interior involves vacuuming, washing the windows and dusting and wiping all the surfaces. It’s also recommended that you apply cleaning products to the carpets, followed by an odor eliminator. A fresh smelling car will sell quicker.

In addition, consider using a scented disinfecting product on the seats. For leather seats, a leather-cleaner is recommended. And be sure to wash those normally out-of-sight areas: clean the trunk as well as the engine. However, you should only clean the engine yourself if you have the know-how and the proper products. Otherwise, entrust engine cleaning to a professional.

A shiny exterior
Needless to say, the exterior should sparkle and a top-grade car wash is the first priority. Also, consider applying wax—spring happens to be the perfect time to do so and spray-on waxes can do the job in about 15 minutes.

Once the inside and outside are spick and span, perform a detailed inspection of your car, putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. See if there are scratches that can be touched up or rust that might be worth getting removed. However, you shouldn’t go so far as to get your car repainted. Given the price of paint jobs, you’re unlikely to get a good return on your investment.

Good pictures
After thoroughly cleaning your car, it’ll be photo-ready. It’s worth pointing out that taking quality pictures is essential to speedily selling your car, especially if you’re going to have an online ad. It’s best to post clear photos taken from a variety of angles and to also include shots of the interior.

Documents for the buyer
If your car is in good shape, ask your mechanic for a signed inspection report. This will serve as solid reassurance for potential buyers. Moreover, hold on to your receipts to show that you’ve properly maintained your car and made essential repairs.

By taking these steps prior to putting your car on the market, you’re sure to increase your chances of making a speedy and satisfactory sale.

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Basic manners in the airport, plane

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Once upon a time, people got dressed in suits and ties or dresses for the occasion of a flight, which was seen as a special affair. Today? Not so much. And our manners sometimes reflect that more casual take.

But anytime you have a lot of people smushed into limited space, etiquette is an important consideration. So here are some tips for airport etiquette to keep in mind the next time you travel:

– Keep your phone quiet. Somehow, even in 2019, people seem to forget that headphones and earbuds are the best way to keep peace with your neighbors. Enjoy your music and your movie, but remember to keep it to yourself.

– Share armrests. Airplanes have shoved more and more seats into their cabins, which makes elbow room harder to find. Be a dear and leave some room on the armrest for the person next to you.

– Save the fish for another day. Your fellow travelers beg of you: save the fish tacos for a more open-air space.

– Speaking of stink: it’s a sensitive topic, to be sure, but a shower and some form of deodorant is most appreciated.

– Share the charging stations. Stay nearby and keep an eye on your device, and once it’s charged, unplug and let someone else use it. It’s not nice to be an outlet hog.

– Understand carry-on rules and restrictions. Don’t be That Guy, who’s trying to shove an Obviously-Far-Too-Large Suitcase and a set of golf clubs into the overhead bin and holding up the boarding process.

– Have your ticket and ID ready. You know they’re going to check, so have a plan in place for fetching your identification and ticket or boarding pass.

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A brief introduction to self-driving cars

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Every day, the technology propelling the development of autonomous cars becomes increasingly fine tuned. Most experts agree that it won’t be long before driverless cars are cruising the streets in droves. Here are some of the basics about this emerging technology.

How does a self-driving car work?
The easiest way to understand how self-driving cars work is to look at their key technologies.

• Radar sensors monitor the speed and position of surrounding vehicles and objects.

• Lidar sensors build a map of the exterior world by shooting out millions of infrared lasers and recording how quickly they bounce back.

• Ultrasonic sensors are found in the wheels and they detect the position of the curb and surrounding environment when the vehicle parks.

The data from these sensors are transmitted to a central computer, which manipulates the steering, acceleration and braking.

What kinds of self-driving cars are there?
When it comes to self-driving technology, there are five levels of automation.

• Level 1: driver assistance. The car has various driver-assist features such as lane-keeping support and blind-spot detection.

• Level 2: partial automation. The driver remains engaged in driving and monitoring the road but can make use of certain automated features, such as parking assistance and traffic-jam assist (which allows for automated driving on well-paved roads when traffic is moving slowly).

• Level 3: conditional automation. The driver doesn’t need to monitor the environment but is prompted to intervene and take control of the wheel in certain circumstances.

• Level 4: high automation. The car can handle all driving tasks. The driver is prompted to intervene only in rare situations.

• Level 5: full automation. The car is fully self-operated and will never prompt a person to intervene.

As it stands, only Level 1 and Level 2 cars (such as the Tesla Model S) are available to consumers on a large scale. However, cars with more advanced automation are being tested by a number of automakers, and it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Level 3s on the streets too.

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Mazda’s future is looking greener

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Like many other automakers, Mazda is shifting towards producing greener vehicles. However, being a smaller company, it can’t do it alone and has enlisted the help of Toyota. Recently, the two companies made a deal that will give Mazda access to Toyota’s vehicle electrification expertise. What’s more, in November 2018, the two automakers invested $1.6 billion to begin building a massive car plant (it measures 3.3 million square feet) in Huntsville, Alabama.

The first order of business for the jointly owned car plant, which is scheduled to open in 2021 and will employ 4,000 people, is to make a redesigned Toyota Corolla. It will also produce a crossover Mazda, the details around which remain a mystery. The project is a 50-50 partnership, with the two companies contributing equally to the operation.

Shifting to the present, 2019 sees the arrival of a new generation of Mazda3s. More luxurious than its predecessors, the 2019 Mazda3 has the latest SKYACTIV chassis, which gives the car a more robust structure. Under the hood, the carmaker made a fantastic choice by opting for the latest generation SKYACTIV-G 2.0 with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which is the cream of the crop when it comes to basic gasoline engines.

Alternatively, drivers can choose to purchase their 2019 Mazda3 with a SKYACTIV-X engine. This small 2-liter engine with a high compression ratio delivers 176 horsepower and is assisted by the new M Hybrid system, which optimizes fuel efficiency. The standard models feature either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. You can also opt for the 4-wheel drive model, a first for the Mazda3. The Mazda3 with the SKYACTIV-X engine should be available near the end of the year as a 2020 model.

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Good manners: Tips for tipping

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Some rules for tipping are engrained: tip 15-20 percent of the pre-tax total when dining out. A dollar or two per bag to the airport valet.

Others are common though not everyone is aware of them: leave $2-$5 per night for hotel housekeeping staff, for example. (Some say higher, particularly if you’re staying somewhere swankier).

But some situations are trickier. How about when you order takeout and use a debit card, only to see a line on the receipt for a tip? Are you expected to fill that in?

It depends. There are no hard-and-fast tipping rules, more like unwritten societal expectations. No pressure.

Cab drivers as well as Uber and Lyft drivers typically get 10 to 18 percent of the fare, while a barber or hairdresser receives 15 to 20 percent of the bill.

A massage therapist customarily gets 20 percent, while you are not expected to tip a personal trainer; the caveat there is that a gift at the holidays is considered a nice touch.

And here are few you might not have thought of: the furniture delivery people customarily get $5-$10 per person and tow truck drivers often get tipped $3-$5 even if insurance is paying for the tow. And your personal house cleaning service doesn’t require tipping, though it is another entity in which a holiday gift is commonplace.

(And as for the takeout slip, there is no obligation to tip for takeout orders, although the staff would certainly appreciate a little something.)

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Upcoming Events

May
20
Mon
10:00 am Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
May 20 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Calling all artists!! Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch and save homeless animals. Pick up a chair from the SPCA Thrift Shop, build a chair, up-cycle a chair, paint a chair, or upholster[...]
May
21
Tue
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes: In and Ou... @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes: In and Ou... @ Art in the Valley
May 21 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes: In and Out of the Studio @ Art in the Valley
This four week course will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance. During the first class[...]
May
22
Wed
6:30 pm Rose Wine Class @ Element
Rose Wine Class @ Element
May 22 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Rose Wine Class @ Element
Join us for Rose’ Wine Class & Tasting at Element on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 6:30pm led by our own Caitlin Love! APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY ROSE! Come join us as we celebrate the[...]
May
23
Thu
9:30 am Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Painting: Composition and Color @ Art in the Valley
Explore your painting potential by creating unique compositions. We’ll find out what motivates you to paint and how to express your point-of-view on canvas. Learn methods of developing a composition and how to best use[...]
1:30 pm Portraits for Beginners: People ... @ Art in the Valley
Portraits for Beginners: People ... @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Portraits for Beginners: People and Pets @ Art in the Valley
Learn to create realistic portraits of people and pets. Students will practice drawing and painting techniques used in portraiture. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Students are required to bring their own reference[...]
3:00 pm The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
May 23 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The Employer Expo @ War Memorial Building @ Jim Barnett Park
Have you been thinking about a career change? Are you nearing graduation and not quite sure what you want to do, or what your next step should be? Are you a parent of a student[...]
6:00 pm Painting the Landscape with Oils... @ Art in the Valley
Painting the Landscape with Oils... @ Art in the Valley
May 23 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Painting the Landscape with Oils: Late Spring @ Art in the Valley
This class provides a hands-on experience for painting with oils. Students will focus on techniques for painting landscapes. Class meets once a week for five weeks. Students are recommended to bring their own reference photos[...]
6:30 pm Confederate Memorial Day ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery's Soldiers Circle
Confederate Memorial Day ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery's Soldiers Circle
May 23 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Confederate Memorial Day ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery's Soldiers Circle
The Warren Rifles Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy will again lead the annual Confederate Memorial Day ceremony on the anniversary of the Battle of Front Royal. Where: at Prospect Hill Cemetery’s Soldiers[...]
May
25
Sat
1:00 pm Meet the Author: Stephen Hudak @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Meet the Author: Stephen Hudak @ Royal Oak Bookshop
May 25 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Meet the Author: Stephen Hudak @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Of Dreams and Leadership: Learning to lead and sharing along the way by local author, Stephen Hudak In this collection of essays, Stephen Hudak shares his thoughts on Leadership and Learning.
May
27
Mon
10:00 am Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
May 27 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Calling all artists!! Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch and save homeless animals. Pick up a chair from the SPCA Thrift Shop, build a chair, up-cycle a chair, paint a chair, or upholster[...]