Fiber optic internet is becoming increasingly available for homeowners. If you want to learn more, here’s a brief overview of everything you should know.
What are fiber optics?
Optical fiber is a thin, flexible plastic or glass cable that allows light to be transmitted over very long distances without losing any speed. The cable is wrapped in a protective sheath that captures light and sends data to a specific destination.
How does it work?
Optical fiber uses the principle of light refraction. The protective sheath around the cable has a highly reflective interior, which causes light to ricochet in all directions. This allows data to travel from a transmitting element to a receiving end extremely quickly. Fiber optic cables can be installed directly to and from your home or connected to a copper network.
Reasons to opt for fiber optics
Fiber optic internet is the future of broadband. The cables use light signals to send data to and from your computer up to 1,000 times faster than copper alone. This allows you to instantly download large files, seamlessly play online games, participate in online forums and enjoy high-quality graphics.
To find out if you can take advantage of these benefits in your home, contact the internet providers in your area.
December Celebrity Birthdays!
Do you share a birthday with a celebrity?
1 – Riz Ahmed, 39, actor (The Night Of), rapper, London, England, 1982.
2 – Nelly Furtado, 43, singer, Victoria, BC, Canada, 1978.
3 – Patrick Chamoiseau, 68, author (Chronicle of the Seven Sorrows), Fort-de-France, Martinique, Dec 3, 1953.
4 – Cassandra Wilson, 66, jazz singer, Jackson, MS, 1955.
5 – Margaret Cho, 53, actress (All-American Girl), comedienne, San Francisco, CA, 1968.
6 – Craig Newmark, 69, founder of craigslist, Morristown, NJ, 1952.
7 – Tom Waits, 72, singer, songwriter, actor (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Pomona, CA, 1949.
8 – Nicki Minaj, 37, singer, rapper, Onika Tanya Maraj, St. James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, 1984.
9 – Reiko Aylesworth, 49, actress (24), born Chicago, IL, 1972.
10 – Melissa Roxburgh, 29, actress (Manifest), Vancouver, BC, Canada, 1992.
11 – Mo’Nique, 54, actress (Precious), talk show host, born Monique Imes, Woodlawn, MD, 1967.
12 – Lucas Hedges, 25, actor (Manchester by the Sea), New York, NY, 1996.
13 – Jamie Foxx, 54, actor (Ray), producer, born Eric Marlon Bishop, Terrell, TX, 1967.
14 – Vanessa Hudgens, 33, actress (Spring Breakers), Salinas, CA, 1988.
15 – Garrett Wang, 53, actor (Star Trek: Voyager), Riverside, CA, 1968.
16 – Krysten Ritter, 40, actress (Jessica Jones), Bloomsburg, PA, 1981.
17 – Milton “Lil Rel” Howery, 42, actor (Get Out), comedian, Chicago, IL, 1979.
18 – Steven Spielberg, 75, producer, director (Schindler’s List), Cincinnati, OH, Dec 18, 1946.
19 – Jake Gyllenhaal, 41, actor (Brokeback Mountain), Los Angeles, CA, 1980.
20 – David Cook, 39, singer, television personality (American Idol), Houston, TX, 1982.
21 – Ray Romano, 64, comedian, actor (Everybody Loves Raymond), Queens, NY, 1957.
22 – Jerry Pinkney, 82, children’s book illustrator (John Henry), Philadelphia, PA, 1939.
23 – Susan Lucci, 72, actress (All My Children), Westchester, NY, 1949.
24 – Louis Tomlinson, 30, singer (One Direction), born Louis Austin, Doncaster, England, 1991.
25 – Jimmy Buffett, 75, singer (Margaritaville), Pascagoula, MS, 1946.
26 – Kit Harington, 35, actor (Game of Thrones), born Christopher Catesby Harington, London, England, 1986.
27 – Masi Oka, 47, actor (Heroes), Tokyo, Japan, 1974.
28 – John Legend, 43, singer, born John Stephens, Springfield, OH, 1978.
29 – Ross Lynch, 26, singer, actor (Austin & Ally), Littleton, CO, 1995.
30 – Michael Nesmith, 79, singer, songwriter (The Monkees), Houston, TX, 1942.
31 – Ben Kingsley, 78, actor (Gandhi), born Krishna Bhanji, Yorkshire, England, 1943.
Buying local for the holidays: a gift to your community
The holiday season is the busiest time of year for many merchants and service providers in your area. But did you know that if you buy local this Christmas, you’ll help support your community?
Here’s what you should know.
A small gesture with a big impact
In addition to endorsing the merchants in your area, buying local allows you to contribute to your region’s economy by keeping jobs in the community. Plus, it’s a great way to invest in your neighborhood’s businesses. After all, your support is what makes it possible for them to offer a wide variety of products and services.
Furthermore, a business that earns more money from transactions made by local citizens contributes a greater amount of tax revenue to the government. This money can then be reinvested in services that benefit the entire community.
Finally, buying local products helps protect the environment. This is because fewer greenhouse gases are emitted when locally made goods are transported to stores in the area.
Think outside the box
Buying local isn’t just about the products you can put in a shopping cart; it’s also about investing in your region’s many services. For example, think of the various offerings provided by regional businesses in the arts such as museums, theaters, galleries, and more.
This year for Christmas, consider giving an experience as a gift. It may turn out to be the perfect way to spend quality time with a loved one.
Special deals and great opportunities
During the holiday season, it’s not uncommon to see city officials and business organizations implement initiatives to encourage people to buy locally. This may include posting online directories that list all the businesses in the area. In addition, sometimes stores will offer special promotions, gifts, and discounts to local residents.
This year for Christmas, give yourself and your community the gift of buying local.
The benefits of shopping on Black Friday
Black Friday is just around the corner, and for many, this kicks off the holiday shopping season. Are you wondering whether it’s worth braving crowded stores to take advantage of incredible deals? Here are three major perks to shopping on November 26, 2021.
1. You get more bang for your buck. Black Friday is a prime opportunity to stock up on all the items you need at a reduced price. Not only will you pay less than usual, but the deals offered will likely allow you to afford high-quality models of the items you want.
2. You get to finish your holiday shopping. With the right preparation, you can check most gifts off your shopping list before December even starts. This will reduce your stress in the coming weeks and allow you to focus on spending time with loved ones.
3. You get to be more generous. With so many items on sale, you don’t have to think twice about spoiling family and friends. You’ll also find plenty of well-priced products for co-workers, children’s teachers, and other people on your gift list.
While it does have its benefits, Black Friday can be a tumultuous event. Keep in mind the spirit of the season, and remember to be courteous toward other shoppers and retail staff.
Tularemia and how to prevent it
Do you enjoy hunting or trapping small game? If so, you must take a few precautions to avoid contracting tularemia. Here’s an overview of what you need to know.
Tularemia is a rare infectious disease that affects wild animals such as hares, beavers, muskrats, and squirrels. Humans can contract this potentially fatal disease in a variety of ways, including:
• Coming into contact with the droppings of an infected animal
• Handling the carcass of an infected animal
• Consuming the undercooked meat of an infected animal
• Getting bitten by certain species of ticks, mosquitos, and flies
• Inhaling or ingesting airborne tularemia bacteria
Animals infected with tularemia usually exhibit unusual behavior and may have visible sores and swollen glands.
How to prevent infection
There are several ways you can protect yourself from tularemia. You should:
• Avoid coming into contact with wild animals that appear ill
• Wear gloves and goggles when handling or preparing game meat, and sanitize any surfaces and equipment with a diluted bleach solution
• Avoid eating organ meats that are swollen or have whitish spots
• Cook game meat thoroughly
• Wash your hands with soap and water after handling game
In addition, it’s a good idea to use insect repellent and wear long pants, long sleeves, and socks to prevent bug bites.
The symptoms of tularemia
The symptoms of tularemia vary depending on how the affected person was exposed to the bacteria. Possible indicators include fever, muscle and abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, skin ulcers, throat inflammation, and vomiting. If you experience any of these symptoms after being bitten by an insect or coming into contact with a wild animal, immediately consult a doctor to receive the appropriate antibiotic treatment.
How to avoid falling victim to consumer fraud
To help ensure you don’t get scammed out of your hard-earned money, here’s an overview of how to detect and prevent some of the most common types of consumer fraud.
Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information, such as your name, social insurance number, and bank account information, for financial gain.
A few ways to safeguard your information include:
• Using complex, secure passwords on all your online accounts
• Shredding credit card receipts, utility bills, and bank account statements
• Leaving important ID documents at home in a safe place
If you don’t know why someone is requesting your personal information, it’s always a good idea to ask them for clarification.
Debt collection fraud
This type of fraud happens when scammers pose as collection agencies and demand payment of fake outstanding debts.
Fraudulent debt collectors will:
• Withhold information from you, including the exact amount of the so-called debt and the name of the creditor
• Pressure you to pay with cash, a prepaid debit card, or by money transfer
• Ask for personal information, such as your bank account or social insurance number
Never share any financial or personal information unless you’re 100 percent certain you’re dealing with a real collection agency.
This kind of fraud occurs when phony fundraisers request donations for a charitable organization.
Fraudulent charities will:
• Pressure you to donate immediately
• Only accept cash, gift cards, and wire transfers
• Refuse to provide detailed information about the organization
To avoid a charity scam, ask for information in writing before you donate.
Lastly, you should always trust your gut instinct. If something feels off, it probably is.
6 tips to help you save for retirement
Many Americans struggle to understand the logistics of retirement and how to save. In fact, one in four Americans have no retirement savings and, in many cases, those who are saving aren’t putting away enough. Here are six practical tips to help you get ready for retirement.
1. Understand your current spending. Know how much you currently spend so you can compare it with your projected retirement spending. Managing your current spending can help you save for the future.
2. Plan your future lifestyle. Now’s the time to think about how you want to live out your golden years. Many people assume their retirement spending will amount to approximately 70 percent of their current spending (known as the 70 percent rule). This may not be realistic by today’s standards. Consider how you want to spend your retirement, and create a budget to match that lifestyle.
3. Expect inflation. Rising prices are inevitable. Be sure to keep inflation in mind when planning your retirement.
4. Save on auto-pilot. Setting up regular deposits into a savings account can help you build your nest egg without having to lift a finger.
5. Pay off your mortgage. Home expenses comprise a significant portion of your fixed costs. Paying off your mortgage before retirement can help eliminate this monthly expense.
6. Work with a financial adviser. Hire a good investment professional and work with them regularly to keep your savings on track. Ask friends and family members for recommendations if you don’t currently work with a financial adviser.
With proper planning and a little help, you can prepare yourself for the realities of retirement.