The beauty of Kao Tao, Thailand

0 Comments 02 June 2013

Koh_Tao_SaireeThailand is a popular destination for Australian travellers due to its close proximity, good exchange rate and of course shopping! There is a vast array of holiday spots in Thailand and a destination every traveller needs to experience for themselves. One place in Thailand that has a special place in my heart is Kao Tao. Having recently returned from a holiday to the tiny island (21 square kms) it seemed logical I write a little piece. My recent trip was my second to the island of Kao Tao and I’m sure I will return in the future – the time between visits was over 8 years, and a lot has changed. Continue Reading


A Student Nightmare – Money

0 Comments 27 January 2011

Being a student can be tough for a number of reasons and one of the top issues is cash flow.  If you haven’t got enough money to eat properly then how are you going to be able to study effectively?

Student life can be expensive, so managing your money to allow you to live well and have some fun is important.  We have compiled a number of tips to help you, and the Australian government has put together a handy app you can download to help. Continue Reading


Corporate Life: Growing a Startup

0 Comments 13 September 2014

There are trends in lifestyle which sometimes dovetail well with urban sensibilities. For instance, a lot of young adults nowadays are either going into business for themselves, or have taken up to working online. At least these are people who are motivated and determined to make a name for themselves.

The problem for startups, especially for those who have latched on to an internet or mobile apps lifestyle is that there is no real need to create a corporate atmosphere. Today’s boutique website companies, and mobile apps developers prefer offices which brand them as mavericks and non-corporate. There is a certain Bohemian aesthetics in some offices, or even an anti-corporate feel. At least until they make their first million. For most companies, startups and those which have already achieved a level of success, there are still some vestiges of a hipster look, complete with semi-retro gear, fedora and beards.

For some startup corporate offices, this does makes sense. There is no need to spend money on the interior design of an office. There is no need to buy new furniture, and the finances could be channeled into acquiring new talent and investing in growth. This may go back to the concepts of profit centers and cost-centers, but if the profit is still in the horizon, then it is all a cost center. Getting out of the red, can sometimes be a hard thing to do if there is no revenue stream to speak of. Most apps do not have a dedicated way to generate revenue. Some of the most successful mobile apps in recent years may have millions of users, but without a revenue stream, no income is coming in.

This forces a company to decide when it would need a commercial office space for rent. They cannot buy an office, at least not yet. They cannot stay in the garage or the kitchen forever. At some point in a startup’s life, growth will push it out of the house, and into a commercial office space. This is part of the cycle of growth. Whether it has the money or the cash flow to pay for office space is no longer an issue. This is the point where an office becomes a necessity. Growth is not all that bad. In fact, it is something a startup aims for.


What Would You Do If You Won the Lottery?

0 Comments 10 September 2014

One of the most interesting topics to ask during man on the street interviews is what people would do if they won the lottery. We’re not talking about a couple of bucks here and there, but the real multi-million jackpot in say Powerball or Super 7. We’re talking about tens or hundreds of millions in cash prizes – which in Australia, is tax free. In other countries, lottery prizes are taxed, which means that the winners get only a fraction of their winnings. Anyway, going back to the topic, you will get to know people very fast when you ask them what they will do with instant wealth.

Most people will say that they will quit their jobs immediately and buy a big house and luxury cars. Those with families have different priorities though. Those who have houses on mortgage say that they will immediately pay off their houses, cars, and save the rest of the money for the education of their children. However, they will shop pretty heavily. Women would gravitate towards expensive bags and diamonds, and say that this is a form of investment. Of course, everyone knows that this is otherwise. The new found wealth would naturally be used to brag and show other people that they have now struck it rich.

This is the reality. In fact, even if you search the internet for stories of actual lottery winners, you will find that most of them have squandered their wealth after just a while. Those who have won millions in dollars manage to spend it in just a few months. Why is this? They have this notion that the money will not run out, which is foolish. Also, since they have stopped working and did not invest their money properly, they are left without a stable source of income.

When doing interviews on line or on the streets, it is very rare that one encounters a person who would go for private wealth management and invest his or her winnings wisely. Those who do however, prove to be very mature individuals and show that they are conscious about handling money.

Even if you have not won the lottery, any person can consult wealth or money managers and ask them about making investments for the future – or for retirement. You cannot keep working all your life, and unless you win the lottery, you will not be rolling in money either.


What Students Need to Know About Credit and Loans

0 Comments 26 July 2014

Everyone wants to do something which is way beyond their means. The truth is, that this really is a fact of life. Not just for individuals but also for corporations, large and small. The concept of credit as a way of life is never taught in school. For corporations, top management knows that for most ventures they have to find financing. For individuals, they have to find a way to finance whatever is not within the budget. In this case, the only thing they can do is prioritize expenses and find out if the financing they get is enough for the additional expenses.

Getting personal loans for graduate school, university degree, or a vacation may be necessary to get the project off the ground. For some this is not a second option. For other people it is the first option, because there is not enough disposable income, and no savings to speak off. If a project has to be financed in order for it push through, then the borrower has to find a way to be able to repay the loan. At some point, this is no longer an option.

A vacation is not a trivial matter. If you want to go to Singapore, Malaysia or Bali, you have to think about expenses, including transportation, living accommodations, food, and other miscellaneous expenses. For traveling, the expenses may not be accurately predicted, but you would have an idea of how much you can spend, depending on the loan amount you applied for.

For education, this might be a tricky proposition because you would be financing it for several years, until the course is finished. Besides that, there would be other costs which are not in the computation, like books, a laptop and educational materials. Any expenses additional expenses if it is not education-related would have to come out of pocket. Having a student loan does not mean that all the expenses would be covered. Other expenses would still have to be paid for by working in additional jobs.

Typically, a personal loan for a car, rather than an outright car loan, is more easily calculated. The same goes for loans earmarked for home improvement. The estimates for these expenses are usually clear and well within the personal loan amount.


3 Things to Do at the Earliest Signs of Varicose Veins

0 Comments 26 July 2014

You might know how varicose veins look like and how disgusting they are. However, the image that you have in mind is only for severe cases. When varicose veins start to form, they are barely noticeable. Thus, you won’t think you are already forming one. If everything starts to get worse, you then medication becomes more difficult. Thus, you have to make sure that you find a way to treat the problem at the earliest signs. Here are 3 things that you need to do:

1. When you start feeling extreme pain or cramping in your lower leg, then you need to analyze what you have done for the day or over the past days. You need to find out what has caused the problem. By then, you can gradually change your ways. If the problem has been brought about by the nature of your job, then you have to decide whether it is still worth working for or it is high time to change your job.

2. Seek for help from your physician. There might be lots of reasons behind the pain in your lower leg. It may or may not develop into varicose veins. The point is that you have to make sure that you seek for medical attention so that something can be done right away. Otherwise, treatment becomes more difficult and more expensive.

3. Start exercising. You have to make sure that blood clot does not happen due to your failure to move from one place to another. However, be careful not to strain your legs as it can further worsen the situation.

Again, don’t wait to see those harsh varicose veins before doing anything. As the cliché goes, prevention is better than cure. If you can find a way to solve the problem without going through a tough medical treatment, then take this road. Remember than once the problem starts to get worse, it could be very difficult to solve. If you live in Brisbane and you need Brisbane varicose veins experts, go here. They will surely give you the medical care you deserve.


What Migrant Workers Need to Know About Health Insurance

0 Comments 24 July 2014

Australia has a growing immigrant population. This is no surprise considering the country’s history. There have been several major waves of immigration, which included people from Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, North Africa, the Middle East, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore. These different cultures have added a layer of complexity and lots of flavor to the mix of races and cultures in the country.

Australia has long recognized that it needs additional pools of talent to continue to expand and grow its businesses and industries. Not that there’s a lack of skill among natives, it’s just that Aussies have never been insecure about introducing people from other nations into its labor force. Besides allowing them to work here, the government also welcomes immigrants and their families with open arms.

It is not all that difficult to obtain a 457 visa or a so called migrant worker’s visa. This is normally issued to the worker and or his family after a company or business in Australia has hired him and offered him a contract. The job offer needs to be permanent and over several years in order for the worker to be considered for immigration. Because the post is also long-term, it is encouraged that he bring his family with him to settle down in Australia.

As an employee, the immigrant worker is entitled to wages and social security benefits, among others. There will also be a good health and life insurance package waiting for him when he gets here. However, the rules state that immigrants must obtain 457 visa private health insurance for his family members and that they must be covered for the minimum amount of coverage that other citizens have.

This law was enforced in September of 2009 and has been strictly followed ever since. The law also states that the family members of the immigrant worker must continue to be ensured for as long as they are in Australia.

The initial insurance coverage must be submitted by the broker or the visa applicants to their respective embassies before their visa papers can be processed. Once inside the country, the worker’s family may apply for a higher insurance coverage.


Cloud Storage – The Healthy Option

0 Comments 22 July 2014

Cloud storage is becoming extremely popular these days but it isn’t something just to be used by blue-chip companies, not anymore. Cloud storage is one of the most efficient methods to store files and one sector that is making great use of it the medical sector.

Not many people realize that their medical records are no longer stored in physical format – they’ve all been scanned and stored in the cloud.  But, how does this benefit you?

The Benefits of Cloud Storage

Instead of having offices stuffed full of filing cabinets and staff running around trying to find things, your medical records can now be accessed at the touch of a button.  It’s a more secure way of storing them and they never get lost – unlike the risk associated with physical storage systems.

In fact, it’s so secure that many sectors looking for cloud storage in Australia, use this top provider.

Having your records stored in the cloud also means that, should your surgery be broken into or a fire occurs, they aren’t stolen or destroyed.  If the computers are stolen or the whole system fails, your records are still there, safe and secure, in the cloud.

What about if you require a house visit from your doctor? He doesn’t need to drag along heavy files anymore. Instead, all he needs is a smartphone or a tablet and he can access them instantly.

What about Security?

Files that are stored in the cloud are not automatically accessible by everyone. Indeed, specific permissions have to be given before a person can access those files so you don’t need to worry about unauthorized snooping on your medical history.

If you move home and need your medical files transferred to a new facility, under the old way, they would be packaged up and posted. Things go missing in the post, we all know that and, to be fair, it isn’t called snail mail for nothing.

Instead, your files can be transferred to your new doctor instantly. You won’t need to go over your medical history with him or her because it will all be there, ready and waiting for when you visit.

Cloud storage makes you healthier because your records are there, at the touch of a button, with no more delays.


Reasons for Sponsoring a Child in Australia

0 Comments 19 July 2014

When you hear about sponsoring a child, you might think it is all about adopting and raising someone who may or may not be a relative. However, UNICEF has already changed the concept of child sponsorship. In fact, it is not about singling out someone and raising this specific kid. It is more about becoming a Global Parent. This means that you commit UNICEF and provide a specific amount to help out in their projects for children in a specific community. This is true especially to those who need them the most. Why is this better option?

• When you provide help in a form of sponsorship, you are assured that your help will go a long way. Instead of changing the life of one, you can potentially change the lives of hundreds of children. Rest assured, UNICEF identifies those who are in great need and have them as the priority.

• In Australia, there are thousands of children who need help. This is true especially for those who are members of tribal groups or those who are seeking for asylum. Therefore, this project provides help in various forms. There are projects related to protection of children’s rights. Australia also has an initiative to provide a child-friendly city where children can live normally and play with other children. There are also projects that help support infant and pregnant women.

• You are assured that your donations are in safe hands. This project has been going on for some time and lots of parents have already committed to the project. They have complete trust since this is an initiative formed by the largest non-profit organization that promotes children’s welfare.

If you really want to provide help and change the lives of these Australian children, then be a sponsor now. You can contact UNICEF for more information. They also have projects intended for children outside Australia. The projects that have been implemented so far were very successful and will definitely continue to succeed with your help. You can sponsor a child in Australia by visiting here as your first step.


Why Businesses Should Always Consider Technology in Preparing for the Future

0 Comments 07 July 2014

Technology is rapidly progressing and its influence easily manifests in almost every aspect of life. That’s why for businesses technology is something that should always be taken into account. Just recently, a German company unveiled a smart autonomous forklift designed to automatically handle the parking of cars. This news is a welcome development for some businesses but for others, it may not be good news.

Smart equipment like automated forklifts, once the technology matures and the costs are kept at a minimum, can be a threat to traditional equipment sellers. Similarly, they can be bad news to the businesses of those that rent out traditional equipment that may no longer satisfy the efficiency needs of customers. Forklifts that can accomplish tasks on their own, for example, can threaten the businesses of those who offer forklift rentals like the ones listed on this site. Advanced equipment, if priced competitively, are certainly better options for faster and more efficient task fulfillment.

Technology is always a factor in the long-term survival of a business. There’s hardly a business nowadays that does not employ modern technology in carrying out day-to-day operations. Communication technology, for instance, is very important even for small businesses as it facilitates the coordination of recurring operations. The Internet also factors in, especially when it comes to promotions and marketing. It’s way easier and cheaper to promote products and find potential customers through the web as more people get connected online through social media and other means of web-based interaction and communication.

On the other hand, businesses that already rely on technology should also pay attention to technological developments to avoid the adverse impact of obsolescence or the shift in standards. This is particularly a vital concern for those involved in consumer electronics. With operating systems getting regularly updated and new and more powerful hardware becoming available every so often, it is important to dynamically react or to be continuously prepared to adopt new technologies to remain competitive. Similarly, businesses that are web-based need to be very mindful of changes in the Internet. The changes being implemented by Google, for instance, need to be closely watched as they are bound to affect the online marketing or web presence endeavors of most online businesses.

It’s important to harness the advantages of technology but it is similarly important to promptly and appropriately react to technological advancements or changes that are bound to affect the business landscape.


Planning a Summer Garden Wedding

0 Comments 03 July 2014

Summer may very well be the wedding season, but for some couples, it depends on where their wedding is held that matters. For those who are starting to plan their dream wedding, there are many things to consider: the theme (which includes the color motif, design of the wedding), guests to invite, the food to serve, the wedding cake and others.

Location, Location

Nowadays, couples want to have a refreshing and open ambience during their wedding ceremony. It can be a great advantage both to them and to their guests. A garden wedding is the perfect place for the occasion. It can either be on their own yard to have less expense or in parks near the area. This kind of theme is perfect during the summer season. You can enjoy the sun and also the memorable exchanges of “I do’s”. It will be hassle-free for the head count of expected guests, such as your family members and other relatives, close friends and colleagues, even their plus ones. Even if more people actually turn up than planned for the reception, it can be easily remedied because there is more space available. This would have been a problem if you were having a sit-down reception at a fancy hotel.

Also, having a summer garden wedding is the perfect opportunity to make a nature theme look fantastic. You can be playful on what color theme to use, the souvenirs to be given away, and the set-up for both the wedding proper and reception area. If you’ve picked your own yard as the venue, you will have no problem with the food. Since the house is just nearby, you can make it as the hub where the caterers can prepare the food. This will make it really fresh and presentable during the reception.

A summer garden wedding with an outdoor reception will be both simple but elegant as nature adds its effect on the occasion. For an even more romantic feel, string some lights on the gazebo and have your first dance as a married couple there. It will take some time and preparation, but your dream wedding will definitely come into fruition.


Using Gold for Better Liposuction

0 Comments 01 July 2014

Gold has been used in a wide range of applications aside from the making of jewelry. It is not just a shiny element that represents wealth. With a recently developed technique, however, gold can also be used in performing nanoparticle-based liposuction procedures. Through the novel technique developed by a brother-and-sister duo, gold can now be used to facilitate more efficient liposuction.

The brother-and-sister team responsible for this technique are Khalid Almutairi, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and Adah Almutairi, a nanomedicine expert and professor at University of California San Diego (UCSD).

Nanotechnology in Liposuction

Adah Almutairi came up with the idea of using gold nanoparticles based on the knowledge that since 2000, nanoparticles and heat have already been used in efforts to kill cancer cells or in attempting to provide a cure for cancer. Nanoparticles can heat up quickly to a tolerable level (for a living body) when exposed to infrared laser light. If these nanoparticles are introduced inside the body and heated, they can be instrumental in dissolving or killing unwanted objects or growths inside the body with great precision and efficiency.

The UCSD professor pitched the idea of using gold nanoparticle to her brother Khalid, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. They agreed that the idea is viable, with Khalid noting that most liposuction patients prefer undergoing a mechanical procedure called suction-assisted liposuction, an approach that is less than ideal as it can cause damages to the tissues and nerves that will be touched by the scraping needle.

With suction-assisted lipo, the surgeon or physician injects a combination of saline solution, local anesthetic, and a drug that reduces bleeding in the part in the part that will be treated. The physician then scrapes the fats away using a needle with sharp edges.


The Almutairi siblings tried their novel liposuction idea on butter and bacon. They injected 40 nm nanorods (the gold nanoparticles) into butter and bacon. They then heated the nanorods using an 800 nm laser. Upon heating the nanorods, the fatty substances surrounding the nanorods were melted within a couple of minutes. The nanorods are then collected by sucking them in.

When used on humans, the basic concept of NanoLipo is to inject a solution of gold nanorods into the fatty layer of the human body. The nanorods are then heated by pointing an infrared laser beam onto the skin. As the nanorods heat up, they dissolve the fatty deposits around them, making it easy to simply suck the melted fats away. This makes the liposuction process less painful, less invasive, and less damaging. To get rid of the melted fats, they are simply being sucked away along with the gold nanorods.


Unfortunately, NanoLipo is not yet available to the public. Don’t expect the cosmetic surgery clinic that offers liposuction in Melbourne or in the city near to be able to offer this technique. Similarly, providers of liposuction in Santa Monica such as will not be able to offer NanoLipo to you yet. Additional studies and tests need to be undertaken first to ensure the safety of the procedure. NanoLipo has not been officially tested on humans yet so it is not guaranteed to be safe for human use.


Choose Your Own Travel Adventure

0 Comments 24 June 2014

With our term here at Uni about to close, majority of students are planning to travel and go on different kinds of adventure. It is no secret that we Australians love the sun and the outdoors more than anything else, so trip to the best beaches in the world are expected. For those with savings to burn, travelling to exotic spots such as Bali for some tropical adventure would surely be great. However, for those who can’t afford to burn the bank, there’s still a lot of options to take.

Asian cruises are becoming very popular because they allow you to visit several countries in just a short period of time. One good thing to experience here is the temples. Asia has a lot of them: from Thailand to Cambodia to Vietnam. It’s interesting to see how much their religion and culture has shaped their country. No matter how modern they are, you’ll still see them practising their religious beliefs (such as no eating beef in India) and unique customs. Asia is also home to spicy and savoury dishes. You’ll surely have a gastronomic experience when you visit these countries.

However, if you’re tired of common tours and travel itineraries, you can head to South Africa for a different kind of adventure. Different in a sense that you can custom-make your tour package to include only the things that you want to do. For example, you can observe hundreds of ostriches inside farms at Oudtshoom. At the end of the day, you can experience the thrill of riding on the back of one of the adult birds. You can also visit Rodden Island and see where the famous political leader and freedom fighter Nelson Madela was imprisoned for years.

But hey, what’s an African adventure without a safari? If you’ve always dreamt of going on a safari adventure, you can, but without the danger of being trampled by a herd of elephants. Click here to know more about extraordinary South Africa tours and customised packages that will allow you to experience the wonders of South Africa by air, land and sea.


2 Quick Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

0 Comments 31 May 2014

Your home speaks volumes about the kind of person that you are, but it also affects the kind of person you become. So much so that family dynamics can be affected by the home interiors. Warm and cozy homes can can help families have a close bond, which eventually translates to even warmer and cozier homes. Similarly, a house that lacks organization or has clashing themes may result in a lack of interest among the people living in it, and or may tell tales of how the family might not be closely knit together. So making a few improvements in your home can lead to big positive changes, making it look more cheerful, welcoming, warm and comfortable. Here are a couple of quick spruce up ideas. 

Paint Walls in New Colors

An instant way to catch up on the maintenance of any house and freshen up its looks is by experimenting with colors and adding fresh coats of paint on the walls. It is not as expensive as going out to change the all the furniture and accessories, yet it brings out the best in the house. Some colors that speak of love, warmth and openness include yellow, red, blue and white. Painting one of your kitchen walls in shades of yellow would increase the appetite in children as suggested by several researches, and would also add a warm touch to a place where the family comes together. Adding a blue wall in your lounge would make it a relaxing space where kids, friends or even your spouse would love to hang out and spend time. Having a red or indigo wall in the bedroom sparks passion and intimacy for those private moments. 

Upgrade Windows and Doors

The quality of a house and its valuation bounces up as soon as new doors and windows are installed. Not only does it instantly make cracks, old paint jobs and broken knobs disappear, but it makes the house look expensive and well maintained as soon as new doors and windows are put up. Modern design and craftsmanship allows the doors to go beyond just being a house fixture. Check out here and take a look at some of the best doors and windows that can be imported from Canada to Australia and other parts of the world.

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