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Jan
09

Miley Cyrus can help you save money on your home energy

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Miley Cyrus can help you save money on your home energyDancing kid courtesy of Microsoft images.

Vigorous twerking to the strains of Wrecking Ball can help you expend energy, if you’re trying to lose weight after the holidays. But Miley Cyrus’s music has also been demonstrated to save you energy—solar energy—and money on your utility bills.

Yes, a recent study has shown that playing pop and rock music to your solar panels increases their efficiency. The high frequency sounds cause vibrations that enhance their ability to generate energy, according to the trendy researchers at Queen Mary University and Imperial College London.

“We thought the sound waves, which produce random fluctuations, would cancel each other out and so didn’t expect to see any significant overall effect on the power output,” said James Durrant, Professor of Photochemistry at Imperial College London and unwitting punster.

“The key [sic] for us was that not only that the random fluctuations from the sound didn’t cancel each other out, but also that some frequencies of sound seemed really to amplify the solar cell output – so that the increase in power was a remarkably big effect considering how little sound energy we put in.”

Sorry, classical music doesn’t work. You can’t really rock out to Lizst.

So for maximum energy benefits, turn up the volume on Miley’s music so your solar panels vibrate, and then twerk like nobody’s watching.

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May
16

Watching a Movie at the AMC Movie Theater: A True Dining Experience

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The specialty drink made for the Ironman 3 movie. The icecubes are lights and lit up the theater.

The specialty drink made for the Ironman 3 movie. The icecubes are lights and lit up the theater.

I have been out of the country and have not had the privilege of trying this very different way of watching a movie. The anticipation of the new Ironman movie could be cut with a knife in my household which is why we found ourselves sitting down at the Esplanade AMC Fork and Screen theatre and placing our drink orders before the movie began.

Although we were not able to sit in the truly luxuriousCinema Suite theatre because we had a young one with us, the Fork and the Screen seats were a far cry from the traditional movie theatre seats. We were given a drink menu, the first of the many very noticeable differences in this  theatre. I ordered a champagne to celebrate my maiden voyage into the new “cinematic experience” and ordered a chicken salad, and assorted other savory appetizers. All were delicious, the movie was even better.

We saw the movie “Ironman 3” in the AMC Fork and Screen Theatres. If you haven’t had the experience, try it. There is nothing like watching a movie with a cocktail in your hand.

http://dinein.amctheatres.com/how-it-works/fork-and-screen

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Jan
20

Heard Museum Events this Weekend

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Dec
18

Top 10 Ways (and more) to Fix Up Your House Before You Sell

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This comes from our February Newsletter…

Real Estate Corner…

 

Q. We’ve purchased a new house, and are selling our existing home. We don’t have a lot of money to fix up our existing home before selling it. Do you have any inexpensive suggestions?

 

A. The typical response from all realtors are; carpets and paint. There are so many other low cost things that you can do to help you sell your home.

 

1. Deep clean your home. Make it sparkle. That includes washing all of the baseboards, cabinets, and closets.

 

2. If your master bedroom looks drab, add new linens, pillows, and shams to spice up the bedroom. It also adds some color

 

3. Buy a bright colored curtain and rug to perk up a dull bathroom.

 

 

 4. Regrout your tile if your bathroom grout is chipped or discolored.

 

5. Eliminate clutter. Remove photos, knickknacks,refrigerator magnet and other personal items. Organize your cabinets and closets.

 

6. Clear off kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Put away appliances

 

7. Arrange your furniture so it focuses on your home’s strongest feature (it may be a view, a garden, flowers, or a painting.

 

8. Remove excess furniture

 

9. Create a “model Home” look, clean, attractive with well-placed items

 

10. Dress up your rooms with attractive area rugs and framed prints

 

11. Install new light fixtures if they are damaged or unappealing

 

12. Paint your walls neutral tones. Paint the front door if needed

 

13. Trim bushes and make sure the outside landscaping is neat and clean.

 

If you looking for caring and competant representation, please contact us at 602.315.9292 or Info@MetroRealtyphx.com

 

 

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Jun
09

Arizona’s Wallow Fire Continues to Burn

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About.phoenix.com  Judy Henning

UPDATE JUNE 9, 2011: Eagar and Springerville have now been evacuated. Power lines are one of the many concerns now, as that would result in rolling blackouts to communities in New Mexico and Texas. It is estimated that Arizona’s Wallow Fire will surpass the Rodeo-Chediski fire (468,000 acres) in acre consumption. Right now about 389,000 acres of forest have burned (about 607 square miles) and destroyed 11 buildings, with nearly 600 structures at risk. There have been no serious injuries reported. Here is a map of the Wallow Fire affected area.

A DC-10 tanker has arrived in Arizona. That aircraft is able to carry a 12,000 gallons of fire retardant. That’s about 5 times the load of a normal tanker used to fight wildfires. According to the referenced article, “While effective, the DC-10 comes with some steep costs — $56,000 per day with a five-day minimum plus $12,000 per flight hour.”

Other items you might be wondering about:

The fire has burned onto land under State Forestry Division jurisdiction. The Arizona Forestry Division was awarded a Fire Management Assistance Grant from FEMA, which will reimburse the state for some of the costs incurred for firefighting and evacuation.

The Arizona National Guard is providing logistical fuel support to fire crews at the Wallow Fire with three 2,500 gallon fuel tanker trucks and crew. Arizona National Guard forces are poised to deploy if needed.

The Department of Agriculture has deployed livestock officers to perform welfare checks on animals in the area and evacuate livestock that need to be relocated. Evacuated animals are being moved to areas in St. Johns and Show Low. Call the Apache County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 928-337-4321 or 800-352-1850 for more about those animals.

The Department of Health Services is assisting licensed facilities to ensure the safety of patients and staff, not only with evacuations of patients but also with information about smoke hazards.

The Department of Environmental Quality is monitoring air quality in Springerville and St. Johns.

The Department of Transportation is managing 200 miles of closed state highways and supporting evacuation efforts in coordination with emergency managers.

AZ Game and Fish Department has 30 wildlife officers either working on evacuation and security of parts of Eagar and Springerville and preparing information on impacts the fires might have on wildlife and on hunting and fishing in the affected areas.

The Department of Economic Security is monitoring the proximity of the fires to their facilities, including group homes for Child Protective Services, people with disabilities and the elderly.

The Arizona Humane Society has set up an animal shelter with medical support in Show Low for evacuated pets that are unable to stay with their owners at this time.

Anyone who wants to help is encouraged to do so can go online at www.AzEIN.gov for suggestions. Please do not try to visit the affected area of the fire — that doesn’t help.

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Mar
12

The Phoenix Art Museum Culinary Festival: Devoured

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Devoured is an annual culinary event hosted by the Phoenix Art Museum,Local First Arizona and R Entertainment Co. to promote Arizona producers and purveyours of fine food and drink. They are devoted in their quest to making metro Phoenix an international dining destination.

Devoured is open to purveyors who support Arizona food, wine, and restaurant industries.  The event fosters lively food experiences and presents innovative culinary demonstrations along with showcasing local artisans, farms, food producers, and vintners.

In addition to enjoying the best food and wind Phoenix has to offer, Devoured guests receive general admission to the Phoenix Art Museum, the Southwest's premier destination for world class visual arts.

For more information, http://www.phxart.org/devoured/

 

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Feb
07

Low Cost Ways to Fix Your Home for Sale

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Real Estate Corner…

Q. We’ve purchased a new house, and are selling our existing home. We don’t have a lot of money to fix up our existing home before selling it. Do you have any inexpensive suggestions?

 

A: The typical realtor response is, “floors and paint” but there are several other low cost things that you can do.

 

 

 

  •  Deep-clean the house and “make it sparkle

 

  •  If your master bedroom looks drab, add new linens, pillows, and shams to spice up the bedroom and add a little color.

 

  • Buy a bright colored shower curtain and rug to perk up a dull bathroom.

 

  • Re-grout if your bathroom grout is chipped or discolored.

 

  • Eliminate clutter. Remove photos, knickknacks, refrigerator magnets and other personal items.

 

  • Organize your cabinets and closets.

 

  • Clear off kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Put away appliances.

 

  • Arrange your furniture so it focuses on your home’s strongest feature (it may be a view, a garden, flowers, or a painting).

 

  • Remove excess furniture.

 

  • Create a “model home” look, clean, attractive with well-place items.

 

  • Dress up your rooms with attractive area rugs and framed prints.

 

  •  Install new light fixtures if they’re damaged or unappealing.

 

  • Paint your walls in neutral tones. Paint the front door if needed.

 

  • Trim bushes and make sure the outside landscaping is neat and clean.

 

  • If you are in the market for a buying or selling a home and need competant and caring representation, contact us at 602.315.9292 or Info@MetroRealtyphx.com.
Dec
11

2011 Predictions in Technology

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The following are predictions and trends for what 2011 has in store for the electronics/gadgets buyer. As the end of the year approaches, it’s time to take a look at what’s in store for the future of technology:

 

Prediction #1:Projectors will continue to grow in popularity. Technology for projectors has made it preferable to choose a home theater projector over a television, when it comes to filling up space. Despite the economic downturn, projectors have been selling hotter than ever. The reason? Probably because no one wants to spend 10 dollars on a movie ticket anymore!

Projectors are also getting smaller. Something that can fit in your front pocket can now display your business presentation on the wall.

 

Prediction #2:Blu-ray will slowly but steadily get closer to becoming mainstream in the home theater market. More and more catalogue titles are being released every day, and price reductions have enabled unit shipments to increase rapidly. 2011 will finally be the year when Blu-ray will take the place of DVDs in the mainstream market.

 

Prediction #3: HD gadgetswill grow in popularity. These days you can buy a 720p television for under $500. Camcorders with 1080p capability are becoming the new standard for home video. Trends indicate that most consumer video gadgets will soon be high-def.

 

Prediction #4:The advent of 3D televisionwill not gain as much traction as their developers would like; since manufacturers are pushing for it more than consumers. With very little 3D content currently available, and given that only a handful of 3D TV’s are on the market, it’s better to wait and decide whether 3D will go down in history as a gimmick, or rise up as the wave of the future.

Prediction #5: Google Android, the internet search giant’s foray into the mobile device operating systems market, has been steadily gaining momentum, and will continue to rise in popularity.

 

Google’s Nexus One smartphoneis one of the most iconic consumer electronics launches of the year, as its integration with Google software services freed internet shoppers from wireless carriers’ service contract stranglehold. Many other devices that use Google’s Android OS are being released, helping Google get closer to the top of the mobile OS market.

 

Prediction #6:Tablet Computers will gain in popularity- many large manufacturers are already coming out with their own take on Apple’s iPad, which has already sold 60 million units.

There is already a market for dedicated eReaders, and people are realizing that a tablet PC is more practical for browsing digital literature than dedicated devices. Apple’s iPad has already taken a chunk out of this market, with competitors seeking to emulate Apple’s success to follow.

 

Prediction #7:Solid State Drives will increase in prominence. This technological trend is accompanied by an annual 50% decline in raw flash material costs, while capacities continue to double at the same rate. As a result, flash-based solid-state drives are becoming increasingly popular in markets such as notebook PCs and sub-notebooks for enterprises, Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPC), and Tablet PCs for the healthcare and consumer electronics sectors. Major PC companies have now started to offer such technology.

 

Prediction #8:Consumers will be going after energy-efficient gadgets. As people become more concerned about the environment, and technology for such products increases, the proliferation of energy-efficient and green products will increase tenfold. Solar technology has been growing by leaps and bounds lately, with such products as solar-powered battery chargers, and solar cell phone batteries. Solar panels can even be seen on bags, or the windows of buildings!

 

There have also been more eco-friendly items turn up like wooden casings for iPods and cell phones. Consumers are demanding these items and it's a sure bet that we’ll see more like them in the coming year.

 

Prediction #9:Apps! In 2011, you won’t be able to turn the corner without bumping into a device that supports apps. More and more smartphones, eReaders, televisions, Blu-ray players, and other consumer products are utilizing apps. What started out as an iPhone gimmick will soon change the way we perform most electronic tasks.

 

Prediction #10:Streaming multimedia and interconnected devices will be ever-present throughout 2011, from wireless-enabled home theater components to DVD players that support mobile TV broadcasts. As such, dozens more potential distribution channels just opened up to businesses, as did the opportunity to extend the life and reach of any viral video marketing piece.

Anyone for a flying car?

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Dec
11

2011 Predictions

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It is that time of year again, a time when the pundits enjoys making those next year predictions. Here are a few from our favorite sources…

Read Write Enterprise's 2011 predictions.

  • IT Spending Will Recover – IT spending recovery driven by cloud services. IDC predicts spending on IT cloud services will grow at a rate five times higher than the rest of the IT industry – a 30% increase over 2010. The firm also expects to see steady growth in other IT spending, such as hardware (7.8% year-over-year growth) and software (5.3% growth).
  • Non-PC Mobile Devices Will Out Sell PCs – IDC expects non-PC mobile devices such as smart phone and tables will out sell PCs within the next 18 months.
  • 25 Billion Mobile Apps Will Be Sold – IDC expects nearly 25 billion mobile apps will be sold in 2011, up from 10 billion in 2010, and that the mobile app ecosystem will restructure the channels for digital content and services for consumers.
  • Social Business Software Market Will Grow, Consolidate – IDC forecasts a growth rate of 38% through 2014 for social business software, and believes more than 40% of SMBs will be using social networks by the end of 2011. The firm also expects 2011 to be marked by consolidation as major vendors acquire smaller players.
  •  Social Networks and Mobile Shake-Up Verticals – Retail, financial services and healthcare will all be shaken up by social networking and mobile devices. IDC predicts consumers will use price comparison apps to shop for better deals, demand mobile banking and payments and 14% of adult Americans will use a mobile health application in 2011.

From The Economist.

  • Thanks to the Republicans’ gains in the mid-term elections, the Democrats will find it harder to push legislation through Congress in 2011. That means that if Barack Obama wants to make a mark in the coming year, he will have to do so in the wider world.

 

  • Lucy Kellaway predicts 2011 will be the year when companies begin to say goodbye to the written word and communicate by video…

Ezinearticles Oscar Predictions.

The Way Back – While it's not scheduled to go into wide release until January of 2011, The Way Back is already drawing rave reviews from critics who've seen it at various festivals. Starring Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Mark Strong, and Jim Sturgess, the film tells the true story of soldiers who escaped from a World War II gulag in Siberia and made the grueling trek to India and freedom. Farrell has especially drawn praise for his performance, and it's about time this talented actor receive an Oscar. Then again, Ed Harris is also equally deserving of a win (he's been nominated four times). Directed by Peter Weir, who made Gallipoli and Dead Poets Society.

Toy Story 3 – It's a given that this smash hit from Pixar will get a nomination in the Best Animated Picture category, but it might also receive a Best Picture nod thanks to the expansion of the category in 2010. Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) are both back, and this time they must deal with their owner moving to college and leaving them behind. Winding up at a daycare center, they must also contend with the tyrannical Lots-O'-Huggin'-Bear (Ned Beatty), a toy who runs the place like a prison camp. There's something here for both kids and adults, and Pixar continues its amazing streak of success.

Blue Valentine – Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star as a married couple dealing with various challenges through a number of years of marriage. While the wife still wants success and a career, the husband is more than content to devote himself entirely to his family. This causes tension within the relationship, and the handheld shooting techniques lends an added realism to the narrative.

Winter's Bone – Don't be surprised to see Jennifer Lawrence nominated in the Best Actress category for 2011, as critics have been raving about her performance in Winter's Bone ever since the film saw a limited release back in June of 2010. Lawrence plays Ree Dolly, a 17-year-old living in the backwoods of the Ozarks. When her meth-cooking daddy gets arrested and then jumps bail, it puts the family farm in jeopardy. Left with no other options, Ree sets out on foot to find her father, braving killers and drug dealers along the way. A stark portrait of life in rural Missouri, Winter's Bone is also aided by the steady direction of Debra Graham. 

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Nov
12

First Friday in November

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This Friday was Date Night. With so many options open to us, we decided on walking down Roosevelt and experiencing all that is First Friday. What makes First Friday in Downtown Phoenix so appealing?

Every First Friday of the month, Downtown Phoenix, especially the Roosevelt District, becomes a huge art gallery. Studios, art spaces, family circus’, magicians, jugglers, and musicians line the street in an effort to entertain.

My date and I walked into a variety of open studios, many were homes converted into art spaces. We listened to a various bands; one singer sounded like Alanis Morrisette.

We grabbed a quick snack at Tammy Coe’s and stood in line at Bliss for drinks. The line was too long but we managed to have a look at the interior. The restaurant is very upscale for the area and a fabulous place for drinks.

First Friday is organized by Artlink, a nonprofit organization "…dedicated to bringing together artists, the public, and businesses for a greater understanding, appreciation, and promotion of the arts and the development of a strong and vital downtown Phoenix arts community."

Grab comfortable shoes and experience First Friday while the weather is perfect, you will have stories to tell.

For any questions about First Friday, CONTACT ARTLINK.

For any other questions, contact us at Info@MetroRealtyphx.com .  

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