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Vast bluff-top vistas, snow trails cut through lush forests, and the ice-coated waters of Lake Tremblant lend loads of opportunities for fun when you plan a winter visit to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

The charming, whimsical village of Mont-Tremblant centres around the winter recreational hub of the Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort and the expansive wilderness of Mont-Tremblant National Park sprawls just an hour’s drive north of the city centre. 

Residents are fluent in French, and other European influences are evident in the city’s architecture, cuisines, and culture. Make room in the luggage for all of your cold-weather gear; a Mont-Tremblant winter vacation promises to be packed with chilly adventures.

Navigating the City

This snow-drenched destination is nestled in the Laurentian Mountains, just a 90-minute drive northwest of bustling Montreal. Arrive by air via the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and combine your visit with a tour of this world-class city. While you’re at it, find a luggage storage service in Montreal and only take what you need on your adventure into the mountains.

Or, make it a one-stop visit and fly into the Mont Tremblant International Airport, just a short drive north of all of the resort action. Shuttles offer easy transportation to nearby hotels, and rental cars are available, too.

There are other ways to access the attractions in Mont-Tremblant. Taxis run throughout the city, and large groups can book a luxury motorcoach. Take advantage of the Mont-Tremblant Public Transit buses to pop around the city with ease, or tighten up the snow boots and experience this small city on foot.

Where to Stay

The options for lodging in Mont-Tremblant are diverse. Chalets and mountain cabins offer tranquil and scenic escapes, while lakefront lodges and chain hotels offer convenient amenities and easy access to the ski resort. 

Land one of the short-term vacation rentals near Mont-Tremblant, and you can cosy up in a tiny house or sprawl out in a condo on the slopes. Wherever you choose to stay in Mont-Tremblant, you can expect mountain views, endless opportunities for outdoor fun, and relaxing resort vibes.

Winter Recreation

Mont-Tremblant is bursting with winter recreational opportunities. This place comes alive when the snow flies. Most winter fun kicks off in December, though some adventures can be enjoyed before the temperature drop.

Kick-off your winter trip in Mont-Tremblant with a journey down the resort’s snow-covered hills. Seasoned skiers should be able to hit the slopes as soon as the boots are locked, though first-time snow sliders might want to read up on some tips. Trails range from beginner-level to treacherous; maps and brochures can be downloaded or acquired at the resort.

Seek out some freestyle fun at one of the resort’s snowparks. Focus on flips and forms at the Progression Park, or start slow at the family-friendly Mitik Park, where new talent can hone some skills.

Alpine touring is another way to experience the region during winter. Equipment is available for rent, and passes are required to access the resort’s groomed trails. This hybrid of cross-country skiing and hiking will get the blood pumping while providing fantastic vantage points from the rugged terrain. Once you’ve wrapped the route, you’ll incorporate a little downhill skiing in the mix; with a speedy ride back down the mountain.

Venture beyond the ski hills for some more snow-themed explorations in Mont-Tremblant National Park. The Diable sector is where most winter activities can be enjoyed. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular pastimes here. As rental equipment is available, you don’t need to bring your own gear.

While visiting this Quebec national park, expect to see some wildlife. Though animal residents don’t frequently travel the forests in the frigid winter months, critters can still be spotted. Backcountry ski or hike along the snowy trails where moose and deer may cross your path. Eastern wolves are also known to roam these woods, too, though it’ll probably be harder to catch a glimpse of these elusive predators.

Wrangle up your own pack of canines when you go dog-sledding near Mont-Tremblant. Tours typically span an hour, with hot chocolate stops along the way. Some routes are kid-friendly, while others can get a little wild. Bundle up, meet the pups, and prepare for a one-of-a-kind winter adventure.

Want to lounge on ice for a while? Head out for some ice fishing on one of the nearby lakes. Book an ice-fishing tour, and guides will provide the gear and even drill the hole; all you’ll need to do is hunker down and wait for a bite.

Come In from the Cold

When the winter winds blow a little too much, and your muscles need a break, take cover in some of Mont-Tremblant’s best indoor attractions. Enjoy some live entertainment or test your luck at the Casino de Mont Tremblant, or spend a day perusing the shops along the walkable village streets. Stock up for sugar cravings at a sweet shop or snag some awesome European apparel at one of the high-end boutiques.

And then there’s the food. What better way to rejuvenate and relax than with some gourmet cuisine. Sample French-inspired fusions with a side of stunning mountain views, or settle into a spot at one of the village bars for some pub fare in a low-key atmosphere. Want crepes? You’re covered, and there are a few cafes, too.

Google searches for electric bikes have skyrocketed over the past years. It seems that an ever-increasing number of people are interested in making the switch to an electric bike. As the name clearly suggests, an electric bike is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor. The power comes via pedalling. Electric bikes aren’t a new fad. Actually, they have been around for quite some time. The first bicycle to be propelled by an electric motor was invented back in 1897. The model was reinvented and imitated by mostly all manufacturers.

The best thing you can do is ditch your car and get an electric bike. A vehicle is expensive despite the many tax incentives. If you’re a true believer in the decarbonised future, invest in alternative means of transportation. You’ve got nothing to lose. Go from gas-powered to electric and make the world a better place. If you’re still on the fence about getting an electric bike, maybe this will convince you. Here are some excellent reasons to try this incredible transportation technology. 

Maintenance is Easy and Cheap

You’d be tempted to think that maintaining an electric bike is complicated. Far from it, actually. If you don’t have any kind of experience with this kind of transportation mode, know that it’s like having a regular bicycle. You don’t have to do a thing. Electric bikes are designed to be maintenance-free, and they can run for years without servicing. Check the brakes every now and then, clean, lube, and inspect the chain, and make sure the tires are properly inflated. Does that sound complicated? 

If you’re not going to use your electric bike for some time (like in the winter), don’t leave it outside the home. Make sure it’s protected from snow and harsh elements. Next, look after the battery. Don’t charge it too much or discharge it too much as it could lead to a malfunction. It’s essential to keep the electric bike far, far away from moisture. Although the components of the device are water-resistant, you shouldn’t take any chances. 

Lessening Your Impact On The Environment

It’s no secret that cars pollute the environment. They release dangerous CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, which contributes to the greenhouse gas effect. What greenhouse gases do is trap heat in the atmosphere, so it’s no wonder that global temperatures keep on rising. Your car doesn’t even have to be moving to produce a nasty effect on the environment. If you’d like to lessen your impact on the environment, make the transition to an electric bike. 

According to the experts at Scooteretti, an electric bike enables you to reduce your impact on the environment. It’s a zero-emission vehicle, so you have peace of mind knowing that you’re not contributing to global warming. You can go to meet your friends at the local café or head over to the gym and work out. There’s no exhaust, no noise, and, most importantly, no type of pollution. It’s just you and the bike. You don’t have to worry that you’re ruining the environment. The battery is long-lasting, so you won’t have to replace it anytime soon. 

Getting Plenty of Exercise 

The main issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle include heart disease and obesity. At present, we’re living in a car-driven society where walking is deemed to be out of the ordinary. Even when they need to go to the store that’s just round the corner, people hop in their cars. Ownership of cars should start going in reverse. If you want to save time on your commute and get a little bit of exercise, an electric bike is the best solution.  

As far as electric bikes are concerned, pedalling don’t require much effort, but it can help you burn more calories than driving  a car. You’ll notice the difference after some time. If you want to get fit, some intense training will do you good. However, make sure not to overdo it. Figure out how much exercise you need, or want, and keep in mind that the purpose of the motor is to take the strain away and get you from point A to point B really fast. This doesn’t mean that you don’t put in any kind of effort, though. 

Chance to Meet New People 

When do you ever get the chance to go out and meet new people? If you’re like everyone else, you probably live on the go and have a pretty hectic schedule. In short, you barely have time even for yourself. Get on your electric bike and go for a ride. It’s impossible not to come across a dedicated cyclist. Even if the streets aren’t full of bike enthusiasts, it’s expected that all this will change because people are tired of literally doing nothing all day long. Those who have time to spare would instead go for a ride than stare at the TV.

If you’re not so good at making friends, some advice will come in handy. Start with a small conversation and riding is the perfect topic to break the ice. You’ll learn new things and get better at socialising over time. The most important thing is to be yourself. Bike riders are generally very friendly, open, and fun. In other words, they’ll accept you for who you are, so you needn’t worry. Cycling together builds friendships, skill, and let’s not forget strength. 

All in all, an electric bike is a worthwhile investment and it should completely replace your car. There’s no better time than now to start shopping. The market offers all kinds of options, you just have to pick one that suits your needs. If you can’t find one at the local store, don’t worry because that’s what the Internet is for. Go online and order your electric bike today.

Tiny homes have become more popular in recent times. There is a mistaken assumption that a small space feels cramped up and uncomfortable. We are here to tell you that anyone can live in a small area and still find bliss and comfort. It all comes down to your efficiency in utilising the space. Make sure to save more space with the use of smart storage ideas.

A tiny home is, of course, small. However, the functionality of a small space can be similar to a big area. Again, it all boils down to the manner that you utilise that tiny space. A tiny space gives any family that lives in it an intimate experience. Any small spot can feel more spacious with a little effective space planning and smart storage solutions.

The intimacy that comes with the tiny space is an excellent benefit in living small. There are tons of perks in making the transition into a tiny home. One thing is for sure; living small offers a functional, minimalistic, and fulfilling experience.

Storage Space Under The Bed

When it comes to living in a humble home, saving space is crucial. Anyone living in a tight area should be able to make use of the dead space in their house. An excellent example of underutilised space in your home is the space under your bed. You can turn the space beneath your bed into a storage space. This area can be a great place to store your books and more.

Creating additional storage space in a tiny home is a much-needed skill. You wouldn’t want to cramp your functional spaces by placing your things there. The area under your bed is also an excellent place to store your clothes. Think of it as one of the great dresser alternatives.

The space under your bed should turn into a functional storage space. Instead of letting this space gather dust, think of ways to store your things here. You can use the space under your bed to help organise your belongings. This area can turn into book storage, jewellery storage, and many more.

Floating Shelves

Think of your walls as your next best storage solution. You can use floating shelves on your walls to store your favourite knick-knacks and other items. Adding floating shelves are a great storage solution. Create more floor space by adding floating shelves that go above your head! Make sure that the elevation remains accessible and safe. 

The best thing about floating shelves is that they can blend right into the aesthetic of your home. Nothing says “functional” than having floating shelves that store the things that you are passionate about. You can use floating shelves to keep away things from little kids. Think of floating shelves as the perfect complement to the aesthetic and your lifestyle!

Go for floating shelves that are either made of metal or wood. The best thing about the metal floating shelves is that they are more durable. But, if you like how the floating wooden shelves look, feel free to use them. Floating shelves made out of wood can be a great storage solution to add aesthetic.

A Loft Setup

One of the problems that people living in tiny houses face is the lack of a dedicated space. Living in small homes often looks like mixing a lot of your everyday activities into one space. It sure would be nice if you can find a dedicated space for sleeping and your other daily activities. 

Well, you can quickly solve this dilemma with the use of a loft. The great thing about a loft setup is that it turns a single space then it breaks that space down into two different functions. Many of the popular loft installations involve sleeping quarters and office space. You can easily find your niche and experiment with a loft setup. 

You can use a loft set up for your gaming space below and a reading nook on top. There are a lot of combinations that you can use for your loft setup. But one thing is for sure; a loft setup can be the answer to the dedicated space that you are looking for.

Wall Tables

Wall tables can be a great way to save more space in your tiny home. Wall tables do not take up a lot of space because they connect themselves to the wall. Your kitchen space will not feel cramped with the use of wall tables. Whereas, when you use a separate table, you may need to place it in the middle of the room, which takes up a lot of floor space.

There are variations of a wall table that fold in and out of your wall when not in use. You will find that these floating wall tables are an excellent solution for saving more space. Use these folding wall tables on your workspace, cooking, and dining activities.

Takeaway

Living in a tiny home should still feel blissful and comfortable. You do not need to throw things away or leave essential items behind when you make this small home transition. Bring all of the things that you are passionate about into your little space.

Use these smart storage ideas to create more space. These storage and space-saving hacks can help you live comfortably in your tiny home. Stay organised and enjoy the small home lifestyle!

In the USA alone, there are nearly 300 million vehicles in use. Most people use a car to get to work, to go to the store, to hit the gym and do a variety of other things. It is undoubtedly one of the most convenient ways to get around.

While everyone wants their car to work well and operate the way it should, they also want it to look great. A big part of a car looking great is the paint being in pristine condition. Unfortunately, there are many things out there that can damage the paint of your vehicle. As a result, it is crucial to protect the paint of your car from taking an unnecessary amount of damage.

With that in mind, let’s go over a few of the best ways to protect your car paint for longer.

Consider Using Ceramic Coatings

One of the best ways to protect the paint of your car from the elements is to use a ceramic coating. Ceramic coating is essentially a second layer of protection over the paint of your vehicle. It is clear, won’t harm the paint and will protect your paint against most of the things that could damage it. These types of coatings can often preserve the paint of your car for months.

If you are in the market for some ceramic coating or want to learn more, be sure to check out this link: CarPro | Ceramic Coatings Made Simple: Best Step-by-Step Guide in 2020

Keep Your Car Waxed

Waxing your car is another reliable way to protect its paint. Waxing helps to create a barrier between your car paint and anything that may touch your vehicle. It can help your vehicle have a beautiful shine as well. You can consider waxing by yourself, but it isn’t a bad idea to consider having a professional take care of it as well. While it can vary depending on who you ask, it’s generally a good idea to have your car waxed every three months or so.

Quickly Clear off Debris

Some of the biggest potential causes of damage to your paint are things like bird droppings, dust, tree sap and dirt. If you notice any of these materials or debris on your vehicle, it is a good idea to clear them off instantly as they are often easier to get rid of when they are fresh. The longer they sit on the surface of your vehicle, the more damage that they can do.

Wash the Car Often

How to Keep your Car Clean!

Simply washing the car can also help to keep the paint looking fresh. Of course, be sure to be using the right type of products that will be gentle on the paint of your car and not damage it. When washing, be sure to take your time and be thorough, and also be sure to rinse the vehicle thoroughly (and dry it off) to make sure it is looking its best. In general, you should try to wash your car in a shady and cool place, if at all possible.

Utilise Some Paint Sealant

Paint sealant is another product designed to help protect the paint of your vehicle. It only needs to be applied once or twice a year and can have some incredible results. Think of it as a synthetic type of car wax that can last multiple times as long. Be sure to follow the application and removal steps to ensure the best results.

In conclusion, we hope this article has been able to help you learn some great ways to protect your car paint for longer.

This post might contradict my previous post somewhat because if something’s free, surely there’s some hidden costs or agenda. Thanks to the practitioners whom I have spoken/interacted with, they have willingly shared some free content which I feel will benefit those who are new to Chinese metaphysics and hence, I have provided some links below which I hope will be beneficial to those who aspire to learn this art.  

The number of Chinese metaphysics practitioners is on the rise, and this is a good sign because this shows that more people will learn and appreciate Chinese culture and ancient scriptures such as Yi Jing, Tao Te Ching, and the likes. However, there are also some people who learn Chinese metaphysics so that they can use it for other reasons.

If you are keen to learn the various Chinese divination systems such as Bazi, Yi Jing, Feng Shui, and Qi Men Dun Jia; there are many resources and information out there that are widely available. However, do be aware that there is also false information that is purposely uploaded online, and you will need to exercise some wisdom to discern whether the teachings are authentic since there are many self-taught practitioners.

Furthermore, because the Chinese metaphysics industry is mostly unregulated, anyone can claim to be a master after completing a Chinese metaphysics course that probably cost thousands of dollars. 

Say you need to undergo a surgery, will you let a self-taught person or an inexperienced person operate on you? Maybe, if you are concerned about costs (but that is not to say that those who charge low prices are not worth their salt). I do personally know of practitioners who charge affordable rates because they genuinely want to help others, and they have made it their life mission to better the lives of others through Chinese metaphysics. However, the same is also true. Those who charge ridiculously high prices may not necessarily be good, and they command a high price only because they know how to market themselves and are well-known. 

If you are interested to learn Bazi and you are not quite sure if you are willing to part with your hard-earned money, you should check out Eric’s Bazi Insider Channel as it will help to build your fundamental knowledge in Bazi.

On the other hand, if you are already practising Bazi/Feng Shui and you are looking for some free online tools that can help you; you should check out Jenson’s Bazi Calculator. Jenson also has got a free 24 Mountains Feng Shui Compass and an 8 Mansions Feng Shui Tool that new homeowners who are trained in Feng Shui can use too!

I firmly believe that by knowing and understanding your personal Bazi (4 pillars), you can have a good grip on your life purpose/destiny and make better life decisions/choices. Some practitioners have gone as far as six pillars to read and interpret charts but if all this sounds new to you, start from the basics!

Happy learning!

As a student growing up, I would always flip to the horoscope section of the newspaper to have a read. While some of the predictions/forecasts amused me, I have never taken them seriously because I was reading them to pass the time.

However, since 2015, I developed a genuine interest in astrology, and I have used different astrology systems to read and interpret my natal chart. Some of the systems which I have used include Bazi, 9 Star Ki, Yi Jing, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, Greek Astrology, Vedic Astrology, and Numerology and guess what?

They are all surprisingly very accurate, and they provide useful indicators of a person’s character, career, health, and relationships (both at home and work).

By knowing a person’s date of birth, you can tell certain traits of a person, and it is even more accurate than having them do an MBTI or DISC profiling assessment.

A person can change their responses/answers in an MBTI or DISC profiling assessment to work in their favour, but they cannot change their date of birth and natal chart. By knowing someone’s natal chart, you can tell a lot about the person and uncover many hidden secrets. The natal chart is like a blueprint, and knowing it inside out can help a person to unlock their destiny.

However, only trained/skilled practitioners will know how to interpret the natal charts, and there are rules that they have to abide by- such as charging fees for natal chart reading/divination.

Why must practitioners charge for natal chart reading/divination?

Practitioners like myself believe in the exchange of energies, that is exchanging advice for compensation. Without some form of exchange, a negative karmic debt will affect both parties, and the practitioner will pick up the customer’s bad luck and misfortune for interfering with the business of other beings (from the other realms).

Free reading is like giving away one’s life to the customer. The practitioner may pick up the customer’s karmic debt for “leaking heaven’s secret” without compensation, and thus it becomes an interference with the destiny of the customer for no reason. For example, if a practitioner observes that something untoward will happen to the customer and informs the customer about it such that the customer can do something to avoid it, it would be considered as the practitioner having interfered with the destiny of the customer.

It will be inauspicious to the customer who will owe a karmic debt to the practitioner, and this karma entanglement may cause unnecessary reincarnations to repay the karmic debts.

The amount of payment is not essential, but the flow and exchange of energies are. Hence, if a practitioner does not want to charge a poor customer or close friend, a symbolic payment inside a red envelope or a simple meal should be a minimum.

There are, however, exceptions to this and practitioners will not charge a fee for three groups of people:

1. People whose lives are about to end
2. People who are facing an unavoidable major disaster
3. People who will not have good luck for the remainder of their lives

There are also some other rules for fee-charging, and some of these rules include:

Charging the rich and famous more because people at these social levels have a more considerable influence on society and “leaking heaven’s secrets” to them will create more unintended impact (whether positive or negative) on society.

Charging the poor lesser because the influence of this group of people on society is smaller than that of the rich and “leaking heaven’s secrets” to them will not have much impact on society.

Also, there are four types of readings that practitioners don’t do:

1. No reading of other people’s private matter to avoid exploitation of people unknown to the practitioner.
2. No prediction of baby gender.
3. No forecasting or divination service for crooks due to obvious reasons.
4. No forecasting or divination service for insincere people.

If you are a practitioner like me, and you want to level up your Bazi Reading/Interpretation skill, you might want to check out the Bazi Course conducted by Jenson Goh (I don’t get any commissions/referral fees for recommending his course). I am only recommending Jenson’s course because his lessons are simple to follow, and there’s no fluff involved (you will get authentic learning and be able to apply it).

Have you ever seen your shoe rack in its messiest form, and maybe the clutter takes away the essence of the space? Whether you long for a minimalist look or you want a neat area, having handy shoe storage is a need. Gone are the days of dull storage ideas with no style at all because there are a lot of storage styles that can be quite pleasant to look at, and some can even save you some space!

Gone are the days in which your idea of shoe storage is an unused corner in your house. Remember when you carefully organised your shoes in that dull, unused corner? Where’s the fun in that? Show your shoes off, and make the storage a showcase of your footwear! Have you ever heard about a shoe storage bench? Now your furniture can become stylish sneaker storage!

1. Shoe Storage Bench

Now, using your furniture as a storage space can be a great, space-saving idea. You can place a shoe storage bench anywhere. You can put it in your closet so you will have something to sit on while you’re thinking of an outfit or you can place it near the door for a more on-the-go feel. Never has there been a storage space that is this functional and stylish.

There are shoe storage benches that have a more minimalistic look. These storage benches feature a more sleek and subtle design, and this storage idea is perfect for those who are looking to match the seat with their clean, minimal space.

If you want to show off multiple shoes that you use regularly, A Cubbie sneaker storage idea is perfect for you. This smart storage option is ideal for those who have a collection. We know you place extra importance on choosing your footwear, so take a glance at your sneakers and decide away!

2. Clear Shoe Boxes

Clear shoe boxes are for those sneakerheads who have a vast collection and are perfect for those who have run out of floor space. When you run out of floor space to store your sneakers, where would you go? Of course, the answer is up! Stack these clear shoe boxes on top of each other.

You will be able to see which shoe is which so you will not have a hard time finding your favourite ones! If your stinky, smelly shoes are a worry, clear shoe boxes pose no problem because a lot of clear shoe boxes in the market have ventilation holes. You can also just clean your kicks before you store them away.

3. Shoe Organiser That Slides Under Your Bed

Now, I am a fan of furniture that can be turned into a smart storage space. Adding a shoe organiser under your bed can save you a lot of functional space, and using the area under your bed adds a whole lot of functionality to the mix. After all, what do you even do with that space anyway? You might as well turn that dead space into something that you will be able to use.

Well, it may be true that you will not get to showcase your collection with this one. But, a shoe organiser under your bed can be for those kicks you seldom use. That is if you clean them before storing them away. 

4. A Dedicated Shoe Cabinet

What could go wrong with a dedicated shoe cabinet? Not only does it meet the required functionality, but it is also the best way to keep organised. Shoe cabinets have been around for decades, and they are the best way for you to show off your shoe collection.

The big dedicated shoe cabinets are for those who have plenty of room to spare. After all, you would not want to be moving in a restricted and tight area just because of vast storage spaces. There are shoe cabinets that have space-saving features. So, select one that fits your home in a perfect, space-saving way.

Show off your shoe collection and make it a part of the theme of your home! You can do that with a simple, dedicated shoe cabinet. Not only does it keep you organised, but it also gives you the identity of someone who stores his/her shoes in an orderly and neat manner.

Final Thoughts

Shoes are a part of our daily lives. Being able to find where to keep them is an integral part of our lives. I mean, you can’t just leave them somewhere. Leaving your shoes anywhere is the opposite of staying organised.

Finding the right storage space for your shoes would mean more functional space for you, and you can find ones that do not cost too much. Finding cheap ones may have a knock in style, but they also have a ton of upside in terms of functionality.

Ultimately, it boils down to your preference. A smart shoe storage idea is best for a sneaker enthusiast and can be an excellent option for anyone looking for a neat way to store their kicks. The best thing about these storage ideas are their ability to showcase your shoe collection.

Over the last couple of weeks, sanitising has suddenly become an important topic. But with a constant stream of information and opinions in the media, how does one boil it down to simple, actionable information? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

How Long Does the Virus Stay Active on Surfaces, Really?

According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can stay active on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours, with surfaces like stainless steel and cardboard reducing that number down to 48 and 24 hours, respectively. That is a scary fact. But there is good news: According to the Johns Hopkins information hub on COVID-19, infection potential dramatically degrades over the course of these windows:

“What’s getting a lot of press and is presented out of context is that the virus can last on plastic for 72 hours—which sounds really scary. But what’s more important is the amount of the virus that remains. It’s less than 0.1% of the starting virus material. Infection is theoretically possible but unlikely at the levels remaining after a few days. People need to know this.”

-Carolyn Machamer, Professor of Cell Biology at Johns Hopkins University

When it comes to air transmission, the story is similar. While the virus can remain in the air for 3 hours under controlled laboratory conditions using aerosols, real-life situations will decrease this time window significantly as cough or sneeze droplets quickly drop below face level. However, this still doesn’t mean you are safe from transmission via the air. In essence, the official recommendations for social distancing are based on the belief that the most common mode of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets while within six feet of an infected person.

Why You Need to be Aware in Public Bathrooms and Transportation

Public transportation and restrooms both create high-risk conditions for multiple reasons:

  1. Exposure to a large number of people.
  2. Limited or no capacity to maintain distance from others.
  3. Limited ventilation (aeroplanes are actually an exception due to effective air filtration).
  4. Presence of high-touch surfaces that are often necessary to use: e.g. door handles, faucets, subway kiosks, paper towel dispensers etc.

Certain surfaces are more susceptible than others. Transportation and public restroom surfaces should be treated as high risk due to the high volume and frequency of potential for contamination. Since the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 germs usually occurs when a person comes in contact with an infected person’s respiratory release/droplets, bathrooms make an easy target for the infection to spread. The layout of restroom areas will severely limit one’s ability to maintain a distance from others. And while you may feel relatively safe isolated in a stall, surfaces of toilet and stall door hardware are highly suspect. They are undoubtedly touched before occupants have had the chance to wash their hands.

While avoiding touching surfaces like handrails, doors and other fixtures is possible for young people, the same precaution cannot be taken by the elderly, who have unfortunately proven to be more vulnerable to this virus. Current CDC reports indicate that the current risk is greatly elevated for people aged 85 or older, with mortality in that age bracket currently reported as somewhere between 10%-27%. People who have limited physical abilities or handicaps should take special precautions when they find themselves relying on handrails or other surfaces to get around.

How Soap Removes Viruses

We all know oil and water don’t mix. But it turns out the oil on one’s skin, which is where bacteria and viruses find a place to camp out, is no exception to this rule. So it has to be circumvented, and that’s where soap comes in.

Soap works for removing germs because of its surfactant properties. Surfactants are compounds that lower surface tension between two agents (in this case, water and the skin’s natural oils). Because water and oil don’t usually mix, rinsing with water can’t consistently move germs because it merely glides over your skin’s oil.

As a surfactant, soap acts as a middleman between water and the body’s natural oil that binds together the otherwise irreconcilable agents. Once bound to water, oil can effectively be removed from your skin, taking microbes along with it. 

Although it’s usually stated that you should wash your hands with warm or hot water, this may not be as important as we think as the temperature of the water does not appear to affect microbe removal. Washing with soap doesn’t kill germs and viruses – instead, it simply removes them and sends them down the drain. 

The primary reason lukewarm water temperature is recommended isn’t because it kills germs but is instead, to encourage you to spend more time washing. Too hot or cold may have you bailing out preemptively. It’s widely agreed upon that you should ideally spend twenty seconds or more washing your hands to ensure effectiveness. A trick is to sing the “Happy birthday song” twice to yourself to make sure you spend enough time washing. How much time should you spend drying your hands? However much time it takes to think of a less annoying song to sing to yourself for twenty seconds next time.

How Hand Sanitisers Kill Viruses

So soap just removes viruses. But what if you are feeling vindictive? That’s where an alcohol-based cleanser comes in. 

While the unique smell of hand sanitiser brings to mind a cocktail of biocidal chemicals, the agent that kills germ is still just alcohol. Other chemicals are mainly added to prevent your skin from drying out as much as it would if you used 200 proof. Alcohol cripples microbes by denaturing their proteins, essentially causing them to unfold and become tangled up. The bad news is that if the initial tidal wave of alcohol doesn’t kill them, they will probably invite their friends over and have a giant party with the leftovers.

That’s actually just a partial joke – alcohol is ineffective at killing some types of bacteria and viruses; particularly “unenveloped” types. Fortunately, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is not one of these and is therefore vulnerable to hand sanitisers. But if you want to be as thorough as possible at removing anything that may be problematic, you’ll still need to go for soap.

Hopefully, these tidbits instil a sense of confidence that COVID-19 isn’t entirely out of our realm of control. While it’s global impact has undoubtedly been significant in multiple ways and isn’t to be ignored, the good news is that with some reasonable steps and understanding; we can significantly reduce our likelihood of contracting the virus and thus, its overall impact on those around us.

Over the last 3 decades, I have witnessed many phenomenal happenings and miracles that even science sometimes cannot validate nor explain. During my trip to Wudangshan (Wudang Mountain) in April last year, I had a life-changing experience and my desire for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness grew even more than before.  

2019 was honestly a time of introspection for me and it was also the year that I started my venture into the 5 arts (五术) of Chinese metaphysics (中华玄学). The 5 arts of Chinese metaphysics comprises of 5 different areas of disciplines, namely, mountain (山), medicine (医), life (命), appearance (相), and divination (扑). 

The 5 Arts of Chinese Metaphysics have guided the Chinese people throughout the ages and the content of each of the five arts are complex and very difficult to master. This is why most Chinese Metaphysics Practitioners focus on one or two of the five arts and within the art, focus and specialise only on one or two disciplines within the art. 

About the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics

1. Mountain (山 – Shan) 

“Mountain (山 – Shan)” means Knowledge and Skills that are learned from training in the Mountains because in ancient time, a person need to go up to the mountain to receive such knowledge. Studies that fall under this art includes diet, physical health, martial arts, meditation and self-healing. Taoist Sorcery, Taoist Rituals and Taoist Talismans also belongs to Mountain (山). 

2. Medicine (医)

It includes all form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), including acupuncture, medical prescriptions and soul healing. 

3. Life (命) 

The Chinese Art of Destiny Analysis or fate. It includes Eight Characters (子平八字 – Zi Ping Ba Zi ) and Purple Star Astrology (紫微斗数 – Zi Wei Dou Shu). 

4. Appearance (相 – Xiang)

The Chinese Study of Appearance/Physiognomy (相) which refers to the study of forms, meaning the study of good or bad of a form. The 2 well-known examples are Palmistry and Face Reading. Feng Shui also belongs to the study of Forms (相 – Xiang), including Feng Shi for Burial (阴宅 – Yin Zhai) and Feng Shui for the living environment (阳宅 – Yang Zhai). The study of Characters of Chinese Names of a person also belong to The Chinese Study of Appearance (相 – Xiang).  

5. Divination (扑 – Pu) 

Prediction and the Yi Jing (易经 – I Ching) feature prominently in this study. Other popular studies of this art includes Tai Yi (太易), Da Liu Ren (大六壬), and Qi Men Dun Jia (奇门盾甲). They rely on numerical analysis to reveal one’s path and future. 

My Experience

I have never felt so much affinity with Taoism and Chinese Metaphysics until last year and since then, I have made the conscious decision and effort to learn each of the 5 Arts and focus on 1 to 2 disciplines within each art.  

Apart from learning the 5 Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, I have also picked up other systems such as 9 Star Ki and Greek Astrology to complement the readings that I do. This new Astrology column will be where I share my innate thoughts and document my learning process in this field.

Lastly, if you are a practitioner in any of the 5 arts of Chinese Metaphysics and would like to collaborate together, please feel free to reach out as well. I am looking for like-minded people who are genuinely sincere and passionate about using their craft to positively bring about a change and improve the lives of the generation after us. 

Weddings are one of the most expensive events you ever have to coordinate and sometimes, it literally pays to find ways to lessen this cost wherever you can. Many people these days are considering a DIY wedding as a way to achieve this. The reason for this is apparent; everything surrounding weddings has become such a slick industry that you are likely to be overcharged for almost everything you do. Take a wedding cake as an example; a simple iced cake cost $15, but a similar 3-tier cake, i.e. a wedding cake can be upwards of $500 when the real cost should be less than $50.

The Location

Dedicated wedding venues offer an all-inclusive service which is excellent if you are looking to save yourself some time. The downside for this convenience is that it can be extremely costly; often in the tens of thousands, as some wedding venues are known to cost almost $15,000 on average

An alternative is to rent a community hall or space and decorate it yourself for a few hundred dollars. Though this might be a fair amount of work, it is well worth the effort.

Transport 

Wedding cars are another area where the cost can seem excessive and considering that they are only seen twice (when you arrive and when you leave), is the high cost justifiable? 

Consider this alternative, ask a friend who has a nice car and it can look just the thing once you put a couple of ribbons on it. Even if you do not have a friend with a nice car, a day’s car rental will be so much cheaper if you get it from a normal hire place rather than a wedding car specialist. 

Catering

The food is one thing that needs to be right. A tasty wedding feast can be knocked up without professional caterers. However, as a word of warning, this can be very time consuming, and it might be one area that you do still hire a professional. Make sure you get an excellent creative catering firm that can make it a special occasion.

The Wedding Dress

Now, this is the one that you are going to want to get right. You will usually have a firm idea of what you want, and this is the first starting point. You can find a few ways to save money that can still look awesome than a pricey new dress. You can buy vintage or second hand from many places, and even a family dress from your mother or grandmother can give a classy and personal touch. 

Flowers

Floral displays can be put together by you and your friends, and they can be a great, memorable and special moment between you and your bridesmaids. This can save you a fortune as it’s easy to get hold of flowers wholesale and put together all of the bunches yourselves. Although it takes time, this can be a memorable time that is well spent, and it will give you something to do rather than just sitting and waiting to get going.

Entertainment

Once the vital part of the wedding is concluded (ceremony, speeches, and the dinner); there is the matter of the entertainment to be considered. I know of one couple (who are very close friends of mine) whose cousin was in a band, and they hired them to play the wedding. Although it was not as slick as a professional wedding band, it added a special touch to the wedding. If you don’t know a musician in the family, many musicians are looking to make a living from music that you can find someone quickly.

The Cake

We mentioned the cake as a prime example of a wedding item that you can be easily ripped off for. As we said, it’s much easier to get a different cake and re-purpose it as a wedding cake. Alternatively, you can get a relative who could bake and then decorate the cake on your own so that you can get what you want.