I’m Dennis and I have been a tutor for 10 years. I tutor adults from other countries, in person here in the city. I enjoy one-on-one tutoring because of the personal touch I can provide once getting to know my student. I have been blogging for 5 years primarily to educate anyone who will take the time and effort to learn English.

I have broadened my blog to include more topics that I think will encourage people like you to read more articles in my blog. Tutoring is my passion. I can’t tutor unless people read my blog and get ready to learn.

So, are you ready to learn? I’m telling you that learning doesn’t have to hurt!

OK, sometimes, life hurts. So, stick with me and maybe I can smooth out some of those life wrinkles. Or maybe you learn something new. Who knows? Stay here, follow me down the path of knowledge. I promise, no hurts allowed!

Just so you know, I’m not all about grammar and pronunciation. No way. I enjoy reading about what happens in life, and I want to pass this information along to you, so you are wiser too!

Follow along with me on the road of life.

Lance Reddick, ‘The Wire’ and ‘John Wick’ star, dies at 60

Lance Reddick, a character actor who specialized in intense, icy and possibly sinister authority figures on TV and film, including “The Wire,” “Fringe” and the “John Wick” franchise, has died. He was 60.

(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
© Provided by The Associated Press

Reddick died “suddenly” Friday morning, his publicist Mia Hansen said in a statement, attributing his death to natural causes.

Wendell Pierce, Reddick’s co-star on “The Wire” paid tribute on Twitter. “A man of great strength and grace,” he wrote. “As talented a musician as he was an actor. The epitome of class.” “John Wick — Chapter Four” director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves said they dedicating the upcoming film to Reddick and were “deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss.”

Story by Mark Kennedy for Associated Press News: Breaking News | Latest News Today (apnews.com)

A longevity expert shares the exercise she does to live longer

Short-term stress isn’t always a bad thing. It prepares our mind and body for what we need to do in the moment. Chronic stress, however, is more extreme and consistent — and has toxic effects on your body.

Stress fitness: A dose of healthy stress

Stress fitness is a way of exercising the body with short bursts of stress. Studies show it can improve the health and regenerative life span of your cells, instead of slowly wearing them out. 

Compare drinking coffee all day with enjoying a single shot of espresso. The former is not so great for you and probably leaves you feeling anxious and jittery; the latter comes with mood- and health-boosting benefits. 

Stress is the same way. You don’t want to be stressed the entire day, but you do want to take short, intense “shots” of it that will initiate your body’s recovery process and train it to be more resilient to future stress.

How to practice stress fitness

I like to do my stress fitness exercises in the mornings a few times a week, or at least once a week. Here are two to pick from:

1. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Complete one round of high-intensity interval training, which takes roughly seven minutes. You can pick as many from the following list as you like, but keep it simple to start:

  • Push ups
  • Plank
  • Side plank
  • Jumping jacks
  • High knees
  • Rope jumping
  • Mountain climbers
  • Jump lunges
  • Jump squats
  • Burpees

Do each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat until the seven minutes are up. 

Find your edge of intensity with speed where you feel some discomfort or struggle. Welcome the discomfort and difficulty as part of the experience — don’t fight against them.

If you haven’t been active in a while, start with something accessible like slow to brisk walking. 

2. Turn the dial to cold

Studies have found that taking a quick, cold shower can decrease inflammation, increase longevity and improve your metabolism. 

At the end of a warm shower, turn the dial to cold. Can you stay under the stream for 15 to 30 seconds? A minute? Push yourself to your edge in the same way you would with exercise, then relax into it. This is key. 

To build resilience, match the shock of the stress response with a relaxed mind as much as possible.

Bonus practice: Heat it up!

Cold exposure turns on positive stress, and so does heat exposure, in the right circumstances.

While more research is needed, some studies have found links between sauna bathing and lower risks of cardiovascular issues and inflammation.

Your heart rate increases during sauna use, as if you were doing moderate exercise. If you have access to a sauna at home or in your gym, try sitting in it for 30 minutes. 

But be sure to check with your doctor first if you have serious health conditions.

Written by Elissa Epel, PhD

Source: Stock Markets, Business News, Financials, Earnings – CNBC

March is Women’s History Month


10 ways to celebrate Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the countless contributions that women have made throughout history. In addition, intentionally commemorating this month provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress that has been made in advancing gender equality and acknowledge the ongoing challenges women face.

By highlighting the contributions of women from diverse backgrounds and experiences, we can broaden our understanding of historical achievements and promote greater inclusivity in our cultural heritage. Also, bringing attention to issues like pay equity and access to education and healthcare helps us work toward a more just and equitable world for everyone.

Here are 10 creative ways that everyone can participate in Women’s History Month with intention.

Take in tours and exhibitions

In-person and virtual tours and exhibits that showcase strong and inspiring women can help you learn more about the accomplishments of celebrated and lesser-known female figures throughout history. Additionally, you can explore how women have influenced culture, art, science, technology and other aspects of life that often go unrecognized.

Host a book club

Host an in-person virtual book club featuring works written by women or about women’s experiences. Choose a book that can expand your understanding of how women have contributed to our shared culture and society and inspire you to take action. Make sure to select books written by diverse female authors to get a full range of perspectives and discussions. Invite friends who also share your interest in exploring women’s history and open up conversations about the issues faced and successes celebrated by female figures throughout the ages.

Create social media content

Creating content that recognizes women’s successes and accomplishments can help spread awareness, foster conversations and inspire others. Design graphics highlighting influential women throughout history. Share stories of inspiring women in your life on social media. Reminisce on the stories of inspiring female role models in your life or promote events honoring Women’s History Month in your community.

Click the link below to view all 10 ideas.

Article by Tricia Goss for: How To Celebrate Women’s History Month – Simplemost

Pruning Principles 101

Why We Prune Trees, Shrubs, and Vines

  • Plant health and safety | Removal of dead, damaged, or diseased, or overlapping branches, buds, or roots, as well as suckers and water sprouts assists with plant health (strength, air circulation, sun reach, and pest and disease resistance) and appearance.
  • Control size and shape | Pruning can improve the plant structure in addition to allowing better air and light conditions.
  • Stimulate new growth | Pruning encourages new growth.

Always prune for a specific reason, not because you think you should do it.

Pruning Principles 101

In general, the principle is, prune when the plant is asleep (dormant) and does not have buds.

The best time for pruning most trees, shrubs, and vines (if they do need pruning) is late winter and early spring unless they are early spring bloomers and already have buds.

The second-best time is summer. After flowering is the best time for spring bloomers.

Avoid fall. Pruning stimulates new growth and you don’t want this with winter on its way.

Deaddamaged, and diseased branches can be removed any time.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Deciduous trees, evergreens, and non-coniferous shrubs handle pruning best in mid-winter when the sap is not running.
    Avoid the heavy sap flow time in spring for trees like walnut and maple (and other trees you can tap for syrup).
  • The key for pruning flowering and fruiting trees and shrubs is to know when the plant fruits and whether it produces the fruit on old or new wood/growth.
    The goal when pruning is to remove the old (and no longer useful or flowering wood) while protecting whatever parts are creating new flower and fruit buds.

Other Garden Perennials

  • Many flowering perennials are best cut back (removing old, dead growth) in spring just as the new growth starts poking up.
    While you could do this in the fall, you would be removing valuable winter food and habitat for wildlife (from microbes to birds and more), so wait if you can.
  • Trimming herbaceous growth like leaves on a boxwood hedge is done during the growing season (ending weeks before first frost).

Source: Pruning Tips for New Gardeners (Trees, Shrubs, and Vines) | Empress of Dirt

How to find hidden cameras using mobile phones

Protect your privacy while traveling.

When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to think about is someone spying on you. But in a 2019 survey by real estate company IPX1031, 11 percent of respondents reported finding a hidden camera in their Airbnb.

“One of the reasons this is happening is because of the ready availability of low-cost camera technology,” says Jack Plaxe, security consultant at Guidepost Solutions. Cameras with pinhole lenses that can be easily concealed are available through Amazon and other shopping sites for less than $100.

And today’s spy cameras are so small that if they’re properly concealed, there is no telltale sign, says Mike O’Rourke, CEO of Advanced Operational Concepts. Many come already installed in clock radios, smoke detectors, lamps, and other portable devices.

While the untrained eye might not be familiar with how to find hidden cameras, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk.

Luckily, your smartphone can detect cameras that your eyes can’t see. There are two ways to find hidden cameras using your mobile phone, Koblitz says. The first uses your smartphone’s camera to spot infrared light coming from a camera that is recording in the dark.

  1. Open your smartphone’s camera, and flip the lens to selfie mode.
  2. Make the room as dark as possible by turning off the lights and closing the curtains.
  3. Scan the room slowly with your phone’s camera lens, looking for any glowing lights that are purple or white.

You can also install a network scanner app like Fing, which lists devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi network and their IP addresses.

  1. Connect your phone to the Wi-Fi network and open Fing.
  2. Android users: Tap Refresh to start scanning. iPhone users: The app will automatically begin scanning.
  3. Once the app finishes scanning, search the list for devices with camera manufacturers like Nest, Arlo, or Wyze, or IP addresses listed as “IP Camera.”

Photo credit: ©rd.com, Getty Images

Article by Jen McCaffery, Brooke Nelson for Reader’s Digest©

There’s a Massive Air Fryer Recall Due to Fire Risk

© Ali Majdfar – Getty Images

  • Nearly 2 million air fryers made by Cosori, sold between 2018 and 2022, are being voluntarily recalled after an internal investigation revealed an electrical malfunction may pose serious safety risks.
  • The air fryers, which were sold online by Amazon and through retailers like Best Buy and Home Depot, may overheat, melt, catch fire and smoke, the manufacturer reports.
  • The impacted air fryers, available in two different sizes and five distinct colors, can be identified using printed model numbers and exchanged for a free replacement.

Around 2 million air fryers have been voluntarily recalled after manufacturers at Cosori discovered they may pose a fire risk. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that affected consumers need to “immediately stop” using the appliances in question, which were widely available and sold between June 2018 and December 2022 both in stores and online — as well as in Canada and Mexico.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/there-s-a-massive-air-fryer-recall-due-to-fire-risk/ar-AA17Uk8J?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=41e19050a21248c2ac7408078ef37c7a&ei=20

30 Easy Irish Desserts to Bring to Any St. Patrick’s Day Party

St. Patrick’s Day is known as more of a, shall we say, adult holiday—what with all the booze and strong flavors (hello, corned beef and cabbage)—but we’re here to tell you: It can also be totally family-friendly. We think one of the best ways to do that is to add some light-hearted, fun desserts to your holiday spread in the form of Irish-inspired or Pinterest-worthy themed desserts. These St. Patty’s Day desserts are sure to be beloved by all, kids and adults alike.

When it comes to conventional Irish desserts, we’ve got to admit we’re taking some liberties. Our fave on this list, Irish soda bread, doesn’t usually contain any add-ins, much less the chocolate chips we’ve included (but they’re delicious!). What’s more standard is our Irish apple cake—we love fruit desserts because they feel slightly lighter, so we’ve included scones, apple crumble, and apple crisp too. They’re great for a little something sweet after a hearty Irish-themed dinner.

Speaking of dinner, while the green in our main meals often comes from spinach and kale this time of year, for dessert we’re turning to green food dye. If you’re like us, you’ve got some kicking around just waiting to be put to good use (maybe from making some green beer last year?). Lucky for you, it pairs perfectly with minty desserts. In turn, mint and chocolate are also a classic combo (not just for Christmas anymore). We’re using it here in everything from our mint chocolate chip pie to our mint chip “lasagna” (where chocolate pudding + Oreos replace ricotta and noodles 😍).

And don’t worry, we’ve snuck in plenty of alcoholic desserts in here too. Baileys Irish Cream and Guinness are the classics this time of year–try them in our skillet fudgy brownie pudding, our Baileys cheesecake, our chocolate Guinness cake, or our Baileys truffles, then get creative. A little booze can add depth of flavor to almost any dessert you can imagine.

Looking for something over-the-top cute for your celebration? Everyone will love our shamrock cookies, our leprechaun bait, our pot o’ gold cups, or our Irish potato candy (coconut truffles that just look like potatoes). Kids will flip over them, and even miserly adults who don’t care for adorable can enjoy—they count as something green, so there’s no fear of getting pinched!


St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

Is there any cuter way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with shamrock-shaped cookies? Our easy sugar cookie recipe always keeps its shape while baking so you can relax knowing all of your leaves will come out perfectly round and defined. We love decorating with royal icing, but you could use a simple buttercream frosting if you prefer.

Get the St. Patrick’s Day Cookies recipe.

It wouldn’t be blarney to tell you that there’s just too many recipes to copy and paste. So please click the link to discover everything Irish for St. Patrick’s Day goodies.

30 Easy Irish Desserts To Bring To Any St. Patrick’s Day Party (msn.com)

7 of the Fastest-Growing Plants for Your Garden

Gardening can teach us a lot of things—gentleness and consistency, the fruitfulness of putting in hard work, and that patience is a virtue. That said, while many plants do take quite a bit of time to push their sprouted heads up through the dirt and produce flowers and fruit, others get the ball rolling more quickly. Whether you’re eager to fill empty space in your own yard or simply appreciate speedy vegetation, these seven fast-growing plants are great picks.

Morning Glory (ipomoea)

  • Zones: 2 to 11
  • Maturation: 120 days from seed to flower 
  • Care: Easy

Known for its beautiful vining and vibrant purple-blue flowers, morning glories are perfect for fences, the side of your home, or a trellis. They’re also aptly named, since they open up in the morning and then close again to sleep through the night. 

“Morning glory is a personal favorite because once established it requires very little care,” says Jen McDonald, a certified organic gardener and co-founder of Garden Girls.  “When planted next to a pergola, fence, or arbor, this vine can easily grow or spread 6 to 12 feet in just one season.”

Care Requirements 

Morning glories are perennials in warm, tropical climates and considered annuals in regions that dip under 45 degrees. McDonald says to plant by seed or transplant in well-draining soil and a sunny location. “Consistent watering is required for the first two weeks, and plants mature within one month,” she says.

While pruning isn’t necessary, it’s helpful to coax your morning glory up and over arbors, fences, and other vertical services to encourage fast-growing shoots.

Radishes (raphanus sativus)

  • Zones: 2 to 11 
  • Maturation: 30 to 45 days from planting to harvest 
  • Care: Easy 

Whether you’re new to gardening or love this vegetable’s zesty snap, radishes are a great option if you want to plant something edible and reap the reward stat. “It’s one of the fastest-growing crops, and a super fun surprise to harvest since you can’t see the root until you dig them up,” says Chia-Ming, a Los Angeles based edible garden consultant. Radishes are also compact, which is ideal for smaller gardens or freestanding beds. 

Care Requirements 

Radishes are very easy to grow and do not require a lot of care, making them great for beginners and experienced gardeners alike. These hardy plants can grow year-round, but thrive best when the temperature reaches between 55 and 75 degrees. You may also want to consider experimenting with different varieties. “French breakfast and Easter basket are fun because they are different shapes and colors compared to your regular supermarket variety,” Chia-Ming says. 

Inchplant (tradescantia zebrina)

  • Zones: 9 to 11
  • Maturation: Six months to maturity  
  • Care: Easy to moderate 

Don’t be fooled by its given name—the inchplant is a vining plant that grows vigorously in optimal conditions. In fact, it gets its name because it can grow up to an inch per week. Its vining stems drip beautifully from hanging pots, happily climb down retaining walls, and eagerly creep over the ground. 

The distinctive leaves feature shades of purple and green with silver accents, giving your garden a nice pop of bright color,” says Lindsay Pangborn, a plant expert for Bloomscape. “To ensure its vines do not get lost in your garden, feel free to add a round trellis or create a section for hanging plants within your space to display them beautifully.” 

Care Requirements 

This plant thrives in low to indirect bright light, and the more light, the more prominent the stripes. Too much sun can scorch leaves, so be mindful of that when choosing a location. The inchplant also tolerates a wide range of temperatures (65 to 90 degrees), says Pangborn. 

“Tradescantia will appreciate a regular application of balanced fertilizer every six to eight weeks during active growth,” Pangborn says. “While not known for its flowers, it can produce subtle but beautiful lavender blooms in higher light conditions.”

Hay-Scented Fern (dennstaedtia punctilobula)

  • Zones: 3 to 8
  • Maturation: Several weeks to maturity; spreads quickly 
  • Care: Easy

For a plant that takes over large swaths of ground quickly, consider the hay-scented fern. This large, feathery variety grows to about 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide and can easily take over an area in two to three years. 

“The fronds form dense masses and are pale green and lacy textured,” says Leirion Sorensen, gardens manager at Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Del. “Its texture and color can be really effective in brightening up shadier woodlands or woodland edges.” 

Care Requirements 

This fast-growing plant adapts well to both wet and dry soils, and tends to be more tolerant of sun compared to other fern species, says Sorensen. It also establishes well in one season. One thing to note is that, “in sunnier sites this plant can be aggressive, competitive, and difficult to eradicate,” says Sorensen, so be mindful of that and prune regularly to keep the plant contained. 

Chives (allium schoenoprasum

  • Zones: 3 to 9
  • Maturation: 30 days from transplant, 60 days from seed
  • Care: Easy 

Chives make a nice garden addition thanks to their pretty, grass-like foliage and the mild onion taste they can lend to all sorts of meals. “Certainly one of the easiest and most versatile herbs to grow, chives are fast-growing when planted by seedling or sown directly into the soil,” McDonald says.

Care Requirements 

Not too fussy, chives are easy to grow both indoors and outdoors as long as they can enjoy bright, sunny light. Partial sun is okay, but they thrive with more light. This perennial also loves well-draining soil. 

“When transplanted into the garden, you can begin snipping and using right away, but take care never to cut more than a third of any plant at one time to prevent shock,” says McDonald. She adds that planting chives near tomatoes, carrots, and cabbage can help repel pests such as aphids, flies, and cabbage worms.

Schreber’s Aster (eurybia schreberi)

  • Zones: 3 to 8
  • Maturation: Three to four months 
  • Care: Moderate

Schreber’s Aster is a fall-blooming plant that rapidly forms dense strands of basal foliage via spreading and seed. “This is a favorite plant of the gardeners here [in the Northeast] because of its rhizomatous habit and late bloom, bridging the gap between summer and fall flowering perennials,” says Sorensen. It also produces a delicate white flower that stands out nicely against its lush, dark green leaves.

Care Requirement 

This aster variety is tolerant of shady and sunny sites, as well as a range of soil moisture. It usually takes about one season to establish prior to spreading, notes Sorenson, and it’s helpful to remove the seed heads prior to dispersal to help control spread. To maintain flower quality and foliage vibrancy, the plant should be divided every three to four years. 

Arugula (eruca sativa)

  • Zones: 3 to 11
  • Maturation: 30 days to microgreens, 50 days to maturity 
  • Care: Easy 

For a versatile and delicious garden plant, look no further than arugula. “Nothing packs more of a peppery punch than fresh arugula,” says McDonald. She adds that it’s a cool-weather crop that’s perfect for fall, winter, and spring gardens which means you’ll get a lot of bang for your gardener’s buck.

Care Requirements

For the best flavor, arugula should be planted during cool weather when temperatures are between 45 and 65 degrees. “Arugula has a very shallow root system, which makes it easy to grow among taller, slower-growing crops,” says McDonald. Planting it is as easy as opening a seed packet and broadcasting the seeds atop the soil.” Water lightly and consistently for the first two weeks.

Article source: 7 Fast-Growing Plants for Your Garden | Martha Stewart

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