The Science of Race Car Driver Fitness

race car driverIn the world of sports and athletes it’s a given that football, basketball, baseball, and hockey players need to be in top physical condition to compete at the top of their field without injury.  Race car drivers, however, are not often thought of as athletes requiring physical conditioning and training.  After all, how much does it take to drive a car around in circles for hours on end?

On the contrary, recent studies have shown that race car drivers are just as much athletes needing to be physically fit as those that play traditional sports.

To test the strain that racing puts on drivers, devices were used to monitor their heart rates.  The results showed that during the race their BPM was nearing 200, resting BPM is approximately 76.  For the average person that BPM would result in a heart attack; however a well-toned athlete is able to sustain this.

While many Americans drive cars every day they aren’t typically driving at speeds of over 200 mph for hours at a time.  The physical and mental stress that drivers experience requires them to be in both mental and physical shape.  Endurance and muscle training allows them to be in ideal physical shape to drive for hours on end.  Also as a result of the high speeds race car drivers experience as they take turns they experience more G-forces, the force of gravity that is felt as weight, than the average person and, like fighter pilots, they must train their bodies to be able to handle the additional pressure.

Physical training is vital; however so is mental.  Being able to handle the mental stress of driving a 3500 lbs automobile at speed greater than 200 mph for several hours as a solo driver would be challenging enough.  Most drivers are doing this surrounded by dozens of other drivers doing the same thing with sometimes no more than a few inches between the vehicles.  Maintaining control so as not to cause harm to themselves or the other drivers around them requires an inordinate amount of mental control and training.

Race car driving is not just an afternoon driving in circles in an advertisement decorated car, it’s a testament the immense physical and mental training that drivers go through to be able to complete such a strenuous task safely.

The Effects of New Technologies on Customers

Developments in technology over the years have changed the way that businesses interact with their customers. Gone are the days when a customer relationship management (CRM) program took care of all customer interactions. Social media has become a major influencer with the development of review sites and the sharing of information. Mobile and other touch devices are also changing the way we interact. This is all influencing the way that business is carried out and the way we interact with our customers.

Technology influences customer’s attitudes and behaviors. Opportunities exist and unfortunately dangers are lurking out there too. This requires a change in marketing focus as it should include the influence that emerging technologies have on customer behavior.

Customers are much more likely to have a direct influence on the marketplace as they have immediate access to information and are also immediately able to share their experiences. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are enabling customers to have an influential voice.

The humble computer is no longer the tool that customers use to decide on purchases – they use smart phones, iPads, and laptops to gather immediate information and use social portals to debate and question their potential purchase. There is no longer a restraint on time or place where this occurs.

There are opportunities that arises from this change in behavior. Businesses must move away from established strategies and adapt and embrace developing technologies. This will enable heightened levels of customer interaction and increase business reach and lead generation. Customers are the lifeblood of any business and this is the perfect time to intensify your relationship with them.

CJ Blackstone is a journalist and business writer who covers topics like social customer complaints software for financial and news sites.

Sports Psychology

Sports fans love to argue with fans from other teams. They debate the performance and talent of individual players as well as the merits of the team as a whole. They may even spend hours debating which mascot is better or at least more popular. When it comes to the latter, there is actually a survey that can be used to settle the score.

sportsThe 2011 survey looked at mascots in terms of four attributes: appeal, entertainment value, team identification and awareness of the mascot itself. The survey considered mascots from professional sports teams across the country to determine which is the most popular in America (and to give rental companies an idea as to which Mascot Costumes to stock up on before Halloween).

The winner this year is the Phillie Phanatic, representing the Philadelphia Phillies. He is followed closely by last year’s winner, the San Diego Chicken (who is now freelance after years of association with the San Diego Padres). The Racing Sausages of the Milwaukee Brewer’s and Mr Met of the New York Mets are next on the list. The sole non-baseball mascot, the Gorilla from the Phoenix Suns, rounds out the top five.

The rest of the top ten: 6 – Racing Presidents (Washington Nationals), 7 – Benny the Bull (Chicago Bulls), 8 – Wally the Green Monster (Boston Red Sox), 9 – Rocky (Denver Nuggets), and 10 – Billy the Marlin (Florida Marlins).

Fro more on this racing fitness see

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The Advancements in Stem Cell Research

When you envision your baby’s birth, you may imagine your doctor holding the baby up and announcing, “it’s a beautiful healthy baby (add gender here)!”  The next image is probably that of the baby’s umbilical cord being cut. In that remarkable instant, mother and baby go from being one connected entity to two autonomous beings.  What you may not have thought about is how the choice you make about the subsequent moments can be critical. They present the opportunity for your baby’s cord blood to be collected and banked for decades into the future. And the decision to bank your child’s cord blood now may result in saving his or her life later on. Cord blood banks may even save the lives of your other children.

scienceCord blood flows through your placenta and into the umbilical vein to nourish and oxygenate your baby.  It also contains stem cells – more specifically, blood-forming stem cells. These stem cells are a miracle of nature because they can generate all three types of blood cells our bodies need (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). This ability to regenerate blood cells is especially necessary when a child is healing from a potentially fatal cancer like leukemia, a blood disorder such as sickle cell anemia, or certain immune system disorders.  If your child is ever diagnosed with one of these fatal diseases, the cord blood you have banked will be used to help save your child’s life. A stem cell transplant will boost the immune system and can help him or her recover from subsequent treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. If you do not bank your baby’s cord blood, you can end up playing a stressful and worrisome waiting game.

When a child needs a stem cell transplant, it can mean waiting for a matching cord blood, or bone marrow, donor and this can take a long time. Sometimes families wait months for a correct match and time is critical when a child is fighting for his or her life. It’s important to note that if you are an ethnic minority, or if your baby was conceived via in vitro fertilization, you might have to wait even longer than normal for an ideal match.  Parents who have banked their child’s cord blood have no wait at all. It is one of the best investments you can make for your family.

Texting and Driving – A Modern Lethal Practice

By: Anthony Cervezes

While social media has been a fantastic way for the automotive industry to connect with it’s clients and enthusiasts, there is a more sinister side to the otherwise innocuous and fun time-waster: texting while driving.  Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident, not to mention that in the US it has been made illegal in 30 states.

What’s worse is that texting while driving is, according to several studies, worse than drunk driving.  Car and Driver ran an independent test to determine the reaction time of a drunk driver versus that of a texting driver.  The results were clear, showing that the texting driver reacted 10% slower than the drunk driver.  It was all done on a closed course, so don’t get any ideas.  However, the message is still clear: texting while driving is downright dangerous.

Texting and driving is definitely a problem, but it is mostly a problem with the younger crowd.  Teenagers are the obvious culprits; with only a few months to a year of driving experience under their collective belt, they tend to be more accident-prone, reckless, oblivious, or all three than a seasoned commuter.  Coupled with younger people’s affinity for technology means that they often split their attention between driving and telling their online friends that they’re driving.

The natural question is, “what can be done about this?”  There are advertisements all over the place reminding us not to text while driving, but that isn’t always enough.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a few helpful ideas though.  The first is keeping your phone out of sight.  Keeping it someplace where you won’t be constantly looking at it is a great way to keep you from playing with it.  For teens that means potentially leaving it at home, or keeping it in the back seat where it is difficult to reach.

The NHTSA also recommends turning the phone to silent, which will prevent you from worrying about whatever text or call you just received.  Or better still turn it off. Everyone can attest to the massive willpower it takes to avoid checking your phone after hearing it sound off.  A designated texter can also help—with somebody in the passenger seat to handle communications it is a lot easier to keep your eyes on the road.  There are also some apps that will help prevent you from using your phone’s texting feature while driving.  Think of it like putting your iPod on hold to prevent in-pocket button presses.  There are a ton of apps out there and a few are even free.

As far as teens are concerned, they will do what they will do, but with a little vigilance on the parent’s side in explaining how bad texting while driving actually is, the consequences of it, and the ways to avoid it, we can all drive on safer roads.

This hard hitting video covers the risks of texting and driving

Anthony Cervezes is an automotive blogger and social media strategist and a regular contributor several automotive  blogs.

Get Ready for Summer Heat in Phoenix

It may seem ridiculous to those still buried in snow an suffering through freezing temperatures, but for those in Phoenix, Arizona, summer is just around the corner. In fact, the city has been known to experience 90 degree temperatures as early as March and usually hits the century mark a few times in April, so really, it is time for them to plan for summer.

The most important thing for Phoenicians to do is get their air conditioning checked. Having a broken unit when the temperatures spike doesn’t just mean suffering through the heat. It means being one of many, many others who were caught unawares and need their A/C fixed in a jiffy.

When it comes to air conditioning Phoenix is filled with qualified technicians and repair professionals who are more than willing to come out and check a system BEFORE the first spring heat wave. They will make sure that the system is working properly, identify any worn or nearly worn out parts that may need to be replaced and can even do a quick check of a home’s ventilation system to make sure there are no obstructions or problems that would interfere with the efficiency of the A/C unit.

Residents of other warm regions of the country should also be watching their calendar closely. Phoenix isn’t the only place that experiences summer like weather in March. Anyone in a tropical or desert environment would do well to schedule their A/c check up as soon as they can.

Griffith Marker is a DIY blogger who specializes in home energy systems, such as HVAC, solar panels, and water heaters.  His work can be found on blogs, news magazines and sites like Virginia Beach AC.


Technology Pioneer

Prior to the rise of the internet, apartment hunting was dominated by print. Potential residents armed themselves with classified ads from newspapers, fliers found on bulletin boards, and, in larger communities, with apartment magazines filled with listings from residential buildings in their city. It was then a matter of footwork. Visiting all the listings that looked promising only to discover that the neighborhood wasn’t right or the property was in disrepair, etc. Apartment hunters of the past could spend weeks trying to pinpoint the perfect residence.

Today, all they need is a computer or smart phone with a solid internet connection and the weeks of research and time spent trekking from property to property can be accomplished in a few hours. This is thanks to leading real estate visionaries like Daniel Drimmer who evolved a number of technologies that make finding and renting an apartment a whole lot easier.

One of the most obvious advances of the real estate industry online was the birth of the virtual tour. The first examples of this tool appeared in the form of still photos that provided a 360 degree view of a given room or apartment complex. Once streaming video became an option, Drimmer and other leaders began creating true video tours of properties and specific units. This meant that instead of having to drive to every potential apartment, searchers could quickly watch short video clips and eliminate those that weren’t worth the time, or gas mileage, to visit. Thanks to Drimmer, today’s residential rental companies post their virtual tours on video sharing sites as well as their company Starlight Investments websites in order to give potential residents all the information they need.

Another important tool that was pioneered by Drimmer is the interactive map. Renters can search for available units by geography. The best maps allow for filtering by specific features and amenities. Since location is the most important aspect of any real estate transaction, it only makes sense that being able to see properties on a map would be a key part of the apartment hunting process.

In addition to these two features, more and more apartment sites have started offering the online lease application. Prospective residents can easily complete the application from home, work, or, using a smart phone or other handheld device, from anywhere they like. Efficient companies will be able to offer quicker decisions, since all the information is provided digitally, rather than having to be gleaned from a paper application. The overall savings in time and energy is invaluable.

Tools like these are what set apart companies like Drimmer’s Starlight Investments from rental companies that rely on the now old-fashioned process of printed listings and time-consuming site visits.

Image courtesy Joelk75 via Flickr. Creative Commons License.

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The Cutting Edge for Ambulances

Every day that goes by sees more innovations in automotive technology.  Cars are getting more comfortable, faster, more fuel efficient, and better overall.  But one place where all of the new technology is helping is where we would hardly even look: in ambulances.  New technology has brought ambulances from simple people carriers to full on, traffic skirting, mobile life saving devices.

Life Saving Equipment

Modern ambulances have most of the things that can save your life in an emergency.  A lot of the equipment has mobile and fixed units, so paramedics can bring stuff with them, stabilize a person on the scene, and bring them back to the van.  Having your community’s ambulances in good repair and at peak performance is essential to the health of each resident, and the community as a whole.  Ambulances and their crews are like a first response team for whenever somebody is seriously injured.  If they can get around fast, reliably, and with the equipment they need, then they will be able to save that many more lives, and keep the community together.

ambulanceThere is a ton of different equipment.  There are suction devices to clear blocked airways, oxygen tanks, defibrillators, all manner of life saving drugs, and even a pacemaker!  In addition to all of that, they carry various immobilization devices, which sound more sinister than they really are.  In reality they are there to make sure that patients can’t injure themselves trying to move, or get further hurt from the movements of the ambulance.

Vehicle Design

But what a modern ambulance carries is only half of the good stuff.  New models come equipped with excellent anti-lock brakes, large V8 engines with lots of torque for quick acceleration and a high carrying capacity, tires that can handle a lot of weight and a lot of G forces, and all manner of other cool tech.  They are constantly being redesigned, making the sirens more noticeable, the cabs more comfortable, and the vehicle just better overall.

It’s a good thing, too.  Ambulance drivers have a tough job.  Getting from place to place in a hurry can be tough by itself, but throw in that a life is on the line, that you have to run red lights and break traffic laws, and are responsible for the lives of your coworkers, and it gets stressful—and that isn’t even considering taking an injured person back to the hospital.  Every second counts, so it’s essential to have an ambulance in good repair and performing as best it can.

Lewis Nelson blogs frequently about traveling, cars, and racing and covers specifics such as leather seats and Moto Metal Wheels amongst other automotive topics.


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Reducing Stress Series – Buying a New Car

When you are new to the car buying market it pays to use a beginner’s guide in order to get the most car or truck for your budget. Whether you are out of school with your first job or just leaving home to embark into the world on your own, no doubt about it, the financial world is a little scary.

Of course, your primary objective is to provide yourself with reliable transportation. While it sounds simple, achieving this is not as easy at you may think.

1. Do Your Research
Take a look at car manuals, magazines,books and search online to get a feel for prices and styles of vehicles. There are a lot of cars out there and twice as many dealerships; small and large. If you have your eyes on a gas drinker ask yourself if you can afford to supply gas for a gas drinking monster. Look at your budget realistically before leaping into debt.

2. Think About Your Financial State Ahead of Time
Most people want to talk about the car. First, decide where you are going to get the money to make this purchase. How much are you willing to pay for the privilege of borrowing it? A cash payment would be fantastic, and there would be no reason to worry about a credit score or finding a lender. Check to make sure your credit score is over 600. Keep in mind the more lenders you visit, the lower your score will go. If you have no credit wait a while, purchase an item you want to buy, on credit; pay for it on time, then return to the car buying market.

3. Be Leery of All Deals at First
Buying a car is moving around in shark infested water. There are good deals and reputable dealers with top interest rates. But, there are the sharks who will sell you a lemon and have you in years of terrible debt with ridiculous interest rates. Search for money from a source you choose. The payments will be better and interest rates will be lower. This will help you work with a budget while you are car shopping. Consider how much money you want to spend. While you are thinking of buying a car you will still need to eat, buy food, buy gas, and pay another bunch of living expenses. There is little point in having a new car when you find yourself sleeping in it. Think about what kind of car you want and if the price and payment options are good for you. At least $1600 in earnings is required and a six month working history. Time and financial diligence will get you what you want.

Emily is the proud owner of a used Honda Civic and she also is a contributing writer for CashForTrucks, a company that helps people learn how to receive cash for cars and also how to sell you car so that you can buy a new (or at least new to you) vehicle!

Keeping Up with Tennis Online

The internet has revolutionized the way that people watch sports. Fans can follow the exploits of their favorite athletes on official player sites and 24 hour news sites. They can also meet up with other fans on social media, blogs, and forums to discuss and debate everything from basketball to hockey, from tennis to soccer, from auto racing to boxing. Tennis fans in particular can rejoice in the fact that there are hundreds of sites catering to their need for information, scores, and breaking tennis news.

In addition to the wide range of sites covering tennis topics, fans can take advantage of live coverage of major events being broadcast on the internet. International competitions are no longer subject to tape delays until the major networks can air a match. In addition to official sites offering french open streaming , there are countless amateur videos being posted on blogs on video sites of other tournament matches or catching favorite players away from the court. The widespread use of mobile technology means that fans can now see a given tennis match from countless angles in the stands as well as the official vantage points of broadcast networks.

Once the match or tournament is over, fans no longer have to worry about finding like-minded individuals to share in the afterglow. They can log on to their favorite forum or social media site and hash and rehash every stroke from the french open 2011 with a multitude of fellow fans. They will find post-match interviews with players and coaches as well as analysis from tennis experts on blogs and video snippets.


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