Understanding the Potential Benefits of Solar Power for Airplanes and the Aviation Industry

The thought and idea of solar-powered airplanes have been explored extensively by researchers and aviation experts. These planes would make it possible to hover in one spot, carry sensors and cameras, and test gases close to the ozone layer. They could also be used to find and track hurricanes and forest fires. Solar planes may also have a place in the military, as they can be used for “spy work.” While the thought of solar planes is exciting and innovative, and the technology has been around since the 1970s, many people still aren’t aware of what they offer. While this is true, it is possible to use a solar power system for various aspects of airplanes and to improve them in many ways. Keep reading to learn more about solar-powered aircraft and how solar technology is impacting the aviation industry. Taking a Closer Look at the Solar Airplane Solar energy is an infinitely renewable and abundant resource. This makes it no surprise that so many devices rely on it for operation. You have solar-powered lights, solar-powered homes, and even solar-powered airplanes. Usually, solar-powered aircraft aren’t caught on the radar. While this is true, they can still provide an amazing experience. Keep in mind that these planes are not the fastest. They rely on constant sunshine and the wind to even get off the ground. While taking a ride in a solar plane may seem like a fun way to spend the day, these planes are mostly designed for other purposes. Since these are essentially very low-flying satellites, they were designed with other uses in mind. For example, NASA had the idea to put them over cities to serve as communications platforms, but that was before the influx of cell phone towers. The military (as mentioned above) is also looking at solar planes to use for surveillance purposes. In theory, these planes could remain in the air for years; however, technology isn’t quite there. The record now is two weeks for an unmanned solar aircraft and just over 26 hours for a manned one. Traditional vs. Solar Airplanes Today, most solar planes are being used for surveillance. However, planes like the Boeing 747 can fly across the globe carrying hundreds of people. Another plane type is the F-22A Raptor, which is used in the Air Force as a fighter plane. This plane is created to be virtually invisible. Most solar planes look like flying rulers. For example, the Helios plane from NASA offers a wingspan of 247-feet but is only 12 feet long. The wingspan of a 747 is just 211 feet, and the fuselage is approximately the length of the wings. On the other hand is the Raptor, which is a stubby, spade-shaped plane with a wingspan of just 44.5 feet. When you compare a solar plane to other options, it will look more like a kite than an actual plane. Some can be launched by throwing them into the air; however, the Helios is too heavy for this launching method. The 747 weighs around 875K pounds, and the Raptor comes in at 83.5K pounds.

4 Ways To Help Your Employees Succeed

If you're an employer or a manager, you know how important it is to take care of your employees. The success and stability of your company depends a great deal on everybody's overall contentedness and productivity. However, it's also easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day schedules and projections and overlook this part. While a large part of employee satisfaction and drive is based on individual experiences, there's a lot you can do to ensure your crew is not only successful but fulfilled and motivated as well. Keep reading for four ways you can help your employees get to that point. 1. Ask for Feedback (and Use It) Do you check in with your employees often? Do you make yourself available and approachable, give ample opportunities to have discussions and provide guidance? In a perfect business world, this would happen without question. However, it doesn't always. Whether it's due to packed schedules or frequent disruptions in staffing or workload, falling out of touch with your employees might happen more than you'd like. An effective way to ensure the lines of communication remain clear is to regularly crowdsource your staff for feedback. For instance, sending out an employee pulse survey at certain points throughout the year, or even more if you feel it's necessary — will help you get a better handle on what it is your employees genuinely feel, need and expect. Once there is a greater mutual understanding, conflicts are resolved and needs are met, the easier it will be for you to present opportunities for your employees to reach (and surpass) their potential. 2. Pay Attention to the Good You know how great it feels when things are going well at work, and especially how satisfying it is when the days go by without so much as a hiccup. However, things happen and someone or something will inevitably take a wrong turn. While this is normal, it's also important to strike a balance of noticing not just the mistakes, but the positive parts of each day as well. Taking the time to celebrate success and the good things that happen and not just the mishaps will go a long way in building confidence among your employees. This is a vital part of building a strong relationship, particularly when it comes to the times you need to address mistakes or other negative occurrences. 3. Set Realistic Expectations

Tips on How To Qualify for a Home Purchase

Buying your first home is an exciting step in life. While you might feel a sense of exhilaration over the decision, you also need to exercise caution throughout the process. Rushing into the decision can leave you unprepared and reduce the odds of you getting the home of your dreams. One of the biggest obstacles before you is qualifying for the purchase of a specific residence. To increase the chances of qualifying, you need to take a step back and assess a few key factors related to the process. From keeping all of your records straight to setting funds aside for the down payment, there are a few major areas to pay attention to as you plan to buy your first home. Look over these tips and see how to best prepare for this major life decision. Save in Advance Perhaps the best bit of advice you can receive about buying a home is to start saving as early as you possibly can. A home is an expensive purchase, meaning you likely won’t be able to pay for the investment out of pocket. Most people take out a mortgage in order to cover the gaps in their finances and spread payments out over the period of many years. Naturally, qualifying for a mortgage is a lot easier when you don’t need to borrow the total value of the property. This is why you need to consider the down payment. The more money you have set aside for a down payment, the less you will have to put forward in monthly mortgage payments. Some experts suggest having around 20% of the total value of the home available for a down payment. Still, you will find that putting down even more than this can help you immensely when it comes to qualifying for and paying off the mortgage. Know What’s Expected A lender is going to look at a few different factors when it comes to determining your eligibility. For one, your credit score is going to play a huge part in whether or not you are approved. If you have a poor credit rating, then you absolutely want to take whatever steps you can to improve the score before you submit an application for a mortgage. The better your score, the more likely it is you will be approved. What’s more, having a good score helps you receive the best terms and rates on your loan. Beyond your credit score, lenders also will need to see proof of income. In order to ensure you will be able to commit to the responsibility of making consistent monthly payments, lenders want to understand how much money you make on average. Typically, this is easy to provide. In cases where you are your own business owner or are a contractor without traditional pay stubs, you may be required to produce additional paperwork related to your finances. Compare and Review

5 Homeschool Subjects That Will Prepare Your Kids for Independence

Public schools used to have a robust program for life skills and independent living as well as a wide array of electives. Unfortunately, budget cuts and a focus on test scores have seen many of these classes fade from the curriculum. Choosing to teach your kids from home gives you the opportunity to offer them these valuable courses that foster self-reliance and independent thinking. Home Maintenance and Repair Whereas you don't need to teach your kids complex skills that require a pro like replacing plumbing or installing a transfer switch on your generator, you can make sure they have a grasp of some common fixes. Everyone should have a basic understanding of how their home electrical system works so they can check the electrical panel when the lights go out. How to install a new flush handle or trip lever arm on a toilet is a skill that everyone is going to need to know at some point in their life. How and when to clean the gutters on a house or how to maintain your major appliances are not naturally occurring skills but anyone can learn them and it can save a young person a lot of money to know how to do it themselves. Auto Maintenance and Repair Vehicles have become pretty complex and the days when the average kid could learn how to take apart a car engine on a weekend are probably in the past. However, knowing the basics of how to maintain and do minor repairs on a vehicle is important. A large number of drivers on the road today have no idea how to change a tire, a skill you never think about until you need it. You can teach your teen how to check and correct the air pressure on their tires, how to check their oil gauge and even change the oil themselves, and how to replace their windshield wipers and wiper fluid periodically. Teach them the basics of how a car warranty works and how to schedule and keep up with a routine maintenance plan. There are a lot of minor auto issues that they shouldn't have to turn to a professional mechanic to perform. Public Speaking

Signs That Your Healthy Decisions Are Paying Off

Have you found yourself wondering what it actually feels like to be thriving? If you consider yourself a health-conscious person, chances are you are always looking out for ways to improve your wellbeing. Yet, in order to truly experience joy and contentment in our lives, it is vital that we acknowledge the things that are already going well for us. Here are some tell-tale signs that your personal health decisions are benefitting you. Regular Sleep Cycles Deep sleep is denoted by vivid dreams and a restful feeling upon waking. If you are going to bed at approximately the same time each night and rising easily every morning, your body has regulated itself into a natural circadian rhythm based on your daily habits and the amount of light outside. One of the incredible Thrive side effects is an effortless balancing of energy levels. Consistent exercise and mindful relaxation will only continue to promote this helpful cycle. Getting enough sleep is more important than you may realize; it normalizes blood pressure and metabolism, regenerates your cells, and recharges your mental capacities. Consider it a major win if you don't have any notable sleep challenges! Positive Mentality When your body is functioning well, so is your brain –– and vice versa. Neuroscience has demonstrated that proper diet, exercise, sleep, and social engagement motivate the brain's neurotransmitters to fire "happy chemicals" like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. These messages contribute to an optimistic outlook on life, which in turn feeds into your whole system's perception of safety and wellness. What's more, the release of these compounds contributes to the brain's ability to adapt to new situations, including stressful ones. Effortless confidence, grace in the face of obstacles, and the acuity to learn new skills are all indications of a stable and resilient mentality –– one that will serve you greatly as you continue to make wholesome decisions for yourself. Seamless Digestion
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3 Ways To Improve Your Morning Commute

Morning commutes are a common pain point for many professionals. The frustration of traveling in times of heightened traffic, the amount of time that can feel wasted and being surrounded by other commuters in similar moods can be the perfect storm for frustration. While commuting can often be a necessary evil of your workday, you also have a significant amount of untapped potential.  If you want to improve your mornings, here are 3 ways that you can turn your commute into your favorite time of day. Use the Time Wisely For many professionals, the morning commute can feel like just another empty and unfulfilling task; however, this time can be so much more than just a way to get to work. If you want to improve it, find ways to use this time wisely. Whether you use this time to enjoy your favorite radio station, kiny, listening to an audiobook or even gaining a new skill, like learning a language, you can use your commuting time intentionally and wisely. By using this time to do something productive and fun, you can make your time in transit entertaining and enjoyable. Regardless of the mode of transportation you use, commuting can be a frustrating experience; however, if you want your commute to be less unpleasant, you can use this time to practice some of life’s most important skills. Focusing on tolerance and gratitude may seem like the last thing that you want to do, but it can yield valuable during transit and other areas of your life. If you are going to learn any skill during your commute, these can have some of the greatest returns on your investment. The reason why your commute may feel like drudgery is due to not utilizing the time wisely, but with a few changes, you can make this a time that you won’t want to miss. Prepare Portable Fuel Another reason why your commute may be so unpleasant is due to feeling hungry or depleted. If you wake up, get ready and get out the door without having anything to eat, you may be suffering from anger, hunger pains or a lack of energy. One easy change that you can make is to fuel up. Hydrating, eating breakfast and giving your body what it needs to wake up can help make your commute far more enjoyable. If you can, give yourself time to have a well-balanced breakfast, full of protein, fiber and other key nutrients; however, if you don’t have time for this, prepare some portable and easily accessible snacks for your commute and grab a travel mug full of coffee. Making sure that your stomach is full and that you are properly hydrated can help you feel less stressed out and unhappy as you go about your day. In an ideal world, you would have time to fuel up at home with a nutrient-rich breakfast, but even if you don’t have time for this, you need to give your body the energy it needs to tackle your commute.

The Importance of the Radio

You may think that radio broadcasting is outdated. However, the opposite is true. Radio has advanced from the customary AM and FM stations to include internet stations and podcasts. Whether you’re streaming internet radio or listening to an old school stereo, you're engaging in a natural and habitual form of American culture that has been enjoyed since the 1920s. Listening to the radio has more advantages than ever before, so here are some reasons why you should be tuning in. Entertaining Travel Whether you are taking a long trip or your normal work commute, listening to the radio can help to pass the time. Your favorite music can get you hyped up for whatever awaits you for the day, or it can keep you calm in stressful traffic situations. Listening to a playlist that improves your mood can actually lead to safer driving. Podcasts are excellent outlets for news, stories and educational programs. The narrator is able to attract and maintain listeners by providing a personalized experience. If you are too busy to read about a topic that interests you, listening to a podcast is a sensible alternative. You will be able to carry out your responsibilities while learning about whatever your heart desires, consequently killing two birds with one stone. Perhaps you were looking forward to seeing the Lakers play the Cavaliers, but now you have to make an unexpected business trip the same night as the game. You may not get to view that game, but you certainly can listen to it on ESPN radio. You should never have to miss your favorite teams playing against each other. Changing To Meet Today's Standards Radio has evolved with technology. You don't even need to own a radio to listen to the radio. Weird, right? The world has become so advanced that you can connect through your computer or your phone if you have mobile data or internet connection. As long as radio has the potential to keep changing with the times, people will continue to have a reason to listen.