This Easy Tire Tread Test Only Costs A Penny

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Tires may not be the first thing you notice when you look at a car, but they may be the most important safety and performance element of any vehicle. When you think about it, they are the only part of your car that connects you to the road.
While brakes stop your wheels, it’s your tires that stop the car — and that’s why maintaining them is absolutely critical. Luckily, one of the most important tire checks won’t cost you more than a penny!
Once a month, or before heading on a long road trip, check your tires for wear and damage using “the penny test.” Just grab a penny and select a point on your tire where tread appears the lowest. Then, holding Lincoln’s body between your thumb and your forefinger, place Lincoln’s head into one of the grooves. If any part of Abe Lincoln’s head is covered by the tread, you’re driving with the legal and safe amount of tread.
However, if all of Lincoln’s head is visible, it’s a sign that it is time to get new tires.
“Traction and tread are inextricably linked. The grooves in your tire are critical in helping to channel water away to allow the tire to grip the road,” says Sarah Robinson, Michelin safety expert. “Making sure you’re driving on tires with proper tread can be the difference between avoiding an accident, and becoming part of it.”
If it’s time to get new tires, consider these two factors first and foremost:
1. Safety: Most tires perform well in everyday situations, but difficult conditions will reveal their differences. Choose tires that can perform well in the worst types of weather or roads you encounter. For example, if you live in a region with regular heavy snowfall and cold winters, consider winter tires for part of the year. The difference can be huge.
2. Value: It’s important to remember that not all tires are created equal. Tires may seem like an additional expense on top of general car maintenance, but investing in quality tires known for long-lasting performance–such as the Michelin Defender with its 80,000 mile warranty–will save you money over time as your tires won’t need to be replaced as quickly.
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Celebra una fiesta de Posadas inolvidable para tu familia y amigos

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Cuando los jóvenes de la casa empiezan a pasar más tiempo con sus amigos o se mudan por primera vez, la celebración de las Posadas puede ser la ocasión perfecta para reunirlos a todos cada año y pasar un tiempo en familia. Desde JCPenney te contamos cómo preparar un festejo emocionante y memorable que mantenga viva la tradición. Si tienes previsto invitar a tus seres queridos a un delicioso banquete o salir a cantar villancicos en las calles o bien, jugar a la tradicional piñata de las Posadas, en JCPenney tenemos todos los artículos que necesitas para celebrar esta fiesta de manera fácil y asequible.
Obsequios para toda la temporada
Con tanta música, dulces y obsequios, sin duda, los niños son el centro de las Posadas. No obstante, hacer obsequios durante las fiestas puede ser costoso. Opta por opciones asequibles que llenen de alegría los nueve días de celebración, como por ejemplo, los anteojos de visión nocturna de Discovery Kids o las cartas Wembley Jumbo. Dale más emoción a la tradicional piñata repleta de dulces y añade sets de figuras de la colección de La Bella y la Bestia o de Cars, de Disney; los mas pequeños se sorprenderán al reventar la piñata y encontrar sus personajes favoritos.
Moda de temporada para la familia
Peregrinar por las calles durante Posadas es algo distintivo de esta fiesta, pero el frío de las bajas temperaturas puede ser insoportable. Elige texturas cálidas y abrigadas para pasar la noche, como las bufandas Mixit Gold Knit Chunky Infinity o los abrigos mullidos Xersion. Para los chicos, opta por un chaleco acolchado St. John’s Bay con una bufanda a rayas JF J. FERRAR y dale un toque casual a tu estilo mientras cantas Pedir Posadas en la noche.
Platos festivos para su cena de Posadas
Después de una noche al aire libre, es hora de volver a casa para una merecida cena familiar, elegantemente servida con arreglos de mesa en metales y elementos naturales, como madera y mármol. Entra en calor con una taza de atole o un tazón caliente de pozole servido en vajilla Gourmet Basics de Mikasa Delancy Dinnerware — y deja que la cerámica blanca y sus ribetes metálicos le den a la comida un aspecto tan delicioso como su sabor. Ningún banquete de Posadas está completo sin una montaña de deliciosos tamales de cerdo — colócalos en una fuente Thirstystone Urban Farm de madera de mango con asas de metal, fácil para servir y recargar.
Las fiestas de Posadas se aproximan, así que mantén viva esta tradición y prepara una celebración alegre y animada que quede en el recuerdo de tus familiares y amigos. Para más información sobre los productos mencionados, visite

Post-Hurricane Matthew: How to Prepare Your Home for Storms

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored by GAF – Risk mitigation.
It’s a phrase that comes up after every major storm — Hurricane Matthew being only the latest — as homeowners are warned that all too many houses are simply no match for high winds, and that prudence dictates they act to help protect themselves and their property from future storms.
Think those warnings are needlessly alarmist?
Probably so did all those New Yorkers who believed that a Hurricane Sandy could never clobber their city.
So what should homeowners do, proactively, to increase their odds of beating Mother Nature? Read on.
* Clean your gutters. Even in perfect weather, Angie’s List says you’re looking at a potential “nightmare” if they’re so clogged with mounds of leaves, sticks, and other debris that it causes your roof to leak. Factor in a hurricane-strength rainstorm, though, and the very roofing system component meant to control the flow of all that water — thereby protecting your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape from flooding — can suddenly be rendered about as useful as a virus-infected laptop.
“If you let gutter cleaning go by the wayside, it can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars,” the website cautions.
* Reinforce windows. Need we say anything more than flying shards of glass?
Didn’t think so, which is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency — in describing windows as “particularly vulnerable” — recommends springing for either impact-resistant glazing or permanent storm shutters. (A grief-saving tip from FEMA: “Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.”)
* Make sure your roof is in good condition. Even though a manufacturer’s warranty typically doesn’t cover roof damage caused by disasters like hurricanes — check your home insurance policy for that — experts date what they call an “upsurge” of interest in stronger roofs back to 2011’s Hurricane Irene. News footage of all those battered homes in states such as Delaware, North Carolina and Virginia was that gut-wrenching.
“If you are going to replace your roof, consider shingles that have passed the UL2218, Class 4 impact test, the toughest in the industry,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence. Joplin especially likes the Timberline ArmorShield II line of shingles from GAF (, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, which — in addition to looking good — are made with what he describes as “a rubber-like material for enhanced flexibility and durability during extreme weather conditions.”
Added bonus: Depending on where you live, the shingles may also qualify for significant discounts on that homeowners insurance of yours.
* Trim weak tree branches. Not to belabor the dangerous projectile angle, but ask yourself this: Unless you’re 5 years old, would you want even Santa Claus crashing into your house at hurricane-strength speeds?
And while you’re mulling that one over, remember that Matthew might not be it for this year. Both the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricane seasons run through November 30.

How to Build Better, Stronger Bones in Kids

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – It’s been ingrained in our heads since we were little: building strong bones is important. The problem is that these days many children aren’t getting the daily recommended diet and exercise needed to do so. And, with technology use at an all-time high, children are spending less time playing outdoors, which increases the risk of obesity.
Today, approximately 32 percent of American children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are considered overweight or obese. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) wants to help empower families to get up, get out and get moving to ensure optimal bone growth and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other diseases later in life.
“Building your child’s bone bank is like a college savings plan: the earlier you start investing, the better,” says AAOS spokesperson Dr. Jennifer Weiss, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles. “Parents should ensure that kids are getting adequate calcium to keep their bones strong as well as appropriate levels of vitamins D and C to allow the body to absorb the calcium.”
So what’s a parent to do? The following tips from the AAOS will help get your kids (and you) moving while building better, stronger bones:
* Move it. Make physical activity a part of a child’s schedule for at least 30 to 60 minutes per day. Make it fun. With fall weather coming in, walking around the block to see the colors, throwing a football in the yard, or riding a bike is a perfect way to engage with your kids and still get in some exercise. Bonus? Being outside gets you and the kids some much-needed vitamin D, which also helps build strong bones.
* Watch what you eat. Life is busy. Which makes on-the-run snacks and meals an easy fix for harried parents. Unfortunately, most of this kind of food does not have the nutrients to ensure good bone health. Adolescents should consume a healthy diet with calcium to maintain strong bones and lower the risk of excessive weight gain.
* Lift things up, and put them down. Studies show that strength training is key to healthy bones. During resistance training, muscles have to work harder and, over time, become stronger. Although resistance exercises focus on increasing muscle mass, they also put stress on bones and have bone-building capacity.
* Set limits. It’s understandable that kids’ whims change with the seasons, as do the number of teams they want to play on. However, try to limit the number of teams a child plays on in one season to avoid overuse injuries. In addition, if your child tells you that something hurts, discourage him or her from playing through the pain.
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Protecting Your Kid’s Identity Is Every Parent’s Responsibility

Child identity theft is on the rise and can go largely undetected for years. With the Gabriel app, you don’t have to worry about your children’s future because your children’s ID is protected from any third party and will remain safe and secure.

Content:    If only we could protect our kids from the world around them. Along with the normal worries any parent has for his or her child, you can add child identity theft to the list as well.

How to Protect Your Kid’s Identity Now

Much ado has been made about protecting your personal information lately (Thank you, Apple and the FBI, for bringing this issue center stage.) And, according to techies who follow such trends, it would seem that many people are starting to take notice—especially when it comes to protecting their children’s privacy using encrypted communications.

The argument against encryption goes something like this: it allows those who would do your children harm to “go dark.” While that may be true, encryption is also a powerful tool that can help protect your children from those same predators, as well as bullies and others who want to harm them. In short, encryption is not just for privacy and security, but also for personal safety and peace of mind.

How to Avoid Neck and Back Pain from Backpacks

happy childrens group in schoold have fun and learning leassos

If you’re like most parents, you remember sending your kindergartener off to school with a backpack bigger than they were. While your child may be able to shoulder it, students are now weighed down more than ever by these cumbersome packs.

Which is why, say experts, more kids than ever before are complaining about back and neck pain. With school starting up again, a likely reason for the complaints is the heavy load they’re carrying (and we’re not talking about classes), with everything from textbooks to laptops to musical instruments crammed inside.

Kids Willing to Step Up to Help Aging Parents, Study Finds

Do you wonder if your kids will have your back when you’re older? Apparently the answer is a surprising yes.

That’s the good news in a conversation many people are having these days — around aging parents — that comes courtesy of the third biennial “Fidelity Investments Family & Finance Study.” Less heartening is that nearly 4 in 10 families seem to be suffering from what can only be described as — hats off to “Cool Hand Luke” for this — a failure to communicate.

Family vacation at the beach

Let’s start by paying homage to at least certain offspring and giving them their due credit:

What to Look for in a New House This Home Buying Season

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – Mortgage rates have remained low, and home prices are stable or rising in most communities.
A September 2015 poll by NeighborWorks America discovered that nearly 90 percent of consumers consider home ownership at least somewhat important. Guarantee your home ownership success by following these guidelines from NeighborWorks America:
1. Get professional help.
The best way to learn what you need to know about buying a home is to meet with a nonprofit housing counselor. Look for a certified professional who can explain the different mortgages and interest rates, the effect of credit scores on loan approval, how much down payment is needed for purchase and how much home you can really afford.
“The housing market is tough right now, with fewer homes for sale on the market than usual, and new mortgage rules and many mortgage products to choose,” said Marietta Rodriguez, vice president for homeownership and lending at NeighborWorks America. “To be in the strongest position to make an offer that is accepted, consumers have to be prepared. That’s where initial consultation with a housing counselor is vital, even before meeting with other professionals involved in the process.”
To see a video describing more about the numbers to know, click here.
2. Build a budget.
Smart consumers approach home ownership with a budget, but surveys show that less than one-third of potential buyers have one. Start with a budget that includes potential changes in commuting costs, home maintenance expenses and even life changes, such as becoming a parent or paying for college. “Once all the numbers are on the table, it’s easier to see what type of home suits a family’s budget and needs, what might be necessary financial trade-offs and what could be a direct line to trouble,” said Rodriguez.
3. Be determined, not desperate.
A winning bid on the wrong home can spell trouble. A bidding war could weaken your determination to find the right home while pushing the limits of your budget. Moreover, sellers know that desperate buyers may avoid inspection contingencies.
“Forgoing a home inspection to move up a place in the bidding process could be costly down the road if problems and defects with the home arise. NeighborWorks recommends that homebuyers have a home inspection, and know as much as possible about the inside of a home as the outside,” added Rodriguez.

Is Your Home As Childproofed As You Think?

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – It happens more often than we like to think.
Nearly seven times a day, some young child is rushed to the emergency room after being burned — or worse — from having stuck something as innocuous as a paperclip into an electrical outlet, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Ah, but being the diligent parent you are, you’re sure those plastic outlet caps you installed for childproofing purposes will keep your own kids safe, right?
Not so fast.
A study conducted by Temple University found that it took less than 10 seconds for 100 percent of children ages 2 to 4 to remove them from sockets. And that should scare you for an additional reason.
“It poses a choking hazard for small children,” says Brett Brenner, president of the nonprofit Electrical Safety Foundation International (, which promotes electrical safety in homes and workplaces. “And because plastic caps do need to be removed for the outlet to be functional, there’s the inherent safety threat of forgetting to recover the outlet when it’s no longer in use.”
Brenner, as it turns out, also has a problem with the less-popular sliding receptacle covers. “They’re no match for the impressionable minds of children, who can learn to defeat the devices by watching their parents plug objects into them.”
So what does he recommend? The same technology — called tamper-resistant receptacles — was deemed so effective that it’s actually been required in hospital pediatric care facilities for more than 20 years. But it remained something of a trade secret until its use was finally mandated in all new home construction under the National Electrical Code in 2008.
To look at them, TRRs appear to be ordinary outlets — a blessing for those who consider plastic caps a bit of an eyesore — but they’re specifically designed with spring-loaded receptacle cover plates that close off all openings or slots. Only by simultaneously applying pressure to both sides do the cover plates open to allow standard plugs to make contact with the receptacle contact points.
“Without that simultaneous pressure,” Brenner explains, “the cover plates remain closed, preventing the insertion of foreign objects and thus protecting children from painful, traumatic electrical injuries.”
The best part may be that the added safety will only run you 50 cents more than a standard electrical outlet, though TRRs should only be installed by a licensed electrician.
But getting back to that opening U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission statistic — know that of those nearly seven children a day:
* 89 percent are under 6 years old.
* 50 percent are 2 to 3 years old — the highest risk group.
* Boys are most at risk, regardless of age.
Definitely not something we like to think about.