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21 Jun 2016 

Cars - InfoBarrel

Which Modern Cars are the Best Investment?

by Mason Gregg

4 months, 3 days ago

Purchasing a new car is generally seen as a pretty lousy investment. The moment you drive it off the lot you will often lose thousands of dollars. However, as with anything, there are some exceptions to this rule. There are a handful of modern cars that have steadily held their value or even increased as they aged. 

 

In...

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The 1992 Camry: A Game Changer for Toyota

by gld1179

6 months, 1 week ago

The 1992 Camry was a game changer for Toyota. The car hit the market with a design and build quality that was unlike anything seen in its class at the time. These attributes impressed buyers and even the competition. Those same attributes not only propelled the Camry to best-selling car status later in the decade, but also elevated the...

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Best Used SUV's of 2015

by Hihaski

6 months, 1 week ago

Shopping for a used car is difficult. And more than difficult, it is frightening from a financial perspective.

Used cars seldom have much of a warranty if any guarantee at all. Certified pre-owned (CPO) is an excellent program that adds assurance for the buyer, but usually comes with a slightly higher price point. Regardless, when comparing a CPO...

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Outdated Car Features We All Miss

by Alex Gopson

1 year, 1 month ago

Modern cars are becoming more and more advanced as time goes on, and the list of features and "bells and whistles" that you can find in them continues to grow and grow.  I love technology, and think that modern engineering is fantastic.  Nothing against new vehicles.

That being said, everyone has a bit of nostalgia within them, and...

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The Tesla Model S: An Honest Analysis

by Alex Gopson

1 year, 2 months ago

I can't recall a car that had more internet hype and publicity surrounding it than the Tesla Model S.  As you might expect, when something gains this amount of media attention, you have a lot of people that both like and dislike the car, for an assortment of reasons that may or may not be true.

Part of...

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The Best BMWs of All Time

by Alex Gopson

1 year, 2 months ago

There are some car companies where you can instantly name the classics.  There are a few, well-defined automotive achievements that define the company's history.

With BMW however, this is a bit difficult to do.  This is a company that has been manufacturing awesome vehicles for decades now.  And although you may find some of their newest iterations a...

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How To Pick a Good First Car

by Alex Gopson

1 year, 2 months ago

Buying your first car can be an incredibly exciting experience.  After all, regardless of how much you spend, how long it lasts, or if you crash it, everyone in the world remembers that first vehicle they bought--it's just impossible to forget.

However, this can also be a stressful or difficult time.  After all, most people who are new...

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Is All-Wheel Drive Really Necessary?

by Alex Gopson

1 year, 2 months ago

All-wheel drive is one of the biggest selling points in modern cars.  In the past, the option of having power distributed to all four wheels was limited to trucks and SUVs, and cars from only a select few manufacturers, primarily Subaru and Audi.

Nowadays, AWD vehicles can be purchased from almost every single car maker, and it has...

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How To Extend the Life of Your Old Car

by Alex Gopson

1 year, 2 months ago

Long gone are the days of cars only being able to last about 100,000 miles.  Nowadays, that kind of age is considered to be the tip of the iceberg, the break-in period.  I am a big advocate for used cars.  I believe that, given proper care, an older vehicle can be just as reliable as anything that just rolled...

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Why Used Cars are the Only True Deals

by Alex Gopson

1 year, 2 months ago

I can't ever see myself buying a new car.

It's not because new cars aren't nice- they are.  It's not because I can't afford one- I could.  It's just that used cars are a much better deal, and it's hard to imagine passing up the stellar deals that exist on the used car market, particularly if you have...

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Smells Like Cars

by Chris

1 year, 2 months ago

Credit: self

It's springtime in Vancouver, and that means one thing to me; cars, cars, cars! I'm hard-pressed to think of anything I don't appreciate about cars. In fact, I bet I could make a list of a hundred things I love about cars. 

I didn't fall passionately in love with driving the first time I tried...

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The Last Of The Iconic SLS AMG

by TheSilentRose

1 year, 2 months ago

Today we will be looking at the iconic sports car from the performance branch of Mercedes-Benz, the SLS AMG. Over the two years that I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg, I've had plenty of opportunities to take the 200,000$-300,000$ vehicles in my town for a ride, evaluate they're overall dependability and well, who buys a sports car if...

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18 Jun 2016 

Driver Education for Teens in St. Louis by Lynn Fugaro

Driver Education for Teens in St. Louis

 by: Lynn Fugaro

It sometimes seems like young people believe they are invincible. According to one statistic, only 56 percent of teens in Missouri wear a seatbelt, as opposed to more than 70 percent of drivers overall. However, the issue may not be misguided believe of invincibility as much as a lack of driver education for teens.

Graduated Drivers License

The graduated drivers license program, or GDL, in effect in Missouri offers teens provisional licenses which allow them to drive under restricted circumstances. This allows teens to gain experience driving with a licensed driver until they are allowed to drive on their own. But as much as 50% of teenagers fail the learner's permit exam the first time they take it.

Although the learner's permit exam is rigorous, education is all that is required to pass it. If your teen has already failed the learner's permit exam, he or she may suffer damage to self-esteem and lose confidence in his or her ability to drive. A driver education course can not only help your teen regain confidence, but know what to do in dangerous situations, before they encounter them.

Knowing Who to Trust

Many teens lack common sense when driving not because of a lack of intelligence, but because what we call "common sense" is actually learned responses to certain situations. For example, while you may understand that it is dangerous to pull over in certain circumstances, your teen may not know that he or she has the option of driving to a safe place before pulling over.

A good driver education course should teach your teen:

o How to respond to law enforcement officials

o How to care for a car

o Missouri traffic law and how to follow it

o Highway safety

o How to respond to dangerous situations

o What do to after a car accident

Professional Driver Education

You may believe that you can offer your teen sufficient driver education to prepare him or her for any situation, but professional driver education offers a number of benefits:

o Insurance credit

o Standardized curriculum

o Extensive knowledge



o Interactive learning with the instructor or other teens

o Confidence

Many high schools offer driver education for their students, or recommend a driver education course to their students at a discounted rate. You can contact your student's high school to learn if they have a preferred driver education course and how to enroll your teen.

To learn more about the benefits of driver education for teens, please visit the website of The Bradley Law Firm, serving driving teens and their parents in the St. Louis, Jefferson City, and Kansas City areas of Missouri.





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15 Jun 2016 

Culture :: Irish Winter Traditions

The journey of winter is upon us; and travelling through the celtic countries, where Yule, New Year, Hogmagog, Christmas and the Winter Solstice have uniquely interlaced over time; each finding its own way to stand on the edge of nature while she sleeps. And so, over the coldest of seasons, her peoples have sought to connect the old and the new through song and dance, the death and rebirth of a new year!

Winter Solstice

While the Solstices were not as important to the ancient Irish as the major fire festivals; Lughnasadh (August 1); Beltane (May Day, May 1); Imbolc (February 1- Bridgit); and Samhain (November 1, Halloween), they were none the less celebrated. Of the Solstices and Equinoxes, the Winter Solstice was the most important, since it marked the rebirth of the sun after the shortest day. Many cultures celebrated this time to commemorate the birth of various gods. The Winter Solstice falls between two major fire festivals Samhain (sow-an) or Halloween and Imbolc.

In Newgrange, County Meath, there is an ancient tomb covered with beautiful artwork, which remains in darkness for much of the year. The double spiral on this site is one of the symbols which can be seen at the Newgrange site. Once a year, on the Winter Solstice, the tomb fills with light to reveal the beautiful artwork on the walls. While it seems best to leave its origins to the historians, there is no doubt that the ancient Irish considered this day important.



It also marked "The Shortest Day" or "The Darkest Midnight" and was cause for celebration, since - once the shortest day has passed, it meant the journey toward Spring could begin.

Going Door to Door

While the tradition of "caroling" and going door to door to sing for ones neighbors is only done during the Holiday Season in recent years. In times gone by, it was common to carol from door to door for many of the major festivals. It is thought that certain tunes were found particularly useful for this tradition.

The album "To Warm the Winters Night" celebrates this tradition. A dance entitled "The Horn Dance" was performed from All Souls to the Twelfth Night in hopes of bringing in the luck for the New Year! In many of the Celtic cultures, the tradition of going door to door and caroling or the idea of procession was common. All Souls Night or Samhain (sow- an) has come down to us as Halloween, when going door to door is still part of our culture.

"The Horn Dance" comes from Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire. Eight men danced through the village with antler horns on their heads in order to "bring in the luck" for the New Year. The tradition still continues in Abbots Bromley. This dance is thought to have its origins in Pre-Christian Fertility Rites.

The Kylemore Carols

The Kylemore carols are a beautiful collection of Christmas carols from the village of Kylemore. In the depths of harsh winter, a reminder of sacred celebration invests these haunting old melodies, many of which are sung to this day in Kylemore and elsewhere. For a sample of "The Darkest Midnight," arguably the most well-known and loved Kylemore Carol, see track number six on the album To Warm the Winter's Night.



Yule & the Yule Log

Yule marks the rebirth of the suns power. It is yet another symbol of death and rebirth - going from the darkness into the light. For many, Yule runs from before the Solstice until New Year's Day. Many people associate Yule with the "Yule Log," a piece of wood decorated with evergreens, mostly holly and candles. Holly was another ancient symbol for the Irish; it was thought to hold special properties, since it was "neither tree 'nor bush".

Little Christmas

Traditionally Yule ended on January 6th. The Christian Calendar celebrates "Little Christmas" on January 6th also. During my childhood, this was the day that the decorations were taken down and yet another turkey was cooked to mark the end of the season.

December and the Sun Gods

December marks the celebration of many solar "saviors" and Gods, usually on December 25th. Many of them have the word "Light" in their titles. They include, Baal, Dionysus and of course, Jesus Christ.

The Mummers

While the origin of the mummers remains unclear, they were still a vital part of Irish tradition up to the present century. The "Straw Boys" or "Mummers" dressed in disguise, often using straw to cover their faces, and went from door to door. They usually requested and received food or money or some token of gratitude for their "performance." This tradition was particularly strong in the North of Ireland. County Armagh has long been associated with mummers.

Hunting the Wren

The tradition of Hunting the Wren was originally associated with pagan ritual. Historically, a wren was captured and was though to bring luck for the new year. In modern times, the tradition of "hunting the wren" involves musicians who go from gathering to gathering playing music on "St. Steven's Day" (December 26th), and "passing the hat."



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11 Jun 2016 

Who's Teaching First Daughter Malia Obama How to Drive?



One of the first daughters is about to get behind the wheel.

"One child is going to be driving this summer," first lady Michelle Obama said of her daughter Malia's upcoming milestone in an interview with "Access Hollywood" Tuesday.

"Look out," she joked.

Seeing a teenager with the key in the ignition is always a little scary for parents. But a first daughter's first drive comes with its own set of challenges.


"I think our agents don't want us driving with teenagers," she added. "I don't think they want [the president] in the state when she's learning how to drive. We will, fortunately, be able to hand that responsibility over to someone else."

3 . What about Malia's Secret Service detail?

Agents watch over the president's daughters 24/7, whether they're at home, school or on the road. Just a few weeks ago, they put the White House on lockdown after a blue car inadvertently followed the girls' motorcade through a checkpoint on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The White House has remained mum on how Malia's detail will handle her driving lessons.

When asked if agents will sit in the back seat, Michelle Obama would say only, "We've got a plan."

4 . Crash Course

No word yet on where Malia will practice. The ellipse - the circular drive in front of the White House - would hardly allow a bumbling driver privacy to bump the curb in peace.

Maybe we'll see her cruising around the parking lot of her high school, Sidwell Friends School? Or with her pedal to the metal on Pennsylvania Avenue?

Michelle Obama's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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08 Jun 2016 

Learn How To Drive - Tips For Learning To Drive

Learning to drive can be a hair raising experience, not just for the learner, but perhaps more for the qualified driver who needs to be with you while you learn. So spare a thought for the instructor, friend or parent that how takes the time to help you learn and practice. By now you should have already obtained your learners permit and should be ready to get behind the wheel. There are, however, a few safety issues that you need to take care of before you ever start driving down the road.

Safety Issues To Consider

If you want to learn how to drive properly, you need to be safe and make sure you take all appropriate safety precautions. Public roads are a very dangerous place and should not be treated too lightly. Make sure you know where the brake is and the correct way to apply it. Being able to stop once you have started is very important! Before going anywhere, adjust the mirrors in the car so you can see on all sides and behind you properly. Put on your safety belt and make sure your passenger is wearing theirs too. You should be ready to learn how to drive now.

Where to Practice Driving



You are probably not going to relish the thought of learning how to drive on a busy road, so you need to find somewhere less risky. The best place to first start practicing is in an empty parking lot or a side street that gets little traffic. These are two places where you can get used to how the car brakes and the gas pedal react when you press them. It is not as simple as just stomping on them. You have to use a little finesse and each car is different. The only way to get the hang of it is to try it out and keep practicing until you get the feel of it. The same is true with the steering. You do not have to turn it hard for the car to react to your actions. Practice braking and steering before you attempt driving in traffic.

Learn How to Drive

Hopefully you will have read the drivers handbook when you got your learners permit so you know the rules of the road. Follow and obey all road signs. Make sure you always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. When making turns you should always use the proper signals. Other drivers need to know what you are planning to do so that they can drive safely too. Do not attempt to play with the radio when you are a learner. When you are learning how to drive you need to be totally focused on your driving, so ensure you are not distracted. Listen to the licensed driver and the pointers he is giving you, because he knows the rules of the road.

Finding and Using Instructors

When you learn how to drive you may prefer professional guidance to just using a friend or parent. Hiring an instructor is a very good idea as it ensures that you learn the correct processes and do not get into any bad habits that long term drivers may have slipped into. Not only are instructors better equipped to teach you proper driving skills, but drivers who use an instructor usually pass their final driving test on the first try. It can make a big difference with your insurance also. Instructors are listed in your telephone directory. You may already know one from a friend using one.

Drive safely and have fun as you learn how to drive.

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