Home » Articles posted by Jack

Can Music Lead to Perkier Plants?

Can Music Lead to Perkier PlantsMusic has some astonishing benefits to humans – from hastening the healing process to calming the mind to simply providing relaxation. Music has also seen to be helpful even in animals such as taming the wild, understanding their behavior and improving animal health. And we continue to uncover amazing benefits that these sweet serenades offer. With all these surprising benefits, we can say that music is a universal language that all living creatures are free to enjoy and benefit from.

There’s one myth that many people have long been fascinated about — music can produce better plants. The question is: Is there truth in it or is it just a myth?

The earliest theory that linked music and plant growth dates back to 1848 in a book published by a German professor. In this book, the author theorized that playing music can help plants grow better. It was so convincing that even the esteemed London Royal Philharmonic released an album (The Flora Seasons: Music To Grow To) dedicated to plants.

To date, the science world remains at a quandary regarding this theory. While an LED grow light bought at Plantozoid.com can guarantee a good yield, scientists remain skeptical as to the effects of playing music on the background. There are, however, some studies in the past that have shown the connection between plant growth and music.

In 1973, Dorothy Retallack, an American researcher in Colorado, studied two samples of identical plants. In one sample group, easy listening music played at the background, while in the other group, rock music was played. In her study, Retallack found that the group with easy listening fared better than the other group. The first group grew better, healthier and taller, and leaned in towards the origin of sound. Meanwhile, the second sample group that had hard rock music tended to lean away from the sound, some plants even dying prematurely.

In a study conducted in the University of Arizona, the researchers studied four groups of sprouting seeds were placed in strictly controlled environments – one silent, one with energy healing music that was played 15-20 minutes per day, one with music, and another with low frequency noise. In this study, the sample group that was exposed to music was perkier than those without any music at all.

The same convincing result was also arrived at in a paper published by South Korea’s National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology. A more intensive study, it revealed that even conversation-level music could alter two genes that played a role in plant’s response to light.

The same findings have been echoed by an experiment shown in an episode of Myth Busters. In this episode, it showed that the plants that got music grew better and even found that heavy metal music worked the best.

But not all studies consider that music has positive effects on plants. In a study published in Pennsylvania State, the results showed that while music may be related to the growth of the plants, it was only like any other external stimuli, such as wind, and that plants do not respond solely on the music. The study asserts that music was just another source of vibration. This is similar with the article published by the Science World Report that says music could provide vibrational frequencies that help a plant’s photosynthesis process.

While the question still remains, the researchers at Penn State correctly underscore the importance of ensuring adequate light, nutrition and water in the optimum growth of plants.


The Tools of Life

The Tools of LifeLife is full of ups and downs and we all know that. It is a person’s ability to retain a sense of humor or a positive spirit when things get a little tough that sets them apart from the crowd. Life also deals up some very different hands at times and it’s a wonder when you see people in the depths of despair, yet still happy. I’ve traveled to many parts of the world and seen the rich, the comfortable the poor and the desperate.

I was on a beach in Nice, France at one time and was surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women, young and old, their friends and boyfriends and all enjoying the sunshine and the beach. Everybody appeared okay, some happy, some sad. Then, another time I was on a beach in the Philippines on which many kids were playing, enjoying the time with their families. They had nothing, not even swimming costumes with everybody swimming in their clothing. These people were ecstatically happy.

The conclusion I have come to during my travels is that material things mean very little when applied to the concept of happiness. Where am I going with this short story? Well, it so happened that an old friend of mine passed away not so long ago. Upon hearing of his death, I immediately joined his family and other friends in condolences. After the funeral, his wife told me that her husband had specifically asked me to look after the selling of many of his possessions that he would never need again and certainly, his wife, would not use. My friend was a handy man of the highest order.

As a tradesman, he had all the tools you needed to repair cars, make and repair furniture, fix plumbing problems, renovate and restore homes, carry out minor electrical work, painting and even tools required for tiling. My old friend never hired anybody to do anything for him. Also, he was always available to help a friend do odd jobs around their own homes.

To sell all these things, I needed to find out what they cost new so I could get some idea as to what price to ask online in advertisements or among our friends. It was necessary to get the optimum amount so that his widow would have a nice kitty of cash available for the future. The best way was to go online to websites that sold and advertised similar products, then subtract an amount for the wear and tear on the item we had for sale. One of the more unusual things to research was a good wood lathe, not something you would find in a lot of workshops.

So we priced drills, nail guns, power saws, cordless drills, planers and as mentioned, the mini wood lathe. There was a soldering iron, heat gun, paint mixer, brushes, power screwdriver, engineering hammer, sets of Sidchrome spanners, electrical wire, fuses, power switches, jigsaw, bench and hand grinder and a power saw to mention a few. So many wonderful tools, no longer useful to the new owner. Sad.

Top Five Violinists of All Time

Top Five Violinists of All TimeArguably one of the most loved musical instruments is the violin. The hypnotizing and calming music produced by this stringed instrument continues to draw some of the greatest talents from around the world. It’s not surprising that many want to learn how to play the violin. Sites like Violinio prove to be useful for those aspiring to become a violinist.

Through the years, we have seen and heard great violinists play amazing performances. Each of these violinists is unique in every way, so making this list of “the best of the best” has been quite a challenge.

  1. Niccolo Paganini

He played the violin so well that many say even the Devil went to see all his recitals. During the mid-1800’s Paganini travelled and performed across Europe, leaving audiences at awe with his every performance. He had an unparalleled dexterity and accuracy, and was capable of playing the most difficult pieces on a single string. His musical prowess was legendary that after his death, doctors studied his wrists and arms to see if anatomy has anything to do with why he was so good. Perhaps, the secret is that he practiced 10 hours every day.

  1. Arcangelo Corelli

Born during the mid-1600, Corelli was famous throughout the Western Europe. He tutored many great violinists. In fact, majority of the violin techniques you hear today trace back to Corelli. One thing peculiar about this Italian violinist is that the highest string in his music never went above D. While he could play higher notes, he just thought screeching sound wasn’t pleasing to the ears no matter how good it was played. Handel commented Corelli’s remarkable violin skills, particularly how he could run through scales, faster than anyone else, and strike perfect leaps from different octaves.

  1. Antonio Vivaldi

The closest rival of Corelli, Vivaldi was a virtuoso known for his unparalleled technical artistry. He was a great composer but his health condition prevented him from learning wind instrument. Vivaldi mastered how to play the violin and from then on made some of the best musical masterpieces of all time.

  1. Pablo de Sarasate

Like many other musical prodigies, Sarasate started playing the violin at a very young age. He was five when he first played the stringed instrument and eight when he held his first public concert. At that time, Sarasate was the youngest to win the Paris conservatory’s highest honor. He was instrumental in popularizing Spanish music.

  1. Fritz Kreisler

At the young age of seven, Kreisler was admitted into the Paris conservatory and went on to win the highest prize at the age of twelve. He toured the world and made performances in different countries. He was among the first musicians to achieve international fame through the gramophone. Kreisler’s musical prowess was notable and earned him praise from across the world.

Many of the best violinists started learning to play the violin at a very young age. For parents who want their children to learn violin, they can access information about the best violins for kids online. There are review sites, self-help websites and tutorials that you can access. Who knows, maybe your kid might be the next violin prodigy?

On surrounding yourself with good advice audio books

On surrounding yourself with good advice audio booksThis post is based on a true story. This story began to reach its climax as early as the middle of last year. At the time of writing this post and by the time you are reading it, the climax is still playing itself out. By the time you’ve posted your comment in reaction to what is written here or at least gone off to gather your own thoughts, a new story would have begun and the first chapter of this brand new story would be in its drafting stage. Take it with a pinch of salt at your own peril if you are one of those who need good solid advice in life or spread the word about this story which, happy to be saying it, does have a good ending.

Titles can be misleading  

The Woodworking Tools Lab could easily be converted into a good advice audio book. In hindsight, the website’s title could be a bit misleading for those who are not close or attentive readers of note. Nevertheless, it talks about sourcing reliable wood routers for all domestic and artistic wood manufacturing. It could very well be dispersing creative and inspirational ideas on what to make next. But by now, we believe that you’ve grasped the point we’re trying to make here.

On surrounding yourself with good advice audio booksWhere good advice audio books are concerned (here we don’t have the titles to hand, only names) we’d like to recommend some themes for you to help get your new year off to a good start. Things being the way they are on a universal scale, we think this will be essential listening material for the weeks and months ahead. It also ties in nicely with the true story we mentioned at the beginning.

The audio books we’re recommending for you today

For starters, get hold of Suze Orman’s titles, anything recorded by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter (of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame) and biographical and anecdotal audio books on the legendary Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, the Apple innovator, Steve Jobs, and our very own Sir Richard Branson. These are all great must-have titles on how to plan and manage your finances, create a great source of income for yourself in the future and inspirational and motivational stories on what it takes to be your own boss.

Do this before you are left stranded like this middle-aged gentleman was. For many years, he spent his life working in a ‘secure’ job as an insurance clerk until one day the multinational company to which he had devoted most of his life to, had declared him redundant. Fortunately, he made a start on changing his career path but unfortunately he had a history of not being able to manage his financial affairs and, until recently, had nothing to speak of in his pockets.

His new story began with sobering advice from his elderly parents. Their opening lines to him were highlighted by the question; what will you do when we are no longer here to care for you.

The importance of keeping self-help audio books handy

The importance of keeping self-help audio books handyBecause of the fast pace of our modern lifestyles, there’s just so much for us to learn. In fact, there is just too much to take in via the conventional method of reading printed material, whether its magazines or soft-covered two to three hundred word tomes which offer inspiration along with guidance and ideas on how to do things for ourselves. The fast-paced lifestyle includes a very long day at work. With much to learn still, most of us are just too tired to concentrate or focus on our essential reading to help make us do things better or learn new tips and tricks as the online cliché goes.

On being proactive while listening to inspirational stories

While you’re immersing yourself with inspirational stories on how other people managed to transform themselves from grossly obese to magnificently toned and wholesomely healthy creatures, look into http://garagegymlife.com/best-power-rack-reviews/ on how you could start setting up your own home gym in the meantime without having to wait in line at the local gym or make up your mind at your sports retailer on what to buy for basic gym work.

Because we have so very little time or are too tired to read at night, listening to self-help audio books is definitely the way to go. Yes, it does seem as though we are heavily promoting these alternatives, but if you allow yourself just a little time to catch up on some of our previous posts, you’ll soon understand where we’re coming from.

In leaving you with suggestions on how to gain the most from your self-help audios, let’s return to the gym analogy. The lifestyles that we lead also leaves us very little time to practice good health. Try this for good measure. Say now you’re a football fan. Instead of listening to the tedious commentary on the live match, turn the TV’s volume off.

Multitasking with audio books  

While watching your favorite team in action, you could listen to those inspirational stories we hinted at earlier. This same principle can be applied in other regular areas of your life. While raking up the leaves in the yard or clearing up the muck that the last storm left in your garden, listen to an audio file on how to start your own organic garden. Sometime in the future, you’re going to need to do this anyway.

Staying on the theme of good living and healthy lifestyles by way of our musings on the value of self-help audio books, also make a note to look for discussion tapes on healthy eating plans. See how nicely all these ideas fit together? We’re going to close off with our most important suggestion for making effective use of lifestyle-improving audio files.

This comes at just the right time for you during your busy schedule. You’re listening to something related to your job or career. At your peak, listen to your audio book while driving or travelling on the train to work in the morning.

The importance of keeping self-help audio books handy

Music as therapy for preterm babies

lullaby-1048483_960_720It is common knowledge that babies love lullabies. But not many know that lullaby has been used to keep preterm babies well and alive. Music has been proven as a vital part in helping sustain prematurely born babies who have difficulty in breathing and eating.  While there have been several technological advances and neonatal survival kits present, music is a simple by effective way to help the babies recover, in a physical and dramatic way.

Music therapy is a way to help slow down the heart rate of the babies and help them sleep and feed better. The enhancement brought about by the music makes the babies gain more weight speeding up their recovery.

A study done by the American Academy of Pediatric Journal on the music genre that gives the most promising effect revealed that live music designed therapeutically  as well as lullabies preferred by parents and sung personally have a greater influence on the respiratory and heart rates. Further, the study also revealed that feeding behaviors were improved considerably. The premature babies studied also showed longer periods of quiet alertness.

Further studies done on the effect of the music on preterm babies showed that recovery was quickened and the babies left hospital sooner. Soothing music helps babies adapt to their new environment in a better way making the music an effective medicine for them.

Parents are trained to sing lullabies to their babies with the help of professional music therapists and the effect produced in very promising. Music whether it is loud or soothing helps to keep our moods balanced well. For instance, while driving most people hear music via either radio or CD player. While driving at night, music helps to keep you awake. Having proper lighting, especially LED lights like those at LEDLIGHTSPLANET help to increase visibility and drive safely.

Babies in general love lullabies but this liking has a deeper effect than what has been revealed. The lullabies actually play a key role in the complete healing of the babies. For babies born with heart defects music sung by music therapists helped heal the condition and calmed the breathing of the babies. Lullabies left to echo in the neonatal intensive care region leave behind lasting effects on the babies even after they are discharged from the hospital care.

Many music forms have been used on the preterm babies including music that replicated womb noises, capella singing without any instruments or just instrumental music. Irrespective of the music the infants were exposed to, the music elicited positive effect in terms of pain response.

Some of the important effects recorded by exposure to the above music types include reduced pulse rate, rapid recovery physically and increase in circulatory oxygen levels. The excited state was also more reduced with the music exposure. The most significant effect however remains the rapid reduction in pain response and improved sucking.

Music however required to be played for a short span of less than 15 minutes for a session to prevent the infants from being subject to a sensory overload. Weight gain was also an important result of music exposure. A heightened metabolism was brought about by the music stimulation leading to better weight gain.

Audio books on our table that may inspire you this winter

Audio books on our table that may inspire you this winterToday’s post is not just about audio tape recommendations for the next few months. It is also about the value of time. It does not tell readers how to manage their time in the best possible way or what to do with their time. It simply has some thoughts on time and has a soft spot for those who are, indeed, pressed for time, and thus motivates making more use of audio books.

Doing that it shows off what’s sitting on our table right now. The hint has been given. Not only are these audio files based on timeless classics, they’re also deeply inspirational and should motivate better use of time for those who decide to privilege themselves with these recommendations.

Motivational talks from famous people

We even have a file handy on http://topgunsafe.com/ to which we can return to whenever time allows this. The information on safes for guns is pretty intense and extensive and requires us to apply our minds fully before making a final choice. Now, before you have any preconceived misconceptions about us, we’d like to point out that we are not even close to being Eurocentric. Rather, we are pretty proud of our heritage here and, in spite of our own reservations about the great man, we are building a library of sorts on former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

We had to wonder that surely this old man would have solved the unpredictable problem of terrorism across our island and the continent. Nevertheless, the tapes are more motivational than anything else on self-defense and using firearms to protect oneself with. A new movie with Michael Fassbinder in the starring role has caught our attention. It’s a biographical response to the late founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs.

Sobering thoughts on evil

Audio books on our table that may inspire you this winter

Now, it does not have to be about Jobs or Churchill, it could be about anyone other than Bush, Bin Laden or Trump, but we find that listening to bio-graphs are both motivational and inspiring. There’s always an element of modesty among great men and women, leaving us mortals with the belief that if they could achieve great things then so can we. Let’s close the post with another pleasurable angle.

It’s still winter here, so in the seasonal scheme of things we’ve decided to travel all the way up to Moscow, Russia, one of the coldest cities around. But our journey begins in London, crosses the channel over to Paris and makes a few detours through Vienna and Berlin before crossing the border into Russia. Before arriving in Moscow, we simply have to see St Petersburg first. While being inspired by others, it’s also important to gather sobering thoughts on evil.

To this end, we’re making an effort to listen to recordings of the life and times of Adolf Hitler during our journeys through A Tale of Two Cities, War and Peace and Dr Zhivago.

How to learn a foreign language quickly

How to learn a foreign language quicklyWhile as children we are able to grasp the nuances of language easily and can even learn multiple languages, as we age, it is a difficult feat to accomplish. But this need not be a deterrent for you to learn a new language. Here are some important tips we have come up with, which help you to speak the language you wish to easily and quickly. You can easily speak like a native and gain fluency in just a couple of months.

The way you speak a language depends on the confidence level you gain in the classes. Sometimes even after six months of learning a language, you may feel hesitant to even wish a person good morning in that language.

The proper approach to learning a language helps a great deal in mastering it quickly. One of our members had suffered a similar plight, while trying to learn Spanish. He is into remodelling and wanted to work in an establishment that required the workers to speak in Spanish. He used this approach and learned the language easily, while earlier he was struggling to keep up. By the way, he is a wizard in remodelling. He attributes his success to his tools, especially his splendid reciprocating saw.

While you are wondering whether there is some secret behind this transformation like perhaps a gene for language learning, it is actually  a few tricks and tools that help you fast track your language learning.

Learning the appropriate words in the right method

The best way is to learn as many new words as possible. This is not easy for many as they think that their memory is not good. But to speak a language fluently, you need not know all the words in that language. In fact, it is not possible to know all the words in your native language too.

When you learn more words, you can comprehend the language more easily. In English language, you need to know just 300 words to cover over 60 percent of all material that is in written form. The member we mentioned before used this technique and it was easier for him as he first learnt all the words related to his work.

He is passionate about his work and can easily create some of the finest remodelling works. He recommends using the special saw he bought at JasonSawReviews for easy completion of all the DIY jobs one does at home. To comprehend words better, you can use some of the latest mobile language learning apps,  or use flash cards, which are the simplest form that help you learn fast.

Memorize Cognates

If you need to have a head start in the language you want to learn, knowing cognates is the best way. These are termed as true friends of all words that you identify belonging to the language you speak that have the same meaning. Romance languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French and others have many cognates with English. Words like nation, action, solutions, extinction, communication and tradition are spelled similarly in French and the pronunciation can be mastered easily. If you change the -tion suffix to -cion it becomes Spanish. For Portuguese, you need to change it to- cao.

Our Pick of Best Audiobooks for Children

person-987557_960_720The advantages of audiobooks for educating children cannot be belittled. Audiobooks help children comprehend reading and boost their confidence. You can see a marked change in the way your child does his/her schoolwork. It is possible to improve grades with the audio books, especially for dyslexic students.

By adding audiobooks as part of the comprehensive learning method, you can find your kids’ learning potential increasing manifold.  Children with learning issues can find the audio books of great value. Here is our list of best audiobooks from which you can choose the right one for you child.

The Gruffalo and Friends Boxed Set

This Julia Donaldson book set has The Smartest Giant, The Gruffalo and The Room on the Broom stories. Josie Laurence and Imelda Staunton are a few notable actors among others giving their voice for the book.


This popular Roald Dahl book, the stage version of which is still a big rage in the West End, is a great story for your young child to hear. The story deals with a young girl who is bestowed with great magical powers.

This audio book has Kate Winslet lending her voice. Teaching children to do little chores around the house from a young age instils a sense of responsibility early on. For older children, some of the DIY repairs around the house can be taught. With tools such as those at http://oscillatingtoolsdepot.com/, which are to be handled by adults only, DIY repairs have become easier now.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

This L Frank Baum creation is a classic American novel that takes your child through a fantasy tale of flying monkeys, witches, and magical shoes. This book read by Bill Nighy is very entertaining and is guaranteed to keep your child spellbound through the entire reading.

Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase

This book by Jonathan Stroud has Lucy Carlyle the protagonist of the story ending up in a scaring haunted house. This is the first part of a series apt for children aged 10 years and over.


This audiobook by Oliver Jeffers is about Floyd whose kite is stuck on a tree first and this is followed by a long line of things that also are stuck, as he tries to free the kite. From a ladder and kitchen sink to a whale the list extends on.

With voice over by Terence Stamp, this is a very engaging book, which kids are sure to love. The story has both routine events that happen around the house and unbelievable happenings, which set the tone of the story. Adults who putter around the house doing DIY job and land in trouble are sure to relate to this story. As far as DIY projects are, involved Black Decker BD200MB is a great tool to have.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel

This book is part of the award winning book series by Jeff Kinney. In this book, perfect for children 8 years of age and above, Greg tries to land a date for his school dance.

Horrid Henry’s Nightmare

Francesca Simon’s book is part of her series on naughty boy Henry. Miranda Richards reads this book, which is for little kids aged five and over.

How Music Helps You at Home

mouse-583579_960_720After a long, arduous week of hard work at the office, on the factory floor or in the shop, most folks welcome Friday evenings and the rest of the weekend.

Because it a requirement of their job and markets demand this, many other folks have to work over weekends, so do not experience first-hand the joys of being at home all weekend.

But if fair labor practices are in place, they do, at least, get one other day off during the week, usually a day that is convenient to them (but sometimes also at the behest of their employers).

Rarely a moment to himself

And while some folks are off, particularly over weekends, they don’t have much time to themselves to relax, recuperate and enjoy free time. They don’t see much on the horizon in terms of more ‘me’ time. For instance, the master head chef, recently divorced, on his rare day off, has to charm and entertain his children for the few hours that they are in his legal custody. While he treasures his time with them, the few spare moments he has to himself rarely lasts.

Whether for relaxation or entertainment (or both) he may just quietly lie down on his bed, turn his remote to his favorite show on the flat-screen or favorite jazz tracks. But, alas, this moment of bliss barely lasts longer than a few minutes because, exhausted from all the long hours of hard and stressful labor, the master chef quickly falls asleep. Most other less extraordinary folks get away with this because, inventively, costly help is also at hand for them. For doing the household chores that many folks still hate, they hire help.

Listen to music while you do your chores

But, this is not always the best solution to ensuring that their homes truly sparkle. Rarely does anyone take care of other’s possessions as if they were their own. Also, regular household help costs money which could have been used elsewhere. So, the best solution is to do the jobs you hate yourself. A number of earlier posts on our website has expounded on the psychological and physiological benefits of listening to music, particularly while working.

So, why not add your favorite music to the mix while doing your household chores? In accordance with the different cleaning tasks, you can vary the pace every other hour, changing the disk whenever necessary. For instance, you could listen to some of your most lively and loudest favorites while doing window cleaning or cleaning the floors. Or you could listen to something more soothing while dusting your ornaments in your living room. Remember, though, to make use of more effective cleaning tools such as those showcased on this website to get those hard to reach areas clean.

The master chef may not have the luxury of time that most of us do but one thing we can be sure of is that he will be listening to something inspirational while he is designing a new menu for his loyal patrons.