Cycling 2000 Miles of Rail Trails from Katy to Plymouth

These entries were submitted via Email to the Undomesticated Cyclist blog during the Summer of 2021.

A Strange Feeling

I feel caught off guard, but I can’t really say why. It’s like I’ve been bluffing about the idea of riding across the country for so long, and then my bluff got called. It’s a feeling of disequilibrium. I really don’t know what this is going to feel like two weeks in. You know I don’t even have to do this – my life at home is more than comfortable. Why am I here on this plane?

I remember feeling undomesticated like this before. At age 24, I left California and drove East to a new job in Westchester County. Like now, I hadn’t a clue what it would be like, and my entire hone was in my car. It turns out the drive was the best part. Westchester and I never came to any kind of understanding, and six months later, I was a resident of Oregon.

I think this trip will go better, especially since I do return home at the end. The bike riding is not the really big deal about this trip. The big deal is living for a month with only the things I carry in these bags attached to the bike and not submitting to indoor accommodations every night.

Day 1: Kansas City Airport to Pleasant Hill, MO

Sunday, August 8, 2021, 54 miles (87 km) – Total so far: 57 miles (92 km)

You can’t make this stuff up. After a lovely send-off and goodbye kiss at the airport, my flight was delayed. While waiting, I had the good luck to see my bike getting loaded on the plane.

Back at the airport, there is more delay. I have my bike in hand at 1 am, and I drag it off to a corner to start reassembling. By 2 am I’m ready to roll, tires pumped back up, lights blinking. It is 80 degrees outside, and the rain is just arriving. The roads are deserted.

It’s a three-mile ride to the hotel. After two miles, the handling gets really soft, and there is a hissing sound. Then the rain finally arrives in great earnest glops. It is 80 degrees, and there I am, changing a tube in the dark and rain.

I rolled my bike through the lobby at 2:40 am, somewhat soaked. The night manager looks up but doesn’t say anything. So much for an early start tomorrow. But I have my bike, and I’m free to go in the morning.

Day 2: Pleasant Hill to Windsor, MO

Monday August 9, 2021, 52 miles (84 km) – Total so far: 109 miles (175 km)

The Rock Island trailhead was just a couple of miles from the campground. It was a straight run to Windsor through farm country. The track is lined with trees giving some shade as the temperature pushed up to 95 in the afternoon. In the morning, I ran into these guys from Missouri State Parks. Their job was to do a “trail run” with their truck every Monday to clear downed branches and maintain gates. Their work meant the entire trail was in perfect condition.

Windsor is in Amish country. As I lay on my sleeping bag hours after dark, I could still hear the clip-clopping of horse-drawn carts going back and forth along the lane in front of Katy-Rock Junction camping where I stayed. Nice place for an overnight stay.

I felt stronger at the end of the day than I did yesterday. I’m most tired in my arms from supporting my body while riding. The heat just wraps around you. The overnight low was 81.

Day 5: Tebbetts to Marthasville, MO

Thursday, August 12, 2021, 54 miles (87 km) – Total so far: 289 miles (465 km)

Tebbetts is one of many towns on the Katy Trail where there were just a handful of buildings left in the station area, and those were all shut except for the post office, open 2 hours a day. The Turner shelter stands out because of its big sign in front and also because it comes from a big heart, Mrs. Leone Turner, who donated the building for use by youth groups and trail users. The guest log goes back 20 years. I had the whole place to myself. It was a very welcome refuge from the heat. $5 per person per night.

There was a restaurant across the street located in the old bank building.  There seemed to be another riverfront town every 10 miles or so. Each one had an old bank, long gone.

Day 13: Cincinnati to Morrow, OH

Friday, August 20, 2021, 56 miles (90 km) – Total so far: 771 miles (1,241 km)

It was a 15-mile ride from my hosts’ home through suburban towns that gradually transitioned to inner-city neighborhoods. Once across the vast rail yard that bisects the city I jumped on a wide bike lane the led straight downtown.

The Ohio to Erie trail starts at Cincinnati’s beautiful front porch park along the Ohio River. I saw a pair of cyclists just finishing a ride from Cleveland. It was a little tricky at the start to get from the Ohio River trail to the Little Miami trail, but once there, I had left crazy world and will be immersed in fantasy bike trail land for the next 5 days. Like the Katy Trail, the separation from road traffic is almost total. Unlike Katy Trail, the Ohio to Erie is paved, and there are lots of people on it. I passed half a dozen eateries on my way to Morrow. I finished at Morgan’s, a canoe outfitter that offers camping on the banks of the very clean and beautiful Little Miami River.

Day 20: Westfield to North Tonawanda, NY

Friday August 27, 2021, 80 miles (129 km) – Total so far: 1,398 miles (2,250 km)

This was probably the last long, tough day of my trip. It’s warm and humid, and there was a headwind that kept me down in the drops for much of the day. And a lot of miles to cover. I could have broken these two days into three to have less distance to travel, but there isn’t enough attraction here to spend extra time.

There are three routes that trace the lake shore: I-90, US 20, and state route 5. I took the latter because it was the smallest, but by mid-day, it was two lanes in each direction. Fortunately, there was a generous shoulder the whole way so everyone could pass me with lots of space.

The one highlight was the beaches: Evangola State Park after second breakfast and Woodlawn Beach State Park after lunch. The water was perfect and clear, and the warm sand invited indolence.

And then I rode through Buffalo. They are really trying to create bike routes to traverse the city, but there were a bunch of puzzling detours due to construction.

I finished my day at the Royal Motel and Campground, which was full of huge RVs and one tent camper, and me. It wasn’t pleasant or unpleasant and certainly not royal, but at least I had a corner site by myself for sleeping outdoors in the clean air. That lasted until about 12:30 am when the manager sold my site to a second tent camper. They had their car headlights shining on my sleeping spot until they had their tent set up. I left the next morning before my site-mate, or anyone else in the place woke up.

Day 24: DeWitt to Marcy, NY

Tuesday August 31, 2021, 51 miles (82 km) – Total so far: 1,628 miles (2,620 km)

I got a late start. The skin rash seemed better already, but I went out in the morning to get some antihistamines, and I stayed at the EconoLodge until check-out time to give them a chance to start taking effect.

On the trail again, I was thinking about the mosquitoes. The Erie Canal was built in 3 phases. The original 1820 canal was widened around 1850, then in the 1920s it was replaced by the Erie Barge canal, which was much wider and deeper and followed a different path over much of the route. The trail often follows the historic canalway, and this has become bracken water or wetland forest in places.

My thought was that this was good habitat for mosquitoes. Later in the day, the path rejoined the new barge canal, and I was hoping there would be fewer mosquitoes here.

I passed through Rome and visited Fort Stanwix, originally built in 1754 to defend the colony in the French and Indian war. It was rebuilt from archeological findings in 1976. This national monument is really well done.

I landed for the night at the Lock 20 camping area for cyclists and boaters at Marcy. There was no potable water, but a boater had some extra water to share with me. The mosquitoes were bad again, shredding my theory about the big canal being a poor breeding ground. I slept in my tent on the deck of a covered pavilion which seemed to be a little less infested than the open grassy areas.

Last Day: Medway to Plymouth, MA

Monday September 6, 2021, 61 miles (98 km) – Total so far: 1,971 miles (3,172 km)

This was a beautiful day and a worthy bike ride to finish my big outing. Overnight showers gave way to a sunny morning with a few puffy clouds drifting by.

After saying goodbye to family in Medway, I continued my tour of suburban Massachusetts roads, heading southeast.

When I was a kid, we used to have a tattered atlas of local roads floating around in the back seat of both family cars. This wasn’t just for navigating the last mile – the detailed atlas was needed for the whole trip. Roads in Massachusetts don’t go straight, and they often don’t last more than a mile before ending in a confusing Y or T junction or just changing the name without reason. Even-numbered state roads seem to start and end in the middle and can’t be trusted to lead you where you want to go.

Now, of course, you just enter the address in google maps, and it figures out several optimized routes you can choose from. My day consisted of blindly following a sequence of fifty turn directions. Every town has its own Maple, Church, Center, and Main Streets. Every town also has its own Donut Shop, making this a nearly perfect place to ride a bike. The roads led through oak forests dotted with small farms, continuously lined with suburban homes large and small and almost all beautifully maintained, in contrast to the midwest states I rode through three weeks ago.

In the afternoon, the oak forests gave way to cranberry bogs and pine barrens. This is a unique ecosystem in coastal southeast Massachusetts. I rode through Myles Standish State Forest, another of the most beautiful places. Dad says we camped here when I was a kid, but I don’t remember it specifically.

Google maps wasn’t entirely clear on how to get through Myles Standish State Forest and kept wanting me to ride down a scrubby track into the Pitch Pine forest. There were a few extra miles to find a meandering route through the park. Once through, five more miles brought me to Dad’s home and the end of the ride.


Monday, September 13, 2021

Today marks one week since I rolled up to my family’s house in Plymouth. Today is the day I finally dunked my body into the Atlantic at Race Point Beach on Cape Cod. Now I have swum off both coasts in the same summer.

So how was this bike tour? Just like how I couldn’t give a reason why it was appealing for me to do it at the beginning, now I can’t think of a way to sum it up. It was great and bad at times. It was too long and too short. I was ready to finish a week ago. I wish I could ride some more.

Ok, maybe talk about some details. For me, a 50-mile ride is a long ride. I have done a few of these as day trips, usually with my kid, who is a big road cyclist. On this tour, I averaged over 60 miles a day every day for a month. It wasn’t hard because this is all I did from breakfast to dinner and sometimes after, seven days a week. My body felt tired after riding 300 miles in four days, and I felt rested and fresh after riding just 130 miles in the previous three days.

The really big aspect of this tour was not all the miles or the time spent on the bike. It was the near-complete separation from my normal life. I like my normal life, so it’s kind of goofy to separate from it, but it did ease most of the usual responsibilities. These were replaced by more primal things like where am I going to sleep tonight, and what can I find to eat. 6 hours of cycling burns 3000-4000 calories. I ate 4-5 meals a day.

Physically my body did fine. The first week was the hardest, and I felt the most discomfort on day 2 in my arms. My lower back threatened to spasm into pain that week but it fell in line with some gentle stretches and a little cognitive override to hold my pelvis on the correct orientation while pedaling. By week 3, it was no longer any concern at all. One knee thought about aching on the medial side, which seemed normal because I was not doing my usual knee routine at the gym that keeps this pain away. The skin rash that attacked me in Syracuse was easily diagnosed from the symptoms alone after a few days: poison ivy on arms and stomach. It’s a mystery how I was exposed, and I’m assuming it was an airborne source that stuck to my wet shirt and sun sleeves and was held there all day until I washed my clothes. It’s almost completely gone now.

How about the route? The long bike trails were great, even the Erie Canalway with 150 miles of mosquitoes in the middle. I liked all those miles of not having to share a road with cars and trucks.

What was the best state? Massachusetts. Such beautiful scenery and the cars are more savvy on how to be cool while passing a bike. Least favorite state? Southern Illinois. The only reason to be there on a bike is to ride to somewhere better.

Any epiphanies? Sure. I just don’t know what they are. Would I do it again? Not sure about that. The summertime road life was fun for a whole month but it was too long to be away from my wife and the kids.

So that’s it. It was an experience I’ll remember and appreciate, even if I can’t say why.

5 Reasons to Build Your Own PC

For some buying a ready-made computer is an easy route, but have you considered building your computer from scratch? Many people are doing it today, and it comes with a lot of perks. You can customize your PC just as you like it and have it running in no time. 

Here are five reasons why we think building your PC is a smart choice.

1. It is Cost Efficient

If you are building from scratch, you will be spending less than what you would when getting a pre-built system. You can choose what parts you want to be included and work with your budget. Sometimes, it will cost less than 300 bucks to build a regular-use computer.

With this type of computer, you can do basic things like streaming videos, browsing the web, and sending emails.  For a gaming PC, you can also spend as little as between $300-$400 for an entry-level type. If you want a good 1080p display, you will be spending a little over $600, but it can still be cheaper than a pre-built system.

2. Access to Easier Upgrades

When building your own PC, it’s ideal for you to know all the parts in a PC and their functions. And with that knowledge, you can also easily upgrade your PC if you build it yourself. You know how the parts were installed and how to replace them. 

However, for a pre-built system, it’s likely that you’ll take much longer to get upgrade components, and you will need to pay more to have someone do the upgrade. The cost of upgrading a custom-built PC is cheaper.

3. You Have the Option to Get High-Quality Parts

Most people trust branded logos to deliver quality, but they don’t know that the pre-built systems do not always come with the highest quality parts. Oftentimes, PC manufacturers will use low-quality components like hard drives, power supplies, RAM, and other materials to build their computers. The reason they will use cheaper parts is so they can maximize profits. If you build your PC, you can choose to use only high-quality components for it.

4. You Can Customize Your PC

Building your PC gives you complete control over the design. You can select parts based on your preference and what you need your PC for. If you want a PC with high graphics for streaming videos or playing games, it will be your choice. You don’t need to buy a new computer; you can always change the components and swap parts from your existing PC. 

When you build your PC, you can decide to make custom decisions when choosing parts like memory controller, power supply, motherboard, monitor, graphics cards, and other components.

5. You Can Choose Your Operating System

You also have a choice to switch to a suitable operating system. Pre-built systems come with a specific operating system, and most times, it isn’t always the best one. Getting a pre-built system leaves you in the same boat with the everyday glitch issues, broken files, and other common complaints people make using that product.  

When you build your PC, you don’t have any limitations or restrictions when it comes to operating systems. You can’t be coerced into running a Windows 10. You can choose the operating system you feel most comfortable with and even try entirely new software.

10 Best Ways To Use Vacation To Prepare for the Next School Year

When exams are over, you can exhale and relax. After that, you need to spend time in useful ways to reset your mind and body.  If you do not, you will be playing catchup when school restarts and you will not feel prepared. 

We have collected 10 ideas that will help to tell you what to do on vacation.

1. Take a Vacation

The first thing you should do is plan two or three weeks of complete rest. Watch movies and TV shows, read at your pleasure – do the “useless” things you’ve been putting off for so long. You don’t have to go anywhere, you don’t have to do anything, you can get up and go to bed whenever you want – just enjoy it.

2. Travel

Winter is not only a vacation but also a new experience. If you do not know what to do on vacation, and finances do not allow you to go to other continents, it’s okay: a budget tour will do. Explore the sights, meet the locals, go to concerts. Your task is to get as many bright impressions as possible.

3. Spend Time in Nature

The best place to get out of the city is in winter. Anything is suitable: skating rink, mountains or various kinds of winter sports. You spent a semester behind the books – it’s time to go skiing and walk in the fresh air.

4. Communicate

Because of studies, there is almost no time for friends and relatives. On vacation, you can make up for this lack of communication. Spend a week with your parents, go on a trip or a trip to the countryside with friends, go on a date. A lot of free time and great weather will benefit you.

5. Take Time for Your Health

If you have a chronic illness, take care of it: take a therapeutic and prophylactic course, go to a sanatorium, go for a check-up.

If you are generally healthy, vacations are a good excuse to get into new healthy habits or to start exercising, such as jogging. Try to compensate for the lack of physical activity – a sedentary lifestyle, typical for students, is harmful to health.

6. Get a Professional Job

Find an internship, i.e. a temporary job with a company in your field. Many employees go on vacation in the summer: you can take their place for a couple of months. Usually, interns are paid little or no money at all. Nevertheless, this way you get experience in your specialty. It will be especially useful for those who have to study the last year. If you perform well on the internship, you may be hired permanently. Then you won’t have to look for jobs after graduation.

7. Earn Money

If a low-paying job for the sake of experience doesn’t suit you, go outside your field of study. For example as a waiter, a trainer, and so on.

8. Engage in Self Development.

To make the next semester more productive than the previous one, try new approaches to learning. Time-management books can help with this: try out some sort of to-do system. If it works, you will have more energy and free time in the new academic year.

Barbara Oakley’s book Think Like a Mathematician is especially helpful for students. She “teaches how to learn effectively.” Based on scientific facts, the author tells you how to memorize information quickly.

9. Learn New Things

At the end of the calculus, it’s time to do some self-education: you’ve already rested and recuperated. Think back to the skills you lacked during your studies.

Are there many sources in English for your major? Start reading them with a dictionary, fill in the gaps in grammar. Is there a program you actively use in your profession? Download it and watch the lessons on YouTube. Or if you want to become a developer, look through help with python and learn how to do it right. Constantly unable to take notes after the lecturer? Practice writing quickly and legibly. 

10. Get Back on Track

This tip is relevant to all students. If you are an owl and your sleep time shifts after the vacation, start fixing it two to three weeks before your study. That way you won’t oversleep and be late from day one.

The more of these points you accomplish over the vacations, the better. To save time, combine the ideas suggested above: go to an internship in another city, find a part-time job outdoors, arrange jogging with friends. Such a break will be both useful and memorable. Have a nice vacation!

Find Your Thrill and Chill with eSports

Competitive video gaming is a rapidly expanding global phenomenon with millions of followers and billions of dollars on the line. Casual gamers have become major stars on streaming platforms and live events, making seven-figure sums and receiving big corporate sponsorships.

Group Play Opportunities

In eSports, you can play as a group, or view others who are playing.  This goes for both traditional team games and also racing. There are numerous e-games to choose from, and they are not all limited to a few alternatives.

Soccer, Basketball, Racing, Pokemon, and TonyBet CA games will challenge you and provide entertainment. For long-term fans, years of experience will pay off well.

What Are eSports?

The realm of competitive, organized video gaming is referred to as eSports. In popular at-home games like Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Madden NFL, players from different leagues or teams compete against one another. Millions of fans watch and follow these gamers from all around the world, whether they attend live events or watch them on TV or online. Viewers may watch their favorite gamers play in real-time on streaming sites like Twitch, and this is generally where popular players establish their fan bases.

Who Plays eSports

Players in eSports, like conventional athletes, may earn a lot of money: Millions of dollars in prize money may be won in tournaments, which is usually shared between the players on the winning teams. That means the best players in the world may easily make seven figures in a year. Ticket sales for these contests help both teams and event organizers. That 2017 League of Legends tournament that was so popular? Ticket sales for the event totaled $5.5 million.

How Far Can eSports Enter Your Life?

More people are participating in e-games and virtual bet-related activities, especially in light of the covid 19 pandemic. As a result, online games have introduced substantial and novel ways for you to participate.

As an example, video games like FIFA, NBA 2K, Madden NFL, and MLB are played by a lot of people globally today. Players who are more comfortable with the notable successful virtual sports titles have the idea on this niche rather than others. The gamers can set the artificial intelligence’s difficulty very easy to very hard.

Virtual Sports on Mobile Phones

This is another example of a very pleasant and popular form of entertainment that we can observe nowadays. Any mobile device with an internet connection can simply access the entertainment. The only thing you have to do is use your mobile web browser to touch on one of the linked eSports links.

Then the graphical interface will adjust to the display’s dimensions, giving an app-like experience. Here you don’t want to download anything. The most exciting thing is that these web apps provide heightened security, which apps are difficult to provide.

 Virtual Sports Vs eSports

Virtual sports and eSports have a lot of standard features. There is one considerable difference that changes the two matches held in a digital environment.

As we know, both virtual sports and esports are technical video games. Virtual sports are games that you compete indirectly, where eSports you participate as a viewer.

In addition to that, esports are multiplayer video games played by teams or single people who compete against one another to accomplish various in-game targets. In the case of esports, the odds work as same as the traditional sports since every team involves actual people.

9 Things to Know Before Borrowing Money

A lot of people think borrowing money is a sign of weakness, but it can actually be an act of strength. Borrowing money from the right money lender Singapore with the right terms at the right time can help you achieve your goals faster than if you had saved up all that money yourself. Borrowers often find themselves in this situation because they don’t have enough liquid cash on hand to pay for certain expenses or pay off their debt.

If you’re considering borrowing some money, here are 9 things to know before doing so:

Know your credit score

Check your credit score. This is known to be one of the most important steps to take before borrowing money because it will indicate how much cash you can borrow and from whom.

Non-traditional lenders might offer better rates for borrowers with below-average credit scores who might not qualify for a loan through a traditional lender. Lenders like Western Sky, for instance, offer loans that don’t require a credit check–and they’re available to people who other lenders have turned down.

You should also know if you’re eligible to be a guarantor of a loan. This is when someone agrees to take on responsibility for a loan if the borrower defaults. For instance, if you co-sign for someone else’s payday loan, you’ll be held responsible if they don’t pay.

Only borrow what you can afford.

Sometimes, borrowing too much money at once can come back to haunt you in unexpected ways–especially when there are recurring fees and interest rates that keep adding up every month.

Before taking out a car title loan or any other kind of loan, ask yourself: “Is this reasonable?” If not, it’s probably best to start saving or wait until you have enough money to cover your expenses without having to resort to high-interest loans.

Understand the interest rates and fees

When you borrow money, it’s important to understand the interest rates and fees associated with your loan.

Personal loans, for instance, typically come with an APR of 16 to 24%. Some credit cards carry APR rates as high as 29% or more. If you’re not sure what the terms are for your loan, find out before you sign on the dotted line.

There are also late payment penalties, which can include a fee of up to $25 or more. You might want to avoid paying this fee by setting up automatic payments every month through your checking account or PayPal.

Consider what you’re borrowing the money for

It would be ideal if you considered what you’re borrowing the money for before applying for a loan. Some people borrow money to pay off their bills, and others borrow money so they can travel and go on vacation. But some people borrow money so they can do something nice for somebody else. Doing this can feel like an act of love and kindness, and it might provide a sense of peace and happiness too.

Consider how much you can repay monthly.

The amount of money you can repay depends on your income. For example, if you have a good job, you might be able to afford to repay up to $1,000 a month. If you’re new in the workforce and don’t have a high-paying job yet, then going for a smaller loan that will be an easier repayment each month–say, $200 or so–makes sense.

You’ll also want to take into account how much money you have coming in each month after taxes are taken out. This figure is called net pay. It’s the amount of cash left over after paying taxes and other deductions from your paycheck.

If this number isn’t very high, it might not be wise to take out a large payday loan or cash advance because you might not be able to repay it when your next paycheck arrives.

Be wary of predatory lenders.

Some people get taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies who prey on their desperation and willingness to pay whatever price just so they can meet their financial obligations.

Some companies insist that borrowers have a job or can prove they have enough income coming in before they take out payday loans–even if the borrower is receiving disability benefits. If this happens to you, it’s best not to borrow money from these lenders because many reputable lenders don’t do this.

Ensure to read all the fine print before signing anything.

You should always make sure to read all of the fine print before signing anything. Many people think they understand what they’re getting into when they sign an agreement but later find out that they didn’t fully understand all of the terms and conditions.

It’s easy for lenders to hide sneaky fees in the fine print, like being charged excessive late fees if you do happen to be late on your payment date.

Beware of predatory lenders who might say things like “We’ll do anything so you can have some money” or “Just sign here, and everything will be okay.” These are red flags that show how these companies are trying to trick people into borrowing more than they realize.

Look for lenders who will offer flexible repayment options.

Some people might think they can only get a loan with a fixed repayment period, but some lenders will offer flexible repayment options. You might want to look for these lenders so you can have the flexibility of paying your money back over time rather than in one lump sum.

This can be helpful when you’re trying to repay debt with loans that have short-term obligations–for example, if you have a mortgage or car loan that needs to be repaid quickly. This gives you the option of paying small monthly installments without incurring penalties for late payments.

Avoid taking out multiple loans at once

You should avoid taking on too many loans simultaneously because this can make it difficult to manage all your payments and still make ends meet. If you need to take out a loan, wait until your existing loans have been paid off before taking on another one.

5 Downsides of Solar Energy

Green energy activists, manufacturers, and even the government often shed light on the amazing benefits of solar energy. This makes people assume that the energy source is perfect. But that isn’t true. In fact, it may surprise you to know that utilizing solar energy in homes has a couple of disadvantages. In this article, we are going to be exploring a few of them.

While electricity comparison companies have helped many households find providers that offer power at an affordable price, many homeowners aren’t satisfied, as they still spend thousands of dollars yearly on electricity. This is likely why more people are leaning towards solar energy.

Several reports have shown that many homeowners in Australia are embracing solar energy to cut down their electricity bills.

Negative Impact on the Environment

Solar energy is clean and renewable, but it isn’t perfect. As evident in this study, solar energy fields can take up landmass that could have been used for agricultural activities.

Even more, they affect the plant and animal species in the area where they are present.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has pointed out that large solar farms raise concerns about habitat loss and land degradation. Granted, solar energy is a lot less harmful than many non-renewable energy sources, but it can still harm the environment – for example, when solar panels aren’t disposed of properly.


The cost of installing solar panels is ever-rising. One report shows that the initial cost of solar panel installation can generate 8kw is around $30,000.

Note that the installment cost covers everything from the cost of panels and inverters to wiring, labor, solar charge controllers, and repairs.


Many residential properties have enough space to accommodate the number of solar panels needed to address their electrical needs.

The same cannot be said of large apartment complexes and office buildings. These buildings just don’t have enough space on their roof for the number of panels needed to power them. Adding to the problem is the high amount of energy that many homes require.  

Many commercial buildings have to utilize electricity comparison companies to find the best energy deals and ultimately save on costs, as they don’t have enough room to install the number of panels, inverters, and batteries they need.

Poor Energy Conversion

Many experts agree that solar panels aren’t very energy efficient.

Multiple studies have supported the claim of these experts. This study, for example, shows that the best panels on the market are only 23% effective.

This means that they can only transform 23% of the energy from the sun to electricity.


The sun’s unpredictability is one of the main downsides of solar energy.  

As you likely know, sunlight production is linked to factors like time of day, location, and season. This means that people who live in northern latitudes will be at a disadvantage, while inhabitants of latitudes closer to the equator will be at an advantage, as their region is sunnier.

Final note

These are just a handful of the cons associated with solar energy. However, if you live in a region where there is a lot of sunlight, it may be worthwhile to indeed upgrade to solar energy to reduce your energy bill.

And, if your location isn’t the most favorable for solar energy, you can still save money by using an electricity comparison company to find an affordable and reliable energy provider.

Top Advanced Solutions to Monitor and Improve Your Sleeping Patterns

Around the world, people are suffering from sleep deprivation. Studies show that about 1 out of 3 people suffer from chronic insomnia, and up to 50% of all adults experience occasional sleeplessness. Sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being. The quality of your sleep affects your concentration, mood, weight, and more. The right tools can help you monitor the quality of your sleep while also providing solutions to improve it.

1. How to monitor your sleeping patterns 

One of the most convenient ways to monitor your sleeping patterns is by wearing a sleep-tracking device around your wrist or around your neck. These devices, one of which is Whoop, are available at many different price points, each with its own features and accessories. Some sleep monitors only track the duration of deep sleep, while others also track REM sleep periods. Heart rate tracking is another useful feature that can be found in some models. Another way to monitor your sleeping patterns is by using a smartphone app such as Sleep Cycle, which monitors your movements as you sleep and wakes you up during the lightest phase of your sleep cycle, so you feel more refreshed in the morning – plus it’s free. You can also search for sleep apps that offer features like soundscapes to help you fall asleep faster. Finally, there are tests that measure electrical activity in the brain and muscles to determine whether you have been getting enough quality sleep during the night. The test, called an actigraph, is typically performed in a sleep lab, and results are recorded over several nights. The report you receive will indicate whether your brain activity is optimal for deep or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, along with information about the quality of your sleep.

2. The importance of sleep 

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poor sleep could be responsible for at least 50,000 deaths each year. Sleep is a time when your body restores itself and strengthens your immunity against illness and disease. A chronic lack of sleep will weaken your immune system, which doesn’t help if you have allergies or any other medical condition that requires you to stay well-rested in order to avoid relapses. One key factor in this is an insufficient amount of sleep can unleash chemicals called cytokines on the body which markedly lower the ability of killer cells (called natural killers) to kill invading invaders, which leaves more opportunities available for diseases like pneumonia or flu to take hold. If you don’t get enough sleep, it will increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke.

3. Improve the quality of your sleeping patterns 

One of the most common mistakes people make is sleeping in a room that’s too warm. A cool bedroom can help you fall and stay asleep. Other factors to consider: take care of your sleep schedule and don’t make compromises about it unless absolutely necessary. Sleep experts from Sleep Advisor suggest avoiding smartphones, tablets or other devices within an hour of going to bed.

Blue light emitted from these screens can interfere with a good night’s rest. Keep your bedroom quiet and dark for optimal sleep, so consider using earplugs if you’re a light sleeper. Lastly, don’t drink alcohol within four hours of bedtime, as it can interfere with the quality of sleep.

Sleeping is essential to physical and mental well-being. The quality of your sleep affects your concentration, mood, weight, and more. The right tools can help you monitor the quality of your sleep while also providing solutions to improve it.

6 Best Edtech Startups in the USA

Thanks to today’s technological advancements, everyone who wants to learn a skill or acquire new knowledge and expertise in any field they wish can do so in the comfort of their own homes. Gone are the days that you must file sabbaticals or longer leaves to pursue your studies. Many people have been learning many different skills and knowledge that they use in their careers or gain more sources of income using the skills they learned online.

Many people have seen the potential of these edtech startups in transforming the face of education around the world. Thus, many are using them for their educational benefit. Here are the six best edtech startups in the USA, as acknowledged by many people.

Course Hero

It is an online learning hub that is very useful for many college students because they will come out more prepared than ever, thanks to the wide range of online courses and test preparation programs available. What makes them so unique is that they offer a lot of study materials for different subjects and courses, from the small campuses in your state all the way to the top universities, such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard.


It is an online platform allowing users to learn from the best experts online. They offer online classes in different categories that users will love. Through Masterclass, they can learn television writing from Shonda Rhimes, cooking from Gordon Ramsay, the basics of photography from Annie Leibovitz, and so much more. With their years of experience, learning the basics from the experts has never been so insightful.

Teachers Pay Teachers

Dubbed as the “Etsy of education,” this is an online marketplace where teachers and other educators buy and sell the resources needed in their classes. Ranging from worksheets, educational resources, and many others, more teachers, have used this for their classroom needs. Nowadays, it is said that more than 70% of the teachers in the US, Canada, and Australia have benefitted from the platform.

Pay to Write Essays

This is another platform where students can buy essays that they need for their academic requirements. With paytowriteessays, they have a team of highly qualified academic writers who can help you out with your research paper or essay that you can use to submit as your requirement in any of the subjects. Most of their writers are college professors and instructors, so you can be sure that the essays you buy from them will be professionally done.


If you study another language, you are probably familiar with Duolingo and its iconic parrot. This is a platform where everyone can learn a foreign language for free, complete with many updated resources and activities that will help you practice your acquired language skills in the comfort of your own home. What’s more, you can also download the app on Play Store or Apple Store to learn consistently anytime, anywhere.


This list will not be complete without Coursera. Like Course Hero, it offers online classes from a wide range of universities, from smaller ones all the way to the big boys, such as Stanford and Duke, all in an open online format. Aside from the wide range of universities, the platform also offers various fields to study, from sciences to arts and other subjects and courses. Coursera also employs different learning methods, such as video lectures, discussion forums for students, and auto-graded homework.

Our Takeaway

Thanks to technology, more people now have access to education with different platforms catering to their needs. These edtech startups have successfully met the balance between the innovations of today and the thirst for the education of yesterday and beyond.

Top 5 Advantages of Auto Insurance for Teenagers

Auto insurance is a necessity for any teenager who wants to get behind the wheel. But, not all teenagers know what they are getting into when it comes to auto insurance. Many teens believe that driving without car insurance is safer than carrying it because paying premiums can be expensive. There’s less risk involved in accidents with other cars if one has no coverage at all. The truth is, you never want to drive without car insurance because this leaves you vulnerable in many ways! This blog will discuss why you should buy the best auto insurance for teens and its benefits.

Why Should Teenagers Have Auto Insurance?

Auto insurance for teenagers helps to protect them from many risks involved in driving. Teenagers are more likely than adults to speed, drive while fatigued or impaired, and not wearing a seatbelt. Besides this, one of the significant reasons you must have auto insurance for teens is the teenage cell phone use statistics. Fifty-two percent of teenagers talk on a cell phone, and 32% of adolescents text while driving, resulting in more chances of crashing than adults.

Advantages Of Auto Insurance For Teens

 1.  Comprehensive Coverage

Auto insurance is essential for teens when they start driving and choosing the best car insurance policy can be tricky. They are more prone to accidents due to inexperience and lack of skill and an increased likelihood of being involved in a collision because their risk-taking tendencies may lead them into situations that cause accidents.

For these reasons, teenagers must have coverage on the car they use, as well. Comprehensive coverage is the most important type of auto insurance for a teen driver because it protects against accidents they may experience due to things out of their control – like weather and vandalism. Comprehensive policies cover everything from snowfalls and hail damage up to being stolen or vandalized by someone else.

2. Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is a form of coverage that protects you and your family members from injury or damages caused by other people’s actions. For example, suppose somebody rear-ends your car in an intersection because they were not paying attention to their surroundings. In that case, liability coverage will help pay for any repairs made to your vehicle. Liability also covers medical costs related to the incident and any other damages incurred as a result.

3. Collision Coverage

If you’re a young driver, collision coverage can be used to repair or replace your car. This is important because as a new driver in the United States, statistics show that you are much more likely to file an insurance claim for damage due to collisions than any other type of incident. Collision coverage also protects against “comprehensive” hazards like fire and vandalism–something else that your parents’ policy may not cover.

4. Personal Injury Protection

PIP coverage pays medical bills for your passenger if you are at fault in an accident. This can be worth up to $15,000 per person and up to a total of $30,000. You’ll also have coverage for any passengers that were not initially named on the policy, like family members or friends who come with you when you’re driving their car.

This is one-way auto insurance that covers more than just damage done by accidents; it also helps pay for injuries sustained by people other than the driver (like passengers). PIP coverage will typically reimburse costs such as doctor visits, emergency room treatment, therapy sessions, and even funeral expenses.”

5. Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects against what is called “gap insurance.” Gap Insurance (or coverage) protects you from the difference between your medical expenses and how much the other person’s auto insurer pays. For example, if you have a $500 deductible on your auto policy but are injured in an accident where it takes $5000 of rehabilitation to get back to 100% mobility, that additional 5000 would be out-of-pocket for you without gap insurance. Luckily with Underinsured Motorist Coverage, those gaps will be covered up to the limit specified in your policy as well!

Summing Up on Teen Auto Insurance

Everyone knows the pros and cons of auto insurance for teenagers. The low rates, high deductibles, limited coverage can make it a tough decision to purchase this type of insurance for one’s child under 18 years old. But with so many advantages that come with teen car insurance policies – such as special discounts and regulations just for them – there are usually more benefits than drawbacks when deciding whether or not to invest in protection against major accidents. 

There is no question; teens need good enough protection from their negligence should they cause an accident while driving without any help from others on the road. Here are five common reasons why purchasing an inexpensive car insurance policy for your teenager might be worth considering.

Shortwave Radio Tips

The invention of the radio as a broadcasting medium in the latter years of the 1800s is one of those moments that can truly be said to have changed the world. Radio communication is ubiquitous today and forms the core of all of our communication networks. There were three distinct wavelength groups in the early days of commercial radio: longwave, mediumwave and short wave. 

This article talks about shortwave radio, what it is and who uses it, and supplies some tips to those who want to begin using shortwave. Let’s start with an explanation of the name. 

What is Shortwave Radio?

Radio travels in waves. This was discovered in the 19th century by several remarkable scientists, chief among whom was Guglielmo Marconi, now accredited as the ‘inventor’ of the broadcast radio. Radio waves are a part of the radio frequency spectrum. So, why shortwave?

If you want to learn all about shortwave radio, there are plenty of resources available online where you’ll find more details than we’ve got space for, but summarise a couple of things first. Shortwave radio refers to radio waves shorter than 1500kHz. There are advantages to shortwaves not found in the other wavelengths, notably the ability to broadcast over long distances.

This is why radio fans use shortwaves as a hobby form of broadcasting. However, it is also used by aircraft and vessels at sea and numerous emergency services worldwide. In many countries – notably those in the developing world – the radio stations listened to for entertainment are often shortwave, unlike those in the developed work that tends to be a medium wave. Who uses shortwave radio and why? 

Who Uses Shortwave Radio?

The history of shortwave radio is an interesting one that brings up many interesting facts, such as the use of shortwave by Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev, who, when faced with an attempted coup and cut off from all usual communications, kept up to date via the BBC World Service which broadcast on shortwave.

Today, these wavelengths are mainly used for maritime communications, police radio bands, and similar, and many thousands of radio enthusiasts worldwide use the system as a hobby. Many amateur stations broadcast, and an enthusiast – or radio ham – will spend his or her time browsing the wavelengths for broadcasts, much as we browse the internet.

Radio transmitter sets can be purchased surprisingly cheaply, and it is – for many people – an addictive and yet rewarding hobby. Through the wavelengths, you will find many curious broadcasts, including the famous and somewhat mysterious ‘MDZhB’ – or ‘The Buzzer’ – which originates from Russia, and for which the real purpose remains open to speculation (if you want to listen to the short, strange tone it repeatedly broadcasts you can find it at 4625 and 4810kHz).

How to Get the Best Out of Shortwave Radio

The future of shortwave radio is long-term as it remains one of the few broadcasting methods over thousands of miles. Most radio enthusiasts will create a ‘radio shack’ in which their equipment is situated, which becomes their home from home. Some have quite sophisticated equipment, while others use simple radio receivers and transmitters, often built from kits. Here are a few tips that you may want to note if you are looking at joining the band of enthusiasts using shortwave:

Check for RFI

Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is one of the main problems experienced by ham radio users. RFI is interference from electrical items such as plasma TVs and power sources for computers, and even the regular mains AC outlet. RFI is a background noise that makes listening to shortwave – which can be difficult in certain conditions anyway – even more difficult. The fewer extra electrical items in your shack or home, the better.

Find an Open Space

Another problem with shortwaves is that they can be badly affected by buildings and other solid objects. This is why many enthusiasts use a portable shortwave device if they live in a built-up area. To get around the problem of distorted reception, head to an open space free from buildings, and you will find reception to be much improved.

Create a Wire Antenna

If you are looking for better reception, a length of wire and a crocodile clip can become a useful and efficient aerial. Attached to the reception port of the receiver, you should play around with it to discover the optimum length for the best reception.

Listen with Headphones

As reception can be poor – see the reasons described above – listening with headphones is highly recommend. These are affordable items now that just about every smartphone is supplied with a set of earbud headphones.

That’s all for now, so if you are thinking of getting into amateur radio, enjoy!