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3 Ways to Design Space for Optimum Organization

One of my favorite mantras is the one that says “A place for everything and everything in its place”. If you’re always tidying up your home, removing clutter, and finding better ways to arrange your cupboards neatly, you’re the kind who instinctively knows how to achieve optimal space organization. You can utilize the smallest of spaces in the most effective of ways, and your home always looks spic and span with the least amount of effort. The thing about space is that its use could be optimized if planned well ahead, during the design phase of every home. And the best ways to do this are:

  • Reduce corners and rounded edges and keep shapes right-angled: Most rooms are square or rectangular, and even if you do have an oval or circular room in your home, the space around or inside it does not allow for efficient storage. Your furniture has to be explicitly designed to fit into this curvature, and even if it is, it may not be comfortable and end up serving only as eye candy. So as much as possible, keep your rooms square or rectangular, with sharp corners into which regular furniture will fit snugly.
  • Design customized spaces for furniture or accessories or storage: If you take a look at your refrigerator or kitchen cabinets, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The door of your fridge is custom-built to hold your bottles, and you have different racks for different sizes. Your kitchen cabinets are designed to hold your bottles, your spoons, your plates, and your other cutlery, crockery and ingredients in the best possible way. Use this idea when designing and finding use for other spaces as well – for example, if you own a baby grand, build a space for it in your new place rather than just pushing it into a corner of a large room once the building is complete.
  • Visualize uses for empty space early on: My brother’s apartment had three bedrooms and a large enough living room, yet there was one corridor-like space which went totally wasted. Apparently the builders did not know how to fit all the rooms of the house into the allotted space without including this thin strip of space. And so the pathway served only to connect the kitchen and dining room with the rest of the house. To prevent such eyesores and waste of space, plan your home in such a way that there are no empty spaces, and even if there are, find meaningful use for them.

When OTC Drugs Become Dangerous

We hear of prescription drugs turning lethal when they’re abused or when you overdose; we hear of people obtaining drugs without prescriptions and using them for stimulation; and we hear of doctors who prescribe drugs for their friends and family members (or for celebrities) who request them even though they don’t have a genuine medical need. We’re aware of the dangers in all the above situations, and those of us who are wise will think a million times before treading down any of those paths.

But when it comes to OTC drugs, the kind that you can buy without a prescription, we tend to throw our collective wisdom out the window. We assume they’re safe because we don’t need a doctor’s signature to purchase them. And we don’t take too much care in dosing our children with them because they’re available without any restriction. The truth is, it’s easier to avoid a known danger than to steer clear of an unknown pitfall, and OTC drugs are open drains that are waiting to suck you in when you least expect them to.

OTC drugs become dangerous when:

  • They’re taken too often – You have a headache and you’ve just popped a pill. A few minutes later, you don’t feel any relief and so you take one every half hour or so hoping for a quick relief. That’s when the trouble starts.
  • You exceed the recommended dosage – The bottle says to drink one teaspoon of the syrup, but you pour the liquid down your throat like it’s water. You think you’re safe because the drug is OTC, but you never know.
  • They’re taken for no reason at all – People have been known to become addicted to cough syrups available OTC because of their alcohol content.
  • You take more than one medication at the same time – You could suffer adverse reactions if the ingredients in all your medicines don’t mix well.
  • They’re given to kids – especially those below four years of age without discussing the decision with your pediatrician. Children are not as strong as adults, so they may react adversely to medication that is not specifically prescribed for them.
  • You don’t heed warnings on the label – Some OTC drug labels carry warnings and ask you not to drive or involve yourself in any work that requires your full concentration after you’ve taken a dosage. If you disobey these warnings, the drug could make you somnolent and your lapse in concentration could end up killing you and other people.

Remember, OTC drugs are relatively safe; but like any form of medication, if they’re abused, they turn around to abuse your health, and even your life, in return.

Why Nurses Approve of Medical Marijuana

There’s white, there’s black, and then there are varying shades of grey. But it is human nature to see the black first and longest because it is the most striking of the lot. So it is with medical marijuana – people fail to see its potential as a therapeutic drug that helps relieve pain and other symptoms of diseases and instead perceive it as a drug that is and could be abused for personal pleasure. This is why there are laws against using this drug even for therapeutic reasons. But those in the medical community, especially nurses, approve of medical marijuana because:

  • They interact directly with patients and are able to see firsthand how beneficial marijuana is to patients who suffer from debilitating illnesses like cancer and chronic ailments.
  • Their associations support the use of medical marijuana – since 1994, the state nursing associations of Alaska, New York, North Carolina, California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Mississippi, Virginia and Wisconsin have all passed resolutions that support allowing patients to buy medical marijuana legally.
  • Besides this, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Public Health Association have acknowledged that marijuana can be a valuable form of treatment when used under medical supervision.
  • Medical marijuana is being banned solely for political reasons, not for medical reasons. Nurses’ first responsibility is towards their patients, and because they know how useful it is, they support medical marijuana.
  • Patients could be given professional guidance as to how the drug must be administered.
  • Medical marijuana is safe as well as effective as a form of medication.
  • Legalization is the only way to ensure that patients have access to an unadulterated supply of medical cannabis.
  • The drug can be regulated and prevented from abuse by allowing access only to patients with a prescription and whose symptoms are within designated guidelines.
  • Only a very small percentage of medical marijuana users become dependent, but this is similar to patients becoming addicted to other prescription drugs like painkillers.
  • Unlike many other drugs, marijuana has never caused a fatal overdose.

Medical marijuana has been known to ease many symptoms like nausea and pain. It acts as a sedative and an appetite stimulant, and has proved valuable in helping patients with terminal illnesses like cancer and AIDS and chronic ailments like multiple sclerosis manage their pain and control adverse symptoms.

Top 25 Paranormal Skeptic Blogs

Do you believe? Whether you’ve had a firsthand experience with the paranormal or seldom believe the ghost stories you heard as a kid, these are the blogs to turn to when you want a major myth or paranormal experience debunked. Some paranormal historians have made a career out of this and now blog on the topic to prevent folks from being spooked by events and reports that can be explained with pure logic.

Top Paranormal Skeptic Blogs

If it’s ghosts, oujia boards or fortune tellers, these paranormal skeptic blogs will prove nearly any claim wrong.

    1. The Skeptical Teacher This blog is all about debunking myths when it comes to government cover-ups, ghosts and aliens.
    2. Skepdic – Paranormal This blog gives you the scoop on some of the big names in the field that have put a stop to lies and heresay from the paranormal realm.
    3. Lynne Kelly – The Skeptic’s Guide to the Paranormal If you’re a skeptic without the time to research why you don’t believe paranormal claims, this site offers a crash course in terms and major happenings in the world of the paranormal.
    4. Skeptical Analysis This skeptic blog aims to debunk major paranormal news stories that often get picked up by major media outlets. The site hasn’t been updated in awhile, but still provides a great amount of research material for the modern day skeptic.
    5. Travel Paranormal If you’re looking for a one-on-one experience with the paranormal, this site gives you a rundown of haunted places throughout the U.S. and which claim to be haunted.
    6. Debunking Skeptics Sometimes a skeptic claim will be debunked by those who do believe. This blog is a place where believers prove skeptics wrong with cold hard facts.
    7. Skeptic This site uses scientific facts to showcase paranormal hoaxes that are reported weekly from around the globe.
    8. Skepticism Get a round-up of YouTube videos that debunk various paranormal sightings or talked-about events.
    9. The Skeptics Guide Here scientists pick apart paranormal and holistic medical claims, so you’re getting facts from the experts, not some wack job trolling the Internet.
    10. Skepdic – The Skeptic’s Dictionary Here’s a glossary of all of the paranormal and religious terms that skeptics go after when they think a hoax is going on.
    11. Snopes This popular skeptic website put rumors of Jesus in tortillas and ghosts in classrooms to rest.
    12. What’s the Harm? This blog asks for critical analysis of some of the grand claims being made such as the work of The Secret and its tactics.
    13. Skepchick This blog does a weekly round-up of things to be skeptical of (or news on things that have been disproven).
    14. Skeptico This skeptic blog gives you posts on crop circles and UFOs.
    15. Skepbitch We love this skeptic blog because the writer has a way with words and is never shy about calling out paranormal or religious activity that’s false.

UFOs and Alien Skeptic Blogs and Articles

If you think gray is just a color, you’re in the good company of these UFOs and alien skeptic blogs and articles.

    16. Bad UFOs This blog breaks the truth on lousy UFO hoaxes and also talks some religion and conspiracy theories.
    17. About UFOs – Philip J. Klass Learn about the legendary UFO debunker who is well-respected in the skeptic and scientific community.
    18. Just Skeptics This skeptic blog talks about religion, science and has plenty of UFO and alien chatter too.
    19. Boston Skeptics This group of skeptics based in Boston talk about various paranormal hoaxes, include aliens, shadow people and alien air crafts.
    20. UFO Evidence – Skeptics This gives you a rundown of some of the major players in the world of UFO skeptics and explains their stance on particular alien occurences.

Ghost Skeptic Blogs and Articles

Do you believe in getting caught between worlds? These skeptic blogs and articles focus on ghost sightings.

    21. Skeptical Viewer This site deals with ghosts and debunking television show gimmicks, but instead of doubting them for the beginning, it offers an analysis of why something is a hoax.
    22. Open Minded Skeptic This site is all about ghosts and deciphering the possibly real from the totally fake.
    23. Victorian Skeptics This blog is penned by skeptics from Australia who are out to debunk ghosts, religious claims and more.
    24. Randi This is the website of the great debunker, James Randi and talks about ghosts and other types of paranormal.
    25 Jeremy the Skeptic This blgo no longer updates, but it does have a wide array of archived posts on ghosts, predictions and the paranormal.

If you’re after real answers on aliens, ghosts or even miracles that sound too good to be true, visit these top paranormal skeptic blogs for a rational look at what’s out there. Opening your mind to the possibility of things being wrong is just as liberating as keeping a clear head to welcome new ideas and events.

Top 50 Perfume Blogs

Remember the good old days when your mother or grandmother had a few bottles of fragrance and selection was narrowed to only a few choices? Fragrance has quickly gone from a designer offering choices by number to everyone from athletes to the latest “It Girl” putting out one, and in some cases several. In a world where any of these perfumes can easily run up to and beyond $100 per bottle, how do you make sense of it all?

Luckily, there seem to be a proportionate amount of people growing in passion for perfume as there are number of perfumes available. And you don’t have to travel far to read their ramblings. Below, we have gathered the top 50 perfume blogs. They can help choose a scent, buy a gift, or just learn a little more about that scent you love.

Top Perfume Blogs by a Group

Many writers devote their blogs to perfume, fragrance, colognes, and anything else related.

    1. Fragrantica
    This blog is a literal A to Z of every perfume imaginable. The left hand column alone has loads of new fragrances to read about, as well as reviews. You can check out reviews by thousands of different members and even read more about the top performers.

    2. Basenotes
    Visit here for an independent guide to perfumes with over 13,000 entries. Who is wearing what can be seen on the Facebook feed along with more about the user. There are also blog entries by several columnists, the latest in perfumes, and even a Fragrance Project.

    3. OsMoz
    Want to be the first to rate a new perfume? Then visit this blog where the latest reviews and reviews wanted are featured on the homepage. You can also choose from brands, trends, a guide, and even a perfume encyclopedia. There is even a TV channel with more.

    4. The Scented Salamander
    Get an index of perfume reviews and new ones as well here. There are also options for images, ads, and even celebrity fragrances. Gift ideas were the topic of recent posts.

    5. The Aromaconnection Blog
    Several bloggers converge here and often write about the fragrance business. Categories range from aroma travel to trade issues. Even laws affecting the industry are discussed.

    6. The Perfume Chronicles
    Stop here for a blog that is updated with perfume news each Monday. The latest in perfumes are usually included. A standout feature is the option to search by note from amber to wood.

    7. Scent Hive
    Scent Hive is an on-line community dedicated primarily to natural and organic perfumes, make-up, skin care, and body products. Categories range from fragrances that are 100 percent pure to Victoria Jess. A recent entry was on winter perfume.

Top Perfume Blogs by a Pro

These blogs are authored by those who have made perfume their passion.

    8. Scent Notes
    Chandler Burr is a women’s fashion blogger at “The New York Times.” This blog focuses just on the perfume related news. One of the latest posts was thoughts on the newest releases.

    9. 1,000 Fragrances
    Octavian Coifan has been featured in loads of fashion publications. He is a member of Société Française des Parfumeurs and the Romanian Society of Cosmetic Chemists. With many books written on the subject, check out his blog with the latest.

    10. Now Smell This
    Editor Robin K. isn’t opposed to wearing perfumes for both sexes. Regular topics on the blog include fragrance reviews, news, perfume shopping tips, and upcoming fragrance releases. Recent reviews are kept up with and you can browse by other related topics.

    11. Perfume Shrine
    The blog is an independent online publication offering articles on perfumery. Topics include fragrance reviews, essays on the science of fragrance and aroma materials, articles on perfume history, interviews with perfumers and industry professionals, and much more. Reader’s favorites include “Old Lady Perfume” and “Aldehydes Laid Bare.”

    12. Perfume.com Magazine
    All fragrances all the time are the topic of this blog. If celebrities and fragrances are your preference, there are also many resources for you. The blog also offers a chat option for those needing help choosing a fragrance.

    13. Sorcery of Scent
    Dimitri is a graphic designer and student of botanical perfumery. Also a pro in the industry, he often features exotic and foreign perfumes. Travels, thoughts, and more are featured.

    14. Katie Puckrick Smells
    She works in the states and UK covering a wide range of pop culture. However, her blog covers the smell side of the spectrum. Fragrance reviews and thoughts are often the subject of posts.

    15. Being Led by the Nose
    A journey of scents around the world by Alec Lawless can be found here. He also has a book entitled “Artisan Perfumery.” Visit to see what he enjoys and recommends.

Top Perfume Blogs by an Individual

These bloggers write simply for the love of fragrance and perfumes.

    16. Olfacta
    She is a communications professional from Atlanta. The “genie in the bottle,” aka perfume and its ramifications, is what is discussed here. Popular posts include “Cherry Bomb” and “Perfume’s Grail.”

    17. I Smell Therefore I Am
    Abigail doesn’t have much to say about herself, but makes up for it by writing extensively about perfume. Thoughts, reviews, and more are all included. Guest bloggers and random posts are also shared.

    18. Mossy Loomings
    Aimee started this as a blog about everything. However, it soon wound up being about her favorite topic: perfume. You can also get posts on her daily life in Austin.

    19. Perfume Posse
    Patti brings you coast-to-coast fragrance coverage in the U.S. With both a Perfume 101 and 201 section, they are a good choice for those who need a little more information on the subject. A recent entry was on perfumes for the holidays.

    20. Perfume Smellin Things
    Marina is from New York where perfume is her obsession. French perfumes are often the topics of posts. She even offers reviews by house and other related posts such as leather scents.

    21. BOTO Blog
    The Beauty on the Outside blog is authored by Danielle who features independent reviews of fragrances and other related items. Categories include beauty, perfume, the scent of the day, and “Things I Hate.”

    22. Bonker’s About Perfume
    Visit here for the random musings of a born again perfume lover. Also a representative of the Perfume Studio, you can create your own signature scent. Vanessa also keeps reviews and opinions on the latest in fragrance.

    23. Bloody Frida
    BF is a “cranky, middle aged woman” from Ohio. Her blog is all about her personal journey in the world of perfume. She recently had a Solstice party and blogs all about it.

    24. Scentzilla
    Katie lives in near Portland, Oregon. Her blog chronicles her “profound addiction to fragrance.” Although she hasn’t blogged in a while, you can still get reviews for past scents.

Top Specialty Perfume Blogs

These blogs take on a particular aspect of perfumes.

    25. The Vintage Perfume Vault
    The scents of yesterday are what this blog centers around. Amelia is a lover of “old stuff” and has a particular interest in perfume. Popular posts include those on perfume for kids and vintage Tresor.

    26. Yesterday’s Perfume
    Stop here for another blog on vintage perfumes. Entries on fragrances as far back as 1938 are shared. You can also search by reviews by name.

    27. Anya’s Garden Natural Perfume
    This blog actually features a course on how to make your own perfume. Anya is a perfumer, educator, and artist who created the first online perfumery course. She is also a professional consultant to the industry.

    28. Blogdorf Goodman
    If you are a fan of Bergdorf Goodman, this is the blog for you. Annie is from Ohio and loves the brand so much, she named her blog after it. Other perfumes are also part of the blog.

    29. Indieperfumes
    Lucy is from Brooklyn and loves fragrance. Her blog stands apart for using perfumes to connect to nature. Check out which scents help her do just that via blog.

    30. A Natural Perfumers Journal White Witch
    Ruth Ruane created this brand of specialty products. Baths, fragrances, perfumes, and more are all discussed. With blog entries dating all the way back to 2006, you can read how she does it.

    31. Sniffapalooza
    This is an event-based group of fragrance aficionados that originated in New York City and now unites perfume enthusiasts from around the world. What started as a small group of women getting together to share their passion for perfume has grown into a phenomenon that has attained international recognition through many prominent publications. Check out the site for what is up for them next, as well as get Sneak Sniffs.

    32. Frag Name of the Day
    If your love of perfumes includes the French, click here. This blogger devotes the site to all French perfumes and designers. Check out the latest entry, or get French fragrance names from A to Z.

    33. Nathan Branch
    He is from New Zealand where he focuses on the business side of fashion and luxury. However, perfume and scents constantly make the topics of things he writes about. Other items that interest him, such as food, are also written about.

    34. Chicken Freak’s Obsession
    Stop here for the only blog on fried chicken and fragrance. The blogger is obsessed with fragrance, perfumers, notes, scents, and “the whole fragrant world.” There is also a blog with other ramblings on gardening, chocolate, and food.

Top Perfume and Beauty Blogs

These blogs are about beauty in general, with a little or a lot of perfume thrown in.

    35. The Non Blonde
    Gaia makes it her goal to “try stuff so you don’t have to.” The blog focuses on beauty, fashion, and perfume. She even throws in the occasional snarky comment and celebrity talk.

    36. Bois de Jasmin
    In addition to perfume reviews, you can get information on food and other fragrance related topics. New launches from Armani to Theirry are also included.

    37. Victoria’s Own
    Perfume, life, and Paris combine on one blog here. Although from California, Victoria does not hesitate to blog about her three favorite things. You can also get perfume reviews as well as what she prefers.

    38. Beauty Café
    Luxury personal care and fragrance are what this blog is about. Featured in fashion magazines, they specialize in niche beauty and fragrance lines. You can also learn about the latest up and coming items in perfumes with a visit.

    39. The Beauty Alchemist
    Stop here for all things beauty, fragrance, and fashion. A few occasional and related asides are also featured. Makeup was just the topic of the latest.

    40. Obsession Isn’t Just a Perfume
    Karen is a FX makeup artist who has worked in television and national tours. Her blog is a peek at all the things that matter to her, including one of her favorite perfumes.

    41. Beauty Addict
    This blogs tagline is “a little obsessed with makeup.” Staying true to the spirit, all things beauty are included along with posts just for scent. You can also find items on face, hair, skin, and more.

    42. Notes From the Ledge
    Perfume, fresh water, and other indulgences are partaken at this blog. Labels are on everything from agarwood to Zen. Storage and perfumes was the topic of a recent post.

    43. Makeup and Beauty Blog
    Stop here to get beauty product reviews, makeup tips, and news. Your “friendly neighborhood beauty addict” also writes about fragrances. Popular posts include items on lipstick and foundation.

    44. Beauty Blitz
    If the above aren’t enough for you, stop here. The Beauty Blitz features tons of bloggers who write about everything from hair to fashion. Clicking on the fragrance section can connect you to many professional posts.

Top Perfume Blogs by a Maker

Read the blog of a company or individual that actually makes perfume.

    45. Tauer Perfumes
    Blog categories include creating scents, reviews, and general thoughts. You can even visit to enter contests or get samples. The main site has more.

    46. Roxana
    She is an artist working in the visual and aromatic realms. Illuminated perfume is also the tagline of this blog. Check out her Etsy shop with more, or read the latest entry.

    47. Smellyblog
    She is from British Columbia where she is the founder of Ayala Moriel Parfums. The company creates natural artisan and bespoke perfumes inspired by her childhood. Her blog also includes a Perfumer’s journal and reviews.

    48. Perfume Journal
    Suzanne Keller is from Pennsylvania where she specializes in hand decanted perfumes. Click About Me to get her personal list of top ten fragrances. You can also get notes on particular and rare scents.

    49. + Q Perfume Blog
    Simone is involved in just about every area of perfuming. She is a fragrance evaluator, writer, and a consultant on the art. Her travels along with thoughts on the industry are shared.

    50. Learning to Make Perfume
    If your own perfume journey is newer than those of the above, stop here. Philip Goutell chronicles his own journey into making perfume. Real life adventures and thoughts are featured.

It doesn’t matter what you fragrance you are looking for – women’s or men’s, local or international, brand name or boutique – there are loads of opinions to be found on the above top 50 perfume blogs. To help you pronounce instead of just read, try clicking on Perfume Pronunciations . From About.com, it is a list of many common perfume makers as well as the proper way to pronounce their names.

7 Celebrities Who Were Once Pharmacists

We alternate between loving and hating them, between being their admirers and being repulsed by their behavior, and between wanting to be like them and thanking God we’re nothing like them. Celebrities have a way of doing that to you, swinging you like a pendulum from one side to the other. It’s not exactly sour grapes, but we do wish at times that we had some of their money and fame. The truth is, we’re voyeurs to their lives which are played out on the public arena. And if there’s one lesson we can learn from the dramas that we’re spectators to, it’s that fame and fortune are a dangerous combination to handle – it makes you go off your rocker more often than not. If you want proof, look no further than the below list – it’s a tongue-in-cheek look at a few celebrities who decided to play pharmacist and had to end up paying with their lives for it. So here goes, 7 celebrities who were once pharmacists:

1. Michael Jackson: His story says it all – from being a child singing sensation to the uncrowned king of the music world, from hero to zero, from idol to an image of scorn, Michael Jackson had seen it all. What did him in finally was the craving most celebrities have to remain in the limelight, the addiction to fame that will not allow them to retire gracefully as their sunset years approach. Michael was looking to recapture the brilliance of his youth with his “final curtain call” comeback concert This is It, but unfortunately, he bowed out before even taking the stage because of a combination of the drugs propofol, lorazepam and midazolem.

2. Elvis Presley: The official toxicology report found not just one or even two drugs in the King’s body when he was found dead at the age of 42, but 14. With an overdose of codeine, methaqualone, Quaaludes and other “prescription” drugs that he took for his heart condition, Elvis Presley was a walking time bomb waiting to go off and annihilate himself.

3. Marilyn Monroe: At the height of her career, this beautiful star had it all. Yet, it wasn’t enough. She was found dead at the age of 32 at her LA home with high levels of the barbiturates Nembutal and chloral hydrate in her blood. Whether it was intentional suicide or an accidental overdose, we’ll never really know.

4. Bruce Lee: This rising star had it all – fame, fortune and fans. But all it took to end his life at the very young age of 32 was one tiny pill, the painkiller equagesic which caused him to suffer an acute cerebral edema. Apparently the drug was given to him by his friend who was also in the film industry to cure his headache. Unfortunately, Lee was allergic to the aspirin and muscle relaxant meprobamate in the pill and succumbed after his brain swelled abnormally.

5. Heath Ledger: We all grew to love him for his unconventional roles in the movies Brokeback Mountain and Batman Returns. His portrayal of the Joker made headlines and even won him an Oscar (posthumously). But death had the last laugh as Ledger succumbed at the age of 28 to a lethal dose of a combination of prescription drugs.

6. Anna Nicole Smith: Another celebrity who made headlines not just because of the way she lived but also because of the way she died is Anna Nicole Smith. Her body was found in a hotel in Florida with her blood showing elevated levels of more than ten drugs including chloral hydrate, clonazepam, valium, oxazepam, and lorazepam.

7. Brittany Murphy: The tragic end of this rising star came about because of a combination of pneumonia, anemia, and elevated levels of the prescription drugs hydrocodone, acetaminophen, L-methamphetamine and chlorpheniramine.

The really sad part of all these deaths is that they happened when the celebrities (most of them) were very young and had their whole lives ahead of them. But then, I guess fame goes to your head literally, when it comes in the form of prescription drugs.